It’s June 1, so that means it’s time for my monthly update on my book challenge! Here are the books I’ve finished this month:
1. The Body Artist, Don DeLillo. You can read my thoughts here.
2. 3 Willows, Ann Brashares. The newest book by the author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. It was decent, but I feel as though she tries to make her 13-year-old characters far more mature than actual 13-year-olds are. And with the subtitle “the sisterhood grows” and mentions of the characters from the previous series, it seems as though she’s trying to grasp hold of the popularity of a series that’s already run its course. Nonetheless, I mostly enjoyed this for a little light reading, and I really liked the design and layout of the book itself–cover, chapter headings, etc. That’s a plus.
3. Anne of Green Gables, L. M. Montgomery. About once a year, I pull these books out and re-read them. They are my favorite, and in my humble opinion, the most delightful books ever written. I never, ever tire of Anne Shirley and all her amazingness. 🙂
4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8. Volume 1: Issues 1-5. In 2007, Joss Whedon published the season 8 comic books, which, obviously, pick up after the seven seasons that Buffy aired on TV. I found the first three volumes at the Orangeburg County library one weekend. I was so excited that I actually dropped the other books I was holding. Could I be more of a geek? At any rate, I read the first one, containing the first five issues, that night. I don’t like them as much as watching the show on TV. However, for comic books, they’re great: well-illustrated, and very true to the characters’ personalities and quirks. Joss Whedon is pretty much a genius.
5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8. Volume 2: Issues 6-10. And I read the second volume while I sat at the tire shop for two hours on a Saturday morning waiting for them to put new tires on my car.
6. Things You Either Hate or Love, Brigid Lowry. A young adult novel by an Australian. First, Australian YA novels are fun because the vocabulary is so amusing. I’m usually halfway through the book before I can start decoding all the slang. Second, this particular book was about a girl who makes a lot of lists. I like lists. It’s fun when writers add lists to the narrative of a book.
7. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8. Volume 3: Issues 11-15. Okay, here’s where you guys lost me. I want to hope that the reason this volume was CRAP is because Joss Whedon only wrote issue 11. I have serious qualms with this volume–mostly with the plot. I won’t spoil this, so if you’ve read any of the season 8 comics and wish to talk, email me or something.
8. The Last Days, Scott Westerfeld. The sequel to Westerfeld’s vampire novel Peeps, which I read last October. I really enjoyed this one more than the first book (which has a lot of scientific info and way too much info on parasites for me to be comfortable with). To explain the plot of the stories would take more effort and words that you, dear readers, probably wish to read, so I’ll just say that the coolest part about this book is that it’s about a band whose members are living in the last days of the parasite epidemic. And all of the chapters are titled after bands–including one called “Massive Attack,” which made me seriously happy. (Doesn’t take much, does it?)
9. Jinx, Meg Cabot.
10. Shem Creek, Dorothea Benton Frank. This book came highly recommended from a co-worker, and it’s about Charleston, one of my favorite places, so I really looked forward to reading it. Unfortunately, I was highly disappointed. Frank is a terrible writer! She uses pointless dialogue way too often; she uses that dialogue to give the readers backstory when a simple summary from the narrator would have sufficed; she overuses exclamation points; she uses language in her dialogue that is unnatural and strange; she gives no build-up whatsoever to key elements of the plot (i.e. a character enters and announced the death of another character/a protest outside the restaurant/a disaster); and she rushed the ending, tying up the loose ends way too quickly and making sure everyone has a perfectly happy ending. Even for terrible novels from the shelf at Wal-Mart, this was dreadful. I can’t believe I actually read the whole thing.
Wow–reading back over this list, I had some very strong opinions about some of these books. That’s good, though–last month, I felt really apathetic toward the end. I’m glad to have started reading stuff again that I can actually have an opinion about.
Ten more books. That brings my total count this year to 39. Eleven more, and I’ve completed the challenge! Think it’ll happen this month? We’ll see!