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TBR Tuesday: books I’ll read by the end of the world (or year) (or so)

So, either the end of the world or the end of the year is coming up pretty quickly here, and my reading list for 2012 is still pitifully short, so I’m pushing to read a few more books by the end of the year. And library deadlines help out, too.

First, I remembered and recorded that I read Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber. YA author Ally Carter mentioned this book on Twitter, and I like her books, so I decided to check it out. It’s an intense YA action thriller. I really enjoyed it—but I was torn between reading faster to enjoy the story and reading slower to enjoy the incredibly fresh writing. (I do want to note that there’s a lot of violence, language and sexual themes, so it’s definitely an older YA.) The sequel, Perry’s Killer Playlist came out last month. I’ll go stick that in my TBR ;) .

Next, I’m in the middle of reading two library books: one on my Kindle, and one in paper. The paper one is due today, so I’m hoping I’ll have finished it by the time you read this: The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch. A bibliophile friend recommended it as a comp for my Nano novel. It’s a YA post-apocalyptic* novel set 15 years after the Collapse—so Stephen, our main character, never knew the world before. When his dad, the only person he has left, is gravely injured, Stephen, may just have to rely on on strangers who seem too good to be true in this world of chaos and backstabbing.

The story is engaging so far, and at times the writing really sparkles—which makes me all the sadder when it doesn’t. My husband devours pretty much anything post-apocalyptic and got to this one first. He liked it.

My Kindle library read is Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver. Confession time: This was due back at the library over a month ago. However, if I keep the WiFi off on my Kindle, I can finish the book and the library is free to loan out that copy (I think?). On the other hand, if I get any Kindle books for Christmas (like I’ve asked), I kinda need to turn the WiFi back on to get them—which returns my library book.

Oh, the story? Pandemonium is the sequel to Delirium, a YA dystopian* novel about a society that has eliminated the root of wars, conflict and strife: amor deliria nervosa. AKA love. A surgical procedure at the age of 18 “cures” love, and 17-year-old Lena can’t wait—until the deliria strikes her.

I’m sad that I’m having such a hard time getting into this one. I really enjoyed the first book in the series, but Pandemonium is switching between two timelines and I’m not fully engaged in either one yet. I’m <10% into the book, so I’m definitely still giving it a chance. The writing—noticing a trend?—is absolutely striking, but even that I enjoyed more in the first book. We’ll see.

I guess I need a backup read-before-the-end-of-the-world book, and that’s an easy choice: Feedback by Robison Wells. I read Variant, the first book in this YA semi-dystopian* “duology,” last year, and it totally freaked me out. It tells story of Benson, an orphan in the foster system who ends up at an exclusive private school, only to find there are no adults anywhere. He has to find a place in the gang-dominated social strata while trying to figure out what the heck’s going on here.

Again, this is a book my husband got to before me. I recommended Variant to him a year ago, and on a business trip last month, he finally picked up my Kindle edition on his phone. The next morning, he texted me to say “There’d better be a sequel to Variant!” quickly followed with “Do you have Feedback?” I waffled for a few minutes only because the book was on my Christmas list, but then I broke down and bought it for him.

I haven’t had a chance to get to it (ahem, see above—books with deadlines), but I’m coming for you, Feedback. Soon. (Also, I’d still like the hardback for Christmas, since I have Variant in hardback, too.)

What are your last few reads of the year? Come share your favorites and your TBRs! And, um, if you know any good adult books? Because this is getting a little crazy here . . . (I swear, I’m a grown up who doesn’t even write YA! Much.)

*Some people classify post-apocalyptic and dystopian novels as the same thing, but they’re not. A post-apocalyptic novel takes place after an apocalypse (what a concept). Sometimes, after the apocalypse, a controlling society that appears perfect and espouses high ideals but actually has a deep flaw that usually means oppressing someone or something. That’s a dystopia, and while the society might still be dealing with the fallout of the destruction, it’s opposition to the dystopia, not surviving in the wreckage of a society, that forms the basis of the dystopian novel’s plot. Rob Wells himself stipulates that Variant and Feedback aren’t really dystopian.

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