Good day, Readers! Welcome fellow Book Challenge by Erin participants!
Have you been busy reading now that 2016 is behind us and we are firmly established in the Year of the Rooster? I hope so!
As for me, it’s time to update my reading progress for Book Challenge by Erin 2017. Here’s what I read so far with my comments:
5 points: Freebie – Read a book that is at least 200 pages.
Loved the beginning of this YA contemporary about an outcast teen who expands her horizons when an unpredictable cousin comes for the summer. The middle felt a bit repetitive, but the ending finished up nicely. Family dynamics were also explored in this novel (again, more in the beginning), but for a stronger novel in that vein, I recommend I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandie Nelson.
10 points: Read a book that starts with the letter “W”.
I really enjoyed this tale of two foster sisters who remained devoted to each other. I’m a big fan of the idea that blood is not what makes a family, and this book highlights that notion. Two drawbacks to this book. One: there were three point of view characters–the two sisters and a husband. I really wanted to stay with the sisters, and I think the husband’s viewpoint could have been portrayed through them. The other–the sisters’ voices were not distinct enough so that I had to re-check the chapter heading to see who was narrating. The sign of an excellent voice author is that readers can differentiate characters based on the characters’ speech and mannerisms. Two novels that do this very well are The Poisonwood Bible by Kingsolver and The God of Small Things by Roy. Still, I did really enjoy When We Were Sisters and stayed up late (always the sign of a compelling read) to finish it.
20 points: Read a book with a homonym in the title.
This is a story of a family in disarray. The matriarch, Lydia, has just died and leaves behind a diary detailing a mistake she has kept secret for years. As secrets often do, this one has created devastating ripples that will be felt by every member of the family and by one obsessed seeker of revenge. I loved the opening of this novel as well as the author’s writing. One third of the way in, however, the author changed narrators, and I felt bogged down with dark revenge motives for another third (think Gone Girl excesses). Fortunately, the last third completely re-engaged me, and I really liked how it ended. And good endings are so hard to pull off! Having finished reading, I am now happy to recommend this book.
30 points: Read a “Rory Gilmore” book.
This is a brilliant post-apocalyptic novel in which the lone protagonist Snowman forages for canned goods and hunts for medical supplies in burned out buildings. I probably shouldn’t have started reading this in January during the presidential inauguration. I’m afraid that match-up only added to my unease about the future. The good thing about books is that there’s always another one to change your mood or outlook. There are several sequels to this novel, but I’m not sure when or if I’ll read them. I really liked the ending of Oryx and Crake, so I just might leave it there.
The above four books are what I’ve finished so far. I’m currently reading A Grown-up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson (three-fourths finished) and The Things We Wish Were True by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen (just started).
What do you think? Have you read any of these? Don’t forget…there’s always time to enter the Book Challenge by Erin. Just click here to get started and join the fun!