Category Archives: Reading Challenge

Queen of Hearts

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I liked this cover. That’s it. I picked it up because of the cover. I kept reading it because of the characters. Zadie and Emma are friends from the very beginning of medical school. They were roommates and hit it off. At the start of the book you know something happened to them in their past, specifically their third year of med school. You don’t know who did what or why. Most of the book is figuring out what the heck happened. There are flashbacks from present day to med school that reveal bits and pieces as you go along. I love flashback books and multiple POV books. You get the perspective of Zadie and Emma, which is very helpful when things start going down. I liked it but I must say, I loved the characters so much I was a bit disappointed in the ending. One of them seemed to change so much and the other kind of laid down and took it. I didn’t feel like that was true to what I’d read about them throughout the beginning of book. But, I ended up liking it nonetheless. Great read, and good audio. Having listened and read, I can say that listening was much easier because each of the two characters had a different person reading. So you could tell when it was a Zadie chapter and when it was an Emma chapter. In the book, it wasn’t quite as obvious. Great summer reading (not fluff) and Modern Mrs. Darcy agrees because it’s on her Summer Reading Guide.

Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book that’s published in 2018

 

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Filed under 2018 Reading Challenge, adult, Audible, audiobooks, book review, fiction, Reading Challenge

All We Ever Wanted

And I’m back in the game! (90s movies, anyone?)

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While I was on vacation (which was great) I finished this book. I like Emily Giffin. I never got in to her Something Borrowed books, but I did read her other books Where We Belong, Heart of the Matter, and The One & Only. So I like her. I received this book from Netgalley and didn’t remember what it was about when I first started reading. I was a little put off by the conflict the book centers around, because it’s such a hot button issue in culture today. However, I think Giffin did a good job talking about it. She let all the characters have a POV chapter so you could see it from different angles without feeling like she was hitting you over the head with her morals. Very good book. Quick read. Not fluff, but definitely a summer read. It’s even on Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Summer List, so she agrees. This book will be released June 26, 2018.

Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book with song lyrics in the title (YouTube video here)

Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book about a problem facing society today (from the advanced challenge)

 

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Filed under 2018 Reading Challenge, adult, book review, current news, ebooks, fiction, netgalley, Reading Challenge

The Wedding Date

Apparently I jumped the gun on my vacation post. Because I just finished this book and it was so cute so I wanted to write and tell you about it.

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I was first attracted to this book because I love the movie with Debra Messing and Durmot Mulroney. It is not that movie. Alexa and Drew meet in a stuck elevator. Cliché, yes. But it worked in this book. They don’t have sex, they don’t do anything romantic, they just have a funny conversation. He then asks if she’ll be his date for the wedding of his x. She agrees and they have a great time. Then comes the romantic things. But it’s a normal relationship. It doesn’t immediately work and all is not fine and perfect. I appreciated that Guillory portrayed a long distance relationship so well. The characters were real and their relationship didn’t read like a perfectly tied bow. She added in some current news topics by making the characters a white man and black woman and also added in some political things by making Alexa the mayor’s chief of staff. Overall, I enjoyed it a lot. There are a lot of F bombs though. While that may be normal conversation for some, it was too much for my liking.

It’s on Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Summer List, so she agrees that it’s a good one.

BookRiot 2018 Read Harder Challenge : a romance novel by or about a person of color

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Arc of the Scythe trilogy

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Scythe, the first book in the Neal Shusterman trilogy, Arc of the Scythe, first came out in November of 2016. The second book, Thunderhead, just came out in January of 2018. I first heard about Scythe when it came out, it was a PW Best Book of 2016 and a SLJ Best Book of 2016 for teens. Exciting, right? I checked it out when I saw this and posted about the Best Books lists but didn’t read it. Then, an old friend from when I lived in Tennessee messaged me on Goodreads and said, read this book. So I did. Interestingly, she also said that she teaches Unwind (also a Shusterman book) to her high schoolers. So maybe I’ll investigate that too.

In my mind I had kept Scythe on the back burner for the same reason I avoided reading The Hunger Games. Now, I don’t want to compare these books to The Hunger Games, other than to say there’s violence and that’s why I avoided them. They are nothing like The Hunger Games. At all. I enjoyed Scythe and Thunderhead SO.MUCH.MORE than The Hunger Games. So much. They are so good.

Possible spoilers ahead. Quick setting explination. The cloud (yes, like Apple) has become something called the Thunderhead. It knows everything and has basically figured out how to run the world and keep people from dying. Therefore, a new occupation was formed called Scythes, people whose job it is to kill people in order to control the population etc. In book 1, Citra and Rowen are chosen to be Scythe apprentices. You quickly learn that this has apparently never been done before, having two apprentices, and it is decided that only one will survive. Moving on to book 2. I have inner feelings about the middle book in trilogies. That is not the case with this book. Book 2 might even be BETTER than book 1. No joke. I won’t tell you much about it other than to say, Citra has won the fight to be a Scythe, Rowen has turned into a semi-bad guy to everyone but Citra, and the real bad guy has taken over the world. It is the best.

I cannot wait for book 3. According to his timeline of release for books 1 & 2 it apparently takes him about 1 year and 2 months. Which means I have one more year to wait.

Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book about death or grief (Scythe)

Modern Mrs. Darcy 2018 Reading Challenge : a book by an author of a different race, ethnicity, or religion other than your own (Thunderhead)

 

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You Think It, I’ll Say It

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I received a copy You Think It, I’ll Say It, a book of stories, from Netgalley. And Lord, was I excited! I love Curtis Sittenfeld. Two years ago, I read Eligible which is a re-telling of Pride & Prejudice. It was hilarious. So I was very excited to read this new one of hers.

If you also liked Eligible, be aware that these stories are not funny. I was thinking it would be more like American Housewife, which was hilarious. But most of Sittenfeld’s stories are day in the life, fairly serious and thought provoking stories. I don’t care for the one that came from the book’s title but I really liked most of them. The title story is about a married woman with kids who plays a game called You Think It, I’ll Say It with a fellow dad at parties or sporting events where she rips on other people and he listens. For some reason she thinks this means they have a connection and she believes she’s in love with him. Meh. My favorite one was about this woman who’s obsessed with a celebrity and her social media accounts. This celeb is essentially described like The Pioneer Woman. The character is obsessed with her because in their early twenties they had an affair. And yet now, she’s married with 3 kids! What a hypocrite. It’s a great story.

I love how all of the stories feel well rounded and thought out and you really feel like you know the character and what they’re thinking and doing and even what they’ve been thinking and doing off the page before their story came to you. It’s such a great book. Highly recommended. The release date for this book is May 3, 2018.

Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book with an ugly cover

 

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Filed under 2018 Reading Challenge, adult, book review, fiction, netgalley, Reading Challenge, short stories

Precious Stone trilogy

I finished the Precious Stone trilogy. I had no idea it was called that until two seconds ago but I wrote about book one, Ruby Red, last week and I finished books two and three this week! I actually read Ruby Red in 2011 but went back to read it recently because all 3 books are out now. They weren’t back then and I don’t like waiting.

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Aren’t these covers divine? I adore them. Sapphire Blue is book 2 and Emerald Green is book 3. I read them both within a few days so I can’t remember what happens in each individually but basically, Gwyneth has found out she’s a time traveler in book 1. In book 2 she starts traveling with her cohort, Gideon, the male time traveler with the gene. Their alliance is run by a man named Count Saint-German, someone Gwyn has been told not to trust. She soon finds out why, with the help of her time traveling cousin (or is she) and her best friend. I won’t get into specifics of what their goal is because it’s too complicated to explain but eventually Gideon and Gwyneth work together to sabotage the Count’s plan, and they also fall in love. Of course. Because it’s a YA novel. Thankfully, there is not a love triangle. I highly recommend these books to anyone who likes YA and wants a good time travel / historical feel. I listened to them on audio, one from Audible and the others from Libby / Overdrive / Hoopla. The reader is great.

Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : the next book in a series you started (Sapphire Blue)

Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book about time travel (Emerald Green)

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Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

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I just finished Ruby Red, again. It was on sale on Audible for $4.99 a few weeks ago when they were having a sale for first books in a series. I had previously read it in 2011 (post here about how I was excited for book 2) and I received the advanced reader copy at ALA that year so I even own book 2!

Ruby Red is a German translation about Gwyneth, a sixteen year old in London who finds out she’s a time traveler! Her cousin, Charlotte, was the supposed ‘chosen one’ for the time traveling gene in her family but it turns out that was a mistake. Gwyneth knows nothing about time travel or the circle of time travelers she’s meant to meet in the past with the help of her traveling companion, Gideon. Everything in this story happens within the span of 2-5 days and book 2, Sapphire Blue, picks up exactly where book 1 ends, which I like. Because it’s so quick in time it also reads very quickly. I’m shoving on to book 2 right now, immediately so I don’t stall and crash like I did in 2011. I’m listening and have the print book at my house as a back up if I become enthralled. On a positive note, book 3, Emerald Green, has already been released whereas if I read them in 2011 I would have had to wait.

Modern Mrs. Darcy 2018 Reading Challenge : a in translation

Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book with alliteration in the title

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Filed under 2018 Reading Challenge, Audible, audiobooks, book review, fiction, Reading Challenge, young adult