Sunday, February 15, 2015

Variety is the Spice of Life

So, it turns out, I am pretty much incapable of reading one book at a time. I have to have at least two in order to be truly happy. I've been reading through all of Sarah Dessen's books, but I have also been reading the Gallagher Girl series. The Gallagher Girl series is one that is possibly on the chopping block. I love the series, but I wasn't completely sold on the ending last time I read it. I'm giving it another chance before I decide anything. I'm on the second to last book right now, so a decision will probably be made next week.

In other news, Harper Lee has a new book coming out! I'm excited and sad at the same time. I mean, I love To Kill a Mockingbird, it is undoubtedly a classic, and I really want to read something else by Harper Lee. The sadness comes from the questions that have been raised about this book. People are saying that this book may be coming out because Harper Lee is being taken advantage of. It's possible she never wanted it published. I really hope that is not the case. I think the only one who really knows what the true story is is the author, and I'm not sure we're going to get the story from her.

I'm trying to get to To Kill a Mockingbird before the new book comes out. I'm still working on reading my books in order on the shelves, so I have two whole bookshelves to read before I get to that one book. My guess is that I will end up reading it before I finish the other books, because I don't think I will be able to read all the books that are ahead of it before July. I may have to start another countdown.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Complex World of Sarah Dessen

When I started re-reading Sarah Dessen's books, I only remembered Colby, I completely forgot about the other town where I'd say roughly half of her books take place. It's a town that is supposed to be about 4 hours away from Colby, and the characters will still interact with each other, but it doesn't happen very often. I just finished Just Listen. I feel like I'm reading the books in the wrong order. I have been reading them in the order they are on in my bookshelf, but that means the newer ones tend to be closer to the front of the line. Don't get me wrong, there is technically no right or wrong order to read the books in, but when I was reading What Happened to Goodbye, it mentions a guy and a girl talking about music, and those people are the main characters in Just Listen. I'm starting to feel like if you want all the details about everybody in one of the books, you need to start with the first book she wrote, and work your way toward the new ones. It's fine if you don't, but you may miss out on some of the connections that are ever present.

Sometimes when I read books like Sarah Dessen's, I wonder how she keeps it all straight in her head. There are so many different characters and events that all kind of intertwine. I would have to have a giant white board or something. I've decided that the next time I read her books, I'm going to try to keep track off all the different characters, and where they appear. It will probably be a while before I do that, because I'm still working on reading all of my books. Maybe I'll do it when the new book comes out. The countdown is on.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Huston, We Have a Problem

I've run into a conundrum I've never experienced before. I read Out of the Woods, which is the second book in a series before I read the first one. I finished it and thought, "Okay, I can accept that." The problem appeared when I tried to read the first one. I say "tried," because I never actually finished the first one. I got it from the library, and only finished about a third of it before I realized that I really had no desire to read the rest. Normally, a series starts out fine, and then seems to wane off at the end, like the author had no clue how to wrap everything up. This one is the exact opposite. Now I'm torn.

If a series doesn't end well, then I end up getting rid of the whole series. I've never had the issue where it ended well, but the beginning didn't work. The second book is not able to stand on its own though. You have to have the first book in order to really have the whole story. I feel bad getting rid of one book that was okay; it wasn't the greatest thing ever, but it worked; because the story starts off in another book in a way that made me put the book down in despair.

I guess I have to let it go. I need more room on my shelves for the books I really enjoy.

Here it is, the first book on my cut list. Out of the Woods.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Knowing the end from the beginning

As one of my Christmas presents, my mom bought me Out of the Woods by Lyn Gardner. I decided to read it, even though I had not read the first book. Now, I'm reading the first book, already knowing how the story ends for all of the characters. It's a little weird, I wouldn't recommend it.

While I'm reading Into the Woods, I am also starting my Sarah Dessen books. These books are kind of like Brian Jacques Redwall series. The books read just fine on their own. You can pick up any one of them and know what is going on. If you read all the books through, you start seeing a bigger picture. The books pretty much all take place in the small town of Colby, and the people that are kind of just background characters in one book, are the main characters in another. I might just be weird, but I find great joy in reading one of Sarah Dessen's books, and recognizing a character or place from one of the other books. It makes me feel like my understanding of the story goes deeper. I've been reading The Moon and More, which is one of her newer books, and while I've been reading it, I keep thinking of things like "Hate Spinnerbait", and "No, no, to Tallyho". These thoughts really have nothing to do with the book, but Spinnerbait and Tallyho are mentioned in passing. These sayings come from other books by the same author. It's like I have intimate knowledge of all the people in this little town. If the books were based on reality, I feel like I could go to Colby, the town where most of the stories takes place, and walk around like a local. I would gladly go visit this little town that has captured my imagination.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

So Long Sailor Moon

So, I finished all 12 Sailor Moon books. I was left kind of speechless. Manga is a completely different world. I understand why the cartoon changed some things. At least in America some parents would have a meltdown if the show went along with the books.

In other news, I am on the last book of the Tennis Shoes series. I've heard this isn't the last book in the series, so I'm curious as to how it ends. I mean, the series goes through the Book of Mormon, and this book is taking place at the very end of the Book of Mormon, so what now? I will most likely finish it tonight, because I'm not sure I will be able to sleep until I know how this thing ends. I kind of feel like the author is having a little too much fun killing off characters. It's like he suddenly decided he had too many people to work with, and so he just started killing them off. Seriously, they are dying left and right. I guess with all the time travel stuff, keeping track of where they are and who is where gets more confusing with more characters, but do they really have to die?

The other book I'm currently reading is Out of the Woods by Lyn Gardner. I haven't read the first one yet, so I have no clue what happened before I picked up the story, but I think I'm still understanding it well enough. I'm on the waiting list for the first one at the library, so I will just read that one second. I'm not sure I remember when the last time was I read a book with pictures, besides Sailor Moon that is.

Once I finish the last Tennis Shoes book, I will be moving on to one of my favorite authors...Sarah Dessen. Her books are realistic fiction, which is awesome. Sadly, one of her books is possibly on the chopping block. Dreamland is one of those books that I read once and wasn't quite sure about. I'm giving it another try before I decide its fate. You can go to to find out about all of her books. I just learned that she has a new book coming out in May! That is going on my list of books to buy. The countdown has begun.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

New Year, New Resolution

I feel like I do this every year. Say that I'm going to actually keep up with this blog, and then nothing happens. So, here we go again.

For Christmas, I told my mom I wanted books. We went to the Scholastic Warehouse sale, and I ended up with a box full of lovely new books. I'm going to work really hard on not buying any more new books until I read all of the ones I currently own, therefore, the library is going to be my new best friend.

I started out this year already in the middle of two series. Tennis Shoes Adventure Series by Chris Heimerdinger and Sailor Moon by  Moko Takeuchi. These are two completely different series, one is religious historical fiction, and the other is a Japanese graphic novel. Oddly enough, they both have twelve books.

Chris Heimerdinger decided that for the 12th book in this series, he would take the characters from one of his other series, and add them to this one. Because of that, I visited the handy dandy library and picked up the other series so that I would know what was going on. I didn't want to get the the 12th book and suddenly have no clue what the backstory was for a bunch of the characters. I'm currently rereading book 11. Whenever I get a new book in a series, I always reread all of the previous books to make sure I have not forgotten any important details. 

When I was little, Sailor Moon was the random cartoon that my babysitter had on VHS. Last year, I discovered a site that has all the episodes of Sailor Moon that have been released in the U.S. I became curious about how closely the show matches the books. Growing up I didn't even know there were books. I went to the library and picked up the whole series. I'm currently on book 7. The books are actually rated for ages 13+, which I can understand. There are things in the books that you just don't see in the show, at least not the American version. I don't know what other countries show.

So that is what I'm reading right now. After I finish these, the next books on my shelf are my Sarah Dessen books. I'm super excited to read those again.

Well, hopefully I can make it work this year.