As August winds down, I’m happy to say it’s Mission Accomplished with the Goodreads Summer Reading Challenge. Not only did I read through the list *cough*by cheating and combining prompts together*cough*, but this challenge also reestablished a reading routine, which in turn, allowed me to stretch out my writing muscles. Stephen King knew what he was talking about.
GOOD AS GOLD: READ A BOOK THAT WON A GOODREADS CHOICE AWARD
A Favorite Quote: “What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”
The Hate U Give won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best of the Best, and I can understand why. This is a story that resonates with so many readers for so many reasons. It’s timely and relevant, it’s emotional and honest, it’s empowering and resilient. If you choose to read this book, and I sincerely hope you do, then I recommend a bookmark (because this is not a book you can breeze through), some tissues, and most importantly, an open mind and an open heart. Allow Starr to educate you on her world and allow yourself to feel everything she feels—cry with her when her childhood best friend dies (no, this is not a spoiler), get angry with her as his death becomes publicized, and when you close the book after the last page, ask yourself:
What will you do for the Starr Carters and the Khalil Harrises of this world?
WHEEL OF FORMAT: READ A BOOK IN A FORMAT YOU DON’T NORMALLY READ + PAST LOVE: REREAD A BOOK YOU LOVED + ARMCHAIR TRAVELER: READ A BOOK SET IN A DESTINATION YOU WANT TO VISIT
A Favorite Quote: “If beauty loves him even though he’s a beast, then why does he have to become human?”
When I was in high school, I was borderline addicted to mangas—Japanese graphic novels. I have a vivid and wonderful memory of my best friend and I camped out in the manga aisle of Barnes and Nobles (alas, that particular location is gone now), with stacks of mangas next to us, reading side by side. Fast forward to the present time and while the reading addiction is still going strong, it’s been a while since I picked up a manga.
These last few prompts gave me a good excuse to dust off an old favorite manga series of mine, Her Majesty’s Dog, which takes place in Japan, a country I have wanted to visit since high school. Her Majesty’s Dog is a funny, supernatural love story between a young girl, Amane, and her guardian demon, Hyoue. Amane is descended from a line of powerful mediums and possesses the ability to control other creatures using their true name. Hyoue is her companion and guardian whose true form is that of a giant, fiery dog. Cue a forbidden love, laugh-out-loud humor, betrayal, power struggles, and fixing the troubles of both the living and the dead (because nobody said the afterlife was stress-free).
I had only intended to reread the first volume for these prompts…but I ended up rereading all 11 volumes…in three days. Anyway! If you’re a manga fan and enjoy romance, then I wholeheartedly recommend this series to you.
SHORT & SWEET: READ A BOOK YOU CAN FINISH IN ONE SITTING + NOT FROM AROUND HERE: READ A BOOK SET IN A DIFFERENT CULTURE
A Favorite Quote: “Those women talked about me, the men probably did too. But none of them knew what I had, where I was going, who I was. Let them gossip and judge.”
I was recommended this book by a fellow blogger, H.R.R. Gorman, who suggested it for either the Short & Sweet or the Not From Around Here prompts. Well, there’s no rule that says I can’t double up on prompts!
Binti is a sci-fi novella about a young, intelligent girl who is the first of her people to be offered a place at the most prestigious university in the galaxy. Hands down, I loved this story. My favorite part was the beginning when the reader is introduced to Binti’s cultural heritage—she is of the Himba people, a tribe in Namibia. Learning about her culture and seeing Binti hold on to it throughout the story helped to ground the outer-space setting in something we could understand and relate to. Overall, this novella left me wanting more, which is a good thing, since it’s the first in a series!
ON THE BANDWAGON: READ ONE OF THE MOST READ BOOKS RIGHT NOW ON GOODREADS
A Favorite Quote: “You threw me to the crows, but it turns out I prefer them to you.”
I’m going to remember this book and return to read it again and again many times in the future. This book has everything I love: mythology, a complex, fleshed-out and fascinating heroine, romance, adventure, monsters (and monster-slaying!), magic and witchcraft, all wrapped up in stellar storytelling.
In Greek mythology, Circe is the daughter of the Sun God Helios and a nymph Perse, who becomes renowned for her witchcraft. The most popular story in her mythology tells the tale of when she encountered Odysseus and turned his crew into pigs. Circe shows the reader the full story behind this tale and more, detailing Circe’s life as an outcast from birth and her growth into the strong, independent, formidable witch and woman by the end of the story.
All the stars for this book!
Aaand we’re done! Mission Accomplished. Reading Challenge complete. I hope you’ve all had a wonderful summer full of books, adventure, and laughter. Feel free to share in the comments what you’re currently reading. I’m always on the lookout for new recommendations. As for me, I’m currently reading Something Like Autumn, the next book in the Something Like series—you may remember that I loved the first book! (see review here).
Happy reading, writing, and living, everyone!