Friday, March 2, 2012

My February in Review: Books

I did not get to read all the books I had lined up for this month, but that, in no means, should be interpreted as a month bereft of reading for me. First and foremost I am enrolled in a writing workshop with the wonderful Susan Spinal of Harry Potter for Writers that had lots of writing in it. Secondly, with my work over at Word of the Nerd, I have gotten lots of new assignments that were equally enjoyable and distracting. So, reading happened. Not all of the books could be logged into the Goodreads challenge, because not all were there, but here, for your own reading pleasure is a rundown of all the reading I did last month.

Cinder: Book One in the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Once I realized how much my regular reading time was going to be taken up by my writing workshop this month, I decided to hook myself up with a new audiobook to listen to in between lessons. I found the YA novel Cinder: Book One of the Lunar Chronicles that had an intriguing title, cool looking cover design and a description discussing cyborgs, androids and Cinderella - my curiosity was piqued.

My husband quickly got used to hearing my "robot book" while I was cooking dinner, cleaning house and folding laundry. Every minute I wasn't reading or writing I was wrapped up in Cinder. And now I am anxiously awaiting the continuation of the tale. Cinder  is a truly unique re-imagining of the Cinderella fairy tale and re-imaginings are just about my favorite things when done correctly!

Think of what you know about Cinderella. She is a poor mistreated girl left to live with her step-mother and step-sisters after her father's untimely death. She is beautiful, but due to her stature and position in a world where class matters, no one really seems to notice. Through it all Cinderella finds happiness in her world trying desperately not to be brought down by those who constantly belittle her. In the fairy tale, Cinderella magically finds her way to the prince of the kingdom who notices her, falls in love with her and after a quest of his own sweeps her out of her world into a happily ever after.

Marissa Meyer takes this well-known tale and brings it to a world that mixes the advancement of technology and space travel with the decimation of a plague that is destroying the people of New Bejing. Cinder, our protagonist is a cyborg, which is considered "less than" in her society and, just like Cinderella, is stuck living with her step-family which uses her for nothing more than a handyman and income (Cinder is a mechanic). While the methods in which Cinder meets her prince, makes it to her ball and her true beauty is recognized are completely different than that of the original tale, they are all apparent and written in such a way that makes Cinder an adventurous, fantastic tale all its own.

I don't want to give away too much about Meyer's plot. The world she built for Cinder is completely new and the characters that populate it are full of life. Of course I would be remiss if I did not give the narrator of the audiobook, Rebecca Soler, some credit for this as well. She swept me away with her robotic voices and reading of some really fun girly-glee (the prince is a heart throb!).

Here's a sample of the audiobook, provided by Macmillan Audio, just so you can hear for yourself how quickly you can get swept away...

I guess it is sort of obvious that I recommend this book to any YA fans out there. However, one other cool Cinder-related note is that this Monday's Book Love post will be a guest post from the author of this great book! After reading it I became so curious about her inspiration, I asked her what her first book love was, so be sure to hop back to Rivera Runs Through It on Monday to see her response!

The Lorax by Dr. Suess

I promise you this isn't cheating. I have never read this book before and when I got really sick early on in the month my husband sat with me and read it in bed to me. (Is this too ridiculous for you to handle?) Of course I wanted to read the book before I saw the movie and when I did I was overcome with joy. I'm wondering how I have never read this before - especially in all the time while I wrote for my blog Searching for Sustenance!

I am now, of course, terrified by what Hollywood is going to do to this story. Will the message be upheld or will there be such an effort to bring the laughs (and the money) that it will all be lost. After knowing now what the story is about I am actually unsure I want to see the movie at all. I simply don't want my heart to be broken. 

The Rest of February's Reads

Wow. I didn't realize it, but all of my other reads have been documented already in some form or another! Here is a list of links to their reviews if you missed them:

  • Broetry: Poetry for Dudes This book from Quirk books seemed like the perfect type of book for the Word of the Nerd crowd, so I write up a review for that site and also linked it up here on Rivera Runs Through It.
  • Between Gears This was a great find during last week's trip to the comic book shop. I loved it so much I wrote a review shortly after having read it. I couldn't really wait for my month-end review.
  • Benaroya Publishing books I read a bunch of books by Benaroya publishing this month for the Word of the Nerd site. I wrote reviews for each of them getting ready for their March releases. The first I read was Samurai's Blood which I thoroughly enjoyed. Then there was Marksmen which reminded me of GI-Joe mixed with some dystopian tale, and finally Red Spike a super soldier story that left me asking, "WHY do these scientists keep trying to make super soldiers?!"
  • Stick City This was a preview of a first issue of an independent comic coming out in limited release this April. It was also my first assignment for Word of the Nerd and my first read of February. I really, really liked it, but I tend to like very bizarre, funky stories when it comes to my comics. Here's the review so you can get a taste for it and see if you want to pre-order it.
Well, that's it. To be honest, before I sat down to write this post I thought there were more book reviews that actually needed to be included in this post. I guess you can see now why my Goodreads book counter hasn't budged too much this month even though I've done a good share of reading (remember all of my lessons for my super cool workshop are not on this list either!), but maybe I'll make more of a move toward my magic 52 in March!

What were your reads in February?
Are you a part of the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge as well? If so, how are you doing?
Do you have any recommendations for me to read in the month of March? 

If you are interested in buying any of these books through Amazon, it would be super-cool if you followed one of these links to do so, then I would get a commission from the sale at no extra cost to you!

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