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What I’ve Been Reading

Book Reviews October 2015 • Little Gold Pixel

This is an occasional series that chronicles my quest to read 80 books in 2015. This is the seventh roundup. You can read the first here. The second here. The third here. The fourth here. The fifth here. The sixth here. The seventh here. Let’s see how it went, shall we?

I suppose I was a little late to the Uglies party. Never fear; I read the entire series in a week. It isn’t the best Y.A. dystopian series I’ve ever read, but hey, it’s better than most.

In general I read a lot more this month, one after the other. All of it was passable. Nothing prolific. Hey, it happens.

I’m now NINE books ahead of schedule! Which means I only have nine books to go before I hit my goal of 80 books for the year.

(Do you follow me on Goodreads? You should!)

Book Reviews October 2015: 71/80

Uglies / Scott Westerfeld
File under: Y.A., dystopian, high school politics, ignorance
Plot: Tally is counting the days until she turns Pretty. But when a friend runs away to stay Ugly, her whole worldview is challenged.
Review: This book is everything good Y.A. dystopia can be.
Amazon Goodreads



Pretties / Scott Westerfeld
File under: Y.A., dystopian, high school politics, ignorance
Plot: Tally infiltrates the Pretties, but it’s more difficult to get out than she thought.
Review: Good grief does this book suffer from what I call “second book malaise.” Too much eye-rolling, too few a-ha moments. The introduction of a love triangle is such a bore. The stilted Bubbly-speak is a little grating on audiobook. Still, the story movies forward and I’m compelled to finish the trilogy.
Amazon Goodreads



Specials / Scott Westerfeld
File under: Y.A., dystopian, high school politics, ignorance
Plot: Now that Tally has been turned into a Special, she has no desire to join the resistance she fought so hard for.
Review: This series as a whole was interesting, especially if read from a high school politics filter, a dystopian metaphor for the rigors of the teen years and how excruciating it can be to develop different ideas than your friends. How lonely it can be to feel like you do not fit in. You following me? But this book, taken by itself, had a most unsatisfying ending.
Amazon Goodreads



The One I Left Behind/ Jennifer McMahon
File under: Murder mystery, literature, you can never go home, psychological thriller, suspense
Plot: Woman returns to her hometown when her mother is found alive decades after being abducted by a serial killer.
Review: It’s difficult to put into words how much I love Jennifer McMahon. Her characters are always so well-formed, so believable. I feel like she writes just for me.
Amazon Goodreads



All the Bright Places / Jennifer Niven
File under: Pretentious Y.A., suicide, troubled youth, star-crossed lovers, Mad Love
Plot: Suicidal teens meet atop a bell tower, save each other temporarily, and embark on an adventure together.
Review: This one has me terribly conflicted. On one hand, it’s a book that deals with mental illness in a real way. On the other, it walks the line of romanticizing said mental illness. On one hand, I’m sad for these kids. On the other, I’m yelling, “COME ON!” when they channel John Green characters and quote literature to each other. In other words, it’s not as great as everyone thinks it is — but it’s not terrible, either. Conflicted yet?
Amazon Goodreads



The Good Girl / Mary Kubica
File under: Suspense, kidnapping, mystery, literature
Plot: Well-to-do twentysomething goes missing, but nothing is as it seems.
Review: This was masterfully done suspense. A page turner. The multiple narrator setup didn’t even annoy me like it usually does.
Amazon Goodreads



Finding Audrey / Sophie Kinsella
File under: Y.A., mental illness, humor, coming of age
Plot: A 14-year-old learns how to deal with her social anxiety disorder.
Review: Sophie Kinsella’s signature humor was a welcome change of pace from the heavy books I had been reading, and I enjoyed it. I didn’t mean to read two books about mentally disturbed teens so close together, but of the two I preferred this one even though it has somewhat less “substance.”
Amazon Goodreads



Movie Star / Hilary Liftin
File under: Chick lit, Hollywood true story, fluff
Plot: The rise and fall of TomKat —er, I mean, Rob and Lizzie.
Review: This story was ripped straight from the gossip pages. I read it in one day. Read into that what you will. It probably means I’m a vapid person, but oh well. It was fluff; fun, fluffy fluff.
Amazon Goodreads



People I Want to Punch in the Throat / Jen Mann
File under: Humor, Kansas, blogger, mommy wars
Plot: Woman navigates the suburbs of Kansas, makes a lot of observations.
Review: I snorted quite a few times. I know the people she talks about. I get her sense of humor. We could be besties if I still lived in Kansas.
Amazon Goodreads

In a Nutshell

Three to read: The One I Left Behind, The Good Girl, Movie Star (because yay, fluff!)

Caution? All the Bright Places & Finding Audrey — although I read both all the way through and enjoyed them for the most part, beware that they both paint an incomplete picture of mental illness.

So there you have it. 71 down! 9 to go!

What have you been reading lately? I’m always on the lookout for a good book … do share recommendations in the comments. Have you read any of these books? Do you agree/disagree with my assessment? Let’s discuss in the comments below.

P.S. A running list of my fave must-read books. Soooo much good stuff here.

Linking up with, a great place to find good reads. Check it out.
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