Popsugar 2016

I’m posting these a bit backwards, oh well…

Well, I did it! The last month and the last few categories were much more difficult to fill than expected. Earlier, in late summer/early fall I hit a big reading rut, and nothing appealed to me. Which, I think, explains part of my scramble in December, and my lack of updates and reviews.

1. A book based on a fairy tale Rump by Liesel Shurtliff
2. A National Book Award winner Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
3. A YA bestseller Looking for Alaska by John Green
4. A book you haven’t read since HS  The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
5. A book set in your home state Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
6. A book translated to English Jane, The Fox and Me by Fanny Britt
7. A romance set in the future The Elite by Kiera Cass
8. A book set in Europe Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury
9. A book under 150 pages I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron
10. A New York Times bestseller Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
11. A book that’s becoming a movie this year The Circle by Dave Eggers
12. A book recommended by someone you just met Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead
13. A self-improvement book The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight
14. A book you can finish in a day P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
15. A book written by a celebrity Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
16. A political memoir A Game for Swallows: To Die, To leave, To Return and I Remember by Zeina Abirached
17. A book at least 100 years older than you Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
18. A book that’s more than 600 pages Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
19. A book from Oprah’s Book Club Open House by Elizabeth Berg
20. A science-fiction novel These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman
21. A book recommended by a family member The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
22. A graphic novel Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson
23. A book that is published in 2016 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling
24. A book with a protagonist who has your occupation Excape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein
25. A book that takes place during Summer Sunny Side Up by Jennifer Holm
26. A book and its prequel The Prince and The Selection by Kiera Cass
27. A murder mystery No Wind of Blame by Georgette Heyer
28. A book written by a comedian Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling
29. A dystopian novel The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
30. A book with a blue cover The Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot
31. A book of poetry The Good Braider by Terry Farish
32. The first book you see in a bookstore The Hopefuls by Jennfer Close
33. A classic from the 20th century Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming
34. A book from the library Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
35. An autobiography The Glass Castle by Jeannette Wells
36. A book about a road trip Mosquitoland by David Arnold
37. A book about a culture you’re unfamiliar with The Birchbark House by Louise Erdich
38. A satirical book American Housewife by Helen Ellis
39. A book that takes place on an island The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand
40. A book that’s guaranteed to bring you joy The Lizzie Bennet Diaries by Bernie Su

Overall, I appreciated the challenge for making me read some books I normally would not have read (These Broken Stars and The Circle and The Red Queen were probably the biggest genre leaps for me).  However, I did not like the similarity of many of the prompts. Probably because I don’t generally like dystopian and sci fi, so having to read several irritated me.

My absolute least favorite book read this year for the challenge was The Prince by Keira Cass for the prequel and it’s sequel. Firstly, Maxxon was super creepy talking about the girls as his, and calling everyone sweetheart was just as creepy and stupid in the prequel as it was in The Selection. Secondly, The Prince really added nothing to the series story and was basically the same dialogue from the early scenes in The Selection but with the “he saids” and “she saids” switched accordingly.

This brings me to my second least favorites. The Selection series in general (I stopped after 2) and The Red Queen (absolutely no interest in reading the rest of the series). YA Dystopian novels just need to go away. They aren’t original anymore and the writing is just awful. At least The Hunger Games brought something new to readers, instead of rehashing the same old tropes over and over over again.

My favorites included Astonish Me, Brown Girl Dreaming and Lonesome Dove. I realize I never wrote about Brown Girl Dreaming, mostly because I wanted to compare it The Good Braider since they are both novels in verse, and on such different levels quality wise. However, I could never quite get the words right. Suffice to say, I totally understand why Brown Girl Dreaming won the National Book Award. It’s flawless.



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