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All these books I read during the the 2012 fall semester in the midst of midterms, finals, exams, presentations, and a deluge of art projects. These books don’t have their own post, not because they’re so bland (though a few do fall under that category) that they don’t warrant one, but mostly because I felt all has been said already. Or I was too lazy. Never mind, it’s the laziness.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (2012)
Edition Read: Audiobook/Hardcover (Because I was confused while listening to the audiobook, so I had to re-read some parts with a physical copy)
My Thoughts: Strong writing. But I wasn’t invested in the story. I wasn’t sure how the sub-plots connected, and when it finally did (late into the novel,) I wasn’t interested (ley lines? some dead king?) The protagonist, Blue, who was quickly overshadowed by everyone else. I have to give props to creativity though. Great plot twist and cliffhanger ending. I might’ve liked it more if I didn’t start with audio.
Rating: C++

Breed by Chase Novak (2012)
Edition Read: Hardcover
My Thoughts: Who better to recommend a horror novel for Halloween than Stephen King himself? He did say it was “the best horror novel I’ve read since Peter Straub’s Ghost Story.” Not sure if King has  low standards, was held hostage, or he’s read nothing since Ghost Story. The horror was pretty much non-existent (there were a few gory scenes, but I can’t say they were “scary.”) Thought it had an interesting premise, but the delivery in the second half was lackluster. A lot of pointless running around. A LOT.
Rating: C

Jeneration X: One Reluctant Adult’s Attempt to Unarrest Her Arrested Development; Or, Why It’s Never Too Late for Her Dumb Ass to Learn Why Froot Loops Are Not for Dinner by Jen Lancaster (2012)
Edition Read: Hardcover
My Thoughts: I thought this was supposed to be hilarious. But apparently it’s just re-hashed material thrown together under the premise of “learning how to be an adult.” Some stories made me smile, but the book grew disappointing as it went on. *sigh*
Rating: C+

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (2011)
Edition Read: Hardcover
My Thoughts: One of the most creative books I’ve read. The photographs was a nice addition that gave me goosebumps, but enchanted me at the same time. It also fit the Halloween mood I was in. Except after the halfway mark it wasn’t a horror story any more. Family secrets galore. Characters fell flat though. I think I was supposed to sympathize with the main character. But he was just an ungrateful jerk.
Rating: B+

Feedback by Robison Wells (2012)
Edition Read: E-book/Hardcover
My Thoughts: *flips table* Unlike Variant which was well-paced, this was just a mess of action with no thought. Romance was forced. I had no idea what’s going on in this world anymore: aren’t the students against the school? Why are they sheltering these two at the risk of their lives?  And that ending? WHAT IS THAT??  I had to re-read the last chapter with a physical copy to make sure it was really the end and not some sick joke on the e-book.
Rating: C


Warm Bodies by Issac Marion (2010)
Edition Read: Paperback
My Thoughts: A poetic take on zombies. A nice change in zombie books which has a poor reputation for not having substance. However, I felt this book was too pretentious for its own good. The prose was full of insights, but too heavy-handed for my liking. That ending? REALLY? I movie looks fun though. I wish he would wear a suit and a tie like he did in the book. Classy.
Rating: C++

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand (2011)
Edition Read: Audiobook
My Thoughts: Once of the few moments where I felt romance was well constructed with moments where my heart broke for Tucker. I had a “nice guys finish last” moment. There’s a love-triangle. But I believe in Tucker. I didn’t feel the importance of the angle’s “purpose” though. There were many nice moments, like the explanation of angels. The denouement felt like a cheesy, melodramatic teen superhero movie.
Rating: C+

Nerve by Jeanne Ryan (2012)
Edition Read: Hardcover
My Thoughts: ARGH. I was expecting more. But the result? lame. Melo-dramatic and forced. A bunch of greedy, rebellious teens do stupid things for money and fame. The romance and friendships are as filmsy as tracing paper. I think it was supposed to be a satire for our media culture but that concept wasn’t fully developed. I thought it was supposed to be a horror novel from the cover. A quick read though, but very repetitive. No tension whatsoever.
Rating: C-

The Cheese Monkeys: A Novel in Two Semesters by Chip Kidd (2012)
Edition Read: Hardcover
My Thoughts: I loved it more being a graphic design student. But I reckon anyone can enjoy this novel for its humor and wit. A slow start and almost unfitting denouement though. The ending is almost surreal. *headache* But the middle? I completely loved.
Rating: B+

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (2012)
Edition Read: Audiobook
My Thoughts: A raw, real coming of age story. I acknowledge its beautiful writing and its controversial aspects. But left me underwhelmed? Really? That was it? Where did that come from??
Rating: B-

Dare Me by Megan Abbott (2012)
Edition Read: Hardcover
My Thoughts: Loved the writing.  I very much enjoyed this book, even if it was about evil cheerleaders who wouldn’t stop at anything to be popular. Human nature can be disturbing. Some of the evil things these girls do to sabotage their “friends” is..scary. The mystery aspect surprised me (I didn’t even know it was supposed to be a mystery.) A lot of raw emotions. I only hope real teens aren’t THIS screwed up. EATING DISORDERS FOR EVERYONE!
Rating: B

Every Day by David Levithan (2012)
Edition Read: Paperback ARC (Thank you, The YA Bookcase!)
My Thoughts: This book can come across as preachy. But it was very thought-provoking. Any of the friends spoke to be within a month of me finish this book was pulled into a discussion about gender, and if it’s really a product of social construction. Every time I see the cover I wonder what the girl jumping on clouds is thinking “WHEEEE!! Soft clouds!” I didn’t COMPLETELY love this book because the sinister, interesting sub-plot was resolved too quickly. I didn’t approve of the ending. And there were repetitive bits that made A (the main-character) into a love-sick puppy. But this book made me cry. Surprisingly, not because of the star-crossed love story, but because of a heart-wrenching girl who needed help, and a father who refused to notice. Her story was only a chapter or so, but the impact was stronger than the rest of the book. But I did love this book and immediately lent it out to friends.
Rating: B++

Penguin 75 by Paul Buckley (2010)
Edition Read: Paperback
My Thoughts: EYE CANDY GALORE! This is a book I requested through inter-library loan under the guise that it was for my graphic design research paper, but was really more for my viewing pleasure. It’s interesting what authors think, but the book wasn’t very complete. I wanted more insight. GIVE ME THE THOUGHT PROCESS. Who knew the creator of The Shadow of the Wind‘s cover was just lucky and didn’t actually finish the book until the covers were printed? PENGUIN, PLEASE HIRE ME.
Rating: B–

Bossypants by Tina Fey (2011)
Edition Read: Audiobook
My Thoughts: This book is meant to be an audiobook. Nothing makes Bossypants better than Tina reading her story to you herself. I found her story inspiring, and her tips for improv strangely relevant to regular communication. I never found SNL funny (I’ve always preferred MadTV,) so maybe that’s why I didn’t laugh. I had some chuckles though.
Rating: B

Just My Type by Simon Garfield (2010)
Edition Read:Hardcover
My Thoughts: Typography for normal people! Unfortunately, the book was poorly organized and felt disjointed. And also apparently filled with errors and misleading information. Proves that even a book may not be the best research material (I think I ended up using a single quote in my final paper.) Not sure if the author really likes typography, or is just flaunting vocabulary found in a Typography 101 textbook. Some of his arguments were subjective, and I wasn’t sure where he was coming from. WHY IS THIS TYPEFACE NOT AS GREAT AS THAT ONE? WHAT MAKES IT BEAUTIFUL?? GIVE ME ANSWERS. Oh wells, still very readable.
Rating: B–

The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer (2012)
Edition Read: Hardcover
My Thoughts: Not impressed. Preachy (Original fairy tales are better than those lame Disney renditions! They have great morals!–oh really, Chris Colfer? Are you SURE you want the rape, incest, and gore in ORIGINAL fairy tales?). Clunky writing. Way too repetitive. And predictable plot twists that didn’t make much sense. But really, who was I kidding?
Rating: C

Mr. Monster by Dan Wells (2012)
Edition Read: Paperback
My Thoughts: I guess I am just determined to finish the series even if I wasn’t too impressed with the first book. Meh book. Had some interesting ideas though. But I never felt John Cleaver was really that disturbed. STOP THINKING YOU’RE SO SMART, JOHN. YOU ARE AN IDIOT. I was surprised that Wells managed to wrap the story up so quickly. On a side note, editting got worse. Dexter does the sociopath murderer thing better. This was like the first book modified slightly.
Rating: C+

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