Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3) by Suzanne Collins: I’ll be upfront and say I don’t have as deep a relationship with this series as most. I don’t remember much of what happened in the first book, and I put this book on hold with no real urgency. Mostly, I wanted to read it before the spoilers proliferated the blogosphere, but, you know, whenever the book came available is when I would read it. Which is what I did.
I know a lot of people were disappointed with this book, but I actually liked it. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been reading so many war narratives this year or what, but I thought this was an excellent book about the effects of trauma as well as how much war sucks and that there are no real winners in a war.
I found myself much more interested in the focus on rhetoric in this book, even though I know it was a large part of the other books as well. Also, I have to be honest, that as someone who loves Peeta, this was a hard book to read. PEETA. Peeta, I love you so. Poor dude.
YA Reading Challenge: 30/75
My Double Life by Janette Rallison: I found this book to be a bit of a disappointment, especially because the premise is so strong. Basically, there was too much romance and not enough family/friendship. I was way more interested in how Alexia would relate to her family (new and old) but Rallison went with the boy angle. So. Yeah.
YA Reading Challenge: 31/75; POC Reading Challenge: 22/15
Alvin Ho Collection: Books 1 and 2: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things and Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters by Lenore Look: We listened to this on audiobook and, lo, it is AWESOME. Alvin Ho is a great character. He’s funny and smart and, yes, afraid of everything. He has an awesome best friend who wears an eyepatch and has a bad leg, but her real crime is being a girl. His older brother and younger sister provide him no end of amusement or grief depending on the circumstances, and his quest to fit in and not be so darned scared all the time is where most of the comedy comes in. The narrator of the books is Everette Plen, and he is FANTASTIC. We really enjoyed listening to these two books and will be passing the Alvin Ho joy to my daughter’s younger cousins.
POC Reading Challenge: 23/15
Played by Dana Davidson: Stylistically, I had a lot of issues with this book. Some of the dialogue was stilted, there were some scenes I didn’t get, and it got totally preachy at times (Virginity: It is special). But. BUT. This book totally got me in the gut. I don’t know if it was my overidentification with Kylie and her need to be wanted/liked or just the fact that the characters and their situation was so heartbreakingly realistic, but I found myself worrying about Kylie when I wasn’t reading the book and hoping everything would work out okay for her. Which I knew it couldn’t, really, but I just wanted it to!
Also, I found the ending pretty satisfying, and considering all the ways in which I was prepared to hate everything about it, that’s saying a lot. Stupid Ian and his stupid need to fit in. GAH.
YA Reading Challenge: 32/75; POC Reading Challenge: 24/15
The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #2) by Rick Riordan: We attempted to listen to this on audiobook but had to let that dream go because, as previously mentioned, the narrator is really annoying. So! I read this one, and I actually liked it more than the first. I thought the pacing was good, I loved the new characters introduced, and I also enjoyed how Riordan managed to fold in a whole! new! quest! without just replaying the first novel over again. Nicely done. I’ve already started the third book.