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awwunicorns
31 December 2014 @ 03:28 pm
1. Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison
2. The Fall by Bethany Griffin
3. Skellig by David Almond
4. Mind of Winter by Laura Kasischke
5. The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
6. Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult
7. September Girls by Bennett Madison
8. Asylum by Madeleine Roux
9. The Thrilling Adventure Hour Graphic Novel by Ben Acker & Ben Blacker, et. al.

goodreads
 
 
awwunicorns
01 December 2014 @ 05:45 pm
Reviews to come...

1. Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris
2. The Secret Place by Tana French
3. Hell House by Richard Matheson
4. Landline by Rainbow Rowell
5. Yes Please by Amy Poehler
6. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
7. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
8. White Hot Kiss by Jennifer Armentrout
9. Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker
 
 
awwunicorns
01 November 2014 @ 04:42 pm
1. Edge of the Water by Elizabeth George
This is the second book of a series. I liked it, but it got really weird and involved seal-people. It will be interesting to see what George does with the 3rd installment.

2. Raging Heat by Richard Castle
There isn't much I don't like about these books. I love the show so much, it's hard not to imagine the Castle characters as these characters. Always good.

3. Kaleidoscope Eyes by Jen Bryant
Treasure hunt. Cute story. Nothing fantastic, but worth a quick read.

4. Picture the Dead by Adele Griffin
Story about ghosts appearing in pictures taken in the past. It was ok. Mostly I like Griffin's way of incorporating pictures into her stories, even though these were just illustrations as opposed to real pics.

5. Famous Last Words by Kate Alender
Really not a bad story, except for the fact that, if you're paying attention, you figure out who the killer is within the first 50 pages.

6. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
So good! I saw the movie a long time ago, but had never read the book. I just wish there was more backstory as to why the girls committed suicide. However, I guess that's how it often goes - you don't really know why.

7. The Candymakers by Wendy Mass
Really cute story! Very Willy Wonka-like!

8. I Am (Not) the Walrus by Ed Briant
It was ok. If you like stories set in the present, with themes of the 60s, you'd probably like this. Or if you're a musicrock-n-roll buff. It's about a mystery involving a note found in a possibly stolen guitar, love, and loss.

9. Freaks Like Us by Susan Vaught
I read really good things about this book. I'm still wondering where those good things were in this book. The "freaks" are kids with either physical or mental disabilities. The lead character's friend (also a "freak") goes missing & he trying to struggle with schizophrenia while trying to help the cops find his friend.

10. The F- It List by Julie Halpern
(From GoodReads): Alex’s father recently died in a car accident. And on the night of his funeral, her best friend Becca slept with Alex’s boyfriend. Alex steps away from her friendship with Becca and focuses on her family. But when Alex finally decides to forgive Becca, she finds out something that will change her world again—Becca has cancer. So what do you do when your best friend has cancer? You help her shave her head. And then you take her bucket list and try to fulfill it on her behalf. Because if that’s all you can do to help your ailing friend—you do it.

Eh. It didn't work for me.

11. Rooms by Lauren Oliver
I expected more. I expected "scary". It is a ghost story where human lives and ghost lives intersect, but it wasn't what I expected.

12. Bones Never Lie by Kathy Reichs
This one is about a serial killer - a series of events arise from past cases. Thought it was really good!

13. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
I enjoy LHA's writing. It's about death, suicide, and mostly eating disorders. It was pretty good, but sad.

14. Feral by Holly Schindler
Thriller? Sort of. Scary? No. Possessed cats? Yes. This book is about figuring out a murder. It was o.k.
 
 
awwunicorns
04 October 2014 @ 08:35 am
1. Chambers of the Heart by Penny Layne
Chambers Of The Heart: The Truth Behind Love, Loyalty, Lust and Loss is Book One in a (I believe) three book series. Here you get the exposition and rising action, concluding in, “What comes next?” I am interested to see what the next part of Jenny’s life holds for her as she begins to figure out who she is and who she wants to be. The journey begins as Jenny is divorced, has three children, does not have much wealth, and is looking to start her life over. Her new life begins as she falls in love with a woman, a feeling Jenny isn’t sure she understands. The journey continues in relationship ups and downs and feelings of not wanting to let go of someone you love, even if that person may not be good for you. This story is one that many will be able to relate to – a story of love, hope, and want – no matter what gender, race, or sexuality.

2. The Revenge of Seven by Pittacus Lore
Continuation of the "I Am Number Four" series. I just enjoy the series, even though I'm not really a "sci-fi person." If you've followed the series, I'm sure you'll like this one. It's a fun adventure.

3. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Unimpressed. I mean, it's alright, but it's mostly a cheesy love story about teenagers in Paris.

4. Timepiece by Myra McEntire
5. Infinityglass by Myra McEntire
Combining the above two books together since they're the last 2 in a 3-part story. Timepiece was ok. It was told from a diffferent character's perspective & the change confused me a little. However, I really liked Infinityglass. The whole series is about time traveling and seeing people from the past that others don't see. I thought it was a really fun series.

6. Everything I Learned about Life, I Learned in Dance Class by Abby Lee Miller
Every parent should read this book! Forget for a moment that it's by Abby Lee Miller, star of "Dance Moms." This book is about teaching your child to be an independent person, find where their interests lie, & going for it.

7. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
I thought this book was really cool.  I liked the concept.  I liked the mystery and the "witchcraft". It's part of a series, but this book gets wrapped up so nothing is left hanging.

8. Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
This book is written in letter form to various dead people - most of whom have either committed suicide or have died in a mysterious way.  The lead character writes these letters as a school assignment, though she never turns them in.  She mainly begins to write them as a way to cope with the death of her sister.  it's pretty good.

9. The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin
The way this story was told was really cool.  Within the book are real photographs and artwork, yet the book is still a work of fiction, written like a true story.  I felt the story itself wasn't all that wonderful (I really didn't care about the lead character), but because of the way the story is told, it works.

10. The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
This book started off really well.  It was a read recommended by Joss Whedon, which I didn't know until I'd already started reading it, and I trust that guy!  However, it gets a little slow towards the middle.  I did like it because it lets the reader's imagination wander.  It's definitely a little strange, though.

11. The Beginning of Everything by Robin Schneider
I really liked this book.  I don't necessarily think it's anything spectacular, but I just thought it was real. This book tore me to pieces. The ending was cruel, but real. What hurt me the most? Cooper.
 
 
awwunicorns
01 September 2014 @ 02:35 pm
1. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Such a cool read! I think a movie was made a while ago & I'd like to see it, to see how the movie compares to the book. Dystopian novel before those were a thing.
2. The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily Danforth
I'd read so much about how great this book was, but I just didn't get it. Girl meets girl. Girl is shamed for who she loves. Not really a great read.
3. The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu
Pretty good read about a girl who is considered a slut because of rumors that swirl about her.
4. The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks
I read this because I saw it was going to be a movie & it looked pretty interesting. I enjoyed it. The ending is pretty sad, though.
5. The End of Everything by Megan Abbott
I really enjoyed this. It's a drama-thriller, with some creepy-icky parts to it. A pair of best friends who share their whole life have their lives turned upside down when one of them goes missing. Good page turner.
6. A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
This book is about 4 people who decide to commit suicide on December 31st - all at the same time, all the same building. the story is divided into 3 parts & Part One is pretty good, but the other two parts were slow and nothing happened. Boring read.
7. Hourglass by Myra McEntire
Simple, easy read, but enjoyable. The story is about a girl who sees people who aren't really there. Then she learns she can time travel. Set in the present, it's an entertaining read with two more parts.
 
 
 
awwunicorns
03 August 2014 @ 12:23 am

1. The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
It was o.k., nothing special. Didn't make me want to read any more in the series.

2. In the Cut by Susanna Moore
Creepy/weird & kind of gross. It has sex and mystery, but not good writing.

3. About a Boy by Nick Hornby
Not sure what the hype was about this book. I thought it was slow. The character of Will is way over-praised seeing as how he's basically a scam artist.

4. The Giver by Lois Lowry
My second favorite book ever. I love it so much. I wanted to re-read it before the movie botches it.

5. The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
Maybe if I had read this before I saw the movie (years ago), I would've like the book better. It just didn't seem as scary as I'd hoped.

6. Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn
YA that relies on a past hidden/secret tragedy to lead the story. I liked it.

7. The Land of Stories 3: A Grimm Warning by Chris Colfer
I love these stories. Fairy tales are so good! However, this one ended with a major cliff-hanger & it will be a year, at least, before it's resolved!

8. House at the End of the Street by Lily Blake
Mystery/thriller. I read the book, then watched the movie - though the book was written based on the book. Good twist that played out well in my mind as I read the book; however, it didn't translate as well to screen.

9. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sàenz
One of the best books ever written, IMO. Ari & Dante are teenagers who come to meet, become best friends, & discover growing up, & figuring themselves out. Wonderful story.

10. Conversion by Katherine Howe
This was a cool story that connects the Salem Witch Trials to today and is based on a true story of girls who began having tics and other medical issues with no explanation. Fun read.

11. Doctor Who: The Shakespeare Notebooks by James Goss
No. I mean, maybe if I new more about Shakespeare I would have been more interested. This book basically puts the Doctor in some of Shakespeare's plays because the Doctor & Shakespeare knew one another.

12. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
I had to re-read this before the movie comes out this fall. Great trilogy, as a whole, and this one is a tear-jearker.

13. A Better World by Marcus Sakey
Second story in the Brilliance series. It took me a few chapters to get in to this story, but I ended up enjoy it and wondering what's going to happen next.

14. The Lowlands by Jhumpa Lahiri
I wasn't sure I'd really like this, but the descriptions of the settings were what really hooked me in - the story takes place in India (past and modern-day) and in Rhode Island. It's about family relations and what one will do to make a family work.

15. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Long. Loooonnnnnnggggggg. 771 in over-sized paperback. Very daunting. But, I loved it! Great story. However, I felt the last couple hundred pages were a little slow, though quite a bit happens. Definitely worthy of all the awards it receives.

16. Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
It was o.k. the connection to the lead character and "the passengers" wasn't really there, but at times it worked. Mainly about a teenager coming to terms with her sexuality.

 
 
awwunicorns
03 July 2014 @ 10:20 pm
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awwunicorns
03 July 2014 @ 10:20 pm

1. The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
I really liked this story. It's the second book to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. Book 3 comes out later this year & I'm excited to read it. It's a mystery/thriller, which is what I like most.

2. It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
But it wasn't funny. A kid checks himself into a mental ward because he has suicidal thoughts. Whereas I give the character credit for trying to take control of his life, it just played out too easy.

3. The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
I thought this would be scary. It wasn't. It was a babies who are kidnapped for ritual purposes & replaced with "people" who are sort of vampire-like.

4. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
"Me" (Greg): crappy filmmaker who often writes in script form.
"Earl": Every other word out of his mouth was a curse word or something tacky & typically degrading to women.
"The Dying Girl" (Rachel): No character development here. She dies.
Terrible story.

5. This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
This is a sort-of zombie book, I guess. Slow & there is no conclusion.

6. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
I really liked this book. It was a tear-jearker though. I feel really bad for kids who had to go through this, not knowing where they would end up or who with. Really good story.

7. Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
Pretty forgettable for an Anderson book.  Deals with teen issues, as most of her books do. Not terrible, but not very memorable.

8. One Last Thing Before I Go by Jonathan Tropper

This was a funny one.  A dysfunctional family story, but has heart.

9. Panic by Lauren Oliver
I like Lauren Oliver - mostly her Delirium series - but this story wasn't up to par. A game that high school seniors play is called "Panic". They can win a lot of money if they make it all the way through.  Sounds daring.  Didn't turn out so.

10. Serena by Ron Rash
I read it because I thought I might want to see the movie.  That's iffy.  Slow. Very slow. It did get pretty good about the last 100 pages, but getting there took a while.

11. Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
This book was cute, but I don't think that's what the authors where going for. I had 2 problems with this book: 1) Lily is supposed to be 16, yet she acts like a 12-year-old, giggly little school girl. Which ends up being creepy because Dash seems too old for her. 2) Who talks like these kids? I don't know any adults who speak as witty/quick-witted as Dash, and being a teacher, I certainly don't know any teenagers who do.The book's storyline is a fun concept, it just doesn't play out.

12. Horns by Joe Hill
I thought this would be scary, too. I wanted a good horror story, what I got was a story about infidelity and a guy who turns into the devil. Not as good as I'd hoped.

13. Trash by Andy Mulligan
Another book I read because a movie is being made.  It was ok.  Boys who live in poverty near/on/in a trash heap find something that leads them to become outlaws and involved in a murder case.

14. This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
This story made me literally LOL.  The family in the story is totally dysfunctional (a Tropper theme, apparently).  I watched the movie trailer & it's seem they've changed a few things, but it should be pretty good with Tina Fey & Jason Bateman.  Good read.

 
 
awwunicorns
30 May 2014 @ 09:43 pm

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
This was a 3rd-time re-read. How could I not? It's wonderful, it's endearing, it's heartbreaking, it's just lovely. Plus I had to read it again before the movie comes out (1 week!). I'm not thrilled with the casting, but having John Green involved in making the film gives me hope.

2. The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
Good story about a girl & a guy from separate worlds - he's rich, she's poor - and how those worlds affect their lives and the lives of those around them.

3. The Babysitter by Andrew Coburn
The cover of this book makes it look like a horror story and the title sort of seems that way as well; however, it's not a horror story. It's more of a crime/drama, mystery/thriller. The book starts off with a dead babysitter and the story that ensues is about who committed the crime. I thought it was a good, quick read.

4. Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
I loved this book! It's a sweet story, that doesn't rely too heavily on a sad backstory. It really made me want to get a friend and take a road trip.

5. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
As a huge fan of all things The Wizard of Oz, this sounded like a really cool take on what happens after Dorothy leaves - then returns - to Oz. However, this book is in a series & I didn't know that until I'd finished the book. I wondered why not much had happened and I was on the last hundred-ish pages and then it just ended with no real conclusion to this part of the story. Based on that, I wasn't really impressed.

6. Brunette Ambition by Lea Michele
How could I not enjoy anything by Lea Michele? I can't! She's perfection. Actually, this was interesting and fun to read. Not really logical for the average person to use some of her tips (because some of it could become costly), but she's just interesting and I enjoy her.

7. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie
This book showed up on some banned book list, which made me want to read it. It was quite good and humorous. I can understand how some people would be offended by some of the content, but really there is nothing "ban-worthy" about it.

8. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
This was weird and cool. It's a trilogy, with Book 3 coming out this fall (Book 2 is on my shelf to read). It's about a girl who wakes up in a hospital, from a coma, to find out she survived an accident that 3 friends did not. She moves away to try and come to terms with what happened, but she realizes "problems" tend to follow.

9. The Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George
This book was actually very similar to "Mara Dyer" in it's mysteriousness and tone. A colleague had me read this. It's also a series (not sure how many, but Book 2 is available now). I'm curious to find out what happens next to the lead character.

10. I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I ever Had by Tony Danza
As a teacher, I know Danza got a lot of things right in this book. Obviously, it was an "experiment" and he has money to back up his life when his 1 year of teaching is over - and most real teachers don't have that fallback (if they did, they would not be teaching!). But he hit the nail on the head with standardized testing, schools meeting their AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress), and the struggle to connect with students when school is so testing focused. I enjoyed the read and was glad others see my job as it is.

11. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
As a teacher and avid reader, I can appreciate the way this book was written, I just didn't like the way it was written (mostly 3rd person, but I felt like there was some 1st person in there, too, and a lot of back and forth).  Also, I didn't feel as I could identify with any of the characters, nor did I really care about them - rich, boarding school kids. At first, I thought Frankie was a pretty cool, sneaky, savvy girl, but the last page just got me. All of the sudden, I, too, saw her as psychotic (as some of the other characters did) and expect a book 2 where she goes off and kills everyone at school. I hate to say that, but that's the feeling the book left me with.  I think this is one of those books where you either really love it or you hate it.

 
 
awwunicorns
04 May 2014 @ 10:45 am
1. The Thousand Dollar Tan Line (Veronica mars #1) by Rob Thomas
It's so weird to see Veronica Mars written. But, I loved it. I mean, it's not gonna win a Pulitzer, but VM fans will enjoy it. :D

2. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
This book was stupid. I had to read it because I'm currently teaching it as a novel study. I thought it was boring & gross, but it was a quick read. I teach 6th grade & I really think it's too low for their level.

3. The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh
I really enjoyed this! It's a mystery-thriller that starts off with a dead body, but turns into a book about sex slaves. Well, there is a bit more to it than that. There are a couple of mysteries to figure out.  Not for teen readers, definitely for adult readers and fans of authors such as Gillian Flynn & Jennifer MacMahon.

4. Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
This was good. It started off very similar to The Fault in Our Stars. It's about a cancer kid & I thought it was going to be a TFiOS copy, but it wasn't. The teen goes into remission and has to right some wrongs. Good story for teen readers.