Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause

Goodreads Summary: "Blood and Chocolate chronicles the longings and passions of one Vivian Gandillon, teenage werewolf. Her pack family, recently burned out of their West Virginia home by suspicious neighbors, has resettled in a sleepy Maryland suburb. At her new school, Viv quickly falls for sensitive heartthrob Aiden, a human--or "meat-boy," as her pack calls him. Soon she is trying to tame her undomesticated desires to match his more civilized sensibilities... But Vivian's animal ardor cannot be stilled, and she must decide if she should keep Aiden in the dark about her true nature or invite him to take a walk on her wild side."

Review: I finished this one quickly. It was a fast read, and besides being interesting, it didn't take long to get through. Like I said earlier, I liked Vivian and her personality, because it's different than the vanilla girls you usually read about in YA books. It was interesting to me how much of her behavior towards humans is just a product of her upbringing/family mores, since she takes a very submissive position when she's around other werewolves. I'm a little uncomfortable with how much of the book is about sex (hint: a lot), even though there isn't any actual sex. The sultry sensuality is a lot more prominent than, say, Twilight, and I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone younger than 16 or so.

Goodreads shelves: addictive, fluffy, is-a-movie, is-this-a-kissing-book, popular, pretentious



Interim Report - What I'm reading

I won't post summaries for these, just link to goodreads and tell you what I'm thinking.

The Maze Runner - So I was having a hard time with this one at first; I'm listening to it on CD, and I was worried that print might have been the better choice. I pushed on to finish at least the first disc, and I'm so glad I did. The narration is great. Once I gave it a chance and got used to it, I really really liked it. I'm in the middle of disc 3 right now, and the story is confusing and suspenseful and violent and I'm kind of addicted. I have so many questions, just like Thomas does. Will Thomas get to be a runner? What will he find when he does? Why is the maze there in the first place? How does Thomas know the mysterious girl?

Blood and Chocolate - I've wanted to read this, on and off, for a couple of years now. Now that I'm actually picking it up, I'm really liking it. Vivian is a different kind of Girl Main Character, and I like that. She's not some nice kid who 'just happens' to look like a model; she is a foxy femme fatale, and she knows it. She uses her sexuality to rule and possess the people around her, except for her family, who are also dominating werewolves. And she hides her insecurity really well, as I imagine most beautiful teenagers do.

Num8ers - This is also one I considered reading in print instead of listening to, but I'm glad I'm listening to it. I think the experience is really enhanced by listening to it being read with the British accent, which I wouldn't have recreated well enough in my head. The story is pretty exciting (even though I read too many reviews, I think; so far I've known pretty much everything that's happened), and I'm really curious about how the ending's going to turn out.

*side note: The premise of Numbers, wherein she has this unexplained ability to see people's "numbers" (that is, the date when they're going to die), reminds me strongly of this music video.*


The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan

Goodreads Summary: "When the goddess Artemis goes missing, she is believed to have been kidnapped. And now it's up to Percy and his friends to find out what happened. Who is powerful enough to kidnap a goddess?

They must find Artemis before the winter solstice, when her influence on the Olympian Council could swing an important vote on the war with the Titans. Not only that, but first Percy will have to solve the mystery of a rare monster that Artemis was hunting when she disappeared -- a monster rumored to be so powerful it could destroy Olympus forever."

Review: I'm really liking the Percy Jackson series. Like, a lot. They're well-written, the pace is good, they're funny, goofy, and high-stakes, all at the same time! I'm listening to them on CD as I drive to work, and they make the time pass incredibly painlessly.

In comparison to the other books, I think the Titan's Curse was on par with the first two. I liked the characters who were introduced, and I especially liked the character development of Zoe and her relationship with Percy. Basically, I can't wait to read the next two!

Goodreads Shelves: addictive, fluffy, funny, is-this-a-kissing-book, popular


Libyrinth by Pearl North

Goodreads Page

Summary (via the publisher's website): "Haly is a Libyrarian, one of a group of people dedicated to preserving and protecting the knowledge passed down from the Ancients and stored in the endless maze of books known as the Libyrinth. But Haly has a secret: The books speak to her.

When the threat of the rival Eradicants drives her from her home, Haly learns that things are not all she thinks they are. Taken prisoner by the Eradicants, who believe the written word to be evil, she sees the world through their eyes and comes to understand that they are not the book-burning monsters that she has known her entire life."

Review: It took me a while to get into this one. Like, a long time. Once I did, though (about halfway through the book), I was nice and addicted. The story breaks into two main lines (Haly's and her friend Clauda's), and I was WAY more into Haly's storyline, mostly because I'm a sucker for the romance.

The book was good in terms of allegorically addressing things like censorship and free speech, but it also got me to think about the logistics of a society that has completely rejected the written word. In today's world, where we're completely surrounded by writing everywhere we go, what could it be like not to be literate? To preach that literacy is a sin that will make you go blind? I would definitely read the sequel to this one (if the author decides to write one), and I want to read it again sometime.

Goodreads Shelves: addictive, fluffy, is-this-a-kissing-book, thought-provoking



The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger's Apprentice #1) by John Flanagan

Goodreads summary:"He had always wanted to be a warrior. The Rangers, with their dark cloaks and shadowy ways, made him nervous. The villagers believe the Rangers practice magic that makes them invisible to ordinary people. And now fifteen year-old Will, always small for his age, has been chosen as a Ranger's apprentice. What he doesn't realize yet is that the Rangers are the protectors of the kingdom. Highly trained in the skills of battle and surveillance, they fight the battles before the battles reach the people. And as Will is about to learn, there is a large battle brewing. The exiled Morgarath, Lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night, is gathering his forces for an attack on the kingdom. This time, he will not be denied . . . ."

Review: I liked this book; I liked Will's character, and I liked his relationships with Halt and Horace. I thought some of the narration was schmaltzy at times, though. I did like the pacing of the story; I like when you have the first book in a series, and you KNOW it's the first book in a series, so you can take as much time to tell the story as you want. I might or might not read the rest of these; we'll see.

**Note: I think my reading experience might be affected by the fact that I listened to most of it on CD, then read the last chapter or so in book-format.

Goodreads Shelves: addictive, fluffy, popular


The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

Goodreads Page

Summary (via Amazon): "In the summer between her freshman and sophomore years, Frankie Landau-Banks transforms from “a scrawny, awkward child” with frizzy hair to a curvy beauty, “all while sitting quietly in a suburban hammock, reading the short stories of Dorothy Parker and drinking lemonade.” On her return to Alabaster Prep, her elite boarding school, she attracts the attention of gorgeous Matthew, who draws her into his circle of popular seniors. Then Frankie learns that Matthew is a member of the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds, an all-male Alabaster secret society to which Frankie’s dad had once belonged. Excluded from belonging to or even discussing the Bassets, Frankie engineers her own guerilla membership by assuming a false online identity."

Review: Oh, man! Frankie is amazing! Her style rocks my soul. (I want to call it panache, but I think the word I'm really going for is moxy. She's got it up the wazoo.) This story speaks to my soul; it's a character study of a porcelain doll who doesn't want to be a porcelain doll anymore. And then, at the end, when it seems like people are trying to make her be a porcelain doll again, she just smiles an evil little smile and goes about her business. Man, oh man!

I almost wish I'd read this book in high school, so I could have emulated her then. It would have made my college life WAY more interesting, for sure. But then, that's the point of the book, in my opinion. I still can be as awesome as Frankie. Watch out, world...

Goodreads Shelves: addictive, funny, is-this-a-kissing-book, thought-provoking, to-own


City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Goodreads Summary:  "When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder - much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing - not even a smear of blood - to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy? 

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know.... "

Review: The plot of this book doesn't do it for me; it's way too predictable. And the characters are all fairly stock -- the Girl, the Guy, the Best Friend(s) Who Are In Love With Said Girl and Guy, etc, etc. (Although there are a few characters who get developed more in later books who are fairly awesome.) What I especially love about this book, though, is the humor. The tone of the book isn't funny; this isn't Doug Adams or anything. But the characters are all super-witty, and the dialogue is snappy and snarky, and I could read it all day.

Goodreads Shelves: addictive, fluffy, funny, is-or-would-be-a-good-movie, is-this-a-kissing-book, popular, pretentious, to-own



How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell

Summary (via Amazon): "Young Hiccup may be the son of Stoick the Vast, chief of the Hairy Hooligans, but he isn't exactly heroic Viking material. When he and the other boys of his tribe are sent on a mission to fetch dragons to train, Hiccup comes back with the scrawniest creature ever seen. Toothless, as Hiccup names him, is also rude, lazy, and greedy, but when the tribe is faced with horrible danger, Hiccup's unorthodox dragon-training techniques prove successful and he and his unique beast become true heroes."

Review: I was super-duper iffy on this one. The only reason I went to see the movie (besides the fact that it had a 98% fresh rating on rottentomatoes) was to avoid seeing The Bounty Hunter (which is reason enough to see almost anything). But I love the movie. Like, REALLY loved it. So, naturally, I had to read the book.
The book is part of the "The movie was better" Club, which is really hard to get into, so... kudos to... someone. Don't get me wrong, the book was ok, but the humor is a little low-brow for my taste. Since I'm not, you know, a nine-year-old boy. I think this is a good instance of "doesn't appeal to those outside of target demographic." But, for my purposes, it was cute enough.

Goodreads Shelves: fluffy,funny,is-a-movie,is-or-would-be-a-good-movie,popular


Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Goodreads summary: "When you don't talk, there's a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said. Harsh words indeed, from Brian Nelson of all people. But, D.J. can't help admitting, maybe he's right. When you don't talk, there's a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said. Stuff like why her best friend, Amber, isn't so friendly anymore. Or why her little brother, Curtis, never opens his mouth. Why her mom has two jobs and a big secret. Why her college-football-star brothers won't even call home. Why her dad would go ballistic if she tried out for the high school football team herself. And why Brian is so, so out of her league. When you don't talk, there's a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said. Welcome to the summer that fifteen-year-old D.J. Schwenk of Red Bend, Wisconsin, learns to talk, and ends up having an awful lot of stuff to say."

Review: In my time at the library, I've seen this book over and over, but I never realized it was so funny! I'm excited about reading her other books; is she going to be a new Favorite Author?

Goodreads Shelvesfunny, is-this-a-kissing-book, thought-provoking, to-own


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