Posted in Bookmas, Memes

Advent Calendar Challenge Day 3

So year it’s the third day of December and I’m already enjoying all my Christmas-y stuff. Including the Advent Calendar Challenge I’m probably picking up too many Christmas projects and readathons, but over readthoning is not a problem (it’s not). I’m trying to get to 100 books so I need all the help I can get.

I’m only 14 books away but I thought as many challenges as possible could help. Though for the Advent Calendar Challenge I’m mostly looking back on the year, I think that will help too when I right my end of the year posts.

Image

So today’s prompt is my favorite book of the year so far. It really is a tie between Vespertine, and Ancestor Approved. Both of them I wish I could read again without having read them, both of them I want a sequel. But at the final count I think Ancestor Approved has to win for its diverse mix of Indigenous authors. I loved every story in there and every story was different it was a wonderful anthology and I really hope there is another one like it in the future. Come on Heartdrum, if you’re listening it was amazing and I need more.

If you haven’t read the book here’s more information.

Ancestor Approved

Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids by [Cynthia Leitich Smith]

Native families from Nations across the continent gather at the Dance for Mother Earth Powwow in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

In a high school gym full of color and song, people dance, sell beadwork and books, and celebrate friendship and heritage. Young protagonists will meet relatives from faraway, mysterious strangers, and sometimes one another (plus one scrappy rez dog).

Contributors include:

Joseph Bruchac
Art Coulson
Christine Day
Eric Gansworth
Carole Lindstrom
Dawn Quigley
Rebecca Roanhorse
David A. Robertson
Andrea L. Rogers
Kim Rogers
Cynthia Leitich Smith
Monique Gray Smith
Traci Sorell,
Tim Tingle
Erika T. Wurth
Brian Young

It was really a great book with some of the biggest names in Indigenous children’s literature.

Amazon: Ancestor Approved

Join me tomorrow for more Christmas goodness as I look back over the year, as well as Christmas tags, and reviews.

Posted in ARCs, Feature

Counterclockwise Heart

I just wanted to let you know about a cool new middle great book coming out, by the same writer who gave you The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse, one of my faves! Check out, The Counterclockwise Heart I’ll be spotlighting soon and so I wanted to give you a sneak peek, check out the information below.

By Brian Farrey and out February 1st 2022, this book tells the story of a kingdom with a crisis.

Summary

Tick . . . tick . . . tick . . .
 
Time is running out in the empire of Rheinvelt.
 
The sudden appearance of a strange and frightening statue foretells darkness. The Hierophants—magic users of the highest order—have fled the land. And the shadowy beasts of the nearby Hinterlands are gathering near the borders, preparing for an attack.
 
Young Prince Alphonsus is sent by his mother, the Empress Sabine, to reassure the people while she works to quell the threat of war. But Alphonsus has other problems on his mind, including a great secret: He has a clock in his chest where his heart should be— His heart has begun to run counterclockwise, counting down to his unknown fate.
 
Searching for answers about the clock, Alphonsus meets Esme, a Hierophant girl who has returned to the empire in search of a sorceress known as the Nachtfrau. When riddles from their shared past threaten the future of the empire, Alphonsus and Esme must learn to trust each other and work together to save it—or see the destruction of everything they both love.

More about the Author

Brian Farrey is a two-time winner of the Minnesota Book Award and the 2017 recipient of the McKnight Fellowship in Children’s Literature. His debut novel, With or Without You, was named a Stonewall honor book by the American Library Association and the 2012 Minnesota Book Award winner for Young People’s literature. The first book in his critically acclaimed middle grade fantasy trilogy (The Vengekeep Prophecies) was named a Junior Library Guild selection.  He lives in the Twin Cities with his husband and their cats.

Come join me for my review of this fabulous book in February! Check out the author on Twitter @BrianFarrey and the publishing company at @AlgonquinYR

Amazon: The Counterclockwise Heart

Posted in Feature, Memes

Christmas Stocking Tag

I found the Christmas Stocking Tag on Reading through Infinity last year and thought I’d and thought I’d try it again. The Christmas Stocking Challenge is a pretty easy tag especially if you’ve been tracking your books for the year which you totally should via Kal @ Reader Voracious’ wonderful spreadsheet which I’ve used for the past two years and you can find here.

Rules

  • Link to the person who tagged you
  • Link to me, as I’d love to read your answers
  • Answer all 10 questions, choosing books for each theme
  • Tag five people to do this

An orange! Which book is refreshing and vibrant, both inside and out?

Starfish

Starfish by [Lisa Fipps]

This book had to make the Christmas Stocking Tag List this book let me feeling refreshed because it was one of first children’s books I’ve seen where the characters are being fat positive. So it’s my refreshing book.

The next thing you see is a bag of chocolate coins. (Yum) Which book have you recently bought that was a little expensive, but totally worth the price?

Steelstriker

Steelstriker (Skyhunter Duology Book 2) by [Marie Lu]

I did the pre-order for the pretty extra art gift. So I spluged a little with this book but the quality art I got in return was totally worth it.

You also pull out a bath bomb. Tell us about a book that had explosive action scenes.

Vespertine

Vespertine by [Margaret Rogerson]

Vespertine totally won the action award for the Christmas Stocking Tag this year I won’t spoil anything but there are some awesome action scenes.

Next is a pack of playing cards. Which series won you over?

The Revenge of Magic Series

Normally I’m not a huge fan of a male protagonist but the action and the world in general won me over in the end. I also especially liked some of the side characters.

You also get a candle. Which character is a symbol of hope in their story?

Five Things About Ava Andrews

Five Things About Ava Andrews by [Margaret Dilloway]

Ava becomes a symbol of hope not only to herself but to her whole community when she learns how to speak up. I really think she fits this prompt very well.

There are socks inside too. Is there a book that you think really encompasses all the distinctive tropes of its genre?

The Tea Dragon Tapestry

The Tea Dragon Tapestry (The Tea Dragon Series Book 3) by [K. O'Neill]

I think K. O’Neill’s works show the the best parts of the graphic novel genre, from their content to their illustration they really are at the top and show off the best qualities of what a graphic novel can be.

There’s also a notebook. Which author’s writing process do you find most interesting/inspiring?

I’m very interested in Marieke Nijkamp, Rajani LaRocca, and Katherine Arden think and write. Also I want the answers to some cliffhangers they’ve left me!

To go with the notebook, there’s a fancy pen. Is there a book or a series that you’d change if you’d written it yourself?

The Brave by [James Bird]

The Brave by James Bird is the book that has the lowest ranking this year. However it’s because it was criticized by other Indigenous people like the author. I’m definitely not the one to change it however if it were to be changed I think someone with better knowledge of the culture represented to should be the one to do it.

There’s also a small bedside clock. Which book took you a long time to pick up but was worth it in the end?

The Dragon Egg Princess

The Dragon Egg Princess by [Ellen Oh]

I put it down a couple of times but I eventually finished it and it was a great read.

Your pile is getting really big. You reach in to pull out the last gift and it’s… a lump of coal? You’re a little disappointed. But you look closer and realise there’s a seam running through the coal. You crack it open and sitting inside is a tiny golden gem. Tell us about a book that surprised you in some way.

The Infinity Courts

The Infinity Courts by [Akemi Dawn Bowman]

This book surprised me in a lot of ways. I thought it was just going to be another YA I wouldn’t like. But it had so many surprising twists and turns it ended up being one of my favorite book of the year and I can’t wait for the sequel. (April 2022 for those wondering). It’s definitely a five star read and I’d totally recommend.

Five tagged people

@bookworm_blue

@ImogenTypes

@emmaferrierx

@cosychapters

@kalventure

Posted in Reviews

Dead City Review

I wish I’d seen this book around Halloween its very cute and has a Ghostbuster’s kind of feel. Dead City is the first in a trilogy in a same name by James Ponti who seems to be better known for his City Spies work, and while I also love City Spies, I think this is a very charming series as well.

Dead City

Dead City by [James Ponti]

Summary

Most kids have enough to deal with between school, homework, extracurricular activities, and friends, but Molly Bigelow isn’t your typical tween. By day, Molly attends MIST—the Metropolitan Institute of Science and Technology—but it’s what she’s learning outside of school that sets her apart from her classmates. Molly is a zombie hunter, just like her mother.

This, however, is news to Molly. Now she must come to terms with not only the idea that zombies exist, but also that they’re everywhere, and it’s her job to help police them and keep the peace. Sure, she’d like to be a regular kid, but “regular” just isn’t possible when it turns out the most revered (or feared, depending on your perspective) zombie hunter in the history of New York City is your mother. It seems Molly’s got some legendary footsteps to follow…

Review

Even though I saw the twist ending from midway through the book I still loved it so much. The Levels on the Zombies were great too, Level 1’s just want to live like normal people, Level 2’s are dangerous because they don’t have a soul. And Level 3’s are more like your class movie zombies and can’t pass as human. All of them must go back to a place called Dead City at least once a day where a rock that was revealed by the original 13 zombies and keeps them alive allows them to charge.

In the shadows in charge of the whole operation is Marek, one of the original 13 zombies who they call the Unlucky 13 Marek is a Level 2, and is a great villain, I mean the fact that he has no soul really helps the matter, but he plays up the villain part with style. You want to be afraid of him not just because he evil, which he is, but because he’s smart too. Ponti did a great job with his character. Anyway I always like well written believable villain especially in middle grade work so I just to point out Ponti’s success.

As for our heroes, they are a really fun bunch I like their bond as a team and Molly is really looking for a place to be herself and the team, just ups her self-esteem and gives her a real purpose. Fitting in as an Omega, one of the force charged with being kind of a go between when it comes to Zombies and humans. She finds her place along with her teammates securing the undead. But when Molly does something wrong is her team benched forever?

Amazon: Dead City

Posted in monthly goals, Readathons

December Goals

Try to finish 100 books

I’m trying to hit 100, I’m at 78 as of the writing of the writing of this post. So that’s 22 books for December. I’ve read 9 books this month, so I don’t think I’m going to make it, however I have to try. Plus I have my 12 Days of Christmas Readathon plus the Reindeer readathon to direct my reading, plus some other readathons will probably pop up that I will join as well. So maybe? Hopefully? If I turn into a book goblin.

Post Regularly

I’ve been good about posting later in the month, but the the first part of the month I tend to neglect. I need to do better about this not only because I have content to post, but because it will help my website numbers. Maybe I should do more posting in advance at the end of the month. For example this November I’m going to try and post of the beginning on December.

Work on my readathons

I’d like to at least finish my readathon and maybe the Reindeer Readathon. I’m probably going to try and somewhat participate in a few others but those two will be my main focus.

Start making plans for the new year

I’m going to spend December thinking about what I what Readathons I want to do in the new year and my reading goals for next year. I’m thinking 100 books next year but could I go 125, can I be one of those people in a few years who reads 200-250 books a year. Can I be a super reader? Does anyone read that much and have tips.

I’m also thinking about Booktube, I’m still not sure if anyone would be interested though, or whether I should wait until I have a better set up for books. I want to get back on Instagram in the new year when I move and have a better set up.

Overall those are my goals for the end of the year, I’m really looking forward to December as it is one of my favorite months of the year and I can’t wait to see what I end up reading.

Posted in Uncategorized

Accomplishments in November

So it’s time to look back on November, how did I do on the goals that I set for myself at the beginning of the month. Did I have any other big accomplishments that I didn’t foresee at the beginning at the beginning of the month lets see how things went.

First what were my goals

1) Read Down My NetGalley TBR

Well I didn’t do this, but all of my holiday readathons are focused on this plus any arcs I might have coming in the mail.

2) Try and Post 3 Times a Week in November

I didn’t do so well the first week but I’ve done well ever since posting a great deal in the last half of the month. I think that those are accomplishments but I need to better about posting the first part of the month since it’s become a pattern for me.

3) Engage on Twitter More in November

I did and I didn’t do this as I’ll explain later in the post.

4) Bake More

I made cake twice maybe not what I wanted but I’ve got to start somewhere, and with my leg still hurting I think those those are accomplishments as well.

Unexpected Accomplishments

I took part in the Pokemon Readathon and got all the major badges plus evolved my Pokemon to the first level. I did the Royal Readathon and did four out of six prompts. I did about four out of six prompts on the DesertAThon.

So far at the time of writing this post I’ve also read 9 books and anticipate finishing a couple more before the month is out. Now what I said about engaging and not engaging in Twitter, while I definitely still need to comment more on a personal level with my followers and those I follow I think the readathons serve a form of involvement.

I’ll share my goals for December soon. But overall I think I did pretty good for November.

Posted in Uncategorized

12 Days of Christmas TBR

So I might share some of the books for the 12 Day of Christmas Readathon with the Reindeer Readathon, however ideally I’d read 21ish books next month because that hit my goal of 100 books for the year.

I am however no fool and know this might not be possible. So some of the books may count with other readathons I have to admit as a chronically ill person I just don’t have the energy to go through 21 books, I respect you if you can, but I totally don’t mind if you’re using books for other readathons to count one this one. With all that said. The TBR for 12 Days of Christmas.

A Partridge in A Pear Tree: A Standalone

Rouge Princess

Rogue Princess by [B.R. Myers]

Princess Delia knows her duty: She must choose a prince to marry in order to secure an alliance and save her failing planet. Yet she secretly dreams of true love, and feels there must be a better way. Determined to chart her own course, she steals a spaceship to avoid the marriage, only to discover a handsome stowaway.

All Aidan wanted was to “borrow” a few palace trinkets to help him get off the planet. Okay, so maybe escaping on a royal ship wasn’t the smartest plan, but he never expected to be kidnapped by a runaway princess!

Sparks fly as this headstrong princess and clever thief battle wits, but everything changes when they inadvertently uncover a rebel conspiracy that could destroy their planet forever.

(This could also fulfill my bonus Three French Hens Prompt since it’s a gender swapped Cinderella and Cinderella is believed to be a French story)

Amazon: Rouge Princess

Two Turtle Doves: A Duo, a Duology a Pair of something

Winterbourne Home for Vengeance and Valor(1st Book in a Duology)

Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor by [Ally Carter]

April didn’t mean to start the fire. She wasn’t the one who broke the vase. April didn’t ask to go live in a big, creepy mansion with a bunch of orphans who just don’t understand that April isn’t like them. After all, April’s mother is coming back for her someday very soon.

All April has to do is find the clues her mother left inside the massive mansion. But Winterborne House is hiding more than one secret, so April and her friends are going to have to work together to unravel the riddle of a missing heir, a creepy legend, and a mysterious key before the only home they’ve ever known is lost to them forever

Amazon: Winterbourne Home for Vengeance and Valor

Three French Hens: A Trio, Three of Something a Trilogy

Room to Dream (Third Book in a Trilogy)

This had to be my 12 Days Trio book I love Kelly Yang and I’ve been meaning to read this for awhile.

Room to Dream (Front Desk) by [Kelly Yang]

Mia Tang is going for her dreams!

After years of hard work, Mia Tang finally gets to go on vacation with her family — to China! A total dream come true! Mia can’t wait to see all her cousins and grandparents again, especially her cousin Shen. As she roams around Beijing, witnessing some of the big changes China’s going through, Mia thinks about the changes in her own life, like . . .

1. Lupe’s taking classes at the high school! And Mia’s own plans to be a big writer are . . . stuck.

2. Something happened with Jason and Mia has no idea what to do about it.

3. New buildings are popping up all around the motel, and small businesses are disappearing.

Can the Calivista survive? Buckle up! Mia is more determined than ever to get through the turbulence, now that she finally has . . . room to dream!

Amazon: Room to Dream

Four Calling Birds-A book with a secret or mystery

City Spies

I like this book for this 12 Days prompt, I’ve been wanting to read James Ponti for awhile since I saw him at a virtual book festival.

City Spies by [James Ponti]

Sara Martinez is a hacker. She recently broke into the New York City foster care system to expose her foster parents as cheats and lawbreakers. However, instead of being hailed as a hero, Sara finds herself facing years in a juvenile detention facility and banned from using computers for the same stretch of time. Enter Mother, a British spy who not only gets Sara released from jail but also offers her a chance to make a home for herself within a secret MI6 agency.

Operating out of a base in Scotland, the City Spies are five kids from various parts of the world. When they’re not attending the local boarding school, they’re honing their unique skills, such as sleight of hand, breaking and entering, observation, and explosives. All of these allow them to go places in the world of espionage where adults can’t.

Before she knows what she’s doing, Sara is heading to Paris for an international youth summit, hacking into a rival school’s computer to prevent them from winning a million euros, dangling thirty feet off the side of a building, and trying to stop a villain…all while navigating the complex dynamics of her new team.

No one said saving the world was easy…

Amazon: City Spies

Five Golden Rings-Shiny Book

That Thing about Bollywood

(While it may not be diamonds and metallic writing, I think it works for this 12 Days Prompt because, in person it’s very golden, so I’m counting it.)

That Thing about Bollywood by [Supriya Kelkar]

You know how in Bollywood when people are in love, they sing and dance from the mountaintops? Eleven-year-old Sonali wonders if they do the same when they’re breaking up. The truth is, Sonali’s parents don’t get along, and it looks like they might be separating.

Sonali’s little brother, Ronak, is not taking the news well, constantly crying. Sonali would never do that. It’s embarrassing to let out so many feelings, to show the world how not okay you are. But then something strange happens, something magical, maybe. When Sonali gets upset during a field trip, she can’t bury her feelings like usual—instead, she suddenly bursts into a Bollywood song-and-dance routine about why she’s upset!

The next morning, much to her dismay, Sonali’s reality has shifted. Things seem brighter, almost too bright. Her parents have had Bollywood makeovers. Her friends are also breaking out into song and dance. And somehow, everyone is acting as if this is totally normal.

Sonali knows something has gone wrong, and she suspects it has something to do with her own mismanaged emotions. Can she figure it out before it’s too late?

Amazon: That Thing about Bollywood

Six Geese a Laying-5 Star Prediction

I’m a huge Katie Zhao fan but I hadn’t gotten to this one yet, I expect anything from her will be good for the 12 Days Readathon.

Last Gamer Standing

Last Gamer Standing by [Katie Zhao]

Ready Player One meets the action of battle royale video games in this middle-grade sci-fi perfect for fans of Fortnite.

In twelve-year-old Reyna Cheng’s world, gaming is everything. Professional esports teams are the mainstream celebrities. Kids begin training from a young age, aspiring for the big leagues.

Reyna is the up-and-coming junior amateur Dayhold gamer, competing in a VR battle royale against AI monsters and human players. But despite Reyna’s rising popularity and skills, no one knows who she is. Gaming is still a boys’ club and to protect herself against trolls and their harassment, she games the mysterious TheRuiNar.

When Reyna qualifies for the Dayhold Junior Tournament, she knows she’s got what it takes to win the championship title and the $10,000 prize. It’s a chance to make a step forward towards her professional esports dreams and to help her family with the costs of her mother’s hospital bills.

But when she’s blackmailed and threatened to be doxed by an anonymous troll, Reyna has to confront the toxic gaming community head-on.

With her dreams and the cash prize on the line, it’s game on!

Amazon: Last Gamer Standing

Seven Swans a Swimming- A book you can’t wait to dive into

The Raven Heir

The Raven Heir by [Stephanie Burgis]

Cordelia and her triplets Rosalind and Giles have lived safely in the castle at the centre of the forest all their lives, protected by the spells their mother has woven. The only time Cordelia feels truly free is when she turns into a dragonfly or a blackbird and can fly beyond the great stone walls. But then one day the outside world comes to them. Two rival dukes and their soldiers have come for the triplets – because whoever is the eldest is the heir to the throne.

But their mother knows that since the Raven Crown was broken, no one has been able to rule the kingdom of Corvenne and live, and she will not give up any of her children to that death sentence. When she refuses to reveal which child is the eldest, she is taken prisoner, and Cordelia and her brother and sister find themselves on the run in a dangerous new world. And as they set out across Corvenne to rescue their mother, Cordelia begins to see that there is a deep magic at work, driving her towards a destiny that could tear her family apart, take away her freedom forever or, just maybe, heal a kingdom devastated by a war that has raged for generations.

Amazon: The Raven Heir

I’m especially excited about this one because it can help me fill some of the 12 Day Bonus Prompts.

8 Ladies Dancing-Strong Female or Non-Binary Lead

Of A Feather

Of a Feather by [Dayna Lorentz]

Great horned owl Rufus is eight months old and still can’t hunt. When his mother is hit by a car, he discovers just how dangerous the forest can be.

Reenie has given up on adults and learned how to care for herself—a good thing, since she’s sent to live with an aunt she’s never met. Yet this aunt has a wonderful secret: she’s a falconer who agrees to help Reenie catch an injured passage hawk in the wild and rehabilitate it.

When Reenie traps bedraggled Rufus, his eyes lock onto her heart, and they form a powerful friendship. But can Rufus learn to trust in the outside world and fly free? And can Reenie open her heart enough to truly soar?

Amazon: Of A Feather

9 Lords a Leaping- Strong Male or Non Binary Lead

The Future King

The Future King (The Revenge of Magic Book 3) by [James Riley]

Dealing with monster attacks and his missing father has been hard enough for Fort Fitzgerald in his first month at the Oppenheimer School. But there’s another school for magic, this one in the United Kingdom, that’s about to create even bigger problems.

Six of the Carmarthen Academy students found themselves lost in time when they first started learning magic. Now they’ve returned, with news of a coming war that the students claim only they can stop.

But their new plan for the world might lead to an even worse future, one that Fort and his friends are destined to help bring about, no matter how much they might want to fight it.

Can Fort change the future that the Time students have already seen play out? Or is he destined to pay for his past mistakes for all of time?

Amazon: The Future King

10 Ships a Sailing-A Book You DNFed But you’ll give another shot

The Radical Element

The Radical Element: 12 Stories of Daredevils, Debutantes & Other Dauntless Girls by [Jessica Spotswood, Marieke Nijkamp, Meg Medina, Erin Bowman, Stacey Lee, Mackenzi Lee, Dhonielle Clayton, Dahlia Adler, Anna-Marie McLemore, Sara Farizan, Sarvenaz Taghavian, Megan Shepherd]

To respect yourself, to love yourself, should not have to be a radical decision. And yet it remains as challenging for an American girl to make today as it was in 1927 on the steps of the Supreme Court. It’s a decision that must be faced when you’re balancing on the tightrope of neurodivergence, finding your way as a second-generation immigrant, or facing down American racism even while loving America. And it’s the only decision when you’ve weighed society’s expectations and found them wanting. In The Radical Element, twelve of the most talented writers working in young adult literature today tell the stories of girls of all colors and creeds standing up for themselves and their beliefs — whether that means secretly learning Hebrew in early Savannah, using the family magic to pass as white in 1920s Hollywood, or singing in a feminist punk band in 1980s Boston. And they’re asking you to join them.

Amazon: The Radical Element

11 Pipers Piping-Great Ensemble Cast

Fellowship of the Ring

I’m trying to get the Lord of the Rings read by the end of the year, so this will be a good excuse to start on that.

The Fellowship of the Ring: Being the First Part of The Lord of the Rings by [J.R.R. Tolkien]

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell into the hands of Bilbo Baggins, as told in The Hobbit. In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.

Amazon: Fellowship of the Ring

12 Bells A Ringing-Book You’ve Been Waiting to Read/Book You’ve Been Avoiding

Rise of the Dragon Moon

Rise of the Dragon Moon by [Gabrielle K. Byrne]

Princess Toli may be heir to the throne, but she longs to be a fierce hunter and warrior. Alone in a frozen world, her queendom is at the mercy of the dragons that killed her father, and Toli is certain it’s only a matter of time before they come back to destroy what’s left of her family.

When the dragons rise and seize her mother, Toli will do anything to save her—even trust a young dragon who may be the only key to the Queen’s release.

With her sister and best friend at her side, Toli makes the treacherous journey across the vast ice barrens to Dragon Mountain, where long-held secrets await. Bear-cats are on their trail, and dragons stalk them, but the greatest danger might be a mystery buried in Toli’s past.

Amazon: Rise of the Dragon Moon

So that’s my list for the 12 Days of Christmas Readathon, am I planning an ambitious December. Heck yes. But I’ve got to shoot for 100, I know I probably can’t make it. My broken ankle in January messed me up with getting started early in the year. So I will hopefully have better luck next year shooting for the same goal. However I won’t give up till the 31st on reading 100 for this year.

Posted in Reviews

Vespertine Review

Vespertine is a great book, it’s got dark humor, heart, and a heroine I’d even wager to say is neurodiverse. That is just my pot shot theory but I’ll explain more I think this in my review. Before that the book:

Vespertine by [Margaret Rogerson]

Summary

The dead of Loraille do not rest.

Artemisia is training to be a Gray Sister, a nun who cleanses the bodies of the deceased so that their souls can pass on; otherwise, they will rise as spirits with a ravenous hunger for the living. She would rather deal with the dead than the living, who trade whispers about her scarred hands and troubled past.

When her convent is attacked by possessed soldiers, Artemisia defends it by awakening an ancient spirit bound to a saint’s relic. It is a revenant, a malevolent being that threatens to possess her the moment she drops her guard. Wielding its extraordinary power almost consumes her—but death has come to Loraille, and only a vespertine, a priestess trained to wield a high relic, has any chance of stopping it. With all knowledge of vespertines lost to time, Artemisia turns to the last remaining expert for help: the revenant itself.

As she unravels a sinister mystery of saints, secrets, and dark magic, her bond with the revenant grows. And when a hidden evil begins to surface, she discovers that facing this enemy might require her to betray everything she has been taught to believe—if the revenant doesn’t betray her first.

Review

This book’s heroine is great. She likes animals better than people and would rather stay in her nunnery working with dead bodies. Okay some of her past may have made her dislike people I can get that, but the reason I think she’s neurodiverse is because she pretty much has a sensory overload in the market when she leaves nunnery after the battle. And she admits to the revenant she doesn’t know how to take care of herself and some of that is because of her possession but I don’t know is all of it.

But while I cant prove if Artemisia is neurodiverent one way or the other. I can say that she and the Revenant make a hilarious and powerful team. The Revenant makes the wisecrack everyone wants to say, but ultimately cares about Artemisia. Artemisia becomes braver as the quest goes on and with the help of the Revenant, by the end of the book she is much more confident about herself. Anyway I loved the world and the detail of the religious order and the relics. 5 star book totally.

Amazon: Vespertine

Posted in Announcements, Challenges, Readathons

Christmas Excitement: Reindeer Readathon TBR

I’m really excited start on the Reindeer Readathon. I wanted to post my TBR a few days before it started. I’m really getting excited for the Christmas season and trying to hit my reading goal for the end of the year. 100? Can I do it, maybe if not I’m still happy but it would be really nice. How many Christmas Readathons are you doing I have 12 Days of Christmas Readathon which is going to Twitter this year, wish me luck.

Dasher: A novella or a collection of short stories

I’m using a book that I wanted to start in November for IndigAThon, but didn’t get a chance to use.

The Sea Ringed World: Sacred Stories of the Americas

Fifteen thousand years before Europeans stepped foot in the Americas, people had already spread from tip to tip and coast to coast. Like all humans, these Native Americans sought to understand their place in the universe, the nature of their relationship with the divine, and the origin of the world into which their ancestors had emerged. The answers lay in their sacred stories. While this may not be a Christmas book I want to make sure I continue to read native literature even after November.

Amazon: The Sea Ringed World

Dancer-A book by one of your favorite authors, re-reads count

I was planning on re-reading the Keeper of the Lost Cities Series anyway so this is a good chance to start.

The Keeper of The Lost Cities

Keeper of the Lost Cities by [Shannon Messenger]

Twelve-year-old Sophie has never quite fit into her life. She’s skipped multiple grades and doesn’t really connect with the older kids at school, but she’s not comfortable with her family, either. The reason? Sophie’s a Telepath, someone who can read minds. No one knows her secret—at least, that’s what she thinks…

But the day Sophie meets Fitz, a mysterious (and adorable) boy, she learns she’s not alone. He’s a Telepath too, and it turns out the reason she has never felt at home is that, well…she isn’t. Fitz opens Sophie’s eyes to a shocking truth, and she is forced to leave behind her family for a new life in a place that is vastly different from what she has ever known.

But Sophie still has secrets, and they’re buried deep in her memory for good reason: The answers are dangerous and in high-demand. What is her true identity, and why was she hidden among humans? The truth could mean life or death—and time is running out.

Amazon: Keeper of the Lost Cities

Prancer-A book with a travel element (vacation, quest etc.)

Skin of the Sea

Skin of the Sea by [Natasha Bowen]

A way to survive.
A way to serve.
A way to save.
 
Simi prayed to the gods, once. Now she serves them as Mami Wata—a mermaid—collecting the souls of those who die at sea and blessing their journeys back home.
 
But when a living boy is thrown overboard, Simi goes against an ancient decree and does the unthinkable—she saves his life. And punishment awaits those who dare to defy the gods.


To protect the other Mami Wata, Simi must journey to the Supreme Creator to make amends. But all is not as it seems. There’s the boy she rescued, who knows more than he should. And something is shadowing Simi, something that would rather see her fail. . . .


Danger lurks at every turn, and as Simi draws closer, she must brave vengeful gods, treacherous lands, and legendary creatures. Because if she fails, she risks not only the fate of all Mami Wata, but also the world as she knows it.

Amazon: Skin of the Sea

Vixen-a book that caught your eye

Heartless Heirs (Blink) by [MarcyKate Connolly]

Aissa has never felt so trapped and alone even with her sister and friend by her side. Zandria—once her other half—has become cold and inflexible after her time in the Technocrats’ dungeon. Their friend Remy may still side with his father, a Magi leader who refuses to believe his spymaster has turned traitor. And Aissa herself is now an enemy of her Magi people after falling in love with—and binding her heart to—Aro, a Techno prince who puts all their lives at stake.

Aissa is determined to uncover the secrets of the Alchemist Alliance that created her and Zandria’s unique magical powers … as well as learn whether the Alliance’s research holds the key to healing the rift between the Magi and Technocrats after centuries of war. But with her people preparing for battle, it will take more than lost spells and hidden secrets to accomplish her goal. Especially as the bond between her and Aro grows deeper and threatens everything Aissa has ever believed.

Amazon: Heartless Heirs

These books so far don’t have much to do with Christmas itself but I’m going to try to include at least one Christmas centered story even though I’m fan of fantasy.

Comet-A 5 Star Prediction

Maren’s life has finally gone back to normal. Her sister, Hallie, is doing much better, she’s still allowed to work in her family’s dream shop, and there’s been no sign of Obscura, the evil nightmare thief.

But when Lishta, Maren’s grandmother, finds an ad for a sleepaway camp designed for dreamers, alarm bells start to ring. Lishta’s never heard of the camp directors, and she’s worried and wants to investigate. Maren and Hallie pose as campers with Lishta taking a job as the lunch lady.

Almost right away something seems off. Campers all wake up humming the same song, a whole bunk of girls does their hair the exact same way, and everyone seems to have had the same dream. And things go from bad to worse when Maren discovers most of the camp population has been sleepwalking.

As the girls investigate the camp, Maren and Hallie discover a nefarious plot that could affect the entire world. Maren will have to figure out who’s really behind the camp and stop them from turning more dreamers in sleepwalking zombies, before it’s too late.

I loved the first book in this series so I’m really excited for this one.

Amazon: The Dream Spies

Cupid-Take a Shot a New Author

The Two Wrong Halves of Ruby Taylor

The Two Wrong Halves of Ruby Taylor by [Amanda Panitch]

Of her two granddaughters, Grandma Yvette clearly prefers Ruby Taylor’s perfect—and perfectly Jewish—cousin, Sarah. They do everything together, including bake cookies and have secret sleep overs that Ruby isn’t invited to. Twelve-year-old Ruby suspects Grandma Yvette doesn’t think she’s Jewish enough. The Jewish religion is matrilineal, which means it’s passed down from mother to child, and unlike Sarah, Ruby’s mother isn’t Jewish.

But when Sarah starts acting out–trading in her skirts and cardigans for ripped jeans and stained t-shirts, getting in trouble at school–Ruby can’t help but be somewhat pleased. Then Sarah suddenly takes things too far, and Ruby is convinced Sarah is possessed by a dybbuk, an evil spirit… that Ruby may or may not have accidentally released from Grandma Yvette’s basement. Ruby is determined to save her cousin, but a dybbuk can only be expelled by a “pious Jew.” If Ruby isn’t Jewish enough for her own grandmother, how can she possibly be Jewish enough to fight a dybbuk?

Amanda Panitch writes with a humorous, irresistible, and authentic voice. This character-driven story with a magic twist about speaking up and finding your place in the world.

Amazon: The Two Wrong Halves of Ruby Taylor

Donner-Book with Red or Green as the Primary Color

Things Finley Hart doesn’t want to talk about:
-Her parents, who are having problems. (But they pretend like they’re not.)
-Being sent to her grandparents’ house for the summer.
-Never having met said grandparents.
-Her blue days—when life feels overwhelming, and it’s hard to keep her head up. (This happens a lot.)

Finley’s only retreat is the Everwood, a forest kingdom that exists in the pages of her notebook. Until she discovers the endless woods behind her grandparents’ house and realizes the Everwood is real—and holds more mysteries than she’d ever imagined, including a family of pirates that she isn’t allowed to talk to, trees covered in ash, and a strange old wizard living in a house made of bones.

With the help of her cousins, Finley sets out on a mission to save the dying Everwood and uncover its secrets. But as the mysteries pile up and the frightening sadness inside her grows, Finley realizes that if she wants to save the Everwood, she’ll first have to save herself.

Amazon: Some Kind of Happiness

Blitzen-Do book selection via, online poll, pets picking it etc)

You’ve Reached Sam

You've Reached Sam: A Novel by [Dustin Thao]

Apparently everyone thought I could read this and it is super popular.

Seventeen-year-old Julie has her future all planned out—move out of her small town with her boyfriend Sam, attend college in the city, spend a summer in Japan. But then Sam dies. And everything changes. Desperate to hear his voice one more time, Julie calls Sam’s cellphone just to listen to his voicemail. And Sam picks up the phone.

What would you do if you had a second chance at goodbye?

Filled with a diverse cast of characters, the heartache of first love and loss, and the kind of friends that can get you through anything, plus a touch of magic, You’ve Reached Sam will make an instant connection with anyone looking for a big emotional romance of a read.

Amazon: You’ve Reached Sam

Rudolph A standalone book

Prairie Lotus

Prairie Lotus by [Linda Sue Park]

Prairie Lotus is a powerful, touching, multilayered book about a girl determined to fit in and realize her dreams: getting an education, becoming a dressmaker in her father’s shop, and making at least one friend. Acclaimed, award-winning author Linda Sue Park has placed a young half-Asian girl, Hanna, in a small town in America’s heartland, in 1880. Hanna’s adjustment to her new surroundings, which primarily means negotiating the townspeople’s almost unanimous prejudice against Asians, is at the heart of the story. Narrated by Hanna, the novel has poignant moments yet sparkles with humor, introducing a captivating heroine whose wry, observant voice will resonate with readers. 

Amazon: Prairie Lotus

BONUS POINTS

You do these concurrent with reading the other books.

Christmas Star-Read a 500+ page book

Christmas Lights-Read an ebook

Christmas Carols-Read an audiobook

Sleignin It

The final prompt worth the most points if you’ve done everything else you can redo one prompt.

Posted in Announcements, Challenges, Feature, Readathons

12 Days of Christmas Readathon

This year I’m attempting to turn my usual 12 Days of Christmas Tag into a Readathon, I just wanted to give it a try. So this is my second Readathon for December, expect a TBR soon.

Welcome to the 12 Days of Christmas Readathon! Please be kind as this is my first year doing a readathon so there might be some hiccups.

Here is the sign up form 

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeiKjskbsVeLybCrTdydkC_AUN2UOO11WxyKRioPNIrYGq44Q/viewform?usp=sf_link

And here is the book adding form

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe4P5G2NgweiCLASv0630bnFb0YCNuxfMt5xQZpxxLIq7BaXg/viewform?usp=sf_link

There are 12 basic prompts as shown below, 

Most of these are pretty easy; you can also double up, so one book can count for two prompts. 

I’ll go over the prompts anyway

The Prompts 

A Partridge in a Pear Tree: A standalone book, a book about someone being alone. 

Two Turtle Doves: This does not have to be romantic, it can be, but just a pair of friends, a hero and an enemy. Or you can read a book that is part of a duology.

Three French Hens: Does the book have a trio? A love triangle? Is it part of a trilogy? Some way that fits in three that I’m not thinking about? Count it. 

Four Calling Birds:This one is a little more abstract but this is a book with secrets or a mystery, because we all know those calling birds will be gossiping about it soon. 

Five Golden Rings: This book is just pretty, pick the shiniest metallic or glittery book you have. 

Six Geese a Laying: Did this goose lay a golden egg? Read your five star prediction. 

Seven Swans a Swimming:  A book you can’t wait to dive into. 

Eight Ladies Dancing: Strong Female or Non Binary Lead, any book where you thought the lead was cool, strength  can come in any form, not just combat. 

Nine Lords a Leaping: Strong Male or Non Binary Lead, any book where you thought the lead was cool again strength doesn’t have to be combat. 

Ten Ships a Sailing: A book you DNFed but are willing to give another shot.

Eleven Pipers Piping: Great ensemble cast, fun group of side characters, found family. 

Twelve Bells a Ringing: A book you’ve been looking forward to or a book you’ve been avoiding. 

The Bonus Prompts 

Now if you want to make things extra hard for yourself I’ve come up with some alternative prompts you can fill these while filling the regular prompts. Basically these are just for fun you can do other meaning of the 12 Days of Christmas.

A Partridge in A Pear Tear-I want there to be an actual bird somewhere in the book, a familiar, a magic bird anything works.

Two Turtle Doves-Find a living married couple that still accepts their child. (Much tougher than you think) 

Three French Hens-A book with some kind of French influence or based on a French story (ie Cinderella) 

Four Calling Birds– A book where gossip gets someone in trouble or killed. 

Five Golden Rings-Someone (not required to be the main character) gets married.

Six Geese A Laying– Someone lays a egg and makes a mistake leading them on a kooky adventure (Think most contemporary rom-coms) 

Seven Swans A Swimming-The ocean or water is involved in any way. 

Eight Ladies Dancing– Our lead has to dance at some point. This is interchangeable with Nine Lord a Leaping because yeah gender norms. 

Nine Lords a Leaping– Our lead has to have a sword fight. This is interchangeable with Eight Ladies Dancing for example Lord has to dance/lady is in sword fight. 

Ten Ships A Sailing-Pirates are involved in some way. 

Eleven Pipers Piping-Deals with Music somehow. 

Twelve Bells a Ringing-Involves Religion somehow. 

Finally the rules of which there are few

The Rules 

Honestly just have fun, I not picky if you’re using a book for multiple prompts but lets say max four prompts per book. If you have a convincing reason why it needs more shoot me a DM @plaid_reader or @12DaysReadaton. Again I’m just really lookinh for people to read and have fun.

Help each other out. 

Remember you can double up on the prompts and add bonus prompts into your reading.

We will have reading sprints throughout the month of December.

You can have any of these books be re-reads. It’s December we’re all tired.

Graphics Attribution

Background vector created by coolvector – www.freepik.com