Sunday, August 30, 2015

Fandom Mashup (#3)

Hosted by Micheline at Lunar Rainbows Reviews.

Micheline has come up with a great idea and I can't pass up the opportunity to participate.  Each week Micheline will pose a unique fiction scenario and I will choose 5 characters from 5 different fandoms to help me with the situation.  It's going to be quite fun, I can already tell!

You find a time machine. Yay! Who do you take with you through time?

The Doctor (Doctor Who) - This has to be the obvious choice because he knows all about time machines: him and his Tardis.  He'd be up for whatever adventure we'd get up to with our time machine.

Charlie (Supernatural) - She would think time traveling is awesome and why deny her such an awesome opportunity.  Plus, if we needed to hack in anywhere she has the skills to help us.  Mostly though, I just want her to be able to experience the dream of every [read: most] nerdy person.

Violet Baudelaire (Series of Unfortunate Events) - I think her inventive mind would be incredibly geeked to see and use a time machine.  It would be cool to see her  investigate how the time machine works.  (I think she'd be a great companion to the Doctor.)

Hermione Granger (Harry Potter) - Aside from the fact that she spent a year traveling through time, she would be an excellent traveling companion.  She would be the perfect person to remind us all how not to create a paradox. (Plus, Charlie might freak out a bit.)

Richard Castle (Castle) - I imagine that he would lose his shit if he got to go time traveling.  He would have so much to say and so many questions and if we got into a bit of a mystery he would be able to help us out.  And who knows, maybe after our adventures he'd write a novel about us!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Notable Quotable: Holly Black (#87)

"I hate that everyone calls it growing up, but it seems like DYING." 
     --Doll Bones

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (#53)

hosted by Uncorked Thoughts and Lunar Rainbows Reviews.

Would you rather be locked in a room with Voldemort or Bellatrix? 

This is a very difficult question because I would definitely die in both situations.  If I had the invisibility cloak I'd choose Bellatrix because I feel like she could be fooled by it.  Although, she might just shoot up the room.

I may be able to talk to Voldemort but he'd make my skin crawl and I'd defy him and he'd laugh and kill me, especially because I don't have any of the protections that Harry had.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Doll Bones

by Holly Black
published: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2013
pages: 247

Zach, Pippa and Alice love to play in their imaginary world with their action figures and dolls.  They've known each other forever and have been playing their game for as long as they can remember.  But when Zach's dad throws out all of his action figures and declares him too old to being playing with dolls, their game comes to a screeching halt.  Zach, being angry and confused, refuses to play or to explain why he stopped.  It isn't until the girls show up claiming they need to return a haunted doll to it's rightful place that Zach starts to look at his life and make his own decisions.

This book is really cool.  The imagination of these three kids are amazing.  I love the system they use to play.  All three create a story they play out with their characters, who almost seem real. They are allowed to ask each other questions about the characters outside of play time, which is really interesting because it allows them to further develop their own characters as well as give hints about themselves.  It is a really cool characterization device that's used throughout the story.

Zach was a great character.  He struggles to figure out where he belongs in school and with his friends.  He likes playing the game with Pippa and Alice, but feel like he should like hanging out with the basketball team more.  Part of this comes from his relationship with his father.  The dynamic between these characters created tension that was needed to move the story along.  Alice and Pippa also great contrasting characters that feed off of one another.

The road trip in this book is what really kept the book from being slow paced.  It takes us to different settings and gets the kids into all kinds of mischief and trouble.  I always love a well placed road trip and this one is no exception.

Holly Black does a great job at creating an eerie environment to tell this chilling but fun tale.  It was an enjoyable read.

Stars: 3/5


"Every encounter redraws the blurry lines between childishness and maturity, truth and lies, secrecy and honesty, magic and madness.  Spooky, melancholy, elegiac, and ultimately hopeful; a small gem."
     --Kirkus Reviews

"Compelling, chill-at-the-nape tale with dynamics and emotional depth... The novel's eerie vibe and eek-worthy plot may keep readers turning pages into the wee hours, but it's the vivid characters and skillfully developed themes of identity, friendship and loss that linger long in the mind."
   --The Washington Post

"A darn good adventure."
     --Publishers Weekly

A 2015 Newbery Reading Challenge book.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Dystopian 101 Syllabus

hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Class starts with some of the classics and then moves forward in time.  We will enjoy Dystopian societies through the ages. And because I'm a benevolent dictator in my classroom we will be reading 14 books.  If I had more of the books I want to read read then we would be reading more.

First let's start off with three of the classics.  These three basically set all the standards and wrote the rules for what is categorized as a dystopian novel.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

1. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (1931)
2. 1984 by George Orwell (1949)
3. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (1953)

Now let's move on to some of the more modern dystopian novels.  Each of these three provide excellent examples of dystopian societies with a little mix of pending apocalypse.  The Giver is probably my favorite Dystopian novel.

4. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (1985)
5. The Giver by Lois Lowry (1993)
6. How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff (2004)

Now onto the more recent dystopian novels that may have triggered the high rate of dystopian novels being published today.

7. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (2005)
8. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (2008)
9.  The Maze Runner by James Dashner (2009)

And these last five are all from the past five years and bring out strengths of the genre in many different ways.  Except Divergent.  Divergent is good, you don't need to read the rest of that series.

10. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (2009)
11. Legend by Marie Lu (2011)
12. Divergent by Veronica Roth (2011)

13. Cinder by Marissa Meyer (2012)
14. The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau (2013)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Bout of Books 14: Wrap Up

Bout of Books

I'm wrapping up my week during Bout of Books.   It was fun and I enjoyed doing most of the challenges.  I hope everyone who participated had fun as well! 

My Daily Stats: 

 Day 1/August 17: 
    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling audiobook = 92 pages        
    Memoirs of and Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks = 12 pages 

Day 2/August 18: 
    Nancy Drew The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene audiobook = 65 pages
    Memoirs of and Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks = 21 pages

Day 3/August 19:
   Nancy Drew The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene audiobook = 70 pages
   Memoirs of and Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks = 20 pages

Day 4/August 20:
   Nancy Drew The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene audiobook = 45 page
   Memoirs of and Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks = 10 pages

Day 5/August 21:
   The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt audiobook = 48 pages
   Memoirs of and Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks = 72 pages

Day 6/August 22:
   The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt audiobook = 34 pages
   Memoirs of and Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks = 26 pages

Day 7/August 23: 
   The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt audiobook = 30 pages
   Memoirs of and Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks = 62 pages

Page total for this week is: *drum roll please* 607 pages!

I didn't expect to read that much this week especially because of what I had going on, so I'd say this was a successful reading week.  I finished two audiobooks and read most of one book.  I would have liked to have finished Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend but I'm almost done so I will finish it soon.

I look forward to the next Bout of Books! :D

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Bout of Books 14: What's Next Challenge

Bout of Books

Bout of Books seventh challenge is presented by Sarah Reads Too Much. I'm going to be recommending 3 books for your fall TBR piles.  These books are awesome and everyone should read them! These are all recent reads for me so hopefully you'll read and enjoy them as much as I did.

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson - This graphic novel is dynamite.  Aside from being almost 300 pages (which rarely happens) it's funny and quirky and tells the story of a villain's sidekick.  The art is great and the dialogue is fantastic.  This is the kind of book that could turn someone on to a new genre if they didn't like graphic novels before.

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch - If fantasy is something that you are interested in, this book is great.  It's the first in a series (or trilogy, not really sure).  Aside from the beautiful cover, the characters are dynamic and engaging.  AND Meira is a total badass, like she has become one of my favorite female characters ever.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins - This book is a thriller, no doubt about that.  It's a who done it with a twist.  I love trying to guess what happens in thrillers and mysteries before I read and I just couldn't get it.  The story is a bit slow at first, but keep going I promise it'll be worth the read, especially if you like being messed with.

What 3 books would you recommend to someone who's looking for their next book?  

Fandom Mashup (#2)

Hosted by Micheline at Lunar Rainbows Reviews.

Micheline has come up with a great idea and I can't pass up the opportunity to participate.  Each week Micheline will pose a unique fiction scenario and I will choose 5 characters from 5 different fandoms to help me with the situation.  It's going to be quite fun, I can already tell!

You come face to face with an actual ghost.  It seems friendly but you're not sure what to do next.  Who's going to help you figure it out?

Sam Winchester (Supernatural) - How better to deal with a ghost than bringing in one of the Winchester brothers.  They know all there is to know about the all sorts of ghosts.  Either one of them would work in this situation but if we need to do any research on the ghost we could use Sam on the team.

Blue Sargent (The Raven Cycle) - Granted I don't know a whole lot about her but I do know that she got a talent with communicating with ghosts.  She could help us figure out what the ghost wants.

Dipper (Gravity Falls) - I feel like Dipper would know exactly how to take care of a ghost, especially if he had his book with him And if need be, he could do a silly kid dance for them too.

Stiles (Teen Wolf) - He's always got a plan even if he's got to make it up.  He's good at research and connecting the dots.  He would be a great addition especially because I imagine he and Sam would work really well together.

Luna Lovegood (Harry Potter) - For some reason I think she'd be the perfect addition to this team.  I think she'd keep us all calm and help us think about the situation differently.  She definitely wouldn't be shy about trying to talk to the ghost and who knows, she might even figure out how to deal with it without any research.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Bout of Books 14: Road Trip Challenge

Bout of Books

Bout of Books sixth challenge is presented by Steph in Wonderland. It's time for a road trip!  I'm going to pick four or five different places and then choose a book that is set in that place or that the author lives.  It's going to be fun.  Here we go!

Pennsylvania: Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
Virginia: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
London: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Toulouse, France: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
St. Petersburg, Russian: The Kitchen Boy by Robert Alexander
Australia: The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty

Where would you stop on your road trip?

Friday, August 21, 2015

Notable Quotable: Liane Moriarty (#86)

"She was busy thinking about the concept of forgiveness.  It was such a lovely, generous idea when it wasn't linked to something awful that needed forgiving." 
     --What Alice Forgot

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Bout of Books 14: Four Seasons Challenge

Bout of Books

Bout of Books fourth challenge is presented by Sarah at Kimberlyfaye Reads.   It's a four seasons challenge. I'm going to pick a book for every season, however abstract it may turn out.  Hopefully, I'll be able to pull this one off!

Spring: The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
Summer: Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary D. Schmidt
Fall: Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
Winter: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Which four books would you choose for you seasons?

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (#52)

hosted by Uncorked Thoughts and Lunar Rainbows Reviews.

If you could change one thing about the first film, what would it be? 

I'd love to see Ron actually say his lines.  In the movies, quite a few of Ron's lines get passed onto Hermione and even Harry.  I know that Ron is supposed to be the funny man, the comic relief, but he's actually incredibly smart too.  I always forget how smart he is because so many of his ideas are given to Hermione in the movies.  It's kind of irksome that Ron is portrayed mostly as the comic relief because he is so much more than that.  I mean, he does have other great qualities in the movies but I would have loved to see more of his intellectual side.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Bout of Books 14: MASH Challenge

Bout of Books

Bout of Books third challenge is presented by Sarah at Rocky Top Read Talk. We're going play MASH!  I haven't played this game since I was in my early years of high school so this should definitely be fun.  I'm going to play and I'll be back with the results!

Here are my possibilities! MASH

M = Malfoy Mansion (Harry Potter), A = Diamond Sector Apartments (Legend) , S = Shrieking Shack (Harry Potter), H = Number 4 Privet Drive (Harry Potter)

S/O                                                            Ride
Neville Longbottom (Harry Potter)                Flying Ford Anglia (Harry Potter)
Newt (The Maze Runner)                             The Rampion (Lunar Chronicles)
Clint Barton (Avengers/Hawkeye)                 Festus (Heroes of Olympus)
Lucien (A Court of Thorns and Roses)            Helicarrier (Avengers)
Carswell Thorne (Lunar Chronicles)               Hogwarts Express (Harry Potter)

City                                                Job
Hogsmede (Harry Potter)                 District Leader (The Hunger Games)
Denver (The Maze Runner)              Hogwarts Teacher (Harry Potter)
District 12 (The Hunger Games)       Camp Half-Blood Counselor (Percy Jackson)
Kenettra (The Young Elites)             Republic Guard (Legend)
New Beijing (Lunar Chronicles)         Artemis's Body Guard (Artemis Fowl)

Kids                                                            Pets
2                                                               Hedwig (Harry Potter)
3                                                               Mrs. O'Leary (Percy Jackson)
4                                                               Ollie (Legend)
1                                                               Despereaux (Tales of Despereaux)
0                                                               A Mockingjay (The Hunger Games)

And now for the results... Drum roll please!

I live in the Shrieking Shack with my s/o, Neville Longbottom in Denver.  We drive one of the helicarriers.  I work for Artemis Fowl as his body guard.  We don't have kids but Mrs. O'Leary (hell hound) keeps us company.

Doesn't sound too bad.  What would you choose if you did MASH book edition?

The Isle of the Lost

by Melissa de la Cruz
published: Disney Hyperion, 2015
pages: 311

Mal's been living on the same magic-less island her entire life.  Her mother along with all the other villains were exiled there 20 years ago.  All Mal wants to do is make her mother proud but it's hard when her mother is Maleficent, the evilest villain on the island.  She wants to be just like her mother, or so she's trying to make herself believe.  Mal decides to join forces with some other villain kids to go after her mother's staff.  Will this be the villainous act that will finally get her mother's attention?

I enjoy reading this book.  I liked the characters, specifically Mal and Carlos.  Carlos was instantly one of my favorites because he seemed like the underdog of the group, the oddball if you will.  He has a specific set of technological talents that most people look to as a waste of time.  He doesn't have a lot of confidence or any friends really, but he is possibly the most resourceful one of the group.  I love that he gets a chance to shine.

Mal struggles with wanting to make her mother proud and knowing that she doesn't necessarily want to do and be just like her mother.  She knows that what she should want to be.  The battle of good and evil is most evident within herself.  The inner struggle leads to some good character development which is always welcome.

I sort of felt like the adventure they went on didn't take up enough of the book.  It went by quickly and the climax of the story was a bit anti-climatic.  I wasn't satisfied at all and maybe that was because the book is meant to be a direct prequel to the movie.  I was a little cautious about that when I found out about the book.  The book just felt like a giant preamble to the real action that was supposed to happen in the form of a movie.  The ending emphasized that point for me.  It ends in the middle of things, which I've never been a huge fan of anyway.

The thing I liked most about this book was the characters.  I liked learning about the sons and daughters of the villains of all my favorite childhood stories.  I thought that was really cool.  This may not have been my favorite book, but Melissa de la Cruz definitely made me reminiscent of my childhood.

Stars: 3/5


"Disney lovers and fairy-tale alike will need to get their hands on this book."
     --School Library Journal

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Bout of Books 14: Scavenger Hunt Challenge

Bout of Books

Bout of Books second challenge is presented by The Book Monsters.  We're going on a scavenger hunt to find books for the following categories!

1. A Book that begins with "B" (for Bout of Books!)
2. A book you're planning to read/currently reading for Bout of Books
3. Blue Book(s)
4. Books from your favorite genre!
5. A book on your TBR shelf, or your full TBR shelves

"B" Books

Books Currently/ Planning to read

Blue Books

 Favorite genre

Current TBR pile

It's your turn to do the scavenger hunt!