Friday, August 19, 2016

Reading Challenge Update #2

As the year is ticking down, I've been feeling the pressure to finish this challenge. Mostly it's pressure to finish at least one of my two challenges for the year and this one "should" be easier to complete since there's less books on it.

So I kicked it into gear and started power reading. I'm now halfway through my classic reading challenge, though this update will only have 2 books on it(this way I can keep my updates evenly split with 2 books each).

First up is book #3 - The Count of Monte Cristo.

My husband started reading this close to the same time I did. So we had to share it(and consequently renew it several times). The book itself looked like it was holding onto life by a thread. I think it's high time they got a "healthier" copy.

I absolutely loved this story, though! I thought I might, but it's reassuring to actually enjoy a story I set out to read. Books I don't care for are a real drag. Here's a clip from my review, which you can see in full here.

I loved how at first the Count was determined to ruin everything connected with those who’d done him wrong, but he made allowances for good. He allowed his prejudice to be challenged and looked with new eyes on certain members connected with the villains and realized they weren’t defined by their relations.
I loved the wide cast of characters, the dialogue, the Count’s careful planning and intelligence. I loved the way the pace picked up as things started to fall into place and there ended up being this speeding bullet feeling all the way up to the end. I love how the pieces to help put together some of what the Count was doing or feeling where there for us to catch.

And we also see him softening as a person, but also understanding that his self-proclaimed role in the universe is just that. I really don’t want to give it away, but there’s a powerful message near the end about how things can go too far. Like lighting a fire and accidentally burning down more than you intended.

All in all, I gave The Count of Monte Cristo 4 stars(leaving one off for the rather long slump in the middle). This is a book I definitely plan on adding to my personal library.

Next up we have book #4 - We.

To balance out my love of the Count, I was faced directly after with the evilness that is We. I hope that I have become more articulate in expressing both my likes and dislikes of books since I started reviewing at the start of 2015. Especially around the time I find myself hating a book that I know has garnered a lot of love(and hate, which goes hand-in-hand with any famous book).

It is hard putting myself out there(believe it or not) and leaving a less than glowing review. I've made it my policy to always be honest because I want people to know I mean it when I leave positive reviews. So despite the ranting, and humorous(I hope) edge I put in my negative reviews, please understand there's a certain amount of trepidation I feel that I will run afoul of some fan or the author themselves. 

And on that note, I give you my thoughts on We. Also to be seen in full on Goodreads.

I can see the potential behind the story, but unfortunately it was never recognized. I'll start with the easily worst part of the book for me. The author's writing style. Does the author not understand . . . I mean why am I constantly expected to . . . I don't think there was a single page . . . And that's not even touching on the subject of . . .

Open the book to a random page. Stare at the number of sentences saturated in dashes and sentences where Zamyatin went to take a bathroom break partway through the sentence and then came back, couldn't remember what he was writing, so he just moved onto the next line. No really, that's how it seems. I get he's trying to show D's constant broken thoughts, but come on. It was annoying.

Then I want to know why he ever thought writing a book in first person while naming the FMC I was a good idea. I saw I but I didn't approach I. Really? Yes, there was a ~ or something after the character I, but it's not like my mind reads it as I-dash. No, there was two I's and it was confusing.

The character descriptions. I swear D just hated people. Rosy O with her big fat lips. I imagine a doughnut with chubby arms and a big gaping mouth to match her body shape. And I? I imagine her having a joker smile and the most ridiculous X eyebrows. That's not even going onto the wing-eared, double-bent S or the spattering R who you needed an umbrella around. Or the old lady with a thing for D and her fish gill face. Eww.
As you should be able to tell from that snippet, I was thoroughly annoyed with We and rushed through the last half of it just to be done and move on.

And there you have my books 3 and 4! My next update will cover my reviews of The Little Prince(which I have read at this point) and Wuthering Heights(which I've only just started).

See all of the books on my challenge here.
And my 1st challenge update here.

1 comment:

  1. I love the Count of Monte Cristo! Though not as much as my sister, lol.

    Haven't read We, but sounds like I should avoid it.

    Looking forward to your reviews of The Little Prince and Wuthering Heights. :)