Thursday, July 10, 2014

Summer Reading 2014

Book titles are linked to Amazon, it takes you to the format in which I read the book.
If you want more book recommendations, check out my Summer Reading List from last year.
  1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - I actually got it for my birthday in September, but didn't have time for real pleasure reading :( because of homework (I read a trashy romance novel on an occasional weekend to break up the monotony, but didn't want to read anything that I really wanted to pay attention to until I had more time and attention.) Anyway, I totally get the hype about this book! Even with the popularity I was unprepared for the awesomeness of this book. I know it is well-loved and highly popular, and John Green (and his brother, Hank, for that matter) is a totally awesome vlogger, but whoa! Just Whoa! In some ways, this book reminded me of Mick Harte Was Here by Barbara Park (RIP Barbara). Partially because I needed a proportionate amount of Kleenex while reading it, but also because I know too well, how awful it is when children die young. Not just peers of mine in high school car accidents, but from illness too. And those whom I have cared as a babysitter and as a friend. . . Okay, so the Fault in Our Stars made me miss Charyl, and not just the normal, decent, long-suffering kid things about her, but how the tumor made her short-tempered and scared of everything and honest to the point of rudeness. Just like Caroline in the book. And the meds made her puffy like Hazel.
    It also reminded me of A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby, and also this really cheesy teen romance novel I read when I was 15 (I remembered the title - I'll Be Seeing You by Lurlene McDaniel) and "Clouds" by Zach Sobiech, and Heartsongs by Mattie Stepanek. And basically it just reminded me that life is short and we need to just live. Also, thank you John Green for not ending in the middle of a sentence in that overly dramatic fashion favo
  2. The Handbook for Dragon Slayers by Merrie Haskell - Very Witty and Well-written! Not what I expected at all! Technically, this is a middle-grade fiction novel.
  3.  He Loves Lucy by Susan Donovan - I love how the heroine is overweight and struggles with real-life issues.
  4. The Naked Marquis by Sally MacKenzie - I love all the Naked books! Hilariously irresistible!
  5. Learn Me Good by John Pearson - I reread this book every summer! It is a fictionalized account of a teacher's first year teaching, written in the form of emails to his former coworker at Heat Pumps Unlimited.
  6. A Little Bit Wicked by Victoria Alexander - A pretty typical regency-ish romance. I found myself bored with the long monologues they had in their heads.
  7. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black - An interesting take on the YA Vampire genre. I could hardly put it down! Riveting action and introspective reasoning. Way better than Twilight - although this is definitely a Young Adult novel - it is pretty gory.
  8. Learn Me Gooder by John Pearson - The Sequel! Just amusing as the first, but more introspective.
  9. The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson - A post-apocalyptic world set in Brazil. I really wanted to like this book, and for the first 2/3 I found it really difficult to connect with the characters, their world, and their technology. I actually wanted to put it down and walk away, but, then, something changed and I found myself unable to put it down. I both hated and loved this book, which, in a sense, is a good tribute to the book.
  10. Divergent by Veronica Roth -  Quite well-written. Truly riveting and thought-provoking. Reminiscent of The Giver (with just a dash of Hunger Games, a pinch of Logan's Run, and a hint of Ender's Game).  I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. 
  11. Burning Up by Susan Donovan - Steamy and sticky. Well developed characters and an intriguing plot. Not your typical high school reunion/caring for a sick relative romance novel! 
  12. A Noble Groom by - Excellent Christian Romance set in MICHIGAN the same year as the Great Thumb Fire. It is very well written! I really enjoyed getting to know these characters and I was sad to leave them behind after finishing the book. Part of what is striking is the historical accuracy that is beautifully described. I've done a lot of research on this time period (in my favorite State!) and it is done well in this book. 
  13. Insurgent by Veronica Roth - Whoa! I know this is a sequel in a trilogy, but it did not read like a sequel.  It felt like a stand-alone. There is just enough of a cliffhanger to intrigue me for the next one.
  14. Allegiant by Veronica Roth - Ugh! I did not like the final book in this series.  I feel like Roth did not effectively switch to a different voice for Tobias from Tris (who narrates both other books). Maybe, because most authors at the very least use a different font when switching characters, and she didn't even do that, but even without that, I shouldn't have had to keep consciously thinking about whether it was Tris or Tobias "thinking," and I did. A lot. I also really didn't like where she took the characters. Some of them completely changed their personality and others just lost theirs.  I don't really want to say more because I try not to spoil the plot, but I pretty much hated this book. It also felt a little deadline-rushed.
  15. The Kitchen Witch by Annette Blair - Cute contemporary romance. The characters are witty and likeable. It reminded me a bit of Janet Evanovich's early romances (Like this one.)
  16. Kiss of the Moon by CRGangell on Wattpad - I LOVE this world and the fascinating take on WereCulture. WARNING for numbers 16-24: Adult situations and violence (some of it has trigger warnings and the sex descriptions are borderline erotica and quite graphic) Also, the author is Australian, and even though the stories sometimes take place in the USA, the slang and spelling is usually Aussie.
  17. Terri and Becky (how they meet) by CRGangell- f/f love story - normally not my thing, but, I'm attached to the world.
  18. Touch of the Wolf by CRGangell - Lots of romance! ;)
  19. Freedom of Flight by CRGangell - TRIGGER WARNING - kidnapping story
  20. Bound by Pride by CRGangell - This one also needs a Trigger Warning  - Abuse situations
  21. Guarded Hearts by CRGangell - This one is really heartbreaking!
  22. Split in Time by CRGangell - Fascinating Time-travel/alternate reality story
  23. Coming of Age by CRGangell - I wish the Triplets hadn't grown up so fast, but this one is still pretty cool.
  24. Winds of Change by CRGangell - I've read all that is written so far! I'm pretty sure this one is my favorite book of hers so far!
  25. Forgiving And Learning To Love: An Amish Christian Romance by Melanie Schmidt - EXACTLY what the title says, and it is a novella. I was desperate for something to read and it was free on amazon.
  26. His Bonnie Bride by Hannah Howell - pretty typical Highland romance, I read it a week and a half ago and can't really remember anything specific.
  27. Call Me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth Phillips - I have read this before, but it had been awhile, and I LOVE SEP's books. Never are they just a romance novel, but filled with deep characters and rich experiences.  This book is a bit of a reunion for some much-beloved characters, including the main protaginists!
  28. First Lady by Susan Elizabeth Phillips - Yep, I'm on a SEP kick right now! This book features the runaway bride at the beginning of CMI see 27 as a young teenager, and features the love story of her parents, and really the love story of her and her parents forming a family.  My favorite character is Mabel (who is really an RV.)
  29. The Great Escape by Susan Elizabeth Phillips - I LOVE that the majority of this book takes place in my home state! The characters are just as awesome as any other SEP book. I'm especially fond of Toby. 
  30. What I Did for Love by Susan Elizabeth Phillips -  Has some really funny scenes, but, the characters were harder for me to connect with, I think this is my least favorite SEP book. If it were any other author, I think I would be like "WOO-HOO THIS BOOK IS AMAZING!" but, being SEP, I was slightly disappointed."
  31. Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips - The very first SEP book I ever read! And it was just as good as the first time I read it, after all, it starts out with a headless beaver walking down the road!
  32. Zombie Baseball Beatdown by Paolo Bacigalupi - Excellent middle-grade novel! I LOVE that the narrator is an American Mutt (his words) half Indian (from India) and half European Hienz-57 (my words), his best buddies are a Mexican-American and a blonde, white kid from a broken home. Not your typical zombie-novel heroes. My favorite part of this book is that it has Zombie Cows in addition to Zombie people!
  33. Rocket Boys (up next)
  34. Dragonflight (currently reading)
  35. Three more in the line-up!

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