Thursday, August 21, 2014

Reading in Review | Spring & Summer 2014

As you might have noticed, I took a few months off from blogging, lasting most of spring and all of summer. To keep it short, I'll just say that the way I was blogging wasn't working out for me so I needed to get away from it for a while, get a new perspective, recollect my enthusiasm, and revamp the blog to suit my new approach. Since you are currently reading this post, you've probably realized that I've done that and (sings) I'm BAAAAAACK!

If you don't follow me on Goodreads or Instagram, you have no inkling as to what I've been doing during this 5-month hiatus, so today I figured I'd give you a low-down (actually it's quite big) on what I've been doing since I've been gone! I'll get to more life oriented things later, but for now, let's go back to the basics. Basics meaning books. :)

In March, I mentioned 10 books I wanted to read this spring. I also kept a personal list in my notebook for the books I wanted to read this summer, which included 24 books. Before posting this, I listed every book on my spring and summer TBR lists, but that was quite the eye sore, so let's just look at the results.

What did I read between March 21st and August 21st?
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson | The Little Android by Marissa Meyer | Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe | The Color Purple by Alice Walker | Sentinel by Jennifer L Armentrout | Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi | If I Stay by Gayle Forman | What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick | The One by Kiera Cass | Clockwork Princes by Cassandra Clare | Tiger's Promise by Colleen Houck | Panic by Lauren Oliver | Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge | Burn for Burn by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian | The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau | Just One Night by Gayle Forman | Where She Went by Gayle Forman | We Were Liars by E. Lockhart | Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler | City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare | The Maze Runner by James Dashner | The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein | Cress by Marissa Meyer | Sever by Lauren DeStefano | To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han | Dumbledore's Army Reunites at Quidditch World Cup by J.K. Rowling | Seriously... I'm Kidding by Ellen Degeneres | Letter to My Daughter by Maya Angelou | Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry | Prodigy by Marie Lu | Life Before Legend by Marie Lu | Crash into You by Katie McGarry | Champion by Marie Lu | Red at Night by Katie McGarry | Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover | Every Day by David Levithan | Four Summer by Nyrae Dawn | Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson | It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han | We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han | Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas | Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas
Not pictured: Rapunzel by Jacob Grimm | The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

44 books: 35 novels, 7 novellas/short stories, 2 inspirational/nonfiction books

Sidenote: I discovered the audiobook rentals my library offers through OverDrive and have found a liking for this method of reading! These are the 7 books I read via audiobook (already counted above).

Average Rating
3.66 stars
(7 five stars, 20 four stars, 13 three stars 3 two stars, and 1 one star)

Which books did I not get to read?
Fields of Elysium by A.B. Whelan
City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare (reread)
City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
The Last Summer (Of You and Me) by Ann Brashares
My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares
Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick

DNF - Did Not Finish (and won't continue)
Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

TFL - To Finish Later
Collide by Shelly Crane
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Success Rate:
34 desired | 6 unread | 16 new additions

Most Surprising
When going into these books, I either a) did not know what to expect or b) did not have very high expectations. The level of enjoyment I felt as I read these completely caught me off guard! Cruel Beauty takes the cake for most surprising though; I'm still shocked by how much I loved this and obsessed over staying late into the night to read this!

Most Disappointing
Now, don't think I didn't enjoy this, because I did, (four stars worth of enjoyment so there), but I was SO excited for this book, I was expecting to love it so much, and it just didn't reach that threshold. There were a lot of little things that bothered me about the book, but mainly I had anticipated America to not make so many irrational decisions (since the first two books were chalked full of them) and wound up being irritated with her or Maxon half of the time, and the ending wasn't what I was hoping for either. Like I said, I still really liked it, but after loving The Elite, it let me down.

Most Likely To Accidentally Be Run Over By My Car. Twice.
This was another book that was a let down, but mainly, it just SUCKED. It was frustrating beyond belief, I wanted to call quits multiple times, but then little glimmers of hope shone so I would continue, and THEN I wanted to beat my head against it. Ugh, just, what was the point of this book? To drive my crazy? This series finale can kiss my dairy air. P.S. I have no resentment towards this book at all.

Biggest Turn Around Reaction
I went into this without any excitement. I wasn't a BIG fan of Clockwork Angel and Prince (3 stars each) and the only reason I was reading this was so I could read City of Heavenly Fire. I put Clockwork Princess off for TWO years because I just didn't want to read it and I only started warming up to the idea (or was it discontented acceptance?) of reading it this spring. Even after I started it and was a hundred pages into it I complained about the long descriptions and wanted to get it over with. Thankfully, I switched to audiobook at that point to get me over my initial rough patch and before I knew it I was hooked! I cannot tell you how much I loved this conclusion to TID trilogy! It was simply fabulous.

New Favorites
All five stars!! <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
And they're all so different, which is really exciting for me!

Final Thoughts
I hit the jackpot with wonderful books this summer! I read most of the books I aimed to get to and then some! Early spring was really busy for me so when things slowed down and I took a break from blogging, reading became an even bigger enjoyment for me. Truly blessed with a few months of great reading.

Tell me about the books you've been reading! Do we have any in common? Have any new favorites? I'm excited to discuss books with you all again!

Until next time... :)


Click HERE to see what books I read this past winter!

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