Monday, August 25, 2014

Bout of Books 11: Wrap Up

Though I didn't finish everything on my TBR, I still found the read-a-thon productive. I'm hoping that I'm finally starting to get the hang of them (maybe...)


  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • Silver Shadows
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (not finished yet)
  • Half Bad (not finished yet)

Pagecount: 1566


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Bout of Books 11: Day 6 and 7

I almost managed to have daily updates, too. But then things happened, as things are wont to do.


  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: 124 (now on page 374, though I hope to get a bit more done after posting this)


5 Books 

Suddenly I am seeing the attraction of e-readers. I could pocket my whole library and run. (Plan of the hypothetical alien apocalypse: quickly purchase ALL OF THE E-BOOKS, put on Kindle laptop app, allow to download while packing supplies, grab laptop- and five physical books- and run.)

1. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater- because this book is basically my soul
2. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan- because Kami is a delight
3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- because how can I not bring Harry Potter?
4. Dragonfly by Julia Golding- because adventure-high fantasy is a comfort
5. SAS Survival Handbook- because, you know, it seems like complete societal collapse is imminent

*these are just books I own. Another book that would be on this list, were it a part of my collection, would the The Knowledge, which is basically an instruction manual for rebooting modern society in the event of aforementioned collapse.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Bout of Books 11: Day 5

So it was a semi-alright reading day. Okay, so it wasn't a great. I had some other things to get done.


  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: 106 (now on page 150)
  • Half Bad: 128 (now on page 158)


Recreate a Cover

I actually quite like the paperback cover for The Scorpio Races, it has a lot of movement. Maggie Stiefvater posted a couple concept covers she had sent her publisher to give ideas for the TSR cover on her tumblr. Though I didn't picture the water horses with fetlocks. Horses are fun to draw.

Steps to making the 15 minute scribblehorse:
The Scorpio Races1. Discover you still haven't replaced that red pencil from the time one of your friends used it up, probably drawing a human heart, give up and used mechanical pencil.

2. Regret using mechanical pencil, because it's the worst for shading.

3. Decide that your artistic abilities are not up to words this evening. Or the Printz award sticker-but-not-actually-a-sticker medallion. 

4. Scan it crooked, but be too lazy to fix it.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Bout of Books 11: Day 4

So I actually got some reading done today. Huzzah!


  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: 146 (finished)
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: 44
  • Silver Shadows: 380


Like this, try this

Dark Life (Dark Life, #1)Airborn (Matt Cruse, #1)

If you like Darklife by Kat Falls, try Airborn by Kenneth Oppel
I know this seems weird since they're pretty different genre-wise, but they're both fast-paced adventure stories in fantastic (and fascinating) settings.

Bout of Books 11: Day 3

I didn't get as much reading done as I would have liked, but I'm hoping to finish up Order of the Phoenix tomorrow.


  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: 208 pages (now on page 620)


Create a Sentence

 Sailing towards the fourth stop we reached Sydney Harbour.

Airborn by Kenneth Oppel
Goliath by Scott Westerfeld
Dragonfly by Julia Golding
Drowning by Rachel Ward
The Artemis Fowl Files by Eoin Colfer

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Bout of Books 11: Day 2

And so begins the Kelly-getting-distracted-by-shiny-things part of the program. I can never resist a trip to the library (I went to a different branch, and kind of got carried away...) and so I basically reread the Hex Hall trilogy for no reason whatsoever. Oops.


  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: 122 (I've reached page 412)
  • Hex Hall+ Demonglass+ Spell Bound: I'm not really giving these a page count, since I mostly just browsed
... so that was not exactly productive. Then the internet went off before I could post this yesterday, so that's how it ended up being posted Wednesday morning rather than Tuesday night.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Bout of Books 11: Day 1


  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: 140 
  • Half Bad: 30
Total Pages: 170


Book Scavenger Hunt

I was going to take actually photographs for everyone, but nobody seems to know what my sister has done with the camera charger. So that's not happening, it will just have to be images from Goodreads.

Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3)
Book with a Title Beginning with "B": Bitterblue by Kristen Cashore
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)
Book made into a Movie/ TV Show: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl, #1)
A Series You Love: Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer
Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales
A Short Story or Poem Anthology: Monstrous Affections*
I'm looking forward to when this one is released, I haven't gotten the chance to read it yet.
The Night Circus
A Book from Your TBR Shelf: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern


Book: Half Bad

Mordred's Lullaby- Heather Dale
Patterns- Band of Skulls
Red Stars- The Birthday Massacre

Granted, I'm not all that far into the book, but these kind of give me the right sort of... I don't know... feeling? vibe? mood? I don't even know if those are remotely correct descriptors... 

So I think that's about it for today. I might be able to get a bit more reading done tonight, we'll see. 

Bout of Books 11 TBR

Bout of Books

Having just finished one read-a-thon... I'm doing another. I think my reader's block is going away somewhat (I've been plowing through Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix) so I think this will be a fun way to get back into the swing of things.

Time Devoted to Reading: Will vary quite a lot, given that I don't really know how this week will look, but certainly every day.

Goals: To get through my TBR.

So, my TBR pile currently is:

  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
  • Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  • Half Bad by Sally Green
I'm not sure I'll get through them all, but that's the pile I have right now. I might (probably will) change it up according to my mood, that's a general idea.

A little more about the read-a-thon (from their website):
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Book Badger Read-a-thon Wrap Up

*dramatic sigh* I have had the most intense reader's block ever in these past few weeks. A few years ago, I didn't really even realise that reader's block was a thing- I never got it. But these few weeks have been frustrating. Nothing I started was something I felt any desire to finish, and all I have wanted to do was reread books that I've read eight times. So that's been fun.

Whining aside, I still had fun with the read-a-thon. I did a few of the activities, and they were neat, and listened to an audiobook for a readalong.


  • Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children: 241 (and then DNF, this one really wasn't for me)
  • The Winter Horses: 92 pages (and, again, DNF)
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: 332
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: 251
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: 317
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire:  636
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: 150
  • Doll Bones: audiobook
Page Total: 1 927

So not the best page count, obviously, but I still enjoyed the experience. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Book Badger Read-a-thon: Follow That Title Challenge

This week's Book Badger Summer Surge Read-a-thon challenge, which was to connect titles by words in each.

For Darkness Shows the Stars
The Chaos of Stars
City of Heavenly Fire
Rivals in the City
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Girl of Nightmares

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Top Ten Books I'm Not Sure I Want To Read

Top Ten Tuesdays are a weekly feature over at The Broke and The Bookish

1. Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell
I'm not sure about the premise of this one- the moral nihilism may not mesh well with my morals. It actually has had some pretty mixed reviews, and it doesn't sound like something I would enjoy.

2. Premeditated by Josin L. McQuein
Again, I'm not sure about the premise. It sounds kind of interesting, but it's also really  kind of over-the-top vengeful... so I don't know.

3. The Spiritglass Charade by Colleen Gleeson
I had some mixed feelings about the first book, and I'm not sure it I'm going to continue the series or not.

4. Maximum Ride Forever by James Paterson
Talk about flogging a dead horse. I still feel this sort of compulsion to finish the series, no matter how awful it has become.

5. The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings
I'm just not sure about this one. It's had good reviews, generally, but I'm still on the fence, especially since I'm having a hard time with dystopias recently.

6. The Brokenhearted by Amelia Kahaney
Again, it's had some mixed reviews, and I wasn't completely hooked by the premise, but look at that cover.

7. The Stepsister's Tale by Tracy Barett
I generally like fairytale retellings, but I don't know it I'll like this one.

8. Antigoddess by Kendare Blake
I'm very picky about my Greek mythology, for some reason.

9. Beauty by Nancy Ohlin
Again, I'm a bit picky about my retellings, though I often find I enjoy them.

10. Not  a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
I've been very hit-and-miss with dystopias recently, but, with the companion coming out soon, I might give it a try.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Book Badger Read-a-thon: Character Personality Challenge and Read-a-long

This one was to choose 5 characters whom I share a personality trait with.

Cinder from Cress: The practicality thing. I can be awful to go shopping with, as a result of this. Also, I can be pretty deadpan sometimes.

Persis from Across a Star Swept Sea: I'm terrible at taking other people's advice. Seriously. People: "Kelly, you should take less than four classes" Kelly: *takes 5*

Moria from Sea of Shadows: I have a temper. Though I don't think that I quite have her tenancy for flying off the handle with it, though.

Harper from Rebel Belle: Sarcasm, even at bad times. I also have her tendency of avoiding cursing (though for me it just isn't my personal style, I have try to avoid taking with other people throwing in the occasional swear-word).

Mary from Rivals in the City: I have a habit of both over-thinking and acting on impulse. It is possible and I do it.

Doll BonesIn an update for the read-a-long, I'm listening to the audiobook of Doll Bones, by Holly Black, and it's quite a fun story, so far. The cover is neat too- kind of gothic.

Update: Finished listening to Doll Bones. Overall it was enjoyable. It is middle grade, so the style of it worked (slightly more simple). I always appreciate the imagination of middle grade novels, though bits of it seemed a bit far-fetched, even for a middle grade novel.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Top Ten Books I'd Give To Readers Who Have Never Read Post-Apocalyptic

Top Ten Tuesdays are a weekly feature over at The Broke and The Bookish

Because I often sit people down and say "you need to read more about the end of the world". Of course. None of these are really "blockbuster series" like the Hunger Games, but I still really recommend them.

1. & 2. Dark Life and Rip Tide by Kat Falls: They're both fast, engaging reads. They are, to be honest, more of an adventure set in a world dramatically altered by climate change. Points for being Climate Fiction (cli-fi, a term I stumbled on today and am a huge fan of), a story with climate change at it's centre.

3. & 4. For Darkness Shows the Stars and Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreud: Again, fairly light on the post-apocalyptic aspect, in these the stories are very much character driven. Both are retellings of classics.

5., 6., & 7. Legend, Prodigy and Champion by Marie Lu: Fast-paced and clever. And look at those covers. I was trying to avoid recommending trilogies (since this is meant to be for new readers, and that might be a bit too much investment) but these are really quick reads.

8. ACID by Emma Pass: We need at least one stand-alone on here (at least, I think it's a stand-alone, I kind of felt like there was room for another book). This one is dystopia/ deconstructed utopia.

Those are all I can think of at the moment. I'm drawing kind of blank.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Review: Taste Test

Taste Test
Title: Taste Test
Author: Kelly Fiore
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: August 27, 2012

A Quick Introduction: Nora knows anything and everything barbecued, smoked or fried. She was practically raised in her father's barbecue restaurant, so when she gets a chance to take part in a reality-television teen cooking contest, she takes it. But things on set are far from simple, and she has to juggle conflicts with the other contestants and the rash of vandalism that has been taking people out of the show, all while trying to remain in the running.

Out of Ten: 2/10

Review at a Glance: While the TV show aspect was fun, this story suffers from a poor plot and frustrating characters.

Review: This wasn't for me. I don't usually read contemporaries. I just don't like them, though I still try to read a couple every year, just in case something has changed (so far that hasn't really happened)... I have a soft spot for anything about cooking, and I liked the idea of a story that takes place on the set of a cooking contest. Don't ask me why, I don't watch the television shows, but somehow I was interested.

Taste Test is narrated in first person by the main character, Nora. She was often a little exasperating. Or a lot exasperating. I sometimes found her overly judgmental (or prejudice, maybe?) The cooking part was enjoyable, but sometimes Nora's personality got on my nerves a little. Christian was obnoxious. I think that's the best term I can come up with to describe him, and I didn't really find him growing on me. The relationship development didn't really ring true for me- possibly in part because I didn't really find either of the characters enjoyable or connect to them. Not to mention the kind-of sort-of love triangle which was unnecessary. None of the characters really grew at all, either.

The whole mystery with the vandalism did kind of take the a back seat. Nora does make some make sort of attempt at an investigation, but investigation does not mean accusing random people randomly, which is essentially what Nora did. The plot was weak. It was essentially played for drama, and wasn't really the focus of the story. The cooking aspect was enjoyable, for me it was the most enjoyable part and I wish that there had been more of it.

I did enjoy aspects of how the novel was written. I found the TV interview excerpts were kind of fun, as were the recipes. The book had an overall light feel, which didn't mesh perfectly with the mystery aspect- if the mystery were a main focus, some suspense might have been more effective. Other than that, the writing didn't really stand out one way or the other. Basically, I enjoyed the formatting more than the content.

All in all, this is a light read, and I enjoyed the cooking parts and the excerpts from the interviews and judges. However, these were somewhat spoiled by the characters, which were aggravating at times and the weak plot.

Friday, August 1, 2014

July DNF

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #1)
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
July 20- July 30
I tried. I really did. I got to page 243, and I just couldn't do it anymore. I've had this book for two years now, and I figured I should give it another try. I found the characters to be very flat, and there really wasn't much plot to speak of. I kept pushing through, but I ended up not finding any reason to continue with this one. The photograph tie-in just didn't work for me; rather than contributing to the novel, they interrupted what flow there was, and weren't incorporated well into the story.