New Series: Monthly Book Reviews

girl reading bookI really want to read more. I used to be a chain reader. (It’s like a chain smoker, but with books.) I never finished a book without a new one to start, and I always spent most of my free time reading rather than doing other things. That’s great and everything, but I’m an adult and I have adult responsibilities, and…OK, truth be told, I also have a steam account. So there goes my free time.

I need a way to motivate myself to read at least one novel per month. This blog was great for motivating me during my month long NaPoWriMo challenge, so I’m going to use it again, this time for a reading challenge. I’ll be reviewing one novel per month, starting with the one I’m most of the way through for a post I’ll make by the end of June. Here are some rules:

  1. I can’t substitute chapbooks for novels just because they’re short. If I want to review a chapbook, that’s a separate post. (I should review a chapbook though. That’s a great idea.)
  2. Only 2 out of the 12 books can be rereads, but I should aim for that number to be as low as possible. This first one is a reread, so that knocks one out right there.
  3. No reviewing books I haven’t read all the way through. That’s not fair to the book, plus it’s just cheating, OK? If I don’t like it enough to finish it, maybe I’ll add it to a list post for the end of the challenge if I end up encountering more than a couple of these, but I’m not reviewing any for an entire post.
  4. A collection of novellas or short stories is acceptable if all together it’s about the length of a novel, but I have to read the whole thing and review each story individually. I probably won’t do this since that’s a lot of work, but we’ll see.
  5. A long play is acceptable because I said so, and I have one or two in mind. But rules 2 and 3 still apply.
  6. At least 2 of these need to be classics, and these can’t be rereads.  (Maybe I’ll pull from my list from a few months ago of books I should have read by now.)
  7. There is no rule 7. I just like the number.

To give you a sense of what I prefer to read, I’m not that picky when it comes to genre. I’m big on historical fiction, literary fiction, mystery novels, YA, and sci fi (especially dystopian novels.) Fantasy is fun too, and I have a particular soft spot for fairy tale spoofs (as a kid one of my favorite authors was Gail Carson Levine). I personally hold plot and character development at an equal level of importance. With a great plot and little character development I find myself not caring about what’s happening, which makes me lose interest. Then, when the characters are great but nothing’s happening, I tend to get bored after a few chapters. I realize those are two of the most major components of storytelling, but you’d be surprised how often I encounter a book or movie that doesn’t get the balance right.

Do you have any book recommendations for this challenge? I only have 2 books picked out so far, so that leaves 10 wide open. Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments below!

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