I read 5 books this week, 3 of them were rereads.
I finished up my reread of the Emily trilogy by L.M. Montgomery with both Emily Climbs and Emily's Quest. Good news: I still love these books. I did find myself getting more emotional than I remember ever being before. The last book especially had more of a bittersweet flavor to it. As I get older I find myself relating more and more to some of the side characters who don't get their happy ending.
I also read The Miserable Mill, finishing my reread of the first four Lemony Snicket books. (Only one week until the show is released!!!) This is not one my favorite books in the series, I don't find the setting as interesting or the characters as memorable as many of the other books. That being said, it is still full of Snicket's signature humor and wit and is a very quick, enjoyable read.
I went on to read Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. I love a good dystopian book and this series was quite popular a few years back. I like the premise: a society where you are an ugly until you turn 16 when you are allowed to undergo surgery and become a "pretty". The idea being equality for everyone, everyone is pretty and everyone is popular and has fun. But, as always, there is a catch. What is really behind the surgery? Are they changing your brain as well to make you more compliant? I love looking at our world through a different lens, our world as it could be, so I loved that aspect of the book. But the characters didn't hold up. They were annoying and in some cases downright stupid. I didn't like where the story ended up going and I didn't like the ending. It was a fine read but I will not be continuing on with the series.
(There are spoilers in this last review so be forewarned)
My last book of the week was Return to Augie Hobble by Lane Smith. This is the story of young Augie Hobble, a fairly stereotypical pre-adolescent boy who is awkward, unpopular, and gets bullied constantly. He spends his summer working for his dad who manages a very run down fairy tale amusement park: "We're no longer what you call a destination spot, but we still get some locals, grown-ups who were tortured here as kids and now have kids of their own to torture." (At this point I had to stop and check to see if the author was from near where I live...) The first hundred pages of the book were great. I was sucked in by the familiarity of the setting. Then it got weird. There were werewolves. Like a real werewolf who is his/her human form is the son of the fortune teller, but he is disguised as a girl because some government agency is after him. Then Augie's best friend dies as the result of a peanut allergy and Augie thinks it is his fault so he wants to become a werewolf to somehow pay for his crime. And then best friend comes back and starts communicating with Augie from beyond the grave. And all of those are just the highlights. There is so much weirdness in this book (and don't get me wrong, I LIKE weirdness when it is done well) that it goes very quickly downhill once you reach the midway point. The author just tries to put to many different ideas into the story and some of the topics are extremely heavy for a children's book and they are not fleshed out well at all. I would never give this book to a child.
That's it for my reading this week. I think I need to take a break from youth and young adult books for a week or two. There has been a little too much weirdness in the books I've been reading. Maybe it's time for some nice historical fiction.
What was your favorite or least favorite book you read this week?