Thursday, March 20, 2014

Reading in Review | Winter 2013/2014

In December, I mentioned 10 books I wanted to read this winter. Yesterday was the last day of winter and here are my reading results!

What ten books did I want to read this winter?
Tandem by Anna Jarzab
Just One Day by Gayle Forman
You Are Mine by Janeal Falor
Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn
Unbreathable by Hafsah Laziaf
Wide Spaces by Shelly Crane
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman
Defiance by Shelly Crane
The Selection by Kiera Cass
Mystery book jar pick - Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Which books did I actually read this winter?
(Click the titles to read my reviews)
Tandem by Anna Jarzab | The Selection by Kiera Cass | The Prince by Kiera Cass | Just One Day by Gayle Forman | The Elite by Kiera Cass | Blood Will Tell by Samantha Young | Wide Spaces by Shelly Crane | Reverence by Shelly Crane | Defiance by Shelly Crane | Independence by Shelly Crane | Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers | That Boy by Jillian Dodd | Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins | Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn | Wide Open by Shelly Crane | The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini | The Other Fish in the Sea by Jenn Cooksey | Shark Out of Water by Jenn Cooksey | Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins | Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys | Cinder by Marissa Meyer | Incarnate by Jodi Meadows | Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker | A Father's Kiss by Colleen Hoover | Consequence by Shelly Crane | Scarlet by Marissa Meyer | Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll | Night by Elie Wiesel | Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi | Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi | Fracture Me by Tahereh Mafi | This Star Won't Go Out by Esther Grace Earl with Lori and Wayne Earl
(The last two were not featured in the collage because...oops!) 
Just One Year by Gayle Forman | Glitches by Marissa Meyer 

Any short stories/extra scenes? Yes,
A Very Hexy Valentine's Day by Rachel Hawkins
Anna and the French Kiss Deleted Chapters by Stephanie Perkins
The Yellow Wall-Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
If I Were a Man by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin
Hills like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway
Everyday Use by Alice Walker

Which books didn't I get to?
You Are Mine by Janeal Falor
Unbreathable by Hafsah Laziaf
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman

Success Rate
Based on the top ten I wanted to read, my success rate is a 7/10. But I don't know; do the twenty-five other books make up for the loss of three books?

Most Surprising

When going into these books, I either a) did not know what to expect or b) did not have very high expectations. However, I'm so pleased to say I thoroughly enjoyed each of these books, rating them between four and five stars!

Most Frustrating
The main character in each of these frustrated the HECK out of me!

  • Regina from Some Girls Are is not a very likable character. She's the protagonist so you want to root for and sympathize for her; and yet, she makes some really nasty, vindictive decisions that made me want to pull out my hair.
  • I am not a fan of Warner in the Shatter Me series so whenever Juliette was going all ga-ga over him and swooning at the words he said that I found utterly unromantic, I could not see her point of view for the life of me.
  • I am not even going to go into how much Adam in Fracture Me ticked me off because expletives will soon follow, but if you'd like to read my thoughts on this novella, scroll up and click the linked title. 

Most Disappointing
I read Anna Jarzab's mystery novel All Unquiet Things a few years a go and quite enjoyed it. I was excited to read another novel of Jarzab's but this one simply did not do it for me.

Most Moving

  • The Kite Runner is a historical fiction novel about two best friends who grow up in Afghanistan before the Afghan War. The story that plays out is heartbreaking, captivating, and so indescribably beautiful.
  • This Star Won't Go Out is the collection of journals and drawings of the girl and fellow nerdfighter Esther Grace Earl who passed away from thyroid cancer in 2010. This autobiography/biography of Esther includes updates written by her parents as she battled cancer for almost four years and letters and passages from her family and friends. Her story and friendship with author John Green fueled what would be The Fault in Our Stars. There were so many touching parts to her story and it made me sob.

New Favorites
I loved them all for different reasons, but the aspect they all have in common is that they made me feel.

I read forty-one works of literature this winter! Twenty-five novels, seven novellas, eight short stories, and one children's chapter book.

How many books did you read this winter? What were your favorites? Did any surprise you? Let me know in the comments! 

Click HERE to see what ten books I want to read this spring!

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