19. Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry
20. Messenger by Lois Lowry
21. Son by Lois Lowry
I was loving Delirium, the first book in this series. Pandemonium picks up right where Delirium left off with Lena alone in The Wilds. She becomes a part of the invalid's society and begins working with them to help free the rest of the world from The Cure and give them back their freedom. Things go badly when Lena begins working undercover with the Deliria Free America, but gets kidnapped by another group of invalids during an attack against the DFA leader. This book is written rather differently than Delirium. The first book was written in present tense only, this one goes back and forth between Lena's present (being captured) and her past (when she first came to The Wilds and began adjusting to life outside society. I liked this juxtaposition because it allowed you to see what it was like when Lena first escaped Portland, but also allowed for the action and intensity of her current predicament. Often her actions in the present are a direct result of things she learned and experienced when first getting to The Wilds.
23. Requiem by Lauren Oliver
24. Outlander by Diane Gabaldon
This book is sooooo long, but not long in a bad way. I was a little overwhelmed at first by the sheer size of this book. This is an intense and action-packed book. The book starts in 1946 where Claire is on vacation in the Scottish Highlands with her husband, Frank. Due to the war, the two have been separated for 6 years, and this is their first time being back together. Somehow Claire ends up getting pulled through a bunch of rocks and into 1743. The first person she meets in 1743 is Jack Randall, an ancestor of her husband who looks startlingly like him. Randall ends up being a horrible, sick person, and Claire is relieved when she ends up in the hands of another clan who are trying to get away from Randall. There is a lot that happens in the book once Claire ends up with the clan. She travels all over Scotland, is involved in attacks and battles, and develops new relationships that make it hard for her to decide if she wants to go back to her old life. This book has a great mix of action, romance, and history in it that made it hard to put down.
25. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
I wanted to read this book because I saw the movie trailer and thought it looked great. The book definitely did not fail. It's a quick read and was made quicker by the fact that I couldn't put it down. I think I read it in less than a day while we were up at the lake. In case you don't know, the premise behind this book is that a teenage girl, Mia, is involved in a car crash that kills her family. She's pretty messed up and her body is in ICU at the hospital while doctors are doing everything they can to save her life. Mia is in the unique position of being able to see everything that is going on from outside her body. She is able to see her family, watch the doctors work, and remember the important people in her life and why she loves them. The hard part is the Mia also have the choice about whether she stays, or lets herself die. It's hard choice when the people you love most have died, and the thought of living without them is too painful to bear.
26. All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner
I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book. Jennifer Weiner is kind of hit or miss for me. Some of her books I love, and others I'm bored by. This one though, was awesome. It's the story of a middle-aged mom who becomes addiction to prescription painkillers. Throughout the story her "perfect" life unravels as she becomes more and more dependent on the pills and less able to cover up her problem as she desperately searches for her next does. What I loved about this book is that it's told from the addicts perspective. In the beginning she doesn't think she has a problem, but even after she's realized how low she's sunk and how much she's hurting others, she can't make herself stop and find excuses to keep using. I found myself feeling a mixture of frustration towards this woman who kept making things worse for herself and sympathy for her inability to fix things.
27. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
I usually love Cinderella adaptations, so this book was right up my alley. However, I didn't love this book. It was interesting, but it was also very strange. This is kind of a dystopian take on the classic tale where Cinder is an cyborg who has bio mechanical adaptations that let her "see" when people are lying and give her access to the internet through her own body. Because she is a cyborg, she is viewed as less of a person than others, especially her stepsisters. Her stepmother resents having custody of her and (of course) uses her. Unlike the typical cleaning demands, her stepmother has her do mechanical work because Cinder excels at it and is able to make money for the family repairing things. As an incurable disease begins to take over the country and an alien queen threatens to take over Earth, Cinder has to decide how she will help Prince Kai and what her role is in society. Like I said; interesting, but weird.
28. Labor Day by Joyce Maynard
I'm still not sure how I feel about this book. In it Henry, a thirteen year old boy, lives with his depressed mother, Adele, who avoids leaving the house. This leaves Henry to feel very alone and bored. On Labor Day weekend, something big changes, while out at the store for some quick back to school shopping, they meet Frank. Frank is a mysterious man with an injured leg and bleeding head. He asks for a ride to their house, which for some reason Henry and Adele give him. Once back at their house, they learn that Frank had escaped from jail after having his appendix out. While in the hospital, Frank jumped out a window and fled to the store where they found them. For some reason (and this is why I'm not sure how I feel about the book) this doesn't really bother Henry or Adele, even when they find out that Frank went to jail for murder. As the weekend continues, Adele and Frank fall in love, Henry starts to view Frank as a father figure, and a strange routine develops. The reactions of Henry and Adele to the situation is what baffles me about this book, but at the same time it also seemed like it made sense in the situation. Like I said, I don't really know how I feel about this book. I enjoyed reading it, but I found it so puzzling and the characters so confusing.