Monday, June 25, 2012

Comfort Books

It's not sweatpants, but you get the idea
Lately I haven't been very adventurous in my reading. Maybe it's because I don't have as much time for it as I used to, or maybe I'm in a bit of a slump. But all I've wanted is to reread some of my favorite comfort books. . . The ones I can pick up at any point and hop right in to the story. Or finish, and then turn around and start reading again.

I know rereading is kind of like wearing sweatpants - it's comfortable and familiar, but not the sort of thing you should do all the time. Even so, here are the comfort books I'm hoping to hunt down today:

The Ruby Oliver series by E. Lockhart 
Ruby and her debacles always make me laugh. And this is the only series I can think of where I liked more than one of the love interests. Even better, all four books are checked in at the library. 

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Another funny, somewhat neurotic MC. Plus I love the whole fish out of water aspect of the book.
Sweethearts by Sara Zarr
This book isn't funny, or even happy. But I love it. It always leaves me feeling a little unsettled or unfinished, and I think that's why I keep coming back to it. (Also, person who has it checked out from the library, it was due on the 20th. Today is the 25th, just FYI)

Apparently contemporary is my genre of comfort.

How about you? Do you have comfort books that you keep coming back to?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

My Take on Insurgent

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

The first thing I realized was that I couldn't remember who many of the people were. And then I just kept being introduced to more. Trying to keep all the characters straight was a lot like this:

But I did remember Tris, and I liked her a lot better this time around. I thought she was kind of a jerk in Divergent, and she admits that in Insurgent. She's pretty angsty and feeling guilty about everything that happened at the end of Divergent, so she spends a lot of the book attempting to uphold the family honor, much like this:
Unfortunately she makes a lot of stupid decisions and ends up more like this:
people even make fun of her nose

Four is not exactly nice in this one either. (He has an especially low point involving his dad) But I liked him better as well. He and Tris have a fair amount of relationship drama, involving her telling lies and him being controlling. But it felt realistic for two characters who trusted themselves more than anyone else. I couldn't find a good clip for Four, so here's the Insurgent book trailer:

One of the best parts of the book was that I couldn't tell who to trust. You get to see all the different factions, and none of them are exactly good. You even get to see the factionless! My favorite new characters was the lady who leads them. In my mind, she looked like this:

But who is she really herding?

The characters (I could remember) were the best part of the book for me, as the plot alternates between kissing, fighting, relationship drama, and a bunch of this:
I think the ending was supposed to have this effect:

But it was more like this:

Overall, Insurgent was less violent, more angsty, but more enjoyable than Divergent.
Read this.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Fierce Reads Comes to Provo

On Tuesday, the amazing Provo Library hosted Anna Banks (Of Poseidon), Leigh Bardugo (Shadow and Bone), Jennifer Bosworth (Struck), Emmy Laybourne (Monument 14), and Marissa Meyer (Cinder) as part of the Fierce Reads Tour.

Emily organized a little blogger get together with the authors before the signing, and she and Suey have some fun pictures on their blogs. In fact Emily is giving away all five books, so click on her name to go to her giveaway post.

I confess I hadn't heard of any of these authors/books except for Marissa Meyer's Cinder, but had such a good time! Three things stuck out to me:
  • all five of those ladies were really funny. Emmy Laybourne used to act, and she even showed us some of the characters she played. I wish someone had gotten a video of it.
  • it takes a lot of work to write a book. Or, it takes a lot of work to rewrite a book. Sometimes I think all you need is a good idea, but that's just the beginning.
  • they all agreed that YA books can encompass any topic/genre/etc. so they have a lot of freedom in their writing. There are no YA romance, or sci-fi, or fantasy distinctions like there are with adult fiction. They can use a lot of different elements in one book.
We got to watch the trailers for each of the books, and then the authors talked about them a bit. And I went from having five books I'd basically never heard of to having five books I'd really like to read. Even the ones that are from genres I don't usually like!

Here are the trailers for the ones I'm most excited for:

Friday, June 8, 2012

April and May Recap

I managed to tackle four books total in April and May, and was *shocked* by which was my favorite. Because I was definitely not expecting it.

In April I read:
The Disreputable History of Frankie-Landau Banks by e. lockhart
I loved her Ruby Oliver series, so my expectations were pretty high. There are definitely funny parts, and I loved how Frankie was able to commandeer the group and mastermind all the pranks. But I thought she was a little immature, and I didn't really relate to her crusade against boys only groups. Maybe I just never experienced anything like that?
3/5 Mixed for me.

The Savage Grace by Bree Despain
This is the last book in The Dark Divine trilogy. It definitely is a fitting end to the story, and all the main plot points are wrapped up. There's a little more focus on fighting than I cared for, and occasionally I felt like the story was taking itself too seriously. But there were also a couple parts that made me laugh and I liked that not every single thing ended happily.
3.5/5 Mixed for me.

In May, this little guy joined our family

so these two took up most of my time.

But I did manage to read a couple more books:

Fever by Lauren DeStefano
It had all the world-building issues I had with Wither. There are so many weird things going on in this book, like a prostitution circus. I was hoping there would be more insight into the girls who end up in the "scarlet districts" or why the guys don't try to do anything about their friends/sisters/etc. being kidnapped. But, still no. The characterization is also a little weaker this time around.
On the plus side, though, the writing is amazing. It's so bleak and really makes you feel what the characters are feeling. And I love how well the cover represents different parts of the story.
3/5 Mixed for me.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth
I wasn't sure if I'd read this, because Divergent didn't really do it for me. But I'm so glad I did, because I unexpectedly *loved* it. Seriously. It was so good. I liked the characters a lot better this time around - they all got much more complex. They're a bit angsty, but far more interesting. Even some of the "bad" things were enjoyable. (Like the continuity errors. My favorite was Tris' mysteriously disappearing & reappearing gun near the end of the book).  
4.5/5 Read This

For June I think I'll try to read three books. (Ohhh!) I hope to finish Destined (the final book in the Wings series), The Last Echo, and The Serpent's Shadow. Lots of series coming to an end this summer.