18 August 2009

I've read a hundred books this summer.

I have. No lie. And here they are, with short review-type things for your viewing pleasure. You can skip over this entire list if it bores you to tears; I don't care. Or you can read it to find out which books I shelf-pulled from the teen sections of libraries are fabulous.

Libby's Summer Reading

1. Deadline by Chris Crutcher. Christ Crutcher writes books about athletes who mess with the status quo. In Deadline, the main character is a football player who falls in love and finds out more about the people in his town than he ever wanted to know when he is diagnosed with a terminal disease. I cried at the end. It was a deep, moving book.

2. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn. Mother thought there were things in this book that were inappropriate for my young eyes, but it was a good book. Norah agrees to be Nick's girlfriend for five minutes, but she ends up spending a crazy night chasing him around New York. There's also a movie, but I don't want to see it because it won't be as good as the book.

3. Art Geeks and Prom Queens by Alyson Noël. This book is about an art geek whose mother wants her to be a popular girl. She falls in with the popular crowd, but I don't think I'll spoil the ending by telling you that she ultimately goes back to the arty, geeky people.

4. Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson. I read this book because I've seen other people my age reading it. It was better than I thought it would be, but I still wouldn't recommend it. Three girls from, you know, different walks of life, form a lifelong bond while working on a peach orchard.

5. Lulu Dark and the Summer of the Fox by Bennet Madison. I love Lulu Dark, Halo City, and Bennet Madison. This is the sequel to Lulu Dark Can See Through Walls, which I must admit I liked more. I mean, how can you not love a book with lines like, "The drag queen was impressed by our classy wheels"? The books are fabulous and funny, and I think people should read them.

6. Rock Star Superstar by Blake Nelson. A guy forms a rock group. That's sadly all I remember. The book was okay, but obviously not good enough to really stick with me.

7. M or F? by Lisa Papademitriou and Chris Tebbets. This was a funny book about a girl who was too nervous to talk to the guy she had a crush on, so she made her gay best friend IM him. Yes, and that was the entire book. It was good, anyway, and I only picked it up because Liss checked it out from the library first.

8. A Step From Heaven by An Na. Jaewoong spent most of seventh hour once trying to convince us that An Na is his mother. That was why I read the book. All I really learned from it is that An Na lives in Vermont and Jaewoong is a liar. The writing style was sort of choppy and annoyed me, and I can't remember the plot to save my life.

9. The Rules for Hearts by Sara Ryan. It's the sequel to Empress of the World, so don't read it first. The Rules for Hearts starts where the first book left off, and it's a story about love, the theater, and brothers who are jerks, all with a main character named Battle Hall Davies.

10. The Queen of Cool by Cecil Castelucci. All I remember about this book is that the main character got tired of being the most popular girl at her school. Oh, and she made friends with a girl who I think was a little person through a program at the local zoo.

11. Twice Told. It was a short story collection, and I apparently didn't write down the editor. The idea was very interesting: illustrators would draw pictures and send the same picture to two different authors. The book was full of very different stories about the exact same picture, and it was fascinating to see how different people's minds worked.

12. Boy2Girl by Terence Blacker. Sam arrives in England from the States, ready to escape his horrible parents and live with his cousin. Unfortunately for him, his cousin's friends are major jerks who dare him to pretend to be a girl for his first week at their school. He does, because he really wants to join their little posse, and he causes an uproar when he gets found out.

13. Valiant by Holly Black. The main character shaves her head. She also falls in love with a troll. Yeah. It's still a good book. There's a possibility you could read it without having read Tithe first, because it's about completely different characters, but I think you should always start at the beginning. It's a very good place to start.

14. Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson. She wrote Speak. Her books are all a little depressing in their own special ways. This one was about a guy whose life sort of fell apart. Oh, and his father was a jerk.

15. Dangerous Angels: the Weetzie Bat books by Francesca Lia Block. This was actually five books in one, but I read it as an anthology so I'm counting it as only one. I want to live in a Weetzie Bat book, because they're all love and magic and happy endings. Also, there are people named Witch Baby and Weetzie Bat. What's not to love?

16. Lulu Dark Can See Through Walls by Bennet Madison. I'm not sure how this book ended up at sixteen, because I'm sure I read it first, but whatever. It's a fabulous book and I recommend it.

17. Switchers by Kate Thompson. This book is about two teenagers who are called switchers because they switch from human form to any animal they imagine. Also, they get to save the world. It was a really interesting book, and I cried at the end, but telling you why would give away a major plot point.

18. La Petite Four by Regina Scott. La Petite Four is a historical romance for young adults. It's about four girls ( La Petite Four) who have just finished their stay at finishing school and have been forced into polite society. Scary, yes? Parts of it were funny, but I didn't love it. Maybe the books the author wrote for adults are better.

19. Just Another Day in my Insanely Real Life by Barbara Dee. My god. I have forgotten everything about this book, this nineteenth book I read. Hold on while I go and see if it has a Wikipedia page to refresh my memory. Thank you, Amazon. Okay, this book is about a girl who writes a fantasy story in her journal to escape her insanely real life. It was a terrible fantasy story, though. I could write a better one.

20. Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson. See, she writes depressing books. This one is about fever. Fever and dead people.

21. Harley Like A Person by Cat Bauer. Harley doesn't know who her father is, but she's convinced it's not the man who lives with her mother and calls himself her father. The book is about her quest to find herself and get people to quit saying, "Like the motorcycle?" when they hear her name.

22. Treacherous Love, edited by Beatrice Sparks. I picked this one up because it said anonymous. Dr. Beatrice Sparks, in case you didn't know, is the one who goes around making the diaries of anonymous teenagers who go through major crap into books. There's a book she edited about teen drug addiction, teen pregnancy, child molestation...not light stuff.

23. Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson. By the end of this list, I was picking up books just because they were pink or labeled humor, because I was sick of all this depressing stuff. My favorite part of Catalyst was when the main character started to sing the element song to a little boy who was not having it.

24. Random Acts of Senseless Violence by Jack Womack. With a title like that, who wouldn't be curious? ...Okay, I admit that I am bringing all the depressing books on myself. It's all my fault. Happy?

25. Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn. This book is about a controlling guy who hits his girlfriend. Shades of Ed Cullen, I swear. I thought that through the whole book: Edward Cullen does that...Edward Cullen could use some time at this support group...Why is everyone in love with Edward Cullen?

26. The Night My Sister Went Missing by Carol Plum-Ucci. The sister went missing, in case you haven't guessed. Then the brother hid in the police stadium and listened to what everyone in the small town had to say about where they were the night she was missing. He learned a lot about his neighbors, and most of it was depressing.

27. Green Boy by Susan Cooper. I don't remember very much, other than that this was a sci-fi book about the environment and a boy who didn't talk. When I read the title in the notebook I've been using to keep track of my books, I thought it said Green Day.

28. Thou Shalt Not Dump the Skater Dude by Rosemary Graham. Guess what? She dumped the skater dude anyway. It was good for her in the long run, you know. The book was all right, but the funniest part was that the author put up a fake blog for the skater dude (in the book, he dumped his girlfriend through a blog post) and a bunch of people posted like they thought it was a real blog.

29. Evermore by Alyson Noël. It's fantasy. It's about a girl who feels a strange connection to a handsome yet dangerous boy. There's even blood involved. But no vampires, thank god. And the chick has some useful talents like mind reading, not just the ability to trip over flat surfaces.

30. Wasteland by Francesca Lia Block. I love Francesca Lia Block because she can write a book about something and still write about everything. She is amazing, even if her books are creepy and depressing at times. Wasteland isn't my favorite thing she's written, though.

31. Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher. Athletic Shorts, get it? It's a pun. Ha ha ha. This is a collection of short stories about characters from his other books. I was able to enjoy it, even though I hadn't read half the books. The best one was about the guy who had to wrestle the fabulous girl wrestler.

32. Perfect by Natasha Friend. How cool is her last name? This is an eating disorder book. The main character, Isabelle, is bulimic. She finds out that the most popular girl at her school, Ashley Barnum, is...wait for it...also bulimic! They throw up together. Isabelle had a weird girlcrush on Ashley, but it was a funny book and had a happy ending.

33. The Fold by An Na. Her again! I really liked The Fold. It was about a Korean American girl whose aunt offered to pay for the plastic surgery that would give her a fold in her eyelids like a white girl. Before reading this book, I had no clue that it was a major issue. Apparently it is. Cosmetic surgery creeps me out a little bit, but I still liked the book.

34. Midnighters: Blue Noon by Scott Westerfeld. As far as I know, the Midnighters series was the first thing Scott Westerfeld wrote for us young adults. It's funny and interesting, about a group of teenagers who have an extra hour of time at midnight because they were born at exactly the right time. Oh, and they have special magic powers that only manifest during their special magic time.

35. Hot Lunch by Alex Bradley. This book was hilarious. I love it. Read it, right now. I only picked it up because there was a picture of a girl with blue hair on the cover (she didn't dye it. It just came out that way) but it was funny, in a sarcastic way, about a girl who realizes that she can't be a misanthrope forever. Oh, and she went to a hippie school. I call books about hippie schools research.

36. Stormwitch by Susan Vaught. I picked this one for the title. It was interesting enough, and about Amazon-like warrior women and racial tension in America forty years ago, but I didn't love it.

37. My Life as a Girl by Elizabeth Mosier. You know, as opposed to my life as a chipmunk. A girl goes into a flashback when the cute but totally wrong for her guy she dated all summer shows up at her college across the country. I couldn't take this book seriously because of the main character's name, Jaime. It looks like J'aime to me, and I'm stuck pronouncing it like that in my head and wondering what she loves every few pages.

38. Midnighters: Touching Darkness by Scott Westerfeld. Ooh, spooky. Darkness. I'm afraid to say I have nothing to say about this book. I can't even remember which number it is in the series. Also, I'm too lazy to look it up because I just had to look up number 37.

39. Nothing by Robin Friedman. It's another eating disorder book, but it's special because it's about a bulimic guy. He's also Jewish. The book is told alternating between his point of view and his sister's. She writes in that weird verse style; he writes like a normal person.

40. Notes on a Near-Life Experience by Olivia Birdsall. The main character falls in love with her older brother's best friend. This is wrong. None of the child's friends will ever be allowed to fall in love with me. Ever. And I will never take them to the prom. I loved the back of this book, which had a graph of how the characters connected to each other like Kiki Nordgren, my (bulimic) nemesis. My band is going to my called My Bulimic Nemesis.

41. Dead is a State of Mind by Marlene Perez. Shockingly, this book is the sequel to the one directly below it on my list. Don't ask why it's first. The books are about crime-fighting psychic sisters. And werewolves. And vampires. Unfortunately, no zombies.

42. Dead is the New Black by Marlene Perez. Yay, vampire books. Fortunately, no one falls in love with the vampires, who are all cheerleaders. Not as cool as zombie cheerleaders, but cool nonetheless.

43. Fearless by Francine Pascal. This one said it was a super edition, which I mistakenly thought mean that it was going to be several books in one. It wasn't; it was a companion book. Fortunately, I picked up on what was going on pretty easily. The main character, Gaia, can't feel fear. She's just special that way. It's too bad she gets locked up because everyone else thinks she's a psycho.

44. Pretty Things by Sara Manning. I bought this book at a used-book store in P.E.I because it had sparkles on the cover. That is how shallow I am about books and judging them by their covers. It was a good book, though; funny and British. I love British books, because where else can you find grade-one wankers eating packets of crisps?

45. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. Hey, it's about zombies. Also, a society with a cultish religion and star-crossed lovers. It was, you know, a little creepy and depressing, but so many books I read are. Oh, and New York got swarmed by zombies. Ha.

46. I Was A Teenage Fairy by Francesca Lia Block. Yup. Fairies. Like pixies, little winged people. It's not a particularly funny book, but it is awesome. I cried. You might cry too, if you easily get attached to characters in books.

47. Diva by Alex Flinn. Remember book number twenty-five, about the abusive boyfriend? This book is about how his girlfriend gets over him and goes on her way to becoming an opera singer. She goes to a performing arts school. Weird school: research. A lot of the book was blog entries. They annoyed me, because I am extremely picky about the way authors use text-speak in their books. It has to be exactly like what I see my friends writing. Otherwise, I laugh at it. Well, I laugh at it anyway.

48. Echo by Francesca Lia Block. I think if I looked at who the books I've read are by, she would come up the most. What I liked about Echo was the way that two characters were so in love they started to look like each other. That was awesome.

49. Girl, 15, Charming but Insane by Sue Limb. It's hilarious and British. The girl (fifteen, charming but insane) feels overshadowed by her perfect best friend, but she goes about her life anyway. I think I recommend it, even though I'm not sure what to say about it.

50. The Princess and the Pauper by Kate Brian. The princess meets a normal girl who (major shock!) looks just like her. They trade places. Their own goshdarn parents can't tell them apart, that's how goshdarn alike they are. I didn't get the book. I don't think there was much to get.

Well, that was the First Fifty. My hands hurt from typing them out. Also, my brain hurts. I need to go eat some ice cream or something. I will probably manage to write up the, um, Final Fifty by tomorrow night.

11 August 2009

Prepositions are not things to end sentences with.

I now have trouble writing or saying sentences that end in prepositions. It just feels wrong in
my head. I have to write things correctly. Is this a good or a bad thing? Discuss.

On the other hand, I keep confusing homophones like they're and their. I feel stupid and
unworthy and horrible for about a second after I do it. Then I forget about it.

The temperature recently has reached over ninety degrees. This is unacceptable weather of the kind that will not be allowed in northern Canada when I move there. My dear family was stuck in the basement all day. It was boring down there, and it was boring and hot upstairs. I was convinced that Cassee was going to get heatstroke.

Today I made some beautiful art out of Mod Podge (well, that stuff. I don't know how to spell it), paper, duct tape, scissors with funny edges, and these awesome paintbrush/markers. Mother does not seem to appreciation my genius artwork. I can't imagine why. She just called it a collage, when anyone can see that it is obviously an abstract composition.

Ah, duct tape. It is useful for so many things, such as fixing ducts, holding together the fracturing bits of a failing relationship, and making clothing. Many people make prom dresses out of duct tape. I think this is mainly because of the Stuck at Prom contest that offers three thousand dollars worth of scholarship money to the winners, as well as money to the school that held the prom.

Look at the winners. Their dresses and tuxes are crazily elaborate. I don't even want to think about how long it took to make those. Or how much duct tape.

Today, I will finish my hundredth book this summer. This is a frightening thought, and I don't know why. I've read thousands of books in my life, have never known which one was 500th or 666th or 729th, and have never cared. But now that I'm counting, it means something. I have a goal. I am working toward it. I have a record of ninety-six books I've read, and I can look back at them and remember.

Mother says I should keep writing down what I read after I hit a hundred. I've never done that before. I don't think I have the ability to keep track of these things. I always had to write up my stupid practice logs for band the morning they were due because I didn't write down when I practiced. Oh well. At least I actually told the truth about when I practiced, unlike some people.

Speaking of band, I quit. Spiffy is calling me a quitter now. So is Liss, but Liss just likes to call me things to annoy me. She spent the entire weekend calling me either Little Libsies or crotchety old woman.

We had a thrilling Girl Scout weekend, probably our last one ever. One of our members is thinking about giving up Girl Scouts. In most troops, I think that would be okay, but when you only have four members, a quarter of your troop leaving is a lot. Also, we don't do many things that you have to be a Girl Scout to do, like earning badges or going to Girl Scout camps. We just sort of meet and gossip and sell cookies outside Scrapbook Haven.

Not that I don't love my troop. I do. I love them more than I love nail polish and Gmail combined. Who else sings new lyrics to "You Belong With Me" in A&W or plays Apples to Apples in the car with Lego Building Blocks winning Chewy and Learning Spanish for Sticky? No one I know.

Anyway, we went on holiday up North. The drive was five hours of insane Apples to Apples and general craziness. I managed to spill several different food items on myself. Zoe's Aunt Franny kindly allowed us to stay in her boathouse, which was a shack by the water decorated with baskets, plastic furniture, and a bunch of little statues and things, which Liss named. The best part was a loft with a lot of old trunks and a vacuum on it.

We tried to catch fish in Crystal Lake for ages, but it didn't work too well because we were afraid to get swimmer's itch from the water. Finally, Anna got tired of that and sat down in the water to catch a fish. We also went swimming in Lake Michigan. On one side of a giant pier, the water was the color of puke. Liss has some other, ruder names for it. On the other side, it was clear and nice. We swam on both sides, and there was absolutely no difference.

What else did we do? That was about it. I read Liss's depressing book (Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins, #95. It's not actually out yet, but she had an ARC) and played mancala in rounds for at least an hour. Everyone called me OCD because I rearranged the pieces so they were with other pieces of the same color. Then they all started arranging them like that. OCD is not contagious, you know.

The weekend was really fab and stuff, but I have realized something shocking. Or, well, really not so shocking. This epiphany came to me while I was floating down a river on a tube, holding onto Liss's tube so she didn't float away from me.

I don't think I'll ever be the kind of person who can spend a lot of time around other people and not lock myself in my room for a while afterwards. I mean, that's a little bit exaggerated, but private people such as myself have trouble living in a shack with six other people who aren't related to me for long. I know some of you would have trouble with it, dear readers. Admit it. You're not all bubbly, cheerful, extroverted types.

That's all I have to say. My next post, whenever it may appear, will be at least partly about my feelings toward my hundredth book. It might even include my hundred book list if I don't get lazy about typing it.

I have to go move on with my exciting life now by going to the dentist and giving up Remi to the child.

06 August 2009

Good Lord.

I am trying to say "Good Lord!" more often. In my head, it makes me sound like a crotchety old grandma who crochets lace doilies and is always "losing" her glasses and people have to point out that she's wearing them. I don't know what it sounds like outside my head, because I've never had the chance to go there.

The only one of my Summer Goals (the capital letters make them sound more impressive) that I seem to be anywhere near completing is my book list. I plan to read a hundred books I've never read this summer, excluding graphic novels of any kind. As of this post, I am maybe a fifth of the way through book #79, Shift.

I have a stately goal, so I thought I would share its fruits with you, dear elocutionists. I am considering exhibiting each of the tomes on this blog. I'm going to transcribe the register anyway, but there is a likelihood that I will also interline an epitomized compendium of each work for your viewing pleasure.

By the way, I found a thesaurus on the table next to me and used it to spice up the above paragraph. That would be why half of the words are probably used wrong. It took me a long time to write because I had to keep checking the thesaurus for every other word. This is why that one person said, "If you need to look the word up, it's the wrong word." Or something to that effect.

Here's the shorter (more succinct) version of what I just said, in correct (or accurate) English, without any interesting (engrossing!) words (utterances).

I'm going to write up my list of books on this blog no matter what, but Liss told me I should write sarcastic book reviews, so I'm considering writing a short review of all the books I can remember. Some of them I read months ago, which is too long for me to remember when I've read fifty books since then. You won't get a very good review of those. But I remember some of the books like I read them yesterday. In fact, I read three yesterday.

Tell me: is this a good idea? It would fill up the post a lot more than just listing books. That would make me feel more accomplished, and I wouldn't have to scribble some lazy paragraphs about I'm bored and hungry and I don't know what to write so I'll just whinge about my boring hunger. When I write long posts, I feel better. Also, my favorite complainers are happy because I've actually written.

Did you know dictionary.com Tweets? By Jove, I certainly didn't. This is yet another reason to get a Twitter. Unfortunately, I have some very strong reasons against getting a Twitter. See:

  • The webpage has a drawing of a little birdie on it
  • People I know have Twitter accounts
  • My favorite YA authors have Twitter accounts

  • I never update my blog or my Facebook status, so why would I update my Twitter?
  • Twitter is verbing words like MySpace and Facebook verbed "friend"
  • The character limit would block my creative expression, which is hard to summon up and easily blocked
  • It's ruining the English language, just like Facebook, texting, and Miley Cyrus

Wow, making lists really does help solve problems. And here I thought it was stupid back in elementary school when they made us write lists. I have more cons than pros. That means getting a Twitter is a very bad idea.

And my Twitter username was going to be pseudocurses, too. If you are reading this and you have a Twitter, please help a young girl in need. Look up the name pseudocurses and see if some usurping youth has snatched it before I can. Thank you. Infidel.

I keep seeing people on Facebook who write 5 things i can grab from where im sitting, as if we really want to know what they keep in their filthy pigsties. Guess what? Just for you, I'm going to write five things I could grab from where I'm sitting, if I wasn't worried that I'd get all kinds of diseases just from touching them.

5 tings lolol!!
  • Roget's College Thesaurus in Dictionary Form
  • Book #79, Shift
  • Holy Bible; the New Revised Standard Edition
  • Robby's nasty bread crusts from lunch
  • a French-English dictionary
There, wasn't that enlightening?