2018 started off well reading-wise. I finished 15 books last month, which is close to the 16 I got through last year January. While in 2017, the Bout of Books read-a-thon helped get through quite a number of books, this year I only managed 2 books that week. Then I spontaneously joined the 24in48 Readathon because my weekend plans went bust due to the flu and a wrist injury. I got through nearly 5 books. So yes, read-a-thons can be a great motivating factor.
Sunflowers in February is at its core a morbid book. Lily was in a car accident and woke up dead. Death is never an easy topic to face. What comes after death though, is a question I’m sure many of us do wonder about. Sunflowers in February grappled with exactly that, as Lily was in limbo, unable to move on.
The first 200 pages were not written well. I was bored and felt growing discomfort with the mangled Middle Eastern culture this fantasy book was premised on. At least the next 150 odd pages picked up a little in terms of plot and also storytelling, so I didn’t end up thoroughly hating Rebel of the Sands. Still, this book has so many problems, I’m relieved I didn’t order the sequels before finishing this one first.
Young adult books set in college, or even about the summer before college, aren’t all too common. That’s why I was surprised when I first learnt that American Panda is set at MIT. Well, Mei is 17 years old as she enters a year early but it works out well for this book. Mei had a sheltered upbringing, which is very evident as she tries to find her place at university.