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Possible spoiler alert for anything.



january ;


1. Incredibly Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
young adult | realistic fiction | 278 pages
January 6

Yet another Alice book. I literally cannot stop reading these, despite the fact that I can't really point to a whole lot in them that's outstanding. And I miss the priest.
2. Sita's Ramayana by Samhita Arni
juvenile | mythology | 151 pages
January 6

Really gorgeous art and also if you tell a story from the women's point of view, I will love you. Plus, Trijataaaaaa.
3. After the First Death by Robert Cormier
young adult | realistic fiction | 275 pages
January 6

Doesn't spare our feelings throughout the whole book, even in the end. I appreciate that a lot.
4. Little Blog on the Prairie by Cathleen Dovitt Bell
young adult | realistic fiction | 274 pages
January 7

This was basically cut out to be your standard romp through YA literature, but it actually turned out to have a little substance. Not a lot, but a little bit. That was nice.
5. One More River by Lynne Reid Banks
young adult | realistic fiction | 243 pages
January 13

Once again, Lynne Reid Banks attempts to prove to me that she is probably the most versatile author ever. This time, we get a spoiled Jewish girl who moves to Israel. Once again, we get a good story and a lot to think about and I fall a little more in love with Lynne Reid Banks.
6. The Rehearsal by Eleanor Catton
young adult | realistic fiction
January 20

A great writing style that nevertheless had me guessing as to what was really going on and what was just in people's heads (which was the point). I really, really liked this. My only problem was that in the beginning one of the two viewpoints dragged considerably in comparison to the other. But it picked up by the end.


february ;


7. The Death Cure by James Dashner
young adult | future fiction
February 5

I read a review that basically said that what Dashner does well is world building and what he does poorly is character development. This is very true. What kept me reading and interested in this series was the world building. What made me disappointed about this conclusion to the series was the lack of insight into the characters.
8. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
young adult | realistic fiction
February 21

Oh, another teeanger-with-terminal-illness book. Why do I continue to read these? I don't know. This was a good one, though. John Green knows what he's doing. I enjoy snarky, well-read teens even if they're a bit out of the ordinary. Because teenagers with terminal illnesses are also something out of the ordinary. And I like snark.


march ;


9. Variant by Robinson Wells
young adult | realistic fiction/science fiction
March 8

This book. This book. The ending. I don't know. I couldn't put this down and I thought the world building went well and I really wanted to know what was going to happen next and the unanswered questions didn't bother me as much as they did in Dasher's books. But I am reserving complete judgement until I read the sequel.
10. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
young adult | future fiction
March 13

This is a good book but some interesting expansion to the world occurs.
11. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
young adult | future fiction
March

This is a less good book.
12. Framing Innocence by Lynn Powell
adult | nonfiction
March

This was good. I'm biased by the author, but regardless it was still a really interesting read.
13. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
young adult | future fiction
March

This is the least-good book in the bunch.
14. The Reunion by K. A. Applegate
juvenile | realistic fiction/science fiction
March

This is good. Marco.
15. The Conspiracy by K. A. Applegate
juvenile | realistic fiction/science fiction
This parallels the previous book in really interesting ways and shows to what extent Jake is ruled by his emotions even if he doesn't want to be.


april ;


16. Out of Sight Out of Time by Ally Carter
young adult | realistic fiction
April 1

The last of the Gallagher Girl books. I guess it's time. I'm sad to see this series go, though, largely because Joe Solomon/Rachel Morgan hasn't happened yet. In my head, though. Now that we know Cammie's father is dead for sure. Frankly, I liked the earlier books better. Too much plot that I didn't care about in these later books. Which is a weird comment to make, I know.
17. A Little Less Girl by Tess Oliver
young adult | realistic fiction
April 4

Where do I start with this book? At first, I was okay with it. Then I started getting aggravated. Then I got really aggravated. The lead female is beautiful. Gorgeous. Fine, I can deal with that. It's annoying, and it's really annoying to have the lead male talk about it all the time, but give me a good plot and I'll overlook her perfections. Beautiful people do exist. The real problem was that her cousin—the dead girl, and her literary foil—was fat. This was a semi-major plot point. She was overweight and possibly that's why she killed herself. Oh, and the lead male did not return her affections. On the other hand, the lead male totally went for her gorgeous cousin who he barely knew. Yes, that's a good message that we're sending right there.
18. Fear by Micahel Grant
young adult | realistic fiction/science fiction
April 8

Okay, I admit that I was annoyed by the glimpses that we got into the world outside the FAYZ. Part of the allure of the whole setup is that we don't know what's going on outside. Does the rest of the world still exist? Do they know what's happened? There's speculation, but nothing concrete. Getting something concrete annoyed me a little because it did away with all of that speculation. But I trust Michael Grant, so I went with it. And by the end, I have to say, having the real world out there is a good thing. It's just making things worse in the FAYZ. Which is basically the whole point of this series. Also, Diiiiannnnnaaaaaa. I will never stop loving you oh man I wish these books were only about you. Caine, I don't know, I go back and forth on him, whatever. BUT DIANA YOU ARE AMAZING.
19. Girl Meets Boy edited by Kelly Milner Halls
young adult | realistic fiction
April 11

This was okay. Some of the stories I really liked, some less so. The pair with the girl whose brother was gay was really good and it was interesting to read about how those two stories were written.
20. The Separation by K. A. Applegate
juvenile | realistic fiction/science fiction
April

I am not apologetic. I have always liked this book. Then I found out that it's the last Rachel book that K. A. wrote (I think I got that fact right) and that makes the whole thing even more interesting. People are annoyed by the fact that this is a classic sci-fi plot and also annoyed by the fact that the events in this book are never brought up again, but I think it's an interesting exploration of Rachel's character. The other major gripe that people have with this book is that neither Nice Rachel and Mean Rachel don't really add up to Rachel at all. But I think that was the point. These were aspects of her. The real Rachel transcends all of that, but you have these little bits making up part of her. That said, this is a sort of weird place for K. A. to stop writing for Rachel. And then we could get into the fact that Rachel stops narrating when things get really interesting for her character. I digress.
21. The List by Siobahn Vivian
young adult | realistic fiction
April 26

This was an interesting premise. It took me a while to differentiate all the various character sin my head, but eventually I got it. I loved the anorexic girl. Very good look at her psychology. That's about all I have to say.


may ;


22. The Illusion by K. A. Applegate
juvenile | realistic fiction/science fiction
May 3

This book seriously traumatized me when I was younger. The torture. SO MUCH TORTURE. I think I read it once and then said, “NEVER AGAIN.” But it came up in one of the Animorphs re-reads that's going on, and since I had such a visceral reaction of, “DON'T READ THAT BOOK,” I figured that I had to read it. It was not as bad as I remembered (other stuff happens besides Tobias getting tortured, when in my head literally all that happens is Taylor torturing Tobias) but it was still prtty bad.
23. The Mutation by K. A. Applegate
juvenile | realistic fiction/science fiction
May 5

I didn't remember the plot for this one at all. Now that I've read it, I wish I could forget the plot. Really not good. I spent the whole book sort of gaping at it asking myself what I was reading. It was weird. And messes with the world building. And weird. And really should not be a part of the series. Worse than the buffa-human. Worst book ever, I would say, just because what happens MAKES NO SENSE. Them having to work with Visser 3 was the only thing that makes this book worthy of having “Animorphs” written on its cover.
24. Thumped by Megan McCafferty
young adult | future fiction
May 8

I read the first one a while ago, so I admit that I'd sort of forgotten what happened. I remembered most of it, though, and this was a pretty satisfying follow-up. The stuff with Harmony's fiance was cool. I want more Jessica Darling.
25. Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross
young adult | realistic fiction/fantasy
May 13

Who doesn't know the story of Bluebeard? This was obvious to me as soon as the guy walked in and had blue hair. Come on now. So the whole plot line with Bluebeard and the locked room and the key really did nothing for me. Also the whole love triangle of doom was annoying. But I did like the secondary characters a lot. A very interesting 'verse, this.
26. The Realm of Possibility by David Leviathan
young adult | realistic fiction
May 14

It turns out I read this once before. In that review I said it was nice but that I'd probably never read it again. Indeed, I had forgotten it completely and so this read was like reading it for the first time. My reaction is pretty much the same. Cute, interlocking stories are interesting even if they remind me of Spoon River, and thats all.
27. The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
young adult | realistic fiction/science fiction
May 19

This had so much potential. Unfortunately, this potential was not fulfilled. I sort of hated the girl narrator. And the plot lines! The plot lines that were picked up and dropped like no tomorrow! WAS THE BEST FRIEND PREGNANT OR NOT??? WE WILL NEVER KNOW.
28. The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi
young adult | future fiction
May 27

This was a really good book, so good that I can be really picky about the things that I didn't like. First of all, the main character was hard for me to like. I kept reading because the story was good and because I was excited to see a half-Chinese character, but I really didn't sympathize with her viewpoint on life nor did I respect her actions. I'm not sure why I didn't like her but was okay with Lyra. Maybe because Lyra was younger? I don't know. The other thing I had some problems with was the end. I'm not sure how it could have ended in a better way, but it just seemed a bit too neat. Overall, though, fantastic. Great world building. Great.


june ;


29. Bird by Bird by Anne Lemott
adult | non-fiction
June 7

Not bad. I'm not sure why I've started searching out so many reading materials giving advice about writing. I guess it's because I'm trying to put off actually writing because none of them ever say anything that i don't already know.
30. The Year of Living Biblically by A. J. Jacobs
adult | non-fiction
June 16

This was pretty good. Funny at times and an interesting look at some obscure parts of the Bible and, more importantly, some of the reasons behind those obscure parts' oddities. It's sort of weird reading about a person's life that was manufactured solely for a book, though.
31. Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
young adult | future fiction
June 20

So firstly, this is set in the very near future and it's done extremely well. We see how saving things to the cloud has progressed, we see some technological advances, we see some attempts to deal with global warming, and we see how some things haven't changed at all. Very realistic and well-done. Also, I just like the plot concepts of kids getting stuck in a building and having to survive. I toy with this plot in my head all the time. It was done well here too. I'm excited to see where this goes.
32. On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves
adult | realistic fiction
June

This was really bad. The premise sounded awesome. I love desert island survival stories and I was psyched to read one aimed at adults so that we could get into more of the gritty psychological things. Unfortunately, I didn't get either of those things. It starts going bad when, after having to swim to an island so that the current wouldn't carry them in another direction, most of their possessions wash up on the beach. Even things like their shoes. Also a suitcase full of soap. What. After that, there's little character development. A random thing happens with a shark. They somehow survive the Indian Ocean tsunami and get rescued. Classical romance novel breakup and get back together stuff occurs. I return to reading Gordon Korman's Island series.




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