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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Audrey's Summer Reading List 2008 Part 2

Alright, so to make it a little bit less overwhelming, here's part 2!!!! And for those of you that asked me last time what YA is - Young Adult. Meaning that these are books for people about 10 years younger than I am. :-P

Big Boned - Meg Cabot
* * * * * (5)
It's Meg Cabot; need I say more?

Avalon High
- Meg Cabot
* * * * * (5)
Again, Meg Cabot

Kabul Beauty School - Deborah Rodriguez
* * *1/2 (3 1/2)
This book was terrific; it was comedic but to the point about a very serious topic: Afghanistan. The story was heartfelt, touching, and amazing. Sadly, though, it was badly written, which took away quite a bit from what could having been an AMAZING book.

the Spell Book of Listen Taylor - Jaclyn Moriarty
* * (2)
Australian YA. I was expecting real magic, but instead I got quirkyness. :-(

the Man of My Dreams - Curtis Sittenfeld
* * *1/2 (3 1/2)
Curtis Sittenfeld is a wonderful author, and while this book was nothing compared to Prep, it was still a very enjoyable and thoughtful read. (Can a read be thoughtful?)

A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini
* * * * * (5)
Now THIS is an extremely well-written book about Afghanistan. I wasn't sure if Khaled Hosseini would top "The Kite Runner," but with "A Thousand Splendid Suns," I really think he managed. Three decades of Afghanistan history, two very different women brought together through their struggles. . . I laughed and cried, but more than anything, I hoped.

Size 14 is Not Fat, Either - Meg Cabot
* * * * * (5)
I did mention before, I think, that Meg Cabot is just amazing.

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian - Marina Lewycka
* * (2)
Don't get me wrong, I DID like this book, and it was well-written. I just didn't particularly like the WAY it was written. And the characters annoyed me. And if anything, it made me hate both Russia and the Ukraine. And yet I am for some reason oddly compelled to read other books by this author.

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
- Gregory Maguire
* * *1/2 (3 1/2)
If you read "Wicked" and liked it, you should also read this. I like Gregory Maguire enough to keep reading everything he writes, even though I don't really find anything special or impressive about his characters, his stories, or his prose.

I Am American! (And So Can You!) - Stephen Colbert
* * * * (4)
My brother gave this to me, and before that I had never heard of Stephen Colbert. And so while reading, I had NO idea if he was joking about things he actually believed in or joking about things he found ridiculous. Until I read the speech he gave to Bush at the end. I don't think I'll start watching the Colbert Report, but this book was HILARIOUS!

Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Shiguro
* * * * (4)
A colony of clones raised to be organ doners. This book could have gone either way, and it went the right way. Instead of focusing on the unbelievable or the ridiculous, he focused on the PEOPLE and the EMOTIONS, and in the end it made for a brilliantly touching book.

the Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
* * * * * (5)
Kind of like "The Host," this book immediately jumped to my top 10. Don't let the cover fool you! This book is romantic (while making you believe that it's not), funny, sad, happy, original, scary, and everything else that a good book should be. (Yes, Kristen , I have read this book. :-P)

Pretties/Uglies/Specials - Scott Westerfeld
* * * * (4)
I loved this YA trilogy. Even though it was written for younglings, I thought it brought up some really interesting ideas and points that ALLOWED you to think without actually making you think. Which I thought was cool. The stories were great, and the characters were well-developed, even if the two main characters COULD get annoying from time to time. I'm looking forward to reading Extras, which makes these books not a trilogy despite still being considered a trilogy.

Spin - Robert Charles Wilson
* * * * * (5)
This book is an amazing modern day sci-fi creation. I really thought that sci-fi had just sort of gone down the drain. I still love fantasy, but when it comes to sci-fi, I had resigned myself to the fact that if I wanted a good read, it had to be an old read. This book proved me wrong. What would happen to the Earth if some hypothetical beings encased it in a sort of membrane inside of which time moves millions of times more slowly than on the outside? This book brings up many important and interesting issues and makes something that is really probably outside the realm of possibility seem, well, possible. AWESOME book!

Shoe Addict's Anonymous - Beth Harbison
* * * * * (5)
This is what a chick lit book should be. Seriously. It was the best and most refreshing book of the genre that I had read in ages. All that was missing from the experience was a comfy couch next to a fireplace with a steaming mug of vegan hot chocolate.

Keeping the Moon - Sarah Dessen
* * * 1/2 (3 1/2)
I normally love Sarah Dessen. When it comes to emotional, lesson teaching YA books, she really is the queen (I could be saying this, though, just because she wrote the books that were the basis for "How to Deal," one of my favorite movies of all time). Sadly, though, I didn't feel that this book lived up to most Sarah Dessen standards. It was good and touching and predictable, yes, but I just felt that there was something missing.

Playing With Boys - Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez
* * * (3)
This was TRYING to be everything a Mexican chick lit book should be, and that was just the problem. It was trying way too hard. It was a quick, fun read, but there were often things I just wanted to rewrite for the author.

the Shadow of the Wind
- Carlos Ruiz Zafon
* * * * 1/2 (4 1/2)
This book was FANTASTIC! It was a mystery with mysterious subplots. And those mysterious subplots had more mysterious subplots. But in the meantime you sometimes wonder if what you are reading is actually a mystery. This book was really perfect. And hello, a Cemetery of Forgotten Books. I MUST find one of these! Aside from the fact that I would have ended it differently. And that there was one thing (which would give away too much of the book for me to say) on which pretty much the whole story was based but that didn't actually make sense to me and was never explained. Which is why it only gets 4 1/2 stars. I still HIGHLY recommend it!

And presently reading:
The Gravedigger's Daughter - Joyce Carol Oates

I've just started it, but so far it seems good, aside from the really erratic punctuation. It's my first Joyce Carol Oates, but I hear she is amazing and that when I am done, I will want to read everything by her.

2 things said:

Spiggy said...

Wow, that's a lot of reading!!!

Rachel said...

i WISH i had that much time to read. I think i only read 3 books this summer.