What I’ve Read – April 2011

25. Matched – Ally Condie
Lots of dystopia in YA fiction nowadays. This is set in a world where everything, what you eat, what you do, who you marry is decided by the Society. Being YA, you get told who you are going to marry when you turn 16. Cassia is told that it will be her best friend Xander, but is it or is it the other boy, Ky? I didn’t much care for the romance side of this book. I was fascinated by the world. A world where there are only 100 songs, paintings, books, poems. Where your food is delivered to you to give you exactly the nutrition you need. Where you are put to sleep when you turn 80. It’s a world designed for you so you don’t think and only do. There is a 2nd book planned so I’m guessing that this is where we’ll see the references to the fight and the sense that the Society is breaking down.

26. 13 Little Blue Envelopes – Maureen Johnson
Another Maureen Johnson! As always it was good. I was a little weirded when Ginny was in London. It’s odd to see your city described from an alien point of view. I liked this and ended up buying it (along with Anna and the French Kiss) for Taylor, who is 15. Bizarrely enough I bought Suite Scarlett for her 13 year old sister in Feb – Maureen Johnson for all the family!!

27. My Swordhand is Singing – Marcus Sedgwick
I loved this. As you probably have already worked out, I love YA but I have this gap of reading for boys, which I really need to get a grip on as I godchildren 3 and 5 are boys and I have a nephew. This was I don’t really have words. It had a real sense of menace and cold. It also doesn’t really explain anything, it just happens and you have to work it out along with Peter. Really loved it.

28. Linger – Maggie Shiefvater
I didn’t love this. This is a sequel to Shiver, which I liked enough to pick this up, I loved both Ballad and Lament but this just didn’t really do it for me. I didn’t really care what happened to the main characters. What I did like is the way that Grace’s parents who were just neglectful in Shiver, started with the heavy handed parenting and there was no resolution for that. Sometimes adults are just not nice, not villians, just selfish and blind and Stiefvater did a great conveying that!

29. City of Fallen Angels – Cassie Clare
It’s Cassandra Clare, she clearly doesn’t believe in happy endings and these characters aren’t gonna get them. Other than that and it’s going to be a while before the next book is released. It’s Cassandra Clare, it’s fast, funny, easy to read but will stand re-reading.

30. Out of the Silent Planet – CS Lewis
Time for a confession, I haven’t read the Narnia books. I know. It goes something like: Ma didn’t like them, she never bought them for us and like Star Wars, it just got overlooked. I had the Magicians Nephew read to me and the rest of my class when I was about 8 and I have a vague recollection of reading A Horse and his Boy when I was about 9 but it didn’t really stick. I haven’t read any of his theological works either. Which leads me to this. It reminds me of Brave New World. It’s so of it’s time, and he got that whole thing about space being hot really wrong!! It was interesting and I liked the idea but it felt like South Riding as science fiction to me although it was shorter and I could see what he was trying to do so not as painful.

31. Will Grayson, Will Grayson – John Green & David Levithan
Loved, loved, loved this book. I loved that being gay wasn’t the issue. There were people, they were gay, there was stuff that they had to deal with but there was nothing wrong with being gay. It was also love out loud funny, I have been quoting some it for a while now! In the acknowledgements is this: “We acknowledge that being the person God made you cannot separate you from God’s love”. Couldn’t have put it any better myself!

32. A Game of Thrones – George R. R. Martin
I really wasn’t sure about this, there has been some hype about it due to the TV series but as I don’t have a TV that shouldn’t have been a problem. However, a friend who does have a TV and has read the book, raves about it. So I started and after the first couple of chapters (which I couldn’t read with the radio on because it was too confusing!) I really got into and will be reading the others. Lots of showing, not much telling whoever says genre fiction can’t be compelling and twisty and well written needs to read this or slapping…

33. Divergent – Veronica Roth
I need to stop with the dystopia for a bit before I burn out. However, I did enjoy this one and I’m interested to see Veronica Roth is going to take it in the next one. There were moments when I had to suspend belief but it’s one I’ll be passing on to the teenagers..

There you have it. My April in book form…

About nicdempsey

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