The Maze Runner

I participated in a swap on Swap Bot about Young adult books. Seems like YA novels have made the news quite a bit lately, and not just because piles of them are being made into movies. There’s a lot of controversy over adults reading YA, Ruth Graham had an article chastising those of us who are adults and reading YA, saying we should feel embarrassed.

I read a lot of YA, and I’m not embarrassed about it. YA seems to be where the interesting books are right now. My problem with a lot of “adult” fiction is that they deal with “adult” situations that I can’t relate to. Maybe I’m stuck in limbo somewhere, maybe I’m supposed to be making specific decisions that get me out of there, but I don’t relate to a lot of currently popular adult fiction.

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June Reading Log

June was short on reading material, I only managed 4 books, and 3 were really novellas or partials. I discovered a podcasting app on my phone, so I listened to a lot of those instead of audiobooks.

The Prince – Kiera Cass

This is technically a novella, since it’s only about 55 pages long. I read it after The One, because I noticed an ad for it in the back of the book. It’s about Prince Maxon, and a girl who’s a princess in another country. She’s in love with him, but he only likes her as a friend.

It was a short, easy read, and not a bad one. I’m fond of Maxon as a character, so I enjoyed reading this. It wasn’t particularly memorable though.

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2014 Reading Goals

On Swap Bot, I’m a co-founder of a group called Carpe Librum. As you might expect, it’s all about books. One of the swaps I started at the beginning of the year was for 2014 reading goals. I find I do much better with goals if I have accountability, and a swap provided that. Eventually I had to cancel the series due to lack of interest, but I kept to my 2014 reading goals.

To continue accountability, I thought I would post my 2014 reading goals, and where I’m at with them. Even if no one reads them, I still feel like I’m being held accountable.

#1: Read 60 books
I figured I could manage a book a week, so my original goal was 50 books. Then I thought that looked puny, so I upped it to 60 books.
How many have I read? 40 according to Goodreads. Goodreads counts short stories, so the actual number of novels is 36. I’m still head of schedule, since I should be about the 25 book mark.

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May Reading Log

Witness In Death – JD Robb
One of my reading goals for the year was to read (and re-read) the first 10 books of JD Robb’s In Death series. I’d read the first 8, plus a few additional ones throughout the series, and I thought it would be nice to work my way through them again. This was book 10.
I hadn’t read this one before, and it was nice to get a book where I didn’t automatically recall everything about it. This one’s interesting too, in that it takes place in a theatre, on stage, with lots of people watching the play. Also, the murdered guy is an asshole, that almost no one likes or cares about. He gets what’s coming to him, and even Eve agrees, but she does her job, and makes sure that the actual murderer is caught.

Panic – Lauren Oliver
I was going to read Panic for Carpe Librum’s book club, but I ended up reading The Fault In Our Stars instead. I couldn’t get Panic soon enough from the library to finish it in time.
Panic is an interesting book. Oliver’s books usually focus around a character that usually comes from a messed up family, usually a poor one. Her best friend is usually more well off. And every character is flawed, usually to an extreme. This book is no exception to it.
I did find the game of Panic interesting: doing crazy things, starting with jumping into a quarry, and ending with a vehicular version of chicken, all to win a potential chance to get out of Carp. From what you see in the book, no one who’s won has really made good for themselves, and in a few cases, it’s messed the people up royally.
One thing I didn’t like was how predictable a couple things in the book were. First, Heather’s best friend Bishop is tied into Panic, and if you’re paying attention, you’ll catch on to why a couple chapters before it’s revealed. Also, there’s a woman who’s caring for tigers, and they escape, and one of them ties into the ending. I didn’t guess it in advance, but when I read it, I wasn’t surprised.
There’s one nitpick I have of the book, and it’s the amount the winner of Panic gets: $67,000. Seniors pay a fee of $1 per day school is in session, and at the end, the winner takes all. At least, I’m pretty sure it’s just the seniors, because paying into it every year for 4 years of high school seems excessive.
It doesn’t add up. Assuming every senior chips in $365, or $1 for each day of the year, you’d have to have 184 students in the graduating class. In a town of 12,000, that’s possible. I had 182 students in my graduating class, and I went to school in a town of 11,500 people.
But this is a case where it’s every day of school. The average in the US is 180 days, according to most sources I’ve read. So that’s just under half of 365. So, doubling the 184 kids means there would have to be a graduating class of 368 people to make up $67,000 (368 kids * $180). That’s way high for a town of 12,000 people. Even if that’s an usually large class, nearly ¼ of the town is under 18, and I don’t buy that. A minor nitpick, but it stuck with me.

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April Reading Log

I read 10 books in the month of April, which is a pretty healthy sum. I had a goal of 60 books read this year, and including April’s books, I’m at 34. I think I should have set the bar higher.

Vengeance in Death – JD Robb
One of my goals this year, in addition to 60 books, was to read the first 10 books in trhe In Death series. So I’ve been plugging away at them via audiobook. This is book 6 of the series, and one I’ve read before.
In this book, Eve Dallas investigates a series of murders, in which Irish men and women are killed in a manner shockingly similar to the deaths of several Irish men many years before. There’s a tie in to Even’s husband Rourke, who was instrumental in the first series of murders.
I did enjoy this one, because it gave us more of Summerset and Rourke’s backstories. This was a re-read, so I remember the killer from before, but it was still enjoyable. And unlike some of these novels, Eve manages to home in on the killer before the end. I find that more enjoyable than her wandering about without a real lead until the last moment. And this one’s an interesting killer, not just in the forms of murder, but the reasoning, and the parts of the chapters told from his point of view.

Holiday in Death – JD Robb
Book 7 in the In Death series deals with Christmas, and people being murdered that used a dating service called Personally Yours. I didn’t much care for the murder aspect of this novel, because I felt the killer was pretty flimsy. The way they tied him to the dating service was almost too weak to be a plot.
What I did like was the non murder stuff. We get more of Peabody, who’s my favorite character, and we get a healthy dose of McNab, who’s also a character I like. We also get to see how Eve deals with suddenly having friends and family to care for, and to buy gifts for. I loved seeing her try and sort out the feelings for her friends. Pity the murder wasn’t too great.
Conspiracy in Death – JD Robb
Of all the In Deaths I read this month, this is my favorite. A homeless man is found dead, his heart surgically removed with a surgeon’s skill. The cop that finds him hates Eve with a passion that doesn’t just border on crazy, it goes right over the edge into lunacy.
From there, Eve has to investigate skilled surgeons, which causes waves. The surgeons are a close knit group, and are unwilling to turn over information on someone who might be one of their own, and they use their clout to try and get Eve taken off the case. Eve pushes back, and they up the stakes and really try and take her off the case.
I love the conspiracy behind this, the sheer number of people involved. It’s a complicated plot, and results in a lot of people being involved with the murders. While it’s not as fascinating as the Icove plot, which comes in a later book, it’s sufficiently complicated, with Eve homing in on the killers, and not leaving it until the very last minute.
Also, Louise diMatto is introduced, and she’s one of my favorite really minor characters.

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March Reading Log

My  March reading log was mostly JD Robb books. I had one other one, that I finished because I was halfway through it and figured why not. But.

The reason my reading log is mostly JD Robb is because one of my goals this year was to re-read the In Death series. Not all of it, but to finish at least the first 10 books. OF the 50 or so books and short stories, I’ve read probably 25 of them. Aside from the first 8 or so, they weren’t in order. My grandmother loves Nora Roberts/JD Robb, so she has most of them, in print, or on audio, so I have been working through them. Also, I drove a lot in March, so I had plenty of time to audiobook them.

Naked in Death – JD Robb
The first of the In Death series, I’m especially fond of this one. Lieutenant Eve Dallas, of the New York Police and Security Deposit is investigating a murder of a licensed companion. Not just any LC, but the granddaughter of a prominent conservative politician. And while she’s doing that, the killer is offing other victims, she’s remembering her past, and the wealthiest man alive has taken an interest in her.
I never cared for Nora Robert’s books, the romance in them is too sappy. But I love the In Death books. They strike the right balance between romance novel and police procedural. The world is fantastic. Set in 2058, guns are banned, most foods are made of soy or veggies, prostitution is legal, cars and fly, and most people eat via AutoChef.
This book has an interesting plotline, and introduces a fascinating cast of characters that keep coming back. I have read it several times and still enjoy it.

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February Reading Log

I managed to read 2 short stories (Good reads counts them as books) and 6 books this month. I’m something like 6 books ahead of my goal of 60 books for the year, but I know as the year moves on, I’ll be too busy to read some weeks, so I’m banking extra books.

The Little Android – Marissa Meyer
This short story ties into Meyer’s Lunar chronicles series, in that it’s a retelling of The Little Mermaid. This one is very Hans Christian Andersen inspired, not Disney. It’s an interesting take on the fairy tale. I quite like how Meyer has been retelling the fairy tales in a new and interesting way. I’d have more to say, but it wasn’t that long and I’m super tired.

Cress – Marissa Meyer
The third book in the Lunar Chronicles, this one is supposed to be about Rapunzel, or as we know her, Cress. She’s one of the few Lunars called a Shell, which means she’s immune to Lunar glamor. She’s spent most of her life on a small satellite, watching the humans, imagining what life would be like on Earth.
This was my least favorite so far of Meyer’s books. I felt like a lot of nothing happened, and it was as far from Rapunzel as it could get. Cress has long, long hair, because she’s never had a chance to get it cut. She ends up on Earth in pretty short order, and her hair gets lopped off. So much for the Rapunzel parallel. We also alternate between scenes with Cress, and scenes with Cinder, and it just feels like the book is taking up time until the stakes are raised enough to make the fourth book necessary. I wish I had more to say, but the book just felt fairly bland to me.

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Review of Shannon Stoker’s The Registry


The Registry – Shannon Stoker

In the future, men outnumber women, and so when a woman turns 18, they go on The Reigstry. Men can view their profiles, and make a bid for their hand in marriage. Top bidder gets the woman. Mia Morrissey has been groomed from birth to be the perfect bride: pretty, graceful, and obedient. But when her older sister unexpectedly comes home, trying to escape her husband, Mia’s perfect world is shaken. Now, instead of marrying a rich man, Mia wants to escape to Mexico, and she can’t do it alone.

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January Reading Log

In January I managed 8 books and 2 short stories. Goodreads counts it as 10 books, because it doesn’t differentiate between short stories and actual books. This puts me ahead in my goal of 60 books this year. I don’t expect most of my other months this year to be as fruitful.

Glitches – Marissa Meyer
This is a prequel to Cinder, and since I read it before reading Cinder, I didn’t really get it. I knew a little of what Cinder was about, but not enough to quite understand what all was going on. Now that I’ve read more of the books, it makes more sense. It’s pretty much the events from when Cinder first goes to her new family, to an event that happens a few months after she’s there. It introduces Cinder, the family she lives with, and Iko, the robot that ends up becoming Cinder’s friend.


Cinder – Marissa Meyer
I’d seen this book on shelves for years, but I’d always passed it by. Then I saw many people online reading it, and so I decided to give it a shot. I’m glad I did, and honestly kind of glad I didn’t pick it up until this year. Cress, the third book, just came out, so I didn’t have to wait as long as many to get it.
Cinder’s an interesting character, and despite the fact she’s a cyborg, I could relate to her. She’s not a girly girl, or girly cyborg, but instead a mechanic by trade, without a lot of patience for girly things. She wants to restore an old car, or get a new foot, not get a lovely new dress for the ball, like her sisters Pearl and Peony. She meets the handsome Prince Kai, and while she’s not immune to his good looks, she’s also aware that he probably wouldn’t want to know her if he knew what she was. Ican kind of relate to that.
The only thing I really didn’t like about the book is that Cinder has a secret identity that she’s oblivious to. The reader however, is probably going to figure out what it is the first time it’s mentioned, because it’s a pretty transparent plot. Cinder, for all her memory banks and mechanical skills, is really obtuse, and it distracted me from the story.

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