I FINISHED MY GOODREADS CHALLENGE.
Whoot whoot, go Luna.
This post is quite late, as according to Goodreads I finished my 100 books in mid-October. But for varying reasons that I’ll explain later, this post was delayed so I could make it 101.
So to explain properly – at 96 books I got the idea that I should do a post about my challenge, especially the last ten books. I’d read a few really great new books and it would make for a really interesting post. Except book number ten was a re-read. So I had to wait to read one more new book making my total so far 101.
10. The Marsh King’s Daughter
This book was just fantastic. In a way, it’s a Final Girl story. Helena’s mother was kidnapped many years ago and held hostage. Helena herself was born in captivity. But as Helena herself explains early on in the book, this isn’t her mother’s story.
This book is as terrifying as it is wonderful. It really shows the abuse that Helena and her mother went through. Poor Helena has no idea that her life isn’t normal and her mother is so destroyed by her years in captivity that there’s very little spirit in her left. However, there’s more than enough in Helena and when her father escapes from prison and kills several men along the way, Helena knows she’s the only one able to catch him.
Verdict: Horrifying, suspensful, edge of your seat thriller.
9. Princess Between Worlds
This is fifth in the very cute, original ‘Wide Awake Princess’ series. In case you haven’t heard of these books they’re about the sister of Sleeping Beauty, who was gifted as a baby with complete immunity to magic. So when Princess Gwen pricks her finger on a spindle and falls asleep, taking the whole kingdom with her, Annie is the only one left awake. I really enjoyed the first few books. They’re fun, Annie is a strong, interesting heroine and they weave different fairy tales together well. However, by number five I was a bit less interested as the plot is starting to verge a little bit on repetitive. But for a series aimed at younger readers, I’ve liked them a lot.
Verdict: Incredibly good for a middle school series but…also aimed at middle school kids.
8. Tell Me Three Things
I really enjoyed this book when I read it. Jessie has been exiled to Los Angeles by her father’s new marriage and it’s not going well. She hasn’t made any new friends and getting along with her new stepfamily is difficult. So when someone messages Jessie offering to help her navigate life at her school she’s sceptical but soon she and ‘SomebodyNobody’ become close. I know this book was cute and fun but…I’m struggling to remember any actual details of it now? Any specifics have melted away in my brain. I forgot the main characters name until I looked on Goodreads (and that’s pretty bad as we have similar names!)
Verdict – Fun but failed to make a lasting impression on me.
7. The Dazzling Heights
I loved the first book The Thousandth Floor and this one did not disappoint. If anything it gave some great development for our MCs and added a bit more mystery with an interesting new character. I was sure I wouldn’t like Calliope but she grew on me somehow and that’s impressive. Lena also massively grew on me and this book added a romance I actually kind of…ship? And you know me, I rarely care about the romances in YA!
Feeling bad for Avery though. This book was basically ‘Stomp on Avery’ time. She cannot catch a break.
Verdict: I cannot wait for The Towering Sky. Be nicer to Avery!
6. Sweet Little Lies
The blurb for Sweet Little Lies hooked me. Cat always suspected her father knew something about the disappearance of Maryanne Doyle but could never prove it. years later she’s a police officer and a young woman’s body turns up near her father’s pub. Cat is horrified that maybe history is repeating itself and that all those suspicions from years ago will finally be confirmed.
I did enjoy this book but it also wasn’t quite what I expected. Still, I read through it in about a day.
Verdict: Decided to not keep the PB but not sorry I read.
5. Rotten Rapunzel
I love Anita Valle. Her Nine Princesses series is my favourite of her work but her Dark Queens series is a great twisted look at fairy tales. This is the third and follows Rapunzel, daughter of Cinderella, trapped in her tower by Snow White. IF YOU READ THE SERIES IT MAKES SENSE, OK. I weirdly didn’t like this as much as the rest and I struggled to put my finger on why. Even now I’m not entirely sure. Even so, it was a good purchase and I will continue to read both Anita’s series.
Verdict: Quirky novellas and rotten princesses. Bring on Beastly Beauty!
4. Final Girls
YOU GUYS. YOU GUYS.
I FOUND IT.
Finally, after all this time, I found a great, if not astounding, Final Girls book. I’ve had near misses, close to perfect and downright abysmal…and this one hit every mark I’ve been looking for. It’s full of mystery and creepy and had me on edge the entire time. Not to mention our main three ‘Final Girls’ are each in their own right unique, abused, struggling characters. What happened to them has shaped – and scarred- them all in different ways. I love that this shows the truth of what would really happen to a Final Girl. The horror, the nightmares, the looking over your shoulder. Quincy is so traumatised, she can’t say the killer’s name without throwing up. It’s real, well written and had twists that even I didn’t see. And I usually see these things coming.
Verdict: I WAITED ALL YEAR FOR THIS AND IT WAS FREAKING WORTH IT.
3. One Dark Throne
I WAITED FOR THIS TOO AND IT’S AMAZING.
I’m so glad that this series got two more books and a novella. Sometimes a book drags you into its world so completely that you don’t want to leave it yet. I am so not ready to leave Fennbirn and no doubt I will be devastated when this series ends. But hey, Future Luna’s problem.
I won’t tell you guys too much about it as it might still too early for spoilers. However, Mirabella had fierce competition for my favourite queen in this book from Arsinoe. Jules is possibly even more amazing than in 3DC. Braddock is adorbs and I hope we see him again. The only bad thing about it is that the ending has me even more desperate for the next book than 3DC did!
Kendare Blake, why you torture us so….
Verdict: What do you mean we have to wait for the third book?
I was really into the first part of this book. It had such an interesting concept and the world building kept me hooked. People have discovered how to ‘plug in’ and live in a purely mental world. You can’t get hurt or die and you can download apps straight to your brain. The possibilities of this are endless. The main character uses apps to climb mountains, play games, drive race cars…She even has once installed that lets her turn into a tiger when she feels threatened.
At the beginning of the story, Skylar is horrified to learn that she can never ‘unplug’ or return to the physical world. While other App world residents are overjoyed to hear this Skylar is devastated. How will she ever see her mother and sister again? She gets involved in a secret mission with some other residents who have their own reasons to rejoin the physical world and illegally unplugs.
That’s where my problem with this book lies. If you have two or more worlds they all have to be equally interesting. Because when Skylar returned to the real world, that’s when I lost interest. It dragged and dragged and lost the fast-paced urgency of the first half. It picked up again in the last few chapters but by then I was struggling. It was a serious fight to finish it. I won’t be picking up the second one all that soon.
Verdict – Great premise and world-building that ultimately falls flat.
1.The Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School
I got this book at a charity shop a year ago and finally got around to reading it. Drearcliffe Grange follows Amy, an unusual girl, who gets sent away to school after her mother finds her asleep on the ceiling. There she finds that Drearcliffe is full of the odd, the gifted and the out of place. Her roommates alone are a wild criminal princess, a bolshy heiress and another talented ‘Unusual.’
Then one day her roommate is kidnapped and sets off a chain of events and a suspicious conspiracy at school. Amy starts a secret society with the aim of saving Drearcliffe.
I liked the first half of this book more than the last. A lot of things were never explained. I need the bad guys to have backstory, motivations, why do they do what they do. We never got any of that. I don’t even know what the bad guys were trying to achieve!
Verdict: Quirky, dark and creepy…I just have a lot of questions.
I had doubts about doing a Goodreads challenge…mostly because I don’t like being told what to do. I resented the idea that something would dictate how much I read and make it stressful.
Actually, it didn’t do that. It did kind of motivate me to read more or at least make time for it. And with a book blog, that definitely helps. Not to mention I got kind of competitive and was determined to finish it long before December.
For the most part, I’m very happy with this challenge. Due to a slight but happy screw up on my part, it was a long time before I realised that books you’ve read before add to your total so most of my 100 are brand new books.
To summarise, I’ve done a few lists below:
Best series read – Newsflesh trilogy by Mira Grant
Best standalone read – Geekarella by Ashley Poston
Better than expected – My not so perfect life by Sophie Kinsella
Didn’t meet expectations – Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Best sequel – One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake
Best Thriller – Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne
Best Horror – Final Girls by Riley Sager
Best YA Debut – The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Those are my highlights of this year and hopefully, I can bring my total up even further. I wonder how many books I can read before January?
Please let us know how you’re getting on with your challenge. Has it helped you read more and what are the best books of 2017?