Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sunday Sunshine: Scheduled-in-Advance Edition

Hello, all!  Hopefully, as you're reading this, I'm at Day Two of the SCBWI Winter Conference in New York City!

I'm really excited to go--I'm looking forward to a few days of nerding out, meeting up with blog friends, and learning a ton.  I'll be sure to post about it when I get back!  But in the meantime, here's the last of what I read in January--a whopping 15 books!  I think February may see a dip in the number of titles read, as I'll be challenging myself to a NaNo-paced re-write of my WiP--from scratch.  But I'm pleased with the amount of time I've carved out for reading even as I've had a busy, busy month.

What I Read This Week:

 Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and LifeBird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

See my blog post on Bird by Bird here!

This is Not a TestThis is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I heard a lot of people praise this book very highly, and I was definitely not disappointed. I read this one relatively slowly--not because it was paced slowly (exactly the opposite) but because I was busy, and because I didn't want it to end. I thought the dynamic between the teenage survivors of the zombie infection was fascinating.

I appreciated the use of the "stuck in a school" device without it turning into "so everybody falls in love!" There were intimate moments between characters, both emotional and physical, but I was glad that this zombie story didn't suddenly turn into "romance with some unpleasantness in the background", which is always a risk. I thought the way the relationships and characters unfolded made sense, or at least as much sense as anything can make when your town gets taken over by zombies. And I found the end to be both satisfying and ambiguous, which is a hard thing to pull off but when it's done well, I really like it.

If I could change anything, it would be to get more of the Sloane-Lily-their father relationship, either through Sloane's memories or her talking about it. I definitely saw enough to believe that Sloane would feel as strongly as she did; I just didn't see enough to feel it myself.

But really, this is a great story. It's a zombie story with strong characters and relationships, and a (small-r) relationship story with zombie action and adventure. This could be a total gateway book, if you think you don't like zombie stories. Give it a shot--it's certainly something new.

View all my reviews

And please join in my February Compliment Challenge!  Make someone's day and earn a donation for classrooms in need! 


  1. So nice to meet you and Jaime in person on Saturday! Looking forward to hearing how the rest of the conference was. :)

    1. Loved meeting you too! I'm finally rested and recovered and caught up enough to start doing conference posts--better late than never, right?

  2. I'm glad you liked THIS IS NOT A TEST... I'm such a Courtney Summers fan! And I'm so, so envious of your weekend. I saw some pictures Ghenet posted on Instagram and it looked like you all had a blast. I'm coming next time!

    1. Loved it--and just bought SOME GIRLS ARE! Can't wait to see what her contemporary stuff is like! I'd LOVE for you to come out to the Northeast--we'll see if you make it here first or if I get around to the California trip I've been wanting to do for...oh, five years or so?


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