Books, General

January Wrap Up

I have read a lot this month. I really feel, for once, that I have read a decent amount in one month. Considering how much time i have had on my hands, this is probably a good thing. I noticed a few friends doing wrap-up posts, so I thought the New Year is as good a time as any to start this trend off for my blog.

It all started with Bout of Books this month. The Bout of Books read-a-thon got me thinking about what I may or may not want to read this month, and allowed me to read with some focus, something I have lacked over the past few months. I may not have strictly stuck to my TBR, but I read a lot of books that week.

Harry PotterI had technically started the year off as I mean to go on with reading conspiring I re-read Harry Potter in the first week of January. I should have known I would read a lot this month after storming through the first few books in no time.

Jade has introduced me to some new authors while we have been travelling, mainly Richelle Mead, Belinda Jones, and Paige Toon. I completely finished the published works of Richelle Mead in the Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series before Christmas, and her next is due out this month, so I thought I would see what the others had to offer.

Screenshot 2015-02-02 at 09.43.15Bout of Books saw me pick my first proper Belinda Jones Novel up, and I have to say I was impressed. not necessary by the quality of writing, or by the story, but by the depth of the detailed descriptions. I actually felt like I was there with here – it’s actually made me want to go back to Greece, something I never thought would happen. The latter two books I have read by her were not as good. Maybe I didn’t connect with the story as much, or maybe it was because I was reading them back to back, who know.

I didn’t pick up any Paige Toon books until Jade decided she was going to re-read them. Paige Toon’s book are very formulaic, from the story arcs to the character profiles, and while it gets irritating when you read them back to back, I’ve not minded that too much. Where Belinda Jones kept me hooked with her engaging locations, Paige Toon has created an elaborate web of intersecting character relationships that spans all the books. Jade is attempting to map this web of people as she re-reads, something that as far as we are aware has only ever been done for the main characters in the books.

Screenshot 2015-02-02 at 09.53.34Almost all of the books feature a ‘new’ set of major characters, with the exception (so far) of Baby Be Mine and One Perfect Christmas. The main characters in each book have their won story arc that is (pretty much) separate from the other stories. The characters do, however, pop up in the other books as glancing references and side characters. Not only does this happen with the main characters, but peripheral characters recur throughout the stories too. I have never really seen a phenomenon like this, which I think is why I am not yet getting bored reading her stuff.

If I ever do get around to writing a book, I really think I may look into this method. I really struggle with (everything to do with writing) peripheral characters for my stories, so I am wondering whether creating a set of main character profiles completely, with their own vague story and finding ways to get them to intersect might make it easier to write. I don’t know if it will actually help, or just make me more indecisive about whose arc to focus on, but it is certainly worth a try.

I don’t know if I have read anything else this month, my mind is like a sieve when it comes to which movies I’ve watched and books I’ve read!!

What did you read in January? What do you have lined up for February?


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