Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Reading Challenge: November Update

2016 Reading Challenge

1.  A book published this year
2.  A book you should have read in school, but didn't
3.  A  book you have been meaning to read
4.  A book with an interesting cover
5.  A book you own but haven't read
6.  A book that received bad reviews
7.  A book with water on the cover
8.  A book in a genre you have never read
9.  A favorite book from your childhood
10.  A book by an author you have never read before
11.  A book that deals with an issue close to your heart
12.  A book "everyone" has read but you
13.  A book about the decade you were born in
14.  A book based on a true story
15.  A book set in the summer
16.  A book set in a country you wish to visit
17.  A Young Adult best seller
18.  A book that's longer than 500 pages
19.  A book that makes you smarter
20.  A book you can finish in a day
21.  A NY Times best seller
22.  A book about a culture with which you are unfamiliar
23.  A book with an apocalyptic theme
24. A book set during Christmas time
25.  A funny book
26.  A book with a one word title
27.  A popular author's first book
28.  A cookbook
29.  A book by someone with the same first name as you
30.   A book of your choosing

Let's see if I was able to cross off anything!

13.  A book about the decade you were born in
My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix:
Okay, so I am cheating a little because I wasn't born in the 1980's.  But I saw this book at the bookstore and was intrigued by it.  The front and back inside covers were scrawled with yearbook signings and there were even senior pictures inside.  I figured it was worth at least a trip down memory lane since I graduated high school the same year as the characters in the book (1988).
Abby and Gretchen have been friends since the fifth grade.  Yet after a strange night when Abby, Gretchen, and two other girls try "acid" and Gretchen gets lost in the woods, everything seems off.  Gretchen is acting different and Abby is one hundred percent positive the only explanation for it is that her best friend is possessed by a demon.
So, my thoughts on this book....The author had a difficult time with pacing.  It almost seemed like there were times when the author literally threw up 80's catch phrases and other times the book was "normal" language - like an all or nothing scenario that was jarring more than nostalgic.   Even so, the plot was interesting enough to keep me hooked....until the climax of the book - the "exorcism".  I won't put a spoiler here but I honestly wanted to hurl the book against the wall!  It was just so bad.  So so bad.  Like I would have preferred a cliché exorcism scene to what I had to read in this book.
One out of five stars - deducting a solid two to three stars for the climax alone.

"Extra" Reading This Month

The Ruins by Scott Smith:
Two young couples decide to spend time in Mexico before heading back off to either medical school or start their adult lives.  One day, they decide to help a newfound friend look for his brother who went off with a girl to search for a fabled archeological dig of some Mayan ruins and never returned.
Five out of five stars for me!  It is very reminiscent of Stephen King's short story "The Raft" - which I absolutely loved.  This is one of those books that "sticks with you" for a very long time after reading it!  I started the book on November 1st, finished it November 2nd, and still can't stop thinking about it at the end of the month!  Highly recommend this creep-tastic book!

That's all I had time to read this month and I honestly don't think I will be finishing this challenge by the end of December!  I guess only time will tell there!
But, no matter what, I am happy with my progress overall.  I read some books that I wouldn't necessarily have picked up and stretched my imagination and reading "comfort zone".

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