Last year I made a new year’s resolution to read 30 books in 2010. And believe it or not, I was successful! I decided to keep you readers informed about my new new year’s resolution—35 books in 2011—once every three months. Before April, I read seven books. Here’s my update.
Atonement: This is the book that the Oscar-nominated film Atonement was based on. As one of my book club reads, I was eager to delve deeper into the film’s characters. Understandably, I was the only one in my club who actually finished the book. Although the prose was beautiful, it was so slow and therefore difficult to enjoy. Luckily the story started to speed up about halfway through, but by then I was already bored. I finished it out of sheer principle; and I’m glad I did—the ending was beautifully told. 3 STARS.
Catching Fire: As a huge Hunger Games fan (I read it in two days flat!) I was very excited to start Catching Fire and learn more about Katniss’ journey. Unfortunately, this book did not live up to the original. At all. Whereas the first book spun this beautifully crafted and well-told story, Catching Fire rushes to the end as if in a hurry to get to the last book of the trilogy. Significantly weaker, I was thoroughly disappointed in the plot and the writing style. I should have re-read The Hunger Games instead. 3 1/2 STARS
Mockingjay: Despite my disappointment with Catching Fire, I decided to read the final book of The Hunger Games trilogy simply to see how it all ends. It should have been such an epic ending. Instead, all of the major plot points that should have felt significant felt rushed. At least Katniss found some sense of peace in the end. 3 STARS
The Bride and the Beast: When I read this book’s back cover—a beast that prowls Castle Weyrcraig meets a lovely maiden who teaches him how to love—I was stoked. Beauty and the Beast is one of my all-time favorite fairy tales! However, I think I expected too much from this generic romance novel. All the romance novel cliches were stuffed into the pages without any of the fairy tale lore that make fairy tales so enchanting. 2 1/2 STARS
Outlander: Love. Lust. Stonehenge. Time Travel. What’s not to love? Oh yea … it’s 850 pages! Take out about 200 pages of unnecessary story and that creepy scene during the end and I’d be more than happy to give it 5 stars. Can I create my own abridged tale? 3 1/2 STARS
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist: This was a quick and easy read that I desperately needed after tackling Outlander. However, as with most books less than 200 pages, I didn’t learn enough about the characters to really care whether or not they fell in love. Nevertheless, it was a fun read. 3 1/2 STARS
One Day: Just when I thought I was starting to get cynical and find fault with every book that came my way, I discovered this hidden gem. Dex and Em … Em and Dex. These relatable characters are both lovable and flawed. In this will-they-or-won’t-they tale, the author revisits Dex and Em’s lives on the same day every year—July 15—for 20 years. It’s almost like a literary snapshot of their lives. And although some may call the ending melodramatic, I thought it was picture perfect. 5 STARS
Which books are you currently reading? Do you have any suggestions as to what I should read next?