I re-read the The Unwanteds Series in September (I originally read it back in 2018) so I could read these books which are sequels that take place 10ish years later. Glad I did a re-read because I forgot a ton of stuff.
2) Get to 30% on Dragon Age Inquisition
I’ve been playing the game daily and I’m at 21% which I’m pretty happy with since it’s such a big RPG. But over the next month I’d like to get closer to 30% and try to get towards to middle of the game.
3) Hit my reading goal for the year.
I’m three books away so this shouldn’t take too long.
4) Get back into doing weekly reviews
I miss them, and I’m back into a regular routine after my care giving job over the end of the summer. So I’m excited to get back to that.
I like to try to read at least one picture book a month and this one is a book I’ve wanting to read for awhile.
A wonderful book about a school that focuses on diversity and inclusion. It’s a school where no matter what young children have a place where they are loved and appreciated.
The book follows a group of children through their day at this school where everyone is welcomed with open arms and students from all backgrounds celebrate and learn from each others traditions. Discover the a world as we might hope it can be.
I’ve had the The Dragon Egg Princess on my TBR for months, I don’t know why, I really like the world and the story so I resolve to finish it up this month. It’s a great fantasty by founder of the We Need Diverse Books Movement, Ellen Oh.
I know I’ve fallen behind on my Year of the Asian Readthon, several books are coming out that should catch me but still I’d like to get back on board with the challenge for the fall. One book that counts toward the challenge that I really enjoyed was Stargazing.
Jen Wang tells a deeply personal story appropriate for middle grades focused on two Chinese American girls.
Moon is everything Christine isn’t, they both grew up in the same suburb, but Moon is confident, impulsive, and artistic. Moon is somehow unlike anyone Christine has ever known.
When Moon moves in next door, these unlikely friends soon become best friends. Having fun sharing their favorite music videos and painting their toenails when Christine’s strict parents aren’t aren’t around.
But Moon has a secret, she has visions sometimes, of the the celestial beings who speak to her from who reassure her that earth isn’t where where she really belongs.
Can Christine be the Moon needs when her visions turn out to have an all to earthly root and Moon is soon in the hospital fighting for her life?
First the art was beautiful on this, I really liked how the author talked about there needed to be space for different kinds of young women, both like Christine and Moon within the Asian community, and how there needs to be room to fight stereotypes of how young women have to be.
Even with Moon’s medical issues it’s also rare to see a character like in middle grade fiction, she’s loud, and confident and a little messy, and as someone who was all those things and had them viewed negatively it’s nice to see books portraying them positively in girls.
Ultimately I like the fact that while Moon had issues they didn’t just abandon her to them and worked with her and helped her fix them, and while they were severe medical as opposed to psychiatric its still nice to see.
It’s been a long time since I’ve had a chance to sit down and do a weekly review. The blog has fallen to maybe about third in line in importance. Basically my sister is having a rough pregnancy and so I’m have to step up and fill some roles in the family which haven’t left enough time for blogging.
Or honestly if they have left enough time for blogging I’ve been tired staying at my sister’s place, not sleeping as well not have as much time for reading. Anyway my blogging number have fallen but I’m going to try to get back to it.
So I can’t have been worried 24/7 only like 22/5 so what have I been upto other wise. I have been reading.
Books in Progress.
In addition to reading I’ve been playing lots of Dragon Age Inquisition. I’m not super far into the game, only ten percent but I’m really enjoying it and I’ve leveled up a few times so I can’t wait to see where the game will go. I’m glad to get back to these weekly updates a look forward to posting more and taking part in some challenges as fall comes around.
So I think we’ve established that my jam is pretty much cute middle grade. Now I’ll find something different every now and and again that I like but I always come back to cute middle grade. I’m going to review the book that I finished in a day. The perfect cute summer book, Summer and July.
Twelve year old Julliet isn’t looking forward to this summer. She and her mom are staying in the seaside neighborhood of Ocean Park, California. for a month. Her mother will work in the local ER, and Julliet will be on her own, nothing new there.
But she can be alone at home she doesn’t see why they have to go to the beach to for her to be by herself. After all her dad is off to Europe with his new girlfriend and her old best friend Fern, well her mom won’t let her talk to her anymore after Fern took the blame for Juillet goth girl clothes and “not real fears like sharks and rip currents and the number three.
Her mom wants her to expand her horizons during the summer by making friends and exploring the town. Juillet would much rather sit inside but then she meets Summer, a local surfer girl who knows all the cool things to do around town.
With Summer’s help Juillet begins to face some of the things that were weighing her down and come out of her shell. But sometimes the brightest sunniest people have the most painful secrets and when Summer reveals hers it’s Juillet’s turn to be the strong and supportive friend.
First off I want to say I read the book before really looking at the author’s name, because I’d heard good things about the book in people’s advance reviews. I was shocked that this was not written by woman. I haven’t read Mosier’s other books but he has a deft hand at writing young women.
I also love that the book was coded as queer from the very beginning, Summer uses a surfer term to call Juillet cute, but Juillet does find out until the end of the book what it means. I also like that their relationship adds to their experiences but it doesn’t define them. It’s just something that happens organically with the plot.
Corey and Kyra were inseparable best friend in their tiny town of Lost Creek, Alaska. Corey was always the first one to stand up to support Kyra as she dealt with the struggles that came with her bipolar disorder. But as things get serious with Kyra’s disorder, Corey’s family moves away.
Corey makes Kyra promise to wait for and stay strong during the long dark winter. But just days before Corey comes to visit Kyra dies. Corey is understandably devastated and also confused because Kyra never seemed suicidal.
So Corey comes back to Lost Creek to mourn and try to find out what happened. But Lost Creek isn’t like she remembers. Especially in how they feel about Kyra. The town used to shun her because of her condition now they speak of her reverently, like a prophet and say her death was meant to be be, and push Corey away like a stranger.
The more she tries to get the truth, the more questions she ask the more her sus
Best friends Corey and Kyra were inseparable in their tiny snow-covered town of Lost Creek, Alaska. But as Kyra starts to struggle with her bipolar disorder, Corey’s family moves away. Worried about what might happen in her absence, Corey makes Kyra promise that she’ll stay strong during the long, dark winter.
Then, just days before Corey is to visit, Kyra dies. Corey is devastated―and confused, because Kyra said she wouldn’t hurt herself. The entire Lost community speaks in hushed tones, saying Kyra’s death was meant to be. And they push Corey away like she’s a stranger.
The more Corey investigates, and the more Corey asks questions about Kyra and gets stonewalled by the town, the more she is lead to believe that Kyra’s death wasn’t an suicide or an accident, but murder.
But Lost wants to keep its secrets, can Corey learn the truth about Kyra’s death and survive her visit?
Okay, so this book does a lot of things really well. The mystery is very well written, you suspect everyone but you don’t really know who did it till the end, which is nice because I can usually solve mysteries. It also has the spooky atmosphere of the town, down pat, you feel outcast reading as Corey deals with the townspeople. Even if they aren’t totally guilty, they are somewhat guilty because of reasons I can’t explain due to spoilers, they are surely creepy.
Two other things that were my favorite were the fact that it was nice to see an ace character as a lead character. It played only a little in the plot of the book but still we don’t get much page time anyway so to see an ace person as the lead, was nice.
Also to see a bipolar person treated respectfully and get page time, even though it was just in flashbacks is also rare. The whole book is basically an ode to treating bipolar people with respect and thinking about them, beyond their condition but being aware of the symptoms and not walking on eggshells around them and being scared of them.
It was a good mental health book about the dangers of objectifying people with mental health conditions.
So I didn’t read much in June I’ve been focusing on baking a lot this month, and lets be real, Animal Crossing. So reading kind of fell by the wayside a bit however I intend to make July my best month yet. I have to point out however that June in reading terms was not very productive.
Now that we went over how I did in May we can see what to shoot for in June.
1. Get those stats back up!
Somehow my stats were even worse than in May. I think it’s that old blogger adage about posting too many reviews. I’m going to try to switch things up this coming month and do more book tags, more of the fairy tale stuff that got put on the back burner and more Pokemon fun!
2) Try to get 5-10 new followers
Managed to accomplish this one!
3) Interact more on social media
I think I’m gradually getting better with this one as I find the social media space where I fit.
4) Keep posting a couple posts a day.
I’ve kinda fallen behinds but I got ahead for awhile so now I’m going to try to get ahead for July
5) Try and get 500+ plus words on my novels.
Trying to dive deep since I’m hitting to middle of the novel and motivation is tougher to come by.
6) Read at least 4 books a month.
Okay so it’s not that I didn’t read, I just re-read old favorites I’ve read a zillion times and I’m not counting that on my reading tracker. The one new book I am working on is Verify by Joelle Charbonneau
So here is to hoping July is more productive reading and writing as well as baking wise.
Timbers is a small Washington State town with not much going on, or so it seems. The only exciting place in Timbers is Still Cove, the off limits place where the mythical creepy Beast lives. The cove is also home to other terffiying legends that no one wants to find out the truth about.
Except Nico Holland doesn’t get a choice, when popular kids send his drone over a cliff, and he ends up accidentally following, his friends Emma and Tyler rush to his rescue, even Opal Walsh who usually runs with the popular kids feels bad about the bullying and runs back to help only to find Nico in this strange situation.
The four soon rescue Nico from the cove’s icy waters and discover a mysterious island hiding in the murky, swirling mists below. Though it appears they are by themselves, something about the island isn’t exactly right.
The group is more suspicious about the island when they find an abandoned houseboat filled with all sorts of abandoned things from old weapons and maps, to mysterious things in jars. But the basement of the boat holds the darkest secret of all.
A pool that can bring to life their imaginings, but there is a price for using it not only can it detect their wishes but it can dectect their fears, and before its over they will have to face down their darkest fears to put the ancient evil back in its place.
They will come face to face with unlikely allies to fulfill an ancient promise, but will that be enough to stop the mysterious monsters which are becoming stronger every time they face them.
Will friendship, and ancient magic and belief in themselves be enough to save the town they love?
So I’ve been looking for a creepy but not too creepy thriller and I found it in this book. If anything need to tell you how I feel about the book I think I finished it in one night. My favorite character was Opal, I think she’s going to play a bigger role in the second book which I’m reading now and I’m looking forward to that.
Some of my favorite moments are when the Darkdeep is still calm and they are jumping in for fun and some of their favorite characters appear.
I also like the fact that they make up with an enemy to solve one of the island’s mysteries.
Overall I’d have to give it five stars it’s the creepiest thing I’ve read in awhile and I’m really enjoying the sequel.
The next book is another I’ve bought an put off for no particular reason other than I was reading other stuff faster. I really loved the magic system(s) in this book and can’t wait to see what happens next.
The First 7 (The Last 8 Book 2)
I’ve read the first few chapters and it’s a great sci-fi piece like the first one was. I just got into other stuff and kind forgot about it.
A crew of misfits is sent to check out a distress call from a drill team on a distant planet, Achlys. They aren’t the most qualified but they are the closest and all have personal issues that could get them in danger on an already dangerous mission. They are all aboard a ship called The Odyessy and hope to get this work done as fast as they can so they can get back to their normal lives.
They are supposed to perform a standard search-and-rescue mission for Black Quarry, the ship that was having trouble, but it turns out to be anything but when they uncover the remains, both literal and figurative, of a project gone wrong.
They find dead bodies with mysterious symptoms, but it may be too late to stop themselves from getting exposed to this contagion. Is anyone safe from this mysterious contagion, and if they are, what does that make them?
Why am I reading a book about a biological contagion during a pandemic you ask. I honestly don’t know. I just seemed to calm me the way horror movies have been doing. I also think this book is so not bad, but just kind of out there, that it was easy to laugh at a contagion like it when the real world is kinda scary.
So this is honestly, a zombie book. Space zombies due to an alien parasite, but still the center focus, dead come back to life infect others. Zombies in space are still zombies.
Some of the characters are simply zombie fodder, so I won’t mention them. There are several however that I found interesting.
Dr. Lisbeth Tarlow-she’s a microbiologist and the only survivor of an earlier expedition to Achlys called Witch Hazel. Her character is interesting because you don’t learn her motivations till the last.
Thea-Tarlow’s assistant, she’s an intern. She’s in high school just trying to get credits to get into a prestigious institute. She also from foster care and not super quick to trust anyone.
Coen -the only survivor of the Black Quarry expedition where all his fellow crew perished, he’s got secrets alright, but is he looking to help or hurt the rescue crew?
Nova-the ships pilot who was washed out of the military academy to due to a medical condition. She’s in love with The Oddessy’s captain, stupid choice. Nearly gets her killed.
Dylan Lowe–The Odessey’s ship’s captain. She’s trying to live up to her admiral father’s image and makes some dumb choices in doing so. Her father is also part of the Black Quarry mission.
I like the book, and it’s clear the real villain isn’t the infected, its crew against the crew, trust turns really quick when you don’t know who is infected. The one part of the book I’m not super fond of is the point of view changes. T
hey aren’t denoted well. Like with heading or anything. I get the same situation being told from multiple points of view, but I like to know what point of view I’m jumping into if that makes any sense.
The concept was great, but I think the execution was a little not sloppy because it was a good mystery about who was who, and who was responsible for what happening right up until the end. I just found the points of view jarring.
So the book gets three stars, mostly because of the points of view shifts.