Thursday, August 6, 2015

Summertime Sadness: A Quick Look at the Books I Failed to Review in the Past Months of Summer (Middlesex, Harry Potter, Red Queen, and Game of Thrones)

In the past two months I have of course continued to read books, but I got so caught up in the books that I was reading that I just didn't feel the motivation to review them. As in the past I am only going to recap the books that count towards my 2015 Reading Challenge. I have read many other books, and am very close to my 60 book reading goal (currently 53 books), but I only want to mention the ones that count towards my challenge.

1. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (a Pulitzer Prize winning book)
When I saw this challenge I immediately thought of The Goldfinch, but I chose Middlesex because I wanted to read from a very different and modern perspective. I had never read a book that dealt with the issue of gender indentity and I found this novel very eye-opening. It was interesting to see how Cal reacted to the concept of nature-vs-nurture. I would have liked to see even more of this struggle because that's what I was expecting, but it actually had a lot to do with her family history. The story contained much more about her parents and grandparents than it did Cal. I was dissapointed in the shockingly small part of the book that dealt with Cal's transformation. Despite this, the book was beautifully written and dealt with a few racy issues (gender identity and incest) so I understand why it won the Pulitzer. I personally prefer a  book with a bit more plot though.

2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling (a book that came out the year I was born)
This was a reread for me, so obviously not much of a challenge or a stretch for me but I wanted something simple to read and something that I knew I would enjoy. A lot of the books I have read this year have been really long or something I wouldn't normally pick up so they have been taking me awhile to read (2+ weeks). I chose this book because I knew I could get through it really fast and because I haven't reread the series since I read them in second grade. Of course I loved it but I couldn't seem to stop comparing the book to the movie or envisioning the characters as their movie actors because I have seen the movies so often.
MY RATING: *****

3. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (a book with a color in the title)
Despite many recent reviews that have only criticized the book, I actually think this book lived up to the hype. I was caught up in the action and the plot of the book and I hardly noticed the faults other reviewers found. Sure the book had part in it that have been seen in other YA novels, but with the amount of popular YA it is hard to be 100% original. I thought any similarities with other books were overshadowed by the originality of the book and the way the pieces were weaved together with in the story. I really like dhow strong and independent Mare was, also there was't that much romance with was refreshing. There was a touch but in the end of the book Mare was independent and I was completely okay with that.

4. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (a book that was turned into a TV show)
I finally got into the Song of Ice and Fire series!! I thought the beginning of the book was a little boring because of all the characters and past plots that were being thrown at me but once I got half way though the story I couldn't put it down and I flew threw the ending. I thought it was very unexpected (especially the deaths!) and I loved the way it laid the groundwork for the rest of the series. I can't wait to continue on, although I am intimidated because I heard that even more characters are introduced in the second book. Because this challenge had to do with the TV show, I tried to watch it but I couldn't really get into it. I kept comparing it to the book and the first season was so similar that all the surprising parts didn't phase me because I knew they were coming. I think after I finish the book series I may watch the TV show because I heard that they do have a lot of differences but I want to read the George R.R. Martin version first.
MY RATING: *****

I hope to keep up with me reviews in the upcoming months but I am starting my first semester of college in two weeks so I might have another stretch with no posts. I promise to try my hardest to keep up with them.

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