A Full Summer Update

Hi all! I’ve been gone for a while, and now that I’m back, there are a few things to update, a few (and by that, I mean very few) books to update, and a challenge to do!

Firstly, I have been in the most horrendous reading slump imaginable. Since July, I have only finished 5 books, which is absolutely pitiful! I have also fallen 7 books behind on my Goodreads reading challenge, the first time I have ever slipped behind on a Goodreads reading challenge, so I’m feeling pretty disinclined to read right now! But don’t worry, a good Agatha Christie and the pressure to review a book for someone is slowly lifting me out of it! On this note, if anyone has any recommendations to get me out of this slump (something light – not romance – that you don’t think I’d have read before) they’d be greatly appreciated!

What have I read?

The Woman in Black - Susan HillTo Kill a Mockingbird - Harper LeeThe Awakening - Kate Chopin

So, what are the 5 books that I ploughed through despite my slump? The first, back in early July, was Susan Hill’s ‘The Woman in Black’. Considering the recent film adaptation scares the crap out of me to this day, I thought it was going to be a complete mistake reading this novel. Saying that, the book really isn’t that scary. It’s your typical jumpy, mysterious Radcliffe School of Terror Gothic novel, and didn’t actually stand out to me as anything special. Saying that, I did love the frame to the story. This one received 3.5 stars. Next up, in late July, I read Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ followed by ‘The Awakening’ by Kate Chopin. I’d never been all that keen to read ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, given its status as an ‘epic modern classic’ in the States, which isn’t quite echoed to the same extent in the UK. I do have to say that I did really enjoy it. Some of the phrasing was a bit clunky and it is evident it was a first novel, but it contains some beautiful lines and powerful moments. This one was a 4.5 star read, and my July book of the month. I began ‘The Awakening’ a month or two back on my phone’s Google Books app, in the middle of an incredibly tedious university taster day (the uni will remain nameless, but I can say with certainty that I will not be applying there!). The novel surprised me; it had a strong story and an identifiable protagonist, and I did find myself becoming completely sympathetic of its message at times. Saying that, I had many moments where it just couldn’t hold my attention, hence its 4 star rating.

Dreamland - Sarah DessenA Room With a View - E.M. Forster

So far this month, I have only completed two books. The first was ‘Dreamland’ by Sarah Dessen. My best friend loves Sarah Dessen novels, but ‘Dreamland’ is the only one she did not enjoy. She told me that it seemed more up my street than hers, so we took her copy on holiday with us so I could give it a go. Unfortunately, it wasn’t up my street at all; in fact, I could see why my friend hated it so much. I am planning on posting a review of this one, but for now let’s just say that I thought the book fundamentally failed at its primary task – portraying an honest and raw abusive relationship – and that once it had failed in that task, it had nothing else really going for it. The second novel is another classic, ‘A Room With a View’ by E.M. Forster. I had a good time reading this one. I liked the story, the characters, the setting. Despite this, I just couldn’t be endorsed in Lucy and George’s relationship. The novel was just far too short, rushed and shallow for me to really feel anything. Unfortunately, my rating couldn’t go any higher than 3.5 stars.

What am I reading next?

There are three books at the very top of my TBR pile for the next week. Firstly, ‘The Secret Adversary’ by Agatha Christie. Anyone who knows me well is aware of my love for Agatha Christie novels, and while I have no intention of watching the new Tommy and Tuppence TV adaptations (due to a serious dislike for David Walliams) the broadcast of these episodes made me keen to read some Tommy and Tuppence, something that I have not done prior to starting this book. I am currently 25% of the way through, and enjoying it immensely, although it doesn’t quite beat a good Poirot (I reckon it tops Miss Marple though!). The second and third books on my list are review reads: I am reviewing ‘Everything, Everything’ by Nicola Yoon for Netgalley, and I was contacted by Glen Quarry about writing an honest review for his novel ‘Thyme in a Flask’. I can’t think too far past this slump at the moment, so this is all I have planned for now.

What am I not reading?

I have put all of the books I started an haven’t finished yet on the back-burner, to allow for a completely fresh TBR and remove the pressure those books were piling on me. I will be turning back to all of them soon, with the exception of Jandy Nelson’s ‘I’ll Give You the Sun’, which I have marked as DNF, and have no intention of finishing any time soon.

What have I been reviewing?

As you can see from the lack of posts, not much reviewing has been going on, mainly due to the fact that I have not read much. However, Mallory from Leaning Tower of Tomes and I had the pleasure of writing a collaborative post for J.K. Ullrich, discussing her fantastic novel ‘Blue Karma’. If you want to check it out, it is posted in three parts on J.K’s site! Follow the links below to check it out! Once again, thanks to J.K. for asking Mallory and I to collaborate for your site, and thanks to Mallory, with whom I had a fantastic time discussing the novel!




What do I have planned?

I returned back online to discover that The Lit Mermaid has nominated me to do the 3 Days, 3 Quotes challenge, a challenge I am very much looking forwards to doing in the coming days. Thanks to Syc for the nomination!

As I have already mentioned, I have reviews for ‘Dreamland’, ‘Thyme in a Flask’ and ‘Everything, Everything’ in the pipeline. I also have a few Top 5 Wednesday topics I am sad to have missed, so I want to do them anyway! Beyond that, who knows!

Emma 🙂

Follow me on Twitter @emmathereader, Tumblr (www.snapeisourprince.tumblr.com) and Goodreads (www.goodreads.com/snapeisourprince).

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