Sunday, 7 June 2015

Endless Possibilities Read-a-thon Wrap-up!

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Over these past few days, I've been taking part in the Endless Possibilities Read-a-Thon in conjunction with Good Tales Book Tours. I'd like to say another big thank you to Good Tales, for allowing me to take part in this read-a-thon, it was so much fun!
During the read-a-thon, I managed to complete two books: 'The Lover's Dictionary' by David Levithan and 'Panic' by Lauren Oliver. Not as many as I'd been hoping to read, but I was quite busy with work and going to a concert on Sunday night, so I couldn't apply myself to the reading as much as I wanted to. 

'The Lover's Dictionary' by David Levithan is quite a short book, as it's the story of a couple told through dictionary definitions; each 'chapter' is a word, and the plot on that page relates to the word. The thing I love about this novel is that we don't get any specifics about the couple - they could be young or old, black or white - and we don't get their names either, so it's easy to relate to the story no matter what background you come from. 
I either love or hate David Levithan's writing - he's extremely Marmite to me. 'Every Day' was one of my favourite books, but when I read 'Marly's Ghost' at the beginning of this year I was supremely disappointed. This meant I was quite nervous going into 'The Lover's Dictionary', as I'd been anticipating it quite highly due to the unique structuring of the story.
Thankfully, I was pretty impressed. When you get to the end it is a bit deflating, but because it's a snapshot of a life I was never going to get a resolution that I was completely happy with. The writing style was perfect though, quintessential Levithan, as he has such a talent for putting into words the little feelings that it's hard to verbalise. An example of that would be:
'I don't like it when you use my shampoo, because then your hair smells like me, not you.'
I really don't know why that quote touched me as much as it did, but I'm not ashamed to admit that it did make me shed a few tears - I was already feeling quite emotional from the rollercoaster ride that was their romance, and it really hit home because it was such an ordinary, day-to-day thing to comment upon.
This wasn't my favourite David Levithan book, but I can see myself coming back to this one over and over again in the future - it was a very quick read, taking me only a couple of hours, but I did really enjoy this one.


The second book I read during the read-a-thon was 'Panic' by Lauren Oliver. I actually started this one first, but there was so much going on and it was so adrenaline-filled that I needed to take a bit of a break, because I get really emotionally involved in novels like this and I was much too on edge.
Panic is a game played by the seniors of the high school in Carp - every summer you can choose to participate in the game for the chance to win a minimum prize of $50,000. Panic has been going for seven years, and there has been three deaths in the game in that time period, but when you're from a dead-end town the desperation takes over, and nothing will stop you from trying to get a better life for yourself.
This is a dual perspective novel, switching between Heather and Dodge. Heather lives in the Fresh Pines trailer park with her mother, step-father and sister, and at first she only joins Panic to find a reason to be alive - she's just found out her long-term boyfriend, Matt, is cheating on her, and she's feeling pretty down in the dumps. However, Dodge has a much better reason for playing Panic - revenge, pure and simple. In a game of Panic a few years ago, the brakes on his sisters car were tampered with, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. Now, the saboteurs brother is in Dodge's game of Panic, and Dodge wants to take something from him. "A sister's legs for a brother's life.". 
Panic is addictive; both the game and the book. I thought this would take me a while to read, but with the rapidly passing days and the sudden arrival of new Panic tasks, I flew through this book. This is the second Lauren Oliver novel that I've read (the first being 'Before I Fall') and I still absolutely love her writing, her characterisation and her characters voices. They seem to come alive on the page, and I have a feeling Heather and Dodge will follow me for a long time from now.
There were still a couple of issues with it - something that is meant to be really subtle and surprising was really obvious to me from one of the second chapters, so all of the hints and clues placed throughout just kind of annoyed me. But other than that, this one was an absolute rollercoaster, and I could not predict how it was going to end.
If you haven't read a Lauren Oliver novel yet, you really need to get on with it - you will not regret it, I promise you.

That was all I managed to read during these three days, but I'm pretty proud of it - I'd wanted to read both books for so long but hadn't had any time, and they both ended up being ace. Got some other exciting book things coming on the blog later this week, so keep an eye out! 

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