The happy days of summer and very little to study (no, no summer school for me, but I am trying to keep up on a few things so as to not forget during the break) leave me with much time to read. Trivial stuff. For fun.
I find that I read a lot of YA/juvenile fantasy fiction. I used to hate the stuff and now I eat it up with a giant nutella-filled spoon. (yes, nutella and I recently met. we're quite good friends at present) I know it's not improving my mind or giving me an education (other than how demons and fallen angels operate) but it sure is a fun escape.
Which is the whole point of reading, in my opinion.
What I read in May:
"Gregor the Overlander" by Suzanne Collins (of Hunger Games fame)
11 yr old Gregor and his 2 yr old sister fall through a grate in the laundry room and fall down down down (a la Alice in Wonderland) and find a long-lost land in which cockroaches and rats are the size of people. He goes on a quest to find his long-lost father, whom he learns was taken captive by rats 2 years ago.
I wanted to love it after hearing about it from friends, but the truth is it was just too juvenile for me. I'm sure my kids would like it, but I struggled to get into it and once I did, all I wanted to do was finish it to say I had.
"The Vow: The true events that inspired the movie" by Kim & Krickitt Carpenter
I knew I wanted to read this book before watching the movie, but I think this is one case in which the movie is probably better than the book. It is an autobiography of course, of Kim and Krickitt Carpenter, who were in a motor vehicle accident 1 month after being married. Krickitt suffered major brain damage and lost all memory of ever knowing/met/or married Kim. The story is of their recovery and attempt to get back what they had lost.
Initially, it was hard for me to read, because so much of what they went through, WE went through. Krickitt was even treated at Barrow's Neurological Institute at St. Joe's Hospital, just as Dan was in '01. All the tests, all the symptoms, all the reactions of brain injury--all very very reminiscent of Danny's. Her injuries were worse (she was in the hospital 7 weeks and he was in 5), and although Dan lost 2 months of his memory, he never lost any memory of me.
All in all, book-wise, this story reads kind of flat. It is obvious Kim Carpenter is not an author. It reads very much like a "and then this happened and then this happened and then this happened." Not a lot of emotion. He doesn't even describe their first kiss.
I would certainly not call this chick-lit. However I'm guessing the movie is very much a chick-flick and I look forward to it. The book was, however, just ok.
**edit, I later watched the movie--it's only partially based on these characters, literally just the fact that they were married, had a car accident, and her recent memory was wiped. All other details are independent of the book. Movies like that always annoy me. Hollywood just doesn't get how brain injuries work. They make it seem like you get a knock on your head and then a couple weeks later, everything is back to normal. As my life and this book will prove, there are many stages of development when coming out of a brain injury, and the movie showed nothing close to real life. Still, it was OK. I'm not a huge Channing Tatum fan, but he kind of swayed me in this.
"The Calling" (Darkness Rising #2) by Kelley Armstrong
Maya and the rest of the runaways are out in the wilderness, basically on the run trying to avoid the Baddies and get back to their parents...who have all been told their teens died in a helicopter crash. Meanwhile, our heroes are all coming into their supernatural powers (skin-walkers, benendatis, etc) and time after time it is proven they just can't trust anyone.
I have mixed feelings about this one. I liked it, but it was only 3.5 stars good, not as good as it's predecessor. It was a lot like #2 of the prequel Darkest Powers trilogy, in that the whole time it was run and hide, can we trust this person? No? Run and hide, repeat. The ending was pretty exciting.
Will I read the next one? Sure. Is it super fantastic writing? Not so much.
"Passion" (Fallen #3) by Lauren Kate
The best of the bunch for me this month.
This has by far been my favorite of the "Fallen" books. It's very different from the other two. Luc is on a quest of sorts--she goes back in time to all the points in which she's been reincarnated, and witnesses her relationship with Daniel. She actually sees her death several times and learns things about their curse along the way. Each point in history is so interesting and of course different; it really kept the book moving. She ends up going back thousands of years--all the way to the creation--so the whole premise is very creative.
Yes, there's a #4, but I don't even find myself bothered by it. The next book will start where this ended: the war in Heaven, the fall of 1/3 of the populace who follow Satan, and what his new plan will be to claim all the earth. I was surprised by it's turn into quite a theological story by the end, but as it is still very paranormal/fantasy, it is still very enjoyable.
"Hourglass" (Hourglass #1) by Myra McEntire
This is the first in a trilogy about time travel and other supernatural abilities. A collection of these supernaturals (think X-Men) meet the main character, Emerson, to tell her about her gifts and use her to help change the past. I'll admit, it's a little confusing here and there. It's one of those paradox situations, in which if one alters the past, one may cease to exist, etc.
Even though I liked it, it wasn't the best writing. Every now and then there was a paragraph that didn't seem to fit, almost as if an editor said "you need to add such and such to clarify this and that". Certain parts seemed out of place, and at times, I felt that I was reading an adolescent's writing. (Example, one character leaves a scene. A conversation takes place with those remaining that probably lasts a total of 30 seconds. Then it's mentioned "where has so-and-so gone? They've been gone too long..."
Regardless, I liked the creative and clever topic. However, I may have to take notes during the second one to keep things straight.
"Demonglass" (Hex Hall #2) by Rachel Hawkins
Oh...this was fun.
Interesting characters? Check.
Slight yet not too over-the-top fantasy? Check.
Love triangle? Check.
Sassy heroine? Check.
All the makings of a fun light read. In this second book of the series, Sophie goes to England to be with her father and learn all about being the super mighty powerful demon that she is. While there, she learns she's engaged (arranged marriage from birth) AND falls in love with her mortal enemy. What could possibly go wrong?
It's good. . . this reading thing. I hope to do lots more between now and August 20th.