Thursday, May 22, 2014

Bout of Books 10.0 Wrap Up

Alright, I was originally planning on doing a video for this, but due to life being entirely insane. A blog post seemed to be appropriate. These books will also be covered in my May Wrap Up video, though. So keep an eye out for that!

So Bout of Books 10.0, which went from May 12th to May 18th, was a crazy week for me. I had a great start and I actually kept up with my goal of a book a day for the first few days. As the week went on, unexpected things came up, and I certainly did not reach that goal. (Or the goal of staying off Tumblr I might add.) However, I did get a pretty good amount read and my days went as follows.

Monday kicked off with Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger, book 1 in the Finishing School series, which happened to be my first real steam punk novel. (I've read short stories in the past, but never full length novels.) I didn't even know it was steam punk when I picked the book up! It took me a good hundred pages or so to really get into this book, but when I got into it I got into it. I really flew through this book and fell in love with Carriger's writing and this series and steampunk. Needless to say, I had a great first day of reading bringing me in with 307 pages. I may have gone to the library and picked up her entire Parasol Protectorate series, which is her adult steam punk series. Total Page Count: 307

Tuesday, if possible, was even better than Monday - because Rebel by Amy Tintera was released. This is the 2nd and final book in Tintera's Reboot series. I read the first novel, Reboot, last month and absolutely loved it, but I was very cautious about what would happen in the second novel. I was worried about the direction Tintera would take the novel and if it would be cliche or entirely ridiculous or just fall off plot-wise. It did none of these things. It did everything right. I ended up giving this book the my favorite book of 2014 so far award. It was that awesome. The action started on page 1 and didn't end until the book did. I'm a little sad that this series is only a duology, but I'm also very satisfied with the series as a whole. 352 pages. Total Page Count: 659

Wednesday was school reading day. I had to diverge from my original TBR to read a book for my literature class - Girls, Visions and Everything by Sarah Schulman. As per usual, I enjoyed the book enough for it not to feel like homework, but I didn't find myself jumping at the book dying to know what happened next. This is pretty common for a literature class reading though, because I'm generally focused on analyzing and all that fancy schmancy stuff. As it wasn't a long book, it took very little time to read, but it remained the only thing I read that day. 178 pages. Total Page Count: 837

Thursday I didn't have a whole lot of time to sit down and open a book, but I had a great amount of time to finish up listening to Life, the Universe, and Everything by Douglas Adams on audiobook. I was about halfway through this book already, but I had a good long time to listen throughout the day. I must admit, though, as a serial TV watcher/reader multitasker, I find it really weird to listen to a book. I have already read this book, and the entire series, multiple times, but obviously I love it and enjoyed Martin Freeman reading me this series just as much, if not more. Since this is an audiobook, I can't do exact pages, but my physical edition of this is 200 pages long and I went through half of the audiobook, so I'm just going to tack 100 pages onto my page count. Very official. Total Page Count: 937

Friday, Saturday and Sunday is when life got very hectic and I only got through one book over the weekend. It wasn't on my original TBR, but it goes with the book I read at the very start of the week. As I mentioned, I went to the library and picked up a bunch of Gail Carriger books, including the second in the Finishing School series, Curtsies and Conspiracies. I immediately got into this one, and now I'm left saddened that this is the last one currently published in the series. This will always be known as the Bout of Books I found steam punk and absolutely fell in love with it. I'm way to excited to read Parasol Protectorate and anything else I can get my hands on. If there was any doubt I was still in a reading slump, steam punk has recovered me from that. Total Page Count: 1247

For some crazy reason, I don't actually feel like I read a ton over this Bout of Books, but looking back, I only missed 2 days of my goal for finishing a book a day. I even caught up to my 100 books in a year Goodreads challenge which was a kind of unspoken goal for this week. Definitely my favorite and most memorable Bout of Books so far. Definitely looking forward to the next one!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Red: The Next Generation of American Writers - Teenage Girls - On What Fires Up Their Lives Today

Amy Goldwasser

Genre: Non Fiction, Essays, Women's Studies
Publication Date: 8th November 2007
Number of Pages: 288
Source: Library - Want to Purchase
My Rating: 

In this eye-opening collection, nearly sixty teenage girls from across the country speak out, writing about everything from post-Katrina New Orleans to Johnny Depp; from learning to rock climb to starting a rock band; from the loneliness of losing a best friend to the loathing or pride they feel about their bodies. Ranging in age from 13 to 19, and hailing from Park Avenue to rural Nevada, Georgia to Hawaii, the girls in RED-whose essays were selected from more than 800 contributions-represent a diverse spectrum of socioeconomic, political, racial, and religious backgrounds, creating a rich portrait of life as a teen girl in America today. (Goodreads)

As a book with a total of 53 essays, it'd be ridiculous to say I would give 5 golden stars to every essay in this book. Red, as a whole, however, is another story. This is a honest, down-to-earth (and sometimes not so much) essay collection from real teenage girls from all sides of life. I couldn't necessarily relate to every single story in this book so well I was sitting there going "Yes! That is me!" But the internal struggles and hopes and desires to succeed that shine from all of these essays really made that connection. It also helped me understand lives from other perspectives just a little bit better.

I found I was surprised at times that I was being insanely inspired at 1 in the morning by an essay written by a 13 year old girl titled "Ms. President". I was crying alongside a victim of Hurricane Katrina and her loss of more than just possessions ("New City"). I wanted to reach through the pages and hug almost all of these young women and tell them they aren't the only one. But that's kind of the purpose of this book. Or at least much of what I took away from it. The desire to do good, to help others, to succeed, to just be happy, admiration of others, they are all things that many, if not all, of us feel.

Would I recommend this book to everyone? No. I can't really see my father picking up this book and being as inspired by this book as a fifteen year old high school girl would be.

But I still come away with that feeling that this book gets a golden five stars. The amount of diversity and raw emotion and stories this book holds is just amazing. One quote in one of the final essays, "New City", really summed up this book for me and I'll leave you with that:

"You cannot hide forever, though you may try. I have heard the stories you tell. You can go out into the world and show others. They will feel less alone because of you, they will feel understood, unburdened. But to share with them you must wear shoes. You must go out and it will be harder. You must face jealousy and sometimes rage and desire and love, which can hurt most of all because of what can be taken away."

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Bout of Books 10

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 12th and runs through Sunday, May 18th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 10 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

It's that time of year again and that time of year is the Bout of Books read-a-thon 10.0! It's happening from ther 12th to the 18th of May (which also happens to be the week before my birthday). Thankfully that reading slump I've been in seems to have gone away so I have high hopes for this read-a-thon. I'd like to get through about a book a day, but we'll see where that goes.

At some point in a week, or maybe the day right before, I'll upload a video for my official TBR, but until then. This is me saying. Yes. I will be participating in May Bout of Books.

Let me know in the comments if you are too!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Scott Westerfeld

Genre: YA, Dystopian, Science Fiction
Series: Uglies, #1
Publication Date: 8 February 2005
Number of Pages: 406
Source: Purchased
My Rating: 

Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that?

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. Not for her license - for turning pretty. In Tally's world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.

But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all.

The choice Tally makes changes her world forever...

A long time ago in the year 2007, I attempted to read this. It did not work. I think I made it to page 80. Maybe. All I remembered about this book was that there were hoverboards. It didn't really grab my attention as fast as I had hoped then. It didn't this time either, but I know enough about the concept that I continued this time. After finishing this book, I feel like this is really half a book. It feels like it has half a story arc. That's not really a bad thing, but this book really is just entirely setup. The plot will hopefully move on a lot in the next book.

As for characters, I couldn't help but want Shay and Tally to be a thing. I didn't really find myself connecting with any of them in particular, not that it's bad but it makes me a lot less attached to the series in general.

This book also really rides the line between preachy and not preachy about the whole loving how you look deal. I never felt like it was yelling in my face about how I look, but it's there in the background. I knew that going into reading it though. The first two books are called Uglies and Pretties. It's kind of a premise of the novel.

I just felt very unfinished at the end of this book. Nothing is really finalized and I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. Maybe 3.75 but overall I definitely enjoyed it.

Monday, April 21, 2014


Alrighty, the end of April is nigh and somehow I have ended up with 10 more books. I have recently gotten rid of a ton of books, though. So this isn't too bad. I don't feel bad about this. (Especially since I've read 7 of those 10 already.)

Enjoy the video!

Books in This Video:

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J Maas
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Wither by Lauren Destefano
Grave Mercy by Robin Lafevers
The Hitchhiker's Trilogy by Douglas Adams

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Reboot by Amy Tintera | Book Review

Amy Tintera

Genre: YA, Dystopia, Science Fiction
Series: Reboot, #1
Publication Date: 7 May 2013
Number of Pages: 365
Source: eBook Overdrive Library2go
My Rating: 

Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).

Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.

The perfect soldier is done taking orders.

I've been thinking about how to review this book without spoilers and I'm going to do my best and just believe me when I tell you there are plot points that surprised me because I didn't really think that hard about the premise of the book, but I'm pretty excited about where it's going to go.

First off, I did not know this was going to be a series and I am now extra anxious for the final in the duology. Also, after Google research, I'm glad I read this when I did because the second book comes out in about a month. It thankfully didn't end on the world's biggest cliffhanger and I'm glad that Amy Tintera made the choice of duology (which is much less popular than it should be) because I think that's about all this series should/could have. Planned or not, good choice.

Secondly, I had no idea what this book was going to be about other than people came to life after they died and I was pleasantly surprised. So that's great. The plot flowed very well although it might have been a bit repetitive at times, but not enough to hinder reading or anything. The setting was very believable and I loved how readers are given just enough backstory to understand what's going on and not so much that it gets boring. Just the right amount.

Characters. I loved the characters. I love how the descriptions Wren uses to differ between humans and Reboots - even the individual words were so well used. I also just really love Wren and I like Callum. My only weird thing is why did Ever have to be named Ever? It just confused me while reading because it doesn't stand out as a name.

There are a lot of very subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, ideas and social commentaries in this book. Which as a student taking many literature classes with lots of analyzing going on, I am very happy. This brings me to the parts that I must leave out for spoilers sake, but I am planning on doing a video discussion of this with spoilers and all that.

I really love Amy Tintera's writing and the ideas that are being presented in this book. Basically pretty damn awesome.

4.5 out of 5 stars

Welcome Back Me

Oh hello there.

It's weird being back. How have you been? I've been good and neglecting any self appointed responsibilities for the past couple months. Now I am back though. I promise.

Please don't hold me to that promise I'm a 19 year old girl and I haven't grown up enough to hold myself to those kind of promises yet.

I'm going to try though.

This is my Spring Resolution post.

My Spring Resolution is to actually post on this blog. I haven't stopped reading or making videos, I just haven't been posting on this here blog thing at all. So I'm going to do that more. Starting with my book review coming up in a couple of minutes after I write it and all that.

Here we go!