Book Challenge Update

For 2021 I am rekindling my love of new books and actually reading more new books than rereads this year. You can read more about my goal in my past post here.

The Book Challenge. 

Total to read: 50. 

Read so far: 19

Books to go: 31

Now four months into this year I am doing surprisingly well at this goal. With having to read 4 books a month to keep it up I am ahead of schedule!

I have read 19 books so far… though six of them were rereads oops… 

Meaning I am going to have to read 4 extra books already to get to 50 new books, but I am on track if I shoot for only 40 new ones. Although I will say I would have read less of the old books if the online library database would actually have some of the books I am looking for. Either they don’t have them at all OR one ebook has a hold list of up to 6 months (true story). I am on hold for a book with a 6 month wait on it and am slightly obsessed with refreshing the webpage everyday to see if somehow it is available for me to download. 

Because I want to do a comprehensive book list at the end of the year, for these challenge check-ins I am only going to tell you one stand out book for each month. 

January 

The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkein 

I have only heard good things about this series from everyone I know who has read it but so far I don’t feel invested in the way I anticipated. The writing is beautiful and the world building is excellent but the story laaaaaags. Basically 200 pages in they are still in the Shire and I just thought ‘HOW,’ and while I get the need to describe the setting sometimes it felt that maybe I didn’t need to read a couple pages dedicated to just the trees. 

I have decided I will read book 2 but I have to know… do they ever do anything else but WALK???

February

The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel

It is a book with two time periods 2005 and WWII era set primarily in France. The main premise is, main character Eva, a polish Jew living in Paris with her family who upon trying to escape to Switzerland finds herself involved with foraging papers and wants to find a way to preserve the true identities of the children who she is giving new ones to. If I explained that well at all. 

The plot of the book was really interesting and I am glad that I decided to pick it up but I think there were things in the execution that could have been better as well as the main character could be annoying. 

Also there were some of the 2005 time events that felt like it stopped the progression of the story although some of the information was overall relevant.

Overall I would recommend reading it if you like historical fiction.  

March

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

“Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.”

My friend recommended that I read it but I wasn’t prepared to practically read it in one sitting. 

“The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies — humans with extraordinary abilities — who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone… except the villains they once overthrew.”

I loved the superhero vs the antihero plot of the book. Anything with superheroes is just too good. The ending of this first book was a great cliffhanger and really makes you want to get your hands on book 2.

The main character Nova is very hot-headed and a lot of what she does just made me want to punch her but also I was invested in everything that revolved around the storyline. I do wish we got more about the rest of the side characters, instead of just Nova and some from the other main Adrian, because they were interesting.

I have finished the series since reading it and can state while not as amazing as the Lunar Chronicles this series was still an engaging read. 

April

Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli 

This is the sequel to Stargirl, which has now been made a movie on Disney + starring Grace Vanderwaal, which is a book I LOVED when I read it all the years ago. It tells the story from Stargirl after she has moved away from Arizona written in a slightly diary style format. 

It is a quick read and enjoyable but nothing close to how great book one was. The character of Stargirl felt a lot more magical and vibrant in the original book and there seemed to be a lot of whining from her that seemed out of character in book 2.

It was the stand out of April specifically because I honestly didn’t know there was a second book (although it came out in 2007 oops).

I’m excited to see what other interesting books I end up reading by the end of the year. I’m hoping I find a book that will be another for my top book list.

Do you have any recommendations of other things I can read next?

What are you reading right now?

(Please send book recommendations so I can have enough books for the year.)

Currently reading: Augustine’s Confessions by Augustine of Hippo and What Once Was True by Jean Grainger 

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