Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Read recently

Sometimes I just don't have the energy or thoughts enough to devote to one book, so this is a nice way to catch up on what I've been reading. For you and for me!

The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June by Robin Benway
published August 2010 by Razorbill
256 pages (hardcover), YA

I loved Benway's first novel, Audrey, Wait! so yes, I was a little disappointed with her second. April, May, and June are sisters, one year apart each in high school, and they are all recently discovering that they have special powers. April sees the future, May disappears, and June reads thoughts. While April and May are perfectly fine with blending in at school, the youngest sister June wants to be popular. So of course June uses her mind-reading abilities to turn the popular girl's friends against her so that she can get in her good graces instead. But April disapproves of the girls using their powers for selfish reasons and tries to be the responsible older sister by suggesting they use their talents for good and not evil.

Okay, I have to stop there because I'm getting bored just writing about it. Sigh. It wasn't a boring book, really. But it wasn't all that engaging either. The characters were bland, besides having special powers, and the plot either didn't go anywhere or went too many places - I can't decide which. Maybe I just had too high of hopes for this book, but it just didn't do anything for me.

The Body at the Tower (The Agency #2) by Y.S. Lee
published August 2010 by Candlewick
352 pages (hardcover), YA

I liked the first book in this series and saw endless possibilities of where it could go. This book went to a strange, unexpected place. I know that I say quite a bit that I'm all about the characters in a book and don't care much for plot. But I also can't read a book if the plot is so boring and distracting from the characters. And that's what I felt here.

Mary has a new case at the Agency. Dress as an apprenticing boy to gain access to the Big Ben worksite to solve the mystery of an unexplained death. Yeah, what else can I say? It certainly didn't grab me, but I read it anyway because I like Mary. We learn a little (itty bitty bit) about her past, and we also see potential changes in the Agency. That irritated me. I hardly know what the Agency is about, after only one book in the series, and now it's changing? But that's okay because I like Mary. And that's enough for me to read the potential third book in the series.

To the Nines by Janet Evanovich, read by C.J. Critt
published 2003 by Recorded Books
9 sound discs (10 hours, unabridged), adult pop lit

I love Stephanie Plum. These books are perfect for long drives because they're formulaic but most of all, they're hilarious. The situations are ridiculous, and Stephanie's decision-making skills are laughable. In this installment, Stephanie is looking for a man whose work visa is just about to expire. This case takes her in many different directions - with a trip to Vegas to boot! But who cares about the mystery? It's Stephanie's love life that keeps me reading, or rather, listening. She's back with Morelli, even living with him for now because her apartment is just too easy to break into. They're together but still not ready for marriage, even though Joe hints that he wouldn't mind if Stephanie was pregnant! Which she's not; her sister is. And Ranger? Well, he takes a backseat in this one, but I can't imagine that will last very long.

I also really like the narrator's voice, which I recognize from previous Plum novels. She uses different voices for Stephanie, Lula, Grandma Mazur, Ranger, Joe, and others, so it feels like there's a full cast. She reads well. :)



Jan von Harz said...

The Extraordinary Secrets of of April, May and June never did capture my interested, so I am glad I didn't bother with it. Based on your review it seems like a good thing.

I was also never really swept away with Lee's first book so had no desire to read the second, which it would seem was also a good decision.

NatalieSap said...

Jan - I definitely think I need to be more discerning in what I read. Author loyalty just doesn't cut it anymore! Good for you for making those tough choices.

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