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message 1: by Kayla (last edited Nov 04, 2011 09:08PM) (new)

Kayla | 150 comments My challenge this year will be 65 books.

I had originally planned to do themed months (ex. November-Young Adult Books) and read at least two to three books off my TBR list that fit the theme, but now I'm not so sure. I think I'll start out aiming for just one themed book for the month and picking it solely from my TBR list, which will leave a good part of my month open for whatever books I'm in the mood for, as well as all the books I have to read for my literature classes. I'll be taking 3 to 4 lit classes a semester, which means a lot of required reading.

*All themes are subject to change:

November: Young Adult

December: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die

January: Books I Own

February: Dystopian

March: Thrillers/Mystery

April: Magical-Realism

May: Modern Library Top 100

June: Nonfiction (Memoirs don't count)

July: Short Stories

August: Classics

September: Award Winners

October: Horror

message 2: by Kayla (last edited Aug 17, 2011 11:11PM) (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Harry Potter Challenge

I've been dying to reread the Harry Potter series, and this year's as good as any to finally do it. I'll list all the HP books here as I read them:

1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

message 3: by Kayla (last edited Nov 03, 2010 09:46PM) (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 1: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood ****

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

I liked this book better than the other ones I had read by Atwood. The book opened in a futuristic world where all the burning questions you had about it were revealed little by little throughout the book (I'm learning that this is Atwood's usual style) and while this can be frustrating, it didn't bother me as much as it did with Oryx and Crake.

Read my full review here

message 4: by Kayla (last edited Nov 03, 2010 09:44PM) (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 2: Blue Moon by Alyson Noel ***

Blue Moon (The Immortals, #2) by Alyson Noel

*Young Adult #1

This is the second book of the immortals series. I didn't enjoy it quite as much as the first one. Ever didn't exactly hold the same likeability in this book. Her naivete annoyed me a bit. And Damen and Ever's relationship didn't show much progress from the first book, and in fact their relationship sort of moved backwards at the end. However, I did enjoy Blue Moon overall and I plan to read the third book soon.

message 5: by Kayla (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 3: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce **

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

I started this book in June and just finished it. I was really hoping to love this book. I don't know why, but ever since middle school I believed that James Joyce would become one of my all time favorite authors. I felt an unexplainable pull towards him, but I decided to wait until I was in college to read him because I heard that he was difficult. Boy, is he ever! I enjoyed a few of the passages in this book, particularly the priest's sermon on Hell (which will haunt me until my dying day) and Stephen's monologue on beauty and aesthetics. So much of the novel just went straight over my head, though.

I have to take some blame for not enjoying this book that much. I turned my reading of it into work rather than pleasure. Since I didn't have an annotated copy, I had to look up all the Irish slang and Latin phrases. I made sure that I always had a pen and highlighter with me, and for the first half of the book I always had to have my laptop available too until I decided to print out the glossary I was constantly referring to.

I put so much effort into it because I knew that I would reread it one day, and I wanted to make sure that I would be able to focus on the story rather than the academics of it. I'm a bit too turned off from it right now to begin rereading it right away, but maybe after a few months I can prepare myself to pick it up again. And hopefully I'll enjoy it much more.

message 6: by Kayla (last edited Jan 26, 2011 10:31AM) (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 4: A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly *****

A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

*Young Adult #2

Amazing, amazing, amazing! I really loved this book and Mattie is such an awesome character. If you're a book lover, you'll feel such a connection with Mattie, who's a very avid reader and connects many things in her life with the classics she has read as well as with her 'word of the day'.

message 7: by Kayla (last edited Nov 15, 2010 03:04PM) (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 5: The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong *****

The Reckoning (Darkest Powers, #3) by Kelley Armstrong

*Young Adult #3

This is the last book in the Darkest Powers trilogy and I thought it was a great ending. The ending wasn't conclusive but that's alright since the whole paranormal science experiment conspiracy will be continued in Armstrong's new Darkness Rising series and the characters in this book will show up again in book 3. I'm so happy about that because Chloe and Derek had just gotten together at the very end of this book and I really want to see them as couple.

message 8: by Kayla (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 6: Shadowland by Alyson Noel **

Shadowland (The Immortals, #3) by Alyson Noel

*Young Adult #4

This is the third book of The Immortals series, and I think it's going to be the last one I read even though there are three other books in the series. I'm liking Ever less and less, and it's the same with almost every other character in this series too. They are all just getting incredibly annoying and frustrating to read about. The only character I feel neutral about is Damen and that is just because he still remains an enigma.

message 9: by Kayla (last edited Jan 26, 2011 10:27AM) (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 7: Fallen by Lauren Kate *****

Fallen (Fallen, #1) by Lauren Kate

*Young Adult #5

I really loved this book. It has a similar premise to Noel's Immortals series in that an immortal guy falls in love with a mortal girl who dies over and over again, but the two find each other in every lifetime. I thought this book was much more well-written than Immortals and I liked all of the characters.

message 10: by Kayla (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 8: Room by Emma Donoghue *****

Room by Emma Donoghue

This book was such an emotional read. I always knew that I wasn't a kid person, so reading a book told from the perspective of a five-year-old was frustrating for me at times (and the breast feeding scenes were just plain disturbing) but I was really pulled into the story. Unforgettable.

message 11: by Kayla (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 9: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson ****

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

*Young Adult #6 (finished on 11/29)

I loved Melinda's voice. Anderson is great at creating a genuine teenage narrator. I liked the movie a little bit better than the book, though. Firstly, the parents were more likeable-they came across as more quirky than neglectful. Secondly, art seemed to have a greater importance to Melinda in the movie than it did in the book. It was important in the book too, don't get me wrong. It was what helped Melinda sort through her emotions and find the courage to speak up. But in the movie, it seemed to hold a deeper meaning for her, something more lasting that she would continue with throughout her life.

message 12: by Kayla (last edited Dec 02, 2010 03:54PM) (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 10: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling *****

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1) by J.K. Rowling

I also finished this book in November, but since it's a reread I won't count it as one of my themed books. I really love this series. I'm not a total fanatic who reads all the fanfiction and goes to the midnight showings of all the movie premiers, but I enjoy it. Watching Harry Potter 7 made me really want to zoom through the other books. I love Ron and Hermoine and I'm really impatient to get to the later books when some romantic tension begins to arise in their relationship.

message 13: by Kayla (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 11: The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisnero ***

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

*1001 #1

I'm surprised this book is referred to as a coming-of-age novel because it had very little to do with the young girl. It was mostly a description of her neighbors. I liked it alright, but it is definitely not what it is toted as.

message 14: by Kayla (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Oh man, I'm doing so bad this month. I'm in the middle of reading four books but I haven't come close to finishing any of them. Well, the 10 books I read in Nov. will make up for the awfulness of this month. I don't know why, but I always slack off on my reading during the holidays (when I should be reading a lot more with all the extra free time). At least I completed the monthly theme book. :\

message 15: by Kayla (last edited Jan 18, 2011 02:05PM) (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 12: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling *****

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2) by J.K. Rowling

*I own this book, but since it's a reread I won't officially count it for the challenge

Well, I'm not zooming through this series like I thought I would but I gave myself all year to finish them, so no rush. I'm really not as into these books as rereads like I was when everything was fresh and new, which is a shame because I've heard from so many people that this series is great to read over and over again. However, I'm still keeping them at 5 stars because Harry Potter totally blew me away when I first read them in middle school/high school and I can still remember the intense reactions I had while reading the books. Usually I would demote a book by a star or two if I didn't enjoy it as much at a later date, but it just doesn't seem fair to do that in this case.

I think the main reason why I can't enjoy rereading this series is because I've seen the movies so many times (and the movies did a great job of staying very faithful to the books). It feels like I'm reading Chamber of Secrets for the dozenth time rather than just the second time. I think once I get to Book 4, I'll be able to enjoy the books much more, because as similar as the movie may be to the book, there's no way it could include near the amount of detail that was in that 750 page tome.

message 16: by Kayla (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 13: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett ***

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

I read this for a groupread, and many in my group agreed that this book should really only be read by 3rd-4th graders, who would really love this book. Reading it as adults, the book just seems slow and predictable. It picks up about halfway through when Mary meets Colin-I really began to enjoy the book then-but I can never call this a favorite. I wish I had read it as a child so it could have held more meaning for me.

message 17: by Kayla (last edited Sep 17, 2011 10:17PM) (new)

Kayla | 150 comments New Challenge!

I joined the Non-Fiction challenge for the Broke and the Bookish blog. It lasts from January 17, 2011 to December 31, 2011.

Cultural: Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil by Deborah Rodriguez
Art: Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading: Finding and Losing Myself in Books by Maaureen Corrigan OR Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch
Food: French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure by Mireille Guiliano
Medical: Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
Travel: 360 Degrees Longitude: One Family's Journey Around the World by John Higham
Memoir: The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts by Maxine Hong Kingston
Science/Nature: Proust was a Neuroscientist by Jonah Lehrer OR The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory by Brian Greene OR The Hot Zone by Richard Preston
History: The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

*There's also a Money category, but I'm not at all interested in reading a finance book.


1-3 books from different categories: Master of Trivial Pursuit
4-6 books from different categories: Apply for Who Wants to Be a Millionaire
7-9 books from different categories: Future Jeopardy Champion


message 18: by Kayla (last edited Jan 22, 2011 02:54PM) (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 14: Sing Me to Sleep by Angela Morrison ****

Sing Me to Sleep by Angela Morrison

*Books I Own #1

I loved a lot of things about this book-I loved the choir background (it made me really wish I had pursued voice lessons in high school like I had thought about), I loved that it was set in Switzerland (there was a lot of beautiful imagery), and Derek and Beth's relationship was so sweet and so real-very believable as a teenager's first love. I knew Derek's secret right away, but that was because I had been flipping through the book before I had started reading and I saw that there were pictures in the back, which made me curious-they were a BIG giveaway. Word of advice for those who hate spoilers-do not flip through the pictures in the back before reading the book. I still enjoyed the book even while knowing Derek's secret the whole time, but I wish I hadn't accidentally discovered it in the beginning.

The only part of this book that I didn't like was Scott. He came off as so pushy to me and I just didn't buy that Beth really felt anything more for him than as just a friend (her absolute best friend, sure, but nothing too intimate). And Scott constantly judged Derek the whole time Derek was seeing Beth-Scott never had one good thing to say about him. It was all insults and snap judgements, which really bugged me. I can understand that he was jealous, but he had been Beth's best friend since pre-school. You'd think he could put away his own feelings for a while and just be happy for her instead of constantly tearing down her boyfriend and continually pushing himself on her. Honestly, his flirting just always came across as inappropriate to me, even before she met Derek, and I could never bring myself to like him.

message 19: by Kayla (last edited Jan 25, 2011 07:18PM) (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 15: Human Chain: Poems by Seamus Heaney **

Human Chain Poems by Seamus Heaney

*Book I Own #2

I had to read this book for my Contemporary Literature class. I didn't care for it, and that's not just because it was a book of poetry-I'm reading Sharon Old's Strike Sparks right now for another class and I'm really enjoying it. Heaney's poems just didn't grab my attention and I found myself spacing out while I was reading the longer poems that spanned pages. I noted around 8 poems or so that I wanted to go back over (to consider for the essay I have to write on one) and I'll probably read those aloud in order to get a better feel for them. I'm learning that poems are much better when read aloud rather than when read silently.

message 20: by Kayla (last edited Jan 25, 2011 07:18PM) (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 16: Outside Wonderland by Lorna Jane Cook ***

Outside Wonderland by Lorna Jane Cook

*Book I Own #3

This was a book I had won from Goodreads. I ended up liking it much more than I expected. It was a pretty fast read, and I liked the three siblings. The parts with the parents in heaven I didn't think were well written, though. I thought the story suffered from those sections of the chapter, which felt displaced and it broke the flow of the story. But that's my only major complaint.

message 21: by Valetta (new)

Valetta | 6 comments hey kayla,

i have reas 12 books so far in january and 4 audio books.

message 22: by Kayla (last edited Feb 01, 2011 08:24AM) (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 17: Pink by Lili Wilkinson ****

Pink by Lili Wilkinson

*Book I Own #4

This was a first-reads win. It's my favorite of the giveaways I've won so far. The book is a humorous young-adult novel about a girl, Ava, who is trying to understand who she is and where she belongs. She has very liberal parents who love that their daughter wears all black and is in a lesbian relationship with an artsy, well-read goth. However, Ava is starting to fantasize about kissing boys and wearing soft, pink sweaters and she decides to test out this new identity at a prestigious private school that she is transferring to. Great read, interesting characters.

message 23: by Kayla (last edited Feb 09, 2011 04:32PM) (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 18: Nohow On: Company, Ill Seen Ill Said, Worstward Ho: Three Novels by Samuel Beckett *

Nohow On Company, Ill Seen Ill Said, Worstward Ho Three Novels by Samuel Beckett

*Book I Own #5 (finished 01/31)

Ugh! That's really all I can say about this book. I didn't understand a thing-which is really bad considering I have to write a paper on it due this Saturday. The only novel I slightly liked in this trilogy was Ill Seen Ill Said, which I thought had beautiful imagery and I can even say I found the prose mesmerizing at times, but I still wouldn't rate it above 2 stars. This kind of experimental writing is just not my thing. I never would have read past the second page if it hadn't been assigned-reading.

message 24: by Kayla (last edited Feb 09, 2011 04:32PM) (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 19: If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino *****

If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino

Really fantastic book! I can't resist the books that start out in second-person, thus speaking directly to me. In the beginning, it really seemed as if the narrator was in my mind and I could actually imagine myself being the Reader. As I read farther, the Reader started to develop more characteristics (such as being male, for one) so that feeling of being an actual character in the book didn't last, but I still loved it. The chapters that focused on the Reader were my favorite of the novel, and I sped through those parts. The stories told were pretty interesting too, except for a couple that I really coudn't get into: Without fear of wind or vertigo and In a network of lines that intersect weren't really to my taste, but that was bound to happen considering how different each story is from the other. Looks down in the gathering shadow was by far my favorite of the ten stories. I wish that one was a full-length novel (I truly felt the Reader's frustration in not being able to finish that particular book). What a way to begin a story!--a guy riding around with a dead guy that he's trying to get rid of.

How Calvino set up the stories in the first few chapters was amazing. Here's a sample from the opening of the first story, If on a winter's night a traveler:

The novel begins in a railway station, a locomotive huffs, steam from a piston covers the opening of the chapter, a cloud of smoke hides part of the first paragraph...The pages of the book are clouded like the windows of an old train, the cloud of smoke rests on the sentences.

I repeat: A-ma-zing. It really makes you feel as if you're sitting right in the middle of the action and that you're truly a part of the setting. He doesn't use this method in all the stories, unfortunately, but the entire book is truly wonderful. It's a new favorite of mine.

message 25: by Kayla (last edited Feb 10, 2011 03:24PM) (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 20: Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer ***

Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1) by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Dystopian #1

This was a pretty interesting read-I liked the whole concept of the moon being knocked out of its orbit by a meteor. It was a little slow for me at the beginning, but once I got a little over halfway through I sped through the rest. Miranda was a very realistic teenage heroine. I'm looking forward to the next book in the trilogy.

message 26: by Kayla (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 21: Strike Sparks: Selected Poems, 1980-2002 by Sharon Olds ****

Strike Sparks Selected Poems, 1980-2002 by Sharon Olds

I really enjoyed this collection of confessional poetry. Olds steered clear of the abstract and stuck with beautiful concrete imagery. I got caught up in many of her poems. I included a couple of my favorites in my review.

message 27: by Kayla (last edited Feb 12, 2011 05:01PM) (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 22: 666 Park Avenue by Gabriella Pierce ****

666 Park Avenue by Gabriella Pierce

I won this from Goodreads giveaways. When I recieved it in the mail, I was really struck by the beauty of the cover. The romantic-looking cover is actually quite misleading, though, because the story revolves around an evil witch of a mother-in-law (quite literally, she's a witch with magical powers). I thought the book was a fast and entertaining read. It had some mystery and the ending was very fast-paced and action-packed. I was upset that the romance between Malcolm and Jane didn't work out, but the ending was left open so who knows what will happen with them?

message 28: by Kayla (last edited Mar 01, 2011 04:19PM) (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 23: The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts by Maxine Hong Kingston **

The Woman Warrior Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts by Maxine Hong Kingston

I would really give this book 2.5 stars if I was able. It was a lot better than the books I usually give 2 stars for, but I didn't enjoy it enough to give it a 3. The book was very slow to me and I could never really get into it. I don't know if that is because this type of memoir isn't for me or if I just wasn't in the right mood. I thought the writing was wonderful and I liked learning more about Chinese culture and legends. However, the fact that the author calls this nonfiction and includes so much mythological storytelling (and, more so, that she calls it a memoir yet writes mostly about her mother and aunts but rarely herself) turned me off from this book.

message 29: by Kayla (last edited Feb 23, 2011 12:45PM) (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 24: Wind in a Box by Terrance Hayes ***

Wind in a Box (Poets, Penguin) by Terrance Hayes

I read this poetry collection for a class. I thought it was alright. I enjoyed his play on words and the way he imitated the voices of other poets and famous persons (in his Blue collection), though I'm sure I would have liked that section much better if I was more familiar with the people he mentioned. I also liked how he switched from free verse to prose poems throughout the book-the variety made it more fun to read.

Favorites: Woofer, Pine, Harryette Mullen, IV.RSVP

message 30: by Kayla (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 25: What Narcissism Means to Me by Tony Hoagland ****

What Narcissism Means to Me by Tony Hoagland

This is a great collection of poetry. Hoagland has such a funny, witty voice and you could easily read this book in one sitting. I truly enjoyed reading him, and I wish he wrote prose because then I could enjoy his writing on a whole other level.

I included the first two-thirds of his poem "America" in my review

message 31: by Kayla (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 26: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley ****

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce, #1) by Alan Bradley

Mystery #1

I think it may be cheating to count this as a March themed book since I read most of it in February, but oh well. I'm going to count it anyway. :)

Flavia de Luce is a fantastic narrator. The 11-year-old genius who loves chemistry stumbles upon a dead man in her English home's garden and takes it upon herself to discover who the murderer is. It read a little slow at times (though I may have felt that way simply because I couldn't read as much as usual due to all the school work I had to catch up on) but otherwise I loved it.

message 32: by Kayla (last edited Mar 17, 2011 03:53PM) (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 27: Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman: 24 Stories by Haruki Murakami *****

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman 24 Stories by Haruki Murakami

This was my first time reading Murakami's short stories (I've read a couple of his novels and loved them,especially The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle-I'm gonna have to reread that one someday). What's so great about Murakami is that he can write about a mundane day or event in a normal person's life and make it sound fascinating. And, of course, he throws in some surreal stories into the mix. Love it.

message 33: by Kayla (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 28: Beastly by Alex Flinn ***

Beastly by Alex Flinn

I was hoping to like Beastly much more than I did. The preview of the movie looked so good and I went to the library to read the book right away. I thought it was okay, but mostly it was just a mediocre fairy tale retelling. None of the characters were very fleshed out and the dialogue often seemed stilted. However, it was a quick read and I enjoyed it for what it was.

message 34: by Kayla (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 29: Torment by Lauren Kate ****

Torment (Fallen, #2) by Lauren Kate

A great second installment to the Fallen series. Luce is a wonderful, independent heroine and and I love the author's writing. She creates such amazing, unique settings-I can picture everything so perfectly. This has been such a great series so far.

message 35: by Kayla (last edited Mar 17, 2011 04:35PM) (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 30: Indulgence in Death (In Death, #31) by J.D. Robb ****

Indulgence in Death (In Death, #31)  by J.D. Robb

Mystery #2

I absolutely love Eve and Roark (one of my favorite literary couples). They had a lot more scenes in this book than previous ones, which I was really excited about, and so many familiar faces showed up throughout (Mavis and her baby, Mira, Trueheart, Siobhan, ect). Many just had one small scene, but I still loved that they were there. The investigation went a little differently than usual, with Eve already knowing who the murderer was for a good part of the book. A lot of her investigation dealt with gaining enough evidence to arrest. I think this is the first time that an In Death book was written this way, but I can't be sure-this is the 31st book after all and I've read them all! It's impossible to remember every story. But either way, I enjoyed this change and it made all the cop work less monotonous to read about than it had in many of the past books. I definitely enjoyed this installment much more than I have the others that have been published in the last year or so.

message 36: by Kayla (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 31: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer ****

Nightshade (Nightshade, #1) by Andrea Cremer

When I first saw this book in Goodreads giveaways, I just had to have it (I was going mostly off of the cover but who could blame me?). I had no money to buy it myself so I was entering every single giveaway I could find for this book. I must have entered about a dozen all together; I didn't win a single one. Finally, Christmas arrived!

As much as I wanted the book, I shamefully waited three months before actually picking it up, and then when I began reading I worried that I was in for a great disappointment. The first 1/3 of the book started out so slowly and I wasn't nearly as into it as I thought I'd be. Plus, I didn't like Shay that much. I didn't hate him, but for someone who I knew would end up the winner in this love triangle, I wish I could have been more attracted to him. As it was, I am most definitely Team Ren. While I hate the fact that he was pretty much a manwhore up until the month before his planned wedding with Calla, I could see that he truly loved her and that he would be faithful to and respectful of her once they got together. It's really going to break my heart when he gets thrown aside (which I know he will).

Nightshade became much more interesting in plot once Calla and Shay started to do some investigating into the past history of the Keepers. Cremer knows her world really well. It's so detailed (though I really could have done without the patriarchical society part of it-the way the male leaders treated the women grated on me a lot). I became very invested in the story and caught up in the game. Then, just a little over halfway through, I was really thrown for a loop. *Major Spoilers*(view spoiler)

I'm excited about the second book of the trilogy. It's just too bad that they changed the cover styles, but I'll get over it.

message 37: by Kayla (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 32: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead ****

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy Series #1) by Richelle Mead

I'm glad that I decided to give this series a chance. I thought the premise of it sounded lame: a school of teenage vampires :\
It was much better than I thought it would be, though. Rose is so awesome. I love how kickass and confident she is. She definitely makes this series.

message 38: by Kayla (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 33: Fatelessness by Imre Kertesz **

Fatelessness by Imre Kertész

It started out slow and the dispassionate narrative voice made it difficult for me to become too interested in the story, but when I got to the last three chapters I was left with some pretty striking passages to think over.

message 39: by Kayla (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 34: French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure by Mireille Guiliano ****

French Women Don't Get Fat The Secret of Eating for Pleasure by Mireille Guiliano

I really enjoyed this book. It wasn't a skimmer like most diet books are, and in fact I wouldn't even call this a diet book. It's more like advice/suggestions on making a lifestyle choice. The changes in food habits sounds easy enough, it's just the physical activity that I have to work on. I don't live in the city and my neighborhood has no sidewalks so going for a twenty/thirty minute walk every day isn't really feasible (unless I want to drive myself to the park or the YMCA just to walk for half an hour, which I don't-at least not every day). I'll have to try and come up with a list of exercises that I could enjoy.

message 40: by Kayla (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 35: Waiting for the Barbarians by J.M. Coetzee ***

Waiting for the Barbarians by J.M. Coetzee

I read this book for my Contemporary Lit class. I thought the language in this novel was amazing and I was very captivated by the story as I was reading it, but once I set it down I felt no inclination to pick it up again. I barely finished the book in time to write my essay. That's not to say the story was no good-I found myself really enjoying the progressing relationship between the Magistrate and the barbarian woman, and the descriptions the narrator gave about his time as a prisoner were intense. I'm not sure what it was that made me uninterested to pick it up-maybe it was just the fact that it was a required read. That can have an effect sometimes on how I view a book.

message 41: by Kayla (last edited Apr 06, 2011 08:07PM) (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 36: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins ****

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

This was a roller coaster of a ride.

There are times when I'll become so invested in a character that I will experience her emotions right along with her, and with nearly the same intensity. This is what happened with me and Anna. There were times I actually cried while reading because I felt so frustrated and upset over Anna's escalating problems near the end of the book. Needless to say, the happy ending left me breathless and ecstatic. This was an incredible read.

The only problem I had was that Anna's father was described a lot like Nicholas Sparks (a Southern author who writes love stories with depressing endings and has a very large and loyal following, as well as a good number of movie deals). This wouldn't have been so bad except that Anna's father was written up to be a real jerk. It kind of felt like a slap at Sparks, though I'm sure this was unintentional on the author's part. I don't mean to judge. I just thought I'd mention it.

message 42: by Kayla (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 37: Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson ****

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

This is my second Winterson novel. I find it so interesting how she inserts original fairy tales into the narrative. This book was particularly interesting in that she essentially rewrites significant sections of the Bible (Deuteronomy, Exodus, Judges ect.) and writes herself (or her character of the same name, anyway) as the new Eve, whose forbidden fruit is her love for women.

message 43: by Kayla (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 38: Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later by Francine Pascal ***

Sweet Valley Confidential Ten Years Later by Francine Pascal

It was great to see the twins again, but I have to admit it was a bit of a disappointment too. I loved Elizabeth's story, but this book basically ruined Jessica for me.

A decent read for SV fans.

Check out my full review. Warning: There are major spoilers.

message 44: by Kayla (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 39: Dark Life by Kat Falls *****

Dark Life (Dark Life, #1) by Kat Falls

This was a really great book. It's partly dystopian in that most of the world has fallen into the sea due to rising water levels. A small group of people are just beginning to form a settlement under the ocean in order to escape the vastly overpopulated dry land. However, the book is not preachy about global warming in anyway. It's not a dark book at all, but is a very adventurous YA novel. The dystopian premise is just a set up for the amazing setting of the subsea world that Falls creates. I loved learning every detail of it. Highly recommended!!

message 45: by Kayla (last edited May 23, 2011 10:28PM) (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 40: Bearheart: The Heirship Chronicles by Gerald Vizenor ***

Bearheart The Heirship Chronicles by Gerald Vizenor

message 46: by Kayla (last edited May 23, 2011 10:29PM) (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 41: Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles ****

Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1) by Simone Elkeles

message 47: by Kayla (last edited May 23, 2011 10:29PM) (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 42: Bailey's Cafe by Gloria Naylor *****

Bailey's Cafe by Gloria Naylor

Magical Realism #1 (finished April 30)

message 48: by Kayla (last edited May 23, 2011 10:30PM) (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 43: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling *****

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3) by J.K. Rowling

message 49: by Kayla (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 44: Frostbite by Richelle Mead *****

Frostbite (Vampire Academy, #2) by Richelle Mead

message 50: by Kayla (new)

Kayla | 150 comments Book 45: Enclave by Ann Aguirre ****

Enclave (Razorland, #1) by Ann Aguirre

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