I started losing reading challenge steam in March; burning myself out in the first two months of 2017. Over half the books I read had no bearing on any of the challenges I am participating in.
Anne Bishop’s The Others was the first of two series that distracted me from challenge reading. I managed to listen to only the first one in January, but no dice after I finished the second book, Murder of Crows. I had to keep listening. It’s been a while since a series sucked me in enough that I couldn’t tear myself away. Etched in Bone was the weakest of the five, but even though the story focused on the utter reprehensible Jimmy, it was a necessary story in that it shaped how the Others will deal with humans in the future. One thing I’ve noticed in reviews is the common complaint that there’s no real heat between Meg and Simon. There is heat, but it’s latent, and the thing to remember is that the five books encompass less than one year. That’s not a long time in the whole scheme of things, especially when one partner is non-human who doesn’t know how to interact with humans on a friendship/relationship level; and the other is a physically and psychologically scarred human who was most likely regularly sexually assaulted before escaping the compound for cassandra sangue. We Are Legion (We Are Bob) was a surprisingly fun sci-fi story. Bob and his replicants were intelligent and entertaining. My only issue was how the various subplots were handled at the end of the book. Not cliffhangers necessarily, but some of them weren’t really at good stopping points. The final two books in the Wayward Pines trilogy were good as well, even if the science wasn’t completely plausible. Wayward was the weakest of the three in that it was pretty much set up for The Last Town.
Novels (2) /Nonfiction (2) / Poetry (1)
All five books were for various challenges.
Manga (12) / Graphic Novels (5) / Picture Book (1)
Diary of a Tokyo Teen was alright. It was interesting to read a travelogue from the perspective of a teenager, but it felt like she kept her thoughts to the surface level without really getting into anything. Tokyo Ghoul was the second of two series that derailed my challenge reading in March. I binge read 11 volumes, and they are still amazing the second time around. Yes, it can be violent and gory, but I love the commentary about relations between humans and ghouls that underlines the series. I can’t wait to read the final three volumes, and I hope that VIZ Media will print the sequel series, Tokyo Ghoul:re.
Read Alouds (3)
Both Dealing with Dragons and James and the Giant Peach were read aloud rereads, though this time I read them to Bug and Max. Bug adored DwD, while Max wanted to skip it and read picture books (so I read him a picture book first and then read DwD to Bug). Both children loved JGP and would always beg for one more page. I read Half a World Away to Bean. Realistic fiction is one of her preferred genres, and I thought this one might be interesting to her. The story was about a boy who was adopted, but didn’t really attach to his adoptive parents. At the start of the books, his parents were at the end of the adoption process for a second child, and family was off to Kazakhstan to bring the new baby home. We ended up having multiple conversations about attachment, poverty, and children who have special needs.