Sunday, January 6, 2013

Persy -- I Want My Hat Back/This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

So...I haven't really read much since my last review. Which is saying something, because my last review was over a month ago. Yikes. So I'm resorting to something I've never done before: I am reviewing a children's book. This review will probably be longer than the book itself. Oh well.
So normally when I write a review, I head over to GoodReads to look at the short reviews I post there, to refresh my memory a little about the book. When I went back to look at what I'd written for I Want My Hat Back, written and illustrated by Jon Klassen, this is what I found:
"Awesomeness. Pure awesomeness."
Never have I spoken (written) truer words.
I Want My Hat Back follows the life of a bear(? There has been some disagreement over the species of the main character) who has lost his hat. And now he is going to find it.
It's as simple as that, really. But how do I relay the awesomeness and fantasticity of this short little book? I don't believe it is possible. The only thing you can do is read it. It's not like it'll take you very long.
Jon Klassen recently released the sequel, This Is Not My Hat. This little book follows a fish, who has...acquired...a hat. He quite likes his hat, and is determined to keep it. But someone has a different idea...
While its awesomeness is not as pure as I Want My Hat Back's, This Is Not My Hat is still pretty dang awesome. Pretty. dang. awesome.
This is the best review I've ever written. There's no need to tell me.
All I can say is that I'm struggling my way through an 800-page book with atrocious writing, and for some stupid reason I'm determined to finish it. I still have about 400 more pages, but I'm hoping to finish it at some point... hopefully within two weeks, and then I'll review an actual novel. Maybe.
You might like this if you: like hats; like bears; like fish; like catching thieves; like thievery; or if YOU ARE AWESOME.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Persy -- A New Year (OF BOOKS)!

Welcome to a new year! Congratulations on surviving 2012! Hurrah yippee boom etcetera! I hope your first day of this exciting new year has gone well (mine's been rather exciting).
My reading goal for 2012 was to read more books than I did in 2011, so 181 books. I am happy to say that I SUCCEEDED EASILY way back at the beginning of December (maybe that'll excuse my terrible reading job that month)! In fact, I read 186 books and 43,977 pages in 2012! Curiously, that's less pages than in 2011, but I chalk that down to the fact that I read more manga and graphic novels these days. In fact, 51 of my 186 books were manga or graphic novels.
The first book I finished in 2012 was The Off Season by Catherine Gilbert Murdock. The last book I finished in 2012 was Big Annie of Calumet by Jerry Stanley (darn those history books).
I tried as hard as I could to narrow down the Best Of list to a respectable number, but I could not get past 14. Sorry. There are just too many good books.
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. An exhausting book, but totally worth it. It took me a while to read, BUT IT WAS SO WORTH IT. It all seems so realistic and terrible and yet...there always seems to be some tiny glimmer of hope, even if you can't identify the source. Scifi.
I Want My Hat Back written and illustrated by Jon Klassen. Who says children's books can't be incredibly awesome? NOT ME. This book is fabulous (as is the sequel). It'll take about five minutes, so read it. Children's.
House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer. Another exhausting read, but also totally worth it. It has an amazing main character and a plot that begs to be read again and again. Dystopia.
World War Z by Max Brooks. Zombies. War. Phenomenal writing. Boom. Apocalyptic.
The One And Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. Possibly the most charming book ever written. An adorable, touching, and awesome story about a gorilla. Inspired by a true story.
Replication by Jill Williamson. Scifi and Christianity collide in this awesome book set in Alaska about a genuinely intelligent teenage girl and a curious clone. Scifi/Religion.
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. The whole thing is a classic in my book, and the whole thing is meant to be read again and again. It's pure magic. Fantasy.
Alice's Adventures In Wonderland/Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll. One of my favorite classics. I can't get enough of Wonderland. Classic/Fantasy.
Bad Kitty by Michele Jaffe. Even the second time through, this book practically had me in tears because I was laughing so hard. Jaz and her merry band of friends are certain to win you over. Humor/Mystery.
Unwind by Neal Shusterman. The master of storytelling brings you one of the most disturbing and though-provoking novels I've ever read. You know it's serious when I call a book "thought-provoking." Dystopia.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. This is one of those children's books that's not quite as simple as it seems. Some of the lines in this book burn with truth and wisdom. Classic/Fantasy.
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. Another "children's" book that is full of depth and wonder. A surprisingly disturbing story of an eternally young boy who basically kidnaps children. Classic/Fantasy.
The Death Note series by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata. I finished the whole series in 2012, and boy is it a ride. There are few wimpy volumes in between, but don't let that stop you from reaching the final volume. Manga--Shonen/Supernatural.
Three Men In A Boat by Jerome K. Jerome. Another book that makes me actually laugh out loud. A book seemingly about nothing (even less than The Great Gatsby), but still one of the best books I've ever read. Classic/Humor.
**Repeats** These are books that were on the Best Of list last year. I didn't want them taking the place of a new book, but I still wanted to mention their awesomeness.
Graceling (Kristin Cashore); Fire (Kristin Cashore); Dragon Slippers (Jessica Day George); Ouran High School Host Club series (Bisco Hatori); Nightlight (The Harvard Lampoon); the League series (Sherrilyn Kenyon) Jabberwocky & Other Poems (Lewis Carroll).
**Honorable Mentions** And, of course, there are plenty that just wouldn't fit. Poor souls!
Hamlet (Manga Shakespeare); Wonders Never Cease (Tim Downs); A Benjamin Franklin Reader (Benjamin Franklin); Beauty Sleep (Cameron Dokey); The Importance of Being Earnest (Oscar Wilde); This Is Not My Hat (Jon Klassen); Circle of Blood (David Mack); Marco's Millions (William Sleator); I Am Here! series (Ema Toyama); The Prophecy of the Stones (Flavia Bujor); Life As We Knew It (Susan Beth Pfeffer); In The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Carrie Ryan); Night Gate (Isobelle Carmody); Hana-Kimi series (Hisaya Nakajo).
Bitten by Kelley Armstrong. I find it humorous that so many people hate this book. But it is well-deserved. Terrible heroine. Urban Fantasy.
What Happens In Vegas, Dies In Vegas by Mark Everett Stone. Oh my gosh, just through random supernatural investigators through a time vortex and have them meet JRR Tolkien and fight the Nazis and that'll about sum up this novel. A train wreck. Supernatural.
Battle Royale series by Koushun Takami and Masayuki Taguchi. Mindless gore. Few panty shots. Yuuuuuuuuup. Manga--Shonen/Dystopia.
Heaven's Wager by Ted Dekker. Didn't finish this one, because it's awful. Writing is just awful. People assured me that normally Dekker is better than this, and I certainly hope so. Religion.
Hummingbird Heart by Robin Stevenson. Geez, this is just awful. It's freaking miserable. And the main character doesn't exactly do anything about it. She just moans about being miserable and how much she hates everyone. Whiner. Contemporary/Misery/Whatever.
**Dishonorable Mentions** because there were even more bad books this year.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (Seth Grahame-Smith); Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice) Across Five Aprils (Irene Hunt); Uncle Tom's Cabin (Harriet Beecher Stowe); Snitch (Allison van Diepen); Rifles for Watie (Harold Keith).
So how was YOUR year? What was your favorite book? What was your least favorite? How much did you read? Did you reach your goal? What are your goals for this year? LET ME KNOW and GOOD LUCK!