Thursday, August 27, 2015

Review: The Eye of Minds - James Dashner

The Eye of Minds by James Dashner
Series: The Mortality Doctrine #1
Genre: YA, science fiction
Published on October 8, 2013
Published by Delacorte Books
Pages: 308
Read From: 08.09.15 - 08.24.15












SYNOPSIS
Michael is a gamer. And like most gamers, he almost spends more time on the VirtNet than in the actual world. The VirtNet offers total mind and body immersion, and it's addictive. Thanks to technology, anyone with enough money can experience fantasy worlds, risk their life without the chance of death, or just hang around with Virt-friends. And the more hacking skills you have, the more fun. Why bother following the rules when most of them are dumb, anyway? 

But some rules were made for a reason. Some technology is too dangerous to fool with. And recent reports claim that one gamer is going beyond what any gamer has done before: he's holding players hostage inside the VirtNet. The effects are horrific - the hostages have all been declared brain-dead. Yet the gamer's motives are a mystery. 

The government knows that to catch a hacker, you need a hacker. And they've been watching Michael. They want him on their team. But the risk is enormous. If he accepts their challenge, Michael will need to go off the VirtNet grid. There are back alleys and corners in the system human eyes have never seen and predators he can't even fathom - and there's the possibility that the line between game and reality will be blurred forever.

Review


Dear Eye of Minds,

James Dashner is one of my favorite authors ever since I read The Maze Runner, which continues to be on my Top Ten list. I've been looking forward to reading you ever since you were published. I went in knowing part of your plot twist, but figured it wouldn't hurt the reading experience that much. It didn't, because you still had plenty of other surprises. What did ruin the reading experience was your pace. This isn't a fun review to be writing.

Like a lot of people, Michael is completely addicted to the VirtNet - a completely immersive virtual reality gaming system. It's been developed to the point where everything in it feels real, even death. But unlike reality, you'll wake up or start your game over if you do die, so there's nothing to be afraid of. Until Kaine shows up. Kaine is another gamer, and he's been holding other players hostage within the VirtNet, harassing and torturing them with creatures called KillSims. His victims wake up in reality totally braindead. But no one knows why Kaine is killing gamers. Michael and his two friends Bryson and Sarah are hired by the creators of VirtNet to put their incredible hacking skills to use, track Kaine down, and discover what this thing called The Mortality Doctrine is. As they delve deeper into the world of the VirtNet, they soon discover that there may be no coming back from this game.

Your concept was awesome; I loved it from the start. Even knowing what I did about Kaine, he was pretty creepy and mysterious. The latter half of the story really picks up and starts to contain the disturbing weirdness that I've come to expect from James Dashner's novels. And the twist in the end was so incredibly good that I was left grinning for a whole half hour afterward.

Unfortunately, that's where my praise ends. I have always accepted that Dashner's novels are mostly plot-driven, but even I struggled with how flat of characters Michael, Sarah, and Bryson were. They had no personality, and their "amazing" hacking skills were pure heresy. There was no grand - or even semi-grand - demonstration of their hacking ability to show the Reader that, yes, they were awesome at what they did. The plot started with a tantalizing beginning, with Michael trying to keep a crazy gamer from plunging to her death off of a bridge. But then it fizzles out in one of the most rushed, patchy messes I've ever read. It's like the author got so excited about writing it that he forgot to fill in a lot of details for the Reader to be able to follow along. The world building was hardly developed and we jumped from one thing to another with little to no explanation. Even the twists barely had a jarring, shocking effect because we ran past them so quickly.

I wanted to like you so very badly, Eye of Minds. As a concept, I did, and the ending was great. But there were so many problems, too. Too rushed, boring characters, poor world building. I still hold hope for you as a series, though.

Feeling pained,
~ Mara A. ~

Others in The Mortality Doctrine Trilogy:
1)The Eye of Minds
2)The Rule of Thoughts

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Walk on Earth a Stranger

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.
It's a weekly meme about upcoming books we're excited about!



Walk on Earth a Stranger
by Rae Carson
(The Gold Seer Trilogy #1)
Publication Date: September 22, 2015

From Goodreads:

Lee Westfall has a secret. She can sense the presence of gold in the world around her. Veins deep beneath the earth, pebbles in the river, nuggets dug up from the forest floor. The buzz of gold means warmth and life and home - until everything is ripped away by a man who wants to control her. Left with nothing, Lee disguises herself as a boy and takes to the trail across the country. Gold was discovered in California, and where else could such a magical girl find herself, find safety? 

Why I'm Excited
- A new fantasy trilogy by Rae Carson? Sign me up!
- And it takes place historical California! Awesomeness!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Review: The Assassin's Curse - Cassandra Rose Clarke

The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke
Series: The Assassin's Curse #1
Genre: YA, fantasy
Published on October 2, 2012
Published by Strange Chemistry
Pages: 298
Read From: 08.23.15 - 08.26.15












SYNOPSIS
Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to another pirate clan. But that only prompts the scorned clan to send an assassin after her. When Ananna faces him down one night, armed with magic she doesn't really know how to use, she accidentally activates a curse binding them together. 

To break the spell, Ananna and the assassin must complete three impossible tasks - all while grappling with evil wizards, floating islands, haughty manticores, runaway nobility, strange magic. . . .and the growing romantic tension between them.

Review

Dear Assassin's Curse,

I've been wanting to read you ever since you came out, and at long last I finally got the chance to this year! You sounded wonderful from the very beginning and I had the reassurance of several trusted friends that you were good. I was admittedly worried about the romance, but my fears were instantly put to rest.

Ananna is the daughter of pirates, and like them, she's free-spirited and craves adventure and a ship of her own. So when her parents decide to marry her off to the son of another powerful pirate clan, Ananna puts her foot down and runs away. Things get sticky when the Hararis send an assassin after Ananna for the slight she's paid them. When Ananna and the assassin, Naji, face off one night in the desert, Ananna instinctively saves his life from a poisonous adder. Unknowingly, she triggers a curse: Naji must now protect Ananna at all costs from any danger, otherwise he'll die. Together, pirate and assassin set off to find a way to undo what's called an "impossible curse" - but they aren't prepared for the dangers along the way, especially when Ananna starts falling in love with Naji.

I loved everything about you, Assassin's Curse. You take place in a rich, vivid world full of magic and mystery and exotic Arabian Nights appeal. The pirates are whimsical and believable all at once, while the assassins are shrouded in myth and mystique. I was swept away from the very beginning, when we're introduced to Ananna - a spunky, sharp-witted protagonist who is also very relatable and down-to-earth. Naji, the quiet, decent assassin was an immediate hit, too; he is the sort of dark character that I love. The Mists - a race of otherworldly beings chasing after Naji - are chilling and scary.

Your narration style took a moment to get used to, as it's told through Ananna's words and written the way she speaks. But it worked so amazingly well in immersing me further into the world and understanding Ananna's character better.

The ending was a tiny bit anticlimactic. The synopsis gives the impression that this first book in a series deals with Naji and Ananna undertaking three impossible tasks to cure an impossible curse, when in fact that is what the second book is about. Naji and Ananna don't find out about the tasks until the very end; your plot is leading up to it the whole time.

Nevertheless, you left me wanting to dive into the sequel immediately. You are a rollicking fantasy adventure with amazing characters, an amazing world, and a romance that doesn't at all interfere with the action and mystery. It's very much there, but it's a slow-burning romance that I can totally get behind. I absolutely loved every moment of you, Assassin's Curse. You are my new favorite fantasy series.

Feeling excited,
~ Mara A. ~

Others in This Series:
1)The Assassin's Curse
2)The Pirate's Wish
3)The Wizard's Promise

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Confessions of an Imaginary Friend

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.
It's a weekly meme about upcoming books we're excited about!



Confessions of an Imaginary Friend
by Michelle Cuevas
Publication Date: September 8, 2015

From Goodreads:

Jacques Papier has the sneaking suspicion that everyone except his sister Fleur hates him. Teachers ignore him when his hand is raised in class, he is never chosen for sports teams, and his parents often need to be reminded to set a place for him at the dinner table. But he is shocked when he finally learns the truth: He is Fleur's imaginary friend! When he convinces Fleur to set him free, he begins a surprising, touching, and always funny quest to find himself - to figure out who Jacques Papier truly is, and where he belongs.

Why I'm Excited
- This sounds so adorable; I can't wait!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda - Becky Albertalli

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Genre: YA, contemporary
Published on April 7, 2015
Published by Balzer + Bray
Pages: 303
Read From: 08.01.15 - 08.02.15













SYNOPSIS
Sixteen-year-old and no-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn't play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone's business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he's been emailing, will be compromised. 

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon's junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he's pushed out - without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he's never met.

Review


Dear Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda,


I knew from the start that you were going to be a difficult one to review. You aren't my typical book, but you were getting a lot of buzz in the YA book community, and I figured I should read you. To see what it was all about. I'm glad I did, Simon - you were quick and interesting. But, the bottom line is, you're just not for me.

Poor Simon Spier is having one heck of a junior year. He's gay, but he hasn't exactly told anyone yet - not even his family or his best friends. The only person who knows is Blue, another teenage boy he's been emailing, and someone who goes to his high school. But Simon doesn't know Blue's reason identity, and Blue doesn't know Simon's; they want to keep it that way. However, it all changes when school clown Martin gets ahold of the emails and threatens to publish them on the high school's Tumblr page if Simon doesn't play wingman for Martin with a new girl at school. Simon isn't ready for the world to know his secret yet - and he's terrified of losing Blue, who is probably the best thing that has ever happened to him.

While you weren't my type of book, Simon, I could recognize the appeal you would have for an audience who would appreciate you. Your writing was very simplistic, but it painted a very clear picture of Simon's personality. I really enjoyed his unique narration voice. All of your characters were very believable, fully realized personalities and there was a lot of heart and warmth filling the entire story. Because you were such a hyped book, I really expected you to be preachy and over the top about everything. So I was surprised to find that for the most part, you weren't.

Nevertheless, I was faced with the predicament of reading a book that will most definitely have high appeal for its intended audience, but just didn't hit much of a chord with me. How does one rate such a book? I can only hope people read this review to understand my reason behind the rating. Coming from personal enjoyment, you didn't do much for me. But for people who do like stories like this, it is most definitely a five-strawberry read. It's funny and heartfelt and totally fleshed out.

Feeling hum-dum,
~ Mara A. ~

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Catacomb

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.
It's a weekly meme about upcoming books we're excited about!



Catacomb
by Madeleine Roux
(Aslyum #3)
Published On: September 1, 2015

From Goodreads:

Sometimes the past is better off buried.

Senior year is finally over. After all they've been through, Dan, Abby, and Jordan are excited to take one last road trip together, and they're just not going to think about what will happen when the summer ends. But on their way to visit Jordan's uncle in New Orleans, the three friends notice that they are apparently being followed. . . .And Dan starts receiving phone messages from someone he didn't expect to hear from again - someone who died last Halloween.

As the strange occurrences escalate, Dan is forced to accept that everything that has happened to him in the past year may not be a coincidence, but fate - a fate that ties Dan to a group called the Bone Artists, who have a sinister connection with a notorious killer from the past. Now, Dan's only hope is that he will make it out of his senior trip alive.

Why I'm Excited
- Even though I haven't started this series (yet!), I'm very excited for this third book!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #89 + Teaser Tuesday #50

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish 


Top Ten Authors I've Read the Most Of. I had to pull statistics up on Goodreads for this one. Let's get started!

  1. Ann Rinaldi comes in first at 26 books. And that number just keeps climbing. She's written so many books and I want to read all of them.
  2. Rosemary Sutcliffe comes in second at 25 books. Like Ann Rinaldi, she's written so much and I want to read them all.
  3. Lemony Snicket comes in third at 24 books. I don't think that is counting his picture books, so I have actually read more than that because I know I've read all of his books.
  4. Avi comes in fourth at 20 books. He was my favorite author as a kid and I still really enjoy his books, if only because it creates a sense of nostalgia.
  5. Caroline Lawrence comes in fifth at 17 books. I loved her Roman Mysteries series, and read every single one of them.
  6. John Flanagan comes in sixth at 16 books. I have one more book I need to read and then I'll be all caught up.
  7. Anthony Horowitz comes in seventh at 15 books. Alex Rider and his two Sherlock Holmes novels - and the first four Gatekeepers series (which I still need to finish).
  8. Rick Riordan comes in eighth at 13 books. Surprise? No.
  9. Gail Carson Levine comes in ninth at 12 books. My favorite fairy tale retelling author!
  10. Finally, Michael Buckley comes in tenth at 10 books.
Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading

- Grab the book you're currently reading.
- Flip to a random page!
- Share 2 teaser sentences on that page!

Michael didn't dare admit it to his friends, but he was beyond terrified. They'd paid a lot of money for their Coffins, making the VirtNet drastically real - which was great for the pleasures in life. Not so great for getting stabbed, beaten, and strangled. Michael had done a lot of stuff inside the Sleep, but what lay below him looked worse than any of it. He was walking into sheer brutality. And bringing in other skills or weapons through the code didn't look like the brightest prospect after the difficulty they'd had programming hats and gloves. The Eye of Minds by James Dashner (pg. 132)

Monday, August 10, 2015

2015 TBR Update #5

So it's been a while since I've done one of these updates, but I'm going to try and do them on Mondays on a regular basis. Not only so you can stay up to date on my reading challenges, but also my TBR progress for the months.

So my July TBR has 21 official books. Out of those, I have completed 1 this week.
  • Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger (3/5 strawberries)
I have 18 left to read:
  • The Eye of Minds - James Dashner
  • Under the Egg - Laura Marx Fitzgerald
  • An Abundance of Katherines - John Green
  • Libriomancer - Jim C. Hines
  • The Prey - Tom Isbell
  • The Invasion of the Tearling - Erika Johansen
  • The Lost Kingdom - Matthew J. Kirby
  • Ignite - Sara B. Larson
  • Devoted - Jennifer Mathieu
  • Hidden - Donna Jo Napoli
  • The Spindlers - Lauren Oliver
  • The Mouse With the Question Mark Tail - Richard Peck
  • Asylum - Madeleine Roux
  • The Sin Eater's Daughter - Melinda Salisbury
  • Circa Now - Amber McRee Turner
  • Of Monsters and Madness - Jessica Verday
  • The Whispering Trees - J. A. White
  • Bad Luck Girl - Sarah Zettel
I have also read:
  • Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows by Joe Hill (3/5 strawberries)
  • Maus I by Art Spiegelman (4/5 strawberries)
I am currently reading 2 books:
  • The Eye of Minds by James Dashner
  • A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
I have caught up on 4 series (The Kingdom of Wrenly; The Darkest Minds; Finishing School; Locke & Key), and I have started 1 new series/trilogies/duologies (Maus).


For my 2015 Reading Challenge, I have completed 23 items:
  • A book with more than 500 pages: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
  • A book that became a movie: Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
  • A book published this year: Firefight by Brandon Sanderson
  • A book by a female author: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
  • A mystery or thriller: Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz
  • A book with a one-word title Ticker by Lisa Mantchev
  • A book from an author you love that you haven't read yet: Slaves of Socorro by John Flanagan
  • A book based on a true story: Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz
  • A book at the bottom of your to-read list: The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
  • A book based entirely on its cover: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  • A book you can finish in a day: Beneath the Stone Forest by Jordan Quinn
  • A book set somewhere you've always wanted to visit: A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
  • A book set in high school: Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
  • A book with magic: Thursdays with the Crown by Jessica Day George
  • A book by an author you've never read before: Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne
  • A book you own but have never read: Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
  • A book with bad reviews: Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernen
  • A graphic novel: Locke & Key Volume 1: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez
  • A book that made you cry: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
  • A classic romance: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  • A book you started but never finished: Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken
I have 13 planned reads that I have yet to complete:
  • A book of short stories: Clockwork Fairy Tales by Various Authors
  • A book with a number in the title: Survival Colony 9 by Joshua David Bellin
  • A book written by someone under 30: Wolfsblood by Hazel West
  • A book with nonhuman characters: The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail by Richard Peck
  • A book set in a different country: Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
  • A nonfiction book: Unbroken by Lauren Hillenbrand
  • A book a friend recommended: Impossible by Nancy Werlin
  • A trilogy: Delirium, Pandemonium, Requiem by Lauren Oliver
  • A book that was originally written in a different language: Dream a Little Dream by Kerstin Gier
  • A popular author's first book: The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver
  • A book that won a prize: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
  • A book set in the future: The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
  • A book that scares you: Asylum by Madeleine Roux 
I have 15 categories to still plan and complete:
  • A book your mom loves
  • A book more than 100 years old
  • A book you were supposed to read in school but didn't
  • A memoir
  • A book with antonyms in the title
  • A book that came out the year you were born
  • A book from your childhood
  • A book with a love triangle
  • A book with a color in the title
  • A book that takes place in your hometown
  • A book set during Christmas
  • A book written by an author with your same initials
  • A play
  • A banned book
  • A book based on or turned into a TV show

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Hedgehog Life: 8.3.15 - 8.9.15


And the busy weeks are back!! And in full force!

This Week I Read:
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (2/5 strawberries)
- Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows by Joe Hill (3/5 strawberries)
- Maus I by Art Spiegelman (4/5 strawberries)
- Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger (3/5 strawberries)

This Week I Was Supposed to Review (I will!):
- A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman
- Let the Games Begin! & The Secret World of Mermaids by Jordan Quinn

What's In Store For Next Week:
Monday: 2015 TBR Update #5
Tuesday: Top Ten Authors I've Read the Most Books From
Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday with Catacomb
Thursday: Review of Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken
Friday: Review of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Saturday: N/A

So this has been a crazy week! Thursday a friend and I went to see Ant-Man. I was one of those extremely vocal people who declared that it was going to be one of the stupidest movies ever made, and my opinion only got stronger when I saw the trailer. It's a superhero who shrinks and can control ants. Come on; that's idiotic. However, I left that theater converted. I'm not a superhero fan, but I loved Ant-Man. It didn't take itself too seriously, Scott Lang was a very likable protagonist, and the suit was awesome. If I had seen this movie as a kid, I would have absolutely adored it. As an adult, it was just so much fun and cool and totally blew away my expectations.

Friday was spent doing a photo shoot, which was all levels of fun. I'm learning to be less camera shy and maybe I'll even post a couple of the pictures once my friend sends them to me. But some of my other buddies treated me to a girlz night out that Friday after the photo shoot. We went rock climbing and then treated ourselves to some delicious ice cream. I didn't realize how much I needed a girlz night until then.

Finally, Saturday another friend and I went to Seattle to meet YA authors Stephanie Oakes (The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly), Hilary T. Smith (Wild Awake; A Sense of Infinite), and Sharon Huss Roat (Between the Notes). It was one of the quieter author events I've attended, but it was super fun and awesome getting to talk to them. Sharon Huss Roat actually had her own personal copy of her book that she had the fans sign, and I'm totally going to do that, too, when I'm finally published and have my own tours to go on. :)


But we didn't just go to an author event. We chilled in Seattle for a while; went to Pike's Market Place (where I spent a small fortune on truffle-based cooking ingredients for some Italian culinary adventures) and grabbed some delicious calzoni and gelato at Bambino's afterward. I love that restaurant so, so, so, so much.

And next week isn't slowing down!! But I love being busy.

Keep reading, my friends!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: The Copper Gauntlet

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.
It's a weekly meme about upcoming books we're excited about!



The Copper Gauntlet
by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare
(The Magisterium #2)
Publication Date: September 1, 2015

From Goodreads:

Callum Hunt's summer break isn't like other kids'. His closest companion is a Chaos-ridden wolf, Havoc. His father suspects him of being secretly evil. And, of course, most kids aren't heading back to the magical world of the Magisterium in the fall.

It's not easy for Call. . . .and it gets even harder after he checks out his basement and discovers that his dad might be trying to destroy both him and Havoc.

Call escapes to the Magisterium - but things only intensify there. The Alkahest - a copper gauntlet capable of separating certain magicians from their magic - has been stolen. And in their search to discover the culprit, Call and his friends Aaron and Tamara awaken the attention of some very dangerous foes - and get closer to an even more dangerous truth.

Why I'm Excited
- I enjoy the Magisterium series and look forward to seeing what happens next!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #88 + Teaser Tuesday #49

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish 


Top Ten Fairy Tale Retellings I've Read. I feel like I've done this list a lot, so I'm just going to use the same list as last time!



Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading


- Grab the book you're currently reading.
- Flip to a random page!
- Share 2 teaser sentences from that page!

"Now, Mumsy" - Sophronia was quick on the flip - "don't you see? It's a symbolic allegory of the famous myth of Romulus and Remus. Since a werewolf is almost never female, Lady Kingair has dressed as a nanny to foil the wolf shape and properly represent the she-wolf who fed the great hero-founders of Rome." Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger (pg. 113)

Monday, August 3, 2015

2015 TBR Update #4

So it's been a while since I've done one of these updates, but I'm going to try and do them on Mondays on a regular basis. Not only so you can stay up to date on my reading challenges, but also my TBR progress for the months.

So my July TBR has 21 official books. Out of those, I have completed 2 this week.

  • Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken (4/5 strawberries)
  • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (2/5 strawberries)
I have 19 left to read:
  • Waistcoats & Weaponry - Gail Carriger
  • The Eye of Minds - James Dashner
  • Under the Egg - Laura Marx Fitzgerald
  • An Abundance of Katherines - John Green
  • Libriomancer - Jim C. Hines
  • The Prey - Tom Isbell
  • The Invasion of the Tearling - Erika Johansen
  • The Lost Kingdom - Matthew J. Kirby
  • Ignite - Sara B. Larson
  • Devoted - Jennifer Mathieu
  • Hidden - Donna Jo Napoli
  • The Spindlers - Lauren Oliver
  • The Mouse With the Question Mark Tail - Richard Peck
  • Asylum - Madeleine Roux
  • The Sin Eater's Daughter - Melinda Salisbury
  • Circa Now - Amber McRee Turner
  • Of Monsters and Madness - Jessica Verday
  • The Whispering Trees - J. A. White
  • Bad Luck Girl - Sarah Zettel
I have also read:
  • Let the Games Begin! by Jordan Quinn (5/5 strawberries)
  • The Secret World of Mermaids by Jordan Quinn (5/5 strawberries)
I am currently reading 2 books:
  • Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger
  • A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
I have caught up on 2 series (The Kingdom of Wrenly; The Darkest Minds), and I have started 0 new series/trilogies/duologies.


For my 2015 Reading Challenge, I have completed 23 items:
  • A book with more than 500 pages: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
  • A book that became a movie: Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
  • A book published this year: Firefight by Brandon Sanderson
  • A book by a female author: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
  • A mystery or thriller: Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz
  • A book with a one-word title Ticker by Lisa Mantchev
  • A book from an author you love that you haven't read yet: Slaves of Socorro by John Flanagan
  • A book based on a true story: Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz
  • A book at the bottom of your to-read list: The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
  • A book based entirely on its cover: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  • A book you can finish in a day: Beneath the Stone Forest by Jordan Quinn
  • A book set somewhere you've always wanted to visit: A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
  • A book set in high school: Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
  • A book with magic: Thursdays with the Crown by Jessica Day George
  • A book by an author you've never read before: Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne
  • A book you own but have never read: Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
  • A book with bad reviews: Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernen
  • A graphic novel: Locke & Key Volume 1: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez
  • A book that made you cry: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
  • A classic romance: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  • A book you started but never finished: Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken
I have 13 planned reads that I have yet to complete:
  • A book of short stories: Clockwork Fairy Tales by Various Authors
  • A book with a number in the title: Survival Colony 9 by Joshua David Bellin
  • A book written by someone under 30: Wolfsblood by Hazel West
  • A book with nonhuman characters: The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail by Richard Peck
  • A book set in a different country: Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
  • A nonfiction book: Unbroken by Lauren Hillenbrand
  • A book a friend recommended: Impossible by Nancy Werlin
  • A trilogy: Delirium, Pandemonium, Requiem by Lauren Oliver
  • A book that was originally written in a different language: Dream a Little Dream by Kerstin Gier
  • A popular author's first book: The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver
  • A book that won a prize: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
  • A book set in the future: The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
  • A book that scares you: Asylum by Madeleine Roux 
I have 15 categories to still plan and complete:
  • A book your mom loves
  • A book more than 100 years old
  • A book you were supposed to read in school but didn't
  • A memoir
  • A book with antonyms in the title
  • A book that came out the year you were born
  • A book from your childhood
  • A book with a love triangle
  • A book with a color in the title
  • A book that takes place in your hometown
  • A book set during Christmas
  • A book written by an author with your same initials
  • A play
  • A banned book
  • A book based on or turned into a TV show

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Hedgehog Life: 7/27/15 - 8/2/15


This week has, to be quite honest, rather dull! With the exception of two exciting events.

This Week I Read:
- Let the Games Begin! by Jordan Quinn (5/5 strawberries)
- The Secret World of Mermaids by Jordan Quinn (5/5 strawberries)
- Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken (4/5 strawberries)

This Week I Reviewed:
Nothing!

What's In Store For Next Week:
Monday: 2015 TBR Update #4
Tuesday: Top Ten Fairy Tale Retellings I've Read 
Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday with The Copper Gauntlet
Thursday: Review of A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman
Friday: Review of Let the Games Begin! & The Secret World of Mermaids by Jordan Quinn
Saturday: N/A

So other than reading and finishing cleaning out my closet and library (it's a never-ending cycle) and dancing, I haven't been up to much. Tuesday I was actually invited by the dance instructor to help him teach the beginning crash course lesson they have every night before the social. I didn't do much; just acted as his follow, but it does require a person to be a good follow and I guess I've reached that point! It's also just a little nerve-wracking being in the middle of a huge circle of people. But it was also kind of fun, too!

Friday was stress-galore, so I went to see my friend's play Seussical the Musical again, and it helped. Of course, afterward I went with them to an unofficial cast party/birthday celebration of one of the cast members (who is also a friend). I forgot what it was like to hang out with theater people. 0_o Crazy bunch.

This upcoming week is going to be much busier, though! A friend and I are going to go see Ant-Man, and then we're doing a photo shoot. I'm getting back into rock climbing now that my rock climbing buddy isn't as busy and my Achilles tendon is better. And then Saturday I have an author event in Seattle to go to! So the slow days aren't going to last for much longer. :)

Keep reading, my friends!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Hedgie's TBR: August 2015

This is a new "feature" where, at the beginning of every month, I'll share with you the books I plan on reading! You'll be able to follow my progress every Monday and also on the tabs bar!

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