Reading Rodeo

I feel like I was in a reading quagmire the first part of this year, so I've been trying to catch up on the number of books under my belt this year, and these are some of the titles I've read in the last few weeks...

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

I can see why this YA novel has gotten so much buzz since publication. It's harsh and angry, difficult to read and achingly sad, as you follow along on an anorexic's journey to hell and back...I can't say I *enjoyed* it, but I appreciated it.

 Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

I was a HUGE fan of this book when it was first published, and it still remains one of my favorite YA reads. This time, though, I wanted a different experience, so I listened to the audiobook instead of reading it, which was amazing.

The two narrators, Debra Wiseman and Joel Johnstone, really captured Clay and Hannah, and truly brought the story to life. What a fantastic listen, and of such a moving story.

Final Exam by Maggie Barbieri

I just love all the mysteries in the "Alison Bergeron" series, and this one was another great addition! Highly recommended!

Caught by Harlan Coben

I've only read a few Coben novels, but they have all been fantastic, and this stand-alone novel is certainly a worthy addition. A reporter who catches online perverts, a man accused, a man who lost everything on Wall Street, a grieving family...Coben has a myriad of characters and weaves them together in this fast-paced, impossible-to-put-down novel which totally shocked me with every "passing" character. Don't want to say too much, just read it!

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

I'll agree with what everyone else has been saying about this YA novel: Tiny truly is a fabulous character. :-)

I am a huge fan of John Green's work, but with this collaboration, I wasn't feeling that same special spark I did with his other novels. Not that it wasn't entertaining and well-written, it just didn't...spark as much for me.

Still, John Green is the tops of the YA market, as it Levithan, so check it out if you are also a fan!

 North by Northwestern by Sig Hansen

Okay, I'm a huge fan of "the crab men" (as Mum called them), or the guys on Deadliest Catch, among them being Sig Hansen. This autobiography does tell a bit about fishing on the Bering Sea, but delves much more into family ties and the history of crab fishing, as well as the Hansen name in it. Interesting - really gives some depth to the men you see on TV each week...

Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris

I'm almost caught up on the Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood) universe! This time, the weres come out of the closet, the fae are getting rowdy, and Eric takes his clothes off. Again. ;-)

I'm so ready for True Blood's third season!

A Touch of Dead by Charlaine Harris

This novella is actually several disconnected Sookie stories, which range on where they fall in the book series universe (some are early, some are late), and they just help to round out the characters and give a bit more zing to the Sookie universe.

Switch by Megan Hart

You know, it was the cover and a positive review on another blog that put this book in my path, and while, yes, I enjoy a bit of erotica as much as the next girl, I find Hart's female characters just a bit too coarse and unlikeable, and I don't just care what happens to them. I've read two of her titles to give her a fair shake, but I think I'm done now.

To Distraction by Stephanie Laurens

I'm still working my way through the Regency series about The Bastion Club, and I thought this was a great addition to the series. Jocelyn is a great member of the club, and Phoebe is a fantastically drawn, independent character of motive and personality. I really enjoyed this title, perhaps my favorite thus far (except for John and Kit).

Taken by Storm by Angela Morrison

I'll be honest, this YA novel continually pissed me off. Sure, Michael is a wounded character (his parents die) and Leesie is the stereotypically written Mormon good girl. But throughout, the author kept undermining Leesie and making Michael look like a complete asshole, instead of like a tortured soul or whatever. Michael wants her to have sex with him - when she refuses, he dumps her and sleeps with someone else. When Michael wants Leesie to walk away from a full scholarship to college to "be with him" (doing absolutely nothing), he dumps her. When he decides what to do with his life and it doesn't directly involve her, he dumps her.

Nice freakin' message. Gah!

Think Twice by Lisa Scottoline

Scottoline rocks! This time, Bennie Rosato, head of the Rosato & Associates law firm, is abducted and buried alive by her twin, who then takes over her life. Sounds farfetched, but Scottoline makes it realistic, pulse-pounding, omigod-just-one-more-chapter until the end! This is a great suspense novel, and I love everything I've read in the Scottoline name!

Social Lives by Wendy Walker

I really liked Walker's first novel, Four Wives, so I was interested to read another novel that makes me feel like a fly on the world of the rich and bored housewives one would expect on a soap opera. Walker writes with depth and "insider's knowledge", and you almost cringe for these women, while also, in some ways, cheering for them. Not as good as Four Wives, but an entertaining read.

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