2019 READING CHALLENGE

A Year in Books

Because every good writer starts out as a good reader, I'm challenging myself (and anyone who wants to join) to participate in PopSugar's 2019 Reading Challenge. With each book I read, I'll be including a brief synopsis and review on this page. Looking forward to experiencing a multitude of new worlds and expanding my craft through reading!

 

AMERICAN GODS

June 11, 2019

A book inspired by mythology, legend, or folklore

Neil Gaiman's well-know and well-received novel about Shadow, the half-human half-god son of Odin, as he travels across the country encountering several gods from various cultures as they prepare for war against the "new gods" of the modern world (technology, television, etc)

On the way, he makes friends with gods and humans, uncovers the secret that keeps a small town safe from the perils of the outside world, and discovers some hard truths about himself.

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. It was engaging, and the descriptive prose was beautiful. There were occasional jumps in time that I felt were unnecessary to the overall story, tales of how certain gods arrived in America. I felt those would have been more impactful if they had tied directly into the story itself, but as they often did not, I could have done without.

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THE HATING GAME

April 10, 2019

 A Retelling of a Classic

This book has been hyped, and hyped, and hyped some more. Hyped enough to get a movie! Don't get me wrong. It was a cute rom-com. It left me feeling happy that the two who belonged together got together. It was funny and witting and enjoyable.

But what retelling of Pride and Prejudice could ever, EVER let the Elizabeth Bennet character come across so incredibly dense? 

Lucy's supposed to be clever and well loved, but for the life of me, I couldn't understand why. The games she played with her rival (and main love interest, Josh) were amusing, Josh was super sexy and way too good for her, but the MC, Lucy, was simply put - Simple. And childish. And generally undeserving. Plus the love affair between her and Josh had some definite creepy elements. Please girl, stop obsessing over his abs!

Looking for a fun, mindless read? Pick it up. Looking for an actual respectful relationship between two characters? Then you may need to go elsewhere.

RECURSION

March 25, 2019

A Book Told from Multiple Character POVs

A fast-paced telling of a time-machine gone terribly wrong. What does a detective do when everyone around him starts experiencing false memories? Track them down to their source, a company making money off of sending people into their own pasts to correct their wrongs. He takes a trip to his past to save his daughter's life, but is it worth it if the world around him changes faster than society can keep up? 

This was a fun read. A little difficult to follow with all of the time-jumping (as all time-travel related fiction can be) but overall, I enjoyed it.

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ELEVATION

March 13, 2019

A Book About Someone With a Superpower

Okay, that's a stretch. But I had to read Stephen King's latest novella, a story about Scott Carey's sudden, inexplicable weight loss. Of course King's writing was smooth, easy to read, entertaining, and yet, I couldn't help but feel like this wasn't his greatest achievement. If anything, it felt anticlimactic.

However, when all is said and done, it's a couple hours worth of good writing, amusing characters, and a feel-good(ish) ending.

FRIED GREEN TOMATOES AT THE WHISTLE STOP CAFE

February 20, 2019

A Book With a Plant in the Title or on the Cover.

A well-known book turned movie about the adventures of tomboy Idgie Threadgoode and her close friend, and hinted at lover, Ruth Jamison. 

To be honest, I spent the majority of the book thinking that the movie was just better. I couldn't connect with the characters in the book like I did in the movie, and the language used felt plodding, slow. Each chapter was short, but the lack of cohesion between characters and stories made me cycle between expecting more and happy to finally finish. 

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THE BIRD AND THE BLADE

January 21, 2019

A Debut Novel

Megan Bannen's debut novel, The Bird and the Blade, is absolutely breathtaking. The prose positively sings, the characters will drive you mad with their unspoken truths, and the tragedy of their love will break your heart. Highly recommend, but bring the tissues! You will need them.

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