Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday Ten: Book Club Picks

This week's topic from The Broke and Bookish is book club picks, and some of mine might be a bit odd, but here goes...

1. Peaches
Jodi Lynn Anderson
Honestly I'd love to include all three books in this series, but that would take up too many spaces on the list. This is just such a perfect discussion book to me, with its three very different main characters and the troubles they find themselves in. I love it, but I haven't had the chance to discuss it much with others (mostly because nobody else seems to have read it).

2. How I Live Now
Meg Rosoff
This is one of the weirdest books I've read and I'd love to get other people's takes on it. It's a little bit dystopian, little bit icky love story, little bit survivalist... I honestly don't know what to call it, but it's a powerful book that handles difficult subject matters really well.

3. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
E. Lockhart
This is sort of maybe my top book club pick; it's just so perfect. There's so much to talk about with this book, and it's funny and wondrous and well-written also. As great as it is reading this book on your own, I suspect it would be so much better reading and discussing with others.

4. Mockingjay
Suzanne Collins
Okay, yeah, this book can't really stand without the first two books. But that doesn't change the fact that it would make an awesome book club pick. As soon as I finished reading it I wanted to discuss it with everyone I could find, and people have such different opinions on this last HG installment that it makes talking about the book extra-interesting.

5. Bunheads
Sophie Flack
This is a really interesting book on a subject that I haven't often read about (the professional ballet world) and there's enough layers here to warrant some really good conversations.

6. Odd Girl Out
Rachel Simmons
I think you've probably gotten sick of hearing me talk about this book but honestly it's just so great, so needed, so important. There's a part of me that wishes it were required reading for every teacher and every parent of girls. And every girl, also. EVERYONE.

7. The Mockingbirds
Daisy Whitney
This is another book that (to my surprise), people had very different reactions to and I'd love to get to discuss that in a group setting. There really are some very very different interpretations.

8. The Future of Us
Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
While not as much a favorite of mine as many of these books are, this one brings up some really thought-provoking questions that I think would work well as discussion points.

9. The Fault In Our Stars
John Green
This is such a good book to talk about. And by "good" I mean "fun." Everyone has very solid opinions on it and bringing those opinions together would, I think, give readers a bigger-picture perspective on the book, its characters, and its events.

10. Columbine
Dave Cullen
An incredibly well-researched book, this is very different from anything else on my list, but even so it's one of those books that lends itself well to discussion, especially since the event the book is about has become such a big part of history.

Monday, January 30, 2012

If You Like... Contemporary YA Stand-Alones

Phase two of my If You Like posts focuses on stand-alone contemporary YA titles.

If You Like
If I Stay, by Gayle Forman
Emotional, beautiful, and tragic, this story of a girl in a coma is one book that took the YA blogging community (and hopefully all other YA readers also, right???) by storm. 
before i fall, by lauren oliver - This book has everything. It really does. Like If I Stay, it's emotional, beautiful, and tragic. And although in this case the ending appears predetermined, it leaves readers with many of the same questions that If I Stay brings up. 
looking for alaska, by john green - Like the above book this also deals with life and death and choices in a very huge way. For the characters it's life-altering; for readers it's amazing.
sea, by heidi r. kling - Though both this book and If I Stay deal with death there's more than that connecting them, and it's difficult to say quite what it is but the feelings that both books evoke are strangely similar. They're both hopeful and, in many ways, comfortable, despite the tragedy of their storylines.

If You Like
Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins
Ah, the single best YA love story I've read so far, the story of an American girl and British-American boy who meet in France is all kinds of amazing and wonderful and refreshing.
i now pronounce you someone else, by erin mccahan - It's darker in tone than Anna, but the love story at the center is remarkably well done and the emotions, though different and sometimes more confusing, are just as raw. In addition to the romance aspect, this book also handles a difficult family relationship in a very, very good way.
scrambled eggs at midnight, by brad barkley & heather hepler - A love story told from both POVs, this is another one with a captivating, compelling romance. This time with additional helpings of quirkiness.
this lullaby, by sarah dessen - Completely different in tone, this is your basic Sarah Dessen novel, which is to say that it has great characters, great writing, and at the center of this one, a maybe-maybe-not couple that manages to be both jaded and entirely optimistic.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

In My Mailbox: Swap!

Book Trade: I'm really happy about all of these books; two of them are by authors I want to read more from, and the third is a nonfiction book in the same vein as Odd Girl Out.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

If You Like... Contemporary YA Series

Though I like browsing the If You Like... (Sarah Dessen, The Hunger Games, Twilight) tables at Barnes & Noble, they often feel a little too general, a little too all-inclusive. The books recommended for fans of The Hunger Games seem to be, more than anything else, an introduction to YA dystopian for the casual reader. Same with books recommended to Sarah Dessen fans -- realistic, contemporary YA fiction. Aside from the genre there's not necessarily a lot of similarity between the books. And for those of us who are more avid readers, or just more interested in finding a more targeted book recommendation, it mostly seems to be hit-and-miss.

So here's my own list. My If You Like... table, if you will. The books I recommend aren't exactly the same, but there are specific reasons for me choosing them; they have common threads that I think readers will enjoy. This post will feature contemporary series; future posts will feature stand-alones, authors, and a couple of big non-contemporary YA titles.

If You Like
The Ruby Oliver series, by E. Lockhart
These books are funny with a "quirky" narrator and plenty of hysterical drama. Many of the comparison books I've chosen also bring the funny, and often the same zany drama and personality. 
serafina67: urgently requires life, by susie day - First of all this book is incredibly funny. But more than that it has, much like the Ruby Oliver books, true heart. Serafina, though not a "deranged mental patient," is quirky and confused and wonderful, much like Roo.
the espressologist, by kristina springer - Like the above series, this book has plenty of romantic drama and is lighthearted in the best way. It's a quick, feel-good read with a protagonist who gets into plenty of trouble of her own, much like Roo does.
the year of secret assignments, by jaclyn moriarty - This book focuses on close friendships and the trials good friends tackle together. But it's not so series. It's got its own brand of humor and characters who make Roo and her friends look positively normal. Plus, hijinks! 

If You Like
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, by Ann Brashares
This series focuses on a tight-knit quartet of friends whose summers introduce them to love, loss, and a bunch of other really cliche-sounding, but really emotional and incredibly well-written elements of life.
peaches, by jodi lynn anderson - This series, which came out around the same time as the Traveling Pants has much of the same elements but trades magic pants for a decidedly southern setting. I'm honestly not sure which series I love more, but I do know that anyone who loved the Traveling Pants should be introduced to the girls of Peaches.
a little friendly advice, by siobhan vivan - This stand-alone novel has the same emotional depths as the Traveling Pants though it focuses more squarely on one character and her reliance, during a particularly difficult time in her life, on her three best friends. 
the lonely hearts club, by elizabeth eulberg - One of the best "female friendship" stories, this novel sets up a positive, sometimes heartfelt, sometimes humorous story of one girl and her quest to build better friendships with fellow females instead of concentrating on romance. It's refreshing, sweet, and utterly uplifting.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Review: Shatter Me

Tahereh Mafi
Juliette can kill people just by touching them. She's a menace to her crumbling society and for 264 days she's been locked away and hasn't touched anyone. And then she gets a cellmate, a guy named Adam who isn't afraid of her and looks incredibly familiar. Soon, Juliette discovers that the Reestablishment - the people ruining what's left of the world - have plans of their own, to use her as a weapon in their war. Struggling to keep what little humanity she has left, Juliette must find a way to resist the plans they have for her and find a way to escape and make her own choices.

There is so much I absolutely positively love about this book. The world these characters inhabit is bleak and unforgiving and just a little bit too real; the horror of the Reestablishment is terrifying and its leader, Warner, is despicable and disgusting. When this book goes bad, it goes all the way bad. And though it's more than a little uncomfortable, it makes the stakes of the story all the higher and ups the tension. But on the flipside of this is the fact that when it's good it's absolutely brilliantly bright and wonderful.

First and foremost, I absolutely love Juliette. Tahereh Mafi has written an original, unique, and thoroughly incredible character in Juliette, a girl whose strange power has caused so much misery for her and others. Her parents refused to help her and ultimately abandoned her; she's been locked away from society and deprived of any human interaction. More than this, she's a good-hearted person who wants to help others but only ends up hurting them... and she has no idea why. Juliette is a girl determined to keep her humanity in a world that insists she doesn't have any and her internal struggles are written so, so perfectly. Her romance with Adam became a love story I'm rooting for almost instantly and it's hard to pinpoint exactly why. This is definitely a case of YA insta-love, which I often dislike, but here it worked, and it worked incredibly well as Adam is the only person Juliette's ever known who treats her as a human being instead of a monster and the two have a connection that's impossible to deny. Juliette, who despite everything still believes in beauty and love and goodness, has found much of this in her relationship with Adam.

The writing in this book is wonderful. Though the constant metaphors and strike-outs will no doubt be a bit much for some readers, it suits Juliette's character and struggles perfectly. Mafi's writing is lyrical and beautiful, pages and pages and pages of absolutely stunning sentences, though I have a feeling that the polarizing effect of this book (everyone seems to either love it or hate it) is due to this writing. You'll either love it or hate it, and I love it. The writing in this book is amazing; I honestly can't say enough good things about it. Love, love, love.

And all of that being said, though for much of this book I loved it more than I could even comprehend, at some point in the second half of the story things took a turn. The feeling of the book changed. As more characters entered the story, along with new twists, some of the urgency and desperation that had been at the core of Juliette's story in the beginning, went away. It's hard to discuss what happens without spoiling the whole book, but I will say that it ended in a way I wasn't expecting, a way that, while I kind of liked it, didn't seem to fit with the rest of the book. Juliette's unique and strong personality seemed to get diluted in the mess of people and events that were so different from what had come before. Additionally, too many hormone-fueled scenes between her and Adam took the focus away from the more important parts of the story. While these scenes were well-written, they often felt inappropriate and gratuitous in the midst of everything else that was happening: it was as if Juliette's focus had shifted away from protecting herself and Adam and the larger issues she was grappling with earlier in the book and over to a complete preoccupation with sex. In a way this makes sense, considering that she hadn't touched anyone in nearly a year, but still it seemed like a lot of (fairly redundant) overkill that felt like way too much and also stalled the plot.

Still, despite my issues with the last quarter of this book, this is one story that completely captured my attention. It overwhelmed me with how beautifully it was written and how complex the characters are. The ending nicely sets up a second book and while I worry the feeling of this second book will be (judging by the ending) so different from what makes this first book incredible, I still love Shatter Me and am cautiously optimistic about book #2. There were so many huge passages from this book that were incredibly, searingly beautiful, and the character of Juliette has a place as one of the most original characters and a personal favorite of mine. Bottom line: I love this book. So much.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Review: You Are Not Here

Samantha Schutz
Scholastic, Inc.

When Brian - the boy she loved but wasn't quite dating - dies suddenly, Annaleah has no one to share in her grief. She never met his family or his friends, and he never met hers. And in the aftermath of their mostly-secret relationship she must somehow find a way to go on even as all her questions about life and death, him and her, are left unanswered.

Written in verse, You Are Not Here is, more than anything else, an exploration of grief. But it's also a story of imperfect romance and a love that may not have been reciprocated. Because Annaleah is so deep in her grief, so completely drowning in it for much of the book, and also because this is a story told in verse, it's hard to get a sense of who Annaleah is. She's isolated herself from her mother and friends, which is understandable but often makes it difficult to know who she is apart from Brian and her grief over him.

That said, this is an expertly-written novel in verse. As in her previous work (I Don't Want to be Crazy), it's obvious that Samantha Schutz has a gift for telling stories in such a non-traditional way and Annaleah's feelings, both emotional and physical, come through so clear through the poetry of this book.

There were times, sadly, when the events of Annaleah's story struck me as just a little bit too easy, especially toward the end of her journey. However, it's clear that these events are meant to show Annaleah just how much she'd isolated herself from others and buried herself in her grief. Despite my misgivings, this is a book I'd easily recommend for readers looking for a story of grief or a novel written in verse.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Revisiting the Issue of Reviewing and Writing

Longtime readers of the blog know that I officially stopped blogging (for a little over a month, at least) almost exactly one year ago. The complicated reasons boil down to, essentially, it being pointed out to me that it might be very unwise to be on the reviewing/public reader side of things when I hope to have a career in publishing as an author.

Bittersweet, which I raved a bit about yesterday, is the first book I've elected not to review because of close ties to the author/book that might possibly be seen by some as influencing any review I might write. So I wanted to talk about that a little bit, about the larger issue and my stance on it.

Here's the thing: much as I want to be right now dangit, I am not an author. I don't have a book deal or an agent. I am purely aspiring. But the other thing is: everyone knows I'm aspiring. I'm not secret about my writing life. I openly talk about writing, editing, and my stories. And someday (confidence is key), it's going to happen.

Meanwhile, I am straddling the line of writer/aspiring author and reviewer/blogger. I try my very best to be kind, decent, and honest. I know a few authors. I wouldn't go so far as to say we're best buddies or anything, but I'm comfortable saying that there are a couple of published authors who I consider acquaintances. Many of the authors I know are incredibly supportive fellow writers, but until now there hasn't been a book published that made me feel like reviewing it might be taken the wrong way by some.

Inspired partly by the fact that now there is such a book out and partly by upcoming author and reviewer Phoebe North's Goodreads Pledge, I thought I should say some things of my own to reflect where I am in the stream of publishing (meaning: not-yet) and reviewing (meaning: still reviewing almost every YA I read).

1. There may be some books that I elect not to review and there are a variety of reasons for this, but know that if I do review a book the review will be absolutely honest. In fact, if I say anything about what I think of a book or my feelings toward it, I'm going to be honest. If I say I love a book, I love it. End of story.

2. I have no idea how far to go in disclosing any sort of relationship with authors when I review their books. There are many authors I talk to over Twitter, often about books and/or writing. Most of the time it doesn't seem relevant for me to mention it, but I know that others have differing viewpoints on this and I'd love to know where you stand on the issue. Here's my current decision, which will probably change as time goes on: if I'm actually friends (not just acquaintances) with an author, I'll state it upfront. If I beta read the book at any stage pre-ARC/publication, I'll say so. If the author beta read any of my writing, I'll mention that, too. And of course, if I think there's too much involvement, I won't review it.

3. Even if I don't review a book I'll probably still talk about it -- both here and on Twitter -- especially if it's a book I love.

4. If and when I mess up (because I probably will), either by offending or misleading others, or overstepping boundaries, I'll own up to it and try to make things right.

5. Last -- and most importantly -- I'm always going to conduct myself with honesty, integrity, and decency. Or, you know, try my very very best to live up to that.

Like I said, I'm not an author right now. When I ever get an agent and then beyond that as an author, my stance on these things will possibly/probably change to reflect that. It's all a process.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I Want to Hug This Book: Bittersweet

For a couple of reasons*, I'm not going to be writing a review of Bittersweet. But I couldn't very well let its publication pass without some sort of fanfare, could I? No. No, I could not. Bittersweet is Sarah Ockler's third book and if you're an Ockler fan no doubt you already want to read it. If by some chance you've not read anything by this fantastic author yet though, let me suggest starting with Bittersweet. It's wonderful. It's beyond wonderful. This book is sweet, complicated, cozy... absolutely adorable and amazing. As much as I love Twenty Boy Summer -- which is a lot -- I think I might actually love Bittersweet even more, if it's possible. Hudson is the type of main character I want to be best friends with and her world is populated by incredible and unique characters I can't help but love.

Bittersweet is the best example of everything right with contemporary YA and I love it love it love it. I want to shove it in all of your hands and force you to read it. READ IT!!

*Full Disclaimer: Not only did I read this book back when it was in the manuscript stage, but Sarah Ockler also beta read my current novel. I love Bittersweet so incredibly much, but feel like there might be too much conflict of interest for me to feel okay about reviewing it.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Aussie YA

A few months back my parents went to Australia and they brought me back the best Australian-type present of ever: Aussie YA! They managed to find all four the books on my list and I haven't had a chance to read or talk about these books until now but I am so excited about them. Not only because as a whole everything I've read from Australia has been really great, but also because I finally finally have Steph Bowe's book! Also, jeesh, I love Australian covers. They're so foreign-y.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

In My Mailbox: Excellent Titles

Bought: Both of these are books I pre-ordered and have been looking forward to for what feels like a very long time. They both have excellent titles and are about things I like reading about. My review of The Fault In Our Stars went up yesterday (go read it?) and I'm looking forward to reading The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight both because it sounds really great and because I've wanted to read one of the author's books for years. WIN.

Gift: AHHHHH I have a habit of doing a little dorky jumpy thing when I'm excited about something and I definitely did that when a signed copy of this book (courtesy of the awesome Sarah Ockler) showed up in my mailbox. Bittersweet is amazing. I'm so so so so happy I keep staring at it on my bookcase. Also, I bought a copy and that showed up on the same day so now I have two copies! Also, the cover of this book is all kinds of shiny-wonderful in real life.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Review: The Fault In Our Stars

John Green
Dutton Juvenile
My feelings and thoughts on this book are a bit all over the place, so bear with me. I loved it and also at the same time I didn't quite like it. It's complicated. The story, for those who don't know, is about 16 year old Hazel who has terminal cancer and the boy she meets and falls in love with at a support group meeting. It's a love story and it's a cancer story, but it's much more a cancer story, despite trying so desperately to buck the conventions of the genre (if you can even call "cancer story" a genre, which this book does).

Sarcastic, angry and sad Hazel is one of the most complex characters I've come across recently. The fact that her cancer is terminal informs so much, if not everything, about the way she sees herself, the world, and others. Her relationship with her supportive parents is incredibly honest and heartbreaking -- definitely one of the best parts of the book. There were times when I loved Hazel and thought she was the most awesome character ever, and then there were moments when she just annoyed me. This is a character who, similar to Colin in An Abundance of Katherines, spends a large amount of time contemplating some very abstract concepts and though I rarely agreed with her, I loved the honesty of it. Hazel is standing between life and death; contemplating big, abstract things is part of that.

And then there's Augustus Waters, the boy she meets and falls in love with. Augustus, though not terminal, is even more existential than Hazel is. Everything is a metaphor to him. He uses very big words very often and is obsessed with the idea of mattering -- of his death, if not his life, mattering. He wants to be a hero. He wants to leave a mark on the world. Though the story is narrated by Hazel at certain points it really seemed that Augustus was the real protagonist and, to be really really honest about it, I just didn't get him. He was overly pretentious, which is a quality I associate closely with arrogance, and for the most part I didn't see what ever it was Hazel saw in him. He was over-the-top in many ways and though his relationship with Hazel is supposed to be romantic and real ("not puppy love", as one of the adult characters puts it), I didn't quite see that either. For teenagers, even ones dealing with such a huge thing as cancer, Hazel and Augustus are both unbelievably mature. The things they say and the ways they act are a little too perfect, too rehearsed, and this gives their relationship the same quality: a lack of realism.

This book is trying hard (and succeeding, I think) to be Literature. Big. Important. Unfortunately in pursuit of this it loses quite a bit of reality, believability, and story. At a certain point it became, much like Augustus himself, annoyingly pretentious. But keep in mind that I have a low tolerance for pretentiousness and capital-L Literature. I don't care for symbols or metaphor, especially when they seem to overtake the novel; I just like stories. And somewhere along the way this book lost the story a little bit.

And then on the other hand... this book. Oh goodness this book. It's about cancer but I feel like just about anyone could find a way to relate to Hazel and Augustus; I know I did. This book is more honest about sickness, especially as a young person, than maybe any other book I've read. There were times when Hazel's thoughts just stopped me in my tracks because her experiences rang so incredibly true. In spite of my issues with it, The Fault In Our Stars instantly became a very personal book to me. I love it, even if I don't entirely like it.

This is a John Green book in all of the best ways, but all of the worst ways, too.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Books I Want to See on TV

I haven't been doing a whole lot of reading lately. Not quite sure why. But what I have been doing is watching television and being so happy that my shows are coming back from the winter hiatus. And though I don't actually watch Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, or The Lying Game, I absolutely love the idea of tv shows based on YA books. I like this even better than movies based on YA books! Because I like tv more than movies!


1. Hooked
Catherine Greenman
The fact that this book covers years of Thea's life and has plenty of family drama makes me think that it could be an awesome hour-long drama. It's the kind of show the WB used to make (remember the WB? Remember Gilmore Girls?) and now I feel like it might fit in ABC or ABCFamily. 

2. Wither (Chemical Garden series)
Lauren DeStefano
Alright, granted only the first book in the series is out now (also, I'm envious of anyone who's already read Fever), but this is looking to be a great trilogy - and a great basis for a tv show. Futuristic sci-fi and drama centered around the sister wives of Linden Ashby? With luck this series would also give us the backstory on Rose. I'm not sure if this show would fit better on the CW or the old SciFi channel (you know, the good old days before it was SyFy), but just thinking about Wither as a television series is awesome.

3. The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer series)
Jenny Han
Another trilogy that - thanks to its years-long arc, awesome characters, and incredible love triangle - would make a great drama. (Or, with some tweaking, a hilarious sitcom!) I really don't know where this show would fit, but I really love the idea of this series on the small screen.

4. Exclusively Chloe
J.A. Yang
Honestly not only would this make an awesome television show, but it would fit in perfectly with ABCFamily's current crop of hidden-identity shows (The Lying Game, Pretty Little Liars, Jane By Design ??) and teen family dramas (Switched at Birth). It's definitely been a while since I've read this book but it's stuck with me and it's so cute that I'm sure it would make an awesome feel-good show. 

5. Luxe (Luxe series)
Anna Godberson
Dear CW (because, obviously), if you do make Luxe into a show, I beg you to change the ending. PLEASE PLEASE PRETTY PLEASE. I can only live through the end of this series in one form of art/entertainment. Seriously. Other than that though! I think this would make a really addicting and beautiful and so awesome series. Four seasons and you just stick to the books with that one little exception of the ending.

What books would you love to see as tv shows?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

In My Mailbox: Bird by Bird

I'm debating doing a huge IMM with all the books I have sitting on my shelves from the past few months (even though I've already featured some of them) and I may still do that, but for today a typical this-week-in-books In My Mailbox.

Bought: I've heard many authors talk about how great this book is and it's been recommended to me more than once. Today I was lucky enough to find it at the used bookstore and I'm so happy. I know I'm supposed to be reading (and am reading!) Gone With the Wind, but this is definitely calling my name.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Things of Note

Some housekeeping-type things today.

NUMERO UNO: Have you seen the Cybils shortlists? Specifically the YA Fiction shortlist? I can't even say how proud I am of this list. A full four of those books are not only Cybils finalists but also personal favorites of mine for the year. As Kelly said in her awesome Cybils wrap-up post - this list has something for everyone. You probably won't love every book on the list, but I honestly feel like any YA fan will find at least one book among the seven to fall in love with. Seriously.

DOS! My review list is now up-to-date. So if you want to see if I've reviewed a book... check that out.

THREE AMIGOS!! I'm doing a readalong of Gone With the Wind this month (and stretching into next, I believe.) In the past I've read GWTW in a week or two, so I'm hoping this longer reading plan will allow for me to also read some other books in between and get some reviews up. I really do miss reviewing and blogging.

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST... Bittersweet is out today. READ IT.

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 Reading Goals

I never do reading challenges. As tempting as it is to type a number into that little Goodreads box, the idea of forcing myself to read a certain number of books in a year just doesn't sit right with me. It takes away a little bit of the joy. Similarly, though I always tend to read a lot of debut novels, I never officially join any debut challenge, genre challenges, or any other sort of reading challenge. It just doesn't sit well with me.

That said, there are definitely some reading goals I want to set for myself this year. I'm not putting numbers to anything, but am instead leaving my goals a bit intentionally vague, to allow for whatever little reading surprises might lie ahead. So, here goes...

In 2012 I want to...

1. read more nonfiction. Specifically I want to read Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and more books in the vein of Odd Girl Out. I want to read whatever memoirs (Mindy Kaling's book!) that catch my attention, but I also want to read some educational-but-not-dry books that catch my interest. However, I refuse to feel guilty about not finishing a nonfiction book, especially as so many that I start to read really, really bore me.

2. read more adult novels. Particularly I want to read Sisterhood Everlasting and The Weird Sisters. Other than that, I'm not sure, but please suggest novels you think I'd like. I tend to have a hard time finding really great adult novels a lot of the time. And I pretty much refuse to read books I don't like when there's so much out there that I do like. So, help me out?

3. make an effort to read YA sci-fi. Cinder and A Million Suns are at the top of this list, but I really do want to seek out YA sci-fi that's not necessarily dystopian. (I know, I know, the Across the Universe series is sort of considered a dystopian by some.)

4. look for sophomore novels. Somewhere out there there's a sophomore novels challenge and if I were going to join a challenge, it would probably be that one. I'm really looking forward to a lot of second books from great YA authors this year.

5. read debuts. Well, duh. (This one is always a focus of mine, but I thought I'd include it anyway.)

Tell me, what are your reading goals for 2012?