Help! Book advice!

All righty, guys, here's the situation:

My grandparents have an AWESOME tradition at Christmastime in that they take each of their grandchildren out to eat, and then to a bookstore to pick books. Since I like surprises, I do things a little differently. I go to the bookstore, make a list of books, shorten that list down to five books, and then my grandma picks 2-3 books to give me.

That's where you come in.

Below I have my long list of 10 books. I need to bring it down to five. I want your opinions on two things:

General goodness



Because unfortunately, even if a book is AWESOME, I have a really hard time reading it if it has profanity. I'm fine with horror(you'll notice that a few of these are zombie books), unless it's just sick and wrong. I have a really dull inner eye, so zombies usually don't bother me.

Help please! here are the books!

PLEASE NOTE: Just because a book is eliminated from the list, doesn't mean I think it's a bad book, or I will never read it. I want to read ALL the books on this list, but that doesn't necessarily mean I want to OWN all of them. Remember, I'm trying to shorten this list down to just 5 books.

Suzanne Weyn
My Thoughts:
The premise sounds really interesting, but I struggled with Weyn's Bar code Tattoo series. Anyone read this? What did you think? Have you read her others?
Jonathan Maberry
My Thoughts:
I love Zombie books, but as always my concern is with profanity. Anyone read this? How is it?
Mary Hoffman
My Thoughts:
This has been around for a LONG time. I often get it confused with the Mortal Instruments (it's that "city of" thing). Thoughts?
Charlie Higson
My Thoughts:
Same issue as Rot and Ruin. Another zombie book. Profanity?
Erin Bow
My Thoughts:
Sounds cute, but I don't know much about it.
Robin McKinley
 My Thoughts:
My biggest struggle with McKinley is sometimes she's a little too detailed and wordy. I got lost in Spindles End and Chalice which makes me nervous to purchase this one.
Jennifer Donnelly
My Thoughts:
I don't know a lot about this one, but it seems to be popular.
Eliminated from list due to profanity.

Lauren Oliver
My Thoughts:
I really liked Delirium but this one sounds REALLY different.
Eliminated from list due to profanity coupled with sexual promiscuity.

Monica Hughes
My Thoughts:
This sounds cool, but it's really short, which usually means the story isn't flushed out.
D.M. Cornish
I've NEVER heard of this series, even though it's been out for a while. It sounds really cool. "Monster hunters"? Suh-weet!
Well? Can you help me out?

Please and thank you!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2010


  1. Wow, I haven't read any of these and of them I'm only really interested in reading Pegasus. I'll probably start Pegasus on Saturday or Sunday, so if your book-buying time slot isn't before then, I'll tell you how it is on wordiness. I know most people who have read it so far have raved, and I am a fan of McKinley (not as much Spindle's End, but YES to Chalice).

  2. Rot and Ruin is unique and extremely engaging. Very different for a zombie book (and I don't like zombie books in general). I liked this book a lot. I loved the relationship of the brothers most especially, plus the fact he makes you see zombies in a whole different way. There is a decent amount of profanity though, if I remember correctly.

    Plain Kate is also wonderful, but don't let the whimsical cover or description fool you. Man that had me twisting in my seat (and crying) in a number of places! And Taggle is now up there with Mogget for favorite talking cat characters (though Mogget will probably always top that list). But Taggle is fantastic. Very little to no swearing if I remember. The writing is also exquisite in several places.

    Before I Fall I've heard excellent things about. I'm planning on reading it really soon.

  3. The only one of those that I've read is "Before I Fall," which I LOVED but it definitely has swearing, teenage drinking, and sexual discussions. Sorry I can't help more!

  4. It makes me sad that you've eliminated Before I Fall. I don't remember there being a bunch of sweawing... Or promiscuity for that matter. There is a theme of sexuality but it's more the character herself exploring the idea of whether or not she's ready. Nothing actually happens. My hyper conservative mother read it and loved it. I'm not trying to get you to lower your morals or whatever, I just don't think that it should be eliminated. It has less swearing than stuff I've seen you review and way less sex than, say, Poison Study, which is in your recomended book bar. Before I Fall is one of my all time favorite books, it's probably the most original YA to come out in years, and it's one of those rare young adult books that actually makes you think about yourself and life and the world around you.

  5. I haven't read any of these books, but now you've just added several more to my TBR list! lol Thanks!

    I'm actually looking forward to reading Pegasus, I haven't bought it yet but it is on my Christams list. I agree with your point about her wordiness, but her stories always grab me so I usually overlook it.

  6. I am more than halfway through Factotum (and have read the first two books in the series)and there is no real profanity - all of it is made up words. You have probably never heard of The Foundling's Tale trilogy because the first two books, Foundling and Lamplighter, were under the series name Monster Blood Tattoo. The author changed it with the release of the third and final book.

  7. I've heard good things about Plain Kate, but I haven't read it myself.
    Love Robin McKinley's books, especially Pegasus (which is a really clean read).

  8. Kathleen,

    Really? Poison Study really only had the 1 sexual scene in the book. And yes, there was more in the later books. But it was clean, and they were adults.

    I got my information for BEFORE I FALL from the parental book review. And it listed a TON of very crude sexual things as well as drinking, smoking pot, etc. There is a big difference between the kind of romantic sexuality there is in the STUDY books, and the very crude, mocking sexuality many contemporary books have.

    But if you think that review (linked above) is innacurate, please let me know.

    Also, just because I've eliminated it from my list, doesn't mean I won't READ it. It just means I don't want my grandmother to buy it for me. :)

  9. Cornish! Pick Cornish's book! I don't remember any profanity, and all the books in the series are great!

  10. I really enjoyed Plain Kate. I started reading Pegasus and couldn't get into it, but if you're a big fan of McKinley, it's probably a safe bet. I haven't read the other ones.

  11. Monica Hughes is one of my all time favourite Canadian sci-fi YA authors and The Game (a re-print of Invitation to the Game) is one of her best! It is short. She wrote it back in the early 90's before YA books needed to be doorstoppers. I would highly recommend this (and any of her sci-fi books). Her work is entirely clean.

  12. PS - check out for mostly glowing reviews

  13. I found Plain Kate rather boring myself. Interesting, but boring. Yes, that is possible.

    I started Pegasus but it was so slow and I was so bored, that I finally allowed myself to stop reading. So, beyond the first fifty pages, I'm not sure. But those first fifty pages...BORING.

    Revolution does have a lot of profanity, so even if you don't buy it, I would highly recommend you give it a try. I loved it.

  14. I have only read Before I Fall from your list and I REALLY recommend it. It's a very fantastic contemporary novel.

    Good luck narrowing down your list! I know how difficult that can be. I hope you end up enjoying the books you do choose. :)

  15. Ooh, I just read Foundling and Lamplighter by DM Cornish (haven't gotten Factotum at my library yet), and I loved them! No swears, and while there is some violence, if you like zombie books, I'm sure this won't bother you.

  16. I've read both the zombie books. I rated Rot & Ruin as PG-13 because of some mild language (no F-bombs) and sexual innuendo (nothing graphic) and gore (it's not nearly as gory as other zombie books, though). I gave it a C grade as it was an engrossing read, but the writing's just average. I gave THE ENEMY a PG-13, too, since it's got mild language, but it's used frequently. No F-bombs, though. It's also gory and there's some sexual innuendo, but I don't remember anything graphic. HTH and yay for awesome grandparents!

  17. I didn't like Spindle's End by Robin Mckinley because of the wordiness problem, but I really loved Pegasus. The world was so magical and interesting I would recommend it, but the ending does have a huge cliff hanger. So, if you have a problem with cliff hangers then you might not want to pick up the series yet.

  18. Ahh but Revolution is SO GOOD, and the profanity isn't crass in any way....


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