I intended to update on my reading challenge progress at the halfway point of the year, but I ended up being a little behind because I had some new book reviews to post. I still need to review the last book I got from NetGalley, which was Our Chemical Hearts, and was *phenomenal*, but I thought I could break things up a little with a quick update on how the PopSugar challenge is going.
Although I updated in April about how the MMD Challenge was going, I never mentioned anything about the other challenge I’m doing – the PopSugar 2016 Reading Challenge. It’s also blu-tacked up on my wall, feeling ignored and making me feel bad every now and then, so I thought now was an ideal time to have a look at how I’m getting on.
Incidentally, I also set myself a GoodReads challenge to read 100 books. I was really pleased to finish that on the last day of June. Admittedly, I knew that 100 books wasn’t a massive stretch for me, considering I read 129 in 2015 and 154 books in 2014, but it was nice to have a pure numerical goal which I can now happily cross off as done.
In any case. Back to the PopSugar Challenge! I’ll list the ones I’ve done, and maybe a few that I have planned already.
- A book based on a fairy tale
- A YA bestseller
- Okay, this one was easy. I read so much YA, that it was just a case of picking one. So I picked Red Queen as it was the first YA book on my list this year
- A book set in your home state
- A romance set in the future
- Shatter Me was my choice for this category. A really overblown, purple prose-laden romance. But a romance nonetheless.
- A book set in Europe
- Scarlet, from The Lunar Chronicles fulfils this one. It’s set mostly in and around Toulouse, although there are other stories in other locations. I still think this counts.
- A book that’s under 150 pages
- This one was tough, as most of the short books I read are on Kindle or iBooks, so I don’t see a real page count for them. I had to resort to sorting my books on GoodReads by page number, and then making a call about what constituted a book vs a novella. In the end I went with The Wedding Gift, by Lucy Kevin, but lots of other, similar wedding/romance books were around the same length.
- A New York Times bestseller
- An Ember in the Ashes (my copy, at least) has “New York Times Bestseller” emblazoned across the top of the cover. I don’t see why they would lie. I will accept their assertion.
- A book that’s becoming a movie this year
- I went with Room for this one. Although, after writing it down on the page, I suspect that Room might actually have been released in 2015. I’ll have to consider whether or not this counts. It is subject to change.
- A book you can finish in a day
- Lots of books on my list fitted this category, so again I went with the first one. It was Hired Bride by Noelle Adams
- A book written by a celebrity
- Dick Francis was a champion jockey before he retired and became a crime novelist. I read Knock Down near the start of the year. Does he count as a celebrity? I don’t care. I’m using him anyway.
- A book recommended by a family member
- My sister brought me over Vanishing Girls the last time she came to visit. Admittedly, it was because I asked for it, but I’m going to count it as a recommendation anyway.
- A book that is published in 2016
- So many of these! I went with Follow Me Back in the end.
- A book with a protagonist who has your occupation
- I had to think carefully about this. At present, I’m a student. I didn’t want to count high school students as having the same occupation as me, though, so I went with Starter for Ten, by David Nicholls. The protagonist of that is a university student, so I think that’s the same as me.
- A book that takes place during Summer
- London Belongs to Us is set over 24 hours on a hot August bank holiday weekend. If that’s not summer, I don’t know what is!
- A book and its prequel
- Winter, the fourth Lunar Chronicles book, was preceded by Fairest, the story of Winter’s stepmother, Queen Levana. I read them both in January/February.
- A murder mystery
- Local Girl Missing – I haven’t reviewed this yet, but I received an ARC from NetGalley. I was actually pretty disappointed in this murder mystery, and I’m not entirely sure if it counts as a muder mystery either, because of reasons. It’s more of a missing girl story. Hmmm. I’ll reconsider this category as well.
- A book written by a comedian
- I’ve been meaning to review I Know What I’m Doing And Other Lies I Tell Myself, by comedian Jen Kirkman, since I got it in mid-April, but it keeps getting pushed down the list. Some day I’ll manage to bosh out my thoughts on it. For now, though, it can take its place as a category fulfiller on my PopSugar challenge.
- A dystopian novel
- This was another one with lots of options to fill in the slot. I went with The Knife of Never Letting Go, by Patrick Ness. I really enjoyed the Chaos Walking trilogy, and will review it… eventually.
- A book with a blue cover
- You and Me, Always – this nice and fluffy romance was only 99p on Kindle this week, and I flew through it in no time. It’s also the only image for this post (besides the challenge criteria), because hey, it’s the only category which is about how the book looks!
- A book about a road trip
- The One Plus One – Jojo Moyes was on fine form with this book, the majority of which involves schlepping a mother, two children, a giant dog, and a somewhat bemused businessman all the way to the tip top of Scotland. Lots of laughs, and a fun road trip story.
- A book that takes place on an island
- The Girl From Everywhere is mostly set in Hawaii, which I think you’ll find is indeed an island. It’s also an amazing book. Just saying.
- A book that’s guaranteed to bring you joy
- Feeling Sorry for Celia – the first book in Jaclyn Moriarty’s Brookfield/Ashbury series never fails to make me laugh (and cry). I’ve read it so many times the pages are entirely yellowed, but I still adore every word on every page. One of my all-time favourites.
So that’s 23 categories ticked off (although I’m a bit ropey about two of them), and 17 still to be completed. And we’re only just over halfway through the year. That seems about on-target to me. Although, admittedly, lots of the categories filled were easy ones (A YA bestseller? A dystopian novel? Simples!) and lots of the ones left are more difficult (A political memoir? A graphic novel? Errrr…). So it remains to be seen how the second half of 2016, and the second half of the PopSugar Reading Challenge, will pan out. But I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hopeful. I can definitely do this.