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WiB Summer Edition, Week 9

July 17, 2010

I think I read eight books this week.  I want to say it was more, but…Goodreads says eight.  Sort of.  It says that from the last time I posted, I posted eight new books.  So I would miss rereads and to-reads that were listed earlier.  IDK.  Who knows what’s what anymore since I discovered Scrabble on Facebook.

I finished up Honey & Clover.  I expected some sort of closure and felt I’d gotten none.  This is probably a bit unfair, but when you market yourself as a book containing two love triangles, I was sort of expecting more out of how those triangles play out.  The one turned out sort of okay, but the author doesn’t seem to get that if you string the characters along in these stagnant situations for about four years, you should probably do more with them then leave everything sort of the way it was, like, three or four books ago.  Disappointing ending to a good series.  Four stars altogether, although a book-by-book starring is on Goodreads.

I also read Straight Talking by Jane Green.  Really, it’s the weakest of the three books of hers I’ve read so far.  In the midst of self-absorbed protagonists, this one takes the cake.  And, sorry to head to Spoilerville, but it’s totally necessary: but when you’ve done something bad, and someone could easily find out about it, and they’ve just told their own story opening up, you don’t win the guy by hiding this obvious bit of information that could come to light at any moment.  I mean, really.  I mean, REALLY??  Ugh.  I hope this was Green’s lowest low point, because I took out ANOTHER of her books from the library.  I think I just can’t help it because the other books were fairly entertaining.  I’ve heard good things about some of her other books, but those are the ones I can’t find at the library, of course.  I keep trying, though, like somehow, someday I’ll love her and her privileged whiny “heroines.”

Oh, I read another Harlequin, but you know those don’t get discussed.

I also read the first graphic novel adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, Ender’s Game: Battle School. Ender’s Game may be one of the very few books that Card has done that still stands the test of time–his other books are filled with homophobia and weak female characters (in more ways than one), but Ender’s Game never fails to impress.  Unfortunately, this ability to impress does not cross over to the graphic novel format, or at least not THIS graphic novel.  The art is attractive but fails to capture the vulnerability of the main character.  The text cannot recreate the depth of the book and at times it seems that it must be necessary to have read the novel first.  Well, they tried, but really, they should be making a movie, not a graphic novel.  I just have such issues giving the man any more of my money.

(I now remember why I felt like I read more books. I started that PDK graphic novel but it turned out it was the second volume.  Oops.)

Let’s see, I also read Inside Out: Portrait of an Eating Disorder by Nadia Shivack.  This book failed on all levels, which is too bad considering its important subject matter.  Shivack’s pictures, which she drew while being treated for her disorder, are highly repetitious and at times incredibly blurry and difficult to read.  The inclusion of facts about eating disorders makes the book read like a brochure.  Shivack’s text is minimal to the point of being frustrating.  There’s a story in this book; unfortunately it’s not found on the page.  I ended up skimming the pictures (sometimes because I literally couldn’t read the words in them) and reading the text and finding it all very lacking.

Moving on to something really good, Sarah Dessen’s Along for the Ride made my week a heck of a lot better by being the strong YA novel that I expected after reading Just Listen, my favorite of her books.  Unlike Just Listen, Along for the Ride does not cop out at the ending (mostly because the subject is lighter, if divorce can be considered light).  Like Just Listen, Along for the Ride has a likable protagonist, a smart, insightful, cute guy for the reader to crush on, and a host of realistic problems and characters to enjoy.  Highly recommended for readers of all ages who enjoy YA.

Finally, I read Festering Romance, an unimpressive graphic novel by Renee Lott about a girl and her ghost.  Unfortunately, the protagonist is irritating as heck, and pulling out from that nosedive by making her a decent person towards the end doesn’t fix the gaping holes that would otherwise make this a good story.  Great idea, poor execution.  Ah well.

Next week: Um…I have some more library books, because I can’t seem to stop even though I have that whole case of stuff that people have given me or I bought up supercheap. :/

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 20, 2010 4:26 pm

    So glad to come across someone else who didn’t like Straight Talking. I didn’t even finish it. I had read two of her books previously, one I loved (Babyville) and one I thought was okay (Jemima J), but I haven’t read anything since. I’ve been a bit hesitant to try anything else by her. What were the Jane Green books you liked?

    • July 20, 2010 6:26 pm

      I enjoyed Bookends and, to a lesser extent, Swapping Lives, but both books had their flaws. I don’t even know why I keep picking her stuff up, except that it doesn’t outright annoy me. Our town library isn’t large and they no longer let you order books from within their consortium anymore due to budget cuts, so I guess I’ve been leaning toward a “the devil you know” perspective on what to take out lately.

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