I'd say this was an interesting trio to read one after another for my 24 book reading challenge (and yes I know I'm definitely slacking!).
The first one I read was the Western for my challenge. It was "Stagecoach Station 37: Shawnee" by Hank Mitchum. I was discarding all our western series at work because, well, look at them. Some of them have been there since I was in diapers.
But I did see this one and it caught my eye, for whatever reason. I knew I needed a western to read and even though this was part of a series, it seemed to be more stand alone than anything.
Then I read the book for my "E-Book" slot on Overdrive (that's an app through your library where you can check out books - for free! I'd recommend seeing if your library has it). This one I had seen around a lot when I worked at Barnes & Noble and had always been interested in, so I decided to dive right into it. It's "The Selection" by Kiera Cass.
Finally I read "Girl Online" by Zoe Sugg for my romance slot, which is definitely really late to the game since the second novel was just released.
Let's get into the reviews!
23. Read a Western: Stagecoach Station 37: Shawnee by Hank Mitchum
I was surprised how I actually enjoyed this novel. I, perhaps stupidly, thought that the western I picked up would be sexist and probably racist toward Native Americans. The book itself is older than me and a lot has changed in that time. And maybe it wasn't perfect, but not nearly as bad as I imagined.
It's about moving west. Elizabeth, a widow and her young son, move to Shawnee to be a house maid of sorts to a rancher, also a widow, and his twin girls.
The women of the novel seem pretty well rounded, despite of the time period. There are many and though some of them are quite fixated on being "good wives," they challenge the men in their lives as well. Such as a young wife in the novel that has recently married a young rancher in the town insists that she pull her weight on the ranch, etcs.
However there are some lines that are just...off. Such as Elizabeth wishing Tim (the rancher she's working for and her love interest) to grow up more feminine. But to be honest, I expected things like that. Elizabeth might be a slight more developed woman than most, with her own thoughts on many subjects, but I feel she is limited as a character because of the time period of the book and the time period and sex of the author writing her.
Overall I did enjoy it. It read quickly and had a good amount of adventure to it as well.
6. Read an eBook: The Selection by Kiera Cass
This is one of your very typical YA dystopian novels. It's about America, or Illéa, many years after another world war that made it shift from the America we know to a more structured class system with a monarchy. The main character is America - which is a cringe worthy name at best when you factor in the things I just wrote - who is in the class system of five and in love with a six (the lowest of which being an eight). However she's taken away from her love Aspen because of a competition (sort of like the Hunger Games, but much less killing) to become the Prince's bride and the Princess of Illéa.
I admit, the whole thing is very cliche and predicable at the beginning, and reads like a lot of other YA romance novels with a love triangle.
I was however pretty much hooked on the story.
I know for sure that there are more things that will come into the series later, which are hinted at throughout the later half of this novel. I'm very interested to keep reading on to dig deeper into the world, because I feel like Cass is definitely setting things up in the first novel that will pay off in later ones. I even don't mind the love triangle, mostly because I don't really care for Aspen at all even though I'm sure a lot of people probably want her to be with him and not Prince Maxon.
Again, I really did like this one and because it was an e-book, I didn't even realize I was on the last chapter of the book until it ended. The first thing I wanted to do was read the next one, but I'll have to wait until I'm done with this challenge for that!
24. Read a Romance: Girl Online by Zoe Sugg
I bought this during my Christmas employee appreciation at Barnes & Noble last year I believe and like so many of the books I buy, it sat on my shelf for months and months as I read other things before it. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to finally read it!
This is a novel by the popular YouTuber Zoë Sugg aka Zoella. I really adore her videos and her personality in general, so I had been excited - and nervous - to read this. Nervous because well, I didn't want it to suck. And it didn't! It definitely read like a first novel, however. I feel like it might have been rushed in some areas, maybe due to deadlines. Some parts that felt off, I think could be contributed to someone who hasn't written a whole lot and hasn't practiced the craft (though I know Zoë has said she's written in her childhood).
There are one or two cringy habits that I personally don't like when I'm reading something. They are more style or tone preferences, such as using an exclamation point outside of a blog post or when a character is speaking. I just don't like it when used in the character's internal monologue at all; it never rings true to me for some reason.
Things like that are very nit picky, though. The story itself was cute and I think well established. It continued to build on itself throughout and get stronger, so I am thinking that means "Girl Online: On Tour" will be even better. I think Zoë will know her characters even more and know how to write them even more effectively.
All this being said, I know if I was a teen right now, this novel would be my everything. As a 24 year old, it was a nice, light read and I think that comes from not being fully in the perspective of a teen anymore. Sometimes YA novels aren't as relatable, but the reliability in this does come from being online a lot, throughout my teen years and early twenties. (And wow I feel old for being able to say 'early twenties').
Overall: I liked it! Easy, fun read and I can't wait to see how Zoë grows in her life as a writer.
I hope you enjoyed this review check in for my 24 book challenge! Six down and 18 to go and just a bit over two months to do it. I really need to kick it up into high gear. If any one of you are following along with this challenge, I'd love to hear about your progress!
If you're not sure what I'm talking about, check out my original post for more details.
Until next time,