February 28, 2015

Soumya's February Wrap-Up

Hi guys!
I can't believe February's come and gone already. Only a month and a half until spring break! Anyways, I'm just going to warn you guys that this post is going to be all over the place. One of the advantages of a wrap-up is that I can fill it up with all sorts of stuff that was going to be a post but ended up being too short.

I. READING IN GENERAL
This month, I read a decent amount. Again, I'm trying to read 200 (250, optimally) books this year, but since I'm probably going to fall into a slump at some point, I'm trying to read a book a day in order to build up a sort of a cushion. I'm already over 1/4 of the way there, and again, it's only the end of February. I had 3 less days to read this month, but I still read 37 books (as of February 25th). That's 9 more than last month! I finished a few series this month, started another few, and also read a bunch of standalones. As far as I can tell, 4 of them were rereads. (Scarlet, Alice I Have Been, Fangirl, and The List.) I got to meet Marissa Meyer on her Fairest tour, so that was another bookish plus. I also went to a foreign country over ski break, and of course I visited a bookstore. It was so cool to see the different versions of covers! I forgot to take pictures, so just take my word that they were just as cool as ours, if not better. I also started listening to an audiobook (this is very rare) which is If Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? And Other Concerns by Mindy Kaling. It's narrated by Mindy herself, making it even funnier, truer, and more entertaining. Love it! I joined a library club (Yes, I'm that much of a nerd.) But, at least we get dibs on new books! New books for life. Recently, I've read a bunch of terrible books and am really scared of falling into a slump. Fingers crossed it doesn't happen.

Here are the pictures of everything I read this month, as of February 25th. My most recent read was Complete Nothing and Alice I Have Been was the oldest.


II. THE 2015 READING CHALLENGE
Okay, so this challenge is going great! I'm done with 6 challenges and on my 7th currently. And it's only MARCH. So I'm way ahead of schedule. I should have been done with 2-4 right now, but instead, I'm done with 6. I did 2 last month, which means I did 4 this month. Dude. *Starts singing* For the first time in forever...okay, you can stop plugging your ears. Anyways, for a quick recap of January, go here. Then, look below more info on February's challenges, and the drawing for #10!

Challenge #7- A Book You Didn't Understand The First Time

For this challenge, I reread Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin. I received this book as a gift, and when I read it I was way too young to understand some of the stuff that happened. But this time around, I not only completely understood this book but enjoyed it quite a bit.

Challenge #3- Randomly Chosen Library Book

I picked this book from the graphic novel section. The book I ended up picking was The Eternal Smile. I actually liked it quite a bit - it wasn't a favorite or anything, but it was a lot better than I thought a random book would be.

Challenge #19- Reread A Series - Without The First or Second Book

For this weird challenge, I reread Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, which was perfect because I met Marissa last month! The first book is Cinder, and as of now, the last one is Cress. I love love love this series and can't wait for Winter!

Challenge #9- Cover Judge

For this challenge, I picked up The Vault of Dreamers without even knowing what it was about, just because I liked the cover. I ended up liking the book a fair bit - it was a bit too predictable and there honestly was no action, but it was pretty good for a typical dystopian novel!


III. MY FAVORITE AND LEAST FAVORITE BOOKS
I honestly didn't really enjoy most of the books I read this month. They either totally failed my very-anticipated expectations, like Cruel Beauty, or were just plain bad, like The Hunt. However, there were a few good books, so I'm going to highlight one of my favorites here and one of my least favorites.

Favorite: Even In Paradise by Chelsea Philpot

So, it's easiest to compare this book to We Were Liars. I really enjoyed that book, so I thought I would enjoy it. I was right. As usual. ;) So there's the really rich family. There's the person who befriends one of the super rich kids. There's the almost-in-the-background-but-not-quite romance. There's the tragedy. Most times I feel like books that are too much like other books are cliches, but in this case, I didn't mind it. There was so much to love about this book. The cover. The main character. The cover. The plot. The backstory. The cover. But in all seriousness, I fell for this book. Hard. I was reading it on the plane and the plane landed and I didn't even notice and get out of my seat until some lady started clearing her throat and shooting me death glare. Sorry, lady! I just got to the end. Read this book if you like plot twists. Cutesy but complicated love. And the craziest best friend ever. Zusana may even have to move over. Maybe.

Least Favorite: Michael Vey Battle of the Ampere by Richard Paul Evans

In this series, the books are basically about these electric kids with weird powers, and this super bad guy named Hatch and his minions are hunting them down. So, I really liked the first two books in this series, even though sci-fi isn't really my thing. I had gotten warnings from my friends that this 3rd book was terrible, but I didn't fully realize how terrible it was until I got into it. The writing was sloppy, the dialogue was weak, there was no character development, and NOTHING HAPPENED. Seriously. It was a waste of however much time I spent on it and 350ish pages. This book was a huge disappointment. There was no exciting action or heart-stopping scenes like the other books. So then, I was like, maybe it's setting the scene for the next book? So I read the next book. It was better, thankfully, but there was only 1 or 2 references to the previous book. So, I read the entire book for no benefit or enjoyment at all. And this series is 7 books long! I don't think I'm going to continue the series unless the books get waaaay better.


IV. MOVIES
This month, I got to watch two movies (both on the airplane) that were originally a book. I watched If I Stay and also The Mortal Instruments-City of Bones. Read this if you want my take on them! I'm also gonna go see The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies over the weekend. Finally. I may do a movie/book review of all the Hobbit movies since that's the last one, but maybe not. It depends. Stay tuned!

V. FEBRUARY BOOK HAUL
I actually bought a handful of books this month! In chronological order, I purchased Fairest by Marissa Meyer (to get personalized during the Fairest tour!) Stung by Bethany Wiggins, Bad Girls Don't Die, From Bad To Cursed, and As Dead As It Gets by Katie Alender. I've finished the first four books and just started on the fifth. Five books in a month is pretty crazy for me...what's going on?

VI. STUFF
Due to the descriptive title of this section, you learned... nothing. There wasn't really another way to categorize the random stuff that I liked/that happened this month, though. Taylor Swift's new music video for Style came out! It wasn't as good as Blank Space, but it was still pretty cool. Imagine Dragon's new album, Smoke + Mirrors, also came out. The Grammys happened, the Oscars happened, life went on. Kanye West had another moment. There were some amazingly inspirational Oscar speeches. Glory, by Common and John Legend, is my new favorite song. I finally went shopping. I selected courses for next year. ALREADY. I started counting down the days to spring break. ALREADY. It's almost shorts and sandals season where I live. ALREADY.

That's it for this wrap-up and bit of a rant. I hope you enjoyed!

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