All the issues that Blogger had this week took the wind out of my blogging sails. I have so many books to talk about, but I'm not so interested in pouring my thoughts into to a randomly flushing toilet. I think I'm over it now, however, and thought it might be a good time to do some mini-reviews. There are some books that I've read this year and just don't have a lot to say about, for whatever reason, but I still want to mention them. Sounds like much more fun than cleaning out the garage, which is what I'm onto next!
Flipped, Wendelin Van Draanen (...this book has also been made into a movie...) I heard about Flipped from one of my only book-loving friends. It sounded like a nice little detour--(life has been so crazy this year that shorter books have been a mainstay in my literary diet)--something out of the ordinary. And it was: short and sweet. It is a rather innocent YA title that does the POV switch every chapter (one chapter is from his POV, the next is from hers). What I liked is how it dealt with crushes, peer pressure, stereotypes and prejudice without being too gritty or age-inappropriate. This is a title that I'll keep around for my girls to read.
Expiration Date, Sherril Jaffe (...a LibraryThing Early Reviewer book...) I was looking forward to reading Expiration Date because of the publisher. I've become very interested in small press this year, and The Permanent Press is one that I had my eye on. I'd previously read another of their books, and liked how different it was from mainstream Lit. Both books however, in addition to sharing a uniqueness, also shared a very rough, unfinished feel. They felt more like a first or second draft than a copy about to be published. Expiration Date explores the idea of whether we'd live our lives differently if we knew when we were going to die...although the story ends up focusing less on this idea and more on the life and personality of the main character's mother. I think it was supposed to be humorous, but it ended up just feeling tedious to me. A good premise that fell flat.
The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins (...read for one of my Book Clubs...) I don't have a lot to say about this book because it has all been said already, has it not? Apart from the disturbing premise, I enjoyed it a lot. Good character development, plot, etc. But I just couldn't stop thinking about the horrible idea that everything was based on. I'm glad I read it because I love knowing what the buzz is all about, but I'm not a series girl so I won't be reading the rest. My kids haven't really expressed an interest in reading it, which I find strange, but I'll keep it around in case they get the urge.
The Tapestry of Love, Rosy Thornton (...a review copy was sent to me by the author--thank you, Rosy!) To be honest, I was initially worried that this book would be too heavy on the romance for my taste, but it turned out to be pretty balanced. I couldn't help being reminded of Under the Tuscan Sun, (although I've only seen the movie, haven't read the book) which is pretty inevitable considering that it is about a woman in a new phase of life that decides to move out of the country and become part of a small, foreign community. In this case, a woman moves from England to France, and decides to start a tapestry/furnishing service in a small mountain community. At times it was a bit too detailed, but I enjoyed experiencing the discovery of a new place and new people. I can't help but be fascinated by the idea of relocating somewhere far away. Although I'm not too familiar with the French countryside, reading this book felt like I was there...except without the amazing food and drink. [pout]
If I Stay, Gayle Forman (...given to me by my 10 year old daughter for Mother's Day--what a sweetie!) While I'm not a huge fan of YA fiction, I'm not opposed to reading it either. Especially since reading Speak, (Laurie Halse Anderson) because I have a hope to hold onto that I'll find another YA book that manages to be everything it should be: gripping, realistic, well written, and not too irreverent in language/content. If I Stay did pretty good at these things. It was gripping, it felt fairly realistic, the writing was average, language/content was a tad more than it needed to be in my opinion...only because those are the parts that didn't feel realistic. The storyline was fascinating, and pulled me straight through to the end of the book: If you were in a coma and had to decided whether to stay with the friends/family who remain, or go with those who didn't make it, how would you decide? The characters, if not fully developed, were at least unique people. All in all it was a book I didn't want to put down until I'd read the last page.