Sunday, March 30, 2014

Stacking the Shelves: March

This month has been sort of chaotic, but (mostly) in a good way. The start things off, I got to go to a Divergent screening in Seattle, which was all sorts of crazy and absolute fun! Other highlights of this month include getting a new blog design, and participating in Bloggiesta, and starting to design others blogs! In the real world I’ve been failing at school work, babysitting too much, and watching Netflix!

      Received This Month

      Purchased

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      Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
      Wings by Aprilynne Pike
      Mandy by Julie Andrews Edwards
      Insurgent by Veronica Roth
      Transparent by Natalie Whipple
      The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Lucky me, I found some great books for fairly cheap! The first three all came from Half Priced Books, the next two came from Amazon ($4 each!) and Insurgent from B&N. I got it with the hopes that I could get it signed, along with the other two books, at the Divergent Red Carpet in Seattle, but because of a miscommunication, I missed the chance to meet Jai Courtney and Miles Teller (who are both incredibly talented and handsome!)

      NetGalley

      16429619

      The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

      I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about this book, so I can’t wait to dig in!

      Library

      157667761580686816248113

      Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff
      Towering by Alex Flinn
      The School For Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

      Three super cute fairy tales!

      Won

      1198804615792316

      Pivot Point by Kasie West
      Split Second by Kasie West

      I love Pivot Point, so I’m super excited to have copies of both books!

      Blogged This Week

  • The Fairy Tales Retold Challenge quarterly Link-Up is open until April 1st, and you can enter to win a fairy tale book, too
  • I reviewed the funtastic GOING ROGUE by Robin Benway
  • I joined Rachael’s Rapunzel Read-a-Thon
  • I review the dauntless film, DIVERGENT
  • I joined Brianna’s Write On Review-a-Thon
  • I showed off my new blog design
  • I joined Spring Bloggiesta, which was a ton of fun
  • I spread the word about AudioFile’s amazing Summer program, SYNC
  • I spread the word about the super cute GRIMMTASTIC GIRLS series

Read This Month

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Infinite by Jodi Meadows
The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare
Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstilstkin by Liesl Shurtliff
A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
Towering by Alex Flinn

Not nearly what I’d have hoped for, but finding reading time is hard these days!

Watch for Next Month

PicMonkey Collage

How was your week? Leave links in the comments below!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Why I’m Burnt Out From Dystopia

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This is a topic I’ve been dwelling on for a while. The last dystopian novel I read was Allegiant back in October of 2013. That sounds like just yesterday, but that’s 5 whole months! I generally love dystopia. I love discovering a broken universe and meeting fierce heroes and heroines who rise and take control of their situation. When I saw Divergent, I was instantly brought back to the memories of reading it back in 2011. The feelings of fear, and excitement, and empowerment. I think the theme of empowerment and the power of choice is really universal in most fiction, but most prevalently in dystopia. It challenges our beliefs about human society and makes us think. I think that’s why I’ve found it so appealing.

allegiant-book-cover-high-resBut, I’m getting sick of it. Something I realized when I read Allegiant was that deep down I like happy endings. I’m not spoiling anything, so don’t worry! I love when there is pain and conflict through the series, but by the end I want that to stop. The problem I’ve noticed in other dystopian series closers as well is the fact that there just can’t be a completely satisfying ending. I find myself hoping, praying that somebody will find a reset button and erase the results of whatever apocalyptic event lead to the formation of a dystopian society. That hasn’t happened yet in anything I’ve read. That would feel like too much of a cop-out anyway. I’m a pretty calm person, but I get mad at the end of a series like that, not because I don’t want to say goodbye to everything, but because I don’t feel the satisfaction of closure, and it will continue to nag at me for months to come.

That being said, I still hugely appreciate the impact of dystopian literature, especially in the troubled world we live in now. And I appreciate series enders. Yes, they leave me frustrated and unsettled and mad, but most that I’ve read end with an air of hope through them. Throughout the series the characters have grown and not just become aware of the world they live in, but made the choice to try to transform, change their world for the better. I guess that’s all anybody can hope for, because one person may be able to change the world, but it takes more than 3 books to see the full impact. I still don’t like to read dystopian series, because they’re emotionally draining and frustrating by nature, but I guess if I’m to feed this desire I’ll just have to learn to cope with the dissatisfaction of it all.

How do you feel about dystopian series enders?
Any series you recommend that have more closure?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Grimmtastic Girls Book Blast

I am not one for Book Blasts, but I had to make an exception for this adorable middle grade fairy tale series! I’m halfway through the first book and it is so cute!

About the Books: The Grimmtastic GirlsGrimmtastic Girls: Cinderella Stays Late

Book #1

Title: Grimmtastic Girls #1: Cinderella Stays Late
Authors: Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams
Publication Date: March 25, 2014
Publisher:
Scholastic Inc.
Pages:
192
Recommended Ages:
8 to 12
Summary: The authors of the hit Goddess Girls series put a fun and girly twist on another super-popular theme: fairy tales! Once upon a time, in faraway Grimmlandia... A Grimmtastic girl named Cinderella is starting her first week at Grimm Academy on the wrong foot. Cinda's totally evil stepsisters are out to make her life miserable. The Steps tease Cinda, give her terrible advice about life at the academy, and even make her look bad in front of her new friends, Red, Snow, and Rapunzel! But when Cinda overhears the Steps plotting a villainous deed that could ruin Prince Awesome's ball, Cinda, her new friends, and a pair of magical glass slippers have to stop them--before the last stroke of midnight!
 AmazonGoodreads    

Red Riding Hood Gets LostBook #2

Title: Grimmtastic Girls #2: Red Riding Hood Gets Lost
Authors: Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams
Publication Date: March 25, 2014
Publisher:
Scholastic Inc.
Pages:
192
Recommended Ages:
8 to 12
Summary: Red Riding Hood might have a terrible sense of direction, but her grimmtastic friends are always there to help! Once upon a time, in faraway Grimmlandia... Red Riding Hood is thrilled to try out for the school play. Acting is her dream, and she's great at it--too bad she has stage fright! After a grimmiserable audition, Red decides to focus on helping her friends Cinda, Snow, and Rapunzel save Grimm Academy from the E.V.I.L. Society. But when Red gets lost in Neverwood forest and runs into Wolfgang, who might be part of E.V.I.L., she needs her magic basket and a grimmazingly dramatic performance to figure out what's going on!
 AmazonGoodreads    

About the Authors: Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams

Joan Holub   Joan Holub has authored and/or illustrated more than 130 children's books, including Little Red Writing (illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Melissa Sweet) and Zero the Hero. She lives in NC and is online at www.joanholub.com

Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

    Suzanne Williams   Suzanne Williams is the author of nearly 50 books for children, including the award-winning picture book Library Lil (illustrated by Steven Kellogg). She lives near Seattle, WA and is online at www.suzanne-williams.com

Author Blog | Goodreads

    Co-authors Joan and Suzanne have written the Goddess Girls, Heroes in Training, and Grimmtastic Girls series. Though they live in different states and hardly ever get to see each other, they spend lots of time together in Grimmlandia.

Facebook (Grimmtastic Girls) | Facebook (Goddess Girls Books)

Online Author Visits

 

$50 Book Blast Giveaway

Amazon $50 Gift Card
Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)
Contest ends: April 23, 11:59 pm, 2014
Open: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the authors, Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Audiobook SYNC 2014 Titles!

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SYNC is coming back again this year! If you haven’t heard about SYNC before, it’s an amazing program that teams up with publishers to provide listeners with two free audiobooks a week; one Young Adult, and one Classic! This year they’ll be giving away 26 books over the course of 13 weeks! This year they have some pretty amazing choices! I’ve emboldened what I’ve read, and italicized the ones on my TBR list, though I’ll probably download them all anyway (:

May 15 – May 21
WARP: THE RELUCTANT ASSASSIN by Eoin Colfer, Narrated by Maxwell Caulfield (Listening Library)
THE TIME MACHINE by H.G. Wells, Narrated by Derek Jacobi (Listening Library)

May 22 – May 28
CRUEL BEAUTY by Rosamund Hodge, Narrated by Elizabeth Knowelden (Harper Audio)
OEDIPUS THE KING by Sophocles, Performed by Michael Sheen and a full cast (Naxos AudioBooks)

May 29 – June 4
CONFESSIONS OF A MURDER SUSPECT by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro, Narrated by Emma Galvin (Hachette Audio)
MURDER AT THE VICARAGE by Agatha Christie, Narrated by Richard E. Grant (Harper Audio)

June 5 – June 11
ALL OUR YESTERDAYS by Cristin Terrill, Narrated by Meredith Mitchell (Tantor Audio)
JULIUS CAESAR by William Shakespeare, Performed by Richard Dreyfuss, JoBeth Williams, Stacy Keach, Kelsey Grammer, and a full cast (L.A. Theatre Works)

June 12 – June 18
CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein, Narrated by Morven Christie and Lucy Gaskell (Bolinda Audio)
THE HIDING PLACE by Corrie Ten Boom, John Sherrill, Elizabeth Sherrill, Narrated by Bernadette Dunne (christianaudio)

June 19 – June 25
I’D TELL YOU I LOVE YOU, BUT THEN I’D HAVE TO KILL YOU by Ally Carter, Narrated by Renée Raudman (Brilliance Audio)
ANNE OF GREEN GABLES by Lucy Montgomery, Narrated by Colleen Winton (Post Hypnotic Press)

June 26 – July 2
FORGIVE ME LEONARD PEACOCK by Matthew Quick, Narrated by Noah Galvin (Hachette Audio)
OCTOBER MOURNING: A Song for Matthew Shepard by Lesléa Newman, Narrated by Emily Beresford, Luke Daniels, Tom Parks, Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd, Christina Traister (Brilliance Audio)

July 3 – July 9
TORN FROM TROY by Patrick Bowman, Narrated by Gerard Doyle (Post Hypnotic Press)
PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, Narrated by Jim Dale (Brilliance Audio)

July 10 – July 16
CLAUDETTE COLVIN: Twice Toward Justice by Philip Hoose, Narrated by Channie Waites (Brilliance Audio)
WHILE THE WORLD WATCHED by Carolyn Maull McKinstry with Denise George, Narrated by Felicia Bullock (Oasis Audio)

July 17 – July 23
THE CASE OF THE CRYPTIC CRINOLINE by Nancy Springer, Narrated by Katherine Kellgren (Recorded Books)
THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES II by Arthur Conan Doyle, Narrated by David Timson (Naxos AudioBooks)

July 24 – July 30
HEADSTRONG by Patrick Link, Performed by Deidrie Henry, Ernie Hudson, Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine and Scott Wolf (L.A. Theatre Works)
THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE by Robert Louis Stevenson, Narrated by Scott Brick (Tantor Audio)

July 31 – August 6
DIVIDED WE FALL by Trent Reedy, Narrated by Andrew Eiden (Scholastic Audio)
THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE by Stephen Crane, Narrated by Frank Muller (Recorded Books)

August 7 – August 13
LIVING A LIFE THAT MATTERS by Ben Lesser, Narrated by Jonathan Silverman and Ben Lesser (Remembrance Publishing)
THE SHAWL by Cynthia Ozick, Narrated by Yelena Shmulenson (HighBridge Audio)

2000003640065_p0_v1_s260x4206146zuPxuQL._SL500_AA300_PIaudible,BottomRight,13,73_AA300_9781478924821code-name-verityCruel-Beauty_imgresOedipus-the-King-9789626341773redbadgestarcatcherstime-machunnamedurl51p1yv0bzl-_sl500_aa300_91i0Z815cjL511Whh7U-3L._SL500_AA300_PIaudible,BottomRight,13,73_AA300_

I’m actually pleasantly surprised by the amount of plays they have. Usually I only see one, but there are three or four this year! And Peter and the Starcatchers is narrated by Jim Freakin’ Dale. (And it’s amazing!)

Any audiobooks you’re planning on downloading this Summer?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spring Bloggiesta Sign Up!

Spring Bloggiesta 2014

I’m excited to be doing Bloggiesta this year! My blog has been lacking for quite a while, but I have hope that between my new design and Bloggiesta, I can finally get back on my feet!

TO DO LIST

  • Write a lot of reviews (6, maybe?)
  • Schedule out two upcoming events (TOP SECRET!!!)
  • Update archives
  • Update labels
  • Update all pages/broken links
  • Update Amazon/Goodreads reviews
  • Comment like crazy!
  • Work on designs (Get a free blog design!)
  • Meet new people!

And since visiting others blogs, here are some additional goals of mine!

  • Schedule memes through April
  • Outline 3 discussion posts

What are your goals? Maybe you can help add to my list!

Friday, March 21, 2014

A new design!

I was bored one afternoon not long ago, and so I hopped onto my blog and decided on a whim to update my design. I loved my old design so much, but I thought that it needed some freshening up. After playing around with it, I ended up replacing it altogether. I’m going to miss my old design, but I’m excited for this new design! It’s a new color scheme, and that sort of thing excites me. Hopefully this theme is just what I need to launch myself into an exciting spring of blogging, after a sort of dull winter!

Please come visit, click around, and offer your brutally honest opinion!

Also, if you’re on the lookout for a new design, I’m looking for “beta testers” right now, before I start anything official. In other words, you’ll be my test dummy, and as a result you’ll have a shiny new blog!

design

Just email me with your request, and I’ll get going!

Write On Review-a-Thon March!

The Write On review-a-thon is a monthly event created and hosted by Brianna at The Book Vixen. It’s 2 days dedicated to getting reviews done, whether you have one review to write or 30+. This edition of the review-a-thon takes place all day Friday, March 21 and Saturday, March 22. Let’s get those reviews done!

I need to add these review-a-thons to my calendar! I’m joining halfway through, but I still hope to be productive! My goal is to write 6 reviews before the week is through. Not sure what they’ll be yet, but I have a huge list to choose from.

Thank you to Brianna for hosting!

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