In December I read…

It’s the last month of the book genre challenge! I don’t know if I’m sad or excited about this. I guess in a way, it’ll be a shame because I don’t want to fall back into only reading the same genre over and over again, but at the same time, it’ll be nice to pick something up because I like the sound of it, rather than the need to fullfill my challenge. If anyone can think of a good reading challenge for me for next year, I would love to hear about it though!

girl onlineGirl Online – Zoe Sugg (or was it?)
This month was romance, but as you will see from this post, I kind of needed to read Girl Online because I had so many conflicting feelings on it. Like I said at the time, I don’t have anything against Zoella/Zoe Sugg/ Whatever you want to call her, but I do have a major problem with books being published based on the author’s popularity rather than the quality of the writing. Girl Online isn’t a terrible book, far from it, but it also isn’t brilliant, it’s average at best and honestly, I could have forgiven that if it was the first attempt of writing that Zoe has ever done. But knowing it was written by a professional writer, it really should have been better. There was a minor character called Leah in it though, and ya’ll know how much I love it when I find characters called Leah!

1010 things I’ve learned about love – Sarah Butler
I picked this up because this month is all about romance and I assumed that a book with the word love in the title would be all about romance, but it was a different kind of love altogether. The story is told from alternating points of view interspersed with lists of 10 things on certain subjects. While I enjoyed it, the lists did get a bit boring very quickly and there were elements of Daniel’s story which were bordering on creepy. But, an enjoyable read nonetheless and something that would be perfect for a beach read.

inconInconceivable – Ben Elton
I always use this book as an example of when films end up being a bit better than their bookish counterparts. I’m a big fan of Ben Elton’s writing style and this book is objectively a humourous look at a distressing situation, but at least in the film, Lucy is a 3d character and Sam actually appears to be in love with her, despite the stupid mistake that he makes. Inconceivable is a good way to get into Ben Elton’s back catelogue, but if you are an ardent feminist (like myself) you might be a bit better off skipping the book and heading straight for the film. Plus, it’s Hugh Laurie and he can make even the most dislikable characters likeable.

rosieThe Rosie Effect – Graeme Stinson
I read the Rosie Project back last year (review here) and really enjoyed it, though I wasn’t entirely sure that a sequel was necessary, I was excited to see more of Don and Rosie’s life after the end of the last book. Having now read it, I’m still not convinced that we needed a sequel, but we do need more books about people like Don and so I’m not going to turn my nose up. Just as enjoyable as the last with more endearing awkward situations for Don to get himself stuck into and kind of perfect for romance month!

everyEverything Leads to You – Nina La Cour
A sweet little lesbian love story (I haven’t read any LGBT fiction in so long!) it’s set in LA and is about super young kids who some how manage to all have amazing jobs working in Hollywood which took me a little while to start believing, but the slow burning romance is lovely and honestly, when I started romance month for the book genre challenge, this was exactly the sort of romance I was hoping for, so four for me Leah Coco, you go Leah Coco!

islaIsla and the Happily Ever After – Stephanie Perkins
I made no secret of how much I loved Anna and how little I loved Lola, but despite that, I was still eagerly anticipating the release of Isla. I think its because i’m a bit in love with Stephanie Perkins. Anyway, I got Isla and as it was romance month, I thought it would be the perfect time to read it. I have to say, though i enjoyed it more than lola (the Parisian setting will always be my favourite) it was no where near the standard of Anna. Both Isla and Josh were a bit meh, their romance was a bit meh and the conflict was so convoluted it might as well have just not been there. It did make me want to run of to Barcelona though, so props for that! (Also, right, why did they have to change the covers for the release of this book? NOW NONE OF THE COVERS MATCH.)

loveLove in the time of Global Warming – Francesca Lia Block
I have wanted to read this ever since I first saw it grace my tumblr dashboard, after many long months searching, I finally found that the kindle store were giving away the first five chapters free and well, after reading those, I had no qualms about paying the extra £2 something for the rest of the book. FLB’s writing style seems to polarise most readers according to goodreads, but i thought it was beautiful and melodic and I particularly enjoyed all the diverse representation.

heirThe Midnight Heir – Cassandra Clare
I saw that the Bane Chronicles was out now and realised I had a load of these that I hadn’t read, that and I really wanted to reach my goal of 100 books this year! So I cracked into this one, I can’t say that my life has been benefited greatly from it! I was excited to return to the life of Will Herondale, my special snowflake, though. Like Magnus, I have a weakness for Will Herondale.

riseThe Rise of the Hotel Dumort – Cassandra Clare
See above.
Not brilliant, but not the worst of the Bane Chronicles I’ve read. I just think it’s become a little bit like Cassandra Clare is writing fanfic of her own books now. I guess I’m bored of Magnus and the shadow hunters, I want something new. I am still tempted by the Bane Chronicles anthology though…

 

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This is the last month in the book genre challenge! The month of December was all about romance!
This books that featured romantic story lines that i read this month were: Girl Online, Inconceivable, The Rosie Effect, Everything Leads to You and Isla and the Happy Ever After.
I’ve really enjoyed this book genre challenge next year, but I am looking forward to not being quite so contained with what i can read next year! Also, I have to thank Cassandra Clare for writing her own fanfics, because without the very short editions of Magnus Bane’s adventures, I would not have completed my goodreads challenge this time!

 

Goodbye 2014!

Another year over and we’re still together…

Irrelevent song is irrelevant.
Anyway, Hello! Happy end of the year to you all, it’s time for me to reflect on one of my three challenges for this year, those of you who’ve been here since the first of January and beyond, will know that this year, I have embarked on a 365 (which finishes next week), a Goodreads challenge to read 100 books in a year and the Book Genre Challenge hosted by eternal-books on Tumblr.

These are my thoughts on finishing the Book Genre Challenge, which at times, was actually really difficult – which was sort of the point. I wanted to do something that would really widen my reading habits and get me into things I wouldn’t have looked at otherwise and it certainly did that. Without this challenge, I probably wouldn’t have ventured into steampunk or sci fi and I certainly wouldn’t have gone out of my way to find classics to read! For those that missed it, or maybe want to try this is into the coming year, the Book Genre Challenge gives you a different genre each month, with the view that you have to read at least one book from each specified genre until the end of the year. I’ve been summing this up month by month, but here’s a comprehensive list of how I did!

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January – Historical Fiction.

Code Name Verity – Elizabeth Wein,
The Return of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

February – Dystopia

 Under the never sky – Veronica Rossi,
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Attwood,
The Lux Guardians – Saruuh Kelsey

March – Contemporary

(At the time, I thought everything I read counted, but on reflection, turns out only one of them was listed as contemporary fiction on Goodreads!)
Perfect – Rachel Joyce.

April – Fantasy

The Last Werewolf – Glen Duncan,
Good Omens – Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman,
The Fifth Wave – Rick Yancey
Death’s Daughter – Amber Benson

May – Steampunk

Leviathan – Scott Westerfeld,
Boneshaker – Cherie Priest,
The last cogman – Rebecca Ferrier

June – Science Fiction

A Scanner Darkly – Phillip K Dick,
Breakfast of Champions – Kurt Vonnegut
Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card

July – Classics

A tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
Girl with the Pearl Earring – Tracy Chevelier
Jeeves and Wooster Omnibus – P G Wodehouse

August – Fairy Tale Retelling

Dorothy Must Die – Danielle Page
The Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns – Chris Colfer (well, I read half of it!)
The book of lost things – John Connelly
Spindles End – Robin McInnery

September – Mystery

The Cuckoos Calling – Robert Galbraith
Rivers of London – Ben Aaranovich
Dangerous Girls – Abigail Haas
Death comes to Pemberley – P D Winters
The Big Four – Agatha Christie
The long, dark teatime of the soul – Douglas Adams

October – Paranormal

Point Pleasant – Jen Archer Wood
The Immortal Rules – Julia
The Vampire Academy –
Hemlock Grove –

November – Mythological retelling

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief – Rick Riordan
Dreamless – Josephine Angelini

December – Romance

Girl Online – Zoe Sugg
The Rosie Effect – Graeme Stinson
Everything Leads to You – Nina LaCour
Isla and the Happily Ever After – Stephanie Perkins

 

Like I said earlier, science fiction and steampunk aren’t particularly two genres that are normally on my radar, I tend not to read classics all that much either, mostly because I feel like some of them are cumbersome and that people seem to think that you’re all kinds of pretentious if you try and read a million classics, but I also found tracking down mythological retellings quite difficult – you have no idea how many libraries I scoured looking for some kind of Norse mythology retelling that wasn’t Odd and the Frost Giants (which I ended up reading in January having had it for Christmas.)
Out of all of them, I found steampunk to be the most interesting, even though it wasn’t something I read a lot about, I was familiar with it and I did really enjoy searching for books in that genre and reading the different interpretations of it. Contemporary was surprisingly the one I did the least well with, especially considering that I think anything published in the last five years counts as contemporary fiction. Paranormal was my least favourite of the genres. So. Much. Twilight. Style. Books. I was rather hoping for like, Supernatural, but in book form. Oh how I wish that were the case. Though I did manage to track down actual published Destiel fan fic which was AMAZING.
Anyway, I have really enjoyed this particular challenge, I feel enlightened and think that I may have to expand my horizons into the coming year and read more mystery, more fairy tale and more mythological retellings because once I found books in those categories, they were really interesting.

So, all that remains for me to say is thank you for sticking with me for so long, thank you for putting up with all these posts and for actually reading about my stupid life and to ask that if you can think of another challenge to take me through this year, I would love to hear it!

Hope your 2015 treats you well!

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In October I read…

This month’s challenge in the book genre challenge is paranormal and it took me an embarrassingly long time to work out that it’s paranormal month because it’s halloween in October. Shhh. It’s been a long month!
I spent the beginning part of the month in Berlin, so I didn’t have an awful lot of time to do much reading, plus SUPERNATURAL IS BACK YO. Anyway, here’s everything that I read in October!

pointPoint Pleasant – Jen Archer
This started out life as Destiel fan fic – for those of you that don’t know, Destiel is my OTP and I will go down with this ship. Anyway, Point Pleasant of course had names etc changed for it’s general release, but it was the perfect thing to start off this month, scary, sweet, with paranormal beings. Actually, and it usually takes a lot for me to heap so much praise on something, but this was genuinely one of the best things I have read all year and I cannot rate it enough! reviewed here.

lifeLife After Life – Kate Aitkinson
This was recommended to me and the premise intrigued me, also I was about to go to Berlin when I picked this up and there are parts of it set during the two world wars and in the city of Munich, which although isn’t Berlin, is in the same country as Berlin, so… Anyway, this is the story of a girl called Ursula Todd who dies and ends up being resurrected over and over again and each time she comes back, she lives an alternative version of her life. The writing is wonderfully poetic, the continuous resurrections are a little repetitive and dull after a while and while we’re talking about it, I’ve noticed other reviews don’t include trigger warnings so – there is sexual assault, abortion, ptsd and spouseal abuse in this. Just in case you were planning to read this and those things are triggering for you.

rulesThe Immortal Rules – Julie Kagawa.
This is exactly the sort of book I was scared I was going to end up reading this month. Basically, its a dystopia, where the world has been taken over by vampires and their society is the one that makes all the rules and the humans are either slaves to the vampires or living in slums. Allie starts out living in the slums until one day something horrific happens to her and she gets turned into a vampire and her sire happens to be super important, but not like other vampires. Le sigh. I think I might come back to it on a different ocassion, the writing wasn’t terrible but the story was a little cliched and I just wasn’t in the right head space for it.

hemlockHemlock Grove – Brian McCreevy
I watched the tv show last year and series two debuted earlier this year and seriously, there is not a gif in the world that accurately sums up the level of WTF with this book. This is the book equivelant of marmite, you are either going to love it or hate it. It is so bad it is bording on genius, but I love it all the same. I think the book shows Roman in a slightly different light than on the TV show and the chapter titles are hilarious. Plus, I managed to find an absolutely genius quote in there to grace my #LoveThisQuote feature!

vamVampire Academy – Richelle Mead
I don’t know whether you guys know this about me, but I am a sucker (pun intended) for trashy vampire novels. I bloody love vampires. I like stories about evil, blood sucking, human eating ones, I like broody tortured ones who eat animals, I like ones that join rock bands, I even a bit like Twilight. For the trashy vampireness about it, there isn’t much else that the book offers. Which is why I really wanted to read this. Its a bording school for vampires, what more could you want? Unfortunately, this was far too trashy even for me, I just did not like it at all. Sorry, but this is one vampire series I won’t be reading any more of.

envThe Last Little Blue Envelope – Maureen Johnson
I adore Maureen and I loved 13 Little Blue Envelopes, but this sequel was so unncecessary. I liked how the first book ended without any closure about the last envelope, I like that what started our as Ginny trying to find out about her aunt ended up with her finding herself, I loved everything about it, even the crazy notion that her parents would just let her gallivant around Europe without even a mobile phone for several months. But this, it was just so contrived, the adventures were a little… Pointless? Both love interests were complete asshats and Ginny seemed to have lost her tenacity from the end of the first book to this one. Sorry Maureen, but some stories don’t need sequels, this one didn’t.

hsFinding Harry Styles – G B Hope
I was sent this for review from the lovely people at Netgalley and oh my God. If there is one thing I love more than Harry Style’s hair, it’s dystopian fiction, so a dystopian novel about a girl desperately seeking One Direction before the apocalypse happens is obviously all kinds of genius. It’s not the best written book I’ve ever read and I wouldn’t recommend that you run out immediately to your shelf, but it’s a bit of fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Reviewed here.

 

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This month’s genre was the very broad subject of ‘paranormal’ and I read: Point Pleasant, The Immortal Rules, Hemlock Grove and the Vampire Academy. I really wanted to enjoy the Immortal Rules and the Vampire Academy, I am a lover of trashy vampire fiction and both of these should have been right up my street, I just don’t think I was in the right head space to be reading them. Hemlock Grove, which should have been god awful was actually really enjoyable and Point Pleasant was the best thing ever!

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In September I read…

Welcome to Mystery Month on the Book Genre Challenge!
I’ve been waiting for this bit of the challenge since I decided to do this challenge. I am super interested in criminology and did a course earlier this year in forensic science, I don’t read an awful lot of mysteries or crime novels, even though Sherlock Holmes was always a firm favourite of mine growing up, so I was looking forward for an excuse to get into some mystery novels and honestly, the ones I’ve read this month have been top notch!

17684327The Cuckoos Calling – Robert Galbraith
I mentioned in my review that this was something that I’d had my eye on for a while, but wanted to wait until people sort of forgot that it was J K Rowling in disguise. I was so happy that I had to read mysteries this month! It meant I finally got round to reading it! Actually a splendid book, I really enjoyed it and it’s made me hungry for more crime novels, which is precisely what I wanted this book genre challenge to do! I liked it so much, I reviewed it.

cursed2Cursed – Jennifer L Amentrout
The by product of Pushing Daisies and X Men.
It’s a little Twilighty in places, but kind of fun and is great for a quick read, it took me about two days to finish it and even with the few problems that are in it, I really enjoyed it, plus it has some literary eye candy, which is always good. Review can be found here.

riversRivers of London – Ben Aaronovitch
A very peculiar story, I really liked it, but I’m having issues trying to place it in a genre, I’m counting it as a mystery due to the fact that there are police officers and they are working on a case, but it is also a supernatural, humorous, light hearted YA style book. If I had to describe it to someone, I would say that if Harry Potter finished his academic career at Hogwarts and went to work for the Metropoliton Police force, this would be book 8. If you like wizards, supernatural/paranormal stories and mysteries, this book encompasses all of those things. Plus, sometimes it’s nice to read something that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

207571521Love and Other Unknown Variables – Shannon Lee Alexander
Oh dear God I am in a glass case of emotion. I wasn’t sure about this when I started it, but then, once the story got going I got completely suckered in and ended up staying up til two in the morning sobbing into my kindle just to finish it. This is not a book to read in public, but it is a book for people who love John Green and more importantly, To Kill a Mockingbird. Plus, the cover is hella pretty and it features references to Marvel characters. Review here.

18158374Dangerous Girls – Abigail Haas
Woah, woah, woah.
Just hold up.
I can’t. I can’t even. This is just incredible. Just absolutely addictive, every good adjective you can think of, this book is it. Has anyone else read it because by God I need someone to discuss the ending with! I wanted to review it so hard, but I couldn’t think of a way to do it without completely destroying the ending!

be4 The before now and the after then – Peter Monn
Took me a little while to get into, but once I got to about 30% I got really into it… Until about 65%. Then it started to feel like a bit of a chore again. Reviewed for you here, wasn’t by any means perfect, but also, not terrible, I’d have quite happily slapped one or two characters and the grammar and spelling was really an issue for me at certain points, but you it did feature LGBT POC which is a massive tick for me.

pembDeath comes to Pemberly – P D Winters.
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a a good writer  in possession of a good fortune must be in want of creating a homage to other great writers. It is also a universally acknowledged truth that Pride and Prejudice fanfiction just does not work unless it contains zombies. Whilst I could get a real feel of what PD Winters was trying to do, this just fell a bit flat for me. I’ve read Pride and Prejudice, I don’t need a previously on to be dotted about between chapters. Also, Lizzie seemed to become more and more subservient as the book went on and pretty much became unrecognisable from the Lizzie Bennett we all know and love, the mystery was just plain bizarre and I still have absolutely no idea how the conclusions were reached.

fourThe big four – Agatha Christie
I’ve wanted to get into Agatha Christie for what feels like an eternity and have never gotten around to it, my local libraries don’t seem to have a single Poirot book in their possession, what is that all about?! Finally, I managed to borrow one from a friend and although I’m told this isn’t the best Poirot story, I really enjoyed it. His deductions are a little harder to see than those of Holmes which are downright obvious after they’re explained, but it was fun nonetheless! I’m hoping to find more Poirot and maybe get some Miss Marple on the go now too! Also I’m starting to ship Poirot and Hastings… Is that bad? Pastings? Hoirot?

teaThe Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul – Douglas Adams.
I read the first Dirk Gently book a while ago and to be honest, it’s so random I sort of forgot that he was a detective until I was skimming through my titles and saw this! It might not be Poirot standard detecting, but Dirk Gently is a holistic detective and he does manage to solve some very peculiar mysteries. Plus Douglas Adams is one of my all time faves so I’m always happy to read something he’s written.

belBelzhar – Meg Wolitzer.
I was super excited to pick this up, but I was a little disappointed to be honest… Every review I have read has made mention of it referencing the Bell Jar, one of my favourite books of all time, but there wasn’t much Bell Jarness about it. I feel like my review was a bit negative, but would love to know what you all thought of it! If you’ve read it, what did you think? Have you read the Bell Jar? If not, get on it immediately!

smokeBoy in the Smoke – Maureen Johnson
Well it was about time that I read this! I adore the Shades of London series and I picked this up on World Book Day months ago when they were released especially for the occasion. It was very short – the perfect length to see me to the end of the month! It was great to see Stephan’s development and more of his backstory and it has made me very excited for the Shadow Cabinet!

 

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For mystery month (which sounds like it should be a tv show) I read: The Cuckoos Calling, Rivers of London, Dangerous Girls, Death comes to Pemberly, The Big Four and the Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul. Next month I get to read paranormal stories, this isn’t something that I read an awful lot of, so if you guys can recommend me anything, I’d be grateful!

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In August I read…

How in the name of all that is holy is it already nearly September? Dear God, I will be 26 by the time I next post this feature! It seems like it was only Christmas like a day ago. What the hell is going on?! Anyway, now the middle aged British moan about how fast time flows is over, let’s talk about the books I read this month! I was very concerned about this month’s genre, not quite as much as last month where I was supposed to be reading classical novels, which didn’t turn out to that bad after all, but this month was Fairy Tale Retellings and I didn’t really know where to start! I know August isn’t quite over yet, but as I’ve been in bed with a mystery illness for the past few days, I just want to get back on the internet, so blog it is!

summer1 The Summer Guest – Emma Hannigan
I was sent this by Bookbridgr, I didn’t end up being selected for the blog tour, but they were nice enough to send me a copy of the book anyway and seeing as it is summer and all, I thought it would be the perfect book to read during August. I’ll be honest, I am always grateful for books to review, but this did drag in places and I think it would have been much better if read on a beach or by a pool. It does have wonderful female friendships which was actually quite refreshing and it made me want to moan about the inherent sexism in classing this as chick lit, I mean, there are men out there that would also enjoy this, but anyway, if you’re heading off on holiday, give it a read. You can see my review here.

18053060Dorothy Must Die – Danielle Page
I know that the Wizard of Oz isn’t technically a fairy tale and Dorothy must Die isn’t technically a retelling, but I do what I want, deal with it.
This got loads of bad reviews on goodreads and while some of those points are valid, I actually really enjoyed this! I like the wizard of oz books more than the film, I like the Wicked stage show more than the book series and I was heavily traumatised and still sometimes have nightmares about the film Return to Oz. Anyway, this was a fun romp through Oz with a modern day protagonist and shows a different side to Dorothy and like I said, I am counting it as a fairy tale retelling. I was in two minds about reading this because of the whole Full Fathom Five thing… So I was glad I borrowed rather than bought this, but still. Not sure I want to be endorsing this.

roomies Roomies – Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando
Practically perfect in every way. It’s rare to say that about a book and rarer still to do an impression of Julie Andrews when saying it about a book, but this is the story I wish I’d had when I was getting ready to go to university. It’s honest and real and has such an amazing friendship building that I was kind of sad when it ended. Review here.

 

Chris Colfer's THE LAND OF STORIESThe Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns – Chris Colfer
I have a bit of a thing about Chris Colfer, I think he’s a great actor and a very talented guy, but I just do not get on with his writing style at all. I read the first TLOS book a few years ago and although I really liked the story, I found the narration to be a little to inconsistent for my liking and then I read Struck by Lightning and found one of the most irritating book characters known to man. So I didn’t hold out much hope for this. Again, the story was top notch, the story telling was not. Sorry Chris. I ended up not finishing this, giving up just over half way, it was just too slow going and I think it could have done with an editor. Sorry!

swans1Paper Swans – Jessica Thompson
A delightful romance with themes of mental health and some wonderfully constructed characters.
After reading this, I am desperate to track down the rest of her novels, if anyone has read them, I need them in my life, are they good, where can I find them?
You can read my review of this here and if you spot it on a jaunt to the shops, please grab a copy!

bookThe Book of Lost Things – John Connelly
This has been in my TBR for ages! The cover is incredible, I got it to fullfill a 3 for £5 offer at the Works, I didn’t know that it was fairytale related until it was recommended to me by Who are you reading ! Many thanks for suggesting it!
I thought it was an interesting story with so many different strands, but I’m not sure what age group it was supposed to be for, there were moments where it read like an adult read and others where it read like a children’s book. But, fun nonetheless.

Panic_HC_JKT_des4.inddPanic – Lauren Oliver.
Oh good god, this was amazing!
I definitely need to read all the Lauren Oliver, especially if the rest of her work is like this one! I haven’t been able to give a Nick Fury Seal of Approval for a really long time, but I did manage to for this one! I read the whole thing in one sitting even though I had to be up early because I literally couldn’t put it down, I still feel a little hungover after this one! Review here.

spindSpindles End – Robin McInnery.
Goodreads really needs a reread feature so that people know what you’re reading for the first time and what you’re rereading. I’m sure this has been suggested before, get on it goodreads!
Anyway, seeing as this month was fairy tale retellings, I kept thinking about Spindles End so I got it out, dusted it off and gave it another read!

brassClash of Kings – George R R Martin
It was about time that I continued with the Song of Ice and Fire series! If I’m ever going to find out if my Jon Snow theory is right then I need to get on with it and get through these books! It’s very hard going, more so than the first one because there is a war and such like going on, but still pretty awesome! I’m going to need a bit of a break before continuing with the next one, but maybe not so long a gap between this and third one!

 

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We only have four months of the genre challenge left and I have so many more books to read! I was hoping to try and get the whole of A Song of Ice and Fire done, but its not going to happen! Anyway, genre challenge round up for this month (Fairy Tale Retellings): Dorothy Must Die, The Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns, the Book of Lost Things and Spindles End.

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In July I read…

This month’s genre on the challenge I’m doing is classics, classics is kind of  tricky one, because what some people might think of as being a classic, isn’t the same for others… But, these are things that I think fit as a classic. Also, I don’t really like classics as a rule, I try to avoid them because of the archaic language and the treatment of certain members of society, but it is something that I want to be able to read, mostly for the kudos. Luckily for me, a top ten Tuesday at the end of June was all about classics, so without meaning to, you guys gave me a little inspiration for things to look for for this month!
You’ll notice that I read a LOT this month (though, not all of them classics), there are several reasons for this, one, my netflix stopped working for a couple of weeks, which meant that instead of finishing Orange is the New Black and starting Hemlock Grove 2, I turned to my bookshelf for something to do, two, I’ve been training to be editor (I work at a newspaper) while our actual editor was on holiday during the last few weeks of July, and I figured, the more I read this month, the better my grammar etc would be and thirdly, the two projects I’m working on outside of work have sort of come to a point where I’m not sure where else to go with them, so because I’ve not been working on them, I’ve had more time to read other things, partly because I’m looking for inspiration, but also, because I don’t have a social life, so I never actually amass any life experience for myself. Anyway, I’m pretty sure I won’t be reading this much next month now that Netflix is back online and my creative juices are flowing once again!

maze The Maze Runner – James Dashner
I didn’t manage to finish this before Sci Fi month was over. I saw the trailer for the film recently and like always, I wanted to read the book before the seeing the film and now I know that Thomas Sangster and Dylan O’Brien are in the film, I kind of have to watch it. I’ve seen on goodreads that this has a lot of criticism, but I actually really enjoyed it! The story is incredible, though the narration leaves little to be desired at times, it was so addictive, but sometimes it read more like a children’s book than a YA sci fi adventure, even so, it was awesome! I hear that there are a further two books after this one, so I’m going to be getting myself to the library in the hope that they have them!

dickens A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens.
My first classic of classic month! I do love me a bit of Charlie Dickens! Great Expectations has always been a favourite of mine and as I love both Paris and London, why not give this one a go?! Also, I’ve read the Infernal Devices which makes many references to this! It took me a while to get into because it is wildly different from anything else that I’ve read in recent months, what with the archaic language and all. I did love it though and I especially like the fact that I got to finally read my Penguin version with the fancy orange spine! I’ll be honest, while I really enjoyed this and I liked what Dickens was doing with the idea that Charles and Sydney were essentially two sides of the same coin, I couldn’t help but feel that Charles was all kinds of boring, I know who I’d have rather been betrothed to! Anyway, thumbs up for A Tale of Two Cities for being well good and for having amazing opening and closing lines.

lost Lets get lost – Adi Alsaid
You know when you read a book and it fills you with such evengelical zeal.. Oh screw it, I’m not going to quote TFIOS at you, you know what I’m getting at. This book was all kinds of incredible, about getting lost and getting found and road trips and random acts of kindness and everything that is good in the world. If you’ve ever wanted a book that catches the spirit of The Breakfast Club then this is your book. Honestly when I read this, I fell in love the way you fall asleep, slowly, then all at once. Here’s my thoughts.

2865Girl with a pearl earring – Tracy Chevalier.
Book two for classics month! I watched the film of this several years ago and thought it was ok, but a bit dull. The book has been sat in my TBR pile since World Book Day last year, when I swapped the book I was giving for this one. I kind of wish I’d left it on my TBR shelf. When you look up the word ‘dull’ in the dictionary, instead of the definition, there should just be a picture of the cover of this book.

jeevJeeves and Wooster – P G Wodehouse.
Does this count as a classic? I don’t care. I’ve kind of wanted to read this collection of stories for ages! I like the tv series with Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry, so I wanted to read the stories that inspired it and see how like the characters they really were.

snowThe Snow Child – Eowyn Ivey.
This was lent to me by my boss, considering that the UK is in the midst of a heatwave, it was quite nice to read a book about snow!
I’m really glad that it was recommended to me, I’d have probably never thought to have picked it up otherwise and I’d have really missed out! This was charming, magical and had such a wonderful mysterious air to it. Its the sort of story that’s difficult to describe, so you’ll just have to take my word for it that’s its good! Its the retelling of a Russian fairy story, so I should have maybe kept it for next month’s genre challenge, but oh well!

before1 Before You – Amber Hart.
I really need to stop getting sucked in by a pretty cover.
The cover of this is eyecatching, which is one of the reasons why I requested it, the problem was what was inside the pages. I just found it to be a little too convenient, a little too racist and a little too sexist, which upsets me, considering it was written by a woman. I’ve not read much New Adult, but I’m not sure that I want to after this. I even reviewed it for you.

black mountainThe Truth is a cave in the Black Mountains – Neil Gaiman and Eddie Campbell
I’ve never read anything quite like this before, it’s not a graphic novel, more of a short story with pictures, but regardless it was all kinds of awesome and was a genuine pleasure to read. I read so many ebooks these days I’d kind of forgotten how amazing it is to hold something heavy and tangible! Find my review here.

 Tgood1he Good Sister – Jamie Kain
If the Virgin Suicides and the Lovely Bones mated and raised a tiny baby book, this book would be that baby once it had matured into adolescence. I did review this, though how I managed to do it without giving anything away, I have no idea, just know that it will hook you in from the first page, keep you in suspense until the last page and no matter how good you already think it is, it just keeps getting better and better. Reviewed here.

22465694Boy21 – Matthew Quick.
This book was a little odd and I’m still not entirely sure why I liked it, but I sort of did! Its a sport novel without too much emphasis on the sport, which is good and not only contains characters that are from a diverse range of ethnicity, but also features a kid suffering with post traumatic stress and a kid with selective mutism, which is something I have never come across is a book before! You can find the review here.

stayIf I stay – Gayle Foreman.
Another book that’s being made into a film. I selected it because it didn’t look all that thick and I wanted something I could probably finish by the end of the month, so I could start afresh with my next challenge. It was really super intense and I liked that the entire novel happened over the course of one day, it was kind of like a long short story. Also, in the acknowledgements, Gayle Foreman noted that the song, Falling Slowly, as used in the film, Once, was a great source of inspiration for the book and as I too like to write to music and look for stories in songs, that really resonated with me.

 

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This month’s genre was classic novels, so I read A Tale of Two Cities, Girl with the Pearl Earring and a Jeeves and Wooster omnibus. Classics are always a funny one for me, I feel very intimidated by them and after reading Les Mis last year, which took me several months and was really hard going at times, it made me dread this month coming around, but actually, it wasn’t that bad! Tale of Two Cities only took me a few days to get through and Jeeves and Wooster was a pleasure. Girl with a Pearl Earring was dull as dish water though, but reading classics didn’t take me half as long as I thought it did, I managed to make a start on my massive pile of ARCS that I had yet to get through! The genre for August is fairy tale retellings, which I’m actually really scared about!

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In June I read…

This month’s book genre was science fiction, I really should have kept Arthur C Clarke for this month instead of reading him in May. I have to admit, science fiction isn’t one of my favourite genres so I wasn’t really sure what to go for first with this month’s challenge.

At least I had the time it took to finish Game of Thrones before starting some science fiction to think about what I was going to look at first!

scannerA Scanner Darkly – Phillip K Dick
My second experience with Dick. Giggle. I think I preferred the Man in the High Castle to A Scanner Darkly, but I’ve wanted to read it ever since first watching the film. Seriously, if you haven’t seen it, you should, it’s literally the only thing that Keanu Reeves isn’t wooden in and Woody Harleson and Robert Downey Jr are so good in it! The story is a really interesting concept, it’s a sci fi, without being too heavy on the science fiction, in fact, apart from the fact that it is set in the future (at least it was when it was written) and features some space age technology and a conspiracy theory, it is more of an anti drug story than a sci-fi. It’s certainly an intriguing read in regards to attitudes towards drugs, so although I didn’t enjoy it as much as my previous experience with Dick (that is never not going to make me laugh) I was glad to find a copy. To be honest, if it wasn’t for the fact that this month is sci fi month, I probably would have left it on my shelf to gather dust for years! Anyway, here’s a review for Man in the High Castle, which is by the same author.

breakfastThe Breakfast of Champions – Kurt Vonnegut.
It turns out all the phrases that I’ve picked up off tumblr came from this guy, everything was beautiful and nothing hurt, and so it goes, the breakfast of champions, these are all things I use in every day life and I just thought it was tumblr speak, turns out the first two are from Slaughter House 5, also by this guy and this very book. (It seems like I’m reading sci fi novels by people I’ve already read novels of… Is that cheating?)  Anyway, I really liked Slaughter House 5, even if I was heavily traumatised by a giant spider while I was reading it. True Story. Even though I liked it, it did make my brain hurt a bit and for that reason, I preferred Breakfast of Champions, it was witty and endearing without leaping all over the place and I loved the little illustrations and the general layout in my copy.

crush Tell me again how a crush should feel – Sara Farizan
An adorable and sweet LGBT story which not only manages to avoid the trap of having characters that have nothing going for them, but their sexuality, but also features a POC as a lead character. I’ve not read anything about someone from a Persian point of view before, so this was really interesting in that respect and was genuinely refreshing. It doesn’t quite fit in with the genre for this months challenge, but it was lovely, so sorry I’m not sorry! Review to be found here!

words Words and their meanings – Kate Bassett
I was really excited to read this because its about a mystery of sorts about a writer, but even though it was about a writer, I didn’t feel like the narration really reflected that at all. Also, the romance of it… Sort of ruined it a bit. It was genuinely heartbreaking, but it didn’t hold my attention very well. It reminded me a lot of Far from you, but without the same level of feels. This is a good book, just not a great one. You can read my review here.

city1City of Heavenly Fire – Cassandra Clare.
Well, I felt like I got a pretty good work out reading this! Seriously, I have seen smaller bibles. This book was huge! Whilst I liked that we got to have a lot of banter between characters and the length meant we still had all the action and the story arc, it was a bit… unnecessarily long. I promised myself that I wasn’t going to review it, but then I just had so much to talk about, that I decided I probably should!

enderEnder’s Game – Orson Scott Card.
I wanted to read this before I watched the film, even though Orson Scott Card has the most disgusting views on homosexuality ever. Anyway, Harrison Ford and Asa Butterfield are in the film, so naturally, I want to watch it and well, its sci fi month, so it seemed like as good a time as any to get on and read it. Man, I was so disappointed. The entire book was a little bit paedophilic for me, the story convoluted and the characters were horrible. I struggled my way to the end and even then, I regretted it deeply.

boys Two Boys Kissing – David Levithan.
Oh good God. Good God. This. Is. Amazing.
David Levithan is fast becoming one of my most favourite authors. He took a concept, which should be insanely difficult to create a story around and made not only a story, but an incredibly engrossing and thought provoking one. Narrated by the spirits of gay men, many of whom suffered under the AIDS epidemic, it tells the story of several gay teens whose stories all hinge on an attempt to break the world record for the longest kiss, Harry and Craig are kissing, Neil and Peter are thinking about their relationship because of the kiss, Cooper is doing so well… All the characters are so well constructed and the story is, predictably heatbreaking and wonderful all at the same time.

hepburn1 Being Audrey Hepburn – Mitchell Kriegman.
A fun and engaging story set in New York about one girl who gets to live out her dream to be Audrey Hepburn. The perfect book for taking on your holidays. Its witty and engaging, even if, like me, you aren’t all that into the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. This isn’t out until September, but, just to get you a little bit excited for the release date, I’ll be reviewing this soon!

 

 

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This month’s challenge, as I said, was Science Fiction, I’ve never been all that into sci-fi, so I was kind of excited to get stuck into the genre and find out what there was to offer. It’s been a bit of a mixed bag, this month, I read A Scanner Darkly, The Breakfast of Champions and Ender’s Game. Two of them were infinitely better than the third!
Next month the genre is classical, another genre that I don’t read that much of, so again, this is going to be an interesting challenge for me!

 

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