Happy December! I didn't blog about my October reads because a little storm named Sandy left me without my computer for two weeks. Speaking of Sandy, I hope you've checked out this AMAZING YA for NJ auction going on now. Nearly 200 authors have donated items that will benefit those most affected by Sandy. My lot includes a signed ARC of Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality (that doesn't come out until March), PLUS all my books AND a Skype chat!! There are only THREE DAYS left to bid! Such a great way to finish up that holiday shopping list!
Back to my 2012 Reading Challenge list! Fortunately, I was able to get a lot of reading done, so I'm combining October and November. Since there are a lot of books, I'm going to TRY to make it short and sweet (we know how good I am at that!). Click on the book title to get more information on the book and author!
THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER by Stephen Chbosky
I'm embarrassed to admit that I hadn't read this book before now. I really like to read books before seeing the movie, so I immediately went to see the movie the day after I finished reading the book. Both are so well done! But I'm glad I read the book first. Charlie was a heartbreakingly amazing narrator and I tore through this in one day. Brilliant!
I HUNT KILLERS by Barry Lyga
This was my book group's October pick (which I selected!). I used to be obsessed with Stephen King when I was in college. I hadn't really read any comparable YA books (with the exception of Darren Shan). But then I read this book. Wow. It is in turns creepy, funny, relatable (which makes me question my sanity), and keeps you on your toes. Just when I thought I figured everything out, Lyga would put in another twist. I can't wait for the sequel. And I will also make sure I stay on Barry's good side, that guy knows WAY too much about different ways to dispose a dead body.
WINTER WHITE: A BELLES NOVEL by Jen Calonita
It's no secret that I love Jen Calonita, my tour buddy. I devoured the first Belles novel and was excited for the sequel. It did not disappoint. Jen creates relatable characters and then basically turns their lives upside down! It's a lot of fun to watch it happen (and I'm SUPER agitated at the ending and DEMAND book #3 now!).
WONDER by RJ Palacio
WONDERful. (I should be embarrassed by this pun, but I'm not because it's true!) This was my book group's November pick. I've heard a lot about this novel and the buzz is well deserved. I've been debating about writing all the emotions that this book brought out on me, but instead I think I'll just say it made me FEEL.
THE CASUAL VACANCY by JK Rowling
Okay, let me get this out of the way first: I knew this book wasn't going to be Harry Potter. I had my expectations in check. And would I have read this book if it was written by anybody else? Probably not. I did struggle getting into it at the beginning, I read the first 300 pages then Sandy hit and I was away from the book for three weeks. I was nervous when I picked it up again, but here's the thing with JK Rowling: she creates such vivid characters and setting that I had no problem remembering who everybody was and their connection to each other (there are A LOT of characters in this book). The last 200 pages flew pretty quickly and I especially liked how everything came together in the end. I'm really glad I read it.
LOVE IN A CARRY-ON BAG by Sadeqa Johnson
Former Scholastic Colleague #1! Sadeqa and I used to work together in publicity back in the day at Scholastic. I was so excited that her debut novel came out this year. It's such a fun and poignant book about relationships, both between lovers and families. Sadeqa is such a beautiful writer, her descriptions made you feel like you were with the characters experiencing their highs and lows. And the main girl character is a book publicist so I LOVED all the little details about that (ah, memories...). Oh, this book is pretty damn sexy as well!
CRIMINAL by Terra Elan McVoy (coming in May 2013)
Former Scholastic Colleague #2!! (Did Scholastic hire super talented people or what?) I love Terra AND her books. I was so excited/surprised to hear that her next novel was going to be about a girl who gets tangled in a crime that ends in murder because of her boyfriend. It's very different from her other novels and it was such a brave choice for her. And I absolutely loved it. I read this in less than 24 hours because I had no idea (NONE) how this was going to play out. There were times I wanted to yell at the book, other times I wanted to hug it - again, it made me FEEL and that's such a huge compliment for any book. I'm so proud of Terra for this book. Put it on your 2013 list!
GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn
Don't worry, no spoilers here! I finally picked this up Thanksgiving weekend as I HATE spoilers and heard there are a bunch for this book. This book is insane. But I really liked it. It's left me thinking about it a lot. This was another book that I tore through in just a couple days, it was really hard to put down. I just read an article where Gillian talks about the ending (DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN'T FINISHED THE BOOK) and appreciate what she had to say. I personally liked how everything played out, because it was unexpected. Um, that's all I'm going to say! Definitely understand why it's making a lot of "Best Of 2012" lists!
ASK THE PASSENGERS by AS King
My book group read Everybody Sees the Ants a few months ago and I really liked it. I've been hearing a lot of people talk about her new book so I dived right in. AS King is quickly becoming one of my favorite YA authors. She writes characters who are extremely relatable even though they have their own unique experiences.
Okay! That's it for now. I've got four weeks left and six books to read to hit 50. It's going to happen. IT WILL.
Happy reading! XOXO, Elizabeth