Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Bout of Books: Mix n' Match Challenge


Day two of Bout of Books is down and I've finally gotten into Throne of Glass. I'll end up finishing it today and starting the next book in the series. The challenge happening now is called Mix n' Match which was created by The Nickster and hosted at Bout of Books. The idea is to pick up around 10-15 books at a random page and write down the first word on the page (omitting articles like the, an, a, I, etc.). The goal is to create a new sentence adding in some articles if needed. 

The Books I Chose



The Random Words
  • laughed
  • barely
  • that
  • though
  • stores
  • nightmares
  • true
  • lost
  • perfect
  • people
  • end
  • earned


My Sentence

It was true that I barely laughed as I was lost in nightmares though the perfect people in stores made me feel I earned them in the end.


*My sentence felt like I cheated a little bit but in the end it still makes no sense so I'll say I didn't.


Bout of Books Progress

Currently Reading: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Pages Read: 144
Pages Read in Total: 150
Books Read: 0

*Better than yesterday. I'm really into Throne of Glass and I expect to finish it soon.

What sentence would you have made with my random words?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Bout of Books: Book to Movie Challenge


Bout of Books day 1 and there is a challenge going on over at Writing My Own Fairy Tale. The challenge is to tell others what your favorite and least favorite book to movie adaptions are. This was tough because there are a good number of book to movie adaptions I've enjoyed and a few that I've regretted seeing.

Favorite Book to Movie Adaption


Pride and Prejudice is my favorite movie adaption because it's just so fantastically good. There are moments that are different from the book for sure which is in every adaption but the love I have for the movie made want to read the book. 


Least Favorite Book to Movie Adaption


I am pretty sad with how everything went down in these books. First of all they are so much older and missing so much of what made the story so fantastic. I know book to movie adaptions can't be perfect but this made me sad. I was going to choose Safe Haven which was such a fantastic book but I recently watched the movie again and I've been able to enjoy it as a standalone without putting the book into the mix.

Bout of Books Progress

Currently Reading Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas 
Pages Read: 6
Books Read: 0
* Such a bad reading day. I'll make sure to read more tomorrow.

What is your favorite/least favorite book to movie adaption?

Olympic Book Tag


I've been so absorbed in the Olympics this year. I guess it's because I'm older and appreciate fitness more. I saw this tag over at Writing My Own Fairy Tale which is credited to It Starts at Midnight and I had to before the Olympics is coming to a close. 




Saint Anything was a perfect book from beginning to end. I didn't expect the greatness that I would behold until I started reading. The Chatham family are the most loyal and loving family. The friendships in the story, slow romance, and the struggles the MC faced with her brother being in jail and her parents paying too much attention on her made this the perfect read. And perfect for this category.




I've only read two road trip books before to be honest. I picked You Are Here because it has this quality of me in it. It was odd just how connected I felt to the story but I did.



Hands down the only book with a good love triangle that I've ever found. I rooted for both guys at different points of the series. It was very bittersweet at the end and I still kind of expect another book to see how they are doing fifty years later.



I kind of don't remember what happened in this story. I do and I don't and that's not good. I only gave it two stars because the romance made no sense to me. Unfortunately I don't get the hype.




How did I get so lucky to read this book? Another perfect book over here especially for the summer. A book related slow romance and an MC who learns so much about herself. There is one moment I will never forget and I'm happy I was able to read it this summer.




Really what other book is so violent? The thing is that I don't really read violent books other than Tokyo Ghoul which is also really violent. I decided on The Hunger Games because it's the first book like it that I've ever read and although there are violent moments there are happy moments in there as well.



After the Woods didn't really have that many plot twists but it had one that I was half expecting but freaking out over the whole time. The moral of the story: Don't trust shady people.



This destroyed my soul!!! Ripped it in little tiny pieces. The ending is what got me but everything in between got to me too. The two main characters, Nastya and Josh, are so likable. Nastya's pain and feeling like a victim got to me. It's just the culmination of everything and the reveal at the end that killed me inside and I cried ugly tears. A seriously beautiful story. 



Gameboard of the Gods is a very slow paced read set in a new world which means new words and technical things that only revolved around this certain world. It was really good, thank goodness, but unfortunately underappreciated.



A Week in the Woods is one of the books that really made me want to be that hiker nature lover type which I'm not.... but in my dreams I will be. I see no flaws in this book which is great when I reread it for fun now that I'm older.



I read Winnie the Pooh a while back and I feel like I learned so much about the Hundred Acre Woods and its cast of characters. Owl is not a great speller, Tigger is a little kid, and there needs to be more appearances by the minor characters. I did in fact still find out that Eeyore is a pessimistic sourpuss and I love him for it. He's much more needy than I expected though.



This whole plot just had me cringing. While everything was happening with an older guy, I just wasn't having it. 



The most loyal friends ever are in this book. They would do anything for each other even if they have problems in their life and sometimes with each other.



I usually read football stories so above are only one soccer book and a basketball story that I enjoyed. Front and Center is in the Dairy Queen series which has a sibling relationship that I adore. They help each other so much and don't know how to say thank you. 

What was your favorite sport in the Olympics?

Bout of Books #17: TBR + Goals


Well hello there! It's been a while but I couldn't resist joining in Bout of Book #17! I haven't been reading for a while but now I finally have been out of this huge reading slump. I'm super excited to get reading and beat some challenges! Below are a list of books I plan to read over the course of the week:


Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas - Rereading this because I feel like I missed something special the first time I read it.

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas - I expect great things with this sequel.

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas - Hopefully the sequel amazes me so I'll love the third book in this series.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling - One of the first people who got it from the library. Ha! I haven't had a chance to read it but this is the week.

The BFG by Roald Dahl - The movie trailer has been enticing plus I've read a few Roald Dahl books before and I've enjoyed them.

Genuine Sweet by Faith Harkey - I wanted to make sure I have at least one story that is lighthearted but with The BFG I'll be lucky to have two.

Goals:

  • Read at least four books from my TBR list
  • Participate in at least three challenges
  • Comment on at least five new blogs each day

What will you be reading this Bout of Books?

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Blog Tour: The Eagle Tree by Ned Hayes

Standalone. Little A (July 2016) TLC Book Tours
Fourteen-year-old March Wong knows everything there is to know about trees. They are his passion and his obsession, even after his recent falls—and despite the state’s threat to take him away from his mother if she can’t keep him from getting hurt. But the young autistic boy cannot resist the captivating pull of the Pacific Northwest’s lush forests just outside his back door.

One day, March is devastated to learn that the Eagle Tree—a monolithic Ponderosa Pine near his home in Olympia—is slated to be cut down by developers. Now, he will do anything in his power to save this beloved tree, including enlisting unlikely support from relatives, classmates, and even his bitter neighbor. In taking a stand, March will come face-to-face with some frightening possibilities: Even if he manages to save the Eagle Tree, is he risking himself and his mother to do it?

Intertwining themes of humanity and ecology, The Eagle Tree eloquently explores what it means part of a family, a society, and the natural world that surrounds and connects us.


Peter, who goes by his middle name March, Wong absolutely loves trees. He knows everything about them - their latin names, how to identify them, their importance to the ecosystem and much, much more. March also loves to climb trees. He climbs at least three trees a day. It's his love of trees that gets him to trouble but makes him stand out. 

March doesn't have that many people he trusts or even talks to. He has his mother who is feeling overwhelmed and is facing the potential of him leaving her custody. He has his Uncle who indulges his love of climbing trees. He has Ilsa who he likes despite her being a minister who believes in God when he doesn't. And he has Pierre who is a professor who understands and teaches him things about trees. He also has his dad... but his dad left to Arizona. He misses his father but he doesn't want to go to Arizona which his mother keeps warning him about. Where his mother wants to take him in Arizona there are no trees and the idea of not climbing trees is abhorrent to March.

March, who loves trees and knows so much about them is unique in one other way, he's autistic. So he will get very loud and flap his arms when he is distressed. He is supposed to learn to give himself checks so he can control his emotions. He has a lot of rules of what he is not supposed to do which  includes something he believes he must do once he sees it the first time - climb the Eagle Tree. But he may not get to do that because the tree is on private property and the owner wants to cut down the tree. March makes a plan to save the tree and then finally climb it. He'll need the people closest to him, some new friends, and his knowledge of trees to save the Eagle Tree.


I once knew a little boy in a classroom. I didn't realize there was anything different about him until he was pointed out. Then I could tell and I noticed how his speaking voice was loud and he never really could do what he was told. It's interesting that I would read The Eagle Tree after my experience with the little boy because I don't think I ever would have cared or understood or want to understand about March like I did when I read his story. I've always liked that books can do that - connect with your real life and what someone typed on some pages. Also, it can help you gain more perspective on someone's own perspective on life. Seeing life through March's eyes felt eye-opening to me because I felt like I knew a little more about that little boy I met in a classroom. 

March's knowledge of trees was so vast. Everything had to be logical for him, true, which was why I wasn't surprised he didn't believe in God. A lot of logical people I've met have felt the same because according to him he can believe in trees because "I can touch them. And they have true names, They change only slowly over the course of years, and they do not change in terms of what they say to me." I thought it was interesting to see that religion slightly played a role in this book. And in the end, trees are so important which March tries to communicate so much. Trees are life. Without trees, we couldn't live. 

"I suddenly felt that I like Ilsa very much, even though I do not believe in God. I felt like standing up and shouting out to Ilsa that she was right. But I tried hard and I resisted the urge to stand up and shout. She was telling people to look at trees. We should all look at trees. All the time."

March's love of trees and his want to climb a particular tree led him without really knowing it to improve his life for the better. He got to meet people who cared about trees. There was one instance that gave me so much joy when he met someone that he could talk to about trees his own age and they could, in turn, talk about something they had great knowledge of. Even if a lot of the information about trees that March gave went over my head, I was still able to decipher the meaning behind what he wanted and needed to communicate. 

I really enjoyed the talk about trees. It's made me worried about how we've all gone away from nature. It worries me that we are destroying everything and one day there will no trees left so thanks for that March! The Eagle Tree also made me see life through a new perspective which I always enjoy when it comes to books. Even though the author scared me half to death a couple of times when it came to March, I loved his writing. It was perfect for telling March and the Eagle Tree's story.


About the Author
Ned Hayes holds an MFA in creative writing from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. His historical novel, Sinful Folk, was nominated for the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award.

The Eagle Tree is based on his past experience working with children on the autistic spectrum and on family and friends he knows and loves. He lives with his wife and children in Olympia, Washington.

More about Ned Hayes can be found at NedNote.com. Connect with him on Twitter.

Thanks to Little A, Ned Hayes, and TLC Book Tours for providing me with The Eagle Tree in exchange for an honest review!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Mini Reviews: Fancy Nancy, Mia, and Cake Soup


I'm reading so many books lately, especially picture books so I'd thought I'd review a whole bunch in one go.

Nancy will have to do some fancy footwork to resolve her predicament in this latest Fancy Nancy story for beginning readers. Much to her dismay, Nancy has been chosen for the relay team in this year's Field Day at school. Despite her many natural talents, Nancy isn't much of a runner. She's afraid of letting her team down—especially after finding out that an unkind (that's another word for mean) girl in her class is on the team too. With a little help from her dad, Nancy tries her best, stands up for herself, and makes a new friend.

             

It was lucky for me when I found a sort of chapter book version of Fancy Nancy. Perfect for first graders and me of course. Fancy Nancy and the Mean Girl emphasized how you need to stand up for yourself instead of letting someone make you feel like you are less.

I forgot how much Nancy is into vocabulary so I got a surprise with all of her "fancy" new words. The plot was one that anyone can relate too although, I don't like the idea that Nancy gave up when she practiced running all week and found no improvement. That kind of sent the opposite message. Besides, that she dealt with very real situations and reacted how any kid would. The illustrations are fun and girly and I'd love to draw some of them. I plan on reading many more Fancy Nancy books in the future.



Nancy has her act for the school's talent show all planned out: She and Bree will do an absolutely stupendous song-and-dance number together. But when Ms. Glass assigns partners for the show, Nancy gets paired up with Lionel. He's the shyest boy in class! Will Nancy and Lionel be able to work together to perform one marvelous act? Or will the show go on without them?

                            



Here I am again reading another Fancy Nancy so soon! I couldn't resist. Although, I think the vocabulary is hard for a child to grasp/remember throughout the story, I enjoyed all the new fancy words in Nancy's new adventure. This was more adorable than I could imagine especially when Nancy's partner Lionel revealed that he loved lions (I love the play on words). His whole bedroom was just filled with them to my surprise. It really just made me want to figure how to make some cool masks. The story was sweet as ever, the art lovely, and the message clear: everyone has something special about them. 


On her first day at dance class, Mia can't wait to put on her bouncy pink tutu. There's only one problem: her tutu is too-too big It falls down and Mia falls over it with every step. But just as Mia starts to get upset, she meets Ruby--and Mia realizes that no setback is too hard to handle with a good friend by your side.

                  




I was never a ballerina and really never inspired to be one either but I thought why not when I saw Mia in her tutu. Mia has a problem - she packed the wrong tutu! Her friend Ruby also has a shared problem - they both can't help tripping everywhere. What are they going to do when they are asked to dance in front of the whole class?

This was lovely to read especially with girls (boys too if they love dance). There is something about ballerina's that little girls seem to love. The writing in Mia's story was simple but not too simple for a child that already knows how to read some. The artwork and style of the story were really cute especially with all those animal dancers in tutus. This was a nice, cute story that had the main characters tossing caution to the win because who cares about tripping when you are trying to have fun?


Mia is excited to learn a new dance with her best friend, Ruby. But on the day of class, Ruby isn’t feeling well and Mia must find another partner. At first Mia is afraid she won’t have anyone to dance with, but soon Mia finds herself with not one, but two partners! Making sure no one is left out, Mia finds a solution that will work for everyone.

                             



Mia has come into my arms again! This time around Ruby is nowhere to be found. She's home sick in bed and Mia is feeling left out since she's supposed to dance with a partner. Then Bella and Ali ask her if she wants to be her partner. That's one too many partners! (Do you sense a theme?) What will Mia decide to do?

This felt not as long as Mia and the Big Tutu. It really could have had more but I like the general idea that you shouldn't leave anyone out because you wouldn't feel good if you were left out. Empathy is a trait that a lot of people need to learn so it's nice to see it portrayed in a book for young readers.


It's Lowly Worm's birthday-and Huckle Cat and all his friends are throwing Lowly a surprise party. But when Huckle and Bridget try to make a cake, their special recipe turns into . . .cake soup! But no kitchen disaster can stop this crew from celebrating.

                  






I think I've only read one Richard Scarry story growing up. It was in this treasury with different authors. Last time I remember reading it, it was falling apart. I at least was able to recognize some familiar faces but only Lowly's name was mentioned from the pool of characters I remembered. Cake Soup is all about a group of friends trying and failing to bake a cake for Lowly's birthday party but succeeding in making one spectacularly, peculiar looking cake soup (I am honestly surprised they enjoyed it in the end).

The artwork was very animated and over the top which I enjoyed. It really made me say, "Oh, No!" like in the story because everything that could go wrong did. The writing has predictable sentences which I was glad to come across. It was the perfect book I needed and it happily sent me down memory lane.