Reading Challenge – October

Hey everyone, I’m typing from my garden today because it’s GORGEOUS outside (picture: a perfect spring day).
Spring is also my favourite season to read in because I don’t have to worry about being too hot and stuffy, or freezing my fingers off! Our garden is a really nice place to read when you can smell all our flowers blooming too.
This month, I finished books, so my new total for 2015 is now 113 :)
I’m surprised at how much I got read, given that September was just BOOM over. I seriously knocked some really awesome experiences off my bucket list, and this past month will definitely remain a major highlight of my year.


The Books


Fairest (Lunar Chronicles #3.5) – Marissa Meyer
I  found that it was so worth reading this short novel just to get an inside perspective on what made Queen Levana the way she is. Oh, it ALL makes sense now. It was the perfect prelude into the next book, as you also get a bit of early backstory on Winter. As with many in between novels, it was too short though and I wanted more!
★★★★✩
The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien
Was so surprised how light hearted the humor in this novel was. Gandalf was such a sassy, clever character, as was Bilbo. A lot happens in just this standalone, so I wasn’t all that surprised that there were 3 whole movies made from it, and it was interesting to follow along where one plotline ended and the next started. Fun to read, great pacing and some memorable quotes.
★★★★★
Life of Pi – Yann Martel
I had high expectations for this one, having seen the movie first and being just blown away. AND I was STILL amazed. Life of Pi was like an educational journey in theory and philosophy, about life and family and religion, and though Pi goes through a very traumatic ordeal, the writing is soothing and inspirational.
★★★★★
Gathering Blue (The Giver #2) – Lois Lowry
Lowry’s writing is simple and an easy read, and once again the unique world in which The Giver is set is really intriguing and pulls you in. There’s no satisfying or climactic end (more like implied), and it sort of makes sense (but is also odd) as this book acts as a lead-in to book 3. Struggle to see how this will tie back to book 1, but it was still enjoyable.
★★★★✩
The Rest of Us Just Live Here – Patrick Ness
4.5 stars I think. I loved the dual storylines that intertwine and eventually join together. I loved that the superheroes’ story was portrayed in a satirical manner and at times was less interesting than the drama of the normal teens in the story. The idea of trying to save everything (the world) vs yourself in the everyday sense was really neat, and I just plain enjoyed the direction characters’ relationships took in the end.
★★★★✩
Clockwork Princess (Infernal Devices #3) – Cassandra Clare
Emotional rollercoaster in every sense of the phrase. Coming up to reading this, I thought to myself that there was so much plot and character development that HAD to happen to actually conclude/wrap up this series, and this book really delivered. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t read this series just for the Magnus Bane moments because he. Is. My. Favourite. Hands down. A lot of his dialogue had me cracking a smile time after time, and even as various plot developments were revealed, his moments really lightened up the mood. I’m a teensy bit unsure as to how I feel about the epilogue a little bit though. I think I really loved it and that there were things that had to be expanded upon, but also that the book would have been great even without it…Largely I think it existed to show how things come full circle in the larger scheme of things in Tessa’s life.
★★★★★
Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Sáenz
I tried not to overhype myself for this one, because I had heard a lot of good comments on it previously. However, there isn’t so much of a plot as a loose timeline of events. I think what really cost the rating for this book (for me) was the way that it seemed that most of the issues and difficulties that surrounded the two main characters were basically dissolved by a single realization at the end. There’s no major development with Ari’s father, and the writing started to produce obvious patterns of speech that I guess reduced the quality of the writing for me. I respected that as a LGBTQ theme book, it didn’t seem to approach the relationships directly off the bat (as is more often the case), but also that I didn’t feel that the protagonist really took initiative and it was more the side characters who made events happen.
★★★✩✩
Me & Earl and the Dying Girl – Jesse Andrews
Honestly did not expect to laugh (out loud, might I add) as much as I did, despite being told I would. The thing with funny books is that for me I feel that often a lot of the jokes can be missed or less effective as they would have been read aloud, but Andrews humor somehow managed to convey itself very effectively in this medium. I think given the subject matter that the more emotional aspects were still dealt with respectably, whilst still keeping this teenage perspective on the story. There wasn’t exactly a lot of character development, or “wow” moments, but it was enjoyable and kept me reading til the end.
★★★★✩
City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6) – Cassandra Clare
Seemed like if you hadn’t read Infernal Devices (specifically Clockwork Princess) you’d be missing out on a lot of key plot connections and might even be left kind of confused. The Blackthorn children POV switches didn’t really interest me too much (mostly used as an extra POV and tie between Infernal Devices, Mortal Instruments and presumably Dark Artifices). All that said though, I really enjoyed this book, and thought that everything wrapped up in a suitably satisfying way. I was mostly holding out for more Magnus backstory, and hey, I even got a bit of that too.
★★★★✩


October TBR


october
Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) – Sarah J Maas
Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #3) – Laini Taylor
Messenger (Giver #3) – Lois Lowry
Wonder – R. J. Palacio
Infinite Sea (5th Wave #2) – Rick Yancey
Thief of Time (Discworld) – Terry Pratchett

In September I finally finished The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series (impressive to me as that’s basically a 9 book universe I completed, it’s a big commitment!). This month I’m continuing on with The Giver Quartet and 5th Wave Trilogy, hoping to finish the Daughter of Smoke & Bone Trilogy, and also begin a new series at last: Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas! I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while….


Current Goodreads TBR: 369 (yeah, it grew again. Oh well…)

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-Datsu xox

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