Posted in Readathons

Reindeer Readathon

One of the Readathon’s I’m doing in December is the Reindeer Readathon. The prompts have things to with Santa and Reindeer and Christmas in general. Below is some of the important information for signing up and for the readathon.

SIGN UP FORMS

Sign Up Form: https://forms.gle/VQ9SiXCj3KbCMejVA…

Submit Your Points Form: https://forms.gle/BqENcxUQ3sygt4pw7…

Discord to chat with team: https://discord.gg/tnYEFAS8Us

Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/ReindeerReadat1

Buy a Reindeer Readathon Bookmark: https://breakevenbooks.com/about-us/

READATHON HOSTS

Erik (Team Mistletoe) – https://www.youtube.com/c/BreakevenBooks

Noelle (Team Snowflake) – https://www.youtube.com/c/ceiyr

Steff (Team Nutcracker) – https://www.youtube.com/c/CoffeeOverA…

Savy (Team Stocking) – https://www.youtube.com/c/SAVYLEISER

Amanda (Team Candy Cane) – https://www.instagram.com/her.pnw_wa….

The prompts are below

I’m really excited for this Readathon and can’t wait to put up my TBR as soon as possible.

Posted in Announcements, Discussion, Feature

Anniversary for the Blog!

So I’m not sure the exact date I started the blog I’m sure I could find it somewhere on WordPress but I forgot last year, so I wanted to say it was the second anniversary of me starting Plaid Reader Reviews. I’m pretty happy with how things have gone in these two years. I’ve gotten almost 200 followers (195) and written almost 500 posts (486) I’ve gotten a chance to be part of several fun blog tours, and read eArcs through Netgalley.

I’ve gotten to interview an author which I’d never thought I’d get to do, I’ve been to several virtual book festivals. Do I have any favorite moments to reflect on my 2nd anniversary, only that I hope the blog keeps growing and that I get more offers to work and be involved in things like readathons. I’m also doing my own readathon for Christmas but you’ll read more about. I think I’ve really grown as a blogger in the past two years. I’ve learned a basic amount about SEO, though I hope to improve that.

Where would I like to be next year? I’d like to maybe try Booktube or get back on Instagram. Since I’m disabled I need something lowkey I’m fine with working with lights but I don’t really have the money for a whole Booktube setup. Anyway it might be film degree to the rescue with simple ring lights.

I’d also like to get more ARCs, I haven’t contacted publishers but I might try that this year.

I also want to build on my Twitter following and be more active on Twitter I’d like to interact with more people, in fact I’d like to interact with people more across all platforms I want to find people that share my feelings on books as well as social issues like disability justice.

Anyway that’s what how I feel at 2 years. How did you feel on your blogaveries?

Posted in Weekly Wrap-ups

Rest and Progress on Books

So as many of you know I’ve got chronic illnesses. Mostly chronic migraine but breaking my leg at the beginning of the year didn’t help. Also vertigo is a pain. So I’ve spent most of the week just trying to rest, of course when my vertigo isn’t bad the upside of laying down all the time is it’s perfect for writing blog posts in advance and reading books.

So what am I reading? Quite a few things actually

1 The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy

The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy by [Anne Ursu]

Summary

If no one notices Marya Lupu, is likely because of her brother, Luka. And that’s because of what everyone knows: that Luka is destined to become a sorcerer.

The Lupus might be from a small village far from the capital city of Illyria, but that doesn’t matter. Every young boy born in in the kingdom holds the potential for the rare ability to wield magic, to protect the country from the terrifying force known only as the Dread. 

For all the hopes the family has for Luka, no one has any for Marya, who can never seem to do anything right. But even so, no one is prepared for the day that the sorcerers finally arrive to test Luka for magical ability, and Marya makes a terrible mistake. Nor the day after, when the Lupus receive a letter from a place called Dragomir Academy—a mysterious school for wayward young girls. Girls like Marya.

Soon she is a hundred miles from home, in a strange and unfamiliar place, surrounded by girls she’s never met. Dragomir Academy promises Marya and her classmates a chance to make something of themselves in service to one of the country’s powerful sorcerers. But as they learn how to fit into a world with no place for them, they begin to discover things about the magic the men of their country wield, as well as the Dread itself—things that threaten the precarious balance upon which Illyria is built.

This a good book to read when when you rest lots of mystery, so you can get caught up in it. I’ve stayed up late with this book this week because it’s just interesting.

Amazon: The Troubled Girls of Dragonmir Academy

2) Vespertine

Vespertine by [Margaret Rogerson]

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.

This is great book for its humor as well as its high stakes quest. A great read read for when you need to rest up.

3) You’ve Reached Sam

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

Apparently this is super popular, I can see why, it’s good. But wowza the list of people waiting on the book.

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

Those are my top three at the moment I’ve also been resting by playing Scarlet Nexus and blogging on here to keep busy while I’m not feeling well, I’m also getting ready for the holidays as I can and I hope to be able to bake some as I feel better. I’m also doing a Christmas Readathon you’ll hear more about next week.

Anyway that’s been my week how’s yours?

Posted in Readathons, Recommendations, Wrapup

PokemonAThon Wrap Up

PokemonAThon was fun even though I came in about half way though I managed to get some badges and get to the first evolution of my Pokemon. So what did I read for the badges?

Since some can count twice I’ll show you the books I used and the badges I got as well as any other bonuses I used.

Luminous

Luminous by [Mara Rutherford]

Summary

Liora has spent her life in hiding, knowing discovery could mean falling prey to the king’s warlock, Darius, who uses mages’ magic to grow his own power. But when her worst nightmare comes to pass, Darius doesn’t take her. Instead, he demands that her younger sister return to the capital with him. To make matters worse, Evran, Liora’s childhood friend and the only one who knows her secret, goes missing following Darius’s visit, leaving her without anyone to turn to.

To find Evran and to save her sister, Liora must embrace the power she has always feared. But the greatest danger she’ll face is yet to come, for Darius has plans in motion that will cause the world to fall into chaos—and Liora and Evran may be the only ones who can stop him.

I know close to 400 might not be a heavy book for everyone but it too me awhile to get through, so I thought it fit the the prompt for PokemonAThon. There were spooky and supernatural themes in Luminous so it worked for that prompt. There were also creepy animal companions so I go a great ball for that and a Pokeball for the blue cover.

Amazon: Luminous

Violets are Blue

Violets Are Blue by [Barbara Dee]

Another blue book which got me a bonus for color. This one I used for the ebook for PokemonAThon prompt

Summary

Twelve-year-old Wren loves makeup—special effect makeup, to be exact. When she is experimenting with new looks, Wren can create a different version of herself. A girl who isn’t in a sort-of-best friendship with someone who seems like she hates her. A girl whose parents aren’t divorced and doesn’t have to learn to like her new stepmom.

So, when Wren and her mom move to a new town for a fresh start, she is cautiously optimistic. And things seem to fall into place when Wren meets potential friends and gets selected as the makeup artist for her school’s upcoming production of Wicked.

Only, Wren’s mom isn’t doing so well. She’s taking a lot of naps, starts snapping at Wren for no reason, and always seems to be sick. And what’s worse, Wren keeps getting hints that things aren’t going well at her new job at the hospital, where her mom is a nurse. And after an opening night disaster leads to a heartbreaking discovery, Wren realizes that her mother has a serious problem—a problem that can’t be wiped away or covered up.

After all the progress she’s made, can Wren start over again with her devastating new normal? And will she ever be able to heal the broken trust with her mom?

Amazon: Violets Are Blue

Manu: A Graphic Novel

Summary

A funny and heartwarming middle-grade graphic novel adventure about friendship, defying expectations, and finding your place.Manu and her best friend, Josefina, live at a magical school for girls, and Manu is always getting into trouble. The headmistress believes that Manu has the potential to help people with her magic, but Manu would rather have fun than fall in line. One day, a prank goes seriously wrong, and Josefina gets angry and wishes for Manu’s magic to disappear… and it does. Manu uses a dangerous spell to restore it, but it makes her magic too powerful and nearly impossible to control. Great power comes at a cost, and it may be a price that Manu isn’t able to pay!

This one I used for the PokemonAThon prompt Light Book or a book with nature on the cover.

Overall I think I did pretty well coming in a week late, I’m happy with progress and I think this helped keep me reading it’s over today so I’ll have other readathons to focus on but I really enjoyed this one and would love to do another Pokemon themed one in the future.

Posted in Recommendations, Reviews

Luminous Review

I just finished Luminous yesterday and it was a great read, a interesting magic system. High stakes, likable main characters that grew throughout the book, evil villain with layers, and good resolution. It’s definitely one of my favorite books of the year because of the storyline.

Luminous

Luminous by [Mara Rutherford]

Summary

From the author of Crown of Coral and Pearl comes an immersive new fantasy about a witch who must learn to harness her power—or risk losing her loved ones forever.

Liora has spent her life in hiding, knowing discovery could mean falling prey to the king’s warlock, Darius, who uses mages’ magic to grow his own power. But when her worst nightmare comes to pass, Darius doesn’t take her. Instead, he demands that her younger sister return to the capital with him. To make matters worse, Evran, Liora’s childhood friend and the only one who knows her secret, goes missing following Darius’s visit, leaving her without anyone to turn to.

To find Evran and to save her sister, Liora must embrace the power she has always feared. But the greatest danger she’ll face is yet to come, for Darius has plans in motion that will cause the world to fall into chaos—and Liora and Evran may be the only ones who can stop him.

Review

The author makes a lush and unique fantasy world that I want to spend time in as a reader, not as person because there is a evil leader going on but there are interesting characters I want get to know and that I do get to spend time with throughout the book and get to watch them grow and change. Even the villain, who is evil, isn’t one dimensional.

I also love Liora’s powers, they aren’t like anything I’ve seen in other books, so I have to give Mara Rutherford points for creativity. Everan’s powers are pretty unusual to so it’s nice to see something other than stock powers in a book.

I also love Everan’s mom and her power, and even the villain’s power is interesting, what I think I’m saying is really like the magical system.

You should totally read Luminous it’s a 5 star read and even though it wasn’t a quick read I really enjoyed it.

Amazon: Luminous

Posted in new releases, Recommendations

Prejudice and Power

Check out these new releases for this week. Since November is Native American Hertige Month and it is always a good time to look at the Black and Indigious people face, I’m focusing these books around prejudice and the eventually power from the people that can emerge.

The 1619 Project: Born on the Water

I’m really looking forward to reading this it looks lovely, even though it is about a tough topic I don’t read enough books by BIPOC and I want to change that starting soon as possible and into the New Year.

The 1619 Project’s lyrical picture book in verse chronicles the consequences of slavery and the history of Black resistance in the United States, thoughtfully rendered by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and Newbery honor-winning author Renée Watson.

A young student receives a family tree assignment in school, but she can only trace back three generations. Grandma gathers the whole family, and the student learns that 400 years ago, in 1619, their ancestors were stolen and brought to America by white slave traders.
But before that, they had a home, a land, a language. She learns how the people said to be born on the water survived

Amazon: Born on the Water

Killers of the Flower Moon

I’ve been reading lots of Native fiction but not much non-fiction, this sounds like something I should pick up a take a look at especially due to the prejudice of the US government, I want to learn more about how the FBI is involved.

Killers of the Flower Moon: Adapted for Young Readers: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by [David Grann]

The New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist Killers of the Flower Moon is now adapted for young readers.

This book is an essential resource for young readers to learn about the Reign of Terror against the Osage people–one of history’s most ruthless and shocking crimes.

In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Nation in Oklahoma, thanks to the oil that was discovered beneath their land. Then, one by one, the Osage began to die under mysterious circumstances, and anyone who tried to investigate met the same end.

As the death toll surpassed more than twenty-four Osage, the newly created Bureau of Investigation, which became the FBI, took up the case, one of the organization’s first major homicide investigations. An undercover team, including one of the only Native American agents in the bureau, infiltrated the region, struggling to adopt the latest modern techniques of detection. Working with the Osage, they began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.

In this adaptation of the adult bestseller, David Grann revisits his gripping investigation into the shocking crimes against the Osage people. The book is a searing indictment of the callousness and prejudice toward Native Americans that allowed the murderers to occur for so long.

Amazon: Killers of the Flower Moon

Posted in Readathons

Progress on IndigAThon

Hey you all just wanted to tell you my progress on IndigAThon. I’m really enjoying it and it is the readathon I’m most focused on. I’ve mostly read all the prompts save for Land Acknowledgement and Group Book, and a poetry book which I might have to wait till next month to buy because none of my libraries have it. Any way I wanted to show you how my progress is going.

Indigenous Joy “Powwow Day”

I got a chance to have an eArc of Powwow Day.

River wants so badly to dance at powwow day as she does every year. In this uplifting and contemporary picture book perfect for beginning readers, follow River’s progress from feeling isolated after an illness to learning the healing power of community.

Additional information explains the history and functions of powwows, which are commonplace across the United States and Canada and are open to both Native Americans and non-Native visitors. Author Traci Sorell is a member of the Cherokee Nation, and illustrator Madelyn Goodnight is a member of the Chickasaw Nation.

Amazon: Powwow Day

Host Recommendation “In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse”

I’m currently making progress on this one I think I’m about 50% done and expect to finish it today.

Jimmy McClean is a Lakota boy, though you wouldn’t guess it by his name. His mother is Lakota, and his father is half white and half Lakota. Over summer break, Jimmy embarks on a journey with his grandfather, Nyles High Eagle. While on the road, his grandfather tells him the story of Crazy Horse, one of the most important figures in Lakota, and American, history.

Expertly intertwining fiction and nonfiction, celebrated Brulé Lakota author Joseph Marshall III chronicles the many heroic deeds of Crazy Horse, especially his taking up arms against the U.S. government. He fiercely fought against encroachments on the territories and way of life of the Lakota people, including leading a war party to victory at the Battle of the Greasy Grass (the Battle of the Little Bighorn) and playing a major and dangerous role as decoy at the Battle of the Hundred in the Hands (the Fetterman Battle). With Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse was the last of the Lakota to surrender his people to the U.S. Army. Through his grandfather’s tales about the famous warrior, Jimmy learns about his Lakota heritage and, ultimately, himself.

Drawing references and inspiration from the oral stories of the Lakota tradition, Marshall gives readers an insider’s perspective on the life of Tasunke Witko, better known as Crazy Horse.

Amazon: In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse

Non Fiction “We are Still Here”

I learned a lot from this picture book about the history of Native Nations in the United States and Canada. Though it’s written for children I think everyone should read it.

Twelve Native American kids present historical and contemporary laws, policies, struggles, and victories in Native life, each with a powerful refrain: We are still here!

Too often, Native American history is treated as a finished chapter instead of relevant and ongoing. This companion book to the award-winning We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga offers readers everything they never learned in school about Native American people’s past, present, and future. Precise, lyrical writing presents topics including: forced assimilation (such as boarding schools), land allotment and Native tribal reorganization, termination (the US government not recognizing tribes as nations), Native urban relocation (from reservations), self-determination (tribal self-empowerment), Native civil rights, the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), religious freedom, economic development (including casino development), Native language revival efforts, cultural persistence, and nationhood.

Amazon: We Are Still Here

Favorite Color on the Cover “Jo Jo Makoons”

Jo Jo Makoons: The Used-to-Be Best Friend by [Dawn Quigley, Tara Audibert]

Hello/Boozhoo—meet Jo Jo Makoons! Full of pride, joy, and plenty of humor, this first book in an all-new chapter book series by Dawn Quigley celebrates a spunky young Ojibwe girl who loves who she is.

Jo Jo Makoons Azure is a spirited seven-year-old who moves through the world a little differently than anyone else on her Ojibwe reservation. It always seems like her mom, her kokum (grandma), and her teacher have a lot to learn—about how good Jo Jo is at cleaning up, what makes a good rhyme, and what it means to be friendly.

Even though Jo Jo loves her #1 best friend Mimi (who is a cat), she’s worried that she needs to figure out how to make more friends. Because Fern, her best friend at school, may not want to be friends anymore…as she makes progress throughout the book we get to learn Ojibwe words and see Jo Jo unique personality.

Amazon: Jojo Makoons

Book with an Elder Protagonist

Indian Shoes by [Cynthia Leitich Smith, MaryBeth Timothy]

What do Indian shoes look like, anyway? Like beautiful beaded moccasins… or hightops with bright orange shoelaces?

Ray Halfmoon prefers hightops, but he gladly trades them for a nice pair of moccasins for his grampa. After all, it’s Grampa Halfmoon who’s always there to help Ray get in and out of scrapes—like the time they teamed up to pet sit for the whole block during a holiday blizzard!

Award-winning author Cynthia Leitich Smith writes with wit and candor about a boy and his grandfather, sharing all their love, joy, and humor.

In partnership with We Need Diverse Books

Posted in Weekly Wrap-ups

Success and Readathons

So I know I’ve talked about my issues with getting disability on here. The journey has been long and annoying but I’m finally at the point where I’m going to be getting money next month. I so glad I finally got a some success. I may stay with my parents for awhile to raise money for my eventual new house, or I may move out sooner, we’re looking to see what’s best for everyone.

I’ve been getting a chance to read more I’m enjoying new releases like You’ve Reached Sam and Luminous among other as well as reading many graphic novels and plenty of books for IndigAThon. So I’ve glad I’ve had success in my readathons.

I’ve been able to add some books to the Pokemon A Thon, Desert a Thon Royal Readathon and Indig A Thon. I may not hit my goal of 100 books this year but I think I’ll beat what I read last year and considering I broke my foot and was out of reading and blogging for a few months I consider that a success.

Anyway expect to see reviews for the books I’m reading for these readathons.

When I’m not reading I’ve been playing Scarlet Nexus, a game for the PS5 I’m not sure if I told you guys but I had some success on my birthday and scored the PS5, I wanted to get one early even though there aren’t many games out now because I expect there to be a TON of games coming out in 2022. I know I’m going to get the new Horizon Zero Dawn game. And I know DragonAge 4 is coming out at some point. I also want to buy Maiden of the Black Water. This is not including all the Switch games I need like the new Pokemon game in the new year.

In review I’m having lots of success as we head into the holiday season and hope to continue at this pace till the end of the year.

TGS 2020: Scarlet Nexus Has The Same Scenarist As Tales of Symphonia

Posted in new releases, Reviews

Manu Review

So I’ve actually gotten out of my reading slump, I may not hit 100 like I hoped for this year but I think I’m going to get past what I read last year which is promising one of the books that helped me out of the reading slump was this cute graphic novel Manu!

Manu Summary

A funny and heartwarming middle-grade graphic novel adventure about friendship, defying expectations, and finding your place. Manu and her best friend, Josefina, live at a magical school for girls, and She is always getting into trouble. The headmistress believes that Manu has the potential to help people with her magic, but Manu would rather have fun than fall in line. One day, a prank goes seriously wrong, and Josefina gets angry and wishes for her’s magic to disappear… and it does. She uses a dangerous spell to restore it, but it makes her magic too powerful and nearly impossible to control. Great power comes at a cost, and it may be a price that she isn’t able to pay!

Review

You know I’m a fan of the magical all girls school trope, because I would have loved to go to one, however I feel like I would have probably been like Manu she’s great with jokes and pranks and very magically talented however people, not so much. She can’t seem to get on with the other girls because of her pranks and after one serious prank, her one friend Josefina, wishes she didn’t have powers and Manu finds herself cursed, and ends up having to wear a stinky solution so she can use magic. When she finds a way to bring back her magic it’s too tempting even though she knows she probably shouldn’t be messing with that level of magic, when it overtakes her will Josefina and be able to save her friend.

The relationship between Manu and Josefina is the heart of the story. I also really like the relationship between Manu and the nuns, who know about her true nature, and who help guide her with her powers. Overall this is just a great book with a lovely surprise at the end.

Amazon: Manu

Posted in Recommendations, Reviews, YARC

Teenager Wren Stories of Markup and Secrets

Summary

Twelve-year-old Wren loves makeup—special effect makeup, to be exact. When she is experimenting with new looks, she can create a different version of herself. A girl who isn’t in a sort-of-best friendship with someone who seems like she hates her. A girl whose parents aren’t divorced and doesn’t have to learn to like her new stepmom.

So, when Wren and her mom move to a new town for a fresh start, she is cautiously optimistic. And things seem to fall into place when Wren meets potential friends and gets selected as the makeup artist for her school’s upcoming production of Wicked.

Only, her mom isn’t doing so well. She’s taking a lot of naps, starts snapping at Wren for no reason, and always seems to be sick. And what’s worse, Wren keeps getting hints that things aren’t going well at her new job at the hospital, where her mom is a nurse. And after an opening night disaster leads to a heartbreaking discovery, Wren realizes that her mother has a serious problem—a problem that can’t be wiped away or covered up.

After all the progress she’s made, can she start over again with her devastating new normal? And will she ever be able to heal the broken trust with her mom?

Violets are Blue Summary

This was a sweet story about a girl trying to fit in, in a new place while also trying to deal with some serious issues, she’s torn between her parents, especially because her mom doesn’t want to hear about her dad or his new life. Also her mom’s problems which she can’t name but certainly senses throughtout the book. she may not know exactly what is wrong but she knows something is wrong and tries to fix it, but also being a kid find herself getting lost in the online special effects makeup world because all this really is too much for someone her age.

Amazon: Violets are Blue