Book Challenges- Week 22

Popsugar Challenge

(18/50)

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A book with an LGBTQ+ protagonist: None of the Above, by IW Gregorio (YA LGBTQ+): Krissy is a popular girl, the homecoming queen, with a super hot boyfriend. When she finds out she’s intersex, her world changes.

Overall, I liked this book, but I didn’t love it, and I could have. I’m going to keep this review spoiler-free, so read on, if you’re interested.

What I liked: The book was written by a doctor and was inspired by what she imagined it would be like to find out you’re intersex, after meeting an intersex teen girl. That means that the doctor parts are probably accurate. I didn’t know anything about being intersex before reading this book, other than information I peripherally heard from the Olympian who was challenged as being female based on her chromosomes. I thought it was just about chromosomes and didn’t realize that there can also be internal male sex organs, which just complicates the issue more. I thought it was well done as far as imagining some of the emotions that someone, on finding out their diagnosis, would go through.

What I didn’t like: When Krissy’s secret gets out, she’s bullied. (That’s on the back cover, so it’s not a spoiler.) And that was fine. We all know kids bully anyone different. What I didn’t like was how some of her other relationships changed because of her diagnosis and reaction to it. It felt written just to create drama. I also thought her romantic relationship was way too convenient and predictible. I definitely wanted her to find love because I think that books should set a good example, and positive relationships are part of that. And her romantic interest was great. But it all came together too conveniently for me. (My full review with spoilers is on Goodreads, so if you’re curious about what I’m specifically talking about, feel free to check it out.)

What I’m not sure of: I read the reviews on Goodreads, and though I didn’t see a review from anyone identifying as intersex, many members of the LGBTQ+ community didn’t like it. In my mind, that’s not a reason to skip it. Some of their reasons didn’t resonate with me, but others did. I just wish that when the author talked about her expereience writing the book, she had mentioned if she had anyone who actually was intersex read the book. I wish I knew how close the experience is to the story of someone who’s been through it.

While I Was Reading Challenge

(4/12)- No progress this week

The Unread Shelf

Running Total: 14

5 Classic Books

(1/5) Finally!

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The Stand, by Stephen King (horror): I read the uncut version, which clocked in at 1153 pages. Though I enjoyed it, there were times I honestly started to wonder if I was ever going to get through it. Why is it that reading one 1200 page book takes so much longer than four 300 page books?

This book never got boring, to me, but it did drag on a bit in spots. It was great getting to know all the major characters in such a deep way, but I don’t know if I would have missed it if some of that had been cut out. I probably would have liked the original version better because for most of his books, I think Stephen King’s editor is asleep at the wheel. I still love his books, but I’d like them more if there were less of them.

Even though I knew good had to triumph over evil, this book still kept me on the edge of my seat, and I was desperate to know who’d live and who’d die, if Frannie’s baby would live, and what would happen to Tom. I can tell you that the ending was one of the most satisfying ones I’ve ever read.

I’m so glad I read this and irritated with myself for putting it off as long as I did, but it was an endeavor. It took me almost a month to get through, though I did take breaks and read other books in between. I love to read, so usually, when I’m done, I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished any particular thing. With this book though, I’m totally giving myself a pat on the back!

Miscellaneous Reading

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The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins (YA dystopia/ fantasy): I was traveling, and I needed a good audiobook. Since I do best with rereads, The Hunger Games seemed like the perfect travel book. It really was great to relive it on audio, though I didn’t love the narrator at first. She had an English accent, and I kept thinking, “Wasn’t Katniss from what used to be the US?” Eventually, the narrator grew on me because she differentiated voices so well. She slurred Haymitch just enough to show he was drunk, but not so much that I coudln’t understand him.

The only thing that annoyed me with The Hunger Games on audio is that I didn’t like the present tense narration. I never even noticed it when I was reading the books, but on audio, it stuck out in a bad way.

I did enjoy the reread though, so much that I came home and read the other two. The books are just as fun as I remembered.

Abandoned

None this week.

2018 Running Total: 66

Have you made any progress on your TBR or book challenges? What’s the longest book you’ve ever read?

#sorrynotsorry 5 Books I Love That Others (Claim To) Hate

I sometimes see people apologize for or defend their entertainment choices and I wonder… why? Unless it involves kicking puppies, why apologize for what entertains you?

You like stupid comedies? Right on. Trashy romance? Enjoy. Snooty literary fiction? Good for you. Books that cause other to become suicidally depressed? Have fun!

The thing is that there are lots of people out there who love to judge. They’ll judge you for what you eat, what you wear, what you watch, who you love, what you read. If someone wants to judge you, they’ll find a reason.

What others think of you is none of your business. Seriously.

As long as you aren’t hurting anyone or inciting violence, you shouldn’t have to defend your choices or explain. I’m tired of the ubiquitousness of judgemental attitudes these days.

One thing I’ll never apologize for is what I like to read.

There are lots of people out there who like to hate on popular books, as if hating something automatically makes you smart. Don’t get me wrong; there are some popular books I’m just not into. But I don’t think it’s because I have better taste or anything like that; it’s just personal taste.

Judging by the sales of these books and the ratings on Goodreads, others like these books too, even though it’s popular to hate on them. Oh well… I’ve never been a cool kid anyway.

The DaVinci Code, by Dan Brown (mystery/ thriller): No one ever claimed this was literature, but it’s great fun and a fast read.

The Host, by Stephanie Meyer (science fiction): I LOVE this book. It’s not hardcore science fiction and probably appeals more to readers of romance or YA, but I loved the characters and the relationships. Maybe she’s not the world’s best writer, but when I’m engaged enough in the story, I don’t even notice.

Divergent, by Veronica Roth (YA science fiction): People who criticize this one say things like, “It doesn’t make sense,” or that the world building was sloppy. Many people criticized the idea of breaking people into factions. Maybe I’m just more willing to suspend disbelief than most people, but none of it bothered me. I liked the characters and enjoyed the ride.

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins (YA science fiction): Critics say the characters were blank, the plot was predictable, and that Peeta was creepy (not romantic). I liked Katniss. I thought the plot was fine… sometimes predictable is good. And the argument that Peeta should have declared himself before, and not doing so, but loving her from a distance all that time is stalkerish… I feel like being a stalker is about action, not inaction. Team Peeta 4-ever.

Fearscape, by Nenia Campbell (YA horror): This is a three book series, and while I have numerous problems with it (more as the series went on), there are things I loved so much about it that I’m willing to deal with it. There’s a creepy stalker “romantic” interest who is actually a stalker. Yes, the main character is attracted to him, but she nopes out once she realizes that he’s crazy. Of course, that doesn’t help, but at least she tries. The book would have benefitted greatly from an editor (and even more as the books go on). But… even though I hate lazy writing, I can’t bring myself to hate this one. Please edit and republish, okay?

What books do you love that others (claim to) hate?

The Hunger Games- And May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor!

by the TV Guy

The Hunger Games the movie is based on a young adult novel by novelist Suzanne Collins. The book is written in the voice of sixteen year old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in a post-apocalyptic world in the country of Panem. The Hunger Games are an annual event in which one boy and one girl 12-18 from each district from the 12 districts surrounding the Capitol are selected by lottery to compete in a televised battle in which only one person can survive.

The movie did a good job of following the book. This movie is worth the two and half hour viewing time. For those of us who read the book, you will not be let down. If you haven’t read the book, the movie is a wild ride. Jennifer Lawrence plays Katniss Everdeen to a tee. She is exactly what I pictured when I read the books. The cast including Lenny Kravitz, Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks bring this phenomenal book to life.

This is the movie of the year and one that should not be missed!

Catching Fire- Book Review

I just finished Catching Fire, the second in the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins.  Catching Fire was amazing, possibly better than the first book.  I’m so excited to read book 3.  I have things that I unfortunately have to do today, or I’d be glued to the third book.  As it stands now, I have a tentative plan to stay up tonight reading the third book, as I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Often in trilogies in both books and movies, number two is the weakest of the bunch.  It needs to continue telling the story and still set up details of the third.  While this second book does start off a little slowly, they’re still details I enjoyed reading about, and once the action started, it went nonstop until the end.  I’m feeling a little breathless from that ride.

Book 2 is still in hardback, but it is well worth getting from somewhere.  I don’t normally buy hardbacks, but I might have to pick up this series, just because I must own it.  This will definitely be a re-reader.

http://www.amazon.com/Catching-Fire-Second-Hunger-Games/dp/0439023491/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1307981959&sr=8-1