Friday, May 6, 2011

the "Don't Worry, I Still Love You" Reading list

If there's one thing having a Goodreads account teaches, it's that we all have different tastes.
Some books that we may love, other folks...not so much with the lovin'. And vice versa.
Have you ever found yourself loving a book that you'd seen not-so-hot reviews for?

A couple books I love and love to defend are...

The Dark Divine - Bree Despain
I read this over the summer, and it was easily one of my favorites of 2010.
Reasons why I liked it: I loved the main character, Grace, and really clicked with her. I liked her family (even if they were portrayed a little stereotypically), I liked that she was assertive but still compassionate and empathetic of other people, and of course, the story world. I loved Despain's take on "werewolves" and overall, The Dark Divine was a surprisingly good book! Haven't read The Lost Saint yet, but it's on my shelf.



Skellig - Dave Almand
I remember reading this in high school, and besides being one of the first young adult books I ever read (in the last few years), it's also one of the very few books that made me cry.
Reasons why I liked it: Almand's writing style is so effective: lyrical, poignant, but also crisp and to-the-point. And the imagery - oh my! A boy walks into a dilapidated shed and finds a creature that resembles an angel... just remembering the ins and outs of the story gives me goosebumps. I've seen quite a lot of negative reviews for it, but honestly, it's one of my absolute favorites. No matter what grade I end up teaching, I *will* have a class copy of Skellig in my room!



Shiver - Maggie Stiefvater
Another of my favorite 2010 reads (not forgetting the sequel, Linger, which I enjoyed just as much). I think that my the review that most sticks out in my mind - though I can't remember if I saw it on Goodreads or on one of the Amazons - was "a boring book for boring readers." Well if that's true, I'll gladly post a sign on my back that says "I'm a boring reader!"
Reasons why I liked it: Maggie's writing style. It's just so...wait, stop. Stop a minute. If you haven't read a book by author Maggie Stiefvater (preferably her Wolves of Mercy Falls books, which Shiver is), I'd like for you to go right now and make a note to either buy one or check one out of the library. Every author is talented, yeah, but I can literally count on my fingers the number of truly beautiful, lyrically-possessed-writing-style authors out there. No Dante Aligheri, sorry dude but you don't count. You're kinda dead.
Next, her characters. They're real: capable of growth and change, which I love. Don't give me screwed up characters, authors! Give me ones who are *dynamic* and capable of growth! And last but not least, Sam. Sam, Sam, Sam, Sam, etc. Want to know what I think qualifies as the ideal love interest in YA lit? Well, read the Percy Jackson series, cause Percy's my favorite. Or read about Taran in the Chronicles of Prydain. But the third guy? Sam. All the way.



The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
(this is mostly based on what folks I know in real life say)
This is another book I read way back in the day, way back before my book-blog, way back before Twilight and Percy Jackson. In fact, I think I was waiting on the next Harry Potter installment when I picked this up. Holy flying guano, Batman! That was a *long* time ago!
But duuuude...most of the sweet darlings I know at school can't stand this book. "It's weird." "It's pointless." "Christopher talks like a weirdo." "It didn't make any sense."
Reasons Why I Liked It: If you haven't heard of this book, it's a fictional book written in journal-format and tells the story of Christopher, an autistic teenager, as he investigates the death, Sherlock Holmes-style, of his neighbor's dog. Author Mark Haddon not only wrote the voice of a teenage boy, but an autistic one. Yes, friends-in-real-life, Christopher sounds a little different than we do. That's kind of the point of the book, and the fact that it reads so believable is a credit to the author's incredible talent. I loved this book. It didn't make me cry Skellig-style, but it was moving.


and of course...

Twilight - Stephenie Meyer
No, Twilight is not the best book ever written. No, it's not the best book I've ever read. But for what it was, at the time, it was fun and enjoyable. I remember reading this book back in the day, before a third of today's hottest and bestselling series books were out. And yeah, bashing Twilight seems to be a cool thing to do, and yeah, Bella sure was whiny and a little on the boring side, but...there were more things I liked about Twilight than didn't like. As the series went along, it did get a little repetitive and anti-climactic, but...gosh darn it, I still think Stephenie is a pretty awesome gal. And she is definitely someone in the literary world (in addition to the Planet Earth world) that I admire. So yes, I liked Twilight when I read it back in 2007, and I still have a good opinion of it. Just sayin.


So those are 5 that I just thought of! I'd love to know what you guys thought of any of these books. If you were to do a post on books you loved (but felt like you were the *only* one who loved it), what books would be listed?

2 shout-outs!:

Khadija said...

I really like this post Amelia! I'm one of those radically diverse readers who will read just about anything but that doesn’t mean I love EVERYTHING I read. I like a lot of YA books, I like a lot of adult books, I like horror and historical and...Ok not so much chic-lit. But more than anything I love talking to people about the types of books THEY love because sometimes I’ll have a different opinion and that makes talking about books all the more fun. I LOVED Shiver from the beautiful poetic writing to the interesting and relatable characters. I had a complete like/hate relationship with the Twilight series because, yes, I liked the addictive writing but I also had problems gravitating to the characters and more-like-fairies-vampires. We all have a unique opinion about what we read and I think it makes talking about books so much more colorful. :)

http://blackfingernailedreviews.blogspot.com/

Bella said...

I'm kind of ashamed to admit that I DO let other people's opinions sway me when I'm deciding which books to buy, or read even after I've already bought them. There are times, though, when I just *know* I'm going to love a book and give it a chance, anyway!

I read Twilight fully expecting to adore it - granted, this *was* before everyone started hating on it out of principle :P - and I fell in love with it! Since then, I've read it so many times that I wouldn't be able to stomach even *one* more re-read, but I still have warm + fuzzy feelings towards it ... and I'm proud to say so! :D

Also, I'm SO with you on Shiver, girlfriend! :D I totally got it confused with what I'd read about The Silver Kiss (by Annette Curtis Klause), so imagine my surprise when - not only were *neither* of Grace's parents terminally ill - but I came out the other side LOVING the beautiful, lyrical story ... as well as the good, old-fashioned cry it wrenched out of me! :)

As for The Dark Divine ... Le Sigh ... GORGEOUS. I didn't even know that it was about werewolves when I picked it up, so it was a wonderfully mysterious read for me! :)

GREAT picks! :)

 
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