YALSA Hub Challenge: Update #4

Checking in with our challenge participants!

Abby

Tracking her reading: at Goodreads
Read so far: 10 of 25

Comments:

BombI finished Somebody Please Tell Me Who I Am.  I agreed with someone who posted before (sorry I can’t remember who).  Good storyline, good characters, but the focus was too widespread.  Zeroing in on one character might have helped develop the story better or just making the book longer.  I enjoyed the different voices but wanted more.
I also finished Bomb, which I really enjoyed.  It did what Trinity did not do well enough – develop characters and a story.  There were Russian spies, which I loved hearing about as I have a bit of a crush on George Smiley from Le Carre’s books.  It wasn’t bogged down by the science, but still explained things well enough.  I do wish that there had been more graphics.  The photos were condensed on one or two page spreads at the beginning of the chapters.  It would have helped the overall design of the book to spread them out more, maybe have some scientific illustrations, letters, or other memorabilia pictured, etc.  Basically I wanted Trinity and Bomb to be one book.

Up next: I’m still working on Dante and Aristotle Discover the Universe.  It’s excellent, but I am anticipating it being sad at some point, so I’m having trouble making myself pick it up again once I’ve put it down.  I’ve also started Every Day, which is David Levithan and therefore great and Dodger.  Terry Pratchett is the best.  Always.

Gail

Tracking her reading: at Goodreads

Read so far: 6 of 25

Comments: I did a lot of starts this week but no finished reads so I am static this week. Hopefully this week I will finish most of what I started and be ecstatic (pardon the pun).

MeandEarlandtheDyingGirlPetra

Tracking her reading: here at NFNT

Read so far: 10 of 25

Comments: Nothing new this week – although I’m about 85% of the way through Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, and about 50% of the way through Me, Earl & the Dying Girl.

Up next: Me and Earl & the Dying Girl.

 

Robin

Tracking her reading: at her library tumblr

Read so far: 7 of 25

monstrous beautyComments: I finished listening to Monstrous Beauty in one fell swoop, which was a great way to resolve all the suspense toward the end of the story.  First, it was an excellent audiobook, and Katherine Kellgren did a fantastic job as the reader.  Second, I like how horrific and creepy Fama made the mermaids and the general sea lore — ghosts and murder and prejudice abound, and thus the book deftly avoids any overwhelming cheese factor.  It’s also not, ultimately, a love story, but more of a coming of age for our main girl.

I also zoomed through Where’d You Go Bernadette? in about three days, and it was DELIGHTFUL.  Hilarious and spot-on spoof, plus just enough character depth and weight to make you care about the madcap plot.  You DO want to know what happened to Bernadette, and not just because of a clever plot twist or scheme.  I did wonder how much teens would enjoy it — it won an Alex — in that yes, there is a teen character, but the majority of the book is from and about middle age.  I’d love to hear from teens who’ve read it as to how well it worked for them.

Up next: Listening to the Diviners still, and have started Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.  But first I’ve got to re-read The Scorpio Races for my book club.

Sarah

Tracking her reading: at Goodreads

Read so far: 4 of 25

SilenceofourFriendsComments: I had some minor setbacks when a few of the more popular winners were due back to the library with waitlists but I hadn’t finished them yet.  So, I’m back on the list for In Darkness and Bomb and will finish both of those later in the challenge.  However, a number of winners came in for me, so I read The Silence of Our Friends and The Flight of Angels.

I felt really moved by The Silence of Our Friends.  It’s based on the story of the author’s father, with some details changed to protect identities, artistic license, etc. and the Civil Rights Movement down in Texas in the 60′s.  It was very realistic, portraying the difficulties and choices people faced during that time.  I immediately put it on the Staff Picks shelf when I was done with it, but it’s definitely for the older or more mature teen audience.

The Flight of Angels was OK.  It felt like it was trying too hard, but that could be just me.  I thought it was interesting how they melded all those authors together, and it was fairly seamless from the reader’s end.  I just never really got into most of the stories.  The drawings were beautiful, though.

Up next: I’ve also started several others, so those could be finished at any time!

Sheli

Tracking her reading: here at NFNT

Read so far: 6 of 25

alanna-the-first-adventureComments:

So I feel like I’m going to completely cheat by running right through the Edwards Awards.After all these serious reads, I just wanted something fun and quick, and lo and behold, there’s 8 Tamora Pierce books on the list. So I’m going to finish The Woman Who Rides Like a Man tomorrow, and be halfway through the Protector of the Small series by week end.
It seems really in my favor, because I’m a big Tamora Pierce fan, and the only titles they included were the only two series I haven’t tried by her (dabbled in some, devoured others). And though there are some pieces of the writing that aren’t as strong as her more recent works, by god they’re exactly what I wanted to read.

Up next: More Tamora Pierce!

Snow

Tracking her reading: at Goodreads

Read so far: 3 of 25

Comments: On vacation, lucky girl.  She will report in when she gets back!

 

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