Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Sunday Post #21 - Getting Ready for June


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer
It's a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things you received, share news about what is coming up on your blog for the week ahead, and more.

Not much of anything has happened on the home front since that storm last week. I've been working on getting that fallen tree cleaned up, branch by branch. 
This week I've been trying to focus more on blogger interaction. I've been forgetting to link up and haven't had time to reply to comments lately so I'm taking the time to do that and also visiting a lot of other blogs and commenting. I'm probably falling short, as always, but I'm trying. It only takes a few days to get super behind on everything so I'm trying to catch up before June begins.

This Past Week On The Blog
Cover Characteristics - From the Back
Blitz & Giveaway: The Midnight Society by Rhonda Sermon

Top Ten Tuesday - Change of Opinion
Children's Book Review: Pax by Sara Pennypacker
Blast & Giveaway: The Descendant Prophecies by Mary Ting
Picture Book Review: Mudkin by Stephen Gammel
COYER Summer Vacation Challenge Sign Up & Goals
Stacking the Shelves (It was a good week!)


Coming Soon
May 2016 Wrap Up
Clean Sweep ARC Challenge Wrap Up
June 2016 TBR + a little giveaway!
Top Ten Tuesday - Beach Reads
Book Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer


Books I Finished This Week

New Picture Books We Read This Week


What I'm Currently Reading

(ebook)
Lady Susan by Jane Austen
It's been years since I read any Austen and this one has been sitting on my Kindle for far too long. It's super short so I'm sure I will finish quickly if I make the time for it.

(physical book)
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
I'll be starting this one probably tomorrow. My sister requested to do a buddy read with me and pretty much left it up to me on what we would read. We are both big fans of Gaiman and haven't read this book (or any Pratchett) so I thought this might be a good choice. I'm looking forward to the discussions we will have.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Stacking the Shelves #61

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by TYNGA'S REVIEWS that features the books we bought, borrowed, were gifted, and were given for review.
----------------

FOR REVIEW

The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis
Sunborn Rising: Beneath the Fall by Aaron Safronoff
Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan

BORROWED
I have a hard time going to the library to get books for my toddler and leaving without something for myself even if I know I have a ton of other books to read first. I also always have a bunch of books on hold so it's really hard to catch up.

The Field Guide & The Seeing Stone by Holly Black & Teri DiTerlizzi
The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

PURCHASED
I had to go out of town the other day (but still nowhere near a book store) and stopped at a thrift shop that was selling 10 books for a dollar. I would have gotten more but the selection was slim. 

1. Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
2. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
3. Iron Thunder by Avi
4. Cloaked in Red by Vivian Vande Velde
5. Rodzina by Karen Cushman
6. The House at the End of the Street by Lily Blake
7. A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon

and not in the picture because I set them aside for my neice

8. Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix
9. Because of Winn Dixie by Kate Dicamillo
10. Mandie and the Secret Tunnel by Lois Gladys Leppard

Did you add anything to your shelves this week? Leave your links in the comments and I promise to visit and comment! 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Children's Picture Book Review: Mudkin by Stephen Gammell


Title: Mudkin
Author/Illustrator: Stephen Gammell
Publisher: Carolrhoda Books
Publication Date: August 1, 2010
Pages: 32
Source: library

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N


Synopsis: 
When a girl playing pretend in the mud looks into a puddle, she conjures up something fantastic and ends up a queen. 

My Thoughts: 
This was fantastic! A very fun romp in the mud!

The illustrations are very cool. They remind me of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (obviously, since Stephen Gammell illustrated those books) just without the super creepy element. I love the watercolor paint splattered look of everything and it works amazingly for  this story. Mud-splatters galore!

The story is told mostly through pictures with a little dialogue thrown in, half of which is mud spatters that take place of the adorable little Mudkin's words. But our little 'queen' makes it easier to figure out what he is saying.

This is the perfect book for a very imaginative child or any child who loves books for the pictures more than the words.


COYER Summer Vacation Challenge Sign Ups & Goals

The COYER Summer Vacation Challenge is hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading and Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!

Runs from June 18th to September 2nd!

This year, COYER has it's own website that will be unveiled on June 18th! 
coyerchallenge.com

In the past this has been a strictly ebook challenge but this time the rules have been thrown to the wind! That means you can read whatever you want, whether it be ebook, audiobook, or physical book.
 I will probably still use this as motivation to read more of the ebooks that are filling up my tablet but I will of course still read physical books as well. 

My Goals
Because this is spread out over 2 months, there's really no telling exactly what I will read but it will most likely be books from my monthly TBRs. 
June TBR  
 July TBR
August TBR
(will link those when the time comes)

I'm going to give myself a goal of 16-20 books.
I am sure I will be able to surpass that but I don't want to be overly ambitious. I'm not exactly on 'summer vacation' and will still have plenty of responsibilities so I won't be able to read any more than I usually do.

Here are a few books that I think I will be reading sometime within June - August.
This is subject to change when I make my TBR posts. 



I also hope to spend more time connecting with other book lovers via the Facebook group, instagram, and commenting on any COYER blog posts I see! 

Interested? Find out more and SIGN UP HERE!!!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Book Blast & Giveaway: The Descendant Prophecies by Mary Ting

Descendants From Titans
From Titans (Book #4) by Mary Ting 
Everyone is searching for Mason. Zeus sent Hermes, and the Oracles have used their magic, with no success. A sparkle of hope arises when Eris, the goddess of Chaos, sends an invitation to her wedding engagement party. She’s holding Mason hostage, and Skylar and her friends only need permission to enter Eris’s world to rescue him. At the party, Eris gives them one condition: In exchange for Mason, they must travel to the Land of Reverse and bring back the bottle of gold water King Midas used to wash himself free of his gift. Further chaos follows when Eris not only sets up a hunt in the Labyrinth of Crete, but makes a bargain with the Titans she rescued. The Titans possess power more than anyone anticipated, and Cronus is hungry for revenge after his own children locked him up in Tartarus. No one is safe. Not even the humans. Summary for Book 1: Did you just see a flash of lightning across the sky on a clear sunny day? Don’t blame Mother Nature. Skylar Rome can’t wait to spend her last summer before college with her cousin, Kayla. Everything changes when they meet the Grand brothers. Skylar is sure she should stay away from Mason Grand, but their attraction is undeniable. Then Skylar’s life erupts into turmoil. She steps into a world where descendants of ancient gods have super powers, evil beings chase her, and questions arise about her own identity. She is running out of time and running for her life, while trying to unravel the mystery of what they want from her. Forced into a battle set into motion long before she was born, will Skylar find the answers she seeks, or will she die trying?
  pre order on amazon 
  Praise for the Series
"From Gods takes mythology to a whole new level of imagination with its incredible plot and amazing characters. It's full of hotness that you never want to end!" Michele, Insane About Books "From Gods by the AMAZING AUTHOR Mary Ting is OMGods good!! If you even LIKE Greek Mythology, set aside some time because you will DEVOUR Mary Ting's Demi Gods and Vultures!!!" Mindy, Books Complete Me 
   

Grab a FREE copy of From Gods this weekend ONLY!
From Gods
From Gods (Book #1) by Mary Ting
Did you just see a flash of lightning across the sky on a clear sunny day? Don’t blame Mother Nature. Skylar Rome can’t wait to spend her last summer before college with her cousin, Kayla. Everything changes when they meet the Grand brothers. Skylar is sure she should stay away from Mason Grand, but their attraction is undeniable. Then Skylar’s life erupts into turmoil. She steps into a world where descendants of ancient gods have super powers, evil beings chase her, and questions arise about her own identity. She is running out of time and running for her life, while trying to unravel the mystery of what they want from her. Forced into a battle set into motion long before she was born, will Skylar find the answers she seeks, or will she die trying?
  amazon 
  Excerpt
“Mason, MASON, MASON!” Skylar panicked. “I know. Skylar, hold on tight. I’m going to brake.” “But there are cars behind us.” “We have no choice. Don’t worry. I got this.” Mason pushed down on the brake forcefully. The car hydroplaned to the right. “Hold on.” Skylar gripped the first thing her hand found. The water from the road jetted up into the air like in a water show, but the car kept gliding sideways, until finally it spun in a full circle and stopped. With no time to waste, Mason turned it to the right and accelerated, hoping to dodge what was coming toward them. Out of nowhere, a long piece of ice, taking the form of a spear, darted through the trucks’ tires and punctured some of them. More ice spears came soaring out of the rain, but this time ten or more sphere-like ice balls followed, denting the sides of the trucks. One went through a windshield. With flat tires, the trucks now glided as if skating on ice, maneuvering from side to side. “Did you do that?” Skylar asked excitedly. “No. Must be Poseidon’s kids. Where the hell are they?” Mason spread his right arm out in front of Skylar as if to protect her. “Bend down, Sky.” One of the trucks hit another and veered off, hitting yet another one. The crash caused the trucks to flip and tumble, heading straight for Mason’s car. With a look of shock, Skylar held her breath. There was no time to move, think, or get out of the car, so she closed her eyes and prepared for the crash. Seconds before impact, Mason’s car flew up into the air and over the trucks. Somehow, as if by magic, the water created a liquid bridge, guiding the car safely over, and then it thumped hard onto the ground on the other side. Without looking back, Mason sped away as the sound of screeching brakes and metal hitting metal blasted behind them.
   Mary Ting
Author Mary Ting 
International Bestselling, Award-Winning, Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children's chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.  
Social Media Website Social Media Blog Social Media Facebook Social Media Twitter Social Media Pinterest Social Media Goodreads
    Blast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 6/13/16 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Children's Book Review: Pax by Sara Pennypacker


Title: Pax
Author: Sara Pennypacker
Illustrator: Jon Klassen
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: February 2, 2016
Source: Library


Synopsis:
Pax was only a kit when his family was killed, and "his boy" Peter rescued him from abandonment and certain death. Now the war front approaches, and when Peter's father enlists, Peter has to move in with his grandpa. Far worse than being forced to leave home is the fact that Pax can't go. Peter listens to his stern father--as he usually does--and throws Pax's favorite toy soldier into the woods. When the fox runs to retrieve it, Peter and his dad get back in the car and leave him there--alone. But before Peter makes it through even one night under his grandfather's roof, regret and duty spur him to action; he packs for a trek to get his best friend back and sneaks into the night. This is the story of Peter, Pax, and their independent struggles to return to one another against all odds. Told from the alternating viewpoints of Peter and Pax. 

My Thoughts:
When war comes to Peter's country, his dad makes him take his pet fox, Pax, out to the woods and abandon him before moving 200 miles away to his grandfather's. Once there, his dad goes off to war and leaves Peter to feel miserable about what he's done. So miserable he can't live with it. So he sets off to get Pax back but is waylaid along the way. Meanwhile, Pax, who waits for his boy to return for him, slowly learns to live in the wild, makes friends, and teeters on the edge of the war-sick world.

My first thoughts going into this was how much it reminded me of the movies 'The Fox and the Hound' and 'Homeward Bound' (based off the book, The Incredible Journey). While it starts out very much like both, it doesn't end like either. To explain why I am reminded of these, we start out with Peter being forced to leave his pet fox behind which totally reminds me of The Fox and Hound' and then there is a magnificent journey that very much reminds me of 'Homeward Bound / The Incredible Journey' in a way, though it is very different. Peter sets out to find his fox instead of the other way around. 

I really enjoyed the characters in this book, human and animal alike. Peter was a very determined boy set on righting his wrongs and making sure his fox was alright. He was a little stubborn but that really endeared me to him. Zola was pretty essential to Peter's growth as a character. She always had some bit of wisdom to bestow upon the boy and I enjoyed reading about how they changed each other's perspectives and opinions on many things. The character development went both ways and really, Zola was as much a main character in this book as Peter or Pax. 

On the other hand, reading the alternating chapters from Pax's point of view really gave me a better look at how being thrust into the wild after being raised in captivity affects an animal. This perspective also gave us more information on the war, as well as Peter's father. 

I did hear that this is a heartbreaking story before going into it and I'm really not sure why. It really had me expecting the worst. Luckily, there was no real need to worry. There are a few moments that you would expect from a war-ridden land, and they are a little sad, but not really worthy of too many tears. I supposed maybe I'm not being emotional enough since I've been seeing reviews saying it brought tears to some, but really, this is not a story that you will need tissues for. At least not in my opinion. It doesn't have the happiest ending but it isn't all that bad either. 

Overall, I think this is a well written coming-of-age story with some great messages that would be enjoyed at any age. 

My Rating:
3.5 stars

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday #80 - Change of Opinion

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

Ten Books I Feel Differently About After Time Has Passed

1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte - I hated this book with a passion. It made me so angry. I couldn't stop thinking about it for weeks and months after reading it. Now I consider it one of my favorite books ever because it's rare to find a book that makes you feel so many emotions and sticks with you for so long. 

2. The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra ClareI read the first 3 books and enjoyed them. Then I read the 4th book and it bored me so much. I stopped reading them after that and now, a few years later, I really don't know what I saw in them at all. Now they are overly hyped and I really don't see myself finishing the series. I know, I know... unpopular opinion but it is what it is. 

3. Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth - I thought the first book was the best and I hated Allegiant (still do) but now, after the movie adaptation and reading a few other dystopian novels, I wonder what I was thinking. 

4. Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews - I read her Casteel Family series before this series in my teens and loved it because I was really into messed up lives in books back then so I think I had this mentality that I had to like this book (& series) as well. So many years later I can look back on it and see it differently. 

5. Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul, etc - I read a lot of these books as a teen. I guess I enjoyed the wisdom and sentiment of them but now every time I see one of those books my eyes roll right out of my head. 

Oops, I ran out of time to search through my Goodreads 'read' list to see if there were any others.