Mid-Year (ish) check in

Since I am in the process of moving things over from other sites to this one, please bear with me. I decided having one spot for everything books and knitting was infinitely easier than having 3 blogs that almost never updated. PROGRESS.

Anyway. on to the books since presumably that’s why most people would be here. Due to Real Life being Real Life, I set my Good Reads goal at 52. I’m coming out a little ahead of the game so far this year. I’m up to 35 with only one book that I’ve DNF’d. So far my top three books of the year are:

  1. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
  2. The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
  3. Dead Little Mean Girl by Eva Darrows**

We Are Okay may be short, it is only 234 pages of a smaller hard cover book, but it packs a huge punch. It’s primarily a grief novel about how sometimes we push people away even if they only want the best for us because things are too hard. As someone with cptsd I related to this so much and spent half the book in tears. If you don’t mind a darker book that depicts grief in a way that it usually isn’t then I highly, highly recommend it.

The Love Interest is part spy novel and part romance with a whole lot of trope subversion. Love Interests are assigned to people the agency deems important. These can be geniuses, athletes, influential people, etc. The agency sets up a love triangle and whichever Interest loses the battle for the target’s heart is killed. Things don’t go exactly as the agency plans and the classic love triangle trope is turned on its head.  Action, espionage and a very sweet romance put this one on my top list.

Dead Little Mean Girl is a grief novel and mean girl trope subversion in one. Emma’s step-sister Quinn is your garden variety mean girl. She terrorizes the school, Emma, her mom, and pretty much everyone she comes in contact with. When Quinn dies, Emma has to deal with grieving for someone she hated and who did awful things, while learning that there may have been more to Quinn than met the eye. It hits you hard even while you’re laughing and gives you a lot to think about.

 

** Disclaimer: I know and am friends with Eva Darrows but my copy of DLMG was purchased by me and I legitimately love the book and have foisted it upon people of my own accord.

Mid Year Progress

Well, the first half of this year kicked my ass health wise and along with it went all my beautiful plans of blogging, but such is life with a chronic illness. On the bright side, I got lots of reading done and a fair amount of knitting too. I figured I’d take a look at what I’ve read so far this year and see what I’ve enjoyed, what I’ve not enjoyed and see how I stand on my challenges.

  1. Belzhar – Meg Wolitzer 3.5/5 – BR Challenge – Read a book with a main character with a mental illness.
  2. Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic – Meghan Ciana Doidge 4/5
  3. Why We Broke Up – Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman 4.5/5
  4. Normal Gets You Nowhere – Kelly Cutrone 1/5 (DNF)
  5. Assassination Vacation – Sarah Vowell 3/5 – BR Challenge – Read a book about politics
  6. Amulet: The Stonekeepers – Kazu Kibuishi 3/5 – BR Challenge – Read a middle grade novel
  7. This is Where I Leave You – Jonathan Tropper – 5/5 – BR Challenge – Read a book adapted to a movie and then watch the movie. Debate which was better. I’m going with book, though the movie was quite good for this one, especially if you were a fan of Arrested Development.
  8. Illusions of Fate – Kiersten White 5/5
  9. Anatomy of a Misfit – Andrea Portes 4/5
  10. Trinkets, Treasures, and Other Bloody Magic – Meghan Ciana Doidge 4/5
  11. Me Before You – JoJo Moyes 2.5/5
  12. F*ck Love – Tarryn Fisher 4/5
  13. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath 5/5
  14. Rebel Belle – Rachel Hawkins 3/5
  15. Warbreaker – Brandon Sanderson 4/5 – BR Challenge – Read a book over 500 pages
  16. Trigger Warning – Neil Gaiman 4/5
  17. Curio – Evangeline Denmark 1/5 (DNF)
  18. The Walls All Around Us – Nova Ren Suma 4/5
  19. The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane – Kelly Harms 3.5/5
  20. Shakespeare: The Word as Stage – Bill Bryson 3/5 – BR Challenge – Read a Biography
  21. One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies – Sonya Sones 5/5
  22. Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng 4/5
  23. Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World – Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone 3.5/5
  24. The Fireman – Joe Hill 5/5 – BR Challenge – Read a dystopian/post apocalyptic novel
  25. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao – Junot Diaz 1/5 (DNF)
  26. The Sea of Monsters – Rick Riordan 4/5
  27. The Titan’s Curse – Rick Riordan 4/5
  28. The Battle of the Labyrinth – Rick Riordan 5/5
  29. Unbreakable – Kami Garcia 3/5
  30. The Disappearance of Melody Dean – Alexis Sugden 5/5 (There was a kickstarter for the printed trade paper book of this webcomic so I got to read the whole thing already :P ) – BR Challenge – Read a non Superhero Comic debuted in the last 3 years

Overall I’ve enjoyed most of what I’ve read so far this year, with only a couple books that I’ve given up on. I’m 30 out of 52 on my yearly goal of books read and only 8 out of 25 of the Read Harder challenges, so I guess I’m really going to have to step those up for the latter half of the year. I’m in the middle of a few more Read Harder challenges, but I’ve not gotten much reading done in the last couple weeks. I’ll do a more detailed breakdown on what I’ve read and my thoughts on the books in the next post!