Currently listening to….

…John Green’s An Abundance of Katherines

This is the story of Colin Singleton, who gets dumped by Katherines–a lot. Nineteen times – but by different Katherines each time. He and his best friend Hassan decide to go on a road trip to heal Colin’s heart and get Hassan away from the pressure of going to college. They boys end up in Gutshot, Tennessee where they meet an interesting cast of characters.

So far, I’m loving the audiobook. It’s read by Jeff Woodman, who is skilled in bringing the characters to life. Each character is identifiable so listeners won’t have a problem following along. I’m only on the fifth disc so I can’t go into much detail as far as the story goes because I’m not quite sure where it will take me. But for now, I am enjoying the ride.

I love the dialogue between the boys and some of their pranks are pretty funny. I don’t want to give too much away because I don’t want to spoil the funny moments, but I laughed out loud a couple of times, which looks kind of funny as you are driving. But what I really love about the boys is that their relationship feels real. Now, I’m not a guy so I can’t speak from first hand experience, but the teasing, fights, and wordplay feel real to me. Especially with the creative insults. Nothing is shallow in this book. Everything seems to be leading toward something and the boys are discovering more of themselves the longer they stay in Gutshot.

The story does contain flashbacks so you do have to make sure that you pay attention to where you are in the story, but the flashbacks flow pretty seamlessly with the overall story. I only mention the flashbacks because while listening to the story as an audiobook, I had to really think back to what was going on when I came back to it after a few hours break.

This is the second audiobook I’ve listened to from John Green and he is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. If you haven’t read The Fault in our Stars yet, put yourself on the hold list. It has to be one of the best books of the year. Colin’s story is quickly becoming my second favorite teen audiobook.

45 Pounds (More or Less) by K.A. Barson

Ann Galardi is sixteen years old and overweight. Her mother is perfect in both size and person. On top of feeling pressure to lose weight from her mother, she now has a wedding to attend. To be the perfect bridesmaid for her aunt, Ann needs to lose forty-five pounds in two months. But after overhearing her baby sister’s conversation with “friends,” Ann realizes there is more at stake than the perfect dress size.

I really enjoyed this story, but I might be a bit biased. Many of the events spoke to me because I’ve been there too. I’ve been in the dressing room trying to fit into clothes that are too small. I’ve had people talking about me behind my back. So, these themes really connected with me and are presented in ways that make you laugh while cringing with sympathy. There is quite a bit of humor in the book, especially with the “Thriller” dance running through the second half.

But, while I did enjoy and connect to the book there were some elements that didn’t quite work. At times, Ann seemed very self-assured only to question herself and come across as very unaware a few pages later. This was a bit inconsistent. Also, the final conflict seemed a bit too easily resolved.

Despite these few things, I would count this book as a keeper. This will be a reread for me.

Did you read it? Tell us what you thought?

Battle of the Books is almost here!

Are you ready? It’s almost here – the Battle of the Books! Meet us at the Josey Ranch Lake location, Thursday, August 22 at 4:00 if you are up to the challenge. Can you face off against aliens or take down a witch? Can you put yourself back together? Find the murderer? How about graduating spy school?

Give us a call at 972-466-4800 to reserve a spot for you or your team and find out what you are really made of.

Don’t forget your permission slip. Just in case you need one, here it is

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

In this twist on the fairy tale “Cinderella,” Cinder is a cyborg forced to serve her guardian, Adri, and her two daughters, Pearl and Peony. Cinder meets Prince Kai through her mechanical skills, but will this meeting lead to an invitation to the ball? Will Cinder, like her namesake, live happily ever after with her prince?

The problem with a story based on a well-known fairy tale is that you recognize many of the elements that appear. But while some of the foreshadowing is obvious, the story has some inventive new twists that make “Cinderella” fresh again. Can Cinder help stop a possible invasion from the Lunars? What connection does she have with the mysterious plague that is effecting the people of Earth? Why are there mentions of Snow White and possibly Rapunzel? All of these twists make the book fun and new, while opening the world up so that we are not limited to one small kingdom and community. Cinder’s world is real and full of love, life, and even anguish.

All in all, I thought this book was wonderful. Once I started in, I finished within a few days. The pacing and characters are well done and the plot moves forward quickly. The only problem I had was that some of the twists were easily figured out and the book ends with a cliffhanger. I’m so glad I have Scarlet waiting on my shelf. If only the third book was out now!

Have you read it yet? What did you think?