January Reviews & Reading Wrap-Up

So I managed to finish 9 books this month, which is probably the most I’ve read in a month in… like… ever. So below you’ll find mini reviews for all the books I finished as well as which challenges they count toward.

The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen
Narrated by Julia Whelan (Audible Edition)
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I did not like this story. Despite the fact that it was just over an hour long, it felt like it dragged on forever. The story often felt unnecessary to the overall plot (I mean what was with the flowers?) and many of the characters felt bizarre. It sort of felt like reading Alice in Wonderland except not as well executed. The narration was also not my favorite. While the general story narration was fine, the voices for all the different characters were just jarring and annoying.

Rating: 2/5
Challenges it Covers:
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Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
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I may be biased considering I play roller derby but… this was the cutest thing ever! I looooved this graphic novel! The art is awesome! It’s a great coming of age book and, since the author also plays roller derby for Rose City (you know, that team that won the WFTDA championship a few months ago) the effort needed to succeed and the culture for roller derby seemed very realistic. It was also very cool to see the derby names of a few junior/adult skaters I know (and skate with) personally show up in the story.

Rating: 5/5
Challenges it Covers:
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Inside Out Guide to Life by Courtney Carbone
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I honestly just read this while waiting around Barnes & Noble one day. It’s super short and since I love Pixar so much I just couldn’t help myself. It’s a cute little inspirational style book with characters and events from Pixar’s Inside Out. Nothing too special but cute nonetheless.

Rating: 3/5
Challenges it Covers: None

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
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This was an excellent read. I loved this retelling of Cinderella so much and I can’t wait to read the next one. I thought the setting of New Beijing and futuristic androids was a great idea. I loved the characters as well. I’m definitely looking forward to more Kai/Cinder, I loved Dr. Erland and Iko (probably my favorite characters), and I thought Levana was interesting enough not to be a flat character but was still just so obviously pure evil. I really just can’t wait to read more of The Lunar Chronicles.

Rating: 5/5
Challenges it Covers:
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The Little Android by Marissa Meyer
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One of several novellas in The Lunar Chronicles series. This one is a retelling of The Little Mermaid as a defective android. I thought it was brilliant. While I’m not the biggest Little Mermaid fan I thought the story was smart and interesting and I loved how perfectly it seemed to fit into The Lunar Chronicles world.

Rating: 5/5
Challenges it Covers:
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Glitches by Marissa Meyer
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Is it obvious how much I love The Lunar Chronicles yet? Glitches was another novella in the series. This one was directly about Cinder and her first coming to live with the Linh’s. While it was nice to get more insight on that part of her story, it wasn’t nearly as interesting to me as her current story or The Little Android novella. I did love seeing the instant connect Cinder and Peony seemed to have, the rebuilding of Iko, as well as Cinder figuring out her new cyborg abilities. What this story really did for me was just make me extremely sympathetic to Adri. Her whole tale here was pretty heartbreaking and I can understand her being upset with Cinder considering she seems to think Cinder is the reason everything happened as it did.

Rating: 4/5
Challenges it Covers:
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Pivot Point by Kasie West
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I read this for the 2016 TBR Book Club and I thought it was a great book. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did but I honestly breezed through it in just 3 days. While I enjoyed both timelines, I definitely preferred the norm timeline. I loved all the little overlaps between the timelines and can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel Split Second.

Rating: 4/5
Challenges it Covers:
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Injustice: Gods Among Us, Vol. 1 by Tom Taylor
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I thought this was a really interesting read. I’m not usually one to read Superman involved graphic novels/comics but this was an interesting side of him to see. I was great to see so many heroes battling among themselves for their own reasons (whether due to territory, ideals, morals, etc.). It made everyone seem much more dimensional. There were many heartbreaking moments (some right at the start) but a lot of funny moments too. I could not get enough of Harley Quinn in this one and will definitely be reading Vol. 2 soon.

Rating: 5/5
Challenges it Covers:
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Armada by Ernest Cline
Narrated by Wil Wheton (Audible Edition)
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I have been wanting to read this since I first heard about it. I loved Ready Player One and the premise for this one seemed right up my alley, yet again. The story and plot were great, the characters were interesting, and I could almost picture everything as I read it like it was a movie (which makes me wonder if that was not incidental considering Ready Player One’s current status of becoming a movie). The major downside was the ending disappointed me a bit. While it didn’t quite resonate with me the same way Ready Player One did I still really enjoyed it and will never say no to an audio book narrated by Wil Wheton (who did yet another stellar job).

Rating: 5/5
Challenges it Covers: None

January Reading Challenge Progress:

Finishing the Series:
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Goal: 2-4
Progress: 0

Flights of Fantasy:
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Goal: 25
Progress: 5

Graphic Novel/Manga:
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Goal: 12
Progress: 2

(Fairytale) Retelling:
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Goal: 5-9
Progress: 3

Peter Pan Retellings:
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Goal: About 12
Progress: 0

Rock My TBR:
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Goal: 20
Progress: 4

2016 TBR Pile:
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Goal: 11-20
Progress: 5

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