- If I'm not into it, I put it down
- It's just too much effort to eloquently and politely explain why the book didn't work for me.
- It's someone's baby and I feel kind of bad to bag it out on the internet (but come and talk to me and I'll freely chat about what books I love and which ones ticked me off).
I also don't review every book I read as, ah, that would take up all my free time.
For this post I'm going to briefly let you know what I thought of the last ten books I read (which are the books I've read so far in September). Not really beautifully articulated reviews - just me chatting about them :)
Also, I am strict with my star ratings so I can save 5 stars for the best of the best - a three star from me means I liked it and enjoyed it, hey :) Links go to goodreads (for synopsis)
Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty.
I really liked this one, hey? It's older but a classic rite of passage, coming of age book. It was clever and had some lovely crush-worthy sentences and felt so teenagery. I liked it enough to plan on reading the rest of the series. 3.5 stars.
Jarvis 24 by David Metzenthen (2010 winner of CBCA)
I've read 4 of Metzenthen's earlier books which were well written but didn't necessarily resonate. Jarvis 24 though - was so brilliant. I felt so good while I was reading it. The characterisation was so good that I spent half the book being in awe and the other half grinning away at the Aussieness of Jarvis and his mates.
One of the best male POV's I've ever read (similar to Swerve by Phillip Gwyne). I think both those books have ruined other less superior male POV for me - as the standard has now been set higher. I loved every minute of this book and will be revisiting it for sure. 4.5 stars.
Loving Richard Feynman by Penny Tangey (short-listed for CBCA)
This book was refreshing and had it's own unique beat to it. Catherine (protag) reminded me a smidgen of Bindy (Jaclyn Moriarty) although the writing is not dramatic or Moriarty-esque, it is written in diary format and it's fresh and funny and heart-felt. This book will resonate with many teenagers.
Catherine is such a cool nerd, awkward and smart and earnest. It was easy to feel that teen angst with her - reminded me of being back in school and studying and how huge exams and competitions are. This is an important and timeless book that also made me feel smart by association, haha. I flew through this one and have a fond little feeling just thinking about it now. Sigh :) Also, lovely to read a clean no swearing, no sex but totally rocking book. 4 stars.
Mistik Lake by Martha Brooks
(YA/cross-over Adult Fic, multi POV)
A multi-generational novel that explores buried secrets and tragedies. I loved the rich prose here and the way it effortlessly flowed backwards and forwards in time. It's not a very long novel but it packed so much plot and emotion into it. It's really literary and the twists and surprises along the way are lovely. I enjoy slipping into novels like this and would read more of her work. 3.5 stars.
Return to Paradise by Simone Elkeles
I loved the first book (Leaving Paradise) so I was very much looking forward to the sequel. I was so disappointed, hey. In fact, I really didn't like it to the point that it's tainted my memories of the first book and I'm not sure I will seek out another book be this author again - not that it's bad - more that it's not my kind of book.
I gave a more detailed review of me feelings about this on goodreads. However, I did love Leaving Paradise and maybe other people won't feel the same way I did about the sequel. 1.5 stars (I added half a star on goodreads b/c I felt bad for giving it just one)
Also: not a fan of the cover.
As You Wish by Jackson Pearce
I was so pleasantly surprised by this one. I got it for a light, relaxing read and therefore was not expecting something of such high quality. The writing was flawless with crisp, lovely prose. The characters were all nuanced and 3D and flawed and likeable. Pearce shows so well all their struggles and aches and feelings without ever once stepping into clichéd territory.
The romance was not an over the top paranormal love but a lovely tingly crush and blooming love. The world-building was flawless - it read effortlessly and likewise the pacing felt spot-on with rising stakes and an unpredictable climax. A smooth contemp with no sex, language, etc. Good times. I would have loved this as a teen. I liked it as an adult: 3.5 stars.
She's So Dead To Us by Kieran Scott
I love guilty pleasure reads in amongst award winners. Sometimes I'm just in the mood for a bludge entertaining read and this totally delivered. Actually, I feel ashamed about just how much I enjoyed this book. Which was a lot - and it was better than I thought it would be (I didn't expect much, really). Initially the characters seemed cliche - straight out of Mean Girls - but as the plot moves along - the two main characters had a lot of depth and I cared for them both.
It was such a fun alternating male/female POV and a little bit sexy and the rising stakes and dramas made it an addictive read. Really, if you're in the mood for this kind of book - or if this kind of book is your fave genre - you will enjoy this one. 3.5 stars from me - I'm probably to ashamed to boost it to 4, being 30 and all :)
Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
Everyone I know who had read this gave it 5 stars. That still did not prepare me for how hard I would love this book.
Easily one of my favourite reads of the year. Will plan on finding words to give it it's own review - but am still so blown apart by it's brilliance that I can't articulate the beautiful review-ish sentences it deserves.
Brilliant. Addictive. A life-long favourite.
I am so inspired and floored by this. If you're an Aussie - get yourself a copy of this asap - you will not regret it! (I found mine for $11 in Kmart! Bargain) I plan on forcing this book onto all my friends. 5 stars of crushing so hard on this.
What My Mother Doesn't know by Sonya Sones
Oh, how I love Sonya Sones. Curling up with one of her books is just such an awesome way to spend an afternoon. I love verse novels and hers are just so easy to slip into and I think anyone who is an inpsiring writer can learn a lot from reading quality verso novels like this.
The way she uses words to so powerfully and succinctly encapsulate emotions and events is just gorgeous. I adore her characters and the events in the novel and truly feel all those intense and beautiful emotions of being a teen and falling in love and daydreaming and fighting with your parents. I so recommend her and love her and re-read her often. I think my favourite of hers is What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know (5 stars). 4 stars of awesomeness.
The Dead of The Night by John Marsden
Second book in the Tomorrow Series (after Tomorrow When the War Began). Obviously, my fave series of all time, so, you know, I love these books :) Loving the re-read. 5 stars, obviously.
Last ten books I've read:
- four are Australian
- one is paranormal (although with a contemp vibe)
- one is crossover YA/adult fiction
- three are diary format
- four are alternating male/female POV
- one male POV
- one in verse
- two are male authors
Bonus: a few books I tried to read (this month) and put down:
Take Me There by Carolee Dean
After such brilliant male POV in Graffiti Moon and Jarvis 24 and Swerve, the male POV in this just falls flat for me. Also, made it 40 pages in and am still not hooked - so much back story, hey? I own this one, so I'll probably give it another go at some stage.
Anyone else read this? Thoughts?
Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot
Probably wasn't in the mood for this light-hearted women's fiction. It's not really my genre, to be honest, but I gave it a go as The Princess Diaries are just wonderful.
I just keep getting restless in this one. Will persevere, I think. I need some inspiration. i.e. someone telling me it's brilliant :)
On a side note: is this post too epic and overwhelming? I just scrolled through and it seems huge. Maybe I should have broken it up a little and made it into a few posts?
What book have you read recently that you've absolutely loved?