Thursday, February 9, 2012


So what did I do with that huge pile of awesome books? Went on a reading binge and finished five of them. In a week. I won't attempt to describe the state of my housework. I haven't been too neglectful of a parent at least (even though I found ten apples in the garbage can yesterday, all with one or two bites taken out of them - compliments of my two boys, ages five and three). My boys are great independent players and have been way into Legos lately, which they will play with for hours. I'm wise enough not to leave them alone, so I'm stuck close by on the couch with nothing else to do but read. Poor me. :D

Anyway, I figure that if I don't post about these books now and do it all in one fell swoop it will take me forever to get around to it. It's almost a pity to do mini-reviews on these books because they were ALL AMAZING. Every single one of them got a five-star rating from me on goodreads and I can think of plenty to say about each, but I'll try to keep things brief.

No summary of this one since it's a sequel. This book blew me away. I was expecting it to be amazing, because I absolutely loved Across the Universe, but I wasn't expecting it to be even better than AtU. It was more intense, had even more suspense and mystery, and was filled with the kind of revelations that had me gasping out loud. It was shocking! I think this book will forever be on my list of books I wish I could read again for the first time. I can't recommend this series enough. Even if you don't normally like sci-fi, you really need to try it (there aren't any weird aliens or anything). Incredible plot, strong characters and character development, and just the right bit of romance.


Official blurb:
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias' death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

Just when I thought there was no way any more new dystopian books would wow me, along came Legend. It read like a movie, so visual and tangible. I loved both June and Day and thought it really added to the book to have it written from both their perspectives. The book really races and is one of the most exciting I've read in ages. Fantastic writing, shocking plot, and a pinch of romance, this is exactly my kind of book. Highly recommended for fans of The Hunger Games. It's the best of its kind I've read since The Hunger Games, only not quite so bloody and violent. I promise you'll like it.


As a fourteen-year-old who just moved to a new town, with no friends and a louse for an older brother, Doug Swieteck has all the stats stacked against him. So begins a coming-of-age masterwork full of equal parts comedy and tragedy from Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt. As Doug struggles to be more than the “skinny thug” that his teachers and the police think him to be, he finds an unlikely ally in Lil Spicer—a fiery young lady who “smelled like daisies would smell if they were growing in a big field under a clearing sky after a rain.” In Lil, Doug finds the strength to endure an abusive father, the suspicions of a whole town, and the return of his oldest brother, forever scarred, from Vietnam. Together, they find a safe haven in the local library, inspiration in learning about the plates of John James Audubon’s birds, and a hilarious adventure on a Broadway stage. In this stunning novel, Schmidt expertly weaves multiple themes of loss and recovery in a story teeming with distinctive, unusual characters and invaluable lessons about love, creativity, and survival.

Oh I loved this book. It made me laugh and cry and then cry some more. It made me wish I could adopt every kid who has ever lived with an abusive parent and give each of them a loving home. Or at least I wished I could adopt Doug. I loved everything about him and his story. It seems like a simple enough story, but Gary Schmidt put so much heart into every page. I dare you to read it and not be moved. It left me feeling hopeful and grateful. Read it!


From the book jacket:
The year is 2009. Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.

But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler. Recruit… or kill him.

Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.

Ah the YA time travel novel I've been waiting for. I adore time travel and this hit a spot I've been trying to scratch for a while, if that makes any sense. Anyway, this book was intense and fabulous. I would kill for Jackson's powers. And I love that since Holly and Jackson are already dating when the book begins, we're spared the gushy teenage falling-in-love story. This is a story with heart and amazing characters. It's told from Jackson's POV, so that was a refreshing change. All in all, highly recommended and thoroughly entertaining.


Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

Looking for a sweet love story just in time for Valentine's Day? It's probably too late to get this one in time from your library, so just go buy it. I promise you won't regret it. This is a fantastic book and I loved every second (it's also short - I zipped through it in a couple of hours). Some reasons I loved it:

* Oliver. His British-isms. *swoon*
* London. *love*
* All scenes/conversations on the airplane. So funny. So cute.
* Charles Dickens' Our Mutual Friend. First off, I just started reading it and have been watching this version with my husband these past few days. What a surprise when I started reading Statistical Probability and found that quotes and concepts from the book (not to mention an actual, physical copy of the book) play a very important part in the plot. My inner literary geek is very happy. Especially because this is an important Dickens week and I am a big fan (see my Dickens 200th birthday post here on my other blog - which on second thought I should have also posted here on this blog, being literary and all.)
* The timeliness of me reading about a girl whose parents divorced and were getting remarried. Hadley and my situations are distinctly different, and I certainly don't have the same problem with my mother getting remarried as Hadley has with her dad getting remarried, but there are some emotions that she was going through that I can definitely relate to. No matter how good a thing it might be, there's always a little weirdness seeing one of your parents fall in love and get married. (I'm excited for you mom! I know you're reading this... :D)
* And... I'll stop. This was supposed to be a mini-review!

I adored The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, and I think you will too.

P.S. I promise a review of Midnight in Austenland is coming! I decided to wait to read it, even though I got it from the library and it's still sitting right next to my bed. Why? Because I bought it and it is now in the mail wending its way towards me. Will I be able to wait for my own copy to read it? Or will I give in to the temptation its posing me by sitting there in plain sight? We'll see. Luckily I have Everneath to distract me. :D

1 comment:

Teri Harman said...

Love how you did this - short mini reviews. And so jealous you got to read 5 books in one week. That sounds heavenly!