Sunday, July 31, 2016

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

I read this one for the Reading Assignment Challenge. It also works for Flights of Fantasy, COYER, Prequel and Sequel challenge, Royal Challenge, Retelling Challenge, for Reading Bingo as Book with Red on the Cover, and Full House as Book You Bought. This is the second book in the Lunar Chronicles series and may have spoilers for Cinder.
Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2)
Feiwel and Friends

Cinder knows she needs to escape Queen Levana and wants to escape her destiny as the lost princess of Luna. When she stumbles into "Captain" Carswell Thorne's cell and he brags about his ship, she takes him with her in an effort to escape execution. Without telling him the truth, Cinder convinces him that they should try to find the lost princess and that Michelle Benoit may be able to help. Meanwhile, Scarlet, Michelle's granddaughter, is trying to find her grandmother who she fears has been kidnapped. Her only lead is her father's ravings about a man with a tattoo who helped to torture him and who has her grandma. When Wolf appears and Scarlet notices he has a similar tattoo, she makes him promise to help her, but doesn't completely trust him. In the Eastern Commonwealth, Emperor Kai is faced with the consequences of Cinder's escape and Queen Levana's anger. If Cinder is not found, Earth will suffer. In the race to find answers Cinder and Thorne and Scarlet and Wolf will cross paths and will be forced to make difficult choices and will have to decide if they will face Levana, while Kai may have to make the most difficult choice of all.

This was an exciting book and I loved the new characters! I both listened to this on audio and read parts of it and it is definitely a quick read. Cinder took me awhile to get into, but Scarlet really captured my attention and brought to light the true horrors of Levana and the Lunars. I had dreaded reading Scarlet, because Cinder was such a slow read for me, but I am so glad I did! I think with Cinder, the back story took awhile and with Scarlet, you could just plow through the story with just a bit of back story. Scarlet and Wolf are an interesting pair and Thorne provides some needed comic relief. I was also glad to see Iko again. I loved the twists on the "wolf" in this one, particularly the scene with Scarlet's "grandmere," which was a really clever twist on the tale. I also liked that Scarlet seemed to be a bit stronger than Little Red Riding Hood and was a good strong female lead. This is definitely a 5 cups of cocoa read for me and I really need to pick up Cress soon!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

I am finally getting around to writing my review for Little Town on the Prairie for The Little House Read-a-long. This is also a Newbery read. This is one of the few books I have finished this month.

Little Town on the Prairie (Little House, #7)
Harper and Row

Laura's family survived the long winter and their dearest dream is to send Mary to the college for the blind. Laura will miss her older sister, but knows that Mary desperately wants to go. Laura and Pa both take on extra jobs to help pay for Mary to go and it is a bittersweet day when they finally achieve their goal. De Smet is also becoming a small town and with it comes fun activities like socials and the literary society. Laura now almost sixteen is slowly working her way to a teaching certificate, which will help her earn more money for Mary. Surprises are in store for her, when an old nemesis reappears and when a certain young man begins to want to walk Laura home. Laura is finally growing up.

I loved this one, particularly the reappearance of an unlikable character. The bad side of me was glad this character had a bit of comeuppance, but unfortunately this hard luck did not change her personality at all. I also love watching the blossoming romance and think it is funny that the Ingalls don't really know Almanzo's true age and think him a bit too old for Laura. I also loved how Laura is willing to do anything for Mary and how much the sisters truly mean to each other. Laura has a kind heart despite it all. I will admit the one section with black face is really uncomfortable and wrong and again if I was booktalking this one, I would talk to the children about the past and racism. I think it was an acceptable Newbery for its time and there are qualities that make it an important read today. Other than that scene, this is a sweet and charming book and is a 4 cups of cocoa read for me!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

High Summer Read-a-thon Wrapup

Finally putting up my wrapup post! I read all of Little Town on the Prairie- 303 pages, 150 pages of Scarlet, 169 pages of the Last Ever After and 126 pages of Thunderstruck, so not bad. Thanks to Michelle for hosting!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

24in48 Readathon Wrapup

I managed to read 6 hours and 45 minutes, which was not as much as I hoped to read, but still more than I have read in the past two weeks combined. I finished Little Town on the Prairie reading 146 pages in it. I also read 169 pages in the Last Ever After and 126 pages in Thunderstruck for a total of
441 pages, which is pretty good for me. Thanks to Rachel for hosting!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

24in48 Update 1

So far I have managed to only fit in an hour's worth of reading. I read 40 pages in Little Town on the Prairie and 40 pages in Last Ever After. I have checked in on Twitter, but so far that is about all. I hope to read for the next little bit and update a little later.
I have read a total of 3. I read 93 pages in Little Town, 75 pages in Last Ever After and 72 pages in Thunderstruck by Erik Larsen.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

24in48 Summer 2016 signup

Hosted by Rachel

The next 24in48 readathon is July 23-24 and you can sign up at this link. I am already taking part in the High Summer Read-a-thon, so this one should go hand in hand with that one. I hope to read at least 12 hours again, but we will have to see how the weekend goes. You can also follow along on Twitter: #24in48.

My reading list:
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Last Ever After by Soman Chainani

Friday, July 15, 2016

High Summer Read-a-thon Signup

I love Michelle's read-a-thons and this is a nice one to help you catch up on all your summer reading! This read-a-thon is hosted by Michelle @ True Book Addict, Castle Macabre and The Christmas Spirit blogs and you can sign up at this link. My book club books are really bogging my reading down, but I hope to get some reading done next week.
My reading list:
Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Last Ever After by Soman Chainani
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Christmas Letters by Debbie Macomber

Thanks to Michelle for hosting!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

My July TBR:And the Winner is...


So I spent most of the week with a back and forth between two books, but the winner by one vote is...
The Last Ever After (The School for Good and Evil, #3)
Harper Collins

I am looking forward to finishing this series and have already started reading it! Thank you all for voting and to Michelle for hosting!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Story Sprites Round Five Signup

The Story Sprites challenge is hosted by Great Imaginations and here is a link to the signup. The goal is to complete a path by October 1st. You pick a color and complete those squares. You can do more than one path if you want. I am having a hard time choosing which path to take! I think I am going to try for yellow or purple again, but I may try for more than one color if I get on a reading kick. Thanks to the bloggers at Great Imaginations for hosting!

July My TBR List


This is hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading. Each month you pick three books on your TBR list and people vote on the one you should read that month. I finished last month's book, hooray, so that is three months in a row! I decided to go with series ending books for this month.

First choice:
United We Spy (Gallagher Girls, #6)
Disney Hyperion
 This is the last book in the Gallagher Girls series and I just finished the one before it last month. This is a quick series about teenage spies.

Second choice:
Oblivion (Nevermore, #3)

 Poor Oblivion is almost always a runner-up in TBR and the last book in the Nevermore series. This is a twist on Poe's stories and the darkness behind them.

Third choice:
The Last Ever After (The School for Good and Evil, #3)
Harper Collins

I finished the second one in this series for April's TBR and this one is about a fairytale school to train the good and evil, but mainly about Agatha and Sophie's friendships and their romantic interests.


Friday, July 1, 2016

Reading Assignment Challenge: Second Quarter Checkin

2016HW Report Card

This is hosted by Berls at Fantasy is more fun and Michelle at Because Reading and you can sign up at this link. Well, this time around I made a B, because I did not finish any books in May. :(
April: Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
May: none
June: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

I am enjoying this challenge and have managed to cross five books off my TBR list! Thanks again to Berls and Michelle for hosting! How did everyone do this quarter?

2016 Bookish Resolutions Challenge: June Update

 BookishResolution Challenge 2016
The 2016 Bookish Resolutions Challenge is hosted by Laura @ Trips Down Imagination Road and Michelle @ Because Reading and you can sign up at this link. For this challenge you must have 2 of 3 main goals, Blogging, Reading, and/or Personal and then subcategories for these goals. Well, I am not doing much better after a dismal April and May. However Michelle and Laura are giving us permission to delete and tweak goals. I can delete two and tweak two, but I think I am just going to tweak two in my personal goals. I have halfway completed Blogging at least 10 times a month.

My goals:

Reading Goals

1. Read at least 6 Classics. This was a goal I barely completed last year, but something I want to continue doing. So far I have only finished Peter Pan, but hopefully I can get into another classic soon. Still have only finished Peter Pan, but have started Frankenstein. The results here have not changed since February, got to work on this one.
2. Read at least 70 books this year. I did not do this as a goal for the Bookish Resolution last year, but I did have it as a goal. I just missed it by 8 books, so I want to challenge myself on it this time.  I finished 38 books now, so I am halfway there.
3. Finish at least 4 series. I did well with this last year, but I have several more series that I did not finish. I have finished one series, but have three that I am really close to finishing. Hoping to use Michelle's My TBR list to finish another series ending book this month!

Blogging Goals

4. Blog at least 10 times a month. I met this goal for 7 out of 12 months, so I want to try this one again. I blogged 10 times in June, so I have met my goal each month for this one!
5. Complete at least half of the challenges I sign up for this year. I came very close to completing this goal, but not quite. I will be signing up for challenges soon. I have started all my challenges so far this year. I have met goals in a couple of them, but still working on reading more.
6. Be more active commenting on blogs and on Twitter. By more active, I mean getting on Twitter and commenting on blogs at least once a week. Twitter is still going well, but blogging not so much.
7. Review at least half of the books I read. I basically just stopped writing reviews at the end of the year and I would like to do better with this in 2016. So far I have reviewed 31 out of 38 books, so I am meeting the half way goal easily. I may write one or two reviews of the books I haven't reviewed yet, but the other 5 will not be reviewed.

Personal Goals

8. Lose at least 20 pounds, 10 pounds. We are going to try Biggest Loser at work and our theme this year is Libraries Transform, which is ALA's theme. We decided against Biggest Loser at work. I gained back most of what I lost last year, so I would love to lose that weight again and maintain the weight loss. HaHaHaHaHa. I added a few more hahas here, because I am pretty sure I am 5 pounds heavier than where I started at the beginning of the year. I just can't make myself care about getting healthy and I don't know why!
9. Eat and drink healthier. I would like to eat at least a vegetable or fruit a day a week. I eat horribly and am not in good shape. I would also like to cut down on coffee and sodas, because that is all I have been drinking lately. HaHaHa. Coffee and sodas are still my best friends and I again went a few days without veggies and fruit. However I have been drinking more water and fewer cokes and coffee. I know I am not going to eliminate coffee, but increasing my water is a good first step. I have ate a few more veggies and fruits, mainly tomatoes, since it is summer and I love them in the summer.
10. Exercise more. I would love to exercise at least a few times a month and possibly up this to a few times a week as I get in a bit better shape. I don't want to push things too fast, so for the first month or so, I would like to exercise at least 3 times a month. I still don't remember the last time I exercised, some time in April I think. I have been getting in 10,000 steps with summer reading, but I haven't really exercised.

Hope everyone is doing a bit better with their goals than I am! I am hoping for a better July, but I have to start wanting to change my personal goals! 

Story Sprites 4th Session Wrapup

SS Board Round 4

I was only able to finish the purple path. I read
Book with Sarcastic Character: Out of Sight, Out of Time
Story with Strong Family Bond: Still Alice
Climate: Winter/Snowy: The Long Winter
Tight Male/Male Friendship: Blood of Olympus

I really enjoyed what I read and hope to sign up for the next round!

Thanks to the bloggers at Great Imagination for hosting!