The Reading Rush Wrap-Up

7/31/2019


The Reading Rush is over! I managed to read 8 books in 6 days, which is rather odd as it was meant to be 7 books in 7 days, but.. yeah, welcome to my brain. Though I'm still too awkward and self conscious to join in with the photo challenges and Twitter sprints, I did have a lot of fun challenging myself to read more than I normally would. The badges on The Reading Rush site being a major bonus!


The Great Alone
by Kristin Hannah
Prompt: Read A Book In The Same Spot
Page Count: 435

Thirteen-year-old Leni Allbright's life gets turned upside down when her father, recently returned from the Vietnam War, announces that they're packing up and moving to Alaska. It is there our story starts. We follow Leni and her parents as they become self efficient and learn how to navigate this new world of living off the land, wolves, and black Winters. I was pretty darn sure this was going to be a 5 star read (check out my 5 Star Book Predictions blog post for the proof) so I chose to kick off the readathon with it. I'm so very disappointed. This wasn't necessarily a bad book, but it definitely warrants a standard 3 star rating. The overall story had promise but I feel as though it ought to of ended at least 5 plot-twists before the end. It. Just. Kept. Going.


The Great Gatsby
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Prompt: Book You Meant To Read Last Year
Page Count: 182

When Nick moves into the house opposite the notorious Jay Gatsby, he quickly becomes fascinated with the lavish parties that take place each night. From the beautiful people to the endless supply of alcohol. Before long he finds himself taking part in the shenanigans of the great Gatsby, but at what price? I hadn't read this classic prior to this readathon, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I loved it. Daisy was by far my favourite character, and though written rather densely, the overall story kept my attention. I wanted more of the world.


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrow 
Prompt: Title With 5 Or More Words
Page Count: 290

The year is 1946 and Juliet Ashton, a 30-something British journalist, is emerging from the war with a desire to write about anything else. After receiving a letter from a resident of Guernsey who has obtained a copy of a book that once belonged to her, she begins to correspond with a multitude of people who live on the island. From there we learn what it was like to live on the Nazi occupied island for 5 long years. Written in letter format, this is undoubtedly a marmite book. The story interested me, as I hadn't heard of Guernsey's side of the war. But the first half of this novel dragged beyond belief. The characters were all a little too familiar and I felt that some letters were just not needed. The last half, however, put a constant smile on my face. The writing became witty, which may be down to Annie Barrow taking over after her aunt became too unwell to finish the novel alone. All in all, I enjoyed it but you have to have patience. I'm looking forward to watching the movie adaption!


The Perks Of Being A Wallflower
by Stephen Chbosky
Prompt: Read and Watch a Book To Movie Adaption 
Page Count: 213

When Charlie begins high school, he's riddled with fear. After the death of his Aunt Helen, otherwise known as his best friend, his life has been on a dark path. He's unseen. A coming-of-age story filled with troubles, passion, and self discovery. This is my favourite book of all time. I've read it multiple times, and it has not yet faltered in touching my heart. I was a wallflower, probably still am. Though  Charlie's situation is not something I can relate to, I do think that if an introvert, we will all find a piece of ourselves in him. This was the first book that made me feel not so alone, and that is priceless.


The Travelling Cat Chronicles
by Hiro Arikawa
Prompt: Debut Novel
Page Count: 224

This a beautiful story of man and cat as they travel across Japan to visit people from the man's past. I went into this book expecting a few laughs (it's mostly written from the cat's POV) and heartbreak. I got both, but I also got a 5 star read that I would recommend to near enough anyone. This isn't a fictional travel memoir, which the synopsis made it seem. It's a book with heart and though I think you'd get more from this book by being a cat lover, it is also filled to the brim with wonderfully written characters who each hold up on their own.


84, Charing Cross Road
by Helene Hanff
Prompt: Purple On The Cover
Page Count: 114 

A collection of correspondence in the wake of the war between a New York woman and a used book store worker in London. My husband read this sometime last year and has since urged me to give it a whirl, and I'm really glad I did. This is a blimp of a book, but it truly packs some wit that I did not expect. I find it difficult to go into an in depth review of anything non-fiction, so I'm going to make this snappy. If you enjoy discussions on books, WW11 tidbits, or books of letters, then I would wholeheartedly recommend this. It's dry but isn't that the best kind of wit?


Station Eleven
by Emily St. John Mandel 
Prompt: Debut Author
Page Count: 378

In the aftermath of a flu that wiped out most of the world, a group of survivors travel around America putting on Shakespeare plays. But when a few of them go missing, they begin to expect that they aren't as alone after all. I messed up royally on this one, I accidentally got my titles confused and initially read this for 'Debut Novel' not realising that I intended it as a back up for 'Book I Meant To Read Last Year'. Regretfully, it didn't work for any other prompt so I had to make-do and admit defeat in reading this for nought. Alas, it was a fairly good read though didn't quite live up to the hype I've seen around it. It had a good mix of characters, but I often wished to stay with the 'before' characters more than the survivors.


Chi's Sweet Home: Volume 1
by Kanata-Konami
Prompt: Read a Book From a Non-Human Perspective
Page Count: 168

Thank fudge for manga's. After my mishap written above, I was in full blown panic. So I grabbed the shortest thing I could possibly pick up that was on my TBR. Enter in: Chi. Again, this as a suggestion of my husband's as he's big into anything that resembles Japanese entertainment and cats. I however, was reluctant. Bar my Buffy the Vampire Slayer graphic novels, I hadn't really read anything in this  field of books. But, ya know, cats. This was an adorable read that made me want to continue with the series. Each scene reminded me of one of my cats, so I was that annoying person saying "That's Bruno!", "That's Lea!", That's Dresden!" repeatedly.


So there we have it. Now onto the N.E.W.T.s! If you have no idea what this is, click HERE to watch all about this Harry Potter readathon. I may write up a TBR, but it seems rather unlikely. I'll instead post it on my Bookstagram at @BranchingPages

What book would you urge me to pick up next? Let me know!

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