Sunday, July 31, 2016

RYOB Challenge 2016: July Update

I didn't really intend on doing an article today but I woke up today and it was all cloudy and cold and cozy - my kind of weather. For some reason, this got me hyped to have a productive day - so I made myself a cup of tea and sat in front of my laptop and I'm now ready to talk about my Read Your Own Book Challenge July Update.

I've been really bad doing this challenge. When I started this, I thought that four books a month is nothing. Now though, I'm afraid I won't be able to finish my target of 40 books this year. It's already July and I'm at 4/40! I know what you're thinking, for a self-confessed bibliophile, that's not really much. It just so happened that past few months, I've been sticking to reading on my phone and this challenge as I've said in my post, I would only include physical books that I've read. In that article I also have a list of the books I'm targeting to read (which I update from time to time).

Anyway, enough with the ramblings. For the month of July, I've been much better at reading physical books. I think it's because I have more time of waiting in between classes. Also, now that I have something to do rather than just stay at home and be a bum, I also get more things done (hurray for the five articles I published last July!) The first book I finished is kind of a heavy one - it took me so long to be able to finish reading it because I have to constantly take breaks in between reading. I can't read this in one sitting - that's how good Stephen King is.

Night Shift is a collection of short stories (20 in all). They all have all different themes but it IS Stephen King so all stories fall in just one genre: Horror (which is quite an understatement, I think they should create a whole new genre for Stephen King: Terror). I am not exaggerating on this guys. Reading Stephen King's work really gave me goosebumps. All these stories are heart-poundingly terrifying.

"King's first collection of short stories showcases the darkest depths of his brilliant imagination. Here we see mutated rats gone bad ("Graveyard Shift"); a cataclysmic virus that threatens humanity ("Night Surf," basis for "The Stand"); a possessed, evil lawnmower ("The Lawnmower Man"); unsettling children from the heartland ("Children of the Corn"); a smoker who will try anything to stop ("Quitters, Inc."); a reclusive alcoholic who begins a gruesome transformation ("Gray Matter"); and many more shadows and visions that will haunt you long after the last page is turned."

I'd like to talk about the stories one by one - I'll try my best to contain myself from giving away too much but just in case you don't want spoilers, just be safe and skip through this.

Jerusalem's Lot (basis for Salem's lot) is as much mind-fuck as it is terrifying. Graveyard Shift is a gruesome tale on mutated rats that only made me more wary when it came to them. Night Surf (basis for The Stand) a story on virus-caused apocalypse. Would love to get my own copy of The Stand since I have a thing for apocalyptic survival. I am the Doorway made my skin crawl. I Literally had to stop myself from reading cause I can feel myself getting more and more anxious. But even with the goosebumps, I can't stop myself from reading. The Mangler is a grueling story about a possessed laundry equipment. The Boogeyman is a heart wrenching story about a father of three children. Gray Matter is about an alcoholic man gone bad after drinking a contaminated can of beer. Battleground has more of an action plot but when you think about the main character's "enemies", it's kinda creepy. Trucks tell an apocalyptic story about a time when automotives take over the world. Sometimes They Come Back tells a story about a man dealing with bullies from his past. Strawberry Spring is about a serial killer who kills only when the weather is "strawberry spring." The Ledge is a nightmare for those who have fear of heights. I'm definitely not a acrophobic but this story got me a tingling feeling on my feet. The Lawnmower Man presents a modern mythology vibe. Quitters, Inc. tells a recovery tale about a smoker who seemed skeptical he could ever quit smoking. He then went on to prove that "Love is the most pernicious drug of all." I Know What You Need shows us that perfect relationships come with a price. Children of the Corn is about a skeptical and her husband got sidetracked from a trip that was meant to be a last ditch effort to save their marriage to a mysterious empty town. The Last Rung on the Ladder is another nightmare inducing story for acrophobes and it comes with a twist. The Man Who Loved Flowers is about a serial killer who kills for love. One For The Road is about a town near Salem's lot (first story) where people have learned to stay away from. I can't quite describe the last story, The Woman in the Room, but in a way, it was the most haunting of all the stories.

I've read a couple of other works of Stephen King (The Green Mile and The Tommyknockers) and so far, in every book that I've read, I always get surprised with his vast imagination. Horror by Stephen King is not your typical ghost story. In fact, I've never read one of his that really involved ghosts. But he has a way with telling stories of the supernatural that made give you more than just goosebumps and kept you from sleeping at night. I find that reading too much of his works can be too heavy especially on stressful days that's why I stay away from them. But we all need a good scare sometimes, and the adrenaline we feel after reading a terrifyingly awesome book is inexplicable. 

The other book that I've read this July (I actually finished it last night) is Legend from the Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu.

"From different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths ... until June's brother is murdered, and Day becomes the prime suspect. In a shocking turn of events, the two uncover what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths to which their country will go to keep its secrets."

Okay, I got turned off from futuristic themed YA since I read Insurgent (no offense to fans, but it wasn't for me). I am a big fan of The Hunger Games trilogy and the problem with starting off with an awesome book is that it's hard to find similar-themed books and not judge them for being copycats (again, I do not mean to be rude or anything, this is just ME, my honest opinion). But Legend, to be honest is different. It is from the same theme: futuristic and all that but it tells a different story. It is so much different from The Hunger Games and I like that. It feels fresh to me. And I read somewhere that the author, Marie Lu, got the idea for this book from Les Miserables (one of my favorite classics). To be honest, I can't quite give a review without giving too much away, so I suggest you guys go ahead and read it. I had a hard time putting this down once I started it - but I had to because exams. But as soon as I was able, I read this non-stop. Right now I'm currently reading its sequel, Prodigy and it sucks because I have another exam coming on and I have to physically stop myself from picking this book up. It is light enough that I can read this to keep my mind off of things that bother me but intriguing enough that I have a hard time keeping myself from raving about it.

So guys, that is it for my July Read Your Own Book Challenge Update. Keep up with my current reads by following me on Goodreads which I try so hard to keep updated. Comment below what book you are currently reading - I always love finding more books to read. xoxo

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