Jennifer Pickrell

YA Writer

January 2013 Reading Round-up


(click title for Goodreads link)

The Boy Recession by Flynn Meaney

Sweet, cute and funny. A nice, light read. In one scene, Kelly overhears some girls asking Hunter if he uses conditioner because his hair is soft. He says he rubs a bar of soap over it. I’ve got a thing for low-key boys like that. Case in point: My husband.

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

A twist on Persuasion by Jane Austen, which made me swoon hardcore when I read it years ago.

“You pierce my soul.”

I just melted into a puddle.

There were some interesting issues raised in this book, and I found myself questioning who was right or wrong. It’s no wonder Elliot was so torn. I love books that make me think.

And Elliot! She was kick-ass and strong without fighting the forces of darkness or wielding weapons or anything of that sort.

Butter by Erin Jade Lange

I thought this book was handled well (especially the ending). It could have easily become something preachy or over-the-top, but Lange kept Butter realistic. Even when he was being a jerk to his mom or feeling sorry for himself, I could always understand his motivation and thinking. And I liked him – he was funny and talented and smart. After I finished, I recommended it to my mom.

How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford

The tenuous friendship between Bea and Jonah drove this book. As someone looking in from the outside, I could see how fragile the whole situation was and I kept waiting for everything to come crashing down. I understood Bea’s fascination with Jonah, although I didn’t really like him. The situation with Bea’s parents felt a bit rushed, although maybe because she was so caught up in helping Jonah that nothing else seemed to matter.

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

I will say up-front that everyone spoke a bit too eloquently in some places, which didn’t feel entirely accurate, especially when it came to Mike Schwartz. But I can overlook that because these people made me feel all kinds of feelings. I wanted them (minus Pella who I hated), and Westish College to be real. I wanted to stand next to Melville’s statue before I went to cheer for the Harpooners baseball team. The world-building was fantastic, in other words.

And I’m a sucker for “what if” scenarios. What if Henry’s throw hadn’t gone off-course? What if no one had been in the path of the ball? What if Henry had been able to instantly shake off his self-doubts?

Plus, Mike Schwartz. I pretty much loved everything about him. I won’t even try to explain. It just is.

Finally. Baseball. As Schwartz muses (and here you’ll see what I mean by over-eloquence, although it does make a great point about the beauty and loneliness that is baseball):

Baseball, in its quiet way, was an extravagantly harrowing game. Football, basketball, hockey, lacrosse – these were melee sports. You could make yourself useful by hustling and scrapping more than the other guy. You could redeem yourself through sheer desire.

But baseball was different. Schwartz thought of it as Homeric – not a scrum but a series of isolated contests. Batter versus pitcher, fielder versus ball. You couldn’t storm around, snorting and slapping people, the way Schwartz did while playing football. You stood and waited and tried to still your mind. When your moment came, you had to be ready, because if you fucked up, everyone would know whose fault it was. What other sport not only kept a stat as cruel as the error but posted it on the scoreboard for everyone to see?


My TBR-list at the beginning of January was 972. It is now at 981. Hmmm. To be fair, I think most of the books I added were releases that don’t come out until 2014, so I can’t read them until then.

My TBR-shelf was at 53. It’s now 49! Small victories.

How is everyone else doing with their lists?

Author: Jennifer Pickrell

I write YA contemporary filled w/ romance, angst & family drama. Things I like: cats, snacks, baseball, green tea, taking pictures of trees & movies so bad, they’re good.

7 thoughts on “January 2013 Reading Round-up

  1. I loved ART OF FIELDING, but I totally agree about the overly eloquent speech (and the fact that it didn’t seem to be set in contemporary times, which I think was the intent). I want to go to Westish, and Mike Schwartz is the best.

  2. I loved Butter and How to Say Goodbye in Robot. Thanks for sharing the others.

  3. Oh, these books look good. You know you’re making my tbr pile enormous right?

  4. I loved BUTTER and FOR DARKNESS, but haven’t read the others. They sound great, though!

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