Tuesday, June 13, 2017

SYUB: May 2017

Life According to Steph
Being crazy busy and surgery made me hit the pause button on reading, but I got motivated to finish this month with a bang.  I struggled through some of my selections this month, but blame that on the pre-surgery stress/ADD.

Also, at what point did I become so critical of books.  I think maybe part of it is me and not spending more than 10-30 minutes reading/listening so I can't really get into a book.  But I think that it could also be that I'm just not that into some of these books.  Am I reading to say I'm reading?  Because that's probably not how it should be done, Megggannnnnn...

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.
3.5/5 - I liked parts of it.
4/5 - I liked the whole thing.
4.5/5 - I liked it a lot, but not sure I'd read it again.
5/5 - I LURVED it and I'd read it again.

*Subject to change based on my mood, the phase of the moon, or other unpredictable variables.

Skimmers, stick with the bold text (TL;DR* parts).
PS. Possible spoilers included in reviews.

Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape by Peggy Orenstein 3.5/5 (library ebook)I was so determined to read this that I put myself on the hold lists after I didn't read it in time (twice).  But I did finally finish it.  Honestly, this book does a good (even if slanted) job at pointing out the obvious truths that most Americans don't want to face: teenagers are having sex.  Sex to mean, many different types of sex.  Not just penis-in-vagina type sex.  And because adults are ashamed/shy to talk about it, kids/teens are learning from each other which shouldn't be how this shakes out.

Keep in mind that while Orenstein presents her findings as facts, many other things factor into those facts, so take her truths with a grain of salt.  The girls/women she interviews aren't the voices of everyone.  Yet, many sexual assault victims may identify with the stories, or parts of stories, told by the interviewees.

TL;DR: Sex is awkward.. if you let it be.  Boys get more pleasure than girls because girls don't speak up about their pleasure (aka it's not as obvious when girls orgasm and it doesn't happen as quickly).  Sexual assault is something that needs to be addressed and NOT by victim shaming.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline  3.75/5 (audiobook) 
This sci-fi book wasn't overly sci-fi due to it's historical nature/obsession with 80s culture and video games. This book is for people who are nostalgic for the 80s and/or played video games of any kind in the 80s. Many of the references were lost on me because I wasn't old enough to have participated in most of the games being played, but I knew of them, which is always nice.

I kept expecting a twist at the end (maybe I read too many twisty books?) but was pleased with the outcome and that the end of the book didn't shift the spotlight to the lovey plot line.

TL;DR: A book obsessed with 80s culture set in 2040s doused in gamer-speak with a evil bad guy in real life.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon 3.75/5 (paperback)
Another easy read by Yoon, which is very delightful. Once I got into it, I was hooked right away. I liked seeing the relationship develop between Maddy and Olly. The book was mostly predictable (having read The Fault in Our Stars) but I did appreciate the twist at the end with the mom. It seemed very anticlimactic considering the effect it had on Maddy's life.

3.75 instead of 3.5 because it was such an easy read.

TL;DR: A girl is allergic to the world, but turns out, she isn't.  Oops.

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier   2.5/5 (library ebook)
I wanted to like this book a lot more than I did, but I just felt bored.  By the time we actually got to the action, it turned out to be a setup for a series and that's a pet peeve.  I want some good action during the first book, kthx.  By the end I was finally interested, butttttt I don't want to commit to another series at this time.

I give this book points for being an easy read.  Final note: This book is actually translated into English, the author is German.

TL;DR: Is Gwen pregnant?  Is Gwen just stupid?  Nah, it's just a time travel gene. 

In Progress:

  • The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood  */5 (paperback) 
    • 60 pages in, I questioned finishing this one.  I was tired of being confused.  Things started to get a little bit clearer.  But I'm still asking myself, "Should I stay or should I go now?"
  • Red Rising by Pierce Brown   */5 (audiobook)
    • I was enjoying the Red story.  Then I got bogged down with the Gold transformation.  I'm skeptical about all the killing that is taking place at Gold school.  I've already purchased Golden Son (#2 in the series) and I don't want to have to return it.

On Deck:

  • Golden Son by Pierce Brown   */5 (audiobook)
    • I already purchased this from Audible since I'd heard I would like it since I saw it on sale.  
  • Outlander 5-9 by Diana Gabaldon  */5 (audiobook) 
    • I gave Teh Mom access to my Audible account so she could listen to the rest of the Outlander series.  I figured between her and Teh WJL they would both finish before me, so I'm giving them a head start, but Teh Mom better be through with book 5 by the time I'm ready to listen in 2-3 months.
  • Once July 1st hits, it's on like Donkey Kong for Erin's Challenge (post to come with my book selections).

YAY for books!
*TL;DR = too long, don't read


  1. I read Everything, Everything this month too and really enjoyed it. I predicted early on the twist and so when it happened I was like...I KNEW IT! I freaking knew it! I am surprised that it didn't focus more on the mom's sickness and was sort of anti-climatic seeing as how it was just like...oh well. But I still enjoyed it. Player One has been on my TBR and I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

  2. Girls & Sex is one of those on my TBR forever types. Maybe when the LO is a teenager...not ready to go there yet. Yes to Everything, Everything...the mother seemed to have almost no consequences of value and there are just so many holes in that story (the relationship itself was super cute, but literally everything else just made me crazy the more I thought about it).

  3. I need to read Ready Player One and Everything Everything! I've heard such good things about both books! And I seriously can't wait for Erin's challenge to start either!

  4. I saw the movie Everything Everything and it was cute, but I don't want to read the book to be honest. I DO want to read Ready Player One at some point.


    1. Ready Player One has a movie coming out as well. I'm wondering how it will compare with the book.

  5. I adored Ready Player One and am so excited for the movie. Everything Everything is on hold at the library and god knows when I'll get it.

  6. Everything Everything and Ready Player One are both on my TBR. While I am a child of the 80s, I never played video games so I'm always unsure how much I'll enjoy the book. I loved Red Rising a lot but I'm willing to "roll with it" if I'm enjoying a book, so I didn't scrutinize the Gold transformation. I would say that if the violence level bothers you that really doesn't lessen. And it's YA, so you have to be willing to believe kids/young adults have so much power.

    1. There was enough description of the games to know what was going on but not get bogged down.

      I loved the Red part of the book. I haven't loved it since Darrow became a Gold. I also forget that they are only 16.

  7. The transformation into Gold was exactly where I lost interest in Red Rising. I really liked the beginning.

  8. I wasn't expecting to like Ready Player One as much as I did since I know nothing about video games and don't really like Sci-fi. I'm glad I read it though and now I'm totally curious to see how the movie will turn out.

  9. When I had surgery, I thought I would read a ton during recovery, but I was so exhausted I barely read at all. I thought Everything, Everything was a cute read!

  10. Revolution requires killing, lol. That's how I looked st the gold school parts.

  11. Are you liking Outlander so far? It's not the type of book I usually read but I've heard such great things about it I might have to give it a try.

  12. I have been recommended the "Ruby Red" series in the original by a German pen pal. Your review makes it sound kind of boring though. But I do want to read more German books so maybe I'll give it a go.

  13. I don't typically read SciFi, but I loved Ready Player One. But, like you said, it's heavy on 80s nostalgia and I am a self-proclaimed Child of the 80s. My main complaint was all the gaming references. I wasn't into video games as a kid, so I was unfamiliar with many of the game references.

    PS I like your synopsis of Everything, Everything! LOL!


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