End of the Year Books

So, I've been remiss in posting book blogs for November and December. After the disappointment of October, I was a little nervous to venture back in, but I have and I've discovered some good reads that I'd love to share with you. Hopefully I'll be back to posts once a month now that we're in the new year! 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson. 

This is a lighthearted teen novel about a young, untraveled girl who suddenly finds herself on an adventure, one envelope at a time, courtesy of a favorite aunt who has passed away. It's a book about life, about family, and about traveling around Europe with little experience and no clear understanding of what you're doing. It's the sort of book that I can imagine taking on an airplane or to the lake, light, with a few things to think about. The sequel, The Last Little Blue Envelope, which I also read during this time, was actually even better, in my opinion.

When Parents Text by Lauren Kaelin and Sophia Fraioli.

You really have to smile when you hear the title of this book, don't you? It's an enjoyable read, one that will probably have parents and children both giggling. Some of the things that the parents of this book say are so witty and ahead of the curve, and some of them are completely clueless. It was an interesting collection.

Crossed by Ally Condie.

This is book two in the runaway bestseller series that started with Matched. It's a dystopian romance trilogy for teens set in what appears to be a fictional world, or maybe a "futuristic" one. The second book was interesting, expanding upon the first and brought you further into the struggle the main characters are facing. This book seems to be the point of no return for them. If you're looking for a little 1984 with a clean teen romance attached, look no further. Many of my co-workers consider this series a guilty pleasure.

Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter.

Ally Carter wrote Heist Society and I fell in love with it. It was filled with Audrey Hepburn references, adventurous crimes carried out by young girls and intrigue. It was a fun book and the sequel is no exception. If you haven't read Heist Society, do yourself a favor and start there before moving on to this one.

I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter. 

I liked Heist Society and its sequel so much that I decided to check out Ally's other series: The Gallagher Girls, about a school of girls who are trained to be spies. It has undertones of Harry Potter (a secret community of people who are able to do amazing things) and interesting story arcs related to politics, criminals and boys. These are a delight. I'm about halfway through the series now.

Stuff Christians Like by Jonathan Acuff.

I loved this book. It was sarcastic and funny and true and surprisingly convicting and real. I’m excited to get to know the web site a little more and will follow this guy with interest. I encourage you to read it with any open mind, and don't be surprised if you find yourself within the pages. I did.

The Aviary by Kathleen O'Dell.

This was a wonderful tale of friendship, mystery and magical realism. You never know whether mysteries in the children's section will be scary or not, and the cover practically dripped with drama. I read the inner flap and couldn't stop thinking about it. I "flew" through it. I'd say it would be best to save it for older children, since it does deal with death, both in the present and the past, though it is done sensitively.

Floors by Patrick Carman.

I have a thing for hotel stories and this is one awesome hotel. It’s got a mysterious owner, hidden rooms, fun surprises in the rooms and a great 10-year old protagonist named Leo. Plus, the author is from Walla Walla, WA! I’m looking forward to book two in the series.

The Great Christmas Bowl by Susan May Warren

This is a funny and sweet Christmas story I’ve read before and decided to pick up again. It even made me tear up a little at the end, again. But really, who wouldn't love a story about family, soup and a giant trout?

What are you reading?