What I've Read

Monday, April 29, 2013

43 Pounds

Sherri L. Smith's Orleans
Libby Bray's A Great and Terrible Beauty
This weekend I had the awesome opportunity to go with some of my friends to the Texas Library Conference at the Fort Worth Convention Center in Fort Worth, Texas. Gabi from Gabi Books It and Britney from I Eat Words trekked around the convention center where we got to meet Libba Bray, author of A Great and Terrible Beauty, Going Bovine, and The Diviners, and Sherri L. Smith author of Flygirl and Orleans. 
All. The. Books.  43 pounds of books.

It was phenomenal. I actually got to speak with Smith a bit about the inspiration for her novel Orleans,, which is where her mother was from and where she survived Hurricane Katrina.

Part of the beauty of this experience is all the books I was able to get for quite cheap/free. It being my first time at such an event, I did not adequately prepare. My shoulders ache from carrying the bags full of books.

Next year, I'm taking a suitcase.

Well, readers, I have some reading to do. Reviews coming soon!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Book Review: The Great Gatsby

The Great GatsbyThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First off, I know I will be a bit biased because I LOVE the 1920s. As far as American History goes, it is probably my favorite decade. I also have a bit of a thing for the Lost Generation participants, however, I want this to be less about Fitzgerald and more about Gatsby.

The first time I read this novel, I was a teenager and Gatsby seemed like the ultimate playboy, rich, powerful, confident, arrogant... This time around, I was able to see past his facade better. He is not so confident. In fact, he questions everything until he meets Daisy again (and don't even get me started on her). I liked Nick much better. He is a good man and a good friend who sticks with Gatsby but does not let Gatsby believe that he can behave however he wants.

It was perhaps even more delicious the second time around and Fitzgerald's writing is perfect. Nothing superfluous, nothing superficial. It is honest, clear, and human, as are his most famous characters. I have to say, I'm highly looking forward to DiCaprio's portrayal of the lovelorn New England millionaire.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Book Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty

The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1)The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really loved this book. Han really captures what it's like being a teenage girl having to deal with real issues, and what it's like to feel invisible. Albeit, Belly got irritating at times, but I think that's a teenage girl thing. Those boys are fantastic and what a great relationship they all have.

The book is not a difficult read, but it goes rather quickly, even at that. The pacing of the chapters and the speed of the book...you can almost feel the summer slipping past you. The descriptions of everything beautiful about the beach and the ocean and even the gritty sand were mesmerizing. Now I need a beach house to escape to so I can read the next two...

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Book Review: Clockwork Princess

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3)Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ok. I know people are going to hate on my rave for this book. Grumpy, curmudgeonly cynics, you have been forewarned.

I would have given it a 4, except for the Epilogue. It was divine. It has been so long since I sat in my bed, weeping for the lives and deaths of people I do not know, or who do not even exist, and somehow or another, Cassandra Clare has used fiction to restore my faith in love. Love and friendship that are truly and utterly selfless.

I love mostly how each character got his or her own time. As a reader, it is always frustrating to get little teasers about the dynamics of non-protagonists, but not to get to know them. I loved getting to know each of her flawed characters. Sarcastic Will, steady Gideon, adventurous Cecily, brave Tessa, constant and intense Jem, tiny and ferocious Charlotte, haughty Gabriel...

Mostly, Clare let me know what had happened to all these characters I've loved. I missed no significant points of the lives in which I was part.

I know this is a series I will read again and again in the future because these characters are part of me now. I love this beautiful, breathtaking story.

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Book Review: Clockwork Prince

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2)Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'll give this a 3.5 because it was not as good as Clockwork Angel, which is a solid 5. This novel, this writer, is refreshing. There is so much reality and humanity shoved into a fantastic and magical world. Tessa learns more and more about who she is, and with every decision he makes, I like and respect her even more as a heroine. While I am a bit sick of the love triangle in YA lit, there really is no other way for this story to play out. Great read!

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