Posted in blog stuff, Community

2017 Anti-Bullying Readathon

I hate that it’s Nov 16th and I’m just now writing about this!!!

I’m not going to soapbox here, I’m just going to say that raising awareness about bullying, learning about bullying, and doing my part to prevent it is important to me on a personal level. If you’ve never heard about this readathon or participated before, you can still jump in. Who cares that it’s the middle of the week??? Please check out the official Facebook page. This year, Sarah is putting together a super box of bookish goodies that will be raffled off to those who choose to donate to Anti-Bullying Pro. This is totally new this year and I was so excited for the opportunity to not only participate in the readathon but to be part of a group donating to a great cause.

So far, I’ve read three books for the readathon and I have three more planned. I’m not going to turn this into a book review post so I’ll just share a few thoughts on each book.

  1. Wonder Wonder by R.J. Palacio. This book was truly beautiful. It was heartfelt and emotional. Honestly, it should have come with a trigger warning, lol. I’m happy that I read this book, but I will most likely never reread it and I absolutely DO NOT want to see the movie. I was so emotionally drained from reading this book that I made myself ill.
  2. Simon I followed up Wonder with Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli and I’m glad that I did. While this book also had some heavy, emotional scenes, it was also funny and irreverent. I loved reading this story through Simon’s voice.
  3. Aristotle My third pick was Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. This book was a bit heavier than Simon, but I still very much enjoyed it. Dealing with themes such as LGBT, hate crimes, family drama, and teenage angst in the 80s gave this book a bit of a different spin than the other two.

All three of these books deal with bullying in very different ways and as such, impacted me and my views of bullying differently. All three also hit me in the emotions department so if you’re not looking for something that will make you teary, I suggest setting these aside for a different day.

If you want more information on the readathon, the links aren’t working, whatever, leave me a comment. I’d LOVE to help you out and get more people participating!

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Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Timekeeper

timekeeper

Title:  Timekeeper

Author:  Tara Sim

Publisher:  Sky Pony Press

Pages:  368

Genre:  Young Adult, Science Fiction/Fantasy/Steampunk?

Setting:  Victorian England

Source:    Net Galley

Publication Date:  Nov 1, 2016

Blurb:

In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.

And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.

But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.

The stunning first novel in a new trilogy by debut author Tara Sim, Timekeeper is perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare and Victoria Schwab.

From Me: 

Timekeeper was an intriguing novel. Set in Victorian England, the story is about Danny who is a clock mechanic. Without Danny and others like him, clock towers would not continue to function properly and thus, time would not function properly.

On a job, Danny meets a clock’s spirit, Colton, and they fall in love. It’s kind of a star-crossed lovers type of romance.

This book has a lot of romance and suspense. It’s definitely a page turner. The writing was good and Tara Sim doesn’t lose focus despite writing about several themes:  Victorian England, LGBT, science fiction, and fantasy. Other than the clocks controlling time, this novel was pretty light on the steampunk elements, which is why I added the ? in my beginning description. The time element itself was pretty unique. I can’t recall another book that I’ve read that used this theme in quite this way.

I was mildly annoyed by the relationships that Danny had with the adults in this book. They constantly doubted him, made decisions without Danny’s input, and generally were negative aspects in Danny’s life. Sounds pretty typical when you think of a 17 year old and adults. However, at times, it felt contrived and nitpicky rather than moving the story forward. This was minor though but still felt it was worth mentioning.

Over all, I enjoyed this novel and I can see the appeal to a younger audience. It was a fast read and I was surprised when I saw that it’s almost 400 printed pages since I read it as an electronic advanced copy. I’m not sure I’ll follow this series through and read the next one though.

 

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: This Adventure Ends

 

this-adventure-ends

Title:  This Adventure Ends

Author:  Emma Mills

Publisher:  Henry Holt and Co.

Pages:  320

Genre:  Contemporary, YA, Romance

Setting:  My neck of the woods in Florida

Source:    Net Galley

Publication Date:  Oct 4, 2016

Blurb:

Sloane isn’t expecting to fall in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida—especially not a group of friends so intense, so in love, so all-consuming. Yet that’s exactly what happens.

Sloane becomes closest to Vera, a social-media star who lights up any room, and Gabe, Vera’s twin brother and the most serious person Sloane’s ever met. When a beloved painting by the twins’ late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down, a journey that takes her across state lines—and ever deeper into the twins’ lives.

Filled with intense and important friendships, a wonderful warts-and-all family, shiveringly good romantic developments, and sharp, witty dialogue, this story is about finding the people you never knew you needed.

What I say:

There was a lot about this book that I liked. It was fast-paced, witty, and had modern YA themes. Sloane is an easily recognizable character as a 17 year old high school student with the usual angst. She’s also funny, smart, and talented. Moving to a new state and a new school, she adapts rather well and finds herself ensconced in a group of nice, good, friends. Sloane is also flawed in that she lets her mouth run away with her and can say hurtful things.

The entire time I read this book I kept making comparisons to The Gilmore Girls because of all the wordy, smart, fast quips that Sloane makes. I also compared it to Rainbow Rowell’s Fanfiction. There were a lot of similarities to that book in my opinion. Both of these are good things, just not all that original. I also kept thinking that teenagers, at least in my recollection and experience, aren’t nearly this witty and adult-sounding.

What I didn’t like about this book is that Mills tried to do too many things at once. She focused on the relationships between too many different characters, the rift in Sloane’s parents’ marriage, Sloane’s dads’ writer’s slump, the quest to find the painting, her struggle with her singing and auditioning for college, and Sloane trying to figure herself out in general. As a result, the details were light and there were a few plot holes. I felt like the issues with all the characters were solved in a 30 minute sitcom kinda way.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I read it about five hours, in one sitting, staying up until after 4 am to finish it, lol. I think the theme of this book could be called “sweet” and it was. The glossed over ending is what kept me from giving this book a 4 out of 5 hearts. I’d recommend this book to Nicholas Sparks (another comparison I kept making) die hards. 😉 I also LOVE the cover.

3 Hearts

Posted in Reading

October 2014 Roundup

Round-UpOctober was a busy month and NaNoWriMo, November promises to be even busier. Considering that I put myself on a book buying ban last month, my reading still ended up being pretty decent with only a few minor disappointments. I hope that you can say the same. Without further ado…

  1. Every Day by David Levithan – 5 Hearts
  2. Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix – 4 Hearts
  3. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – 5 Hearts
  4. Festive in Death (In Death #39) by J.D. Robb – 4 Hearts
  5. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart – 3 Hearts
  6. Matched (Matched #1) by Ally Condie – 3 Hearts
  7. Crossed (Matched #2) by Ally Condie – 3 Hearts
  8. Reached (Matched #3) by Ally Condie – 3 Hearts
  9. Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School #1) by Gail Carriger – 4 Hearts
  10. Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School #2) by Gail Carriger – 4 Hearts
  11. The Murder of Adam & Eve by William Dietrich – 3 Hearts
  12. Frozen (Heart of Dread #1) by Melissa de la Cruz – Did not finish – Broken Heart
  13. Waistcoats & Weaponry (Finishing School #3) by Gail Carriger – 4 Hearts

Not too shabby if I do say so myself. Including item #12, my read books for October had an average rating of 3.46 Hearts. Not including item #12 they had an average rating of 3.75 Hearts. Again, not too shabby. My favorite book of the month is Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I think it’s safe to say that I’m a fan of Rainbow Rowell. I just have one more book of hers to read before I’ll have read them all. She needs to write faster. Do you have any favorite writers that you feel that way about them? That they need to write and publish faster?

My least enjoyed book of the month was We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. I enjoyed her writing style but not the story. In case you were wondering, I don’t include Frozen because the reason I didn’t read it was because the formatting for the eBook was frightful. It also needed some major editing. I mean, names and the beginning of sentences weren’t capitalized. I couldn’t read it like that. It was an ARC, so nothing was really lost on my part.

How was your October reading? How did it compare to September?

Posted in Book Review, Uncategorized

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park

Title:  Eleanor & Park

Author:  Rainbow Rowell

Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press

Pages:  336

Genre:  Young Adult, Teen Fiction, Romance

Setting:  Omaha, Nebraska in 1986

From the publisher: 

Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.

So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.

I’m not kidding, he says.

You should be, she says, we’re 16.

What about Romeo and Juliet?
Shallow, confused, then dead.

I love you, Park says.

Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.

I’m not kidding, he says.

You should be.

 Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love—and just how hard it pulled you under.

What did you think? I loved this book. I downloaded it and sat down and read it in one sitting. I actually barked at my kids when they tried to talk to me when I was reading it. I called my sister and made her download and read it too. She loved it, just in case you were wondering. I have also bought a hard cover copy for my eldest daughter to read.

This is my first novel by Rainbow Rowell. Her writing is…I can’t think of a word that doesn’t sound cliche. Unique, lyrical, mesmerizing. She draws you into the story and makes it impossible to put the book down. I think that she conveys what it’s like to be a teenager with spot on grace and skill. She also creates characters that are relatable, likeable, and real. I’ve read books where I’ve loved the story and atmosphere that the author creates and while I didn’t hate the characters, I didn’t really care about them either. I’ve also read books where I’ve loved the characters but hated where the author prattled on about the scenery or about minor characters or sub plots. With Eleanor & Park I enjoyed all the characters, even the ones I loved to hate, and she also took me back to the 80s and the music, style, and even the feel of an 80s house and neighborhood.

I’d recommend this book to any age 14+ despite it being a “young adult” novel. While it does have some questionable language, that shouldn’t stop you from reading it or letting your teen read it. I can’t believe that this book has actually been banned by some high schools. What a loss for them.

5 Heart Rating