Bout of Books Wrap-Up

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Well, that didn't entirely go as planned. For those of you who saw my original Bout of Books TBR post, you'll know that this definitely wasn't what I had scheduled to read for the week, but these things change, and change they did.

Out of my original TBR, I read 120 pages of Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys and put down William Shakespeare's Star Wars as I found myself really not in the mood for it. The Raven Boys, however, is wonderful so far, if a little slow to start. I'll probably be reading it at the same time as a few other books but I've heard it does eventually pick up so I may end up finishing it within a few days. Northern Lights dropped off my list pretty early in the week, not for any particular reason other than a few other books piquing my interest more.

The first thing I read in the week was an ebook I received via NetGalley of When Mystical Creatures Attack*, which I gave two stars in the end after a disappointing second half. I was really ready to love this book, but my Goodreads review says it all: 'I can't help but feel a little disappointed about this book after really enjoying the first half. Even though the latter half dealt a lot more with the heavy subject matter that was featured in the first half, I really wasn't gripped by it. Good things about this book are the way it's written (journal entries, email exchanges, short stories) and its portrayal of teenagers, which I found to be equally accurate and hilarious. Unfortunately this just wasn't for me by the time I got to the end. I'm also a bit wary of the way it portrayed mental illness, but I'm not informed enough on the subject to make a well-educated comment. Founds picked some really interesting subject matter to write about in this novel, so I can see why other people would love it. Don't pass it up because of a bad review, as it is simply my opinion.'

During the week I picked up a couple of short stories from my university library: Frederik Pohl's The Tunnel Under the World and Cynthia Ozick's The Shawl. Pohl's short story got a 5/5 for me, reminding me why I'm such a fan of 1950s science fiction writing and how wonderful it is when a writer can create such a creepy, claustrophobic atmosphere in so few pages. The Shawl was a 4/5 star read, both beautiful and horrifying in its portrayal of the Holocaust and the experiences of its survivors. An amazing piece of short fiction.

I whizzed through an ebook compilation of Thought Catalog posts titled 17 Lists That Will Change Your Life. I don't feel my life has been changed, shockingly, but I did find some of the lists served as good reminders on how to stop taking life too seriously. It was very focused on the twenty-something reader, which is probably something they should chuck on the blurb as I saw a few people on Goodreads complaining about how it just wasn't applicable to them. On that same evening I finished Jennifer E. Smith's Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between* which was sent for review by Headline via Bookbridgr and I absolutely LOVED IT. I'll be posting a review up on it soon, but I've got to say, as someone who isn't that much of a fan of young adult contemporary reads, this was such a pleasant surprise. All of my fears of it falling into YA stereotypes were quashed and I was refreshed by how mature and well thought out the decisions of the main characters were. A round of applause for Jennifer E. Smith. 

M x

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