YALSA’s The Hub Challenge 2016

2016 Hub Reading Challenge Finisher Badge

YALSA’s The Hub Reading Challenge has crossed my radar in the past, but I never did anything more than note its existence. My foray into reading challenges last year with Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge, brought The Hub’s challenge to the forefront when it scrolled across my Facebook page in January. Like Read Harder, it pushed my reading boundries, but The Hub pushed them further because there were specific books that needed to be read instead of categories. The vast majority of the books listed never even crossed my radar as potential reads.

There were two levels to this challenge: read 25 titles or read them all. I contented myself with reading 25 titles, earning the Finisher Badge. I ended up reading 36 books across 11 categories. I double-dipped several of those categories because some of the books were listed multiple times (e.g. Echo was listed in both Odyssey Award and Top Ten Audiobooks). I fell in love with several books, listed below under “favorites”. Others I had a hard time finishing – Six of Crows and Trashed. And yet others still I found oddly compelling even if I still don’t know exactly what I think of them – Bones & All and The Ghosts of Heaven.

(Yes the descriptions are lifted from previous posts. There’s only so many times you can write a blurb about a book.)

lumberjanes 1 lumberjanes 2 echo illuminae

*Lumberjanes, Vol 1: Beware the Kitten Holy & Lumberjames, Vol 2: Friendship to the Max Lumberjanes is now one of my new favorite graphic novel series. It’s geeky and weird and has a skewed sense of humor. I want to be a Lumberjane. I want to go to camp and have Indiana Jones-like adventures.  I like Girl Scouts, but we don’t have awesome badges like Pungeon Master (“The best kind of punishment”) and Jail Break (“Run as fast as you can”), and we never had crazy camp adventures. Well…I never did at least. My daughter swears there is a 6 foot tall turkey wandering around her Girl Scout camp.

Riley is by far my favorite character. Her sanity is on the far side of left, which makes her great as comic relief. She reminds me of Betty from Rat Queens (another graphic novel series), but with a lot less drugs and candy.

*Echo – This is hands down one of my favorite books of the year. I have recommended it to anyone half willing to listen to my shill. The story is beautiful and haunting, with a bittersweet ending. I cried multiple times. It absolutely must be listened to as an audiobook. Each sub-story has a different narrator, all very good at creating their characters. And given that a harmonica is what ties everything together, music is incorporated, which enhances the magical/fairy tale-like aspects.

*Illuminae – I freaking LOVE Illuminae. Flaws are easily overlooked once the story gets rolling. And hoo boy, does it roll. Aden (the ship’s AI) is amazingly creepy as a riff on Hal9000, if Hal9000 started to develop emotional sentience. And had access to Reavers. This is definitely a book that needs to be listened to. There is a full cast along with sound effects, and both are used exceedingly well to enhance the tension. The “little birdy” scenes later in the book gave me the heebie-jeebies.

List of Read Books

  1. Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger
  2. Lumberjanes , Vol 1: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson
  3. Lumberjanes, Vol 2: Friendship to the Max by Noelle Stevenson
  4. Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
  5. What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Monroe
  6. Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
  7. Zeroboxer by Fonda Lee
  8. Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans by Don Brown
  9. Ms. Marvel, Vol 2: Generation Why by Willow G. Wilson
  10. Ms. Marvel, Vol 3: Crushed by Willow G. Wilson
  11. Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan
  12. Trollhunters by Daniel Kraus and Guillermo del Toro
  13. Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova
  14. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  15. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
  16. Charm & Strange by Steaphanie Kuehn
  17. Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
  18. SuperMutant Magic Academy by Jilliam Tamaki
  19. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  20. Bones & All by Camille DeAngelis
  21. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  22. Rad American Women A-Z by Kate Schatz
  23. Trashed by Derf Backderf
  24. The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick
  25. March: Book One by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin
  26. A Silent Voice, Vol 1 by Yoshitoki Ooima
  27. A Silent Voice, Vol 2 by Yoshitoki Ooima
  28. A Silent Voice, Vol 3 by Yoshitoki Ooima
  29.  The Boy in the Black Suit by Jasyon Reynolds
  30. Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits by David Wong
  31. Challenger Deep by Neal Schusterman
  32. The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
  33. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
  34. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  35. Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
  36. The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore






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