Monday, December 21, 2009

[Title Here]

The Secret Lives of Fortunate Wives, by Sarah Strohmeyer. This is an older one; I picked up an ARC years ago and never got around to it. Strohmeyer's Bubbles series is very popular here in our system, although we don't seem to have a copy of this book. I'm not sure it would do well. I hoped I would like it: Desperate Housewives is my dirty little secret and this book sounded like it would be similar. I only read a few chapters, but I just can't connect with the characters the same way. One, there are a lot of people and it's hard to keep them separate. Since they 1) don't have very individual personalities, and 2) have no redeeming features, it's difficult to care about them. The writing seems fine: not spectacular, a couple misprints, but it's an ARC. Overall, meh. Schooled, by Gordon Korman. My reading relationship with this author has been pretty hit-and-miss over the years. It always seemed to me like was all over the board, never really having a consistent voice from book to book. It made it hard to bond with him. But this book was much better than the other works I've read. I was motivated to read it when Unshelved featured it as last Sunday's comic book talk. They introduced me to Owly, and you know how I feel about him. So when I had to go to an appointment yesterday morning and had left my next-slated-read at home, I grabbed our copy of this one. I know I've been on a Adult/Nonfiction kick for a while now; although I enjoyed this book, I can't say when that will stop: I'm really enjoying the longer books and the more challenging subjects (still working through that brain plasticity book). Anyway, to the book: good story, good idea. The perspective switched among characters every chapter; this didn't work out as well as it did in Generation A because the voices were all pretty similar. If I stopped reading in the middle of a chapter, it was difficult to remember, on picking it back up, who was talking. So that could have worked out better. Also, alot of the responses or reactions by the characters were kind of predictable. But for a 12-year-old audience, it's alright: they probably won't notice the predictable responses. I liked this book for the same reason I used to love crappy sci-fi novels: I like looking at society from the outside. A middle-school-age student who has never lived inside society the way we do is as good an alien as Desi the space man. On a side note: hurrah! I have, in 7 1/2 months read the 104 books I predicted for the year. Go, me! I didn't think I was going to make it for a while: there were a couple of weeks where I just wanted to veg my brain on movies. But overall, it's been more like 3 1/2 books a week so far, and that's not counting the 40 (!) picture books I read as well. It's about 4 months until the anniversary of this little experiment; I'm looking forward to seeing how well I do. If I can pick up an extra 30-40 books _per year_, I'll have no trouble closing in on the nearly 4,000 books I predicted being able to read before my retirement.

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