Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Books I've Read But Haven't Reviewed

Lately I've been reading a lot more books. Now that I've graduated and my boyfriend is back in school full time after a seven year hiatus, I've got a lot of time to read when he is cursing his way through homework. Living three blocks from a library certainly helps my book flow remain continuous. But even though I've read a bunch of books, a few of them haven't given me enough to say for them to deserve an entire post. Or they are books where reviewing them would just be redundant. 

So here are a few books I've read lately that I don't want to/couldn't/shouldn't write a review on: 

Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson
Publisher: Speak
Publication Date: March 3, 2005
Source/Format: Library book!
Page Count: 215.
My Rating: 3 / 5.
I, like everyone, loved Speak by Halse Anderson. It's profound, dark, and a gripping read. From the front cover and synopsis of Prom, I certainly wasn't expecting the same reading experience, but I was also surprised that this is the same author that gave us Speak. Ashley Hannigan is just a 'normal' girl trying to finish up high school at her Philadelphia high school, and she's more focused on moving in with her dropout boyfriend after graduation than she is on prom like everyone else. Her best friend, Natalia, however, is the head of the prom committee and sucks Ash into the whirlwind of prom planning after the faculty advisor is caught stealing prom funds. I finished reading this in less than 24 hours, and spent a lot of time laughing at the zippy dialogue and sarcastic narration from Ash. I was left disappointed and confused by lack of character description and sense of place. Ashley describes herself as a 'normal' kid in a 'normal high school,' yet her situation was anything but what I personally consider to be normal.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Publisher: Speak
Publication Date: 1967
Source / Format: Owned.
Page Count: 180.
My Rating: 4 / 5
This is a book I didn't want to review because what can I say that hasn't already been said? This book has been around for ages, and was one of the first books to really set the bar for Young Adult fiction. In Ponyboy's world, there are the greasers--that's him, his brothers, and the solid crew of misfits they run with, and the socs, the upper class, wealthy, feelingless group that they are always up against. Ponyboy and crew are always down for a good rumble, but in a fight that leaves Ponyboy and his buddy Jesse two-against-many, something goes horribly wrong, and it's enough to shatter the lines that divide these two groups who have been at odds forever. What I really enjoyed in this novel was character relationships. I had a very clear sense of where the loyalties of each character were, whether they were a greaser, or the enemy. Ponyboy rolls with the greasers, but Hinton didn't box him into the stereotype and allowed him to move fluidly through the groups. I can see why this is a book that has stood the test of time.

Wide Awake by David Levithan
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 12, 2006
Source/Format: Library book!
Page Count: 221.
My Rating: 4 / 5
In the future, an awesome thing is happening: a gay, Jewish man has just been elected president. This is great news for Duncan, who has spent the past few months volunteering tirelessly on the campaign with his boyfriend Jimmy to ensure this win for the first Jewish and/or gay president even though he can't vote yet. But then a not so good thing happens: votes for one of the leading states are being challenged, and the new president's position has yet to be locked in officially, and Duncan and Jimmy's relationship is starting to quiver under the shock of this event. That doesn't stop them from traveling in a bus full of other hopefuls to the rally where supporters, and the opposition, are fighting for what they believe in. This was my first experience reading a David Levithan book that he wrote without a co-author and I ADORED it. Sent me back to the days when I canvassed on the Obama campaign when I couldn't vote yet, and how I was so hooked on the news and whether or not he would win. Levithan also set up the future United States in a way that didn't make me feel like I was slogging through years of history. I didn't feel confused about how the world worked in the future, and was actually pretty excited for it!

Have you read any of these books? I have a few full reviews in the works!

Have a great Tuesday, everyone!

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