Friday, October 31, 2008

Seize the Fire: Review

Book: Seize the Fire
Author: Laura Kinsale
Series: None
Category: Historical Romance
Sensuality: Hot

Olympia of Oriens is a princess. Exiled to England, she longs to return to her battle torn country and bring justice to her people. But she will be going up against her uncle who is, in her opinion, pure evil. She seeks out a recently retired, highly decorated Naval Captain, Sheridan Drake for help with her cause. Olympia has great expectations of Sheridan, his many accomplishments give him great acclaim and she is sure that he is just the hero to help her.

Captain Sheridan Drake is not the hero every one thinks him to be. In fact, he knows he is not a hero at all, more like a lying scoundrel. Returning home to his deceased father's house of pranks and nothing more, Sheridan finds himself down and out. Then the adorably plump Olympia St. Leger shows up at his door, pleading for his help. Sheridan hears out Olympia's plan. He is amused by the fierce passion Olympia has for her country, and knows she doesn't have the first clue about how to run it, much less take it over. But he is desperate and in need of money, and the beautiful, unassuming Princess is a jackpot in Sheridan's eyes. He takes Olympia up on her offer and they set out on the adventure of their lives.

I've always found Ms. Kinsale's writing to be emotionally draining, and Seize the Fire is no exception. Olympia and Sheridan were great characters. Olympia is a little reserved, but she has big dreams and even bigger notions about what she thinks the world should be like. This character trait was both a good and bad thing for her character because while it made her innocently endearing, it also put her and Sheridan in a lot of unneeded trouble on multiple occasions. Sheridan is mostly disenchanted with life and people in general. He is tortured to the nth degree, hates Olympia's hero worship of him, and as soon as the opportunity arrives to prove to her he is anything but, he takes it.

Per usual, while reading Laura Kinsale, there were times when I became exasperated with the amount of angst and the heaviness of the characters internal demons. But I knew there had to be a light at the end of the tunnel, and there was. Though it was not exactly how I expected it to be (the ending is just as torturous as most of the book is) it worked for the people that Sheridan and Olympia had become. Exasperation and all, I can not get over Ms. Kinsale's way with words, she can weave a story and leave me hanging on her every word.

At 583 pages, Seize the Fire is epic in scale. Sheridan and Olympia are taken to lands far away, deserted islands, tropical paradises, multiple ships and more. They deal with intense hardships on their journey, fall in love, get it torn away, they are nearly killed a few times and whatever else could happen, happens to them. Watching the characters finding themselves through loving each other was wonderful yet bittersweet. Sigh. Seize the Fire was a great, heart-wrenching romantic adventure to read. What else is left to say other than I loved it, misplaced hymen and all. Grade A-.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Reading Interrupted + Finished Challenge + Randomness

There is nothing like a misplaced hymen to jolt me out of a book. I'm reading Seize the Fire by Laura Kinsale right now. At about 150 pages in of what was shaping up to be great reading material, she lost me. She really lost me.

His fingers met the unbroken barrier inside her.

Me--> Say what? Groans loudly and rolls eyes. Keep reading, how much worse can it get?

Heat flashed through him, the desire to ram and force, to crush her, spread her, take her delicious sweetness in absolute possession.

Me--> ... the desire to ram and force, to crush her...? That much worse, huh?

Once the hero is abruptly reminded that his voluptuous little virgin is a princess and he will be killed if he passes that misplaced barrier that is, let's say... about four inches within her, he's out of steam and bloody mad.

Mr. Hero thinks he has problems? What about me? I'm left to rework the scene so that it makes anatomical sense. I'm also forced to blank ram and force, to crush her out of my mind just to be able to get on with the book.

In other news, I finished the RIP III Reading Challenge hosted by Carl V of Stainless Steel Droppings. This was my first year participating and I had fun reading two books that I probably wouldn't have if not for this challenge. For this challenge there were a few different reading options, I chose Peril of the Second which required that I read two darkly themed books and review them.

I completed:

Mina: The Dracula Story Continues by Marie Kiraly
Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Another book I read during the challenge time period that I did not include in the challenge, but really fits is Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn. I loved this book!

In just a day I will begin writing in the NaNoWriMo Challenge. NaNoWriMo covers the whole month of November or whenever I make it to 50k words. Since this is my first go at this challenge and I have no idea how time consuming it will become, I just want to apologize in advance if my blog posts come slower than my usual slowness. I don't know how much time I'll have for reading during the month of November.

Oh yeah, Jace has a drawing going on her blog for some pretty handmade book thongs. Go forth and enter!

Well, I'm off to carve a pumpkin and finish making my daughter's costumes for Halloween. Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Sharing Knife (Beguilement): Review

Book: The Sharing Knife: Beguilement
Author: Lois McMaster Bujold
Series: Sharing Knife, Volume One
Category: Fantasy
Sensuality: Warm

At eighteen years old, Fawn Bulefield finds herself in a predicament that she is unable to share with her family. Determined to deal with her problem on her own, she leaves her family's farm and sets out on a journey to a new town and life. While traveling alone, Fawn is taken by a malice (creatures that are made up of other dead creatures). She tries to fight them off to no avail, and then a man shows up to help her. Fawn later finds out that the man's name is Dag and he is a Lakewalker (a race of people who kill malice's) Dag had been tracking the malice and that was how he found her.

Fawn and Dag are soon faced with another malice that proves to be more of a problem. During the fight with the second malice Fawn is able to kill the creature with Dag's sharing knife that has been blessed by death. The kill mis-enchants the knife, leaving Dag and Fawn to find out how to deal with the knife that has inadvertently intertwined their fates.

Beguilement is a Romantic Fantasy with the fantasy elements taking a backseat to the romance. By that I mean that there is no intricate world building or fantastical appearances, except for when dealing with the malice's. The overall driving force of the story is the romance. The world itself is simple enough with (at this point) two different groups of people. Farmers and Lakewalkers. The relationship between the two groups is a wary one, with both sides having preconceived notions about each other. Lakewalkers are looked at to be dangerous because they are thought to have magic and be able to beguile simple farm folk. And Lakewalkers tend to think farmers aren't too bright. This difference in background makes Dag and Fawn's burgeoning romance a hard pill to swallow on both sides of the fence.

The story flows at an intermediate pace, unfolding the world layer by layer as the characters actions deem it so, making the book character driven, rather than plot driven. Since I liked both Dag and Fawn, I didn't mind reading about them figuring each other out, finding love, and dealing with discrimination from outsiders. Though, if I hadn't liked one or both of them, then the story might not have worked for me. The plot is there, but is slow in coming. It is one of those predicaments where the "something more" can be felt looming just under the surface and you're just waiting for it to come. It doesn't in this volume.

Nonetheless, I still enjoyed the story. Ms. Bujold's writing is naturally enchanting, her discrpitive voice is subtle and lends a magical feel to the overall book. For some readers the May-December romance between Dag and Fawn may be a problem, but I had no trouble with it. I found the romance to be lovely. If I had a complaint it would be with the publisher who split volume one and two into two books. They should have been one as book two picks up directly where one leaves off. No fair! Good for me that Legacy is already out. Beguilement was my first book by Ms. Bujold, but after falling in love with her writing it won't be my last. Grade B+.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Heart of Stone: Review

Book: Heart of Stone
Author: C.E. Murphy
Category: Urban Fantasy
Series: Negotiator Trilogy, Book 1
Sensuality: Kisses

Margrit Knight is a tough New York City attorney. She spends her days as a Legal Aid attorney and her nights running in Central Park. One night while running Margrit comes across a man in the park who sets her on edge. The guy is very tall, pale and blonde. After a brief exchange with the stranger Margrit leaves. That night while watching the news she learns that there has been a murder in Central Park. A woman was killed and the man described by the witness sounds a lot like the man she came across in the park.

Margrit takes this knowledge to her on/off again boyfriend and cop, Tony, thinking that it would be the last bit of involvement she would have with the case. But the man from the park seeks Margrit out. His name is Alban and he claims he's innocent but needs Margrit's help to prove it. Margrit is wary of him as he has done a few things that seem beyond human capability. To get her to trust him completely Alban lays it all on the table and reveals his true nature to Margrit, showing her that he is a gragoyle. After inexplicable proof, Margrit has no choice but to believe Alban. And when another murder happens in Central Park and Alban is with her at the time, she believes him to be truly innocent of the crimes and sets out to help him.

Through helping Alban, Margrit gets sucked into the world of the Old Races. She becomes a one woman avenger for a selkie who has had her pelt stolen, a go between for a Vampire and a Dragon, and a defender for Alban. All the while having Tony and the police department breathing down her neck, and unknowingly being targeted by the real killer behind the Central Park deaths.

Heart of Stone started out a little slow for me. I liked the tone of the book and the characters, but the story drug along for about the first 200 pages, laying the groundwork for what was to come, I think. After that passed, the story took off at break-neck speed and didn't let up. Margrit was a sore spot for me at first, too. She came off harsh in the beginning chapters, and I could find no real reason in the story or her back story as for why she was so snappish. But as the story picked up, I began to warm to Margrit, and by the end I really liked her.

Criticisms aside, I did enjoy most of the book. The list of characters is a little long, but not hard to keep track of. I really liked Daisani, the vampire businessman, and Janx, the dragon gangster. Margrit's interactions with them were some of my favorite scenes. I also enjoyed Alban. He is a little unsure of himself when it comes to Margrit and he's not the aggressor in the relationship, but he had a strong presence that made him great. I loved that Margrit is an African American protagonist. It is rare to come across a series centered around an AA character, especially one not written by an AA author. I always applaud writers that are able to step outside of racial boundaries and write about multicultural characters. (One of the reasons why I heart Nalini Singh as well).

As far as beginnings go, I think that Heart of Stone is a strong one. Ms. Murphy's writing and characterization is strong, as is her world building. The Old Races is an interesting take on paranormal mythology, one that I found refreshing. The story ended with a thread that promised more to come, but enough closure to make the book satisfying, and aside from my minor qualms--I really enjoyed Heart of Stone. Grade B-.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Coraline: Review

Book: Coraline
Author: Neil Gaiman
Category: Young Adult
Series: No

Coraline is the story of a young girl named Coraline Jones. Her family had just moved into a old home that has been converted into flats. With both her parents busy with work and having little time for her, Coraline finds herself very bored. She tries to fill up her days by exploring the grounds of the old house, and with visiting her neighbors. Miss Spink and Miss Forcible are two old ladies that used to be actresses. They drink tea with Coraline while telling her of their theatre days. Mr. Bobo lives up stairs and trains mice. Her neighbors, while nice, are really no better than her parents when it comes to listening to her, they even call her Caroline, not Coraline, though she has corrected them many times.

On on particularly boring day, Coraline tells her father that she has nothing to do. He suggests that she explore the flat.
"Count all the doors and windows. List everything blue. Mount an expedition to discover the hot water tank. And leave me alone to work."
Coraline sets out on her exploration. She counts 14 doors in her flat and notes that one is locked. Curious about the door, she asks her mother where it goes. Her mother pulls out an old black key and shows her that the door leads to nowhere. The other side of the door has been boarded up with bricks that separate the Jones' flat from the empty one next to them.

Coraline finds this interesting but thinks nothing more of it until one day her mother and father are out for the afternoon. Coraline, having nothing else to do, gets the key to the door and unlocks it. She is surprised to find that the bricks are no longer blocking the way. She walks the long corridor and enters another flat exactly like her own, furniture and all. Coraline is greeted by a woman that looks a lot like her mother, only she has large black buttons in place of her eyes.

The woman tells Coraline that she is her other mother, and that she would like it if Coraline stayed. Coraline meets her other father, who also has buttons for eyes. She explores the other flat and finds that everything on the other side is just a little bit better than home. The toys come to life, the food is tasty, her other mother and father have time for her, the other neighbors (with button eyes) don't call her Caroline, and a cat talks to her. Though, life appears most extraordinary on the other side of the door, Coraline is wary. The more she explores, the stranger the other side becomes.

Coraline goes back to her real home, but her mother and father are still gone. A day passes with no sign of them and then Coraline gets a message from her parents through a mirror telling her that they need help. Coraline believes that her other mother has something to do with her parents disappearance and sets out for the other side to find them. Soon Coraline realizes that there is more to the other side than she first thought, and what she finds is quite horrific.

Essentially, Coraline is the story of good vs evil: Coraline vs her other mother. It is also a story of courage. Coraline has to play a dangerous game with the other mother to win back her previous life. She bargains for her parents, and there is a real chance that she will lose, not only them, but her own life. But Coraline is brave and never lets the fact that deep down she is afraid keep her from her goal. For someone so young this is a great challenge to face alone. Coraline faces it head on.

Coraline was a creepy story with a spooky atmosphere and bits of dry humor sprinkled in here and there to break the darkness of the book. The illustrations by Dave McKean, offered a visual that, though, at times bordered on disturbing, played nicely to the mood of the book. Overall, I had a great time reading Coraline. I look forward to seeing the movie adaptation and hope that it is just as spooky. Grade A.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday Salon: Reading and Writing

The Sunday

Today is my first go at Sunday Salon even though I signed up a long time ago. I read Nadia's of The Bookworm's post and became inspired.

I'm juggling three books right now. Coraline by Neil Gaiman is the first, which I am reading as a part of Carl V's RIP3 Challenge. This is an interesting Young Reader book that involves a young girl named Coraline who ends up in an alternate world much like her own except everyone from her real life is known of as the "other" in this place. The others in this book are strange and have buttons for eyes. It is freaky in a deliciously creepy way.

On an interesting note, Coraline has been made into a movie. It releases Feb 6, 2009. Here is a quick behind the scenes look.

I'm halfway through Heart of Stone by C.E. Murphy. This is the first book in her Negotiator Trilogy that follows a New York City lawyer, Margrit Knight. I'm finding this book really cool. Why? Well, lets just say that those stony gargoyles that are supposed to remain perched on the tops of gothic inspired buildings, don't. I'm a fan C.E. Murphy's writing. I think the draw is in her female protagonists. They do not easily fit into any preset heroine mold, which is refreshing.

The last book I'm juggling is Games of Command by Linnea Sinclair. I have most of Ms. Sinclair's back-list, but this is the first of me reading her work. I'm halfway in and wondering why I waited so long to read one of her books. Kel Paten is just lovely, and Jace Serafino isn't so bad himself. Oh, and the ladies are great as well. Excellent book so far.

With any luck I will have reviews up for all three of these books sometime next week.

Finally, I have entered the NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. Beginning November 1st I will have exactly one month to pen a 50,000 word novel (175 pages). No pressure, huh? Luckily for me I've connected with some seasoned NaNo writers in my region and they are a lot of support. I've already told myself that I'm just going to have fun with it. If I finish--great, and if I don't, then at least I tried. :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Silent in the Grave: Review

Book: Silent in the Grave
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Category: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Suspense
Series: Julia Grey, Book 1
Sensuality: Kisses

Very rarely do I come across a book that I lose sleep over. Even if I really like a book, most times I am able to put it down when it's time for bed. Only the books that go beyond enjoyable to enter great status are able to leave me sleep deprived. So as I sit here rubbing my tired eyes and yawning over the keyboard, I can honestly say that Silent in the Grave was one of those books. A great one, that is.

From the first sentence in which Lady Julia Grey is looking upon her husbands convulsing body as he dies on the marble floor, I was hooked.

"To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husbands dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor."

From this point forward, I knew that this book would be a special one.

In 1886 London, Lady Julia Grey has just lost her husband Edward to a weak heart, leaving her a young widow. Though Julia knew that her husband was ill, and had been prepared for his death, she is left not knowing what to do with herself now that she is no longer a wife to Edward. She decides that after her year of mourning is over that she will leave London to join two of her brothers in Italy. But her plans are thwarted when the enigmatic Nicholas Brisbane brings to her attention that her husband had hired him prior to his death after receiving ominous letters that he believed threatened his life. Brisbane is convinced that The young Mr. Grey was hurried along to his grave by the writer of the letters. Julia dismisses Brisbane's claims, thinking him to be cruel to come to her saying such things after her husband had just died. She believes that Edward's death was natural and that the letters were nothing more than a jest. But the seeds of doubt have been planted.

A year passes and Julia is just coming out of her widow weeds, when while cleaning her husbands study she comes across a letter addressed to him with malicious intent. Brisbane's words come back to her of the letters that her husband had been receiving, and Julia realizes that there is a good chance that her husband was murdered. She takes this evidence to Brisbane to ask for his help in finding her husbands murderer. To Julia's dismay, Brisbane is aggravatingly nonchalant about the matter now that a year has passed since he brought it to her attention. After threatening to find the murderer alone, he relents and agrees to help her. Through their investigation, Julia's eyes are opened to the people around her, revealing their darkest secrets, and bringing her unwittingly close to the murderer.

I really loved this book. Lady Julia Grey's smart narrative along with her blind innocence in some matters while being overly wise in others made her a very real and very relatable heroine/protagonist. Before the death of her husband, Julia's life fit into a perfect little box. She was a wife, a daughter, and a sister. Coming from a family of daring individuals, Julia was simply boring. She spent so much of her life trying to be unlike her eccentric family members, and attempting to be the wife that her husband wanted, that she had lost herself in a world of self imposed normality.

After her husband's death, Julia is slowly able to spread her wings. She stops caring so much about what she should do and does what she wants to do. The growth of Julia's character was one of the highlights of the book, another being Nicholas Brisbane. Brisbane is dark, brooding and elusive, while remaining honorable. The fact that Julia is so put out by him, when she is normally the picture of control, made for a delightful budding romance. And then there's the supporting cast of characters that consists of largely of Julia's family, her service staff, those who aid in the investigation, and the occasional pet. With a cast so large it would be easy to forget and mix the characters. To the credit of Ms. Raybourn, that never happened. Each of the characters introduced had personality and were brought to life through Julia's eyes.

Silent in the Grave was a great book. From the opening scene--to the witty and self deprecating humor of Lady Julia Grey, to the cast of characters that add an eclectic mix of eccentricity, nobility, scandal, and pride--right down to the very last word, I was thoroughly immersed in the story. The second in the series, Silent in the Sanctuary, is waiting for me on my nightstand. More sleepless nights ahead of me, I think. Grade A.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

I'm Loved

Yesterday, Carolyn Jean of The Trillionth Page gifted me with an I Love Your Blog award. CJ is one of my favorite bloggers for her witty posts and out of the box reviews, so this award from her means a lot. Thank you, CJ! Now it's time for me to share the love.

The rules for this award are that you need to:

1) Add the logo of the award to your blog
2) Add a link to the person who awarded it to you
3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs
4) Add links to those blogs on your blog
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs!

Jace of Jace Scribbles...
Ann-Kat of Today I Read
Nath of Books, Books and more Books
Meriam of Rape and Adverbs
KMont of Lurv A La Mode
Angie of Angieville
Christina of Babbling Book Reviews

Friday, October 3, 2008

Clockwork Heart: Review

Book: Clockwork Heart
Author: Dru Pagliassotti
Category: Fantasy, Steampunk, Romance
Series: Book 1
Sensuality: Kisses
Taya soars over Ondinium on metal wings. She is an icarus — a courier privileged to travel freely across the city’s sectors and mingle indiscriminately among its castes. But even she can’t outfly the web of terrorism, loyalty, murder, and intrigue that snares her after a daring mid-air rescue. Taya finds herself entangled with the Forlore brothers, scions of an upperclass family: handsome, brilliant Alister, who sits on the governing council and writes programs for the Great Engine; and awkward, sharp-tongued Cristof, who has exiled himself from his caste and repairs clocks in Ondinium’s lowest sector. Both hide dangerous secrets, in this city that beats to the ticking of a clockwork heart…

I picked up Clockwork Heart after Thea of The Book Smugglers talked about how much she loved it. You can read Thea's review here.

Clockwork Heart follows Taya. She is an icarus, a messenger that travels from place to place in the city of Ondinium delivering messages with the use of metal wings. Ondinium is a city populated with people of different caste's. The caste Taya falls into, along with the rest of the Icarus, is a middle ground of sorts between the upper and lower caste's. After saving an upper-caste Exalted woman and her child from certain death, Taya gets pulled into a web intrigue centered around the family of the Exalted woman she saved.

The cast is an eclectic mix of characters, ranging in caste and personality. Taya interacts with fellow Icarus,--Exalteds who are the highest of caste's. They wear masks and long robes to hide themselves from other castes. Lictors, the caste that serve as Ondinium's law force. Programmers, those who work on the machines in Ondinium, and more--while uncovering a mystery surrounding the Great Engine, the machine that keeps Ondinium running. While a few of the characters are barely peripheral there are those who stand out, the most notable of them are two Exalted brothers, Alister and Cristof.

Christof is an outcaste: an Exalted that has left his station to live a regular unmasked life. He is thought of as a freak, for only someone crazy would willingly walk away from being an Exalted. He spends more time working on and repairing clocks than he does with people. He is awkward in appearance, described as being tall and gawky, crow-like. He has a bad temperament and complete lack social grace. Alister is the complete opposite of his brother. He is suave, debonair and handsome and unlike his outcaste brother, embraces his station as Exalted.

At the heart of this story is an unassuming romance between Taya and the outcaste Christof. As Taya fell for Christof, I did as well. All of his oddness made him an endearing character. Taya herself is a root-for character. She makes mistakes, she sometimes thinks too much with her heart, but she is strong, brave and unknowingly charming.

Clockwork Heart was a very enjoyable book. Though the initial mystery was fairly easy to figure out, and the villain was expected, the simple yet intricate details of the world kept me turning the pages. And I loved that after the main plot is somewhat resolved, the story took an unexpected turn and explored a less predictable subplot. Clockwork Heart was an interesting mix of generas. Overall, it is fantasy, but fell into the subgeneras of steampunk, mystery and romance. All of these elements, rolled into one book, made it a different, but very entertaining read. I look forward to Ms. Pagliassotti's future books. Grade B+.

More info and excerpt.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I Read Banned Books

I was tagged by Ciara to participate in the I Read Banned Books MeMe.

How to Play:

1: Copy this list.
2: Highlight the ones you have read (or at least remember reading) in RED.
3: Tag five people to play.

My rather weak list:

1. Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
2. Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
4. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
7. Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
8. Forever by Judy Blume
9. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
10. Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
11. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
12. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
14. The Giver by Lois Lowry
15. It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
16. Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
17. A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
18. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
19. Sex by Madonna
20. Earth’s Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
21. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
22. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
23. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
24. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
25. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
26. The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
27. The Witches by Roald Dahl
28. The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
29. Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
30. The Goats by Brock Cole
31. Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
32. Blubber by Judy Blume
33. Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
34. Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
35. We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
36. Final Exit by Derek Humphry
37. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
38. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
39. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
40. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
41. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
42. Beloved by Toni Morrison
43. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
44. The Pigman by Paul Zindel
45. Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
46. Deenie by Judy Blume
47. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel KeyesM
48. Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
49. The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
50. Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
51. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
52. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
53. Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
54. Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
55. Cujo by Stephen King
56. James and the Giant Peach by Roald DahlM
57. The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
58. Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
59. Ordinary People by Judith Guest
60. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
61. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
62. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
63. Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
64. Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
65. Fade by Robert Cormier
66. Guess What? by Mem Fox
67. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
68. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
69. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
71. Native Son by Richard Wright
72. Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Fantasies by Nancy Friday
73. Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
74. Jack by A.M. Homes
75. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
76. Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
77. Carrie by Stephen King
78. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
79. On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
80. Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
81. Family Secrets by Norma Klein
82. Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
83. The Dead Zone by Stephen King
84. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
85. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
86. Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
87. Private Parts by Howard Stern
88. Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford
89. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
90. Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
91. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
92. Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
93. Sex Education by Jenny Davis
94. The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
95. Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
96. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
97. View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
98. The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
99. The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
100. Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

All of my highlighted books I read before the age 16 and most of them stuck with me and a few are my favorites from my young adult years. I can't think of why anyone would want them to be banned. Even the ones that I didn't really like, I still think are important in their own way.

I'm tagging Jace from Jace Scribbles... and Ann-Kat from Today I Read (a new to me blog I stalk). Anyone else who would like to join in, please do!

Booking Through Thursday: Best

What, in your opinion, is the best book that you haven’t liked? Mind you, I don’t mean your most-hated book–oh, no. I mean the most accomplished, skilled, well-written, impressive book that you just simply didn’t like.

Like, for movies–I can acknowledge that Citizen Kane is a tour de force and is all sorts of wonderful, cinematically speaking, but . . . I just don’t like it. I find it impressive and quite an accomplishment, but it’s not my cup of tea.

So . . . what book (or books) is your Citizen Kane?

The best book that I haven't liked is Lord of the Flies. I read this in 11th grade and can admit that it was a good book, but I never liked it. There was something about the book that made me uneasy. It began with the children friendly with one another, and over time--with no adult influence--they began to form their own politics, alliances, and started maneuvering against each other for power. Going so far as to kill. It felt wrong reading about corrupt children.

So, Lord of the Flies was an interesting book to read, but I never actually liked the story.

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