November 21, 2018

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas Review

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is how you set up a series! I love the characters so far, and the love interest plot line is not overdone. There are several plots going on within the book, but they don't overshadow each other, rather they work together to further the main plot line.

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Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas Review

Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass, #7)Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It truly is the end of an era. Maas has outdone herself in this final book of the TOG series and I cannot day enough good things about it. The character development is insanely amazing, there are so many twists and turns (I didn’t see a single one coming, honestly), and her writing style is unparalleled! It’s cliche but accurate to say I laughed, I cried, I felt every emotion. I’m always amazed by the fact that SJM can make us feel for fictional characters- probably because we’ve had 6 books and a handful of novellas leading up to this. I recommend this to everyone, period.

In a word, this book is ICONIC.

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November 10, 2018

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer Review

Twilight (Twilight, #1)Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I’m giving this one star instead mostly because you can’t give something zero stars, and partially because it was a little less horrific than I remember. That being said, it’s still pretty horrific. I picked up the first three books of this series when our library was having a sale; I bought all three for $2.00. Probably paid too much, to be perfectly honest.

I’m not sure why I decided to re-read this series, but I needed something different from my typical go-to novels. Let me tell you- this was the wrong book to pick up. The first time I read this, I was 15 (a freshmen in high school), and I distinctly remember being creeped out by Edward. He’s not the charming, passionate boyfriend everyone wants him to be... he’s a psychopath with some serious mental problems. I guess that makes him perfect for Bella, since she’s just as insane! Needless to say, the characters irritate me and their thoughts/ actions really don’t make much sense (the book doesn’t make much sense though, so... there’s that...).

Moving on to the writing itself. This is definitely one of the most poorly written and edited books I’ve read. I wish I was kidding. I can only handle so many misspelled words in one book; I feel like the editors couldn’t be bothered to mention any of the typos or plot holes, for that matter, before publishing. I guess Meyer wrote the second half of this book first, and then backtracked. I’m not sure how it’s possible, but the first half is actually better than the second. It really just falls flat for me, and I’m not sure why I’m torturing myself by re-reading these books.

Overall, this series is a train wreck from the beginning. It’s horribly written, the characters are incredibly annoying, and it’s just not entertaining. I was able to read it quickly mostly due to the fact that it’s written on such a low level. If you need something to pass the time, and you’re into shitty romance novels without any action or steamy moments, this would be perfect for you. Otherwise, I wouldn’t recommend it to a friend. I’m thinking about re-reading New Moon only because I want to see if it goes up from here. But I definitely need a break before I start it... if I start it.

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Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas Review

Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass, #6)Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have to be honest- I wasn’t overly enthusiastic when I first saw this book in the library only because Chaol was one of my least favorite characters in this series. I was really indifferent about him (but I don’t hate the guy) until I read this book. The beginning was a little slow for me, but I think that has a lot to do with the fact that I read Empire of Storms so long ago. It usually takes me a few chapters to get back into someone’s style. That being said, I’m obsessed with this series and Sarah J. Maas is definitely my favorite author!! I don’t know what else to say other than she’s a genius and I adore her writing so, so much. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book, regardless of which series it belongs to.

One important note- I didn’t realize this was a parallel novel to Empire of Storms, which is probably why I was so confused when I first picked it up. The events in this book happen at the same time as the events in EoS, so keep that in mind. Don’t be silly like me and expect to find anything new until the end. No spoilers, I promise!

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Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard Review

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

One of my friends asked me if this book was worth finishing (she’s about halfway through). To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure if I’ll be picking up the next book in this series or not. I remember trying to read it two or three times over summer break, and I just wasn’t 100% sold on the plot or the characters. I read a lot of young adult fiction and I have to say- this isn’t the worst, but it’s pretty run-of-the-mill, as far as dystopian novels go. It’s not the worst, but it’s definitely not the best. The ideas are there (shout out to Emily for that line!) and it seems like an interesting story. The ending feels a bit rushed and the plot twists at the end are interesting but not satisfying for me, personally.

SJM has spoiled me... I hold authors to such high standards now that I’ve read her beautiful novels. I would recommend Sarah J. Maas, Marie Lu, and Leigh Bardugo if you’re looking for some awesome YA picks!

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A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas Review

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wasn't sure if I was going to give this 4 or 5 stars, but the twists at the end bumped it up. Honestly, it got a little slow in the middle and didn't pick up again until the last 100 or so pages. Some of the plot twists are extremely predictable; however, the final turn did surprise me. I'm excited for the next book in the series!! I love Maas' writing style (which I'm sure I've mentioned before) simply because she can write so many different scenes and convey so many different emotions. The character development is spot on. Feyre's inner turmoil incredible, and I like that I had a connection to the majority of the characters. I'm invested for sure :)

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A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas Review

A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3.1)A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don't care what anyone says- this book is necessary and I love the fact that Sarah took the time to include it in the series! Yes, it's a novella. No, that doesn't change the fact that I absolutely adored it and will continue to reread it for years to come. I can't say enough good things about Maas' world-building, writing style, character development... it's all fantastic. I'm sure my fiance is tired of hearing me go on and on about this series, but I cannot recommend it enough. I know this series isn't for everyone, and it seems like the Throne of Glass series is a little more popular with people here on Goodreads, but I know both series have a massive following at this point. Either way, give this series a try if you're looking for your new favorite book.

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Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Vol. 1 by Naoko Takeuchi Review

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Vol. 1 (Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Renewal Edition, #1)Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Vol. 1 by Naoko Takeuchi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This brought me back to my childhood and allowed me to relive some of my most favorite memories. I absolutely adore this series and I can’t wait to pick up the next few volumes from the library. I don’t know if I can give this an unbiased review, but as far as mangas go, this is definitely one of my top five! I love Chrno Crusade and Chobits too, and I’m not sure that I would ever be able to choose my favorite even out of those three.

I know I’ll be giving this entire series 5 stars. Just a heads up.

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A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas Review

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh. My. Gosh! I'm so glad this one was recommended to me (thanks Rose!); I wasn't really sure I would like this book just based on the premise, but it turned out to be one of my favorites! Maas is one of the best young adult writers I've ever read, and she definitely knows how to write a steamy (but not overly ridiculous or cheesy) sex scene. I definitely recommend this to anyone and everyone who enjoys a good fantasy book!

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From Here to Eternity by Caitlin Doughty Review

From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good DeathFrom Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death by Caitlin Doughty
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I cannot, for the life of me, remember where I discovered this book (possibly Goodreads or Facebook; maybe Instagram?), but I’m so glad I picked it up!! I haven’t had to face death on a personal level (luckily and unluckily, I guess) until recently. Death isn’t something we should fear- we need to discuss it, confront it, and most importantly, accept it. I love the format of this book because we get to see a number of different burial and grieving processes from around the world. This truly made me question some of our modern/ westernized thoughts on the funeral industry, and I recommend everyone checking this out. Read it with an open mind and remember to be accepting of other cultures.

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Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers Review

Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin, #2)Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I honestly can't remember exactly why I gave this book three stars (that's what I get for writing reviews months after finishing a book... sorry, guys...), but I'm sure it has something to do with it not being the most memorable book. I like that LaFevers switches up the point of view and focuses on a different character's story for each book; she still includes the characters from the previous book, which is a plus. This series has a few twists but the plot is pretty predictable throughout. Because there are so many YA writers out there and it seems like everything has been done at this point, I have to say- this author makes her writing and characters stand out from the pack. I do like this series and I plan to finish it. I think I just need to take a step back and try something different before I return to this one. Overall, I would recommend this to someone looking for a quick, easy read that focuses on strong female characters in a Medieval setting.

I think I'm just spoiled from Sarah J. Maas and George R. R. Martin and I'm holding everyone to such a high standard. Not necessarily a bad thing, just something to keep in mind.

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Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers Review

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is my first book from this author, and I have to say- I’m loving now different this series is! Historic fiction isn’t normally my cup of tea, but I’m trying to expand my horizons. Even though the plot is slightly predictable, the characters are more interesting than most and the twists keep the reader hooked. Thankfully, there isn’t too much mushy, romantic stuff (again, not my thing); there is a love interest, but it’s not the focal point of the story. Just a small subplot, really. I’m interested in the new two books in the trilogy because the story is told from the perspective of two different characters we met in this book (no spoilers!). Overall, I enjoyed it and will definitely be checking out the next two books!

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Circe by Madeline Miller Review

CirceCirce by Madeline Miller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 stars

I enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would! I saw it on the “new fiction” display in our local library and I had been wanting to read it since Jean (aka Bookishthoughts) recommended it on her YouTube channel. I’m into Greek mythology and I’ve read “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey,” but it’s been awhile since I’ve actually studied anything. Honestly, that didn’t stop me from loving this story. I’m sure it would be beneficial to read up on some of the characters (Circe, Odysseus, Helios, and the other major characters, maybe) just to get even more out of the book. Anyone can enjoy it, regardless of your background knowledge, because Miller does such an excellent job building the world and developing the characters. The plot was a little slow in the beginning and through parts of the middle, which is why I couldn’t give it 5 stars. Either way, this book was incredible and I’ll definitely be checking out Song of Achilles asap!

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July 8, 2018

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate Review

The One and Only IvanThe One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this in order to prep our fourth grade reading unit. My students absolutely loved this book! They would constantly as to read it during the day, and they were disappointed when we had to stop reading (which is definitely not the norm for my kiddos!). This book really got my students thinking and talking to one another about so many different topics, like animal cruelty, zoos, and captivity. I know they learned a lot from this book and they had wonderful conversations with one another. I love this book because it allows children to ask and answer questions about their own morals and feelings regarding complex concepts. I would definitely recommend this book for any fourth or fifth grader (some third grade students may also find this engaging). Can be read independently or aloud, depending on the child’s reading level.

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Dark Matter by Blake Crouch Review

Dark MatterDark Matter by Blake Crouch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 stars

This is something I would typically read, so I’m surprised to say that this was one of the better books I’ve read this year! It’s not my favorite, but it was well written and entertaining to say the least. I’m not sure how I feel about the ending and some of the major plot points felt a little rushed, while others dragged on a little too long. I don’t want to say too much about it because that’s half the fun of this book- you’re left in the dark for a while but you slowly start to figure out exactly what’s going on.

It’s strange and different, which was exactly what I needed when I read this. If you’re into science-fiction or you need something completely different from what you’ve been reading, give this one a try.

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Warcross by Marie Lu Review

Warcross (Warcross, #1)Warcross by Marie Lu
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

I’m writing this review months after reading this book (its July as I type this...) because I dropped the ball on writing reviews. Sorry!! But I’m back and ready to go!

Anyway, this book was well written and I did enjoy the story for the most part. It fell a little flat for me, only because the characters don’t really grow or change much, and the story was pretty predictable. I know I’m not the target audience, so I try not to comment on the content of these books, but I’m so over the romance aspects of the YA genre. It wasn’t the main focus of the book, but Lu focused on the love story a little too often for me.

If you’re into action/ adventure novels with a romantic twist, I’m sure you would love this book! I’m not sure if there are more books in this series, but I’ll probably give the second one a chance later on this year. I’m trying to expand my horizons and read more widely instead of only sticking to YA fiction. Wish me luck!

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Closer Reading by Nancy N. Boyles Review

Closer Reading, Grades 3-6: Better Prep, Smarter Lessons, Deeper ComprehensionCloser Reading, Grades 3-6: Better Prep, Smarter Lessons, Deeper Comprehension by Nancy N. Boyles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I participated in a professional development book club this past school year, and I have to say, I’m so glad I was able to discuss the close reading strategies (and rationale supporting those strategies) presented in this book with fellow reading teachers. I’m not kidding when I say every new teacher should read this text, and I’m not really sure why we didn’t read it in college. As a reading teacher in a Title 1 school, I have students who are several years below a fourth grade reading level. The strategies suggested in this book have already proven to be beneficial for my students, and I can’t wait to see even bigger changes when I implement these same strategies at the beginning of this coming school year.

Definitely check this book out if you have any questions about what close reading is or how to implement effective close reading steadies within the classroom. Sorry for the nerdy teacher post- I just love this book!

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Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden Review

Memoirs of a GeishaMemoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was my second time reading this book, and my first time reading it as an adult. I remember liking this book when I was a teenager, but I have even more appreciation for it now that I’m older (and sort of wiser, I guess). The storytelling is absolutely beautiful, the characters are dynamic and relatable, and the overall plot is magnificent. Seriously, I can’t say enough good things about this book. One of my teacher friends mentioned that this was her favorite book, so I had to re-read it to see if it was as good as I remembered. It surpassed my expectations, which says a lot considering how critical I am of most literature!!

I have a weird habit of wanting to know everything there is to know about certain topics. When I was a kid, I was obsessed with Japanese culture; as an adult, I’m still obsessed. My fiancĂ© and I would love to travel to Japan, and this book caused us to add more destinations to our dream vacation itinerary. I will definitely be adding even more books to my TBR pile as well :)

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Thor: God of Thunder, Volume 2: Godbomb by Jason Aaron Review

Thor: God of Thunder, Volume 2: GodbombThor: God of Thunder, Volume 2: Godbomb by Jason Aaron
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s safe to say that Jason Aaron is quickly becoming my favorite comic book artist/ author (still don’t know what their actual titles are...). I’m still new to the world of comic books, but I can definitely see why people are obsessed with them! Like I said in my last review, the artwork is amazing and I love the overarching plot line. The subplots are great, too, and add a lot to the story. I’m taking a short break from comics but I will pick up more in the near future.

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Thor: God of Thunder, Volume 1: The God Butcher by Jason Aaron Review

Thor: God of Thunder, Volume 1: The God ButcherThor: God of Thunder, Volume 1: The God Butcher by Jason Aaron
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Shockingly, this is the first comic I’ve ever read (besides manga, if you consider it to be in the same genre as comics), and I absolutely loved it!! I’m not surprised that I fell in love with this as soon as I picked it up- the artwork is phenomenal, and the story lines are incredible. One of my fiancĂ©’s friends recommended this author/ artist (what do you call them??) to me. I will definitely be checking out more of this series, as well as different Marvel comics throughout the year. I really enjoyed it and it was a quick read. 10/10 would recommend to a friend!

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Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse Review

Out of the DustOut of the Dust by Karen Hesse
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If you need something depressing and heart-wrenching, this is the novel for you! Obviously anything written about the Dust Bowl/ the Depression is going to be at least a little sad, but this is just downright ghastly. Yes, you should read it because it is a work of art. Be warned, though: you’ll need a whole lot of tissues and chocolate to make you feel better after you’ve finished this book.

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Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo Review

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 stars

I’ve been slacking on my reviews, so I’m writing this in July instead of in March like I should have. I remember loving this book, and the series as a whole mostly because I enjoy the mythology aspect of it. The author draws on Russian mythology and religion, which I don’t know much about; that being said, she does a wonderful job incorporating it in a way that makes sense to someone without that knowledge. This was one of my favorite books so far this year!

This is the problem with writing reviews months later- I don’t know what else to say. I would recommend this book/ series/ author to anyone who enjoys YA fantasy (or fantasy in general), or anyone looking for something unique. This isn’t your typical teen fantasy with lots of romance involved. There’s a love interest, for sure, but it wasn’t overwhelming or overdone, in my opinion. I would love to read more books from this author in the future :)

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When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon Review

When Dimple Met RishiWhen Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Most romance/ love stories are not my style, but I absolutely loved this book! I seriously cannot say enough good things about it- I love that the perspective switches between Dimple and Rishi’s point of view, without getting cheesy or too predictable. There are some awesome plot twists that I didn’t see coming. Oh, and did I mention that this is an emotional rollercoaster? Well, it is. Overall, it’s a heartwarming story that manages to address so many relevant cultural and social issues in about 400 pages. Seriously, check this out ASAP and you can thank me later!

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February 12, 2018

The One by Kiera Cass Review

The One (The Selection, #3)The One by Kiera Cass
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Audiobook 3.5 stars

I enjoy listening to this series while I'm working around the house or driving to work. The chapters are fairly short, and the plot is easy enough to follow over a period of time. I find myself putting this series aside to read my physical books more often than not, but it's only because I'm still getting used to audiobooks. Thank goodness for the Kindle app and the amazing Fayetteville Public Library!

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The Elite by Kiera Cass Review

The Elite (The Selection, #2)The Elite by Kiera Cass
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Audiobook 3.5 stars

This particular book wasn't the most memorable I've read so far this year, but it wasn't half bad! These books are perfect for listening to over a few weeks or so because the plot is easy to follow, but Cass holds my interest throughout the entire book. The Elite was a little slower paced for me (that might be partially due to the fact that I took so long to read the whole thing... January was crazy!) which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'm looking forward to seeing how this story ends.

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January 17, 2018

The Selection by Kiera Cass Review

The Selection (The Selection, #1)The Selection by Kiera Cass
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I never read the synopsis or summaries of books, whether I listen to them, read them on my Kindle app, or read the actual book. I have no idea why- I guess I just never got into the habit of doing it. Maybe it's because I don't want to have any preconceived notions about a book before I can form my own opinion of it? Who knows!

That being said, I assumed this book was similar to the Hunger Games based on the title and cover photo. I listened to this on one of my library apps, and I have to say, it wasn't what I was expecting and THAT'S TOTALLY OKAY! The plot itself is kind of bland and it's pretty predictable (a common characteristic of Young Adult novels, obviously), and the characters don't really do much. They don't develop or change in any dramatic way like I was hoping they might. After thinking about this book for a few days, I've decided that it wasn't awful, but it's not something I normally gravitate towards. It reminds me of The Bachelor meets Mean Girls meets Big Brother (if BB was PG). Again, not my cup of tea, but not bad. If you like catty, dramatic teenage characters who don't know what they want in life, give this one a go. I'm listening to the second book now and so far it's not nearly as good as the first. I only gave this one three stars because I feel bad giving books two star reviews.

Honestly, it's not poorly written; it's just not my style.

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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Review

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm such a huge fan of Leigh Bardugo's Grisha series that I had to check this out as soon as it was available at my library. The wait was definitely worth it! If you haven't read any of her books and you're into fantasy/ magic/ dystopian-feeling Young Adult novels, go check out or buy every single one of her books asap. This series is such a departure from her Grisha series, which I'm totally okay with- there are still aspects of that series in these books, but she does a great job balancing everything out. What I mean by that is the books are different enough that they don't bleed together but they are set in the same world (different years, though).

I never compare authors to one another (it's just not fair), but Bardugo is on the same level as Sarah J. Maas, in my mind. Not that they're similar besides the fact that they both write within the fantasy YA genre. I just truly think these women are both insanely talented and do a wonderful job of bringing their characters to life. Definitely one of the best books I've read in awhile!

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Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie Review

Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10)Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

This was my first audiobook of the year, and my third audiobook to date. I'm still not entirely sure if I would ever switch over to audiobooks completely, but it is a nice change when I don't have a ton of time. I love the fact that I can listen to something in my car on the way to work or while I'm waiting in traffic on 95. That being said, I don't always devote 100% of my attention to the book, so I find myself not enjoying it as much as I think I would if I were reading it. Hopefully that last sentence made a little bit of sense... In other words, I still love reading a book with my own eyes much more than I enjoy listening to a book. But I totally see the benefits of audiobooks, so I'll keep experimenting with them!

Ok, on to the actual novel. I really enjoyed the first part of this story where the murder is set up and we meet all the characters. I should probably mention that this is my first Agatha Christie, so take my thoughts and opinions with a grain of salt. If you're looking for a classic murder-mystery, this is definitely something for you! I'm not complete sure if this is a genre I will fall in love with, but I will be checking out more mysteries in the near future (especially more Christie novels). Like I mentioned before, I didn't pay close attention the entire time, so the ending came as a complete shock to me. I'm not totally sure if anyone could guess the ending in its entirety, honestly. Creative, enjoyable, and easy to listen to/ read. I liked it, but it wasn't my favorite.

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The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo Review

The Tiger RisingThe Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I will be reading this book with my fourth graders this year, and I could not be more excited! My kids really enjoy Kate DiCamillo's writing (I can see why) and there are tons of literary elements to discuss. This is my second DiCamillo, and I have to say that I'm really looking forward to reading some more of her books- she has a minimalist style, making every word count without overwhelming the reader. Again, there is a lot to discuss- particularly the symbolism of the tiger to each of the different characters- but DiCamillo is able to present a beautiful, heart-breaking, and inspiring story that anyone could enjoy. I'll update this post with my kiddos' thoughts as soon as we finish it :)

Overall, this book is well-written, thought-provoking, and just an amazing piece of literary excellence. Do yourself a favor and pick up some children's literature once in a while- it'll surprise you!

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January 1, 2018

What I'm Reading 2018

Hello again (or hello for the first time!), and Happy New Year!!

I always look forward to this time of year for a few different reasons.  First and foremost, January 1st means I can stop stressing about the holidays and focus on moving forward and starting the new year off right.  Secondly, I get to start my 2018 reading challenge!

If you've even glanced at the posts on this blog, you probably already know that I'm a huge bookworm and reading is such an important aspect of my life.  Because I teach English and Language Arts at a Title 1 school, it's crucial for me to not only genuinely have a passion for reading, but to show my kiddos that reading can change your life (super cliche, I know...).

All that to say, I take my reading challenges seriously, and I always document my progress throughout the year.  Whenever I finish and review a book, I post that review on here and my Goodreads; I also update this page as a sort of checklist to keep myself on track.

I'm trying to keep this short, but there's always so much to say!  Ok, here's a few things you need to know if you haven't kept up with my challenges in the past:

  • I link each review in this post, so just click on the title if you'd like to know my thoughts about the book.
  • I don't usually re-read anything, but if I do, I'll mark it with an asterisks (*).
  • Audiobooks are noted. 
  • Sometimes I cheat a little bit, sorry not sorry.
All jokes aside, I really do enjoy setting these reading goals for myself each year.  I want to broaden my horizons this year and read more books outside of my typical go-to genres.  Recently, I've been reaching for a lot of young adult fantasies (Sarah J. Maas was huge for me in 2017) and historical fiction (the Outlander series, in particular), so I'm looking to read more widely this time around.  

One last thing: I've never actually completed a themed challenge, but I have completed my reading goal each year for the past 5 years!  We can't break the streak now!!  I just wanted to push myself a little bit further so I can become a more well-read person.

I've done enough talking (typing??), so let's just move straight on into the reading challenge!  Oh, and if you want to check out my reading challenges from previous years, I have everything linked for you below :)

2018 Reading Challenge
Goal: 30 books (edit- 40 as of 10/5/18)
I found this challenge on Modern Mrs. Darcy's site, and it looked like something I could accomplish without overwhelming myself.  She also has some wonderful tips on how to get more out of your reading life, if you're interested!
* = re-read
1. A classic you've been meaning to read
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (audiobook)

2. A book recommended by someone with great taste
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas* (One of my best friends, Rose, recommended this book to me years ago!)

3. A book in translation
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Vol. 1 by Naoko Takeuchi 

4. A book nominated for an award in 2018
Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas (Goodreads Choice 2018 nominee)

5. A book of poetry, a play, or an essay collection

6. A book you can read in a day
The Selection by Kiera Cass (audiobook)- it took me several days to actually listen to this book because I have a career, but it was only 7 1/2 hours in total

7. A book with more than 500 pages
The Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

8. A book by a favorite author
A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas*

9. A book recommended by a librarian or indie bookseller 
Circe by Madeline Miller (recommended by Jean, aka Bookishthoughts on YouTube and Goodreads)

10. A banned book
The One and Only Ivan by Kathrine Applegate (I’m sure this book is banned in several school districts for a variety of reasons, but it’s an incredible children’s book!) 

11. A memoir, biography, or book of creative nonfiction

12. A book by an author of a different race, ethnicity, or religion than your own
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Other Books

If you're interested, here are my other "What I'm Reading" posts:

As always, thank you for taking some time out of your day to check out my blog!  Happy reading!!
Keri <3

Animal Farm by George Orwell Review

Animal FarmAnimal Farm by George Orwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

To be honest, this particular novel is one that should be read as part of the curriculum for a high school or even college-level lit class. I’m bummed that I didn’t get to read this in high school or college, and I think the main reason I didn’t enjoy it (as much as I should have) is because I didn’t have the opportunity to discuss it with a classmate/ colleague. There really isn’t much to say about Orwell other than this man was a genius author and a master of satire. Seriously, everyone should read this, but there is definitely a time and a place for it.

I know you really shouldn’t compare an author’s works to one another, but 1984 is still my favorite from Orwell. There’s just something so unsettling about it, unlike this book. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still thought-provoking, especially when you do some research- which I highly suggest you do- on the state of the world when this was written. If you’re unfamiliar with 20th century Russian politics and history, do yourself a favor and refresh your memory before attempting to tackle this beast. Seriously, look it up and you’ll get so much more out of this book!

I have to say, I love that this is considered a short novel based on the page count, but this one will leave you with lots of questions and possibly the urge to dig deeper into the Russian Revolution and the country’s shift into Stalinism (which, I suppose, it the entire purpose of this book).

View all my reviews