Monday, June 15, 2015

Currently Reading 6/15/15

Finally!  An Update!

Head on over to Teach Mentor Texts or Unleashing Readers for roundups!


Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald: I liked it, it was a fun mystery that touched on some very interesting history.  There were just so many things that absolutely defied belief. ***
Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith: Nah.  It was very readable but had ALL of my novel pet peeves: redundant are repetitious writing, illogical plot points, an astoundingly selfish protagonist, and horribly one-dimentional female characters.  People being mostly boiled down to their basic bodily functions got old after a while too.  I'm all for shocking content, but not at the expense of sympathetic characters and a plot that makes sense.  **
Infandous by Elana K. Arnold:  Definitely some problems with the writing, and too many coincidences to count, but it deals with so many themes that are rarely touched on in YA lit.  ***1/2

Far Far Away by Tom McNeal: another popular book I was NOT a fan of.  SO MUCH potential but the execution didn't work for me at all.  Too many themes hinted at and then utterly dropped.  Too many drastic shifts in voice and character development.  Pacing issues throughout, and characters that SAID too much instead of showing it.  It needed an extremely deft hand to incorporate all the threads, which I don't think was present at all. **
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby: Wow.  Completely amazing.  The pacing is perfect: past information revealed at ideal times, often enough to keep you interested, not too often to feel infodumpy.  Utterly mysterious without being confusing, characters you feel you know after one page, themes rarely ever addressed in YA literature.  A strong sense of place, magical yet firmly grounded in reality at every possible step.  Just a mind-blowing read.  *****
My Heart and Other Black Holmes by Jasmine Warga:
Only half-heartedly committed to its unreliable narrator, this novel squanders important themes of mental illness for a trite and unbelievable "love conquers all" happy ending.  Shallow character development and dangling plot lines further frustrate.  **

*REREAD* The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang & Sonny Liew: Noticed a lot more of the thought that went into the storytelling this time around.  Such a fascinating "What if" on the origin of the first Asian-American superhero.  Examines racism, self-respect, family, and is a rip-roaring good tiem to boot.  ****1/2
The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg: Excellent examination on connection, art as protest, and the fine line between recklessness adn freedom.  ****1/2
Moving Pictures by Kathryn Immonen and Stuart Immonen: Ambigous and more than a little confusing, which may or may not be an advantage to the story.  Still, mysterious in the best sense of the word with the sparse dialog adding to the enigmatic characters.  Can't wait to reread. ***1/2  

Morning Glories vol. 1: For a Better Future by Nick Spencer:  So many evil boarding school YA stories, but this one is more sinister (and engaging) than most.  The plot has a lot more questions than answers, but the mystery is well introduced, and compelling characters inspire interest and sympathy. Fabulous artwork and I can't wait to read the next volume!  ****1/2
Powers: Bureau vol. 1: Undercover by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming: I liked it a lot, just wish the villains and motivations had been a bit more fleshed out.  Very adult. ***
The Woods vol. 1: The Arrow by James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas: Fabulous comic.  Imaginative and mysterious without being impenetrable.  Can't wait to read volume 2!  ***** 

Journey into Mystery Featuring the Lady Sif vol.1: Stronger than Monsters by Kathryn Immonen and Valerio Schiti: The basic story is slight, but it's fun and entertaining and Sif is a great, often underused character.  ***1/2 
Rocket Raccoon vol. 1: A Chasing Tale by Skottie Young: The art is great and fits well with the story, and I love the unique colors, but the revenge plot is tired and unoriginal.  Plus, I guess I'm just so over the talkative jerks the authors of whom thin snark makes them endearing.  ***
Black Widow vol. 1: The Finely Woven Thread by Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto: The artwork is phenomenal, especially during the fight scenes which are crystal clear, easy to follow, and super exciting.  I like the basic story, but found Natasha's narration too obvious.  I wish her character development were more showing instead of telling, although all the characters themselves are interesting and dynamic.  Hearing what protagonists think about themselves just gets old after a while.  ****


If You Find this Letter by Hannah Brencher
The Whisper by Aaron Starmer
The Last Time we Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer

Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by 
All-New Ultimates vol. 1: Power for Power by Michel Fiffe and Amilcar Pinna

Greenglass House by Kate Milford
The Dead I Know by Scot Gardner
Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman


All the Rage by Courtney Summers
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

How to Lead a Life of Crime by Kristen Miller
The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks
The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds

The Carnival at Bray by Jessie Ann Foley
Audacity by Melanie Crowder


  1. Wow! So much reading! Bone Gap, Shadow Hero, Greenglass House, Art of Asking, Dream Thieves and The 5th Wave are some of the ones that I liked the best out of those you have up there. I think I enjoyed Grasshopper Jungle a bit more than you did, but I didn't take it very seriously. I went in just riding the wave of the ridiculous over-the-topness of it.

  2. Holy Crow that's a lot of reading. I'm glad you enjoyed Bone Gap. I think it will be one of my top books for this year. Hope you enjoy Greenglass House. I look forward to reading your comments on it next week.

  3. I am reading Shadow Hero for my book club this Saturday - glad to see that you enjoyed reading it. Too bad you didn't like Grasshopper Jungle - I loved its irreverence. :)


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