Hello fellow bookworms 💗 As we’ve already reached the halfway point of the year, I wanted to look back on how my reading has been going so far! I started the Out of my Comfort Zone Reading Challenge at the beginning of the year and honestly loved branching out a bit more when it comes to my reading, it has been nice to try out some genres that I usually don’t reach for as often 🥰 So today, I wanted to reflect on what I have been reading so far that counts towards my challenge and how I have liked all the books that I read, including what books are still on my TBR! If you’re interested in the challenge, there is still time to join! I’ll leave the signup open until the end of the year, so you can join any time if you want to 😊
- Out of Your Comfort Zone 2020 Reading Challenge Announcement 💗
- My Out of Your Comfort Zone Challenge TBR 💗
- Out of My Comfort Zone Book Tag 💗
The aim of this challenge is to read books that you consider to be outside of your comfort zone. The Challenge itself is tailored to your goals, so it’s going to be really relaxed and individual as everyone has a different definition of their comfort zone. You can set yourself a number of books to read in a particular genre (or subgenre, age range, etc.) or make a TBR with books you hope to get to!
- The Challenge runs from January 1st, 2020 to December 31st, 2020
- If you want to join, you can do so all year until the challenge ends ♥
- The goal of the reading challenge is to read genres/age ranges outside of your comfort zone (be as broad or specific as you’d like to be with that)
- This is all very relaxed, so do whatever works best for you, be it how many categories, books, and TBR’s as you want!
- Fill out the sign-up form if you’re interested in joining!
- You can join by setting up a post on your platform, be it Blog, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, etc. with your reading goals/TBR for the Readathon
- Share your TBR’s/Posts/Progress throughout the year with the hashtag #outofcomfortzonechallenge!
- This year so far I have read 5 Adult books 📗 Not too many, but I’m happy that I still read some adult books, though I still read majorly YA!
- When it comes to the genres I read 10 Nonfiction, 9 Sci-Fi books, 4 Mystery books, and 3 Historical Fiction books 📚 Surprisingly, I read most books from the nonfiction genre, something I normally don’t reach for at all! I’m definitely happy that I branched out so much!
- In terms of enjoying the books, I was really fortunate: I’ve had three 5-star ratings, twenty 4-star ratings, four 3-star ratings, and one 2-star rating.
I have reached the ‘Explorer’ Level
- ✅ DREAMER: Read 5 books outside of your comfort zone
- ✅ TRAVELER: Read 10 books outside of your comfort zone
- ✅ EXPLORER: Read 20 books outside of your comfort zone
I’ve earned 3 badges so far!
- ✅ THE FAVORITE: Find a new favorite book (Jackaby, Vengeful)
- ✅ TOME: Read a book over 500 pages (Becoming, Vengeful)
- ✅ GENRE FAN: Read books from 5 different genres (Mystery, Fantasy, Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Nonfiction)
From my original TBR
- Red, White & Royal Blue (Casey McQuiston) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Vengeful (V.E. Schwab) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 🎇
I haven’t read as many adult books as I would like, but the two from the original TBR that I read were really good! Compared to some of the denser adult tomes (The Broken Eye, The Lies of Locke Lamora …), Vengeful and Red, White & Royal Blue were a lot easier to get through as they are more fast-paced. Loving Vicious, I knew that I’d probably love the sequel and I was blown away by how intricate and complex the plotlines were! Red, White, and Royal Blue was a great romance book about the president’s son and the prince of England falling in love with each other – it has got a great hate-to-love romance with so much pining ❤
- Saga Vol 1. (Vaughan, Staples) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Saga Vol 2. (Vaughan, Staples) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Bingo Love (Franklin, St-Onge, San) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I have found that- compared to full-length adult novels – adult graphic novels are a lot easier to get into, so I have been slowly making my way through the Saga series. It’s heavy on nudity and violence, but I like the unique sci-fi world and the interesting conflicts that get explored more in each book. I also recently read Bingo Love, a heartwarming graphic novel about a second chance romance for two queer black women who grew up in the 1960s! 🥰
From my original TBR
- These Broken Stars (Kaufman, Spooner) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- This Mortal Coil (Emily Suvada) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I’ve only read one sci-fi book set in space and that’s These Broken Stars, which was a great, interesting survival story with a hate-to-love romance. I love space books a lot, but I’m not always in the mood for them, though I might binge-read a few of them later this year (including the rest of the books in the series) ✨ I also read This Mortal Coil, which is about a futuristic world ravaged by a virus, so that was unintentionally fitting 😅 It’s an interesting book about a world with gene-technology where people can hack their own genetics and modify certain things!
- Not Your Sidekick (C.B. Lee) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Not Your Villain (C.B. Lee) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Not Your Backup (C.B. Lee) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- This Cruel Design (Emily Suvada) ⭐⭐⭐
I also started reading the Sidekick Squad series by C.B. Lee which is set in a futuristic world that has superheroes, but also a corrupt government and many secrets. I loved reading all the books that are currently already out, as there are so many amazing friendship dynamics and each book focuses on a different character and their emotional journey! 🥰 Sadly, I didn’t like This Cruel Design as much as the first book, so I probably won’t read the last book in the Trilogy as it’s going into a direction that isn’t really what I was looking for. I’m still glad that I read the first book though!
From my original TBR
- Salt to the Sea (Ruta Sepetys) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I didn’t read much historical fiction this year (though Jackaby can technically be counted towards this genre as well, as it’s set in the 1800s) but the books that I ended up reading were pretty great! I still have many books that I’m excited to read on my TBR but I did end up reading Salt to the Sea! I had heard such amazing things about this author and I really enjoyed the book, it was so good to read and fast-paced with four POV’s weaving together. It brought to my attention one of the worst marine disasters that however aren’t that well known and made for such an emotional, haunting story 🌊
- White Rose (Kip Wilson) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky (Mackenzie Lee) ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5
If you’re looking for quick, easy to read historical fiction books I definitely recommend checking out White Rose, as it’s a story written in verse about resistance fighter Sophie Scholl. As someone interested in the White Rose’s story I was really excited about this book and binge-read it in one sitting. It was a truly emotional read, especially as you know that this story doesn’t get to have a happy ending 😢 I also read The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky but apart from this historical fiction series (that I’ve already read) I won’t be reading anything else by the author as she’s been a bit messy. The novella was still fun though.
From my original TBR
- Becoming (Michelle Obama) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Reasons to Stay Alive (Matt Haig) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- I Am Malala (Malala Yousafzai, Patricia McCormick) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- In Order to Live (Yeonmi Park) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Over the Top (Jonathan Van Ness) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I read so many interesting nonfiction books this year and I’m very proud of reaching for a genre that I usually never pick up. But there is so much to be learned from reading nonfiction books, especially if you pick out topics or memoirs of people you’re really interested in. I read a lot of autobiographies by people that I wanted to learn more about, such as Michelle Obama, Malala, Yeonmi Park, and Jonathan Van Ness 💕 It was great getting to know more about their lives, though Reasons to Stay Alive also had many great anecdotes. It’s another book by Matt Haig that is part autobiography, nonfiction, and self-help book, a combination that worked really well for me!
- Queer Heroes (Arabelle Sicardi, Sarah Tanat-Jones) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 1+2 (Elena Favilli, Francesca Cavallo) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- We’re All Greta (Valentina Giannella, Manuela Marazzi) ⭐⭐⭐
- Bygone Badass Broads (Mackenzie Lee) ⭐⭐.5
Apart from reading so many autobiographies I also really enjoyed reading story collections about inspiring people! Queer Heroes and Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls focus on portraying different impactful people. In the former book, it’s all about celebrities and important people who are part of the LGBTQ community, while the latter book focuses on the women who made a change and were remarkable. I loved discovering more people that I hadn’t heard off, though Bygone Badass Broads – which follows the same format – fell really flat to me due to the unfitting, juvenile writing. Lastly, I also read We’re All Greta, about the climate activist and why climate change is such an important topic.
From my original TBR
- Jackaby (William Ritter) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐🎇
- We Were Liars (E. Lockhart) ⭐⭐⭐
- Wilder Girls (Rory Power) ⭐⭐⭐
I do enjoy a good mystery book now and then, though it’ll never be my preferred genre. I loved the murder mystery in Jackaby which quickly became my favorite book of the year so far! It’s an amazing mix between Fantasy (one of the main characters is a seer investigating unusual deaths), Historical Fiction, and of course Mystery. ❤ I was hooked from the start, not only on solving the mystery but also on the amazing characters who really made this book so enjoyable. Apart from Jackaby I also read We Were Liars and Wilder Girls. I enjoyed both books, though I wasn’t blown away by them. The former didn’t have the amazing plot twist that I was promised and the latter didn’t include a satisfying conclusion.
- The Map (William Ritter) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐🎇
Once I got obsessed with Jackaby, I also read the novella The Map which is free to download on Amazon! I couldn’t resist getting an extra story of Jackaby and Abigail and of course loved the novella! I definitely recommend reading this after the first book as it’s a nice bonus story that involves our favorite duo going on another adventure 🥰
Have you read any books outside of your comfort zone? Did you find any new favorite books? 💗