Kids of Appetite and The Trees Crept In

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Kids of Appetite by David Arnold 5 stars out of 5

LOVED, LOVED, LOVED, THIS BOOK!!!! David Arnold has done it again! He is two for two in writing amazing, brilliant, thought provoking books. The main characters in this book are phenomenal. Each one is so fleshed out and real that you can’t help but love every one of them.  The main character, Vic, has a neurological disorder that causes paralysis of the facial muscles so he is bullied and stared at a lot.  His father has died of cancer and his mom has seemed to forgotten about his dad.  Vic runs away taking his dad’s ashes with him.  He finds a homeless group of teens and they take him in.  Vic discovers a list in the urn of ashes that gives clues as to different places where his dad wanted his ashes spread.  This is just a small part of the story.  Mr. Arnold does a wonderful job weaving all of the teens’ problems and back stories together into a book that I just couldn’t put down.  There is love, murder, abuse, bullying, friendship, grief, and so much more! There are many references to S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders which I found refreshing. One of my favorite parts of the book was the relationship Vic had with his dad.  His dad was the one who understood him and his disability and helped Vic deal with it the best.  “I spent years being upset, bitter about my differences.  When I looked in the mirror, I saw only the abstract.  There was no splendor to be found.  I did not understand how to find the advantages of my disadvantages.  I did not see the beauty simmering underneath.  Not yet.  But Dad did.”  I find this quote great for any disability or flaw we see in ourselves.  Kids of Appetite has so many of these amazing insights throughout its pages.  Like Mr. Arnold’s first book, Mosquitoland, I didn’t want this book to end! It was so “Frakkin” good! I guess a re-read is in order soon.

I dusted off my Instagram account a couple months ago and have been trying my hand at doing Bookstagrams.  I think they are so fun. I used the next book in my latest bookstagram.  To see others check them out HERE!

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And The Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich 4 stars out of 5

I don’t read thriller books or mysteries very often so this was out of the norm for me and I really enjoyed it.   I am not going to go into too much of a review because I don’t want to give away what happens.   This book kept me guessing until the very end.  I had no idea what was going on (in a good way)! Also, there were parts so creepy that I got goosebumps so that is an extra bonus. The author’s writing style was very unique. For example, there were different points of view, journal entries, and poems throughout the book to keep me engaged and trying to look for clues.

GOODREADS SUMMARY OF AND THE TREES CREPT IN

When Silla and Nori arrive at their aunt’s home, it’s immediately clear that the “blood manor” is cursed. The creaking of the house and the stillness of the woods surrounding them would be enough of a sign, but there are secrets too–the questions that Silla can’t ignore: Who is the beautiful boy that’s appeared from the woods? Who is the man that her little sister sees, but no one else? And why does it seem that, ever since they arrived, the trees have been creeping closer?

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I started book 4 in the Outlander series. It is called Drums of Autumn.  Normally, I read the Outlander books on my Kindle but one day I was looking through a pile of free books and saw Drums of Autumn. I almost didn’t recognize it as an Outlander book because it is a first edition! Check out this cool cover. So I have been reading this one book style. It is huge, 1000+ pages.

The Light Fantastic, War Dogs, Outlander, and Challenges Update

Tell Me Tuesday is put on by La La in the Library . Tell us what you have been reading lately.

The Sunday post is put on by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer  Stacking the Shelves is  put on by Tynga’s Reviews and Saturday Situation is put on by Candace’s Book Blog. This is where we share what we have been reading this week. Be sure to check out these awesome blogs !!

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The Light Fantastic by Sarah Combs 3.5 stars out of 5

 This book had a lot of points of view which for me made the book hard to follow at times.  I would have to go back and remember what had happened with that character earlier.  That gets annoying especially with an ebook.  The book centers around April Donovan, a teenage girl , who has a rare memory condition that allows her to recount all the tragedies that have happened in the month of April.  Interwoven into the story are characters she has met or known at one time. On the morning of her 18th birthday something big is being planned across the nation. Teenagers across the U.S. are planning school shootings.  I was not a big fan of this concept but the story does explore the motives of these bullied and stressed out teens and alternatives to dealing with stress in other ways than violence.  I think those were my favorite parts of the book, the teens having that epiphany moment of I can deal with this problem in a positive way.

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War Dogs: Tales of Canine Heroism, History, and Love by Rebecca Frankel 4 stars out of 5

I really enjoyed this book. I have read similar books on K9 soldier dogs.  It never ceases to surprise me how intelligent and hard working these dogs are and how many lives they save everyday.  So much training goes into these dogs.  Handlers spend hours and hours training, living with, and working patrols with their dogs. The bonds that develop between the dog and the handler were so great to read about.  The trust that each one has to have for each other is amazing.   If you are a dog lover I highly recommend this book

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Voyager by Diana Gabaldon 5 stars out of 5

I finished the third Outlander book this week and I do believe it was my favorite so far! Yes, there are impossible to believe things that happen sometimes but the writing is so fabulous that it doesn’t matter. I just love Claire and Jamie’s story and learning about Europe and other countries in the 18th century. Very excited to start book four soon.

Challenges Update

At the beginning of the year, I pledged on Goodreads that I would read 100 books this year.  I am happy to say I am 4 books ahead of schedule.

I signed up for a couple challenges this summer.  The first one was #VASRP and the second was #ARCAugust.  Both of the challenges are put on by Read Sleep Repeat

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For the #VASRP challenge, I made the goal of reading 17-24  books this summer.  I am happy to say I finished my 17th book this week!  I hope to get to 25 by the end of the challenge.

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For the #ARCAugust challenge I have read 5 ARCs.  I didn’t set a numerical goal, just a goal of reading as many ARCs  in August as I possibly can.

 

HAVE A GREAT WEEK READING WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY!!!

 

 

ARCs and More Harry Potter

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Tell Me Tuesday is a weekly blog feature put on by La La in the Library where we discuss all the great things we have been reading.  What have YOU been reading?  Tell Me!!!

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I am participating in Read Sleep Repeat’s August ARC Challenge.  I was able to read 3 ARCs this week.

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Thieving Weasels by Billy Taylor 4 stars out of 5

If you are a fan of heists and cons like in the Ocean Eleven movies then you will really like this book.  I was a bit dubious of the book due to the cover but you know the saying right? “Don’t judge a book…” The main character, Skip, grew up in a family of thieves and con jobs.  He was taught from a young age to steal and lie but decided that it was not how he wanted to live the rest of his life.  Skip moved away, changed his name to Cam, studied hard, and got accepted to Princeton.  Things were going great until his Uncle finds him and blackmails him.  Skip/Cam doesn’t want Princeton or his girlfriend Claire to find out about his family so he decides to go through with his Uncle and his mom’s plans.  There are a lot of twists and turns in this book and it definitely kept me guessing at who was conning whom. This was a fun book!

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Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer 4 stars out of 5

I had received a sneak peak of this book and loved the first few chapters. Thankfully, I was approved to read the rest of the book a few days later. I had to know how it ended. This is one of the stranger books I have read. The main character, Mara, is a senior in high school so it is supposed to be the best years of her life. Unfortunately, students in the senior class are spontaneously combusting. (yep you read that right) There are many theories among the community of why this bizarre phenomenon is happening. Some think it is due to drugs. Some think it is a government conspiracy. Like I said, this book was strange and not necessarily my cup of tea but it was really well written and humorous. Also, I liked the message that life is short so tell those you love how you feel and go out and take chances in life.

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Substitute: Going to School With a Thousand Kids by Nicholson Baker 3 stars out of 5

I had high hopes for this book since I too am a substitute teacher.  It started out great.  The author talked about the process to become a substitute and how important it really is.  Then Baker talked about his first few sub assignments.  They were informative, interesting, and sometimes funny.  However, after about 100 pages of this it got a bit tiresome.  I thought according to the book description there would be more insight on the education system in the US.  I was also hoping for some really funny moments because as a sub, I know things can go wrong a lot! I will never forget the time a student asked me what voyeuristic meant.  I was horrified.  The author does express his feelings of frustration that he feels not much was accomplished that day and it was a waste.  It is an informative read but a bit dull.

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Last week I posted my review of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.  I had buddy read it with my blogger buddy La La in the Library. After finishing the book, we asked each other 10 questions.  WARNING! SPOILERS BELOW!!!!

Here are the questions La La asked me and my answers.

  1. What did you think about Albus’s and Scorpius’s friendship? I loved it and I loved how Albus wanted to still be Scorpius’ friend even after Scorpius told him his last name because Albus knows an infamous last name can be hard to have. I also like how their meeting mirrored Harry and Ron’s meeting on the train.
  2. What did you think was the cheesiest or most cliche event in the play? Anytime they used Polyjuice potion. Too convenient.
  3. What was your favorite scene? I really liked the scene where Harry is telling Ginny how he discovered that after his Aunt Petunia had passed away, the blanket he had been wrapped up in on the Dursley’s doorstep was found and Dudley gave it to Harry because he believed Petunia wanted him to have it. I thought that was pretty amazing considering how Harry had been treated by Petunia.
  4. What did you think about how Ron and Hermione “turned out” as adults in the second reality where Ron married Padma instead of Hermione? I liked that scene because I think it was very plausible.
  5. What was the element you hated the most? I just don’t like the whole Delphi storyline. It will forever change how I read about Bellatrix in the original seven books and that bothers me.
  6. Do you think that the Voldemort’s daughter element would have been more palatable if it was fleshed out in a regular book and not in play form? Yes I do because JKR has such a talent for weaving stories and putting clues into her books. With the play, I think it is just too sudden and abrupt therefore a little less believable.
  7. Did you cry, and if so, at what point(s) in the play? I did tear up a bit when Harry had to hear his parents die and he couldn’t do anything about it. The other part that just gutted me was when Albus was telling his dad, Harry, how much his parents loved him by what he had witnessed earlier in the day in Godric’s Hallow when he was watching them.
  8. Which original character besides Draco and the Golden Trio were you happiest to hear about? I liked knowing the Minerva McGonagall was still alive and kicking! Also, meeting Moaning Myrtle again was fun. I was sad their was no Luna.
  9. Did you think Albus was going to ask the Sorting Hat to put him in Gryffindor? YES because in the original epilogue in Deathly Hallows he was so worried about it and I think Slytherin still has such a bad reputation. But I always guessed he would be put in Slytherin because his initials are ASP. An asp is a snake!

10. Who do you think the cursed child in the title was referring to? I think it could be a number of people. Albus, Scorpius, Delphi because of who their parents are.  It could also be referring to Harry himself because of his unhappy childhood and how it has affected him as a father.  So while I agree it could be any of them, I would like to throw out that it could be Cedric Diggory.  It seemed in every life or reality, he was destined to either be evil or die.

Now here are the questions I asked La La and her answers.

1. If you had a time turner would you use it and if so, what would you like to go back in time to see or change? Before I had my son I would have jumped on the idea of going back and changing something in my past, but now I would not want anything to jeopardize having my son, or the person that he has become. I would go back to see my grandmother again, but only to watch and hear her voice.
2. What is one thing you wish they had included but didn’t? (Yep I stole your unused question ). I would have loved a scene at The Burrow with Harry asking Molly’s advice about how to deal with Albus.
3. What was your favorite scene and why? The final scene with Harry and Albus talking on the hillside. Especially when Albus tells Harry how Lily and James fussed over baby Harry. I think the end of the play deserves the, “And all was well.” ending line more than the epilogue did. Ha ha.
4. What was your least favorite scene and why? The Trolley Lady scene! It read more like a scene from transformers or a comic. Metal spikes for arms? Come on. I hope that mental picture fades from my mind soon because I don’t want to be thinking of that when I reread the books or watch the movies!

5. Was there a character from the original books that wasn’t in the play that you wish had been? Who?  George Weasley.
6. Why do you think Harry could speak Parseltongue and his scar hurt again after 22 years? JKR said this when asked why Harry’s scar hurt in the original books…

“According to J. K. Rowling during a web chat with her, the lightning scar no longer burns or hurts after Voldemort’s defeat. J. K.Rowling stated that the pain from Harry’s scar on his forehead is caused by the piece of Voldemort’s soul trying to leave his body through the wound it entered to rejoin its master’s soul.” –WIKIA

Taking this into consideration, and the fact the scar hurting was linked to the PTSD nightmares he was having because of the discussions at work about Voldemort’s past supporters’ movements and Diggory’s visit, AND the fact that it started hurting before Albus and Scorpius changed the future, I would say it was a PTSD symptom.

The Parseltongue thing is a little trickier. I would have to go back and read those parts again. Maybe he hadn’t forgotten, but only put it out if his head because of the association with Voldemort, and when he needed it in an emergency the wall he had built around it in his mind came down?
7. Are you happy with the 8th story or do you wish you hadn’t read it? I am happy I read it. It isn’t perfect, even as a play, but I think it gave more closure than the Deathly Hallows epilogue offered. I think it also explained more in depth some of the ideas JKR was trying to impart in the series, too.
8. Do you think this book should be considered canon? Yes. JKR didn’t write it, but she consulted on it and if anything wasn’t something she wanted to happen it would have been rewritten; like with the screenplays for the movies. This is one of the reasons why it cannot be considered fanfic like so many people are suggesting, and simply ignored.
9. If the play comes to the US will you go see it? Absolutely! I was elated when I saw it would most likely be on Broadway next season. I live a little over three hours from NYC by bus, so it is no problem for me to get there.
10. Who do you think the cursed child is?I think it was written so each reader could form their own opinion, but I feel it was ultimately conveying that any child who is ignored growing up, or told by others they are something bad, or less than expected, is cursed because it will impact their future in a negative way; and in turn future generations. A lot of characters in the play fit this description.

Have you read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child? I would love to know your thoughts.

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child Review

TELL ME TUESDAY!!!

Tell Me Tuesday is a weekly blog post put on by La La in the Library where we discuss the books we have been reading this week.  Be sure to check out her blog and tell us what you have been reading!

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 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

4 stars out of 5

This review contains SPOILERS!!! I am pretty sure this is the first time I gave a book with J.K. Rowling’s name on it 4 stars.  And let’s be honest it is because she didn’t write all of it.  I knew going in that this was NOT a novel but a script and that two other people helped her write it.  But I of course wanted to know more of Harry’s story so I bought it and I am glad for the most part that I did.  I do believe, though I don’t have proof, that the idea of the this story is Rowling’s.  It is brilliant.  The time turner and going back to book four when Harry is competing in the Tri-Wizard tournament is genius. It was fun to read about old and familiar characters and revisit the magic of Hogwarts.  My favorite parts of the book were with Harry’s son Albus and Malfoy’s son Scorpius.  Albus and Scorpius become fast friends on the train to Hogwarts.  They share the same curse, an infamous last name.  This in part makes them to want to prove themselves and leads to the adventure with the time turner.  With the help of Delphi, a girl they meet, they decide to go back in time with a recently found time turner they stole.  Their mission is to save Cedric Diggory from dying in the Tri-Wizard tournament. After repeated attempts, things get really messed up.  They have altered time so that at one point Harry Potter is dead and Voldemort is still alive! There is a couple plot twists and a HUGE reveal of who Delphi really is.  I enjoyed this book but my favorite parts were with the new generation of students at Hogwarts, Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Draco’s kids.  I would have liked more of them and less of the original trio.  I also think this story will be so much better as it was meant to be experienced, as a play.  I look forward to when it comes to the U.S. from London.

I buddy read The Cursed Child with my blogger friend La La in the Library  We interviewed each other after reading it. I will post that next week.

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OUTLANDER UPDATE: I finished book two and started book 3, Voyager. I do believe it is my favorite so far.

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My friend T.L. Coulter has a new book coming out August 14th. She revealed the cover today and it is beautiful! Check it out below.  Feel free to follow her on Twitter at @tlc2255

 

Summary of the book:

Ten years ago, a chance meeting on a plane brought two people together who could not deny the instant connection. A whirlwind romance whispered promises of forever. However, when one of them is forced to make a choice between responsibility and love, the choice made drives them apart. Years later, the summer spent together under the stars still burns deep within them

To the public eye, it seems that bestselling author Kendra Monroe has everything going for her. Not only are her novels doing well, but she’s just been offered a movie deal for her latest work. What the public doesn’t know is that, every day, she fights a losing battle with her heart. Every man she meets can’t compare to “him”, until she meets Duke Winston.

Will Duke finally be the man to help Kendra forget about “him”, or will she be haunted forever by memories of a long-lost love that won’t let her go?

Black & Green, Always…

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It is August! I have joined Read Sleep Repeat in the ARC August challenge.  This basically means during the month of August I read and review as many ARCs (Advance Reading Copy) as I can.  I am currently reading Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer. It started out amazing and has kind of gotten tiresome in the middle.  I do plan to finish it though. Review to come next week.

 VASRP-theheartofabookblogger

Valerie at He Said Books or Me and Octavia at Read Sleep Repeat  are doing the VASRP (Virtual Adult Summer Reading Program) challenge.  My goal is to read 17-24 books between June 20th and September 5th.  I am at 12 so I am confident I will meet my goal.

 

HAVE A GREAT WEEK!