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May Book List

June 1, 2012

The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell (***) This book was… nothing like what I expected, but that’s not really fair, because I’m not really sure what I expected? It was good. A little more fortune-teller-y than I normally read. (I don’t know how to describe this) Anyway, it definitely held my attention. I got more than halfway through it in one sitting which is not normal for me.

Enna Burning by Shannon Hale (****) Much deeper and more intense than it’s prequel Goose Girl. Still, I love Enna. I really love her in a totally different way than I loved Goose Girl. This is a serious story, and a beautiful one. And Shannon Hale is a genius with her plots and words. The end.

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis (****) Witty, hilarious, complex, time travel, romance, jumble sales! Really, what else could you possibly want? I don’t know. That’s why I keep reading it over and over.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (****) Really beautiful, poignant, devastating, heart wrenching and intense, lovely, and REAL. I can’t do it justice, so I direct you to my friend Maureen who will always write better book reviews than me. Here’s her’s on Code Name Verity.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth (**) Sequel to Divergent, which I reviewed HERE.  I admit I was a bit disappointed in the sequel, but not enough for me to put it down. I read it all the way through and it was easy to read and I don’t regret my time spent with it. But, all around it was just kind of… meh. I think my main issue is a problem that I seem to have with many YA novels. And that is self-centered protaganists. Tris is supposedly equal parts, brave, selfless, and smart. Which should be a killer combination, right? Except she doesn’t really pull off any of those things. She is brave and selfless in that she volunteers for the worst things and always puts herself in harms way, but the smart part doesn’t come in very often. Like, for instance, there are times when she sacrifices herself, but it doesn’t actually do anyone any good at all, it actually puts the people she cares about in more danger. Which, if she were smart, she should have thought of, right? Another problem I have with some dystopian novels is that the altered future seems to make allowances for changes in morality. Suddenly it is ok to kill. Because, you know, you’re in the Dauntless faction. And no one blinks an eye. Granted, it’s a war, however, one character seems to have difficulty reconciling killing someone in the middle of a battle while another character flat out kills someone and that’s ok? Consistency is an issue here.  Tris and her boyfriend are very wrapped up in themselves and their own value. Granted, they are the protaganists and therefore we should care about them the most too, but actually, I just found the fact that the other characters suffer just as much and barely get a glance kind of heartless. Especially as “Selfless Tris” if she were truly being selfless would have probably cared more about the people around her.

I’m still intrigued by the basic plot of the story. The idea that a human being could be tied down to one character trait and made to give themselves over to that completely, denying all else is fascinating. And completely contrary to human nature. I have Thoughts about all this. But, none clearly defined yet, so stay tuned in case they ever become coherent. 🙂

Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko (****) Reviewed HERE.

Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko (****) Just as good as the prequel. I hear rumors of a third book? YAY!

(Running count for the year: 48)

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