2011 Reading Challenge

Rosa has read 0 books toward a goal of 100 books.

Tuesday, August 30

My Blood Approves by Amanda Hocking

I see where the story is going and I can see the potential of the plot, but I had a lot of issues w this book.

It took like 80 pages for me to remember or care about the name of the protagonist. I put the book down somewhere around ch 4 with no intention of ever picking it up again. If it wasn't for my friend MAKING me finish it, I would have gladly carried on with my life not knowing or caring what happens.

I started amusing myself by highlighting everything that annoyed me and have notations on a lot of pages. I hate the name dropping. I get it, her charact is wearing a hoody and is listening to music...y do I need to know that she is listening to The White Stripes and wearing an American Eagle Outfitters sweater? Completely unnecessary and 100% annoying when it's done EVERY SINGLE TIME they change clothes or listen to music. I get it, the author likes bands.

Finally, about half way through the book it starts to pick up, enough that I am willing to say it was kind of worth it. I was all a flutter w anticipation wanting an explanation and I thought the heroine was kind of lax on needing things explained. Then again, she is hard to like and totally dense. Her boyfriend or whatever and his family never eat in front of her, they are cold to the touch w little pulse, they are perfect and beautiful, they are super strong and immune to disease.....okay, in real life maybe I wouldn't want to seem crazy and yell "vampire" at the top of my lungs, but I wouldn't be as airheaded oblivious as she seems to be. It's like if I had a guy best friend....hmmm? I've never seen him kiss or be with a girl....he says he has girlfriends and I've never met any of them....he has a fabulous sense of fashion....he loves Glee and broadway musicals....what going on?

This is not to knock on homosexuals or to imply that this behavior automatically implies gay, but realistically, the thought at least crosses ur mind, right?

When things finally kind of get explained, the book wanes again. The likable characters are Jack and the Esme character (oops, I mean.....whatever the mom vampire's name is).

That was another thing. The similarities with this and Twilight are enough that u can confuse them. All in all, it was a quick read, I wouldn't really recommend to a friend unless they had extra time to kill and nothing better to do. I read it cuz I have a book reading challenge and I need the numbers. Haven't decided if I will read the next ones.

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Wednesday, August 24

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

I think this is my favorite book thus far of Sherlock Holmes. In this book we see a more human Sherlock who doesn't solve the case and gets it wrong. We are introduced to Mycroft, Sherlock's brother who is even more genius, but more lazy (love him) and at the very end meet the ever elusive Moriarty, who catches Holmes. We even have narratives of cases in Holmes own words.

Again, I love the short story format, since the stories flow consecutively, but can stand on their own, it's easy to squeeze one in before bed (whiteout getting dragged in to finishing a whole book and losing sleep) or at lunch or something. Big moment at the end w Holmes and Moriarty.

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Monday, August 8

The darkest powers end?

This series, The Darkest Powers Series, is one of my absolute favorite YA stories. Because Armstrong is already an established writer for adult the Urban Fantasy genre, she doesn't baby the reader or patronize them. Inthink she is very skilled at telling a youthful story with likable (and realistic) characters even while telling a tale that is fantastical.

That being said, I will be critical of the whole Demi-Demon thing as the "escape" help Chloe used. Even though it was established in the previous book, it seemed a little random and felt like a cop out. A little too Dues est machina for my taste. Also, we got SOME closure, but it left me wanting a little more. I HAVE read the first book in the following trilogy, and some characters cross over (Davidoff etc) not the heroes, if I remember correctly, which is a shame cuz I am would love to read what happens next.

My fav thing about Armstrong is how passionate she is about writing all the stories in her head and she sometimes rewards us w novellas of our fav characters. I hope Chloe or better yet Derek gets one. Gotta run.....working.

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Sunday, August 7

a year ago some douche stole my dog... I was really upset so I painted this...today I celebrate getting him back =)

The Awakening...short and sweet...like Derek =D

I might be a little bias because I love Derek so much, but I really enjoyed this book, and mostly because it reveals more about him and the whole werewolf thing. I'm partial for dark and broody and I think he is the underdog just cuz Simon is so likable and uch a good guy.

It was a surprise to have Tory join the gang and have Rae betray Chloe. I'm going to keep this short cuz I finished it at wrk. Moving on to book three......and some answers hopefully...also more Derek too =D

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Friday, August 5

Re-reading the HP series....Sorcerer's Stone

Not as ground breaking and amazing as I remember, but then again, I have to put it I to context. I'd only ever read this book twice before (when I started the series and right before the first movie) and that was over ten years ago. Also, I have to remember that it is a children's book, and it kind of kills it a little for me to know so vividly what the outcome is and still read patiently through the set up. I did enjoy a lot of small details I had forgotten. I had a "oh yeah" moment at the end when the first question Harry asks is why Voldemort wanted to kill him and Dumbledore tells him he is too young, but he will tell him when he is older.

I did enjoy re-visiting the beginning of all the friendships and relationships the characters start especially when I know where they will go. It made me a little sad when in reading the book, I found a lot of the movie scenes melded into the scenes of my head. Like, before the movies I used to picture something a certain way, and after, it's Chris Columbus' and Danielle Radcliff's way or David Yates and Alfonso Cuaron's visions instead of my own. Can't knock it. This is the book I "borrowed" from a school classroom. It's the spark that fanned the flame for myself and millions of other people all over the world. My favorite elements are already set. Snape the tragic hero, who I LOVED from the first book!!!! The golden trio. Neville <3. the awesome mix of fantastical and ordinary so that it seems perfectly logical to go to a midnight showing, wait a few hours, dress up and take a wand......and it's normal. Now to work my way up to number 7.

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Thursday, August 4

The Summoning...Darkest Powers Trilogy

I really enjoy Kelley Armstrong books, and to have one in YA is a special treat. This is the first in her Darkest Powers trilogy. In this book we r introduced to the characters and main plot points. Chloe is a fifteen year old girl who at the start of puberty starts seeing ghosts. Grown ups, including her beloved aunt Lauren, call crazy and she is diagnosed schizophrenic and moved to a special group home for kids with mental disorders.

At Lyle House, she meets her roommate Liz (who thinks she has a poltergeist haunting her), Rae (who wants to be special and has a penchant for fire), Tory (the daughter of a board member and at Lyle House the longest for her moody outbursts), Simon (the blond Korean kid with artistic flair and easy going personality...and no file), and Derek (the genius child-man who puberty gave a "smack down" to).

Basically sooner rather than later Chloe starts finding out something isn't right and maybe she isn't so much a schizo as a necromancer. Lyle House has it's secrets and each kid has his own story. The boys r brothers and something happened to their dad and CPS dumped them at Lyle House after "an accident" in which Derek left a kid unable to walk (we later find out some punks were harassing Simon for his ethnic background and pulled a knife on him so he flung the kid off to protect his brother). He is violent and grumpy and hiding his own super power from Chloe. The boys know about supernatural races and r the ones who tell Chloe what she is. After a series of events and mounting unrest they decide to run away w Chloe to try and find their dad.

On the night of the planned escape, a lot goes wrong. Chloe learns what Derek really is, she learns what Lyle House is really about, and is betrayed left and right.

I don't know that the book is good as a stand alone. It prob won't b something I read over and over for it's own merit, but it does it's job in establishing the story and characters. My only real complaint is Chloe's character being a weak little rich girl, but then again, she is a little rich girl w no real life experience and she has to have somewhere to grow from and develop as a character. She is into films and will talk herself up to something or thru something by framing it as a script or scene for a movie and that was a bit distracting, but along w Chloe, as the reader, first u r ignorant and safe in what u believe is the normal world around you, until u start digging a little deeper and start to question and grow and make ur own decisions about what is real or possible and who is really on ur side and what u need to do to survive. Still love it and recommend to any fan of YA, Kelley Armstrong, or Supernatural YA/romance.

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