Today I have a new kind of post for you. Instead of taking the time to write a lengthy review for each of the books I've read this week, I'm simply going to give you a very straightforward paragraph laying out my thoughts and feelings on the books. You will be missing out on plot, extensive information about the characters (including names), and some other information I tend to inject into my reviews, but these reviews are, one might say, from the soul. I am being brutally honest in them, though I sincerely hope that no authors or readers are offended by my comments.
Well, without further ado, here are six super short reviews:
Maybe by Brent Runyon (Amazon. B&N.)
--- I really liked this book. It was pretty excellent, actually. I thought the main character's fascination/obsession with sex was a little annoying/creepy at times, but it generally worked and I'm willing the look past that because the book made me think after reading, which is pretty awesome. I'd definitely recommend it. I would also recommend Runyon's The Burn Journals.
Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford (Amazon. B&N.)
--- This was a great, well-written book. I liked the main character, his parents, his doctors, his friends at the hospital, and his sister. I didn't feel like his best friend was fleshed out as much as she could have been, but that might have been done on purpose. I also didn't feel like one of the big revelations was...shocking enough for the main character, considering the plot, but that also might have been making some sort of statement. It's hard to say. Generally good, though, and I'd recommend it.
The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd (Amazon. B&N.)
--- This debut was very well written and the characters were all well developed. As I read I could feel the main character growing and changing with the story and the events that occurred. My main issue with the book was the ending, which seemed rushed and wasn't particularly satisfactory. I almost have to wonder if the author didn't write this ending at first, but then changed it for agent and/or editor acceptance. Something just seemed a little off there. Otherwise however, it was good and I will definitely look for the sophomore novel by this author.
Black is for Beginnings by Laurie Faria Stolarz (Amazon. B&N.)
--- I'm going to be completely honest here and say that I wasn't wowwed by this addition to the Blue is for Nightmares series and that, in some ways, I'd like to pretend it never happened. While there was nothing wrong with the story, there was...so little story. Much of the book was rehashing what had already occurred in the first 4 books in the series, and then tying up a few loose ends. I also did not feel that the format (graphic novel) worked particularly well, and it was difficult to combine what I already imagined about the characters with the artist's renditions. Ultimately, I don't think I would highly recommend this book, which saddens me because Laurie Stolarz is one of my top 5 favorite authors. I would highly recommend many of her other books, however (especially Blue is for Nightmares and Bleed). Just not this one.
Vintage: A Ghost Story by Steve Berman (Amazon. B&N.)
--- There aren't many young adult paranormal romances with gay main characters (Actually, I can't think of any others. If you can, please comment!), but here is one! It was pretty good, though a bit rushed in some areas, and well-written (though there seemed to be some issues with copyediting and/or typesetting, which have nothing to do with the author, really, so I don't blame Berman). I would have liked for the MC to have more...shock over his apparent ability to contact ghosts, but otherwise I think everything was well fleshed out. I would recommend this.
The Treasure Map of Boys by E. Lockhart (Amazon. B&N.)
--- I really enjoyed this. Very good. The third in a series, but it explains just enough that I didn't have to re-read the other two to remember what had happened before. There are emotional ups and downs, E. Lockhart does some excellent writing, and the characters are just as fleshed out as always (taking into account the main character's point of view and everything). I would definitely recommend this, and I look forward to another Ruby Oliver book.