Thursday, 4 August 2016

Review | Forever by Judy Blume

Image and video hosting by TinyPicForever by Judy Blume
Published By: Macmillan
Published On: October 1, 1975
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 178
Format: Papaerback
Source: Read It Swap It
Rating: ★★

Amazon | Goodreads

Katherine and Michael meet at a New Year's Eve party. They're attracted to each other, they grow to love each other. And once they've decided their love is forever, they make love. 

It's the beginning of an intense and exclusive relationship, with a future all planned. Until Katherine's parents insist that she and Michael put their love to the test with a summer apart...

I understand that this is cult classic and has been extremely well loved since its publication in the 1970s but I just wasn't a fan. If I hadn't been on holiday, with pretty much unlimited reading time, I would have DNFed this. While I can understand the appeal of the book, I just don't think it was for me and there are several reasons for that.

This book is 41 years old so obviously a lot has changed in terms of the style of writing over the years. While the outdated references and wording didn't bother me, I just couldn't abide the older writing style. You could really tell from the writing style just how old the book was, and though when reading classics this issue doesn't arise, for some reason it really bugged me during this book. It did become less of an issue as the book went on.

This is probably a very unpopular opinion, given the hoards of people who love this book, but I didn't think this was an accurate portrayal of love at a young age. At 21, I have been through all of this, and it wasn't even slightly like it is portrayed in this book. This relationship was complete instalove! I would hazard a guess that at least 90% of teenagers do not enter into serious relationships the day after meeting someone for the first time. These characters literally met on page 2 of the book and were inseparable and in love by page 4! This is not at all realistic. I found the relationship, because of this, to be quite fake and forced. I didn't see any kind of chemistry or connection between the two characters.

If I'm being completely honest, I found this book to be fairly boring. There didn't seem to be much of a story beyond the main characters struggle to decided whether or not she wanted to have sex, and then about sex itself. There was the capacity for more of a story with the introduction of topics like mental illness and death, but those were simply glossed over and pushed to the side to make space for more sex chat. I understand that this book is about first love and the first time having sex, but at this stage in your life the world does not just revolve around sex, life continues and other things are important too.

Overall, despite my problems with this book, it was a very short, quick read that I managed to get through in just a few hours. However, I wouldn't have spent any longer on it. It is obviously a well loved book, considering I am here talking about it more than 40 years after it was initially published, but it just wasn't for me. Though I can see why people would like it, I just had too many problems with it. I do think, though, that this is one you have to read for yourself, not rely on others' opinions of.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Reading Challenges | 2016 Progress

With it now being just over half way through the year, it seems like a good time to check in with the challenges I set myself back in January. I haven't had the best reading year so far so I don't expect to be doing great with the challenges but we'll see.

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Goodreads Reading Challenge
Goal: 50
Progress: 27
When I checked in on my goals last year I had read 44 of 50 so I'm definitely not doing as good as last year. However, I am only 1 book behind schedule so I don't think I'm doing too badly. As long as I keep reading and don't get into another mega slump I should be on track to reach my 50 book goal.

Ebook Reading Challenge
Goal: 10
Progress: 6
Last year I was on 8/10 by this point but I'm not too concerned about that. I'm almost positive I can get to another 4 ebooks before the end of the year, I have some great ones on my Kindle just waiting to be read.

Audiobook Challenge
Goal: 1-5
Progress: 0
This is a new one for this year. I got into audiobooks last year but with a 45 minute commute it was easy to get in listening time. Now that I don't have that commute it is trickier. I am currently listening to one so when I finish that I will have technically met my goal, however I would like to get to 5.

TBR Pile Challenge
Goal: 11-20
Progress: 9
Finally one I am more successful on this year compared to last year. I may not be reading as much this year but I am doing well with getting through the books I have had on my shelf for a good while. I am happy with this progress, I should definitely at least get to 11 before the end of the year, but I am aiming for nearer 20.

Popsugar Reading Challenge
Goal: 40
Progress: 14
I am very doubtful I'll complete this one. I have completed 14 of the 40 challenges but the majority of the ones left involve reading things I wouldn't usually pick up, and while that can be good every now and again, I don't want to be doing this for the rest of the year and abandoning the books I want to read.
I have decided (like literally, this minute) to change this challenge. I have been kind of taking part in the Around The World In 52 Books challenge, which is very similar to this one, and I think I prefer that one.

Finish 5 Series
Goal: 5
Progress: 1
I'm not making great progress with this one. I have made steps to completing a few different series but have only actually managed to complete 1. I have a couple that I only need to read the last 1 or 2 books, so I might manage this challenge by the end of the year if I really try.

Start 5 Series
Goal: 5 10
Progress: 7
I managed to complete my initial goal of starting 5 series pretty quickly so obviously rather than focus on my other challenges I decided to just increase my goal. I have so many series that I want to read and this is definitely encouraging me to finally pick them up. This might be the challenge I am enjoying most so far.

How are you doing with your reading goals? Can you recommend any series for me to start?

Sophie :)