Saturday, December 20, 2008

Fall Into Reading Challenge 2008 Wrap-Up

I must admit--I failed miserably in the challenge to read all of the books on my list. I think the only books that I actually did read through were the ones for the blog tours I've done, or the blog tours that are coming up.

Here's my original list of books:

Florida Teen Reads Titles for 2008-2009:
Avalon High by Meg Cabot
Boot Camp by Todd Strasser
The Christopher Killer by Alane Ferguson
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Deadline by Chris Crutcher
Firestorm by David Klass
Incantation by Alice Hoffman
Life As We Knew It by Susan Pfeffer
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti
Street Love by Walter Dean Myers
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
What Happened to Cass McBride? by Gail Giles
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

From My TBR Pile:
Single Sashimi by Camy Tang
Forsaken by James David Jordan
Cathy's Book by Sean Stewart and Jordan Weisman

Here's what I actually (in no particular order) read during the challenge. (If there's a link, then I've posted my review there. Otherwise, I'll put out a few words below each title.)

Single Sashimi by Camy Tang

Forsaken by James David Jordan

Ripple Effect: Time Thriller Trilogy Book #1 by Paul McCusker

Infidel (Graphic Novel): The Lost Books volume 2 by Ted Dekker

Leave It to Chance by Sherri Sand

Eternity's Edge: Echoes From the Edge series book #2 by Bryan Davis

Carter House Girls #3: Homecoming Queen by Melody Carlson
Carter House Girls #4: Viva Vermont! by Melody Carlson
Both Carter House Girls books are very quick reads geared towards the teenaged set. They're a Christian version of Gossip Girl and the It Girl series of books out there. I loved both books--although you'll probably want to read the first two books in the series to get the back stories on the girls. However, I think you'll fall in love with the feisty DJ as her grandmother has "taken in" other girls from various backgrounds as a "finishing school." The girls must learn to live together despite their many differences.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
This book has been on my TBR list for quite some time, and I probably would not have read it except for the fact that our school book club decided to choose it as one of their books to read for the month. (That, and it's a Teens Read book this year, so I would have eventually sat down to read it.)

I'm glad that I did read it because it's a gripping and somewhat heartbreaking story about the life of a woman in the middle east. You get two ladies from very different backgrounds whose lives tie together in strange circumstances so that they must work together through their problems in life.

I must admit, I did enjoy this book--albeit a little slow in some places--once you realize how the two women's lives fit together you won't want to put it down. Reading this book has made me more aware of the cultural differences between the treatment of women (they're more like cattle than people, as opposed to my own ability to speak out about whatever I feel like. I would have probably been killed by the time I was 5 because I've always been outspoken.) If you've been on the fence about reading this book--get off of it and go buy it or check it out from the library!

Frontier Courtship by Valerie Hansen
A very quick read sent to me by Harlequin to read and answer a few survey questions about it. Obviously it takes place during the frontier times and it's a Christian romance novel. Faith and Charity have just lost everything--including their mother--to a tornado that has hit their home. Now venturing off across the wild frontier, they must fight to survive this perilous journey in search for their father who left to find gold in the gold mines. Unfortunately, the wagon train leader is out for money, which he thinks Faith and Charity will have plenty of when they find their father, and he's looking to score for himself. Funny how--his previous love interests have died or disappeared mysteriously.

The Journey Home by Linda Ford
Another quick read for me to review by Harlequin. This book is also a Christian romance and a work of historic fiction that takes place during the Dust Bowl era. Half-breed Kody Douglas stumbles upon Charlotte Porter purely by accident as he tries to escape the raging dust storm outside of what he thought was an abandoned house. Charlotte's brother and his family decided to find other lodgings and promised to send for her as soon as they were able--which was well over a week ago. With no place to go, Kody reluctantly decides to take Charlotte to his parents home--a place where Kody was trying to escape from forever. Why is Kody running from his past? Will Charlotte ever be reunited with her brother? You'll have to read it to find out!

Gatekeepers: Dreamhouse Kings Series Book #3 by Robert Liparulo
(Go read the first two books in the series because this is a definite must read! Review to be posted on January 2!)

The Christopher Killer by Alane Ferguson
At the time of this posting, I'm about a hundred pages out from the end of the story. This series is a cross of CSI and Nancy Drew. Cammie's father is the town of Silverton's coroner and Cammie wants to become a forensics pathologist--just like her dad. When he finally decides to hire her, a body of a young girl is found face down on a hiking trail in the woods. Cammie and her father rush right over, and the identity of the girl turns out to be someone that Cammie knows from town. Is this new death a result of the Christopher Killer? Is he killer still nearby or has he/she left town in search of a new victim? (After all, St. Christopher is supposed to be the saint of travelers.) You'll have to read the book to find out!

I will be doing a book tour for this book VERY soon so keep your eyes peeled for the tour. I'll also be giving away the first two books in her Forensic Mystery series: The Christopher Killer and The Angel of Death!

If you're interested in asking Ms. Ferguson questions about writing and her new books, please leave your questions in the comments area of this posting by midnight (EST) on December 27, 2008, and I'll post the answers when I post an interview with her during the book tour.

Well, I'm off to find out who the Christopher Killer might be--I have a couple of ideas! Let me know what you think about any of these books--or books you may have read for the challenge. And remember to post your questions for Alane Ferguson by next Saturday!! Happy Reading!


Just Mom said...

Congratulations on what you accomplished with the challenge! When you get to Thousand Splendid Suns you will be so pleased - it is as good as the Kiterunner.

M. C. Pearson said...

I am totally shocked that we are almost in 2009! And Christmas is less than a week away. Wow. I am still stuck in August! LOL.

Smilingsal said...

I can't hack The Gatekeepers! You did a good job, I think. Here's my wrap-up post:

Smilingsal said...

Forget what I said about Gatekeepers; the title that I couldn't hack is The Gate House.

Kirsten said...

Hey, just leave the books on your reading list and keep on pile is ever growing and when I get them from school they are there for a while, if I get them from the city library...well they have to be read first :-) (there is a fine to pay...dime by dime).
Anyway, if you want to read my list of books I went through this year you have to go to my second blog...there is a link in my profile!
Good reading over the holidays..."I am on 'Suite Scarlett' and then have to red 'Two knits'...we can do it ;-)

The Dynamic Uno said...

Wow! Thanks fo stopping by everyone!

Just Mom--I haven't read the Kite Runner yet, so I'll add it to my list. You're right--A Thousand Splendid Suns is great!

MC--Yep-I'm glad to know I'm not the only one. :)

SmilingSal--I'm glad you told me that The Gate House is a dud. I have that on my shelf at work to read, but I may not even bother now. It's a huge book and I'd rather not waste my time. You have a fabulous list. I see a couple of authors I need to add to my ever growing list of must-reads.

Kirsten--you're right. The books will stay in my TBR pile, they'll just have to get returned before the end of the school year since I may have to move schools again. Grrrr...

Katrina said...

You still did a great job this fall, even if you didn't necessarily stick to your list. :) And you've reminded me that I really want to read A Thousand Splendid Suns. I've been avoiding "emotional reads" right now, but as soon as I'm ready, I'm going to get my hands on that one. Thanks again for being part of FIR '08!

Robin of mytwoblessings said...

Great job and you have an interesting collection of books. The more I hear about Thousand Splendid Suns the more I want to read it. My TBR pile grows and grows. I have a list on my blog.

Thanks and Merry Christmas.

The Dynamic Uno said...

Thanks for stopping by Katrina! I know exactly what you mean by emotional reads--and boy is it one. I think after awhile, I distanced myself from the characters so that I could get through the horror of their lives. It's pretty sad that that same kind of treatment still goes on today. ACK!