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Here be all the books I read in January, in an attempt to keep me honest.  I’ve thrown in some quick summaries, ostensibly to entice others to read, but realistically so I can remember what any of these titles were about.  I’ve also thrown in a little bit of a review on each (though you can check my star ratings on my Goodreads page or my twitter (see: left)).  I’ve tried to keep them as spoiler-free as I could, so no cuts today, but proceed with caution just in case your definition of spoiler varies from mine.

Made You Up, Francesca Zappia

  • Alex is a schizophrenic girl trying to fit in at her new school after getting kicked out of her old one, and trying to figure out how many of the things in her life are hallucinations.
  • Weighing in: With that background in mind, the big reveal isn’t that big of a reveal, but still a really nice character beat, both for Alex and for those around her.  I don’t know how true the narration is to the schizophrenic experience, but it’s got some great character work throughout.
  • Worth reading, yay or nay?: Yay.

Ophelia, Lisa M. Klein

  • Hamlet as told from Ophelia’s perspective, which involves a secret marriage, a literal nunnery, and the usual amounts of murder and whining.
  • Weighing in: Seeing Hamlet from Ophelia’s perspective just makes him seem a little more of a douche, even through her lens of (misguided) teen love.  However, everything that happens after Ophelia and Hamlet part is pretty interesting, full of religious musings and whatnot.
  • Yay or nay?: Nay.

Prom & Prejudice, Elizabeth Eulberg

  • Does what it says on the tin, Pride & Prejudice taking place at a prep school, and centered around prom.
  • Weighing in: far from the worst book I’ve ever read, though of all of the P&P versions and adaptations that exist in the world, it’s hardly the most original or the best told.  Watch The Lizzie Bennet Diaries on Youtube instead, thank me later.
  • Yay or nay?: Nay.

The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall, Katie Alender

  • When Delia’s aunt dies, she leaves Delia her home – which just happens to be a former insane asylum, riddled with ghosts.
  • Weighing in: The first section of the book spends too much time hinting at the big twist that leads to the rest of the book, one that I feel would have been a much better reveal were it not for the artistic narrative attempts.  Still, this was a fun take on your standard ghost story.
  • Yay or nay?: Yay.

Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson

  • Melinda called the cops following an incident at a party in August, and is ostracized as a result when the school year starts.  She has no friends, is doing poorly in her classes, and is refusing to talk to just about everyone, about anything.
  • Weighing in: I am probably the only one who hasn’t read this book before, and I’m quite sad for it.  A great look at PTSD, and the idea that while confession may be good for the soul, it is not a magical cure-all for one’s problems, and not everything wraps up neatly.
  • Yay or nay?: Yay.

Rebel Belle, Rachel Hawkins

  • Southern belle Harper Price, overachiever, is at her Homecoming when she accidentally receives superpowers and finds out that she’s a Paladin fated to protect an Oracle from a terrible fate.
  • Weighing in: I love anything that tells you a girl can be a badass superhero while also managing to be girly.  Plus, the relationship dynamics in this are great, and while there’s never really a love triangle, there is a really interesting triangle in terms of relationship dynamics, that leads to a great conclusion.
  • Yay or nay?: Yay.

Things I Can’t Explain, Mitchell Kriegman

Great, Sara Benincasa

  • Another adaptive work, this time of The Great Gatsby.  Modern-day teens summering in the Hamptons, with the twist being that these interpretations of Nick, Daisy, and Gatsby are all girls.
  • Weighing in: Lesbians!  And lots of them.  Jacinta (Jay) and Delilah (Daisy), as well as Naomi (Nick)’s hometown best friend Skags.  Naomi’s mother is a self-made Martha Stewart-type figure trying desperately to fit in with the old money, and that in itself is a far more interesting story than the adaptation, which follows the original too closely to be really entertaining.
  • Yay or nay?: Nay.

Miss Mayhem, Rachel Hawkins

  • Sequel to Rebel Belle (now using a pageant as its setting in place of a Cotillion), so I won’t say anything about the summary for fear of spoiling the first.
  • Weighing in: The aforementioned relationship dynamics of the first book really get explored here, which lead to some interesting twists.
  • Yay or nay?: Yay.