I have several 'themes' in my reading for this year, which will become more and more apparent as I post more lists. By 'themes', I mean both authors or genre. The most obvious authors I am focusing on this year are Scott Westerfeld (whom I had heard about before but only started reading this year), Isobelle Carmody (I've read Obernewtyn Chronicles, Legendsong Saga and Gateway Series, but not her stand alone works) and Truman Capote (whom I admire greatly for In Cold Blood and Breakfast at Tiffany's and so wanted to read more). Genre wise, the main theme is YA, as most of my favourite authors and those of my friends write YA. I also read the blogs of some YA authors (mainly Sarah Rees Brennan), so I also read a lot of reviews for YA. It's also just awesome!
And now, the books:
11. Specials by Scott Westerfeld
12. So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld
13. Extras by Scott Westerfeld
14. The Hero and The Crown by Robin McKinley
15. The Gathering by Isobelle Carmody
16. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
17. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
18. Summer Crossing by Truman Capote
19. Keeping Peace in the World by Adam Hibbert
20. Scatterlings by Isobelle Carmody
I liked Specials; I thought it was a good end to the trilogy. I agreed to a certain extent with some comments I'd heard about the ending being left a bit loose, for want of a better term, so I ended up reading Extras (something I hadn't originally planned on doing). However, whilst I thought it had an interesting concept, with the ranking system, I didn't really like it as an 'end' to the series and if I'd known what it would be like before I read it, I wouldn't have read it. So in summary, good book, but not as good as the rest of the series and not really necessary to finish the story, in my opinion.
I quite liked So Yesterday. The idea of cool hunters was very interesting. I definitely preferred it to Peeps, one of the other New York City books, mainly because I preferred the main characters. I really recommend So Yesterday to anyone who is interested in advertising and the way trends evolve. In a similar style to Peeps, it also has some interesting facts/stories, although they're not seperate chapters.
I love love LOVED Leviathan. Steampunk, historical fiction, political intrigue, girl disguised as boy, fantastical creatures - what more could you want?? Really really looking forward to the rest of the books in the series. Want now!!
I also really liked Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. My favourite book of all time is To Kill A Mockingbird, so it's not really too much of a surprise, but I really loved seeing some similar and not-as-similar issues from the point of view of a black family. I am already planning on tracking down more of Mildred D. Taylor's work. Definitely recommended!
Summer Crossing wasn't as good as Capote's later works, but it was his first novel, so I guess that can be excused! However, I thought the reviews of it were overdone, especially the ones which compared Grady to Holly Golightly. I really didn't see any similarities between them. I actually found Grady quite annoying, which was probably due to her age and Capote's age when he wrote it (late teen years for both). However, I would stil l recommend it for fans of Capote's other work, just to have a complete reading. I'm looking for The Grass Harp to read next.