Challenges

Challenge: TBR Pile 2013 Challenge Progress

 
I am currently taking part in the 2013 TBR Pile Reading Challenge, and as of yet have not written any progress posts, so I’m taking the chance to make one now! My goal was  to read 15 books over the year, from a list of 30. You can view my original post here, which includes the list.
 

So how have I done so far?

 

  1.  An Abundance of Katherines by John Green – my first John Green book (The Fault in Our Stars is waiting for me…) and such a sweet read.
  2. Tristan and Iseult by Rosemary Sutcliff – I just finished this one. A bit disappointing really. This was meant to be the ‘romantic’ version, rather than Tristan and Iseult falling in love because of a love potion, but it really didn’t feel it.
  3. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness – Beautiful and so, so moving.
  4. The Maze Runner by James Dashner – Fantastic dystopian YA story, and I also recently read the second book in the series, The Scorch Trials.
  5. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – This one caught me by surprise, it was original and interesting, and rather different from what I was expecting!
  6. The Magicians by Lev Grossman – Definitely accurate in the ‘Harry Potter for adults’ description, with some C.S. Lewis thrown in for good measure.
  7. The Sun in my Eyes: Two-wheeling East by Josie Dew – I love Josie’s travel writing, she’s so witty and has some amazing experiences.
  8. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen – This book was so sweet, especially compared with many of today’s characters.

 
Eight out of fifteen, and only (basically) four months into the year – I think I will achieve my target, perhaps I could even read all thirty!
 

And now, my readers, how are you doing with the challenge if you’re taking part? What have you read this year so far that you loved?

 
Review

Review: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

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5 out of 5 stars | Goodreads
When you frequently use Goodreads or Tumblr, or are part of the book blogging community, it is hard to escape John Green. I have heard nothing but pure unadulterated praise for his books, and now I am beginning to understand why.

The main protagonist of An Abundance of Katherines is Colin, a former child prodigy who loves to learn, but doesn’t feel as if he’s done anything with his life – and that it’s too late to make a difference. Every single girl that Colin has even gone out with or kissed has been called Katherine – with that exact spelling – and he can’t explain why. And every single Katherine has dumped him – nineteen in total.

At the beginning of the novel, Colin has just been dumped by Katherine number nineteen, the one with which he has had the longest and most serious relationship. In an effort to stop his best friend spiralling down into depression, Colin’s friend Hassan encourages him to take a road trip, as they have the whole summer ahead of them. And it is this road trip which changes everything.

Somehow, whilst Colin is a very self-centered person who is completely and utterly fixated on Katherines, he is still very likeable. I think this is due to his intelligence, his constant anagramming – making him a very interesting character. He is also, whilst being a little selfish, a good person at heart. He just wants the girl he loves back and doesn’t understand why things ended, so you can’t help but feel a little sorry for him. His best friend, Hassan, is another great character – partly comic relief, partly a shoulder for Colin to cry on. Both boys might seem like they’re taking the easy way out at times, but they certainly prove themselves at various points throughout the book.

It’s funny how a story about heartbreak can be such a delight to read. John Green has a lovely, fluid writing style that is both easy to read, and gets a lot across. The book felt so unique with its frequent anagrams and mathematical formulas – I hate maths, I can’t do it to save my life but I found Colin’s Theorem and the maths behind it fascinating. And that’s when you know an author is doing something right – they draw you into something you normally wouldn’t care about.

I would most definitely recommend this book, and will be reading more of Mr. Green’s work, starting with The Fault in Our Stars. But first I need to emotionally prepare myself. Wish me luck.

Past Features

Weekly Roundup #14

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My ‘Weekly Roundup’ is where I share the books I have received in the past week, whether bought, gifted, borrowed etc.
 

Bought

 
I used my Waterstones gift card at Waterstone’s Cirencester on Saturday. It was really hard to choose, since there were so many books that I wanted, but I finally settled on these two.
 
  • The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey – I don’t remember when I first heard about this book, but I do know that I was purely drawn in by the cover at first. It’s received some very positive reviews, and there is a massive waiting list for it at the library – so I thought why not?
  • An Abundance of Katherines by John Green – I’ve been wanting to read some John Green for a while (he is a god on Tumblr). I know The Fault in Our Stars is the big one that makes everyone cry, but I thought I’d ease myself in to his books…
 

Edelweiss

 
  • The Daylight War (Demon Cycle #3) by Peter V. Brett – The Demon Cycle series is one of the fantastic fantasy series I discovered last year. This is the third and final book, and it is due out in February – however I spotted an ARC on Netgalley in November. I got rejected on Netgalley, then saw it Edelweiss. What I like about Edelweiss is that you can write why you want that book in particular, so I posted links to my reviews of the other two books, explained how much I loved the series and have recommended it to others – and I got an ARC! I am so excited to read this one!

What have you received to read this week? Have you read any of these?