Sunday, December 29, 2013

* Lady Leer Society Catch Up - 2013

Tonight the Lady Leer Society got together to to catch up and discuss the books we read over the past twelve months.  We were able to read over ten books...pretty good for our first year :)

We put together a quick recap of each book - three adjectives to describe it, what we thought about it, and if we would recommend it.  Take a look at the books we read below, checkout my Book Club Selections tab on my blog, or take a look at what we're reading on our Goodreads page.

January - The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)
exciting, tragic, addicting
We liked basically everything about this book and also read the other two books in the rest of the series.  We enjoyed the first two movies that are out, but liked the books better. The second movie left out a lot of important details such as secondary character development of the other tribute winners and Haymitch's backstory.  We all agreed that the third book was a little lacking and repeditive, but that overall the series is great for older kids and teens.  We didn't agree with Katniss in her choice and liked Gale better than Peta!
Would we recommend this: yes

February - Blue Asylum (Kathy Hepinstall)
interesting, peculiar, regrettable
We felt that the premise of the book was interesting and liked the crazy secondary character, but felt it was not well executed.  We liked that the book had a unique view point of the civil war, but that it was unrealistic for the time period.  We also we not fans of the ending!
Would we recommend this: no

April - Les Miserables (Victor Hugo)
tedious, odious, long
We all agreed that we enjoyed the musical and movie better than the books.  While we liked the storyline and epic transformations to the characters, we thought that the book had too much detail and was tough to get through.  This one took us two months to read.
Would we recommend this: no, perhaps the abridged version would have been better?

May - The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
scandalous, refreshing, complicated
We liked reading a book from a secondary character's point of view and loved the description of the  time period.  Fitzgerald was able to capture the selfishness of the characters perfectly and we all enjoyed the movie as well!
Would we recommend this: yes

June - Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Seth Grahame-Smith)
comical, surprising, satisfying
We liked the zombie take on Jane Austen's classic novel and like the change of fate for many of the characters.  We thought that the book was a little easier to get through because it contained a lot more action and Elizabeth was a much more independent female character.  However, it wasn't very consistent and the zombie aspect was a little overdone.
Would we recommend this: maybe

July - Wicked (Gregory Maguire)
mesmerizing, thought provoking, gratifying
We all thought that this book was an amazing retelling to children's story told from different prospective of the characters of Glinda and the Wicked Witch of the West.  We also read the original Wizard of Oz and loved the historical aspect of the mythical land and the simple connections that the author created.  Even though it was a bit confusing at times, it brought up a lot of expanded details such as political aspects and the true meaning of good vs. evil.
Would we recommend this: yes

August - The Lightning Thief (Rick Riordan)
predictable, humorous, educational
Overall we thought that this book was ok.  We liked the human aspects of the Greek Gods and how they interacted with each other.  It was enjoyable, but not very captivating and had a lot of aspects of the Harry Potter books on a more watered-down level.  We didn't feel it was worth reading the whole series, but enjoyed the movie version.
Would we recommend this: maybe

September - Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend (Matthew Dicks)
compelling, eye-opening, insightful
This book was a little slow to start, but we all really enjoyed it.  It was very insightful into the mind of a child with Asperger's and the social aspects of those around him.  The story was told from a unique aspects of the boys imaginary friend and told how imaginary friends are created, interact with other imaginary friends, and eventually die.  It was very thoughtful and enjoyable.
Would we recommend this: yes

October - Juliet (Anne Fortier)
beautiful, intriguing, unpredictable
We really enjoyed the historical and modern aspects of Romeo and Juliet in this book.  It was very fast-paced and unpredictable.  The book was a great combination of family drama, mystery, romance, and history.  We thought that the dialog was a bit lacking (between Julie and her sister) and were a little confused by the motives, but overall enjoyed the writing style and tragic but happy ending.
Would we recommend this: yes

November - When We Were Strangers (Pamela Schoenwaldt)
empowering, raw, heartbreaking
We really liked the medical and historical aspects of this book from the 1880s.  Even thought we felt that the main female character was a bit unrealistic for the timer period, she was hardworking and independent.  It told an unique immigrant story.  We enjoyed the book, but we not impressed with the ending and felt that it came out of nowhere.
Would we recommend this: yes

What We're Reading and/or Listening To:
A Lion Among Men (Gregory Maguire)

Red Queen (Philippa Gregory)

When We Were Strangers (Pamela Schoenwaldt)
The Mammoth Hunters (Jean M. Auel)

Favorite Book of 2013:
Walking Disaster (Jamie McGuire)
Juliet (Anne Fortier)
Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend (Matthew Dicks)

Tutor Court Trilogy (Susan Wiggs)
Juliet (Anne Fortier)

11/22/63 (Stephen King)
The Dovekeepers (Alice Hoffman)
Wicked (Gregory Maguire)

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