Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Weekly Read: 17

This week, I continue my newfound obsession with audio books. Also, bookclub!

READ: Fly on the Wall: How One Girl Saw Everything | E. Lockhart
After listening to Abraham Lincoln in my car for over 2 weeks, once it was over, it felt strange to switch back to music. So, when dropping that one off at the library, I went in and picked a couple others to listen to. This is the first! This was a quick, fun story about a girl getting to hear what goes on behind closed doors of the boys locker room. Believe it or not, she ends up realizing that her life isn't as horrible as she thought it was, and everyone else isn't as perfect as she thought they were. Gretchen is a sympathetic character who is likable despite having a woe-is-me attitude in the beginning. Her life isn't perfect, but neither is anyone else's. What's important is you go for what you want and stay open to change. The slang the kids used was kind of annoying and unrealistic, but you get used to it. I was surprised at how graphic it got for a teen novel. I do wish there had been a little more resolution to some of the storylines - whatever happened with Gunther? Did he get in trouble for beating up Carlo and his friend? Who knows. In the end, I thought there were some realistic and honest moments, and it was a fun read - or rather, listen.

READ: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks | E. Lockhart
After listening to Fly on the Wall, I went back to the library AGAIN and hit the teen section of audiobooks. Luckily, they had another one by Lockhart. This one was longer, and harder to listen to if only for the fact that I kept wanting to know what happened next! I got through about half the discs, and then had some free time on Thursday, so I went to the bookstore and just read the rest. :) One of the reasons I like fluffy teen fiction is that the books generally have happy endings, like fairy tales in a way. I can say this is one of those books, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. I expected this to be one of those books where the girl stands up for gender equality, stands up for what's right, and gets everything she wants in the end. I revelled in Frankie's masterful behind-the-scenes takeover of her boyfriend's all-boy society because I believed, like Frankie herself did, that when they found out, they would applaused and accept her, impressed with her cleverness. But this book is more honest and true-to-life, and I was as surprised and hurt as Frankie when the boys ignored her, and Matthew rejected her. It doesn't seem fair, but thus is life, I suppose. I loved Frankie as a character, as well as Alpha, even though he was a jerk a lot of the time. What is it about those bad boys that is so attractive - at least in fiction? Overall, I liked the book, but I still wish Frankie had gotten her happy ending.

READ: The Lost Symbol | Dan Brown
This was our book club pick for this month, and I had been looking forward to reading it for months. I can pretty much sum my feelings up for this book in one sentence: "It was ok, but I liked it better when it was called National Treasure." For the most part, I liked this book, but I felt a little let down after reading it. It seems like the secret history of Masons was pretty well covered by those movies. Maybe it's just that I didn't find the mystery or storyline as compelling. So, the world is going to end if the secret mysteries of the Masons get out? Seriously, it's a matter of national security? I don't buy that. The history and information about the capital was interesting, but it felt too spread out - I wanted more! It's true, the plot was secondary to the history info, but I was ok with that because, to be honest, it was way more interesting. So maybe what I really wanted was a more interesting plot? I would have loved to hear more about the Smithsonian, and taking courses from either Robert Langdon or Peter Solomon would be awesome. :) I'm glad I read it, but it didn't live up to Angels and Demons for me.

STARTED: Lock and Key | Sarah Dessen
I've been hearing about what a great writer Sarah Dessen is ever since I joined Goodreads, but had never really jumped on the bandwagon before. Not for any particular reason, mostly because I've been trying to diversify my reading, and it seemed like something I would have picked while browsing the YA section as I used to do. Luckily, I came across this one while picking through the audiobook section of the library, and have been listening to it while driving since Thursday (aka, the day I couldn't wait to finish The Disreputable History and went to the bookstore). So far, it's good! Already I'm fighting myself not to find a copy and read it through. We'll see how far I get before it comes to that. :)

Coming up next week: I need to read a few library books that I have to return in a few weeks - Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls and Haroun and the Sea of Stories. But I'll probably sneak in a Vampire Diaries re-read, too. :)

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