Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A to Z Reading Challenge

I'm challenging myself to read 26 books, a title beginning with each letter of the alphabet this school year.  I attempted this challenge last year and almost made it!  This year, I'm preparing to win!  Below you can see my TBR video and find the two printables I made to keep myself on track if you'd like to join in on the challenge!

VIDEO



TBR LIST




















MONTHLY READING PLANNER/TRACKER

Friday, June 24, 2016

REVIEW: BEFORE WE GO EXTINCT BY KAREN RIVERS

Six Word Summary: Grieving teen deals with friend's suicide.

Kinda-like: Speak (Laurie Halse Anderson) meets Looking for Alaska (John Green).


Favorite Line: "How far do you have to go to get away from yourself?"

My Thoughts:
I think this book was just amazing.  I think we often forget that young people have to deal with tough issues, too, and this is a perfect, realistic representation of the grieving process.  This topic hit close for me, so I'm having trouble putting my thoughts into words at the moment.  Suffice to say, I would recommend this book to all those who enjoy YA and I will be adding this book to my school library collection.


Rating:


Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.  Opinions are my own.

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Friday, June 17, 2016

REVIEW: JUST ONE DAY BY GAYLE FORMAN



Six Word Summary: Reckless teen searches for lost love.



Kinda-like: The travel and heartache from Eat, Pray, Love meets the stupid decisions and complaining nature of Cheryl Strayed in Wild.



Favorite Line: "Stains are even worse when you're the only one who can see them."



My Thoughts:really liked the idea of this story in general with the romance and European travel, but I just couldn't get over her ridiculous attitude and poor decision making and it ended up ruining this book for me.  I just keep thinking, "don't do this" and "please don't do that."  Her reckless behavior could have, if Allyson were a real teenage girl, gotten her seriously hurt, kidnapped or worse.  Her depression/obsession with this boy after returning from France seems to be a horrible representation for teenage girls.  Much like in the second Twilight book, it's like these authors are saying, "It's ok to put your whole life on hold and have a mental breakdown with a boy breaks up with you."  And while after a YEAR of her depression/obsession she makes more dangerous decisions whilst trekking around Europe alone and several times she can't even make up her mind to stick with her decisions.  When we finally maneuver her reckless behavior and flip-flopped decisions, the ending of the book is such a let down.  


Rating:


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

REVIEW: JAMAICA INN BY DAPHNE DU MAURIER



Six Word Summary: Mary's idiot uncle somehow criminal mastermind?

Kinda-like: A really suspenseful story without the suspense.

Favorite Line: They would have gone from the shelter of the doorway and found a room in the town somewhere; she would have been beside him, and they would have loved one another.

My Thoughts:
I did not enjoy this one.  Read it with Mom, who did enjoy it though.  I found it to be rather boring and predictable. All of the characters were strange and mostly unlikeable but I found the main character, Mary to be just awful.  She did not seem to be a strong character and did the opposite of good designs making!  She thinks her horrible Uncle's brother is just as horrible, but she still goes for him. What??  Makes no sense.  She did walk around a lot and set several different tables though...so she has that going for her.

Rating:





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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

REVIEW: JACKABY BY WILLIAM RITTER

Six Word Summary: Eccentric detective, assistant solve magical case.

Kinda-like: Sherlock Holmes meets world of Harry Potter.


Favorite Line: "That reminds me," he said, pausing.  "There's a jar in my office marked 'Bail'. If you don't hear from me by tonight, just bring it down to the Mason Street station, would you?  I'm usually in the first or second cell."

My Thoughts:
While nothing ground-breaking, this was a fun and easy world to escape into.  I found the make character, R.F. Jackaby to be quite delightful if not a little too eccentric at times.  His house was full of interesting magical/supernatural elements that I would have loved to explore more.  I would love some more back story for Jackaby.  I will definitely be picking up the sequel. 

Rating:

REVIEW: Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld


Six Word Summary: Pride and Prejudice and Reality TV.

Kinda-like: Pride and Prejudice meets the Bachelor.

My Thoughts:
Not for me. I feel like the characters were really missing the charisma that makes Pride and Prejudice so great.  In P&P, the characters are all crazy but lovable.  In Eligible, it was a struggle for me to find the lovable parts.  I think the success of the book with a reader will lie solely on the readers view of Liz and Darcy, the two main characters.  The bar for these two amazing characters was set high to begin with from P&P fame, but the new versions of these characters fall very short of that bar in Eligible for me.

Starting with Elizabeth Bennet.  Liz didn't seem to be nearly as a strong in Eligible as in P&P, which is one of the things I liked most.  Will in P&P she is willing to invest some time in the "lovely Mr. Wickham," she doesn't seem desperate for his attention.  In Eligible she comes across very desperate for Jasper Wick (Wickham's character is split into two characters in this adaption) and it really left me liking her character much less for it.

Next, Mr. Darcy.  In this adaptation Darcy is a doctor, still filthy rich, and just never quite pulls off the amount of charm I look for in a Darcy impersonator.  His character just seemed like a normal guy with a lot of money.  I do adore the idea of sharing a sarcastic lunch over Skyline chili, though, as presented in Eligible's Cincinnati setting.

Overall, I found the characters less likable, and the romance less believable.  I do wonder if my reaction to the book would change had I not read Pride and Prejudice first.  I will be very interested to hear more reactions to this book from readers who've not read (and looooved P&P) before hand.  Had I not had such high expectations from Pride and Prejudice I might have given this book another star, but alas...

Rating:




Disclaimer: I received an advanced readers copy of this book and have provided an honest review.
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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

1 Year on Booktube!

I have been posting videos on Booktube/Youtube for a year now!  In celebration and in an effort to reach my 50 subscriber goal, I'm offering a giveaway!  Please leave a comment on the giveaway announcement video page to be entered for a chance to win a signed copy of Susan Dennard's Truthwitch!

Thanks for reading (and watching!)
-Rachael xo