Readathon 2016: Books 1-5

I am taking part again in the Readathon of somuchreading.com.

Last year I finishes all 30 categories (Part1, Part2, Part3) and this year I will try to finish all 64 categories. I will write a blog post every 5 (or so) books.

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Last year I was taking photos of my cat (Zizi) with the books I read.

This year I will take photos of me in different outfits, in an attempt to see how many outfits I have. I will try to match (in an abstract way) the outfit to the book.

Don’t worry, I will still upload photos of Zizi in other posts.

Here is one:

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Ok let’s move on to the books.

1. We Have Always Lived in the Castle, by Shirley Jackson

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Readathon category: A book with more than 6 words in the title

We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a small book (less than 200 pages) that makes you want to read (you want to see what happens). But for some reason, I could not read it very fast. Every sentence is important, you can not just scan them.

Two sisters live in the fanciest house of the village, together with their old uncle. Something terrible happened to their family and the rest of the village hates them.

I really liked this book ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

What I liked the most is that the main character is not actually “normal”, as main characters usually are. It is the youngest sister, with various OCD problems and weird ideas. And the way Shirley Jackson writes it, you feel that this is normal. My favorite part of the book (it is a small detail) is when she tries to choose 5 safe words that if no one says out loud, nothing will change.

Definitely recommend!

 

2. My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories, edited by Stephanie Perkins

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(unfortunately ebooks from my tablet can’t be photographed well)

Readathon category: a book that take place on Christmas

As the title suggests, the book contains 12 stories that take place on the Christmas holidays, written by Young Adult authors. They are all romance (teen romance). I started it in December, but of course I got tired with all the young love stuff and it took me long to finish.

I gave it ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Here are the stars (relative to the rest of the stories of course, I would not give 5 stars to anything here) and review of every story.

1) Midnights by Rainbow Rowell: 3/5 (nothing special, normal cute story)
2) The Lady and The Fox by Kelly Link: 2/5 (uff time-traveller love story? not that good)
3) Angels In The Snow by Matt de la Peña: 4/5 (new york love story, one of the two with a male main character. Also they are adults! good for a change)
4) Polaris Is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han: 5/5 (actually very different from the rest! Takes place in the actual North Pole of Santa!)
5) It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins: 4/5 (pretty good, for some reason I liked the setting, a messy house)
6) Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan: 3/5 (extra points for having a gay story, but that was the only interesting thing in it)
7) Krampuslauf by Holly Black: 3/5 (trailer-park christmas with a little bit of magic)
8) What The Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman: 2/5 (meh, nothing special)
9) Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire: 2/5 (naughty boy helps the church and he pastor’s daughter save the christmas play. I am not in favor of churches in general.)
10) Welcome To Christmas, CA by Kiersten White: 2/5 (girl waitressing in family dinner meets young cook. Nothing special again. I was also already tired with that romance pattern…)
11) Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter: 5/5 (But then this happened! I actually wanted to see what happens in this story!)
12) The Girl Who Woke The Dreamer by Laini Taylor: 4/5 (Dystopian! What a nice finale! I would have liked to learn about this world, but a small story is not enough to introduce a whole dystopian world) 

 

3. Seconds, by Bryan Lee O’Malley

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Readathon category: a graphic novel

Katie is a cute and quirky young chef that tries to open her new restaurant. She still lives over her old restaurant and is involved in the stuff that goes on there. One day she finds magic mushrooms that can make one wish come true…

A fantasy story with a very likable main character (I tried to dress as she would dress 🙂 ). It is actually an everyday story, plus the magic. The art is also very good, kind of manga-like. Both story and art are much much better than his other book I have read, Lost at Sea.

I liked it ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

 

4. Dune, by Frank Herbert

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Readathon category: a science fiction novel

One of my book-ish resolutions for 2016 is off the list!

I don’t think I need to introduce Dune. It is one of these books that “everyone” knows, like Lord of the Rings. I learned about it when I found a book in a hostel in China, just when I had finished my books (so lucky!). It turned out to be the first prequel of Dune, The Butlerian Jihad, written recently by the author’s son. I really liked the whole idea, but then the next book (The Machine Crusade) started so long after the previous one, all the characters were dead, so I didn’t read it. But I had to read the original one!

At first I found Dune kind of boring, just talking about politics in palaces. After many pages some action happened, but again it was action that came mostly through dialogue, not actual action scenes. But I found myself really absorbed in the book. And I realized how amazing it is. Not because of action. Not even because of the world he created. But because of the philosophical, strategical and psychological ideas that Frank Herbert has included in the book. After more than 200 pages I realized it is one of these books that I wish I could write, the ones that I read and think “I will never be so wise and clever as this author”.

I give it ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ and not more because although I think it is a very high quality book, it still was kind of tiring for me to read it. It is written many years ago. Also I haven’t decided if I want to continue reading the rest of the books. They are too many!

 

5. Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell

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Readathon category: a book that the main character identifies as LGTBQ

After Dune, something relaxing 🙂

If you have read Fangirl, you know what Carry On is about. I will describe it as “gay Harry Potter”.

The similarities with Harry Potter are obvious, but I believe the author did it on purpose, satirically. The Chosen-One that didn’t even know he was a wizard, then finds a father figure in the school’s headmaster, there is a Hermione-character, a Malfoy-character and even a Hagrid-character. And the sworn enemy that keeps attacking the Chosen One.

But it is more funny and grown-up. The characters are 18, in the last school year, and the first part of the book focuses on describing the world and the past (and that is the part that reminds Harry Potter the most). Then the book develops it’s own story.

I gave it ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ it was pleasant to read.

 

That is all for now! And here is one more Zizi-photo:

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