Give a girl a Kindle and she reads nine thousand percent more books. Theories?
In no particular order...
The London Eye Mystery. I bought this one because it was "recommended for me" by Amazon and was in the "cheap enough to buy" Kindle zone and, luckily enough, I loved it. It's your typical middle grades kids-saving-the-world-as-they-know-it book, except the narrator has Asperger's and the characters were SO well written and it was about so much more than the initial mystery. I like middle grades almost more than I like YA, though I hardly read it anymore since my dad is retired and no longer recommending them to me, which: LAME. I'm not sure what this says about ME, a 31-year-old grown up who prefers books about 11-year-olds, but whatever. Oh, and I thought this blog post about knowing the difference, as writers, between middle grades and YA was super awesome.
How I Live Now. I read this one for the same reasons I read The London Eye Mystery and YAY AMAZON. I loved this one too. Definitely in the YA camp where (if you read the blog post) you know that the character is saving a much narrower, tightly-defined world. The main character, who I adored, lives sometime in the future where some crazy next-generation war is going on, but the war is mainly a setting and the plot is a thin wire hanger for character development and I really really liked this character.
The Loser Letters. EH. I really wanted to love this, as the reviews were rave and I thought the premise - a newly 'converted' atheist writes a series of letters to established atheists (like Dawkins and Hitchens) recommending they drop/pursue certain strategies in their own recruitment efforts - was interesting. But it totally fell flat. For me. Other people really liked this, but I just didn't get it. For one thing, you're reading letter after letter about how the Christians do one thing or another better than the atheists, and the whole time you're all THEN WHY ARE YOU AN ATHEIST? You find out, eventually, and that's where I finally got interested, but that's the very end. I seem to recall that this book actually started out in essay form and was eventually collected into a book? I think? And maybe that's why I take issue with it, because as a narrative it bombed. FOR ME. Also, I am totally the choir for this book and I have no idea what an Actual Atheist would think (although I don't have my hopes up about that either.) Sorry team!
Mockingjay. This one has been good and kicked around in the blogosphere so I'll be quick. I wasn't a huge fan of the Hunger Games series, I just wanted to know what happened. Aaaand, hmm. It was a realistic and believable ending, I didn't mind the Message, I didn't mind how dark and gloomy it was, but when you spend three books setting your main character up to make A Choice, do not cop out on the choice. Boo to that. (Also, can I just say: what is up with the competing love interests discussing their chances with each other? I'm looking at YOU Edward/Gale and Jacob/Peeta!)
I read another big handful of Italian murder mysteries. I decided that Uniform Justice is my favorite Donna Leon/Commissario Brunetti mystery.
The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass. I just finished the last book today, and then seriously contemplated the liquor cabinet at two in the afternoon. I have to say that I really loved the first book. After wanting to put Bella and Katniss in permanent Time Outs and bemoaning the Strong Yet LIKABLE Female Character, I loved - LOVED - Lyra. (Also, she is eleven. Coincidence?) It was also the first book I've read in a long time where I wanted to underline sentences because they were so pretty. It was exciting and fast and fascinating and full of interesting people. So were the second and third books, but the second and third books were exponentially darker and drearier. I had to force myself through certain sections of the third book, not because they were dull or slow, but because they were SO HOPELESS. Also, in case you didn't know, the Bad Guy is the Church (specifically Catholic, though most of that doesn't become apparent until the second book) and I was a little nervous about what I'd be expected to swallow. However! I found it incredibly easy to separate Philip Pullman's view of religion with my view of religion because his is so unbelievably... FALSE. (It's my blog! I get to make the rules!) I mean, some of the stuff he put out there was just ridiculous, although he was a little bit Dan Brownish about it and using real names and on more than one occasion I had to google something to see what the real story was. Anyway, I worried I would find all of that irritating, but mostly I found it curious and/or without any basis or reference to MY views. I could say a million more things about this one facet of three truly creative stories, but this is supposed to be one paragraph so...
Oh, I almost forgot I Am The Messenger. I was dying to read another book by the guy who wrote The Book Thief (which I've seen criticized here and there, and my dad couldn't even get through the beginning, but I don't care, I LOVED IT) and EH. Talk about messagey. Again, I loved the characters, you can always get me with some good characters, but the only word I have for the ending is "arrogant". Shrug.
What do I read next?