Friday, October 28, 2016

#FitReaders: October 28, 2016 Check-In

Not the greatest last two weeks. I'm trying to run instead of jog because I've completely just failed at jogging outside after I did so well for seven minutes straight outside. I need to reexamine everything again. So frustrating!!!

Maybe distract myself with music?

Running/Jogging and Walking

Sunday, October 23, 2016
1.33 miles in 23 minutes and 23 seconds  (Calves killed me after this. I forgot I run oddly and felt super-self conscious afterwards...)

Monday. October 24, 2016
1.02 miles in 20 minutes and 11 seconds

Wednesday, October 26, 2016
0.51 miles in 12 minutes and 14 seconds (distance wasn't recorded the whole time)

*I'm thinking I'm just going to have to go for it every day I can. I've been trying to run on my toes for some time just because my dad recommends it to fix my weird run thing. I don't do it the whole time but I feel like I've gone 50 steps backwards when I was doing so well. I know running is different from jogging but I need to be able to do as well as I was before. I'm going to add music to the mix to see if that works for me. Any suggestions are welcome!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Grimm Fairy Tales: King Thrushbeard

Illustrated by Arthur Rackham
(This post discusses the story of King Thrushbeard in detail)

Grimm's Fairy Tales has a wide range of fairly tales that aren't just the popular ones which I've either grown to dislike, enjoy, or be extremely indecisive about. I don't know what to make of the "lesson" in King Thrushbeard but I find it highly memorable.
A king had a daughter who was beautiful beyond measure, but so proud and overbearing that none of her suitors were good enough for her; she not only refused one after the other, but made a laughing-stock of them.
The main character is a princess who thinks she is amazing and everyone else don't matter. Now the king gets angry with her because she mocks all the suitors so he promises she will marry the next beggar that comes to her house and she has to get married. First of all, I don't condone the whole princess doesn't get to choose who she's married like she's the king's property but it's pretty much what she deserves in this story.

She goes to live with this beggar and she has no skills. She makes mistakes and finds this King Thrushbeard later on when she gets a job at the palace. Before that she sings a song and discovers that King Thrushbeard has a lot of land so her rudeness just lost her a whole ton of money which I found hilarious. She became so ashamed when she met up with him again but then he dropped a huge twist in the story. He was disguised as the beggar husband. He did so she can be taken down a peg. Then there was a celebration after she said she didn't deserve to be his wife and learned her lesson.

I did all that to bring down your proud heart, and to punish your haughtiness, which caused you to mock me.

SO this was such an interesting story but I feel like it was taken way too far. Even if this princess learned her lesson she will still be rich beyond compare so really she wins in the end. Also, this king is a manipulator! He treated her harshly as her husband. There is something wrong about that. No matter what she was embarrassed by her husband, doesn't have any skills, and gets rich in the end. I'm so indecisive on whether I liked the lesson in the story or not. I would be so bitter to this man in the future. I can understand how this was popular around the time it was written. However, I can't see it translating in a Disney movie in the near future.

What do you think? Will the lesson stick or did King Thrushbeard's methods go to the extreme?

Friday, October 14, 2016

#FitReaders: October 14, 2016 Check-In

Friday, October 7, 2016

2,135 steps

0.719 miles in 14 minutes

Saturday, October 8, 2016

2,063 steps

0.737 miles in 14 minutes

Sunday, October 9, 2016

2,451 steps

0.861 miles in 16 minutes (I made a mistake. Last time I should have jogged five minutes straight but only did four so I went from jogging four minutes straight to six and I can't believe I survived)

Swam 12 laps in pool and played for more than an hour with family in the pool.

Monday, October 10, 2016

6,035 steps

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

1,492 steps

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

3,704 steps

0.949 miles in 18 minutes and 2 seconds

Thursday, October 13, 2016

2,170 steps

Previous Goal: Be jogging 7 minutes straight by next check-in (Missed by one day) I finished this today outdoors and learned a lot. I need to change up my form, actually stretch, and start learning how to breathe. My brother says to jog on my tip toes so I'm going for it tomorrow.

New Goal: Be jogging 10 minutes straight by next check-in

How was your fitness week?

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Batgirl Vol. 1: Batgirl of Burnside

Volume 1. DC Comics (May 2015) Library
Barbara Gordon is no stranger to dusting herself off when disaster strikes, so when a fire destroys everything she owns, she spots the opportunity for a new lease on life – and seizes it! Following the rest of Gotham City’s young adults to the hip border district of Burnside, Barbara sets about building an all-new Batgirl…and discovers new threats preying on her peers! As the new hero of Burnside, Batgirl gets started by facing twin sister assassins on motorcycles!

Barbara Gordon, daughter to Jim Gordon the detective who famously knows the bat himself, is going to college while living a secret life as Batgirl. She's in a new town called Burnside where there are a lot of tech savvy young adults. That's where somebody has figured out her identity and has sent a swarm of villains after her. In a new modern look by Babs Tarr, Batgirl gets a whole new story that's beautifully drawn and colored.

I love the new look that Barbara has going on especially her combat boots. I was worried that this new remake of her would be too mainstream which it kind of was. I didn't particularly like where the story-line went. It didn't totally throw me for a loop or anything but it was still very entertaining. The art is what kept me going the most because it's pretty much perfect. And Black Canary makes an appearance who I adore with her attitude and music skills. 

The story in Batgirl at the end connected everything really well. I always forget her backstory so seeing her emotions back then triggered a new excitement in the plot. I'm interested to see what happens next and to stare at the beautiful art again. I just wish this plot was a little more engaging.

What do you think about remaking a comic book character's look? Do you always prefer the original or is the remake necessary?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Traveling on the Open Road

This is a discussion from the Royal Challenge hosted here She's Got Books on Her Mind.

If you are a particularly adventurous person you explore new places. You pack a lot of food, clothes, and precautionary items. But what if you are going in a trip and you are a reader? What books would you bring on your trip?

I know what I will bring. My must have books in my traveling bag would be:

A Week in the Woods is not only a favorite of mine but is all about a boy who comes to love nature. There's a big nature trip he prepares for even by reading some classic books by Jack London. 

My Side of the Mountain is all about a boy who starts living in the woods. This book might just come in handy if I need some tips on making friends with a falcon. 

It may seem like I'm going into the woods on this trip but I just may be going from town to town and you know what book is great for that? Safe Haven where a woman is running away from her past. I loved reading this book with my mom and it would provide great comfort when I was missing home.

The Unexpected Everything and Saint Anything are a must because they are nice, happy reads that I've come to consider favorites of mine. When I'm feeling like the journey will never end. I'll have these by my side to pass the time between walking.

The final book I would bring would by a Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire because I can't NOT bring a Harry Potter book. It's also a great weapon if I needed it.

Now I know I should bring some non-bookish things on my trip if I want to survive... 

Books should be enough items to bring...

So if there is space I would bring....

A hatchet - You can guess where I got this idea.

A water bottle - for those times I'll get thirsty.

Money - Got to have that cash to pay for all those inn food and beds.

Map and compass - I'm on the road so no GPS for me.

Chocolate and Candy - No trip would be complete without them.

What bookish and non-bookish things would you bring on the open road?

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Return to the Secret Garden by Holly Webb

Standalone. Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (Nov. 1st, 2016) NetGalley
Return to the magic of Burnett's classic tale with a brand-new character as she discovers a very secret garden.

It's 1939, and the occupants of the Craven Home for Orphaned Children have been evacuated to Misselthwaite Hall, a fancy manor in the English countryside, to escape the Blitz. Emmie would hardly call the orphanage "home," but her heart breaks knowing that leaving Craven means leaving her beloved cat, Lucy. Away from everything she's ever known and trapped in imposing Misselthwaite, Emmie finds herself more miserable than ever.

But soon she starts discovering the secrets of the house-a boy who cries in the night, a diary written by a girl named Mary, and a garden. A very secret garden…

I absolutely loved the 1993 film version of The Secret Garden, My dad just bought it one day and thought I would like it. If I was smart I would have watched it right away. As I watched, I became mesmerized by that garden and the magic in it. I loved reading the original book too so I was really happy to see and read Return to the Secret Garden from a new author. 

Emmie is very much like our Mary. She's an orphan who has no friends other than a sullen cat she named Lucy. She's very skinny and always gets in trouble for the way she acts. Emmie follows in the footsteps of the original very closely which I don't mind too much. I enjoyed rediscovering the secret garden with fresh eyes. The secret garden isn't secret anymore but Emmie discover it because she needs the magic within. She finds a new life in Misselthwaite. She makes friends with a little robin and a boy she finds crying in the middle of the night - Jack. She transforms like Mary did while interacting with the original characters. 

The original characters - Mary, Colin, Dickon, and Martha - all make an appearance. It was bittersweet to see where in this version our original characters end up. I never really like it when characters age. They should stay the same always but I did like getting a glimpse of how one person sees these characters all grown up. There's a major event happening surrounding Emmie's arrival in Misselthwaite - WWII. The whole situation of them getting on trains to get out of London reminded me of Narnia. There was a lot of preparation and insight on what happened during those time which I found fascinating to read.                                                                                                                               I have to mention Lucy and her symbolism in this story. She's the first friend that Emmie makes. She starts being very skinny and wary of Emmie but is desperate enough to go to her because she's starving. They slowly create a bond but then Emmie has to leave her behind which crushes her. Their slow bond reminds me of the magic of the secret garden. Emmie and Lucy grow to depend on each other while the garden that she grows to depend on brings people towards Emmie to create new friendships. Lucy and Emmie are also very much alike.

I had fun exploring the secret garden once again. The original is of course the best but Return to the Secret Garden was such a wonderful story that brought back great memories with a new entertaining story and characters.

Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Jabberwocky for letting me read and review Return to the Secret Garden in exchange for an honest review!

Monday, October 10, 2016

If I Fix You by Abigail Johnson

Standalone. Harlequin Teen (Oct. 25, 2016) NetGalley
Readers of Sarah Dessen, Cammie McGovern and Morgan Matson will adore this thought-provoking, complex and romantic contemporary novel from debut author Abigail Johnson, about finding the strength to put yourself back together when everything you know has fallen apart.

When sixteen-year-old Jill Whitaker’s mom walks out—with a sticky note as a goodbye—only Jill knows the real reason she’s gone. But how can she tell her father? Jill can hardly believe the truth herself.

Suddenly, the girl who likes to fix things—cars, relationships, romances, people—is all broken up. Used to be, her best friend, tall, blond and hot flirt Sean Addison, could make her smile in seconds. But not anymore. They don’t even talk.

With nothing making sense, Jill tries to pick up the pieces of her life. But when a new guy moves in next door, intense, seriously cute, but with scars—on the inside and out—that he thinks don’t show, Jill finds herself trying to make things better for Daniel. But over one long, hot Arizona summer, she realizes she can’t fix anyone’s life until she fixes her own. And she knows just where to start . . .

Fixing things is Jill's life. She's been working in her dad's shop fixing cars since she was a little kid. She's trying to mend the broken relationship with her former crush and best friend Sean. When her new neighbor, Daniel, comes around she tries to help him fix the argument with his mom but ends up messing things up with the most awkward meeting two neighbors can ever have. She's determined to make up for her mistake by trying to befriend her neighbor and help him with the only thing she's good at - cars. Meanwhile everything else in her life seems to be a wreck too. Can she ever get past what Sean did? Will her mother's departure be the end for their family or are there some thing's can't be fixed?

Jill is a sixteen year old mechanic which is something I've never come across before in any book. I don't know if that says a lot about me or the books I read. Most of the books I read the main characters are student's but none of those girl students are this into cars. I really admired Jill for being so good and passionate about something so early in her life. She gained this love of cars from her dad who she has such a close bond to. This was a relationship I could admire. Jill's relationship with her mother... not so much. You figure out why she left fairly early in the game. It's really scandalous. I didn't know how bad it was until the story was coming to a close. The thing with her mother is that you don't know whether to feel sorry for her in some ways or not. Jill has a very close relationship with her father and they come home late all the time so there doesn't seem like there is a time for that bond. And then I read some other questionable things about her and I wonder about this woman.

Sean and Daniel play a big part in this story. Sean was seen doing something that was an act of betrayal for Jill. From the very beginning though I was giving him the benefit of the doubt based on how the MC responded to the situation. Things are extremely complicated with Sean. I didn't really know if he was going to be let go or stay as a friend. It's extremely tough mainly because they have been best friends since Kindergarten. Jill has also has had an embarrassing crush on him for the longest time like creating wedding album when she was in like the fourth grade. You can tell how frustrating and hard it has been on both friends. Their interactions with each other have her flinching away and not being able to be alone without their friend Claire. It's an extremely awkward situation that I wanted resolved. 

Daniel is the new neighbor and he obviously has problems of his own. He's a bit cold and reserved with Jill in the beginning. They both learn about each other and share their problems which connects them. There is something questionable there that had me freaked out the whole time. I was really in constant worry over Jill and her heart. She had so many things thrown at her that I worried this was something else. This is another Sean situation. Everyone was always in flux with me that I was constantly going back and forth whether I liked them or not.

If I Fix You was a page turner. There was always something that had me wanting more for better or worse. I needed to know what was going to happen because everything was so uncertain. Jill's mechanic skills were awesome even if I had no idea what she was talking about. Her relationship with her dad was endearing. Her struggles to be a good friend, be a good daughter, and keep it together were constant which added to the story. There were so many moments where I didn't know where people stood - whether they were good or bad. Claire was also a highlight in If I Fix You. She is a friend of Jill and Sean who's really positive and is ridiculously good at running. She's also always there for her friends and probably doesn't get enough credit. 

If I Fix You has a great father-daughter relationship, deals with troubled family, friend, and new relationships while also having a unique main character. This always had me on the edge of my seat.

Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Teen for letting me read and review If I Fix You in exchange for an honest review!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Books on Her Mind Weekly Recap #3

October has been the greatest blogging time this whole year! I'm working on Blogging Ahead which I've re-planned out. I'm still working on October posts but I'll soon be working on my November posts very soon. 

I'm linking this to The Sunday Post hosted @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

Books Read

Challenge Updates

I completed the Goodreads Challenge! I have read more than 150 books this year and have more than 100 books I want to review... I'm planning on working on finishing these reviews the rest of the year and the beginning of next year.

I have also completed the Graphic Novel and Manga Challenge. I decimated it after I read most of Dragon Ball Z.


I've started up #FitReaders again. You can see my last post here. I am training for a 5k and my last program jog/walk was 5 minutes walking, 4 minutes jogging, and then 5 minutes walking. I am on my third week today of the program. I have to expedite the program because my race is coming up in exactly 5 weeks. My ultimate goal is to be able to jog 30 minutes without stopping. Think I can do it?

Weekly Royal Releases/Finds

If you have any suggestions of books to feature please let me know in the comments!

To link your royal reads, see other reviews and discussions, or find out more information about the challenge you can visit here.

Looking Ahead

Monday, October 10th, 2016
If I Fix You

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016
Return to the Secret Garden

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016
Traveling on the Open Road

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

Friday, October 14th, 2016
#FitReaders: October 14, 2016 Check-In

Saturday. October 15th, 2016
Grimm Fairy Tales: King Thrushbeard

Sunday, October 16th, 2016
Books on Her Mind Weekly Recap #4

Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

Standalone. Atria Books (Nov. 2012) Library
I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.

Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.

Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.

Nastya walks into her new school wearing everything black, stiletto shoes, black eye shadow, and a tight dress. She gets away with it because there is something about her that all the teachers know. She doesn't speak. Not a single word. Josh has a force field around him. No one messes with him and he gets to do what he wants in shop class. A momentary glance has both of these two lives intertwining. Their walls start to break down, but is it enough to repair their damaged hearts?

Apparently I wanted a book to rip me open and tear me apart. I knew The Sea of Tranquility was going to be sad but I read it anyway because I like to torture myself. Nastya is a mystery for sure. She dresses a certain way so people will stay away from her. Something happened to her that broke her. She no longer lives with her parents and brother. She would no longer speak so she moved in with her aunt Margot. She's pretty much alone all the time just like Josh. Josh doesn't have anyone either. He does have his Sunday dinners with his friend and their family but it isn't the same. Drew, his friend, is actually the one who really got the ball rolling for Nastya and Drew's relationship together which is so comfortable even if Nastya won't ever tell Josh her secrets. Drew is a charmer and a player but Nastya sees through all of this. She's simply amused by him while she doesn't know what to feel for Josh other than curiosity.

My favorite times were when Josh and Nastya were in Josh's garage. Josh is an excellent carpenter. I always like when stories showcase a character's passion and skills. Josh felt at ease in his garage and Nastya picked up on that. Josh is the brooding, don't mess with me type. Nastya is the tough, don't mess with me type. They are so similar that they get along with each other so well. This was one of my favorite relationships and favorite books this year. When I read what happened to Nastya, I wasn't prepared. There were some really nice moments in this story but it was all encompassed with an underling sorrowful feeling. I felt all of it and enjoyed each and every page.

The Sea of Tranquility shows how evil the world can be but also how wonderful if you let the right people in.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Grimm's Fairy Tales: The Frog Prince

Illustrated by Scott Gustafson
(All things Frog Prince are being discussed in detail in this post)

If you ever been read or have read The Frog Prince yourself it has probably been from a collection of a Mother Goose like book. It's the nice version where a princess drops her favorite golden ball down a well and a frog fetches it for her. Now everything is basically the same from the original but I didn't realize how selfish and ridiculous a story can be.

In the original version of The Frog Prince, the girl runs away from the frog forgetting all about her deal with him because she only cares about her golden ball. Basically, this girl is extremely materialistic. Then comes the time where the frog calls out to her and she complains about him to her father. Now I've got to commend this father. He asks her what happened and tells her to do right by the frog who helped her in her time of need. The girl is being really bratty about it but allows the frog to eat from her food and sit by her. Eventually he is supposed to sleep in her bed. Now this could have been a great lesson. A wonderful lesson for all those boys and girls who don't want to share or are a little too self-absorbed but NO. The princess gets fed up with the frog and throws him across the room and POOF! He becomes a prince and they get MARRIED! What kind of lesson is that? You couldn't have made it that she became friends with the frog eventually and saw the error in her ways? NO, if you throw a talking animal across the room you might luckily get married to a prince. I. Don't. Get. The. Point.

Tiana is not amused.
Illustrated by Arthur Rackham
I'm sure you know the Disney version that's completely unlike the original. The twist in the story is really needed but the moral learning seems to come from the frog himself. Tiana does a nice thing, works hard for her money, but then turns into a frog! And the selfish frog/prince is the one who learns... what really? He falls in love so now he's less selfish I suppose. I actually really enjoyed this retelling other than that lightning bug. The story made so much more sense then the original.

What I really wanted, because I knew there was no changing that non-lesson story, was to learn about faithful Henry in the original story. Henry is a servant at the end of the story who tied three bands around his heart from keeping it breaking. At the end of the story they broke out of Henry's sheer happiness. Now that's interesting! I want to know more about Henry's background and where that love came from. I want to know the reaction Henry had to this girl who is the definition of a brat. I want to know what happens next and not the Jon Scieszka version because that girl would not want to end up a frog. (Just realized that the lightning bug was probably Henry from the story. Mind blown.)

What do you think about the original tale of The Frog Prince?
What do you think would happen after their happily ever after?

#FitReaders: October 7, 2016 Check-In

I'm officially on Week 2 of my 5k program. I have to speed it up some if I'm going to be able to complete it before my race. I'm going into the 4 minute jogging without stopping and I'm so scared but excited! I'm such a bad jogger/runner but honestly I've impressed myself. I haven't given up on the jogging parts. I've been pushing through so well. Pretty proud of myself. One day at a time.

Friday, September 30, 2016

3,397 steps

Saturday, October 1, 2016

1,178 steps

Sunday, October 2, 2016

3,217 steps

Monday, October 3, 2016

407 steps

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

2,141 steps

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

6,776 steps (most of the day spent helping with Matthew preparation)

0.647 miles in 13 minutes (3 minute jog)

Thursday, October 6 , 2016 

2,011 steps

0.665 miles in 13 minutes 1 second (3 minutes and 30 second jog)

Goal: Be jogging 7 minutes straight by next check-in

How did you do this week?

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Phantom Limbs by Paula Garner

Standalone. Candlewick (Sept. 13, 2016) NetGalley
How do you move on from an irreplaceable loss? In a poignant debut, a sixteen-year-old boy must learn to swim against an undercurrent of grief—or be swept away by it.

Otis and Meg were inseparable until her family abruptly moved away after the terrible accident that left Otis’s little brother dead and both of their families changed forever. Since then, it’s been three years of radio silence, during which time Otis has become the unlikely protégé of eighteen-year-old Dara—part drill sergeant, part friend—who’s hell-bent on transforming Otis into the Olympic swimmer she can no longer be. But when Otis learns that Meg is coming back to town, he must face some difficult truths about the girl he’s never forgotten and the brother he’s never stopped grieving. As it becomes achingly clear that he and Meg are not the same people they were, Otis must decide what to hold on to and what to leave behind. Quietly affecting, this compulsively readable debut novel captures all the confusion, heartbreak, and fragile hope of three teens struggling to accept profound absences in their lives.

Otis was devastated after he lost his little brother and not long after his best friend/first love moved away to California. He used to be more of a nerdy kid who wasn't into any sports. Now he's still a nerd who is nicknamed Shakespeare for his love of writing poetry and he is a lot more desired for his swimmer physique. Otis hasn't been with anyone since Meg. He's very shy and can't get over Meg's betrayal. She never spoke or wrote to him again for three years. Until this morning when she texts him that she's coming to visit the area for three weeks. So many emotions are flooding Otis but Dara, his coach and only friend, doesn't want him ruining his focus for some girl who left him. 

Dara doesn't care much for anyone but Otis in her own weird way. She's constantly yelling at him and ordering him to not eat any junk - to swim this way or that. All this is because she wants him to go to the Olympics even if Otis doesn't think he has a chance. She wants this so bad for him because she lost her chance after an accident left one of her arm's taken off and left with a stump. She worries over Otis without really saying it out loud. Meg is going to be a force - only time will tell if Otis will finally get the answers he's always been seeking from her.

It feels like there is so much I need to say but I don't know where to start. I'll start with Otis and Dara first because they kick off the story. Otis is shy and kind of brooding but not in a mean jerk kind of way. He and Dara are really close. Their personalities mesh together quite seamlessly. Dara is pretty tough but she's dealing with a lot without any support other than Otis. Otis is the only one who has her back. He for some reason does not realize until towards the end. He doesn't really define their relationship as best friends even though they clearly are. I wanted him to see so much how much Dara cares for him and how much she was hurting. There are moments where they talk about sexual acts that are so crude that it bothered me so much. There was really no need to go there. It added nothing to the story.

There were great moments of raw emotion that got me tear eyed and sad. When Otis talked about his little brother Mason, it sent all of these images and scenarios in my head that made me feel for Otis and particularly his mother. Now everything had so much potential. It was going fairly well and then Meg shows up. I already didn't like her description and Dara projected a lot of her feelings towards Meg to me. I just knew I wasn't going to like her. As the story went on I was just seeing what would happen. Maybe I will change my mind. Surrounding Meg was a whole big mystery. How did Mason die and why did she leave? There were times where I was like "Wow, this is crazy. I really want to know what happened!" And then I continued to tell myself that over and over and over again. Until, I just grew tired of Meg. I literally groaned after I finished a chapter. GROANED. I was so tired of Meg acting like she was a victim and flirting on Otis when she clearly has a boyfriend and is stringing both of them along. She has no sense of loyalty. From their first conversation together she would flirt with Otis and ask him to please tell her a memory of them together as kids... And then she would get mad that he would choose Dara over her when clearly Dara needed help at that time. He would complain about Dara and the boyfriend all the time too. I was getting tired of Otis ridiculousness too! It was just endless. I wanted to get to the point so badly. Finally, when the big reveal was made I actually teared up because it was so freaking sad! But then the story continued on with the two idiots. *Sigh* The plot was wonderful, the writing was great, but everything was so overshadowed by a relationship I didn't want to happen. Maybe if Meg had her own POV I would have understood where she was coming from but no matter what I didn't like all the drama that went nowhere.

Overall, I can see others liking Phantom Limbs but this was not for me.

Thanks to NetGalley and Candlewick for letting me read and review Phantom Limbs in exchange for an honest review!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Going on a Quest

This is a discussion from the Royal Challenge hosted here @ She's Got Books on Her Mind

Everyone knows that for a hero to get their happily ever after they must go on a quest. I'm not talking about a quest to saving a damsel in distress, which is the norm but I like the girls or guys saving the day equally, I'm talking about a quest full of danger, heroics, and destiny. If I were to go on a quest, I would go far and wide to places I can only dream of and places I hope to see one day.

The Quest

First of all, I have to have a reason for this quest. My imagination in this area only goes so far as what I've read and seen in books and movies. But, it's happening to me so it has to be cool and won't have any giant spiders (*cough* *cough* Harry Potter) coming to eat me. So on this quest I plan on....

Saving my kingdom from a villain most foul who seeks to destroy me and the kingdom I love by casting a curse, a sickness spell, on my people. My goal is to find a spell to reverse the one put on my kingdom.

The Journey

If I could anywhere on my journey I would go see the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland.

Sherwood Forest in England

The Scottish Highlands

The Enchanted Forest

And finally to a certain Wardrobe...

Where would you want to go on a quest?

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

If I Should Wake Before I Dream by Brittany Mershon

Book #1. Kindle Direct Publishing (2016) Author/Group
Ever wonder what happens if you die in one of your dreams? Tessa never thought much about her death or her dreams until the night she managed to escape from the mysterious fire that killed her parents. Desperately seeking the truth about what happened that night, Tessa discovers she is revisiting the tragedy every night in her dreams. What she doesn’t realize is that a handsome stranger has his eye on her each time she watches her lake house burn.

Tessa can't escape her dreams of fire and feelings of despair as she tries but fails to save her parents from a fire she doesn't remember how she survived. She's seen as an outcast by her sister and her schoolmates. It's not too surprising since she can't remember how she survived, how the fire started, and that her hair inexplicably turned from blond to bright orange. Things start to unravel when a mysterious boy named Raven inside her dream starts talking to her - in the only way a dark haired brooding boy can - rudely. Of course, Tessa can't help fight back at his words while being immensely curious how this boy can be in her dream. Who or what is Raven? How did she escape the fire? Why can't she remember that night? Raven serves as a catalyst to solving the mystery of that fateful night and revealing the danger that lurks in the corner.

If I Should Dream Before I Wake starts out having a great mystery with elements of mythology. There was so much potential just waiting to be discovered. However, it turns into a story that I couldn't help roll my eyes at. The plot is interesting but it's the dialogue and the way the story progressed with the characters that got to me. Raven and Tessa's relationship went way too fast, Jeremy's lack of kindness towards his "friend" just made no sense, and the friendship Tessa formed with the new girl was awkwardly formed. The relationships, how they were formed, and where they were going, made me start skimming while reading. I wish I could have connected with Tessa... anyone really, but it didn't work out.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Blog Ahead 2016

The goal is to hunker down for the month of October and increase the number of scheduled posts you have by 30.

I've done Blog Ahead in the past and it has helped me before so I thought I would join in. This will be a little tough on me because I don't have any pre-done posts for October so I am going to have to work through October before I get into November and beyond posts.

Books to Review:

  1. Phantom Limbs by Paula Garner
  2. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
  3. Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty
  4. Mind Games by Heather W. Petty
  5. Return to the Secret Garden by Holly Webb
  6. Dead Girls Society by Michelle Krys
  7. If I Fix You by Abigail Johnson
  8. The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West
  9. If I Dream Before I Wake by Brittany Mershon
  10. Sudden Crush by Camilla Isley
  11. Arto's Big Move by Monica Arnaldo
  12. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling
  13. Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender
  14. From Bad to Cursed by Katie Alender
  15. As Dead as it Gets by Katie Alender
  16. Nursery Rhyme Comics 
  17. Batgirl by Cameron Stewart
  18. Ozma of Oz by Eric Shanower
  19. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
  20. Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
  21. The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
  22. Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry
  23. Spindlers by Lauren Oliver
  24. Colonial Madness by Jo Whittmore
  25. Once in a Full Moon by Ellen Schreiber
  26. The Year of the Baby by Andrea Cheng
  27. The Junction of Junction and Lucky by Holly Schindler
  28. Schizo by Nik Sheff 
  29. Into the Grey by Celine Kiernan
  30. The Lucy Variation by Sara Zarr
  31. Cold Tom by Sally Prue
  32. Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten
  33. Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter
  34. Awake at Dawn by C.C. Hunter
  35. Taken at Dusk by C.C. Hunter
  36. Whispers at Moonrise by C.C. Hunter
  37. My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent
  38. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
  39. Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting
  40. The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting
  41. Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly
  42. Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
  43. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
  44. Dairy Queen Series
  45. Half Upon a Time Trilogy
  46. A Court of Thorns and Roses Series
  47. The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  48. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
  49. Angelfall by Susan Ee
  50. World After by Susan Ee
  51. Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie S. Tolan
  52. Babymouse: Queen of the World by Jennifer L. Holm
  53. Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen
  54. Noragami #'s 2 -4
  55. Tokyo Ghoul #'s 1-6
  56. Dragon Ball Z Volumes 1 - 26
  57. Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
  58. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  59. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
  60. Beastkeeper by Cat Hellison
  61. Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
  62. Kenny and the Dragon by Tony DiTerlizzi
  63. Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
  64. Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale
  65. The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black
  66. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
  67. Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures by Jackson Pearce
  68. Switch by Ingrid Law
  69. Has Anyone Seen Jessica Jenkins? by Liz Kessler
  70. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  71. The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick
  72. Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally
  73. Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally
  74. The Complete Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
  75. Rump by Liesl Shurtliff
  76. Flunked by Jen Calonita
  77. Kimchi and Calamari by Rose Kent
  78. Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Clearly   
  79. Ramona the Pest by Beverly Clearly
  80. The Crown by Kiera Cass
  81. Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
  82. Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
  83. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  84. Lost Treasure of the Emerald Eye by Geronimo Stilton
  85. The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy
  86. The School for Good and Evil Series by Soman Chainani
  87. Almost Super by Marion Jensen
  88. A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans by Laurence Yep
  89. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
  90. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
  91. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
  92. Genuine Sweet by Faith Harkey
  93. The Complete Grimm Fairy Tales Stories

Yeah, I've read a lot of books this year. I also have plans for discussion posts that I must do so we will see how much I can get done. I'll probably update what I've done every week or at least when the month is over.