March: In Reading
Boy oh boy what a month for reading March has been! Here I was thinking that as this month included my birthday, a fair few days out and so much more work that I wouldn’t have the time to read as much. How wrong was I. I’m starting to think that I’ve caught some sort of reading bug with the amount of pages I’ve been getting through recently but that’s not a bad thing, it actually feels really good to be slightly ahead in this personal challenge rather than last year’s failure where I was ten books behind schedule by April.
Checking up my progress via my Goodreads 2015 Challenge page is a real motivation to get going and as you can see if you pop by I’m actually quite ahead on a month-by-month basis. That deserves a celebration if you ask me, hence the copious amounts of chocolate I’ve gobbled recently. Spring may be around the corner but you might have to start rolling me out the front door just so I can get some sunshine – methinks a diet will be starting after Easter.
Onto my book diet though (heh, see what I did there?), I’ve finished a whole series this month and read a standalone tale and its sequel – here’s what I thought of them:
Dear Patrick Ness, please don’t write anything like More Than This anymore so that I can find your really awesome novels first and not be put off so that I don’t try something as amazing as this! I’ll be speaking about this series in a video on my YouTube channel as a part of the long list of books that I purchased as a birthday gift to myself but I can’t help but praise it here too.
I brought this book a long while ago and it was sitting on my book shelf waiting to be read and everytime I glanced at it in passing I always felt that feeling of apprehension of a bad reading experience with another novel by the author and wandering if it was worth investing my time in another of their work. Let’s just say I’m really glad I decided to pick this one up in the end!
The Knife of Never Letting Go follows the story of Todd, a young boy living in a world where everyone can hear eachother’s thoughts. Cast out with his faithful dog Manchee, Todd starts on a journey to discover the history of his home. A lot of things happen for a first book in a trilogy in this series and but I was glad to read a book where just because it was the beginning of a longer story it didn’t mean I felt like I had to read on to continue it – and hence rush my reading pace and get a little bored. Needless to say I really enjoyed this book and soon ordered the other two in the series as soon as I could.
The second book in the series was gobbled up by me in a matter of days. I lost quite a lot of sleep between work shifts and other social obligations. My obsession with this series was so bad that at one point as I went out for a lunch date around my birthday with some family members I actually cracked on with reading a couple of chapters whilst waiting for a our food to arrive. Don’t worry I’m not that socially inert, our order just took a really long time to arrive that day.
There’s not a huge amount I can say about the plot of this book without ruining the story for those of you who want to read it but the tale continues of Todd and Viola’s journey to find out the reason behind Noise and to find some salvation. Old characters from the first book reappear and you start to see the other side to their actions. It’s a little frustrating reading about a history of a setting in some books without understanding the motivations for a characters but as this series starts to go on you really begin to find out which characters are truly unhinged and those who are working for the greater good. I seriously recommend getting into this series if you can because it covers some many different topics from terrorism to racism with a science-fiction edge. Yes, there is just that much in this book series to grasp as a reader!
This book is the final contribution to the trilogy and even though my daily page count had been reaching levels out of this world I was absolutely gutted when I turned the last page. What happened to Todd? What did all those new characters make of the Noise? And what about the Spackle? Arrgggggh!
There are times when books and the universes that are created by the authors grip you so much that even after turning the last page you’re still thinking about the characters and you want to find out more. I’m still hungry to see what happens with these books, enough to search the internet for fanfiction – a guilty pleasure of mine. I just feel something for these people, even the bad guys! I swear I’ve not come across a villain with as much depth since maybe Valentine Morgenstern in The Mortal Instruments epic (yes I thought Valentine had depth, so what?).
This series now takes pride of place on my book shelf, even if the first book is a different edition to the others and I’m now recommending it to anyone I can think who would enjoy it like I did. Only problem is I don’t think I can part with the books to lend them out my friends… woops.
The internet and his dog (whom I’m sure is actually a cute and podgy little pug) has heard about If I Stay and I picked up this and Where She Went in Asda for about £7.50 or something like that. This was a super short read and on the surface actually seems quite depressing. I’m not one for chick-lit unless, as a rule, it’s a cold winter’s evening with the fire on and filling my face with a bar of Galaxy in a fresh set of PJs – but as the season was shifting into spring I made an exception. Who really wants to read nearly 200 pages 0f a girl who barely survives a car crash and is debating on if to live or die? Uuhhhm, apparently me on quite a pleasant and warm Sunday afternoon in my garden.
I really have no idea what drew me to this book but once I started it I couldn’t put it down. I don’t know if it was just because it was a quick and light read between heavier books – and let’s face it after coming out of the Chaos Walking trilogy I needed something less action-packed – or if I just really fancied it at the time but I had this finished within a few hours.
To give you a brief summary, Mia is involved in a car crash that leaves her life hanging in the balance between staying and recovering or moving on and leaving her friends and family behind. She spends all of the novel in a coma looking back on her upbringing and reminiscing about meeting and falling in love her boyfriend Adam. No spoilers here but let me put it this way, there is a sequel and yes I did read it…
So fast forward about five years and Adam’s band are now super famous thanks to his heart-wrenching lyric writing talents that were mostly inspired by the events that took place in the previous book. This book follows Adam’s perspective as he deals with fame and comes across old faces on a span of about twenty-four hours, meetings of which inspire him to make changes to his seemingly perfect life.
This book was a massive shift from the previous because the perspective follows Adam rather than Mia. This time we get an idea of not just what has happened to Adam now but also how he felt during the last book and to put it bluntly he ain’t doing so well right now. Since reading Please Don’t Stop The Music last year I’m starting to think all of this rockstar stuff isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Hounded by reporters and fans poor Adam can’t catch a break and seems to have fallen out with his bandmates and friends. Here’s another book about how fame is totally rubbish and you shouldn’t want for it because Adam is down-right miserable, rude and becoming pretty unlikable in this story.
Needless to say reading this book wasn’t a total waste of my time or anything like that. The events that took place in the last book have hit the central characters hard and it’s about reading on from the fall-out and seeing how it has crafted these people now compared to then. I did enjoy reading it even if the themes were quite dark because again it was a quick and easy reading and something I had finished within a matter of hours again. Bring on more Gayle Forman books into my reading repertoire I say!
So that’s all the books I managed to blast through, I even managed to find the time to photograph and write about these books before I even his the end of the month too. I think I’m starting to enjoy this challenge… or something like that. So far for April I’m actually on my last book to be in target and I’m having a blast reading a book from one of my favourite series and I actually can’t wait to share it with the world wide internets and let you all know what I thought of it.
Have you been reading your way through March and what did you think of any of the books I’ve read and outlined in this post? Leave a comment below and let me know.