Saturday, December 11, 2010

Book Reviews, pt. 1

So! Let's talk about books! I thought I'd do a series of posts on the ones I've read this year. I always like to see what people have read and why, so I'm hoping some of you enjoy these kind of posts as well. I will be very general on my opinions, so you can read this without fear of spoilers. Also, I've actually kept up the list of books I've read on the sidebar. So if you want individual links to Amazon for any books I talk about, there's a handy guide right there. So helpful, I am!

I've read 41 books this year. I was really proud of that number until I read a post on NPR yesterday by a guy who has read 104 books this year. 104! My word. He must not have small children. And not like television. And get paid to read books. (He does get paid to read books, actually.) He also picked Freedom as his favorite book of the year and I HEARTILY disagree with that assessment, but we'll get to that another time.

Let's start with the series books, shall we?

Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz - This is a 5 book (so far) series of Young Adult vampire novels. They're entertaining, easy to read, and a nice distraction. But! They aren't particularly well written and the latest book in the series was a disappointment. There is a 6th book coming out at the end of this year which I've already pre-ordered for my Kindle. I'm interested to see if de la Cruz gets back on track with the plot in that one. However, if you enjoy silly vampire books, then I highly recommend these. It's a different take on the mythos of vampires, so it's a nice change of pace. Incidentally, that last book was the one Alex read when he was supposed to be reading The Hunger Games. Speaking of which....

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins - I believe I've mentioned these, oh a million times on this here blog. I love them. LOVE. THEM. They're well written, easy to read, extremely entertaining, and so, so, so well plotted. They're intense but not too stressful. Now, some people have criticized the third book, Mockingjay, for not ending the series well. Personally, I was pleased with the ending, but some parts of it were a let down. (It wasn't as crazy town as Breaking Dawn, but not as satisfying as The Deathly Hallows either.) With that said, do not let a potential bummer in the third book stop you from reading The Hunger Games. It's an excellent book all on its own.

The Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson - See? I'm capable of reading non YA books as well! Probably everyone you know has read these books, and with good reason. They're fairly well written, interesting, and entertaining. It can be a little confusing at first because of all the Swedish names and locations. I found myself just making up my own pronunciations in order to get through the words I had no idea how to say. I also had a hard time getting into the first novel because there's a looooooooong exposition about some boring business fraud type thing. So don't let that stop you. Once you get past that, the mystery and intrigue really kicks in and it's hard to put the book down. They also eat a lot of sandwiches and drink a lot of coffee in these books. Like, it's INSANE. Lisbeth and Mikael exist on coffee and sandwiches alone. If you've read the first book, I highly recommend this parody video about the books. It mentions the coffee and sandwich thing too. But, uh, anyway, back to the actual books. I really enjoyed them and wish Larsson was still around to write more books about these characters. I found myself really invested in their welfare by the end of the first book and was sad to see them go in the last book.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan - There are 5 books in this series. I just read them over the Thanksgiving in Ohio family extravaganza. And they are great! They're written for the 5th to 9th grade set, so they're extremely easy to read and so much fun. Riordan does a really good job of getting the tone and voice right for the 12 year old characters. I enjoyed all the Greek mythology references, although I realized I had forgotten quite a bit from my English major nerd days. Again, I was sad to see these characters go when I finished the last books. Riordan has published the first book in a new series set in the same world, but with the focus on different characters. I have that book on my "to read" list because I loved these books so much. And! Some of the main characters from this series are in those books so I'm hoping I'll get my Percy Jackson fix from them. On a side note, Alex and I watched the movie, "The Lightning Thief" last week and it was HORRIBLE. Such a disappointment. So if you saw the movie, don't judge the books by it. The books are much, much, much better.


Philly said...

41 books + a kid = you are awesome!

mrscouvie said...

Sorry, I meant to warn you that while the Percy Jackson and the Olympians book series is highly enjoyable, the movie IS absolutely AWFUL!

Christy said...

Yeah, how did you do 41 books? I'm impressed. I probably read less than 10. Seriously. But thanks! Now I have a few more to add to my list.