Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Vast Fields, Top 10, and Chocolate

Since it will be a New Year in just two short days, I believe I am obligated to come up with a Top 10 list of my favorite books of 2009. It's an annotated bibliography, naturally. Got to get it done with that library style. New Year's Resolution? Um, to blog more obvs.

A late addition which didn't make the Top 10 list was Nick Burd's The Vast Fields of Ordinary. This was probably the best book I read all year. It's about a quiet kid named Dade who's not really popular in his high school. He's gay and regularly hooks up with a latin jock on the football team who essentially treats him like crap. His relationship with both his parents is strained, and it's clear at the beginning of the novel that their family unit is essentially falling apart. Dade befriends a new neighbor- Lucy, a lesbian from L.A. who guesses his sexuality and is the first person he can talk openly with. Early on, he ends things with the jock. Soon after, his father throws him a curveball and tells him that he's having an affair. Finally, Dade meets a boy named Alex... and suddenly things don't seem so grim. Alex is fun and kind of likes him, too. Dade is a relatable guy, whether you're gay or not. He just doesn't really get people... I feel like that constantly. I feel like I know someone like every character in this book from growing up in New Hampshire. I finished it on my long holiday bus rode home and enjoyed every minute. Worth the read, I promise.

Also, new addition to sidebar links and fellow book blogger shout-out: Jennifer Hart's The Book Club Girl ran a book club contest that is awarding my library free chocolate, so you should totally check out her blog and see what's up. Great site with interesting interviews.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

CURRENT: 'Sprout' by Dale Peck

I could apologize for not updating, but the truth is... I'm not sorry. I've trying to read people. That takes up a lot of my time, mmm k?

I have been promoting my blog a little bit more (which gives me added pressure to update more). One of the things I've been promising people is that they can come to my blog to see what I'm reading. While this is more or less accurate, I have to say I have a newfound addiction to the reading-friendly website Goodreads. Goodreads allows you to list what you're currently reading and what page you are currently on! which has been a godsend since my bookmark is constantly falling out of my book in my bag. I know that you can also list a "currently reading" title on LibraryThing, but... they haven't given me any new Early Reviewer books in a really long time. If I sound bitter, I am. I reviewed every book they sent me so far. And a lot of them were bad.

Speaking of books (although, not bad ones) - want to know what I'm reading right now? Sprout by Dale Peck. So far, the book is cute. It's a little bit confusing, mainly because of the word choice and placement of the protaganist who is aptly named Sprout. The main gist of the plot is that this witty, smart kid from Long Island is uprooted by his father into the middle of nowheresville Kansas after his mother dies. Like a few of the YA novels I've been reading, there really isn't a chapter format - they are seperated by weird quotes. I'm meeting Sprout's favorite English teacher right now, but I have to admit that my favorite character might be his alcoholic father who, so far, is more comedic and sad than any of the other characters. I still have a long way to go, and I'm going to push through since I'm kind of interested... I just wish the title was more compelling. I usually don't write about what I'm reading this early in, but I thought it might be fun to tell you my lukewarm feelings for a book right now to see if maybe they change later on.

Look forward to some possible adult fiction and nonfiction reviews in the coming month, then I'll probably venture back into forthcoming young adult literature. Enough about me, what are you reading?