Saturday, February 8, 2014

30 Day Book Challenge

Hey, y'all! Time for another One Day Tumblr Challenge! As you've probably figured out, my Tumblr challenges are typically chosen based on whatever I'm currently obsessing over, or what's been on my mind a lot, and this time it's BOOKS.

I've always been a huge reader, but while at college, I just haven't been reading like I want to. There's constantly something that has to be done, and typically I brush reading aside. However, now that I'm doing my reading challenge, I've been focusing on reading a lot more. On top of that, I recently discovered that book vlogging was a thing on Youtube. I'm not sure why I just discovered that, since I'm a Youtube addict, but somehow I missed it. Anyway, I discovered one book vlogger, Kat (named Katytastic on Youtube), whose taste in books is very similar to my own. She has a book collection that puts mine to SHAME, and I've been watching her constantly. This obsession has also caused me to get super far ahead on my book of the February and I'm probably going to have TWO books of the month in my end of the month post!

Anyway, enough rambling. You get it, I'm obsessed. I'm having a reading revival. Yay. Moving on to the actual challenge now.

Day 1: Best book you read last year.
I'm taking this one as not including re-reads. The sad and embarrassing thing is that for quite a while, I couldn't remember half the books I read last year and then FINALLY remembered that the two best books I read last year were read in the same day: The Fault in our Stars by John Green, and The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. When it comes down to it, though, there can only be one winner.

Day 2: A book that you've read more than 3 times.
There are SO many books that fit this bill, because I'm a serial reader! I re-read books SO MANY TIMES. You know my love for a book is true and lasting when it's been read many times. The books that fit the bill are: The entire Harry Potter series, Pendragon book 1 (some others in the series may as well, but that's the only one I'm 100% on), And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, All-American Girl by Meg Cabot (it's been a few years since I've read it, but this was my favorite book for the majority of my preteen years), 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher... and probably several others from childhood that I can't remember.

Day 3: Your favorite series.
OK, clearly it's Harry Potter. Let's just get that out of the way. But you don't want to hear me talk about EVERYONE'S favorite series, right? You want to hear about something different, right?
PENDRAGON. I wouldn't be surprised if you've heard of this series, but I also wouldn't be surprised if you haven't. This was big in my middle school, and I read every single book. And I still have them all. It's about this kid named Bobby (who's 14 at the beginning of the series, and somewhere around 19/20 by the end of it) whose Uncle tells him suddenly that he has to come with him on this urgent mission. This mission takes him to the alternate universe (or territory, as it's called in the books) Denduron. He learns that his uncle is a "traveler" who can go to different territories and whose duty it is to maintain order and peace. Bobby is supposed to be the next traveler from our territory. There are 10 territories, which together make up Halla (AKA the universe) and the evil Saint Dane is trying to take over all of Halla. That's about as descriptive yet short as I can make it. 

Some other series I like are: The Mortal Instruments, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Hercule Poirot mysteries, and Twilight. Please don't throw things at me. 
These aren't my actual books, just by the way...
This also brings up one of my biggest book annoyances: CHANGING COVERS! WHY?! I have the first 6 in paperback and want to get them in hardback but I can't because they changed the covers and they're much more lame and UGH. 

Day 4: Favorite book of your favorite series.
I'm going to talk about both my actual favorite series, as well as Pendragon, since I did name it as my favorite. 

Harry Potter... I actually have them all in order from favorite to least favorite. Deathly Hallows, Half-Blood Prince, and Prisoner of Azkaban are my favorites. Then Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix. Then The Sorcerer's Stone. And Chamber of Secrets brings up the rear. I just don't like it as much.

Pendragon... It's hard to pick a single favorite, but I definitely have least favorites. Like the entire last two books. UGH. I'd have to say though, that The Quillan Games and The Reality Bug stand out for me. And I don't think you could go wrong with The Merchant of Death. I really think that for this series, your favorite territories determine your favorite books, and I find those territories to be the most interesting. Plus, I just love the cover art for the Quillan Games...

And then it got changed to this:
WHY?! It's not as cool, and it's not even like it's board games. They're physical activities! How does this make sense?! I'm sorry, I have a lot of rage against changing book covers. If you're one of the people who decides whether or not to change book covers, just DON'T. Have you ever seen someone get upset because the covers stayed the same? NOPE.

Day 5: A book that makes you happy.
I'd definitely have to go with All American Girl by Meg Cabot. I considered all of my favorite fantasy books, etc. but they all have something upsetting in them. Like someone dying. With All American Girl, it has a happy ending and everyone is happy. It's simple, but it's happy.

Day 6: A book that makes you sad.
Is that even a question? ALL THE BOOKS! Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, The Fault In Our Stars, etc. but the one book that makes me the most sad is...

Seriously, it's a book about a girl who committed suicide and all the terrible things people did to her, and it's told from the point of view of the guy who had a crush on her. All the sobbing feels! 

Day 7: A book that makes you laugh.

For this one, I definitely have to give credit to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I feel like the humor is one of the strongest aspects of this book, and definitely feel like the humor in this one is far better than in any of the other Harry Potter books. I feel like this is mostly due to her character development. She's establishing the twins as the hilarious hooligans that they are, and their little tidbits never fail to make me laugh. In addition to that, she has hilarious quidditch commentary from Lee Jordan, as well as Ron screaming "Are you a witch or not?!" at Hermione when she's trying to figure out how to start a fire. And I would also like to point out that ALL of this was cut from the movie. Hence why it's my least favorite movie adaptation. Except for one, which I'll get to in a minute.

Day 8: Most overrated book.

Allow me to point out, first and foremost, that I'm not a hater, nor am I someone blindly calling it overrated. I own all four books, have read all of them at least twice, and have seen all the movies. I think I even have the first 3 on DVD. My point is, I don't hate the Twilight series. I just think it got way bigger than it ever should have been. I enjoyed the books. I hated the movies. Do I LOVE them and think that they're the best thing ever? No. I just think they're not as bad as people make them out to be. 

Day 9: A book you thought you wouldn't like but ended up loving.

Typically, in high school, when I had an assigned reading... I didn't do it. Shocker. However, one day, I ended up getting this terrible I-don't-even-know-what in my neck, making it so I couldn't turn my head at all and I stayed home from the first two classes of school because it was so bad. I was laying in bed and decided the best thing to do would be to read, and I figured I should probably try reading the book I was actually supposed to read. I read the chapters I was supposed to read. I read past the chapters I was supposed to read. I read up to the second to last chapter... and then had to go to school. I finished it immediately upon getting home. What can I say, I love dystopian novels...

Day 10: A book that reminds you of home.
Can I just say the entire Harry Potter series? Because that actually IS home. Seriously.

Day 11: A book you hated.
I disliked a large chunk of the ones I was required to read for class. But the one book that I just absolutely despised was...

I know it's a classic but I HATED it! Some other books that I read and hated are My Name Is Asher Lev, Wuthering Heights, and A Separate Peace.

Day 12: A book you love but hate at the same time.

No book's love/hate relationship will ever be as real as this one. It's such an amazing end to the Harry Potter series, but at the same time, I want to throw it against the wall every time I read it. My absolute favorite character in the entire series dies, several other characters die, and let's be honest- no one liked "Nineteen Years Later" except for JK. That was a terrible final chapter. But it's such a good book overall!

Day 13: Your favorite writer.

You thought I was going to say JK Rowling, right? Nope! Agatha Christie is brilliant. She wrote some of the most intricate mystery novels ever, with some of the most genius characters ever created. She completely earned the title of the Queen of Mystery.

Day 14: Book turned movie and completely desecrated

Did anyone actually enjoy this movie adaptation? Order of the Phoenix had already disappointed me (it's the longest book, but it's the shortest movie, shorter than EITHER Deathly Hallows movie), and then this one came along and made me really angry. It's possibly my favorite book in the series, and certainly the one I've read the most, but it was the most disappointing movie. There's a reason that the pensive is on the cover of the book- it's prominent throughout, and is extremely important. They touched on it twice in the movie. They didn't explain half of what they needed to, and I'm honestly surprised that people can watch the movies and enjoy the series without reading the books. I just don't think it would make enough sense.

So... I wrote that whole thing up there and then remembered that there was another book that has been desecrated even more in movies, so I need to mention it:
I'm not sure exactly how many movie adaptations of this book have been made, but I've seen the only 3 that I know of, and they're all terrible. There was one in the 40s or 50s, which isn't too long after the book came out. Some of the characters' names were changed, as well as THE ENDING. WHY?! Then, in the 60s, they did another movie. This one was so terrible that I didn't make it all the way through, but I do remember that once again, the characters' names were changed, as well as several of the personalities/ physical descriptions of characters. Then, the most recent adaptation was in the 70s. Once again, characters were changed and the setting was changed. WHY? If you think a book is good enough to make a movie of it, why would you change everything? It's stupid. Also, I think they changed the ending on this one as well. UGH.

Day 15: Favorite male character
I love me some Fred Weasley. Scenes involving the Weasley twins just make me incredibly happy, and I don't think I've ever been so invested in a male character... ever. And I sobbed and sobbed when Fred died. Worst mistake JK ever made. It's terrible.

Day 16: Favorite female character

I realize that I'm talking quite a bit about Harry Potter, but it's the series I've connected with the most BY FAR. It holds a very special place in my heart, and I've felt connected to Hermione from the very start. I really wish that I could erase the entire series from my mind just so that I could re-read it and re-discover how perfect the whole series is.

Day 17: Favorite quote from your favorite book.

One quote? I CAN'T.

Day 18: A book that disappointed you.

I was so incredibly impressed with Jay Asher's debut novel, Thirteen Reasons Why (mentioned on #6), and when I heard that he had another book coming out, I was so excited. I found out that it was set in 1995, when the two main characters accidentally discover present day (AKA 2011) Facebook. Such a cool and interesting concept, right? I bought it as soon as possible after it came out, read it in one day, and ended up kind of having a ho-hum feeling about it. Yes, it was a quick read, and I didn't dislike it, but it didn't live up to my expectation of him or the cool concept. They had such a cool chance to look into the future, but I felt like the focus was too much on petty high school relationships.

Day 19: Favorite book turned movie.

Seriously, I'm SO completely and deeply connected to Harry Potter. Anyway, I think this was the best book to film adaptation. This is really where the film series hit its stride. 

Also, I can't really think of any other books that I enjoy which became movies that were good. The Lightning Thief movie wasn't a bad movie, but it was a terrible adaptation. I haven't gotten to see the movie adaptation of City of Bones, but I heard it was terrible. The Thirteen Reasons Why movie never ended up happening, nor did the Pendragon series. The Twilight movies weren't good either. So honestly, the Harry Potter series was the only decent adaptation!

Day 20: Favorite romance book.

Clearly, I don't read any actual romance novels. I chose this book because the main topic throughout most of the book is Sam's feels. And yes, I just said feels. I really need to re-read this because it's been so long since I've read it. I think that the last time I read it, I was still younger than Sam, and she's 15. I'm 19. It's been a while.

Day 21: The first novel you remember reading.

This is definitely the first legit novel I can remember reading, but I think I read the kids' version... I'm not totally sure. It's been a very long time. I'd just like to point out that I learned to read when I was 3. I was reading chapter books by at least 6, and I was constantly reading at a level far above my physical age, so my first actual novel was very early on. It's hard to remember that far back. But this was one of the books I read and re-read over and over. I should probably go back and read this one again, because although I remember a lot of the plot, I'm 90% sure it was the kiddie version and I'd like to read the real one.

Day 22: A book that makes you cry.
There are a number of books that make me cry, and most of them have already been named. Thirteen Reasons Why and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows are probably the biggest tearjerkers for me. It's hard to not get emotionally invested in Thirteen Reasons Why, and there are SO MANY deaths in Deathly Hallows.

Day 23: A book you wanted to read for a long time but still haven't.

This badboy has been sitting on my shelf since the day it was released. I've experienced something really weird with The Mortal Instruments which I haven't experienced with any other book series. I loved the first book and breezed through it. Then, I waited to buy the second one until the weekend, and by that time I didn't feel like starting it. Why? I have no idea. Then, finally, I went on a long trip and started it and finished it in the same weekend. I think I read the next book that weekend as well. And then I waited again, and it ended up taking me quite a while before I read the fourth one. And then I got the 5th one the day it came out... and never read it. Why? Again, no idea.

Day 24: A book that you wish more people would've read. 
I'm not sure I have any books for this one. Most of the books I enjoy are ones that a lot of people have read. So I really have no idea...

Day 25: A character who you can relate to the most.
Honestly, I don't really know! Maybe Hermione? Growing up, I always identified with Hermione, but I'm not sure I still do, because I've changed quite a bit. But I guess that's my answer.

Day 26: A book that changed your opinion about something.

This book caused me to realize how much I wanted to study music and psychology, and while that's not necessarily changing my opinion, it did change SO MUCH.

Day 27: The most surprising plot twist or ending.
If you haven't read the entire Pendragon series, skip this. Stop reading and just skip.

All of the travelers you thought were dead.... aren't. They all come back in book 9, Raven Rise. It's been several years since I've read this book, so I honestly can't remember the explanation, but literally everyone comes back to life. I think I sat there in shock for quite a while, taking in the fact that all of these characters who were either dead or trapped in another territory were still alive. WHAT?

Day 28: Favorite title of a book.

It's not really anything special, but I like when books' titles are actual important quotes directly from the book rather than just a description of what the book's about.

Day 29: A book everyone hated but you liked.

I actually enjoyed them! I sped through every book in a couple days. Do I think they're the best literature ever? No. Do I like that the main character is so dependent upon having a guy that she falls apart without him? No. But I don't think that it's as terrible as everyone thinks it is. I actually like it. 

Day 30: Your favorite book of all time.

You realize that's impossible, right? I've read literally thousands of books in my lifetime, several of which I've forgotten even exist. All of my favorite books are series, and it's impossible to choose just one book from that series to call my favorite book ever. I just can't.

I really need to re-do this challenge about a year from now, because I'm realizing how little I've read in recent times and how even my favorite series have been forgotten. Seriously, if I excluded Harry Potter, I don't know how I would've gotten through this challenge. Good thing I'm back into reading and plan on continuing to read, and read, and read, and read.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed my 30 Day Book Challenge! If you like my posts, I'd really appreciate if you'd subscribe/follow, because it lets me know y'all are liking them. Hope you enjoyed! Comment, comment, comment! I love feedback! Thanks for reading, y'all!

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