Monday, March 4, 2013

Reluctant Reviewer: Part 1

I've always loved to read. As a kid I read through the entire Bobbsey Twins series and quickly moved onto Nancy Drew by late 3rd grade. My mom didn't quite know what to make of my sister, an equally avid reader, and me. We had very strange rules such as: You may not read at the table during meals, and you may not get out more than ten books at a time from the library. Yes, we had restrictions on reading. To be fair, I know for a fact that reading interfered with doing chores, and I was known for losing books, so they were probably appropriate rules.

I still love to read. For the past five months, I think I've raced through approximately a book a week. However, as I've gotten older, I've noticed I don't remember things very well, and it's quite embarrassing and frustrating when I finally pick up the second book in a series after a two month lapse from the first book, and notice I have a hard time recalling characters and the overall plot.

My solution: write book reviews. I've started on by writing really brief reviews, but I'm always a bit worried I'm going to include a spoiler. So they generally go like this: Great book, incredible suspense, couldn't put it down. Yeah... that's really going to help me remember the storyline.

Ok, honestly, the part about worrying whether I'm going to spoil the book for someone else is really just an excuse. The truth is, I think I'm a terrible book reviewer. When I think about the last time I wrote something remotely academic, I cringe. It's been a pretty long time. Like five years long time. I don't think I'm going to do the books justice.

However, I'm fleeing my comfort zone, because I finished two books last month that were too fantastic not to share. They were recommended by my dear friend, Faith, who is not only an accomplished book reviewer, but also an aspiring author. Check out her blog for other great books and the first chapters of her own books here.

The first book I want to share is Code Name Verity written by Elizabeth Wein.

Recommended as young adult fiction, I, as a full blown adult, truly enjoyed this novel.Wein uses a wonderful combination of fact and imagination to craft two irresistible friends living during the nightmarish era of World War II.  In the midst of the horrors of war, these unlikely friends are drawn together by their unorthodox, but exciting jobs; pilot and spy for England. Filled with adventure, suspense,tough choices, and true friendship, this book left me awake almost the entire night even after I finished it at 1:30am. 

Ok, it's official, I'm really a terrible book reviewer. However, if I say any more at all, I'll probably ruin the entire book. So I guess you're just going to have to take my advice, check it out of the library, and prepare yourself for an entire day off because you won't be able to put it down.  

Second book review coming soon....


  1. Ooh, CNV is an amazing book. I actually read it because I read so many reviews by people I trusted that said things like, "Brilliant writing, wonderful characters...but I'm afraid to say anything more for fear I'll give something away!" I figured if so many people could feel so strongly about a book with that big of a twist, it must have been done well. :)

  2. This book was awarded the Printz Honor this year! I know the Printz committee picks out top books in young adult literature based solely on literary merit and they are nit-picky about it... I've heard that books are knocked out of contention for this award because of the tiniest mistakes. This one is definitely on my to-read list for this spring!

    If anyone else is interested in other current or past Printz Medal and Honors winners, check out this website:

    Enjoy YA literary reading!! :)