Rachel’s Re-read Challenge Recap: October – December (Part 4/4)

Re-Read Challenge

Annnnnnnnnd here’s my re-reads from the last quarter of the year AKA when I got sidetracked by the Marchetta


October – The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta and Life In Outer Space by Melissa Keil

November – Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

December – The Cardturner by Louis Sachar

Also re-read: On The Jellicoe Road and Looking For Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta, I Do and At First Sight by Elizabeth Chandler and Summer Love by Wendy Loggia

When I First Read: 2010, I think

What I Remember: I didn’t remember a whole lot of the story, just that I liked it a lot more than I expected to (Holes is one of my faves but I remember not really knowing what to expect as this was the first (and so far only) other book of his that I’ve read).

Why I Wanted To Re-read: Well, basically I wanted to see if I still liked it as much. I also wanted to see exactly what it was about it that I liked so much, because as much as I tried, I couldn’t remember.

How I Felt After Re-reading: A bit sad, because I didn’t like it as much the second time around. But I can narrow down the reason for that quite easily: okay, so the MC – Alton – is narrating the book, telling the story to the reader and because of this, there is a lot of passages explaining the card game Bridge to the reader (you can skip to a short summary explanation box at the end of these passages and read that instead if you can’t be bothered/don’t understand, which is really helpful). Despite this, I really struggled with it this time around – I know shit all about Bridge (and am quite happy knowing shit all about it) so I found the amount of Bridge talk harder to read through. In saying that, I did still enjoy the story – it’s sweet and unexpectedly sad.

Would I Re-read Again: Maybe, if some reason I one day become very interested in Bridge?

December – Saving June by Hannah Harrington

When I First Read: Sometime in the first half of 2011

What I Remember: I found out after I read it (or maybe I looked it up while I was reading it?) that apparently Saving June was released in Australia first, so that’s cool and stuff. I remember seeing it sitting on the shelf in Kmart/Target and I was attracted to the cover (the pretty one with the girl laying in the grass) and I like to impulse buy so naturally, I bought it. ANYWAY THIS ISN’T REALLY RELEVANT. It is one of my faves so I remembered it pretty well. I love the music in this book so much. Every time I hear California Love, I think of it. EVERY time.

Why I Wanted To Re-read: No real reason. I wanted to re-read both of her books, but this one ended up being the only one that I did re-read in 2015 (going to get to Speechless this year). This is my second re-read and I’m so glad I ended my reading year on a favourite.

How I Felt After Re-reading: In love all over again. Man, when is Hannah Harrington going to announce her next book? WHEN?

Would I Re-read Again: Yep


Rachel’s Re-read Challenge Recap: April – September (Part 2 and 3/4)

Re-Read Challenge

Holy shit, there’s only four days left in 2015 so here is part 2 AND 3 of my recap.


April and May – Deltora Quest 1, 2 and 3 by Emily Rodda

When I First Read: 2001- 2004.
What I Remember: I have loved these books ever since I first read them. Definite childhood/early teen favourites. This was about the 4th/5th re-read so I know all three series pretty much inside and out. I’ve said it over and over again but damn, fantasy impresses the hell out me. I have all the creativity and imagination of a brick so to read about these books in which an author has created an entire separate world is mind blowing to me.
Why I Wanted To Re-read: I’m not sure, because I hadn’t intended to do a re-read, but I found out earlier this year that Emily Rodda was releasing a new series set in the Deltora world in July (which I have read already) (loved it) so before I knew it, I had dived in and re-read all 3 series over both April and May.
How I Felt After Re-reading: Every re-read is just a reaffirmation of my LUUUUUUUUUUURVE.
Would I Re-read Again: Yes. They will always be a fave. Always.


June – Island Of The Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

When I First Read: Sometime in my late primary school or early high school years.
What I Remember: Not a lot. Just the general plot of the book (girl being left behind by her family and spending years living by herself on an island).
Why I Wanted To Re-read: I’d been meaning to for such a long time. I finally bought myself my own copy of it last year – chuck that together with this re-read challenge and I figured I no longer had an excuse.
How I Felt After Re-reading: It pains me to say it, but I didn’t enjoy it as much. I did still like it but it definitely didn’t leave the same impression on me as it did all those years ago when I first read it. So that’s a bit sad but I guess that’s what a re-read does sometimes, right?
Would I Re-read Again: Maybe? I’d definitely want to pass it on to my children in that alternate reality where I have children someday.


July – The Lumatere Chronicles + Ferragost by Melina Marchetta
Also re-read: The Gorgon In The Gully by Melina Marchetta

When I First Read: Oct 2010 (FotR), Jan 2012 (FotE) and Sept 2012 (QoC)
What I Remember: Finnikin was a challenge for me. I think it was because it was fantasy and I couldn’t accept that my fave author had written a fantasy book (not much of a fantasy reader) because I am a dumbarse. I attempted it twice before starting again (at Annette’s insistence) (otherwise she was going to dump me as a friend) (which was fair enough) and finally finishing it in October of 2010 and while I still struggled initially, I pushed through and fell in love, especially with that ending. So I was totally on board for the rest of the trilogy but Froi came out while I was overseas in 2011 and to be honest with you, it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through. Quintana is the first Marchetta I’ve been able to buy on its release day and I took a day off work for it. I remembered them all pretty well, but it’d been THREE years (I don’t know how/why I let that happen) and while I’ve got a pretty good memory for detail, (especially when it comes to my fave books) there were a few things that had me going ‘oh yeeeeah!’. Mostly, I think Froi is my favourite of the trilogy but when it comes down to it, out of Froi and Quintana, it’s kinda the same situation that I have when picking my favourite of her contemps (out of On The Jellicoe Road and The Piper’s Son) – I change my mind daily.
Why I Wanted To Re-read: I bitched and whinged all over Twitter about wanting to do a Lumatere re-read for basically all of 2014 and it didn’t end up happening. Then I meant to do it in Feb of this year and again, it didn’t happen. THEN I ended up taking a week off work around my birthday so it FINALLY happened (although let’s be real, I actually took a week off work FOR it).
How I Felt After Re-reading: Like my soul was destroyed. You know, standard Marchetta reaction. Seriously, I can not ever adequately express how much I love her books and this trilogy is fucking BRILLIANT and I… {words fail me}.


August – Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood

When I First Read: March 2013.
What I Remember: I remembered majority of the story pretty well, but the finer details were starting to fade.
Why I Wanted To Re-read: Well, I had read Wildlife earlier in the year and with Cloudwish being released soon, I wanted to refresh myself on the characters a little. I also wanted to re-read it for bloggy reasons, which I can’t disclose at this time…
How I Felt After Re-reading: Happy. This book makes me happy. It’s such a sweet story about teen love and finding your place + Dan Cereill made me laugh.
Would I Re-read Again: Yessss. I’d actually like to do a re-read of all three of her books in order, one after the other.


September – The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

When I First Read: Sometime in 2012
What I Remember: I remembered liking it, and I remembered Joe Fontaine but to be honest, most details were starting to fade and it’s such a well loved book in the YA community that I knew I needed to re-read it.
Why I Wanted To Re-read: As above. And probably to see if I liked it even more a second time around. Spoiler: I did. Also, Joe Fontaine.
How I Felt After Re-reading: Man, this book is such a great exploration of grief. So well-written in this beautifully lyrical way that just makes you want to cry. So many quotable lines. Lennie is lost and screwing up and I loved her even more this time around. And good loooooord, Joe Fontaine. I forgot he has curly hair…
Would I Re-read Again: Yep. Joe Fontaine. ‘Bat. Bat. Bat.’

Rachel’s Re-read Challenge Recap: Jan – March (Part 1/4)

Re-Read Challenge

I’m so proud of myself for sticking to a book challenge pretty well this year. Except for Feb, I’ve re-read at least one book every month, and I’ve managed to include a trilogy and a 15 book series in that! I really do love re-reading and I’m grateful to this challenge for giving me an excuse to go nuts.

Anyway. Now that we’re well into October, I figured I should probably attempt a recap of sorts so here is part 1….


January – This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers

Also re-read: Every Breath by Ellie Marney

When I First Read: Feb 2013

What I Remember: I remember being really impressed with Courtney as a writer and completely uncomfortable with how her writing made me feel. I remember feeling confused over the ending.

Why I Wanted To Re-read: Okay this is going to be a bit of a confusing explanation because I don’t entirely know how to explain my reasoning to myself in my head, much less type it out. So here we go. The way Summers writes – so raw, painful and often rather brutal, I think I confused feeling not wholly comfortable with it (which isn’t a bad thing) with not liking it so I wanted to reread it to see what I thought after having this revelation. I also wanted to refresh myself on the story that came before Please Remain Calm.

How I Felt After Re-reading: Man, there’s something about Courtney’s writing style – it packs one hell of a punch and BAM, something happens that I’m not expecting but I I keep reading, struggling to process what just went down on the page in front of me/trying to understand why/how she could do that to an innocent reader and OW, my heart hurts. ALSO you know what else I love about TINAT? That line you hear in relation to The Fault In Our Stars all the time – about how it’s a book about cancer but it’s not really a book about cancer? Well, TINAT is a book about zombies, but it’s not really a book about zombies. And that factor? TINAT pulls it off a hell of lot better than TFIOS does (because really, all I think about when I think of TFIOS is cancer).

Would I Re-read Again: Yes. Yes I would. Just give me another few years maybe?


March – Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers

**I forgot to re-read a book in Feb, so I did two in March to make up for it.

When I First Read: Sometime in 2009, I think – it’s a toss up between CUTB and Some Girls Are as to which one was the first CS I read.

What I Remember: As with TINAT, I remember being really impressed with Courtney as a writer and completely uncomfortable with how her writing made me feel. I remember feeling confused over the ending because I wasn’t sure what actually happened to Jessie? (wow, this reading challenge has revealed that past Rachel was the biggest dipshit). I also remember being annoyed at Parker Fadley because I didn’t like her.

Why I Wanted To Re-read: Mainly for same reason as TINAT. I had also largely forgotten the story, especially the ending and I only had a vague sense of what it was about. I think a re-read might be needed with all of her books for me to fully decide how I feel, which is why I also want to re-read Some Girls Are (SGA has always been my fave CS) and Fall For Anything.

How I Felt After Re-reading: Again, same as TINAT. ALSO I’m kinda in love with Parker Fadley now.

Would I Re-read Again: Yes. Yes I would. But as is the case with TINAT, give me another few years.


March – Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar

When I First Read: June 2011. I bought and got it signed at Reading Matters in May 2011

What I Remember: I largely remembered majority of the story. But my feelings on it were conflicted because for some dumb reason, when I first read it, I think I was expecting a story different to what it turned out to be, so I decided I didn’t like it (I dunno, like I said – DUMB).

Why I Wanted To Re-read: I had been wanting to for a while, on and off, but I kept forgetting that I wanted to and then I ended up recommending it to an author on Twitter for a certain scene. Ended up re-reading it about a week later because I then got in my head that I HAD to re-read it NOOOOOW… so I did.

How I Felt After Re-reading: I liked it so much more this time around, probably because I apparently have a brain now and see it for the brilliance it is. The title of this book matches the writing so perfectly. The way Carly and Ryan’s relationship develops is my favourite thing ever – so awkward that it’s painful to read, but also so honest. No bullshit at all. I LOVE IT.

Would I Re-read Again: Yeah, of course. BECAUSE I #LOVEOZYA. Also because I really do love this book. READ IT IF YOU HAVEN’T kthanksbye.

My Reread Challenge 2015

Re-Read Challenge

For 2015, I decided I want to participate in a reading challenge other than the standard Goodreads one that I’ve participated in for the past two years to keep track of what books I’m reading every year (this year I’m just going to use BookLikes for that one though cos it doesn’t have some stupid reminder for when you’re behind. Good lord, that annoys the living shit out of me). The Reread Challenge seemed like a good one to go with when I saw it posted on Twitter. There’s always books that I read that I think to myself ‘I would read this again’ upon finishing. And I’m definitely a believer in rereading books – my favourites especially. They’re always there for me if I’m just not in the mood to read anything new or if I read a book I didn’t enjoy, cos I know my faves will never disappoint me. I just haven’t had a lot of opportunity to do so this past year cos a) I kept discovering some book I HAD to read RIGHT away and b) I’m quite happy with the books I’ve read – I have really enjoyed almost all that I’ve sunk my eyes into.

This challenge isn’t difficult or too involved. Annette and I did the Australian Women’s Writer Challenge in 2013 and I failed at it pretty spectacularly – not because the guidelines we set for ourselves were difficult or involved – I think it was because of the books I chose to read. But I’m hoping this one will be one I can stick to as I KNOW there’s books I want to reread (it was a Top Ten Tuesday topic in November). And I can’t claim that it will get in the way of reviewing books because Annette and I don’t do a lot of reviews. We only started doing some late this year as our blog is obviously more about the books we tour (also we’re lazy).

Anyhoo. Enough babbling. I’m aiming to reread 10-12 books. Some of these will be: The Cardturner by Lois Sachar, Island Of The Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell, The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, Every Breath by Ellie Marney, Cracked Up To Be and This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers, Saving June and Speechless by Hannah Harrington and the Lumatere Chronicles (Finnikin Of The Rock, Froi Of The Exiles and Quintana Of Charyn) by Melina Marchetta. I’m looking forward to the challenge and to reading these books again. Some I know I’m going to enjoy just as much as the first time I read them. Some I can’t remember as well, so fingers crossed! – Rachel