Last one of 2010 and I ended it up with a bang--10 books. My vacation to my parents' house helped. I think I finished 5 books on the drive and while there. *happy sigh*
Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley
Awww, I really liked this book. I had seen this original telling of the story in a movie back in the 80s (the one with Rebecca De Mornay in it) so this version was vaguely familiar to me. I loved the subtle love story and enjoyed it much more than I thought I would--I previously thought it was going to be like "Fairest" by Gail Carson, which I did not like. This was so much better and beautifully written.
Paper Towns by John Green
Errg this author is so irritating. He has a really great voice and a fun writing style. But his stuff is just so filthy. I didn't get too far before I decided with two bad apples in a row, I just can't read John Green's books. Too bad, because his Looking For Alaska won all sorts of awards. :(
So Much of Life Ahead (Hearts of the Children #5) by Dean Hughes
It was good...wrapped up the cousins' stories neatly (most of them) and ended with a bit of a climax and closure to the story. Very interesting series--I think Children of the Promise was a better series, but this was good too.
The Bro Code by Barney Stinson
If you don't like Barney's character or personality on the show "How I Met Your Mother", then this book isn't for you. I read it, laughed out loud at some parts, rolled my eyes at others, and just took it for what it was, a silly book full of charts and graphs and funny formulas regarding bros catching chicks. It was entertaining on my drive at least.
Promises to Keep: Diane's Story by Dean Hughes
I did enjoy this follow up to Dean Hughes' series...Diane is a great character and had an interesting back story. I'd recommend this entire series.
A Return to Christmas by Chris Heimerdinger
Aww, this was a really sweet story. Classic tale of the Prince and the Pauper--exchanged and mistaken identities with some sweet twists. Nice Christmas story.
One for the Money (Stephanie Plum #1) by Janet Evanovich
I thought this was a really fun light read--especially since Dan and I read it out loud on a road trip. It was a cute murder mystery (the start of something like a 13-book series?) and was pretty cleverly written. I giggled a lot while reading it. It does have some mature and bad language, but I just edited them out as I read out loud. I found myself saying "butt" and "frick" a lot. :p
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
This is the kind of book that just stays with you long after you finish reading it. I like Audrey Niffenegger's style of writing--very descriptive and beautiful--however it is a little slow. It took a while to get into the plot of this book, but once I figured out where it was going, I took a much greater interest.
It is about 21 year old twins who inherit their deceased aunt's flat in London. It is kind of a mix of Ghost, Flatliners, and other similar 'after-death' stories. Though I totally guessed some of the coming twists, others completely surprised me! After I finished reading it, I stayed up late to talk to my husband about it for around an hour...I just couldn't stop thinking about it. I think that's the mark of a good book.
The Remarkable Soul of a Woman by Dieter F. Uchtdorf
This is a sweet short book, comprised of several of Elder Uchtdorfs talks during LDS Women's Conference and LDS General Conference. It has some great messages and reminders. I read it one morning at the park while my youngest rode his bicycle for 25 minutes. Nice uplifting start to my day.
The Penultimate Peril (A Series of Unfortunate Events #12) by Lemony Snicket
A lot of work was put into this book. It contained information, details, and characters from the 11 books before it in the series, kind of a culmination of all the Baudelaire children have gone through, enemies and helpers they've met along the way, situations they've had to suffer through, get out of, etc. I'm past the point of enjoying these for the story...at this point, I enjoy it simply for the author's style of writing.
I love how he humorously talks to the reader, explains things, points out meanings of words, creates giant epic 200-word sentences, uses alliteration, and creates such a world for these poor kids.
This book ends a bit differently than the others, and you can tell that the story is coming to an end. It is a bit darker than the others, and at the same time, life lessons are taught. I'm excited to get to the final one--though I'm not expecting too many answers or even a very happy ending. That's just not the nature of this series.