Reflection: March 2016

Genres

  • 1 x YA Fantasy
  • 1 x ‘Classic’(Humour/Romance)

In terms of reading a great deal, this month was relatively successful, but in many ways it was more successful in terms of finally finishing books I was halfway through. Over the course of the month I read ‘Red Queen’ by Victoria Aveyard, which I was somewhat disappointed with, and ‘Emma’ by Jane Austen, which I adored.

Red Queen is a book that I picked up primarily on its excellent reputation; I have scarcely heard a bad word about it. I, however, ended up giving it three out of five stars not because there was anything glaringly wrong with it, but rather because there was simply nothing brilliant about it either. The first issue was simply that it was so generic; there was nothing unique about it to distinguish it from other YA fantasy/dystopian novels that are so popular. Its plotline centres around seventeen year old Mare Barrow; a girl born into poverty under a tyrannical, discriminatory regime. One day, after an alarming turn of events, she discovers she has an extraordinary ability and gets catapulted into a world of revolution and rebellion. Sound familiar? That’s because it is; I felt as though everything I was reading I had already read in other works such as Suzanne Collins’ ‘The Hunger Games’, to name just one of many. In addition to this, the novel’s central ‘love triangle’ was both predictable and not considerably exciting, making it another contributing factor in my lack of enthusiasm about the work as a whole.

One of the more general areas which divided my opinion about this novel was its two major plot twists. One left me completely shocked, one I predicted from the very beginning. This led to a slightly anti-climactic feeling when I had finished reading it as I felt I had not actually taken much from, or gotten much out of the book, which is one of the deciding factors in what constitutes a good novel in my opinion. On the whole, therefore, it is fair to say that this book was not bad, but simply a little disappointing, and I have no inclination to read the recently published sequel, ‘Glass Sword’.

In a complete contrast to YA fantasy, March also marked my first venture into the world of Jane Austen; one that I thoroughly enjoyed. I read ‘Emma’, and posted a full review afterwards, which you can find here, in which I discuss my love of Austen’s use of irony, and conflicting feelings on the novel’s protagonist.

That concludes my March Reflection post! This month has allowed me to tie up some loose ends with books I was trying to finish (although I can’t say the same for ‘On the Road’, I’m still working my way through that…), and left me with plenty of options for novels to be going forward with into April.

First book for April: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

I’d be interested to know what other people have been reading in March and going into April, so feel free to leave a comment. Have a lovely day!

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