Wednesday 30 November 2016

November Wrap-Up.

Things went a little off track this month in that while I'd planned reads, I ended up reading a fair few books that weren't on the original list. This meant that I only managed five of the seven reads from my Planned Reads For November post. However, that's actually not too bad, and I did manage a couple of other, much shorter reads on top bringing my total for the month to seven! Wahoo!

  1. 'The Dead House' by Dawn Kurtagich. I started this spooky read in October and did end up liking it a lot, though not as much as I thought I would. It had a great premise - an unusual format comprising of diary entries, police interviews, etc. that told the story of a young girl living with an identity disorder trying to figure out if her extra personality is a 'symptom' or something more. There were too many aspects to the plot and Kurtagich kept introducing them, even towards the end. This meant that my attention waned and the 'finale' was pretty disappointing. 2.5/5 Stars.
  2. 'Kindred Spirits' by Rainbow Rowell. This short story that I received at YALC for free had been playing on my mind, and while I was already borrowing 'Fangirl' to read later on in the month from my sister, I wanted to read this too. It's a very sincere depiction and I liked it a lot, as it introduced me to Rowell's writing style pretty well. The characters were well-rounded and considering it's length the plot was very succinct. The end was a little cheesy and I would have liked it longer of course, but they are called short stories for a reason. 3.5/5 Stars.
  3. 'The Lie Tree' by Frances Hardinge. It is so easy to see why this one Costa's Book Of The Year award in 2015 and I'm so happy for Hardinge. I read 'Cuckoo Song' and enjoyed it a lot, but I think I liked this even better. It's set in Victorian Society (my favourite historical period) and Hardinge's characters were powerful and complex, her plot imaginative and her writing exquisite. I need to read more books written by this lady, she's clearly the kind of author whose books just work for me. 4.5/5 Stars.
  4. 'The Bazaar Of Bad Dreams' by Stephen King. The often-called master of horror did not blow me away in the past with his book 'It' and I'd been afraid to go back for quite some time in case I was disappointed again. Finally I decided that this time I'd opt for some of his shorter stories and I did enjoy them a little more. They were each different, though linked by common themes and I don't think that I disliked any of them, though a few I loved more than others. If you're intimidated by King's larger novels then maybe this is a good place to start. 3.5/5 Stars.
  5. 'We Should All Be Feminists' by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I'm trying to read more non-fiction as I do enjoy learning about facts as well as through fiction. I am a feminist though until this book, I'd never read many essays or books on the subject and as I had already adored Adichie's TED talk, 'The Danger Of A Single Story', this seemed like a good one to start with. It's short but it neatly summarises what feminism is about Feminism, taking from Adichie's personal experiences and injecting her distinct style and wit. 5/5 Stars.
  6. 'The Ice Dragon' by George R.R. Martin. I didn't think that George R.R. Martin, famous for his use of gore, adult scenes and killing off everyone's favourite characters mercilessly would be able to pull of a children's book. But he has. In fact, it had a fairy-tale like quality to it, reminding me a lot of 'The Snow Child'. I did miss Martin's attention to detail, time period and setting however and elements of the story were a little vague. A great read though, and Luis Royo (whose artwork I've always admired) illustrates this edition beautifully. 4/5 Stars.
  7. 'Fangirl' by Rainbow Rowell. My second Rowell book of the month and this one is significantly longer, which pleases me a lot. All I can say is that this lovely lady has a total mastery over realistic teen lives. The dialogues, characters, relationships and situational events such as first time going further than a kiss or first time at college felt so real. I related so much to Cath's anxious personality and honestly, it's a great depiction of how anxiety actually feels and why it's so frustrating for us when people thing we're just being difficult or weird. Loved the fanfiction element too, it brought back some happy memories. 4.5/5 Stars.

This month I have read six books for Pretty Deadly Review's Backlist Challenge, bringing my yearly total so far to fourty four. This month's reads were:

- 'The Dead House' by Dawn Kurtagich
- 'The Lie Tree' by Frances Hardinge
- The Bazaar Of Bad Dreams' by Stephen King
- 'We Should All Be Feminists' by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- 'The Ice Dragon' by George R.R. Martin
- 'Fangirl' by Rainbow Rowell

This month I have read one book for Falling For YA's Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge bringing my yearly total so far to sixteen. This month's read was:

- 'The Dead House' by Dawn Kurtagich

This month I have gained zero points for Novel Heartbeat and Writer Grrl Reads' Prequel & Sequel Challenge, bringing my yearly total so far to sixty.

This month I have read one book for [un]Conventional Reviews' New Releases Challenge, bringing my yearly total so far to fifteen. The books I read were:

- 'Kindred Spirits' by Rainbow Rowell
This month I have read zero book for Daily Prophecy's Retelling Challenge, bringing my yearly total to ten

I also updated my Bookish Bingo card, and here are this trimester's results!

Stand Alone: Fearless; Tim Lott.
Back List: If I Fall, If I Die; Michael Christie.
Killers: The Bazaar Of Bad Dreams; Stephen King.
Suspense: The Dead House; Dawn Kurtagich.
Sea Creatures: Dark Tide; Jennifer Donnelly.
Revenge: The Gospel Of Loki; Joanne M. Harris.
Horror Or Paranormal: A Monster Calls; Patrick Ness.
Freebie: The Star-Touched Queen; Roshani Chokshi.
Illustrated: The Ice Dragon; George R.R. Martin.
American History: China Dolls; Lisa See.
Friendship: Harry Potter & The Cursed Child; J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne & John Tiffany.
Black Cover: The Graces; Laure Eve.
Fall Release: As I Descended; Robin Talley.
Creepy Cover: The Lie Tree; Frances Hardinge.
Short Story: Kindred Spirits; Rainbow Rowell.
College: Fangirl; Rainbow Rowell.

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