With the end of 2012 came the end of the annual Goodreads Reading Challenge and as you may have read in my 2012 Reading List Update, I was not on track to meet my goal. Ultimately, I didn’t meet my goal and honestly, I don’t really mind. Goodreads got me back into reading on a regular basis and I’m thankful just for that. This year, I’ve set my goal lower (25 Books) because my intention is to conquer some of the longer novels I’ve been wanting to read and since my count fell at 21 books for 2012, 25 seemed like the right number.
Graceling by Kristin Cashore was a bit of a let down considering how much I’d heard about it. The entire first half is slow and reminded me so much of a book that I love called Poison Study that I kept debating picking up that book and re-reading it instead. Finally, the second half of the book delivered on the excitement I’d been waiting for. However, the book was already half over and everything seemed really rushed. Plus, a final element is so bittersweet that I actually got angry at the book. Anyway, it’s a fun x-men mutant kind of tale set in a medieval fantasy world.
Fluke by Christopher Moore is better off when not described to potential readers. There are whales, yes, but in a whole new way. As the first Christopher Moore book I’ve ever read, it was a wonderful introduction to a style of writing that I’m eager to experience more of. I read the first page or so just as a preview and promptly gave up the book I was currently reading to finish it. This would also make a great summer reading book for the beach since it takes place in Hawaii!
Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2) by Richelle Mead is a sequel and a total teenage romance guilty pleasure. I like how the main character isn’t exactly a vampire and although vampires feature, the lore around the creatures is what I find most interesting. Embracing both “dead” and “undead” vampires (along with mixed breeds) adds an extra bit of interest for me and I really like the spunky main character (plus her dreamy love interest). It was a quick read and lots of fun – I can’t wait to read more!
The Afterlife Handbook: A Travel Guide to Your Final Destination by Michael Powell seems to be best described as a coffee table book. It has comic style imagery of skulls wearing halos and horns, as well as witty descriptions about the culture in Heaven and Hell. Restaurant, hotel, and nightlife descriptions parody every day annoyances and because it’s laid out in small sections, always makes for a great brief reading session.
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce #1) by Alan Bradley leads the reader through a dangerous murder mystery through the eyes of an 11-year-old girl. Although, it’s not until she does something like hop on a bike do you ever think, “Why the fuck are are we on a bike? Oh, right. She’s ELEVEN.” These minor occurrences are the only indication the narrator is a child so it never really feels like a children’s story. On the contrary, this little girl is a genius chemist who deals with some rough stuff and never even seems phased by it. But then again, that could be why readers love her so much. I can’t wait to see what Flavia gets involved in next.
The Poison Eaters & Other Stories by Holly Black – I’ll be honest – at this point, I don’t really remember all of the stories. Oops. Some were more influential than others but the ones I did like, I really liked. All of the ideas were interesting and I loved that I only got a small taste of each short universe. I’d love to read longer versions of some of the stories while others I know I’d love building my story around the pre-built universe. It was a fun blend of paranormal, urban fantasy, comedy, and darkness and although the writing may not have been the most riveting, I think the ideas and the concepts are entertaining enough to hold the reader’s attention.
Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury may actually be my least favorite on the list, which makes me feel really bad. I did like the story, it was cute and fun but in an uneventful kind of way. Hills and not mountains. I guess the focus age is pre-teen to early teen, not even young adult which probably explains the feeling of…lacking. It was all about mummies, explorers, and adventurers and honestly, I probably wouldn’t mind reading a sequel, I’m just not in any rush to do it.
Bumped by Megan McCafferty was equal parts humorous and creepy. Actually, it may have been a bit more creepy. At first it was completely shocking to read about incredibly young girls being pregnant. Then as the story went on, it began to feel more normal and even reminded me at times of how our society can be. Is something like this really that far off? The internet built-in to everyone’s eyeball and young girls selling their babies to wealthy couples? Seems legit. This book was nothing but fun and an interesting look at a strange yet comparable alternate universe to our own. I loved it and can’t wait until I read the next one.
That’s the official list of 2012 for myself. I’m starting off the new year by finishing Stephen King’s Danse Macabre (which I enjoy more than any of his fiction) and a book that may already be one of my favorites – Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. I anticipate a great year for books! Happy Reading!