November 23rd, 2011

deer faces

Time flies and book reports (100-101)...

I can't believe we're already halfway through our break -- ack! Today we're going to my parents' for our family celebration (and the annual family picture). I've already gone trail running (yay) -- and yesterday I made it to yoga (whew).

We also went up to one of my best friend's house (she lives in the mountains) and had a lovely visit there. So we're not wasting our time...but I wish I had more downtime ;) I am managing to read some, though -- so all is not lost! (ha) It's a relief to finally make it past 100 books...I'd hoped to hit 250 this year, but with the discovery of some online serial fics (which I read often), my book reading has been drastically reduced. I'll keep working for that balance, however.

For those of you who happened to Google your title and ended up here, please know that one star is not a bad thing in Robin's world -- just the fact that I picked up your book and started it means that somewhere it's getting good buzz (or that your blurb was really cool). 'R' means it's a re-read. Different colored font means it's an ARC for 2011 (and I'll try to remember to put the month it's released, as well). I'm linking to Tattered Cover's pages for the ARCs.

If you'd like to see my year-to-date four-plus- and five-star recommendations, visit Robin ReadsnWrites.

* I didn't make it beyond the first 20 pages.
** I made it to the end, but I either skimmed or skipped large sections.
*** I might have skipped/skimmed, but I liked it and might read it again.
**** I read at least 95% of the book and it was good -- probably will be reread.
***** I read every word, and I loved it! A favorite and definite reread.

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Sharks & Boys, by Kristen Tracy ****- This was fairly engrossing, although I strongly disliked the MC when the book opened. She was incredibly clingy and needy, and I could completely understand why her boyfriend broke up with her! By the time the story took off (when the group was stuck in the raft on the ocean), she'd become more sypathetic. My biggest complaint about the book, however, is that is doesn't really resolve her issues. She has a bit of self understanding, but then it just ends. I read frantically, hoping to find out how this experience would impact her life...but I'm not sure I got it. Maybe it's only me, though -- and certainly the premise is intriguing. Collapse ) The story: Enid's boyfriend wants a 'break', and in a fit of desperation (and being convinced he's cheating on her), she follows him to a guys' night out. There she discovers that it really is boys only -- and the group, which she all knows, are just being guys and not discussing her relationship in any way. Still, when they head for two of the boys' boat, she again follows and sneaks on board. While hiding away, she dozes off -- and when she wakes, they're at sea. Unfortunately, there's a huge storm, and the boat sinks. The boys and Enid manage to get the life raft from the boat, and they all settle down in it, but one of the boys is seriously injured (head injury). This group has been friends for years, as they're all a part of a twin study (four sets of twins), but Enid's the only girl. While they hope for rescue, they begin discussing various issues in their lives...but their talk and reasoning is hampered by their increasing dehydration and exposure. Enid has to wonder if any of them will survive. (YA contemporary, released 6/11, publisher: Hyperion)

Crossed, by Ally Condie ***+ I was definitely wanting to read this, as I loved the first one. However, I have to admit this was a bit disappointing. First, Cassia wasn't nearly as strong in this book. She seemed to have narrowed her life down to one thing -- finding Ky. And then, it narrowed again to finding the Rising (which I didn't get a clear grasp on throughout the book). Second, nothing really happened. There was a lot of wandering in the canyons and a ton (too much, imo) of introspection which led nowhere. Third, after reading this, I'm still very unclear about who the Enemy truly is and what their role in Society and the Rising might be. The world-building kind of fell apart in this part of the trilogy, imo. Were there positives? Yes -- Ky. I loved having Ky's perspective here, even though his voice completely overpowered Cassia. Their POVs alternated, and although they sounded very similar (too similar), Ky's personality definitely came through for me. And I loved reading his thoughts. However, his maturity and ability to look more deeply into things made Cassia seem pretty shallow in places. I'll definitely read the next book, but I hope some of these nebulous areas are addressed! The story: Cassia has been sent to the Outer Regions, but she's simply biding her time until she can find a trace of Ky. In the meantime, Ky is doing his best to survive until he hears word of Cassia. Finally, he realizes he needs to break free -- and he does so, with two friends in tow. Eventually, Cassia and one of her new friends join them, and they wander together. Cassia now longs to be part of the Rising, a supposed rebellion against the Society. Ky is wary of their goals, however, and wishes to find another way. Cassia also wonders how Xander fits into this new world, as he's sent her clues along the way that there's more to him than she realizes. In the end, they all have choices to make about the next step. (YA dystopic, released 11/11, publisher: Dutton)

I'll be taking another book to my mom's today (I haven't chosen which one yet) -- so maybe I'll get to 125 by the end of the year...? We'll see ;)

Are you doing anything special today? Happy Thanksgiving Eve (to all the US folk out there)!