WWW Wednesday – 10/24/18

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Three questions, three answers. Go!

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Paper Towns by John Green, although I will probably finish it today. I love that book so much and really needed a comfortable re-read after living in zombie land.

Also still reading In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce. Haven’t made much progress with that because I was trying to finish up reading some other things. Which leads me to . . .

What did you recently finish reading?

I finished reading Blackout by Mira Grant, the third book in the Newsflesh trilogy. I’ve read them all before, but they still pack an emotional punch. Really a testament to Grant’s writing, for sure.

Also finished reading An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green. That one, I think I will need to re-read it again to pick up all the nuances in it. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book quite like it.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m going to read something completely different that what I usually read – The Hanover Square Affair by Ashley Gardner. I don’t read a lot of mysteries and don’t think I’ve ever read any Regency fiction either, but this fit in with one of the tasks for the Seasonal Reading Challenge, so I figured I’d give it a go. I think I got it off BookBub a while back.

Happy reading everyone!

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Teaser Tuesday – 10/23/18

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Greetings, Internet! I am back after battling the plague last week with a Teaser Tuesday post!

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Purple Booker. Here are the rules if you want to play along:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

“That’s always seemed so ridiculous to me, that people want to be around someone because they’re pretty. It’s like picking your breakfast cereals based on color instead of taste.”

~ Margo Roth Spiegelman, Paper Towns by John Green

Needed a good comfort read that fit in with a Seasonal Reading Challenge task, so I went with John Green. And while this quote doesn’t really give much insight to the story, it does tell you a bit about one of the characters that is the focal point of the story. Plus, I just like it. She’s got a point, doesn’t she?

Got any good teasers to share? Leave them in comments!

WWW Wednesday – 10/10/18

WWW New

WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Three questions, three answers. Let’s go!

What are you currently reading?

Currently reading three books. I finally started An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green. It’s so good, y’all. I can honestly say that it is different from anything I’ve ever read before. I’m really enjoying it. Also reading Deadline by Mira Grant, book 2 in the Newsflesh series. Also very good, but a re-read for me, so I knew it would be. The third book I am currently reading is In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce, book 2 in the Song of the Lioness series. I had read this series before, but only the first two books. It’s been a while, so a re-read was necessary. Once I start book 3, I’ll be in all new territory.

What did you recently finish reading?

Well, of course I just finished Feed by Mira Grant, as part of my Newsflesh re-read for October (gotta have spooky zombies for Halloween!). I also finished Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson. It was really good, but I still think I liked Furiously Happy even more. You honestly can’t go wrong with either one though. Both are good.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Definitely Blackout by Mira Grant and The Woman Who Rides Like a Man by Tamora Pierce, the next books in both of the series I’m working on. Other than that, I’m not sure. You know what? I might go through some of my TBR and put up a poll. Let the Interwebs decide my next read! What could go wrong!

Happy reading everybody!

Top Tens and Teasers – 10/9/18

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic:

Top Ten Longest Books I’ve Ever Read

At first, I wasn’t sure how to determine this, but then found a way to sort my GoodReads list by the number of pages in each book. That’s nifty! It’s also pretty funny when you look at it. See if you see a theme here.

  1. A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin (1177 pages)
  2. A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin (1125 pages)
  3. A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin (1061 pages)
  4. A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin (1010 pages)
  5. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke (1006 pages)
  6. Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey (901 pages)
  7. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (870 pages)
  8. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (848 pages)
  9. Winter by Marissa Meyer (827 pages)
  10. The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray (819 pages)

So yeah, is it any wonder that it takes GRRM so long to write books! They’re huge! I have to say, though – it does not feel like a huge book when you read it. Those books are fast paced and a whirlwind. Keeps right on moving.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Purple Booker. Here are the rules if you want to play along:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

So here’s a really stupid thing about the world: The trick to looking cool is not caring whether you look cool. So the moment you achieve perfect coolness is simultaneously the moment that you actually, completely don’t care. I didn’t care about the gravitas of that TV show, and the freedom and security and confidence that came with that was a rush. It took me a while to realize that the feeling I was feeling was power.

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

I can honestly say that this book is unlike anything I’ve ever read. I am enjoying it quite a bit.

Got any good teasers this week? Read any really long books? Let me know in comments!

Wake up, it’s Monday! – 10/8/18

But I don’t want to.

Seriously, sleeping in would have felt sooooooo good this morning! Alas, it’s not meant to be.

In this random post, I want to talk about a dream that I had. This post might get a bit personal. The dream has made me think a lot this past week about a lot of things, in that random way dreams do. I’ll explain.

In the dream, I was waking up from a nap, but I was not in my house or any other home I’ve ever lived in. I was sleeping on a couch, curled up at the end, using an arm rest as a pillow. The couch was not in a house or an apartment – it was in a library. The library didn’t seem to be open – the lights were mostly off except for a few. It took me a few minutes, but I soon realized that I recognized the library as the one that I worked at when I was in college. I didn’t remember a couch being in that spot, but I did remember the room I was in.

I look over and notice that I’m not alone sleeping on this couch. This is the weird part. My ex-husband was sleeping on the other side of the couch, slouched down, his head resting on the back of it, snoring lightly. That’s when I should have known it was a dream – he never snored that quiet! Before I could even process this, I hear someone running towards me. I look up and see my daughter, arms outstretched, a big smile on her face. Only it’s not her now, as a teenager. She looks like she’s maybe seven or eight years old. I ask her what she’s doing there and she throws her arms around me, tells me she missed me, and that grandma “brought her early.” I look up and see my mom walking behind her. She waves at me. My ex wakes up. And then I wake up, for real.

So, a lot to unpack here.

While I’m not necessarily a person who believes that ever dream is meaningful, I haven’t been able to get this one out of my mind, so I’ve been trying to process it. The only thing I can come up with so far is that I am feeling very nostalgic for a particular part of my life, which the location of this dream would point to. I loved being in college. I loved everything about the environment, which is part of why I had originally never wanted to leave. I wanted to either be a professor once I got my Master’s degree, or to come back and work at the library as a regular employee. Neither of those things ever happened for me, and I’m starting to realize that they most likely never will. It’s next to impossible for me to ever get my Master’s and I would need one for either one of those scenarios.

This also fits with seeing my daughter as a happy little girl. As much as I was stressed as a parent back then, it is so much harder now! I worry constantly about her mental health, her safety, her school, not to mention the fact that the world is getting to be a much more negative place. I do miss when she was little, but mostly I miss how easy it was to make her happy. This has been an ongoing thing with me. I see a cute little outfit in a store and literally start crying. I would give anything to go back to that time and spend more time with her.

The only thing that doesn’t quite fit here is my ex-husband (yeah, he didn’t quite fit in my life either). I don’t miss him or miss being married to him. At all. Those eight years were some of the hardest of my life. The only thing I can think of is that maybe I miss him living closer because of our shared kid. He lives several states away and it has put a mental toll on our daughter and, as such, put a toll on me as well. I don’t miss him as a husband, but maybe I miss him as a father since he is missing out on so much.

I don’t think my mom in the background represents much other than the fact that she is always there in my life. With everything I have been through, she has been my constant, my rock.

So maybe this dream is just a way of acknowledging things that have been and finding a way to say goodbye to them. Saying goodbye is always hard, but maybe it’s just time. Time to accept that this is where life has taken me and, even though it’s not where I thought I would end up, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good place.

 

Book Review: My So-Called Afterlife

** WARNING – MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD **

Honestly, there’s no way to review this otherwise, so read at your own risk.

18 ThingsTitle(s): 18 Things, 18 Truths, and 18 Thoughts

Author: Jamie Ayres

Series: My So-Called Afterlife trilogy

Edition: Kindle e-books

Blurb (1st book only): Olga Gay Worontzoff thinks her biggest problems are an awful name and not attending prom with Conner, her best friend and secret crush since kindergarten.

Then, Conner is killed in a freak boating accident and Olga feels responsible for his death.

When she downs an entire bottle of pills to deal with the emotional pain, her parents force her into counseling. There, her therapist writes a prescription in the form of a life list titled “18 Things”: eighteen quests to complete the year of her eighteenth birthday.

But there’s more to Olga’s quests than meets the eye and when her therapist reveals a terrifying secret, her world is shaken.

There’s only one thing she knows for certain: her choices won’t just affect her future, but all eternity.

Review (for the series): Okay. It is rare that the first book of the series throws me completely for a loop, but this one did. To be honest, I didn’t really get into the first book. I thought it was sweet and life-affirming in a somewhat overly saccharine sort of way. A young girl almost commits suicide due to the guilt of not being able to save her friend from dying in an accident and comes up with a list of 18 things to do before her 18th birthday to teach her how to live. Her other friends rally around her, including one who was previously an enemy who she makes peace with, and they all graduate high school. Happy ever after, the end.

OR IS IT!!

18 TruthsHere comes the big spoiler for book one, so be prepared

No, actually it’s not it. See, I didn’t think this was a fantasy/paranormal book until the very, very end. It read like just a regular contemporary Christian fiction (Olga is very devout Catholic). Then comes the last few chapters, where you find out that Olga actually did die when she swallowed the pills and this whole year has been her in Limbo preparing to go into the afterlife. And the new guy, Nate, that she met soon after the accident? He’s dead too. The first book ends with them deciding to become spirit guides (like their therapist was – another late book reveal).

I was completely blindsided by this. Literally had no clue that was the direction we were headed. Like I said, it reads like a completely different genre, and then suddenly, we’re off to heaven. Or at least, the afterlife.

Of course, if I head read the GoodReads page, it is clearly listed as fantasy/paranormal. But still.

The second book involves Olga and Nate learning how to become spirit guides and being given their first charge – the daughter of the therapist who helped them. I have to say, this version of the afterlife is a very interesting take, especially as a version of Christianity. There are angels (including one that seems to crush on Olga a bit, which I did think was weird), but there’s also this very business-like atmosphere to it. Olga finds out that Conner, who did die for real, is not in this Limbo area, but is in Juvie, which is sort of a step down. He wasn’t as devout, so he is in a boot camp sort of situation (I think). Olga wants to rescue him, or at least see him again and make sure he doesn’t blame her for the accident. Unfortunately, she has to make a deal with a demon (yep, they’re in here too) in order to make it happen.

18 ThoughtsThis is one of the things I didn’t necessarily like as much. Conner has apparently always loved Olga, but never told her. Seriously, folks. Tell people how you feel. It makes things so much simpler. The problem is that Olga and Nate sort of became a couple during their faux senior year. So here we have the classic YA love triangle. Except, you know, they’re all dead.

In the third book, Olga, Nate, and Conner actually get the chance to do everything over again. It was a bit convenient and contrived, but I forgave it because it made things very interesting. So Conner never died in the boating accident, so Olga never took the pills. And Nate survived his unrelated car accident, and still moved to Olga’s town. Except Conner has changed. He is reckless and lewd and downright awful.

Guess who has a demon stowaway!

Conner has some moments where he is able to get away from the demon, Samuel, and tell Olga that he is not always the one in control. They don’t know about the demon, so book three is all about them figuring out what is happening and finding a way to get rid of Samuel and seal him away. Which, of course, they do, but it was still very exciting.

So yeah. This nice, sweet contemporary YA book series turned into angels and demons and a fight between Heaven and Hell. And I have to say, it was pretty enjoyable. Some things were obvious and a bit overly done, but there were also lots of twists and turns that kept you guessing.

GoodReads rating: 4 stars for each book

 

WWW Wednesday – 10/3/18

WWW New

WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Sam at Taking On a World of Words. Three questions, three answers. Let’s go!

What are you currently reading?

Still reading Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson, although I should finish it today. This is her first book, although I actually think I liked Furiously Happy a bit better? I’ve enjoyed both of them though. She is a really interesting and odd person, in the best way.

Also started a re-read of Feed by Mira Grant, partly because it’s been a few years since I’ve read this series, and partly because it’s October, and what better time of year to read about your favorite zombies!

What did you recently finish reading?

I finished the three books in the Splintered series by A.G. Howard. I love these books so much, and hadn’t read them in a while. They may have even inspired me a bit, but more on that later.

I also finished Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro, who you all know I adore, and oh boyo! This book was wonderful and terrible and made me feel all the emotions. I am hoping to be able to form a coherent review at some point, because I have so much to say. And yes, this is a recommendation. This is a book everyone should read. Like, now.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Definitely Deadline by Mira Grant, to continue in that series. I do plan on reading the entire thing, because you can’t just stop at the end of Feed. It’s impossible. Can’t be done.

Also, and I’m very excited about this, I will start reading An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green. You know I’m a big fan of John Green’s books, and I’ve loved the Vlogbrothers since day one, so I am really looking forward to reading Hank’s first published novel.

That’s what I’m reading this week! How about you?