Wednesday, February 12, 2014

On Books (Again)

2013, my year of Young Adult reading, has come and gone.  It went really well, and I enjoyed having that theme.  YA books are great options for when time is short and concentration is sketchy.  I tried reading Mansfield Park when Baby was a few months old and it was too soon for my sleepy brain--maybe this year.  Anyway, here's a round up and a few conclusions I've made:

The best book of the year was The Fault in Our Stars.  Lately I've been wanting to read it again, and I'm really excited for the movie.  It may break me, but I think I will love it anyway.  Other winners were Stargirl, Just Listen, The Graveyard Book and The Magician's Elephant.  

The Forest of Hands and Teeth gets an honorable mention for scaring me--not actually when I was reading it, but long after.  *quivers*

For all the good and great reads, there were some that, well, let's say they fell short of the mark.  For instance, the entire Divergent trilogy, Matched and, ironically enough, Looking for Alaska.  

Outside the YA realm, my winners for the year were Life of Pi and The Ocean at the End of the Lane.  The clear loser was The Rathbones.

So what did I learn from this year?  Well, like most book categories, there are a lot of terrible YA books.  Bad writing, poor plotting and cliche characters abound.  And yes, some very popular books are not good.  I cannot explain this mystery of the universe, but there it is.  

At the same time, there are some wonderful books as well.  I am always a fan of reading outside your age range and preferred genre/s, and I read some books that I think are just as worthwhile for adults as they are teenagers (maybe more so).  Good books are just good books, regardless of who they're marketed for, right?  (Of course content and age appropriateness is an important consideration too.)

What else did I learn?  I miss literature.  I miss my 19th century English authors, who are masters of writing in ways no one is today.  I can only hope my brain is up to the challenge this year.  Speaking of this year, I want to spend my reading time rereading some old literary classics.  And maybe--MAYBE--this will really be the year I finally read I Capture the Castle.

In the interest of housekeeping, here are the books read in 2014 (in reverse order):
  • The Hobbit, A-
  • Ender's Game, B-
  • The Rathbones, C
  • Cheaper by the Dozen, A-
  • On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave, B+
  • "When Did You See Her Last?", B+
  • The Magician's Elephant, A
  • Anya's Ghost, A-
  • The Dollhouse Asylum, B-
  • The Graveyard Book, A
  • Keeping the Moon, B
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane, A
  • Someday, Someday, Maybe, B+
  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond, B+
  • Looking for Alaska, C-
  • What Happened to Goodbye, B+
  • A Curse Dark as Gold, B
  • Revenge Wears Prada, C
  • The Fault in Our Stars, A
  • Dreamland, B
  • Icefall, B+
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, B+
  • The Goose Girl, A-
  • Anna and the French Kiss, B+/A-
  • Matched, B-
  • Insurgent, B-
  • The Truth About Forever, A-
  • Stargirl, A-
  • The Law and the Lady, B
  • Life of Pi, A
  • Just Listen, A-
  • Divergent, B-
  • Bringing up Bebe, A-
  • "Who Could That Be at This Hour?", A-
  • The Lightning Thief, B+
  • The Forest of Hands and Teeth, A-
  • Shiver, B+
  • Where It Began, C-
  • The Haunting of Hill House, A

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