My Summer Challenge: Did I complete it?

Chrissi’s Summer Challenge!

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I work in a school, so I have a glorious six weeks off in the summer. Today I’m back to school. Sad face. Oh well, I can’t complain too much as I have completed my Summer Challenge! On 18th June, I picked 10 books on the top of my to be read pile as part of Top Ten Tuesday. I then decided, that I would actually endeavour to read these books!¬† So here are my thoughts on my favourites and unfortunately one DNF (Did Not Finish).

If you click on the book image, it’ll take you to the book’s Goodreads profile. Easier to add to your TBR list that way! ūüėČ If you click on the title of the book, it’ll take you to my review (bar my DNF book).

10. Q- A Love Story- Evan Mandery

15729302Unfortunately this is the book that I didn’t finish. I recently read a review saying that you wouldn’t enjoy it if you weren’t into philosophy. Well, that doesn’t work for me. I studied philosophy at university and it is one of my biggest passions. For me, it was too slow and went off track. I’m sure others would enjoy it though which is why I decided to include it even though I don’t usually mention books that I DNF.

9. Grow Up– Ben Brooks

10830696There was nothing really wrong with this book, it just wasn’t as much my thing as the others on this list. It has extremely strong language and adult content so beware. I’d say 18+ only!

8. Beauty Queens– Libba Bray

9464733Again, there was nothing particularly wrong with this book. I’ve just read a lot of good books out of this list! This book is completely OTT and certainly not for everyone, but I enjoyed it enough!

7. Why We Broke Up– Daniel Handler

10798418I think this is such a beautifully illustrated book. I didn’t really know much about it when I picked it up, but it was a pleasure to read! Not the most amazing story ever, but definitely likeable and very readable.

6. Attachments– Rainbow Rowell

8909152I found this book incredibly easy to read. I finished it on a train journey. It wasn’t quite Eleanor & Park for me, but it was still a decent read.

5. Under The Never Sky– Veronica Rossi

11594257I loved this book and I’m looking forward to checking out the sequel. This was one of the first of the books I read and I really expected it to be placed higher, but no.. I read much awesomeness.

4. The Beautiful and The Cursed– Page Morgan

15989598This is the last book I read out of the 10 I picked. I didn’t quite save the best until last, but I still thoroughly enjoyed this book.

3. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer– Michelle Hodkin

8591107I completely fell in love with this book. I was so confused about what was going on, but that just added to the awesome. Oh yes.

2. Boundless– Cynthia Hand

13049981Argh! I wasn’t sure I was going to like Boundless that much since I wasn’t overly keen on Hallowed. I still like Hallowed, but it didn’t quite match up to Unearthly for me. I need not have feared, I really enjoyed Boundless. A great end to the series. (If you’re on the same ‘Team’ as me..)

1. Divergent– Veronica Roth

13335037I am SO in love with this book. The last 3 in this list were so hard to order, but Divergent just had to come out on top.

Have you read any on my list?  If so, what were your favourites?

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Beauty Queens

9464733

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea, crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner.

What’s a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program – or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan – or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up?

Welcome to the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Your tour guide? None other than Libba Bray, the hilarious, sensational, Printz Award-winning author of A Great and Terrible Beauty and Going Bovine. The result is a novel that will make you laugh, make you think, and make you never see beauty the same way again.

Thoughts:

This is another of the books that I planned to read on my 6 week summer break from work. I’d heard a lot about it from many other book bloggers. I started Beauty Queens expecting it to be completely over the top and stupid… which it is.¬†The plot may be completely¬†OTT but it’s done in a fun way. Beauty Queens is easy and fun to read. I’m not sure if I’d re-read it myself, but I’m certainly glad I did read it.

Beauty Queens is a funny read, because it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s satire, poking fun at the American culture and the media. I like the inclusion of footnotes. They were fun to read.

I thought the characters were interesting, but there wasn’t enough about them to really feel a connection with them. I think it’s because there were so many of them. I did think Adina was a strong character and she is the one that stands out the most for me.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the commercial breaks. They were fun at first, but then it seemed like they were put in the book to pad it out a little.

I did like that it was an all girl adventure. I expected them to be typical pageant personalities, but the longer they stayed on the island the more they left that behind. They had a ‘journey’. (Urgh, I hate that word..so cheesy!) They fell in love, discovered their flaws which they learned to accept and to accept others. They also learned not to care what other people thought of them.¬†They learned to be themselves, not what society wanted to be. This of course, is a very important message.

Overall, I did enjoy this fluffy piece of feminism. It was nice to read a story of girls having adventures, accepting and becoming who they are without the judgment of authoritative figures.
Would I recommend it?
Yes!

Reading next:
The Girl Who Fell From The Sky- Simon Mawer