Ack I’m so mad. I was actually prepared and did Top Ten Tuesday yesterday, and then the post deleted itself. Twice. This better not be a common occurrence.
Anyway, this week, as promised, I’m reviewing the five YA books that I read in August. Due to my somewhat mixed opinions, this should be interesting.
The first book I’ll be reviewing is By Any Other Name by Laura Jarratt. It’s about a girl who, along with her family. is in the witness protection program.
Had I read it before? Nope.
Why did I read it? What challenges did it complete? It was the book from the “count along a shelf at the library” challenge. It was also a book I read in one day, and a book by an author I hadn’t read before.
What did I like about it? It was different. My only other experience with the witness protection program was in a different situation in a completely different book. I had never heard of the book, so I went into it with zero expectations, and was therefore pleasantly surprised. It was a great book.
What didn’t I like about it? It was a bit predictable. Maybe I’m just too good at guessing.
Would I recommend it or read it again? Absolutely. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The next book I’ll be reviewing is Paper Towns by John Green. In case you live under a rock, it’s a book about a guy named Q, who’s life is flipped upside down after a night of mayhem with a girl named Margo.
Had I read it before? No.
Why did I read it? What challenges did it complete? I had been meaning to read it for ages, and had reserved it a couple of months before I even knew about the challenge. As for challenges, it completed a few: read a book in a day, a book your friend has been begging you to read for ages, and a book by the same author as a book you read this time last year.
What did I like about it? Mmm, not much. I liked that the ending wasn’t quite what I was expecting.
What didn’t I like about it? It didn’t click with me. I had really high expectations, because everyone raves about it, but it wasn’t that great. Which I actually kind of expected. Also, I have a problem with John Green’s portrayal of teenagers as philosophical and metaphorical, especially around people they’ve just met or barely know. We aren’t like that. Trust me. And it bugs me that he writes us like that. I don’t know why. Also, the book in general didn’t really do much for me. It seemed to lead to this one massive event, and then just drop off.
Would I recommend it or read it again? Nah. It doesn’t live up to the hype.
The third book on today’s list is Things I’ll Never Say: Stories About Our Secret Selves. This is a collection of fifteen short stories by different authors, put together by Ann Angel. All of the stories are about secrets in some way, shape, or form.
Had I read it before? No.
Why did I read it? What challenges did it complete? I chose it because of the cover, because that was one of the challenges. It was also by authors I’d never read before.
What did I like about it? The first story was good.
What didn’t I like about it? Everything else. Seriously. They were awful. I normally try and finish bad books, but after three and a half really bad stories, I gave up and returned it. After returning it, I looked it up, and it has pretty good reviews, which surprised me. I also discovered that one of the stories that makes no sense to me is part of a series, which would have made it make more sense. It was still bad though. They were just really weird. And the fifth one in the book was boring, so I gave up. Also I don’t even like short stories that much in the first place.
Would I recommend it or read it again? If I had the opportunity to read the rest of the stories, then I might, but otherwise, no way. Ergh.
Review number four. The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. It’s about a boy named Charlie who tells about his high school experiences through letters to some mysterious person.
- The Perks Of Being A Wallflower
Had I read it before? No.
Why did I read it? What challenges did it complete? I had been meaning to read it for ages, and, like Paper Towns, it arrived at the library for me during the challenge. Like I said, it was one I had been meaning to read. I also read it in a day, and it was by an author I’d never read anything by before.
What did I like about it? I’m generally a nice person, right? Especially when it comes to books and movies and that kind of thing. I can generally see good in things. Not this time.
What didn’t I like about it? It was awful! I don’t understand why this is such a popular book! Ergh it makes me so mad. Again, I had fairly high expectations, because it is so popular, and it didn’t meet a single one of them. The whole book was just chockablock with sex, drugs, and drinking, but when you took all of that away from the main character, you were left with a 16 year old who seemed like he was 12. Or younger. And taking that away from the plot left it with no plot whatsoever. Also, I again looked up the book after I finished, and found out that there were some extremely key plot points that I’d somehow missed. I went back to the book to see where one of them was, and discovered that it was explained in one tiny sentence in a huge paragraph. And the sentence could have been interpreted a multitude of ways. I’m telling you, this piece of information was so important to the story and the character and everything, and I missed it. I don’t see how any could pick up on it, unless they were over-analyzing every single sentence.I’m just mad because this was such a bad book, and everything I’d heard about it had been good.
Would I recommend it or read it again? Absolutely not. No way.
Now that that’s off my chest, time for the final review! This one is Born Ugly by Beth Goobie. It’s about a girl called Shir who is a total outcast.
Had I read it before? Hadn’t even heard of it.
Why did I read it? What challenges did it complete? I needed a replacement for the “pick a book because of its cover” challenge, after my failed attempt with Things I’ll Never Say. It was also one by an author I’d never read before, and one I read in a day.
What did I like about it? I had no expectations, so it had nothing to live up to. Therefore, anything was better than nothing. That doesn’t make sense. Basically, it was good. Not the greatest thing I’ve ever read, but good. It dealt with certain things in ways I hadn’t read before. I enjoyed it.
What didn’t I like about it? Mmm, some of it was a bit unbelievable. Something like that.
Would I recommend it or read it again? I probably wouldn’t read it again, but yeah, I would recommend it.
Just something I should probably add on here: most of these books feature themes that I know some Christians wouldn’t be comfortable reading. I wasn’t comfortable reading some of them, to be honest. So be wary, if you are reading these books and aren’t comfortable with a lot of YA themes. Just a warning.
Anyway. My very mixed opinions of the YA books I read in August. Next week will either be the historical ish ones, or the ones for children. Because I read children’s books. I have completely forgotten how to use apostrophes. Oh well.
Have you read any of these? Do you agree with my opinions? Let me know!