The Whimsical Mama

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Top Ten Tuesday #94: Top Ten Books I Enjoyed That Have Under 2000 Ratings On Goodreads July 5, 2016

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Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten Top Ten Books I Enjoyed That Have Under 2000 Ratings On Goodreads

This isn’t a pure list as I skipped books from the same series.

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  1. The Prophecy by Erin Rhew (all the books in this trilogy are under a dollar on Amazon!) My reviews for The Prophecy, The Outlanders, and The Fulfillment.

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2. Waterfell by Amalie Howard (This duology is a great quick beachy read!) My reviews for Waterfell and Oceanborn.

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3. Napoleon & Josephine The Sword and The Hummingbird by Gerald & Loretta Hausman. I read this back in high school and fell in love with it!

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4. Burning Kingdoms by Lauren DeStefano. The other series I started with book one, but it has over 2k views. Books two and three don’t. This series is fantastic!

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5. Rite of Conquest by Judith Tarr. I stumbled across this at our used bookstore in high school. I absolutely loved it! I should do a reread soon!

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6. In Defense of the Queen by Michelle Diener. While this is the third book, it can easily be read as a standalone. My review of In Defense of the Queen.

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7. The Hidden Prince by Jodi Meadows. Plus the other Black Knife novellas! I would suggest reading The Orphan Queen first though. SPOILERS and all that. (;

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8. Artemis Fowl The Arctic Incident: The Graphic Novel by Eoin Colfer. My love for Artemis Fowl goes deep and I finally read the graphic novels last summer.

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9. Wolf Pact by Melissa de la Cruz. Companion to the Blue Bloods series. My review for Blue Bloods

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10. A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris. I adore Rachel and her books. The My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century series is so cute and a quick read. My reviews for My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, A Tale of Two Centuries, and My Not So Super Sweet Life.

 

What are some of your under 2k rating reads?

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Goodbye May – September, Hello October! October 1, 2015

Filed under: Books,Hello Goodbye Monthly Review — Maura @ 12:05 am
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I really can’t believe how quickly this year is flying by! It’s really kinda ridiculous. Totally meant to update May in June. That didn’t happen. Summer was HECTIC. Hoping autumn will be a bit more forgiving and laid back haha. I had a great summer and got a good amount of reading done. For a quick summer recap: In May, I did a down and back trip to Nashville with my friend Lauren to see Sarah J Maas on her ACOTAR tour. AMAZING. Talked publishing and books for hours with the incredible Lizzy Mason. One of hubby’s cousins got married and it was super awesome to get to see part of his family! In June, our English Mastiff, Maggie, was diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy. Her back left leg is limp and drags. She has good days and bad days. There’s no treatment or cure. She’s learned to compensate for the weakness. We’re enjoying her every minute that we can. We know that sooner, rather than later, that we’re going to have to put her down. She’s super excited to be an indoor dog again though! June also brought hubby’s Annual Training with the National Guard. Maggie got sick THE DAY BEFORE he had to leave. It’s always something, I’m telling ya! July brought two beach trips. The kiddos and I went to Northern VA to visit hubby’s side of the family for the Fourth of July at the family cottage on the Potomac. SO MUCH FUN! Bug kept trying to figure out a way to get the newest baby in the family home. HER BABY. Haha. I celebrated my second book blogging anniversary, without actually doing anything. Oops! We also went to the beach with my mom and step-dad. The kiddos love the beach. I am super proud that I made the 6 1/2 hour and 8 hour beach drives solo with the kiddos. We also said goodbye to my 94 year old great-grandmother in July. It was hard. August brought Hubby’s 30th birthday! We also went to the fair with my (ex)step-dad. The kids had such a blast. Bug wanted to ride the BIG rides so bad and was quite upset she was too young. She loved the carousel and the pony rides though. Punk loved the animal exhibits. Punk also started pre-k this year. It hit me hard that I now have a school age kid! He’s loving it and I love that he’s loving it. I’m really enjoying the chance to have some one on one time with Bug. There are some days that she cries and doesn’t want to take Bubby to school. There are others that she cries because she doesn’t want to go pick him up! She’s sitting in my lap now as I work on this post haha. September was a bit more relaxed. Hubby’s unit had family day and we also went to an MTSU home game. That was a looooong day! Five hour drive down and back after a full day of fun! Now it’s on to October! I love October. Autumn is in full swing. My birthday is this month and so is HALLOWE’EN! How was your summer?

affiliate links used

Books I read in May-September (in order of completion)
The Whitechapel Fiend by Cassandra Clare
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
White Hot Kiss by Jennifer Armentrout
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
The Goddess Hunt (Goddess Test) by Aimee Carter
Goddess Interrupted (Goddess Test Book 2) by Aimee Carter
The Goddess Inheritance (A Goddess Test Novel) by Aimee Carter
The Goddess Legacy (The Goddess Queen / The Lovestruck Goddess / Goddess of the Underworld / God of Thieves / God of Darkness (Goddess Test) by Aimee Carter
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
The Heir (The Selection) by Kiera Cass
A Darker Shade of Magic: A Novel by VE Schwab
Nothing but Shadows (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy Book 4) by Cassandra Clare
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano
The Hidden Prince (Orphan Queen Novella 1) by Jodi Meadows
The Queen: A Novella by Kiera Cass
The Evil We Love (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy Book 5) by Cassandra Clare
The Archived by Victoria Schwab
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
Vicious by VE Schwab
Most Likely to Succeed (The Superlatives) by Jennifer Echols
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog
The Isle of the Lost: A Descendants Novel by Melissa de la Cruz
Pale Kings and Princes (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy Book 6) by Cassandra Clare
The Assassin and the Pirate Lord: A Throne of Glass Novella by Sarah J Maas
Pete the Cat’s Groovy Guide to Life by James Dean
The Assassin’s Blade: The Throne of Glass Novellas by Sarah J Maas
Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass series Book 1) by Sarah J Maas
Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass series Book 2) by Sarah J Maas
Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass series Book 3) by Sarah J Maas
Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass series) by Sarah J Maas
Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes Series) by Sara Raasch
Bitter of Tongue (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy Book 7) by Cassandra Clare
Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy) by Leigh Bardugo
Siege and Storm (The Grisha Trilogy) by Leigh Bardugo
Ruin and Rising (The Grisha Trilogy) by Leigh Bardugo
The Demon in the Wood: A Darkling Prequel Story (The Grisha Trilogy) by Leigh Bardugo
The Glowing Knight (Orphan Queen Book 2) by Jodi Meadows

Coming up in October:

My birthday!

Punk’s class’s field trip to the corn maze

Hallowe’en!

Punk’s school’s fall festival

Goals for October

Stay ahead of schedule

Learn to successfully juggle two blogs

Spend time focused on the kiddos

Catch up on review writing

BALANCE

October releases I’m excited for:
Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes Series) by Sara Raasch
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: The Illustrated Edition (Harry Potter, Book 1) by JK Rowling
The White Rose (Jewel) by Amy Ewing
The Rose Society (A Young Elites Novel) by Marie Lu

October TBR:
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes Series) by Sara Raasch
The White Rose (Jewel) by Amy Ewing
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: The Illustrated Edition (Harry Potter, Book 1) by JK Rowling
Fairest: The Lunar Chronicles: Levana’s Story by Marissa Meyer
The Fulfillment (The Fulfillment Series) by Erin Rhew

Challenge Update:

2015 PopSugar Reading Challenge books completed:
A book with 500+ pages: Brazen by Katherine Longshore
A book turned into a movie: Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, Book 1)
A book published in 2015: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
A book with a number in the title: The 5th Wave: The First Book of the 5th Wave Series
An author under thirty: Vicious by VE Schwab
A book with non-human characters: This Shattered World: A Starbound Novel
A funny book: Most Likely to Succeed (The Superlatives) by Jennifer Echols
A book by a female author: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
A book with a one word title: Forged (Taken) by Erin Bowman
A book of short stories: The Assassin’s Blade: The Throne of Glass Novellas
A book set in a different country: The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
A popular author’s first book: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
A book a friend recommended: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
A Pulitzer Prize book: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
A book based on a true story: Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
A book that scares you: The Fault in Our Stars
A memoir: Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog
A book read in one day: A Curious Tale of the In-Between
A book set somewhere you want to visit: A Cold Legacy (Madman’s Daughter) by Megan Shepherd
A book with bad reviews: (either love or hate this one!) The Heir (The Selection) by Kiera Cass
A trilogy: The Hunger Games Trilogy
A book from your childhood: Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
A book with a love triangle: White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements)
A book set in high school: The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
A book with a colour in the title: The Red Tent: A Novel
A book that made you cry: The Assassin and the Empire: A Throne of Glass Novella (Throne of Glass series Book 1)
A book with magic: A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab
A graphic novel: Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel
A book by an author you’ve never read: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
A book set in your (college’s) hometown: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
A banned book: The Giver by Lois Lowry
A book turned into a TV show: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

How was your summer? What’s up for October?

 

Please Be Kind, Rewind: 17 – 30 May 2015 May 30, 2015

Filed under: Books — Maura @ 11:45 pm
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More good reading weeks! We also got to spend some time with hubby’s family Memorial Day weekend. One of his cousins got married and we traveled to Knoxville to celebrate. It was an absolute blast and we wish them many years of happiness! ❤ I’m buckling down and getting caught up on blog work. I would like to get far enough ahead that I only have to sit down maybe once a week or so to work on the blog. I’m going to take it slow again this summer, but I’m also sticking to my schedule. Hoping if I can get enough work done in the next two weeks, I’ll be ready! Hubby’s military schedule is all shades of crazy this summer, so it’ll mostly be me and the kiddos on our own. Sucks, but it is what it is.

 affiliate links used below

Completed:

The Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

The Goddess Legacy by Aimee Carter

The Heir by Kiera Cass

A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab

Nothing but Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Currently Reading:

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick

New to My Shelf:
The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
Twerp by Mark Goldblatt
Finding the Worm by Mark Goldblatt(Both Goldblatt books were sent by Cassie McGinty for a review! I haven’t decided if the reviews will go up here or on Voyages of the Backyard Explorers yet! Maybe BOTH! haha)

From Mary: (She’s the bestest best friend ever)

A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefanoARC (My TBR may just fly out the window for this one! <3)
Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth WeinARC
The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski(She surprised me with a finished copy! Also got my ARC signed <3)
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell(Take THAT USPS! I STILL HAVE IT!)

Trades: (Thanks, SO MUCH!)

Brazen by Katherine Longshore
Mortal Heart by Robin LaFeversARC
Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne BlankmanARC
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine KuderickARC
The Fall by Bethany GriffinARC
Doll Bones by Holly BlackARC
The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
All Fall Down by Ally CarterARC
The Demigod Diaries by Rick Riordan
A Cold Legacy by Megan ShepherdARC (My collection is complete now!)
Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
These Broken Stars by Aime Kaufman & Megan SpoonerARC
Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Clariel by Garth NixARC

 

Bout of Books 13 Wrap-Up May 18, 2015

affiliate links used below

I intended to participate in the last Bout of Books, but didn’t. I can’t remember what came up, but life happened. So I wrote the next date down in my planner. I had a blast this week with Bout of Books! I missed both chats, thanks to the kiddos, but it is what it is. I picked three books for my official TBR:The Fault in Our Stars,An Ember in the Ashes, and The Wrath and the Dawn. I only finished The Fault in Our Stars and The Wrath and the Dawn of these three. I did get a lot of reading done though. I read a total of 2,101 pages! True enough, 6 of the 7 books were audiobooks, but I still read! My favourite is a tie between The Wrath and the Dawn and The Fault in Our Stars. I faced a big fear when I read The Fault in Our Stars. My Gran was diagnosed with leukemia over a year ago, and I just haven’t been ready for any cancer books. Especially when I had had the ending spoiled for me. Cancer & death. I just wasn’t ready. Then talking with Lauren on the drive to see Sarah J Maas in Nashville on the 8th, we talked about a lot of things. She convinced me to go ahead and read it. I did and I’m so glad I did. Now to write ALL the reviews haha. Gotta get caught up!

Books completed:

The Fault in Our Stars

White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements)

The Goddess Test

The Goddess Hunt (Goddess Test)

Goddess Interrupted

The Goddess Inheritance (A Goddess Test Novel)

The Wrath and the Dawn

 

Please Be Kind, Rewind: 19 April – 16 May 2015 May 16, 2015

Filed under: Books,Weekly Reading Review — Maura @ 11:45 pm
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Oops! I’ve been slacking in my weekly updates. Gotta get better! Anyway, I’ve had a rather busy month! Hope you all have been doing well! I’m still excited to be back in the swing of blogging and I’m super excited to be working on my Read It Before You See It feature. I’ve been knocking out some books so I can binge some movies! I have a feeling if I can keep knocking books out, I’ll be able to have a super movie marathon while hubby is at annual training this summer! What are some of your favourite page to screen adaptations? I have a huge list, but I’m always looking for more suggestions! (: I’m also excited by how many trades I’ll have coming in too! In case you’ve missed the trading on Twitter, check out #booksfortrade! I’ve also been busy with #boutofbooks this week too. So much fun trying to out do my normal reading amount. Not that hard, to be honest haha. My reading amount varies greatly from week to week. I had a blast in Nashville at the Sarah J Maas signing!

Got my May package from my Secret Sister today! It’s so awesome and I’ll have a write up of April AND May up next week. (: My Sister is the best! Our poor mailman delivered five packages today. He walks our route, so he drove up to the house to drop off the boxes after he walked our block. Sorry, Mr. Mailman! I’ll have lots of books rolling in! (:

affiliate links used

Completed:
Frozen by Erin Bowman (reread)
Forged by Erin Bowman
Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare
The Lost Herondale by Cassandra Clare
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
The Artemis Fowl #2: Arctic Incident Graphic Novel 1st (first) Edition by Colfer, Eoin (2009)
Artemis Fowl The Eternity Code Graphic Novel by Eoin Colfer
Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception Graphic Novel (Artemis Fowl (Graphic Novels)) by Eoin Colfer
The Whitechapel Fiend by Cassandra Clare
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (audiobook)
The Last Apprentice by Joseph Delaney (audiobook)

Completed for #boutofbooks
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (audiobook)
White Hot Kiss by Jennifer Armentrout (audiobook)
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter (audiobook)
The Goddess Hunt by Aimee Carter (audiobook)
Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter (audiobook)

Currently Reading:
The Love Dare by Stephen & Anna Kendrick
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh ARC
The Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter

New to My Shelf:
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh ARC
Illuminae by Aime Kaufman & Jay Kristoff ARC
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Charlie, Presumed Dead by Anne Heltzel ARC

From my Secret Sister!
The Secret Bride (In The Court of Henry VIII, Book 1) by Diane Haeger
The Queen’s Mistake: In the Court of Henry VIII (Henry VIII’s Court) by Diane Haeger
The Queen’s Rival: In the Court of Henry VIII (Henry VIII’s Court) by Diane Haeger
The Love Dare by Stephen & Anna Kendrick
The Princes in the Tower by Alison Weir
Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey by Alison Weir
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab OMG SO FREAKING EXCITED!

Trades: (Thank you SO much everyone!)
I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios ARC
Fever by Lauren DeStefano
Gameboard of the Gods: Age of X by Richelle Mead
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd ARC
Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd ARC
Unleashed by Sophie Jordan ARC
This Shattered World by Aime Kaufman & Megan Spooner ARC

Like audiobooks? Check this out! (: Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks

 

Please Be Kind, Rewind: 16 November 2014 – 4 April 2015 April 4, 2015

Filed under: Book Review,Books,Weekly Reading Review — Maura @ 11:57 pm
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It feels good to be back! After a break for summer, then drama stirring every time I was ready to jump back in, I was afraid I might just hang up my blogger hat. The idea to start a blog for some of the adventures with the kiddos has sparked the desire to fully jump back in the YA blogging world too. I can’t let drama get me down from about what I’m passionate!

Instead of trying to do a FULL recap from NOVEMBER until now, I’ll just let my reading speak for itself and start back with recaps next week. I will recount as best as I can remember on books I’ve gotten. No hope on library books except for what I have on hand now though. I will still include books I get/read with the kiddos, but there will no longer be Tot Time Thursday reviews/posts. All things children’s lit, homeschooling, etc will be over on our new blog Voyages of the Backyard Explorers!

affiliate links used below

Completed: (Starting in November til today)

Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano
Burning Kingdoms by Lauren DeStefano
No Intention of Dying by Lauren DeStefano
The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
The Strange Case of Finley Jayne by Kady Cross
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross
The Dark Discovery of Jack Dandy by Kady Cross
Die Once More by Amy Plum
The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd
Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd
A Cold Legacy by Megan Shepherd
The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer
Gilt by Katherine Longshore
The Eternity Code by Eoin Colfer
Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception by Eoin Colfer
Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony by Eoin Colfer
The Time Paradox by Eoin Colfer
Tarnish by Katherine Longshore
Brazen by Katherine Longshore
Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel

Read with the Kiddos
Ladybug Girl and the Dress-up Dilemma
City Adventures #1: Help Is On The Way! (Lego Reader)
Ten Rules of Being a Superhero (Christy Ottaviano Books)
Ninja!
Bitty Baby and Me
What Is a Princess? (Disney Princess) (Step into Reading)
Scuffy the Tugboat and His Adventures Down the River
Tiny Toons Adventure: Happy Birthday, Babs!
Luke Goes to Bat
The Gingerbread Kid Goes to School (Penguin Young Readers, L2)
Potty (Leslie Patricelli board books)
Dinosaurs Before Dark (Magic Tree House, No. 1)
On the Night You Were Born
The Knight at Dawn (Magic Tree House, No. 2)
A Perfectly Messed-Up Story
Murray’s First Book of Words (Sesame Street First Board Books)

Currently Reading:
Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan
Mummies in the Morning (Magic Tree House, No. 3)
Pirates Past Noon (Magic Tree House, No. 4)

New to Our Shelves:
From My OTSP Secret Sisters (last round and current round)
Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
The Archived by Victoria Schwab
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter
The Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter
Twisted Fate
The Last Apprentice (Revenge of the Witch)
The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory
The Lady of the Rivers: A Novel (The Cousins’ War)
The White Queen (The Cousins’ War)
The Red Queen (The Cousin’s War)
This Shattered World: A Starbound Novel

From Mary:
Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, Book 1)
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

Giveaways/Book Swaps/ARCs
Maid of Wonder by Jennifer McGowan
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
Let the Sky Fall
Fairest: The Lunar Chronicles: Levana’s Story
Rebel Angels (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy Book #2)
Extraction by Stephanie Diaz
Rebellion by Stephanie Diaz

Library:
Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel
The Artemis Fowl #2: Arctic Incident Graphic Novel 1st (first) Edition by Colfer, Eoin (2009)
Artemis Fowl The Eternity Code Graphic Novel
Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception Graphic Novel (Artemis Fowl (Graphic Novels))
Captive (The Blackcoat Rebellion)
Maid of Secrets (Maids of Honor)
Tarnish by Katherine Longshore
Brazen by Katherine Longshore
Gilt by Katherine Longshore

Purchased:
Gilt by Katherine Longshore
The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
Maid of Secrets (Maids of Honor)
Maid of Deception (Maids of Honor)
Origin by Jessica Khoury
Juliet Immortal
Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose)
The Scorpio Races
Red Riding Hood
Playing Dirty by Jennifer Echols
Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion)
The Girl of Fire and Thorns

How’ve you been lately? Read anything good recently? Have you checked out our new blog extension yet? Tot Time Thursday now has its own blog at Voyages of the Backyard Explorers!

 

Please Be Kind, Rewind: 19 October – 15 November 2014 November 15, 2014

It’s been a long while and I apologise. Just when I was ready to get back in the thick of things after taking a bit of time away from blogging to focus on a summer of fun with my kiddos, the news breaks of a certain author stalking a fellow blogger. Well, needless to say it left a bitter taste in my mouth and killed my returning enthusiasm to jump back in the blogging life. My first priority is the safety of my family. We like our privacy which is why I don’t post pictures of my kiddos or use their real names around here or on Twitter. My Instagram is private and I even use their nicknames their. An author showing up on a blogger’s doorstep is a terrifying thought. It really made me think about giving it up. I was out of the habit and it would be easy to walk away. I don’t post negative reviews, but there was part of me that thought better safe than sorry. You know? But after much consideration, I’ve decided to stick with it. Cautiously, mind you, but stick with it.

I didn’t get everything read that I wanted before YALLFest, but I got the main things read. There’s time for the rest! As for YALLFest, I had a BLAST and hope I get to go again next year. I have some books by YALLFest authors that I’m planning to giveaway. The downside is, they aren’t signed, but HEY! Free books! I haven’t decided when I’m going to have the giveaway, but keep an eye out!

I’ve also taken up crocheting. I’ve wanted to learn for quite a while, and as a birthday treat to myself, I bought some hooks & yarn and set to it! If you check out Whimsical Mama Designs on Facebook, you can see a few things I’ve made so far that are for sale! I have several more things to add to the album. I’ve fallen quite in love with it. A nice way to relax and be productive at the same time! (: The kiddos love picking out new hats on Pinterest for mommy to make. Santa’s elf is quite busy! (; If you check it out and you see something you’d like, let me know! I’d be happy to work with you. (:

Since I went to YALLFest, I didn’t do NaNo this year. I also have lots of research to do for my next WIP. If you see my list of library books at the end, it’s not hard to guess the setting! I’m very excited about it as it’s an idea I’ve held dear for a quite a while and want to sit down and write. Other than that, I’m staying mum!

Punk & Bug are getting super excited about the holidays and it’s making me excited too. I love seeing their excitement! We watch the reindeer on ReindeerCam.com. Punk wants to know all the things about reindeer now.

Thank you to all the readers who have been checking back diligently to see if a new post has come up! You are a huge part of why I have decided to stick with it. I’ve also decided to post the backdated things I have typed up but took down from the schedule. Reviews and such have been adjusted so they’ll be going up starting tomorrow. (Hopefully, if I don’t get caught up working on the scarf I’m crocheting!)

***affiliate links are used below***

 

Completed:
Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass) by Sarah J Maas

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass) by Sarah J Maas

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone) by Laini Taylor

Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone) by Laini Taylor

Night of Cake & Puppets (Kindle Single) (Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy) by Laini Taylor

 

 

Currently Reading:

Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone) by Laini Taylor

Perfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles) by Lauren DeStefano

 

Read with the Kiddos:
The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry by Peter Sis

Pete the Cat and the Bad Banana (My First I Can Read)  by James Dean

 

New to My Shelf:
Perfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles) by Lauren DeStefano

The Winner’s Crime (The Winner’s Trilogy)by Marie Rutkoski

In the Shadows by Kiersten White & Jim di Bartolo

White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements) by Jennifer Armentrout

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass)by Sarah J Maas

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass) by Sarah J Maas

The Maze Runner Series (Maze Runner)by James Dashner

Prodigy: A Legend Novel by Marie Lu

Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor & Jim di Bartolo

 

From the Library:
The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry by Peter Sis

The Night Trilogy: Night, Dawn, Day by Elie Wiesel

The Box from Braunau: In Search of My Father’s War

Ladybug Girl and the Dress-up Dilemma by Jacky Davis & David Soman

Meet the Adelies (Happy Feet)

Biscuit Loves the Library (My First I Can Read)

The Greedy Python (The World of Eric Carle) by Eric Carle

The Pigeon Needs a Bath!

Splat the Cat: Good Night, Sleep Tight (I Can Read Book 1)

1, 2, 3 to the Zoo by Eric Carle

Big Bear, Little Bear (Disney/Pixar Brave) (Step into Reading)

When the War Never Ends: The Voices of Military Members with PTSD and Their Families

Binding Their Wounds: America’s Assault on Its Veterans

The Buchenwald Report

My Father’s Secret War

Flight of the Reindeer: The True Story of Santa Claus and His Christmas Mission

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to World War II

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday #53: New Series I Want to Read October 21, 2014

 

b301e-toptentuesday

Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten New Series I Want to Read

affiliate links used – book titles; covers lead to Goodreads

  1.The Orphan Queen
The Hidden Prince: An Orphan Queen Novella (HarperTeen Impulse)

2.

the cage megan shepherdThe Cage

3.

The Winner’s Curse (The Winner’s Trilogy Book 1)
The Winner’s Crime (The Winner’s Trilogy)

4.

A Court of Thorns and Roses

5.

A Great and Terrible Beauty (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy)
Rebel Angels (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy Book #2)
The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle, Book 3)

6.

Perfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles)
Burning Kingdoms (The Internment Chronicles)

7.

Sabriel (The Old Kingdom)
Lirael: Daughter of the Clayr
Abhorsen (The Old Kingdom)
Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen (The Old Kingdom)

8.

Atlantia

9.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

10.

The Shadow Queen by CJ Redwine

 

*Review* Oceanborn & Seamonster by Amalie Howard October 9, 2014

Oceanborn (The Aquarathi) (English Edition) (affiliate link)

Waterfell (The Aquarathi)

***As always mild spoilers may follow***

***I received a finished paperback from Harlequin Teen, Amalie Howard, & Jennifer Abbotts, I decided to review on my own. Being provided with a copy in no way swayed my opinion.***
Rating: 5 stars
Pub date: 29 July 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Format: paperback provided by Harlequin Teen
Status: book two of the Aquarathi series

Summary:
The coronation is over.
But the battle has just begun.
Nerissa Marin has won her crown. But can she keep it? Already, her ties to the human realm are driving a wedge between Nerissa and her people. When word arrives that her part-human prince consort, Lo, has been poisoned, she makes the difficult choice to leave Waterfell and return landside. As the royal courts debate her decision, even more disturbing rumors surface: a plot is rising against her, led by someone she least expects.
On land, Nerissa learns another shocking truth: Lo does not remember who she is. As her choice to try to save him threatens her hold on her crown, changing loyalties and uncertainty test her courage in ways she could never have imagined. Nerissa will have one last chance to prove herself as a queen …and save the undersea kingdom she loves

My thoughts:
Oh, wow. Once again, Amalie blew me away with her incredible underwater world of Waterfell. Even better that I revisited it in a two book and one novella binge read. The ocean fascinates me and Amalie takes a brilliant idea and runs with it. FANTASTIC.
The action and drama had perfect flow and ebbs. Everything builds until the wave breaks. Okay, I’ll stop with the puns and be serious (well as serious as I can be while utterly fangirling!)
Right off, Amalie hits you right in the feels. Or at least she destroyed mine! Lo’s in danger?! OH NO SHE DIDN’T! I really admire Rissa’s courage to face her royal duties as well as her land troubles. All while pulling time in high school.
Rissa, again, really grew as a character. She still has a strong stubborn and impulsive streak, but she’s also more grounded due to her bond with Lo. She’s also learned that asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness.
I was blown away with the transformation in Lo. Not cool, Amalie. Not cool. It was difficult to watch Rissa watch Lo become an entirely different person. I was chewing my nails like crazy waiting for the outcome. EEP!

Once again Amalie’s snark was spot on and it seemed like everyone had a chance to shine with snarky brilliance. The quips between Rissa and Jenna were my favourite. Jenna’s a tough one. Not easily cracked and constantly on her toes. Some of her ideas were a bit harebrained and brilliant all at once.

It was hard for me to come to terms with how long it took me to read. I managed to re-read Waterfell in a few days. The cards were stacked against me and it took me a week to complete. Much like blogging recently, the kiddos have been a bit demanding and taking up more of my time. Normally, that would impact my rating and reading experience, but not this time. It constantly had me thinking about it even when I couldn’t read. I mulled over what I’d read and contemplated which direction Amalie would take.

For a hot minute, I feared Amalie would leave this as a duology. Then the twist I was hoping for happened! It resulted in a massive cliffhanger, but YAY MORE WATERFELL!

There was one character that genuinely surprised me and it brought tears to my eyes. I was happy forthe closure, even if it was a painful moment.

After the pain of Speio’s betrayal in Waterfell, I was happy to see him redeemed in Oceanborn. Events at the end have me super surprised though!

Ultimately, Oceanborn was all I wanted and more. I’m so distressed with the cliffhanger. AHHHH!!!! I could sing this series’s praises all day long. I highly recommend it. Fantastic characters and an incredible parallel world. Brava Amalie! Book three please? (:

SEAMONSTER: An Aquarathi Novella (The Aquarathi)(affiliate link)

 

***As always mild spoilers may follow***

Rating: 5 stars
Pub date: 17 June 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Format: ebook, personal copy
Status: novella of the Aquarathi series

Summary:
They say that love is the death of duty …
Speio Marin is land-bound, tied to the side of the Waterfell queen-to-be, Nerissa. There’s only one problem–she wants nothing to do with any of the Aquarathi or her undersea kingdom, preferring instead the freedom of pretending to be human. Torn between his own desires and his duty to serve his future queen, he spirals into an abyss of malcontent. Speio’s mistrust of humans is no secret, and he sees them only as a threat to the existence of his people.
Until he meets Anya Delmonico–a mysterious and enigmatic girl, teetering on the edge of survival. Anya is sedate and secretive, yet reckless enough to brave a hundred-foot cliff jump. Caught between a dark past and an ex-boyfriend who refuses to let her go, Anya knows that getting involved with anyone new is the last thing she should do. But when her past catches up to her, Speio turns out to be the only one she can trust, refusing to let her face her demons alone.
When Anya discovers the truth about Speio, putting her life in mortal danger from the Aquarathi as well as her own sinister pursuers, will he risk everything to protect her? Or will he choose duty above all?

My thoughts:
Oh, Spey. I love you so much now. After hating him SO hard at the end of Waterfell, Amalie does an incredible job giving some a glimpse into his mind. My heart melted and warmed to him. It was a great way to whet my appetite while waiting for Oceanborn. Can’t wait to see how he continues to redeem himself! Just read it! It’s so great!

About the author:

AMALIE HOWARD grew up on a small Caribbean island where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or being a tomboy running around barefoot, shimmying up mango trees and dreaming of adventure. 22 countries, surfing with sharks and several tattoos later, she has traded in bungee jumping in China for writing the adventures she imagines instead. She isn’t entirely convinced which takes more guts. She is the author of several young adult novels critically acclaimed by Kirkus, PW and Booklist, including Waterfell, The Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Spring 2014 Kid’s INDIE NEXT title. Her debut novel, Bloodspell, was an Amazon best seller and a Seventeen Magazine Summer Read. She currently resides in New York with her husband and three children. Visit her at amaliehoward.com.

 

*Review & Mini Review* Taken & Stolen by Erin Boman September 21, 2014

***As always mild spoilers may follow***

***I received a finished paperback from HarperTeen & Alison Linsow, I decided to review on my own. Being provided with a copy in no way swayed my opinion.***

Rating: 5 stars
Pub date: 16 April 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, SciFi, Futuristic, Mystery (MALE NARRATOR)
Format: paperback provided by HarperTeen & Alison Linsow
Status: book one of the Taken trilogy

Summary:

There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.

They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.

Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?

 

 

My thoughts:

I’m pretty sure that I have Jodi Meadows to thank for Taken getting on my to read radar. She’s recommended some great ones to me. How it didn’t get read until now is a mystery. SO. GOOD. The cover is gorgeous. I would love to have prints in my office. When i was surprised by a paperback of Taken and a finished hardcover of Frozen after receiving an ARC, I knew it was time to read. I finally found time to fit it in.

I was instantly intrigued because the narrator is male. Definitely nice to read in a different perspecive than normal. I was also excited because I was jumping into another dystopian setting. I love dystopians! I know, I know. You’re thinking, ugh, just another dystopian. No. NOT just another dystopian.

Though it’s only in for a short while, I loved the relationship between Gray and Blaine. Orphaned young, they’ve only had each other and have an easy relationship. I developed a theory quickly about the Heist and I was right. Some people may be turned off from the seeming predictability, but I think Erin wrote it that way intentionally. Even though it’s in Gray’s perspective, I felt it was set up for the reader to figure things out a step ahead of Gray so it was easier to see how his choices were made by his personality.

I also liked watching the relationship develop between Emma and Gray. Emma is a strong female character to keep Gray on his toes and grounded at the same time. I’m undecided on the romance side of their relationship. It kinda feels like she has the hots for Blaine and Gray has the hots for Emma. We’ll see though.

I loved Erin’s world building. She gives enough detail and background without it being overwhelming. There is still enough left unexplained to keep you guessing and interested in continuing reading to see how everything is going to end up.

Gray is followed over the Wall by Emma. Gray is determined to find the answers to his questions. And answers he finds. Everything he thought he had an idea of being the truth is no where remotely close.

Along his journey, he meets a host of other great characters. No one is who they really seem to be and it’s hard to know who to trust. I liked Emma, but I came to like Bree too. I’m interested in learning her back story in Stolen.

I’m excited to be able to dive right into Frozen. Yes, this is another dystopian. However, that shouldn’t take away from the appeal. It’s a fantastic and quick read that will leave you wanting more. Give it a shot!

 

Rating: 4 stars
Pub date: 4 February 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, SciFi, Futuristic, Mystery
Format:
ebook, personal copy
Status: novella companion of the Taken trilogy (Bree’s POV)

Summary:

Before Gray Weathersby uncovered the truth about Claysoot and the Laicos Project, a girl named Bree came of age in the coastal settlement of Saltwater—and made her own surprising journey to the world beyond its borders. In Stolen, discover the story of Bree’s life before she was Snatched from her home, before she joined the rebellion, and before she met a boy named Gray…

 

 

My thoughts:

It feels like I’m reviewing novellas more frequently and that’s not my intention. I was on the fence about reviewing Stolen, but decided to do a mini review because it’s from a different perspective than the rest of the trilogy.

I was drawn to Bree for her fierce bravery and determination. She definitely gives Gray a run for his money in cockiness and snark. Oh, the snark that they exchange! Superb!

I liked being able to see inside another walled city. Chronologically, Stolen takes place before Taken, but I recommend reading it after. It was interesting to see a community where the boys are taken plus some of the girls.

The events of Stolen really make Bree’s behaviour in Taken clearer. It’s really heartbreaking and made me far more sympathetic towards her.

Again, Erin sets the scene beautifully and this is a super quick read. It makes me look forward to seeing Bree’s character blossom even more in Frozen and Forged.

About the author:

Erin Bowman used to tell stories visually as a web designer. Now a full-time writer, she relies solely on words. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and when not writing she can often be found hiking, commenting on good typography, and obsessing over all things Harry Potter.

Erin is represented by Sara Crowe of Harvey Klinger. She is the author of TAKEN, FROZEN, and FORGED (4/14/15) from HarperTeen. VENGEANCE ROAD is forthcoming from HMH in fall 2015.

 

 
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