in_excelsis_dea (in_excelsis_dea) wrote,
in_excelsis_dea
in_excelsis_dea

My Book List 2009 Part 2

Mini-reviews, lots of different genres. I think the majority are YA, which is probably my favorite genre at the moment. I know, I'm technically too old, but it's what I write as well, so it's research? *coughs*


126. Cheater by Michael Laser

This was all right. If anything, however, it taught me how easy it can be to cheat. The characters weren't that wonderful and it was more a "let's read this as fast as I can because I want to get it over with" book. And I really didn't get the point of the illness in the book except as a deus ex machina.

127. The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen

The fact that I can't really remember this book only a few weeks later is probably not the best sign. After going back and skimming through random pages, I remember what it was about. And while I was reading it, I did enjoy it. But unlike Dreamland or Along for the Ride or any of Dessen's other books, this one just didn't stick with me. Macy is a sweet character and Dessen is good at creating believeable characters. But I still fail to see why everyone seems to love Dessen so much. *shrugs* I will continue to read her books and maybe someday I will see.

128. Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs

Decent. There were a few loose ends, and I had already guessed the big secret at the end of the book early on. But it was sweet and I liked it. I'm thinking there will be sequels, because of the way it ended, and I think I'd like to read them.

129. Secrets of my Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita

Amusing. I really have a soft spot for these kinds of books. I have a feeling that it's the first in a series, so I might start looking for the others. Even if it isn't, I liked how the book was wrapped up. You could pretty much guess what was going to happen, but it was still done in an interesting way.

130. Comedy Writing Secrets by Mel Helitzer with Mark Shatz

Meh. I really didn't find this one too amusing. Some of the jokes were funny, but this wasn't very informative in my opinion.

131. The Animator's Survival Kit by Richard Williams

Man, I wish I could draw halfway decently. This was an interesting book to read. I just have no talent in that way, which kind of sucks. Still I liked the hints and I don't think I'll ever look at animated movies the same.

132. The Cinderella Pact by Sarah Strohmeyer

Cute. It actually had some pretty interesting twists in it. I liked the main character, though I found the ending a bit flat. Still a sweet book, though.

133. Dreamland by Sarah Dessen

An okay book. It wasn't brilliant, but I did enjoy reading it. It struck me as semi-similar to her other books. I like the tone she uses to write in, but maybe it wasn't the character that struck me this time? I don't know - in any case, I didn't care for it as much as some of her other books.

134. Legal Legacy by Linda Fairstein

The latest in the Alexandra Cooper series and a good read. Though I felt the blurb didn't really fit the book and that the actual mystery was a bit rushed. I did like learning about the New York library system, though.

135. Singing the Dogstar Blues by Allison Goodman

This was sci-fi, which is something I usually don't read. But I did end up enjoying this one. I actually debated not finishing this book, because it kind of drug on. But then I decided to go for it and was pleasantly surprised by the end.

136. Peace, Love and Baby Ducks by Lauren Myracle

Cute, but not brilliant. Carly just didn't really strike me as anything special. None of the characters did. It's your typical YA novel, I suppose, which would explain why I was so meh about it.

137. The Boyfriend List by E. Lockheart

This is the prequel to The Boy Book, so I was already familiar with the characters. I felt bad for Ruby, knowing exactly what was going to happen. And I continued to despise Kim, because she had no excuse to act that way.

138. The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly

Excellent. It brought back Rachel the FBI agent and Jack from The Poet. I was a bit confused at the very end from a comment Jack made. But I really liked this book and I want to see what happens to Jack next.

139. The Year of the Hangman by Gary Blackwood

This was an alternate reality book about what might have happened had Washington been captured at the beginning of the Revolutionary war. It was actually very interesting. I liked the main character quite a lot, along with the supporting cast. The ending was unsuspected and all in all, it was a really interesting book.

140. Sleeping Arrangments by Madeleine Wickham

This is Sophie Kinsella writing under her real name. It was all right, but it lacked the humor I love in her other novels. This was better than most romance novels I've read, but it wasn't that great either.

141. The Key to the Golden Firebird by Maureen Johnson

This was all right. That's about all I can say about it, to be honest. It wasn't great, it wasn't bad. I read a lot of YA, and nothing really stood out to me about this one.

142. Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Awesome. I love the Alice books. I'm counting this one because I honestly don't remember if I've read it or not. I have a feeling it's one that I started and never finished. I started this series when I was eleven, and even though I am now older than Alice, they are till favorites of mine. Truly wonderful books.

143. Heir Apparent by Vivian Vande Welde

Cute. The whole "trapped in a video game" idea was well done and interesting. I liked how it took her awhile to succeed in the game. I liked the twist at the end, who Nigel turned out to be. It was a sweet YA fantasy.

144. Something to Blog About by Shana Norris

This was cute. I liked the characters and even the villain was a bit sympathetic by the end. It was a quick read, but a nice one.

145. Absolute Brightness by James Lecesne

I would have never picked up this book by myself, to be honest. But I met a girl at the library and she recommended this too me. And I was quite impressed with it. The boy is so stereotypical gay that at first that kind of turned me off, but the narrator makes you like her, even when she's done enough wrong herself. And I liked the element of mystery to it.

146. The Shamer's Daughter by Lene Kaaberbol

First book in the series, another recommendation, and excellent. The concept of someone who, by looking into someone's eyes, can read their shame is very interesting. It also begs the question -- what happens if someone does not feel shame? This very question is asked and answered in the first book of the series.

147. Dragon's Bait by Vivian Vande Welde

The Dragon/Alice romance was the interesting part of this book, even though it's just touched upon. There was a lesson at the end of this book, about revenge and moving on. But to be honest, I wasn't that enthralled with the book. I like other books of VVW's better.

148. Ruler of the Realm by Herbie Brennan

I read the first two in the series several years ago and finally remembered to seek this one out. Awesome book. The details came back to me quickly and the characters were very engaging. There are several plot twists and really just a great book.

149. Faerie Lord by Herbie Brennan

An awesome book, what can I say. I really hope the series doesn't end here, because it was great. The twists were complicated and interesting and I'm as huge fan of Henry/Blue and the end of the book was sad, but touching and also happy. I loved the inclusion of the cat.

150. Rhymes with Witches by Lauren Myracle

Weird. The main character is so obsessed on being popular and then, once she's joined the Bitches, realizes that there's more behind them than she originally believed. It mixes the occult with YA, but in a sudden, out-of-the-blue way that really isn't very believeable. And the main character was so shallow, I really don't think she learned very much at the end. This is the second book of Lauren Myracle's that I've read this summer, and so far, her books are pretty superficial.

151. Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Welde

To be honest, not that great. I already knew that the boy she rescued was a vampire. It was better than some vampire books I've read, but the book itself I didn't find very amazing. Just...decent.

152. Uglies by Scott Westerfield

I've heard a lot about these books and I finally got around to reading it. This book was good. I didn't think it was that amazing, but I still liked it. And I was interested enough to pick up the sequel.

153. Pretties by Scott Westerfield

I read this immediately after Uglies. But I could feel my interest dwindling by the end of the book. I can't explain why. I just didn't like this book very much. And by the time I finished it, I only started Specials because I felt like I had to. I couldn't finish Specials, though. To be honest, I felt as if I wasted the several hours it took me to fight my way through two-thirds of the book.

154. The Shamer's Signet by Lene Kaaberbold

The sequel to The Shamer's Daughter. I liked how Dina and her brother played a role in this plot. The minor characters played a larger role. I wasn't as into the mystery this time, but I liked the characterization a lot.

155. To Be Mona by Kelly Easton

Sage does come from a difficult family. But she focuses on being just like the popular Mona that she ends up losing herself. Her next door neighbor and best friend has a crush on her, but she ignores him to go after the popular guy, who turns out to be a "tad" on the abusive side. In the end, we also find out a bit about Mona and Sage learns that it's better to be yourself. I was pretty ambivialent about this book. I didn't mind it, but I didn't love it. Sage frustrated me at times, because she was so obsessed on being popular, and I guess I could never relate.

156. Dragon's Milk by Susan Fletcher

I liked this all right. It's the first of a series, but I really didn't feel that obligated to pick up the rest of them. It was fine as a stand-alone. The characters were interesting and it was pretty typical Children's Fantasy.

157. Almost Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Wonderful. I just so adore these books. Alice is so normal and that's what I really like about her. While she has the occasional problem, she keeps real. This book is no exception and the ending is great -- I can't wait to get my hands on the next one.

158. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

This was all right. I read a review of this several months ago, so I knew the background. I'm not sure if that's what cheapened it for me, or if the style itself I didn't find that intriguing. But I read another book of Laurie Halse Anderson before and enjoyed it, so I really can't place what turned me off of this book. I think the subject was handled well, I just... I don't know.

159. Beyond the Moon by Sarah Dessen

An okay Dessen. Wasn't too impressed with this book. Yes, a lesson was learned in the end and there was a bit of romance, but I didn't really connect to any of the characters.

160. Perfect by Natasha Friend

Once again, a character that many consider perfect turns out to be not so perfect, and a character that yearns to be perfect learns that being perfect isn't so wonderful after all. Maybe it's the fact that I'm reading a lot of YA -- but this plot really could use a rest, imo. This did have an interesting aspect to it -- namely eating disorders and how to deal with them.

161. Waiting for You by Susane Colasanti

This book was so "meh" that I can barely remember it. Not a good sign. Marisa wants to date Mr. Popular, but he's got a girlfriend. Her next door neighbor is secretly in love with her. Her friend has a Should I mention that the fover the internet. Should I mention that the friend is fifteen and the guys she's going after are all adults? Jeesh, she should be in therapy. Of course, except for a few comments, the fact that the friend is under the age of consent is completely ignored.

162. True Confessions of a Heartless Girl by Martha Brooks

This book was surprisingly good. It deals with some more mature subject matter and it doesn't talk so flippantly about it. There is an allusion to a happy end, and I really like how in this book the characters stay so human. Great book.

163. Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor.

Addie, the main character, is twelve years old and left alone for days at a time by her mother. Her ex-step-father is very close to her, but as he gets a new girlfriend, she slowly feels as if she doesn't belong. This is a coming-of-age story and one I ended up really enjoying. Addie does the best she can while her mother goes off and finds boyfriends who will "take care of her", while essentially forgetting about her daughter. She's still a little girl, though, and it's obvious. I really liked this book -- more than I expected, actually.

164. Fake Boyfriend by Kate Brian

This book was amusing in a "how in the world could they possibly think this is going to work?" way. I think it's a requisite of YA novels to have some message at the end, but all in all, this was a light read that didn't try to be something it's not. And I liked the way things worked out in the end, with the pairings.

165. Killer by Sara Shepard

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. And what a twist at the end! I love this series, I can't wait for the next one to come out. What can I say?

166. Thonk by Joan Bauer

Meh. I liked the idea of cupid, and things worked out in the end. But I found the main character to be a bit selfish. Why do most YA MCs have to be so selfish and self-centered? Don't tell me it's normal, because I don't think it is.

167. Cesar's Way by Cesar Millan with Melissa Jo Peltier

Interesting book. My mom's a huge fan of the Dog Whisperer on National Geographic, so when I saw the book at the library, I grabbed it. I liked learning about Cesar's history, like the fact he was an illegal alien. Kind of unexpected. And there was a lot about the dogs he has worked with and how to deal with them. Interesting read.

168. The Devil in the Junior League by Linda Francis Lee

I liked this. Definitely one of those "summer reads", but it's not like I was expecting anything else of it. The main character was interesting, the history between the main character and two of the supporting characters was great and the "villain" got his due at the end.

169. Sundays at Tiffany's by James Patterson

Cute. I never had an imaginary friend, but I liked the way he dealt with the topic and merged a children's book and an adult romance into one book. I didn't cry at the end, but I still enjoyed this book very much.

170. The Bodies Left Behind by Jeffery Deaver

Great. I love Deaver. I love the twists at the end. This book was no exception and to the very last pages, there is always something being discussed and revealed. I generally find it a bit more challenging to get into his stand-alone novels, but once I'm in, I can't put them down.

171. Frozen Fire by Tim Bowler

It's hard to explain this book, because the ending is left open. I did enjoy it and it was thrilling from the get go. It's hailed science fiction, but I really don't know what to describe it as. I'm not sure if there is a sequel, but I sort of hope that there is, because so much was unexplained by the end.

172. Pen Pals by Olivia Goldsmith

Amusing. A woman gets sent to prison when she takes the fall for her boss, who promises her a fortune if she does this for him. Of course, he and her lawyer (who turns out to be her fiance) are liars and she's stuck in prison. Entering the prison, she is still rather stuck-up and feels that she did nothing wrong. By the end she realizes that she has broken the law and that this is her penance. She makes friends at the prison and learns that the prison is about to be taken over by a private company -- and so she attempts to do something about it. It was light reading, but I also really enjoyed the characters.

173. Zorro by Isabel Allende

I loved Zorro as a kid, watching the reruns of the series in black-and-white on the Disney channel. I thought this book would be a telling of the various legends, but it turned out to be a history of how Zorro came to be. It was a bit hard to get into at first, because it was not what I expected. But I actually found it very interesting and enjoyed reading it.

174. Life in the Fast Lane by Karen Quinn

This was all right. The main character is a bit superficial, but the children actually make the book decent. And while the "plot twists" were pretty obvious from the get go, I did enjoy it.

175. Roadside Crosses by Jeffery Deaver

I'm beginning to enjoy Kathryn Dance more and more. Lincoln Rhyme (and Amelia) is still my favorite character/series of his. But I like her a lot too. The mystery was also very twisted -- as expected. I figured out one of the plot twists pretty early on, but the actual reason for everything was hidden from me until the very end. I also like the love triangle that's hinted at in the end. A great book.

176. The Forest of Hands and Feet by Carrie Ryan

This book has been at the library in the small town where my mother lives for months and I first encountered it in March. But I never had any real desire to read it until I saw it in the Santa Monica public library and once I got back to my mom's town, I figured that if I kept seeing it at libraries, then I should read it.

As for the book -- I'm not a fan of zombie literature. To be honest, it took me until the book was over and I was reading the blurb about the author that I realized that's what the Unconcerated were. At first I thought they were vampires or something completely new and different.

Mary, the main character, is selfish. No two ways about it. And there was something about the prose that both bothered me, but also interested me. On one hand, I did feel badly for Mary. On the other, she seemed so driven to get to the dang ocean that I probably would have left her behind and to the Unconcecrated, had the opportunity arose. I don't want to say that this is a bad book, because it wasn't. And I enjoyed the hints about how it 1) took place on earth and 2) was set in the future. But apparently this is the first in the series and I honestly can't say whether I'll read the sequels.

177. The Dangerous Days of Daniel X by James Patterson

I have this as an audio book, but fell asleep during the first chapter. I thought that a print version might catch my attention better. This book was okay, but I didn't love it.

178. Daniel X: Watch the Skies by James Patterson

I got this out from the library first, so I felt like I should at least read it while I have it out. It was okay. We learn a bit more about Daniel and the alien bad guy is definitely very bad. But I don't know... I just wasn't too into this book.

179. Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson

I've read the two adult thrillers that have Max in them, though it's been years. I'm not sure how much this relates to them -- apparently not at all, if you believe the author. I could not get into this book until the very end. I still haven't picked up the sequels, several weeks later, and to be honest, that doesn't bode too well...

180. Charley's Web by Joy Fielding

Awesome. It seems very simple at first and you think you know how it's going to end. By the last chapter, everything is completely turned around. I really enjoyed this book.

181. The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen

Very nice. I'm not too into historical fiction, but I liked the way it meshed with the plot in this century. I thought it would resemble Mary Higgins Clark's On the Street Where You Live, but it was very different. A great book.

182. The Truth about Dogs by Stephen Budiansky

I read this before the Dog Whisperer book, but was too lazy to look up the author until now. While it does discuss the behavior of dogs, there is little overlap with the Dog Whisperer. This book is more genetics and history and biology, while the Dog Whisperer focuses on psychology. It's an interesting book if you want to learn why dogs behave a certain way, but not really for training dogs/getting tips like the Dog Whisperer book.

183. Prey by Michael Chriton

I love virology and I considered going into Bioinformatics as a field, so this book did interest me. I'd say it's pretty typical of its genre: someone stupidly creates a plague/virus/machine that starts to evolve from what it was supposed to and goes after humans. A bit creepy with the whole taking over bodies thing, but it was enjoyable. I haven't read many of Chriton's books, but I should read more.

184. Faithless by Karin Slaughter

I started this book in April on an international flight and didn't go back to it until now. I had about half to read, but I still remembered the basics. This was good, but it obviously wasn't great enough to catch my attention and keep it through the last four months. I like Karin Slaughter's books well enough, but when compared to the other mysteries I've read lately, this wasn't anything too special. I almost wished that the "cult" played more of a role. I have a soft spot for thrillers/mysteries with religious cults doing evil things, but this just didn't quite get there for me.

185. Look Again by Lisa Scottoline

There's something about this book that I can't put a finger on, but it doesn't make it as good as other books of hers. Sarah was such a huge bitch -- and it pretty much came out of nowhere. On one hand I liked the ending, but on the other hand, I felt that it worked out too well. And none of the characters except for the main character seemed real to me. I liked the premise, but I definitely feel as if more depth could have been reached.

186. Singer by Jean Thesman

I felt lost reading this book. That's really the only way I can describe it. This book jumped in in the middle of the story and I never felt that it explained enough background. It was based heavily on the King of Lir legend, something that I'm not really familiar with, and the fairies weren't explained well at all. Perhaps if I knew the legend beforehand, I'd like this book better. As it was, I was disappointed with the book.

187. Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

I've heard of this book and it's been on my list of books to check out for awhile now. It's a sweet book with an interesting take on death. I think I'm going to search out the Anne Sebold book now that has, if I recall correctly, a similar story line. In any case, I enjoyed the book. Liz was a character that got to you. I also enjoyed the sudden arrival of Emily and how everything with Oliver worked out.

188. The Debutante Divorcee by Plum Sykes

Not very substantial, but still a nice book. I started this nearly two years ago at a bookstore in Berlin and was rather surprised to find it in large print in Small Town, Nebraska. I liked the narrator, even though she didn't seem to have much substance, to be honest. And the ending was sweet, including Lauren's fate.

189. Now You See Them... by Vivian Vande Welde

Cute. Typical fantasy from her. I enjoyed it. What I didn't particularly care for in the beginning was the griping about glasses and how horrible her vision is without them. But I guess enough people think that way, so... And the rest of the book was interesting. The particular relationship between Tiffani and Justin was actually very unexpected and I would have liked to know more about that.

190. Trail of Secrets by Eileen Goudge

I am not too into the jockey life. And the ending was a bit too happy though I did like it that way. It just -- I can't really place what bothered me. Maybe it was too predictable? While this has a similar premise to the Scottoline book I read, this is still very different. It's a good book and I think I'll read more from the author.

191. Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwell.

I adored the Scarpetta series until Blow Fly, when things started to get weird. Blow Fly was okay, but the following books just got weirder and weirder. I am pleased to say that this book goes back to the origins and reminds me of the old style. It's an interesting mystery that makes sense and the killer is unexpected. It took me a week to read this book because I was only reading a chapter or so at a time. Oddly, it wasn't because I dsliked the book. My faith in the series had been restored and I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.

192. Storm Cycle by Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen.

I stopped reading Iris Johansen awhile ago. Her stories -- well the characters -- got to be too far-fetched for my tastes. But since this isn't part of her main series and her son co-authored, I thought I would give it a chance. Not to mention I have a weak spot for thrillers involving archaeological finds that will change the face of mankind.

That part was interesting. It was the characters themselves that I didn't care too much for. The main character, Rachel, was too much of a Mary Sue and just happened to have an invalid sister. It felt like the sister's illness (while it did play a part in the plot) was to make Rachel not so perfect -- but it didn't work. All of Iris Johansen's books seem to involve extremely rich, powerful, brilliant men who just so happen to fall in love with the female lead. Basically, while I thought the plot was interesting, I didn't like the characters. And even the plot wasn't as good as other's I've read with the same idea.

193. Carved in Bone by Jefferson Bass

I grabbed this book and its two sequels at a garage sale a week ago. One of the authors is a forensic anthropologist who founded the Body Farm. This was similiar to the Kathy Reichs books, except not as complicated forenscially, I'd say. The mystery also wasn't as complex. Don't get me wrong, I loved this book. It was just a different feel from the Reichs books, which I think is a good thing. There were also a couple of nods to Patricia Cornwell, which I loved. Great book, made me want to go into Anthropology again, am planning on reading the sequels.

194. Intervention by Robin Cook

This is a book in a similar vein to the Johansen book, except much better. I have never managed to read the Cook books in any kind of order, so I was surprised that Jack and Laurie had married and they had an infant son. The son has cancer and Laurie stays at home to care for him. Jack throws himself into researching the perils of alternative medicine to take his mind off of his son's illness, when he is contacted by an old college friend who happens to be the archdioese of New York. On the other side of the world, another college friend of Jack's is an archaeologist and happens to come across a letter that may change things in the Catholic church... I love religious archaeological mysteries (I was ready to go into the field myself until I realized that there are few jobs) and having it combined with Jack and Laurie made it even better.

195. 16 Reasons Why My Life Sucks by Sara Walker

I started this several weeks ago, read a little less than half of it at once and then didn't pick it up again until today. It's... okay. The main character, Katie, is kind of dense at times, but I get that. The older sister seems like a total pain but redeems herself at the end. All in all, it's decent.

196. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

I have heard wonderful things about this book. I started this book in February, before I heard anything about it, didn't get too far into it and then since then it's been on my "must finish" list but something I never actually finished... It's a great book. The ending is touching.

197. Lost Lake by Phillip Margolin

Most of his books I adore. This book didn't really hold my interest. Ami was all right as a character, but I didn't like the whole government conspiracy plot. I just didn't like the way it was handled here, for some reason. It was rather boring.

198. Still Life by Joy Fielding

I didn't even know this was out when I saw it at the library yesterday and grabbed it immediately. WONDERFUL book. Casey is in a hit-and-run and ends up in a coma with locked-in syndrome. Actually, the one thing I found odd was the fact that the syndrome wasn't actually named in the book -- otherwise the book was great and I liked how the book ended.

199. Cross My Heart by Carly Phillips

Cute. Not very substantial, but it was just what I expected -- a short, cute romance novel with a tad of mystery.

200. The Rest of Her Life by Laura Moriarty

Great. It reminded me of Jodi Picoult (who also was quoted on the cover) except that Jodi Picoult always has a twist at the end in my experience, and this one didn't. It was touching and dealt with a sensitive subject and everyone was wonderfully characterized. I'm glad it was my 200th book.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

201. The Cabinet of Curiosities by Denis Preston and Lincoln Child

I read one of the later books when it came out four years ago and was pretty lost. But when I saw the newest one at the library, I decided that I should start at the beginning. Couldn't find the first one, but this was the earliest they had. Great book. It's not a book you can read quickly, which is why it took me so long to read. I love the characters and this was the first meeting between Nora and Pendergast, so it was early enough that I didn't feel lost like in the other one I read. The mystery was great, the identity of the killer was surprising and I really liked the ending and the supernatural element. Great book and I plan on reading the rest of the series.

202. Still Live with Crows by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Adored it. I really liked Corrie, Pendergast was great as usual and the plot was intriguing. And the very end is just freaky when you learn why the murders were committed. This book really treads a fine line between horror and not being horror, and I loved it.

203. Sacrificial Lamb by Karin Hofland.

I read a ton of mystery books. And to be honest, while I liked it, it did take me awhile to get into it and I wasn't that impressed. This was an ARC I got from my grandmother because the author is my aunt. I've been hearing about this book for probably eight years now, and heard about what the publishers initially said and stuff. To be honest, I went into it thinking that it would be much worse than it was. I was pleasantly surprised, but not that surprised. Yes, I will read more (I know that she has written at least two more), but it's really only because of the whole relative thing.

204. Just Take My Heart by Mary Higgins Clark

Great. I found that this book felt different than her other books and I really enjoyed it. Also, I was surprised at the identity of the murderer at the end, which is not that common for me and MHC's books.

205. Brimstone by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Great. I loved the occult/devil angle. I loved the ending. I loved the beginning when D'Agosta and Pendergast meet up. I really liked this book.

206. If Looks Could Kill by Katie White

Eh... I will read the two others my library has, but I wasn't that impressed.

207. Cemetary Dance by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Wonderful. I so adore this series.

208. Dance of Death by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Same as above. This is the book I read originally and reading it after reading the prequels makes such a difference. I adored this book the second time around, and I'm counting it because I felt that the first time I read it didn't really count because I was so lost. I didn't realize the full potential of the book at the time, but now I so do.

209. The Wheel of Death by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

The ending was shocking. I wasn't as in love with the "murderer" in this book as I was in the others, but I still really enjoyed it. And the casino scene was terribly amusing. I adore Pendergast and Constance is really growing on me.

210. The 8th by James Patterson

Good...but not great. I still enjoy the series, but I'm not as into it as I was at the beginning.

211. Critical by Robin Cook

All right. I found the mystery a bit confusing, but it's Robin Cook and I like Jack and Laurie, so I didn't mind as much.

212. This Side of Heaven by Karen Kingsbury

I read this book in like 30 min. I thought it would be like a Jodi Picoult book, but it wasn't at all. I'm Christian, but I'm not into the whole Christian literature thing, so that kind of grated on me while reading the book. Also the characters seemed superficial at times and this book wasn't deep at all. Not a fan.

213. The Book of Death by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Awesome. I just adored this book. I can't wait to see what happens next in the series. I'm disappointed that Smithback died, but I really loved the twists in the plots. I like how the mysteries aren't really over until the very end. And the end! What a cliff hanger.

214. Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson

I liked Tyler a lot. I found that the book was a bit triggering, to be honest, but I still enjoyed it. Tyler really grew on me as a character. And the ending was pretty open.

215. Pretty Face by Mary Hogan

Eh. Another book that I blazed through. Typical YA. Set in my hometown for about half of the book. Set in Italy for the rest. A bit too "perfect", the parts in Italy imo. And I really didn't feel like this book had much substance. The ending just kind of...ended. But it wasn't bad.

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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 bad 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.
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