Thursday, February 7, 2013

YALSA's 2013 Hub Reading Challenge

Just when I needed an excuse to put aside serious, and  slow paced adult books, along comes YALSA's 2013 Hub Reading Challenge.

The Challenge: "Read/listen to 25 of the 83 titles on our list of eligible titles to finish the challenge. The list includes YA novels, audiobooks, graphic novels, and books for adults..." between February 3 and June 22, 2013.

To learn more or to join the challenge, click the link or logo above. 

Since I read 17 books in January alone, the only thing left to say is...

Challenge Accepted!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Welcome 2013!

So, clearly, I'm a little behind when it comes to this project.

I finished my 100 book challenge in early October, so I went crazy and decided to add 25 more titles. Finished number 125 on Dec. 31st. 

Debut Author Challenge: I dropped this one after the whole Story Siren thing. I just wasn't all that interested in it after everything went down.

New Adult Challenge: Read three "new adult" titles during the year. I completed this by June.

Off the Shelf Challenge: Eh. I didn't read the 15 titles I set out to. Library books are more distracting since they have due dates. I'm super lucky ours doesn't have late fees, but it's still a good idea to return them in a timely manner. I did read 8 of the 15. So progress was made, but not as much as I hoped.

What's in store for 2013? After finishing 100 books so early last year and hitting 125 by the end, I've gone crazier and am aiming for 150 this year. So far I'm on pace with 9 books read. I'm also challenging myself to read titles from my own shelf again, I'm thinking maybe one per month. They are other challenges I'm considering, but I haven't officially signed up for anything. More posts to come if this happens. I'll do my best to continue with reviews, though I can't guarantee they'll all be YA. My new fo' real librarian job requires Reader's Advisory for adults, so I'll be expanding into grown-up reads.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I Kiss Girls

I Kiss Girls by Gina Harris
Round Rock, TX: Prizm, 2007
196 pages
3.5 out of 5

Joanie’s got all of the problems of an almost seventeen year old girl. She’s trying to get her driver’s license, her mom and dad are pressuring her about going to prom, and she never can seem to make it to the bus on time.

Even worse, Joanie likes girls, not boys, and all of the girls in her hometown are pretty darned straight. Her best friend, Zane, can attest to that, considering that he never has trouble getting a girl, even if he’s not interested in the freshmen who swarm around him. When new girl Kate shows up, needing tutoring in math and chemistry, Joanie figures Zane will get the date, like he always does, and that makes life even more difficult.

Joanie’s in for a surprise, though, because Kate doesn’t fall for her good-looking best friend. In fact, Kate seems to like girls, too, and things get a little scary when Kate asks Joanie out on a date.

Somehow Joanie knows if she says yes to Kate, things will change forever. Can she manage to pass her driving test, get to prom, and come out to her parents the way Kate wants her to? Or will Joanie’s seventeenth birthday be the worst day in history?

It's good that books like these exist, but just because something is needed doesn't mean it should be rushed. This title is poorly edited, with glaring mistakes that I could be persuaded to overlook, except for the fact that they pulled me completely out of the story.

Joanie's an well-rounded character. She's 17, working to get her license, getting ready for prom. Typical teen. There's a lot of repetition in her activities. Though I'd say this is true of many titles, others have worked it so that it doesn't sound the same each time. Joanie's love interest, on the hand other hand, falls flat. Kate is beautiful, and out to her parents. But other than her being pretty and smart, I'm not sure why Joanie is so interested. Unless it's just because all the other girls at Joanie's school are straight. That's not exactly the best reason to get into a relationship.

Her best friend Zane is pretty great. Listening to her and only being slightly jealous when he realizes that Kate has an interest in Joanie instead of him. I was surprised that Zane is a total ladies man with freshman fawning all over him. I would have expected video-gaming nerd, and like the change up.

The oddest addition, but probably the most necessary, is Joanie's driving instructor. She has really personal conversations with him about her situation. The best part of this is that I feel like it shows it's ok to discuss or think aloud around a trusted adult that's not necessarily a parent.

Overall, this is a decent title. The poor editing is a bit of a distraction, but the angst, frustration, and fear that Joanie experience all come across very well. And although Janie's sexuality is a huge focus in this title, it's not everything she is. In the middle of dealing with her feelings related to Kate and how or if she should tell her parents, she's just a normal teenager.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

September Reads

Welcome to my monthly listing of titles. I've seen monthly wrap-ups on a few blogs, some I follow and others I don't. So this idea is definitely borrowed but not copied exactly. As least as far as I know. (Note: links go to Shelfari).

September Reads:

91: Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty by G. Neri*
92: Smile by Raina Telgemeier*
93: Pavement Chalk Artist: The Three-Dimensional Drawings of Julian Beever
94: Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams*
95: I Kiss Girls by Gina Harris*

*Off the Shelf Challenge
^ New Adult Challenge

It seems I've hit a wall. I'm in the process of reading four different books, but I'm not making much progress with any of them. Finishing the last 45 pages of Dirk Gently took four tries. Gah!

The good news is that I'm making a little headway on one of my goals. The last one I have left to complete (besides 100 overall) is the Off the Shelf challenge. Prior to this month, I'd read 4 out of 15. At the end of this month, I've read 8 out of 15. Though I feel a little guilty that two of the four are graphic novels.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Graphic Novel Review: Axe Cop!

Axe Cop Volume 1 by Malachai Nicolle and Ethan Nicolle
Milwaukie, OR: Dark Horse Books, 2011
144 pages
5 out of 5
Created by five-year old Malachai Nicolle and illustrated by his older brother, the cartoonist Ethan Nicolle, Axe Cop Volume 1 collects the entire original run of the hit webcomic that has captured the world's attention with its insanely imaginative adventures. Whether our hero is fighing gun-toding dinosaurs, teaming up with Ninja Moon Warriors, or answering readers' questions via his insightful advice column, Ask Axe Cop, the adventures of Axe Cop and his incomparabled team of crime fighters will delight and perplext even the most stoic of readers.
Thanks to the Best of the Best challenge, I was introduced to the world of Axe Cop. It's chaotic, funny, and just plain awesome. Packed with secret attacks and being on duty always, there's something for everyone.

Kid logic is unlike any other logic in the world, and Axe Cop is all about it. If you're not sure what kid logic is, a fantastic example can be found in Big Daddy. Remember when Julian wins every hand of cards no matter what he has? And why does he keep winning? Because the game is "I win."

Ask Axe Cop is definitely my favorite feature. "The Ultimate Battle" is also pretty great.

Axe Cop Volume 2: Bad Guy Earth by Malachai Nicolle and Ethan Nicolle
Milwaukie, OR: Dark Horse Comics, 2011
104 pages
4 out of 5

This volume is Bad Guy Earth, the epic, three-volume Axe Cop extravaganza. Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth definitely takes it to the next level, moving away from strips to a full-length story. Shawna Gore writes in the introduction that it was an experiment to see if there was enough fun left in the Axe Cop universe for such a story to exist. Luckily there was!

Although I LOVE the fact that the writer is a 6-year-old, as a result, some pieces do feel a little disjointed here and there. Even so, Bad Guy Earth packs plenty of laughs and surprises. Plus, I loved getting a sneak peek at the process with the feature "Making of Bad Guy Earth" that appears after the story.

Axe Cop Volume 3 by Malachai Nicolle and Ethan Nicolle
Milwaukie, OR: Dark Horse Comics, 2011
160 pages
5 out of 5

The format of Volume 3 is similar to that of the first Axe Cop compilation The first one is epic in that it is the first, and this one continues to build on the universe. In Volume 3, you'll find various episodes, holiday specials, more Ask Axe Cop, and other special features.

The comics have been anthologized into volumes, but (most) can also be found online at

Seriously, it's awesome. If you've never read it, you should absolutely click that link right now.

Disclosure: Borrowed all three titles from the library.