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Showing posts from May, 2013

Summer Reading

Summer is here! Yay!!! I'm seriously in need of some chill time, particularly to read more. I so enjoyed all of the reading I was able to do during summer break last year. I may not get as much in this year as I am still in the process of planning for the first semester of the 2013-2014 school year. I have three new HS English classes I'm taking on this year. BUT. I still have some things I am going to attempt to participate in. The 48 HBC will take place June 7-9 and is being hosted by Ms. Yingling Reads this year. I love this event and am excited it is happening since I was unable to participate last year. Also I have TBR pile that could use 48 hours of concentrated reading to help reduce it. In addition to this I'm also going to do the #Bookaday Challenge . Now I really mean in addition to. I know #bookaday is supposed to be an average so technically the 48 HBC would cover half my summer. But I will try to read a book a day too. Many of them will be picture books m

You Look Different in Real Life

I couldn't help but be drawn to the concept of You Look Different in Real Life by Jennifer Castle. In our era of "reality" TV, to take a look at the story of some one who is put in the position of having their life filmed is brilliant. My only fear was that Castle would not do her idea the justice it deserves. No worries. This is an excellent novel. Synopsis: For the rest of the world, the movies are entertainment. For Justine, they're real life. The premise was simple: five kids, just living their lives. There'd be a new movie about them every five years, starting in kindergarten. But no one could have predicted what the cameras would capture. And no one could have predicted that Justine would be the star. Now sixteen, Justine doesn't feel like a star anymore. In fact, when she hears the crew has gotten the green light to film Five at Sixteen, all she feels is dread. The kids who shared the same table in kindergarten have become teenagers who ha

Doll Bones

Doll Bones is a new Middle Grade title from the talented Holly Black. It is, thus far, my favorite MG read of the year. It is a genre busting title that covers horror, suspense, mystery, and the supernatural. Or it could be a plain old contemporary realistic novel. It is all in how you look it at. Doll Bones follows three twelve year olds who have been friends for years. Zach: He is a talented basketball player and has recently attracted the interest of the cool kids and girls in his middle school. He doesn't want anyone to discover he still plays with action figures with his two friends who are girls, but he also loves it and doesn't want to give it up. Alice: She is a drama girl who loves theater and acting and uses it to escape from her domineering grandmother, who is her guardian. She uses the game with her friends for the same thing and has created ever more dangerous and reckless characters who take the risks she is afraid to take herself. Poppy: She is the yo

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

A review featuring Bit, age 8 (but only for two more days!) So here we are at Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows . We are finished. I'm a little sad, but mostly just cherish this experience I have had reading these books to her, and hope her brother lets me do the same thing with him.   The Story The wizarding world is in the worst circumstances it's been in. Harry is being hunted by everyone, while he, Ron, and Hermione are attempting to hunt down the means of destroying Voldemort once and for all. Bit's Thoughts This is the perfect way to end the series. There are parts that make me sad, and parts that make me happy. Harry got annoying again, but made up for it in the end. A lot of stuff surprised me, but I can't say what. You should definitely read the whole series so you can read this book. It was my favorite one in the series.  My Thoughts I loved this book when it first came out, and I still love it. Reading it again reminded me of just how

Best Birthday Stash Ever

I did a Favorite Things post a few months back on my Favorite Books of All Time . I mentioned it was inspired by my sister asking but not telling me why she wanted to know. As I said then, she's crafty in more ways than one. Well, today I received my birthday present from her. It was late because she didn't want to mail it and I now I know why. All of it was made by her . And it is all awesome. And something my nerdy bookish friends will appreciate so I'm sharing. The Bag it All Came In:  Then she filled it up with items relating to all the nerdy things I love: These are bookish magnets and a journal that says "Team Baker Street" on it.  It's a little Doctor Who supply kit for my purse.  A notebook full of Harry Potter recipes. She put quotes from the books on every page too.  This is why she asked me to choose my favorite books. These are coasters. I'm so excited. I was overwhelmed by the awesomeness of all of this but this was the par

Handbook for Dragon Slayers

I was super excited to win a copy of Handbook for Dragon Slayers by Merrie Haskell in a Goodreads giveaway. I had reservations about Haskell's The Princess Curse ( my thoughts ), but I liked her writing so much I was eager to try another of her books. Handbook for Dragon Slayers is a great tale of adventure, friendship, and discovering who you are. Tilda has never given much thought to dragons, attending instead to her endless duties and wishing herself free of a princess's responsibilities.When a greedy cousin steals Tilda's lands, the young princess goes on the run with two would-be dragon slayers. Before long she is facing down the Wild Hunt, befriending magical horses, and battling flame-spouting dragons. On the adventure of a lifetime, and caught between dreams of freedom and the people who need her, Tilda learns more about dragons—and herself—than she ever imagined. Tilda is not the typical heroine of a princess story, even a rebellious princess story.

TTT: Favorite Covers of Books I've Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a Meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish This week's TTT topic is Top Ten Covers of Books I've Read:   Doll Bones : I'm so happy that I get to include this one. I just read the book over the weekend. I loved the creepiness of the cover before I read the book, and love it even more now. It fits the story so perfectly The King of Attolia : I like how this cover encompasses so much of the story contained within and yet can be so misleading if you study it in a certain light. Graffiti Moon : Another cover that I feel captures the contents of the book perfectly. I love the blurriness of the city in the background and the shadowed focus on Lucy and Ed. So symbolic of the story. Wildwood Dancing: I have always loved Kinuko Craft's illustrations and this cover is a work of art. There is so much detail. You really need to see it up close to appreciate the full effect. Warning: It may cause you to want to stroke it and not stop looking at it

The Pirate's Wish

I had so much fun reading The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clark when it came out last year. ( My thoughts .) The story continues in the sequel, The Pirate's Wish , and to add to the fun of pirates and assassins there is also a Manticore. I  mean come on, how can you not want to read a book with an assassin, a pirate, and a Manticore? I know I sure wanted to and was excited when I was able to read it early after being approved on NetGalley. Warning: Spoilers for The Assassin's Curse ahead. Read it before read this. Synopsis: After setting out to break the curse that binds them together, the pirate Ananna and the assassin Naji find themselves stranded on an enchanted island in the north with nothing but a sword, their wits, and the secret to breaking the curse: complete three impossible tasks. With the help of their friend Marjani and a rather unusual ally, Ananna and Naji make their way south again, seeking what seems to be beyond their reach. Unfortunat

Favorite Classics

Classic literature is on my mind a lot lately. All the talk about The Great Gatsby , which will never be a book I like, is part of it. Mostly though it is because I'm rereading so many in preparation to teach my High School English classes next year. So this month's Favorite Things list is dedicated to my favorite all time classic novels.  In making this list I thought of so many Shakespeare plays I wanted to add that I decided to do a whole list just for him. Coming in July... What about you? Do you have any classic novels you love to reread? What are the ones you don't like at all?

Waiting on Wednesday: Empire of Bones

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine , that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.   Cyrus and Antigone Smith have thwarted Dr. Phoenix's plans—for the moment. And they've uncovered a new threat from the transmortals and managed to escape with their lives. Their next adventure will take them deep into the caves below Ashtown, where they will look for help from those imprisoned in one of Ashtown's oldest tombs. I love all of N.D. Wilson's books and his latest series is definitely my favorite of his books. The first two books, The Dragon's Tooth and The Drowned Vault , are amazing. I am eagerly awaiting the next installment which he has promised will feature the return of Leon, the giant immortal turtle. Excellent. Why does it not come out until October 22!?!


Last year I completely fell for a surly, mischievous, puck named Rook and a strong, kind-hearted, girl named Fer when I read Winterling by Sarah Prineas ( my thoughts ).  When my copy of Summerkin , the sequel, arrived it was no surprise that I lost interest in everything else in my TBR pile and had to read it right away. I am happy to say that I adored it and am more in love with the characters than ever. Fer, who defeated the evil usurper who had murdered her parents and taken over the Summerland, now must come to terms with what it means to be the ruler. She is fiercely determined not to take oaths from her people knowing how they were abused when they did that before. Her refusal to do this has put her right to rule in question. The High Ones have requested that she come to compete in a competition. The winner will win the right to rule the Summerlands. Rook, now freed from his oaths to the evil Mor, has returned to his Puck brothers. They are determined to create mischief and w

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Reading Harry Potter to Bit has been one of the most fun experiences of my life and I have managed to stretch it out over three years. It is coming to an end though as I promised to read the last two books back to back and we have finished The Half Blood Prince.   The Story The wizarding world knows of Lord Voldemort's return and fears are running high. People are disappearing or found dead. The Ministry is powerless to find the Death Eaters or stop their destruction. Hogwarts isn't even safe anymore as strange and terrifying attacks are harming students. Yet school is still school. There are lessons to learn, Quidditch to play, and girls eager to slip Harry love potion for the chance of a date with him. To add to this stress Ron and Hermione are at odds again, Harry is convinced Draco is up to something nefarious and no one will listen to him, and Dumbledore is giving Harry extra lessons about Tom Riddle's dark past. Fortunately Harry is getting a little extra help fr

Out of This Place

I tend to like contemporary YA novels written by Australian authors so whenever an opportunity comes up to read a new one I will take it. Out of This Place by Emma Cameron is a beautifully written verse novel that originated in Australia under the title Cinnamon Rain . It is a good story and a powerful one that I enjoyed with some reservations. Synopsis (from Goodreads): Luke spends his days hanging out at the beach, working shifts at the local supermarket, and trying to stay out of trouble at school. His mate Bongo gets wasted, blocking out memories of the little brother that social services took away from his addict mom and avoiding the stepdad who hits him. And Casey, the girl they both love, longs to get away from her strict, controlling father and start anew in a place where she can be free. But even after they each find a way to move on and lead very different lives, can they outrun their family stories — and will they ever be able to come together again?  I have

Top Ten Tuesday: Books When You Need Something Light and Fun

Top Ten Tuesday is a Meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish This is my first time participating in Top Ten Tuesday. I didn't discover it until after I already started doing the once a month My Favorite Things posts. Once I discovered TTT I would see topics I would love to participate in. As that keeps happening I decided to occasionally participate when the topic is one that I really love. I will still do my own Favorite Things posts too. This week's TTT topic is Top Ten Books When You Need Something Light and Fun The MG Choices:     The Kat Books by Stephanie Burgis: Regency England and magic. It doesn't get any better than that. There is a lot of mystery, adventure, and romance thrown into the mix too.  The Penderwick Books by Jeanne Birdsall: This series about four sisters and their adventures and friendships is perfect lighthearted fun. I sometimes read the end of Gardam Street whenever I need a scene that will just make me smile at the en