Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!
I’ve just discovered clean, teen romance novels. I’m slow to realize that this is actually a thing. I read all the Twilight books, and I read Anna and the French Kiss, and those are romance. I like contemporary books, but it never occurred to me that romance books had more than “but he was soooo cute” kind of attitude in the main character.
I bought To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century. I’m looking forward to some slight fantasy and (hopefully) not a lot of bedroom details. I’m not going to hold my breathe on that with the first book now that I’ve read the reviews. *sigh* I understand it’s part of a teenager’s life, but I don’t remember any of us having books that had light innuendos and flirting. The romance stuff was for adult books – and who the heck wanted to read those at age 16?
Anyway, that’s my new quest in books I can just enjoy and read for entertainment. Wish me luck!
Happy Reading and Happy Monday!
Today is release day for four amazing Entangled Teen titles and we are excited to share them all with you. There’s a little something for everyone this month so read on to find out more about them.
The voices do serve their purpose, though—whenever Donna hears them, she knows she’s in danger. So when they start yelling at the top of their proverbial lungs, it’s no surprise she and her best friend, Deke, end up narrowly escaping a zombie horde. Alone without their families, they take refuge at their high school with the super-helpful nerds, the bossy class president, and—best of all?—Liam, hottie extraordinaire and Donna’s long-time crush. When Liam is around, it’s easy to forget about the moaning zombies, her dad’s plight to reach them, and how weird Deke is suddenly acting toward her.
But as the teens’ numbers dwindle and their escape plans fall apart, Donna has to listen to the secrets those voices in her head have been hiding. It seems not all the zombies are shuffling idiots, and the half-undead aren’t really down with kids like Donna…
To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
|What are you currently reading? I bought a print copy of Beautiful Creatures to read instead of The Host because I just couldn’t get into it.|
|What did you recently finish reading? I wrote a reviewof The Future of Us on Easter Sunday. It was pretty good, but I had some issues with it.|
|What do you think you’ll read next?I read about a quarter of Delirium already, so I’m anxious to finish it.|
Josh and Emma are about to discover themselves—fifteen years in the future.
It’s 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They’ve been best friends almost as long—at least, up until last November, when everything changed. Things have been awkward ever since then, but when Josh’s family gets a free AOL CD-ROM in the mail, his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they’re automatically logged onto Facebook. but Facebook hasn’t been invented yet. Josh and Emma are looking at themselves fifteen years in the future. Their spouses, careers, homes, and status updates—it’s all there. And every time they refresh their pages, their futures change. As they grapple with the ups and downs of their future, they’re forced to confront what they’re doing right—and wrong—in the present. – from Wikipedia
I have to give this a slightly less than perfect score of 4 & 1/2 stars for a specific reason – Dave Matthews.
Look, if Josh is a skater, he’s not going to be into a girl who likes Dave Matthews. And no one in the 90s would make a mix tape of Alanis Morissette, Dave Matthews, and Pearl Jam! That’s not even in the same category. The 90s were about breaking into new genres that was all “alternative,” but that wishy-washy, radio-friendly stuff was not good. 1996 had so much more to offer than that, for crying out loud! Smashing Pumpkins had released 1979 as a single, for instance, and Rage Against the Machine had Bulls on Parade. That will always outshine Dave Matthews, I don’t care if some preppy misogynist character like Cody Grainger tries to convince us that a bootleg copy of Crash Into Me has some amazing guitar work. No, just no. Not even close.
Granted, not everyone’s 90s experience or musical tastes are the same, but only middle of the road people at that time wouldn’t have a strong connection to a ground breaking band. I can’t like Emma because she likes Dave Matthews. A lot. It’s discussed way, way too much in the book. I’m guessing that one or both of the authors really, really like his music and may have never given Lollapalooza a try.
Plus, were we supposed to think that Emma was ironic or just plain boring for not liking Wayne’s World?
Some other reviewers said they didn’t like Emma being such a spoiled brat who didn’t change at all through the whole book. I quite agree. I didn’t hate her, but she didn’t seem good enough for Josh. The plot was predictable, but I still found it engaging. It took me a day & 1/2 to finish because it was easy to get in to. I think it speaks to a very certain age group. I graduated in 1994, so the book was pointing just past the Nirvana era. I think that’s why I was a bit critical of the stereotypical push to discuss the 90s with the over-use of Dave Matthew-isms. It seems less authentic than if they had been all over the shop with 90s references instead of sticking with the same, boring thing.
My other main criticism that I also agree with from Goodreads, is just how the idea was executed. Would two kids really be able to accept the technology so easily? Would 16 year old care about their future that much? They’d have to be less angsty, focused on school, then aim for their future college, life, etc. I mean, the book references Back to the Future, but Marty was dealing with saving Doc, his family, and the whole town. Most 16 year olds wouldn’t be that apt to plan out their future.
Unless they listen to Dave Matthews, I guess.
I liked Carolyn Mackler’s The Earth, My Butt…, but I didn’t dig Jay Ascher’s Thirteen Reasons Why because of the back and forth switch in narrative. (I hear it’s easier to listen to on audiobook, so I’ll try that later.) But both authors are older than me, so I’m going to assume that they’re taking researched information on a 16 year old’s 1996 experience, and making it mild because it will connect to a wider audience.
All in all, I liked the book, but I didn’t feel really emotionally moved by it. It was a quick read, which makes it good in its own right. Great book, it just had some glaring problems that I couldn’t get past. I’d still recommend it to teen readers (then I’d hand them a decent 90s mix tape.) I also appreciate the fact that I bought the print version of this, just to feel old school.
And one last thing:
Marvin the Martian on a skateboard is from Clueless, if no one else noticed.
Lately I’ve been book hopping and I’ve built up an even bigger “Reading / To-Read” list:
- The Selection by Kiera Cass
- Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
- Nail Your Novel – Why Writers Abandon Books… by Roz Morris
- 2K to 10K: Writing Faster, Writing Better… by Rachel Aaron
- Heist Society by Ally Carter
- I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You by Ally Carter
- Delirium by Lauren Oliver
- Splendor: A Luxe Novel by Anna Godbersen
- Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
I also read another chapter of Discovery of Witches last night, getting up to page 75, then took it back to the library. It was just too slow and after hearing details about how Diana liked her tea and how the vampire professor liked yoga, I just knew I didn’t have the patience for it right now. Maybe later.
And today I started Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins because it was finally available from the library for my Kindle. I had heard good things about it so I wanted to find out for myself. So far the reviews are right – very cute, fun story. I’m at 11% so far.
Friday Finds via Should Be Reading, “where you share the book titles you discovered or heard about during the past week” are:
I’m plodding through this because the book is giant and I know there’s going to be a ton of stuff to build up to any actual stuff happening. There’s a lot of detail that makes me zone out a bit but it’s not uninteresting. Since I haven’t read a book like this, I wanted to give it an honest try. I renewed my loan at the library today so I have the rest of October to take a chunk out of it.
Seriously, I’m only at page 50 or so now. I understand what people mean by it being hard to connect to the narration. While it’s told in first person, it’s not very personal. I mean, it was Chapter 5 before anyone said anything about Diana’s eye colour being blue-gold. Her job seem cool to me though, in my humble opinion. Study old manuscripts all day? Yes, please!
Also, I must include my Friday Finds via Should Be Reading, “where you share the book titles you discovered or heard about during the past week.”
This week, I found:
I decided to review these three books together as they were the last YA books I read recently. They also all have very similar plots.
Carter, Aimee. The Goddess Test. Ontario, Harlequin Teen, 2011. ISBN: 9780373210268
Kate’s mother is dying and her last wish is to return to her hometown. While Kate struggles to adjust, she finds new challenges. After having a run-in with a classmate over a boyfriend, Kate is approached by a dark character named Henry. He convinces her that he will save her classmate, and prolong her mother’s life, if she lives with him six months out of the year – just as his last wife, Persephone did. In order for Kate to become Henry’s new wife, she must pass the tests of the gods and goddesses in the Underworld where she calls home in the winter.
I read this entire book because it was pretty quick and easy to read. It was interesting to have a book try and use mythology for its paranormal themes too. I can’t say I’d read the rest in the series, however. I couldn’t connect to the situation at all – aside from it being ridiculous, I didn’t feel anything from Kate other than the heartbreak of losing her mother. Henry was only described as dark and young-looking until half way through the book she says he has black hair. I wasn’t interested in their relationship at all and I really felt bad for Kate to be tricked by her mother and being Diana in the end. The poor girl went through the loss of her mother as a test? Plus, having everyone she encountered all members of the Underworld was a bit convenient as well.
In every review I’ve read, no one seems to recall any other characters’ names for some reason. I guess it was all the same thing – girl is the chosen one of some powerful guy and she is “forced” to wear pretty clothes and live in a beautiful palace. That was the theme in Breaking Dawn, The Princess Diaries and that’s the theme for all these books in this review. It’s getting old.
Kagawa, Julie. The Iron King. Ontario, Harlequin Teen, 2010. ISBN: 9780373210084
Meghan’s father disappeared when she was a child, and she’s always had a hard time at school because she’s a “hick” who lives on a farm. She has one friend, a boy who is very mischievous, and a little brother who one day turns feral. Meghan had no idea that she was a part of a magical world of fairies and she is the daughter of the king. She must travel with her best friend who turns out to be the literary historical Puck from A Midsummer Night’s Dream and rescue her brother, and possibly her father.
I really liked this book at first because of the style and the normal day to day stuff then being transferred into a Narnia-type land was pretty cool. I loved her cat friend and I loved the action but half way through the action drove me crazy. There was always something going on to the point that I was exhausted. I didn’t finish the book because while I knew it would be interesting, I just couldn’t keep my attention up for that long to go through another fight or chase with some new creature that pops out of nowhere. By this time I was getting tired of Fairyland.
This book also had the same themes as the other two. Like The Goddess Test, there is the issue of having to wear pretty dresses and look fancy because the main female character is special. Like Switched, the family member is mysteriously gone and the evil mother doesn’t like the main character and they have to fight in the new, pretty palace that seems wonderful but it’s really terrible. Surely paranormal fiction can come up with something new soon.
Did Not Finish
Hocking, Amanda. Switched. New York, St. Martin’s, 2010. ISBN: 9781250006318
Wendy was always hated by her mother and when she was a child, her mother was institutionalized for trying to kill her. Now Wendy lives with her aunt and her brother but she still has a hard time fitting in at school. She has a power to make people do things if she thinks hard enough. Her friend, Finn, helps her escape when to goths try to attack her. She is forced to convince her brother that she is okay but that she needs to be away for a while. Finn takes her to find her real mother, a queen of the trolls who isn’t at all pleasant. Wendy has to keep her feelings for Finn at bay and try to adjust to not only being different but being the princess of this new world.
I was really excited to read Hocking’s work and I do think she’s great writer. However, at this point of my three book stint, I was sick of the same plot lines. Not only does this also have the something happened when the heroine was a kid that hints to her being special, but it has the Princess Diaries plot line of having to live in this beautiful place with everything they get ever hope for, except it’s miserable. I didn’t mind the writing style or Wendy’s voice, it was just the troll thing that bothered me, especially since Wendy is short with crazy hair. I kept imagining a lawn gnome trying to put the moves on his fellow garden statue. I may go back to this book later but after reading three books in a row like this, I got tired of it.
Did Not Finish