My 2012 Reading Challenge: The Name Drop Edition

Hello all! As some of you may remember, my new years resolution was to read 50 books this year. I started off pretty well: three books in January and three in February. And then in March, I read, um, one book. Yikes! I was on deadline for most of March. And while it is possible for me to read while on deadline, the last thing I can handle after 10-12 work days is sitting down with a book. Usually I curl up on my sofa (or under my desk) and let that glowing box called TV entertain me. BUT! I'm happy to report that I was able to read FIVE books in April (thank you Take a Bow tour and your many flights)! I'm making a comeback! So without further ado, my March and April reads. (Click on the individual book title for the author's webpage and synopsis of book). 

THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins

This was my one March read, or more appropriately, reread. I first read this book years ago (before the book even came out) and LOVED IT. I've wanted to reread it for a long time, but haven't gotten around to it. So with the movie coming out, I knew I wanted to read it again. I got surprised with an invite to a screening, so I didn't have a chance to read the book before seeing the movie. And I'm glad I didn't. While I remembered so much of the book, I ended up enjoying the movie without comparing it so closely to the book. So then I read the book and watched the movie again. (Yep, I'm a HUGE Hunger Games fangirl and Team Peeta, obviously!) I love this book so much and (name drop alert!) Suzanne Collins is one of the nicest people, so I'm EXTRA happy for all of the success of the book and movie. I'm hoping to get to revisit Catching Fire and Mockingjay this year as well.

THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater

I've wanted to read this book since I heard Maggie read a teaser last spring at Scholastic (name drop #2!). This book is astonishing and several times I thought, "Yep, that Printz honor sticker so belongs on this book!" First, Maggie created such a well-founded world that was in turns familiar and foreign. Yet, I resonated with the characters and their different challenges and wants. And then there's the action! There were times I was literally holding my breath wondering what was going to happen. I really wanted to close my eyes toward the end, but that would've been hard since I needed to, you know, READ the book. And it had humor in just the right places. Oh, and it really made me want to eat sticky buns. And since I haven't named dropped enough yet (just you wait!), I got to go on tour with Maggie in Texas and we had a blast (read her tour blog here). She has officially become one of my favorite people EVER. 

CONFESSIONS OF AN ANGRY GIRL by Louise Rozett (coming August, 28, 2012)

One of the many cool things about being an author is that you get asked to read books coming out for a possible blurb. I've only been able to do this a couple of times due to pesky deadlines, but when my friend TS told me about this book I wanted to read it from the title alone! It did not disappoint. I found myself laughing, cheering on the main character, and nodding a lot while reading this book. I think the blurb I gave sums up my feelings best: "Confessions of an Angry Girl gives readers a refreshingly honest character with Rose, a smart, sassy heroine with heart. You'll cheer Rosie on through the many ups and downs of Freshman year: first crushes, loss, and just trying to fit in. Louise Rozett delivers a debut novel that is in turns sweet, heartbreaking, and empowering."

I was given the green light to share the cover with you (LOVE IT).


I love Sarah (name drop #3!). I was so excited when I found out she was doing a middle grade series that mixed up well-loved fairy tales. The first one takes on Snow White. I was cracking up while reading this book. It is hilarious, and adorable, and clever -- everything I love in a good book! I don't have it pictured above because I was on the road and gave it to a middle school librarian after I finished reading it. It's so important to (legally!!) share book you love! 

THE STORY OF US by Deb Caletti

I was on a panel with Deb at the Texas Library Association (name drop #4!) and was given her newest book before our panel. I found myself stopping myself a few times while reading this book and studying how Deb lets the story unfold (it appeared seamless, but I know there must've been a lot of work involved). I always try to take note when I'm awed by an author's storytelling ability and I'll hopefully be a better writer for it (I learned a lot from ALL these books). 

PURITY by Jackson Pearce

So...I'm going on the road with Jackson this weekend (ding! ding! ding! Name drop OVERLOAD!). I was looking forward to reading Purity since I've heard so much about it. I devoured it in two sittings. I'm so impressed with how Jackson was able to tackle a very personal topic, losing your virginity, with such wit, humor, and sensitivity. What makes this extra impressive is that fact that this is a pretty big departure for Jackson (who's previous novels, Sisters Red and Sweetly, have been best described as "twisted" fairy tales). I'm looking forward to seeing what's next from her!

Phew! So that was March and April. Can I just say, how cool is my job that I get to hang out with these authors and get to read books before they come out? Let me answer that: VERY.

As I'll be on the road, I'll hopefully get more reading done in May. I still have a lot of catching up to do. But fortunately (?), I have a HUGE to-read pile waiting for me to dive in.

Happy reading!

XO, Elizabeth