Tell Me Tuesday-2017 Reading Challenge Updates

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Tell Me Tuesday is a weekly feature put on by La La in the Library. It is where we talk about what we have been reading and what we look forward to reading.  This week, my Tell Me Tuesday is going to be an update on my 2017 Reading Challenges. I didn’t have time to do an update in February so my  progress includes books from February AND March.

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The new updates are marked in red.

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Again, the new updates are marked in red.

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I did not read any Newbery Medal or Printz Award books.

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My goal is to read all seven books in 2017.

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I read one Harry Potter book.  I love the illustrated book version! So pretty.

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My goal is to read books 5 and 6.

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Finally Finished book 5!

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This challenge is to read books where animals are featured or they are the main characters. I set a goal to read 7-12.  These put me at 7.

I read these four.

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How are your reading challenges going?

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Caraval, a Cat, and Cinderella

This post is linked up with  The Sunday PostThe Saturday Situation, and Stacking the Shelves.

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Thanks to the nine hour flight to and from London, I was able to get some books read on my Spring Break vacation. To see photos from my trip click HERE.  My favorite book was a surprise.  If you have read my blog before, you know I am a huge dog lover so the fact that I adored this cat book was shocking.

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bob

Goodreads Blurb

When James Bowen found an injured, ginger street cat curled up in the hallway of his sheltered accommodation, he had no idea just how much his life was about to change. James was living hand to mouth on the streets of London and the last thing he needed was a pet. Yet James couldn’t resist helping the strikingly intelligent tom cat, whom he quickly christened Bob. He slowly nursed Bob back to health and then sent the cat on his way, imagining he would never see him again. But Bob had other ideas.

My Thoughts

This was so much more than a book about a guy rescuing a cat.  It was more about the cat rescuing a guy.  James was a recovering heroin addict and trying to make it by playing music in the tube stations of London.  James only had to think about himself until Bob came into the picture.  That is the wonderful thing about animals and pets, they rely on you and give you purpose.  James discovered this over and over. What happens in James’ life after meeting Bob is just short of miraculous.    There is a sequel to this book which I plan on reading soon.

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caraval

Goodreads Blurb

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

My Thoughts

This was a fun read that was a mix of The Hunger Games and Harry Potter with maybe a little Game of Thrones mixed in. The world and the game the author creates is rich and colorful and I definitely felt like I was there.  I loved the concept of this book but the main character, Scarlett annoyed me a bit.  She seemed whiny and weak. However, with that said, and not giving away too much of the story, I think that the point of this book and the game she plays is to make her strong.  There is a sequel to this book, which I will read in the hopes that Scarlett has grown as a character.

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This was a fun retelling of Cinderella. It was well written and my favorite part was the main character has an obsession with a tv show and finds other like her to help cope with the death of her father. Unfortunately, her step mother thinks it is a waste of time. This reminds me of my crazy obsession for Harry Potter. “It taught me a lot of things. Like about friendship and loyalty, and how to think critically and look for all sides of a narrative…” This can apply to any fandom out there. We can find people who share our passions and form long lasting friendships. This was a creative story. I mean, the “pumpkin” for this Cinderella story is a food truck! I highly recommend this believable retelling of a classic fairy tale.

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LONDON

I just got back from a week long trip to London.  I am sad to hear about the terrorist attack that occurred near Big Ben.  My thoughts and prayers go out to the people of London and all those affected by the horrible tragedy.

Here are some photos from my trip! On our first day, we drove a little over an hour outside of London to Dover and Canterbury. It was quite the adventure to drive a car with the steering wheel on the wrong side of the car and to drive on the wrong side of the road.

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 cliffs of Dover near Dover, Kent, UK.

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I SAW THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND!

Big Ben, Parliament, and Tower Bridge

The Harry Potter Warner Brother Studio Tour was AMAZING!

We had a 24 hour layover in Reykjavik, Iceland.  It was such a beautiful city!

Tell Me Tuesday

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Tell Me Tuesday is a weekly blog feature put on by La La in the Library.  It is where we talk about what we have read, what we are reading, and what we will be reading next.  We also like to know what YOU have been reading, so tell us.

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What I Read Last

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The description of the main character, Otto, intrigued me right away. I don’t think I have ever read a book where the main character has severe burns on half of his face. This challenge piqued my interest especially since Otto is an actor in Hollywood. I loved that this was a road trip story and the best part was that the characters in the book admit that road trip stories can be cliche. But because they say this, it makes it NOT cliche. The characters are wonderfully fleshed out and my favorite was Mo, the hitchhiker. I hope we run into her again in subsequent books. The author writes beautifully and there were some sweet moments between Otto and his ex-boyfriend, now friend and road trip buddy, Russell. “I know I can’t be with him. But I still want to be around him. It doesn’t feel good exactly. But it makes me feel something. And it’s better than what I was feeling before, which was alone.” I really enjoyed this book. It was inspiring and thought provoking and I couldn’t put it down. I look forward to reading more books about Otto Digmore.

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What I am Currently Reading

 

caraval

Goodreads Book Blurb

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

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What I will read Next

 

Book 3 in the Shades of Magic Series

 

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Review: The Hate U Give and City of Saints and Thieves

This post is linked with The Sunday Post,  Stacking the Shelves, and Saturday Situation. It is where we talk about our latest reads.  Be sure to click and see what we have all been reading.

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I read a couple of great books this week that deal with some heavy topics.  Even though these books are fiction, the problems they talk about are very real.  One of the reasons I love to read is that I love to learn new things.  These books taught me about some horrific things that are happening in the  world today but they also showed me what the power of love, hope, and tolerance can achieve.

 

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Goodreads Book Blurb

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

My Thoughts

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This timely story was told in an honest and very raw way.  It captures the unfortunate cycle of violence of young black people and the impact that they can’t escape. The author does a great job showing both worlds.  Since Starr and her family lives in the ghetto, we get that perspective, but because she goes to a private school of mostly white kids, we also get that perspective.  I don’t feel this book took sides.  Starr’s uncle is a cop and her boyfriend is white so we see all sides of this terrible crime. This was a sobering yet important story that teens and adults should read.

city

Goodreads Book Blurb

In the shadows of Sangui City, there lives a girl who doesn’t exist. After fleeing the Congo as refugees, Tina and her mother arrived in Kenya looking for the chance to build a new life and home. Her mother quickly found work as a maid for a prominent family, headed by Roland Greyhill, one of the city’s most respected business leaders. But Tina soon learns that the Greyhill fortune was made from a life of corruption and crime. So when her mother is found shot to death in Mr. Greyhill’s personal study, she knows exactly who’s behind it.

My Thoughts

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A great mystery thriller! I feel like there are not enough of these type of books for YA.  The setting takes place in Africa and the author’s descriptions make you feel as if you are right there.  Also, there are so many wonderful characters! The story was very suspenseful and I had no idea until the reveal who the murderer was.  Most importantly, this story talks about very realistic events that unfortunately happen in the Congo.  Human rights violations, especially against women and children are common.  A must read.

Tell Me Tuesday

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Tell Me Tuesday is a weekly blog feature put on by La La in the Library.  It is where we discuss what we have been reading, what we are reading now, and what we will be reading next.  Be sure to check out our latest reads and tell us yours!

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WHAT I AM READING NOW

 

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GOODREADS BOOK BLURB

Otto Digmore is a 26-year-old guy with dreams of being a successful actor, and he’s finally getting some attention as a result of his supporting role on a struggling sitcom. But he’s also a burn survivor with scars on half his face, and all indications are that he’s just too different to ever find real Hollywood success.

Now he’s up for an amazing new role that could change everything. Problem is, he and his best friend Russel Middlebrook have to drive all the way across the country in order to get to the audition on time.

It’s hard to say which is worse: the fact that so many things go wrong, or that Russel, an aspiring screenwriter, keeps comparing their experiences to some kind of road trip movie.

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WHAT I AM READING NEXT

 

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GOODREADS BOOK BLURB

In the shadows of Sangui City, there lives a girl who doesn’t exist. After fleeing the Congo as refugees, Tina and her mother arrived in Kenya looking for the chance to build a new life and home. Her mother quickly found work as a maid for a prominent family, headed by Roland Greyhill, one of the city’s most respected business leaders. But Tina soon learns that the Greyhill fortune was made from a life of corruption and crime. So when her mother is found shot to death in Mr. Greyhill’s personal study, she knows exactly who’s behind it.

With revenge always on her mind, Tina spends the next four years surviving on the streets alone, working as a master thief for the Goondas, Sangui City’s local gang. It’s a job for the Goondas that finally brings Tina back to the Greyhill estate, giving her the chance for vengeance she’s been waiting for. But as soon as she steps inside the lavish home, she’s overtaken by the pain of old wounds and the pull of past friendships, setting into motion a dangerous cascade of events that could, at any moment, cost Tina her life. But finally uncovering the incredible truth about who killed her mother—and why—keeps her holding on in this fast-paced nail-biting thriller.

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WHAT I READ LAST

I reviewed both of these books in my last blog post. Click HERE to read what I thought about them. (Hint, they were pretty amazing!)

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What have you been reading? I would love to know!

We Are Okay Review and More

This post is linked up with The Saturday Situation and The Sunday Post.  They are weekly blog features where we discuss what we have been reading this week. Check out our latest reads.

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weareokay

I really enjoyed this book.  It was a quick read and I do wish it had been a bit longer. I would have liked to know more about Marin and her story.

Book Blurb by Goodreads

Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

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edgeofuniverse

 The writing is fantastic and the story was intriguing. Ozzie’s boyfriend, Tommy disappeared not only from his life but from everyone he knows memories. No one remembers Tommy and they all believe that Ozzie had an imaginary boyfriend. Also, Ozzie is noticing that the Universe is shrinking every day. Stars and planets are disappearing. This book kept me engaged because I wanted to find out if the universe was really disappearing, had Tommy ever existed, was it a conspiracy, or is Ozzie just plain crazy?There are so many interesting characters in this book that also kept the plot moving forward. I highly recommend this quirky fantasy read.

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This is the perfect book for children to read and learn about the amazing dogs that have played a part in history. There are wonderful facts sprinkled throughout the book and colorful pictures to grab your attention. The author does a great job introducing the history of dogs and how they have been around and helped humans for hundreds and hundreds of years. Some of the chapters talk about specific dogs and how they have helped humans. For example, Seaman was the dog that helped Lewis and Clark on their expedition. One chapter talks about Buddy, one of the first service dogs to help the blind but the chapter also talks about how there are many types of service dogs now to help out humans. Other chapters talk about military dogs and their role through history helping American soldiers during combat. This book was very informative without being too wordy. I think kids will love this book and learn so much about how dogs play an important role in many of our lives.

Happy Birthday Dr. Suess/Read Across America Day

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”-Dr. Seuss

 

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I wanted to do a quick blog post celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday which is now recognized as Read Across America Day.

Some of my earliest memories of reading are of my father reading Dr. Seuss books to me before bed.  I truly believe that these books helped me fall in love with reading.

My favorite Dr. Seuss books were…

Did you read Dr. Seuss books as a kid? If so, which ones were your favorite?