Archive for June, 2009

Pandora Gets Lazy

pandoragetslazy By Carolyn Hennesy [LibraryThing - Amazon]

Pandora and her friends have collected Jealousy and Vanity, but now they must travel to the Atlas Mountains to collect Laziness. To make matters worse, Pandora is quickly separated from her friends, all of the heroes are quickly enslaved, and Hera has kidnapped Pandy’s beloved dog. Alone for real now, Pandora must use her wits to free herself and find Laziness, but that’s no easy task when the sky is, quite literally falling.

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Catching Fire

catchingfire By Suzanne Collins [LibraryThing - Amazon]

The Hunger Games are over, and all Katniss wants is to go back to her normal life. But the government isn’t happy with her – not least because she’s unwittingly become the face of the rebellion. As unrest grows in Panem, Katniss begins to realize that surviving the Hunger Games was only the beginning.

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Bookathon: Summary, Becky Edition

Books Read: 8
Pages Read: 2,306
Hours Read: 26:41
Hours Blogging: IDEK, I’ll go with Jess’s 2

Final Thoughts: This was a lot of fun, but it’s definitely not how I prefer to do my reading — I found myself checking how many pages were left at various points in every book, even the ones I liked the most. It also didn’t give me time to really digest and enjoy what I was reading, so I know there’s at least one I’ll want to reread at a more leisurely pace. But this did finally get my YA/MG TBR pile down to a reasonable size… So I can begin building it up again, of course.

I confirmed my suspicion that baseball on TV is really good background noise to read to, and that movie musicals are not. And I reaffirmed a love I hadn’t experienced in awhile — staying up until all hours of the night to finish a very good book. With both Graceling and Big Brother, I contemplated going to bed and finishing the book in the morning, but opted for finishing it at night and sleeping in instead. What’s more joyous than that?

(As Jess said, payment details will be e-mailed out tomorrow.)

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Bookathon: Summary, Jess Edition

Books Read: 13
Pages Read: 3,225
Hours Read: 23 hours, 1 minute
Hours Blogged: *shrug* 2, maybe?

Final Thoughts: Whew! I am pretty happy with the amount of reading I got done this weekend. It’d be interesting to know how I would have done without losing half of Saturday; next year I’d like to break 24 hours. It’s a weird feeling, ending – half of me never wants to read another word, and half of me is wondering why I’m wasting time right now, not reading. It’s going to take a while for this motor to run down.

I’ve also realized why I mainly stick to middle grade stuff; young adult books are depressing! Seriously, the happiest book I read all weekend was the wacky vampire farce comic book. Everything else was about feelings. Feh!

Still, I am very, very glad that I did this, and already looking forward to doing it again next year. Annnnd now it is time to pass out.

(Payment details tomorrow!)

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Bookathon: Nancy Drew and the Secret of the Old Clock

Book Thirteen
Starting Time: 7:40 pm
Ending Time: 8:30 pm

Title: Nancy Drew and the Secret of the Old Clock
Author: Carolyn Keene
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 180
Summary: Nancy investigates a lost will that will benefit various virtuous spinsters and orphans, and eats several slices of cake.
Thoughts: Oh, Nancy. With only 50 minutes left I went for an easy reread, and Nancy’s super-polite badassery was as charmingly ridiculous as always.

Three and a half cupcakes

Final book/page count/hours tally coming soon, plus payment info for sponsors.

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Bookathon: My Teacher is an Alien

Book Eight
Starting Time: 6:44
Ending Time: 7:47

Title: My Teacher is an Alien
Author: Bruce Coville
Genre: Aliens Among Us
Pages: 123

Summary: Susan doesn’t like the substitute teacher who’s taken over her sixth grade class — and she finds out he’s not just strict, he’s an alien! Now she and Peter, the smartest kid in class, have only a few days to expose him, before he kidnaps some of their classmates and takes them off to space forever.

Thoughts: What is there to even say? Bruce Coville is the reason I love reading, and the reason I love sf/f in particular. This was the most formative series of my childhood. The first book is pretty light and silly (the end of the series is quite a bit heavier), and utterly delightful.

Four and a half cupcakes.

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Bookathon: Exposure

Book Twelve
Starting Time: 4:30 pm
Ending Time: 7:25 pm

Title: Exposure
Author: Mal Peet
Genre: Athletics sociopolitical crime drama? Also, Shakespeare fanfic again.
Pages: 430
Summary: When Otello, a black soccer player in a racially-divided unnamed South American country, and pop star Desmerelda meet, it’s love at first sight, but the machinations of Otello’s two-faced agent Diego may destroy them both.
Thoughts: Really interesting world, really interesting exploration of racial dynamics. I liked Paul Faustino, the sports journalist who apparently is the connecting thread in several of Peet’s books, and his subplot with a handful of doomed street kids. But the transition from Othello wasn’t quite as smooth. Diego’s complete lack of motivation for his evil is less acceptable in a modern book than Iago’s is, and, well, spoilers: show

Two and a half cupcakes

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Bookathon: Nightmare Academy #1: Monster Hunters

Book Seven
Starting time: 4:10 PM
Ending time: 6:25 PM

Title: Nightmare Academy #1: Monster Hunters
Author: Dean Lorey
Genre: Contemporary fantasy
Pages: 310

Summary: Charlie has nightmares… And bad things happen. After a horrible thing comes out of his dreams and tries to kill his family, he’s recruited by the Nightmare Division, to be trained at their Academy, and learn how to control his powers. Because people like Charlie bring monsters into this world — but they can also stop them.

Thoughts: Bleh. This book tries too hard to be wacky and hip, and the two characters who were supposed to be funny were pretty much detestably sexist. (Hint: calling your female coworker “sweetheart” after she’s asked you not to is not funny and charming, it’s demeaning.) The book had a good premise, and once the action picked up the execution was fine, but it did nothing for me (except make me irritated).

Two cupcakes.

(And now a note: because I’ve only got an hour and a half left, and the last book in my TBR pile definitely won’t fit into that time, I’m totally going to cheat and pick up an old favorite to skim… *g*)

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Bookathon: Ducky, Diary 1

Book Eleven
Starting Time: 3:30 pm
Ending Time: 4:17 pm

Title: California Diaries: Ducky, Diary 1
Author: Ann M. Martin
Genre: Teen drama llama
Pages: 180
Summary: One of Ducky’s best friends is turning into a bully, while the other is crawling into his own depressed shell.
Thoughts: After four books of Ducky ex machina, I was interested to see this guy’s internal landscape. And yes, I can see why he’s such a popular character – his neurosis and his concern for others is very likeable. (Also he’s probably gay, and that’s always a big hit in fandom.) One question, though: Why does Ann M. Martin (or her flock of ghostwriters) apparently think that boys don’t learn lowercase letters in school? Logan, Jeff, Ducky, and I’m pretty sure Jackie and…maybe David Michael?…all write in all caps.

Four cupcakes

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Bookathon: The Ear, the Eye and the Arm

Starting time: 12:05
Ending time: 3:58 PM

Title: The Ear, the Eye and the Arm
Author: Nancy Farmer
Genre: Near-future sf/f
Pages: 301

Summary: Three wealthy children decide to sneak out of their safe home in Zimbabwe, and are promptly kidnapped. While they try to escape and find their way home, their mother hires the only detectives she can find: the Ear, the Eye and the Arm, whose exposure to nuclear waste has turned them into mutants — mutants with powers that may make them the only ones who can find the kids.

Thoughts: I picked this one up because I was looking for that rare unicorn of a book, a science fiction novel that’s not about white people. I definitely got that; the fact that this takes place in Africa is not window dressing. The book deals a lot with the struggle between traditional tribal beliefs and modern problems. I don’t know enough — let’s face it, anything — about Zimbabwean culture to judge if it handles it well and respectfully, but nothing really set off my BS radar. The characters were kind of flat, but the set pieces were fun, and I liked the redemption of the first villain the kids faced.

Four cupcakes.

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