Friday, July 29, 2016

July Wrap-Up

2016 Popsugar Reading Challenge progress: 28 out of 40
Total books read so far this year: 31
Books completed in July: 5

An awesome reading month for me!  Tons of stress at work = lots of books read at home!  

Winter by Marissa Meyer
Fulfills 2016 Popsugar Challenge #18: A book that's more than 600 pages
Rating: 4.75 out of 5 (because I'm really tough with that full 5 star rating!)

Wow. Mind blown. 

Prior to reading this book, I liked the series but I didn't love it. However, I was super-impressed by this book and all its characters. Winter is delightfully nuts. Really love the Thorne and Cress relationship that develops a lot more in this book. I actually even liked Scarlet in this one, probably because she and Wolf are separated for a lot of the book...I've determined that I like them a lot better individually than as a couple. 

I haven't read a book this long in years, but there isn't a lot of filler and it really keeps up a breakneck pace for the majority of the book. 

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Fulfills 2016 Popsugar Challenge #33: A classic from the 20th century

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

I read this book for the first time in high school, so around 20 years ago. My memories of it were a bit dim...I recall liking it but not loving it and not particularly getting what the fuss was about it. I think in my memory I gave it something like 3.75 stars.

I appreciated it more this time around. I think I picked up on more nuances in the writing and identified more with Nick, the narrator, as an adult. Glad I chose to pick this one back up.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Fulfills 2016 Popsugar Challenge #12: A book that takes place during the summer
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

This is the kind of book that is really hard to give thoughts on without verging into spoiler territory, but I'll try.  I saw the movie so I knew the major twist going into it, but I had forgotten parts of the story line. I think it works a lot better in book format.

The characters are really messed REALLY psychologically messed up, yet they were still identifiable (at least to me), which probably makes it even more disturbing. 

The book is divided into three sections, two of approximately equal length and a shorter end section. The shorter end section is what kept me from giving this book 5 stars; I feel like I lost a bit of the connection to the characters. I wanted it to wrap up, and I felt she was dragging it out a bit too much. Overall, though, it was a fantastic read and I would like to try other books by this author.

How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You by Matthew Inman (AKA The Oatmeal)
Rating: 3.25 out of 5

As a fur-mom, I had high hopes that this graphic novel would be a lot of fun, but it was a bit of a let down - lots of repetition, not really all that amusing, and a section on "how to tell if your cat is homosexual" that is completely random and inappropriate regardless of your sexual orientation.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Fulfills 2016 Popsugar Challenge #17: A book at least 100 years older than you
Rating: 2 out of 5

What a disappointment. I kept waiting for a point/moral/symbolism/etc. that just didn't come (or else I missed completely). Drivel. Absolute drivel. Thank goodness it was short. 

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