Sunday, January 1, 2012

Monthly Tally: December 2011

This month, I learned that December is not the month for post-apocalyptic fiction. I finally gave in and read The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. Lemme tell you, it's kinda surreal baking Christmas cookies and thinking about a book where twenty-odd kids are slaughtered. The thing that freaked me out the most about it is that my instinct was to be resistant, like, 'oh, that could never happen.' However, it totally could. We all know about gladiators and there are, unfortunately, child soldiers across the globe. It only takes one disaster for the lines to be crossed. In any case,  I can see why the books resonated with so many people. I didn't like Catching Fire as much as The Hunger Games because I felt like it covered a lot of the same ground and I was ready for more character development. I haven't read Mockingjay yet because I actually wanted to enjoy Christmas.

There were two other stand-out books for me in December: Magic Gifts by Ilona Andrews and One More Summer by Liz Flaherty. I reviewed One More Summer here so I won't go into that, but Magic Gifts was freaking awesome. A special free e-novella for her fans, it was kind of a bridge between Magic Slays and the upcoming Gunmetal Magic. I'm not really a fan of novellas because I am usually left wanting. Dangling plot threads, unanswered questions, poor character development, etc, the novella format makes it difficult for an author to tell a complete story. However, Andrews accomplishes the task easily with Magic Gifts. It helps that all the pieces were already in place for readers of the Kate Daniels series and this really was just a treat to help us survive the wait between books.  The novella will eventually be packaged with Gunmetal Magic, but if you google it, you should still be able to download a pdf from Andrews's website.

The worst book for me was a comic strip collection, Stephan Pastis's Larry in Wonderland. I'd written a really long GoodReads review on why I didn't like and then the computer ate it. Apparently, I'm still not in the mood to re-write it, but suffice to say, I didn't find it particularly funny. The runner up to this was Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star by Heather Lynn Rigaud. My review explaining why I disliked this book is here.

There were a couple of other things I wanted to mention. Firstly, Hot Secrets was my gateway drug into the backlist of Lisa Marie Rice. I reviewed it here, but, I have to say, I'm still impressed by it. Any novella that can a) make me enjoy it and then b) motivate me to track down everything else is something else. If you're looking for a quickie romance suspense read, definitely check it out. Secondly, I also binged Eve Langlais books, reading five in a three day period. They weren't particularly consistent, in terms of quality, but they were like Shelly Laurenston-light. My favorite of the five was Bunny and the Bear, mostly because the heroine was a rabbit and how freaking often does that happen? Finally, I read two series titles by Sandra Hyatt. As you probably remember, Sandra passed away back in August. It's always a little weird, reading books by an author who went too soon. It was a little bittersweet because I enjoyed them, but I was also sad she wouldn't get the chance to spread her wings.

Category Totals

Romance: 41
Comic Strip Collections: 3
Urban Fantasy: 4
Graphic Novels: 2
Young Adult: 3
Picture Books: 2

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