in_excelsis_dea (in_excelsis_dea) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Books 216-241

So, I didn't make it to 300 or even 250. But I still feel 241 is quite respectable (my family pretty much considers me insane). Once again, no repeats, nothing unfinished, no fan fic. *laughs* If I counted those... I've been on a fan fic kick the last two months, which eats away my fiction reading time. Anyways, the last of my books from 2009:

216. The Day I Killed James by Catherine Ryan Hyde

It was pretty clear to me from the get-go that James' death was not the character's fault. I'm kind of mad at the adults in her life for not telling her that -- that James had to have been depressed and majorly so for seeing his not-girlfriend kiss another guy. But other than that gaping hole, I did like this book.

217. The Secrets of Boys by Hailey Abbot

Cute. It ended realistically and the characters seemed pretty real as well. And again, another book that takes place in the area of my home town, so I liked that aspect as well.

218. Sweethears by Sara Zarr

I really liked learning about Cam and what he had been through. Jenna's reaction was pretty normal and basically, it felt very real. It was sweet and I'm not sure if I was disappointed or glad that Cam and Jenna didn't get together. And I felt bad that he went back to his family, but also understood his reasons.

219. Once was Lost by Sara Zarr

I didn't like this one as much. I did have to laugh because 1) my step-father is a pastor and 2) he's a pastor in a tiny little town. I worried about Jody, but I couldn't really connect to Sam, even though she's the one character I should have.

220. Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston

Randomly chose to read this book and oh was it good! I was surprised at how fast it moved. I really liked the characters (though I figured out Kelley's secret pretty fast) and the ending was great. The second one is due out in a few weeks and I'm already looking forwards to it.

221. Kindred in Death by JD Robb

Another In Death book. Excellent as usual. And I loved seeing Jamie again. I noticed that this book focused primarily on the mystery. IIRC, the last several books (and most of the series) have more character development/background in them. I like finding out about Eve's past, or about interactions with the other characters. But the wedding at the end was a nice touch, even though that was really the only place where there was any non-mystery going on. And I loved the scene at the end with Roarke, Charles and Eve. Charles certainly got a surprise.

222. Finger-Lickin' Fifteen by Janet Evanovich

I adore this series. This was an audio book so it took me several months to get through. This book was just as funny as any other and I liked how Joe and Stephanie got together again. I missed seeing Bob, though. And Luella was a crack-up as usual.

223. Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter

I really liked this book. Unfortunately, I am always comparing it to the Alex Rider series and keep crossing them over in my mind. Halfway through the book I convinced myself that Zach was Alex posing and, er, yeah. Bad fan fic oriented mind, bad! Especially in the middle of Nano. *coughs* This was an audio book which always takes me awhile to get into. It also prolongs the story. But by chapter... thirteen or so I was wearing the mp3 player around the apartment instead of just on journeys to and from Uni. Heck, I actually cleaned my bedroom today just so I could finish the book! It's great. I like seeing Cammy a bit more...I don't know, less confident. Because all in all, the girls are just that -- teenage girls and not fully blown operatives. For the first time they were really dealing with an issue of security and it was a huge eye opener. And the twist at the end -- I was sort of expecting it, but still not sure. So I enjoyed that. I also loved finding out more about Zach -- or, more that we found out NOTHING about Zach, so I spent the time wondering about him or crossing him over with Alex Rider. Great book, glad I finally got to read it, can't wait for the next one.

224. Impossible by Nancy Werlin

I enjoyed this book. This was an audio book, so it took me longer to get through it and I found myself playing endless games of Mindsweeper or even cleaning so that I could listen.

I read a review of this book about a year ago, and since then have wanted to read it. I read the first chapter in a bookstore last winter, and then downloaded the audio book in September. I liked the book a lot more than I thought I would. That said, there are some faults. For one thing, the curse (which really is a fantastic idea) was a bit too literal for my tastes. From the beginning, I considered the curse a riddle and as the book went on, I desperately hoped that there would be some other meaning for it. But there wasn't and while I guess it made it hard to figure out how to complete the tasks, I still wished there was some other meaning behind it. Also, the Elvin Knight was too powerful. He did admit that he couldn't interfere with the tasks directly in the end, but even that didn't seem to make much sense, because he did interfere in some points directly. I also wondered why none of the other girls had the chance to love him. You would think that he would give them a choice like he ended up giving Lucy, but it was clear that she was the only one who received the option -- and that was only at the very end. The review I read talked about the book being too black and white, and perhaps it was, though that didn't bother me as much. Yes, the love between Lucy and Zach wasn't terribly realistic. Yes, Padraig was SO evil. Yes, Lucy was SO good. And the lesson was tacked on at the end -- the whole "true love conquerers all". But all in all, I did really enjoy the book. I both liked and disliked listening to it: on one h
and, it drew out the book so it lasted longer. On the other hand, I really wanted to know the end! This book took me nearly a week to finish, whereas if I had been reading it in print form I would have been done in an hour.

225. Crocodile Tears by Anthony Horowitz

Don't get me wrong, I adore the series and I loved the book. It's probably fan fiction, however, that has slightly dulled this book for me. There was no K-Unit, there was no Yassen. At the very end during the standoff, I kept on flashing back to Damien Cray and hoping that Yassen would somehow appear and save Alex (since the next book is titled "Yassen", I don't think it's too far off to think that he survived). It didn't happen, of course. Brilliant lead-in if it had, though. Anyways, this was just a straight save-the-world book. It lacked the history from Snakehead, though, which kind of disappointed me... I really love the backstory. I did laugh at Jack's comment about Alex's grandfather, though. Anyways, loved the book, can't wait for the next.

226. After by Amy Efaw

It is very hard to describe what I feel about this book, because I do not really know. Devon gives birth to a baby and sticks it into a trash can. You would think that the act is horrendous -- but the author really makes you feel badly for Devon. I also liked the look into the juvenile detention system. My mother volunteers and when I'm at home, so do I, at the local state rehab facility, so I recognized a lot of the processes. At the end Devon decides to take responsibility for her actions. It's a good book, and I did enjoy reading it, but it wasn't an easy read in that it was an emotional book.

227. Don't Look Behind You by Lois Duncan

Quick read, read it during Uni. Very teenage-y, which makes sense, I guess. Decent, but not brilliant.

228. Tuff by Paul Beatty

Oh gosh, hated it. Took me 50 minutes to read 259 pages because I was so desperate to finish it. Full of cliches and stereotypes. I get that it was supposed to be a satire, but the book didn't interest me at all.

229. The Lost by JD Robb

Decent. Typical JD Robb fare, and since it was a mini novel, it involved a slight supernatural/way-futuristic element. This one was less supernatural and more "...whoa, hello Sci-fi!", which was a twist from ghosts and vampires. It was well done, though, and intriguing.

230. Flesh and Bone and by Jefferson Bass

Great. I knew one of the huge twists at the end because I accidentally started the sequel, which gives it away. But it still didn't ruin the book. There was a lot of other stuff going on, which I really enjoyed and appreciated. I think this is a great book and I'm definitely planning on reading the sequels.

231. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Her books are slowly growing on me. Still so typical YA, but they do seem to have a bit more depth than other YA books. And I did enjoy this book.

232. Deadly Little Secrets by Laurie Farie Stolarz

Meh. Reminded me of Twilight a little too much, to be honest. Though I liked the "gift" the male MC had... and the fact that I can't remember his name after a month is never a good sign, imo.

233. My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent

I really liked this. The only thing that bothered me was why the male MC was named "Nash". It seemed to clash with all the other character names. The plot was great, though, and it kept me interested throughout the entire thing. And the twist at the end wasn't really something I expected. I think this is the first in a series and I plan on reading the others in the series once they come out.

234. Solace on the Road by Siobhan Dowd

Meh. There were some good points in this book, but for most of it I wasn't that interested.

235. Quicksand by Nella Larsen

Oh, Lord. Another book I had to read for class. *shudders* So did not like this book. The only good thing was that it was short (ca. 130 pages) and it took me a twenty minute train ride to read it.

236. 206 Bones by Kathy Reichs

Great book. The villains were pretty obvious, in my opinion, but I still really liked it. It's very different, actually, than the Jefferson Bass series which I like.

237. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I heard a lot of good things about this book. And I do think it is good. But it wasn't amazing like I was hoping. Good writing, an interesting world, a bit brutal to be honest (though that's more the concept than the writing itself, and I understand the point). I liked the characters too. Yet, and I'm not sure why, this book wasn't an "oh my God, must read, must finish, must find next book!" book. Yes, I will read the second one. Actually, I'm halfway into it and so far it is reminiscent of the first, at least in regards of how I feel about it.

238. A Brief HIstory of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper

Meh. Another disappointment. There were a couple of points where I thought this would get interesting, but it never did. I suppose this book was about growing up and life in general, but I never got that sense from it, really. It was just about a year in the life of the MC and her family and while yes, stuff happened, I felt that there could have been more meaning or detail or something.

239. Chasing Fire by Suzanne Collins

Decent. Yes, I will read the last book in the trilogy. And the book actually started out more promising than I felt it ended. I really didn't like that she brought back the Hunger Games again. I would have preferred more a focus on the rebels behind the scenes. Also, what are people going to do/say when they find out that she was never pregnant? Or are they going to hush that up? Make her get pregnant? I can see why it was added in, but I felt that it raised a lot more questions.

240. The Mercedes Coffin by Faye Kellerman

Good book. I love this series and this book was no exception. I liked the way things played out -- there were a couple of twists I wasn't expecting -- and I liked the interaction between Decker and his family. I'm looking forwards to the next one.

241. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

Well... This book wasn't great. It wasn't horrible either. I adored the DaVinci Code, even though I know most of it's completely false. But I still enjoyed the hunt and the mystery and the way things were revealed a little at a time. This book lacked that, in my opinion. I've been enamored with symbolism since before I read the DaVinci Code, and that aspect of the book was interesting. I like codes as well. But I think maybe the lack of the bibical aspect is what I didn't like? I always find the religious stuff the most interesting and that wasn't in this book at all, really. And without that to keep my interest, I was able to realize how, well, Dan Brown sucks as a writer. Yes, I'll probably read more of his books when they come out. And I've read his other two non-Langdon books and they didn't bother me as much. So I'm not really sure why this book left me so unsatisfied...but it did. I didn't feel like it was a waste of time or anything, but I just feel that if could have been a lot better.
Tags: fiction, mystery, romance, thriller, urban fantasy, young adult

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