2021 Reading Challenge – Conclusion and Plans for the New Year

I’m so behind with posting this conclusion to my 2021 Reading Challenge, honestly, I’ve been putting it off because I didn’t know what I wanted to write or include in this. I have found that quarterly check-ins don’t really work for me though, both of the reading challenges that I have done in the last couple of years I’m good with one maybe two and then I don’t keep it up, oops. Anyway, in today’s post, I’m going to go through how many prompts I managed to tick off ( I did more than I thought I would) and what I read, maybe include a few thoughts and links to any book reviews.

For the rules, I set out for my Reading Challenge check out my original post.

How Many Prompts Did I Do?

Spoilers, somehow I managed to tick off 31 out of 32 prompts, yay go me. below I’ll list each prompt and what I read for each one.

A Classic Novel. 

For a Classic Novel, I read ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ by ‘Lewis Carroll’, while I have loved ‘Alice in Wonderland’ since I was a child this was the first time I had actually read it. It’s much shorter than I realised. I have a beautiful Barnes & Nobel edition which is pink and hardbound, it is quite large but what I didn’t realise is that it includes a lot of other stories as well and so Alice only took up like 100 or so pages. It was great to read between some bigger novels or series.

I wanted to read it because I want to do a photo series inspired by the Alice in Wonderland stories, so it was part for research and part for the enjoyment of reading it. I still have to read ‘Through the Looking Glass’ and I may have to flick through it again to take some notes but I really enjoyed it. It had all that quirkiness that we love about the story, some crazy characters keeping Alice on her toes, and some even more bazaar events, but It was and always will be one of my favourite stories.

A Book that I’ve owned for sometime but haven’t read. 

I ticked off this prompt by reading ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ by ‘Lewis Carroll’, The Syndicate’ by ‘Sophie Davis’ (ebook) (I’ll share more about this one later on.)

Something Non-Fiction.

For Something Non-Fiction, I readHelp Self’ by ‘Tanya Hennessy. I love Tanya, she is so funny, she shares some great content on her Youtube channel, which always makes me laugh. Not only that she is very relatable and seems like a really down to earth person.

I wrote a review on her book ‘Help Self’, to read my full thoughts you can check it out here.

A short story (under 200 pages.)

For a short story I included ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland‘, but I also read one of the stories included in the ‘Nancy Drew Diaries‘ series called ‘Curse of the Arctic Star’. I’ve always been fascinated with Nancy Drew but this was the first time I have read one of the stories. Did you know that Carolyn Keene is a pseudonym? and over the years been written by multiple Authors under that name. There are also over 600 hundred books about Nancy Drews adventures and the original series of novels were written in 1930. How crazy is that? I had no idea until I looked it up recently when I was reading this one. There have also been multiple series of books about her sleuthing adventures over the years including the original series ‘ Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, as well as ‘Nancy Drew: Girl Detective, ‘ The Nancy Drew Files and The latest series the ‘Nancy Drew Diaries‘. I’m sure there are more than that, but who knew that Nancy has solved that many cases, anyone would think that she was obsessed with solving a mystery lol.

Anyway, I really enjoyed reading the ‘Curse of the Arctic Star’, obviously its meant for a much younger audience but I liked that it was a short and easy story to read through, sometimes you just need something light to read in between reading larger books if you know what I mean. This book is part of a two-parter so I still have to read the continuing story called ‘Strangers on a Train‘.

In ‘Curse of the Arctic Star’ Nancy and her best friends embark on a sea fairing quest to help out a friend who works on the ‘Arctic Star’. After receiving some threatening emails and then having one of the key drawcard Celebrities pull out, her friend Becca who works as an assistant cruise director calls on Nancy’s help to solve the mystery and figure out who sent those messages. But after boarding some odd occurrences happen that just deepen the mystery. Is the Arctic Star cursed?

I can’t wait to continue with this story after I’ve finished reading the last book in the ‘Aurora Cycles’ series by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.

A Re-read.

For a Re-read I read ‘Ink Heart’ by Cornelia Funke I was so excited to read this when I started it but I struggled with it when I read it. I don’t know if I was just going through something and was just not in the mood but I started the year off reading this one and then took a break and read something else and then came back to it after. I had originally planned to read the whole series, I started reading the second book but lost interest pretty fast. I used to love these books so I still have a fondness for them but I don’t know It just didn’t capture me the way it used to.

I don’t think it’s a bad story by any means, but yeah I don’t really know what to say so I’ll move on to my second re-read.

I also read ‘The Twilight Saga’ by Stephanie Meyer in 2021, I decided to include it as a re-read because I have technically read the first two novels before, even if it was a long time ago, so I thought that was good enough to include it in.

I’ll admit I have been one of those people who have talked bad about this series, so I was surprised at how much I actually really enjoyed it. Reading it through definitely changed my mind about them, so I’ll admit I was wrong and they actually aren’t too bad, I mean I may have also ordered the special edition white collection because I enjoyed it so much. Regardless of whether I enjoyed them or not, the white collection is stunning with the images and no text on the covers, beautiful.

My original plan was to read the original four and then read ‘Midnight Sun’ but by the time I read through the originals I needed a change so I will have to read that later on and let you know what I think.

A Children’s novel.

I read three books/stories that I could tick off this category for they included ‘Ink Heart’, ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’, ‘Nancy Drew Diaries: Curse of the Arctic Star’.

Photo by Erin Applebee

Contemporary fiction.

For Contemporary Fiction I read ‘Moxie’ by Jennifer Mathieu, you can read my full review here.

A Retelling (inspired by another story)

For A Retelling I read ‘The Lunar Chronicles’ by Marissa Meyer, I do have a full review on this series, which you can find here.

I have to say It took me a while to purchase this one, I had seen it around but I was originally unsure whether I would like it but then I decided to get them and once I started reading them I couldn’t stop, this series is amazing and now has pride of place on my list of favourite series ever. I will definitely re-read this one in the future and I know that I will enjoy it just as much as I did the first time.

Something new to your collection.

I’ve added a few new books and series to my collection in recent times so I was able to tick this one off several times by reading Help Self’ by ‘Tanya Hennessy‘, ‘Ready Player 1 & 2‘ by Ernest Cline, ‘Armada’ which is also by Ernest Cline, ‘Nancy Drew Diaries: Curse of the Arctic Star’ by Carolyn Keene, ‘Unearthed’ by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner, as well as ‘The Twilight Saga’ by Stephanie Meyer and ‘Moxie’ by Jennifer Mathieu.

A Book told from more than one characters perspectives.

I love a book or series that includes the perspectives from a number of different characters, I feel that it really gives me (the reader) a unique perspective of the story by seeing it from the point of view of different characters. It really helps me feel immersed in the story and I feel like It also helps me to get to know and understand each character better.

I read two series in 2021 that included different character perspectives, those being The Lunar Chronicles’ by Marissa Meyer and ‘Unearthed/ Undying’ duology by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner.

A story or book by a self-published/ indie author.

For A Story or Book by a Self-Published or Indie Author I read ‘The Syndicate’ by Sophie Davis, I have had this one on my Kindle for a while and I was searching for something to read so that I could also tick off the ‘Read an E-Book‘ prompt and came across ‘The Syndicate’.

‘The Syndicate’ is based in the future and the past, it is about people who travel through time to collect artifacts for those willing to pay massive amounts of money for the privilege of owning some precious relic from the past. It is part SciFi, part mystery, part thriller.

It follows the main character ‘Stassi’, who lives and works on one of The Syndicates islands (this is like their home base), Stassi is one of their runners. She and her partner in crime Gaige, are one of the many teams that travel through time to procure artifacts and relics for The Syndicates clients. She has a complicated history one that she hopes she can solve by travelling through time, to find answers.

While on one particular run, something seems out of the ordinary, things start to happen that don’t show up in the historical records, so while searching for a coveted artifact, they also have to track down a serial killer. One who oddly seems to have it out for Stassi.

I really enjoyed the story, though I didn’t realise it was part of a series so there were certain things that I felt didn’t get answered for me, so I may have to purchase the rest of the series to find out.

A Book by an author who has more than one book on your TBR.

For this one, I was able to tick it off for quite a few books, includingThe Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, ‘Ready Player One & Two‘, and ‘Armada’ by Ernest Cline, as well as ‘Unearthed/Undying’ by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner and The Twilight Saga’ by Stephanie Meyer.

Jane Doe Chronicles by Jeremy Lachlan Book Review | Life of Dahlia
Photo by Erin Applebee

A book written by an Australian or local author.

I was able to tick of four books for this one including two from the ‘Jane Doe Chronicles’ by Jeremy Lachlan as well as’Unearthed’ and ‘Undying’ by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner.

I have a full review of the ‘Jane Doe Chronicles’ by Jeremy Lachlan which you can find here.

In recent times I have really been getting into and collecting some of Amie Kaufman’s books, I’m currently reading the third book in the ‘Aurora Cycles‘ series that she has done with Jay Kristoff (I’ve been collecting some of Jay’s as well) but recently I read her ‘Undying‘ series that she wrote with Megan Spooner. And I really enjoyed it, I love the two different characters point of view, as well as the history and the twists and turns in this story, had me gripped. Especially the big one well actually there are a couple of bit twists I didn’t see coming.

Normally I would write a bit more about the book but honestly where do I start, this series has a lot packed into it and the story is quite complex that I’m stumped on how to give a description without giving too much away. Just know it’s really good and you should go check it out.

A Story set in another time (it could be either the future or the past.)

I read a few books that were set in another time The Lunar Chronicles’ by Marissa Meyer is set in the future but obviously, it is a fairytale retelling with a sci-fi twist, Ready Player One & Two‘ by Ernest Cline are also set in the future, where the world is suffering and they find comfort by escaping into the Oasis. ‘The Syndicate’ by Sophie Davis is also set in the future but also in the past as well because they travel through time. And ‘Unearthed/Undying’ series by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner is set in the future, one not too dissimilar to that of the Ready Player series, where the world is dying but I feel like its further along in the Undying series.

Photo by Erin Applebee

A book that was gifted to you.

I received ‘Help Self by Tanya Hennessy’ as a gift for Christmas 2020.

Something borrowed (it could be from a friend or a library.)

I borrowed two books, nope actually three books from my local library ‘The Jane Doe Chronicles‘ which included ‘And The Cradle of all Worlds‘ as well as ‘And The Key of All Souls‘, I borrowed these as physical novels and I also borrowed ‘Undying’ as an audiobook because I didn’t have the second book when I read ‘Unearthed’ and I found it hard to find the physical book of ‘Undying‘ at the time. However, I have since purchased it so it’s on its way to me.

I actually really enjoyed listening to the audiobook version, I haven’t listened to one in quite some time so it was nice and I think I want to look through my files and find something to listen to in the near future. or borrow something through my library app.

A bestseller.

This one was hard because I’m sure many of the books I read could be added to this prompt, likeReady Player One or ‘Twilight’ both best sellers. So while I could add quite a few here those will do.

A book by two or more authors.

Both the ‘Unearthed/Undying’ series and ‘The Syndicate‘ are written by two authors, however ‘The Syndicate’ is written under the pseudonym Sophie Davis but is actually written by two authors.

An E-book.

I read the E-book version of ‘The Syndicate’ by Sophie Davis.

An Audio book.

I listened to the audiobook version of ‘Undying’ by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner, which I borrowed from my local library.

A book that had been turned into a movie or tv show.

I was able to add ‘Ink Heart’ by Cornelia Funke, The Twilight Saga’ by Stephanie Meyer, ‘Ready Player One ‘ by Ernest Cline, ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ by Lewis Carrol and Moxie’ by Jennifer Mathieu.

A book recommendation.

This one I wasn’t exactly recommended by a person in my life but rather that I saw a lot of people talking about it booktube and bookstagram so I decided that was good enough because that was the reason I actually purchased the series. I’m talking about ‘The Lunar Chronicles’ by Marissa Meyer.

And if you’re looking for a book recommendation I definitely recommend this one is so good, check out my full review if you want to know more about it.

A mystery.

Both ‘Nancy Drew Diaries: Curse of the Arctic Star’, ‘The Syndicate’ by Sophie Davis are mysteries or at least in my opinion.

Something fantasy.

For Something Fantasy, I included ‘Ink Heart’ by Cornelia Funke’ because characters coming out of storybooks, ‘The Twilight Saga’ by Stephanie Meyer because vampires and werewolves, The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer because characters from fairytales living on earth, ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol because it’s a classic fairytale about a little girl who falls down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world.

Something supernatural (vampires, werewolves, spooky, etc.)

This one is obvious right, can you guess which one would go here…..The Twilight Saga’ by Stephanie Meyer,

Something Science fiction.

Quite a few that I read in 2021 could be considered Science Fiction including ‘Ready Player One & Two ‘ by Ernest Cline, The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, ‘The Syndicate’ by Sophie Davis, ‘Armada’ by Ernest Cline and ‘Unearthed/Undying’ by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner.

A book written by a female author.

I read quite a few books in 2021 that were by female Authors including Ink Heart’ by Cornelia Funke, ‘Help Self’ by Tanya Hennessy, The Twilight Saga’ by Stephanie Meyer, The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, ‘The Syndicate’ by Sophie Davis and ‘Unearthed/Undying’ by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner.

A book released in 2020.

I read two books that were released in 2020 includingReady Player 2′ by Ernest Cline and Help Self’ by Tanya Hennessy.

A new release or recent release (i.e., in the last 6-12 months.)

This one I guess is relative to the time I read it so for Ready Player 2′ and ‘Help Self, I read those towards the start to middle of 2021 and I started ‘Auroraโ€™s End‘ which I am currently still reading at the end of the year. ‘Ready Player 2′ and ‘Help Self‘ both came out in 2020 while ‘Aurora’s End’ came out in November 2021.

A book series.

I read several book series in 2021 including The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, The Twilight Saga’ by Stephanie Meyer, The Jane Doe Chronicles’ by Jeremy Lachlan, ‘Unearthed/Undying’ by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner and Ready Player One & Two ‘ by Ernest Cline.

Bonus:

A book by an author with a name you share (i.e., first or last name or initials.)

I didn’t manage to tick this one off I had some books by Erin Morgenstern in my book cart but I didn’t get to read any but that’s ok, there is always 2022 to read them.

More than one book with similar topic, genre or theme.

Science Fiction was a big theme in what I was reading in 2021 I read ‘Ready Player One & Two ‘ by Ernest Cline but I also read ‘Armada’ by Ernest Cline, The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, ‘The Syndicate’ by Sophie Davis, and ‘Unearthed/Undying’ by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner.


This was a long one, Sorry, If you got this far then thank you that’s some dedication, This was super repetitive, sorry about that not much I could do about it, Anyway let’s move on to my plans for 2022. This will be short because I’ve actually decided not to do another challenge this year. While the prompts were fun I just feel like I just want to read whatever I want no restrictions.

Did anyone else do some sort of ready challenge in 2021? was it a year-long one or just a short one? Let me know in the comments of this post, also include if you will be doing one in 2022.

Until next time, I hope you all have an awesome day.

Erin.


Disclaimer โ€“ This post is not sponsored and doesnโ€™t contain any affiliate links, links included are for reference only in case your interest in checking out anything mentioned in this post. Read full Disclaimer here.


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