Update: 2015 Reading Challenge

I’ve seen a lot of book bloggers giving updates on their 2015 Reading Challenges. A lot of people used the one provided by PopSugar. I had it all written out for the first few months of the year…then I had to keep rearranging the titles to maximize the challenge…then I just gave up. So I recently sat down again and categorized all the books I’ve read this year. I’ve got a few left over, so let me know if you see where I could fit them in!

I have 14 challenges left to complete! As you can see, nonfiction isn’t my favorite genre. Ha!

  1. A book with more than 500 pages: The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
  2. A classic romance
  3. A book that became a movie: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (movie coming soon!)
  4. A book published this year: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  5. A book with a number in the title: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
  6. A book written by someone under 30: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  7. A book with nonhuman characters: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
  8. A funny book: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrew
  9. A book by a female author: Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
  10. A mystery or thriller: Jackaby by William Ritter
  11. A book with a one-word title: Drama by Raina Telgemeier
  12. A book of short stories: Four by Veronica Roth
  13. A book set in a different country: The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare
  14. A nonfiction book
  15. A popular author’s first book: Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
  16. A book from an author you love that you haven’t read: Off the Page by Jodi Picoult
  17. A book a friend recommended: The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
  18. A Pulitzer Prize-winning book: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  19. A book based on a true story
  20. A book at the bottom of your to-read list: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
  21. A book your mom loves
  22. A book that scares you: Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
  23. A book more than 100 years old
  24. A book based entirely on its cover: The Heir by Kiera Cass
  25. A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t
  26. A memoir
  27. A book you can finish in a day: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
  28. A book with antonyms in the title: For the Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund 
  29. A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit: Bridge to Haven  by Francine Rivers (Hollywood)
  30. A book that came out the year you were born
  31. A book with bad reviews: Monster by Walter Dean Myers (this one has the worst reviews of all the books I read…although it doesn’t necessarily have bad reviews)
  32. A trilogy: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
  33. A book from your childhood: Sea of Monsters graphic novel by Rick Riordan (the original book came out in 2004…and calling that my childhood is a stretch, but I’m going with it)
  34. A book with a love triangle
  35. A book set in the future: The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
  36. A book set in high school: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
  37. A book with a color in the title: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  38. A book that made you cry: Wonder by R.J. Palacio
  39. A book with magic: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
  40. A graphic novel: Smile by Raina Telgemeier
  41. A book by an author you’ve never read before: Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
  42. A book you own but have never read: A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall
  43. A book that takes place in your hometown
  44. A book that was originally written in a different language
  45. A book set during Christmas: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (a bit of a stretch…but part of it DOES happen at Christmas time!)
  46. A book written by an author with your same initials (CR)
  47. A play
  48. A banned book
  49. A book based on or turned into a TV show: A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin
  50. A book you started but never finished: Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Extras that didn’t fit into the challenge:

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Enchanted by Alethea Kontis

Dearest by Alethea Kontis

All the Broken Pieces by Ann E. Burg

Do you have any recommendations?

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

Off the Page

“Just because your story’s not written down doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.”

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Synopsis: Off the Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer is the companion novel to Between the Lines, which I’d recommend reading first. In this story, characters come to life – literally – as Oliver, the prince in a fairy tale book, and Delilah, a “real girl”, navigate their love between worlds. After Oliver left his fictional storybook behind, however, the story began to fall apart. Delilah and Oliver must find a way to correct the original fairy tale book that Oliver has abandoned, while also hoping for a way to stay together in one world. Love, heartbreak, death, life, this book has it all.

Feelings: I enjoyed this book. I liked that it had all the elements of a fairy tale, but it was modernized by a dose of the real world. Some of my favorite reading moments were when Oliver was figuring out how to just be a teenager, and not a prince. Those scenes were funny and lighthearted, keeping me entertained and interested. I’m really glad that the dose of reality came through heartbreak and loss – because let’s face it…that’s reality! Every once in a while, I need a feel good book where everything’s coming up roses, but I also really enjoy books where life kicks in.

Issues: This book is entertaining, but that’s about all it has going for it. Characters are going back and forth between the real world and the fictional one, making my head spin. I sympathized with Edgar, but he’s the only character I had any type of connection with…and that didn’t even happen until the book was almost over. Delilah and Oliver had too many things going for them. There were so many things that should have been bigger issues, realistically, but they magically worked out. I mean…the guy drew a picture of a dragon on his SAT answer document and got a perfect score, for goodness sake. The writing was good (because Jodi Picoult), but there were a couple of scenes that I skimmed through because I couldn’t figure out their purpose.

Characters: I ended the book with quite a few questions. How did Edgar’s mom not seriously realize her son had been swapped out? How gullible is Delilah’s mom? And the whole Edgar/Jules/Chris thing was super weird and short-lived. I felt like some elements of this story were thrown in just to spice it up, but weren’t really developed, so they stuck out and were awkward. Also, Oliver is the cheesiest love-struck teenager of all time. Is it because he’s really a fairy tale prince? I hope so.

Comparisons: This story is similar to the movie Enchanted, but only in the sense that it’s fairy tale characters trying to navigate the real world. Enchanted doesn’t really take real people into the fairy tale world. Or maybe I just haven’t seen that movie in a long time and I don’t remember it. That’s always possible.

Final thoughts: In the end, I’m glad I picked this one up. I enjoyed the blend of genres, the colored font (so interesting!), I LOVED the pictures and just overall thought this was an entertaining story.

Pick this up if you liked:

Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer (go ahead and continue the story!)

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (one fictional story + one in the real world = good reads)

Goodreads rating: 3.94/5

Amazon.com rating: 4/5

My rating: 4/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn