Archive for July, 2014


I’ve been on a readathon kick for the past two weeks with the BookTubeAThon and the Under-Hyped Readathon, so I want to keep up the reading momentum and join another. I found out about the Dusting off the Shelf Read-A-Thon from lเttlє๏ภเ๏ภฬгเtєร, and I decided that I would like to participate in this one as well.

As it states in the picture, it will be two weeks long, starting on August 1st and ending on August 15th, and it’s hosted by Books & Cleverness. This readathon is a great way to read books that have been on your bookshelf for way too long. I know I have quite a few of those, so this is a perfect readathon for me.

For rules and how to sign up: Click here

For the challenges and her TBR: Click here

Challenges:

  • Read a book set in the past.
  • Read a classic.
  • Read a book written before 2010.
  • Read at least 100 pages a day.
  • Read a book that’s been neglected by you for a shameful amount of time.

My TBR:

Progress:

I will be posting my progress for each day below, so be sure to check back if you would like to see how I’m doing each day.

  • August 1st
    • Pages read:  104 from Overnight
    • Books completed: 0 books
  • August 2nd
    • Pages read: 47 from Overnight and 8 from Zombie Blondes
    • Books completed: 1 book
  • August 3rd
    • Pages read: 130 from Zombie Blondes
    • Books completed: 0 books
  • August 4th
    • Pages read: 26 from Zombie Blondes
    • Books completed: 0 books
  • August 5th
    • Pages read: 67 from Zombie Blondes
    • Books completed: 1 book
  • August 6th
    • Pages read: 40 from Killing Mr. Griffin
    • Books completed: 0 books
  • August 7th
    • Pages read: 12 from Killing Mr. Griffin
    • Books completed: 0 books
  • August 8th
    • Pages read: 84 from Killing Mr. Griffin and 10 from The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
    • Books completed: 0 books
  • August 9th
    • Pages read: 87 from Killing Mr. Griffin and 15 from The Time Machine
    • Books completed: 1 book
  • August 10th
    • Pages read: 8 from The Time Machine
    • Books completed: 0 books
  • August 11th
    • Pages read: 10 from The Time Machine and 28 from The Map of Time by Félix J. Palma
    • Books completed: 0 books
  • August 12th
    • Pages read: 11 from The Time Machine
    • Books completed: 0 books
  • August 13th
    • Pages read: 0
    • Books completed: 0 books
  • August 14th
    • Pages read: 0
    • Books completed: 0 books
  • August 15th
    • Pages read: 7 from The Time Machine
    • Books completed: 0 books

The Under-Hyped Readathon has ended, and I’m torn between being happy and disappointed. On the one hand, I read a fantastic book, and on the other hand, I only read one book. I finished Vicious by V. E. Schwab (Victoria Schwab), and I started The Fever by Megan Abbott. I wasn’t able to read as much as I wanted to, but I had a lot of fun participating.

I’m really glad I read Vicious because it was amazing. It’s now one of my favorite books. I feel like this Gif is the best way to show how I felt after I finished it.

Vicious kind of put me in a tiny reading slump because I seem to only want to read stories involving this world and the characters. I really hope there’s a sequel to this book. I need more! If you read the description for this book and think it sounds at all interesting, you should definitely give it a shot!

I’m really enjoying these readathons because they are giving me extra incentive to read books I might not otherwise read. Let me know if you’re participating in any readathons or read-alongs or what you read this week.

At the beginning of July, Chad and I went to one of Maggie Stiefvater’s book signings. We went to the first signing on her tour where she was giving away one of the three guitars that she custom painted for Sinner. Of course, we didn’t win the guitar, but we received other goodies. We decided that it would be cool to give away a signed copy of her new book, so we bought an extra copy. Each book came with some additional swag, a signed book cover!

Sinner – Maggie Stiefvater
Genre – Young Adult/Fantasy

A standalone companion book to the internationally bestselling Shiver Trilogy.

Sinner follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver Trilogy. Everybody thinks they know Cole’s story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole’s darkest secret — his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel’s life. Can this sinner be saved?

*Description taken from Goodreads.

 

20140726_23554920140726_235516In this giveaway, one lucky winner will receive the following items: One signed hardback copy of Sinner and one signed book cover.

The picture to the right displays the original cover, the book with the custom book cover on, and the book cover spread out. The picture on the left shows the title page with Maggie’s signature. You can click on the pictures for a close-up.

The giveaway will last for two weeks and end on August 11th. I want to give plenty of people a chance to enter.

Click the link below to enter the giveaway.

**US only. Good luck!

Rafflecopter Giveaway!

July 2014 Book Haul

Finally, I’m slowly getting back on track with my posts. I’m still working on the monthly wrap-ups, but I should have them all up next month if I’m lucky and don’t procrastinate. I’ll have some reviews up too. Probably after the Under-Hyped Readathon when I don’t have to focus on reading as much. Plus, I have a book giveaway that I’m planning to do. So much to do, so little time. I’ll keep you updated as I go. So while we all wait for me to get my stuff in order, here is a book haul to ease me back into the motions of blogging.

*All descriptions taken from Goodreads.

Looking for JJ – Anne Cassidy
Genre – Young Adult/Mystery

Three children walked away from the cottages on the edge of town toward Berwick Waters. Later that day, only two of them came back. . . .  Alice Tully knows exactly what happened that spring day six years ago, though it’s still hard for her to believe it. She’ll never be able to forget, even though she’s trying to lead a normal life–she has a job, friends, and a boyfriend whom she adores. But Alice’s past is dangerous, and violent, and sad . . . and it’s about to rip her new life apart. A gripping and emotionally searing novel by accomplished British author Anne Cassidy, Looking for JJ infuses a terrifying subject with humanity and hope.

 

Black City – Elizabeth Richards
Genre – Young Adult/Science Fiction

A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war.

In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-old Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong.

When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.

 

Charm & Strange – Stephanie Kuehn
Genre – Young Adult/Fantasy

When you’ve been kept caged in the dark, it’s impossible to see the forest for the trees. It’s impossible to see anything, really. Not without bars . . .

Andrew Winston Winters is at war with himself.

He’s part Win, the lonely teenager exiled to a remote Vermont boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy. The guy who shuts all his classmates out, no matter the cost.

He’s part Drew, the angry young boy with violent impulses that control him. The boy who spent a fateful, long-ago summer with his brother and teenage cousins, only to endure a secret so monstrous it led three children to do the unthinkable.

Over the course of one night, while stuck at a party deep in the New England woods, Andrew battles both the pain of his past and the isolation of his present.

Before the sun rises, he’ll either surrender his sanity to the wild darkness inside his mind or make peace with the most elemental of truths—that choosing to live can mean so much more than not dying.

 

Into the Darkest Corner – Elizabeth Haynes
Genre – Thriller

When young, pretty Catherine Bailey meets Lee Brightman, she can’t believe her luck. Gorgeous, charismatic, and a bit mysterious, Lee seems almost too perfect to be true.

But what begins as flattering attention and spontaneous, passionate sex transforms into raging jealousy, and Catherine soon discovers that Lee’s dazzling blue eyes and blond good looks hide a dark, violent nature. Disturbed by his increasingly erratic, controlling behavior, she tries to break it off; turning to her friends for support, she’s stunned to find they don’t believe her. Increasingly isolated and driven into the darkest corner of her world, a desperate Catherine plans a meticulous escape.

Four years later, Lee is behind bars and Catherine—now Cathy—is trying to build a new life in a new city. Though her body has healed, the trauma of the past still haunts her. Then Stuart Richardson, her attractive new neighbor, moves in. Encouraging her to confront her fears, he sparks unexpected hope and the possibility of love and a normal life.

Until the day the phone rings . . .

 

Wereling – Steve Feasey
Genre – Young Adult/Fantasy

Fourteen-year-old Trey Laporte is not a kid anymore. Not after the day he wakes up in agony—retina-splitting, vomit-inducing agony. His clothes are torn. His room is trashed.

Enter Lucien Charron, the mysterious, long-lost “uncle” with freakish fire-flecked eyes and skin that blisters in the sun. Suddenly, Trey finds himself living in a luxury penthouse at the heart of a strange and sinister empire built on the powers of the Netherworld—vampires, demons, sorcerers, and djinn.

And there is a girl—Alexa Charron—who is half vampire, half human, and insanely pretty, with powers all of her own. Trey is falling for her.

Trey is training night and day to control the newly discovered power lurking inside him. Now, demons are closing in on every side, and the most psychopathic bloodsucker to rock the Netherworld wants to destroy him. Above all, he must face one terrifying question:

Is he a boy . . . or is he a beast?

What’s Left of Me – Kat Zhang
Genre – Young Adult/Science Fiction

I should not exist. But I do.

Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else—two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren’t they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t . . .

For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she’s still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable-hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet . . . for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything.

 

Dangerous Girls – Abigail Haas
Genre – Young Adult/Mystery

It’s Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off to a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives. But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations.

As Anna sets out to find her friend’s killer; she discovers hard truths about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love.

As she awaits the judge’s decree, it becomes clear that everyone around her thinks she is not just guilty, but dangerous. When the truth comes out, it is more shocking than one could ever imagine…

 

The End Games – T. Michael Martin
Genre – Young Adult/Horror

It happened on Halloween.

The world ended.

And a dangerous Game brought it back to life.

Seventeen-year-old Michael and his five-year-old brother, Patrick, have been battling monsters in The Game for weeks.

In the rural mountains of West Virginia, armed with only their rifle and their love for each other, the brothers follow Instructions from the mysterious Game Master. They spend their days searching for survivors, their nights fighting endless hordes of “Bellows”—creatures that roam the dark, roaring for flesh. And at this Game, Michael and Patrick are very good.

But The Game is changing.

The Bellows are evolving.

The Game Master is leading Michael and Patrick to other survivors—survivors who don’t play by the rules.

And the brothers will never be the same.

 

Wolves – Shaun Ellis
Genre – Non-Fiction/Animals

This book offers a tantalizing glimpse into the private life of the wolf, a symbol of the spirit of wildness that is now in such short supply in our modern world.

More than 200 stunning and inspirational photographs of wolves, coupled with detailed observations of their behavior, dispel many of the myths that surround these powerful animals and form an impression of the true nature of the wolf.

Written and illustrated by two wolf experts who have spent hours tracking and watching wolves, Wolves portrays the complexities and wonders of wolf society and inspires a deep respect for an animal that has long held a fascination for humans.

All the Truth That’s in Me – Julie Berry
Genre – Young Adult/Historical Fiction

Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town of Roswell Station. Two years ago, only Judith returned, permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by those who were once her friends and family. Unable to speak, Judith lives like a ghost in her own home, silently pouring out her thoughts to the boy who’s owned her heart as long as she can remember—even if he doesn’t know it—her childhood friend, Lucas. But when Roswell Station is attacked, long-buried secrets come to light, and Judith is forced to choose: continue to live in silence, or recover her voice, even if it means changing her world, and the lives around her, forever. This startlingly original novel will shock and disturb you; it will fill you with Judith’s passion and longing; and its mysteries will keep you feverishly turning the pages until the very last.

 

Room – Emma Donoghue
Genre – Contemporary

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it’s where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it’s not enough…not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son’s bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, ROOM is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

BookTubeAThon Conclusion

BookTubeAThon has come to a close. This was a lot of fun, and I’m glad I participated. Chad also decided to participate in this readathon, so I’ll include his results at the end. We actually ended up completing the same amount of challenges, even though I ended up reading 645 more pages than he did (Shh, don’t tell him). We both started a series but neither of us finished them. Chad is going to carry his book over into the Under-Hyped Readathon because it has less than 1,000 ratings. I’ll be switching to Vicious by V. E. Schwab. Anyway, here are the results for the BookTubeAThon challenges:

My Results:

Monday:

  • Finished Saga, Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan (160 pages)
  • Completed Challenge 1 (book with pictures)

Tuesday:

  • Finished The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (180 pages)
  • Completed Challenge 5 (book from genre I’ve read the least)
  • Completed Challenge 6 (book to movie adaptation)

Wednesday:

  • Finished Perfect Shadow by Brent Weeks (99 pages)
  • Completed Challenge 4 (book someone picks out for you)

Sunday:

I managed to read four books (1,084 pages), and I completed four challenges. This was a successful readathon, and it helped me get back into reading after my break. I was able to read some books that I have been meaning to read for a while.

Chad’s Results:

  • Finished Perfect Shadow by Brent Weeks (99 pages)
    • Completed Challenge 1 (book with pictures)
  • Finished The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (180 pages)
    • Completed Challenge 5 (book from genre I’ve read the least)
    • Completed Challenge 6 (book to movie adaptation)
  • Finished Saga, Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan (160 pages)
    • Completed Challenge 4 (book someone picks out for you)

I decided to participate in the challenges mostly just to help motivate Heather, but I really enjoyed it once we got going.  I hadn’t read an entire book in more than a year and it felt good to get back into reading.  The Great Gatsby really slowed me down though, and I had to take a  few days off before reading Saga.  – Chad

After participating in the BookTubeAThon, I want to keep my momentum up and do another readathon. (I’ll be posting my BookTubeAThon conclusion tomorrow.) I think the under-hyped readathon is a great idea because we get to share and read books that are not well-known.

The readathon starts on July 21st and ends on July 27th. The only rules are that the books have to be considered under-hyped. An example being that you only read books under 5,000 ratings on Goodreads, but it’s up to the reader what they consider under-hyped. The Under-Hyped Readathon’s Goodreads page has more information and discussions to participate in as you read.

Below is the list of some books that I plan on trying to read during this week. Of course, I won’t be able to read them all, but I’ll be able to pick from a variety of books.

  1. Vicious by V. E. Schwab (Victoria Schwab)
  2. The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke
  3. A Feast of Snakes by Harry Crews
  4. Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas (Abby McDonald)
  5. Following Polly by Karen Bergreen
  6. Six Months Later by Natalie Richards
  7. The Fever by Megan Abbott

All of these books are under 5,000 ratings on Goodreads except for The Assassin’s Curse, which has almost 7,000 ratings. I might end up taking it off the list later, but I’ll leave it for now because I’ve been really wanting to read it. I’ve also been wanting to read Vicious, so I think that will be the first book I pick up during this week. I’ll have a post in the middle of the week to show where I am with my reading. Let me know if you’re participating in this readathon or what you’re planning on reading during this week. Happy reading!

UPDATE (7/21/14):

Chad has decided he wants to participate in this readathon too, so I’m going to add in his choices below:

  1. The Edge of the World by Kevin J. Anderson
  2. The Map of All Things by Kevin J. Anderson
  3. The Key to Creation by Kevin J. Anderson
  4. Russian Amerika by Stoney Compton
  5. Weapons of Choice by John Birmingham

BookTubeAThon Update

The third day of BookTubeAThon has concluded, so I thought I would post an update of my progress so far. I’m doing pretty well with completing challenges and keeping up with my reading.

Monday:

  • Finished Saga, Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan (160 pages)
  • Completed Challenge 1 (book with pictures)

Tuesday:

  • Finished The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (180 pages)
  • Completed Challenge 5 (book from genre I’ve read the least)
  • Completed Challenge 6 (book to movie adaptation)

Wednesday:

  • Finished Perfect Shadow by Brent Weeks (99 pages)
  • Completed Challenge 4 (book someone picks out for you)

I’ve read 439 pages and completed four of the challenges. I’m planning on reading The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks next. I haven’t been keeping up with the 300 pages a day, of course, so I may pick another book out to have a total of seven books. It all depends on how I do with The Night Angel Trilogy. I’m having a lot of fun with the challenges, and it’s great to take some books off of my TBR pile. I hope everyone is having a great BookTubeAThon, and I will be sure to post another update soon.

BookTubeAThon TBR

I’ve decided to participate in the BookTubeAThon! Even though it’s titled booktube anyone is allowed to participate regardless of whether or not you post videos on Youtube. There are video challenges for those on Youtube, but I’m just going to stick with the reading challenges.

The readathon begins on Monday, July 14th and ends on Monday, July 21st. There’s more information about the rules and what is happening during this particular week on the BookTubeAThon Youtube page. Plus, there’s a 10% off coupon for the Book Depository, so check it out if you’re interested.

Reading Challenges:

  1. A book with pictures.
  2. Start and finish a series.
  3. A book with red on the cover.
  4. A book someone else picks out for you.
  5. A book from the genre you’ve read the least this year.
  6. A book to movie adaptation.
  7. Read seven books (and/or average of 300 pages a day).

I’m going to try and accomplish all of the challenges. I know I probably won’t be able to complete them all, but it’s going to be fun to try and read a bunch of books this week. One positive is that books can count for more than one challenge, so it doesn’t have to be a different book for each challenge. However, no book can be used in more than two challenges. Here are the books on my TBR:

  1. Saga – Brian K. Vaughan
  2. The Night Angel Trilogy – Brent Weeks
  3. Shadow’s Edge – Brent Weeks
  4. Perfect Shadow – Brent Weeks
  5. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald (Classic)
  6. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  7. I’m going to try for the 300 pages a day, but if I can’t then I’ll choose another small book to add to my list.

This is one crazy list, I know. The start and finish a series is the only one I wasn’t sure I would find anything for because I don’t have any complete series that are unread on my shelves besides The Night Angel Trilogy. I’ve been meaning to read this trilogy for a while now, and this is a perfect time and reason to focus on getting it done. Let me know if you are going to participate or if there are any other readathons or readalongs coming up that I should look into.

I’m Back!

I’m happy to announce that I’m back to blogging. Of course, the break was longer than I anticipated, but it was great, and I really needed it. While I was away, Chad and I worked on our Wreck This Journal which has been a lot of fun. We are far from finished, but it’s coming along nicely. I’m not sure if I will post pictures or not. There’s always a chance though. Other than that, I did finish two books, Fangirl and How Not to Write a Novel. I’ll have both of those in my June Wrap-Up. The May Wrap-Up will also be coming soon once I get back on track.

In my Taking a Break post I said I was going to work out a schedule for my posting. However, I decided that I won’t have a specific schedule for when I post anything. I’d rather not have days where I’m forced to post something when I’m not in the mood. Even without a schedule, I’m going to do my best to post a few times a week.

As a coming back gift, I have a special giveaway that I’m planning to do. Be on the lookout for a post with more details about this in the next few days. Hint: It’s a book that was recently released and may or may not have been signed by the author.  ; )