Tag Archive: August


August 2014 Wrap-Up

The August wrap-up is here! Let me know if you’ve read or watched any of these and what you’re thoughts were or if you want to read or watch any of these.

*All descriptions for books taken from Goodreads and all descriptions for movies taken from IMDb. All pictures link to their respective Goodreads or IMDb pages.

The Fever – Megan Abbott
Genre – Young Adult/Mystery
My Rating – ★★

The panic unleashed by a mysterious contagion threatens the bonds of family and community in a seemingly idyllic suburban community.

The Nash family is close-knit. Tom is a popular teacher, father of two teens: Eli, a hockey star and girl magnet, and his sister Deenie, a diligent student. Their seeming stability, however, is thrown into chaos when Deenie’s best friend is struck by a terrifying, unexplained seizure in class. Rumors of a hazardous outbreak spread through the family, school and community.

As hysteria and contagion swell, a series of tightly held secrets emerges, threatening to unravel friendships, families and the town’s fragile idea of security.

Review: I have a full review of The Fever. Overall, The Fever wasn’t a great mystery. Even though the red herrings were plausible and made sense, the true reason for the outbreak seemed silly. The characters were dull and at times had some inappropriate thoughts about other characters. It was an okay book, but I probably wouldn’t recommend it. Others have enjoyed it though, so it’s always up to the reader.

 

Overnight – Adele Griffin
Genre – Young Adult/Mystery
My Rating – ★★★★

Everyone expects Caitlin’s sleepover birthday party to be perfect. She is one of the Lucky Seven, the group every sixth-grade girl wants to belong to. But those inside this enchanted circle know it’s often less about feeling accepted and more about watching your step. Of the Seven, Gray is the easiest target for the others, and tonight she disappears. As the girls search for Gray, some of them worry. Others have secrets they’re not telling, even to the police. And as the truth gets harder to hide, new emotions erupt, friendships become shaky, and a power struggle ensues. The Lucky Seven is in danger of falling apart. And as for Gray, she’ll need to call on all of her wavering courage just to survive this turbulent night.

Review: While it’s listed in the young adult genre, Overnight is a middle grade read. I can see why some might not like this story. Some of the girls are a bit cliche and can make some terrible decisions, but I think it’s rather an enjoyable read. It was surprisingly scary for a middle grade book. Though it may not be for some. It was for me because one of my fears when I was little was what happened to Gray. There were plenty of moments of yelling at the characters to do something and then being frustrated when they didn’t do it. The characterization is interesting because while there are cliches such as the shy girl, mean girl, spoiled girl and so on, it doesn’t take away from the story. It’s interesting to see how everyone reacts in this situation. At first, they don’t think much about what happens, but as time progresses and no one has found Gray, they begin to worry about what happened to her. Overall, it’s an engaging story and a page-turner, and I would recommend it.

 

Zombie Blondes – Brian James
Genre – Young Adult/Horror
My Rating – ★★

From the moment Hannah Sanders arrived in town, she felt there was something wrong.
A lot of houses were for sale, and the town seemed infected by an unearthly quiet. And then, on Hannah’s first day of classes, she ran into a group of cheerleaders—the most popular girls in school.
The odd thing was that they were nearly identical in appearance: blonde, beautiful, and deathly pale.
But Hannah wants desperately to fit in—regardless of what her friend Lukas is telling her: if she doesn’t watch her back, she’s going to be blonde and popular and dead—just like all the other zombies in this town. . . .

Review: I actually forgot that I had already read this book years before. I don’t think that’s a good sign for this story. Nothing really stood out in this novel, and I found myself more frustrated at the main character than anything else. Hannah is very judgmental of others, and she makes rash decisions about the boy that tries to help her. When she’s warned not to hang with the popular girls, of course she must do so. The father is another big issue I had with this book. They just moved into town, and he decides it would be a great time to leave his daughter alone. This seemed like a ploy to get the father out of the picture so all the bad stuff could happen to Hannah. It’s sad that the story fell flat for me because I really liked the first chapter and the ending, but everything in the middle wasn’t that great. I probably wouldn’t recommend this book.

 

Killing Mr. Griffin – Lois Duncan
Genre – Young Adult/Mystery
My Rating – ★★★

High school can be tough. But with teachers like Mr. Griffin it can seem impossible.

They only planned to scare him. But sometimes even the best-laid plans go wrong.

Review: I found out this book was on the banned list, and I can see why since it deals with students killing their teacher. Killing Mr. Griffin has an intriguing plot, and its keeps you wanting to find out what happens next and what will happen to these students. While the plot is interesting, the characters can be annoying at times, and they’re forgettable. Throughout the crime, it’s easy to pick out what the characters are doing wrong and what will cause them to be caught (not that I want them to get away with their crime). It might be that I watch and read a lot of mysteries and thrillers, but as a character was doing something, I knew that it would end up getting them in trouble later. I loved how peer pressure played into this novel and how it showed how far pressure can make someone go. I didn’t really like how the ending was done. It’s a silly way to explain what all happened because the reader is told all of the details through a mother’s dialogue to her daughter (one of the students involved). However, everything is resolved, and it’s a good ending for this type of story. It’s worth reading.

 

The Time Machine – H.G. Wells
Genre – Classic/Science Fiction
My Rating – ★★★

“I’ve had a most amazing time….”

So begins the Time Traveller’s astonishing firsthand account of his journey 800,000 years beyond his own era—and the story that launched H.G. Wells’s successful career and earned him his reputation as the father of science fiction. With a speculative leap that still fires the imagination, Wells sends his brave explorer to face a future burdened with our greatest hopes…and our darkest fears. A pull of the Time Machine’s lever propels him to the age of a slowly dying Earth. There he discovers two bizarre races—the ethereal Eloi and the subterranean Morlocks—who not only symbolize the duality of human nature, but offer a terrifying portrait of the men of tomorrow as well. Published in 1895, this masterpiece of invention captivated readers on the threshold of a new century. Thanks to Wells’s expert storytelling and provocative insight, The Time Machine will continue to enthrall readers for generations to come.

Review: The Time Machine has a unique storytelling method. Besides the beginning and end, it’s entirely told through the traveler’s dialogue. He explains what happened to him when he traveled to the future. There was a lot of thought put into the aspects of time travel. It’s so well done that it makes you wonder if Wells did invent a way to travel in time. I did really enjoy the beginning and ending. There were some boring moments in the story. Especially when the traveler first starts his story. The social commentary can sometimes drag on and made me wonder when the he was going to talk about anything else. However, once the traveler met the Eloi and the Morlocks, the story became really interesting. It’s definitely worth reading, especially if you want to see where science fiction began.

 

The Murder Farm – Andrea Maria Schenkel
Genre – Mystery
My Rating – ★★★½

A whole family has been murdered with a pickaxe. They were old Danner the farmer, an overbearing patriarch, his put-upon devoutly religious wife, and their daughter Barbara Spangler, whose husband Vincenz left her after fathering her daughter, Marianne. Also murdered was the Danners’ new maidservant, Marie, who was regarded as slightly simple. Despite the brutal nature of the killings and the small village where it has taken place, the police have no leads. Officially the crime is unsolved. And then a former resident returns home The Murder Farm is an unconventional detective story. The author interweaves testament from the villagers, an oblique view of the murderer, occasional third-person narrative pieces and passages of pious devotion. The narrator leaves the village unaware of the truth, only the reader is able to reach the shattering conclusion.

Review: I have a full review of The Murder Farm. It’s a unique and enjoyable story. It’s a mystery that keeps you guessing and turning the page. While we don’t get to know the characters that well, I feel they all have distinct voices and are interesting enough to keep the story going. The story is told in a very uncommon way, but it works for the plot. If you’re looking for a short mystery, you should definitely give this book a chance.

 

Dreams of the Dead – Thomas Randall
Genre – Young Adult/Horror
My Rating – ★★★★½

Kara’s afraid to go to sleep until the nightmares come when she’s awake . . . .Sixteen-year-old Kara Foster is an outsider in Japan, but is doing her best to fit at the private school where her father is teaching English for the year. Fortunately she’s befriended by Sakura, a fellow outsider struggling to make sense of her sister’s unsolved murder some months ago. No one seems to care about the beautiful girl who was so brutally murdered, and the other students go on as if nothing has happened. Unfortunately, the calm doesn’t last for long. Kara begins to have nightmares, and soon other students in the school turn up dead, viciously attacked by someone . . . or something. Is Sakura getting back at those she thinks are responsible for her sister’s death? Or has her dead sister come back to take revenge for herself?

Review: Dreams of the Dead really surprised me. I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did. I loved the plot and especially the characters in this story. The characters were so realistic and relatable. Having the story set in Japan only added a bonus to this story. I’ve always wanted to go to Japan and this story made me want to go even more with all the amazing descriptions. The combination of plot, characters, and setting really made me think about animes and mangas. This added to my enjoyment of the story. The horror aspect of this story was scary but not too much. It was the perfect balance of intriguing and scary elements. There were also a few surprising twists with how the characters dealt with the demon and other students which were interesting. The only thing I didn’t like was how the main character responded to her friends thoughts about the demon, but other than that I enjoyed everything about this story. I would definitely recommend this for anyone interested in starting to read horror or if you want a story set in Japan.

 


 

Justin and the Knights of Valour
Rating – PG
My Rating – ★★½

A young boy becomes a man as he embarks on a quest to become a knight.

Review: Justin and the Knights of Valour is an entertaining movie. However, it’s not an amazing movie. It didn’t capture my interest as much as I would have liked, and I found myself bored during some scenes. It felt as though I had seen most of what happened in this story but in better movies. It’s predictable and most of the characters are cliches. On the other hand, I did enjoy that women were not just damsels in distress, and the movie portrayed them in two different lights which is always nice. It was interesting to watch, but it’s not my favorite. I’m sure others have really enjoyed it, so it’s always worth checking out.

 

Rio 2
Rating – G
My Rating – ★★★½

It’s a jungle out there for Blu, Jewel and their three kids after they’re hurtled from Rio de Janeiro to the wilds of the Amazon. As Blu tries to fit in, he goes beak-to-beak with the vengeful Nigel, and meets his father-in-law.

Review: I didn’t expect much out of the sequel to Rio because sequels have a tendency to not be as good as the original, and I only liked Rio (★★★), so I was worried about this movie. However, I found that I liked this one a bit more than the first one. Of course it’s predictable in some areas, but it had a few surprises at the end that I didn’t expect. I have to say that my favorite scenes were the ones with Nigel and Gabi, especially Nigel because I love the evil ones. It was fun to see how they reacted to each other, and I wanted even more scenes with them. Overall, Rio 2 is a fun movie, and I would recommend it.

 

The Great Gatsby (2013)
Rating – PG-13
My Rating – ★★★★

A Midwestern war veteran finds himself drawn to the past and lifestyle of his millionaire neighbor.

Review: This version of The Great Gatsby sticks fairly close to the book while also adding it’s own elements to the story such as changing the arrangement of dialogue or making a character have certain body language that conveys the right emotion. These additions changed some scenes so they would make more sense, at least to me. I felt they made everything flow easier and made character decisions make more sense. I liked the modern music because it gives it a different twist than the other adaptations. I have to say that I liked this one better than the 1974 version. It’s definitely worth watching.

 

Guardians of the Galaxy
Rating – PG-13
My Rating – ★★★★½

A group of space criminals must work together to stop a fanatic from destroying the galaxy.

ReviewGuardians of the Galaxy is such a fun movie. It’s extremely funny, and Chad and I laughed throughout the movie. I actually wasn’t expecting it to be as funny as it was, but I was pleasantly surprised. They are very unique characters and each one of them add their own charm to the team. There is plenty of action throughout this movie and really cool easter eggs. The only problem I had with the movie was the weak villain. He doesn’t pose as big of a threat as I would have liked and the audience doesn’t really learn anything about him to make him more developed. I still can’t wait for the sequel though. I hope it’s as good as this one, if not better. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to get into the super hero movies. It’s the perfect place to start.

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Movies Tag

I found this tag on Youtube from robyn176 and Bazpierce and thought it would be fun. I always do book tags, but I wanted to do something movie related. Chad wanted to participate as well so both of our answers are included.

Questions:

1. Favorite movie of all time?

Heather – Shutter Island

Wow, that was incredibly hard. As I’ve stated in my Favorite Movies post, I have a ton of favorite movies, and I’m completely indecisive.

Chad – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I’ve been watching this movie since I was way too young to be watching this movie. This was one of the first VHS tapes I remember having on my shelf that wasn’t made by Disney.

2. Favorite scene from that movie?

Heather – The lighthouse scene at the end.

Chad – The final confrontation.

 

3. Favorite actors/actresses?

Heather & Chad

Actors – Leonardo DiCaprio and Will Smith

Actresses – Jennifer Lawrence, Isla Fisher (Heather), and Mila Kunis (Chad)

 

4. Most annoying actor/actress?

Heather – Adam Sandler

This hasn’t always been the case. I really enjoy Sandler’s older movies, but his recent ones have all been pretty stupid.

Chad – Will Ferrell

This was an easy pick.  This man makes Adam Sandler look like Leonardo DiCaprio.

 

5. Best director?

Heather & Chad

Christopher Nolan

I’M BATMAN! But not really. We’re not experts when it comes to directors, but we’ve really enjoyed most of his films.

 

6. Favorite guilty pleasure film?

Heather27 Dresses/Julie & Julia/Step Up 2: The Streets

There are plenty of other guilty pleasure films, but it would take forever to list them all.

ChadPokemon: The First Movie

I could watch this movie anytime.  I know it’s a children’s movie, but I don’t care.  Pokemon is awesome and Mewtwo is a boss.

 

7. Favorite tear jerker?

Heather & Chad

Gladiator

We usually avoid tear jerkers at all cost but some sneak in.

 

8. Character from a movie that scared you the most?

Heather – Mrs. Ganush from Drag Me to Hell

This woman gives me the creeps. Plus, she did everything that I’m terrified of. If you’ve seen the movie, it should make perfect sense. (I refuse to even look for a picture of her)

Chad – Not sure

I never really watched scary movies growing up.  It wasn’t because I wasn’t allowed. I just never really found being scared all that enjoyable.

 

9. Movie you love but everyone hates?

HeatherResident Evil

I know that not everyone hated this movie, but it’s certainly not most peoples’ favorite. However, I really enjoy this movie. It’s entertaining, even if it doesn’t follow the games at all.

ChadTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3

This movie gets a lot of hate, and looking back, it’s not a tremendously well made movie or anything.  I watched it a lot as a kid, and it was the only movie in the trilogy that I had on VHS.  Maybe I love it just because of the nostalgia, but either way, I really enjoy it.

 

10. Movie you hate but everyone loves?

HeatherAnchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

It was hard to pick one out for this one. Usually the movies I hate, others hate as well or they’re not well-known. But I’ve never understood the love for this movie. While I don’t hate it as much as other movies, I can’t stand the characters and some of the humor just isn’t funny to me.

ChadNapoleon Dynamite

This movie came out while I was in middle school and everyone I knew was obsessed with it.  Everyone thought it was hilarious.  I didn’t.  I absolutely detest this movie, and Pedro does not have my vote . . .

 

11. Favorite movie duo?

Heather & Chad

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost

Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End, enough said.

 

12. Favorite animated movie?

HeatherSpirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

This was another hard category to pick from, but this has always been a go-to movie for me. Any time I feel sad or stressed, I watch this and feel better. The soundtrack is amazing and just adds to everything else great about the movie.

Chad – Pokemon: The First Movie

I know this movie is already on here, but this category was a tough one for me.  None of my favorite movies are animated, but this was the first big one that came to mind.  I just love it.

 

13. Actor/actress crush?

Heather & Chad

Actor – Leonardo DiCaprio and Will Smith

Actress – Jennifer Lawrence and Mila Kunis

 

14. Favorite movie villain?

Heather – Magneto

Look how cute he is. 😀

Chad – Scar

Kills his brother, blames his nephew, becomes king.  He also scores an additional +10 for his awesome song, “Be Prepared.

 

15. What movie surprised you the most?

HeatherMonsters University

Honestly, I thought Pixar was just trying to milk more out of this franchise, and I went in expecting this movie to be a disaster. However, it was amazing. Almost better than the first one and that’s one of my favorite Pixar films.

ChadRango

Every trailer I saw for this made me think it would be just another animated kids’ movie.  It’s much more than that, however.  It’s now one of our go-to movies.  The story is unique, and the entire movie is entertaining for both kids and adults alike.

 

16. If you could only keep one movie what would it be?

HeatherCloud Atlas

Mainly because it’s three hours long and will keep me entertained for a while. Also because it’s such a great movie with six stories in one.

ChadThe Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

This is my favorite movie, and it’s a long one, so this would definitely be my pick.

 

17. Movie recommendation and for whom?

HeatherGuardians of the Galaxy

I would recommend this movie to anyone that hasn’t gotten into superheros or hasn’t watched any comic book movies. This is a great place to start because the “heroes” are very different from traditional comic book heroes like Superman or Batman.

ChadGodzilla (2014)

I would, and often do, recommend this movie to everyone.  It was just fantastic.  It’s the only movie I’ve ever seriously considered paying to see a second time in theaters.  This movie will be one we watch many, many times when it finally comes to DVD/Blu-Ray.

 

18. If you could go back in time and marry any actor/actress from back then (but are now old), who would it be?

Heather & Chad

Betty White

Because who wouldn’t want to marry her. . .

 

19. One remake you wish had never been made?

Heather & Chad

Dragonball: Evolution

We know this isn’t technically a remake, but this movie should not exist. Chad and I grew up with Dragonball and Dragonball Z, so when we saw this, it was like we betrayed our childhood and the anime. Nobody should watch this movie.

20. You’re about to die but could only watch one more movie, what would it be?

Heather & Chad

That’ll never happen because we’re invincible!

 

21. Favorite movie genre/favorite movie from that genre?

Heather & Chad

Can’t pick, won’t pick. We love all types of genres (besides horror).

 

22. What’s the first movie you remember watching in theaters?

Heather & Chad

Pokemon: The First Movie

 The only way to get the special promotional items was to go to the theaters, so you better believe we begged to go.

 

I tag anyone that would like to do this. If you do, make sure to let me know so I can check out your answers.

Harry Potter Spell Book Tag

I was tagged by Diana at Brilliantly Novel for the Harry Potter Spell Book Tag. Here we go!

Expecto Patronum

  • A childhood book connected to good memories.

The Ghost of Goose Island by Mercer Mayer – LC and the Critter Kids were some of my favorite children’s books when I was younger. This one and Haunted House were two of my favorites though because they introduced me to mystery and thriller elements in books. I actually still have them on my bookshelf.

 

Expelliarmus

  • A book that took you by surprise.

Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama – This was my first mermaid book, so I wasn’t too sure what to expect going into it. I have to say the writing style blew me away. I was not expecting to love this book, but it’s one of my favorites now. It’s dark and gripping and tells such a beautiful story. I would highly recommend it.

 

Prior Incantarto

  • The last book you read.

Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan – This was an interesting read. Of course, I was picking out everything the teens did wrong as the story went along because I’ve read and watched quite a few mysteries. The ending wasn’t my favorite, but the novel was entertaining.

 

Alohomora

  • A book that introduced you to a genre you wouldn’t have considered before.

Easy by Tammara Webber – I haven’t read any new adult books, but after finishing this book, I think I might want to try other books out of this genre. Feel free to recommend any, so I can add them to my to-read pile.

 

Ridiculous

  • A funny book you read.

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh – This book is hilarious. I was literally laughing out loud through most of this book, while getting weird stares from Chad. It’s the perfect balance of funny and serious, and the pictures add so much to the story. It’s completely relatable and down to earth.

 

Sonorous

  • A book that you think everyone should know about.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab – I’m officially obsessed with this book. I need more people to know about it and read it, so we can discuss all of the awesome in this book. If you love anti-heroes and great characterization and character development, then this is the perfect book for you. You should read it! 🙂

 

Obliviate

  • A book you wish you never read.

Trapped by Michael Northrop – I’m sure some of you know that I don’t like this book at all. I do wish I could erase it from my memory.

 

Imperio

  • A book you had to read for school.

Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut – I had to read this for one of my college classes, and I’m so glad that I did. It’s full of irony and humor that make it a great satire. I would highly recommend it. This reminds me that I really need to read more of Kurt Vonnegut’s work soon.

 

Crucio

  • A book that was painful to read.

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams – This novel was so hard to read and not because it was bad. The subject matter was a tough one for me. It’s about a young girl named Kyra in an isolated community where men have more than one wife. Kyra’s struggles are sad, and it just makes the reader feel as trapped as she is. It’s a great fast-paced story, and I would recommend it.

 

Avada Kedavra

  • A book that could kill.

Beyond: A Ghost Story by Graham McNamee – The main protagonist Jane has a lot of near-death experiences in the novel. It can get a bit crazy with the number of experiences. I feel like this girl is a secret superhero and just hasn’t told anyone yet.

 

I Tag:

littleonion at littleonionwrites

Laurel May at The Caffeinated Bibliophile

Stefani at Caught Read Handed

Anyone else that wants to do the tag!

 

The Dusting Off The Shelf Read-A-Thon is over! I really enjoyed it because I was able to read books that have been on my shelves for a long time.

I managed to read three books for this read-a-thon:

In addition to reading three books, I was able to complete two of the challenges for the read-a-thon. I also started The Time Machine by H. G. Wells and The Map of Time by Félix J. Palma, but I haven’t finished them yet.

On two of the days, August 13th and 14th, I didn’t read any pages. This was because Chad and I went to a Linkin Park, 30 Seconds to Mars, and AFI concert on the 13th. It was amazing. We ended up getting home at 2 a.m., and we both had to work the next day. Suffice to say once I got home after working, I didn’t want to do much of anything besides sleep.

I have all of the following information on the original post, but I thought I would put it here as well.

  • 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

August 2014 Book Haul

I will probably have to take a break from buying books. I seem to have run out of room on my shelves. Of course, I could get another bookshelf . . . no, no, I will behave and not buy any books. For now. Let me know if you have read any of these books and what you thought or if you want to read any of them.

*All descriptions taken from Goodreads.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making – Catherynne M. Valente
Genre – Young Adult/Middle Grade/Fantasy

Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn’t . . . then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday.

With exquisite illustrations by acclaimed artist Ana Juan, Fairyland lives up to the sensation it created when the author first posted it online. For readers of all ages who love the charm of Alice in Wonderland and the soul of The Golden Compass, here is a reading experience unto itself: unforgettable, and so very beautiful.

 

The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There – Catherynne M. Valente
Genre – Young Adult/Middle Grade/Fantasy

September has longed to return to Fairyland after her first adventure there. And when she finally does, she learns that its inhabitants have been losing their shadows—and their magic—to the world of Fairyland Below. This underworld has a new ruler: Halloween, the Hollow Queen, who is September’s shadow. And Halloween does not want to give Fairyland’s shadows back.

Fans of Valente’s bestselling, first Fairyland book will revel in the lush setting, characters, and language of September’s journey, all brought to life by fine artist Ana Juan. Readers will also welcome back good friends Ell, the Wyverary, and the boy Saturday. But in Fairyland Below, even the best of friends aren’t always what they seem. . . .

 

Dreams of the Dead – Thomas Randall
Genre – Young Adult/Horror

Kara’s afraid to go to sleep—until the nightmares come when she’s awake . . . .

Sixteen-year-old Kara Foster is an outsider in Japan, but is doing her best to fit at the private school where her father is teaching English for the year. Fortunately she’s befriended by Sakura, a fellow outsider struggling to make sense of her sister’s unsolved murder some months ago. No one seems to care about the beautiful girl who was so brutally murdered, and the other students go on as if nothing has happened. Unfortunately, the calm doesn’t last for long. Kara begins to have nightmares, and soon other students in the school turn up dead, viciously attacked by someone . . . or something. Is Sakura getting back at those she thinks are responsible for her sister’s death? Or has her dead sister come back to take revenge for herself?

 

Spirits of the Noh – Thomas Randall
Genre – Young Adult/Horror

Kara Foster is finally starting to fit in at her boarding school in Japan-after all, nothing bonds you with your classmates like having an ancient demon put a curse on you. Hoping life can go back to normal now that the monster has been laid to rest, Kara joins her friends Sakura and Miho in putting on a play for the Noh drama club. It’s the story of the Hannya, a snake demon who inhabits the body of a beautiful woman. When a few members of the Noh club go missing, Kara fears that the real Hannya has been awakened by the curse. Then Miho is abducted, and Kara must find her before the Hannya exacts her terrible revenge. But the demon is wily and may be hidden in the last place anyone would think to look.

 

Path of Fate – Diana Pharaoh Francis
Genre – Fantasy

In the land of Kodu Riik, it is an honor to be selected by the Lady to become an ahalad-kaaslane-to have your soul bonded with one of Her blessed animals, and roam the land serving Her will. But Riesil refuses to bow to fate-a decision that may have repercussions across the realm…

 

 

 

 

The Shining – Stephen King
Genre – Horror

Danny was only five years old but in the words of old Mr Halloran he was a ‘shiner’, aglow with psychic voltage. When his father became caretaker of the Overlook Hotel his visions grew frighteningly out of control.

As winter closed in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seemed to develop a life of its own. It was meant to be empty, but who was the lady in Room 217, and who were the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why did the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive?

Somewhere, somehow there was an evil force in the hotel – and that too had begun to shine…

 

I Am Legend – Richard Matheson
Genre – Horror/Science Fiction

Robert Neville is the last living man on Earth… but he is not alone. Every other man, woman and child on the planet has become a vampire, and they are hungry for Neville’s blood.

By day he is the hunter, stalking the undead through the ruins of civilization. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for the dawn.

How long can one man survive like this?

 

 

Shutter Island – Dennis Lehane
Genre – Mystery/Thriller

The year is 1954. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his new ­partner, Chuck Aule, have come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane, to investigate the disappearance of a patient. Multiple-murderess Rachel Solando is loose somewhere on this barren island, despite having been kept in a locked cell under constant surveillance. As a killer hurricane bears relentlessly down on them, a strange case takes on even darker, more sinister shades—with hints of radical experimentation, horrifying surgeries, and lethal countermoves made in the cause of a covert shadow war. No one is going to escape Shutter Island unscathed, because nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is remotely what it seems.

 

The East End Murders: A Family Affair / End of the Line – Anne Cassidy
Genre – Mystery

A bind up of two stories: The body of a young kidnap victim is found lying soaked in petrol in a derelict London house. And Patsy Kelly can’t help feeling it’s partly her fault: and the police have just caught the Railway Killer when his last victim is found. Five girls all strangled.

 

 

 

 

Breathe – Sarah Crossan
Genre – Young Adult/Science Fiction

When oxygen levels plunge in a treeless world, a state lottery decides which lucky few will live inside the Pod. Everyone else will slowly suffocate. Years after the Switch, life inside the Pod has moved on. A poor Auxiliary class cannot afford the oxygen tax which supplies extra air for running, dancing and sports. The rich Premiums, by contrast, are healthy and strong. Anyone who opposes the regime is labelled a terrorist and ejected from the Pod to die. Sixteen-year-old Alina is part of the secret resistance, but when a mission goes wrong she is forced to escape from the Pod. With only two days of oxygen in her tank, she too faces the terrifying prospect of death by suffocation. Her only hope is to find the mythical Grove, a small enclave of trees protected by a hardcore band of rebels. Does it even exist, and if so, what or who are they protecting the trees from? A dystopian thriller about courage and freedom, with a love story at its heart.

 

Breed – Chase Novak
Genre – Horror

Alex and Leslie Twisden told each other they would do anything to have children. The price didn’t matter. But the experimental procedure they found had costs they couldn’t foresee.

Adam and Alice Twisden’s lives seem perfectly normal. Except that, every night, without fail, their parents lock them into their rooms.

And the twins know that the sounds they can hear are not just their imagination. They’re real. And they’re getting louder…

From a new name in horror, Breed is a stunning thriller in the vein of Rosemary’s Baby, brilliantly written, daring, and unforgettable.

 

Your House Is on Fire, Your Children All Gone – Stefan Kiesbye
Genre – Horror/Short Stories

The village of Hemmersmoor is a place untouched by time and shrouded in superstition: There is the grand manor house whose occupants despise the villagers, the small pub whose regulars talk of revenants, the old mill no one dares to mention. This is where four young friends come of age—in an atmosphere thick with fear and suspicion. Their innocent games soon bring them face-to-face with the village’s darkest secrets in this eerily dispassionate, astonishingly assured novel, evocative of Stephen King’s classic short story “Children of the Corn” and infused with the spirit of the Brothers Grimm.

 

The Night She Disappeared – April Henry
Genre – Young Adult/Mystery

Gabie drives a Mini Cooper. She also works part time as a delivery girl at Pete’s Pizza. One night, Kayla—another delivery girl—goes missing. To her horror, Gabie learns that the supposed kidnapper had asked if the girl in the Mini Cooper was working that night. Gabie can’t move beyond the fact that Kayla’s fate was really meant for her, and she becomes obsessed with finding Kayla. She teams up with Drew, who also works at Pete’s. Together, they set out to prove that Kayla isn’t dead—and to find her before she is.

Sinner Giveaway Winner!

The giveaway has officially ended! Thank you to everyone who entered and participated. I’m very excited to have had so many entries. 

The winner of the Sinner giveaway is . . .  Darith L.   Congratulations!

I have already sent the winner an e-mail, and he will have one week to reply to claim the prize. If he doesn’t reply by next Monday, I will pick another winner. I’ll pick someone every week until the prize is claimed.

Don’t worry if you didn’t win this one. I’m planning on doing two more giveaways in November, and one of them will be international.

On another happy note, this is actually my 100th post. 🙂  Thanks again to everyone for making this giveaway successful, and I’m looking forward to hosting another one.

 

One week down for the Dusting off the Shelf Read-A-Thon. I’m glad there’s another week because I haven’t read as much as I had hoped I would by this point. I haven’t been keeping up with the 100 pages a day, but I’ve been reading every day and just trying to enjoy it. I’ve managed to finish two books so far, and I’m hoping to finish the third sometime today. I hope everyone is enjoying the read-a-thon.

Day 1: Friday

  • Book Started: Overnight by Adele Griffin
  • Pages Read: 104

Day 2: Saturday

  • Book Finished: Overnight
  • Pages Read: 47
  • Book Started: Zombie Blondes by Brian James
  • Pages Read: 8

Day 3: Sunday

  • Book Continued: Zombie Blondes
  • Pages Read: 130

Day 4: Monday

  • Book Continued: Zombie Blondes
  • Pages Read: 26

Day 5: Tuesday

  • Book Finished: Zombie Blondes
  • Pages Read: 67

Day 6: Wednesday

  • Book Started: Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
  • Pages Read: 40

Day 7: Thursday

  • Book Continued: Killing Mr. Griffin
  • Pages Read: 12

Day 8: Friday

  • Book Continued: Killing Mr. Griffin
  • Pages Read: 84
  • Book Started: The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
  • Pages Read: 10

Nine Circles of Hell Tag

While I was browsing through Youtube, as I tend to do a lot, I found this new tag by one of my favorite booktubers. It’s the Nine Circles of Hell Tag created by Missy on Booktube. The tag was inspired by The Divine Comedy (Dante’s Inferno) by Dante Alighieri and of course, features the nine circles of hell described in the book. Each question represents a different circle.

 

Circle 1: Limbo
1. What book series have you read the first book but have not made the decision to finish the rest?

  • Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
    • I’ve been hesitant to continue on with this trilogy because I liked the first book, but I wasn’t a big fan of Juliette and the writing style with all the crossed out words. I hear that she gets stronger as a character and that there are less crossed out words in the following books, but I’m not sure if I want to continue with this trilogy or not.

 

Circle 2: Lust
2. What book do you not own that you can’t wait to get your hands on. MOST ANTICIPATED!!

  • Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
    • This is the third installment of The Raven Cycle Series, and I’m so excited to get this book! I don’t want to read the The Dream Thieves yet because I don’t want to have to wait a long time to read the next book. I cannot wait till I get this book and find out what happens with all of the amazing characters.

 

Circle 3: Gluttony
3. What book or series could you read over and over and never get your fill?

  • The Wereling Trilogy by Stephen Cole
    • This trilogy includes Wounded, Prey, and Resurrection. I just love these books so much. These are the books that made me fall in love with reading. I ended up finding them at my local book fair when I was younger, and I remember finishing Wounded and begged my mom to take me back so I could get the next book. This trilogy holds a special place in my heart, and I would gladly read it over and over again.

 

Circle 4: Greed
4. What book do you need multiple copies of even though you own enough of them?

  • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
    • I actually own two copies of this book, one signed hardback and one paperback. I received the signed hardback as a Valentine’s Day Gift this year and believe me many tears were shed.  This is such a beautiful book, and I try to recommend it as often as I can. Honestly, I would buy many more copies of this book if there were different editions and covers.

 

Circle 5: Wrath
5. What book did you hate and would never recommend?

  • Trapped by Michael Northrop
    • I’m not even sure where to start with this book. I try not to give books one stars, but I couldn’t find anything that I liked about this book. While I was reading it, I wanted to stop so many times and throw it against the wall. I feel like so many things went wrong with this book, and I would not recommend it.

 

Circle 6: Heresy
6. What book or series got really low ratings/or that most people despised, but you LOVED?

  • Overnight by Adele Griffin
    • I finished reading this one recently, and when I went to check some of the ratings, I noticed that they were really low. While I didn’t love the story, I did really enjoy it, and I’m not entirely sure why it received such low ratings. I hope more people find out about it and give it a chance.

 

Circle 7: Violence
7. What dystopian book/series had the most violent society in your opinion?

  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
    • While this story doesn’t have an entire dystopian society, the boys create their own society. There were quite a few savage moments throughout this novel, and I feel it’s one of the most violent dystopians I have read. It’s such a great book and really represents how some people can be reduced to primitive instincts when put in danger.

 

Circle 8: Fraud
8. What book did the cover or synopsis not truthfully depict the story?

  • The Fever by Megan Abbott
    • When I read the synopsis for this book, I thought it was going to be a mystery/thriller about what happened to the town and what secrets the Nash family might be hiding. What I read was something completely different. The secrets were not what I had expected and the reason for the hysteria and contagion that spread through the town was unsatisfying. It wasn’t what I originally thought it would be, and I was disappointed.

 

Circle 9: Treachery
9. What book/series did the protagonist start off strong but grew weaker as time went on?

  • A Fair Maiden by Joyce Carol Oates
    • At the beginning, Katya was self-aware and as strong as she could be in her situation. However, she deals with some pretty terrible experiences throughout this book, and I feel as though she is worse off now than at the start of the story. I’m pretty sure this was the author’s intent, but I felt so bad for Katya and I don’t think she’ll be the same.

 

I Tag:

  • Anyone that would like to do this tag.

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