Sunday, July 6, 2014

Review: Thirty Sunsets by Christine Hurley Deriso

Released: July 8th, 2014
Publisher: Flux
Series: NA
Star Rating: 3 out of 5
Page Amount: 240
Age Group: Young Adult
To Forrest Shephard, getting away to the family's beach house with her parents and her brother, Brian, is the best part of every summer. Until this year, when her mother invites Brian's obnoxious girlfriend, Olivia, to join them. Suddenly, Forrest's relaxing vacation becomes a mission to verify the reality of Olivia's rumoured eating disorder. But the truth behind Olivia's finicky eating isn't at all what Forrest expected. And over the next thirty days, Forrest's world is turned upside down as her family's darkest secrets begin to come to light.

*I received a free e-copy of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for a honest, unbiased review.*

Considering that this book is not too lengthy, and I read it over Dewey's 24 hr readathon, I will begin this review by saying that this book was not a difficult read at all. I did enjoy it, however I did have a few issues with the story and the context in it.

Firstly, this novel is by no means a fluffy contemporary read. This is not a stereotypical romance, which is what I got the impression when I first went into the story completely blind, and is why I actually chose to read it in the first place. This book deals with many dark themes, one of them being eating disorders. In my opinion, they dealt with these themes extremely dismissively. The topic was there, and then the next paragraph it was gone and the protagonist was going off about something else. I did not appreciate that about the novel, especially since the themes are no joke and should have been taken more seriously than they were.

I did not find very many characters in this novel appealing. I found Forrest to be immature, and in the beginning of the novel she didn't even make an effort to act nice to her brother's girlfriend. I mean, come on, is it that hard to play nice every once in awhile? Also, she was so dependent on this one specific character in the novel, who, may I add, she had only met with a few select times during the entire novel. I could understand it a little bit, but it got so extreme that to a point it just got irritating.

While I did have some major issues with this book, I wouldn't say that I didn't enjoy reading it. I really did, and it was a nice book to have a breather with during the 24 hour readathon. I just wish that some things would have been fixed that weren't, but overall I did enjoy this book.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Mid-Year Reading Goals Update

I cannot believe that it is July already! This means that I am going to update you guys on my reading challenges and the progress (or lack thereof) that I have made with these challenges. You may have remembered that I made an entire post at the beginning of the year stating all of the challenges that I was going to try to do throughout the year, and here is my progress...

50 Book Challenge:
As I am writing this, I have read 32 books total so far this year. That means that I am 8 books ahead of where I should be and I am proud of that! I'm actually hoping to finish off my 50 books by the end of the summer, but we'll see how that one goes!

Dystopia Reading Challenge:
I challenged myself to read 6 dystopian books this year, and as of now I have read 4. I'm happy with my progress and this hopefully means that I can bump up my goals after this quarter!

Rewind Challenge:
Looking back on this, I'm not sure why I decided to put my goals for this challenge so low. I challenged myself to read 5 rewind books... and I have read 20. I am bumping my goal up to 30 books for this challenge because of my progress!

Series Challenge:
For this challenge, I mark myself a little differently than the original rules state. I mark every book that is within a series. I have read 14 books in series this year thus far (completing 2 series so far). I am not going to bump this goal up any further as I am happy with my progress.

Back to Classics Challenge:
This challenge... I have abandoned. I only have completed one book off my list so I made the decision not to continue the challenge.

So far I am extremely happy with my progress and I am excited to see what the next half of the year is going to bring me!