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Reading Year in Review - 2013 Edition

Last New Year's Eve, I made a resolution to read one-hundred books in 2013. I didn't quite realize what I was getting myself into, as this goal amounts to about two books a week, and I have simply not committed that much time to reading since before I was in high school and real life got between me and the collective imagination of great story tellers. However, with some furious calculating and time management, I finally put a good dent in that endless to-be-read pile of mine that often threatens to collapse and give someone a concussion.

So, here's the year of one-hundred books, along with a few random thoughts that hopefully resemble reviews and a list of my favorite books I read this year.

If you want to ask if I think you'll enjoy a certain book, feel free.



Novels
--------


Alender, Katie

Bad Girls Don't Die (Bad Girls Don't Die #1) - 5 stars

From Bad to Cursed (Bad Girls Don't Die #2) - 5 stars

As Dead as it Gets (Bad Girls Don't Die #3) - 5 stars


Anderson, Laurie Halse

Wintergirls - 5 stars + certified “did-you-have-to-stomp-on-my-heart?” stamp

Twisted - 5 stars + certified “did-you-have-to-stomp-on-my-heart?” stamp

I've wanted to read more of Anderson's poignant High School Dramas since reading her novel Speak and seeing the movie a few years ago, and I'm glad I got the chance this year. The best way I can think to describe her books is that they claw into your skin, slowly rip apart your heart, and put it back together only once you and the character have gone so low you might get diver's sickness. Her stories are wonderful, trying, and always more full of heartbreaking truth than any other YA books I've ever read.


Ashton, Victoria

Confessions of a Teen Nanny (Confessions #1) – 3.5 stars + got-good-NYC-groove stamp


Carey, Anna

Eve (Eve Trilogy #1) – 3.5 stars


Carriger, Gail

Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School #1) - 4 stars

A smart as a whip series with great wit and a Victorian steampunk setting. Looking forward to more.


Cass, Kiera

The Selection (The Selection #1) – 3 stars

Full disclosure: I've never seen The Bachelor and have no desire to. I'll admit, I recently got reeled into romantic dystopian by The Hunger Games. Half the reason I read this book was because of the cover. (Puffy dresses are my tragic flaw.)

I expected to be disappointed, and I wasn't strongly contradicted in that expectation. However, I was surprised by how much I ended up enjoying this book despite its flaws.

Now, the plot is mostly romantic plot drive with a few political and class reform threads thrown in. It's based on the story of Esther, and is really an idealized, romantically warped version of that story. Steer clear if you don't have the stomach for love triangles and romantic drama. Like a spiny ride at the fair, you'll either enjoy the go around (like I did), or it will just make you sick.

World Building? Sadly dubious. As a readers, we're suppose to believe that America grew up on the edges of poverty and starvation, but I just don't see that in her character. Even if she grew up with the essentials, being a neighbor to such poverty and hardship would show in her character. This doesn't have to be expressed in cynicism, but it's not expressed enough to be make her situation real to the reader.

The reason for the Selection is never explained in detail. I understood it's meant to ease tension between the lower castes and the government. A sort of way to supply the public with the illusion that one can better their position. However, as the premise of the entire book, the Selection needs a better grounding.

The caste system is simply too dubious to give this world's class structure any meat on its bones. An entire class of artists? Interesting, but not realistic. Why would you designate a lower class of able bodied workers to the sole purpose of entertainment and art? How does that benefit the totalitarian upper castes when art is an educated pursuit inductive of a prosperous society? Caste systems are divided by uneducated physical laborers and educated tradesman with government officials at the top. Why do the upper castes even need a trade if they're rich old money? Plus, these people jump around in caste level so much that it might as well not exist.

There's also a lot of little things that bothered me. How does America tell the difference between the individual castes? They don't wear uniforms or badges.

And America, sweetie... I love you and all, but insisting that you're not attractive every ten pages doesn't make you humble. It makes you obnoxious, and draws needless attention to your appearance.

You could nit-pick this book all you want, but I found it wasn't hard to simply ignore the flaws, sit back, and enjoy the journey. Some of the flaws can be excused by the case that this is the first in a series, and more will be explained in the coming sequels.



Cushman, Karen

Matilda Bone - 4 stars


Doman, Regina

Waking Rose (A Fairytale Retold #3) - 5 stars


Fitzgerald, F. Scott

The Great Gatsby - 5 stars

There's a reason this is one of the greatest American novels ever written. More advanced minds then mine have sung this book's praise, so all I will say is: read it.


Fisher, Sally (adapted by)

The Tale of the Shinning Princess (a traditional Japanese fairytale) – 5 stars


Garcia, Kami

Beautiful Creatures (Castor Chronicles #1) - 3 stars

Love the movie and the premise of the story, however, at nearly six-hundred pages, this book is way too long winded. After awhile, I started to feel like one of those kids on a road trip.

Isn't this book over yet? What! Another 200 pages!?

I recommend you watch the movie, which is very good. Goodreads tells me this is the longest book I've read this year. Yikes!


Gruner, Jessica

Dark Times (Emily the Strange #3) - 5 stars

Piece of Mind (Emily the Strange #4) - 5 stars

Emily Strange is the dearest misanthrope you will ever meet. Quirky, extreme, intuitive, resourceful, witty, yet highly responsible in her own weird way, she is as lovable as she is terrifying. She prefers cats to people, never comes out in daylight, fears nothing but boredom, and is always working on a project that may very well destroy the world.

I won't tell you too much (I might spoil the surprises in the first book, The Lost Days); but her time traveling adventures in Dark Times present a wonderful prelude to her ultimate quest to claim her inheritance as the Thirteenth Dark Girl in Piece of Mind. The ending is entirely satisfying and all plot threads presented throughout the four books (Emily's family legacy, her struggle with her darker sider, the nature of Black Rock, and her family's arch foe) are tied up neatly with Gruner's wonderful, endlessly entertaining writing style.



Hardy, Janice

The Shifter (Healing Wars #1) - 5 stars

Books about magical healers are hard to get right. You must limit the ability while still making your healers a powerful enough force to drive the story. The idea of healers absorbing their patience “pain” and having to transfer that pain to rare magical stones or another person is nothing short of genius. Hardy uses magical healing to delicately explore the nature of human compassion and sacrifice and the greed and cruelty her characters struggle against is starkly contrasted. Her world building skills and characters construction is superb. I can't wait to read more!


Halpern, Julie

Into the Wild Nerd Yonder – 2.5 stars

I love stories about nerds and misfits in high school and their journey to accept themselves. However, the tone of this book is skewed by creepy off-color jokes and weird crudeness that destroy the warm fuzzes and the self-discovery story of the main character. I can't help but compare this book to Fangirl and The Summer I Become a Nerd, and realize I should be reading those books instead.


Jackson, Corrine

Touched (Sense Thieves #1) - 3 stars

I most enjoyed this story for the mental journey of a girl overcoming a life of abuse and learning to love her biological father and his family whom she hardly knows. Unfortunately, this was really only the backdrop for the paranormal romance parts of the story, that aren't as interesting and are quite cliché. I plan to read the sequel, Pushed, because I'm still interested but don't know if I'll finish the series.


Kagawa, Julie

The Iron King (The Iron Fey #1) – 3.5 stars


Kantor, Melissa

If I Have a Wicked Stepmother, Where's My Prince? - 4 stars

There's an age old trend of re-writing Cinderella for modern audiences, and why not? An orphaned girl's suffering is rewarded with a prince, a crown, and a palace while her wicked step-mother and step-sisters look on in outrage. Who wouldn't want to be in Cinderella's glass slippers?

What makes If I Have a Wicked Stepmother, Where's My Prince? a unique read is that the protagonist critically examines the story of Cinderella in its fitting application to her own life in modern Mahattan, and discovers that those glass slippers are more likely to lead her to a prison than a palace. A popular boyfriend doesn't solve any of her real problems, and being one of the cool kids is not all it's cracked up to be.

Hilarious and touching, this book is not only a glowing exploration of girl's relationship with her father, but an amusing account of dealing with and accepting a stepmother, though a wicked one, as a person and not a monster.

Though I was highly entertained by this book, I found the character development and plot structure lacked finess, and though I have no problem with a book exploring parent-child relationships as well as a romance, the actual romance took back seat to the parents and the red-herring romance with the popular boy. I would have loved to have seen that awesome dynamic developed more throughly.


Miller, Kirsten

The Darkness Dwellers (Kiki Strike #3) - 4.5 stars


Larbalestier, Justine

Team Human - 5 stars + a certified LOL stamp

How to Ditch Your Fairy - 5 stars + certified LOL stamp



Mafi, Tahereh

Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) – 5 stars


***Warning for Spoilers!


I am not insane.

Mafi's choice of title is the best way to describe how this book makes you feel. This series captivates you in the mind of an isolated girl desperately grasping at sanity, immersing you in every breath, every heart beat, every pain she feels. Her world crawls under your skin and chills you to the bone.

Juliette's touch is lethal, and considered a freak by the Reestablishment, a fascist, totalitarian world government remiss of Nazi Germany, she's been imprisoned in solitary confinement at a asylum for years. Starved, weak, and barely sane, she is kidnapped by a powerful leader of that same regime, a masochistic psychopath, bent on turning her into a living torture device.

Juliette's struggle to not become a mindless weapon is harrowing. Her hunger for affection is heartbreaking. Her disgust with her own ability to kill without thinking is tragic. Her compassion, self-restraint, and strength of sanity is nothing short of remarkable.

This book may not be for everyone, but if you have a strong constitution for reading emotionally heavy dystopian fiction, it's flipping amazing! Be prepared for...

-Terrible parenting!
-Cruel government bent on destroying all individuality and cultural under the guise of saving the earth which has become an eco-desert
-Iron-woobie + my-life-is-an-Evanescence-song! (Juliette's theme song should be “Whisper.”)
-A romance that should be cheesy, but is somehow heartbreaking under the circumstances.
-X-Men powers!
-A “kill me, kiss me” relationship with Juliette's psychopathic jailer, Warner, who manipulates Juliette through her hunger for affection and acceptance. (Someone play the song “Snow White Queen” by Evanescence while you read their scenes. I dare ya.)
-Self-hatred vs. self-acceptance
-Insolation, bulling, betrayal, and lots of mean people!



Meyer, Marissa

Scarlet (The Luna Chronicles #2) - 5 stars


Mezrich, Vlad

The Vampire is Just Not That Into You - 5 stars + certified LOL stamp

This book is a parody on the dating guide, He's Just Not That Into You, as well as popular vampire media such as: Buffy, Interview with a Vampire, and Twilight. If you take the supernatural-romance/undying-love genre very seriously, be warned that this book pulls no punches as it heckles the genre's inconstancies, absurdities, and disturbing obsessions with the ironic candor of hardcore Twi-hater. Though it starts out all facsimile of seriousness in its attempt to advise the reader on bagging a vampire boyfriend of their very own, it quickly melts into a sober warning and a kindly but bluntly put statement that The Vampire is Just Not That Into You.


Miller, Leah Rae

The Summer I Became a Nerd - 5 stars


Nielsen, Jennifer A.

The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy #1) – 3.5 stars

I don't believe I've ever had such mixed feeling about a story since season five of Doctor Who. (Steven Moffat!) On Nielsen's Goodreads page she used to list Megan Whalen Turner as an influence. She also mentions Mrs. Turner in an interview I listened to, so she has read The Thief and its sequels. In that same interview, she says Sage/Joren was partly inspired by a couple of her students as well as the idea of a deceitful character. Now, there are a lot of snarky, gentlemen thieves in literature. I don't neccesarly believe the authors Tangled or Eli Monpress even know Megan Whalen Turner's books exist. Their characters and the setting their characters live in is extremely different. Also, I believe Eugenides himself was inspired by Diane Wynn Jones's character, Howl Jenkins.

I have no problem with an author being inspired by another author's story and characters and even thinking, “hey, I want to create my own character who is bit like that.” However, Sage/Joren is so clearly an expy of Eugenides that I am a little creeped out. I love him for the same reason I love Eugenides, and I can image Eugenides doing and saying 100% of everything Sage/Joren does. I even found myself imagining Eugenides and Sage/Joren trading off lines of “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better.”

He is surrounded by characters who are similar and have similar roles to characters in Queen's Thief, however all these characters pale in comparison. Unlike Sophos and Ambiades, Roden and Tobias had a Rosencrantz and Guildenstern effect on my. I could hardly tell them apart. Though I didn't dislike any of the characters, they all are a bit cliché in comparison to Sage/Joren.

Lastly, the story is practical the same as The Thief. Hidden identity, sword fights, torture, betrayal, espionage, political unrest, assassinations, kings and queens, an approaching war, etc. You could probably find these factors in many books, but not used to the same effects and structured in an almost identical manner.

Now, don't get my wrong. I will read all the sequels to this book, and I'm sure I will enjoy them. Also, I don't want to dismiss Nielsen's creative ability, as she clearly has talent. However, this entire book feels like she read The Thief, expyed Eugenides and restructured the plot and characters around him and added a few of her own, while making the story more cliché and less misleading to readers. Maybe not what she intended, but exactly what the book appears to be.


Patrick, Cat

ForGotTen - 4 stars + “my head hurts” mind bender stamp

A character who “remembers” the future instead of the past is a massive minder-bender to tackle, and Patrick executes this flawlessly with a day-to-day life story about making hard choices, avoiding dark futures, and choosing whether or not to just forget.


Revived – 4 stars


Pike, Aprilynne

Life After Theft – 4 stars


Pike, Christopher

The Last Vampire (The Last Vampire #1) - 3 stars


Rowell, Rainbow

Fangirl: a novel – 5 stars + certified LOL stamp

I could read this book a hundred times and never get tired of it. It incorporates so many of things I love: reading, writing, fan-fiction, internet fandom, while telling a lovely story of self-discovery and, of course, fangirling. More authors need to write about people who read and write fan-fiction and the journey of creativity in writing. Now, I must go and read everything Rainbow Rowell has ever written.

Rowell's other 2013 book, Eleanor & Park won the 2013 Goodreads award for Teen Fiction and Fangirl was the runner-up.


Selfors, Suzanne

Coffee House Angel – 4 stars + certified LOL stamp

Saving Juliet – 3 stars


Shepard, Sara

Pretty Little Liars (Pretty Little Liars #1) – 2.5 stars

Flawless (Pretty Little Liars #2) - 2 stars

Perfect (Pretty Little Liars #3) - 2 stars

Gosh, if there was ever a guilty pleasure...

The ABC adaption of this series is an amazing, well-written, twisty thriller chocked full of danger and secrets with flawed yet sympathetic and complex characters. Sadly, the books are not. Aria and Hannah are shallow and vapid, and nothing in the series redeems them. Spencer and Emily are drama queens who do one stupid thing after another. Every male character is a cliché high school hot guy and not much else. Shepard is as obsessed with brand names as her characters. I find myself rooting for “A.”

However, my love of the TV series means I keep on reading them and somehow enjoy them, despite the fact that I cannot find much about them that I actually like. A textbook guilty pleasure. Mostly, these books make me admire how Marlena King took a hot mess and turned it into an ABC flag-ship, that's already had a significant effect on television for young people and adults.



Snyder, Maria V.

Outside In (Insider #2) - 2.5 stars

Snyder, how do you make me love you so dearly yet hate you so much at the same time? Inside Out, this books predecessor, was a wonderful, compelling sci-fi dystopian. Not only was it cleverly built with a hilarious, gritty narrator and an awesome supporting cast, the epic struggle of social change and government reform compelled me to rush to the end. I was very excited to read the sequel, and though I enjoyed the action packed thrills, great one-liner zingers, and the Trella/Riley dynamic, it also made me want to beat my head against a wall.

I've always respected Synder for her no-whiners allowed protagonists and the fact the all the supporting characters observe a strict no nonsense policy; but I'm often disturbed when she takes it too far and all of a sudden, even the moral deranged villains are allowed to make weighty comments on the protagonist's morality and efforts to save everyone.

You know it's bad when you find yourself randomly shouting things at a book like...

-I'm getting very tired of you all pretending to knew the perfectly correct choice to make in all the situations you haven't had to live through, and if you all know so much better than Trella, why are you so determined to make her your leader?

-Why do you think she can fix everything if she takes your advice that mostly consistence of suck-it-up and lead the troops, which is what she's already doing? FYI, none of your brilliant plans have worked, either.

-It's a brand new government. There's gonna be problems! Deal with it! It's not all Trella's fault! She didn't start the rebellion all by herself, and in what world, is a sixteen-year-old girl suppose to single-handedly lead you to greatness? How about the rest of the council take some real responsibility for screwing up too?

-Bubba Boom? Very funny. What's his real name? Oh...

-Riley, why are you making this so difficult? When you care about someone you don't ditch them after the first, FIRST disagreement. After everything you've been through together? I don't believe it! I don't even believe that you're jealous!

-Please, don't tell me your going to make everyone who was being nice and supportive to Trella a villain? Oh, wait for it... You just did. It's sad when only your mom is allowed to be nice to you without being secretly evil. Oh, yeah, even she betrayed Trella in the first book.

-I don't understand, Bubba Boom, why you're allowing the girl you're in love with to be tortured with such a blasé attitude.

-I'm frankly, very confused why this character who was talking about murdering the entire council and tried to beat up Trella just a few chapters ago is suddenly allowed to give the protagonist serious moral advice and is elected as a leader when the reader hasn't been given any sign that his character has changed.

-Does Riley not care that Trella was captured and tortured? I don't need a chapter long codling scene, but a sympathetic pat on the back would be more normal. Aw, who am I kidding? This is the guy who teased her the first time she was tortured, but at least that was funny.

-Is Trella seriously going to shrug off her serious ordeal like a stubbed toe and get right back in the game? She is? Isn't she like... injured and traumatized?

-Did Logan just make a joke thirty seconds after his dearly beloved sister was brutally murdered in front of him. Huh...? And more importantly, HOW DARE YOU KILL OFF ANNE-JADE SO POORLY!


I finished the book feeling very confused and mad at pretty much everyone except Trella. And, well... Logan, because no one can stay mad at Logan. To sum it up, this sequel had so much potential, but rather than being epic, poorly rehashed character dynamics that were solved in the previous book and seemed to be more about internal bickering than fighting off the threat of the Outsiders.

Many of the same mistakes Synder made with her first series, Poison Study, were present in this book. In her determination to make her protagonists strong, Synder often forgets to let them be human, and holds them to a different standard than the rest of her characters. And since the reader is going to commiserate with the protagonist in most cases, it's exhausting to forever be infuriated with the supporting cast.



Turner, Megan Whalen

Instead of Three Wishes – 4.5 stars


Williams, Amelia

Doctor Who: Summer Falls - 5 stars


Williams, Carol Lynch

The Chosen One - 4.5 stars + certified “did-you-have-to-stomp-on-my-heart?” stamp

Now, cult practiced polygamy is hardly my favorite thing to read about, so I was dubious about how I would ultimately feel about this book; despite the glowing reviews and inspiring writing that attracted me to it in the first place. Leaping over all me predispositions, The Chosen One is not in anyway in icky book that uses shock value to get your attention. Instead, it's a quiet and inspiring tale about a teen-aged girl critically examining everything she's been taught by her parents, her community, and especially the religious leaders of her church (cult).

Her journey of hard choices and difficult sacrifices is harrowing, delicately written, and beyond inspiring as she overcomes the lies she's always accepted as truth, and redefines not only what the world is but who she is in the world.


Valentino, Serena

Fairest of All - 3.5 stars


Viguié, Debbie

The Summer of Cotton Candy (Sweet Seasons #1) – 4.5 stars + certified LOL stamp

The Fall of Candy Corn (Sweet Seasons #2) – 4.5 stars + certified LOL stamp

The Winter of Candy Canes (Sweet Seasons #3) – 4 stars + certified LOL stamp

The Spring of Candy Apples (Sweet Seasons #4) – 4 stars + certified LOL stamp


Alternative/Christian/Young Adult/Chick-lit is quite mouth full to swallow, and I didn't start this series with high expectations, as I enjoyed but was never terribly impressed with Viguié's contributions to the Once Upon a Time series. However, the concept intrigued me, and I found myself surprised with a series that is not only highly enjoyable, funny, and touching; but is also perceptive and inspiring.

The story follows the misadventures of Candace Thompson, given the unfortunate nickname of Candy, and her first job as a cotton candy operator in a quirky theme park called The Zone. With her, I re-experienced a lot of the ups and downs of my own first summer job, and the determination of “I'm-gonna-make-it-through-the-damn-summer-if-it-kills-me!” Her situations is one a lot of people can relate to, and the people she meets, good and bad, have a profound effect on her life outlook and the decisions she makes. Her personal journey is also compelling. Growing up and making her own money for the first time has a lot of believable effects and changes on her life, and her funny comments on that particular rite-of-passage would probably effect me even more if I were still going through it, as much of the intended YA audience would be.

Throw in a homicidal train operator, a witty water slide attendant, a charming Robin Hood mascot, a sugar-possessed muffin vendor, and more candy than you can shake a stick at, and you have a wonderfully charming work of Alternative/Christian/Young Adult/Chick-lit. Yes, it is all those things!


Zhang, Kat

What's Left of Me (Hybrid Chronicles #1) – 4 stars


+++
Novellas
--------


Aaron, Rachel

Spirit's Oath (Eli Monpress #0.5) - 5 stars


Cambell, Jamie

Cinderella is Evil – 2.5 stars


Carson, Rea

Shadow Cats (Fire and Thorns #0.5) - 3 stars


Cass, Kiera

The Prince (Selection#0.5) - 3 stars


Christie, Agatha

Three Blind Mice: a short story – 5 stars


DeStefano, Lauren

Seeds of Whither (Chemical Garden Novella #0.5) - 4 stars


Kagawa, Julie

Winter's Passage (Iron Fey #1.5) - 3 stars


Smith, Alexander McCall

Portuguese Irregular Verbs (Irregular Verbs #1) - 4 stars + certified LOL stamp


Mafi, Tahereh

Destroy Me (Shatter Me #1.5) – 4.5 stars




+++
Plays
--------



Goldsmith, Oliver

She Stoops to Conquer - 5 stars + certified LOL stamp


Wilde, Oscar

The Importance of Being Earnest - 5 stars + certified LOL stamp


Shakespeare, William

King Lear - 5 stars

King John – 5 stars

Henry VI, Part One - 5 stars

Henry VI, Part Two - 5 stars

Henry VI, Part Three - 5 stars

Measure For Measure - 4 stars

The Tempest - 5 stars

A Winter's Tale - 5 stars



+++
Graphic Novels
--------



Miyazaki, Hayao

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Vol #1 - 5 stars

Vol #2 - 5 stars


Hijiri, Chiaki

Seigi no Mikata (Ally of Justice), Vol #1 - 4 stars

Vol #2 - 4 stars


Medley, Linda

Castle Waiting (Vol #1) - 4 stars


Mori, Kaoru

A Bride's Story, Vol #1 - 5 stars

Vol #2 - 5 stars

Vol #3 - 5 stars

Vol #4 - 4 stars

Vol #5 - 5 stars


Petrucha, Stefan

Nancy Drew: Girl Detective Graphic Novels (The Demon of River Heights #1) – 3 stars

(Writ in Stone #2) – 3 stars

(The Haunted Dollhouse #3) – 3 stars

(The Girl Who Wasn't There #4) – 3 stars

(The Fake Heir #5) – 3.5 stars


Yolen, Jane

Curses! Foiled Again (Foiled Vol#2) - 3.5 stars



+++
Re-Reads
--------


Austen, Jane

Northanger Abbey – 5 stars + certified LOL stamp


DeStefano, Lauren

Fever (Chemical Garden Trilogy #2) - 4 stars


Lowry, Lois

The Giver (The Giver Quartet #1) – 5 stars + certified “did-you-have-to-stomp-on-my-heart?” stamp


McCaffrey, Anne

If Wishes Were Horses - 5 stars


Molière

Tartuffe - 5 stars


Snicket, Lemony

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1) - 4 stars



+++
Non-Fiction
--------


Deary, Terry

Horrible Histories: The Groovy Greeks - 5 stars

Horrible Histories: The Rotten Romans - 5 stars

Horrible Histories: The Measly Middle Ages - 5 stars

Horrible Histories: The Awesome Egyptians - 5 stars

I've watched the BBC television series these books are based for years, but in the wake of it's final season, I got around to reading a few of the original books. Though obviously geared towards children (much like the television series) these books don't fail as entertainment for all ages. Beloved in Britain for their clever story telling and little known historical nuggets, Deary's take on the more gruesome and horrible bits of history your teachers tend to leave out is witty, unflinching, and oddly perceptive. He presents history as a story, and his straightforward, lit take on events is still tasteful and full of humor. Horrible Histories are wonderful, fun, quick reads for history buffs.

The best review is the show itself.




Morley, Jacqueline

You Wouldn't Want to Live in a Medieval Castle - 5 stars


Twain, Mark

On the Decay of the Art of Lying - 4 stars + certified LOL stamp


Yolen, Jane

Bad Girls: Sirens, Jezebels, Murderesses, Thieves, & Other Female Villains - 5 stars



+++
Poetry
--------


Coombs, Kate

Water Sings Blue: Ocean Poems - 4 stars


Rossetti, Christina

Goblin Market - 4.5 stars


+++
Best Books of the Year
--------


In no particular order...


The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

Bad Girls Don't Die Trilogy by Katie Alender

Bad Girls: Sirens, Jezebels, Murderesses, Thieves, & Other Female Villains by Jane Yolen

Wintergirls by Laura Halse Anderson

Twisted by Laura Halse Anderson

ForGotTen by Cat Patrick

The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller

Team Human by Justine Larbalestier

How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier

Dark Times (Emily the Strange #3) by Jessica Gruner

Piece of Mind (Emily the Strange #4) by Jessica Gruner

The Shifter (Healing Wars #1) by Janice Hardy

Fangirl: a novel by Rainbow Rowell

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer

Waking Rose (A Fairy Tale Retold #3) by Regina Domain

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fiztgerald

Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by Tahereh Mafi

Sweet Seasons Series by Debbie Viguié

Tags:

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
booksrgood4u
Jan. 4th, 2014 07:04 pm (UTC)
Ah, I see you've switched up you journal a bit! Love the icon, btw, which LMA book is it from?

Wow, that is a lot, and I mean *lot* of books! Way to go for making a resolution and sticking to it! I really agree with your assessment of The False Prince, I love a Gen like character as much as the next Sounisian, but Gen-like and imitation!Gen are not the same thing XD And for the record, Anything anyone can do, Gen can do better! Except possibly for singing....:)

I love, love, love The Importance of Being Earnest! If you liked reading the play, you should watch the movie...It has Colin Firth in it, so that's already a plus XD I think we strted to read She Stoops to Conquer, but we didn't finish it.

Anything yu think we'd like?
ninedaysaqueen
Jan. 5th, 2014 04:17 am (UTC)
Yeah, I do that often, whenever I start to get bored of what I've got. XD

It's from Work: A Story of Experience, which I have not read but plan to.

And you know what they say... Imitation is never as good as the real thing. :)

I can see it now...

Eugenides: I am king of three, hear that? Three countries! I am the greatest thief who ever lived. I stole my throne. All you did was inheirt it!

Joren: Sounds messy. At least, my author doesn't think it's appropriate to leave a "The" in front of a major characters name for four books.

Eugenides: Oh, you think Connor is a great name for a backstabbing villian? //feigns fear// Save us from Connor!

Keh... XD

I've seen live play versions of Importance, but never the movie. Should check that out.


Well first, you should finish She Stoops to Conquer!

Here's a few. I especially think you'd like the Sweet Seasons series.


Bad Girl Don't Die

Holy hook-handed thieves! Don't read this book at night! Booktrailer


Team Human

For the anti-Twilight Fan. Booktrailer Friends don't let friends date vampires. :)


How to Ditch Your Fairy

What if you weren't happy with your lot in luck (fairies), and wanted to swap? Awesome and hilarious.


Fangirl

I want to call this the fangirl's bible, because it is the novel every fangirl should read, particularly if you write fanfiction.


Shatter Me

Chills! CHILLS! I can still feel the chills! Booktrailer


Sweet Seasons

I'm about 98% sure you will love this. :)


Insider

Perfect for fans of HG. Just watch out for the sequel. Booktrailer


Coffe House Angel

In a nutshell, girl helps angel, angel must grant her a wish in return, girl thinks angel is crazy person, hilarity ensues as she tries to save her family run coffee house. Lots of fun.


Also, have you ever seen BBC's Sherlock? It's a modern retelling, and it's very faithful to the original books. Check it out.



Edited at 2014-01-05 07:02 am (UTC)
1221bookworm
Jan. 6th, 2014 11:42 pm (UTC)
Wow! You made it! You must feel very relieved. You've certainly covered quite a bit of ground - a little bit of everything in there.

Glad you liked the Shifter, I think you'll like the others just as much (my icon comes from the 3rd book in the series) It's certainly one of my favorites! Here's a book trailer I made for the first one - you can find the other 2 there too : http://vimeo.com/46509287 (hope LJ doesn't spam it :)

Be back soon for more ......

Anyway ......

Those Horrible History books look interesting! When we were little, we used to have these books called "the Egyptian Times" or The Roman Times, and they would be like newspapers, talking about the big news or fashion of the "times". That's what I always think of when I see the Horrible Histories!

Was that the first time you've read any of the Series of Unfortunate Events? I saw that you gave it 4 stars ..... unfortunately, we were never able to make it past the first few pages, it was very depressing ......

Fangirl looks really good *off to check library*

Thanks for sharing all these, Lady Jane! I'll go add them to my Goodreads page, so that when I don't know what to read next, I can go pick one!

Edited at 2014-01-09 08:53 pm (UTC)
ninedaysaqueen
Jan. 9th, 2014 11:00 pm (UTC)
Yes, and very happy I got there! :)

Oww, I didn't know you had booktrailers for those. Those were awesome, and I just had to re-watch several of your videos again. :) I like the focus on the hands, Very appropriate! And I'm sure I'll love the sequels. Just need to get around to reading them. So many books, so little time... //sigh

The books are fun, but the show is even better. So funny, and with a lot of... Really? I didn't know that!

Actually, I couldn't get enough ASofUE in middle school. I recently decided to re-read them, and was surprised at how much I'm enjoying them even as an adult. I've never found them depressing, since they're so campy in tone and exaggerate everything to the state of practically being cracky. I also love the snarky social commentaries on what it means to be a kid in a society that often ignores children or dismisses them.

"Children should be seen and not heard. I'm an adult, so I should be heard and not seen." So says the adult in question through a speaker. Keh...

"It takes a village to raise a child, and children do chores, so you can do all the village's chores!" XD

Don't take the dark tone too seriously. It's really meant to be funny not depressing. And I love how the story empowers children by teaching them to think for themselves and use their talents to better their situation.

Oh, and just one warning about Fangirl. There's some profanity. Not a a lot, and it doesn't effect the overall tone of the book, which is really about an introverted girl who writes fanfiction and prefers internet fandom to freshmen parties and her journey of growing up and finding her own voice in writing. But it does take place at a college and not everyone who Cath meets has a good sense of decorum. XD However, I think you'll really enjoy the story.
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