I'd almost forgotten that the second quarter of 2012 finished up yesterday. Since I did it at the end of March, I thought I'd keep up the trend and share (very quick) reviews of every book I read between April 1 and June 30. Some of these are going to have longer reviews to share and some have longer reviews over at Goodreads. I did slightly better on the number of books read this quarter, but I think only because of the readathon weekend.
Starred titles are ones that stood out to me a little bit more than others.
1. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (YA): I get the hype and the acclaim but it didn't do anything for me as a reader. I was uninterested for the bulk of the story.
* 3. The Children and the Wolves by Adam Rapp (YA): I think my review says it all. I really loved how dark and far this title went.
4. Thumped by Megan McCafferty (YA): I dug the sequel to Bumped and loved how well the two stories played off of well-worn tropes in dystopias. Review here.
5. Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock (YA debut): I'm not usually a werewolf reader, but I liked this mystery/paranormal story. Review here.
6. Faking Faith by Josie Bloss (YA): This end-of-2011 title about a girl who pretends to be of a certain religious background to make friends didn't quite work for me. It needed a little bit more development.
7. The Little Woods by McCormick Templeman (YA debut): This didn't bring anything new to the new girl at a boarding school storyline. I hoped it would, but ultimately, I figured out the mystery by the end of the first chapter.
8. Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne (YA debut): No external threat, very off-putting messages about females, and a mega cliffhanger ending did nothing for me. Review here.
9. After the Snow by S.D. Crockett (YA debut): Liked the idea, but the execution didn't necessarily work great. I did dig the dialect. Review here.
10. Personal Effects by EM Kokie (YA debut): A story about a boy who has lost his brother to war but hopes to get him back by discovering his past. I liked it, but it wasn't a favorite in the war genre. Definite appeal, though.
12. The Stone Girl by Alyssa Sheinmel (YA): An eating disorder book that did absolutely nothing for me as a reader. It's more than an eating disorder book, since the girl has a catalog of mental illnesses, but ultimately, I didn't care about her.
13. Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden (YA): I wanted to like this classic of YA and of the genre, but it took forever to get into and at the end, I didn't feel rewarded.
14. A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger (YA): My favorite Keplinger to date. There's a review coming, but it's a great story about family and shifts therein. The voice is fantastic.
15. Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti (YA): This felt like an after school special about bullying and I never once bought the main character or her struggle.
16. Sweethearts by Sarah Zarr (YA): The last Zarr book I needed to read, and it was satisfying.
17. Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo (YA): This Australian import will satisfy older YA readers and adult readers. Great story about love, growing up, and figuring everything out. There's a longer review coming later this year.
18. Cracked by KM Walton (YA debut): I liked this dually narrated story about a bully and the bullied. Review here.
19. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson (Adult fiction): Getting through this volume took more stamina than I thought it would. But I did it. And decided to pursue the rest of the series.
20. Chalked Up by Jennifer Sey (Adult non-fiction): I had no idea who Sey was before reading this, but it was recommended to me based on my love for US Gymnastics. Sey's memoir about being a gymnast kept my attention, but I felt that she came off a little too "poor me" at times.
22. Adaptation by Malinda Lo (YA): A fun scifi story about....aliens. Also touches upon sexuality. And aliens. This one hooked me immediately and kept me going. I'm looking forward to the sequel.
* 23. Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills (YA): Another story about sexuality, but this time, it tackles transsexuality. It's also about music, growing up, hiding your identity and damn, it was good, good, good.
24. Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham (YA debut): Road trip story, as well as a story about friendship. It was funny, but nothing brilliant. Good for readers who want a light-hearted and fun summer read.
25. Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian (YA): A revenge tale. Good writing, but I figured out what was going on in the first few pages. Though it twisted a bit and made me second guess my instincts, the end sort of validated my initial thoughts. I will read the sequel in hopes of being toyed with some more.
26. Cat Daddy by Jackson Galaxy (Adult memoir): I love "My Cat from Hell" on Animal Planet and I love Jackson Galaxy. Not brilliant writing by any means, but it made me cry a couple of times.
27. The Opposite of Hallelujah by Anna Jarzab (YA): Great writing and a story about sisters and secrets. The flap copy on this one does nothing for the story -- I mean, what happens when your older sister's been at a nunnery for years and she comes home? And why did she go to the nunnery in the first place?
28. The Girl who Played with Fire by Steig Larsson (Adult): Book two was a little better than book one. Still a fan of Lisbeth here. Especially at the end! Cliffhanger!
29. Drama by Raina Telgemeier (MG graphic novel): Great followup to Smile about a girl who is a drama girl...a behind-the-scenes drama girl, not the one who likes to be on stage. Huge appeal, but it got a little too into the story of having a crush on someone for me as a reader.
31. Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote (Adult short story): Love! What a dark, complicated character sketch. If you haven't read this one in a while or your only reference is the movie, pick it up. Capote is a genius.
32. Shadow Bound by Rachel Vincent (Adult fiction): The second in Vincent's urban fantasy series hooked me with great characters and strong tension and stakes.
33. In Honor by Jessi Kirby (YA): A road trip book, but it's also an exploration of grief and loss.
* 34. Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas (YA): A YA classic, I think, and I loved every second of it. Might even inspire me to actually watch Veronica Mars one of these days.
35. Quiet by Susan Cain (Adult non-fiction): This was interesting, but I didn't really learn a whole lot new about introverts and I felt at times Cain made her points about the "power" of introversion by degrading extroverts. And I say that as an introvert.
36. Butter by Erin Jade Lange (YA debut): One of the best books on weight issues in YA I've read. I have a review of this one coming later, but it's a heavy subject tackled very well -- even if, at times, it got a tiny bit lesson-y about how bullying is bad.
38. My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf (Adult graphic novel): A fantastic graphic novel about Jeffery Dahmer's high school life told through the eyes of one of his classmates. Not a sympathetic story but an engaging one nonetheless.
39. Choke by Diana Lopez (MG): I've mostly forgotten this one by now since it was underdeveloped and took a long time to get to the actual "choke game" aspect.
40. Address Unknown by Kressmann Taylor (Adult): A little gem of a book about an American, his non-American friend, and the rise of Nazi Germany. It's a one-sit reading.
41. Stranger with My Face by Lois Duncan (YA): A classic Duncan but ultimately, it didn't do much for me.
42. Idaho Winter by Tony Burgess (Adult): What a messed up little story but also a really fun one. The main character is mistreated but he gets his revenge...on the author himself.
43. Safekeeping by Karen Hesse (YA): A modern-day set dystopia. I had some issues with it, but I think the writing, the style, and the twist on the genre will appeal to many readers.
44. Tina's Mouth by Keshni Kashyap (Adult graphic novel): This was a fun graphic novel about growing up in the midst of more than one culture. A little reminiscent of Persepolis.
45. Narc by Crissa-Jean Chappell (YA): Great male voice, great story about the grit of high school and drugs, totally disappointing and emotionally-empty ending. It was like reading two different stories.
46. Bloody Chester by JT Petty (YA graphic novel): Violence was pretty much all this was. Which, it succeeded at. But it left me really bored. And I don't mind violence.
47. Off Balance by Dominique Moceanu (Adult memoir): My favorite gymnast shares her story. I totally dug it. I loved how she wasn't ever once a whiner, and I loved the last two chapters were basically about how screwed up the politics of US Gymnastics are. Perfect reading before the Olympics.
48. The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Steig Larsson (Adult fiction): The final book in the trilogy was probably the most satisfying. Ultimately, I enjoyed the series as a whole and how much Larsson wrote strong females and how that in and of itself was the reason men in the story behaved as they did.
49. Never Enough by Denise Jaden (YA): This took on too many issues and underdeveloped all of them.
* 50. This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers (YA): I reread it on release day and it was every bit as satisfying as I said here. For me, Summers is better on rereads, even if she's already good on first reads.
* 51. Send Me a Sign by Tiffany Schmidt (YA): I hate cancer books, but this is not a cancer book at all. Huge appeal to Jenny Han fans and those who think the cancer genre is a tired one. There will be a long review coming of this one later on.
52. Holding On To Zoe by George Ella Lyon (YA): I forgot to write this one down in my notebook and rereading the review I wrote on Goodreads reminds me I didn't care for it at all. I didn't buy the story or the setting and I figured out the truth of the narrative within pages. Not really a pregnancy story, by the way. So it's not going to appeal to that readership.
53. Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin (Adult non-fiction): I liked this one, but it wasn't as great as Rubin's The Happiness Project. What I do love, though, is how much joy Rubin says she gets out of really small things in life, and it makes me happy simply reading it.
I had a two books I didn't finish this quarter, too: Bethany Griffin's The Masque of the Red Death and Huntley Fitzpatrick's My Life Next Door. The first just didn't feel new or interesting to me and the second never hooked me with the premise.
I think it's obvious I've been in a little bit of a reviewing slump, but many of these titles have reviews sitting in my queue to post. Also, when you read so much, it's hard to keep up with reviews. Because, you know, you're reading.
Have you had a favorite so far this year?