200 Books: March (Part 1)

We haven’t even hit the halfway mark of March, and I already beat my January and February reading record. Which is good if I want to read 200 books this year. I am having some internal arguments over whether rereading books really counts, and whether I should have a length limit. However, I get to make the rules since I’m doing this for myself, so I’ve decided to count any and all the books that I read. Maybe next year I’ll make it more specific.

Anyway, since I am reading so much this month, I thought it better to post my reviews in parts, instead of one way too long post at the end of the month.

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sofie Kinsella  6/10

I first read this book in 8th grade at the suggestion of a friend, and I think I read the first three books. This was another one of the books that I had found for cheap at Half Priced Books months ago. Girlfriend and I watched the movie after I finished reading it, and I was left feeling unsatisfied. The book itself is hilarious. It follows Becky Bloomwood, a financial advisor who ironically enough has a major shopping addiction. The entire book is cringe worthy, as you tag along with Becky and her crazy schemes to get herself out of debt. Of course, because it had been so long since I first read the books, I had bits stuck in my head that I later realized were in the sequel, not the first book. Now that I’m older, the stresses of financial woes hit me a lot harder than they had when I was 14, and there were jokes that I got better. Rarely do I laugh out loud to a book, but I did at this one.
Overall, it was a quick, sweet read. I wasn’t left desperately wanting to read the rest of the series, but I do have minor curiosity and I will keep an eye out at thrift stores for the rest

The Clique by Lisi Harrison 8/10

I also read this book in 8th grade, and was obsessed with the entire series. Remember when I mentioned that I chose purple as my new favorite color, because of a character named Massie? She’s from this series. Reading the books then, I felt like I was being given instructions and warnings to carry out into my own life. Reading the books now, it was much easier to see the obnoxious and ridiculous personalities. The Clique follows five 8th grade girls who all go to a very prestigious middle school. They have closets worth 50x as much as my own, and fully replaced 10x as much. These girls wear Prada flipflops in the mud. They consider Keds to be cheap (they would probably laugh at my Kate Spade Ked collection, lol). They talk and act just like grown-ups and as a 14-year-old, they were incredibly satisfying girls to read about. As a 21-year-old, I felt amused and very poor.
This was an insanely fast read, as they aren’t very complicated books however I did appreciate how different they read as an adult. As a teen, it felt like I was being given answers to life and how to fit in. As an adult it almost reads as a satire. This is one series I hope to finish this year, just to satisfy my inner preteen self.

The Frog Princess by E.D Baker 4/10

I didn’t intentionally reread three books in a row, but it happens! I think I read this one in 9th grade though, while I was working in my school library as an assistant. This is a twist on The Princess and The Frog, Emeralda is a clumsy, swamp loving princess with a witch as an aunt, who kisses a frog hoping to help him out and turn him into a human again but accidentally turns into a frog herself. This book actually is credited as inspiration for the Disney movie The Princess and The Frog (but if you ask me, I think they only put that in the credits to avoid a lawsuit because that is the ONLY similarity between the two stories). When I was younger, the book seemed much longer and much more complex, so I was surprised how quickly I got through it now (but it was also nice to have a sense of growth in regards to my reading comprehension, considering I haven’t had any challenging books to read since high school).
It was a sweet and sentimental read, but I don’t think I’ll keep an eye out for the rest of the books. I think rereading the first one was enough of a throwback for me.

The Virgin’s Lover by Philippa Gregory 3/10

So, I actually started this one right after I finished Confessions of A Shopaholic, but was having such difficulty in getting through it and focusing, that I read the other two. I think my main issue with this book was the print size. Recently, I seem to be squinting more and more, and it was just so small that I could only read for a short amount of time before my eyes would get sore. I fell in love with Tudor era historical fiction when I fell in love with Queen Elizabeth I, and I’ve read Gregory’s books before so I know it’s not her writing style. There was just something off about this book. I wasn’t attached to any of the characters, not even the supporting ones. It was my first Elizabeth book that follows her after she’s crowned queen, more often than not I have found people write about her childhood, so I had really looked forward to it.
The book follows Elizabeth and her adult relationship with her childhood friend Robin Dudley. It also looks at the relationship between Robin and his wife, Amy. I managed to read about one third of the book before I had to skim the rest of it, reading the interesting looking bits. At the end of the book was a note from the author on her analysis and interpretation of the information surrounding the real-life case of Amy Dudley’s death which was more interesting than the book itself, in my opinion. I gave it a 3/10 because of the author’s note.

Nancy Drew: Mystery of The Ski Jump by Carolyn Keene 5/10

I was a major Nancy Drew Fan growing up; collecting the video games, books. I even have one of my grandmother’s Nancy Drew books, in its original blue hardcover (back when Nancy had a revolver). This was one that I’d never read, so I was delighted when I found it at Goodwill for 79 cents! Nancy and her friends have to track down stock con artists! There’s skiing and ice skating and kidnapping and more! IT was pretty mellow as far as ND mysteries go. It was a good rebound after struggling through The Virgin’s Lover.

~Raelee

(If you are commited to any reading challenges this year, let me know! I’d love to hear about them, or just any interesting books you are currently reading. And of course, if you have any recommendations on what I should read next, just comment below. You can also follow along on my bookstagram: @ReadingRaelee)

I’ve actually finished another book when I first typed this up, and I’m working on my 11th book of the year. It’s all very exciting.

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