Goodreads Challenge 2020 - 6 Months Through

Wowza, we are six months in to 2020. For the most part, I think that this year has flown by. It didn’t seem long ago that we were starting the year, full of hope for the future, to suddenly being unable to visit our friends and family, amongst other things. 

It’s crazy! However, given that we’ve spent a long time in lockdown, due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, it has given me the chance to plough through my Goodreads Challenge for the year. 

For those that don’t know, Goodreads is a great tool for being able to log your reads, leave reviews and browse new books based on recommendations. You can also have friends on there and follow them, to get recommendations from them and to cheer them on. I’ve found so many good reads (pardon the pun) on there. So, I thought it would be nice to write a half way through update on how I’ve got on with my (self set) challenge.




My challenge

Last year, I was pretty new to using Goodreads. It was thanks to my friend Laura, that I’d discovered it. Obviously, I became quickly obsessed with updating my reads and enjoyed seeing the numbers build up.

In 2019, I had set myself a goal of 24 books - the same as this year. However, I only managed to complete 58% of my challenge by only reading 14 books. In my defence, I had started the challenge late in the year and I didn’t manage to have the motivation or catch up...oops!

This year, I have set myself the same goal of 24 books in 12 months. Two books a month, simple!

I started off the year feeling ready to go, and kept up my pace. By February, I had managed to be a book ahead which spurred me on to wanting to keep reading and not being limited by my two book a month goal. 

Lockdown

At the end of March, the UK was sent into lockdown due to the pandemic. Obviously, we stayed indoors, just the three of us and I started to sneak in more time to read. When I read, I have to read the whole chapter. I absolutely cannot have a break in the middle of a chapter. I like things to be rounded off, rather than trying to piece together the story in the middle of a paragraph. 

So, with the lockdown rules being enforced and me being able to sneak in more reading time, I have managed to massively exceed my expectations for the challenge.

Although lockdown has been rubbish in that we can’t spend time with our loved ones, I’ve loved the time that it’s given us to do extra things. Especially reading, for me. I’ve loved using books as escapism for what’s going on in the world at the moment. I’ve been able to travel to different countries and get engrossed in other people’s stories. It’s been brilliant.

What I’ve read

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve totally exceeded my goal and I am currently (as I type this) a whopping 12 books ahead of schedule. That’s right, I’m 20 books through my 24 book goal!

I’ve read some really great books that I’ve loved. I’ve also read some books that I’ve really not enjoyed and definitely wouldn’t recommend. Anyway, I thought I’d list what I have read this far to maybe give some inspiration to you guys!

The Wedding Date - Zara Stoneley - 3 Stars
I like to read a lot of chic-lit and this certainly fit the bill. It was a cute book, but I found it was quite repetitive in parts. Sometimes Sam, the main character, annoyed me somewhat. Overall though, it was enjoyable.

The Perfect Mother - Caroline Mitchell - 5 Stars
I really enjoyed this. I’m partial to a good thriller and this one had me wanting to read more. Although the plot is somewhat predictable, and I managed to guess the twist, I really enjoyed this one. 

They Call Me The Cat Lady - Amy Miller - 5 Stars
Oh boy, this one had be crying ugly tears. I loved this one. I was expecting a light read, but I was gripped. If you like cats and emotional moments through life, then this is the read for you.

One Of Us Is Next - Karen M.McManus - 4 Stars
I actually read the prequel to this last year and really enjoyed it. I had high hopes for this sequel and couldn’t wait to read it. It’s a Young Adult thriller with some good twists. I loved the two books in this series.

If I Never Met You - Mhairi McFarlane - 3 Stars
I had high hopes for this book. Although it had be wanting to keep reading, I found myself getting annoyed at times throughout. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it either.

The Two Lives Of Lydia Bird - Josie Silver - 5 Stars
This was a lovely love story and one that I’ve recommended a few times to my friends. I loved the emotions that were wonderfully written and being taken on Lydia’s journey through her grief.

My One Month Marriage - Shari Low - 1 Star
I really didn’t enjoy this book and it actually took me a little while to get through. The relationships between the sisters felt so cold that it just wasn’t enjoyable.

Small Great Things - Jodi Picoult - 5 Stars
I’ve never read anything by Jodi Picoult before, but was not disappointed with this at all. It was quite an intense read at times but was very though provoking. Would thoroughly recommend.

In Five Years - Rebecca Serle - 4 Stars
I enjoyed this book. It wasn’t a long one and I actually managed to start and finish this book in the same day - wild! 
I can’t say I was expecting the story to turn in the way that it did, especially from reading the blurb but I did really enjoy it.

The Mothers - Sarah J.Naughton - 3 Stars
I had high hopes for this story. I was expecting big twists, but it just lacked them at times and I actually found it to be quite predictable. It was ok, but I wouldn’t rush to read it. 

The Switch - Beth O’Leary - 5 Stars
I was really anticipating the release of this book. I loved O’Leary’s The Flat Share so much when I’d read it last year. So, I was very excited to read this. I was not disappointed. It was a feel good, funny and sweet book. I loved the relationships between the characters and couldn’t put it down. 

The Unhoneymooners - Christina Lauren - 5 Stars
Loved this. I love an enemies to lovers story and this was definitely that. I felt like I was on holiday with Olive and Ethan, so it was a great book for escapism. 

Messy, Wonderful Us - Catherine Isaac - 3 Stars
This book didn’t blow me a way like I hoped it would. I loved reading about the travels around Italy, but I didn’t love the characters. 

The Places I’ve Cried In Public - Holly Bourne - 5 Stars
This was the first book that I’ve read by this author and it wouldn’t be the last. Although it is Young Adult, it covers some dark elements, such as emotional abuse and rape, so could be quite a triggering read. I think the author handled these topics well.

Where The Forest Meets The Stars - Glenda Verandah - 3 Stars
This book was neither here nor there. I loved the idea of this book, but there were some big issues for me that bought my rating down. Mental health plays a big part of this story but I feel like they were not handled as sensitively as they could have been.

The Ride Of A Lifetime: Lessons In Creative Leadership From The CEO Of The Walt Disney Company - Robert Iger - 5 Stars
I loved this book. I mean, it was a given really but I loved the messages in this book. I found it to be motivating and inspiring. It actually gave me the push I needed to start making some positive changes!

The Day We Meet Again - Miranda Dickinson - 1 Star
Given the rating, I really did not enjoy this book. I thought many times to stop reading because I just couldn’t relate to the characters, or even like them. 

Sorry I Missed You - Suzy Krause - 5 Stars
I really enjoyed this this. It was definitely not what I expected when I’d read the synopsis but  I found it to be a really enjoyable, easy read with good characters. I like a story that follows multiple characters and explores their lives, so this was great.

The Spare Bedroom - Elizabeth Neep - 4 Stars
I found myself constantly wanting to keep reading this. It was a fun read and one that gave me The Flat Share vibes. I really liked the witty dialogue.

Only When It’s Love - Olivia Spring - 3 Stars
Although I enjoyed reading this, at times the story felt rushed. Towards the end, the story felt a bit too cheesy and let the rest of the book down. 

Well, if you’ve made it this far, I hope that it’s given you some inspiration on some books that you could read this year!
I’d love to know if you have any favourites that I could add to my list - let me know in the comments below!

All the best,

A.x



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