The 100-book Challenge Update – January 2015

January Stats:
Total Books Started: 5
Total Books Finished: 3

71pd7fYbMYLBook 1: Girl Online – Zoe Sugg

I have been a follower of Zoe Sugg’s YouTube channel for around two years now. It was, in fact, one of the first YouTube channels that I followed. On on hand, she knows all about beauty and style, and on the other, she is very relatable. She has a way of capturing the interest of an audience (namely, me 7 million plus others), and engaging them in topics that, in any other situation, might not have been of interest.

This led to me being excited when, last year, she announced that she will be publishing a novel. And although it was classified as YA, and even Children’s books, I pre-ordered it on Amazon that minute it was available.

As expected, Girl Online was a very light read. It took me less than 24 hours to finish – something I haven’t done since the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. It follows the story of a high school girl who keeps an anonymous blog, and who gets to travel to new lands and meet a prince charming of sorts.

The narration was gripping, easy to follow, and I was not tempted to skip any part of it – something that I can be guilty of at times. And even though there was a hype about Zoe using a ghost writer, that does not bother me in the least. If you have read any of Zoella’s blog posts, you can see that she is a talented writer, and that reflected in the book. It only makes sense that writing a blog post of a few hundred words is substantially different from writing a book of a few hundred pages, and professional help would be in order.

As for the story, the events were gripping, and kept me wanting for more! A good book is one that will make you wanting to flip to the next page, then the next, and the next. The idea of being in a foreign land, and finding love there may as well be every girl’s fantasy and some point. Capturing that in writing allowed the young girl in me to live this fantasy through Girl Online.

Nevertheless, when the book ended, I felt that the story wasn’t complete. There were still events that need to take place, I wanted to know what happened next! I am only hoping that it will inspire a sequel, to complete the story, and allow me more peace of  mind.

Time to Finish: 1 day
Rating: 4/5

419rjQNqYhLBook 2: The Lunar Chronicles: Cinder – Marissa Meyer

Because I felt a bit disappointed that Girl Online finished too quickly, I picked one of the series I had on my list. In my haste to select, it turned out one of the series that were not all published – the fourth book of the series will be released in November 2015! So, currently, I am wishing I had left this till the end of the year rather than now, because waiting for 10 months for a book is not something I am looking forward to.

I am a fan of fairy tale adaptions. I enjoyed reading Confession of an Ugly Stepsister, and Marie Hall’s Kingdom series (Side note: As I am writing this, I found out that there are actually 11 books so far in the series, and I only read the first five, so YAY! for more books). Anywho, I selected Cinder because from the quick review I read about it, it seemed to be combining fairy tales with a bit of Sci-Fi.

The book was by no means a disappointment. The chapters were short enough to allow for pauses (because I almost NEVER set a book down in the middle of a chapter, and this was important because I was reading this while preparing for a major thesis-related task), yet gripping enough to keep me turning and – ahem – procrastinating.

The interesting thing was that the influence of the fairy tale on the book was not overwhelming. You have an orphan that is abused by her step-mom, and a handsome prince at a ball, a love story, and a missing… shoe? But that’s about it. The story is taking place in a futuristic version of earth, where there are major unions, and people living on the moon, and awesome technologies. Also, the setting is in East Asia!

So, if you enjoy fairy tales, but in the mood for something different, give this book a try, and tell me what you think. Just don’t expect to be reading the story of Cinderella, because then you will be disappointed. But be prepared for an ending that will leave you wondering if you had, in fact, reached the end of the book, or have a few chapters missing. And this will mean that you will want to pick up the next installment in the series immediately once this one is done.

Time to Finish: 3 days
Rating: 4.5/5

81UrhozeUeLBook 3: The Lunar Chronicles: Scarlet – Marissa Meyer

Immediately after I finish Cinder I went scrambling for Scarlet. Luckily, the second book in this series combined the stories of Scarlet and Cinder, and answered many questions that the first book left unanswered.

I have to confess now, I have a soft spot for misunderstood villains, and this is the second book that makes me fall in love with the wolf from Little Red Riding Hood (the first being Marie Hall’s Red and Her Wolf). I can even honestly say that I like Scarlet’s Wolf more than Cinder’s prince.

So, as with Cinder, the story has a grandmother “eaten” by a wolf, a granddaughter with red hair, sweater and a name to match, a journey to reach the grandmother, and a wolf. But what’s beneath that is so much more. It will leave you doubting yourself and wondering if you are putting your trust in the wrong person, at several occasions.

Reading this also made me wonder why Disney haven’t yet come up with a movie for this classic fairy tale – the 1922 one does NOT count. So this is my next demand from Disney! It also made me want to watch the movie with Amanda Seyfried again.

P.S. this book also does not have a satisfying ending.

Time to Finish: 1 week
Rating: 4.5/5

Books I didn’t get to finish:

Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen: Not for a fault in the novel itself, but because the book I picked up contained all of Austen’s novel and it was HUGE, and I started reading it at a time where there were too many distractions around me.
Possibility of picking up the book again soon: 90%

A Game of Thrones – George R. R. Martin: I currently have to be on the road around 3 hours four times a week, not driving. I cannot read in the car because I get motion sick, so I got the audio book version of A Game of Thrones, and I am listening to that now. So far, I finished half of the book, and I can’t wait finish it and get the next one.

Off to get on with Cress – the third book of the Lunar Chronicles.