To say that my May was busy would be quite the understatement. Sorry to hold this off a month, but I just had way too much going on. Never fear, I have a great May reading blog post to write up as well!

I thought about doing the two months together, but it was just far too many books. Instead, I’m going to split it up over two entries. Because of doing that, I’m going to dispense with the Alphabet Challenge update until I write up May’s later this week.

April was a great month. I broke through fifty read books, the challenge was fun, and I enjoyed several of my reads tremendously.

For my group challenge of “9 in ’09” we were challenged with picking nine different series and reading from them. This worked real well especially after the challenge a few months ago for reading nine new authors. My crowded bookcase has loads of different series on it, and I knew what series I wanted to hit up first. I pulled books for my list super fast and got to work.

It was hard work only because I had to finish up a quilt I’d started and work on costumes for the upcoming conventions. But my favourite thing after a long day of work is to curl up on my sofa with a good book and a quilt. The sad thing was I was so tired that many a night I fell asleep just like that. Darn sofa being too comfy and quilts being too snuggley!

April ’09 Challenge Reads:
1. Max Ride Book 2: School’s Out Forever
2. Vampire Academy Book 1: Vampire Academy
3. Mercy Book 4: Bone Crossed
4. Accidental Book 3: The Accidental Human
5. Alpha and Omega Book 1: Cry Wolf
6. Broken Hearts Book 2: Don’t Talk Back to Your Vampire
7. Study Book 2: Magic Study
8. Glass Book 1: Storm Glass
9. Doctor Who ??? Too many to count: Forever Autumn

I also read
10: Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports

Without further ado, here’s my write up!

1. Maximum Ride #2: School’s Out Forever by James Patterson – I’ve really enjoyed this series. I like a good conspiracy theory, especially if it involves mad scientists. The other thing I enjoyed about this book was that my family had read it so we got to discuss it over dinner. Even my husband read it! There was a lot of food for thought, so it worked well for dinnertime conversation. The story was well thought out, the voice of the main character was interesting, and though it was YA it was one that adults could read and really enjoy.

2. Vampire Academy – This was the first in the Vamp Academy series. I struggled through the first part of it because the author pulled one of those “Dump you in on the action” starts and so I had to wait to figure out just WHY the action was happening. This was another YA novel, but I must say that I liked it. The vampire societies were very well thought out and I liked the idea that kiddo vamps had a private boarding school. The real interesting thing was the taboos in the culture. Seems that’s often the thing most forgotten, but not here. I have earmarked this series for possible future reads – should I either get a hold of the books or I finish the bookcase of books. I’m interested to see what is going to happen with the two characters and their very symbiotic relationship. I definitely recommend this. Especially if you like Twilight – it’s far better!

3. Mercy: Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs- OK, these books keep getting better and better. I mean seriously. Each book you learn more about the different paranormal cultures, the characters definitely grow/develop along the way, and the further mystery of just what is up with Mercy and Skinwalkers gets cleared up more and more. In this book the vamps have decided they are not so keen on Mercy’s past actions. Yikes. I do like how this very much could stand alone, however the author definitely makes sure to tie in the ongoing story arc over the books. I’d love a look at her writing room… she most have one heck of a timeline going on!

4. Accidental: The Accidental Human – OK, these books are just outright fun. I love the BobbySue Cosmetics because it is just a riot. Once more you have tie ins to the other books yet this one could stand alone. In the end of the last book you could see where this one was going to start off. What I loved about this third installment is the snagging of a MAN to spin the colour wheels. To the author – kudos on the hitting up of the drag queen pageant for Mr Make Up’s first attempt to sell the cosmetics! I also really liked the whole OTHER side of the coin of this book. In the first two you found two normal humans having accidents and waking up paranormal. In this one you started out with a vamp and he woke up human. He then had to learn how to cope with being human after living la vida vamp for so long. If you want a book sure to give you giggles… this is the one for you.

5. Alpha and Omega 1: Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs – Ok so this was kind of a cheat. This is a book that is in the same universe as the Mercy books. It runs along the same timeline, too. However this jumps you to the head of the North American Werewolves. The thing I like about Briggs is she’s got the whole wolf society nailed. What else I like is she introduces the Omega. Everyone know about Alpha – that’s the top dog. All other dogs come below him. Briggs sets up an entire hierarchy which is beyond fascinating, but she throws in the Omega for fun. What’s an Omega? Well, that’s the fun of this book… you get to find out along with the Omega herself! I really like this world and the only problem I had with reading this book was it wrapped up that is out… so now I have to sit around and wait for Briggs to write something else. Ack!

6. Broken Hearts Book 2: Don’t Talk Back to Your Vampire – These books are quick little afternoon reads. They are definitely “paranormal romance”. This series, though, is supremely crazy. You have seven head vamps that each have their own super power that they pass on to their “descendants”. Best of all you have a town with a large number of single parents that all managed to get vamped. Ooops. So now the normals have fled and the paranormal community has moved in. They have their own base of operations, and it’s in Oklahoma! I think the wacky nature of this series is what draws me to it. That and the fact it’s the perfect read for a stormy afternoon.

7. Study Book 2: Magic Study by Maria V Snyder – I was at Balticon the year MVS won an award for her breakout novel Poison Study. I gotta tell you MVS is not only a great lady, but a great writer. Just so you know, the study part of the title? It’s because not only is the character learning these things, so is MVS. She spends a great deal of time educating herself. Poison Study was horrible… never go to one of her poison tastings… HAHA Just kidding… apparently her husband has the worst job on earth – he is involved with CHOCOLATE. MVS will actually do poison tastings that deal with trying different sorts of chocolate. So you can experience the different textures and flavours… it’s like becoming a poison taster without the worry and danger(unless you are diabetic). In Magic Study, Yelena goes off to learn about her homeland and her magical powers. She has to deal with people not liking her, being behind her peers, and about a zillion other problems. I liked the look into fashions of the various people as well as everything else. I felt this a great follow up to a really great book. I really recommend the Study series.

8. Glass Book 1: Storm Glass – It’s another Maria book. This is set in the same world, but it involves a character you meet in Magic Study. What was fun about this read was it was an ARC and the book wasn’t on store shelves yet! This book was definitely geared at a younger crowd in my opinion. It was a bit easier to read, and dealt with a few more of the schoolish problems than either of the Study books that I have read. That aside, the story was well thought out and I really liked hearing about some of these other aspects of the magical world that Snyder created. MVS spent a lot of time learning a lot about glass making and it shows. I feel like I learned something from this book as well as enjoying a fantastic read. The real bummer is I forgot to take my Arc to Balticon this year to get it autographed like I was supposed to. Gah. MVS laughed with me. Oh well… next time!

9. Doctor Who: Forever Autumn – I chose this one because I knew it was a good afternoon read and I was running out of time. The bane of being so busy, I suppose! I didn’t budget my time well for reading this month, but that’s OK. I love Doctor Who and since we’re living without the Doctor for the bulk of this year, I thought it was a good option. I’d just come off the Easter special and was raring to go. The bad thing was the Easter Special was AWESOME and this book’s story was eh to me. Oh well, that happens. The sad thing is that you combine the two for a contrast and it was not good. C’est la vie!

10. Max Ride – Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports by James Patterson – I had a couple of days and so I went ahead and snagged this book. I figured I might as well try to get through another one while I was between challenges, since the kids and Sir Megs had already read them. This wraps up the Maximum Ride series and I really liked the outcome. Talk about interesting. Those bird-kids really kicked some bootie! My favourite parts were the clips of Fang’s blog. Cool. I definitely recommend the MR series to parents. The books are clean but thought provoking. They are fun yet series at the same time. The science is iffy yet scarily becoming something we could see happening in the not so distance future.

My stats at the end of April were:

Books read for Challenge: 9
Books read for April: 10
Books read for 2009: 55

Not too bad, right? It’s only reading through April and I’ve already 55 books… yay! That’s gotta help with the crazy reading list, right? That’s what you think…

Watch for the May reading list!!

–Lady O