Its been a while since I’ve done a reading recap and I’ve been way behind with my reading challenge. I’m hoping that as work slows down, my energy will return and my focus on reading will pick up. It also helps when I have a captivating book in my hands. I’m starting to think that as I read more. I’m becoming a harder audience to please. Or maybe I just didn’t like the style of the book. That can happen, right?
Lets get started 🙂
Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse #13) by Charlaine Harris
It took 13 books but Sookie Stackhouse finally came to an end. The last few books have been a chore to get through with more meaningless parts than actually good stuff. But, the writing style is always so easy to read that it doesn’t take much effort to go through it quickly. Dead Ever After is the final book and I guess the question is how does Charlaine Harris wrap this up. She has to pack Sookie’s dangerous, crazy and romantic life all up. In the foreword or whatnot, she justifies that its how she’s wanted this to end. Right off, the setup of the novel is different, featuring a mysterious side story which reveals itself in the end, supposedly maybe wanting to give it a little thriller-esque sort of feeling. Except, its become so predictable that although this last book wasn’t bad, I wasn’t exactly enthused. After having some time to digest it, I really didn’t like the ending at all. It wasn’t just that it didn’t meet my expectations but it faded out some pretty important characters.
Seeing as True Blood was what got me into this, I’m more curious as to how this last season will go. Will they change the ending from the novel? Lets just say, if they do keep it the same, I won’t be quite so pleased. I just don’t really see how the series would build itself to that ending.
Divergent by Veronica Roth
I bought this book in hopes of reading it before going to see the movie. Obviously, that didn’t happen as I planned. But thats okay, because apparently, the movie was really good and that comes from friends that actually read this and enjoyed it.
I had extremely low expectations when I first started this book. I honestly have no idea why. Maybe its the worry that all these teenage books (Harry Potter aside) might end up like Twilight. Still, this one did well. I made it through the whole book in a rather quick pace.
Divergent has a great premise. The concept behind the whole story works really well and the characters were developed decently. At least the main characters were done well. It might have benefited from having a little more emphasis on some key characters rather than just our main characters Tris and Four. While there is a lot to like, I can remember the beginning taking me time to adapt to because the writing style seemed so amateur, maybe. It had something I didn’t quite like but I couldn’t really figure out what it was but that only lasts for a few chapters until it picks itself up and carried me straight to the end.
I don’t know how bad the movie can be but when I get a chance to see this, I’m going in with an open mind. Plus, I’m already planning out when to get the second book and continue with the series.
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
I can’t say for other people who read this but I definitely picked up this one and hesitated and hesitated over an over again because I was not only curious to see how J.K .Rowling would do in the books for an older audience but also I had my doubts. What eventually made me pick up the courage and read it was that it was unfair that I knew nothing of the plot and I had already judged it. I’m just that kind of person and I won’t be that kind of person.
For the record, I wanted this book to be good. It was just so damn long and the pace was so slow. The story itself touches on morals, integrity and just so many social issues as well all embedded in a little town. It sets off by one character’s death which allows us to see a bunch of characters and their lives, viewpoints and how there’s a lot of friction and just how self-centred and ugly everyone was. I spent a good part of it really hating on the characters and in the beginning its a bit confusing because there’s a mountain of names and characters introduced throughout the first few chapters.
I don’t remember this book a lot other than the surprisingly good ending but I do also remember thinking how J.K. Rowling had gotten really sexually explicit in some descriptions. I didn’t really think she would go there. I’m not saying its a bad thing but I guess thats what makes her stand out.
I just can’t help but wonder if maybe she just needs more practice as its just her first step into the books for adults or maybe she’s more geared for books for the younger audience?
The Giver (The Giver Quartet #1) by Lois Lowry
When I was in elementary/high school, I know that some classes got to read The Giver. However, my English teachers never did so I never knew what it was about either. Now, The Giver is a short novel. Its a bit over hundred pages. Its also the first I knew that its actually part of a series. Believe me, you will know also when you reach the end of this book.
The Giver is about a dystopian world which is the opposite of what we have now. Its in a space of Sameness where everyone has their life planned out for them and in routine. This world is emotionless and colorless and painless. Our main character,Jonas has one of the rare jobs which no one had got chosen for since 10 years ago called The Receiver. His job is to work with The Giver who will pass him memories. They are the ones who others believe see beyond and carry the burdens and knowledge that others do not have.
The Giver is a great book. I loved it a lot and I read through it extremely fast because everyone was written well and developed in a good way. Of course, the book being short also makes certain details blurred over but in general, the events that went on and just the inner struggle of our character is one that is intriguing all on its own. Its about seeing a world living in ignorance.
From my Goodreads review, I end it asking this question: Can you imagine a life without memories and everything is simply black and white? Simplicity has its pros but it also strips away the desires and wants that are what motivates us everyday. However, remembering more and feeling more also brings on more pain so would you choose to fully experience life or be in a simple and protected world where your choices are made for you?
The movie looks like its going to be good with a decent cast. Jeff Bridges possibly in a more serious and heavy role. This one I have to see. I’m not sure how anyone can ruin this book adaptation and my fingers are crossed that they won’t.
The Wild Beasts of Wuhan (Ava Lee #3) by Ian Hamilton
Jumping into the third book of this Ava Lee series, all the complaints from the second one has pretty much subsided in this one. Ava Lee is sent on a mission to recuperate money on some fake paintings which takes her around the world to Wuhan, Hong Kong, London and New York.
All in all, this one is quick-paced and fun to read. Its a definite page-turner and reminds me of the Ava Lee that made me fall in love in the first book. It carries suspense and less violence but at the same time, she carries intelligence and this time around, we get a good look at her personal thoughts on her relationship and her family. We dive into her awkward family and I’m pretty sure the next book is going to be head-on involved with a family member.
There really is nothing to complain about in this one because its a satisfying read and I’m hoping the next books will have the same greatness to it 🙂
As I was writing this up, I realized how many novels are actually series. Its really amazing how there isn’t really any standalone books anymore. I mean here’s 80% series. Of course, there are good and bad but for the most part, Sookie Stackhouse kind of overstayed her welcome whereas Ava Lee is still a work in progress. I’m only the third book in and there’s probably already a few more if I’m not mistaken. However, that is a series that I think deserves more attention and would make a pretty awesome TV series or movie.
On that note, I can’t wait to see The Giver in theatres and I’m hoping its a wide release, but I’m willing to travel further to see that since I’m so in love with the book. I also just finished another book that will be adapted into a movie soon but I will post about that in the next recap.
I’m on a reading spree and I have a bunch of books lined up with a few independent writers in the mix once my tablet behaves and lets me load my ebooks again. I’m working on that while I read some physical books 🙂
What movie adaptation are you looking forward to this year? Did you read any of these books? What are your thoughts on it? Any interesting reads that you’d like to share?