Book Hauls >> Katie’s August Reads

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For August, I want a little of everything.  I’ve thrown in some dystopian, apocalyptic, contemporary, mythology, etc. etc.  Maybe that’s what I always do.  I tend to be scatterbrained.  I also like having a different type of book to read when I finish whatever I was just reading…for two reasons.  One to give my massive brain a break, and two, so I don’t compare too critically with what I just read.  If I read Article 5 right after I read Delirium, right after I read Matched, right after I read The Hunger Games…well it would all just blend together, and I wouldn’t see the uniqueness each book brings.  Instead I would get all hissy, pissy, and I would nitpick.  You don’t want that.  So here are my August reads.  Let me know what you think!

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Pure by Julianna Baggott

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Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

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Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

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Where She Went by Gayle Forman

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The Goddess Test by Aimée Carter

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Fever by Lauren DeStefano

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The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

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Spark by Amy Kathleen Ryan

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Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Both Starcrossed and Article 5 have been reviewed by Connie here on the Readdicted Reviewers blog already, and as I have already finished one of these, I can tell you right now our tastes are definitely different.  So don’t worry, they won’t be the same.  I know you were worried there for a minute.

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Readdicted Review: If I Stay, by Gayle Foreman

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Title: If I Stay (If I Stay #1)

Author: Gayle Forman

Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction

Goodreads Book Summary:

In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck…

A sophisticated, layered, and heart-achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make, and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

Rating: 4.25 Stars

Who were the Characters?

Mia is the main character. She is a musician, probably headed toward Julliard. She is a mostly normal teenager, almost done with high school, and thrust into a horrifying and delayed moment of decision where she must choose whether to stay for her friends and family, or go and rest. She has reasons for both.

Mia’s family: each distinct, and a big part of Mia’s life
Mia’s boyfriend: a well-defined character, and a hot musician (always nice!)

I felt such a connection with her family, but I couldn’t get connected to her. Probably a personal thing. I liked everyone else, and it didn’t stop the reading process. I realize that not every character is going to be like me, and that not every character is supposed to be relatable and likeable. I loved all the sarcasm, the attitude, and the music. Her love story is beautiful, and I really liked Adam. All of the love and connectiveness that surrounds her story of growing up with her parents, their friends, and her little brother fills in the little cracks in your heart and then bursts it into little pieces over and over. But in a good way.

What’s different?

A story about death, dying, and the life of our main character. She is in the moment of decision, whether to stay or go. She is hanging in the balance, as it were. The book is outstanding, stunning, heartbreaking, poignant. It is different in its characters, its plot, its writing, and it is a great book so read it already.

What’s similar?

I don’t read a lot of contemporary fiction, especially lately, so I don’t have much to compare it to. Perhaps there are a lot of things going on in Oregon lately. But it seems to me that other than being something that takes place or could take place now, it is unique because of the storyline and the writing.

Where is the setting?

This book makes me want to move to Oregon. Which I kind of already do, but I was just in love with the setting. I was like, why do you want to go to New York? It is awesome here! Of course, that question kind of becomes moot pretty quickly. Most of the book actually takes place in a hospital in Portland, although there are a lot of flashbacks into the main character’s life as she was growing up and falling in love.

When does this story take place?

This is a contemporary piece of fiction. So now-ish.

Why do I like/dislike it?

I loved this book and I highly recommend. I don’t know if I would buy it or not, it depends on the next book in the series, which I am very excited to read. My biggest problem with this book was the layout. Besides the big horror that happens pretty quickly, it was just back and forth, present and a memory or two, then back to the present, then back in the past. It started to bore me a little, even though I was so into the story and what was going on. I began to feel like I was a record, catching and stuck, and not able to move onward.

The thing I liked the most was that the author got the horrible thing that you know is coming out of the way quickly. Then after you know what happens, you get to know the characters. Doing it this way made me cry pretty much through the entire book. It was so good though. The writing was great: the descriptions unique and well thought out, the characters were developed and real, and the past scenes were so vivid and strong.

{katie}

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Book Haul >> Katie’s July Reads

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July selections!  Because I know I’ll be hiding from the Nebraska summer heat and humidity inside where it’s nice and cool…..here’s my ambitious list for July:

(Gee….notice a theme here with the covers?  Girl sillhoutted against a dramatic scene, her back to the reader…)

The release of the fourth and final installment of the Beautiful Creatures series is in October…AND they are making a movie of this book, so I have to get on the bandwagon here and see what all the hype is about!  One book a month will get me to October and I’ll be reviewing Beautiful Redemption as soon as I can get my hands on it!

I recently happened across Lauren DeStefano’s blog…and instantly fell in love with her quirkiness and writing style.  This book wasn’t originally on my list, and I’m not sure when I will get to reviewing it, but I wanted to read it asap.  Here’s hoping her books are as awesome as she is!

I got a chance to hear Tosca Lee speak a few months back.  I’ll probably post on that sometime soon…but in the meantime, I want to read the book she signed!  And the second book just came out recently, so I’ll probably read that next month.

This book is just fracking cool (yes I’m a nerd, if you get that reference…).  It’s totally visual.  A novel told through pictures.  So yeah, I’m going to check this out from the library and see if it is something I want to own.

That’s a total of ten books.  Plus the self-published goodies I’m working on for a special August post.  Be on the lookout for what I thought of these and more in the coming weeks!