YALSA Hub Reading Challenge: Update #2

reading-challenge-logo-participant-smallChecking in with our challenge participants — how are things going?

 

Abby

Tracking her reading: at Goodreads
Read so far: 8 of 25

TrinityComments: I just finished Trinity, as well, and had the same reactions as Robin (see below).  Interesting science-wise, beautiful illustrations, but it took me a lot longer to finish than any of the other graphic novels this time around.  It moved slowly and there was no story.  I just started Bomb, which is much more fascinating.  I’ll update you when I’ve finished it.

I also finished Where’d You Go, Bernadette off the Alex Awards list, which I keep bringing up.  It was one of the most enjoyable adult books I’ve read in ages.  I highly recommend it.

Up next: I’m working on Bomb and then will be moving on to Dodger, because Terry Pratchett is the best.

Emma

Tracking her reading: here at NFNT

Read so far: 12 of 25
the-miseducation-of-cameron-post

Comments: I read The Miseducation of Cameron Post over the weekend and didn’t love it.  Not that it wasn’t written well.  It does a great job of describing a specific time and location.  I think its that a rural setting, 20 years ago really didn’t speak to me in an urban setting in present day.  It felt almost boring to me, weirdly like nothing happened in the story.  I did feel it lacked an effective climax to the story.  So even the, I guess, climactic end, didn’t feel built up enough for me to feel it.

Up next: Am currently listening to Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian and reading Struts and Frets.

I’m still having an awful time getting my hands on Juvenile In Justice.

Gail

Tracking her reading: at Goodreads

Read so far: 7 of 25

Comments: Traveling for the moment, but I’ll update next week in more depth!

Up next: I will be reading In Darkness for my YA reading group next week and Dodger just arrived from the library so will be reading both when I return from Reading Week. I will also be reading A Flight of Angels.

Petra

Tracking her reading: here at NFNT

Read so far: 8 of 25

friendswitboysComments:

Friends with Boys: I loved this.  My only complaint was that I wanted more, which isn’t really a complaint so much as a plea for a sequel (she’s got 4 years of high school to get through, there could be at least 3 more books in that series).

Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb: I’m with Robin on this, it was oddly dry.  There were parts of it that I really liked – I liked the domino metaphor that they used to explain the chain reaction; and I liked the framing metaphor of being Prometheus creating a new fire for the world/the standard omg what have we done.  But, it was incredibly text dense.  I wasn’t really sure why they’d bothered to make it a graphic novel it was so text dense.  It felt very much like a text book, but not one I could imagine any teacher accepting in a bibliography.  Robin tells me that this publisher has the express aim of creating graphic novels that can be used as serious non fiction resources for research papers, which possibly explains some of the dryness of the text, but I still can’t picture a teacher accepting this as a reference material.  Maybe I’m being too narrow minded about it.

My Friend Dahmer: Interesting.  It felt very confessional, almost inside a therapy session.  I’ll confess to not actually knowing much about Dahmer other than that he was a serial killer, so learning more about him was interesting.  I thought the note the author put at the beginning that specifically stated that as soon as Dahmer started killing the author lost sympathy with him, and that this shouldn’t be read as an apology for Dahmer.  I wondered about that when I read it in the foreword, but having read the rest of the book I understand why he put it there, because it could very easily be read as an excuse for Dahmer’s actions.  Honestly, and this is partly because I’m not really a graphic novel person, I found the foreword and notes at the end more interesting than the main text.  That being said, I’m glad I read this, and I would never have picked it up to read without this challenge.

Up next:

Some iteration of:

  • Me, Earl & the Dying Girl (I’m very curious how this compares to Fault in Our Stars by which I was seriously underwhelmed)
  • Sparks: The Epic, Completely True Blue, (Almost) Holy Quest of Debbie (honestly I have no idea what this is even about, but the title is awesome)
  • Love and Other Perishable Items
  • Prom & Prejudice

Robin

Tracking her reading: at her library tumblr

Read so far: 4 of 25

Comments:
somebody1

Somebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am: I really enjoyed this title.  It’s not an easy read due to the subject — traumatic brain injury — but it’s very well written and packs a lot into a few pages.  I was impressed with the economy of the style and Mazer’s ability to really define characters in a few vignettes.  Also, given a topic that could easily be ridiculously preachy or maudlin, this book is refreshingly not that at all.

My Friend Dahmer:  I’ll say more about this over at the Good Comics for Kids roundtable in a week or so, but for now — deserving of all the praise its gotten, and fascinating.  In a way, I found the notes and the additional information just as enthralling as the main story simply for learning how to present memories coherently and as truthfully as possible.  I think it likely belongs where we shelve it, in our adult collection, but I think a lot of teens will find it enthralling as well.  (Also, as I was just finishing reading The Talented Mr. Ripley for my film/book discussion group, this has been a strangely in sync week of reading for those two very different looks as the psychology of killers.)

Trinity: I’m half way through this one, and I admit, so far, I’m kind of meh.  Perhaps it’s because I know a fair amount about the subject already — the race to build an atomic bomb, the various scientists involved, the politics — but while this title excels at presenting and explaining the actual science, the story behind the creation of the bomb is dry and too much of a lecture for me.  These scientists were complex and interesting people, as were their circumstances, and I’m finding way too much telling and far too little showing going on in terms of the personalities.  I want more of the human side of the story, not just the scientific discovery.

Up next: Gearing up for In Darkness next, I think.

Sarah

Read so far: 1 of 25
Dodger

Comments: I have a few books in progress, but I just finished Dodger by Sir Terry Pratchett.  It was funny and sometimes sweet, and so very Victorian London.  I had thought that it would have a more overt nod to Oliver Twist, but the small details here and there were even classier.  What can I say?  I love Terry Pratchett.

I know I missed the first post, so I wanted to mention my plans.  I’d like to do 25 with no re-reads.  However, I’m hoping to read some in addition.  Specifically, I want to re-read Code Name Verity because it was my vote as the best book of last year.  Not best in a happy-go-lucky way, but in a sob like a baby for hours way because of how well it was written.  I’d also like to read some of Tamora Pierce again because she was my absolute favorite author starting at age 9.  Even better, she’s still in my non-ranked Top Ten.

So, I’m currently at 1/25.  However, I’m going to get serious now, so watch out!  Serious reading about to commence.

Up next: I’ve now started In Darkness, but I tend to read several books at once, switching with my moods.  I have a giant stack of awesome to choose from, so I’m not worried.

Sheli

Read so far: 1 of 25

anniesullivanComments: So I finally have a plan of attack!

I’m not going to reread any book that I’ve already read for the challenge. Which means half of the GGNs are out. The other half are all checked out, so I have to wait my turn. Mixed with those I’m going to track Best Fiction, Printz, and maybe a couple Amazing Audios while I’m drawing. It’s nice to feel organized.

1/25! My Friend Dahmer had a ‘hold’ status, but was on the shelf!

That was…unsettling. Is also makes me feel really guilty. There’s plenty of high school social outcasts that I came to mind while I was reading. The book is pretty good at giving you the okay to tell an adult when you’re worried for fellow students. I can’t do anything now, but I like that if I was a teen reading this, the narrator gives me the go ahead to act on my uncertainties.

Up next: Annie Sullivan.

Snow

Read so far: 2 of 25
SilenceofourFriends
Comments: I finished Titanic: Voices from the Disaster on Saturday and, while I enjoyed it (I always like a good disaster; though perhaps reading it on the same day I went to see The Impossible was a bad idea), I’m not sure what the nonfiction committee saw in it. It’s a solid book about the Titanic, but it doesn’t break any new ground as far as I can tell. I’d like some insight in to why they picked it as a finalist.

Yesterday I read The Silence of Our Friends, which was just hanging out on the shelves at the library waiting for someone to check it out. I really liked the personal take on the Civil Rights Movement. I felt that Long’s story was touching without being maudlin and did a good job of portraying everyone as real people struggling to do what is right, even as they aren’t always sure what that is. My main “complaint” with the story was that I wanted it to go on; I wanted to know more about the people in the book.

Up next: Somebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am.