One Quarter Down, Three to Go

First quarter of the year down and I’ve finished 48 books (I have also given up on more books than normal because my tolerance for lousy books is shrinking). I’ve linked to the ones I’ve reviewed.

Drought by Pam Bachorz – Surprisingly good; not a bad way to launch 2011.




Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer – Just as good as the first, I think, but frankly I was having a hard time recalling some of the details of the first one. I should take a hint from Bart and stop reading series before the whole set is out.




Split by Swati Avasthi – What can I say? I’m a sucker for a problem novel. Especially a really good one like Split.




Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick – So funny and sweet and perfect. This book gave me hope for good reading in 2011.




What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen – Another winner by Sarah Dessen. I swear, that woman is magic.




Countdown by Deborah Wiles – It is not a good sign when you prefer the images 100000x more than the story line. Every time it returned to the plot, I was unpleasantly surprised.




Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen – I’m a big fan of the Luxe books, but this book was so silly. I will not be reading the rest of them. I have such low tolerance for willfully dumb characters.




At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson – I really loved this book, even if half of it just seemed like an excuse to share randomly fascinating trivia on the author’s part.




Bitter Melon by Cara Chow – I love any book that talks about speech and debate. Even ones that aren’t particularly great books.




Stolen: A Letter to my Captor by Lucy Christopher  – This book dragged on for. ever.




After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick – Even better than the first. I am in love with these books.




June Bug by Chris Fabry – What an odd book. And all the references to it being like Les Mis just compounded the weirdness.




Room by Emma Donoghue – This book was just so brilliant.




The Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Francisco X. Stork – I really expected this book to be terrible. And so when it was merely average, I was pleasantly surprised.




Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool – Such a great choice for the Newbery. I loved this book.




Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating by Mark Bittman – This book was really the one that made me want to change our eating habits.




Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen – Not bad, although kind of silly.




Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford – Look, I’m just not going to try any more books by this author because they don’t work for me. My apologies.




Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly – Better than I’d expected. Sad and quirky.




Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry – This book was too much of an agenda book (the agenda being to teach the skills of storytelling/writing). Snore.




Hold Still by Nina LaCour – Quite wonderful writing but a really dark storyline.




The Things a Brother Knows by Dana Reinhardt – This book was terrific. It started a little much for me, but really came together by the end.




The Girl Who Was on Fire edited by Leah Wilson – Still marveling over how great this book was.




A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck – This was the most utterly bizarre book. Nothing happens.




Notes from the Midnight Driver by Jordan Sonnenblick – My favorite of his books so far. I laughed myself silly.




Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze by Alan Silberberg – I wanted to love this, but I just didn’t.




Gossamer by Lois Lowry – Lois Lowry’s books are just all over the place. This one was weird.




Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner – Read this for bookclub and thoroughly enjoyed it.




You Wish by Many Hubbard – Completely unmemorable except for when the Ken doll came to life and wouldn’t stop kissing his biceps.




The False Princess by Eilis O’Neal – I love a sweet, clean, clever fantasy book.




Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart – Brilliant. Read this.




Sing Me to Sleep by Angela Morrison – This book made me cringe. Seriously, everything about it horrified me, from the completely dysfunctional relationships to the way that characters didn’t recognize things that were not only staring them in the face but BEATING THEM OVER THE HEAD.




Where She Went by Gayle Forman – My feelings about this sequel to If I Stay were all over the place.




Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin – I prefer Nancy Werlin’s contemporary books.




When the Stars Go Blue by Caridad Ferrer – Completely went off the rails at the end.




Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly – This book was published about sixty years ago and is still in print. Somehow, NOTHING HAPPENS IN IT. And I mean nothing.




My Antonia by Willa Cather – Reading this in conjunction with Seventeenth Summer meant that I was reading two books simultaneously where absolutely nothing happened. Not one thing.




Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan – Another YA book about photography. Pretty good.




Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay – A good basis for a story that could really have benefited from a different format of storytelling.




Forget You by Jennifer Echols – This book was truly terrible. I cannot stand books where the only way the plot holds together is by people being so insanely dense that they can’t see the truth right in front of them.




Skipping a Beat by Sarah Pekkanen – Pretty good. Much better than the recent Emily Griffin books, that’s for sure.




Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly – Some really really fantastic moments combined with parts that draaaaaaaaggggggggged. Took me a good six weeks to get through the audiobook.




This Girl is Different by JJ Johnson – I am not unbiased, but ugh, do I get annoyed by the stereotypes of homeschoolers.




The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michale Pollan – And NOW I get why this is a bestseller.




Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt – Best book of the quarter. I love Gary Schmidt so very much.




Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher – First Chris Crutcher. Weird, but good.




Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott – I quite liked her first couple of books. The last two or three have been nails-on-chalkboard irritating.




Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks – Fantastic historical fiction. I was surprised by how much I loved this book, although after all the good things I’ve heard about Geraldine Brooks over the years, I shouldn’t have been.




And if you’d like a printable copy of this list that you can take to your library or screenshot on your phone for easy access, just pop in your email address below and it’ll come right to your inbox!

By the way, that last book was one I read for BlogHer’s new bookclub, which I’m really excited to be part of.

And, the giveaway over here for the Slim-Fast prize pack is still going on if you happen to enjoy free things.

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  1. Once again I thank you for providing me with my library request list for the next few months! Where would my "to read" list be without you??

  2. wow. i'm on my 9th book of the year and i thought i was doing well! i just made a goodreads account so i can keep track of my reading better. i get my ya recommendations from your blog!

  3. I never finished Forget You. I couldn't stand the main character, whose name I have forgotten. I didn't get why she was so stubborn about the guy she was fixated on when they guy she "hated" was so much better.

  4. Looks like more misses than hits this time. Maybe you're just getting more discerning having read so many YA books.

    Neither of the libraries I have access to has the Gary Schmidt book. Ugh!

  5. This is a great go-to list for what to read in this summer. I am sorry you didn't love Milo as much as me.

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