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

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The Heir by Kiera Cass

*If you haven’t read The Selection trilogy and you intend to…then this review will contain some spoilers.*

“I kept thinking that I couldn’t live my life for other people, that love was nothing but chains. And maybe it was, but so help me, I needed these chains.”

heir

First of all, THAT COVER. How beautiful is that? If you haven’t already, you should see it in person. So beautiful.

Synopsis: The Heir by Kiera Cass picks up almost 20 years after The Selection trilogy ends. Princess Eadlyn is the heir to her father’s throne and will one day become queen. Tensions are rising due to revolts following the dissolution of the caste system and the people are in need of a distraction. King Maxon and Queen America decide that their daughter should hold a Selection, following in their footsteps, to both entertain the public and perhaps find a companion for Eadlyn. The problem is, Eadlyn has no interest in love and doesn’t want to put on a show just to pacify others. However, during just the first month of the Selection, Eadlyn learns what it means to have love and true companionship. She starts to realize that happily ever after may look different than she thought possible.

Feelings: I enjoyed this book and read it in less than a day. Was it flawless? Certainly not. Is it the next great American classic? That’s a no. But, it was entertaining and interesting, full of new characters and old, beloved ones from The Selection trilogy. I will certainly pick up the sequel when it drops next year, but I won’t be waiting in line outside the bookstore at midnight for it.

Issues: Maxon and America…people are angry with the monarchy and now they have to watch you try to marry off your daughter for sport? Why did that seem like the best idea to you? Also, why didn’t you have some kind of Office of Whatever to help transition people into post-caste system life? No wonder their daughter is so detached from her own people.

Predictability, thy name is Kiera Cass. While The Selection trilogy’s air of mystery was in whether America would ever make a freaking decision, this book has zero mystery whatsoever. Meet-cutes abound, but I have to say…there are a couple of suitors that I’m rooting for. If anything, Cass knows how to write a hunky hunk or five into literary existence.

Characters: For the majority of the book, Eadlyn is completely oblivious to her own impact. She’s unkind, heartless, and indeed a “black widow”. In a lot of reviews of this book, people talk about how annoying she is and how much they hated her POV. Yes, she’s whiny and selfish, constantly reminding herself and everyone else that she’s powerful and will be queen one day. She’s disrespectful, then criticizes everyone around her for their behaviors…she’s just immature. Grow the heck up.

Her twin brother was her saving grace. He showed us a different side of her through their interactions and he really balanced her out. I can see how her character is developing and fingers crossed, she’ll grow up a lot in the sequel.

Comparisons: Surprisingly, I prefer Eadlyn’s POV to her mother’s in The Selection books. Through all of those three novels, I wanted to shake America and force her to DECIDE ALREADY. Eadlyn, however, went through some self-discovery, a few reality checks, and learned lessons along the way. I’d take that over wishy-washy America any day. (#TeamAspen…I was also #TeamGale…I’m a sucker for the home team, apparently.)

Final thoughts: An entertaining read that should be approached with zero seriousness. I read a review yesterday where someone figuratively tore the first page of the book apart and went all feminist power on it. That’s not…just no. Go read some Sylvia Plath if that’s what you want to do, but stay away from a story that’s not meant to be taken so seriously. Also, stick it to the end. Give Eadlyn a chance. You may even like her by the last page. I’m really rooting for Eadlyn…I got hope in you, girl.

Pick this up if you liked:

The Selection trilogy (I enjoyed this book more than the first three)

The Jewel by Amy Ewing (It’s on my TBR shelf, but I’ve seen it compared to this series before)

Matched by Ally Condie (I only read the first in the series, but it had similar themes)

 

Goodreads rating: 3.92/5

Amazon.com rating: 4.1/5

My rating: 4/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn