Monthly Reads and Listens

May [Reads] & Listens


I didn’t finish any books in May! =( That doesn’t mean I didn’t read, of course, but I’m still working my way through A Clash of Kings! It’s going to take me ages to finish this one. It’s so good, but quite long, and I’m trying not to rush it (otherwise it will feel like work and not pleasure!)

I did listen to some titles, though.


ExitbyaBearExit, Pursued by a Bear – E.K. Johnston, read by Jorjeana Marie

So, I was kind of shocked part way through this book, because I’d totally misread the description of it. Spoilers, I guess. The book is about a girl who’s raped and falls pregnant. She’s also a hard-working cheerleader who wants to finish her high school career with a team win. All of this I knew. What I didn’t realize is that she gets an abortion…I thought the whole plot of the story was she decided to stay pregnant but still finish high school and participate on the cheer squad as well. I was totally convinced she was going to change her mind when the subject of getting an abortion came up, and then…she didn’t! If I had known that was where the story was going it would have been fine, but because I was expecting the opposite outcome, it was a big surprise and it kind of stunned me when it happened.

All in all, what I liked about this story was the way it presented cheerleading. I’m not a cheerleader, nor have I ever been anything close to it. But I appreciate that the cheerleaders in this story are athletes who support one another and put a lot of effort into something they’re passionate about. It was nice to see the sport treated as a legitimate activity, and I liked the balance of girls and guys on the team. But for me it seemed like the rape/abortion storyline was part of a different story. It kind of happens, there’s a few days of awkwardness at school, and then everyone sort of forgets about it and the story moves on. The main character deals with trying to remember who raped her throughout the novel, but even so it really didn’t seem like that was the point. It was a good story, and well-written, but it did seem a bit unbalanced.


Teen Idol – Meg Cabot, read by Elisabeth MossTeenIdol

I listened to this one because I had nothing else to listen to, and it was available for borrowing! It was pretty much how I expected. I didn’t dislike it, but I didn’t love it, either. The character of Jenny was sweet but annoyingly oblivious to the world around her, and the character of Luke was kind but also way too insightful for the whole two days he spent with Jenny and her friends. I wasn’t a fan of the narrator for this one, either, which definitely detracted from my enjoyment of the story. Still, for me it was a good fluff listen.




HowtoTrainDragonHow to Train Your Dragon – Cressida Cowell, read by David Tennant

So, I totally listened to this one because it was narrated by Tennant (although, in fairness, I have heard good things about this series). I really enjoyed it! It’s the type of book I can’t wait to read (or listen to, ’cause Tennant’s vikings are far better than mine ever could be) with my son when he’s older. I tried to watch the movie afterwards, but it was sooooo far off from the plot of the book, I couldn’t sit through it. Still, I’ll definitely look into listening to more of this series.




Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares – Rachel Cohn & David Levithan, read by Ryan Gesell & Tara SandsDashLily

I’ve known about this book forever, and have always liked the cover. I’ve listened to other books by this duo before as well, which were only okay listens for me. Add that to the fact that I’ve heard quite a few negative reviews about this one…it’s been enough to keep me at bay. But, I recently discovered a follow-up book will be out in the fall, and it’s also going to be holiday-focused. I tend to crave YA holiday reads, which aren’t easy to find. So I figured I’d listen to this one now, so I can read the new one at Christmastime.

I liked this book more than I’ve liked the other Cohn & Levithan stories I’ve listened to. I definitely liked Lily more than Dash, and I’m not totally convinced by their romance. But the book itself was enjoyable, and the supporting cast was a lot of fun. I’m glad I finally gave this one a chance!


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