Tag Archives: book riot 2015 read harder challenge

Book Riot’s 2015 Read Harder Challenge — Update #10 & Other Challenges

We have exactly one month left until the end of the year, and I am SO CLOSE to finishing my challenges that I can taste it! Here’s what I managed to read for my Book Riot Challenge this month! This means I only have two out of twenty four books left to read. Here’s how my shelf is looking for this project. Hard to believe I’m two books to finishing this year long challenge.

#4: A Book Published by an Indie Press

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Shadow of Death, Book Two of the Chosen Chronicles by Karen Dales (Indie Press: Dark Dragon Publishing, from Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

I really like this series, and I thought this installment really ramped up the drama for Angel. Furthermore, I really loved how the majority of this book took place in Toronto. Considering its a city I am familiar with, it was great to be able to visualize the landmarks and streets that Dales was referencing in the story. Also omg Gywn! This book did however, feel like less of a horror novel compared to the first one. In fact, it read closer to an urban fantasy novel for me than it did horror, but that’s okay. My only gripe is while I loved the story, the editing in this book was a little wonky at times. Still, I really dug the story and I’ll have to bump Thanatos up in my TBR soon. Seriously, I love it when a vampire series actually uses vampire mythos correctly. SO HAPPY!

And since this is an indie press release, here’s some links to where you can buy this series, and support the author if you’re curious about it! Karen is a great writer, and a pleasure to know.

#8: A Book by an Author from Africa

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Zoo City by Lauren Beukes

I’ve had Zoo City on my TBR for like, ever. It was one of those books where I was like HELLSYESINEEDTOREADTHIS and then just plum forgot about it. Yeah, I’m an ass. However, I have finally read it now, and the challenge it’s under is quite appropriate given that this is an African science fiction novel. Not only does this book highlight some of the issues facing African countries, but it taught me a surprising amount about countries I didn’t know a lot about to begin with, and with the science fiction setting, it was completely fascinating. Plus Zinzi just kicks major ass, and Sloth is a brilliant partner. I loved Beniot, but feels. Feels folks.

And for this challenge, Lauren Beukes is of South African descent, and is from  Johannesburg, South Africa.


You may recall last month that I said I was going to work through a lot of my series, playing catch up mostly. Well, I started a few new series, I caught up in a few. Here’s what I managed to get to:

First in a Series

  • Flesh and Fire by Laura Anne Gilman (Book 1 in the Vineart War series)
  • Riders by Veronica Rossi (Book 1 in the Riders series, releasing Feb 16th 2016)
  • Bitch Planet Volume 1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick et al.
  • Nailbiter Volume 1 by Joshua Williamson et al.
  • Bridget Wilder: Spy-in-Training by Jonathan Bernstein (Book 1 in the Bridget Wilder series)
  • The Death and Life of Zebulone Finch: Volume One by Daniel Kraus (Volume 1 in the Zebulon Finch series)
  • The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale et al. (Book 1 in the Princess in Black series)

Sequels in a Series

  • Red Rose Chain by Seanan McGuire (Book 9 in the October Daye series, caught up)
  • Fables Vol. 21 & 22 by Bill Willingham and co. (Completed!)
  • Ava XOX by Carol Weston (Book 3 in the Ava and Pip series, caught up. Releasing Feb 1st 2016)
  • Shadow of Death by Karen Dales (Book 2 in The Chosen Chronicles)
  • Black Widow, Vol. 3: Last Days by Nathan Edmondson, Phil Noto (Completed!)
  • Morning Glories, Vol. 2: All Will Be Free
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Book Riot’s 2015 Read Harder Challenge — Update #9 & Other Challenges

October was an up and down month for reading. Life was just crazy busy, so a lot of my reading got done on my train ride to and from work. That being said, I made some more progress on my Book Riot Challenge. I can confidently say, I have four books left to read. Four is a pretty good number, and I think I can complete it all either next month, or do two and two for the rest of the year. Here’s what I tackled…

#13: Read a Romance Novel

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Cinderella Screwed Me Over by Cindi Madsen

This was surprisingly cute, and definitely not something I’d normally read. I generally dislike pure romance novels, but this one made me laugh out loud numerous times. It’s cute, with a touch of angst, and if you are a huge Disney fan, then this book will actually appeal to you ten times more. The way the Disney references were woven in? Genius! Really, this is a surprisingly genuine and funny romance novel. I’m actually glad I read it, ’cause romance like this is always super out of my comfort zone.

#21: A Book Published Before 1850

13628336 The Count of Monte Cristo
by Alexandre Dumas

So this finally happened. I started this book at the beginning of September and finally completed it. I’ve actually had this book on my shelf since high school, and I’ve always been intimidated by the size of it. It’s crazy huge and over a thousand pages! But it’s actually a really fantastic novel full of revenge, intrigue, politics, identity and self-discovery. It’s a favourite of my husband’s that I’ve just been afraid to read and I wish I had gotten to it sooner. It’s really a great classic, but one that you definitely need to be patient with.


I’ve decided for the month of November that I am going to play catch up on some of the series I’ve started over the years. There’s just so many sequels on my shelf and for some reason, I just haven’t bothered picking them up and completing them. My goal is to try and complete as many sequels by the end of November. Here’s the a few I’m looking at catching up on or completing:

  • The Lair of Dreamers (The Diviners #2), by Libba Bray
  • A Week without Tuesday (Tuesday McGillycuddy #2)
    by Angelica Banks
  • A Red-Rose Chain (October Daye #9)
    by Seanan McGuire
  • Shattered (The Iron Druid Chronicles #7)
    by Kevin Hearne
  • Shadows of Self (Mistborn #5)
    by Brandon Sanderson
  • Sinner (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #4)
    by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Shadow of Death (The Chosen Chronicles #2)
    by Karen Dales

And who knows what else…

Also awhile back, you’ll remember I was doing a shelf challenge. I had River pick a shelf on my bookshelves, and it would be the shelf I would try to knock a lot of books off. So it’s been two months, let’s see the progress!

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Before

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After

Not bad if I say so myself! How was your reading in the month of October? I’d love to know.

Book Riot’s 2015 Read Harder Challenge — Update #8 & Other Challenges

September was an insanely busy month and it officially started me working two library jobs. Craziness ensued, but thanks to my longish commute, I was able to read quite a bit this month. I did start The Count of Monte Cristo this month for my Book Riot Challenge, which is complete “A book published before 1850,” but since it’s over 1000 pages, it’s going to take me a bit. I did however complete…

#19: A book Originally Published in Another Language

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Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

If I’m being honest, I would call this book a page-turner. However, I actually didn’t enjoy the book! I found it just too ridiculous and out there for my tastes, and I am generally someone who loves a novel featuring time slips. The romance in this book felt so problematic (I don’t see the appeal of Gideon if I’m being frank, he was kind of a douche). Seriously, why is this series popular? I’m curious, but damn if I wasn’t disappointed by this first book. I kept turning the pages hoping it would grab me in a positive way, but I found it a fast, if problematic read at times. Cie la vie.


For the monthly husband challenge, let’s see how I did. The monthly husband challenge is my husband encouraging me to not just read my ARCs every month!

1. the September that never ended – read a book from 1993 — Here’s to You Rachel Robinson by Judy Blume (got this from the library and still need to read it as of this post!)
2. pre-chewed food is better than nothing – a work in translation — Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
3. all i got are these bitty hooves – catch up on a series
4. something something a flower was in the title..or maybe it was a tree? — Uprooted by Naomi Novik
5. new shiny – something that released in august – Slasher Girls & Monster Boys
 Edited by April Genevieve Tucholke 


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A readathon by Elena Reads and Sam @ Cold Tea Crumbs where you are encourage to read a bookish friend’s favourite books. It ran from September 7th to the 13th, and here’s what I managed to complete.

The Challenges
1) Choose three books and get your buddy to pick one from them for you to read. — What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler
2) Buddy read a book with your buddy. — A Step Towards Falling by Cammie McGovern
3) Read a book with your buddy’s favourite colour on.  — A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis (River’s fave colour is blue!) 

4) Read a book your buddy gave 5 stars. — Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin (which I also gave 5 stars to!)
5) Read a book that you want to… just because. — Americus
by M.K. Reed, Jonathan Hill 

 


CPMtIwYUwAAHkp3Read-Your-Book-Shelf-A-Thon (or #RYBSAT) happened on September 22nd through the 29th. The goal is to pick a part on your shelf, and then read the next book behind it throughout the week to see how much you complete. My goal was from Pike to Taylor, and I only managed three books. I finished Life After Theft (Pike), Miss Pergerine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Riggs) and The Winner’s Curse (Ruthoski). I’d say that was a success given the insanely busy week I had!


 

Not sure what next month is going to bring, but I will be updating you all soon on my shelf challenge as I was quite enjoying it, and I’d like to keep widdling this shelf Molly picked down some more. We’ll see how it goes since I also need to get through the last six books for my Book Riot Challenge within the next three months (and seriously, Count of Monte Cristo wants my soul). We’ll see what I have time for also given that I have a huge stack of ARCs that are demanding my attention!

What are some of your reading goals for October? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

Book Riot’s 2015 Read Harder Challenge — Update #6 & Read-a-thon Outcomes

In the month of July I managed to knock out two more Book Riot Read Harder Challenges. Let’s see what I tackled, shall we?

#6: A Book by a Person Whose Gender is Different From Your Own

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Momo by Michael Ende

Oh my goodness this book, did it make me cry. Seriously, what a smart, charming little book from the author of The Neverending Story. So I want to say thank you to my childhood best friend for giving me this book last year as a wedding shower present. I finally had the chance to sit down and read it, and it was such a beautiful, emotionally rich story. The inscription in the book made me cry (but I cry easy), and I understood the parallel that was made in it between myself and Momo. I think this book is much better than The Neverending Story, I feel like it’s a classic no one talks about, and yet it’s just such a gentle, slow, thoughtful book that doesn’t ask a lot of the reader other than to listen, and listen closely.

#7: A Book That Takes Place in Asia

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Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan
by Jake Adelstein

I’ve had this book on my shelf for awhile, as it was a birthday gift from my husband, and I’m struggling to figure out why I had put it off for so long. This is a work of investigative journalism, focusing on Adelstein’s career as a new reporter for one of the largest newspapers in Japan, and the focus of his work was mainly doing the crime beat. What’s fascinating about this read is the way in which the author explores issues of prostitution, human trafficking, and the way in which the laws in Japan are fairly strict yet problematic in these situations. There’s also a large focus on the yakuza and loan-sharks, which is a topic that’s always interested me. A really dark and rough read, but it provides some unique insight into Japanese law-enforcement and why the seedy underbelly is the way it is. I highly recommend this piece of non-fiction, especially if you’re interested in organized crime or tougher issues.

And with these two books read, I am at 16/24 challenges completed, which means I only have seven challenges to go, and five months left to go. I think I’ll be able to complete this, though I am worried about the book I selected for one of the challenges because it’s over 800 pages. I supposed I should get on that, huh?


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#CRAMATHON happened from July 10th to the 12th and was hosted by Whitney @ WhittyNovels. Basically the goal of this readathon was to try and read as many tiny books on your shelf. I don’t own any novels in verse or any novellas, so I am skipping those challenges and did all the other ones. Challenges to be completed were:

1. Read a children’s book – The Book of Deares for Lost Friends by Jane Kelly
2. Read a hardback – Fariest by Marissa Meyer
3. Read 2 books in 24 hours – The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow & Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles
4. Read a graphic novel – Codename: Sailor V Vol. 2 by Naoko Takeuchi
5. Read 5 books total – DID IT!

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tbrtakedown#TBRTakedown 2.0 is hosted by the amazing Shannon @leaninglights and this one was held on July 25th-31st. There were also challenges to be completed and they were…

1. First Book in a series – Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
2. Sequel Book in a series – Storm by Amanda Sun
3. Out of your comfort zone (genre, author, reviews, etc) – Tokyo Vice by Jake Adelstein (non-fiction) 
4. On your shelf over a year (or the longest) – Momo by Michael Ende
5. Most recently hauled book – Wind / PInball by Haruki Murakami

I am so proud of myself! The last time I did #TBRTakedown I didn’t finish the challenges, but this time around I managed to read all five books I selected and I did it before the time was up. If I had to choose a favourite, I’d say Momo by Michael Ende. It was such a surprise and joy to read, and it left me feeling quite emotional. An easy book to recommend, and it’s a great classic too!


My husband also gave me another monthly challenge to read diversely through my shelves. Here were the challenges and what I read to correspond with it.

1. I don’t know what it’s called but the cover is red — A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

2. Boo! haunted house (read a horror novel) – Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire (ghost stories!)

3. ‘For Asgard! For Albuquerque!’ read a superhero team-up — Hawkeye vs. Deadpool by Gerry Duggan  & Matteo Lolli 
4. Free Space (anything I want) – Don’t Fail me Now by Una LaMarche
 
5. Something funny. – Me, Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
So unlike the last time my husband gave me a challenge, I completed this one on time! Mind you, this time around I didn’t have to read a 500+ page novel (that turned out to BE AWESOME). It was just to just try to find books to fit his silly challenges, and I appreciate when he tries to get me to read larger books or other things than YA and Middle Grade. With that, these are all the challenges and read-a-thons I took part in during the month of July. I hope you guys will participate in ARC August and Book-tube-a-thon! (Or at least cheer me on!)

Book Riot’s 2015 Read Harder Challenge — Update #5 & Read-a-thon Outcomes

Hello! It’s another end of the month, which means it’s time for an update on my Book Riot 2015 challenge. Here’s a reminder of the books I am reading for this year long challenge! June saw me accomplish only two books, which was unexpected and better than I was expecting! So far I have read 14/24 books for this challenge.  (A Reminder of all the 2015 BR Reader Harder Categories!)

#18 A Book Someone Else Has Recommended To You

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The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

So for this Book Riot Challenge I let River make the selection, and she loved this book last year. I actually have had this book even before it released (it was an ARC I won from Epic Reads) and I just adored the characters in the story. I loved Ezra and his struggles, I loved that the romance didn’t actually follow through and over all Schneider does a great job in exploring how relationships form and fall apart. I high recommend this book! I read it in two sittings!

#9: A book that is by or about someone of an Indigenous Culture 

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The Back of the Turtle
by Thomas King

Those of you who know me quite well, know I adore Thomas King’s works. I’ve read a large chunk of them and they are always filled with charm, humor, with an over-arching plotline usually related either to environmentalism, native issues, or a combination of the two. The Back of the Turtle is a chunker of a book, but reading it never felt that way. I always love reading about books that take place in the city I live in, and King’s imagery and uses of magical realism are quite wonderful. The characters are wonderful and quirky, and I feel like they will have the staying power of the ones from Green Grass, Running Water (which I always encourage folks to read because it’s hilarious). But yeah, I’m glad I got the chance for my challenge to read another one of his books!


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At the beginning of the month I participated in the #TBRTakedown hosting by @leaninglights on Twitter, and that was such a fun readathon. In it, she offered a variety of challenges, and I read ten books! However, I actually did fail the challenges as I did not get to “Stone in the Sky” which would have completed the challenge “Read a sequel to a series you’ve started.” I read a lot of graphic novels that week, but even though I didn’t finish the one challenge, I am still insanely proud of myself! I hope that @leaninglights does this readathon again because I’d be so in again.


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So the #rainbowthon occurred from June 15th to the 22nd, and this was my TBR for that week. I managed to read everything by A Court of Thorns and Roses, which I didn’t get around to, but I will be starting soon because Melissa has been telling me through Twitter that she needs someone to fangirl this book with. I WILL GET TO IT, MELISSA!

But I did like the three books I managed to get to. Fin & Lady was an interesting histoical novel that looks at human relationships in the 1960’s. I spent much of the novel yelling at Lady’s poor choices, but I so absorbed in the story. Like it Never Happened I ended up reviewing and quite enjoyed!


 CITCVFWWsAAVnjXAnd then on June 26th I participated in the 24 hour #crushyourtbr readathon, and I managed to read five books. This picture was of my tentative TBR, and I did read quite a chunk of this pile. I compleyed the following:

  • The Divine, by Asaf Hanuka, Tomer Hanuka, Boaz Lavie
  • The Color of Water, by Kim Dong Hwa
  • Studio Ghibli: The Films of Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata by Colin Odell & Michelle Le Blanc
  • Hold Me Closer by David Levithan
  • East of West Vol. 1: The Promise by Jonathan Hickman & Nick Dragotta (not featured, read digitally)

So I have to say, I’m proud of myself for tackling five books from my TBR. My goal is to keep working through my own personal collection, which is why in July I am putting myself on a library book ban (I will read what I recently took out, but no more after that for awhile), and I am going to try and cut back on the graphic novel reading because omg I love graphic novels, but I’m not working on my larger TBR. Especially want to keep working on my Book Riot 2015 Challenge and my Month By Month one (which I am super failing at the moment). So we’ll see?

Wha have you read or participated in for the month of June?

Book Riot’s 2015 Read Harder Challenge — Update #4 & Read-a-thon Outcomes

Hey guys! So it looks like I am overdue for a Book Riot 2015 Read Harder Challenge update. As you saw, I did not do one for April as I was swamped with tests and exams, so I am combining it with the May Update. In April, this was the only challenge I completed.

#10: Read a Microhistory

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At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson

For those of you unaware, I am quite the lover of Bill Bryson. He’s one of the few non-fiction writer’s out there who’s work I appreciate on so many different levels. I love the way in which he micros topics, making them accessible to those who may not be in the field of story or even just readable. He’s amazing in that he takes science, history, philosophy, and breaks them done in to easy-to-read chunks, offering a lot of humour and kindness into how he defines things. At Home is definitely an interesting read, though I found it to be a bit drier compared to some of his other works I enjoyed. The book has Bryson go through all the rooms of his Victorian home, and he basically goes into microscopic detail about how people lived or what the rooms were traditionally used for. It was both fascinating, and also boring. Still, I’m glad I read this chunker of a novel because when it was interesting, it was on like Donkey Kong.

In May I read…

#3: A Collection of Short Stories

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Phantazein, edited by Tehani Wessely

I admit, I have not read a lot of short story collections. It’s not that I don’t enjoy short stories, but rather I need to be in the right frame of mind to read and explore them. I was given this book as a birthday present by my darling Katherine @ Ventureadlaxre, who is always recommending great Aussie authors for me (I am going to try and seek some good Canadian Literature on her as well). This book comes from FableCroft Press, where Katherine interns, and a lot of the stories in this collection are fairy tale retellings or fantasy stories. My favourite story in the collection easily was The Nameless Seamstress by Gitte Christensen. Such a vivid and gripping story about a seamstress! Also Tansy Rayner Roberts did a story and it was also made of fabulous. Seriously, there’s some fantastic stories in this collection, and it’s worth checking out.

#20: A Book You’d Consider a Guilty Pleasure

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Into the Fire by Amanda Usen

I admit, I don’t really read sexytime novels very often. Oddly enough though, I got this from last year’s INSPIRE Book Fair (the author even signed it!) and I put it off until I could find a challenge that I could fit it into. This was actually better than I anticipated. Yes, this is not safe for the youngin’s as it’s pretty steamy, BUT the author did a great job of having two very stubborn, flawed individuals, and funny enough, those were the best moments in the story. If you like this sort of stuff, it might be worth checking out.


I also had the chance to participate in the #CrushYourTBR Read-a-thon, which happened from May 16th to the 18th, and it also overlapped with the Bout of Books Read-a-thon which started on the 11th and ended 18th. You can look at what I read for Bout of Books here. Here’s a picture of what I crushed during #CrushYourTBR:

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Lastly, I participated in Read Your Book Shelf-a-thon (#RYBSAT) which happened from May 18th to the 25th. The goal of this read a thon is you select a shelf and then go left to right reading the book next to it, and you keep going. I chose a weird shelf that didn’t have any organization just because I have so many ARCs to get through. So here’s my ARC cubbie!

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This is where my ARCs hide! Lots of great stuff on the shelf. Here are the three books I actually finished.

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So I am happy with my results. However, I think I may pick a different shelf next time and focus more on my own books instead of stuff I need to review. All I really read in May was lots of graphic novels and ARCs so my regular books are suffering. I need to fix that. :X


Reading Plans in June

So outside of the fact that River and I have a contemporary novel a week we need to read for Summer Contemporary Fling event, I still have two more challenges I need to complete that my husband gave me. Here’s a refresher for that challenge:

1. To read The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie – Not completed yet.

2. Pew Pew Lasers Sci-Fi — Mobile Suit Gundam: THE ORIGIN volume 1: Activation by Yoshiyuki Tomino — Completed!

3. “I don’t know what it’s called but the cover is blue.” — Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin — Completed!

4. Deadpool stuff — Deadpool Classic Vol. 4 by Joe Kelly et al. — Completed!

5. Spy fiction — From Russia with Love by Ian Fleming. — Not completed yet.

The other event I am going to take part in is #TBRTakeDown, which is happening from June 1st to 7th. This one is hosted by Shannon @ leaninglights. Here’s the Introduction Video below.

So Shannon has some casual challenges for this read-a-thon, which I am going to try and complete? Next week is a tad busy, but I want to get as much reading as I can done.

Challenges:
1. A book that’s been on your TBR shelf over a year! From Russia With Love by Ian Fleming (yes this is cheating)
2. An unread sequel sitting on your TBR shelf. Stone in the Sky by Cecil Castellucci
3. A first book in a series on your TBR shelf. The Night Has Teeth by Kat Kruger
4. An “out of your comfort zone” book on le TBR shelf! Seducing the Playboy by Amanda Usen (STOP JUDGING ME. I blame INSPIRE!)
5. A book from your most recent book haul! The Sign of the Cat by Lynne Jonell or Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella (which is also cheating)

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What are you planning to read in the month of June? Participating in any read-a-thons? Going to join River and I for our Summer Contemporary Fling? JOIN US. And have lots of fun! I can’t wait to find out what are some of your most anticipated reads that you cannot wait to get to this summer.

Book Riot’s 2015 Read Harder Challenge — Update #3

Another month has come and gone, so it’s time to take a look back at what I completed in the month of March for my Book Riot 2015 Read Harder Challenge! March was a crummy month for this challenge as I only completed one challenge. Here’s what I tackled in March,

#15: Read a Retelling of a Classic Story

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Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

I have to say, I feel pretty mixed on this book. On one hand, I thought it was interesting to do a retelling of Beauty and the Beast where the heroine has been raised to murder the beast, but this book was a bit too all over the place. For starters, the love triangle was just odd in this book, and it was super insta-lovey to the point where some of it just didn’t entirely make sense. The book was also over-written in so many areas that while the writing itself was beauty, it was over-bearing at the same time. However, I loved a lot of the twists on the Beauty and the Beast story and it was a pretty engrossing read over all. I think their are better fairy-tale retellings out there, but this one wasn’t too bad.

The next Book Riot 2015 Read Harder update will be delayed next month because I will finally be taking my honeymoon with my husband! Which means I am going to read a lot on my vacation and just relax. Unfortunately, River and I are both swamped with life at the moment, so we will be scheduling reviews for things we do finish, but we won’t be going back to our main features until May-ish. Sorry for the inconvenience, but we hope you at least enjoy the reviews! There are lots of awesome books coming up and I can’t wait to share some of what I’ve read with you all soon.