The first challenge I completed was #4: read a book that has been on your shelf for over a year. For this challenge, I read The Triumphant Cat: Verse, Prose, & Pictures; Gathered from the Ancient & Modern Authors; Selected & Edited by Marmaduke Skidmore, Esquire.
I picked this book up because I like cats and I thought it would be fun to read a bunch of different selections about cats. In the end though, I didn't love this book. The selections weren't bad but they didn't interest me at all and there was absolutely no structure to how they were put into the book. I would have preferred more of a topic or common theme structure (other than cats). I read this book in about an hour, so it was a quick read, and gave it 1 out of 5 stars.
The second challenge I completed was #1: read the first book in a series. Originally I had planned to read Callum & Harper by Fisher Amelie, and I actually did start reading it! But I got caught up in the second chapter and found myself dragging through it. So, instead of forcing myself to read it, and quite possibly ending up hating it because of that, I put it aside to read for later and picked up the first book in the Animorphs series: The Invasion by K.A. Applegate.
I have been a long time fan of Animorphs. I first read the series when I was in middle school and recently started re-collecting the series. I now own most of the books but had not started reading them. I figured TBR Takedown 2.0 was the perfect time to start! The series is more middle grade and there are some dated references, but the book was no less fun and entertaining than it was when I first read it. My favorite characters are Jake and Tobias, but I love that the cast is so diverse (racially and socio-economically). I really cannot wait to finish reading this series! I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.
The third challenge I completed was #2: read a book that is a sequel in a series. For this, I read my initial pick, Dark of the Moon by Rachel Hawthorne.
This is another series that I have recently been enjoying. This book is the third in the series. I enjoyed it almost as much as the first book and more than the second book. This book was a quick, fun read. I finished it in about 2.5 hours with frequent internet breaks. I did have a problem with some of the choices that the main character made, but that didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book at all. This series reminds me of a fluffier, slightly less developed version of Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause. So you should check out this series if you liked Blood and Chocolate. I gave Dark of the Moon 3 out of 5 stars.
The fourth challenge I completed was #5: read your most recently hauled book. Luckily, The Kneebone Boy by Ellen Potter came just in time for me to read it for TBR Takedown 2.0.
The Kneebone Boy started off on a high with a dash of fantasy, a pinch of mystery, and a healthy dose of quirk. The book had a definite Lemony Snicket/A Series of Unfortunate Events vibe, which I liked a lot, and is geared for middle grade. The characters themselves are kind of really interesting and draw you in to the story quickly. The problem I had was with the plot. Honestly, it was slow, but the first 99% of it was really interesting. There was just enough adventure and mystery to keep me on the edge of my seat. It's just that the last chapter didn't fit at all with the rest of the story. This makes it hard for me to rate the book. I didn't dislike it but I didn't love it. Ultimately, I gave the book 4 out of 5 stars. I also have to say that I bought the book primarily for the cover and was super happy with the art.
The final challenge I completed was #3: read a book that is out of your comfort zone. This is the only challenge where I didn't read the book I had originally planned on reading. In this case, I had planned to read An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. It was the last day of the readathon when I had time to read my last book. By that time, I was dragging pretty heavily and just wasn't really wanting to read anything at all. I decided to leave An Ember in the Ashes for later and pick up something lighter and shorter that was still out of my comfort zone. So, I read Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography by Lemony Snicket instead.
This book was out of my comfort zone because of the fact that it is an autobiography. I have never had good luck with autobiographies or biographies. But, I'm a fan of A Series of Unfortunate Events, and decided to give this book a try. Honestly, I found this book confusing and not very interesting. I might have liked it more if I had recently read A Series of Unfortunate Events, but I doubt it. I gave this book 1 out of 5 stars.
TBR Takedown 2.0 ended on a Friday. Instead of picking up another book right away, I took a break from reading. My sister and I had gone home for the weekend and spent the majority of the time helping my parents clean out and reorganize their closets in anticipation of a (eventual) move. However, Saturday (August 1st) marked the beginning of The Lunar Chronicles Readalong, which is being hosted by Brittany S. of The Book Addicts Guide. The readalong is running from August through December (1 book per month) in a lead up to the release of Winter by Marissa Meyer, the fourth book in the Lunar Chronicles series. I did decide to start reading Cinder by Marissa Meyer, which is the first book in the Lunar Chronicles.
I had heard of this series many times on booktube but just wasn't interested in it. I'm not really a big fan of fairy tale re-tellings. But, I decided to give it a go when I heard about the readalong. When I started reading this book, I had planned to read only a couple of chapters per week so that I could drag it out over the whole month of August (which is the month allotted for this book). That way, if I didn't like it I could occupy myself with reading other books. I picked up the book and ended up finishing the whole thing in a little over 4 hours (it would have taken me less time but helping parents and going out to eat dinner got in the way of my reading). I am so sad that I didn't pick up this book before. It was a new and refreshing take on Cinderella! I loved that Cinder was tough and out of the ordinary. The only part of the book that I didn't love was that it was set in China. I didn't think the Chinese elements were worked into the story enough and would have been better off being left out altogether. But I loved this book so much, I don't think I can wait to read the other 3 books in the series! I gave this book a well deserved 5 out of 5 stars. If you've never read this series, or if you love the series, you should join in!
The Book Addicts Guide Lunar Chronicles Readalong post: http://www.bookaddictsguide.com/2015/07/15/the-lunar-chronicles-reread-along-intro-sign-ups/