Saturday, April 26, 2014

Read-a-Thon Mini-Challenge: Book Puzzles

Welcome reader-a-thon-ers!  I'm super excited to be hosting the Book Puzzle mini-challenge again.  Hopefully this will be a fun break from your reading that will let you exercise other parts of your brain!

For this challenge, you will be creating a Book Puzzle.  Essentially, this is a series of pictures, graphics, or photos that you put together that will describe a book title.  I have done an occasional game on the blog called Name That Book where I created book puzzles and let people guess the titles.  Here's an example from that first game:

This series of pictures illustrates the title Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale.

Now it's your turn to create your own Book Puzzle (or you can create more than one - they are quite fun).  Once you've posted your puzzle on your blog or wherever, come back and leave me the direct link to your puzzle below.  And be sure to visit others' puzzles - it's lots of fun to guess!

[For more examples or some inspiration, take a look at last April's read-a-thon Book Puzzle participants, check out other episodes of Name That Book, check out Name That Book episodes from Stephanie Reads, or look at these awesome book puzzles created by Mrs. Stakey's 6th grade class.]

I'll be picking a winner (randomly of course, I'm not good at judging awesomeness) and the winner will get to choose any two books from the photo below.  Unfortunately, since my funds are a bit slim right now, I can only send it to US addresses (though international participants are still welcome to create Book Puzzles).  You have until the end of hour 8 to enter.  Now go forth and create!

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Micro Reviews: Finishing Up 2013, Part 2

Part 2 of the last of my 2013 books (see Part 1 here).  Enjoy!

The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margot Lanagan
Disturbing, depressing, horribly sad, but gorgeously written and so believable I wanted to visit Rollrock Island. Sort of.

Transparent by Natalie Whipple
I distinctly remember enjoying this book and the different "powers" people have in it.  But for the life of me, I can't remember much of what actually happened :)

Earthbound by Aprilynne Pike
This book made me think "what is going on?" a few too many times.  I'm pretty sure I ended up skimming the last half.  Now I don't remember a thing about it.

Hero by Alethea Kontis
Love, love, love Saturday.  She's such a cool heroine.  Also, I love the fairy-tale mash-ups going on in this series.

Just One Day by Gayle Forman
Fascinating story, though I wanted to smack Lulu upside the head a number of times.  The plot was a bit difficult for me to swallow, because it's something I'd NEVER do, but I have to give Forman props for wonderful writing and characters that kept me reading.

Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Despite many angry responses, I found the surprise ending rather believable for Tris. The rest of the story, however, I had some trouble swallowing.  End of the Divergent series.

Blackout by Robison Wells
Another crazy adventure story, complete with x-men powers and cliff-hanger ending. 

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson
A wonderful and satisfying ending to one of my favorite fantasy series (and heroines) ever. Can we get more Elisa please?

The Eye of Minds by James Dashner
Completely insane virtual reality plot with a surprising twist I never saw coming. Some parts a little too unbelievable with some writing that grated my nerves, but intriguing enough that I want more. 

Just One Year by Gayle Forman
An interesting look at what happened to Willem over the course of a year. Made me dislike him slightly less :)

I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley
Flavia de Luce up to more antics at home, always with mad crime-solving skills up her sleeve. 

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
Intense, interesting, and extremely well-written story about a serious lack of heroes in a world of superpowers. While I guessed some twists, others caught me by surprise. 

Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson
Wonderful story of friendship and romance, with a heroine who sticks to her guns and seizes what she wants in a time when women didn't get to do that much.

Whew! I'm so relieved to be done with 2013 books!

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Books Read in 2014

So, just for me to keep track...

1. Speaking from Among the Bones by Alan Bradley
2. The Dead in their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley
3. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
4. Roar and Liv by Veronica Rossi
5. The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
6. The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen
7. Cress by Marissa Meyer
8. Unstrung by Neal Shusterman
9. Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan
10. Vortex by S.J. Kincaid
11. Evertrue by Brodi Ashton
12. Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi
13. The Demon's Surrender by Sarah Rees Brennan
14. Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen
15. Brooke by Veronica Rossi
16. Dangerous by Shannon Hale
17. War Brides by Helen Bryan
18. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
19. Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
20. The Actual and Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher by Jessica Lawson
21. Isolation by Dan Wells
22. UnSouled by Neal Shusterman
23. Inheritance by Christopher Paolini
24. Ruins by Dan Wells
25. Mitosis by Brandon Sanderson
26. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
27. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien (part 1, part 2)
28. Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
29. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
30. The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien (part 3, part 4)
31. United We Spy by Ally Carter (Karissa's review)
32. Son of Neptune by Rick Riorden
33. Second Star by Alyssa B. Scheinmel
34. Chasing the Prophecy by Brandon Mull
35. The Opal Deception by Eoin Colfer
36. The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien (part 5, part 6)
37. The Selection by Kiera Cass
38. The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O'Brien
39. Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White
40. The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw by Christopher Healy
41. Clariel by Nix Garth
42. Switched by Amanda Hocking
43. In the Shadows by Kiersten White and Jim DiBartolo
44. House of Secrets by Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini
45. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
46. Matilda by Roald Dahl
47. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
48. The Elite by Kiera Cass
49. The Caller by Juliet Marillier
50. The One by Kiera Cass
51. Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie
52. Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon
53. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
54. Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan
55. Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter
56. Peter and Wendy by J.M. Barrie
57. Sparrow Road by Sheila O'Connor
58. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
59. Atlantia by Ally Condie
60. The Heiress of Winterwood by Sarah E. Ladd
61. Entwined by Heather Dixon (reread)
62. Death Cloud by Andrew Lane
63. Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
64. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodges
65. Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth (four stories)
66. Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James
67. Salt and Storm by Kendall Kulper
68. Curtsies and Conspiracies by Gail Carriger
69. The Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. Nielsen
70. In the Dark Streets Shineth by David A. McCullough
71. Chime by Franny Billingsley
72. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Davis

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage

Monday, April 7, 2014

Micro Reviews: Finishing Up 2013, Part 1

This is annoyingly painful and rather insane, but I'm just posting the rest of my 2013 books so I can forget worrying about reviewing them (um, 20+ of them, so this is only part 1). Feel free to skip it or laugh at my attempts to recall what it is I read about...

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Intense, fast-paced, alien invasion story.  Couldn't put it down, but maybe a bit too gory for me to adore it.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Seriously geeked-out virtual reality world, complete with quest (of course).  Could have done without all the cussing, but enjoyed lots of the 80s references.

A Soldier's Secret: The Incredible True Story of Sarah Edmonds, a Civil War Hero by Marissa Moss
A real-life woman-disguised-as-a-man during the Civil War.  Seemed rather like a bunch of episodes cobbled together like vignettes, but was still intriguing enough to keep me reading.

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
So much creepier than the retelling I read, The Turning.  And the ending totally leaves it up in the air as to what really happened.

The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White
Love the humor in this book, but found the story a bit dull in places.  Also, Egyptian mythology, like most ancient mythologies, is suuuuuuper weird.

Yesterday by C.K. Kelly Martin
Crazy convoluted and strange plot.  I had a hard time following (and thus buying) what happened.  Also, I seem to recall spotting some big plot holes, but since it's been so long, I don't remember a single one :)

Black Hole Sun by David Macinnis Gill
Interesting futuristic tale, but lacking in details to really flesh out that world.  I had a hard time jumping into the story because of all the crazy lingo too.

Ironskin by Tina Connolly
Definitely one of the oddest Jane Eyre retellings I've read, but with an interesting fairy aspect that made it unique.  Nowhere near as moving as the original, though.

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
It's absolutely painful, the every-day brutal reality so many people experienced in concentration camps.  Moving and heart-rending.

The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle by Christopher Healy
A lot of light-hearted Prince Charming humor, as entertaining and funny as the first one.

Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund
A fun and thoughtful retelling of The Scarlet Pimpernel.  Not as wonderful as For Darkness Shows the Stars, but still entertaining.

Raven Flight by Juliet Marillier
Complete with Marillier's gorgeous writing and complex world-building, this fairy story kept me entertained, despite a rather too-good-to-be-true heroine. Second in the Shadowfell series.

Fox Forever by Mary Pearson
More of Pearson's thoughtful medical ethics complete with full-scale rebellion.  I love how believable this future seems!  Last of the Jenna Fox Chronicles (I think).

Bravo to you if you read this!  Anything on here you loved/hated?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage
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