I'm still going for my goal of having read 365 books by the end of this year. According to my calculator, I'm slipping, at only 80 finished out of the 118 I should have read by now. But that's only 11% - I can make that. Interested in what I've been reading this month? A fun variety, and all brand new to me:
B is for Burglar by Sue Grafton - 2.5 stars. Easy to pick up, easy to put down. Not bad, but sadly forgettable.
Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson - 5 stars. No, I don't actively follow her blog, but I have read it occasionally and this book reads like one giant blog post. I found it hilarious. Not for those opposed to *ahem* colorful language.
Crossed by Ally Condie - 3 stars. Book 2 of a trilogy. Pretty much what I expected: boy and girl are in love but are cruelly separated at the end of book 1. Girl goes to find boy. Finds boy, but along the way becomes unsure if she's not still also in love with Previous Boy, because she gets jealous when girl friend expresses interest in Previous Boy. Also gets upset to discover boy doesn't want to go somewhere with her. Massive drama and angst against a dystopian backdrop. I'm hoping book 3 closes things nicely. Worth the read once, but nothing I'm going to buy.
Hug a Teddy by Jim Erskine - 4 stars. I found this at a book sale and recognized it because of its sister book, Throw a Tomato (which I own and love to death). Super-quick, fun read about things to do when life is being mean.
Soulless by Christopher Golden - 4 stars. Really cool zombie novel. The end was a bit lacking, I think, because there was no reason why the main characters had to be the main characters. The dude who was going nuts in the studio the entire time would eventually have done the same exact thing and the same outcome would have happened, but hey, whatever. The lore of the zombie in this novel was very interesting. I would read a sequel.
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare - 4 stars. Second book in a trilogy. It managed to break the perpetual "the second book always sucks the most" by holding up to the first book. I love Simon and I hope his story comes to a satisfying conclusion. I'm reading the third and final book right now.
Naruto, volumes 1-5 - 4.5 stars. I have seen the anime, but there's just something so incredible about reading manga. I think it might be my appreciation for the art, because I can't draw worth crap. Going back to the very beginning of Naruto's story is pretty cool, knowing how he grows much later in the series. I will be reading this entire series, probably as fast as the library can get copies for me. They also went on my to-buy list on Amazon.
The Andalite's Gift by Katherine Applegate - 4 stars. The first in the Megamorphs side series (they go with the Animorph series). Narrated by all the main characters, one each chapter. I liked it about as much as the rest of them. Again, going to keep reading the series. It's too bad I never read these when I was little, but I can keep them on a list of books to make sure my kids know about!
How to Be a Villain: Evil Laughs, Secret Lairs, Master Plans, and More!!! by Neil Zawacki - 4 stars. Completely fun. Beware, I now know everything I need in order to act upon my evil schemes! Note: I would highly recommend anyone interested in becoming a super villain take to heart the Evil Overlord checklist.
Wool by Hugh Howey - 5 stars. Incredible. I read the omnibus, books 1-5, which is available in paper and on Kindle. Each story gets longer than the previous, as they introduce the post-apocalyptic world and the characters living therein. By the time I was in book 4, I had a really hard time putting it down. And partway through book 5 I was sure Jules was braver than I ever would be, trusting that tube after just having gotten through the door the way she did just a few days or so ago. I'm looking forward to reading Shift, the next chunk of stories.
The Alien by Katherine Applegate - 3.5 stars. Animorphs again, this one from Ax's perspective. Very funny - especially his reaction to chocolate. But I just didn't get into the meat of this story as much as the others. Still, looking forward to more.
Soulless by Gail Carriger - 4 stars. Victorian London, with the supernatural not only out in society but actually so firmly engrained that there are specific societal rules regarding behavior at dinner parties and other such events. The concept for these supernaturals, and their opposite, the preternaturals, is very cool. Alexia, the main character, is a preternatural, which means she renders all supernatural powers useless (in fact, it's as though they never existed) so long as she keeps physical contact. The plot was a bit straightforward but very enjoyable, and the writing made the setting very, very real. If you're looking for a quick read, this is not it, just because of the writing style. But it's very funny and I'm looking forward to more of the Parasol Protectorate series.
If you want to see more in-depth reviews of any of these (or any previous book I've mentioned), head over to GoodReads and check out my Read shelf.