Ramona Blue: ARC Review

This past month I read Ramona Blue with a couple other bloggers for a book club started by Courtney at Curly Book Owl. Like any blogger I’m writing the review a week after I read the book… and I don’t remember much of it and I don’t normally take notes when I’m reading. So here are my discombobulated thoughts in no particular order:

  • I wanted more swimming! I haven’t read a sports book in forever and I was thinking this was going to be kind of sporty.
  • Freddie and Viv’s relationship hit so close to home. It was nice to see a realistic thing done so well
  • It wasn’t as swoon-worthy or memorable as I thought it was going to be. That being said I also read two contemporaries back to back and it’s not my type of book at all. They started to blend together.
  • It was a quick read, I read it in a day so it’s a solid choice for a readathon!
  • But… it did drag in the middle. I had to stop and do other things for a bit before continuing.
  • Ramona was a bit generic with the looking out for her family/ letting it hold her back I really want a character that is like “screw you guys I’m going to college. I can help you out better when I get a degree.”
  • Ramona and Hattie perfectly capture what it’s like to have a sister. You fight all the time and don’t agree with things but in the end they’re always there for you and you’re always there for them.
  • The supporting characters are all very well written and I want to be friends with all of them. They’re fun and energetic but accepting and grown up.
  • I really can’t speak on the representation, but one thing that I haven’t seen many people mention in reviews is how Freddie educates Ramona on police brutality.
  • They call each other out on their stereotypes, which sometimes felt as though it was pushed in there to be there and other times was natural.

Basically while I can see why everyone loved this book, it just wasn’t for me. I kind of knew that going in it probably wasn’t going to be my thing but I wanted to read it anyway. However, I’m glad I read it and if someone wanted a diverse or contemporary romance this would be one of them I recommended.

I received a free ARC of this book via a program at work. This did not impact my thoughts in any way.

#MakeMeRead Wrap-Up

So I thought I’d do something a little different this year, instead of just doing a list of books finished, I decided to go day by day and let you all know how my week went. This may (will) get a bit long considering I’m writing some at the end of every day.

Day one: Sunday, Aug 06, 2017
I woke up ready to read YOU by Caroline Kepnes after all the wonderful things you guys said and I wanted to read it all in the first day. Unfortunately, I just could not get into it. It took me pretty much the entire day to get the first 50 pages done. I felt so uncomfortable reading from that perspective and of that context that I was actually ready to DNF it because of that. I have such a hard time DNF-ing books though so I kept reading.
I ended up reading 236 pages and while it was really difficult to get into, once you get into it, the story goes along really fast.

Day two: Monday, Aug 7, 2017
I wasn’t expecting to get much reading done at all today. I worked both jobs for a total of 12 1/2 hours and I get too sucked into books to be able to read them on my breaks so I just talk to people instead. I got home and was thinking I was going to sit down, catch up on social media for a couple minutes and read my book. Well… I only read 24 pages in the time between 10 and 12 pm.

Day three: Tuesday, Aug 8, 2017
I had today off of work, so I was hoping to be able to get a lot or reading done, and I got a fair bit done, I finished YOU about halfway through the day and am not to sure about how I feel. I also started Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson and read about 47 pages. I know I would have read more but I didn’t feel very good at night so literally all I did was watch Netflix and drink tea.

Day four: Wednesday, Aug 9, 2017
I worked this morning and had a couple hours in the afternoon before I went to hang out with some friends  (funny how everyone wants to hang out during readathons). Unfortunately I had to run errands and such. I’m really not having as much time to read this week as I originally thought. Today I only read 21 pages of Mistborn. Also, this book looks so skinny and then you open it up and it’s over 600 pages.

Day five: Thursday, Aug 10, 2017
Today I woke up really late and then had to run errands and go to a one day only used book sale, so I bought a lot of  used books which I’m really excited for. Unfortunately by the time I got home it was time to get ready for work so I only read like five pages. I felt like I’ve barely read all week so I made myself get to at least page 100 before going to bed and I made it but I was so ready to pass out.

Day six: Friday, Aug 11, 2017
Today I went to work and helped my grandma out with some stuff, finally ordered a new phone case and then I only had an hour and a half-ish before I went to my friend’s bonfire. So obviously I took that time to read. I got about 50 pages done, which was pretty good. Mass market books always take me longer to read than normal because of the type size. Mistborn honestly gets better every time I open it up and I’m already looking forward to the entire trilogy.

Day seven: Saturday, Aug 12, 2017
I went to the beach today to read and lasted about half an hour before going inside. Then we went into town and joined in the end of summer celebration type thing they do every year. When I got home I read a bit more. I thought I going to read a lot more but I also wasn’t planning on going into town for more than just a quick coffee.

Day eight: Sunday, Aug 13, 2017
I had the opening shift, which is always really good for my productivity. I like starting off my day and then getting back home and still feeling productive. I came home and just read for a bit and then decided to take a couple breaks and then read some more. I read 100 pages exactly this day so at least I ended on a semi-decent note.

Total Pages: 768. Finished You by Caroline Kepnes and got halfway through Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

Overall:
I wish I had read more. My goal was originally three and I read one and a half. Less than 1000 pages. I read so much more during a normal week but this week felt like such a fail. It took me a bit to get into Mistborn. Part of it was that I had a social life for once and part of it was because I kept reading it during my normal nap/ go to bed time. It was such a fun week, I just wish I had read more during the time I had because a lot of time was spent just wandering around the house and going on social media.

IMG_20170814_141345667

What readathons are all of you participating in and how are they going? How did your Make Me Read It go?

Bout of Books and Wonder Week Sign-up

I feel as though everything I’ve posted this month was about readathons… and yet here’s another one. Another sign-up because I am obsessed with readathons. I have decided to participate in two readathons back to back!

#Bout of Books:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 21st and runs through Sunday, August 27th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 20 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

MY TENTATIVE TBR:

The Kind Worth Killing- Peter Swanson
The Burning Girl- Claire Messuo
Sourdough- Robin Sloan
Reincarnation Blues- Michael Poore

IMG_20170809_223322878

#WWReadathon

This one is hosted by Rimpy Reads and is based off of a bingo card. I am going super simple and down the far right column. The goal is to get a bingo (obviously) And the readathon goes from August 25- September 1st.

MY TENTATIVE TBR:

Over 400 Pages: Agents of Shadow- Richard Crofton
On my shelf for over a year: Tale of Two Cities
Under 100 pages: The Call of the Wild
More than three colors on the cover: The Border- Steve Schafer
Science Fiction: The Punch Escrow- Tal M. Klein

IMG_20170809_223451156

Disclaimer: These may change because I do have a week between #MakeMeRead and #BoutOfBooks and a lot of my picks for #BoutOfBooks (and one for #WWReadathon) are ARCs that are published at the end of August and Early September so I may read them sooner rather than wait.

My New Reading Obsession?

Last month I read 11 books. That was insane. It didn’t feel as though I read that many books, so I wanted to know if whatever I was doing was sustainable. I obviously love books and obviously want to read as many as possible. My TBR This month is 15 books. I just finished one Saturday and will hopefully be close to finishing another book by the time this post goes live.

To begin with, I have been reading more daily than previous months but the main thing that stood out to me was the couple times I tried to read at least 12 hours within a 24 hour span. I did it twice this past month.

During the summer I get scheduled for less hours at my retail job since it’s not as busy so I have more free time. I also generally have at least one night and full day off a week and I decided to utilize that time. I generally dedicated myself to finishing the books I started and then reading one or two other ones.

It reminds we of when I was younger and would just come home from school and read. It lets me get lost in them and look up hours later and not feeling like I was in the real world. It was an amazing feeling and I think I’m going to do it twice more in August. It is so nice to get everything done before I start and then just dedicate an entire day to reading.

This is also so much more sustainable than a week long readathon because you can get burnt out trying to read as much as possible every day for seven days. I haven’t done any of the official 24 hour readathons because they always end up being on my most busy days so hopefully I can join in on one at some point.

 

#MakeMeRead Take Two: TBR

And it is time the great unveiling begins!! Thank you all so much for the votes and comments! So many of you commented about how good one book specifically was and I am so glad that it is the number one book so I get to read it starting tomorrow (which I also have the whole day off so maybe it’ll be one book in one day?)

There was a tie between number three and four so I took the poll to twitter in a short burst poll. My original plan was to read three and they are the two on the list I was originally most excited for.

However, I have been in the reading mood lately and have been cranking out a ton of books at once except for Big Little Lies which despite how good it is, it’s taking me forever since I picked up a shift and am doing more blog hopping than normal which is cutting into my reading time. SO! I am going to attempt to…. drumroll…. read all six!

6. The Night Shift- Real Life in the Heart of the E.R. by Dr Brian Goldman
5. The Circle by Dave Eggers
4. NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
3. Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
2. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
1. You by Caroline Kepnes

I am so excited to get to these! I chose a lot of thrillers because I’m always in the mood to them but even more recently than in the last couple of months so I am hoping to fly through these!

What books are you most excited to read this week?

 

July Wrap-Up

Is it already August? Did we all skip forward in time?? It does NOT feel like August already. I’m just starting to read outside, I haven’t done my annual two week, run every morning challenge, I haven’t been to the pool and I’ve only been to the cabin twice, so many things I haven’t done yet and all of a sudden there’s only a month left.

I started out this month reading Big Magic- and never before have I wish I owned a book more. I wanted to mark it up so badly but it was a library book. So I’ll definitely have to buy a copy and reread it. However, it did help rekindle my love of blogging and creativity.

I’ve been blogging and tweeting a lot more and I’m planning out a new weekly series about thrillers/ mysteries/ horror novels starting in September. My main hold-up is I cannot for the life of me decide on a name besides “Spooky Sundays” and I don’t really like it that much. Plus I have to find a good graphics app or program, so if you know one leave a comment below.  (You can leave a comment anyway but….)

I also decided to once again (because I love readathons) participate in the #Makemeread readathon. I’m ending the vote either around 1 pm on the 4th and posting my TBR Saturday morning so you can vote for that here. I will also be participating in Bout of Books, but that TBR will be coming in a couple weeks.

I just looked through my photos- as I do to figure out what I did this month and I have nothing except books, coffee and wine. I went to the lake for the fourth of July because I HAD TIME OFF AT BOTH JOBS!! That was the longest I’ve had off since I got one job in October.

Then some of my friends came over for a birthday bonfire (some of them didn’t know until like 10 pm it was my birthday because I didn’t want to make it a big deal). Some people I haven’t seen since December and before that since high school came over and it’s always such a treat to see them!

I hung out with some of my friends getting coffee and wine and just catching up. And I spent quite a bit of time just reading in coffee shops, and I even ventured outside. I watched the newest season of Grey’s Anatomy too! I really have no clue what I did with my month. Apparently I read a lot though.

 

IMG_20170801_110751749

I read eleven books, four were ARCs and I reviewed three of them already. Who am I? Why is this happening??

  1. Big Magic- Elizabeth Gilbert
  2. Solo– Kwame Alexander
  3. Down Among the Sticks and Bones- Seanan McGuire
  4. Reading With Patrick- A Teacher, A student and a Life-Changing Friendship– Michelle Kuo
  5. The Marriage Pact– Michelle Richmond
  6. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban- J. K. Rowling
  7. A Clockwork Orange- Anthony Burgess
  8. When Dimple Met Rishi- Sandhya Menon
  9. Ramona Blue- Julie Murphy
  10. Dark Matter- Blake Crouch
  11. The Mysterious Affair at Styles- Agatha Christie

My TBR for August is very… very intimidating. But there’s two readathons included in here!

IMG_20170803_003029425

 

ARC review: Solo

Author: Kwame Alexander with Mary Rand Hess
Publisher: Blink
Pub Date: August 1, 2017

In two sentences:
Blade is the son of a famous father and feels he doesn’t fit into the family name. Then he discovers a family secret: dun dun dunnnnn……

My thoughts:
This may turn into a very negative review… which I hate doing. Just a warning. I actually thought about not doing a review because I got it from work and not a publisher directly, but I’m trying to do full reviews on the ones I get from both. (This also means I have a backlog of ARCs that are getting reviewed… at some point.)

Starting out positive. I enjoy books in lyrics and poetry books and so I was really interested in this one. It made it a quick read and as the main character is a songwriter, some of his lyrics are included in handwriting, which is pretty cool. Some of these were amazing and heartbreaking but others fell flat. This happened during the entire book too, it was either a hit or miss, depending on the section.

The plot was interesting, especially as I got farther into it, which I can’t say why because spoilers. But it was predictable too, which is part of why I didn’t like it. I kind of knew exactly what was going to happen and that took away some of the feels. There was a lot going on throughout and they overlapped and intersected like life does and it was really easy to keep track of.

But…. BLADE WAS SO MOPEY! He was basically like “woe is me” the entire book. Even when he was happy and having fun, he was still giving of this vibe. Like stop, it was so overboard. And the dialogue was so unrealistic I get it’s lyrical writing but literally no one talks like that. When I’m reading lyrical fiction novels like this I’m 10000000 percent fine with it not sounding poetical when people are speaking.

The final straw is actually somewhat of a spoiler so just talk to me and tell me if you want to continue hearing my rants.

I received this book from thebookseller’s library of ARCs at work. This in no way changed my views.

My procrastination ways:
Emptying out spam email, making and eating lunch, updating goodreads reviews and stars, taking this photo:Solo balance

I also wrote and published like five posts in procrastinating this one because I couldn’t decide if I even wanted to review it.

Story:
I had this perfectly balanced and it was sturdy but I could hear my soup boiling a bit more than it should and my laptop camera wasn’t loading so I took the book down for a couple seconds to check on it and then it took like three minutes to rebalance it.