Sunday, May 1, 2016

March/April Wrap-Up

As you may have seen, I've been a rather sporadic blogger lately. I had an accidental hiatus at the beginning of March, and then my tendinitis drastically slowed down my typing/blogging speed. And somehow, it got to be the first week in April and I still hadn't put up a March wrap-up. So I decided to just make one humongous post for both my March and April wrap-ups. I still haven't decided whether or not this is a good idea, but the way I see it, it's better than nothing. (And, of course, it's going up at the beginning of May.)

Completely unrelated to my disorganization - I should have a post going up soon about blogging goals. Maybe that'll help me avoid another wrap-up like this one.

On the other hand, March was a really great reading month! I may have abandoned my one-U.S.-history-book-a-month goal, but I read 15 whole books, including 5 classics!

THE BOOKS - MARCH:


Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables #1): I first tried to read this book when I was about six years old, and I just couldn't get into it. This time around, I couldn't put it down. It just made me so unbelievably happy! It had its faults, but I loved it just the same. ½

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens: I'd been meaning to read a Dickens book (any Dickens book) for ages, and I finally got around to it. I was pleasantly surprised - I know this is one of his shortest books, but I'd heard so much about how long and complicated Dickens books are that I expected it to take me a lot longer than a day and a half. I got a bit lost at times, but it still kept my interest!

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner: Read for school. For once, reading it in school made me like it more, because I couldn't have hoped to understand it without the day we took to go through who everyone was before we even started. I loved some things, and other things really bothered me, but I liked it overall.


The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater: From the first few chapters, I didn't think I was going to like this book nearly as much as I did. The best part was the general atmosphere of the book, but the plot was definitely enough to interest me, too.

Pretending to be Erica by Michelle Painchaud: The main problem I had with this books is that it really wasn't what I was expecting it to be. It was good, and it has one of the best endings of any book I've ever read, but I always just felt like I was expecting more from it. I guess I set myself up for a bit of disappointment with this one. ½

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray: Incredibly mixed feelings here. It was good, and it was brilliant satire (though a bit lacking in subtlety), but there were times that it just got on my nerves. Bonus points for being possibly the most diverse book I've ever read, though.



Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger: The best thing I can really say about this book was that it was short. (I know - harsh. But any longer and it would have dragged horribly.) I somewhat liked it, but I wasn't overly impressed by anything, and J.D. Salinger's writing style is something I appreciate best in small doses.

Manners & Mutiny by Gail Carriger (Finishing School #4): This was a nice surprise after my feelings about the other books in the series! At the beginning, I thought I'd be horribly bored, but the plot was actually very interesting, and I'm very satisfied with this as a conclusion.

The Wrath & the Dawn by Renée Adieh (The Wrath & the Dawn #1): I knew this book was hyped, and I was hoping that there was a good reason for it. Turns out that there was a very good reason - IT'S SO GREAT. I won't say that this book was by any means perfect, but it sucked me in so entirely that even the things that I didn't like didn't detract from how stunning everything else was. ½ - review


The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough: This is the book that I was the most unexpectedly emotional over. I probably should have guessed from the premise that I was going to cry, but somehow, it caught me completely off-guard. I absolutely loved the world the book was set in, and the plot, and the beautiful writing, and pretty much everything.

The Tangled Web by Kathryn Reiss (American Girl Mysteries): American Girl mysteries are always nice, quick books to read when you just need a break. I admit my expectations were a bit high for this one, based on the premise and other mysteries I'd read, so the predictability was a little annoying. But it was still a lovely book, and I love how much historical context is always packed into a really short space.

Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee: This was another book in which I was expecting more than I got. I had a good enough time while reading this, but after I finished, it was pretty forgettable. ½


These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly: I was pretty sure I'd like this book, and I was completely right. It had all of my favorite parts of historical fiction and all of my favorite parts of a mystery (and all of my least favorite parts of a love triangle, but I just ignored it). ★ - review

Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman: Once again, I was expecting more. This was a fun, fairly quick read, but it wasn't really anything more than that.

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde: Read for school. This was a little bit ridiculous in a way that only Oscar Wilde can really be. I especially liked the satire.

READING STATS - MARCH:
  • Total books: 15 new, no rereads
  • Longest book: These Shallow Graves, 488 pages
  • Shortest book: The Tangled Web, 158 pages
  • Favorite book: The Wrath & the Dawn
  • Least favorite book: Franny and Zooey
  • Diverse reads: 8 (Beauty Queens, Franny and Zooey, Manners & Mutiny, The Wrath & the Dawn, The Game of Love and Death, The Tangled Web, Under a Painted Sky, Vengeance Road)
  • Nonfiction: 0
  • Comics/Graphic Novels: 0
BLOG STATS - MARCH:

THE BOOKS - APRIL:


Cinders & Sapphires by Leila Rasheed (At Somerton #1): This book had some really great things (a plot that was always moving, plenty of diversity), and some really not so great things (the most groan-worthy instalove ever, and quite a bit of confusion). The stakes were higher than I expected them to be, so I was definitely drawn in.

Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine #3): The world these books are set in is so unique, and the characters are each so wonderful. I was a bit apprehensive, since it'd been nearly two years since I'd read the previous book, but that didn't present much of a problem once I was a couple of chapters in. This was a very satisfying conclusion, but I'm glad that Ransom Riggs is writing more in this world.

Hamlet: Poem Unlimited by Harold Bloom: Read for school. I was so annoyed at this book that writing it out over again will just make me angry, so read my Goodreads review for more details of exactly how this book pissed me off. ½


Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin (Wolf by Wolf #1): I was fully prepared to hate this book with a passion if the subject matter weren't handled well. Instead, I ended up absolutely loving it. I still can't stop thinking about it, and I'm counting down the days until I can read the sequel.

Dead to Me by Mary McCoy: I think I should have liked this book a lot more than I did. I just didn't care that much about...anything, really.

Star Wars: Shattered Empire by Greg Rucka: This was a nice, quick break between books. I was expecting something a bit more complex, and there were hints in the comic that a lot more was going on that the comic didn't cover. And I understand that - we're talking about entire galaxies here! But even what was there seemed a little rushed.


Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson (Gold Seer Trilogy #1): I was pretty sure that I was going to like this book. I definitely wasn't expecting to love it as much as I did. The premise, the characters, the plot - everything was amazing! My only complaint is that I now have to wait until November for the sequel! ★ - review coming soon!

Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables #2): I was very excited to go back to Anne's adventures. This book is a bit different than the first one - and I completely understand that, since Anne's matured a bit - but it was still delightful.

Going Postal by Terry Pratchett (Discworld #33): It had been far too long since I'd finished a Discworld book. While this was far from being my favorite, I definitely understand why so many people love it so much. The humor was wonderful, the plot was exciting, and I could never predict what was going to happen next.


Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables #3): Another lovely addition to the Anne of Green Gables series! I loved the new characters, the new plots, and the same Anne Shirley sense of infectious happiness. And, of course, I can't talk about this book without mentioning Gilbert Blythe. .

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (The Illuminae Files #1): This one really surprised me. I was pretty sure that I'd like it, but I wasn't to be so emotional over it. I had a few problems with it, especially the ending, but I still loved it. ★ - review coming soon!

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys: Sky @ Sky's Reading Corner has been bugging me to read this since the day it came out, and I finally got around to it. I was pretty sure that it was going to emotionally destroy me, and I was right. This was so beautifully written that I felt completely engrossed in the world.

Reread this month:
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare: Reread for school. This time around, I felt that I understood more of what was going on, but liked it less. Maybe that's because we were reading it aloud in class and had to stop every 20 lines or so to analyze. That was annoying.
READING STATS - APRIL:
  • Total books: 12 new, 1 reread
  • Longest book: Illuminae, 599 pages
  • Shortest book: Star Wars: Shattered Empire, 134 pages
  • Favorite book: Walk On Earth a Stranger
  • Least favorite book: Hamlet: Poem Unlimited
  • Diverse reads: 6 (Cinders & Sapphires, Library of Souls, Wolf by Wolf, Star Wars: Shattered Empire, Walk On Earth a Stranger, Illuminae)
  • Nonfiction: 1 (Hamlet: Poem Unlimited)
  • Comics/Graphic Novels: 1 (Star Wars: Shattered Empire)
BLOG STATS - APRIL:
How were your months? What important things have I missed from being a more sporadic blogger?

4 comments:

  1. Agh I'm so jealous. I've been waiting to read Wrath and Dawn for aggess - I love what you called your review btw! Inhaled. I couldn't get through Illuminae though, I loved the layout and everything but the story just didn't speak to me.

    Zoë's last post was Six of Crows vs. The Grisha Trilogy

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    1. I LOVED The Wrath and the Dawn! It seriously felt exactly like I was inhaling it - I barely processed that I was turning pages, and I was so sucked in that I read SUPER-quickly. I'm sorry Illuminae didn't work out for you! It's definitely not the kind of book I'd usually reach for, so I see where you're coming from there.

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  2. Oohh SO MUCH BOOKS! I will just sit here and flail eternally with you over Walk on Earth a Stranger! *SHRIEKS* I love that book! And also The Wrath and the Dawn and The Game of Love and Death. <33 I was disappointed with Under a Painted Sky too. :( Which is sad, because so much awesome diversity and I do so love the gold rush era...but gah, pretty bleh for everything else in it.
    Nooooo that Vengeance Road is mediocre! GAH. I haven't read it but I was going to buy it...probably a library job will be better, right?! Safer. XD

    But omg I hope your tendonitis doesn't pain you too much. I want to say "GET BETTER SOON" and give you cake, but is tendonitis something you can recover from? Eek. *sends you good vibes anyway* Take care of yourself!!

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    1. Walk On Earth a Stranger was AMAZING!! I can't wait for the sequel!

      I'd probably recommend getting Vengeance Road from the library. I did like it, but I definitely didn't love it. And if you do end up loving it, you can just buy it after you read it!

      Thanks for the good vibes and cake! I'll recover from the tendinitis eventually, but it's definitely going to be a problem for a while. Which is not great, but I'll gladly accept any and all recovery cake in the meantime.

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