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Pick-a-Shelf: Monthly > 2011-01 - Coming of age - Post January Reviews Here

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message 1: by Slayermel, On Maternity Leave (new)

Slayermel | 656 comments Mod
Can't wait to see what you read this month :0)


Blarneygod I give Catching Fire 3 stars. This is the second book in the Hunger Games series. I loved the first book in this series. Although I still enjoyed this second book, they revisited a lot of the same territory that they covered in the first one. I also found the main character a lot less likable in this book because she kept switching her attentions/emotions between two guys which was not fair to either guy.


message 3: by Vivian (last edited Jan 06, 2011 12:20AM) (new)

Vivian (_vivian) | 192 comments Just randomly happened that books I've been reading for other challenges fall into this month's categories. 3 so far :)

The Hunger Games 5 stars. Loved it, the premise of sending kids out to kill each other and televising it is messed up, but the characters are well-developed and the story had me captivated from beginning to end. A great dystopian YA book.

Beauty: A retelling 2 1/2 stars. Just a standard tale of Beauty and the Beast, very similar to the Disney version, so didn't seem very innovative to me (even though technically the book did come first).

Persepolis 4 stars. This is a graphic novel, which is a first for me. It's the story of a girl's life in Iran during wartime. There are certain events that are difficult to read about, but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the story told in this fashion and am willing to try more graphic novels in the future.


Karen (Karenofthebookworm) | 661 comments The Red Pyramid***, for the first book in a new series this wasn't bad but wasn't great either. It never grabbed me in the same way that the Percy Jackson series did.


message 5: by Tara (last edited Jan 06, 2011 05:45PM) (new)

Tara | 740 comments I read Girl in Translation by Jean Kwokand gave it 4 stars. I have read 2 books recently (the other book being Shanghai Girls, that featured chinese families imigrating to America. They differed in the time frame, but it was fun to compare and contrast them. This book was refreshingly different, in the fact that the POV was a young girl with a lot of potential and not a lot of support. Her intelligence opens doors even though her and her mother are devestatingly poor.
I am not sure why but both books contained a sister I did not like. In this book the sister was Kim's aunt. She was a spiteful mean person and honestly I did not like her. Although, she was a great character to compare to Kim's sweet and humble demeanor.
This was one of those books where the ending was so wonderful, that the ending left me feeling wholely satisfied. It was a bit of a surprise, which again was refreshing


Tien (tiensblurb) | 2731 comments Mod
Vivian wrote: ...Persepolis 4 stars. This is a graphic novel, which is a first for me. It's the story of a girl's life in Iran during wartime. There are certain events that are difficult to read about, but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the story told in this fashion and am willing to try more graphic novels in the future."

GREAT Stuff! This is what it's all about ;)


Lauren | 247 comments I just finished The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks I gave it 3 stars. My review (includes spoilers) can be found here

It was a good story with a strong message and I liked the strong female lead. There were a few things that really rubbed me the wrong way about the book and that is why I gave it 3 stars.


Tien (tiensblurb) | 2731 comments Mod
Lauren wrote: "I just finished The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks I gave it 3 stars. My review (includes spoilers) can be found here..."

Me too: here's my review

yeah, good message & strong intelligent protagonist and it really gets to you, doesn't it!?


Vivian (_vivian) | 192 comments Karen wrote: "Lauren wrote: "I just finished The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks I gave it 3 stars. My review (includes spoilers) can be found here..."

Me too: here's my review

..."


Sounds like an interesting book :)


Lahni | 316 comments I just finished The Perks of Being a Wallflower. 2 stars

Overall I like the idea of this book but it was ruined by the main character, Charlie's, voice. It just didn't ring true to me. Sometimes I felt more like I was reading Charlie from 'Flowers for Algernon'. It felt stilted and I could never quite get past it. Also, Patrick's friends were much more open and accepting of him being gay than I think would have really happened among teens in 1991.


message 11: by Susan (last edited Jan 07, 2011 02:25PM) (new)

Susan | 1859 comments I really enjoyed The House of the Scorpion. My review here .


message 12: by Tara (last edited Jan 07, 2011 05:42PM) (new)

Tara | 740 comments I listened to Linger.
I gave this one 3 1/2 stars rounded up to 4. The two new narrators did a really good job.
Overall, this book went a different direction than I thought it would.
1. No Olivia. She did not make one appearance.
2. The new problems for Sam and Grace were not what I thought they would be.
3. I really like Cole's storyline. I thought it was nice to have a nemesis for Sam.

Overall, I did not like this installment as much as I liked Linger, but I thought it was a good 2nd book. I think it sets up the 3rd book in the series nicely... now I just have to wait until July to find out what will happen!


Eden (Eden-pie) | 15 comments Gathering Blue

I think this will fit in this shelf. I just read it and really liked it, although the giver was a much more successfull in it teachings. I would have loved to have known what happened to the father and daughter. Did she ever leave her village after writing her own history on the singers robe, or did she change the points of view of the people around her forever so that poeple like her and her father could live among them.


Susan | 1859 comments After Tupac and D Foster

As Luann said when she reviewed it, this book is set in a world that's far from my growing-up experience. It felt real to me, though, and I enjoyed the glimpse into the lives of 3 young black girls growing up in Queens. My review here .

This is a good choice if anyone is looking for something by an African-American author that's on the coming-of-age shelf.


message 15: by Luann (last edited Jan 08, 2011 12:56PM) (new)

Luann (AZbookgal) | 988 comments Mod
Eden wrote: "Gathering Blue

I think this will fit in this shelf. I just read it and really liked it, although the giver was a much more successfull in it teachings. I would have loved to have ..."


It does fit, Eden. Eight people shelved it as coming-of-age.

It doesn't answer all the questions, but Lowry's Messenger is the companion book that connects The Giver and Gathering Blue.


message 16: by Lynne, On Sabatical (new)

Lynne (Lmsindel) | 573 comments Mod
Don't know where to post this but I just wanted to compliment whoever chose the profile pic. It perfectly captures this month's topic.


message 17: by Slayermel, On Maternity Leave (new)

Slayermel | 656 comments Mod
Lynne I was thinking the same thing :0)
I think Karen said she would give it a try


Luann (AZbookgal) | 988 comments Mod
Lynne wrote: "Don't know where to post this but I just wanted to compliment whoever chose the profile pic. It perfectly captures this month's topic."

I agree! It makes me smile every time I see it.


Addie (addiemon) | 5 comments The Hunger Games: 5/5

Despite all the many recommendations I'd had to read this novel, I knew nothing about it when I started-- so I was shocked to find myself so thoroughly engrossed as to finish it in a single 24-hour period. (Granted, it's not a long novel.)

The story isn't completely unfamiliar in concept: young adults and/or children thrown into survival/battle scenarios has been explored in everything from Lord of the Flies to Battle Royale to Ender's Game. But the semi-post-apocalyptic setting and the particular harshness of the games' nature as entertainment combine with the charm of the book's heroine to make for a wildly enjoyable ride.

Katniss Everdeen is fiercely intelligent and determined, if sullen and hostile to those not inside her very small trusted circle. To no one's surprise, she winds up summoned to the Hunger Games, a yearly "celebration" of the Capitol's control over the twelve Districts in which each district provides two children between the ages of 12 and 18 to fight to the last man standing. As in, to the death.

To no one's surprise but her own, Kat charms everyone around her, sometimes to an extent that surprises the reader. I guess in a world where the twelve districts are firmly under the heel of the wealthy Capitol, most people are attracted to someone as instinctively defiant as our heroine.

One could complain that the extent to which people seem to like or respect Kat feels a bit "mary sue-ish," but her own strong but flawed personality counters the majority of that.

All in all I would have a hard time thinking of people who read that I couldn't recommend it to. I'm looking forward to the second book in the series...which I'll probably wind up giving in and buying this very evening!


Eden (Eden-pie) | 15 comments Luann wrote: "Eden wrote: "Gathering Blue

I think this will fit in this shelf. I just read it and really liked it, although the giver was a much more successfull in it teachings. I would have lov..."


Thanks that is great information!


Luann (AZbookgal) | 988 comments Mod
Eden wrote: "Thanks that is great information!"

Happy to help. Those three are on my "should reread sometime" list - even though I don't have a shelf called that. :)


LynnB | 846 comments The Secret Garden is such a great classic children's book. Somehow I had never read it before, but when I saw it on the list, I knew I had to finally get to it. Wonderful little story. 5 stars, of course.


Sarah | 241 comments The Neverending Story
4 stars

This was a favourite of mine when I was a kid and I'm glad to say I enjoyed rereading it. The concept of being able to step into a book and take part in the story is something I'm sure many of us would love to do.
The book ends with the strong message that it's ok to be yourself and that we find strength and bravery within ourselves. Still a favourite.


Lahni | 316 comments Lynne wrote: "Don't know where to post this but I just wanted to compliment whoever chose the profile pic. It perfectly captures this month's topic."

Thanks! I chose it because I was the shelf picker this month. Glad you all are enjoying it!


message 25: by Slayermel, On Maternity Leave (new)

Slayermel | 656 comments Mod
Great job Lahni :0)


Tien (tiensblurb) | 2731 comments Mod
Yea, Lahni made a really good choice of the avatar for this month :)

@Addie: Loved the Hunger Games!!!


Dee (austhokie) | 930 comments I finished up reading Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War today which is def. a coming of age book with older individuals. It focuses on a company (lead by 1LT Fitch) in Vietnam near the Laos border who are trying to capture Matterhorn. It emphasizes how young so many of the kids (because that's what they were)...how many of the squad leaders and team leaders were not even 20 and were on 2nd and sometimes 3rd tours in country. Its told mostly through the eyes of 2Lt Mellas, an Ivy Leager who signed up to join the Marines in College because he thought it would look good on his resume, never actually planning on having to go into combat.
There is also a good depiction of how the civil rights movement in the US affected the soldiers in Vietnam with racist characters (such as SSgt Cassidy) and how he treated the black individuals who were in his company and how they retaliated and the shocking end (it totally blew my mind).
I highly recommend this, its exceptionally vivid - you feel like you are on the mountain with them...dehydrated and starving at times.


LynnB | 846 comments I finished The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Fun story about friendship. I can see how it was picked up for a movie when it came out. 4 stars for a YA read.


Lahni | 316 comments I read Speak

A well written book that balances a serious subject with teen-age sarcastic humor. Melinda was a well written character and her spiral into herself and her slow climb back out were very believable. Her voice rang true to me which I don't always find with young adult literature. While I liked the ending, a part of me wanted a few more answers. 4 1/2 stars.


Dee (austhokie) | 930 comments Lahni - have u seen the movie version of speak? I'd recommend it - I think it was done by lifetime or was at least shown on it. It had kristin stewart (twilight) as miranda


Lahni | 316 comments Dee- No I haven't seen it. I didn't know it was a movie. I'll have to look for it. Thanks.


Addie (addiemon) | 5 comments Karen wrote: @Addie: Loved the Hunger Games!!!"

Me too :) I'm itching to get my hands on the second book but I'm forcing myself to wait until my next paycheck ^^


Lahni | 316 comments The Secret Life of Bees

My only real complaint with this book is that is was a little slow in a couple of places. But overall a very enjoyable book that was not completely predictable. I would like to see the movie. I give it 4 stars.


Susan | 1859 comments I'd heard of Jill Ker Conway (first woman president of Smith College), but would never have thought to read The Road from Coorain if it hadn't been for the fact that it's on this month's shelf as well as this month's ROAR challenge. Thanks again to the group for pushing me in new directions! It was a wonderful read! 4 stars. My review here .


Jessica (jessc) | 2 comments I found Before I Fall to be aimed either at a teenaged audience or those who don't mind revisiting their high school years. However it explores the themes such as consequences and one's morality in such a way that draws you in as though it you that needs to make the decisions. Through the main group of characters we are shown the far reaching consequences of even the smallest actions, and the reader is left starkly questioning the way they act.


Susan | 1859 comments A friend wanted to read I Am Number Four before she saw the movie, and loaned it to me when she was done. I hadn't even heard of it. But it turns out to be young-adult science fiction, one of my favorites, and it's on the coming of age shelf as well. Can't do better than that. Quick, fun read. My review here .


readinghearts (Lyn M) (lsmeadows) | 1970 comments Mod
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

I told myself that I was going to be more stingy and discerning with my 5 star rating this year, but this book just fits the bill. It was a draws me in, intrigues me, can't wait to see where it goes, WOW! book. Thanks to my friend Scoozer for bringing it to my attention.

The book's central character is Rose, a girl who, at the age of nine, realizes that she can taste the feelings of the people who make the food she eats. It's not really mystical as Like Water for Chocolate is, but I actually liked this one better.


message 38: by Lynne, On Sabatical (new)

Lynne (Lmsindel) | 573 comments Mod
LynnB wrote: "The Secret Garden is such a great classic children's book. Somehow I had never read it before, but when I saw it on the list, I knew I had to finally get to it. Wonderful little story..."

That is one of the things I like best about PAS. I often get to books I've been meaning to read for some time!


message 39: by Lynne, On Sabatical (new)

Lynne (Lmsindel) | 573 comments Mod
Sarah wrote: "The Neverending Story
4 stars

This was a favourite of mine when I was a kid and I'm glad to say I enjoyed rereading it. The concept of being able to step into a book and take part..."


If you like stories where people go into books, you have to give the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde a try.


message 40: by Lynne, On Sabatical (new)

Lynne (Lmsindel) | 573 comments Mod
My review of Fire:

Unlike my sister, I do not give 5* easily, but I LOVED this book. It was a great romance (which I don't usually like) and a great Fantasy (which I almost always love).

The main character is Fire, a human "monster" who can control people's emotions and actions by reading their minds. Her father had the same powers and used them for selfishness and evil.He was the most hated man in the kingdom. One of the themes in the story is how Fire comes to grips with her own power/gift and the process she goes through to decide how, or if, she will use them.This theme strikes a deep chord with me as my children are adopted, and often have to go through the same types of thinking about their life before coming to live with their new family.

The other theme I really enjoyed in this book was the romance aspect. Don't get me wrong, there are no "heaving bosoms" or heaviy breathing which appear so often in a literary "romance". Here we see a slow and steady blossoming of friendship and shared understanding between Fire and Prince Brigan which gradually developes into something more. I couldn't wait to read about their next meeting on the roof top.

If I have one critisism of this book, it is that the ending seemed a little rushed and choppy, but that is a minor complaint compared to the enjoyment I got from the rich characters and story. I hope Ms. Cashore continues to write many more novels.


Tara | 740 comments I just finished Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson and gave it 4 stars.

What a book! This book is so haunting that I think it will take a long time to get it out of my head. As a mother of a girl, it horrified me. Anderson does a great job portraying what may go on in the mind of someone with anorexia and how this disease affects everyone who loves her.


Sarah | 241 comments Lynne wrote: "Sarah wrote: "The Neverending Story
4 stars

This was a favourite of mine when I was a kid and I'm glad to say I enjoyed rereading it. The concept of being able to step into a book..."


Hi Lynne, with the exception of The Last Dragonslayer, I've read all of Jasper Fforde's works so far, definitely one of my favourtite authors :)


readinghearts (Lyn M) (lsmeadows) | 1970 comments Mod
Sarah wrote: "Lynne wrote: "Sarah wrote: "The Neverending Story
4 stars

This was a favourite of mine when I was a kid and I'm glad to say I enjoyed rereading it. The concept of being able to st..."


I didn't even know about the last Dragonslayer. I will have to check that one out as I am a Jasper Fforde fan also.


message 44: by Lynne, On Sabatical (new)

Lynne (Lmsindel) | 573 comments Mod
Lyn M wrote: "Sarah wrote: "Lynne wrote: "Sarah wrote: "The Neverending Story
4 stars

This was a favourite of mine when I was a kid and I'm glad to say I enjoyed rereading it. The concept of being..."


I was just thinking the same thing.


Crystal I read The Center of Everything. I enjoyed reading it, but wasn't overwhelmed by it. The characters were believable, and the plot was engrossing. I was quite annoyed by the main character's mom, but was happy to see that she eventually comes of age too.


Susan | 1859 comments I wasn't too excited when this shelf was chosen, but it's turning out to be a great shelf for me!

I loved every minute of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. My review here .


message 47: by Sam (last edited Jan 16, 2011 09:18AM) (new)

Sam (Ecowitch) | 409 comments I have finally caved and started reading the Potter series. I was underwhelmed by Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone but it wasn't as bad as I was expecting so I gave it 2*. Parts of it were a little predictable and everything and everyone for that matter was very clearly either good or bad, but as a childrens book it wasn't too bad. I have been assured that the series does improve so I am going to persevere with them.

I also read All Quiet on the Western Front without realising it was listed on the coming-of-age shelf. I gave this book 5* but that doesn't do justice to this heart-felt and heart-rending book. This is a must read for everyone, no matter who you are or where you're from.


LynnB | 846 comments Invisible Man by Ralph EllisonInvisible Man is a book written in the 1940's and is all about racism and rage. It begins with an "invisible man" -- "I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me." At the beginning, the unnamed protagonist is a black college-student in the south. He is sent to the north (Harlem) under false pretenses and then gets involved in community activism. Parts of the book are hard to read because of the things that happen to him along the way, but it is an excellent book to understanding racism and manipulation. I didn't expect to like this book, but I gave it 4 stars.


Susan | 1859 comments I give Will Grayson, Will Grayson 4 1/2 stars. It's really wonderful. My review here


Christy (miss_c_3) | 35 comments Tara wrote: "I just finished Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson and gave it 4 stars.

What a book! This book is so haunting that I think it will take a long time to get it out of my head. As a mother of a girl, it..."


This one has been on my TBR for quite some time. I read her book Speak a few years back and had a similar feeling that the book would stick with me for some time.


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