Casual Challenge Update

Another couple of months, a bit more progress. It’s strange knowing it will be easier to finish the challenge with ‘read harder’ in the name than the one with ‘sugar’ in the name.

Book Riot Read Harder Challenge

  • Read a play – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J. K. Rowling et al
  • By or about a transgender person – Becoming Nicole by Amy Ellis Nutt
  • Biography – The Illustrated Biography of Virginia Woolf by Zena Alkayat
  • Dystopia/Postapocalyptic – Exit Zero by Neil Cohen
  • Nonfiction book about science – Neurocomic by Dr. Hana Ros
  • About religion – Living Well, Spending Less by Ruth Soukup
  • Read a middle grade novel – Sideshow edited by Deborah Noyes

I enjoyed Harry Potter and his challenging relationship with his son. However, I found the main nature of the ‘adventure’ wrong for the genre. There also seemed to be some slip-ups with regard to the use of magic. Entertaining but it will be better when an audio play or filmed stage production comes out. (4/5)

Becoming Nicole was an excellent, unbiased chronicling of a young woman’s journey to become herself. I understand why it won a Pulitzer. (5/5) Alkayat’s illustrated biographies are fun if you know the life of the person being referenced. As someone who didn’t know Woolf’s story well, it felt shallow. You need context to appreciate it. (3/5)

I found Exit Zero at Baltimore Comic Con a few years ago. The zombie apocalypse starts in New Jersey and some high school friends try to make it out alive. It’s campy AF (there’s a character called Black Malcolm White) but entertaining in a Syfy channel movie kind of way. (3.5/5)

Neurocomic is bending the rules a bit since it uses creative illustrations to demonstrate its science. However, it discusses the functions of different parts of the brain, uses different pioneering scientists, and keeps it simple enough to understand. It was a fun and factual trip. (4/5)

Living Well, Spending Less checked off boxes on all of my reading challenges. While I didn’t love it, I read it at a good time in my life for the message. (3/5) I finished off September by ringing in the October weird with Sideshow edited by Deborah Noyes. An anthology featuring short fiction and graphic tales, all of them have something to do with a circus or show. I didn’t realize it was exclusively a YA anthology so it was a mix of middle grade stories and teen stories. It was entertaining but nothing groundbreaking. I plan on doing a full review soon. (3/5)

PopSugar Reading Challenge 2016

  • Book that’s becoming a movie this year – Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
  • YA Bestseller – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J. K. Rowling et al
  • First Book I See in a Book Store – A Child’s First Book of Trump by Michael Ian Black and Marc Rosenthal
  • Dystopian novel – Exit Zero by Neil Cohen
  • Self-Help – Living Well, Spending Less by Ruth Soukup
  • Murder Mystery – Betrayal in Death by J. D. Robb (#12 in Death)

I saw the trailers for Me Before You so I decided to read the book and see what the hype was about. It was heartfelt and entertaining but didn’t rock my world. (3/5) Despite being a play, Cursed Child managed to make several teen/YA bestseller lists. You can see my review and rating above.

I had a B&N coupon for 40% off through Labor Day and a gift card leftover from my birthday. Upon entering B&N, Boyfriend and I both see Michael Ian Black’s children’s book about Trump. It was delight, hilarious, and took less than 5 minutes to read. (5/5)

You can see my general review above but for a zombie novel, it got more political than I expected. I was impressed with the government takeover subplot. I’m curious to see if there’s a sequel in the future because this story has definitely not wrapped up. (3/5)

I got into the in Death series because of my ex and old BFF from college. It’s compelling, entertaining, and definitely has echoes of Robb/Robert’s romance past. (ICYMI, J. D. Robb = Nora Roberts.) It took the library ages to get me a copy but it was fun to come back to these characters after so long. Nothing remarkable but always a good read. (3.5/5)


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