Book reviews, read-a-thons, & more

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Series: Hex Hall Book 1
Pages:
323

Synopsis:

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It’s gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie’s estranged father–an elusive European warlock–only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

 

Review at a Glance: 

Sophie is not your average “trouble child.” In fact, she’s not average at all – she’s a witch. Sophie Mercer has been having a difficult time getting used to her powers, even though her mortal mother has researched as much as she can in an attempt to help her daughter through her time of transition. Eventually Sophie goes too far and there is no choice left but to send her to a boarding school for other special students like her. You will find yourself immersed in Sophie’s journey as well as all of the mysteries that surround her and her new school. I loved this book and gave it a 5 out of 5 stars.

My Thoughts:

I was pulled into this book from the very first page. There was humor, romance, and most importantly – mystery! There was some of what I call a “Harry Potter” feel to this book, especially considering the setting is a school for magical beings, but it also managed to stand on its own just fine. I loved going on this journey with Sophie and her new friends (and enemies), and it made me want to immediately pick up the next book in her story. Yet another book that I chose for a read-a-thon, I finished this book in about half a day, unable to put it down.

My Overall Rating: 5/5

Will I Continue With This Author: Absolutely! I am super excited to continue with this series!

Goodreads | Amazon

Booktube-A-Thon Updates

The Challenges (bold if completed):
Read a book with picturesMiss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs | [340 pages]
Read a book with red on the coverAnna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake | [309 pages]
Start & Finish a seriesAnna Dressed in Blood & Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake | [323 pages]
Read a book that someone else chooses for youHex Hall by Rachel Hawkins | [323 pages]
Read & watch a book-to-movie adaptationCrouch End by Stephen King | [27 pages – part of Nightmares & Dreamscapes]
Read a book from the genre you’ve read least this yearThe Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan | [312 pages]

 

Updates:

 

Sunday

Number of books I’ve started today: 1
Number of books I’ve completed today: 2
Total number of books I’ve completed: 6
Number of pages I’ve read today: 297
Number of pages I’ve read total: 1660
Books: Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake, Crouch End by Stephen King
Thoughts: Found a way around having to read a full length novel to complete the book to movie adaptation challenge, so I’m pretty dang pleased with that! I didn’t quite make the 300 pages/day challenge, but I read a crazy amount for a 7 day span, and I’m proud of myself for it. Phew! Sad that it’s over, but ready for some rest!
Challenges: Start & Finish a series, read & watch a book to movie adaptation

 

Saturday 

Number of books I’ve started today: 1
Number of books I’ve completed today: 0
Total number of books I’ve completed: 4
Number of pages I’ve read today: 37
Number of pages I’ve read total: 1363
Books: Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake, Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Thoughts: Really awful reading day. Pretty much took a break today and did other things, so not sure how likely it is that I’ll be able to catch up, but I’m still really happy that I’ve read so much in 6 days!
Challenges: Cosplay, 5 items from a book read during Booktube-A-Thon.

 

Friday

Number of books I’ve started today: 1
Number of books I’ve completed today: 1
Total number of books I’ve completed: 4
Number of pages I’ve read today: 323
Number of pages I’ve read total: 1326
Books: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
Thoughts: I loved Anna Dressed in Blood! It really helped me up my word count for the day, and I’m so excited to be moving along!!
Challenges: Read a book with red on the cover, book rainbow.

 

Thursday

Number of books I’ve started today: 1
Number of books I’ve completed today: 1
Total number of books I’ve completed: 3
Number of pages I’ve read today: 230
Number of pages I’ve read total: 1003
Books: The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan, Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Thoughts: Much better page count today, but still not quite where I need to be. Going to have to really do a LOT of reading this weekend to catch up!
Challenges: Book in the genre least read this year, Book Spine Short Story.

 

Wednesday

Number of books I’ve started today: 1
Number of books I’ve completed today: 0
Total number of books I’ve completed: 2
Number of pages I’ve read today:110
Number of pages I’ve read total: 773
Books: The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan
Thoughts: Much slower reading today, but I’m still plowing along! Getting tired, but I know my second wind is coming anytime now!
Challenges: No challenges today.

 

Tuesday

Number of books I’ve started today: 0
Number of books I’ve completed today: 1
Total number of books I’ve completed: 2
Number of pages I’ve read today: 287
Number of pages I’ve read total: 663
Books: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Thoughts: Fell slightly behind on my reading today, but discovered a book that ended up being nothing like I had imagined it, which has been pretty great!
Challenges: Read a book with pictures.

 

Monday

Number of books I’ve started today: 2
Number of books I’ve completed today: 1
Total number of books I’ve completed: 1
Number of pages I’ve read today: 376
Number of pages I’ve read total: 376
Books: Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Thoughts:Booktube-A-Thon is off to an AWESOME start! I loved my first book, and my second book is taking some getting used to, but I’m having a blast!!
Challenges: Top three books I’ve read that were inspired by BookTube & completed a book that someone else chose for me.

Booktube-A-Thon Update Videos

Here is where I will post my Update Videos for each day!

 

Wrap Up:

Day 7:

Day 5 & 6:

Day 4:

Day 2 & 3:

Day 1:

Booktube-A-Thon 2014 Intro & TBR

Hey hey, fellow bookworms! It is that time of year again – Booktube-A-Thon!! Those of us on the West Coast have less than three hours left before the stroke of midnight, and I cannot wait to get started. I will be posting daily update videos on YouTube, along with the video challenges, and keeping track of my reading here as well.

The challenges:

Read a book with pictures – Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Read a book with red on the cover – Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Start & Finish a series – Anna Dressed in Blood & Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
Read a book that someone else chooses for you – Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Read & watch a book-to-movie adaptation – Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Read a book from the genre you’ve read least this year – The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan

I will put up an update post tomorrow so that you can all see my progress on a daily basis, and will also direct you guys to my videos. To all participating, happy Booktube-A-Thoning to you all!!

Here is my TBR video:

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Standalone
Pages:
313

Synopsis:

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

 

Review at a Glance: 

Living with Cancer has become a way of life for Hazel, and though she has not given up, she has accepted what is. This is a new approach to this kind of story, and it is refreshing. Where many stories of this genre will spring illness on the reader as a shock, we instead get to watch as Hazel goes through her teenage life, living with a horrible disease. Where many YA books are an escape from this world, TFiOS is a realization of what real life is like, and just how precious each moment is. In similar books, I have found a superhuman approach to the main character, but John Green has captured a spunky, sarcastic teenage girl instead. While Hazel may have more wits than some others of her age, she is also very real and, in my opinion, very relatable.

If you are looking for an easy, fictitious world to escape into, TFiOS may not be for you. But if you are looking for a real inside look that may change the way you look at things, I would suggest picking up this wonderful book. It is a difficult subject matter to read about, but an easy read as far as readablity goes. TFiOS is also packed full of what I like to call “Quotable Quotes.” Though it took a couple chapters to get used to Mr. Green’s unique first person style, I thoroughly loved this book and gave it 5 out of 5 stars.

My Thoughts:

I took my time getting around to reading this book, despite everyone around me shouting at me about how amazing it is. In all honesty, so many people had told me of how great it is that I was weary to read it. I finally decided to just check out the first chapter and see what I thought. After a few pages, I was sure that I wouldn’t like it, but I pushed through anyway. Around the end of the first chapter, I had to admit that my original instinct had been wrong. Two and a half days later, I had finished the book.

While I truly enjoy books about unrealistically happy and heroic characters, I enjoy books about real people even more. TFiOS is not written quite like a journal, but has that feel due to its first person perspective. We, as the reader, are not seeing the outside perspective of Hazel and the other characters, but instead get an inside look at what is going on inside of Hazel’s head. It is hearbreaking, real, beautiful, and unique. At only 313 pages, what have you got to lose?

My Overall Rating: 5/5

Will I Continue With This Author: Absolutely! I can’t wait to read more of his books.

Goodreads | Amazon

 

TMI-a-Thon Updates

This is the post where I will be putting all eleven days worth of updates. But before I get to that, first things first. Here are my goals:

  • Read at least 50 pages a day (obviously some days will have to be more than this to get through my second goal, but this is just my minimum).
  • Read at least the first three books.
  • Spend at least one hour reading a day.

So there you have it! My goals are simple ones, but they are goals nonetheless. If you are participating, let me know what your goals are!

 

Sunday the 30th

Number of books I’ve started today: 0
Number of books I’ve completed today: 0
Total number of books I’ve completed: 1
Number of pages I’ve read today: 10
Number of pages I’ve read total: 515
Books: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Thoughts: Finished painting and started decorating today, and school starts back tomorrow. For these reasons,  I don’t feel too bad about being so far behind. Still enjoying my re-reads!

 

Saturday the 29th

Number of books I’ve started today: 0
Number of books I’ve completed today: 0
Total number of books I’ve completed: 1
Number of pages I’ve read today: 20
Number of pages I’ve read total: 525
Books: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Thoughts: Spent most of the day painting my bathroom after cleaning and organizing, so I’m proud to have fit in any reading!

 

Friday the 28th

Number of books I’ve started today: 0
Number of books I’ve completed today: 0
Total number of books I’ve completed: 1
Number of pages I’ve read today: 20
Number of pages I’ve read total: 505
Books: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Thoughts: Falling behind again, but spending the weekend doing some home renovations so it’s okay.

 

Thursday the 27th

Number of books I’ve started today: 0
Number of books I’ve completed today: 0
Total number of books I’ve completed: 1
Number of pages I’ve read today:40
Number of pages I’ve read total: 485
Books: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Thoughts: Fell behind a little, but still enjoying which is the point!

 

Wednesday the 26th

Number of books I’ve started today: 1
Number of books I’ve completed today: 0
Total number of books I’ve completed: 1
Number of pages I’ve read today:52
Number of pages I’ve read total: 445
Books: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Thoughts: Fighting the urge to pick up Insurgent!  I’m still really enjoying rereading these wonderful books. Not going to get through three like I had hoped, but this is the most I’ve read since July so I’m proud of that!

 

 

Tuesday the 25th

Number of books I’ve started today: 0
Number of books I’ve completed today: 1
Total number of books I’ve completed: 1
Number of pages I’ve read today: 63
Number of pages I’ve read total: 393
Books: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Thoughts: I’m still so amazed at how much I had forgotten. I knew the movie had changed things, but I had forgotten just how much. Just as great to read as it was the first time!

 

Monday the 24th

Number of books I’ve started today: 0
Number of books I’ve completed today: 0
Total number of books I’ve completed: 0
Number of pages I’ve read today: 100
Number of pages I’ve read total: 330
Books: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Thoughts: Back on track! I’m really enjoying rereading and am excited to finish it so that I can start the second book!

 

Sunday the 23rd

Number of books I’ve started today: 0
Number of books I’ve completed today: 0
Total number of books I’ve completed: 0
Number of pages I’ve read today: 14
Number of pages I’ve read total: 230
Books: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Thoughts: I am failing hardcore now with only a chapter yet again. It’s more read in 5 days, though, than I have read at all since January!

 

Saturday the 22nd

Number of books I’ve started today: 0
Number of books I’ve completed today: 0
Total number of books I’ve completed: 0
Number of pages I’ve read today: 12
Number of pages I’ve read total: 216
Books: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Thoughts: was with the best friend all day so sadly only got on chapter read. Saw Divergent and now am wanting to read Insurgent!

 

Friday the 21st

Number of books I’ve started today: 0
Number of books I’ve completed today: 0
Total number of books I’ve completed: 0
Number of pages I’ve read today: 42
Number of pages I’ve read total: 204
Books: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Thoughts: Sleepover with the best friend so didn’t get as much read as I had hoped.

Thursday the 20th

Number of books I’ve started today: 0
Number of books I’ve completed today: 0
Total number of books I’ve completed: 0
Number of pages I’ve read today: 72
Number of pages I’ve read total: 162
Books: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Thoughts: I had forgotten so many events! I enjoyed the movie, but I hadn’t realized just how much they had changed since it had been so long since I’d read the book. Still really enjoying my reread!

Wednesday the 19th

Number of books I’ve started today: 0
Number of books I’ve completed today: 0
Total number of books I’ve completed: 0
Number of pages I’ve read today: 90
Number of pages I’ve read total: 90
Books: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Thoughts: I am enjoying this book almost as much as the first time that I read it! This is the most relaxed I’ve been in a long time. Curling up with a good book is a great way to kick off Spring Break!

Starting Point

Pages already read at the beginning of the read-a-thon: 90

TMI-a-thon Announcement!

Hello my fellow bookworms!

I have some exciting news! Or at least I think it is exciting. I am hosting my first ever Read-a-thon. It will be a TMI-a-thon, which is a Mortal Instruments Read-a-thon (or Infernal Devices if you prefer), to get ready for the final book that will be coming out in May. I have made an announcement video discussing it, but here are the main details:

  • Time frame: Wed. Mar. 19 through Sun. Mar. 30
  • I will be updating here, on my YouTube channel, and on Twitter
  • The Twitter discussions will take place at the hashtag #TMIathon
  • There are no planned challenges currently. This is a casual read-a-thon to remind ourselves of what happened in either The Mortal Instruments or The Infernal Devices. However, if you have suggestions for challenges, please feel free to let me know!

Please check out the video if you would like more information, to link to my Twitter account, and to check out the other Read-a-thon I am participating in this month! I look forward to rereading these wonderful books and hope that you will all join me!