Tuesday, August 11, 2015

What I read in July

I hate when life is all like, NOPE you don't get to read, you have things to do (moving, dating, life, oh my)!  It's just the pits.  That said, I finally popped my audiobook cherry and now this is me:

I'm still powering through my reading challenges and I feel like I'm getting no where fast with them.  I felt like I made a lot more progress than I actually did.  Whatever, reading is reading (or listening now) and at least I'm attempting.. and I'll probably finish reading my challenge books, even after the dates for the challenges pass.  Apparently, my reading fiendishness doesn't compare to my fellow fiends.  Ok then.

On to the reviews, shall we?

Life According to Steph

Rating scale:

1/5 - Hated it, didn't finish.
2/5 - Tolerated it on principle to finish, didn't like it.
3/5 - Eh, didn't love it, didn't hate it.  Had some good parts/kept me interested/finished it on principle.
4/5 - I liked it.
5/5 - I LURVED it and I'd read it again.

Skimmers, stick with the bold text (TL;DR* parts).

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky 4.5/5

4.5 because I'm not sure I would reread it, but I enjoyed this book to the max.  I saw the movie years ago and didn't remember the twist at the end.  I personally felt like Charlie was possibly a bit autistic or had a touch of Asperger's.  I wasn't sure.  It could have just been innocence, but sometimes the way his thoughts were indicated something bigger.  I really wanted to find out who the stranger was he was writing to and maybe I just missed it.  I think Chobosky did a good job of typing up all the loose ends, even if the ending felt a bit rushed.

Also, am I the only person in the universe who happened to miss the "I did drugs/drank in high school" bus?  

TL;DR: A coming-of-age story of a boy in high school who reads a lot (right up our alley) and writes letters to deal with his high school angst, which is pretty interesting.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio 4.5/5
4.5 because I'm not sure I would reread it, but I really enjoyed this one.  This was also my very first audiobook, which was enjoyable.  I didn't expect the different perspectives, but I it was a relief when they finally came since I was getting tired of the main character's perspective.  I personally would have preferred the main character be given a chapter between each of the other perspectives, but that's personal preference.  I started to miss the voice of the main character after an extended period of time from everyone else's viewpoint.  I felt  like we were never going to get a good description, so that was semi-frustrating, but I got over it.

There probably would have been more feels for me had I been reading this instead of listening.  There was one point I felt myself starting to tear up, but I was running and I felt like my vision needed to be maintained.

TL;DR: 1. Kids are horrible.  I was probably a horrible kid.  2.  This book gave me feelz.  3.  Can I have an astronaut helmet for bad zit days?

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson  1/5

I wanted to kill myself listening to this.  I felt like the story was being told by a 100 year old man and he was just drawing it out for as long as possible.  Similar to how I started to feel towards HIMYM when it was boring.  JUST GET TO THE DAMN POINT!  I didn't feel entertained by this book.  I felt like the history of each character that came into the picture was completely unnecessary.
Additionally, the audio version that I got, the narrator's voice for the other characters was completely obnoxious.  Just grated my nerves over and over and over.  With that and the feelings of agitation that the book invoked in me, I finally decided to call it quits somewhere in chapter 10.  I don't even care how the book ends, I hope they all die, except for the elephant, because they were so obnoxious.

TL;DR: Don't read this unless you can tolerate long narratives and story lines for characters that won't add anything to the story every chapter.

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen  5/5
I wanted to sit down and devour this book in one sitting, but just wasn't able to make/find the time.  I was instantly drawn into Sydney's life and wanted to know what was going to happen.  Also, Teh Mom and I have a pretty rough relationship, so I can get behind the literal mama drama.   I figured that the creepy part of this book would end up way worse than it actually did, so that was good.  Then again, this is a YA book, so that would probably be a majority of the reasoning why things didn't go as badly as I anticipated.

I enjoyed the budding love and teenage angst, which wasn't overly angsty.  Sometimes, a girl just need some sappy love that doesn't get tainted by the real world.

TL;DR:  A good YA read that isn't overly angsty with just enough drama to keep you interested topped with a few sprinkles of romance.

In Progress:

Guantanamo Diary by Mohamedou Ould Slahi
New Stories from the South 2001 by various (Shannon Ravenel)
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
How Should a Person Be? by Sheila Heti
Redeployment by Phil Klay

I know it seems a bit extreme to be in the middle of 5 books, but it's how I roll.
I know that I'm going to struggle with some books (Redeployment/Guantanamo) so I have to spend some time in other books to break it up.  I get very wrapped up in the worlds I emerge in (tv shows/movies/books/etc), so I know that if I'm reading a dark book, I'll be in a dark mood.  If I watch a sappy movie, I'll be in a sappy mood.  I've yet to decide if that's a good or bad aspect about myself, but I've come to accept it over the years.

On Deck:
Any of these that I haven't already read

*TL;DR = too long, don't read


  1. I am adding Perks to Being a Wallflower to my list. I've never seen the movie or read the book yet but I've heard great things about it

  2. How's Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari so far? I've listened to his stand up a couple times - one I loved, the other one seemed a bit in-your-face. I'm definitely intrigued by what he'd have to say on the topic of romance, though.

  3. I'm about 75th on the list for Moden Romance. Which enrages me.

    Wonder and Saint Anything--YES! I was bored as hell through most of the 100 Year Old Man but there were some parts I liked enough to keep me going.

  4. *Modern. Why does autocorrect work sometimes and not others? This also enrages me.

  5. Loved Perks of Being a Wallflower! (movie was pretty good too). I JUST started Modern Romance because as you probably noticed I'm obsessed with this topic but I was surprised to see it's less of a memoir/funny book and very...research/focus group oriented? I'm gonna give it a shot but I definitely was a bit surprised. Let me know what you think of it!

  6. I think Dessen is pretty good at not taking the easy way out or treating things lightly because she writes to YAs. She will gloss over some stuff, sure, but she does deal with hard issues. That being said I haven't read Saint Anything but I'm sure I will soon. I like her stuff!

  7. So glad you liked Perks of Being a Wallflower! I did too...so much love.

    Did you mention Modern Romance last month? Or was that someone else? Definitely heard of it, and I think I added to the TBR.

  8. I really like Sarah Dessen for easy, good reads. I think I'll check this one out!

  9. I don't know how you read more than one at a time. You are an ANIMAL! lol

  10. I haven't read Perks to Being a Wallflower yet or seen the movie but I really need to get around to that. I enjoyed Saint Anything and I was thinking it was going to go a lot darker then it did too. I did like Dessen's writing style though and I picked up another book of hers at the thrift store when I was there. I am with Amanda..how do you read so many at once??? I can only handle one physical book with one audiobook at a time!

  11. I was also on the train of not doing drugs and alcohol in high school. And sex, no way. Is this what kids are doing? Scares the crap out of me! I LOVED Wonder. Sorry you didn't like 100 Year Old Man but listening to audio must have been horrible because it is a sloooow pace and I couldn't imagine listening to an old man read it. I think I gave the book 4/5 stars because it surprised me how "Seinfeld" it was, what with all the connecting events. So many people loving Saint Anything. I gotta read it.

  12. I LOVED Perks and Charlie and definitely felt he had some sort of disorder that no one spoke of. I drank twice in high school and didn't touch drugs, but all my friends did. I was a goody-goody! Haha! I also really loved Wonder. I put Guantanamo Diary on my to-read list when I found out it was going to be a movie. I hope to get to it this month too.

  13. I hope they all die, except the elephant...that made me laugh so hard I snorted...and I've never even read the book. I have Perks coming up for me too. I missed that drugs in high school bus too. Don't feel left out.

  14. I thought The Perks of Being a Wallflower was just okay, as was the movie. But Wonder and Saint Anything, yes loved them!

  15. Perks and Saint Anything are already on my list! I'm a cover girl and though I didn't love the cover of Wonder, your positive review makes me want to read it, so I'm adding it to my list :)

    1. Oh also, I'm a super slow reader, life in the way or not, so don't feel bad! I'm right there with ya!

  16. I read The Girl Who Saved The King Of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson this month and your review sounds awfully familiar! I was reading rather than listening, and it still dragged and the narratives were intolerably drawn out. If I'd have been listening to it I'd have just given up! I was so relieved when I finished it... (Sadly they didn't all die though, and no elephants either. What a let down)

  17. I liked Perks of Being a Wallflower and I even liked the movie. Wonder has been on my list and it seems everyone loves it.

  18. Wonder gave me so many feels, I think everyone should read it in school. It's going to be a movie soon too.

  19. Saint Anything is now on my list! I gotta read it! I still haven't read Perks of Being A Wallflower but I did see the movie....I need to read it now!

  20. Glad you loved the book of the month. Sarah Dessen's books are just all perfect for that sappy yet not annoying love story.

    Also, Perks of Being A Wallflower was really good for me too.


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