2012 Reading Challenge: Don't Call It a Comeback!

Hello all! Well, last month I declared that I would read six books in August for my 2012 Reading Challenge. I didn't... I read SEVEN. BOOM! Now all I have to do is read a book a week and I'll be all set. Err... 

Since there are a lot of books this month, I'll try to be brief. Just click on the title to read a synopsis of the book. And away we go!

THE NEXT BEST THING by Jennifer Weiner

I'm a huge Jennifer Weiner fangirl. She's one of my favorite authors and I always look forward to her next best thing (I'm so punny). She's a smart, fun writer who writes about strong women. And Jennifer stands up for female writers. I loved The Next Best Thing - especially knowing the inside scoop on the book. I went to one of her readings and learned about how her work on the short-lived ABC Family show The State of George inspired it. I have friends who work in TV in Hollywood and have heard many stories about how many hands get into the creative process. This book made me very happy to be in book publishing, where it's pretty much you and your editor (who deal with the content of your book)!

THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater (coming September 18, 2012)

I adore Maggie. I loved The Scorpio Races. So I was so excited to read the first book in her new The Raven Cycle series. Holy. Crap. SO GOOD! I was riding the train when I got to this part with a twist and GASPED aloud causing people to turn around. Fortunately, security was not called. This book blended magic, legend, mystery, humor, oh, and HOT BOYS in one fast-paced, amazing read. Once you think you know what's going on, Maggie pulls the rug out from under you. But you'll love her for it. Believe me, once you finish this book you'll want to talk to someone about it immediately. (Which is the problem when you read an ARC, but luckily I knew the editor and talked his ear off about its brilliance). My only gripe with the book is that I now have to wait a year for the sequel (yep, I'm one of THOSE people). ;)

SKINNY by Donna Cooner (coming October 2012)

We all have that voice in our head. The one that bullies you. I wish I could say that I've learned to quiet that voice completely, but I haven't. It's WAY better than when I was as a teen. I found this debut novel so powerful. While the journey that the main character Ever faces may not necessarily relate to a lot of people (having gastric bypass surgery), those nagging thoughts in your head, and the self-sabotaging that we can do, will. I was so invested in Ever and her story, and cheered her along the way. I wish I had this book when I was a teen. But we have it now!


When I heard this title I immediately knew I had to read this book. Then a friend told me that it read like a John Hughes movie (which to me is the greatest compliment a book can get!!!). That sealed the deal. This book takes the reader on one crazy, hilarious adventure. Besides all the crazy items in the scavenger hunt, I think what I loved most were the characters: they were real, flawed, surprising - each with their own individual identity. Like how people are in real life! I'm glad I didn't have this book as a teen, because I'm pretty sure my friends and I would've tried to do something like that and it would've been a disaster. WITHOUT the hilarious results!

CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein

This was my book group's August selection. It has gotten pretty much every star review known to publishing. It sparked a really great book club discussion, which is all you can really ask.


My mom got really excited when she found out that I have a Les Paul electric guitar. Not because she knows anything about guitars, but because Les Paul was born in Wisconsin. So I came home this month to find this book on my bed. I opened up to read it and discovered it's for middle-grade students (ah, thanks for the hint, Mom). Besides the glossary of difficult words like "tips" and "natural," it was a great read even for this GROWN ADULT (MOM!). While I knew Les Paul's influence on electric guitars, I had no idea how much influence he had over how music is recorded today. It was a fascinating story. He left a lasting legacy for anybody who enjoys contemporary music. (I recently added the documentary Les Paul: Chasing Sound to my Netflix queue, so you might want to check that out if you're interesting in learning about this legend). 

ROCKOHOLIC by C.J. Skuse (coming in November 2012)

So this might be shocking to you, but I'm a bit of a music junkie and fangirl. Oh wait, did I say shocking, I meant OBVIOUS. So when my lovely publisher sent me an ARC of this book I knew I would love it. After all, I often think about meeting my celebrity crush and just KNOW he'll fall in love with me the moment he sees me. Duh. I was beyond obsessed with Joey McIntyre from New Kids on the Block when I was a tween. I was so grateful that I didn't meet him until I was an adult as I was totally convinced at 12 that if he met we'd be together. Forever. So in Rockoholic when Jody not only meets the rockstar of her dreams, and accidentally kidnaps him (with a candy bar - why didn't I think of that!!!!), things don't turn out exactly as she planned. I loved this book and was so excited to blurb it: "Perfect for the inner fangirl in us all. A hilarious look at what happens when fantasy and reality collide. Fast-paced, squirm-inducing, heartbreaking, life-affirming: It will make you think twice about your celebrity crushes. But not stop them. That would be crazy talk." And it would be. 

Phew! 31 books down, only 19 to go! On to September - I've got some big books I want to read so hopefully I won't fall behind...yet again.

Happy fall (wait, it's almost fall - how did THAT happen?)!

XOXO, Elizabeth