Busy Busy Book Bee

 

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of book reading (yay vacation!!). True to my previous post, I finished Unwholly by Neal Shusterman before going on vacation. Once I finally got going, I enjoyed it, granted not as much as Unwind but such is burden of being the second book in a series. Starkey (the new power hungry bully) was just too much like Roland for my taste and he didn’t have any redeeming scenes throughout the whole book (unlike Roland). I am disappointed at Starkey’s inevitable appearance in Unsouled – boo, hiss! However, I am really excited to continue the journeys of Connor, Risa, Lev and even Cam.

So Unwholly was my pre-vacation read. Panic by Lauren Oliver and Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins were my active vacation reads. The Giver by Lois Lowery was my post-vacation read. I debated how best to approach this entry: Should I separate it in to two author event posts with an additional review post? Should I leave it all as one lump sum? To take it a step further, do I write about the author events chronologically or in the order I read the books? Especially tricky since I read Panic well after I read Anna and French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins but before Lola AND I met Stephanie Perkins before I saw Lauren Oliver for a third time #firstworldproblems for sure.

Enough chatter! A few months ago, I met Gayle Forman (author of Just One Day) and Stephanie Perkins at none other than the Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, GA. Just One Day had been a previous book club pick which I surprisingly enjoyed given my usual taste in YA books. I haven’t read Just One Year yet but it is on my to-read bookshelf by my bed!! Paired with Ms. Forman was Stephanie Perkins, a delightfully perky, colorfully dressed, young adult romance author. I loved her unabashed approach to writing romance novels – there is nothing wrong with writing (or reading) happy books!!

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Something about Perkins stuck with me and I bought both Anna and Lola on a whim. I finally read Anna after I finished sobbing over The Book Thief when I was clearly in desperate need of a happy book. My initial reaction was ‘not bad’! I decided to save Lola for a future pool/beach read hence bringing it along on my cruise. I liked Lola more than Anna, I guess I’m a secret sucker for a next door romance, though that could be attributed to my own failed relationship with my neighbor in high school. Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna #3) has been added to my to-read list, I am just waiting for paperback publication and another situation which calls for a cheerful novel. Let me add that I love the new covers to Ms. Perkins’ novels!!

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Next! I met Lauren Oliver (again) a few weeks ago at Little Shop of Stories (do I meet authors anywhere else these days??) for the Harper Collins Story Crush Tour. It was Panic’s book birthday! I have been a fan of Oliver’s for a few years now, falling in love with the Delirium series and sobbing over Before I Fall. Panic was Oliver’s return to realistic fiction as high school seniors complete in a series of fear based challenges to win money so they can escape their middle of nowhere, dead end town. While I liked Oliver’s multi-dimensional characters, I longed to see an even darker side of Dodge, a further peek into the psyche of a teenager poised to commit murder. I will continue to follow Oliver’s work and stalk her across southeastern bookstores.

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Lastly! Somehow I made it to the ripe old age of 28 never having read The Giver – this despite all my dystopian reads!! My book sharing by mail friend Kelley sent me The Giver a few months ago, she never lets me down with her recommendations, or hand drawn pictures of the sorting hat. I read The Giver in one sitting Wednesday night, just incredible and what an ending. I promptly watched the movie trailer afterward and just terrible…. Speaking of page to premiere (check out their social media presence for all your novel to movie transition needs!), I think I’ll finally be seeing Divergent this afternoon!

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What to read next?? I am thinking of mixing it up by visiting the adult fiction section and reading Fledgling by Octavia Butler, another gift from my best book buddy Kelley. As far as the Not-So-YA Book Club is concerned, I missed out on the March book More Than This by Patrick Ness due to cruising. Our April book is The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski (I can’t afford to start another triology ahhhh!!!).

 

Bookish Update

Just a quick update on my latest reads!

Following the intensity of Unwind by Neal Shusterman, I read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline at Mark’s suggestion. Mark has read a few of my books (The Book Thief, Feed, The Magicians) and I decided it was high time I returned the favor. Mark went on and on about Ready Player One for quite awhile which is kind of rare for him. All I can say is good choice Mark! Ready Player One is a fantastic futuristic adventure encompassing an obsession with the 1980’s, specifically vintage video games, and a quest a holy grail of sorts, with some unconventional bonds of friendship and a love story thrown in for good measure.

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After RPO, I started Unwholly but stopped because one of the new characters seemed like a carbon copy of a deceased character from Unwind and I was a bit turned off by the redundancy. However, after a month long break (whoops!) I have picked Unwholly back up and am ready to make peace with the new character – so far so good!

In between RPO and Unwholly, I read the brief e-novella Dangerous Dream by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, which is a bit of a prequel to the upcoming novel Dangerous Creatures. Garcia and Stohl are the lovely pair who brought us the Beautiful Creatures series. I’ve discussed my feelings about e-books before, especially e-novellas that fall in between novels –> I don’t like them!! They are too short, I have to buy them on my iphone (I don’t own an e-reader), hence they are hard to read (I’m old!!) and then they are usually added to the hardback copies of the following novel in the series so it’s like buying the short story twice. That said, Dangerous Dream was a sweet (a la Ridley) taste of what’s to come in Dangerous Creatures and I am certainly excited to be visiting Gatlin again!

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Last week I finished re-reading Fangirl. Let me just say I love love love Rainbow Rowell (as if I haven’t sung her praises enough already, which by the way is impossible!). I can not get enough of Rainbow or Cath, Levi, Reagan and Wren, or Eleanor and Park for that matter!! Let me live in your world!! Obsessed. Enough said.

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Back to Unwholly! I’m about a quarter of the way through and I hope to finish by the time I leave for my cruise next week. My cruise reads include Panic by Lauren Oliver and Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, these books being the only things I have packed… More entries to come after vacation including my 3rd author encounter with Lauren Oliver and an older author encounter with Stephanie Perkins (and Gayle Forman)!

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