Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The Reading List: An Update

A few months ago I did a blog called The Reading List about trying some new books.

I showed a huge list of recommendations and what I planned to read over the next few months.

So, how did I do?

Well, not too bad to be honest!  But I have to warn you that I'm going to be brutally honest about these books.
A Prayer for Owen Meany.  Well, I enjoyed the book overall.  It was pretty long and I did feel as if it could have been edited by 200 pages without losing any of the story or content.  My biggest gripe came with the description of Owen.  He was apparently so tiny that the kids could pass him around over their heads.  He was described as the size of a toddler.  Then he made it to 5ft to get into the US army.  It just didn't ring true.  The health visitor in me knows quite a lot about syndromes.  Not sure what Owen's syndrome was supposed to be, but it just didn't add up.

I'm going to do the next few all together.  Kristan Higgins Fools Rush In, Linda Howard Mr Perfect, Susan Mallery Under Her Skin.
I thought all of these books were fine, but none of them blew me away.  I'd heard lots of people rave about them but the truth be told, once I'd read them I didn't think about them again.
PS Still got Susan Mallery Only His to read.

When it came to Susan Elizabeth Phillips I cheated.  I was supposed to read Natural Born Charmer or Ain't She Sweet.  But I swapped them and read Call Me Irresistable instead.  I enjoyed this story and thought that she wrote a fabulous ending.  I have a lot to learn from this lady!Product Details

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty was a recommendation by my Australian critique partner Rachael Johns.  And it was fabulous, loved every minute of it.  Just think, having an accident and forgetting 10 years of your life.  Really enjoyed this one!

And finally..............................the teenage fiction.

All I can say is WOW!!!!
I am so, so impressed.  The Gone series by Michael Grant.  Gone, Lies, Hunger, Plague and Fear.These books were absolutely fantastic.  The final book in the series Light is out next year and I will be fighting my 12 year old for it.  Blown away by how good these books were!!

 The Hunger Games.  I've had these books sitting in my house for months, but once I started reading them I absolutely couldn't put them down!  Talk about Page Turning Quality.  Really engrossing.

So what have I learned?  That I want to be a teenager again.  When I was a teenager I had Sweet Valley University and that was it.  The teenage books I have read have really taken it to a new level.  I have now invested in lots of new teenage fiction (obviously with intention of finding suitable reading for my 12 year old!) and reading these books are pure pleasure.

Maybe I should think about writing one???????

In the meantime I'm compiling a new reading list, including a number of books I've been meaning to read for the last few years.
The list this time will include - Jodi Picoult Lone Wolf, Susan Wiggs Marrying Daisy Bellamy, David Fiddimore The Hidden War, Teri Terry Slated, Anne O'Brien The King's Concubine and Elizabeth Noble Things I Want my Daughter to Know.

Happy reading!


  1. How totally spot on about the books available when we were teens! I wanna turn back time and be a YA again... although the good thing is there's no age LIMIT so we can still enjoy them.

  2. Oh dear! Crazy formatting alert! I am loving teenage fiction right now. But after I posted this I found a new ebook series of sweet valley high called the sweet life and set in the twins 30s............

  3. (whispers) it's like they knew I was coming!

  4. Hi Scarlet:

    I did a study of midgrade and YA not long ago and unless you write for the 18 to 20 age group, a YA is about five times harder to write. IMHO. And it is pure torture to have to constantly worry about all the things kids worry about. Who’s a friend? Who’s an enemy? What are they saying behind your back? Is your little sister or brother getting into your stuff? Is your diary safe in the house?

    I think you’d be a natural to write a YA about a 17 year old volunteer nurse’s aid whose mother teaches horseback riding. A young Cassandra, she is the only one to suspect the handsome young doctor of being an angle of death who is killing the old folks. (All the deaths have been ruled ‘natural’ causes.)

    No one believes her except a 18 year old ‘bad’ boy in the hospital with a broken leg from a motorcycle accident. With no one believing them (adult paranoia is very important) they uncover the killer just in time to save a wonderful older couple scheduled for death. Oh, she needs to text a lot. The adults, which must have as small a part as possible, are suitably remorseful for not listening to the hero and heroine. Youth is vindicated!


    P.S. I read “Mr. Right” and thought it favored the hero more than the heroine. Linda Howard makes very strong heroes which makes me like her.

  5. I just read The Hunger Games trilogy last week. OH. My. GOSH. SOOOOOOOOOOO good!

  6. Vince, you made me laugh so much!! Don't know if I'd make the grade in teenage fiction so doing lots of research first!

  7. Hi Jennifer, I LOVED the books too. Much preferred them to the Twilight series. Teenage fiction rocks!