**Finished my third Cannonball!!! I actually finished the last book in early December, but I’ve been slacking on my last couple of reviews. It was a pleasure to read everyone’s reviews this year and be part of this community.
Cannonball Read V: Book #52/52
Genre: Young Adult
Tessa is dying from leukemia and decides to make a list of things she wants to do before she dies. She enlists of one of her friends to help her and eventually brings her neighbor into the fold as she grows closer to him. Some of the things on her list are what you’d expect from a teenager – sex, fall in love, etc. But most of the things on the list were kind of weird, such as shoplifting. Who wants to shoplift before they die?
I had a hard time with this book. Some parts of it were very good – such as her family dealing with her illness and now her rebellion just before she dies (she stays out all night, jumps into a freezing river, joyrides without a license in her dad’s car – just to name a few). The ending was also beautifully written. Even though you know what’s going to happen, it doesn’t make it any less emotional.
Cannonball Read V: Book #51/52
Genre: Young Adult/Dystopian
This is going to be a short review because this series has been reviewed to death already and this is a re-read for me. I wanted to read it again before I saw the movie since I already forgot half of what happened since I last read it several years ago. I’m not going to re-hash the plot, because if you don’t already know it you’ve probably been living under a rock for the past two years.
Cannonball Read V: Book #50/52
Genre: Young Adult
Hannah is a high school student who committed suicide. Before she did it, she recorded 13 cassette tapes naming all of the people who contributed to her decision to end her life and why. If the people on the tapes don’t pass them along to the next person the list, a second set of tapes will be made public. The book follows Hannah’s classmate Clay and his experience listening to the tapes.
Cannonball Read V: Book #49/52 Published: 1925 Pages: 177
On my quest to read more classics, this one was high on the list. Mostly because it’s short. It’s no secret that I generally don’t get into the classics very well for some reason. I usually find them extremely slow and boring. The Great Gatsby started out that way, but by the end I was pleasantly surprised.
If you don’t know the plot, the story is narrated by a man named Nick who moved into a small house on Long Island, NY. He notices that his neighbor always holds elaborate parties at his mansion next door, but is rarely seen himself. Eventually Nick and his neighbor, Jay Gatsby become friends and Nick finds out that Gatsby has been in love with his cousin Daisy for years. Daisy just moved back to the area with her husband.
Cannonball Read V: Book #48/52
I loved Ryan C. Thomas’ The Summer I Died and I had no idea there was a sequel until recently. I picked it up despite the mediocre reviews and unfortunately came to the same conclusion: disappointing.
This books takes place 10 years after the horrifying events in The Summer I Died. ***SPOILERS FOR THE SUMMER I DIED*** Roger ended up surviving after watching his sister and best friend die at the hands of a maniac. ***END SPOILERS*** He’s obviously still very traumatized and barely functioning after he moved to southern California to be an artist. He’s out painting at a lake one day when his co-worker at the galley he works for, Victoria, and her boyfriend mysteriously vanish. After finding their car still there with blood on the ground, Roger goes all detective to track down a suspicious SUV that was there earlier and that he thinks might be the kidnappers.
Cannonball Read V: Book #47/52
Having read most of Stephen King’s books, I’m not sure how I managed to never pick up The Green Mile. I’ve also never seen the movie (yet…working on that), so I went into this book only knowing the basic plot: It takes place on death row and there’s a giant guy who may or may not have done the crime that landed him there.
Paul Edgecomb is the narrator who is in a nursing home type place writing down this story that happened when he was a prison warden in the 1930s. He saw a lot of people die while working on death row, but John Coffey stood out to him. He was brought to the prison after being convicted of raping and murdering two little twin girls (but did he actually do it?). He’s a strange man – absolutely huge, but gentle and soft-spoken and seems to never stop weeping tears. Turns out, John Coffey has some special healing abilities as well.
Cannonball Read V: Book #46/52
Another brick of a Stephen King book. Some are completely worth wading through 1000 pages (The Stand, Under the Dome…shut up, I liked that one) and some aren’t (Insomnia, The Tommyknockers).Duma Key was pretty middle of the road. Good enough to actually finish (can’t say the same for those last two I mentioned up there), but not crazy good.
Cannonball Read V: Book #45/52
Thad is a writer who didn’t have much success until he wrote a series under a pseudonym, George Stark. After his success with the George Stark books, Thad decided to “kill” Stark and try his luck once again under his own name. Then people connected to Thad start getting murdered by someone who looks and acts suspiciously like the fictional George Stark. Is Stark a real person or just a figment of Thad’s imagination?
Cannonball Read V: Book #44/52
This book is a follow-up of the excellent memoir, Call Me Tuesday by Leigh Byrne. She grew up in a very abusive home and her childhood was chronicled in her first book. The only thing I didn’t like about Call Me Tuesday was the sort of abrupt ending. I wanted to know what happened to “Tuesday” (or Leigh)and how her childhood abuse effected her late teens and adult life.
Call Me Cockroach follows her life after she leaves her home to live with her aunt. However, Tuesday ends up back in an abusive relationship by marrying a guy she barely knows at a very young age. She’s also still dealing with her mother, who seems to brush all of the past abuse behind her. Her mother also only abused Tuesday and not her brothers and she never did really get answers as to why. I was also heartbroken to learn that she has little to no relationships with any of her brothers. I can’t imagine how painful it would be to have your entire family basically refuse to acknowledge what she went through as a child nor offer any explanation.
Cannonball Read V: Book #43/52
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Cinder is a cyborg – part human, part robot. She lives with her evil step-mother and two stepsisters (this is a re-imagined Cinderella after all) in New Beijing which is on the verge of a war with the Lunar people (who live on the moon). Cinder is a mechanic and she meets the prince when he asks her to fix one of his old robots. They strike up a friendship as Cinder tries both to hide and figure out who she really is.
This story really could have went either way, but I thought it was actually pretty good. It was interesting and never got boring. The romance was never too sappy and I felt like Cinder was a strong female character on her own (i.e. didn’t need a man to define her character). I also liked that she had other relationships that were focused on, such as with her dying step-sister (the nice one of the two) and her friendship with the house robot.