So I managed to complete 13 books in July! I think a personal record though that was definitely in part thanks to the BookTube-A-Thon. If you want to find out more about that click HERE.
Matched by Ally Condie
Book one in the Matched trilogy. In the future, Society makes all decisions for you, from what job you’ll have, what you eat, how much exercise to do and even who you will marry. Cassia is matched with Xander, a neighbour of hers, which while rare to be matched with someone you know, it’s not unheard of. Cassia is happy with this choice. Except when viewing her match, the face of Ky Markham, another neighbour, flashes up briefly before the screen goes black. Cassia is told this is a glitch but she can’t get Ky out of her head and so begins the Cassia’s battle between choosing what she believes is right for her or believing that Society knows what’s best for her. I found the story an interesting concept and I really enjoyed the book and the world that is portrayed.
Maus: The Complete Collection by Art Speigelman
Maus tells the true story of Art Speigelman’s father Vladek and his wife in the lead up to and survival during World War Two in Poland. In this, different animals portray different groups (mice for Jews, cats for Germans, pigs for Polish etc.) through a series of cartoons that cut from Art interviewing his father in ‘real time’ to flashbacks of the stories his father is telling him. Even though it’s all done in cartoons, it makes the story no less hear tbreaking and real. An extraordinary read, well worth it. I had actually started it in college when my housemate bought it but didn’t have the time to finish it. So glad I did picked it up.
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
I read the first book Clockwork Angel back in June and so I ordered this straight away from the library. It continues to story of Tessa, an orphan who moves from New York to London and her sudden introduction to the supernatural side of life, the Downworlders (demons, vampires etc.) and the Shadowhunters (warriors with angel blood). This story continues with Tessa struggling to discover who she really is and more importantly the two love interests she torn between! I’m not going to give too much away about the plot but I really enjoyed this and I’m looking forward for the next book to come in from the library! Couldn’t believe they didn’t already have this book in, so I’m just waiting for the book to arrive to the headquarters and to be processed!
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
I think you’d have to be living under a rock not to have heard of this book! I had of course heard of it and it was on my list of to be read but after watching a bunch of BookTubers do round ups of their favourite books of 2012 and every.single.video containing this one, I ordered it straight away. Of course, I had to wait weeks as there is a MASSIVE waiting list for this! Anyway! This book follows the story of Hazel, a teenager with cancer, who meets Augustus in a Cancer Kid Support Group. Hazel, who has always known she was terminal, suddenly has a life that she never expected would happen. It’s a very sweet story and very real too. It never felt like reading some cheesy weeper, which a book like this could have easily fallen into (hence why I keep away from the likes of Jodi Picoult). I didn’t cry while reading it but it is very sad in parts so keep that in mind!
Crossed by Ally Condie
The second book in the Matched trilogy, which continues the story of Cassia, Ky and Xander. Honestly I hated this book. It felt like such filler and I thought it was boring in places. The whole plot of the entire series interested me but this and book 3 could have easily been edited into one book.
The Hit by Melvin Burgess
I had actually started reading this after Maus but then the other books came into the library and I wanted to read them. Hit is a new drug where people who take it have one ridiculous big high, where life is amazing and wonderful, before dying. Adam’s life begins to fall apart so he starts to contemplate taking this. The story has all the characters interwoven in different ways and the story is basically of how the world turns to chaos in a massive hit taking spree and riot. While the story is an interesting idea and Melvin Burgess is really good at writing things from interesting angles (take Bitch: My Life as a Dog for example) is was ultimately disappointed in the characters. I really did not click with any of them. Perhaps that was the point but the only reason I finished it was to see how it all came together, not because I particularly cared. It is teenage fiction though, and while I usually have no problem with YA, maybe someone younger than me would fair better with it?
Do Not Pass Go by Tim Moore
The plot of this book is right up my alley in terms of non-fiction. Growing up, Tim Moore and his family were a hard core Monopoly playing family. So Tim decides to visit all the streets on the London board, including the stations and the utilities, to delve into their past of how they would have looked when the streets were picked for the board, why they might have been picked for each colour band and what they look like today. And while I did enjoy the book, I found it tough going at times. There was something about Moore’s writing that I couldn’t fully click with at times, something I can’t quite put my finger on. A friend of mine is reading this now, started before me and is still trying to get through it, I think she’s finding it hard to click with as well. It hasn’t put me off his books, I will try another one just to see if that’s any better. All through this book though, I couldn’t get the Monopoly Pub Crawl out of my head! This book also kicked off my BookTube-A-Thon reading, I was half way through this when it started.
Cinder by Marrisa Meyer
While Cinder is the next book I finished, I did start Tess of the D’Ubervilles and The Enchanted Wood audio book. I decided that since Tess was a bit intense I needed another book to read along with it to break it up a bit. I picked Cinder as I had heard good things about it from Behind Green Eyes. It tells a different type of Cinderella story, about Cinder, a cyborg in China who’s a mechanic. She becomes the attention of Prince Kai after he visits her stall to have his android fixed, just at the same time her stepmother blames her for her stepsister’s illness and punishes Cinder. I don’t want to say too much about it but it’s an interesting take on the Cinderella story and I’m looking forward to the next books in the series.
Tess of the D’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy
If you pick up TOTDU thinking you’re in for an Austen style romance treat, then you will be sorely disappointed. While this is set in the same time and does contain romance, this book does not get it’s happily ever after. Nothing seems to go right for poor Tess. After being ‘seduced’ by Alec D’Uberville after tying to claim kinship with his family (basically her family find out that they used to come from the well to do D’Ubervilles and her parents send her off to Alec’s parents to try and be like ‘Yo, we must be family! Please help my poor family’), she has a child who dies in infancy and moves off to work on a dairy farm. Here the romance between herself and Angel build up, until on her wedding night he discovers her past and plans to leave her. The book is really about the double standards of society back in that time and you really can’t help but feel for poor Tess. I found the book slow at first but once it got into it I did enjoy it, even if the language was a bit too flowery for me at times!
The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton
This book came under two BookRead-A-Thon goals, to reread a book and listen to an audiobook. I used to kinda scoff at the idea of an audiobook being counted as reading a book but to be honest, it’s just as long, if not longer, to listen to an audiobook than it is to read the book! The handy thing about this was that I could listen to this while doing other things but still be productive in achieving a goal! This is one of my favourite books, about siblings Jo, Bess and Franny (used to be Fanny but the PC brigade got her) and the wood they find near their new house, containing The Magic Faraway Tree with all sorts of wonderful characters (Moonface, Silky, The Saucepan Man) and their adventures at the different lands that arrive at the very top of the Faraway Tree. Great fun and I’d love a Burton-esque film about it!
Reached by Ally Condie
Final book in the Matched series and the final book I read for BookTube-A-Thon, finishing it at 5.20am! I powered through it. This was definitely a step up from Crossed though again I did think there was a lot of filler.
Lost at Sea by Jon Ronson
After reading 4 fiction in a row and overall mostly fiction this month, I decided to break it up with non-fiction. I picked this book out of pick of library books as it’s a collection of different Jon Ronson articles he’s already printed and thought it would be nice to have interesting things but not have an arc or overall plotline to follow! I really enjoyed this, I seem to be liking article collection books quite a bit (like Moranthology last month) and it’s well worth a read. The very first chapter goes behind the scenes of Deal or No Deal, which I found fascinating.
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
I have a stack of library books to still get through but couldn’t resist getting this out of the library a week after finding out about it and reading it straight away. It’s a short novella (120 pages) about The Queen coming across the mobile library while searching for her corgi and her descent into becoming an avid reader. I thought it was a great short read, perfect for someone who is in a reading slump or wants something short in between books or series.
Number of books read- 13
Ratio fiction to non-fiction- 10:3
Number of eBooks- 1 (Reached)
Number of audio books- 1 (The Enchanted Wood, read by Kate Winslet)
Number of books borrowed from library- 10
Number of books from Reading Resolutions- 1 (Tess of the D’Ubervilles, read a book from GoodReads Popular Classic Novel)
And that’s that! I’m currently reading a library book that was due back yesterday! I’ve had it out for a month and knew I couldn’t renew it as there’s a list for it, but just couldn’t bring myself to read it for some reason. You know how it is sometimes, even though you might want to read that book, you’re just not in the mood for it? I started it yesterday and I’m 14% through so hopefully I’ll be finished it by the weekend. I’ve got so many more to get through from the library as well!