Reading Challenge: March 2016

2016 Reading Challenge 1Oh man, I read the heck out of March! I was actually looking back and last year March was a big reading month for me too so I guess early spring is when Heather reads the most maybe! Anyway, here are the books I read in March:

Cinder - Marissa MeyerCINDER BY MARISSA MEYER

I’ve been meaning to read this series for a while. When it first came out I was really drawn to the cover art and concept but I just never made time for it. It’s also one of those that always pops up as a recommendation for me since I enjoy young adult fantasy. I really liked it but wasn’t blown away. It’s a unique story –  Cinder is a cyborg mechanic living in the Eastern Commonwealth. Earth is suffering from a plague and impending war from the Lunar Queen. What I like is that I really did care about most of the characters, what I didn’t like as much is that it was a little predictable. But that’s not going to stop me from reading the rest of the series! … Learn more here.

The Storyteller - Jodi PicoultTHE STORYTELLER BY JODI PICOULT

This book is now among my top five favorites of all time. I seriously loved it! It was my first read by Jodi Picoult who also wrote My Sister’s Keeper (among many others) and I’m hooked. The Storyteller is about surviving, grieving, healing, forgiving, and understanding that we all have both light and dark within us. The story is told from many voices; a young Jewish woman during the Holocaust, an old man who was an SS soldier during the war, a girl struggling to go on after a tragic accident, and a man investigating former Nazi criminals. All of the voices are so truthful and I cried repeatedly during this book. The horrors of the Holocaust are so vivid and draw out a lot of emotion (not just from the character but as a reader too). I actually listened to it on audio and would highly recommend it because it’s nice to get the different voices of each character.  … Learn more here.

If I Stay - Gayle FormanIF I STAY BY GAYLE FORMAN

Another I’ve been meaning to read, I also secretly want to watch this movie because it looks like it would be perfect for a good cry. I liked it and read it very quickly but looking back I’m not really sure what I liked about it. Nothing really happens. So this girl gets in an accident with her family and is the sole survivor but is in a coma. Her spirit/essence is watching from outside her body and she has to try to decide if she wants to stay and live or go. It kind of cuts between her remembering moments in her life to what’s happening in real time and is a story about love (both romantic and familial). It’s really moving but some of the story seemed unrealistic to me.     … Learn more here!

The Pact - Jodi PicoultTHE PACT BY JODI PICOULT

After The Storyteller, I was hooked on Jodi Picoult so I asked my step mom who is a bookseller, book-lover, and avid reader if she had ready any of Picoult’s work. She mentioned The Pact to me so when I saw it in the audio section of the library I grabbed it! I will say that I liked The Storyteller better, but this was also a really intriguing and complex story that kept me interested and broke my heart a little (in the good way that books do). This story is about two families who are best friends. The daughter (Emily) from one and the son (Chris) from the other have been best friends since birth and when they start dating the two families couldn’t be happier. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes when Emily is killed and Chris is accused of her murder. The story follows the case to determine if this was truly a botched suicide pact or if Chris killed her. Super compelling and I’d definitely recommend it!   … Learn more here!

Scarlet - Marissa MeyerSCARLET BY MARISSA MEYER

Like I said, just because Cinder didn’t knock my socks off the way maybe Twilight, The Hunger Games or Divergent did, doesn’t mean I don’t want to read the whole series. I love YA fantasy series’. I’m really glad I kept going too because I liked Scarlet a lot more than Cinder (the books, not necessarily the characters… but maybe the characters too)  and now I’m hooked! I can’t wait to read the next installment. This book introduces Scarlet and her search for her grandmother who has been missing for a few weeks. Scarlet enlists the help of a man named Wolf and they head out to Paris to find granny. Meanwhile, Cinder escapes prison with an accomplice named Thorn and they too are looking for the mysterious Michelle Benoit (aka granny) because Cinder believes she knows something about the missing Lunar heir. Meanwhile still, Queen Levana attacks Earth and Prince Kai has to decide what lengths he will go to stop her. So yeah, it’s good.  … Learn more here!

I’m so excited about my reading this year! Not only have I found a couple new series (which are my favorites!) but I also happened upon a new favorite author. Not to mention the new Shadowhunter series from Cassandra Clare is out! I’m reading it now and LOVE IT SO MUCH! So I’m on a roll with this challenge and I’m hoping to keep my momentum going. I’ve been sucked into fiction lately but will probably try to mix things up with some non-fiction soon. We’ll see, though, I have a lot on my to-read list right now!

GOAL STANDING:

11/36 books (31% and 2 books ahead of schedule)

  1. Read a book published this year
  2. Read a book you can finish in a day (CHECK – If I Stay)
  3. Read a book you’ve been meaning to read (CHECK – Cinder)
  4. Read a book recommended by your local librarian or bookseller
  5. Read a book you should have read in school
  6. Read a book chosen for you by your spouse, sibling, or BFF (CHECK – Troublemaker)
  7. Read a book published before you were born
  8. Read a book that was banned at some point
  9. Read a book you previously abandoned
  10. Read a book you own but have never read
  11. Read a book that intimidates you
  12. Read a book you’ve already read at least once