Book #8: Suffer the Children by Craig Dilouie

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An interesting take on the zombie/vampire apocalypse story Dilouie’s story had a clear voice and even though you knew where the story was headed you found yourself hoping that somehow things would turn around. The way that the parents and society seemed to deteriorate along with the innocence and humanity of the children was chilling and compelling. The book asked the question of just how far parents would be willing to go for their children and their families and it did not disappoint. I can’t go into to many details without ruining the book but I will say that while many questions are left unanswered such as how the “disease” took hold in the first place, if the children are still aging what happens when a child hits puberty, etc. it is ultimately satisfying.

Book: #8 of 100

Number of Pages: 342

Total Number of Pages: 2736

Days Remaining: 354

Book #7: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

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I’m not sure how I expected this book series to end but I was surprised at which characters lived and which died. I wish that the ending would have gone into some more details about how the new Capitol was structured, what happened in the last Hunger Games, and what became of some of the supporting cast but all in all I found the ending to be relatively satisfying. I thought it was fitting that Katniss ended up with Peeta and that people found a way to rebuild and move on with their lives. I also appreciated that the author did not wave a magic wand and make the wounds that were inflicted by the tragedies they faced disappear or completely fade away as authors so often do with these types of books.  May check out Collins’ Gregor the Overlander series at some point.

Book: #7 of 100

Number of Pages: 458

Total Number of Pages: 2394

Days Remaining: 357

Book #6: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

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The second book in the series was quite entertaining although I felt the time in the arena seemed a little rushed. I enjoyed the implications of the uprisings against the Capitol although I was disappointed we didn’t get extended details about the other Districts or get to know the full extend of what is going on. I suppose that we are only given the opportunity to know what is happening through Katniss POV and she didn’t know the full extend so it’s only natural we wouldn’t have those details. I’m hoping when I watch the movie that it will fill in some of those details like they did in the first movie. I did enjoy this book though and finished it in half the time of the first book. I look forward to wrapping up the series.

Book: #6 of 100

Number of Pages: 472

Total Number of Pages: 1936

Days Remaining: 358

Book #5: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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I have been meaning to get around to reading this series since I saw the movie a few years back. I have the box set of the three books so expect to see the other two added to my list soon. The book was so close to the movie I was actually disappointed. I expected them to have left a lot out but most of it was there and in fact it seemed like the movie gave you more details since you found out about what was happening outside the arena. Unfortunately, the book is never as good if you watch the movie first. I can’t fault the book for that. I do enjoy the author’s writing style and the character. Thankfully I have only seen the first movie in the series so I am sure the remaining books will be better. Will keep you posted on my progress.

Book: #5 of 100

Number of Pages: 454

Total Number of Pages: 1464

Days Remaining: 359

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

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I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed Everything I Never Told You. All of the main characters in the book were fleshed out and emotionally complex and you couldn’t help but draw parallels between characters in the book and people who have known in your life. The story moves from character to character and back and forward through time swiftly but it transitions so smoothly that it seems natural. It is rare that you can the chance to read a book that deals with grief in so many ways and asks so many honest questions but doesn’t push its own opinion on the matter. It is also rare to see a new author with such a clear and distinct voice. I really hope to see more books from her in the future.

Book: #4 of 100

Number of Pages: 292

Total Number of Pages: 1010

Days Remaining: 362

Neptune’s Tears by Susan Waggoner

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I thought that I was going to wrap this up tomorrow but it was a slow day so I was able to get this one wrapped up as well. I’m not quite sure how I feel about Neptune’s Tears. I wanted to like it but despite it having a number of interesting ideas I do not feel like it really came together for me. I thought that the love story was a lacking and that the characters never truly seemed to grow or learn more about one another. I was able to figure out the “big twist” almost immediately so I felt like there really was no pay off at the end of this book and that it felt unfinished. I wish that they would have gone into more depth with the Empaths, the technology of the day, had given us more information on the terrorists, and most importantly had wrapped up many lose threads such as the supposed struggles of the lives Diviners, what happened to the turncoat diviner,  what the future of humanity was like, and what effect people being there could have on the future, etc. Had the author taken some additional time to explore all of these subjects I feel like this could have been a very good book but ultimately it seemed rush and just didn’t work for me. Can’t win them all I guess.

Book: #3 of 100

Number of Pages: 218

Total Number of Pages: 718

Days Remaining: 364

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

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Today I decided to take it a little easy and read a short novel by one of my favorite authors Neil Gaiman. The Ocean at the End of the Lane combines realism with fantasy in just the way that one would come to expect from Gaiman. The story was compelling and at times terrifying, sad, and hopeful. The fact that in a way the main character relives the story time and time again but can never hold on to the truth of his childhood for long was very poetic in a way and its questions about morality leave a lasting impression. I would definitely recommend it if you are looking for something shorter to read that leaves a huge impact. I will definitely be reading more Gaiman at some point this year.

Book: #2 of 100

Number of Pages: 178

Total Number of Pages: 500

Days Remaining: 364

Every Day by David Levithan

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Yesterday, I started off this challenge by reading Every Day by David Levithan. This book was unique, refreshing, and well well written. It tells the tale of “A” a person who has spent their whole life living as a different person every day. “A” has never experienced life the way  the rest of us have, has never been able to make lasting connections, and has struggled to maintain a sense of self without any constants in its life but by setting rules and respecting its hosts has managed to live a pretty full life. A thought he/she was content until one day he/she falls in love and starts breaking all of his/her own rules and questioning if love is even possible for someone who is never the same person twice. The book deals with racism, sexism, homophobia, addiction, and mental illness in a way that is so rare these days and really gets you thinking philosophically about what it means to be a person and what selfishness is.

The author is best known for co-writing Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist which has been on my reading list for a long time. I ended up reading this book first simply because I thought the plot line was intriguing and I was not disappointed. Apparently he will be coming out with a companion book, Another Day, which tells the whole store from A’s love interest Rhiannon’s perspective. It is set to be released in August and I think that I will definitely be checking it out.

Book: #1 of 100

Number of Pages: 322

Total Number of Pages: 322

Days Remaining: 364

The Challenge

When I was young I was a very avid reader. Some of my first memories are of my older sisters sitting and reading to me. I taught myself to read in preschool and by the first grade I was reading was reading chapter books. I always took joy in exploring other worlds through books and learning new things and there was a point where I could not even sleep at night without reading a few chapters out of a book before bed.

As I got older however, reading seemed to slowly move to the back burner. Work, relationships, pets, and other forms of entertainment seemed to slowly take up more and more of my time, until am quite ashamed to say it but I went from reading every day to going weeks at a time without finishing a single book.

Yesterday, for the first time in a long time I found myself lost in a book. In just one day I managed to read it from cover to cover and I realized how much I missed the experience of reading a good book. I thought of all the books that I could have read in the past few years if I had made the time to sit down and read and become cognizant of the fact that there are so many books in the world that even if I spent every moment of every waking day for the rest of my life reading that there is no way that I could get through them all. This depressing thought made me realize that I needed to make some changes.

I have come up with a challenge that I feel will be difficult but is attainable. For the next year my goal is to read 100 books. The books will not be limited to any genre or structure but each book must be no less than 150 pages long and after reading each book I will share the Title of the book the name of Author who wrote it and some of my thoughts on the book on this blog. I know that in order to reach my goal I will need to set a very fast pace and that it will be something of a marathon but I want to give it a shot. Let’s see how far we can take this!