smilingrid: books I'm reading as the year changes

December 31, 2013

books I'm reading as the year changes

If you follow me on instagram, you'll know my stance on long school breaks- as far as I am concerned, they are for books, to reread old favorites and discover new ones.

Ever since I was little, I have always carried a book (or two) with me. It's even become a requirement for any purse purchases! I reminded an old friend of this when he asked me what I was majoring in college- as if I could choose anything but English!

 Also ever since I was little, I never seem to read just one book at a time. I like variety and being able to switch between worlds and stories by just picking up a different book. As such, I have been reading these four during Christmas break (while also keeping a copy of Pride and Prejudice on hand, as per usual).

I have really grown to love Veronica Roth's dystopian world. This series is wonderful, the characters that create and support it are equally so. As much as it isn't our world as we know it, Tris (the strong female main character) is extremely relatable. She makes a life decision that aligned so well with choosing a college, a major, looking into future jobs... I don't want to give the plot away, so just know that Veronica Roth creates something imaginative and wonderful without losing the ability to connect to readers. 

So far, Allegiant is different from its two prequels. The most obvious difference is that the narration switches between Tris and her love interest Four (it's a nickname, don't worry). I'm tackling this one pretty slowly, since it ends the trilogy and because one of my friends was a mess after finishing it. What can I say, I'm nervously anticipating the end!

Buzzfeed has this wonderful list of 44 Movies You Probably Missed in 2013, But Definitely Need to See. I read through the list, watching trailers that seemed interesting. I reached JDATE, realized the glimpse provided by the preview were not enough and went to find my own copy of this internet-spawned insanity.

It's so different from anything I've read that I'm not sure exactly how to describe it. A review from Fangoria calls JDATE "a case of the author trying to depict actual, soul-sucking lunacy, and succeeding with flying colors." That's pretty darn accurate. At one point John's soul ends up in a dog. David depicts meat monsters and hive-possession with a dry humor that moves the plot along so quickly and enjoyably. 

Warning: you probably shouldn't pick this book up if your sensibilities are easily offended or if horror isn't your thing. No matter how wonderfully ridiculous the story is, these things can cause problems if it is taken seriously.

Remember how I said "old favorites"? My buddy Harry sprung to mind right away, didn't he? My entire generation grew up with his adventures. I know many of us consider Harry, Ron, and Hermione some of our closest friends (And Luna. And Neville. And Dobby. Should I keep going?) I reread Harry's first Christmas in my Weasley sweater on Christmas eve before moving onto book two! 

Basically, if you haven't read these bits of genius, you should get started. Pronto.

And of course, John Green needed to make an appearance in my book bag for break! Since reading The Fault in Our Stars (which I legitimately recommend to everyone. Megan and Erin have both already borrowed my copy. It's wonderful) I have decided to read everything he has written, including a hilarious zombie novella that he wrote for charity.  Looking for Alaska was his first novel and it received crazy attention. So far, all I can say is that the attention was deserved. John Green creates characters that are unbelievably real and plot lines that feel lived-in and completely fresh at the same time. I'm a bit obsessed. 

The greatest compliment I have ever received was when Erin told me that his style of writing reminded her of mine and that she expects me to pen the next great American novel... I don't even know how to respond to that other than with tears in my eyes and a blush on my cheeks. I have some work to do before I can live up to that expectation! Guess I should get started so that I can hand Erin the first copy, as promised. 

My uncle just asked me for a list of ten fiction books/series near and dear to my heart. These are all on there. Seriously, get to reading this New Year!


  1. I am looking forward to reading the Veronica Roth series this year (after I re-read the Hunger Games series):) And oh, Harrry Harry Harry Harry.. I will always love returning to his adventures throughout my life. It never gets old.

    1. What a great way to welcome the New Year! I'm sure you'll love it :) I wish you many stories in 2014, our best buddy Harry among them, of course! Happy New Year!!!