ABC Reads // First Update

The first update for the ABC Reads challenge. //

At the beginning of the year I saw a post on my friend Mia’s blog about her ABC Reads Challenge, a challenge where everyone attempts to read books with titles that start with all the letters of the alphabet in a year. I’ve always thought this challenge would be fun and have always wanted to complete it, so I said I’d participate. I’ve been slow on reviewing books I’ve read that weren’t part of book tours… and slow on updating about this challenge, considering we’re over halfway through the year and this is is my first update, so I thought now would be a great time to catch up. I’ll start with the books I haven’t reviewed yet and then list the books I have and link to their reviews.

B // Breaking Pointe, by Lani Woodland  [Completed June 2016]

A teenage dancer leaves home and seeks sanctuary at the prestigious dance school she had applied to before the death of her parents, but the dance school may not be the safe haven she hopes for.

I was drawn into this book and enjoyed the read. There are some moments that really stood out to me. I thought it was a bit predictable, though, and there wasn’t anything that really stood out to me. That being said, if there was another book with these characters, I’d totally read it. It was an enjoyable, quick read, but won’t be one of my favorites of the year.

D // (A) Drop of Night, by Stefan Bachman  [Completed June 2016]

A group of teens are selected to help excavate an underground palace discovered in France, but they soon realize they may have brought in under false pretenses.

I picked up this book because the synopsis brought to mind the old movie The Haunting and it was nothing like that. It was a lot of fun, though. This book switches between present day and the past, when the palace was constructed. I loved that and thought it helped reveal information about both time periods without coming right out and telling the reader the information. This one had me guessing until the end. In fact, there were times I wondered if I’d be satisfied with the answers, and I totally was. This was a great read to escape into on the airplane. Also, that cover is gorgeous!

L // Lagoon, by Nnedi Okorafor  [Completed June 2016]

I can’t describe this well, so be sure to click one of the links below to read a synopsis.

I listened to this on audiobook and, for some reason, it took awhile to finish it. I wish I had been more diligent about listening to it and that I had finished it faster, because when I listened to it I really enjoyed it, however I think I lost track of the different threads that make up the story and started to confuse them because of my gaps in listening. I do think the audiobook format is totally worth it, if you listen to audiobooks, and I definitely think this book should be read. My advice would be read or listen to it if you’re interested in it, but devote your attention to it and don’t drag it out over a month and a half, like I did. I’ll probably return to this one in the future to catch what I missed and I plan to check out more by Okorafor in the near future.

M // Memories of My Melancholy Whores, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez  [Completed May 2016]

This is another one that I have a hard time describing. When I try, I don’t do it well, so click one of the links below.

I have a hard time describing this book, because there’s so much in this little book. I loved it. I loved it so much more than I thought I would. Years ago I picked up One Hundred Years of Solitude, but didn’t get too far. I always knew I wanted to try another book by Marquez, though, and decided that I’d do so before I went to Colombia. People who have read more of Marquez’s works might (probably would) say something different, but as someone who has only read this novel, I’d say this is a great place to start with Marquez. It’s short, engaging, beautifully written, and made me ready to read more. Which is good, because I have a few more at home to read.

R // Rise of the DEO, by Maria Giudice and Christopher Ireland  [Completed March 2016]

Giudice and Ireland discuss how leaders with a design mindset can help the growth of a company. (DEO = Design Executive Officer, instead of CEO.) It also highlights various CEO’s that fit the DEO mindset.

A nonfiction book hanging out in my reading list? Why yes, yes it is. I don’t read nonfiction very often and I’ve probably started more than I’ve finished, but this one? This one was good! It’s been on my radar for awhile because someone that I work with read it and kept talking about it, so I had to read it too. It has a lot of great thoughts and those thoughts are definitely applicable for more than just running a business.

T // Thief of Lies, by Brenda Drake  [Completed June 2016]

This is one I’d have a hard time summarizing without giving too much away or making it sound cheesy… which it’s not… so you know what to do with the links below. 🙂

I knew I was going to buy this one, because Brenda Drake is an awesome person who runs contests and twitter events to help writers connect with editors and agents. Not only that, but it has an amazing premise and I was excited to read it. It took longer than I expected to be drawn into the book, but once I did I was hooked. I loved the characters, it moves along at a fast pace, and when it was over I wanted more. Luckily it’s part of a series, so more will be coming. I just need to find out when!

Check out some of the other books I read in 2016:

A // All Stories Are Love Stories, by Elizabeth Percer  [Completed March 2016]

E // (The) Ex, by Alafair Burke  [Completed February 2016]

G // Girl Through Glass, by Sari Wilson  [Completed February 2016]

H // Half-Resurrection Blues, by Daniel José Older  [Completed April 2016]

I // Illuminae, by Amy Kaufman and Jay Kristoff  [Completed January 2016]

K // Keep You Close, by Lucie Whitehouse  [Completed June 2016]

O // (The) Opposite of Everyone, by Joshilyn Jackson  [Completed February 2016]

P // (The) Past, by Tessa Hadley  [Completed January 2016]

S // (The) Sister’s of Versailles, by Sally Christie  [Completed March 2016]

W // Where We Fall, by Rochelle b. Weinstein  [Completed April 2016]

And here are the letters that I still need to get to in order to complete the challenge: C, F, J, N, Q, U, V, X, Y, Z



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  • Reply
    July 4, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    I have never completed a challenge like this, sounds like something I might try! Thanks for the idea!

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      July 9, 2016 at 1:34 pm

      Let me know if you decide to do the challenge. 🙂

  • Reply
    July 5, 2016 at 12:27 am

    Yayyyy! I’m so glad you decided to join us. You’ve read some really interesting books so far this year. And only 10 letters left, you can do it! 🙂

    I’ve always wanted to read something by Gabriel Garcia Marquez as well, so I am definitely adding that book to my list!

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      July 9, 2016 at 1:33 pm

      Yeah, I was surprised when I saw that I only have 10 letters left! I can definitely complete it. 🙂

      Let me know what you think if you read it! I really enjoyed it and was able to finish it in just a few hours.

  • Reply
    July 5, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    I didn’t know you were doing this, but this is awesome! Part of me wants to commit to the challenge but another part of me doesn’t want to be restricted to all the letters…However I’ve read your reviews and now have a list of books I want to check out at the library today! Thank you!

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      July 9, 2016 at 1:33 pm

      That’s always my concern when I take on a reading challenge too. I made sure that I had a book that I actually want to read for one of the hardest letters (Z) and then decided I could probably pull it off. I’m not being too intentional about it, which is nice because there are some letters I’ll need to be intentional about and I don’t think it’ll feel like too much of a challenge when I get to those letters. 🙂 Up until now I’ve just been reading like I usually would and plugging books into the list when I can.

  • Reply
    Kaycie Vanden Top
    July 5, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    I love this idea! I definitely need to do that challenge!

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      July 9, 2016 at 1:31 pm

      Isn’t it a great idea for a reading challenge? Let me know if you decide to do it! 🙂

  • Reply
    July 7, 2016 at 8:32 am

    I’ve been in search of some new summer kindle reads. Thanks for the suggestions!

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      July 9, 2016 at 1:20 pm

      Let me know if you decide to read any of them!

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