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that book challenge thing (2018)


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#1 Katia11

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 04:35 AM

Hello, my friends! I don't know if you guys still like these or not, but it's fun!  This year I set my goal at 50 books. :)

 

Goals: 

 

At least one classic novel

 

At least one non-fiction

 

Previous years: 2016, 2017 

 

1) The Complete Father Brown

 

2) The Phoenix and the Carpet

 

3) The Magic Misfits

 

4) To Kill a Mockingbird

 

5) As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust

 

6) The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow

 

7) The Mystery of the Jeweled Moth

 

8) The Lost Realm

 

9)  The Art Forger

 

10) Treasure Island

 

11) The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse

 

12) Mara Daughter of the Nile

 

13) The Call

 

14) Dream Magic

 

15) The Secret of Nightingale Wood 

 

16) James and the Giant Peach

 

17) The Miracle Morning

 

18) Crime and Punishment

 

19) The Thirteen Hallows

 

20) The Uncommoners

 

21) Children of Blood and Bone

 

22) The Hazel Wood

 

23) Nevermoor, The Trials of Morrigan Crow

 

24) The Night Gardener 

 

25) Sophie Quire and the Last Storygaurd

 

26) Princess at Sea 

 

27) Heart Forger

 

28) The Reader

 

29) The Looking Glass Wars

 

30) The Shadows

 

31) Thunderhead


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#2 SweeneyxxTodd

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 01:58 PM

Considering you read over 100 last year, I know you can handle this. :thumbsup: I am in awe of the number of books you read in a year.


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#3 Katia11

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 03:04 PM

LOL thanks, I think? :) Question, do you count audio books? I have like six audible credits to use (I didn't even know they were there tbh).


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#4 SweeneyxxTodd

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 10:50 PM

Of course! It's still completing a book.

I count anything that has a Goodreads entry to mark, no matter how short it is.
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#5 Katia11

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 11:22 PM

Okay! Although, with an audio book I tend to space out a little more than a physical book. 


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#6 Katia11

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 05:44 AM

Ah! I'm already falling behind on my reviews here guys. This does not bode well for 2018. 


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#7 SweeneyxxTodd

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 03:46 PM

Lol I'm already three books behind in my reading challenge. But it's still early in the year. There's time to get caught up.
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#8 Katia11

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 07:34 PM

The Complete Father Brown, by G.K. Chesterson ★★

 

Summary: G. K. Chesterton’s Father Brown may seem a pleasantly doddering Roman Catholic priest, but appearances deceive. With keen observation and an unerring sense of man’s frailties–gained during his years listening to confessions–Father Brown succeeds in bringing even the most elusive criminals to justice. 

 
This definitive collection of fifteen stories, selected by the American Chesterton Society, includes such classics as “The Blue Cross,” “The Secret Garden,” and “The Paradise of Thieves.”

 

I enjoyed this collection of mysteries. The second half of them were a little less enjoyable, but I still liked them for the most part.

 

The Phoenix and the Carpet, by E. Nesbitt ★★★

 

Summary: It's startling enough to have a phoenix hatch in your house, but even more startling when it talks and reveals that you have a magic carpet on the floor. The vain and ancient bird accompanies the children on a series of adventures through time and space which, magic being what it is, rarely turn out as they were meant..

 

These stories are pretty cute. Very easy to read and finish. There's a bit of uncomfortable prejudice in it unfortunately, the only reason why it doesn't get a higher star rating from me.  

 

 

The Magic Misfits, by Neil Patrick Harris ★★★

 

Summary: When street magician Carter runs away, he never expects to find friends and magic in a sleepy New England town. But like any good trick, things change instantly as greedy B.B. Bosso and his crew of crooked carnies arrive to steal anything and everything they can get their sticky fingers on.

 
After a fateful encounter with the local purveyor of illusion, Dante Vernon, Carter teams up with five other like-minded illusionists. Together, using both teamwork and magic, they'll set out to save the town of Mineral Wells from Bosso's villainous clutches. These six Magic Misfits will soon discover adventure, friendship, and their own self-worth in this delightful new series.
 
This book was pretty darn cute, guys. A tale of finding friendship among outcasts. Cliche as I'll get out, but still a fun and engaging read. I will be looking forward to reading the next one! 

 

 

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee ★★★★★

 

Summary: One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than thirty million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century by librarians across the country. A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father-a crusading local lawyer-risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.

 

I'd wanted to read this book forever, and I found it and To Go Set a Watchman for only $14 dollars at B & N. I see why so many people talk about. Wow. Such a beautiful and powerful book. Wow. So moving and true, and raw. Definitely a new favorite.

 

 

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust, by Alan Bradley ★★★

 

Summary: Banished! is how twelve-year-old Flavia de Luce laments her predicament, when her father and Aunt Felicity ship her off to Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy, the boarding school that her mother, Harriet, once attended across the sea in Canada. The sun has not yet risen on Flavia’s first day in captivity when a gift lands at her feet. Flavia being Flavia, a budding chemist and sleuth, that gift is a charred and mummified body, which tumbles out of a bedroom chimney. Now, while attending classes, making friends (and enemies), and assessing the school’s stern headmistress and faculty (one of whom is an acquitted murderess), Flavia is on the hunt for the victim’s identity and time of death, as well as suspects, motives, and means. Rumors swirl that Miss Bodycote’s is haunted, and that several girls have disappeared without a trace. When it comes to solving multiple mysteries, Flavia is up to the task—but her true destiny has yet to be revealed.

 

I was a tiny bit disappointed in this book. I felt like Bradley repeated himself a few times which irritated me. But Flavia is still her morbid and brilliant self. She's a little more subdued in this one. Sad because she's cut off from her family. She faints and cries which disappointed me. But the way he wrote it did feel real and raw. Not one of my favorites of the series, but still good. Yeah, still good. 

 

 

The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow, by Katharine Woodfine ★★★

 

Summary: You are cordially invited to attend the Grand Opening of Sinclair's department store! Enter a world of bonbons, hats, perfumes and Mysteries around every corner. Wonder at the daring theft of the priceless Clockwork Sparrow! Tremble as the most Dastardly criminals in London enact their wicked plans! GASP as our bold heroines, Miss Sophie Taylor and Miss Lilian Rose, Crack Codes, Devour Iced Buns and vow to bring the villains to justice.

 

A fun little mystery. A quick and easy read. Enjoyable!

 

 

The Mystery of the Jeweled Moth, by Katharine Woodfine ★★★

 

Summary: The Honour Of Your Company Is Requested At Lord Beaucastle's Fancy Dress Ball. Wonder at the puzzling disappearance of the Jewelled Moth! Marvel as our heroines, Sophie and Lil, don cunning disguises, mingle in high society and munch many cucumber sandwiches to solve this curious case! Applaud their bravery as they follow a trail of terrible secrets that leads straight to London's most dangerous criminal mastermind, and could put their own lives at risk..

 

Another fun little mystery. I figured out who the bad guy was pretty early, but it was still fun and easy to read. 

 

The Lost Realm, by J.D. Reinhart  ★★★- ★★★ 1/2

 

Summary: The kingdom of Toronia is being torn apart by civil war. The kingdom’s only hope comes in the form of illegitimate triplets, who are prophesied to kill the king and rule together in peace. Separated at birth and scattered throughout the realms, the triplets face a desperate fight to secure their destiny. Will they survive long enough to rule?

 
The resurrected King Brutan and his army of the dead control the city of Idilliam. Outside, Eloide and Tarlan are trying to hold their own army together and find a way to rescue their brother Gulph who is trapped inside the city. Or is he? Gulph has found a passageway to the lost realm of Celestis, which lies beneath Idilliam. There he is reunited with the mother he has never known—but she can’t remember him. If Gulph stays in Celestis, will he also forget those above ground whom he loves?
 
Meanwhile, Tarlan and the wizard Melchior set out on a quest to restore the wizard’s powers, leaving Eloide and her army to keep watch. But Eloide is betrayed, her troops are slaughtered, and she is taken captive by Lord Vicerin, her former guardian, who is determined to use her to take the throne.
 
Seemingly further from the throne than ever, the triplets will need to use all of their strength and abilities if they are to survive—let alone rule.

 

Wow. This book was dark and intense. Armies of undead, lost cities with a giant serpent guarding it, strange powers, people being executed. It was so intense and enthralling. Wow! It really caught me off guard how fast it sucked me in. 

 

The Art Forger,  by B.A. Shapiro  ★★★ 1/2- ★★★★ 

 

Summary: Almost twenty-five years after the infamous art heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum—still the largest unsolved art theft in history—one of the stolen Degas paintings is delivered to the Boston studio of a young artist. Claire Roth has entered into a Faustian bargain with a powerful gallery owner by agreeing to forge the Degas in exchange for a one-woman show in his renowned gallery. But as she begins her work, she starts to suspect that this long-missing masterpiece—the very one that had been hanging at the Gardner for one hundred years—may itself be a forgery. The Art Forger is a thrilling novel about seeing—and not seeing—the secrets that lie beneath the canvas. 

 

This was a beautiful book. Especially the way art was described. The way the colors and light was described. Wow. Like word porn. Gorgeous, lush, rich and deep. The only thing was the plot itself. It was intriguing and fun to see the mystery unfold, but honestly the way that the relationship with Isaac is portrayed and the way that her budding relationship with Aiden unfolds, it was disappointing at times. They had such little chemistry. But the ideas, the beauty of the description of even stripping a painting. Man, I wish I was an artist, because wow. Gorgeous. 


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#9 Katia11

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 07:36 PM

There! Finally caught up.


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#10 Katia11

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 07:12 PM

And just like that, I've fallen behind in my reviews again. GRR.

 

Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson ★★★

 

Summary: Treasure Island is an adventure novel by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, narrating a tale of "buccaneers and buried gold". Its influence is enormous on popular perceptions of pirates, including such elements as treasure maps marked with an "X", schooners, the Black Spot, tropical islands, and one-legged seamen bearing parrots on their shoulders.

 

A classic pirate story and a fun read! I did struggle a little bit toward the end for some reason, but it's still a book I will most likely read again in the future! 

 

 

The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse, by Brian Farrey  ★★★

 

Summary: In the center of the verdant Monarchy lies Dreadwillow Carse, a desolate bog the people of the land do their best to ignore. Little is known about it except an ominous warning: If any monarch enters Dreadwillow Carse, then the Monarchy will fall. Twelve-year-old Princess Jeniah yearns to know what the marsh could conceal that might topple her family’s thousand-year reign.

 
After a chance meeting, Princess Jeniah strikes a secret deal with Aon, a girl from a nearby village: Aon will explore the Carse on the princess’s behalf, and Jeniah will locate Aon’s missing father. But when Aon doesn’t return from the Carse, a guilt-stricken Jeniah must try and rescue her friend—even if it means risking the entire Monarchy.
 
In this thrilling modern fairytale, Brian Farrey has created an exciting new world where friendship is more powerful than fate and the most important thing is to question everything.

 

This book was really quite good. I loved the Dreadwillow Carse, it was so spooky and eerie. I loved the friendship that developed between the two girls. The interesting thoughts that people must take responsibility for things. Even if they are done for good. I'm not explaining it as well as the book did. :) I also enjoyed the little twist at the end, the reason why the people are all happy is dark and scary. I saw it coming, but it was still spooky. 

 

Mara Daughter of the Nile, by Eloise Jarvis McGraw ★★★★- ★★★★ 1/2

 

Summary: Mara is a proud and beautiful slave girl who yearns for freedom in ancient Egypt, under the rule of Queen Hatshepsut. Mara is not like other slaves; she can read and write, as well as speak the language of Babylonian. So, to barter for her freedom, she finds herself playing the dangerous role of double spy for two arch enemies—each of whom supports a contender for the throne of Egypt.

 
Against her will, Mara finds herself falling in love with one of her masters, the noble Sheftu, and she starts to believe in his plans of restoring Thutmose III to the throne. But just when Mara is ready to offer Sheftu her help and her heart, her duplicity is discovered, and a battle ensues in which both Mara’s life and the fate of Egypt are at stake.

 

Intrigue, romance, mystery. What else can a girl want? Nothing. I liked this book quite a lot. The only reason it doesn't get a perfect five from me is it took me a tiny bit to get into it. I don't know why. Don't hate me, Mara. If you're even reading this. I did love the rest of it :) 

 

The Call, by Peadar O'Guilin ★★★

 

Summary: You have three minutes to save your life . . .

 
THREE MINUTES
 
You wake up alone in a horrible land. A horn sounds. The Call has begun.
 
TWO MINUTES
 
The Sidhe are close. They're the most beautiful and terrible people you've ever seen. And they've seen you.
 
ONE MINUTE
 
Nessa will be Called soon. No one thinks she has any chance to survive. But she's determined to prove them wrong. 
 
TIME'S UP
 
Could you survive the Call?
 
A genre-changing blend of fantasy, horror, and folkore, The Call won't ever leave your mind from the moment you choose to answer it.

 

This book was DARK, man. Like dark. Sort of like The Hunger Games, only with pretty vivid descriptions of the violence committed by the Sidhe. It actually gave me some nightmares. A page turner. The only reason it didn't get a four star rating is because there were some things that it didn't address. But I hope they are addressed in the next one. I will definitely be picking it up when it comes out. 

 

Dream Magic, by Joshua Kahn ★★★

 

Summary: A second high fantasy, middle-grade novel from Joshua Khan. In Book 2 of a three book series, things are dire for the inhabitants of Castle Gloom and the surrounding villages. The undead are leaving their graves in droves, a troll army is on the march from the north, and people are mysteriously disappearing from their homes. The people of Gehenna are blaming their misfortunes on Lilith Shadow, their young queen. They believe she has cursed them by using magic, a practice forbidden to women. With her trusty executioner among the missing and her blackguard soldiers busy battling trolls, it is up to Lily and her friend Thorn to root out the real cause of all the trouble. Their search will uncover ugly truths and eventually lead to a nightmarish confrontation with nothing less than the rulership of the realm at stake. Zombies, ghosts, trolls, dream weavers, a black-hearted villain, and a giant hero bat are only some of the imaginative delights that await readers who relish a soaring adventure combined with a hair-raising mystery.

 

A fun little story, enjoyable magic. A predictable bad guy, but a fun story overall. I liked the world building and the 'black blood' idea. That was kind of cool.

 

The Secret of Nightingale Wood, by Lucy Strange ★★★★

 

Summary: 1919. Mama is ill. Father has taken a job abroad. Nanny Jane is too busy to pay any attention to Henrietta and the things she sees--or thinks she sees--in the shadows of their new home, Hope House.

 
All alone, with only stories for company, Henry discovers that Hope House is full of strange secrets: a forgotten attic, ghostly figures, mysterious firelight that flickers in the trees beyond the garden.
 
One night she ventures into the darkness of Nightingale Wood. What she finds there will change her whole world...

 

Loved this book. It was so beautifully written. Especially the parts dealing with grief and depression. I didn't really care for the evil 'doctor' who appears. However, I did appreciate the ending when her mother is taken to another doctor to get the help she needs. I did love the descriptions of loss and grief though. I figured out what happened pretty early on, but it was still a delight to read. 

 

James and The Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl ★★★

 

Summary: After James Henry Trotter's parents are tragically eaten by a rhinoceros, he goes to live with his two horrible aunts, Spiker and Sponge. Life there is no fun, until James accidentally drops some magic crystals by the old peach tree and strange things start to happen. The peach at the top of the tree begins to grow, and before long it's as big as a house. Inside, James meets a bunch of oversized friends—Grasshopper, Centipede, Ladybug, and more. With a snip of the stem, the peach starts rolling away, and the great adventure begins!

 

Fun little adventure story. Very quick read and mostly enjoyable characters. I'll probably pick it up again in the future. 

 

The Miracle Morning, by Hal Elrod ★★★

 

Summary: “Hal Elrod is a genius and his book The Miracle Morning has been magical in my life. What Hal has done is taken the best practices, developed over centuries of human consciousness development, and condensed the 'best of the best' into a daily morning ritual. A ritual that is now part of my day.” 

 

I was actually assigned this book. I don't usually read self help books because they annoy me. This one did annoy me, but it did have some good things to say.


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#11 Katia11

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 08:15 PM

Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky ★★★

 

Summary: Raskolnikov, an impoverished student living in the St. Petersburg of the tsars, is determined to overreach his humanity and assert his untrammeled individual will. When he commits an act of murder and theft, he sets into motion a story that, for its excruciating suspense, its atmospheric vividness, and its depth of characterization and vision is almost unequaled in the literatures of the world. The best known of Dostoevsky’s masterpieces, Crime and Punishment can bear any amount of rereading without losing a drop of its power over our imaginations. Dostoevsky’s drama of sin, guilt, and redemption transforms the sordid story of an old woman’s murder into the nineteenth century’s profoundest and most compelling philosophical novel.

 

Don't tell, but I wasn't a huge fan of this book. I felt like it repeated itself quite a bit, and the 'illness' portion was rather tiring. I understand it's supposed to be unclear whether it's real or whether it is because of the guilt eating him up inside. The plot was interesting, and it did keep me somewhat invested. Not one of my favorites, but I am glad I read it all the same.

 

 

The Thirteen Hallows, by Michael Scott ★★

 

Summary: The Hallows. Ancient artifacts imbued with a primal and deadly power. But are they protectors of this world, or the keys to its destruction? A gruesome murder in London reveals a sinister plot to uncover a two-thousand-year-old secret. For decades, the Keepers guarded these Hallows, keping them safe, hidden, and apart from one another. But now the Keepers are being brutally murdered, their prizes stolen, the ancient objects bathed in their blood. Now, only a few remain. With her dying breath, one of the Keepers convinces Sarah Miller, a virtual stranger, to deliver her Hallow--a broken sword with devastating powers--to her nephew, Owen. The duo quickly become suspects in a series of murders as they are chased by both the police and the sadistic Dark Man and his nubile mistress. As Sarah and Owen search for the surviving Keepers, they unravel a deadly secret the Keepers were charged to protect. The mystery leads Sarah and Owen on a cat-and-mouse chase through England and Wales--and history itself--as they discover that the sword may be the only thing standing between the world... and a horror beyond imagining.

 

This book was .... interesting. Dark, violent, the 'romance' came rather out of nowhere. The idea of the central plot was interesting enough though. Overall, a fast read but not something I would probably read again.

 

 

The Uncommoners, by Jennifer Bell  ★★★

 

Summary: Welcome to a world where nothing is quite as it seems… When their grandmother Sylvie is rushed to the hospital, Ivy Sparrow and her annoying big brother Seb cannot imagine what adventure lies in store. Soon their house is ransacked by unknown intruders, and a very strange policeman turns up on the scene, determined to apprehend them . . . with a toilet brush. Ivy and Seb make their escape only to find themselves in a completely uncommon world, a secret underground city called Lundinor where ordinary objects have amazing powers. There are belts that enable the wearer to fly, yo-yos that turn into weapons, buttons with healing properties, and other enchanted objects capable of very unusual feats. But the forces of evil are closing in fast, and when Ivy and Seb learn that their family is connected to one of the greatest uncommon treasures of all time, they must race to unearth the treasure and get to the bottom of a family secret . . . before it’s too late.

 

This was a pretty typical normal kid discovers magic sort of story. Although, it's not really magic. What makes things 'uncommon' is a piece of a soul attaching itself to a common object (a bell, strainer, etc.) That was a kind of interesting concept. It's not really supposed to be dark, it's just the way it works in that world. I liked it well enough and if there is another book, I will probably pick it up.

 

 

Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi ★★★★ 1/2

 

Summary: Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls. But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good. Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.

 

I really liked this book. The world was vibrant and dark. The chemistry between our main characters was beautiful and the message was very well conveyed. The only reason I didn't give this a five star rating was because the big 'bad' was defeated in a rather sudden and unexpected way. It left me feeling a little tiny bit let down. (just a tiny bit) I will definitely be reading the next one to see where she goes from here. 

 

 

The Hazel Wood, by Melissa Albert ★★★

 

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother's stories are set. Alice's only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.” Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother's tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

 

This was a very eerie book. The setting was very dark and believable. I love twisted fairy tale sorts of stories. So, I enjoyed it well enough. A quick and enjoyable read.

 

Nevermoor, The Trials of Morrigan Crow, by Jessica Townsend ★★★-★★★ 1/2

 

Summary: A breathtaking, enchanting new series by debut author Jessica Townsend, about a cursed girl who escapes death and finds herself in a magical world--but is then tested beyond her wildest imagination Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she's blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks--and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.It's then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city's most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart--an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests--or she'll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.

 

I have a weakness for children's book. Even when I know what's going to happen in the plot. But I still loved this world and the mood that it set. I really enjoyed it and will read the next in the series.

 

 

The Night Gardener, by Jonathan Auxier ★★★★ 

 

Summary: This much-anticipated follow-up to Jonathan Auxier’s exceptional debut, Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, is a Victorian ghost story with shades of Washington Irving and Henry James. More than just a spooky tale, it’s also a moral fable about human greed and the power of storytelling. The Night Gardener follows two abandoned Irish siblings who travel to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling English manor house. But the house and its family are not quite what they seem. Soon the children are confronted by a mysterious spectre and an ancient curse that threatens their very lives. With Auxier’s exquisite command of language, The Night Gardener is a mesmerizing read and a classic in the making.

 

This has been in my 'to read' lists for a while. I finally picked it up. I really enjoyed it. Very creepy. I enjoyed it a lot :) 

 

 

Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard, Jonathan Auxier  ★★★

 

Summary: It’s been two years since Peter Nimble and Sir Tode rescued the kingdom of HazelPort. In that time, they have traveled far and wide in search of adventure. Now Peter and Sir Tode have been summoned by Professor Cake for a new mission: find a 12-year-old girl named Sophie Quire. Sophie knows little beyond the four walls of her father’s bookshop, where she works as a bookmender and dreams of leaving the confines of her city walls. But when a strange boy and his talking cat/horse companion show up searching for a rare and mysterious book, she finds herself pulled into an adventure beyond anything she has ever read.

 

A cute, fun little read. Enjoyable, if predictable.

 

 

Princess at Sea, by Dawn Cook  ★★★

 

Summary: One day Tess was the crown princess of Costenopolie, and the next she discovered she was a beggar's child, reared as a decoy to keep the real princess safe from assassins. But Tess's flair for politics, self-defense, and shopping—and her recently discovered magical powers thwarted the kingdom's enemies and restored the real princess to the throne. Now, she dons an ambassador's robe to help Costenopolie put its best foot forward—and to keep the newly crowned queen from tripping over her own... Assigned to chaperone Queen Contessa and her new husband on their honeymoon voyage, Tess spends more time playing referee between the temperamental pair. Before another battle royal can erupt, a storm forces the ship to drop anchor where another vessel is similarly stranded—and Tess finds her heart stranded between a roguish cardsharp and a disturbingly attractive army captain. But Tess's potential suitors are the least of her worries. The crew of the neighboring anchored ship reveal themselves to be pirates and abduct the royal couple for ransom—unaware that Tess's magic is the real treasure in their midst...

 

This book was a little confusing because I did not realize it was the second in a series. I still figured out the basic concepts of it though. The romance that the book ends with did kind of come out of nowhere. It was a quick read and for the most part enjoyable. 


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#12 Katia11

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 04:28 PM

BAHAHHAHAH the book I'm currently reading has our MC kissing a guy (I mean like full on making out with) like ten minutes after they meet. what the actual eff? creepy.

 

Like... who does that? 


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#13 Katia11

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 04:53 PM

Heart Forger, by Rin Chupeco ★★★

 

Summary: In The Bone Witch, Tea mastered resurrection—now she's after revenge... No one knows death like Tea. A bone witch who can resurrect the dead, she has the power to take life...and return it. And she is done with her self-imposed exile. Her heart is set on vengeance, and she now possesses all she needs to command the mighty daeva. With the help of these terrifying beasts, she can finally enact revenge against the royals who wronged her—and took the life of her one true love. But there are those who plot against her, those who would use Tea's dark power for their own nefarious ends. Because you can't kill someone who can never die... War is brewing among the kingdoms, and when dark magic is at play, no one is safe. 

 

There are a few reasons why I didn't rate this higher. I was expecting a little more from the romance. I wanted a little more build up to it. But I didn't get it which kind of disappointed me. The bad guy was predictable, both in the future and in the past. I felt a little let down by the end. 

 

But there were things that I still loved. I still absolutely adore the Bard's chapters. I love the mood and the language he uses to describe Tea. There were times when it got a tad bit annoying this time, but for the most part I still really enjoyed how the future was intersecting with the past. Very cool idea. 

 

The Reader, by Traci Chee ★★★★

 

Summary: Once there was, and one day there will be. This is the beginning of every story. Sefia lives her life on the run. After her father is viciously murdered, she flees to the forest with her aunt Nin, the only person left she can trust. They survive in the wilderness together, hunting and stealing what they need, forever looking over their shoulders for new threats. But when Nin is kidnapped, Sefia is suddenly on her own, with no way to know who’s taken Nin or where she is. Her only clue is a strange rectangular object that once belonged to her father left behind, something she comes to realize is a book. Though reading is unheard of in Sefia’s world, she slowly learns, unearthing the book’s closely guarded secrets, which may be the key to Nin’s disappearance and discovering what really happened the day her father was killed. With no time to lose, and the unexpected help of swashbuckling pirates and an enigmatic stranger, Sefia sets out on a dangerous journey to rescue her aunt, using the book as her guide. In the end, she discovers what the book had been trying to tell her all along: Nothing is as it seems, and the end of her story is only the beginning.

 

Really enjoyed this one. An intriguing and easy read. I'm looking forward to reading the next one to see where it goes! 

 

 

The Looking Glass Wars, by Frank Beddor ★★★

 

Summary: Alyss of Wonderland? When Alyss Heart, newly orphaned heir to the Wonderland throne, flees through the Pool of Tears to escape her murderous Aunt Redd, she finds herself lost and alone in Victorian London. Befriended by an aspiring author named Lewis Carrol, Alyss tells the violent, heartbreaking story of her young life. Alyss trusts this author to tell the truth so that someone, somewhere will find her and bring her home. But he gets the story all wrong. He even spells her name incorrectly! Fortunately, Royal Bodyguard Hatter Madigan knows all too well the awful truth of Alyss' story - and he's searching every corner of our world to find the lost princess and return her to Wonderland, to battle Redd for her rightful place as the Queen of Hearts. The Looking Glass Wars unabashedly challenges our Wonderland assumptions of mad tea parties, grinning Cheshire cats, and a curious little blond girl to reveal an epic battle in the endless war for Imagination.

 

This was an interesting take on the Alice in Wonderland thing. Very interesting. Lots of fantasy! It was an easy read, but I don't think I'll pick up the next one in the series. 

 

The Shadows (The Books of Elsewhere #1), by Jacqueline West ★★★- ★★★ 1/2

 

Summary: Old Ms. McMartin is definitely dead. Now her crumbling Victorian mansion lies vacant. When eleven-year-old Olive and her dippy mathematician parents move in, she knows there's something odd about the place--not least the walls covered in strange antique paintings. But when Olive finds a pair of old spectacles in a dusty drawer, she discovers the most peculiar thing yet: She can travel inside these paintings to a world that's strangely quiet . . . and eerily like her own. Yet Elsewhere harbors dark secrets--and Morton, an undersized boy with an outsize temper. As she and Morton form an uneasy alliance, Olive finds herself ensnared in a plan darker and more dangerous than she could have imagined, confronting a power that wants to be rid of her by any means necessary. It's up to Olive to save the house from the dark shadows, before the lights go out for good.

 

The atmosphere and plot of this reminded me a lot of Coraline. The house that's hiding secrets, magical cats. But I loved the idea of going into paintings. That was cool! The bad guy was a bit predictable, but overall it was a fun and easy read.  Also, the final battle between the shadow of the bad guy and the MC was sufficiently creepy tense. I'll probably pick up the next one in the series to see where the story goes from here.

 

Thunderhead, by Neal Shusterman ★★★-★★★ 1/2

 

Summary: Rowan and Citra take opposite stances on the morality of the Scythedom, putting them at odds, in the chilling sequel to the Printz Honor Book Scythe from New York Times bestseller Neal Shusterman, author of the Unwind dystology. The Thunderhead cannot interfere in the affairs of the Scythedom. All it can do is observe—it does not like what it sees.A year has passed since Rowan had gone off grid. Since then, he has become an urban legend, a vigilante snuffing out corrupt scythes in a trial by fire. His story is told in whispers across the continent. As Scythe Anastasia, Citra gleans with compassion and openly challenges the ideals of the “new order.” But when her life is threatened and her methods questioned, it becomes clear that not everyone is open to the change. Will the Thunderhead intervene? Or will it simply watch as this perfect world begins to unravel? 

 

I like this series. The bad guy was predictable. But I love the Thunderhead chapters so much that it made up for it. Like I'd read a whole book just by and about the Thunderhead. So cool.

 

The end of the book was very fast paced, but ended on a cliff hanger. I MEAN GRR. 

 

I will be looking forward to the next one to see where the story goes from here. 


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#14 Katia11

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 12:38 AM

Reached 50 :) *dances in joy* 


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#15 Katia11

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 09:44 PM

finished up the year with 174! 


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#16 Katia11

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 12:48 AM

So... in other news it's April and I've read 69 books :) I'm so proud of myself guys. NOT BAD.


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#17 SweeneyxxTodd

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 03:14 PM

Nice!

 

I've read 28. One of those was Words of Radiance which was like 1100 pages. Took about three weeks to get through the audiobook. Such a good series!!


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#18 Katia11

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 08:50 PM

That is awesome, Mary! Quite an achievement! Way to go!  :thumbsup:


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