As always, this installment includes a really eclectic mix!
My never-ending interest in the YA category led me to read Switch by Carol Snow. When I read the summary, I thought it would be quite interesting. I love paranormal books so it seemed like a good fit. The book’s main character, Claire Martin, has a problem. Whenever an electrical storm hit, she takes over someone else’s body. That might have been bad enough (though she could live with it as she always returns to her own body) but she ends up in the body of a girl she doesn’t know and she can’t seem to find her way back! Add to that her dead grandmother, who is her friend and constant companion, and you have one weird story! I really liked it—it is one of those types of stories that you just have to go with. It’s not rational, or logical, but it is an interesting tale!
On a completely different note, I finally got around to reading Look Me in the Eye by John Elder Robison. I had heard a lot of great things about this book and it didn’t disappoint! John Elder Robison has had life that is truly unique. Though he wasn’t diagnosed formally until he was 40 with Asberger’s Syndrome, John always knew that he was different. He talks about his experience with trying to make friends as a child, as well as the issues that school that led him to quit. While he may not have finished school, John was able to take his natural talents and do something that simply boggles my mind – he began making pyrotechnics for different bands and actually had a long relationship doing this for KISS (yes, KISS, as in the glam metal band that has been around for more than 30 years now!). John then took on other careers and, in each one, he has been able to use his intelligence and talent to his advantage. I could sit and rave about this book for hours! I found Robison’s ability to tell his story engaging and fascinating. I read this book in only a couple of sittings because I found it so intriguing. It also gave me an interesting insight into the experiences that Robison had as someone with Asberger’s and how it has shaped his life experiences. I would highly recommend this book!
In Wherever Nina Lies, by Lynn Weingarten, Ellie has been chasing her sister’s shadow for 2 years. Nina, Ellie’s older sister, disappeared 2 years ago. Ellie has tried to find her and, by random chance, she has finally found a clue that might help her find her sister! Along the way, she always manages to pick up a boy named Sean who becomes her companion on this journey. Why would a stranger take on this role? Will they find Nina? Why did she leave? This novel is really interesting and, while I was able to guess the ending before I finished the book, there were still some twists and turns that I enjoyed! I really liked this book and can’t wait to see if I can find other books by Weingarten!
I also read a book that I’m not even going to name because it was appalling and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone! The book was touted as a true crime, true story about a group of teens who murder their “friend” who has been bullying them for many years. I often read true crime books, and watch true crime programs so I thought it would be okay to read this book. Quite honestly, I wondered what had happened to these teens that would lead them to gather together to kill someone. Well, I should have been careful what I wished for because the details of this book were more gruesome than anything I have ever read in my life (and I’ve read Stephen King and John Saul for heaven’s sake!). The book was poorly written, graphically sensational and turned my stomach. So why did I keep reading? At first I thought the gruesome bits were just in one section and the story would become more developed. I was wrong! I actually did not finish the book, but I read more than half of it before deciding that I didn’t need to know how the story ended (I did see some mug shots of the kids so I can figure it out ). So I’ve added it to my list as a cautionary tale – when a book seems horrible at the beginning, don’t give it any more of your time!
At this point, I don’t know where I stand on my goal of reading 100 books this year. I’ve lost track! I’m going to update my To Be Read links on the right hand side of the page and I should be able to arrive at a total. Will I be able to reach my goal by December 31st? Only time will tell! **Edited to add: I have now reached 35 books – while I won’t hit my 100 book goal, I am going to aim for 50 books and then continue next year!**