From the Bookshelves of January 2014

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
I like to think I’ve started the year strong, with six books under my belt. Six! I’m hoping to keep that momentum through the rest of the year, but we’ll see how it goes. most of what I read in January was library books, so I don’t have pictures of them all, but at least I have Hollow City, right? It’s probably the best cover out of the last month anyway.

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

This was my first book of the year as well as my choice for this month’s IGGPPC book review. It was a nice change of pace for me, being more historical than the YA books I usually read, which tend to be solely based on the present. I had some minor complaints, but nothing that would have me write off the book completely and say, “Don’t read this!” In fact, I would say do read it if you want some history-inspired YA fiction, especially if you’re interested in the French Revolution.

Damned by Chuck Palahniuk

Okay, admittedly, for whatever reason this book was hard for me to get into at first. It almost felt too weird to me, which was surprising because I have a small collection of Chuck Palahniuk books already. I powered through, though, and I’m glad I did because it turned out to be wholly entertaining. I’m really excited that there’s a sequel too because by the end of I was so amused and interested that I wanted to read about the characters more.

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

I got this one from the library because I saw the movie when it came out last year and I was impressed with how true the movie turned out to be to the book. Granted, I’m sure there are differences I didn’t catch because I haven’t seen the movie since it came out. The book was cooler than the movie because even though there’s some narration in the movie and you follow R around, the book is entirely his point of view. Your’e in his head one hundred percent of the time. It’s great, because it’s funny, serious, and cute throughout. I really liked the mixture of emotions it had on me without being so devastating that I wanted to cry or anything. I just can’t take those books sometimes.

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

Ah! Hollow City! I pre-ordered this a few days before it came out, and even though it took me longer to read than I’d planned, that was entirely my fault and none of the book’s. It picked up exactly where Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children left off, and it probably would have been useful to reread the first book beforehand, but I quickly caught up and was right into this one. The cool thing about this one was that since all the characters and backstory had already been introduced, this book could be entirely action, which is was. I felt exhausted at times, wishing the children could have just a moment of rest. It was like they could never catch a break! And the way this one left off, I can’t wait for the next book.

A Great & Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

This one is an even better history-inspired YA book than Revolution, I think, because while Revolution is inspired by history but takes place in the present, A Great & Terrible Beauty takes place in the late nineteenth century. I wasn’t sure what to expect going in because I hadn’t heard much about it and the back cover didn’t give me much to go on, either, but it was a recommendation and it seemed like a good next step after Revolution. I know the library has Rebel Angels, which is a companion novel, so I plan to get that on my next trip.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

This book was both cute and sad. But sad in that good kind of way when you’re cheering for the main character, and any time something bad happens to them it just breaks your heart. It was also a really interesting look at a Native American kid in a white school, because most of the authors I read are white–and imagine my surprise when I learned it was semi-autobiographical! I almost think that fact makes it a more interesting read for me because even though fiction often has some basis in truth, it made this book even more poignant. Does that make sense? I’d say this was easily one of my favorites from the month, though, along with Hollow City.

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