Saturday, April 30, 2016

April 2016 Wrap Up

It's been a pretty good month. I read more than I thought I would even though I took about 2 weeks to read Uprooted because it is slow paced (but good!) and I wanted to take my time with it after reading so much in March. I'm hoping to do a little better in May though! 

April's TBR 
I did pretty well with the new TBR idea. I read 7 out of 12 of the books I listed and have rolled over all but one to May's TBR so I will get around to them soon. I strayed a little by reading a comic/graphic novel last minute and started two books (Cress & The Assassin's Blade) that weren't on the TBR. 

Books I Read

Pages Read: 2651

Challenge Progress

New Places Visited

Manhattan, New York

(Ink and Bone)
London, England
Alexandria, Egypt
Aylesbury, England
Oxford, England
Cahors, France
Toulouse, France

(The Dark Days Club)
Mayfair, England

Sahara Desert, Africa


Books From My Personal Library That I Read This Month:


Fantasy Books I Read:


Netgalley Books Read: 


New Series I Started:


As in March, I was pretty busy and had little time to make as many trips to the library so we read fewer new picture books and instead reread a lot of the ones we own.
I read 9 new picture books and reviewed 8 of them on Goodreads. 

You can see all of the picture books I read to my daughter HERE

How did you guys do on your goals this month? What was your favorite book? 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Freebie Friday #13

Free at the time of posting.


Teddy Pink Nose by Beth Hammond

Maggie's Epic Pancake by Flitzy Books

Please Don't Tickle the Tiger by Ryan Cedar

The Madrona Heroes Register: Echoes of the Past by Hillel Cooperman

Three Little Gnomes and a Boy Named Orion by Rhonda Paglia


Carnifex: A Portent of Blood by D.P. Prior

Mage Fade by C.J. Thompson

Dagger - The Light at the End of the World by Walt Popester

Nightlord: Sunset by Garron Whited

Bloodlore by Krista Walsh

Wielder of the Flame by Nikolas Rex

Nightglory by Mathew Babaoye

The Kalarthri by H.M. Clarke


Paranormal & Urban Fantasy

The Devil's Fool by Rachel McClellan

Darkangel (The Witches of Cleopatra Hill) by Christine Pope

Phoenix Child by Alica McKenna-Johnson


The Complete Brothers Grimm's Fairy Tales

The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Book Review: Ruffleclaw by Corneilia Funke

Title: Ruffleclaw
Author: Cornelia Funke
Illustrated by the author
Publisher: Random House Children's
Publication Date: November 10, 2015
Pages: 102
Source: Library

The beloved and bestselling author of Inkheart returns with a chapter book full of mischief, heart, and hilarious illustrations!

Ruffleclaw is a furry red monster who lives in a burrow under a toolshed. When he decides to move in with a family of humans, he climbs right into bed with a boy named Tommy. Tommy wants to keep Ruffleclaw as a pet, but it won't be easy. Ruffleclaw makes huge messes--he spits, he drinks shampoo, and he eats everything in the fridge...along with the plates! Can Tommy teach his monster to behave?

My Thoughts:
Ruffleclaw the monster enjoys his worms but he'd rather live in the human house than in his burrow next to two other obnoxious and smelly monsters. The humans have lovely smelling soap to eat and lots of goodies in the fridge! And the music the human boy's mother plays is a big plus, too! Yep, Ruffleclaw would rather live with the humans and that's exactly what he does. He climbs right into bed with the human boy, Tommy, who decides to keep him as a pet. 

This is a cute story about a monster that becomes a part of a family. I think this will delight children who are imaginative or need a more positive, less scary outlook on 'monsters'. Overall, it's a fun, short story perfect for beginner chapter book readers. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Book Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Title: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
Publisher: Random House NY
Publication Date: August 16, 2011
Genre: YA, Sci-fi, Dystopia
Pages: 374
Source: Overdrive 

Literary Awards:
Prometheus Award for Best Novel (2012)
ALA Alex Award (2012)
Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee (2014)
Tahtivaeltaja Award Nominee (2013)
Green Mountain Book Award Nominee (2015)

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop-culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he find himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win-and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

My Thoughts:
Wade has spent most of his life inside the virtual world of OASIS. Growing up in the stacks of Oklahoma City, Wade is immersed in a world of poverty and he'd much rather live inside OASIS than deal with the real world. Luckily, he is able to attend high school virtually through OASIS and is given a school-issued visor and haptic gloves. There's a huge world within the OASIS that Wade hasn't really visited unless tagging along with his virtual best friend, Aech, because he is too poor to afford teleportation fees. When OASIS creator James Halliday dies, he declares his heir to be whoever finds the three keys and, ultimately, his hidden 'easter egg', Wade makes it his goal in life to study everything that Halliday ever held dear--which just happens to be majoritively 80's pop-culture games, movies, and music--and dedicates his every waking moment to figuring out the clue to find the keys.

This is one of the coolest books I've read recently. I'm still trying to gather my thoughts and it's not actually easy to talk about this book without first explaining some of it. The author must have felt the same because we get a lot of info up front. Some people call it info-dumping and look down on it, but it was needed and was exactly what hooked me from the first chapter.

I'd seen a lot of people giving this great ratings and gushing over it but it didn't seem like something I'd want to read at first. It was slightly appealing but I just wasn't very interested. After a couple of years of seeing people mention it as one of their favorites, and when I read that it is going to be adapted into a film that releases in 2018, I decided to give it a try. I'm a sucker for a movie adaptation and will always try to read the book first. Now that I've read it, I completely understand why it has a pretty high rating on Goodreads and why so many people like it.

Even kids these days who know nothing of 80's pop-culture can relate with being big fans of something. We basically live in a world where 'fangirling' is a well known verb and it doesn't matter if you are a girl or not. We are all allowed to get overly excited and 'geek out' about some tv show or game or book and it is (mostly) widely accepted. It's easy to understand why James Halliday creates this world revolving around all the things he loved from his childhood in this book. We can all look back on a time in our lives that we loved to death and hope we were there again. Virtual reality made it a possibility for this character and he created a world out of it.

And it is a pretty awesome world. We can see our own world becoming the bleak and lifeless world that needs escaping and if only we had something like the OASIS, I bet the majority of the world would jump at the chance to explore it. We pretty much do this already, just through a computer or phone screen.
But back to the world in this book.

The OASIS is a virtual universe filled with thousands of planets that are filled with endless gamer possibilities. Enjoy arcade games? There's a planet with every single arcade game ever created. Want to shop? There are virtual malls where you can buy virtual products for your avatar or have the real thing sent to you. But with this virtual reality comes a world of isolation. Our main character, Wade, along with millions of other people have decided that it's better to live in the OASIS. Some of them never see people in real life for years on end. And why would they need to when you can just order a slice of pizza, pay for it online, and have it left on your doorstep.

This is the kind of book that you want to talk about but if you do, you know you might give too much away and so it's easier just to evade talking about it and instead recommend (or force) others to read it. There's so much more to Ready Player One than a virtual reality world and 80's pop-culture references, although the mentions of Monty Python and the Holy Grain and The Goonies because those were some of my childhood favorites.

This book is not only nostalgic; it's like reading a video game. And it's more than that, too. We get a bit of real life, a bit of virtual reality life, and a bit of James Halliday's life and (fictional) history as well. I found myself wanting to get back to this world whenever I wasn't reading and I'm really excited to see what they do with the movie adaptation! 

Book Blast & Giveaway: The Convergence by Tenille Berezay

  THE CONVERGENCE by Tenille Berezay 
Hiding unbelievable physical abilities, seventeen-year-old Desiree Morgan buries herself inside the realities of high school. But when Blake Thomas infiltrates her life, all of Desiree’s secrets begin to unravel. With answers come more questions and soon she is entangled in a world of secret societies, human experimentation, perilous power-struggles, and ultimate sacrifice. To escape, Desiree can’t be simply extraordinary…she must redefine the impossible. THE CONVERGENCE is a story of one girl’s search to understand herself and the realization of what makes her truly great. amazon get it 
Praise for Book 
 "If you like the action of Divergent, romance of Twilight, and super human powers like X-men, you'll absolutely love this book." "I have read a lot of young adult science fiction/romance and this is right up there with the best of them." "I was captured from the beginning by Desiree's story, but even more so by the handsome and charming Blake."
  add to goodreads 
 Following the rescue came the terror. Terror for what I’d done, what I could do. The realization that my abilities extended beyond what I had ever, ever anticipated. I’d been pushing myself, not attempting the impossible. Emotions from that night teem inside of me; so much rage from my date, fright for the injured people, and ultimately dismay for myself. For what I am. After fruitless searching, I thought I accepted it. Gave up on ever understanding. But I didn’t. I stare down at my empty yet terrifyingly powerful hands. Clenching them into fists, I spin and sprint away. Again I internalize the useless emotions, the lingering doubt. Hope. This hope I’ve been given is a dangerous thing.
Author Tenille Berezay
After living throughout the western U.S., Tenille now claims rural Northern Nevada as her home. If she’s not being consumed by a book—whether her own or another author’s—she’d like to be found horseback riding, backpacking with her high-school sweetheart/husband, or photographing their three beautiful children.
Blast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 5/18/16 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an 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.