Book Challenge of the Month! (August 2019)

This is a busy month for me and mine. 3 out of the 4 of us are all attending school this semester! Little Felix is the only one free of the obligation but his time will come.

This month’s challenge is:

A book that is over 10 years old.

My challenge book is The Firm by John Grisham. This book has been on my to read list for a while so it’s nice to be able to pull it out and read it. Apparently there’s been a movie adaptation to it so I might have to watch it once I’ve read it.

My sequel book for the month is Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo. I didn’t care much for the second book so hopefully the third and final book in this series brings it all together. We’ll see.

My classic book of the month is The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. My friend, Erica, says his writing style is beautiful and that I will love it so I’m so ready to delve into it.

And last, but not least, is my for fun read: In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth WareGoodreads blurb:

In a dark, dark wood

Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.

There was a dark, dark house

Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?

And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room

But something goes wrong. Very wrong.

And in the dark, dark room…. 

Some things can’t stay secret for ever.

I mean, doesn’t that just sound right up my alley?

What is your challenge book for the month?

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July Book Reviews

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

I had mixed feelings about this book. It was definitely interesting but so hateful too. The women in this book were all brought up in ways I can’t really identify with so it was all really strange to me. The mothers in the book talk about their childhoods growing up in China and all the things they went through. It was all terrible, none of it good. It seemed as if they were already angry with their daughters for having an easier life. It was a cycle of bad treatment. There was light and understanding at the end of the book but they were all terrible to each other. It was still a good read so I give it 4/5.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

I wasn’t expecting to like this book as much as I did. I was expecting it to be boring and lackluster, since I’m a millennial and we’re so desensitized by all the flashy mediums we have today. But I really liked it. The first half wasn’t so entertaining but the second half really took off. I can see why it’s a required reading for high schoolers, it’s a perfect representation of society and the moment we all have to grow up and do the things we know we should and not just what we want to do to survive. I give it a 4/5.

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

I wasn’t impressed with this one. I”m hoping it’s just a bridge between the first and the third, meaning I hope that it was just a way to build up the third book and that t will be really good. I give it 3/5.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

I enjoyed this book, however, the end did drag a bit. I felt like I was never going to finish it! The story is cute and I could relate to each of the Little Women in turn, although I feel like I identified with Meg and Jo the most. There were moments when I felt like the author had picked moments out of my own life, even now in 2019. It was crazy how much I identified with their issues. I will say that it was a bit too prim and cutesy at times. I give it 4/5.

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Bonus Books I’ve read So Far This Year

So I’ve been a little sneaky, I’ve been reading more than what I talk about on my book challenge of the month posts.

I know, whatever. I like to read. As we all know. Since we’re at the halfway point for the year I thought I’d talk about all the ones I’ve read so far.

1. Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

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This is the final installment in the Dark Artifices trilogy. This is the third Shadowhunter series by Cassandra Clare. I love these books. I own all of them, they have a special spot on my book shelf. The art on the covers are just so pretty they make my bookshelf look wonderful. So I can’t talk a whole lot about this one since it’s the last in a trilogy but I will kind of give a little back story. In these books there is a world of people and creatures that live along side us. Fairies, vampires, warlocks and demons all exists and live together on earth with mundanes, the word used for regular people. Shadowhunters are an elite people who are half human, half angel, and they protect the world from demons. The stories follow different shadowhunters and their quest to save the world. It’s a lot and it’s complicated so just read it. If you like fantasy, if you like teen romance you’ll like these books. I will say thought that this third series was not as good the first two. She focused way too hard on the relationships between the characters for my liking. I’m more story oriented than character oriented.

2. The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish

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This. Book. Is. Hilarious. I love Tiffany Haddish. My friend, Marissa got this book for me for Christmas and it’s the best. In this book Tiffany talks about her life and how she started as a comedian. She tells some pretty heartbreaking stories of things that happened in her life and how she managed to turn it all around with comedy. I loved this book and highly recommend it.

3. The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson

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Did you know his name is pronounced like Steve Lar-soo-sun? I didn’t til I Googled it. This series is great. I did a review on the first book back in January. I just had to keep going. Lisbeth Salander is the girl that all the books refer to. She’s a very strange woman with some pretty impressive skills. This series is sexy too. It’s a crime series that I devoured so fast. It’s just so good.

4. The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare

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So after finishing Queen of Air and Darkness I had to go back and reread the original series. I am so glad I did. They’re so good! This series has to be in my top five of favorite series.

5. Frozen Grave by Lee Weeks

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Another third installment, this series follows DC Ebony Willis and her solving crimes in London. I’d say this one wasn’t as good as the first two but it was still good. I plan to read the rest of the books in this series. If you like murder mystery I recommend.

6. Some Kind of Peace by Camilla Grebe and Asa Traff

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If you like Swedish crime novels than this is the book for you. I thought it was okay. It wasn’t my favorite. Psychologist Siri Bergman is being stalked. Someone is leaving her messages, there are footprints found in her cottage where she lives alone and one of her patients has been murdered. Who could want to cause her harm? She needs to find that out if she ever wants to live in peace again. This was just another book my mother gave me. Now I will pass it on to someone else.

7. The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures by Aaron Mahnke

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“I’m Aaron Mahnke and this is Lore.” So this author has a podcast called Lore. I discovered his podcast and instantly fell in love with it. He tells weird, frightening true stories that have happened throughout history. Some stories are so crazy that you can’t even begin to explain how it could have happened. In his books, there are three, he discusses stories he does in his podcast. This book is, of course, about strange creatures that have been sighted or believed in. I absolutely love his writing style. It’s very easy to get drawn into his stories and I wanted to read it again immediately after finishing. I can’t wait to get the other two book which cover Dreadful Places and Wicked Mortals.

8. Fighting Malevolent Spirits: A Demonologist’s Darkest Encounters by Samantha E. Harris

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I read this book mostly for research purposes. I’m writing a fiction book about an undercover exorcist and I need to learn as much about these kinds of things as I can for authenticity purposes. It was an interesting read. I did get some interesting pointers and I will be keeping this one on my book shelf for future reference.

9. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

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I had to keep going. It was so good. I’m going to keep reading the rest. That is all.

These are the bonus books of the year so far. There will be more because I have a lot of unread books on my bookshelf and I just can’t stop myself. So I’ll check back at the end of the year with the rest of my bonus reads. What books have you read this year?

Book Challenge of the Month (July 2019)

Hello all! Another month, another reading challenge!

This month’s challenge brings with it a bit of nostalgia:

A book you were supposed to read in high school but didn’t.

My challenge book this month will be Lord of the Flies by William Golding. When I was in high school this book was on the assigned reading list but I never read it because I didn’t go to public school. I was homeschooled and my mom didn’t have the slightest clue what books were required for high schoolers at the time. She ended up getting a bunch of books from our neighbor who had just graduated high school and had me read those. I’ve always been curious about Lord of the Flies so now I’m going to tackle it.

My classic read for the month is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. They talk about this book on the show Friends and I’m hoping to love it as much as Joey and Rachel.

My sequel book of the month is Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo. This book series is kind of a prequel/companion series to her duo Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom. The characters in this story are different but it’s the same universe. I enjoyed the duo and the first book in this series so I’m sure I’ll enjoy this one as well.

My for fun read is The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. Originally published in 1989, and made into a movie in 1993, this book is about four mothers and their daughters who come together to talk about the things they encountered in their lives and how it connects them all. I’m excited to give this one a go.

Well there you have it! What will your challenge book be?

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June Book Reviews

The Witches of New York By Amy McKay

I wanted to love this book, I really did. But it just wasn’t as good as I had hoped it would be. It’s full of all kinds of nice, witchy aesthetics but it wasn’t enough to save the story. The story was so basic, it’s definitely been done before, by many. I love witches, so I’ve read many stories about them. This one just doesn’t stand out. The first half of the book is so all over the place with so many different characters that I was so confused. It was just too overly complicated, especially when the ending was just not exciting. I give it 4/5 only for the aesthetic.

Paradise Lost by John Milton

I gave up after the first few pages. It was beautifully written but I just didn’t want to push my brain to see the hidden meanings and what not. I’ve been in a funk the past few days and I just want a book that will distract and not make me fall asleep. I think in the future I’m just going to avoid these kinds of classics, and avoid setting myself up for failure.

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Wow-ee! This was such a great sequel! It expanded on the story beautifully. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The story follows Celaena Sardothien who is the king of Adarlan’s assassin.  It’s political, it’s intriguing, it’s romantic, it’s bloody. Best of all it left me wanting to read what happens next. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book in the series. 5/5!

The Wild Inside by Christine Carbo

I don’t know why this book got such great reviews on Goodreads because I gotta say, it’s not great. First of all, the author used way too many words. She had the main character over explain everything. I almost felt I was taking a class on wilderness and wildlife. It didn’t feel like I was being told a story. The parts where she actually was telling a snippet of story were good but then she would lose it and my interest. I wasn’t expecting the killer to be who it was but it was just like, “this is who did it” after pages and pages of nothing important. The execution could have been a lot better. I give it 2/5.

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