Wednesday, December 27, 2017

TBR Challenge 2017 Summary

This year I'm posting this a little earlier but since the challenge is complete, I can leave my final summary already as well.

I've also updated my final comment on the challenge in the challenge's page and when I add the links to the 2018 challenge in the beginning of the year, I'll change that page but for now a simple comment is here.

This was a good year when it comes to the challenge picks, as always I have good and not as good stories but that's part of the fun, to not know if everything is going to be perfect or a let down.
Of my list, the books that impressed me the most happened in the months of March, June, July, October and November. The ones I didn't enjoy as much were February and April.
But here is a list and a brief summary of them: 

January: An Interrupted Tapestry by Madeline Hunter ( short story) 
A story about a woman who needs to make a bargain over an old tapestry to settle a debt in medieval England. The romance is interesting but the details weren't enough to make the short story feel more complete. 6/10

February: Fighting Silence by Aly Martinez (new-to-you-author) 
The romance between two childhood friends who don't come from stable families. the challenges over their growing up and the struggles they face didn't win me over because the pacing was badly done and some author's decisions not well done. 5/10 

March: The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes (comfort read) 
Really liked it! A mother of two wants to take her youngest to a math's competition but her life isn't easy, her newfound love interest isn't as quiet as he seems but the adventures they share only strengthen their relationship and the story is gorgeous. 9/10

April: The Hooker and the Hermit by LH Cosway and Penny Reid (contemporary) 
Well, interesting details and premise but I didn't enjoy the story line that much. I think the focus wasn't on the elements I wanted to read about and the rest just felt like using up space. Not a great winner for me. 5/10 

May: The Library of Unrequited Love by Sophie Divry (Something Different) 
This is a second person narrator and that was different enough from the usual. It's a short monologue that broaches almost every theme related to libraries and their patrons and the narrator in specific. I liked reading it. 7/10

June: The Heir by Grace Burrowes (Favorite Trope)
My first book by the author and I liked the governess/lord romance trope although it could have been done better. But I liked spending time with the characters and the detail is amazing in the story. Overall, time well spent for me. 8/10

July: Hasty Death by M.C. Beaton (Series Catch-Up
I really had a great time reading this little series - only 4 books - by the author. This is historical mystery with tones of romance and comedy. The writing is very simple and the plots rather predictable but I had a lot of fun reading. 8/10

August: Finders Keepers by Linnea Sinclair (Kicking it old school)
I like this author's work, I enjoyed reading about the protagonists and the issues they face while in the space shifts or the galaxies they travel in. The romance is interesting, the plot as well but I think this isn't the author's best work, overall. 7/10

September: Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Lin (Historical) 
I've come to realize this is a hit or miss author for me and while I like the details of the Oriental settings, the stories themselves just don't fully grab me. Also, this romance wasn't easy to believe in due to the lack of chemistry between protagonists. 6/10

October: Low Pressure by Sandra Brown ( romantic suspense)
The author writes intricate but easy to follow plots and I really love how the romances seem to almost be a necessity between the main characters and not just an afterthought. Once again, it was great to read about different people finding common ground. 8/10

November: Isn't She Lovely? by Lauren Layne (Recommend read)
Quite a positive surprise considering the protagonists are college students and the romances with these types of characters don't always win me over but the take on Pygmalion was cute enough and the story has depth. 8/10

December: Sweet Inspiration by Penny Watson (Holiday read)
The idea is quite sweet and I liked this version of Santa Klaus' family. But the execution didn't convince me and the romantic relationship between the main characters, their interactions and with others just felt a little flat to me. 6/10 

💛 Thinking about the complete set, this year was a good one, I'd say. Not looking at genres, the majority of my choices went to contemporary stories or plots which is a little bit of a surprise for me but perhaps my yearly math will tell me I've increased my reading of contemporary novels. I do have a lot of those in the TBR pile...
Of course, at the end of the year what it matters the most to me is that it was a fun challenge to do.

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