Tuesday, 4 September 2012

2012 Reading Challenge: Twenty-Two Books Down!

reading.JPG a monster calls

Book eighteen was Player One by Douglas Coupland which was considerably different to the other books I've read for the challenge so far in terms of the style and format. The story is set in an airport cocktail lounge during a global disaster and is written in a real-time format with each chapter representing one of five hours. Within each hour there is a section from each character's point of view; Karen, Rick, Luke, Rachel and the mysterious 'Player One', following the same sequence for every chapter. I hope this isn't a spoiler for anyone but I thought there was going to be this big mystery about who Player One was but it was actually revealed very early on. After a little while it did seem to be dragging even though it's a pretty short book and I found myself frequently switching between 'liking it' and finding it 'just okay' throughout.

Uglies was one of my first Kindle purchases and everything was going well until one evening I was reading, tapped to turn the page to the next chapter and my Kindle refused. Basically I kept receiving an error message even after following the suggested troubleshooting tips on the website, ended up with a refund and no way to finish the book I was halfway through. Luckily I remembered that I had seen the paperback in a local charity shop the week before and when I went back to pick it up it was still there! At first I wasn't too sure where the story was going but then it all fell into place very quickly and overall I enjoyed it but just not quite as much as some of the other 'similar' books I've read recently. One thing that did annoy me were the unimaginative town names; the uglies live in Uglyville, new pretties in New Pretty Town etc which seemed more like something you would find in a children's book than YA. Despite me being picky about the names I would recommend trying out Uglies if you enjoy this genre in general. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the quartet and finding out what happens to Tally and co.

My twentieth book ended up being another novel which has been adapted into a film I'd already seen and really enjoyed. The film adaptation of Winter's Bone was released back in 2010 and I wrote about it briefly here. I definitely found it much easier to visualise the setting and characters due to having previously seen the film. However like Player One it isn't a very long book but it did seem to take me a while to get through it. Overall I thought it was well-written and made a nice change from my go-to of stories set in the future.

My favourite book from this selection was another dystopian tale (surprise surprise!) in the form of Unwind by Neal Shusterman. Right from the beginning it was an exciting book with a lot of page-turner moments and I actually ended up reading it rather quickly as I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen next. As a film lover this book did scream out to me as being perfect for a cinematic adaptation. I know people often worry that their favourite books will be ruined by filmmakers but I think the story and the world Neal Shusterman has created would work well on the big screen. I do however have one complaint although it is a minor one, Connor was spelt Conner at one point and I'm pretty sure a bracelet even magically turned into a necklace within a few sentences but I'll forgive the poor proof-reading because I really loved the book. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series starting with the second instalment Unwholly which was released in hardback on August 28th and is coming to paperback/Kindle on September 27th (I've already placed my paperback pre-order!).

Book twenty two A Monster Calls made its way onto my list out of curiosity after seeing countless five star reviews alongside a list of award wins. Unfortunately I was pretty disappointed when I finally got to read it as it wasn't what I was expecting at all. Its written by Patrick Ness who is well-known for the Chaos Walking series (I have these and haven't read them yet!) but is based on an idea by Siobhan Dowd. My favourite part of this book was actually the illustrations drawn by Jim Kay, one of which is pictured below. I'm definitely in the minority with my opinion of this book so if you were planning to read it don't let me put you off!

You can find books 12-17 here.

What have you been reading recently?
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