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Familiar Places: Virals by Kathy Reichs

Hi there!

I’m currently typing this post up in our attic/office with the roof windows open on this rare sunny day in Manchester. It really is the perfect place to enjoy a cup of tea and write a book review!

Recently I finished listening to the audiobook for Kathy Reich’s Virals, the first book in a sci-fi series of the same name. I waited a long time to finally read this one and I’m so glad I read it now, after just moving across the pond from South Carolina, because the story is set in Charleston. Reading about the familiar places was soothing to my heart as I adjust to life in a new place out of my home country! It was comforting!

Overview

Tory Brennan, niece of acclaimed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan (of the VIrals by Kathy ReichsBones novels and hit TV show), is the leader of a ragtag band of teenage “sci-philes” who live on a secluded island off the coast of South Carolina. When the group rescues a dog caged for medical testing on a nearby island, they are exposed to an experimental strain of canine parvovirus that changes their lives forever.

As the friends discover their heightened senses and animal-quick reflexes, they must combine their scientific curiosity with their newfound physical gifts to solve a cold-case murder that has suddenly become very hot if they can stay alive long enough to catch the killer’s scent.

Fortunately, they are now more than friends. They’re a pack. They are Virals.

My Thoughts

I don’t know what I was expecting, but when I decided to read Virals, I wasn’t sold. I assumed I wasn’t going to enjoy it and I have no earthly idea why! What I got was a fast paced sci-fi mystery/thriller that hooked me from the start. The first page lands you smack-dab in the middle of a forest where our main character, Tory, is being chased by unknown and armed pursuers. From that moment on the story is full of dead bodies, breaking and entering, fake identities, hunting for evidence, and even more being chased by armed men. As if the mystery plot wasn’t interesting enough Reichs also weaves in this whole science fiction virus plot that just takes the story to a whole new level! I was immediately sold.

Super exciting plot aside, it also helps when your main character is engaging and likable. Tory, is your average teen who is also not-so average -she is incredibly observant, intelligent, courageous, funny, and really interested in science. She feels like an outsider at her posh Charleston private school, but is also building deep friendships with the other kids on Morris Island. She is exactly the type of girl I’d want to be friends with, if you know….I was a character in a sci-fi YA novel… Out of her group of friends, Tory is the “idea person”. She’s the one who has all of these ideas that are really good ideas (mostly) but make the other characters nervous because they usually involve breaking into someplace they shouldn’t be-all for good reasons of course! haha

Virals is set on the numerous islands that dot the coast of South Carolina, just outside of historic Charleston. As I mentioned before having just moved from South Carolina, it was so comforting to read about a location I’m familiar with. I think that when you’ve been to a place it always changes how you read a book set in that same location. The story seems more alive and exciting when you have experience in that particular setting. I loved reading about King Street, Sullivan’s Island, Mount Pleasant and Fort Sumter. It felt like I was home!

I will definitely be picking up the next book in the series and if you’re into sci-fi and mysteries you should also give this series a try!

Details

Author: Kathy Reichs
Publisher: Penguin Razorbill (November 2, 2010)
Format: Audiobook
Narrated by: Cristin Milioti
Length: 9 hrs and 43 mins
Series: First in the Virals series
YA/MG: MG/YA

 

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Completely Captivating: The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Welcome Back!Twizzler Bites

I’m sitting here at my dining room table munching on Twizzler Bites (YUM) and enjoying the pretty sunlight coming in through the window while I work on this post. South Carolina winters are strange. One morning it’ll be a frigid 23F and five hours later it’ll be a comfortable 64F. I have the front door open (with the doggy gate up of course) and Miles the Pup is lounging on the rug. I’m pretty pleased with today overall!

Overview

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

I adore this cover…le sigh…

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

My Thoughts

A new fantasy series?! Yes please! I tried to get my hands on The Winner’s Curse all summer and fall but the waiting list at my local library was seriously a mile long! Finally it popped up on Overdrive, so I was able to listen to the audiobook. Although this book is classified as fantasy, I’d say it has more of a political intrigue plot with some fantasy elements woven throughout. Whatever it is, The Winner’s Curse is completely captivating and I couldn’t help but lose myself in the setting, characters, and story!

The world Kestrel lives in is well thought out and seems to resemble the Roman Empire in a lot of ways. Kestrel is member of the ruling Valorians and her people are the ruthless conquerors who have enslaved the Herrani people and treat them as cattle sold at auction. Despite the similarities to the Roman Empire, however, Kestrel’s world has its own qualities that give it a unique presence on the page, not to mention the political intrigue that begins to unwind! It is a well set up world that I am excited to visit more in the following books!

The romance between Kestrel and Arin, her newly acquired slave is subtle at first. It is slow to build as every interaction between the two in wrought with cords of romantic and emotional tensions. I didn’t feel rushed with this forbidden romance like one sometimes does in popular YA fiction, but every scene did leave me wanting more.

Recommended For

Because The Winner’s Curse is a slower paced read, with not a lot of action until the later half, I’d recommend it for older middle school readers and above, especially those who love a good romantic fantasy. I question whether  younger readers would have the patience to appreciate the slowly growing heat that is The Winner’s Curse. If you are one who can appreciate the gradual building of a good story, however, then you’ll enjoy this one like I did!

Details

Author: Marie Rutkoski
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux (March 4, 2014)
Format: Audiobook
Length: 8 hours and 24 minutes
Narrator: Justine Eyre (one of my faves!)
Series: First in a trilogy
YA/MG: Both

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2014 End of the Year Book Survey

2014-end-of-year-book-survey

Well hello there and Happy New Year! It feels good to be back at my laptop working on a post for this blog! I couldn’t let 2014 slip by without reflecting on all the bookish things. In some ways this past year has been challenging and difficult, but overall it was a very good year and I have high hopes for 2015. Please enjoy my End of the Year Survey and feel free to leave a link to yours in the comments, so I can see what you’ve been up to this year!

 reading-stats-2014

Number Of Books You Read: 86
Number of Re-Reads: 0
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy

 best-YA-books-2014

1. Best Book You Read In 2014?

Contemporary: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Fantasy: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Historical Fiction: A Mad Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller

We Were Liars by E Lockhart Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge A Mad Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen. I thought I’d be really into Dessen’s newest summery contemporary novel because I have loved the other books that I’ve read by her. In the end the storyline in this one just wasn’t up to par with her other novels so, in the end I was pretty disappointed.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014? 

The Boy on the Wooded Box by Leon Leyson. I normally don’t lean toward nonfiction reads and probably wouldn’t have picked this one up if it wasn’t required reading for a committee I’m a member of, but I’m so glad I did! This was such an enthralling true story of the Holocaust that I just couldn’t put it down.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

 The Crossover by Kwame Alexander. This was by far my most recommended book in 2014. I pushed this book on almost every student I met, especially my reluctant readers because it’s different (written in verse), it’s realistic fiction, and it’s about basketball. A lot of students (mostly boys) took my advice, read it, and shared it with their friends. It is a middle school librarian’s dream! haha

 5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?

The Falling Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes was probably the best series I started in 2014. I love fantasy and this series has it all even though I’ve only read the first two books so far.

TIE: Waistcoats & Weaponry (Finishing School #3) by Gail Carriger was one of my favorite sequel of the year. Carriger’s steampunk/supernatural Victorian, England has yet to treat me wrong. Cress by Marissa Meyer is by far my favorite book in the Lunar Chronicles series and Cress is my favorite of all Meyer’s heroines so far!

The One by Kiera Cass was my favorite series ender of the year. Okay, so I know that the series is technically not over yet since the announcement of The Heir (which Goodreads has marked as #4), but it doesn’t count in my mind because it’s supposed to be about a different generation and a totally different Selection. It just doesn’t count okay?!

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?

Airborn by Kenneth OppelKenneth Oppel. I was so pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed his Matt Cruse trilogy that I ripped through those audiobooks like no one’s business! The mix of adventure and steampunk/fantasy knocked me off my feet. I’ll definitely be looking for more of his books in 2015.

 7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

The Haunting of Gabriel Ashe by Dan Poblocki. Anything in the horror genre usually sticks in my mind and gets worse as my imagination mulls over it, which is why I tend to stay away from anything scary. This one was required reading for the previously mentioned committee I’m on, and I was surprised at how much I liked it, even though I did have to stop reading it when I was home alone!

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

The Diviners by Libba Bray. I was completely obsessed with this paranormal thriller set in the roaring twenties! My husband had to ask me on numerous occasions to take my earbuds out and press pause on the audiobook for a while! It was that intriguing!

 9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Honestly, probably none. I don’t usually re-read books…unless they’re written by Jane Austen. There are just SO MANY new books to explore I can’t justify spending time on one I’ve already read.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?

 Shadow and Bone by Leigh BardugoShadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. I just love how gorgeously typographic this cover is. The illustration at the bottom and the use of only three colors just makes this cover stand out in my mind. It’s simple yet dramatic all at once and when you know the story better you see that there are symbols representing the different characters on the cover itself.  It helps that I completely loved this book too!

11. Most memorable character of 2014?

Alanna of Trebond. I started The Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce because it was one of those “OMG You haven’t read that series yet and you call yourself a fantasy lover?!”.  So I finally read it and yes I adore Alanna in all of her stubborn, strong, fearful, brave confusion! She could be Katniss’ older sister!

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?

Forest Born (Books of Bayern #4) by Shannon Hale. Shannon Hale will always be one of my favorite authors because she creates these poetic and lush fairy tale retellings that just make her stand out among all the other authors out there. I always love her books.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?

Counting by 7′s by Holly Goldberg Sloan. I wouldn’t say that I enjoyed this story. I would say that it really got me thinking about relationships, community and the importance of being connected to people. It was too much of a crying book for me to actually like, but it did get my thoughts moving.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read? 

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCaffertySloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty. For years everyone has been talking about this book and how awesome Jessica Darling is. Now, since I’ve read the first two books, I finally know what the fuss is about!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?

“Gogo’s word make me feel taller. / People really are like plants – / kind words make them grow.”  -Serafina’s Promise by Ann E. Burg

This beautifully true quote comes when Serafina is working on a garden with the help of Gogo, her grandmother, who praises Serafina’s hard work with the plants. It’s one of those quotes that reminds me why being a middle school educator is so significant and the responsibility I have to speak kind words.

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

March: Book One by John Robert Lewis. This graphic novel memoir of John Lewis experiences during the Southern Civil Rights movement was my shortest read in 2014 with just 128 pages.

Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor. This trilogy finisher was my longest read of the year at 613 pages. I did listen to it on audiobook which though, with translates to 18 hours and 11 minutes.

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. I’m completely sure that almost every other YA fan will also list this one for this category. I JUST read it about two days ago and my mind was pretty much blown. Not because what happened was that shocking, but because Lockhart’s writing was so excellent that I TOTALLY did NOT expect it to happen. I had no idea. THAT is great writing!

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Jessica Darling and Marcus Flutie.  I know I’m like over a decade behind with The Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty but COME ON! I’ve only read the first two books, and already I swoon thinking of their secret little coded messages and realistic friendship/relationship.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Jack Baker and Early Auden. The friendship between these two boarding Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpoolschool outsiders in Clare Vanderpool’s Navigating Early is so sweet and tender. You have these two teenage boys who both feel abandoned in some way forging a friendship while at that important coming of age time in their lives. Its good.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. I read Westerfeld’s Uglies series years ago (and LOVED them) and have known about this steampunk alternate history series for a while, but just never got around to giving it a try. I can’t wait to get my hands on book two, Behemoth!

 

21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. I’ll be honest. I was not interested in this one when it first came out. I think it was mostly because of all the hype it got online. Everyone was talking about how amazing it was and I kind of thought…meh. But then I read it and yeah…I understand the hype! haha

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan RhodesI apparently had a thing for “bad boys” in 2014 because this is normally not my type! Some of my most major book crushing has been on guys that aren’t stereotypically good and might even be bad when you get down to it! Here are the first four that come to mind. Prince Magnus and Jonas Agallon both from Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes. How is it possible that I would be happy if she ended up with either one?! Also, The Darkling from Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo.  I know he’s pretty evil and really like a hundred years old, but he’s also pretty sexy! And don’t forget Ignifex from Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge.

 23. Best 2014 debut you read?

A Mad Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller. I really like historical fiction and this debut had me hooked from the very beginning! It’s full of art, suffragettes, hot cops, romance, Victorian England…who wouldn’t love it?!

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

The Diviners by Libba Bray. This book is a great paranormal thriller, but the roaring twenties setting was by far my favorite part of the book! From the clothing, to slang, to historical events, music and cultural trends Bray had me thinking I was living in 1920s New York City the entire time I listened to this audiobook!

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg. This was such a sweet story of friendship, romance and coming of age. I purely enjoyed every minute of this book! If you’re looking for a quality feel good contemporary novel, this one is sure to make you happy.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan. I’ve already said it but I didn’t enjoy this book. I tend to stay away from crying books as a general rule, but if one book was going to make me cry this one gave it a good try. It almost did, I promise.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald. This was such a clever and quirky middle grades mystery I can’t believe it didn’t get more press.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

 Icons by Margaret Stohl. I thought “Margaret Stohl…she’s really popular it has to be good”. I was wrong. I read it all the way through though just to be sure. This book was so bad that my soul was crushed because I can never get back that time spent reading it.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?

Gated by Amy Christine Parker

Gated by Amy Christine Parker. Was it the best book I read this year? No. But there is no other YA dystopian title out there about a religious cult/commune. I read it as a part of that committee I’m on and I’m really glad I did because like, I said, although it had its faults Gated sticks out the most to me as the most unique book of 2014.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

My Basmati Bat Mitzvah by Paula J. Freedman. I was just so disappointed in this one that it made me angry.

book-blogging

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2014? 

Honestly, I didn’t do much new blog shopping this year. I was barely able to keep up with my own and the blogs I already love.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2014? 

Probably my favorite review was the one I wrote for The Dream Thieves. It was not my favorite book in any way (Actually it was a major struggle for me to read) so the review was a difficult one for me to write. I feel like in the end I challenged myself and what I got was a very honest, sincere review.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

I have been a little (okay A LOT) M.I.A. with reviews and the blog in general since school started. I’m currently in my third trimester of my first pregnancy and honestly all I could manage for many months was work, reading, resting. It’s normal, but when I realized that I had forgotten my monthly Reading Queue for November, I felt awful. So I had to be brave to come back for my December Reading Queue and confess that I forgot and just couldn’t handle anything extra. The response from followers was so kind and encouraging. This was by far my favorite post of the year for that reason. Thanks guys!

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

I was pretty out of the loop for anything extra related to blogging this year (I didn’t even make it to YALL Fest boooo). But I have continued to love keeping up with my Reading Queue meme whom I co-host with the awesome Jessica at Books A True Story. The Reading Queue is still really small, but I like getting to know the others who participate regularly a little better!

5. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

My most popular post was: YA Reads for Fans of Period Dramas.

 6. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

My review for Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord, which was such a great contemporary middle grades read. Give this review some love people! :)

7.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?completed

YES! After not meeting my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal for 2013 I am excited to announce that I surpassed my Reading Challenge goal for 2014! My goal was set at 70 books and I have finished with 86 books read this year! WHOOT!

Sadly though, I did not meet my 2014 YA Audiobook Challenge goal (hosted by Book and a Latte). I only listened to 34 audiobooks this year (instead of the planned 36) and because of my pregnant blogging slump I didn’t even come close to reviewing 24 of them. OOPS! Oh well, there is always 2015.

looking-ahead-books-2015

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?

 Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers and The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas were both on my December Reading Queue, but I didn’t make it to them before the end of the year. Both will be some of the first books I try to attack in January!

PerilousSeaMortal Heart by Robin LaFevers

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)?

I can’t pick just one!!

Winter (Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer. (November 2015)Winners Crime by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner’s Crime (Winner’s Trilogy #2) by Marie Rutkoski (March 2015)

Manners & Mutiny (Finishing School #4) by Gail Carriger (November 2015)

3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas (Feb. 2015).  A new fairy tale retelling!

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?

See #2! haha

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?

I hope to post more regularly. Even after the baby comes. That doesn’t have to be multiple times per week. Maybe only once a week…we’ll see. I’d like my posting to be more regular though.  I know a baby will be time consuming, but with staying home there might be some wiggle room! :)

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Thanks so much to everyone to reads/follows BookTasty! You’re all so encouraging and I appreciate you! I hope you have a fabulous New Year!

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Again! Again! 2014 YA Audiobook Challenge

Who else likes audiobooks?

I do! A lot!

For the past two years I’ve participated in the YA Audiobook Challenge hosted by Jen at  Book and a Latte.

2014 YA Audiobook ChallengeThis is my favorite bookish challenge because I seriously LOVE audiobooks. Just ask my husband! I always have one going and I listen while driving, running, folding laundry etc… My husband knows I’m listening to a particularly good audiobook if I offer to do the dishes (it’s the chore I dislike the most!). hahaha

Last year I reached the “Rocking Out” level of the challenge because I was literally one audiobook short of my goal of 36. One! Ugghhhh The shame! hahaha If you’re interested, can see my 2013 YA Audiobook Challege Wrap Up here. I listened to so many awesome books in 2013!

This year I am participating again (of course!!!), and am shooting for the “Head Bang’n levelOver the course of 2014 I need to listen to 36+ audiobooks and review at least 24 of them.

I know I got this!

If you like audiobooks and young adult fiction, you should join us! Check out the Challenge Info Page to find out more and sign up.

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It’s Giveaway Time!

Hi there BookTasty friends!

Yeah! You read it right! It is definitely giveaway time! Whoot!

Being a middle school librarian, my heart has a special place for middle grades fiction. In fact some of my favorite authors write primarily for those readers in the middle school years!

One of the most popular authors in my library right now is I Funny by James PattersonJames Patterson. Yes! The very same James Patterson who writes adult thrillers also writes middle grade books. His Daniel X books are rarely checked in and it’s the exact same with his Middle School series! Additionally, Patterson’s humorous I Funny has a hold list a mile long and it’s popular among both my boys and girls.

Well, I Funny has a new sequel called, I Even Funnier, which releases TOMORROW Monday December 9!!

Middle schooler Jamie Grimm has big dreams of being the best stand-up comic in the world – and he won’t let the fact that he’s in a wheelchair get in his way.

I Even Funnier by James PattersonAfter winning the New York state finals in the Planet’s Funniest Kid Comic Contest, Jamie’s off to Boston to compete in the national semi-finals. But when one of his best buddies runs into trouble at school and a sudden family health scare rears its head, Jamie has to put his comedic ambitions on hold and stand by the people he cares about. Can Jamie pass up the big competition for the sake of his friends and family?

To celebrate the release of I Even Funnier I’m giving away a copy of BOTH I Funny and I Even Funnier! YAY! Thanks so much to the people at Little, Brown  for donating both books for this giveaway! I’m so excited to be able to host this giveaway!

Okay! So, how do you enter the giveaway? Well, there is just one step to enter. The only thing you have to do is fill out the form below.

All entries must be completed by Sunday, December 15, 2013  (midnight Eastern Standard Time). This giveaway is only open to U.S. residents. I will announce the winner on Monday December 16, 2013 on a special winner post. That person will have 48 hours to email me their mailing address or I will select another winner.
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Reading Queue: November

the-reading-queueHi there!

Welcome to my November Reading Queue!

The Reading Queue is a monthly meme, hosted by Book Tasty (hi there!) and Books: A true story , where we share our reading plans  for the month. You can hop to other blogs and see what others are reading and maybe find someone reading the same thing as you! Or you can ask for people to vote on what you should read next if you can’t decide. Please feel free to contact me in the comments if you’d like to join and/or if you have questions!

Each month we’ve had a few more people join up with us which is pretty exciting! I love visiting the other blogs who participate, it’s just fun to see what everyone else is reading!

How I Did Last Month

Guys, I completely sucked with reading in general during October! And when I did read I didn’t keep to my Reading Queue! LAME. Plus, I didn’t even read anything in print this past month, I only listened to audiobooks, which is not a bad thing (because I love audiobooks), just odd.

Chime by Franny BillingsleyChime by Franny Billingsley (audiobook)
I loved this strange supernatural read. It reminded me a lot of The Gemma Doyle trilogy.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. LockhartThe Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart (audiobook)

Okay, so I liked parts of this book a lot, but the end left me feeling “meh”.

Legend by Marie LuLegend by Marie Lu (audiobook)

My husband and I started and finished this on the drive to and from my little brother’s wedding.

Pandemonium by Lauren OliverPandemonium by Lauren Oliver (audiobook)

Requiem by Lauren OliverRequiem by Lauren Oliver (audiobook)

I really enjoyed this series, but wanted more at the end.

My November Reading Queue

Again, I have high hopes for my reading this coming month. Hopefully I can actually stay on track because I REALLY want to read all the books I have listed here. I’ll be on a plane to and from the UK later this month, so that will be a big help!

Fangirl by Rainbow RowellFangirl by Rainbow Rowell (ebook)

City of a Thousand Dolly by Miriam ForsterCity of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster (print)

The Burning Sky by Sherry ThomasThe Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas (audiobook)

I just started this one and I’m really liking it a lot so far!

United we Spy by Ally CarterUnited We Spy by Ally Carter (print)

Allegiant by Veronica RothAllegiant by Veronica Roth (print)

AHHHHH!

The Dark Unwinding by Sharon CameronThe Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron (print)

Some steampunk to brighten my month!

Days of Blood and Starlight by Lani TurnerDays of Blood & Starlight by Lani Taylor (audiobook)

 There you have it! What are you planning to read during November? Have you read any of the titles on my Reading Queue? Do you have any suggestions on which I should start with?

If you’re interested in joining up, add your Reading Queue post to the linky below! We’re happy to have you!

1

Waiting on Wednesday: Hard Luck (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #8)

Happy Wednesday everyone!

For this week’s Waiting on Wednesday (hosted by Breaking the Spine) I’m showcasing Jeff Kinney’s newest addition to the Wimpy Kid series, Hard Luck.

Hard Luck by Jeff KinneyGreg Heffley’s on a losing streak. His best friend, Rowley Jefferson, has ditched him, and finding new friends in middle school is proving to be a tough task. To change his fortunes, Greg decides to take a leap of faith and turn his decisions over to chance. Will a roll of the dice turn things around, or is Greg’s life destined to be just another hard-luck story?

Now I admit, I haven’t read all the other books in the Wimpy Kid series (only Book 1), but as a middle school librarian I completely love and adore Jeff Kinney. As long as he keeps writing books in this series my students will be checking them out and reading them which makes me an incredibly happy librarian! Seriously, I have to keep 4-5 copies of each title in this series circulating because the want is so high! It is seriously like tween crack.

Well, we have until November 5 to wait although my students have been asking me about Hard Luck since August!

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Princess in the Opal Mask

The Princess in the Opal Mask by Jenny LundquistHello there and Happy Wednesday!

Each week I participate in Waiting on Wednesday, a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that creates a venue for specifically sharing upcoming books that we’re excited about.

Today I’m waiting on The Princess in the Opal Mask by Jenny Lundquist!

Every Fairy-Tale Ending Has a Price. . . .
Orphaned as a child in the crumbling village of Tulan, Elara is determined to learn her true identity, even if it means wielding a dagger. Meanwhile, in Galandria’s royal capital, Princess Wilha stands out as someone to either worship or fear. Though no one knows why the king has always made her conceal her face–including Wilha herself.

When an assassination attempt threatens the peace of neighboring kingdoms, Elara and Wilha are brought face to face . . . with a chance at claiming new identities. However, with dark revelations now surfacing, both girls will need to decide if brighter futures are worth the binding risks.

If you’ve been following BookTasty you’ve probably picked up that I am having a major love affair with fantasy and I want to be a princess. Yes. It’s true. I’m a huge nerd! haha Nerdiness aside, I really want this book in my hands, like right now! Fantasy always floats my bookish boat and The Princess in the Opal Mask sounds like a great fantasy read. Plus, do you see that super ethereal cover? It’s stunning and I can’t take my eyes off of it.

The Princess in the Opal Mask is scheduled for release in only a few short weeks. October 22 to be exact, so we fantasy nerds don’t have long to wait!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Turn-Offs

Hello!

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is about our Bookish Turn-Offs.  You know what I mean, you’re just reading a book, minding your own business and then BAM! You come across something that completely turns you off to the whole book. We all have those things that just irk us. So, this week’s theme is all about those bookish turn-offs.

1. The “r” word. I completely 100% dislike the use of the word “retard” and it’s derogatory formsWhat is Popular (such as “you’re so retarded” or “that’s so retarded”) in general, so of course it sets me off in books. I have a very difficult time finishing a book if this word is used. I know some argue that it is realistic to the way teens speak, but I don’t believe that’s a good excuse for using this word. Just because something is popular doesn’t make it right.

2. Too much sexy times. I have no problem with sex…in fact I think sex is awesome! But I don’t like to read about it extensively. I don’t mind a sex scene here and there but when it just goes on and on for pages that’s a big excessive don’t ya think?!

3. Ill-fitting Cursing. I don’t mind those four letter words showing up in books but it has to fit the character. When I’m reading a book and I can tell the author is just including those words to include them, that’s just poor writing! Make it fit the story/character please.

4. More than 2 POVs. I’ve read a few books where there are more than two point of views telling the story and I was so confused. I continually had to look back at the start of the chapter to remind myself who was narrating. I am totally fine with two POVs, but anything more than three confuses me!

5. Cheating in a positive light. I’m not a fan smoothing over something as destructive as an affair under the guise of following one’s heart or anything like that. An affair is an affair and in my opinion it is never a positive thing.

6. Poorly designed covers. This is a turn off before I even get into the pages! If a book cover looks cheap to me, it’s a total turn-off.

7. Surprise crying books. You probably already know that I want nothing to do with books that want to make me cry, so I tend to stay away from them. Sometimes however a book thrusts a surprise cry in on you! It’s like the book is going on it’s merry little way and then BAM! a completely horribly tragic thing happens and you’re left feeling like someone just pantsed you in front of a crowded auditorium. Complete betrayal.

Okay, so I couldn’t come up with ten bookish turn-offs right off the top of my head, but that’s okay. Thinking of those 7 turn-offs alone was enough work! Do you share any of my opinions on bookish turn-offs? Or do you completely disagree with any that made my list?

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YALL Fest Author Interview: Veronica Rossi

Welcome back BookTasty peeps!

I’m back with another author interview to promote and celebrate this year’s YALL Fest! If you haven’t already heard YALL Fest is an exciting Young Adult book festival, complete with over 50 of YA’s top authors, which will be taking place in Charleston, SC on November 9.  This will be my first time in Veronica RossiCharleston AND at YALL Fest!

So, let’s celebrate by showcasing one of those authors, Veronica Rossi, who wrote Under the Never Sky and Through the Ever Night! I have to say, I’m not only enjoying the hosting aspect of these interviews, but also reading the different responses each author has to the same questions.  Let’s check out what Veronica Rossi has to say!

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?

Yeah, those. And all the ones in between!

Best writing tip you ever received?

$5. Just kidding. Um… tip… I think it’s probably to allow yourself to suck when writing early drafts. It takes away a lot of the fear of generating good material. It’s not easy to be creative when you’re judging your work.

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.

1.       In the past year, I discovered a deep love of Brussel sprouts

2.       I talk to myself. Heck. Sometimes I argue with myself.

3.       I’m arguing with myself about including that last point at this very moment.

4.       My favorite animals are elephants.

5.       Dresses with pockets make me happy.

Where’s your favorite place to write?

I usually work in my home office, but I love working in hotel rooms. No distractions!

What are you working on now?

Something I’m very excited about! Can’t divulge any details yet, but it’s an idea I’ve been mulling over for years.

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

I think Veronica Rossi and I need to have a Brussel sprout party! I recently developed a love for them too, as long as they’re roasted with olive oil and sea salt….YUM! So, Veronica I’m up for a Best Brussel sprouts in Charleston hunt while we’re both there for YALL Fest!  Are you in?!