Reviews of books, movies, and more
Happy New Year!
Although my published book reviews are few (after all, I’ve only been blogging for a few weeks!), the number of books I’ve read this year is nothing to sneeze at: 68 since January 2011. I’ve gone through the list of books read to find my favorites – not necessarily published this year, just ones I have read.
And the winners are… *drumroll please*…
(in the order I read them):
A dystopia in the tradition of The Giver with the addition of a sweet romance, Matched captured me with its poetic story. I can’t wait to read and review the sequel, Crossed, but I’m still #8 on the library waitlist so…
I was attracted by the pretty cover, but once I got to the mention of spaceships on the first page, I was hooked. It’s so rare to find YA sci-fi that isn’t dystopian or post-apocolyptic. Still, the focus is firmly on the characters. Ms. Osterlund switches back and forth between Aerin and Dane’s perspective with ease, gradually revealing details about their tortured pasts. Sequels plz?
Proof that not everything I read is YA, this book was recommended to me by a friend. It’s a novel told entirely in letters, diary entries, etc., and centers around the denizens of a little-known British island occupied by the Germans in World War II. Well worth the read!
To say I adored this book is an understatement. I didn’t want it to end…but read it far too quickly. I couldn’t help myself. Everlasting is an adventurous blend of historical detail and the supernatural in the tradition of Pirates of the Caribbean or Indiana Jones. In the 1840s, Camille journeys to Australia in search of a mystical object said to resurrect the dead. Along the way she develops feelings for a young sailor, despite the fact that she has an arranged marriage waiting for her back home. Sadly, I found the sequel rather lackluster.
I’ve read many retellings of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, and this has to be among my favorites. The sisters have never felt so individualized, or the villain so menacing. It’s also set in an interesting 19th-century environment.
It’s like Twilight with fairies, but better than I made that sound. I loved the way the book unfolded, so I don’t want to give a more detailed description. I didn’t like the sequels quite as much, but it’s still a good series.
Congrats, Ms. Osterlund – you have two books on my list. Exile is actually the sequel to Aurelia. Aurelia left me feeling rather “meh” but a friend urged me to read the second book, saying that it was much better. It was. The adventures of Aurelia-the-ever-feisty and Robert-of-the-kind-blue-eyes held me to the last page.
It’s a complicated time travel adventure involving ghosts, tangled family trees, witty humor, and multiple costume changes. My biggest complaint is the abrupt ending…still waiting for the two sequels to be translated from German to English and published across the pond!
This book took a rather long time to grab me, in part due to my own reluctance, but in the end, I loved it. Gabi and her sister fall back in time to medieval Italy. She gets involved the politics and warfare, falls in love…and she still has to find her sister and get back home to the 21st century, if she even wants to. The two sequels are fantastic, too. I bought this book for $8 on Kindle, but now it’s only a dollar on Amazon, meaning there is absolutely no reason not to read this book!
This is a beautifully-written fantasy and coming-of-age story in which Corie finds that not everything in her world is as it seems. I’ll definitely check out more by this author in the future.
6 of these books were borrowed from the library.
4 of these books were read on Kindle.
1 of these books I bought from a physical bookstore.
I’m nothing if not cheap…
Have a Happy New Year!