Pandemonium (Delirium #2) by Lauren Oliver
Books Read in 2013:
- If You Were Here by Jen Lancaster – Finished January 2, 2013 – This book brought back so many memories of house buying in the most hysterical ways. I have been a fan of Lancaster’s memoir type books for awhile and really enjoyed reading a novel from her. It reads like her non-fiction books (funny and easy to relate to) except the antics get even crazier since her imagination is now the limit to how awful a house could be and all the things which could go wrong. Very funny stuff!
- Delirium by Lauren Oliver – Finished January 9, 2013 – This was such a fascinating book. I love the concept of a world where love is considered a disease and one which all the world’s problems can be rooted back to. It was so interesting to read Lena’s thoughts and feelings towards love or “deliria” from the beginning of the book to the end – to witness the same society in a number of different lights as Lena counts down the days to when she will be cured from love and finally be safe – or alternately, to when the chance for love will be taken from her forever. Looking forward to book two! – full review -
- Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman (January Book Club) – Finished January 20, 2013 – I thought this book was really interesting and well written. Being able to get that “fly on a wall” look at life inside a prison for a year – and even a couple of different types of prisons – was kind of cool. Kerman serves as a great narrator for this book as she seems like someone who gets along with pretty much anyone. She befriends a lot of different people and also makes for a narrator that is easy to relate to. I also like that she takes the time to talk about all the times in her life that she could have asked for help or done something different – and the choices that she has made that brought her to her situation. It is the kind of book that you can learn a lot from without feeling like you are being preached at or lectured. Well written, interesting and easy to read – can’t ask for much more than that! – full review -
- Trail of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz – Finished January 28, 2013 – I have been such a huge fan of Lutz and the Spellman series and her books never disappoint. This was no exception although there is that little bit towards the end that I’m a little disappointed about! I am anxiously crossing my fingers for good (or at least better) things to come where that *being vague so as not to spoil* situation is concerned in the next novel. For those uneducated in all things Spellman, this is 5th in a series about a wacky, dysfunctional family of private investigators and what it’s like to grow up in a family with no concept of privacy or boundaries. Except a few mysteries and intrigues, a couple love stories, some seriously funny footnotes and family dinner scenes that will make your own family seem quite normal by comparison. Terrifically funny but also clever and insightful. These books truly have it all. – full review -
- Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace (reading with the kids) – Finished January 30, 2013 – I read this out loud to my 6 year old and 3 year old. My son, 6, enjoyed hearing about all the antics of best friends Betsy and Tacy. Though the frequent descriptions of their favorite fashions often bored him, Betsy’s amazing imagination and the adventures they found themselves in were adorable and held his interest. This was my first time reading the series and I’ll be continuing with his but probably on my own.
- Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling - Finished February 6, 2013 – I know that Mindy Kaling’s sense of humor is not for everyone but I’m a big fan. I really enjoyed this book – don’t expect anything more than what you might find in a book by Ellen Degeneres or Tina Fey. This is a fun, light hearted quirky read but with the potential I suppose to hurt some feelings. Particularly Rainn Wilson’s feelings. Kaling is occasionally opinionated and not prone to holding anything back.
- The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (February Book Club) – Finished February 12, 2013 – This was definitely an interesting book with a lot of fun details. I really loved the Every Man Jack bit with all the different Jacks and the premise of the book in general was very good, the illustrations beautiful. I found the ending of the book a little rushed in some ways, but over all I really enjoyed it.
- Insurgent by Veronica Roth – Finished February 22, 2013 – While I thoroughly enjoyed devouring this book, I have to admit that I found the ending a bit disappointingly abrupt. I’m not sure if we have a Book Three to look forward to or not, but I would love for the story to be continued. I find the whole concept of the society in Divergent fascinating and after the ending of Insurgent, I am even more fascinated. I did find the love story to be a bit ridiculous at points, perhaps I am just getting a bit old for teen love stories. Still, unlike a lot of teen books, the Divergent series has so much more going for it than a love story and I did really enjoy the book overall.
- The False Prince by Jennifer A Nielsen – Finished March 4, 2013 – Wow, this book was really good! The author’s writing style is witty and quick, lending a nice snarky attitude to her main character, Sage. This is a little bit mystery, a little bit fantasy and overall a nice middle reader series that is sure to appeal to both genders. I had my suspicions about a few major plot points for awhile, but the author does a good job keeping you guessing until the end and then weaving the whole plot together really nicely. Eagerly looking forward to book two in this trilogy.
- The Essential Puppy by Betsy Sikora Siino – Finished March 5, 2013 – This was a good primer on all things puppy. Thorough but concise which I appreciated being busy with a new puppy and young children. It helped ease all those new dog questions in an easy to read manner.
- Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman – Finished April 10, 2013 – This book really resonated with me. There were aspects of French parenting that I thought made a lot of sense, some were surprising but great ideas and of course there were some that are just not for me – but I loved reading about how differently other cultures raise their kids and the potential pros and cons to different methods. I think there is a lot of positive things to be said for French parenting and I’ve already implemented some of these ideas in my own life or plan to soon. I loved the recipe for yogurt bread included in the book – my son and I made it for his birthday last week and it was delicious. – full review -
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (April Book Club Pick) – Finished April 16, 2013 – LOVED this one. It was one of those awesome books filled with snark and sassy humor but with a plot that is heart wrenching and keeps you reading later into the night than your internal alarm clock would advise. Green does a good job of balancing the light with the heavy, so it was never more than I could bear but often came close. – full review -
- Pretty in Plaid by Jen Lancaster – Finished April 30, 2013 – I love pretty much everything Jen Lancaster writes and this was no exception. Funny, poignant and full of the wit and the fantastically crazy stories you’d expect from her.
- Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (May Book Club Pick) – Finished May 9, 2013 – Epistolary novels are always a bit of a gamble, in my opinion. Breaking away from a traditional narrative can make it hard to get immersed in the story, but Where’d You Go, Bernadette did a great job providing a story you’ll find yourself lost in way into the late hours of the night. I found myself relating to Bernadette a lot, which was a little bit scary for awhile there, but it also kept me rooting for her and her family. This is a great look at mental illnesses both perceived, ignored and real – and a story that shows the complexities of families, marriage, neighborhoods & the world. For a “book of letters, emails and memos” this book packs a pretty big punch. – Full Review -
- The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen – Finished May 18, 2013 – I think in some ways I enjoyed The Runaway King even more than the first in this series. Sage aka Jaron’s wit and humor is as well written as ever and his character is going through a bit of personal growth while trying to save his kingdom from certain peril. This book packs adventure, coming of age, a touch of romance & a lot of humor between it’s pages. I highly recommend this series!
The Land of Abandoned Books
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling (March Book Club Pick) – Abandoned March 26, 2013 – When it became clear that I wouldn’t finish in time for book club, and I found myself mustering through another chapter, I thought “Why am I doing this?” And I put it down and picked up the book I wanted to be reading. The writing in this book is good, the story… interesting. But there is not one single relate-able character who I could root for and it made it very hard to lose myself in the story and get invested in the ending.