Wednesday, November 13, 2013

What I Read Wednesday: The Uber Late and Long Overdue Edition

Whoops!  I sort of read these books about 3 weeks ago.  I mowed through them during my week-long fall break.  I'm not sure why, but I've had trouble settling in to a book since then.  So, I am already counting down the days till winter break as if my life depended on it.

Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick | Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie did more for me than The Fault in Our Stars did...a book on a similar topic! It was less cerebral, in a very good way and it did not cut corners on emotional roller coasters. Granted, I didn't physically start tearing up until Steven and Jeffrey's dad gave his speech near the end. But I didn't cry while reading Stars either (I know, I'm weird vs. so many other people who have read it). I laughed and enjoyed those moments when Steven just told it like it was in his every day life as a boy navigating junior high. 

My husband made fun of me for reading a book with this title and I didn't get it either when I first put it on my to-read list a couple years ago. So...drums. Steven's huge talent (reminded me so much of my lil' bro) and his saving grace. And girls. Well...Renee and Annette. Gotta love 8th grade boys. Then there is Dangerous Pie. The beginning of the story and the start of the emotional roller coaster made by Jeffrey using Steven's favorite and most valued pair of drumsticks. This is when the family discovers what is wrong with Jeffrey...see? Emotional roller coaster.

Fans of Out of My Mind and more so, Wonder, will really attach themselves to this one. Or if you didn't quite find yourself enjoying The Fault in Our Stars the way others did, you will most definitely find yourself lost in this one! I don't know how to explain it exactly, but I can easily say the characters were more attainable in an every day sense!

I don't want to say much more than that because it will completely take away from your experience reading this one.  I couldn't stop thinking about it long after finishing it.  Come to find out, a sequel was written recently and at first I was excited.  But once I read the reviews and synopsis, I am determined not to read it.  It seems like one of those that will take away those feelings I had towards the characters by the end.

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars | |  Goodreads Average:  4.26

The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith | I would rather NOT talk about this one.  But I should really make sure no one else has to waste their time with Marbury Lens.  It is THE first horror genre novel I have ever picked up.  

Why did I keep reading this book? I kept willing it and wanting it to get better and become what I hoped it would be when I read the synopsis. 

It started out so well...just as the synopsis did. A kid is in the wrong place, is kidnapped, and something bad almost happens to him. He tries to pick up the pieces but then he is given these strange glasses that take him to a strange land where horrific things happen. That is where it stopped being interesting.

There was so much repetition and roundabout events. The main character was hard to like as he didn't seem to love anyone except for his best friend. But even his best friend and Jack had the weirdest relationship...which brings me to my next dislike. What was with all the insanely ridiculous homophobia? From his kidnapper, to his best friend, to Marbury where everyone seems to be naked. I just didn't get it. 

I have never read a book from the horror genre, so I have nothing to compare it to. But, I can say that the only horror in this book was the way the author never seemed to get to the Marbury and the real world. Ugh. I would hope he does so in the sequel...but do I want to read it? No! The only reason I didn't give this 1 star is because I actually did want to find out why Jack began talking to himself (in his head) in the 3rd person. I had my guesses...but did we find out in this book?! No! And do I care enough to find out in the 2nd book?! No! I wasn't invested at all in the characters because Jack was not the kind of character you get attached to.

My rating:  2 out of 5 stars | |  Goodreads Average:  3.59

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins | Looooooooved this one!!  Sure the cover is super cheesy, but look past it, because this was such a sweet little story and way too much fun to read.  I am annoyed there isn't a second book.  Sure, it is really for young girls in high school, but I swear, I am not the grown adult obsessed with Anna and her friends.  This is a must read!  Let me explain by pasting in my Goodreads review I wrote right after I read it:  

I did not want this book to end!!! But yet, I HAD to get to the end to find out if Anna gets her French kiss. Ugh. I'm so sad this is over! 

While I can't quite put my finger on why I loved reading about Etienne and Anna so very much, I can tell you it was extremely fun to peek in on their developing friendship and what actually ends up happening. Not to mention...this all happened right in Paris. A place Anna didn't want to be in. A place she began to fall in love with. A place I began to fall in love with right along with her...all while she was learning how to deal with friendship, heartache, love, independence, and even patience. Well, the patience part was annoying, but that is what made me push and push to find out more. 

And that whole French kiss part? It felt like I was there watching it all develop and it gave me the butterflies and the chills right along with Anna. How Stephanie Perkins did this I am not quite sure? Her writing style flowed and was so entirely natural, I really did feel like I was there watching everything from beginning to end. Man that book was good! I want to go back and read it again...right now.

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars | |  Goodreads Average:  4.20

The Mockingbirds  by Daisy Whitney | This book, the first by Daisy Whitney, was definitely interesting.  At times, I felt it was a bit farfetched, but it was still intriguing enough to read on and find out exactly how this underground system at a private school worked.  

At a school where the faculty doesn't seem to believe students only good decisions, the students take it in their own hands and create an underground justice system based on its founder's favorite book, To Kill a Mockingbird. Even more interesting? This fictional story is based on the author's experience in college similar to the major character's.

From Goodreads:  "Some schools have honor codes.
Others have handbooks.
Themis Academy has the Mockingbirds.

Themis Academy is a quiet boarding school with an exceptional student body that the administration trusts to always behave the honorable way--the Themis Way. So when Alex is date raped during her junior year, she has two options: stay silent and hope someone helps her, or enlist the Mockingbirds--a secret society of students dedicated to righting the wrongs of their fellow peers.

In this honest, page-turning account of a teen girl's struggle to stand up for herself, debut author Daisy Whitney reminds readers that if you love something or someone--especially yourself--you fight for it."

My rating:  4 out of 5 stars | | Goodreads Average:  3.83

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I'd love to know what you have been reading or have read lately!  Care to share?

Link up with Amy (last week's) to share your latest reads or what you are reading right now.