Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Month of Rapunzel: Rapunzel Readathon Announcement and Sign Up

To celebrate a Month of Rapunzel here on my blog I will be hosting the Rapunzel Readathon. I love readathons and they are fun to host also so I would be happy to have people join in with me and celebrate Rapunzel. 

The goal for this read-a-thon are simple just read. Although this readathon would seem like I want you to read Rapunzel novels I won't require it although I do want to push people to read fairy tales during this readathon. I will hopefully be reading fairy tales to prepare for Fairy Tale Fortnight in April. I'm not going to be picky because nobody likes to be told what to read. Read whatever you want during this Read-a-thon. No matter what you are reading you can join me for the Rapunzel themed challenges I have planned for this week. 

Please join me in the very special event to celebrate everything and anything Rapunzel. The readathon will start on March 7th at midnight and continue through March 12th to Midnight.

Grab the button, make your sign up, and sign up below. Thank you for your participation. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Love for Books Readathon Wrap Up

This was a pretty great readathon for me. I read a total of 305 pages in 8 hours 14 minutes in 7 days. That is an average of 1 hour and 10 minutes per day and 43 pages per day. 

Book Started: 

Cress by Marissa Meyer was the only book I made progress during this readathon because it is such a large book. Cress is so amazing. I almost don't want to finish. I just want to stay in Marissa Meyer's world forever. 

Love for Books Readathon Progress

Day 1 February 17th

pg 126 to pg 141 2:02 to 2:26 in Cress by Marissa Meyer

Pages Read: 15
Time Read: 24 minutes

Day 2 February 18th

pg 141 to pg 147 7:30 to 7:40
pg 147 to pg 148 8:25 to 8:26 pm
pg 148 to pg 157 8:39 to 8:56
pg 157 to pg 178 9:19 to 9:50

Pages Read: 37
Time Read: 59 minutes
Total Pages Read: 1 hour 23 minutes
Total Time Read: 52

Day 3 February 19th

pg 178 to pg 194 8:12 to 8:45
pg 194 to pg 210 9:59 to 10:20

Pages Read: 32
Time Read: 54 minutes
Total Pages Read: 84
Total Time Read: 2 hours 17 minutes

Day 4 February 20th

pg 210 to pg 221 10:46 to 11:01

Pages Read: 11
Time Read: 15 minutes
Total Pages Read: 95
Total Time Read: 2 hours 32 minutes

Day 5 February 21st

pg 221 to pg 230 7:49 to 8:05
pg 230 to pg 244 9:06 to 9:30
pg 244 to pg 250 10:17 to 10:27

Pages Read: 29
Time Read: 50 minutes
Total Pages Read: 124
Total Time Read: 3 hours 22 minutes

Day 6 February 22nd

pg 250 to pg 267 10:33 to 11:05
pg 267 to pg 286 12:06 to 12:39
pg 286 to pg 310 1:22 to 1:55
pg 310 to pg 317 2:11 to 2:21
pg 317 to pg 323 7:18 to 7:25
pg 323 to pg 328 10:25 to 10:35

Pages Read: 78
Time Read: 2 hours 5 minutes
Total Pages Read: 202
Total Time Read: 5 hours 27 minutes

Day 7 February 23rd

pg 328 to pg 351 1:35 to 2:07
pg 351 to pg 359 2:25 to 2:37
pg 359 to pg 363 6:31 to 6:36
pg 363 to pg 366 6:38 to 6:42
pg 366 to pg 371 7:03 to 7:11
pg 371 to pg 394 7:55 to 8:38
pg 394 to pg 405 9:12 to 9:32
pg 405 to pg 431 10:12 to 10:55

Pages Read: 103
Time Read: 2 hours 47 minutes
Total Pages Read: 305
Total Time Read: 8 hours 14 minutes

Book Review: Norwegian Wood by Haruki Maurakami (no spoilers)

Book: Norwegian Wood
Author: Haruki Marakami
Publication: 1987
Source: Bought for College
Read: February 2nd - 18th, 2014
Summary (From Goodreads):
Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable. As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others and drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman.

 A poignant story of one college student's romantic coming-of-age, Norwegian Wood brillantly recaptures a young man's first, hopeless, and heroic love.

My Thoughts:

Norwegian Wood was a book I had to read for my English Literature class at University. My disclaimer on this review is that I'm often more harsh of books that I am forced to read rather than ones that I have picked up on my own. In saying that I did enjoy Norwegian Wood, but I also do realize that it is a novel I would not have picked up on my own. 

I think Norwegian Wood is relatable in a lot of ways. Toru is a college student in Japan and he is 19 in this novel. That right there compares with my own life. Toru's struggles seemed completely real in this novel and I think that is a part of why I was so interested in this novel. A girl in my English class brought up the point though that although Norwegian Wood was a romance novel it was not a typical one. Usually with romances you pine over the characters because you are looking for somebody like that in your own life. Toru's relationships were no fantasy. Both Midori and Naoko, the two female characters, had flaws and they had problems that I would never want to have to face.

Norwegian Wood in its whole is a very complex novel. We spent hours arguing over this novel in class and the potential means that the text could hold. I think that was a powerful reason to read it as a class book. I don't always think so deeply about the books I read because honestly I want to enjoy them, but this book is one that could be interpreted in many different ways. I can't say I always appreciated that fact because there were times when the book was just plain confusing, but at other moments it gave me time to reflect on the book's hidden themes and hidden messages. 

In whole this novel was worth reading. The ending was nowhere near what I expected and I had my own predictions for the ending of this novel that didn't turn out, but I think the author left his mark on my thoughts. I think the ending was almost a little two predictable though because I told my friends what I thought the ending was going to be and I was right on a couple of points, but the true ending I was totally off. I do recommend Norwegian Wood although I have admitted its flaws. I did appreciate my teacher for picking this novel because it was such an easy read. I did not have to look up every other word of the novel in the dictionary and I could follow along with the storyline. I do think there are people who will like this novel more than I did. I will most likely never read another novel by this author. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Book Review: True Believer by Nicholas Sparks (Jeremy Marsh and Lexie Darnell #1) (no spoilers)

Book: True Believer
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Publication: April 11th, 2006
Series: Jeremy Marsh and Lexie Darnell #1
Source: Local Library
Read: February 3rd to February 13th, 2014
Summary (From Goodreads):
Jeremy Marsh is the ultimate New Yorker: handsome, almost always dressed in black, and part of the media elite. An expert on debunking the supernatural with a regular column in "Scientific American," he's just made his first appearance on national TV. When he receives a letter from the tiny town of Boone Creek, North Carolina, about ghostly lights that appear in a legend-shrouded cemetery, he can't resist driving down to investigate. Here, in this tightly knit community, Lexie Darnell runs the town's library, just as her mother did before the accident that left Lexie an orphan. Disappointed by past relationships, including one that lured her away from home, she is sure of one thing: her future is in Boone Creek, close to her grandmother and all the other people she loves. Jeremy expects to spend a quick week in "the sticks" before speeding back to the city. But from the moment he sets eyes on Lexie, he is intrigued and attracted to this beautiful woman who speaks with a soft drawl and confounding honesty. And Lexie, while hesitating to trust this outsider, finds herself thinking of Jeremy more than she cares to admit. Now, if they are to be together, Jeremy Marsh must make a difficult choice: return to the life he knows, or do something he's never done before--take a giant leap of faith. A story about taking chances and following your heart, True Believer will make you, too, believe in the miracle of love.

 Did You Know?---

 True Believer is not inspired by any of Nicholas's family members, but the protagonist, Lexie Darnell, is named after one of Nicholas's twin daughters?

 Boone Creek -- the setting for the novel -- is a fictitious town in North Carolina, modeled after Pamlico County?

True Believer was one of two books that Nicholas wrote in a year? (The second is At First Sight, the sequel to True Believer.)

My Thoughts:

True Believer got off to a really slow start for me and there was many times throughout the novel that I thought the storyline was a bit slow. This book was not my favorite Nicholas Sparks book, but it was still worth my time to read.

Jeremy Marsh is a scientific journalist from New York, who goes to Boone Creek to investigate the mysterious lights people think may be ghosts in Boone Creek cemetery. At the begin of the novel I would describe Jeremy as very rough around the edges and passive. As the novel moves forward Jeremy grows on me. After learning about his past I realized that he has a reason for the way he acts, but he also can be very sweet, friendly, and welcoming when he wants to be. He is a true romantic at heart and what girl is going to argue with that.

Lexie Darnell is a lot the same as Jeremy. She has her reasons for acting the way she does. What I see the most in Lexie is that she is afraid of being hurt again. She is very guarded and is quick to speak her mind. I loved how strong Lexie could be at times, but at other times I wished she would just realize that what Jeremy was telling her was true.

Another side character was Lexie's grandmother Doris. I thought she was a class act for this novel. The things she said were sharp witted, but very caring. I thought she really made the novel and has a key role in the ending.

The ending of this novel was very sweet and it really won over the book for me. I will be reading At First Sight soon so I can find out how Jeremy and Lexie's story ends.


My Post. This book was  my January Random Reads selection. First book down towards my goal of 11 this year. It ended up being not an all time favorite, but worth reading. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Wicked Valentine's Read-a-thon Wrap Up

This was not my best readathon. During this readathon last I read 768 pages in 8 days. 

This year the readathon was a bit longer 11 whole days, but the olympics and school were a bit distraction this year. This year I read 404 pages in 12 hours and 3 minutes in 11 days. That is an average of 1 hour and 5 minutes per day and an average of 36 pages per day. 

Books Finished:

True Believer by Nicholas Sparks

Books Started

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green (Taking a break to read Cress)
Cress by Marissa Meyer


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Book Review: Beauty and The Beast by Jenni James (Faerie Tale #1) (no spoilers)

Book: Beauty and the Beast
Author: Jenni James
Publication: June 4th, 2012
Series: Faerie Tale Collection #1
Source: Inter-library loan
Read: February 1st- February 2nd 2014
Summary (from Goodreads):

A prince by day and a wolf by night—

 Prince Alexander has been turned into a werewolf and has one year to find someone to love the beast and break the spell, or he will be a wolf forever. He has nearly given up achieving the impossible, knowing no girl would ever fall in love with such a monster.

 Just when he is about to abdicate the throne to his cousin, he meets Cecelia Hammerstein-Smythe, while a wolf, and begins to hope for the first time in months. Can he balance both worlds as a human and beast, gaining the love and trust of a girl who has every reason to despise him?

 Cecelia detests the prince. She only knows Alexander as the arrogant monarch—the tyrant who has made her life miserable—though perhaps he's changed right before her eyes. He's not as full of himself as he once was. The prince is gentle now... but then again, so is the beast.
My Thoughts:
I really debated whether to review this book or not. I decided to because I do plan to read the rest of the series, but otherwise I probably would not have reviewed this book. Beauty and the Beast by Jenni James was a book I was just kind of meh about. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it either. 

In fact I read Beauty and the Beast in the time period of two days. By all counts it would seem like a page turner, but it is actually just a really easy read. What I look for in fairy tale retellings is complex characters, and that the author adds something new to the original story. I don't feel like Jenni James completed either of these tasks. She changed the story sure. Our Belle (Cecelia) was never trapped by the beast and our beast (Alexander) was only a beast at night (reminds me a bit of Shrek). Besides those two details I don't feel like Jenni James added much to the story. 

The characters seemed pretty dull to me. It might of been that she was writing in third person which I don't always prefer, but I don't feel like she spent enough time focusing on Cecelia and Alexander's personalities. 

Although I did enjoy this book I was not overly thrilled by it. I do plan to continue the series to see how the other fairy tales play out. 


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Don't Let It End Reading Challenge Sign Up

Hosted by Fiktshun

February 14th through July 14th
I decided to join the Don't Let It End challenge to further help me finish some of those series I'm in the middle of. I made a spreadsheet yesterday thanks to The Snuggly Oranges

I learned that in my lifetime I have completed 16 series. I have 11 series that I need to finish, and I have 5 series that I have given up on. 
It is not very easy to see, but some of these series are short like only two books so I could finish them easily while others I have quite a bit to read before I reach the end. Then there is books like The Lunar Chronicles where I'm still waiting for the next book to come out. I have been reading the Little House: Caroline Years series for several years. I have two books left so I do really hope to finish that series.


Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Month of Rapunzel Announcement

I'm finally ready to announce my feature coming in March 2014, A Month of Rapunzel. I have been planning this event since April of 2013 after I read Cinder and realized A there were a lot of Rapunzel retellings and B: Marissa Meyer's third book, Cress in the Lunar Chronicles is about Rapunzel.

A Month of Rapunzel is a month long event I will be featuring on this blog to celebrate all things Rapunzel who just so happens to be my favorite Disney Princess. I have always loved the fairy tale so I'm excited to share my joy with everybody. Most of all I want to celebrate Cress's release.

Even though March is a ways away I would like to put the word out that I'm looking for Guest Posters. I can't be the only one who loves Rapunzel. The Guest Posters can do anything about Rapunzel, which could be reviewing a Rapunzel retelling, a post about why they love Rapunzel, how they started reading the lunar chronicles etc. I'm open to ideas. I have never done an event like this and I actually have never had guests post on my blog so this is all new territory to me.

If you are interested email me at rachaelc1020 At gmail DOT com

There will also be a Rapunzel Readathon which I will release more details soon, but I'm looking for people who would be willing to host fairy tale challenges during the readathon. I'm not going to be giving away any prizes so I won't request the people who host challenges to give away prizes either. I just want fun ways to celebrate Rapunzel during the Readathon.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Va-Va- Voom Readathon Wrap Up

I really thought I did terrible on this readathon, but in all reality I actually did okay. I only read part of one book, but I think that overall it wasn't too bad of a readathon. 

I read a total of 150 pages in 4 hours and 11 minutes in 5 days. That is an average of 50 minutes per day and 30 pages per day. Not my best by far, but not bad. 

Books Started: 

Thanks to the hosts for hosting


Monday, February 10, 2014

Book Review: Asunder by Jodi Meadows (NewSoul Series #2) (no spoilers)

Book: Asunder
Author: Jodi Meadows
Publication: January 29th, 2013
Series: NewSoul #2
Source: Inter-Library Loan
Read: January 26th to February 1st, 2014
Summary (From Goodreads):
Ana has always been the only one. Asunder. Apart. But after Templedark, when many residents of Heart were lost forever, some hold Ana responsible for the darksouls–and the newsouls who may be born in their place.

Many are afraid of Ana’s presence, a constant reminder of unstoppable changes and the unknown. When sylph begin behaving differently toward her and people turn violent, Ana must learn to stand up not only for herself but for those who cannot stand up for themselves. 

Ana was told that nosouls can’t love. But newsouls? More than anything, she wants to live and love as an equal among the citizens of Heart, but even when Sam professes his deepest feelings, it seems impossible to overcome a lifetime of rejection.

 In this second book in the Newsoul trilogy, Ana discovers the truth about reincarnation and will have to find a way to embrace love and make her young life meaningful. Once again, Jodi Meadows explores the extraordinary beauty and shadowed depths of the soul in a story equal parts epic romance and captivating fantasy.

My Thoughts:

The sequel to Incarnate was equal if not better than the first book. I extremely enjoyed jumping back into Ana's world. The problems that arise in Asunder make Ana's journey so much more dangerous, but she is willing to fight back. 

I have always loved strong female characters. That might be why I identify with Ana in this novel. She finally grew up and learned that if she didn't speak out for the newsouls nobody would. She learned that she had to protect newsouls otherwise the world that she lived in would continue to be an unfriendly place. 

The thing that got me about Asunder is some of Sam's friends that accepted Ana in the first novel suddenly felt threatened by her. They thought that her relationship with Sam was inappropriate because of the 5000 year age gap. 

Even though Sam professes his love for Ana he still seems afraid in this novel of forming an equal, loving relationship with her. Their romantic moments in this novel were a great addition to the novel. Sometimes I felt like I could not understand Sam's actions. Some of the things he did made me wonder why Ana was still so in love with him although she couldn't say it. 

Change is a big theme in the novel. People are afraid of change and the newsoul's becoming more prominent than the reincarnated souls. This is when people began to threaten Ana. Ana's makes so many discoveries in Asunder that really add to her story. 

Overall I loved Asunder and highly recommend this series. I can't wait to find out how Ana's story ends in Infinite. 

I read Asunder as part of the Incarnate series Readathon hosted by Bonnie @ A Backwards Story and Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books


Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Week of Rapunzel: Guest Post

Bonnie @ A Backwards Story has been gracious enough to let me guest post on her blog during A Week of Rapunzel. 

My Post will be Live today. I am reviewing Towering by Alex Flinn. 


Friday, February 7, 2014

Wicked Valentine's Read-A-Thon Goals and Progress

Hosted by MyShelfConfession


goals are much the same as the Va Va-Voom readathon because they overlap so much starting this readathon on page 114 of True Believer by Nicholas Sparks. Then I plan to start Cloaked by Alex Flinn.

Day 1 February 7th
pg 114 to pg 119 6:54 to 7:05
pg 119 to pg 124 7:07 to 7:16
pg 124 to pg 138 1:03 to 1:21
pg 138 to pg 150 10:39 to 11:05

Pages Read: 36
Time Read: 1 hour 5 minutes

Day 2 February 8th
pg 150 to pg 161 8:16 to 8:37
pg 161 to pg 171 7:43 to 8:04
pg 171 to pg 176 8:16 to 8:26
pg 176 to pg 178 9:16 to 9:20
pg 178 to pg 181 9:25 to 9:28
pg 181 to pg 190 10:13 to 10:28

Pages Read: 40
Time Read: 1 hour 14 minutes 
Total Pages Read: 76
Total Time Read: 2 hours 19 minutes

Day 3 February 9th
pg 190 to pg 203 10:12 to 10:33

Pages Read: 13
Time Read: 21 minutes
Total Pages Read: 89
Total Time Read: 2 hours 40 minutes

Day 4 February 10th
pg 203 to pg 208 10:18 to 10:28
pg 208 to pg 220 10:33 to 10:54

Pages Read: 17
Time Read: 31 minutes
Total Pages Read: 106
Total Time Read: 3 hours 11 minutes

Day 5 February 11th
pg 220 to pg 253 4:03 to 4:47
pg 253 to pg 267 10:31 to 10:50

Pages Read:47
Time Read: 1 hour 3 minutes
Total Pages Read: 153
Total Time Read: 4 hours 14 minutes

Day 6 February 12th
pg 267 to pg 271 8:39 to 8:45
pg 271 to pg 304 9:34 to 10:42

Pages Read:37
Time Read:1 hour 14 minutes
Total Pages Read:190
Total Time Read: 5 hours 28 minutes

Day 7 February 13th
pg 304 to pg 322 7:41 to 8:10

pg 0 to pg 12 3:30 to 3:42
pg 12 to pg 34 10:09 to 10:54

Pages Read:52
Time Read: 1 hour 26 minutes
Total Pages Read: 242
Total Time Read: 6 hours 54 minutes

Day 8 February 14th
pg 34 to pg 37 7:50 to 8:04
pg 37 to pg 40 8:28 to 8:34
pg 40 to pg 45 9:06 to 9:13
pg 45 to pg 55 9:29 to 9:52

Pages Read:21 
Time Read: 50 minutes
Total Pages Read: 263
Total Time Read: 7 hours 44 minutes

Day 9 February 15th
I'm taking a break from An Abundance of Katherines in order to read Cress. 
pg 0 to pg 14 8:23 to 8:50
pg 14 to pg 22 9:09 to 9:21
pg 22 to pg 23 1:42 to 1:45
pg 23 to pg 35 2:11 to 2:35
pg 35 to pg 36 6:24 to 6:26
pg 36 to pg 47 6:52 to 7:08
pg 47 to pg 58 7:10 to 7:29
pg 58 to pg 70 9:48 to 10:17

Pages Read:70
Time Read: 2 hours 12 minutes
Total Pages Read:333
Total Time Read: 9 hours 56 minutes

Day 10 February 16th
pg 70 to pg 93 4:34 to 5:33
pg 93 to pg 126 9:04 to 9:48

Pages Read: 56
Time Read: 1 hour 43 minutes
Total Pages Read: 389
Total Time Read: 11 hours 39 minutes

Day 11 February 17th
pg 126 to pg 141 2:02 to 2:26

Pages Read: 15
Time Read: 24 minutes
Total Pages Read: 404
Total Time Read: 12 hours 3 minutes

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Kristin Hannah and In The Middle Reading Challenge Review Link Up

Feburary is almost halfway over so I realize I'm late with this post. I'm going to try having you link up your reviews by month this year. This first one is for the Kristin Hannah reading challenge. I will have a new picture up for this challenge within a few days. I personally did not read any Kristin Hannah books in January so I don't have much to add. 

I read 2 In The Middle Books in January. Link Up your Reviews Below. If you would like to sign up for either of these challenges the link can be found at the top of my blog. 

January Challenge Wrap Up

Ana and Elsa from Frozen Credit and Disneyland Castle Credit
January was the month I tried to get a good start on all my reading challenges. My rule for this year is that I have to get all my reading challenges done by the end of November so I can spend December reading Christmas novels. I might do a special Christmas in July readathon so if you would like to participate give me input. I think I had a pretty good start to the year.

Also give me your opinion on ideas for this update post because honestly it took a lot to create the pictures and it is the same covers over and over again. I would like a way to use the book and challenge pictures that would take less work to make. Give me input.

The books I read in January were Golden by Cameron Dokey, Zel by Donna Jo Napoli, Pivot Point by Kasie West, Incarnate by Jodi Meadows, Allegiant by Veronica Roth, and The Fairest of Them All by Carolyn Turgeon.

Hosted by Literary Escapism All of the authors I read in January were New to Me Authors besides Veronica Roth. I loved every single one of my New Authors and will be reading more of their books. 
Hosted by Book Dragon's Lair  All of the books I read in January were library books.
Hosted by Socrates Book Reviews. I finished one series in January, which was the Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth. Although the ending wasn't what I expected I love how she wrapped up the Trilogy. 
Hosted by Read, Sleep Repeat. are the three books that counted for the 2014 Series Challenge this January
Hosted by Novel Heartbeat and Writer Grrl Reads. The prequel & sequel challenge does not reward me for starting new series, but finishing series I have already started. I finished the Divergent Trilogy and January and received 12 books. 2 for reading Allegiant and 10 for finishing the series. 
Hosted by Somewhere Only We Know. The only series ender I read in January and I loved it. 
Hosted by Coffee Bean Bookshelf. All the books I read in January were published before 2014. That will be changing come February.

Hosted by Ready When You Are C.B. Right now I'm on track with this challenge. I'm going to cheat a little bit n February to read Split Second and Cress, but otherwise I'm going to keep whittling away at my TBR pile. 
Hosted by Books and Iced Coffee. I will also be changing this in February. I read all YA in January, which is fine, but I'm going to read more of a variety in February. 

Reading Retellings is hosted by The Nighttime Novelist and  Fairy Tales Retold is hosted by Debz Bookshelf.
I have an event coming up in March and then there is Fairy Tales Retold in April so I'm really in a fairy tale mood right now. These three are all awesome Rapunzel retellings who just so happens to be my favorite princess and the star of Marissa Meyer's Cress. 
Hosted by Jessie's Book Place. Three books to start off the year for the quick fix challenge.
 Hosted by Rachael Turns Pages. Two books to stat off the year for the in the middle challenge.
Hosted by Chunkster Challenge. Allegiant was my only chunkster for January. I'll have some more this month.
Hosted by  Anne and Kristilyn's Book Bingo I changed the bingo card, but I'm still doing great with this challenge. I haven't crossed off any boxes yet though. Maybe in February. 

Hosted by Blog of Erised. The two books that were set in dystopian worlds that I read in January. 

Overall I think January was a great start to the year. How are you doing on your reading challenges?