Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Jinx's Fire by Sage Blackwood

Well, I was supposed to have this reviewed Saturday, but did not finish it until last night. I have got to get back into the habit of reading more.

Jinx's Fire (Jinx #3)
Katherine Tegen Books

Jinx knows he has to protect the Urwald from all outside threats, including the evil Bonemaster and his former friend Reven. On top of this, he needs to figure out what the Bonemaster did to Simon and get Elfwen away from the Bonemaster. With the help of Simon's wife Sophie, his Samaran friends, and the human and nonhuman inhabitants of the Urwald, Jinx may have a chance to save the trees and all those who depend on them. First he must figure out how to embrace his destiny as a wick to the power of lifeforce and avoid the temptation of seizing power for himself. Will he be another Bonemaster or can he truly be a Listener, one who does what is best for the forest?

Without having read the others in this series, my short summary is a bit confusing. What I like about the series is the character development of Jinx and Elfwen and even the adult characters of Sophie and Simon. Is Simon evil or good? Can Jinx avoid power while embracing it? Is Elfwen's truth telling curse a liability or an asset? Can Sophie forgive her husband? I also love the humor of this series, a bit dark at times, but I usually laugh out loud a few times while reading the books.

There are some good quotes too, but I forgot to take notes. One of my favorite sections focused on the idea of evil. Jinx is asked by the Elf Princess, his thoughts on evil. He replies, "I think it depends on what you actually mean... I mean, what you meant to accomplish. When you did the thing. Whether your intentions are evil." I am not for sure if I agree with his statement. The Princess responds, "That may be part of it, but it is also very much a matter of what you've actually done." This adds to it a bit and there are lots of discussions on evil in the books. I do think intentions and actions both determine the morality of what we do. Another good quote I like is from Elfwen. "If this was a story that was coming to an end, then my curse would be magically fixed because everything would have to come out exactly right for everybody. But real life isn't like that, and sometimes you just live with things."

Overall I really liked this series. I loved Jinx and Elfwen and Sophie and Simon's relationship. The dark humor and deep messages are wonderfully done without being morbid or preachy. 5 cups of cocoa and this is a series I will likely reread at some point.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Spring Into Horror Wrapup

Well, I didn't read any on Clockwork Princess like I planned and I didn't finish a book, but I am really close to finishing two. I read 220 pages in Jinx's Fire and 142 pages in This Side of Paradise, so not too bad. Thanks again to Michelle for hosting!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Dewey's Read-a-thon Finish Line

lg new readathonbutton border

So I never truly made it back to the readathon after hour 10, but I did read a bit more on This Side of Paradise. I read about 50 pages in it and 138 pages in Jinx's Fire, so I am happy with that. I also completed one mini-challenge and visited a few blogs. Thanks to all the hosts, cheerleaders, and readers for a fun readathon!

End of Event Meme:

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you? All after 10 ;)
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? Harry Potter, Percy Jackson
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? I love it!
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? I liked having a cheerleader, this was a first for me.
  5. How many books did you read? I read parts of two books and listened to part of an audio.
  6. What were the names of the books you read? This Side of Paradise, Jinx's Fire, and HP and the Prisoner of Azkaban on audio
  7. Which book did you enjoy most? Jinx's Fire
  8. Which did you enjoy least? I liked them all this time.
  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? N/A
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? I am definitely going to try to participate and it will depend on my work schedule how I participate. I like being a reader, but I think being a cheerleader or hosting a minichallenge would be fun!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Dewey Hours 5-10

lg new readathonbutton border

Errands and chores dominated these hours! I did finish three more chapters in Jinx's Fire and I hope to read a bit more in it by the 10th hour. I have friends coming over around hour 12 and they will be here for awhile. I am happy to have been able to read as much as I have so far and I have found some fabulous new blogs!

I have finished 4 more chapters in Jinx's Fire. However I will not be reading for the next few hours. Hopefully I can get back to reading after going out to dinner with friends.

Dewey's Read-a-thon Hours 2-4

lg new readathonbutton border

I read almost the whole first hour and finished two chapters of Jinx's Fire and 10 pages of This Side of Paradise. Took a breakfast break during the second hour and had delicious biscuits and sausage gravy, which actually helped to settle my stomach. It is amazing what comfort food can do! I hope to get back into the swing of things during the third hour. Hope everything is going well for you all! I have now finished 20 more pages in This Side of Paradise.

Classic Words of Wisdom Challenge hosted by A Literary Odyssey

“Once a King in Narnia, always a King in Narnia. But don't go trying to use the same route twice. Indeed, don't try to get there at all. It'll happen when you're not looking for it. And don't talk too much about it even among yourselves. And don't mention it to anyone else unless you find that they've had adventures of the same sort themselves. What's that? How will you know? Oh, you'll know all right. Odd things, they say-even their looks-will let the secret out. Keep your eyes open. Bless me, what do they teach them at these schools." The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

I have always liked the last line in particular and used it as an excuse to learn anything and everything outside of school. When school was particularly dull, I thought about what I could learn outside of the walls and read everything I could get my hands on. I always liked the idea of being able to come back to a story, once a king or queen in a story, you always have that story to come back to and relive.

Dewey's Read-a-thon Hour 1 and Opening Meme

lg new readathonbutton border
I am going to try to read in bed for a bit, which means I may fall back asleep.

My reading stack:
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (reread)
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
Jinx's Fire by Sage Blackwood
Death at Pemberley by PD James
This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Pet and the Pendulum by Gordon McAlpine
The Wizard's Statue by Debra Doyle and James McDonald

Opening Meme:
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Indiana
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? Probably Jinx's Fire, since I need to finish it today.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? Right now my stomach is still hurting, but once I feel better, probably leftover Easter candy
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I am a librarian and this is my first year as our library's director, which is a scary, stressful job, but at least I still get to order the books! I love to read, of course, and read a wide variety of books, mainly though I read YA.
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? This is my third Dewey's and I think this time I will let myself wander off list, if I start getting tired.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Spring Into Horror Readathon signup

This is hosted by Michelle at @ The True Book Addict and Castle Macabre and you can sign up at this link. So I forgot to signup until the actual start day, even though I thought out it about a week ago. You can read what you want, but at least one book needs to be "scary," which for me usually means a paranormal book, which means Clockwork Princess for this reading list.

My reading list:
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (reread)
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
Jinx's Fire by Sage Blackwood
Death at Pemberley by PD James
This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Hopefully I can finish a book this week!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-thon April 2015 signup

lg new readathonbutton border

I have decided to go on and sign up for the Dewey read-a-thon, even though I am not for sure what my plans will be Saturday. Hopefully I can spend at least a little time reading that day. You can sign up at this link. This is my third time participating. I will post a reading list closer to time. This is always a fun read-a-thon and they have lots of great challenges and ways to participate.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

I finally finished my first read for the Newbery Challenge, which was this year's Newbery winner.
The Crossover
Harcourt Brace and Company

First, the Crossover is a verse novel, which usually does not appeal to me, but just like past novel in verse winners (Out of The Dust comes to mind), I loved it.

Josh Bell is a master with a basketball, but also a master with words. His vocabulary is out of this world as is his playing skills. Lucky for Filthy McNasty, nickname provided by his father, he has his family to keep him grounded. As he speeds down the court, Josh has his brother JB by his side and he feels like he will always have JB's attention, but things change when JB attracts the attention of the new girl. As JB hangs more with "Ms. Sweet Tea," Josh still has his dad, former basketball star, "Da Man," to work with him on his game. When Josh and JB fight, his mother, the principal, has to discipline Josh leaving him angry and lost. When an illness strikes, the family must come together and Josh must live up to what it means to be "Da Man."

I loved this one and I am trying to not have any spoilers with this one, but that ending was a shocker and a bit heart-breaking. I can't imagine any middle schooler not loving this book. I have already recommended it to a local teacher as a possible class read and I could not be happier with this year's Newbery choice. I read this in one sitting and was blown away. 5 cups of cocoa and a recommended read!

My To Be Read list: The Votes are in!

This is hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading.
And the winner is...

Jinx's Fire (Jinx #3)
Katherine Tegan

This one won by a landslide! This is the last book in the series and I hope to start it today and get caught back up in Jinx's world. Thanks to everyone who voted!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Brief Thoughts on Shadow Scale

Shadow Scale (Seraphina, #2)
Random House

So I reviewed this one in audio format for SLJ, so that makes it hard to write a separate review without repeating what I already wrote. I just wanted to say that I loved this one as much if not more than the first. I loved how Seraphina searched for the half-dragons and how Rachel Hartman created a believable world and wonderful characters. The love triangle was interesting and had a surprise twist, that makes sense. It had a bitter sweet ending, but it was believable. If you are looking for a good dragon tale or a book with great world-building pick this one up, but make sure to read Seraphina first. 5 cups of cocoa book and one of my favorite reads of the year and it ranks high up there on my all-time favorites. I can't stop thinking about the characters and their world!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

April To Be Read List


This is hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading. Well, I didn't finish last month's book, but I am still working on it. This month I decided to choose three junior fiction books in the hopes that I can finish last month's book and this month's. All three are series books and are in the middle or close to the end of the series.

First up
Joshua Dread: The Dominion Key (Joshua Dread #3)

I reviewed the first two in this series on audio, but did not receive the third one. This follows gyfted children and the main character is the son of super villains, but he kind of wants to be a superhero.

Next choice is
Risked (The Missing, #6)
Simon and Schuster

This is the 6th book in the Missing series, which is about the children who were kidnapped from the past and is based on historical figures who died young or mysteriously disappeared.

My third choice is
Jinx's Fire (Jinx #3)
Katherine Tegan

This series follows Jinx who wants to be a magician and is connected to the forest of the Urwald. This is the final book in the series and Jinx hopes to save his mentor and the forest from destruction.

These are my three choices for this month and hopefully I can finish this month's choice. Be sure to vote for your favorite!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

2015 Bookish Resolutions Challenge: March update

Bookish Resolution Challenge

This is hosted by Michelle at Because Reading is Better Than Real Life and Laura at Trips Down Imagination Road and you can sign up at this link
My resolutions:
1. Read at least 6 Classics this year.
2. Finish at least half of the challenges that I signed up for this year.
3. Finish at least 4 series this year, particularly ones where I have only the last book in the series left to read.
4. Try to blog more, like at least 10 posts a month.
5. Get healthy!

Thanks to Michelle and Laura for hosting!

1. I have been searching for books to read and I have started This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It is slow going for this resolution.
2. I have finished three books in the Road Trip Challenge and three books in Read it Again Sam. The rest of my challenges are one book or less so far, so I really need to buckle down on this.
3. I have finished one series and am halfway through the last book in another series, so not bad on this resolution.
4. I met my 10 posts for March! Hopefully I can do more than 10 for April.
5. I stayed under 1200 calories a day for my Lent fast and have lost 22 pounds so far this year! I have been able to keep from drinking cokes and my next goals are to eat healthier and to exercise more.

I need to buckle down on my challenge books and start blogging a bit more, but otherwise not a bad month!

Take Control of Your TBR Pile Wrapup

Take Control 2015

Well I did finish three books, just not the three I expected to finish. I read and reviewed Eli the Good, School of Wizardry, and Seraphina. I completely forgot about the Twitter Party and only remembered the read-a-thon on the second day. However I am pleased with my progress. Thanks to Kimberly for hosting!