#FakeReadathon: 7 Books

Sharon and Chris joined us on Sunday for #FakeReadathon and it was fun. I also managed to finish seven books, which was also fun.

Happily Ever After: short stories about characters from The Selection series. It wasn’t bad, a lot of repeat of what happened in earlier books so the stories could be read as a stand-alone.

The Crown: The final book in the selection series. I’m glad it turned out the way I thought it would turn out.

There Is No Darkness: I finally finished this ebook that I started months (a year?) ago? I generally just read a chapter or two every time I traveled, while waiting for inflight wifi to kick in. Yesterday, I decided I was doing to finish it and I did. I don’t really love Science Fiction but I definitely enjoyed it. An interesting coming of age story. (Someone in an Amazon review said the Haldeman brothers wrote this in 1955, almost 20 years before Joe wrote The Forever War. I’m all… Wait, what!?! Goodness… Lorena wasn’t even born? Wait, what?!!! Is this true. Someone remind me to ask Lore about this.)

I checked four children’s picture books out of the library, two picture books and two board books (both Cybils), because I thought I might have a chance to read some new books to Pippin and Squshy when they were hear a couple of weeks ago. I also thought even if that didn’t happen, these might be books I would want to buy them for Christmas. Turns out… it was a mixed bag.

– Dinosaur Dance was boring. Unless your child really LOVES dinosaurs, in which case it’s still boring but your kid will still love it because dinosaurs.
– Look, Look Again was cute and interesting. It’s a fold out style book. The first page shows one… something (a mushroom, a strawberry, an apple, etc.) but when you fold out the connecting page, you see more than one something (and it’s actually a counting book.) Pretty cute. I liked it. I’d buy that.
– A Hungry Lion, or a Dwindling Assortment of Animals. This book is troubling… if you buy it or check it out of the library, read it before you share it with your child. It might be fine, it might not be. Great illustrations but the “hungry lion” eats the cute animals… after the story tricks you into thinking that’s not what is going to happen, it wants you to believe the little animals have just created a surprise party for the hungry lion. Jokes on you because, yea, the hungry lion at the cute animals after all. Very troubling.
– Strictly No Elephants was a good story. Again, great illustrations and nobody gets eaten. The beginning is sad because the child with the pet elephant isn’t allowed to go to the club or party or whatever that the other kids with pets go to. But the child with the elephant meets a child with a skunk who also doesn’t have anyone to play with. They build their own club and make sure EVERYONE is welcome. Really nice story. I’d buy this.

The Weight of Zero

The Weight of Zero is on the YA Cybils shortlist and it’s good. It’s also probably very triggering for a lot of people. TW started reading it and before she got too far, she made me tell her whether Catherine dies or not…it’s a rough story. Definitely worth reading.

Off the Page

Awhile back, I was just wandering around the teen room in the library and noticed the sequel to Between the Lines (the book Jodi Picoult wrote with her daughter a few years ago.) I remembered thinking the first book was ok, and I needed some light and easy reads, so I grabbed Off the Page.

It was a light and easy read. It wasn’t great. I was compelled to keep reading to see how they solved the problem(s) that arose from characters jumping out, others jumping in, and some not where they want/need to be. I didn’t think there was a decent resolution to any of their situations and I pretty much hated the end. Though I shouldn’t because there is no decent resolution. Someone’s always going to be where they don’t want to be or where they shouldn’t be while some of the others have their “happily ever after” ending. Whatever. I’m not reading another, if there is another.

This Is Where It Ends

Ouch. What a painful book. This Is Where It Ends is on the Cybils shortlist. I reserved it at the library a few months ago and could not bring myself to read it. Too busy and absolutely not up for a book like this.

So, I tried again and I almost put it back down because ugh. School shooting. Ugh. But, I convinced myself to read it … and I’m glad I did. I ended up reading it pretty much one sitting, late into the night because… how can you not?

I’d love to know some teens who read this. I’d love to know what they thought of it.

March Book 3

I finished John Lewis’s March series. Book 3 was just as well-written and well-drawn as the first two books in the series. If you and your kids have not read this series, do it now.

The Selection

TW read The Selection ages ago. It was just some random YA romance she picked up at the library and I never expected to read it. When she finished, instead of putting it into the return bag, she put it back on the shelf and said it was surprisingly good… for what it was.

When I needed a quick and easy book, in between Disney World trips, I picked it up. And it was good, considering what it was about. (The prince chooses his bride from a “selection” of his subjects, one from each region – kind of like that Bachelor TV show.)

What I hated was the end. I didn’t realize it was a series and was thrown for a loop when it didn’t END PROPERLY. Gah. Now I feel like I have to read the next book but I’m afraid that it’s going to drag this out for many books and I’m not sure I can handle that. I do really kind of want to know how it ends, though. Gah.

Shades of London 1 & 2

Maureen Johnson is awesome and I really enjoyed the first and second books in the Shades of London series — though I do admit to being a little frustrated with Rory in the second book (The Madness Underneath.) TW particularly enjoyed Johnson’s descriptions of rain in London – spot on.

I just downloaded the free prequel, The Boy in the Smoke and I’m looking forward to reading the other two books in the series. UPDATED 10/28: I read The Boy in the Smoke prequel. It was excellent!

Salt to the Sea

We listened to Salt to the Sea (a YA Cybil) on audio and it took awhile. It’s tough to listen to this kind of book on audio – the subject matter is SO depressing and it’s not really something you are dying to listen to while driving to/from Walt Disney World, ya know?

It was well-written, good character choices and development, good ending (you know what I mean, since there really aren’t good endings to WWII historical fiction), and it’s definitely worth reading.

TW says it’s going to be a movie. I hope they do the book justice and don’t turn it into a WWII version of Titanic. I really hope they don’t do that. Maybe you should read the book before the movie comes out, just in case.

The Hate U Give

I put The Hate U Give on my TBR list ages and ages ago. I reserved it at the library and then put the reservation on hold because I was traveling a lot and knew I wouldn’t be able to read it while traveling. I reactivated the hold and then completely cancelled it because you’ve seen my monthly reading counts – they’re abysmal! I knew I’d need a lot more time and energy to read this than I’ve had for most of the year.

So, September it was. Not an ideal month for this book but I really, really wanted to read it and I was tired of putting it off. I’m so glad I finally read it.

It was just as good as you’ve heard it was. Just as painful. Just as anger-inducing. Everyone should read this. Everyone should talk about it.

#BLACKLIVESMATTER

Hotel Ruby

I picked up Hotel Ruby when we wandered around the YA section of the library last month. The title and description sounded appealing — and I like horror but haven’t read a lot of it lately.

This wasn’t great, but it wasn’t horrible, either. I can’t decided if I liked the ending or not, at least it wasn’t an altogether happy ending. Heck, I’m not sure I liked the premise or not.

And, interestingly — it looks like this book got a new name in the paperback version, it’s Hotel for the Lost? (or maybe it’s a US vs Canadian version thing? I’m not sure but it’s interesting… the new name is possibly a better name for the book. I just hope people who read one version don’t buy the other version thinking it’s a sequel or a different book. I assumed it was a sequel at first.)