Mar. 12th, 2012

gwynhefar: (Default)
So I have been very remiss in my reviewing lately. Hold onto your hats, cause this is a long one.

#1 Donny Bailey Seagraves, Gone from These Woods, 192 pages.

Ok, talk about depressing. This book is about an 11-year-old who accidentally shoots and kills his uncle on a hunting trip. And how he learns to live with it. Well done, but very depressing.

#2 Sara Ryan, Empress of the World, 224 pages.

First love is hard enough without coming out as well. A very realistic and heart-tugging story of two awkward teen girls navigating a romantic relationship.

#3 Margo Lanagan, Black Juice, 208 pages.

Wow. Just wow. Lanagan's short stories are Literature in the best sense of the word -- haunting tales of circumstances as fantastic as they are remarkably human. Savour slowly.

#4 Lynn Jonell, The Secret of Zoom, 320 pages.

Somehow this kind of story has become its own sub-genre without my noticing: troubled pre-teen dealing with loss of one parent in comically bizarre circumstance and subsequent withdrawal and neglect of remaining parent discovers something fishy going on in their community which usually (but not always) relates back to the death of the first parent. Subsequent adventure and corresponding danger result in the redress of evils, the discovery of hidden truths, and a closer relationship with remaining parent. As clicheed as the plot is becoming, this is not a bad example of the genre.

#5 Rebecca York, Killing Moon (The Moon Series, Book 1), 352 pages.
#6 Rebecca York, Edge of the Moon (The Moon Series, Book 2), 336 pages.
#7 Rebecca York, Witching Moon (The Moon Series, Book 3), 352 pages.
#8 Rebecca York, Crimson Moon (The Moon Series, Book 4), 352 pages.
#9 Rebecca York, Shadow of the Moon (The Moon Series, Book 5), 352 pages.

This series is werewolf porn. Smutty paranormal romance with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. So why can't I stop reading them? Ah well, everyone has to have some guilty pleasures.

#10 Steig Larsson, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Movie Tie-in Edition) (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard), 672 pages.

Yeah, I finally got on the bandwagon. While I definitely did enjoy the book, I have to wonder what the hype's all about. It's good, but not as great as I was expecting considering the press. Still gonna read the other two though.

#11 Gail Carriger, Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate), 384 pages.
#12 Gail Carriger, Changeless (The Parasol Protectorate), 400 pages.
#13 Gail Carriger, Blameless (The Parasol Protectorate), 384 pages.

Vampires and Werewolves in Victorian London. Sinister scientists and mechanical monsters. Steampunk meets the paranormal romance. What more could you ask for?

#14 Anna Myers, Time of the Witches, 208 pages.

A historical fiction account of the Salem Witch Trials from the point of view of one of the accusers. A pretty interesting look at cutthroat local politics and mass hysteria from the inside.

#15 Kate Thompson, Creature of the Night, 256 pages.

Bobby is a career criminal at the age of 14, hanging around street toughs years older than him and stealing cars then taking advantage of his youth to escape the consequences. When Bobby's mother drags Bobby and his little brother Dennis away from Dublin and into the Irish countryside to try to escape her debt, all Bobby wants is to get back to Dublin and his old life. But life in the country is different from Dublin. When he steals a car in his new home his mother's landlord makes him work off the charges. Farm work is tough, and Bobby doesn't have time to get in trouble any more. Besides, he's got other things to think about. What happened to the tenant before them, who disappeared mysteriously in the middle of the night? What happened to the child who disappeared there 20 years earlier? And who is the 'little woman' 4-year-old Dennis claims comes to talk with him every night?

#16 G. M. Malliet, Death of a Cozy Writer (A St. Just Mystery), 312 pages.

Pretty much exactly what the title says. When a wealthy mystery writer with penchant for pitting his heirs against each other is killed, there is no shortage of suspects, including the new wife, whose previous husband also died conveniently.

#17 Jennifer Knight, Blood on the Moon, 400 pages.

Nothing like a love triangle with a vampire and a werewolf to liven up a girl's college experience.

#18 Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games, 384 pages.

Another popular book I'm only now getting around to reading. For this one, I totally understand the hype. And I can't wait to see how they treat it in the movie.

#19 Celia Thomson, The Fallen (Nine Lives of Chloe King), 256 pages.

What can I saw -- I saw the short-lived TV series on Netflix and I really liked it in a cheesy way. But then they ended on that cliffhanger and it was cancelled. When I found out it was based off a series of books I figured I'd check them out. Unfortunately this is one of the few times I think the tv version was actually better than the books. But I'm withholding final judgement until I finish the other two :)

#20 Max Lüthi, The European Folktale: Form and Nature (Folklore Studies in Translation), 200 pages.

Very interesting analysis of how the very two-dimensional nature of the folk tale actually serves to increase its potency and meaning.

#21 Melissa Kantor, If I Have a Wicked Stepmother, Where's My Prince?, 320 pages.

This was an interesting version of the 'misfit teen' genre. Kantor's protagonist - having been moved from California to New York due to her father's marriage to a woman she detests with two young daughters she can't stand -- actually gets what every misfit teen girl longs for: popularity, and the hottest boy in school for her boyfriend. Only problem is, now that she's got it, is it really what she wants?

#22 Shana Norris, Something to Blog About, 256 pages.

I actually quite liked this -- brought back memories of the early days of blogging, the hysterical drama of misfit teens, and the confusion and misunderstandings of first love.

Progress toward goals: 72/366 = 19.7%

Books: 22/100 = 22.0%

Pages: 7120/30000 = 23.7%

2012 Book List

cross-posted to [livejournal.com profile] 15000pages, [livejournal.com profile] 50bookchallenge, and [livejournal.com profile] gwynraven

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