06 July 2009

How I Spent My Summer (Beach) Vacation, Part I

In December, my parents rented a condo on Ocean City's boardwalk for the first week of July, and I have been looking forward to it ever since. And now I have been and gone! My summer vacation is over! :(

I'd like to say that I did some amazing things, like parasailing or risking my life on the Slingshot (um, hell and no), but instead, I just read. I read a lot -- on the beach, at the pool, on the balcony, in the car. I think it works out to a book a day -- I actually had to go to the used bookstore, which was luckily just a block away, on Wednesday to buy a few more books because I had almost finished the ones I brought with me.

Here's how it breaks down:
  • Monday: The Chosen One (Carol Lynch Williams) -- Jess lent me this one. I've gotten super into sci-fi YA, but The Chosen One is realistic contemporary YA. It was difficult to read at times because I was so anxious for Kyra, the main character, but ultimately I loved it.

  • Tuesday: Troy: Fall of Kings (David Gemmell) -- I had really been looking forward to Fall of Kings because it's the last in Gemmell's Troy trilogy; my dad read it first and lent it to me a week before we left for the beach, and I managed to save it, which is kind of amazing for me, as I'm a "read it if you have it" kind of person. Anyway, the conclusion of the trilogy definitely did not disappoint, and I wish Gemmell were still alive, because there were characters who definitely deserved books of their own.

  • Wednesday: The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) -- This was a reread, because The Hunger Games is our freshmen summer reading this year. I first read this right after it came out (Jess lent it to me), and it became perhaps my favorite sci-fi YA of all time. I bought my own copy before vacation and, when I had finished it on Wednesday, I lent it to my brother, WS, because he had run out of books to read, too.

(I'll be honest: my motives in lending WS The Hunger Games were not entirely altruistic. I wanted to find out if the book appealed to guys as well as girls; in the spring, when the ninth grade team talked about making The Hunger Games the summer reading book, I predicted that, though it has a female protagonist, the guys would gravitate to the action of the plot. And, yays! WS loves it. He was about two thirds of the way through it when we left on Sunday, and on the way home, he apparently recapped the story for his girlfriend, Dee, and asked her to read him the read as he drove.)

  • Thursday: Eight Cousins (Louisa May Alcott)
  • Friday: Rose in Bloom (Louisa May Alcott) -- These books were both Mason's purchases, I read Eight Cousins and its sequel, Rose in Bloom, when I was younger and really liked both. Upon rereading, I still enjoyed the novels, though I found them a bit preachy at times (I was about to say outdated, but as they were written in the 19th century, that seems unfair). Still, Alcott's various characterizations of the cousins are fun and distinctive, and Rose definitely picks the right guy at the end of Rose in Bloom.

  • Saturday: The Demon's Lexicon (Sarah Rees Brennan) -- Another Jess-lend! I enjoyed Rees Brennan's world-building, though I was not particularly fond of Nick, the protagonist (there are actually deliberate, author-intended reasons why, I think, but it made the reading hard going at times). The story is great, though, and other characters -- Alan and Jamie especially -- make up for Nick's stand-offishness.

  • Sunday: Lion of Macedon (David Gemmell) -- I started this on Saturday night, when I realized that I had read everything else and my father kindly let me borrow it. It takes place in Greece about one hundred years after the Battle of Thermopylae and follows Parmenion, a half-Spartan, half-Macedonian boy who comes of age as the various Greek city-states battle for control. I wasn't sold on the book, but once I started reading, I couldn't put it down, and I spent most of yesterday (after picking up Q from the kennel and unpacking) engrossed in reading it on the couch.

So once more, my vacation can be summed up by what I read! I did other things, too, but I've been shirking the alphabetizing and probably ought to try to earn some of my paycheck this week.

1 comment:

Jess said...

I can't wait to talk about these more in-depth with you! I think I liked The Chosen One a bit less, and The Demon's Lexicon a bit more, than you did. The first was a little elliptical in style for me--I wanted more detail from Kyra about her world. The second--well, I was kind of in love with Alan, but I found Nick winning as well. I'd marry Alan but make out with Nick first, possibly. 'Cause I'm a bookslut like that.

I'm so glad to hear that WS liked Hunger Games! I told Steve he HAS to read it before Chasing Fire comes out.