Sunday, June 30, 2013

July Random Read

Random Reads

This is a meme hosted by Sarah at imlovingbooks.com. You can choose to use Goodreads or create your own list or use your bookshelves. The idea is to use random.org and type in the number of books on your list. Whatever number you receive is your random read for the month. I have decided at least for the first few months to use the books on my Kindle as my list. I buy or get free far too many books on my Kindle and then never read them. I now have 290 books on my Kindle, which means I only added 8 books last month compared to the 23 the month before. Still I am terrible. I did finish and review Prodigy my May read and I finished Achieving Apollo my June read and I will be reviewing that very soon. This month's number is 197, which is Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama. This is a creepy mermaid tale. This sounds a bit dark and I don't like to read rape scenes, but I will give it a try. Review is here.

Monstrous Beauty
 Farrar, Straus and Giroux





Saturday, June 29, 2013

Prodigy by Marie Lu

This is the second book in the Legend series and this review will have spoilers for Legend, but should be ok for Prodigy.


Prodigy (Legend, #2)
Putnam

Day and June have escaped from his execution, but with the loss of Day's brother and with Day seriously injured. They both know their only hope lies with the Patriots and so make their way to Vegas and the Patriots' hidden headquarters. Kaede, a Patriot who recently helped the two, leads them to Razor, the leader of the Patriots. Razor agrees to help June and Day, if they will assassinate the new Elector Primo. June is sent back to the Republic as a repentant with information about an attempted assassination. After she gets back into his good graces, she will lead him to the real assassination. Day in the meanwhile is training and is reunited with Tess, who is in love with him. Tess plants seeds of doubt about June in Day's head. June is reunited with Anden, the new Elector Primo, and begins to doubt the Patriot's plan and sees Anden as a revolutionary who can work from within to fix the Republic. Dangerous choices must be made and can a new love survive betrayals and the truth?

It took me about a month to finish the book and it was so worth it. There is so much to think about with this series. Could we ever turn into the two different societies presented in this novel? The materialism of the Colonies and the militaristic state of the Republic are possibilities if we do not remain vigilant. Deep, deep thoughts indeed. Beside all the deep thinking, the romance is perfect in this book and the guilt and questions experienced by June and Day seems real. This is a story where consequences are very real and wrong choices lead to destruction.

Favorite Character: They are all so well-developed. June and Day definitely captured my heart. June is a strong heroine who truly learns to think for herself. Day is a strong hero who sacrifices for others. They are the perfect match, but also a horrible match. Their story is both heart-breaking and uplifting.

Favorite Quote: This was also a hard choice.
"'The first time I kissed you.... Well, that might as well have been my first kiss ever.'"  "He is beauty, inside and out. He is the silver lining in a world of darkness. He is my light."

Lu is an awesome writer and the long read makes the story even better. This will definitely be in my top ten this year and possibly number one. The ending will leave you breathless. 5 cups of cocoa!!

Professor Gargoyle by Charles Gilman

I picked up this books as one to possibly booktalk with 5th graders and I think the appeal would definitely be there. This is the first book in the Tales from Lovecraft Middle School series. The cover is appropriately creepy! It actually moves from an unsmiling older teacher to this:

Professor Gargoyle (Tales from Lovecraft Middle School, #1)
Quirk


Robert Arthur is not excited about starting a new school. All his friends are going to a different middle school and even though Lovecraft Middle School is state of the art, he would rather be with his friends. Things only seem to get worse on his first day. His bully is at the school, he has zero friends, and all the lockers are full of white rats. Things finally seem to change when he gets to go to the school library. It is huge and full of secrets, including a secret attic where he finds his first friend, a two-headed rat he names Pip and Squeak. With Pip and Squeak, Robert learns a dangerous secret, one that could destroy the world and one involving his science teacher.

I think that the concept of going to middle school will appeal to 5th graders and that of the "monsters" of Lovecraft. I won't give too much away, but I think the mysteries of the school will keep readers interested in the series. The book was a quick read and the dialogue sounds natural to lower middle school students. The violence and scare factor are appropriate to upper elementary and lower middle school readers. As an adult, I liked the storyline and the you got to read the next one to find out ending.

Favorite Character: Robert is a likeable character. He is loyal to his friends, willing to forgive, and brave.

Favorite Quote: This is more of a description than quote. "The Lovecraft Middle School library was nearly as big as a gymnasium. A steel-and-glass ceiling arched grandly overhead, filling the room with a warm natural light. Huge bookshelves twisted along the perimeter like the walls of a labyrinth; it would be easy to get lost in them for hours at a time, Robert thought." Sounds like a good library to me!

I think this would be an interesting read for 5th grade and a good book to booktalk. 4 cups of cocoa.

Library Read-a-thon Day 7 and wrap up post



Day 7: I finished Prodigy finally! It was worth it and the ending was a little heart-breaking, but fitting.
Pages read: Prodigy- 74 pages
Books finished: 2!

I met my goal of finishing two books. I still have to review them, but I hope to do that today. Thanks to Rachael for hosting!
Total pages read: 421
Books finished: 2- Professor Gargoyle and Prodigy

Friday, June 28, 2013

Once Upon a Read-a-thon

readathonpostimage

This read-a-thon is hosted by Angela & Loretta at Reading Angels, Candace at Candace’s Book Blog and Lori at Pure Imagination. You try to read more than your normal number of books in a two day period of time. They will have mini-challenges and a $100 gift card from Amazon to giveaway. You can sign up for this read-a-thon at this link.

I will pick a reading list soon and for my goal I will try to finish a book, since it usually takes me a whole week to finish one book.

Summer Lovin' Read-a-thon

The Summer Lovin’ Readathon is a week-long readathon event hosted by seven independent bloggers! (Oh, Chrys!, Tumbling Books, Effortlessly Reading, Love Life Read, Shelf Addiction, Read Sleep Repeat, and Reviewing Wonderland)
Spend the week reading at your own pace, when and how you want too. There will be daily challenges for awesome prizes and opportunities to get points toward the Grand Prize Packs.
As if that weren’t enough – the week will end with a 24-hr marathon readathon! Twitter parties, mini-challenges, games, prizes given EVERY HOUR, and more chances to get points toward the Grand Prize Packs.
Sign-ups will be open through July 6th. I’m in, are you?!
 
My reading list will include the following:
Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama (my Random Read for the month)
The Elite by Kiera Cass
Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard
Opal by Jennifer Armentrout
Girl with the Iron Touch by Kady Cross

Middle Grade fiction
The Slither Sisters by Charles Gilman
The Tell-Tale Start by Gordon McAlphine

My goal is to read three books, find new blogs to follow, participate in a couple of mini-challenges, and maybe try a Twitter chat. The Twitter chat will depend on the times picked, because I work a full week.
 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Library Read-a-Thon Day 5 and 6 update


Day 5: I don't really know any of the librarians at the library where I live. I am a librarian at my hometown library and I like all the people I work with. We have a great staff who go out of their way to help people. I enjoy working in a library and recommending books to people, if only the pay were more ;).
Currently reading: Prodigy
Pages read: Prodigy- 24 pages
Books finished- still just 1

Day 6: I read more on Prodigy and am within 74 pages of finishing. I will see how tomorrow goes.
Currently reading: Prodigy
Pages read: Prodigy- 36 pages
Books finished-1

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Library Read-a-Thon Day 3 and Day 4 update

Day 3: Mondays are always a busy work day for me and then I come home exhausted. We had a great summer reading day though with our book buddy program. 26 preschoolers turned in reading logs and they loved reading with their teen buddies. After we finished today, they were able to ring the bell in the Storytime Silo (our library is a modern take on a barn). The bell is there to encourage literacy and reading.

Currently Reading: Prodigy
Pages Read: Prodigy-10 pages, well I guess it is better than zero.
Books finished-1
This is our Storytime Silo, located in the back of our children's area.

Day 4: At my library, we limit the checkouts to 5 items for a first time patron and 10 after that. We do allow up to 20 checkouts, but the patron has to be in good standing and/or checking out for an entire family on one card. At the library where I live there are no limits on the number of books you can check out. I usually limit myself to ten at that library and 20 or less at my work/hometown library.
Currently reading: Prodigy
Pages read: Prodigy-20 pages
Books finished-1

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Library Read-a-thon Day 1 and Day 2 update



Day 1: I really did not think I would have a chance to read much, but I did. My niece's birthday party was most of the evening, but I was able to read before and after the party. I can't believe she is already three! She had a horse-themed party and I am sure within the next couple of years she will have her own horse.

Books read: Professor Gargoyle
Currently reading: Prodigy by Marie Lu and Snow by Tracy Lynn
Pages read: Professor Gargoyle-168 pages and finished!, Prodigy-29 pages, Snow-5 pages
Books finished-1

I can't believe I already finished one book, but it was a middle grades book. I think the 5th graders will really like the series and I hope to check out the second book really soon. I also already jumped stack and picked up another library book I have checked out, Snow. I love the Once Upon a Time series and am trying to finish that series this year. This is a retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Hope everyone had a good day reading!

Snow: A Retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
Simon Pulse
Day 2: I got in a cleaning mood, so I quickly took advantage of that. I did not read quite as much today and I chose to start yet another book. I wanted to take a little break from the fantasy, so I picked up The Espressologist by Kristina Springer. I haven't really gotten into yet, but I will read on.

Currently Reading: Prodigy, The Espressologist, Snow
Pages Read: Prodigy-25 pages, The Espressologist-25 pages, Snow-5 pages
Books finished: 1-Professor Gargoyle

The Espressologist
Farrar, Straus, Giroux

Friday, June 21, 2013

Library Books Read-a-thon Goals post



This is hosted by Rachael at Rachael Turns Pages. The goal is to read books you have checked out from the library. This Read-A-Thon will start at midnight on June 21 and will go until midnight of the 28th. You can sign up at this link. I have decided to try to finish at least two books during this read-a-thon. I have several books checked out from the libraries. I want/need to finish Prodigy first of all, since I have been reading on it for a month now. It is really good, I just kept getting distracted by quicker reads. As for the other book, I would be happy to finish any of them.

On my stack:

Prodigy (Legend, #2)
Putnam
The Elite (The Selection, #2)
HarperTeen
I also need to read some books geared toward 5th and 6th graders, since I will start booktalks with that age group in the fall, so Professor Gargoyle is on the stack.

Professor Gargoyle (Tales from Lovecraft Middle School, #1)
Quirk
I am sure I will add more books, possibly even later today, but this is my starting pile.


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Wicked Wildfire Read-a-Thon Wrap-up

Wicked Wildfire Readathon

I read a little more in Prodigy and Opal yesterday. Prodigy- 14 pages and Opal- 3%.
I finished three novellas, but no books this week, so I half-way succeeded. My page total was
430, which is a little small for a week long read-a-thon, but I did 4 mini-challenges, so I am happy with that. Overall not too bad! I hope everyone else had a good week!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Short Review: One Day More by Aprilynne Pike

One Day More: A Life After Theft Novella
HarperTeen
One Day More is the prequel novella to Life After Theft. This story is from the point of view of Kimberlee and shows her life before the accident. Kimberlee's parents rarely pay attention to her and her main friend has a drinking problem, which she encourages so that she does not have to face her own life. Kimberlee is a kleptomaniac and her goal with most of her stolen items is to steal emotions of others. She takes items that have meaning from schoolmates, teachers, and random strangers. She doesn't want to steal, but how can she face her seemingly empty life without stealing? The story concludes with Kimberlee's introduction to Jeff.

Life After Theft was not my favorite Pike book. I really liked the Wings series, but I just did not like the characters in Life After Theft. I feel like I now have more insight into Kimberlee's life, but it really did not make me feel that much more sympathy toward her. I like Pike's writing style, but just not the characters.

Favorite Quote: "But I am a mature young woman who knows how to control my childish impulses, so I don't do that."

Short review: My Soul to Lose by Rachel Vincent

This is a prequel novella to My Soul to Take. Kaylee suffers from bad panic attacks. When she and her best friend Emma go to the mall to pick out a killer outfit to shove in the face of her ex, Kaylee begins to feel the need to scream. Kaylee cannot escape her scream and a vision of death for a young boy. After her "panic attack," Kaylee wakes up in Lakeside, a mental health facility and knows she must control the outburst or face a life in a facility. There she meets a mysterious girl who promises to help her. I loved Rachel Vincent's writing style and I am intrigued by Kaylee's "panic attacks." I love that Kaylee keeps her sense of humor throughout her ordeal and makes jokes instead of giving into despair.
Favorite Quote: "Great. I'm psychotic and sparkly."
I feel like Kaylee is really the only character that was given any depth in the short story, so I would have to say she is my favorite so far. I think Emma will be interesting too and I like what I saw of their friendship. Unfortunately or fortunately I now want to read this whole series, so I have a bigger TBR list. :)

Short Review: What Really Happened in Peru by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan

What Really Happened in Peru (The Bane Chronicles, #1)
Margaret K McElderry
This is the first novella in the Bane Chronicles, a series of short stories about Magnus Bane. One of the popular quotes by Magnus is when he states he is banned from Peru. Brennan decided to write why Magnus was banned. Could it have been because he was attacked a pirate ship, got violently sick on ancient ruins, or his bad music? I loved the humor Brennan gave to Magnus and if I had read the story instead of listening to it, I would have several favorite quotes. She also captures some of his serious side, when he is contemplating humans and love after a bad breakup. The story was a little short and maybe a bit inconclusive, but I liked the insight into Magnus. Magnus is a great character who knows the full weight of immortality.
One good quote; "Every warlock's a critic."

Wicked Wildfire Read-a-Thon Day 6 and 7 update

Wicked Wildfire Readathon

Day 6:
Not much accomplished, because work was extremely busy and I came home exhausted.
One Day More- 6%

Day 7:
One Day More-finished!
Prodigy- 6 pages
The Prince by Cass- 15%

Monday, June 10, 2013

Wicked Wildfire Read-a-Thon: Day 4 and Day 5 update

Wicked Wildfire Readathon
Day 4
I started the Novella Reading Week challenge today, so I started a few novellas.
Read today:
Prodigy 8 pages
One Day More 3%
What Really Happened in Peru-listening to it, on chapter 4
My Soul to Lose 21 pages
Opal 5%- This was unplanned reading. I needed something to read while I ate lunch and the only book I had on my phone was Opal by Jennifer Armentrout, which was not on my reading list. Oh well, it is a pretty quick read so far.

Day 5
I finished two novellas today!
What Really Happened in Peru- finished!
My Soul to Lose- finished! 32 pages
Opal- 2%
One Day More- 24%
I did not pick up Prodigy at all, so fail there. I now want to read the rest of the Soul Screamers series, so my TBR list just grew a bunch.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Wicked Wildfire Read-a-Thon: Day 2 and Day 3 update

Wicked Wildfire Readathon
Day 2
I continued reading Prodigy and read 40 pages yesterday. I also browsed a few other lists to see what people are reading this week. As usual I found more books I would like to read! No mini-challenge today.

Day 3
Still reading Prodigy and picked Girl with the Iron Touch back up. I really like Cross's Steampunk Chronicles.
Girl with the Iron Touch: 12%-26%- 54 pages
Prodigy- 12 pages
I also participated in two mini-challenges.
Kriss @ Cabin Goddess's Challenge: Songs for the Summer
 Laura @ Music Plus Books' Challenge: Cover Lover 
I chose Beneath Your Beautiful by Labrinth featuring Emeli Sande for Girl with the Iron Touch.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Wicked Wildfire Read-a-Thon: Day 1 update

Wicked Wildfire Readathon

Well I did do the Title Scramble and Jigsaw Puzzle Challenges, both hosted by My Shelf Confessions. However I only read 6 pages in Prodigy. A busy day of work combined with a cold and sunburn took its toll on my reading. Hopefully Saturday is a better day!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Library Books Read-a-thon

This is hosted by Rachael at Rachael Turns Pages. The goal is to read books you have checked out from the library. This Read-A-Thon will start at midnight on June 21 and will go until midnight of the 28th. You can sign up at this link. Obviously working in a library means I have too many books checked out. I also check out books from the county library where I live. This means I have lots of books from both libraries, so this read-a-thon will be really helpful. I will post a reading list a little closer to time. Thanks to Rachael for hosting!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Wicked Wildfire Read-a-thon

Wicked Wildfire Readathon

Wicked Wildfire Read-a-Thon is hosted by April @ My Shelf Confessions. You try to read as much as possible to get through your TBR pile. There are also fun mini-challenges and they also have a Twitter Party. I am way behind on my reading! I am also participating in the Novella Read Week part of the time, so a few of my choices will be novellas. My list of books/novellas to read from are Prodigy by Marie Lu, Girl with the Iron Touch by Kady Cross, If I Should Die by Amy Plum, Achieving Apollo by Rachel Leslie, The Prince by Kiera Cass, My Soul to Lose by Rachel Vincent, and One Day More by Aprilynne Pike. I hope to finish at least one book and one novella.
Thanks to My Shelf Confessions for hosting! You can sign up at this link.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Novella Reading Week

Novella Reading Week
This challenge is hosted by Mindy of Magical Urban Fantasy Reads and Rachel at Fiktshun. The goal is to read novellas and post reviews of them. I definitely have a few novellas I bought or borrowed from the library that I need to read. I finished Die for Her last month and I hope to have a short review of it. This month I would like to read The Prince by Kiera Cass, One Day More by Aprilynne Pike, Before Legend by Marie Lu, My Soul to Lose by Rachel Vincent, and What Happened in Peru by Cassandra Clare and friends. Hopefully I can finish a couple of them and review them in the Novella Reading Week.

Onyx by Jennifer Armentrout

Onyx is the second book in the Lux series, so this will have spoilers for the first book in the series Obsidian. This was my Aliens read for the Paranormal Reading Challenge and a book for the Sequels Challenge.


Katy can't help but feel drawn to Daemon, especially after he heals her and saves her life. She believes any attraction that he feels for her or that she might feel for him is because of the healing. She fights her feelings toward him, but as strange things happen to her, she cannot ignore the Luxen and any gifts she may have. While having these conflicting emotions, a newcomer to town is thrown in the mix. Blake moves to West Virginia and Katy likes him, especially when he appreciates her blog and wants to hang out with her. Blake also confirms her fear that she is forever changed by the healing and he holds the key to helping her. The DOD will do anything to find humans changed by the Luxen and Katy and Daemon will do anything to hide their connection. When someone from Daemon's past resurfaces and a major betrayal takes place it could tear Daemon and Katy apart and possibly cost them their lives.

I actually liked this one better than the first book in the series. I read some reviews where people thought Katy was whiner in this one, but I thought she seemed a little more mature, albeit freaked out and commenting on Daemon's hotness a little too much. I thought the suspense and twists were well done and the ending leaves you really wanting to read the third book.

Favorite Character: Dee. Even though we see less of Dee in this book, I still like her character best. She is loyal to her brother, but also protective of Katy. She also has some humorous parts in the story.
I hate what happens to her in the book, but I think she will be resilient.

Favorite Quote: "'You always blush when you lie.' 'I don't know why people keep saying that. My cheeks are not human lie detectors."
"Always those three words." That is from one of the better parts of the book.

Katy does talk a bit much about Daemon's hotness, but other than that I liked the story and plot. I will definitely pick up Opal soon. 3.5 cups of cocoa.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

June Random Read

Random Reads
This is a meme hosted by Sarah at imlovingbooks.com. You can choose to use Goodreads or create your own list or use your bookshelves. The idea is to use random.org and type in the number of books on your list. Whatever number you receive is your random read for the month. I have decided at least for the first few months to use the books on my Kindle as my list. I buy or get free far too many books on my Kindle and then never read them. I now have 290 books on my Kindle, which means I added twenty-three books last month! I am terrible! I also did not finish Prodigy. I received it as an eARC and on every "page" letters were scrambled. so I could not read it. I have a library copy of the book and will try to finish it this month. My first random number was a book that does not release for awhile, so I would not be able to post a review this month. My second random number was 24 and the book is Achieving Apollo by Rachael Leslie. I went to college with the author and bought this over a year ago, so I am glad it is this month's pick!

Bert is a rock star who finds out he is Apollo. I love mythology twists, so I have high hopes for this book!