Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Book Tag: #RockMyTBR Book Tag

I am participating in the #RockMyTBR reading challenge in 2016, and the host, Sarah K from The YA Book Traveler, has put together a book tag for people to do as part of the challenge. This is a song and book tag, so there are ten songs for which you must find a book from your TBR pile to match. Here's what I chose.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Review: The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

[Warning: Minor Spoilers Ahead]

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Goodreads Summary:

Since their mother's death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.

One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.

Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them —Set— has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe - a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Review: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

[Warning: Minor Spoilers Ahead]
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Goodreads Summary:

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. In just a few weeks she'll have the operation that will turn her from a repellant ugly into a stunning pretty. And as a pretty, she'll be catapulted into a high-tech paradise where her only job is to have fun.

But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to become a pretty. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world-- and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally a choice: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. Tally's choice will change her world forever...

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Meme: "Waiting on" Wednesday - The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that allows bloggers to highlight books yet to be published that they can't wait to read.

This week, I am looking forward to:

 The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

Publication Date: October 6, 2015
Goodreads Summary:


Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, he’s tracked down by a man he’s never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. The man tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.

The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .


Why: I have been reading Rick Riordan since he published the middle books of the Percy Jackson series. After reading so much of his work, I'm always curious to see what he'll release next. And honestly, I saw this new series coming a mile away. Norse gods? That was the inevitable next move on his part. :) I'm super excited to see what he does.

Happy Reading!

Sarah 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Spotlight on the Classics: Beowulf by Anonymous

[Warning: Minor Spoilers Ahead]

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Goodreads Summary:


The national bestseller and winner of the Whitbread Award. Composed toward the end of the first millennium, Beowulf is the classic Northern epic of a hero’s triumphs as a young warrior and his fated death as a defender of his people. The poem is about encountering the monstrous, defeating it, and then having to live on, physically and psychically exposed in the exhausted aftermath. It is not hard to draw parallels in this story to the historical curve of consciousness in the twentieth century, but the poem also transcends such considerations, telling us psychological and spiritual truths that are permanent and liberating.

Beowulf is considered to have been composed between the 8th and the early 11th century. According to Wikipedia, it was first PUBLISHED in 1814 in a version by John Josias Conybeare.

Classics have a certain stigma in our day. As Mark Twain once said, "'Classic'--a book which people praise and don't read." Nowadays, most people view classic novels only as unpleasant homework assignments and not beautiful stories that can be enjoyed just as much as the hottest new publication. My mission is to change that stigma by reviewing classics that I enjoyed exactly as I would any other novel.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Event: Bout of Books 14


Summer is almost over everyone! I have mixed feelings about it. I am both sad that the beautiful days of sitting around and doing whatever the heck I want are almost over, and incredibly excited to start a new school year with exciting classes, new friends, and the chance to be on a competitive dance team. But as summer ends, so do my chances to read for fun on a daily basis, so I am making the most of it by participating in Bout of Books 14! Here's the official info:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 17th and runs through Sunday, August 23rd in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 14 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team


This is a great way to get a lot of books done in a week, while also being able to participate in some fun challenges. I will be updating this post each day in order to share my reading progress. So be sure to check back here daily for my progress! On top of these main things, I will be posting regularly on my other social media sites (links will be listed at the bottom of this post).

I'm not setting a goal as to how many books to finish. Mostly I just want to read a lot and have fun! I will also be counting any reading I do for school. It is reading, so I don't see why not.

8/17
Number of Pages Read: 262
Books Read: In Defense of Food, The Westminster Shorter Catechism, Mindless Eating
Total Books Read: 1
Challenge Video: http://youtu.be/1RdH4az7YAM

8/18
Number of Pages Read: 225
Books Read: Mindless Eating, The Westminster Shorter Catechism, Easy Homeopathy
Total Books Read: 2
Challenge Video: http://youtu.be/g4NHvEdOwJU

8/19
Number of Pages Read: 88
Books Read: Easy Homeopathy, The Westminster Shorter Catechism
Total Books Read: 2


8/20
Number of Pages Read: 215
Books Read: Easy Homeopathy, The Westminster Shorter Catechism, The Rumpelstiltskin Problem
Total Books Read: 3


8/21
Number of Pages Read: 108
Books Read: The Rumpelstiltskin Problem, Body & Soul, The Westminster Shorter Catechism
Total Books Read: 4


8/22
Number of Pages Read: 70
Books Read: Body & Soul, The Westminster Shorter Catechism
Total Books Read: 5


8/23
Number of Pages Read: 0
Books Read: N/A
Total Books Read: 5



If you want to participate in this event, head on over to the Bout of Books blog, where you will find instructions and information.

Social media links:
Tumblr
Facebook
Pinterest
Google+
YouTube
Instagram
Twitter

Happy reading!

Sarah

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Meme: "Waiting on" Wednesday - Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that allows bloggers to highlight books yet to be published that they can't wait to read.

This week, I am looking forward to:

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Publication Date: February 9, 2016

Goodreads Summary:


The thrilling second book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Red Queen trilogy follows Mare Barrow on her mission to defeat the traitorous Maven.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness of her own heart.


Why: I just finished reading Red Queen a week or so ago and adored it. Of course I would want the sequel as soon as possible, and this is it. I really want to see how the plot twists affect this second novel, and how Mare and Cal come back from such a tragedy and move forward.

Happy Reading!

Sarah 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Meme: Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Authors I've Read The Most Books From

http://www.brokeandbookish.com/p/top-ten-tuesday-other-features.htmlTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme and link-up created by The Broke and the Bookish in which participating bloggers share their top ten favorite books about a particular topic, as determined by the host.

This week, the topic is the top ten authors I've read the most books from. I was actually quite curious to see the actual top ten of my most-read authors, so instead of just guessing, I went to Goodreads and figured out which ten authors had the most ratings from me. Now, this may not be entirely accurate as I have not added all the books I've read to Goodreads, but it's a pretty good bet.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Review: Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan

[Warning: Minor Spoilers Ahead]
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Goodreads Summary:

Esperanza thought she'd always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico--she'd always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home, and servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. Esperanza isn't ready for the hard labor, financial struggles, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When their new life is threatened, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances--Mama's life, and her own, depend on it.

I received this book as part of a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.

As I've mentioned before, during my younger days I read a lot of historical fiction for school, ranging from the excellent to the forgettable. Unfortunately, this led me to grow somewhat tired of the genre, which means I'm always going to be a bit more critical of historical fiction novels. My new quest is to find a book in this genre that truly wows me. Unfortunately, Esperanza Rising is not that book, despite glowing reviews from countless people.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

[Warning: Minor Spoilers Ahead]

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Goodreads Summary:

In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

It's been quite a while since I read this book, and I've read quite a bit of other material in the meantime. Although I remember thoroughly enjoying the story, the details as to why are no longer so clear in my mind. But I will do the best I can to share my feelings and thoughts about it with you all.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Meme: "Waiting on" Wednesday - Winter by Marissa Meyer

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that allows bloggers to highlight books yet to be published that they can't wait to read.


This week, I am looking forward to:


Winter by Marissa Meyer 

Publication Date: November 10, 2015


Goodreads Summary:

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?


Why: This is the 4th book in the Lunar Chronicles Series, which I have absolutely loved so far (I have previously reviewed both Cinder and Scarlet, and a review for Cress will be up hopefully tomorrow). I have yet to read Fairest, which is a companion novel centered around the antagonist in the series, so hopefully, when I do read it, it will tide me over until Winter is released. I really want to know what happens to these characters! The finale is almost here.

Happy Reading!

Sarah 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Meme: Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity/Diverse Characters


http://www.brokeandbookish.com/p/top-ten-tuesday-other-features.html

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme and link-up created by The Broke and the Bookish in which participating bloggers share their top ten favorite books about a particular topic, as determined by the host.

This week's topic is books that celebrate diversity and diverse characters. This includes ethnic, religious, and racial minorities as well as characters with disabilities, etc. I found this topic to be somewhat challenging as I don't read a lot of books that fall into these categories. My go-to genre is fantasy (as well as a lot of sci-fi), which doesn't often showcase diversity (though it does on occasion). So almost all of the books I ended up choosing are juvenile historical fiction novels that I read for school when I was younger. I can attest, however, that despite their target age group, these books are excellent in their own right and can easily be enjoyed by teenagers and adults.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Spotlight on the Classics: The Aeneid by Virgil

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[Warning: Minor Spoilers Ahead]

Goodreads Summary:

Fleeing the ashes of Troy, Aeneas, Achilles’ mighty foe in the Iliad, begins an incredible journey to fulfill his destiny as the founder of Rome. His voyage will take him through stormy seas, entangle him in a tragic love affair, and lure him into the world of the dead itself--all the way tormented by the vengeful Juno, Queen of the Gods. Ultimately, he reaches the promised land of Italy where, after bloody battles and with high hopes, he founds what will become the Roman empire. An unsparing portrait of a man caught between love, duty, and fate, the Aeneid redefines passion, nobility, and courage for our times.

Classics have a certain stigma in our day. As Mark Twain once said, "'Classic'--a book which people praise and don't read." Nowadays, most people view classic novels only as unpleasant homework assignments and not beautiful stories that can be enjoyed just as much as the hottest new publication. My mission is to change that stigma by reviewing classics that I enjoyed exactly as I would any other novel.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Book Haul: May

This book haul intimidates me. So I'm warning you right off the bat: this will be an extremely large haul. My local library book sale was open for book buying this month, and since prices there are fabulous and the YA section is not often frequented by others, I decided to go every weekend and buy some books. And then I bought more on Amazon because I have officially gotten the book buying bug that so many book bloggers have. So here's the list (all titles are linked to Goodreads):

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Event: Bout of Books 13


Bout of Books
May is a month of finishing. I, for example, am finishing quite a few things this month, from school to dance classes to a recorder class I'm teaching. But my TBR pile is nowhere near being finished. In fact, due to our local book sale running every weekend in May, my TBR pile has gone from fifty-one books (already a lot) to one hundred and six. Ouch. Truthfully though, I love having all those books waiting for me to pick up. And in order to read as many as possible, I'm participating in Bout of Books 13! Here's the official info:

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

[Warning: Minor Spoilers Ahead]

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Goodreads Summary:

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison--even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.
           

I am a person who likes to read all the books in a series back-to-back (unless some of the books aren’t published yet—then I’m in trouble). If I don’t, I usually end up forgetting what happened in the previous books and having to reread them, which takes up valuable reading time. So naturally, as soon as I finished Cinder (having enjoyed it so much) I had to pick up the next book in the Lunar Chronicles—Scarlet by Marissa Meyer.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Book Haul: April

And now, readers, it's time for my April Book Haul! I don't usually buy a lot of books each month since my local library has such a huge selection to choose from, but this month I splurged with some Amazon gift cards and bought a whole slew of them. So here's the round-up (I will link all titles to Goodreads):

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Event: Fairy Tale Fortnight / Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer




So as of right now, Bonnie at A Backwards Story and Misty at The Book Rat are hosting a great event called Fairy Tale Fortnight! Each day, from April 1-14, they post a wide variety of exciting things including reviews, guest posts, giveaways, and author interviews, all with a fairy tale theme. You should definitely go check them out!

As part of this event, I have decided to post my own fairy tale themed review of:


Cinder by Marissa Meyer

[Warning: Spoilers Ahead]