September 05, 2010

Summer Reading

(I promise, sooner rather than later, to get to all the FUN stuff this summer has brought us.  I have tons of pictures, stories, and memories I want to share.  This really has been one of the best summers of my life... stressful, scary, fun, exciting, and very memorable.  We found a house!  A big house, twice the size of our old one!  We are almost all unpacked, and back to normal life, almost.  And we FINALLY have an internet connection and cable tv, wooooot!  So, to my ever loving little brother who keeps asking me where the new posts and pictures are :) Be patient with me, I'm almost there.)

Summer reading was a little slow this summer, due to all the traveling (and the fact that I always get car sick when I read while we drive).  But I did find some time to knock back a few good novels :)

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton


I loved this book. The characters were so heartfelt, and while not perfect by far, real.  While parts of me thought it was a little long, it tended to drag on in some places, it was easy to get past and right back into the heart of the story.  I loved the narration of the story, so descriptive without getting carried away, and easy to follow along.  It made me long for my own little cottage on a cliff side in England, with a secret garden to tend...
The story follows Nell and Cassandra on a journey into the past.  Looking for Nell's birth parents, uncovering secrets, and the reason why she was left abandoned on a ship headed to Australia when she was only a child.  The story hops back and forth between the past and present, and we uncover the family mystery one layer at a time.  Lovely story telling, and a nice peaceful little read.

Mockingjay  by Suzanne Collins


I don't really know what to say.  I really loved this entire series.  If you haven't read them, then you probably should.  I rate them among some of my favorite books of all time.... right after my beloved Harry Potter and Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.

So addicting, and compelling.  It is nearly impossible to put down.  I love the characters, and the heart they bring into the story.  Intense, thrilling, hopeful, daring.... Really all I'm doing now is gushing. You should read them, that is all :)

Let's face it, a series is only as good as its last book.  And even though I found much of the last book to be sad and emotionally draining, I loved the conclusion to the story.  A perfect ending.  Not necessarily a happy one, but satisfying.

The Millennium Trilogy
by Stieg Larsson


I normally don't pick up these types of books to read....modern mystery, who-dun-it type books, but I bought into all the hype and fancy coverings.  Needless to say, they did not disappoint.  I read through the entire series in less than a week.  They aren't the most perfect books ever written, by far.  I found a lot of things to be redundant or annoying, like WHY did we have to know every single item Lisbeth bought at the grocery store, and there were way too many mentions of McDonalds and Mac iBooks, AND the language was out of control.  All that aside, these are great books, and fascinating stories.  Sometimes when I was reading, I wondered how much got lost in translation...since the original books were in Swedish.
Fast paced, and very addicting.  I found Lisbeth Salander to be one of the most intriguing and compelling female characters that I have read in a long time, an unlikely heroine.
The story is too complex to narrow down in a few sentences, so I am not even going to try.  In my opinion the first book was the strongest.  I was a little bored in the last one waiting for the conclusion, but in the end I was completely satisfied...for the most part.  Good reads!

The Maze Runner  by James Dashner


A futuristic Lord of the Flies....that is what this book reminded me of. A group of teenage boys (oh and one surprise girl) stranded God knows where, albeit, under rather curious circumstances.  Hormones and tempers flying everywhere, trying to survive, and make sense of the horrifying situation they've been thrown in, where nothing is what it seems.
 I can't seem to make up mind about this book.  I liked it well enough.  It was fast paced, and interesting...and I can't wait to find out what is actually going on in their strange little world.  However, something was missing.  I didn't really care too much about the characters, and the stupid little made up words they used for swears was so annoying, for shucks sake ;) Maybe it was the authors writing or narrative... Who knows?  It can't be that bad though, because I do plan on reading the sequel eventually.

And there you have it, my summer reading.

I love reading.  Sometimes I forget how much I love escaping into a book, forgetting all the chores that need to be done and the responsibilities I have.  Leaving behind the kid's constant whining for one thing or another, to just jump into someone else skin and live with them for awhile.  It is so relaxing to me.  Sometimes all I need is just a couple more hours in the day, not to clean or do some other mind-numbing thing, but to read.  It is the best.

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