#20booksofsummer – a reading challenge hosted by lovely Cathy over at 746 books, has come to an end (can someone please explain to me how did 96 days go by so fast?!). Even though I didn’t manage to read a full 20, I had so much fun participating. Here’s part one of my wrap – up where I share with you all the novels and short stories I read over the summer.
- Bridge of Snow – Marie Rutkoski
Beautifully written addition to the Winner’s Curse trilogy. You can read it for free here
- Warm Up – V.E. Shwab
After reading Vicious and absolutely adoring it I was in denial (I still am) about the fact I have to wait until 2018 for the next book. This slightly helped with the agony. You can read it for free here.
Disclaimer: Even though this is considered to be a prequel, I’d recommend reading this one after Vicious.
- Access, Annie’s Day, The Real Deal – Andy Weir
The Martian is wildely popular (and for a good reason) but Weir’s short stories surely don’t get the recognition they deserve. Even for a short story format they are realy concise (about 3 pages each) and yet each one is a wholesome, emotional tale. Each with an ending that will blow you out of the water. Luckily you can read them all for free on his website.
- A Court of Mist and Fury – Sarah J Maas
This the second installment in a YA fairy – tale retelling series. I fairly enjoyed the first one in the series – A Court of Thornes and Roses therefore I was very exited for the next book. I didn’t expect to be so emotionally invested in the story. This one is a real game – changer. So much better than the first one. Character development, twists and turns, reliable and strong female lead. Would highly recommend.
- Vicious – V.E.Shwab
I’d never read anything by Shwab before and having heard only praises for her I decided to finally give her a shot. I opted for a standalone as I was unsure whether I want to invest my time in another series. Only, it isn’t a standalone. In my foolishness I didn’t check it before hand and now I have to live with the consequences until the sequel comes out in 2018. Do I have to say I loved it? Well, I did. It ticked all the boxes. Inginous plot line, Ambiguous, complicated characters. Plot twist after plot twist. Anti – heroes, vengeance and superpowers. Vicious has it all. There’s also something soothing about V.E.Shwab’s writing style. It reads almost effortlessly. It made me comfortable and feel right at home.
- More Happy Than Not – Adam Silvera
I rarely say this about a book but I do strongly believe that this should become a required reading. It deals with identity, diversity, finding yourself against all odds. It could appeal to everyone. Men, women, 15 year olds and 99 year olds alike. I wrote a whole rather rambling review of this book if you want to know more of my in depth thoughts.
- Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – Jesse Andrews
I did something some of you may see as a violation of an unwritten rule of every reader – I watched the movie before reading the book. Another shocking thing is that I enjoyed the movie far more. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a story of 17 year old Greg who is forced by his mother to spend time with Rachel – an old acquaintance. All because she’s been recently diagnosed with cancer. I found this book to be slightly problematic. While I appreciate the realism of the story, in a way truthful portrayal of a teenager, I also found the main character to be so deeply ignorant and annoying in his selfleshness. It’s one of those reads that left me very conflicted. Have in mind that it may not be for everybody.
- The Underland Chronicles – Book 1 Gregor the Overlander and Book 2 Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane – Suzanne Collins
These are the first two books in very enjoyable middle – grade series. 11 year old Gregor and his younger sister Boots discover a secret Underland and go on a quest to save their missing father. Diverse cast of characters, fun and lots of adventures. As simple as that. Would higly recommend.
- Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell
I’ve heard only great things about Rainbow Rowell so I expected to adore this book as it seems to be the one getting the most praise. While I enjoyed my reading experience I didn’t love it as much as everyone I know did.
- The Boy at the Top of the Mountain – John Boyne
I’ve been a fan of John Boyne’s writing for quite so time now and with each book I love him as a writer even more. This wasn’t an easy read (as one would expect as it is set during WWII) but I obviously loved it (I would read his grocies list and be content if I’m being honest). I wrote a full review on it if you’d like to know more.
- The Magisterium Series – The Iron Trial & The Copper Gauntlet – Cassandra Clare and Holly Black
This series has been compared to the Harry Potter series so many times I went into it with very low expectations and apprehention. Let me start by saying that there is in fact a school where kids learn magic. And this is where HP similarities end.
Yes, the main character has a group of 2 close friends (and?). Yes, they learn magic (this is a magic school, what did you expect them learning?). There’s a villian (it would be suspicious if there wasn’t one, right?). Comparing it to HP is harmul. There’s so much more to this! This story has qualities of its own. Unique magic system, compelling story line, plot twists, incredibly crafted setting. I’m so glad I gave them a shot. If you are in the slightest interested in reading them, please don’t hesitate. You won’t regret it.
- The Silver Linings Playbook – Matthew Quick
Another case of ‘I watched it before I read it’, sue me. I must say it was a huge let down. I felt disconnected from the story and from the characters. Safe to say I liked the movie more.
Overall I had a great time taking part in the reading challenge and definitely will be participating next year!
So there you have it. Part one of my #20booksofsummer wrap – up. How did you guys do?