Sunday, August 31, 2014

Summer Post: What I Read This Summer


Summer in the sense of the school year, is sadly coming to a close. For us Canadians, there are a mere few days before classes go into full swing. More specifically for myself, a few more days till I'm finished my second job and starting university (!!!!). As I'm sure you know summer is prime reading time for student bookworms with no school books or projects to distract us. I wanted to take this opportunity (a brief respite before the wave of school hits me) to recap what I read this summer and what I thought about each of them. For the sake of this post, I'm going to count summer as June, July August. Yes, I know that's not technically summer...buuuuutt my blog, my rules.


June



How To Be a Heroine by Samantha Ellis
Read: June 26
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
A finding myself/woman's rights type memoir that was also a literary critique of many classic novels. As I mentioned in my Goodreads review, the writing was really good, but I felt like I didn't get the joke and missed the reference most of the time because I hadn't read the novel she was talking about. Maybe I'll come back to this book when I'm better versed in classic literature.

Everyday by David Leviathan
Read: June 30
Rating: 3 out of 5
This was a YA romance about a boy, A, who wakes up in a new body everyday. An interesting premise and it kept me hooked, but it suffered from insta-love and preachiness. I actually wrote a review for this book on A Splash of Ink, if you'd like to see my extended thoughts.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Read: July 14
Rating: 3 out of 5
Blue (the MC) is a not-psychic, lives in a psychic family. Gansey and his posse are looking for Glendower. Their paths cross when Blue sees his future ghost. I'm not doing it justice with my synopsis, but I really did enjoy it. Fabulous characters and very original. I must have been in a reviewing mood, because I also reviewed this book on SOI.

July
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Read: July 18
Rating: 4 out of 5
Nerdy Cath goes to university, writes fanfic and is a loner until her roommate and her roommate's attractive sorta-not-boyfriend bring her out of her shell. She also deals with some complicated family relationships with her twin sister, father and absent mother. This book was everything that the blog-o-sphere had said and more. I loved the romance, quirkiness and just plain refreshing characterization of Cath, the MC. It reminded me a lot of the feeling that Anna and the French Kiss had.

Sleepwalk With Me and Other Painfully True Stories by Mike Birbiglia
Read: July 23
Rating: 3 out of 5
This memoir focused around Mike who was trying to make it as a stand-up comedian, but also suffers from some pretty severe sleepwalking problems. I don't actually remember too much about the story, but I remember really enjoying his voice. He played the witty underdog character that I couldn't help but like. It did have it's serious moments too, which balanced the book really well.

August

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Jansen
Read: August 2
Rating: 3 out of 5
Rhoda's husband leaves her for a guy that he met online, so she returns to her Mennonite home to think about life. I'll be honest, I originally thought that this was going to be about a woman returning to her OLD-order Mennonite home (like no electricity, dresses, etc.). However, I was wrong, so I immediately was disappointed. This book got 3 stars because I really liked Jansen and her writing, although the actual memoir feels a bit unfocused.

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
Read: August 9
Rating: 4 out of 5
This was the next instalment in JK Rowling's mystery series about a private detective and his secretary solving crime London. This was my favourite post-Potter book from Rowling so far. I was happy to return to Strike and Robin, because I had grown to love their characters in the first book and now they had room to grow. The mystery was interesting and I didn't guess who had done it, but really it's the partnership between the detective and his secretary that shone in this book.

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
Read: August 24
Rating: 3 out of 5
This is the sequel to The Raven Boys, but this time it follows Ronan Lynch who can pull items out of his dreams. Again, I really loved the characters, and it was intriguing to go into Ronan's head. I especially loved learning about his family and his brothers, as well as his weird relationship with his frenemy Kavinsky. The reason why this book lost stars was because I felt confused with the plot at points. Even though I would have read anything about those characters, I couldn't let it go that some scenes didn't seem to "connect".

Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wall
Read: August 30
Rating: 3 out of 5
I've always been fascinated by polygamy (it's a little weird, I know), so I was interested to read this memoir about a teenage bride who escapes the FLDS. The story was really good and kept me hooked, but it felt a little long. Sometimes Wall went on a little too long about emotions and mentioned little events that probably could have been cut. Overall, it was an enjoyable and enlightening read. I certainly learned a lot, but I would be interested to hear some other perspectives on this lifestyle.

That's what I read this summer! I'm pretty happy with the books I got through, although nothing was amazing. The Silkworm and Fangirl were definitely my favourites out of the bunch, and I would recommend them both. What did you read this summer? What was your favourite book you read this summer?

10 comments:

  1. Looks like you had a pretty good reading summer overall. Out of all the books I've read this season (and how I wish it were summer) I think my favourites were the Shadowfall trilogy by Juliet Marillier. It's a fantasy and it has some really Irish type fae in it, which I appreciated. I'm glad to see you gave the Raven Boys books a go. I loved them, but I agree, the plot points were confusing sometimes. I adored the characters though.

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    1. The Raven Boys hold a special place in my heart regardless of the plot, because I (like you) ADORE the characters.

      That Shadowfall trilogy sounds interesting. I've been wanting to read some more books with Irish influences and stuff with the fae. I'm going to have to look into these books a little further!

      Thanks for commenting!

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    2. Just wanted to let you know, I'm planning on tagging you for the Big Helper Tag on Monday. Which means that I will be promoting your blog for a week and in return you get to tag two other bloggers that you will promote for a week as well. You don't have to actually do the tag if you don't want to, but I just wanted to check (as it's part of the rules) that you're ok with my sharing about your blog for this.

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    3. Thanks so much for promoting SOI. If this wasn't the start of the school year, I'd be happy to take up the tag and promote some other blogs for the week, but unfortunately, it is, and I'll be lucky to get up a normal post these next few weeks.

      However, feel free to share SOI on your blog:)

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  2. MAGGIE STIEFVATER!!! Gaahhh!! Sunny, I am aware that I am always fangirling over The Raven Boys on this blog, but I can't stop myself haha! Anyway it looks like you've had a good summer of reading. I have The Cuckoo's Calling and I never read crime fiction but I'm pretty excited for it because it's JKR.

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    1. I feel like The Raven Boys is a worthy fangirl obsession, haha.

      The Cuckoo's Calling is NOT as good as Harry Potter, but it's still really enjoyable. JKR is a genius when it comes to characters:)

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  3. You read a hugely different variety, don't you?! Which is really cool! I'm pretty narrow and just read YA, which I should maybe change. But then I ask myself whyyyy do I feel the need to read books I don't want to read?! So I don't. YA it is. I had a bit of a problem with The Dream Thieves too. I mean, I loved it hugely, but I just didn't love it as MUCH as The Raven Boys. I'm still very excited for book #3 though. :)

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    1. I work part-time in a library, so I handle a lot of different books. Often books pass through my hands, that I'd never normally pick up, but still look interesting, so I read them!

      I too try to only read what I want to read. Good for you! If you want to read YA, then read YA:)

      As for The Dream Thieves... yeah there were a few issues with that book, but those characters! Ack, I really love them.

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  4. I started The Raven Boys. I like the idea of it, but it just wasn't my thing. I mostly just like the idea of the boys being so close, at least from what I've heard. I ended up at The Maze Runner though, that one has pulled me in.

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    1. Oooo! Yes The Maze Runner was really good too! It's another book with some good male main characters. The Raven Boys isn't for everyone; I was a little skeptical at first too.

      Thanks for commenting!

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