Book Reviews · Fantasy · Mystery · POPSUGAR Reading Challenge · Young Adult

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge 2020 Update: Week One

The first week of the New Year is nearly over, and I hope that it’s been a good one for everyone. My year started out a bit bumpy, as I’ve been battling a cold pretty much since Christmas Day, but I am beginning to feel a little better. Despite being sick, I did have a chance to get started on my reading for the 2020 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge, which officially began on January 1st.

I didn’t really have a reading goal for this week, but I did dive into some of the books that my family surprised me with at Christmas. I received a few nonfiction books, and some great young adult fiction novels that have been a delight to read.

A book that won an award in 2019… Goodreads Award Choice Winner, Young Adult Fantasy

The first two books that I completed in 2020 were the second and third books of Holly Black’s The Folk of the Air trilogy, The Wicked King and The Queen of Nothing. While my decision to read these two books at the beginning of the year was motivated by my desire to finish the trilogy, I was able to use them to fulfill a couple of POPSUGAR Reading Challenge prompts.

The novels follow the story of a young woman named Jude Duarte, a human who was raised in Faerie (along with her sisters) after the murders of her mother and father. More than anything, Jude wants to belong in Faerie. She seems to find a place for herself when she is offered a position as a member of the Court of Shadows by Prince Dain, who is shortly to be crowned King of Faerie. But when the coronation takes an unexpected turn, Jude’s decisions and actions could have a much larger impact than she ever thought possible.

A book with a map…

I enjoyed the trilogy as a whole, but what really impressed me was how each book got progressively more exciting. I had a hard time putting The Wicked King down once I got started, and ended up reading The Queen of Nothing in one sitting immediately after finishing the previous book.

If you haven’t had a chance to check these books out, I highly recommend reading the whole trilogy (beginning with book one, The Cruel Prince). Holly Black is a wonderful writer, and her books are well worth your time!

The third, and last, book that I finished this week was In The Hall With The Knife, by Diana Peterfreund. I chose this book in response to the following prompt: “the first book you touch on a shelf with your eyes closed.” While I thought the prompt was rather silly, I found that I did enjoy the book.

The first book you touch on a shelf with your eyes closed…

In The Hall With The Knife is a young adult mystery, based on the CLUE board game. The book takes place at a boarding school in Maine, during a severe winter storm. Because of the storm, several students and staff members have to take shelter overnight in a mansion that is normally used as a girls’ dorm. The next morning, the headmaster, Mr. Boddy, is found in the conservatory…with a knife in his chest.

The book was a pretty fast read, with chapters that alternated between different characters. Overall, I enjoyed the book. It’s actually made me want to go back and watch Clue (1985), which I may find myself doing this evening.

Despite the short week, I feel like I’ve made a pretty strong start on this year’s POPSUGAR Reading Challenge. My reading goal for next week is to make a dent in the frankly ridiculous stack of library books that are currently sitting on my kitchen counter. Several of them are due back in two weeks, so I will definitely need to read quickly.

How is your Reading Challenge experience going so far? You can let me know in the comments, or on Twitter @UnapologBkworm.

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