Sunday, February 28, 2016

February Wrap-Up

February was a pretty strange month for me. I was sick for about a week, which both gave me a lot of time to read and frequently made me too tired to read. (The only entirely good thing was that I rediscovered audiobooks - when I actually have the time to get through them, I LOVE them!) And then I had to spend the rest of the month catching up on the schoolwork that I missed, which definitely cut into my reading time. But at the same time, I read more books than in January.

I was going to start doing life updates in my wrap-ups, but everything I've already said was pretty much the entire month. Things don't really get exciting here. (That's part of what books are for.)

THE BOOKS: 
 



Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman: I'm glad I took a chance on this book. It wasn't something I think I'd normally pick up, but I'd heard such wonderful things about it. It really made me think about mental health, and stayed in my head even once I put it down. I know I'll remember this one for a long time. ★ - Goodreads review - Around-the-Year Challenge Week 5: A book with a title beginning with the 1st letter of your name

Willful Machines by Tim Floreen: Another book that made me think! This time, though, I was thinking about robots and the future and all kinds of interesting hypotheticals. While it did lose some of its appeal as it went on, it had a fascinating premise, pretty great diversity, and a great cast of characters. Thanks to Avery @ thepagesarebookining for recommending this! ½ - Goodreads review

Blood Promise by Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy #4): I was not impressed by this book. It was enjoyable enough, and kept me interested the whole time, but compared to the past few books, nothing really happened. It introduced a lot of new information that became important, but this was so much of the action that it felt more like a set-up for later events than its own installment. - Goodreads review


Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy #5): Once again, a bit of a let-down. Things started to happen, but things also got very repetitive. Fairly often, I'd read a page that I swore I'd just read ten minutes beforehand. It took the series in an interesting direction, but definitely not one of the best in the series. - Goodreads review

Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy #6): Wonderful, especially in comparison to the previous two books. There was so much going on at once, but all of the plotlines were woven together so wonderfully that I almost never got confused. I especially loved the mystery aspect of this; the clues unfolded in a way that I wasn't expecting, but that also felt inevitable. - Goodreads review - ATY Challenge Week 6: The highest rated on your TBR

Indiana Jones Omnibus: The Further Adventures, Vol. 2 by David Michelinie (Indiana Jones - The Further Adventures #2): I flew through this. These weren't quite as good as the Indiana Jones comics that I'd read previously, but they were also much shorter stories. Pleasant enough overall, but there were a few issues that I absolutely loved.- Goodreads review


Indiana Jones Omnibus: The Further Adventures, Vol. 3 by Linda Grant (Indiana Jones - The Further Adventures #3): A definite step down from the previous volume. The plots felt contrived to the extent that they weren't always enjoyable, and many were also just too strange for me to really like. Also, I'm not exactly thrilled that they somehow managed to turn my favorite Indiana Jones film (Last Crusade) into a comic that was rushed and boring.- Goodreads review

How to Be a Heroine: Or, What I've Learned From Reading Too Much by Samantha Ellis: Absolutely lovely. This book made me want to read about a million other books, most of which I'd never heard of before. It made me reconsider a number of the books that I grew up adoring, but it pointed out both the good and the bad of every novel mentioned. And even though it was nonfiction, I was so engrossed that I couldn't put it down.  - full review - ATY Challenge Week 7: A book about books

The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle: I liked this book, but I can't quite put my finger on the reason that I didn't like it more. It was wonderfully unique (it did remind me of a lot of books, but only a little bit of each), it was beautifully written, and it had that hard-to-achieve balance of keeping the reader in the loop while never revealing too much of what was going on. And somehow, I still didn't love it. - Goodreads review


Night by Elie Wiesel (Night #1): Haunting and vivid. I do think that the abridgement of this book from the original manuscript came at a cost, but the length is one of the things that makes it so powerful.  - Goodreads review - ATY Challenge Week 8: A classic book with fewer than 200 pages

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell: This book had a lot of things that I really liked and a lot of things that bothered me. It had wonderful characters and a well-plotted mystery, but the worldbuilding was almost nonexistent and there was an absolutely ridiculous amount of bi erasure. Overall, it was still very enjoyable. Thanks to Sky @ Sky's Reading Corner for letting me borrow this! - Goodreads review

Le Vol des Oiseaux by Kristy Placido: This was a pretty boring little book that I read for my French class. I learned a lot of words, but the book wasn't very interesting in the first place, and my class took so long to read it that I cared even less by the end. Good for learning, not good for entertainment. - Goodreads review (in French)


American Consumer Society, 1865-2005: From Hearth to HDTV by Regina Lee Blaszczyk: Okay, so at the time that I'm writing this, I haven't technically finished this book yet. That rating and review link that you'll see if you're looking at this in the future were added later. But I'm squeezing in the book for my challenge to read one American history book a month right at the end of February, and I know I'll finish it before the month ends. So far, it's fascinating, even if it is a bit of a slow read.

Reread this month:
  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett: This was one of my favorite books in elementary school, but I hadn't read it since then, and I'd forgotten how much I love it! I reread this one on audiobook, and I loved hearing the Yorkshire accents (though I really can't say anything about how accurate they might have been). I'm really looking forward to reading other books by Frances Hodgson Burnett!  First read: ; Reread:
READING STATS:
  • Total books: 13 new, 14 including rereads
  • Longest book: Last Sacrifice, 594 pages
  • Shortest book: Le Vol des Oiseaux, 74 pages
  • Favorite book: How to Be a Heroine
  • Least favorite book: Indiana Jones Omnibus: The Further Adventures, Vol. 3
  • Diverse reads: 4 fiction (Challenger Deep, Willful Machines, The Accident Season, Carry On), 2 nonfiction (How to Be a Heroine, Night)
  • Nonfiction: 3 (How to Be a Heroine, Night, American Consumer Society, 1865-2005)
  • Comics/Graphic Novels: 2 (Indiana Jones Omnibus: The Further Adventures, Vols. 2-3)
BLOG STATS:
What did you do in February? What books did you read? Was your life more eventful than mine? Do you listen to audiobooks when you're sick? Tell me in the comments! 

14 comments:

  1. I read Vampire Academy a few years ago, and I have to agree that #4 and #5 are really slow compared to the other. I'm planning to read Carry On this month, so glad that you like it too :) I never tried audiobooks before (mostly because English isn't my daily language, so it's a bit hard to listen), but maybe someday :D

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    1. The books were definitely slow, but at the same time, I was interested for the whole thing?? I barely put them down! I've never really had both of those things happen at the same time for a book, so that was strange. And I really hope you like Carry One! If you like funny dialogue and great characters, you're in for a treat.

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  2. Completely agree about Accident Season. I felt like I should have liked it more than I did. Challenger Deep was one of my top 5 reads in 2015. And Secret Garden--I loved it so much! (Though I was surprised to find out that the Spanish teacher at the middle school where I work just assigned it in translation to his Spanish for Spanish speakers students--I'm not sure how well they'll identify with it!)

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    1. Exactly! The Accident Season was a great book, I'm sure, but I guess it just wasn't for me. I usually get that feeling with classics, so it was totally unexpected for this one. And as for The Secret Garden, I'm not sure about identifying with it, but it's just one of those books that has a happiness that's absolutely contagious. I really hope that comes through in the translation!

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  3. Ooh, I'm glad you liked Challenger Deep and Carry On! I ADORED THOSE BOOKS. Although I'm cryyyying that you didn't love The Accident Season! I COULD EAT THAT BOOK I LOVE IT SO MUCH. <33 Ahem. (That's how one shows love of books, right?! Eating? *blinks innocently*)
    But bleh for being sick. And YAY for rediscovering audio books! I adore audiobooks like so so much omg. :D

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    1. I eat books ALL THE TIME. And I understand why you'd love The Accident Season - I just don't think it was my thing. I felt like I was missing something.

      Audiobooks are so great! I haven't had time for any more, but I have plans for listening to LOTS more.

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  4. Challenger Deep was utterly AMAZING. Unfortunately I haven't read The Accident Season, but I've seen it around lately and I've been meaning to get my hands on it. And The Secret Garden just rocks, it's one of my favourites.

    That sucks that you were sick, but at least you rediscovered audiobooks!

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    1. You should definitely read The Accident Season! I didn't love it, but I see why a lot of people did and I definitely wouldn't want to turn anyone away from it.

      Rediscovering audiobooks was almost worth being sick. I have a feeling I'm going to get through a LOT of classics that way!

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  5. I don't read much nonfiction, but you've definitely got me interested in How to Be a Heroine - maybe I need to break out of my comfort zone and read that one!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. I'd definitely recommend picking that one up! A lot of it feels like fiction, and it's a really great book to get you excited about reading if you're ever in a reading slump.

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  6. That's awful that you were sick for a week D: I hope you're much better now! I've only recently gotten into audiobooks, and haven't been sick since (thankfully), but I imagine it would be nice to have in that situation. I haven't read any of the books you read, though How to Be a Heroine sounds fascinating!

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    1. I'm much better now, thank you! Audiobooks are WONDERFUL, especially when you're sick and/or tired and/or just feeling a little lazy :)

      How to Be a Heroine was so great! Definitely pick it up sometime, especially if you like reading classics.

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  7. Aww, sorry you were sick! That really stinks, especially because being tired means you can't even take advantage of all the available reading time. :(

    I haven't read any of these books (except The Secret Garden), but I really want to tackle them, especially The Accident Season and How to be a Heroine. I'm also really interested in the Vampire Academy series. Also The Vampire Diaries. (Have you read that series? If so, how do the two series compare?)

    I hope you have a great rest of March! :)

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    1. Thanks! I'm fortunately all better now, and I did manage to get more reading done than I thought. That's why I got the comics - even if I'm too tired to figure out the words, the pictures help :)

      I HIGHLY recommend How to Be a Heroine, especially if you're a classics fan. As for Vampire Academy vs Vampire Diaries, I haven't read the Vampire Diaries (and I may not have actually known that it was a book series until just now. I thought it was just the TV show. Should have known.)

      I hope you have a great rest of March too!

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