Sidekicked

I felt like I had already read Sidekicked but apparently not. So much of it seemed familiar. Weird, right?

I enjoyed it. I didn’t love love love it. Not sure I’ll read Minion but I might. We’ll see. Maybe.

I liked the sidekicks. I liked the way the Titan storyline developed (and ended.) I also liked the Fox/Silver Lynx story progression, though I would probably have liked it more if the story had been told through Jenna’s point of view. Not that I didn’t like Drew, I did. I just think it would have been a better story if Jenna was telling it.

Conjured

Gah. If Conjured had not been on the Cybils shortlist, I never would have finished it. I hated this darn book.

The idea of it was good. The ending of it was good. The first half (if not more) was so damn slow and repetitive that I was cursing it pretty much nonstop.

Eve is in a witness protection program. She has memory loss. A lot of memory loss. The agents guarding her want her to tell them… something… what, nobody knows because the author doesn’t tell us and Eve has memory loss. Eve can do magic and when she does, she blacks out. When she wakes up, days (weeks? months?) have passed and she’s apparently been awake and interacting with society but she can’t remember anything that’s happened at all.

Rinse and repeat. Over and over and over for a good 1/2 of the book. That’s pretty much all that happens. And it’s annoying. By the time the story started moving, I was so disgusted that I barely wanted to finish. But I did. It was hard but I did it.

I hate books like this. Move a little more quickly or give us some reason to keep reading the slow mess at the beginning. Do not make a book for kids a struggle to read. Stupid.

Serafina’s Promise

From the Cybils shortlist, Serafina’s Promise is a story of a Haitian girl — written in prose. Books written in prose are either horrible or wonderful and this one was wonderful. Beautiful. I loved it all. Every word. I want to read it again. And again.

Jinx

From the Cybils shortlist, Jinx was fun — once I got into it. There was a bit of a slow start and I didn’t particularly like Jinx or Simon. Once Jinx was allowed into Simon’s rooms and the story moved along a little more quickly, I was hooked.

I’m not sure I’ll want to keep reading the series but if I find myself with the second book, I won’t be unhappy about it.

Two Pre-#Readathon Non-Fiction

Oops. I forgot I didn’t blog the two books I read the night before the #readathon… probably because neither were all that great.

Beautiful Mess was full of pretty pictures and I kind of like their X 9 ways pages. It was very much like their blog so if you read their blog and like it, well — you won’t find anything new but you’ll probably like the book well enough.

101 Kids Activities That Are The Bestest, Funnest Ever. Did we really have to have Bestest in the title? I hate that word which might have colored my feelings about the book. Also, I’m kind of jaded when it comes to books of this type. It’s hard to find new ideas or new ways to present old ideas. This isn’t a bad book (except for the title) and if you don’t have a lot of these types of books, it wouldn’t be a bad one to have. It’s just not the best book in the world. Ho hum.

Rose

I really liked Rose, the book and the character. She’s an orphan who does not have far-fetched dreams about returning parents or marrying princes. She just wants to leave the orphanage, go into service, work hard, and earn her own way. Even when she’s given chances to be more than a downstairs maid, she turns those chances down. She just wants to be a regular person. I like that.

Unfortunately, sometimes you can’t just be a regular person. You have to step up and into other roles. That’s what happens to Rose. And at the end, it gets very dark — so if you’ve got a middle grader who can’t handle dark, scary, bloody scenes… skip Rose until later.

Fang Chronicles: Dimitri

During #readathon, I always try to go back to some of the series written by BlogHer community members that I haven’t kept up with. This time around, it was Fang Chronicles. Fun to read on my iPhone when I want a break from paper or while I’m sitting at my laptop waiting for spam to delete and stuff.

That Dimitri is… powerful. Sheesh.

I’m starting to have trouble keeping the beasts straight — there are so many now. I might need a cheat sheet when I read the next book. Who’s a vampire? Who’s a cat? Who’s a wolf? Who’s a bear? Gah. All the beastkind!

The Harlot’s Tale

The second book in the Midwife Mystery series, The Harlot’s Tale was just as awesome — if not more awesome — than the first one. Oh so clever and I found myself chuckling several times. This troubled TW. She says I laughed more during this book than I did reading Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (which is probably true since I errr don’t really find The Bloggess as funny as others do, particularly in large doses.)

Anyway — loved it. I did not see that ending coming. The part about Edward, though I should have since it paves the way for Joseph to be… Joseph. Can’t wait for #3.

Graphic Novel Read During #Readathon

I should have known better than to add Mind MGMT (vol 3) to my list for #readathon… TW picked it out. TW does not like graphic novels. TW thought it was about homemaking (eyeroll). It was the third in a series I’ve never read. I’ve heard of it and I’ve thought about trying it so I thought it was kismet or something when TW picked it out.

Alas. I did not enjoy it. Not because I was lost due to it being the third but because it was boring. The art was boring. The people were annoying and I hated them all. Bah. I won’t be going back to read the first two.

7 Books from the Cybils Shortlist (Read During #readathon)

Again, in the order in which I read them:

Home Sweet Horror — not a bad ghost story/Bloody Mary story. The dead mom/ring was a nice touch.

Dragonbreath: The Case of the Toxic Mutants — I liked it. It amused me. If you like those books I recommended last year? Earlier this year? The ones about the amoeba? Heck, what are those called… I’m gonna go look… Squish! then you’ll probably like Dragonbreath.

Violet Mackerel’s Natural Habitat — I’m a fan of Violet Mackerel but this wasn’t my favorite. I liked it, I just didn’t love love love it.

Kelsey Green Third Grade Reading Queen — was cute. Good for Kelsey for helping Cody, even if her motives weren’t necessarily the best. I hope she learned something, though I’m not sure she did… which is possibly the only thing about the story that I didn’t love.

Lulu and the Dog From the Sea — I loved it. Obviously. I’ve got three darn puppies that I adopted because I had to… I’m very glad it ended the way that it did. ;-)

The Life of Ty: Penguin Problems — I did not like. There were moments when I liked it but a lot more moments when I did not. The Penguin part, that’s when it sealed the deal for me… did not like that.

The 14 Fibs of Gregory K was excellent. I’m very glad I stayed up til after 1am to finish it. The only problem was that I wanted pie and it was 1am!