The advantage of my harvest post for this year is that I can do it right at the beginning of the year when the books are all relatively fresh in my memory. Heck, I can even start before the end of the year for ease of posting. Which is a good thing, considering that I really didn't get back to writing reviews of what I'd read until, like, eighteen books into the year. Unfortunately, as you can tell, that so didn't happen. So here we are, a few months into the new year before I get up my year-end review. I guess it's better than last year, but still . . .
- The Book Thief
I like this book. A lot. Having Death narrate a book is intriguing, to say the least, especially as the author gives death such an interesting personality. One of the elements that I particularly liked was how Death would tell you you things were going to turn out because, from his perspective, he didn't really care about saving the surprise; what was interesting to him was how the characters got to their destination. I highly recommend this book.
- Getting It
Sanchez is one of those authors who actually improves with each novel. Of course, this isn't necessarily a difficult task considering the didactic sludge we have in the Rainbow Boys series. And it's not saying that this book isn't also didactic; all Sanchez's books are didactic. But at least story is becoming more important in this Hispanic YA Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
- Attack of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies/Bride of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies
Despite my love for Hartinger, I have very little of good to say about this book. Good thing one: bringing back the flip-book is cool. Good thing two: this book doesn't suck as much as Dreamquest. Seriously. I think we're done with Russel. And though I like the flip-book with the same basic story being told from two characters' perspectives, Hartinger fails to actually give Russel and Min their own voice despite the gaping differences in their personalities. Not to sound too harsh, but I'm thinking that someone needs to spend more time revising his work and less time promoting it.
- The Higher Power of Lucky
As you may recall, I had to read this book because of the public outcry of PORN! I still think it's a rather blah book, but at least it wasn't the worst book I read in 2007.
- The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie
Still not the worst book I read in 2007, but it made a valiant effort. That's a shame, considering that I rather enjoyed Moriarty's first book, The Year of Secret Assignments.
- The Last Apprentice: Curse of the Bane
This is one of those series of books that I find myself surprised to like. Tom is the seventh son of a seventh son, which makes him special and appropriate to be an apprentice to the Spook, the man you fights evil in the form of witches and ghouls and other things that go bump in the night. The books themselves are scary, but not too much so. The writing is well paced and rather fluid. Tom is such a likable character, even when you know he's doing something that is going to create problems for him in the future.
- Skipping Toward Gomorrah: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Pursuit of Happiness in America
As far as I'm concerned, Dan Savage is a god. Okay. That's perhaps a bit of an exaggeration, but I still think he's pretty amazing. (And, yes, this is where I reveal my liberal social tendencies.) Basically, the point of this book is for Savage to explore some aspect of each of the deadly sins. He goes gambling, hangs out with swingers and gluttons, shoots guns, and even tackles gay pride. Great writing. Great one liners.
This was kid of meh. I like that the author is trying to explore transgenderism, but this book didn't grip me. Parrotfish did a much better job of that.
- American Born Chinese
Yes, I am one of those people who looks down his nose at non-traditionally formatted novels. But I'm glad I read this one because it was extremely well done. Do I think it was the best book of the year and most deserving of the Printz? No, but I do think it deserves the recognition it's received.
- Absolutely, Positively Not
At this point, all I remember about this book is that it felt like a whole lot of cliché. Oh. And I held onto it for so long after I read because I kept thinking I would blog a review about it, but then I never did and had to pay a fine at the library. That is why I get my books from the Devil's Den instead of the library—if I'm going to spend money on a book, I may as well own it.
I don't really remember much about this book, though I'm struck with the impression that I thought it was well executed.
- Confessions of a Closet Catholic
I like the idea behind this book, with a girl trying to figure out her identity within her family. Overall, though, it was just a bit lackluster.
- 7 Days at the Hot Corner
All I remember about this book was how much I disliked the protagonist and how he never came around to become a character who I could like.
- Am I Blue? Coming Out from the Silence
I like story collections. This has a couple good ones, but by and large, I remember being less-than-impressed with the collection as a whole.
- MuggleNet.com's What Will Happen in Harry Potter 7?
I read this in my buildup to the second most important day of the year. This particular book was a bit blah, but that's to be expected from a website adapted to book.
- The Titan's Curse
I still love this series. Reason One: The author made the conflict more intriguing without it seeming contrived. Reason Two: We've finally managed to find a series of books that has gotten the Boy interested in something other than dragons.
I really didn't like this book. I despised the protagonist—both because she reminds me of the protagonist in The Devil Wears Prada and because she embodies the dysfunction of the fag hag that I bitched about in regards to Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys.
- The Green Glass Sea
This book took me a while to read, but I remember really liking it. As I recall, the writing was rather beautiful, even if the story seemed to be rather slow paced.
I don't remember this book too well.
My least favorite Hartinger. But I've already mentioned that.
Hmm. Another book that I truly don't remember. Which just isn't what I'd expect from a Spinelli.
- Freak Show
I think that Theric sums it up pretty well when he says, "at any rate, nice cover."
Yay! This is back where I resolved to be better about blogging my reviews. And I have blogged all the books I've read since this one, even if the reviews show up months later. But about this book . . . Still love Hale. Still think Austenland rocks. Personally, I think this would make a far better movie than The Jane Austen Book Club
- The Straight Road to Kylie
It's a shame that I'm not fond of this book. Maybe I'll like his next book. Because I like his friends and their writing.
Yup. This book is still the start of the downfall of decent civilization.
- New Moon
And continuing the trend . . .
- The Devil and Miss Prym
As a society, we don't read enough Coelho. Just saying.
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower
I guess the advantage of writing about banned books is that said books will forever show up as popular posts to bring people to the blog. Too bad I don't really say anything to answer their questions.
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
So did you hear how they're making this book into two movies? Woo hoo!
I like Wittlinger; she tackles heavy stuff in a digestible way.
I still have happy thoughts when I think about this book. Maybe I should read it again. Because that's what you do with a good Korman book.
- Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys
Still brings up negative thoughts and memories.
That's right . . . I need to find some slash fic. I had forgotten. Because terrible things are supposed to be forgotten, even if Cedric is set to play Edward.
- Love, Stargirl
Still holding more love in my heart for Stargirl.
- Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List
Now that I've read some Cohn on her own, I can appreciate the collaboration better. I hope these two are doing another book together.
Still a good book; still not YA.
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid
I had to buy the sequel to this stupid book because the kids actually like it. There is just no accounting for taste in today's youth.
- The Nixie's Song
Hmm . . . We still need to take the kids to see the movie for the original series.
- Book of a Thousand Days
Isn't Hale just grand? Now if she'd just deliver some more Bayern . . .
- Spanking Shakespeare
At least this overly sexualized book didn't get an award like Repossessed did.
- The God Box
My favorite Sanchez by far. I can only hope he continues to get better.
- Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You
This (along with Hero and some other books I read last year) was shortlisted for some gay YA literary award. I hope it doesn't win. Really, I hope that it's Hero that wins, despite its non-YAness.
- I Am America (And So Can You!)
Just thinking about this book makes me smile.
- The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World
I'm sad that FoxyJ didn't love this book as much as I do, though she offers up some very good and valid criticisms.
Isn't it nice to know that you are not obligated to pick up an author again?
I'm trying to decide if I want to read the sequel to this book. If I do, it's because I'm more interested in the development of the supporting characters.
- Peter and the Secret of Rundoon
I'm glad this series is over. And I'm glad they ended it in an appropriate way.
- The Last Apprentice: Night of the Soul Stealer
I bought the next one in the series. I'm saving it until the weekend.
- Lost in a Good Book
What makes me sad here is that I only read 49 books last year. And not because I couldn't have read another. I intentionally didn't read The Well of Lost Plots last year because I had thought that I was already at 50 books for the year and that was an appropriate number to end with. But since I was an English major, I never learned how to count. Drat and double drat.
So my favorite books for the year would have to be The Book Thief, Skipping Toward Gomorrah, American Born Chinese, Austenland, The Devil and Miss Prym, Hero, and The God Box. I see no need to get into my least liked.