Thursday, July 7, 2011

151 books down, 60 days to go!

Starting to run out of time here...Justi again.  Four new books.  Ta da!

'A Wizard of Earthsea' and 'The Tombs of Atuan' are both part of the Earthsea series.  I'm working on reading them all.  Basically, a different world where magic is common, we meet Ged.  Or Sparrowhawk, as is his known name.  These books remind me of the Christopher Chant series I used to love...the writing is hard, but satisfying.
'The Silver Bowl' is about a girl who moves to work in a palace...and uncovers a secret about herself and a plot against the royal family.  Set in the past, filled with magic and a strong heroine, I thought this book was good, but the transitions between times were confusing.
Last, but not least, I just finished 'I Now Pronounce You Someone Else'.  Bronwyn is trying to figure out who she is...but when she gets engaged, how does her identity fit in?  A sweet story, it made me fall in love with the characters and the plot, and the ending is perfect.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

147 books down, 72 days to go!

Three more books for Justi!
First, Dragon Slippers--basically, a little fairy-tale like story, featuring a strong female lead, a playful prince, a jealous princess, and, well...dragons, of course. Not the best; well, it kept me reading, but Creel's character didn't leave a lot for connecting with, and the prince could have done more, but the imagery of sewing--which I love reading about, just to let you know--made it all worth it.
Kira-Kira--it means 'glittering' in Japanese.  I first read this book in fourth grade, and immediately fell in love.  Katie looks up to her big sister Lynn; so much, in fact, that Lynn can do no wrong.  But in a time when Japanese-Americans struggle to survive, Katie must continue learning to see the world as glittering, when so much can go wrong.
Lastly, I read Dairy Queen.  I got this book years ago from an aunt, and never thought to read it--even now, I struggled some.  DJ is a farmgirl, used to doing what she's told.  But, one summer, she realizes how she's becoming just like the cows she's milking each day.  This book is fun, but the focus on football sort of lost me--I do go to games with the marching band, but I don't see the allure that tackling people has.

As always, more is coming!  Thanks!

Monday, June 20, 2011

144 books down, 77 days to go!

Four more books.  Not that I haven't been reading.  But a week long vacation, several longer-than normal books, and a series that Elizabeth has already remarked leaves me with little to record.
Well, I read the last three books of the Harry Potter series.  As a result, I'm properly excited for the movie that comes out in a month.  What can I say?  Harry Potter is just an overall good read, no matter the age...sure, it can be hard to get into if you wait too long, but it's obviously the most popular book series in the modern world.  If you haven't read them, shame on you!
The Way of Kings was my other accomplishment.  Literally, a thousand and one pages of, well, an epic story.  Written about a different world, following--at most times--four different characters as they do what they must...despite the unseemly length that drew me to the book in the first place, it's hard not to fall in love with the characters.  With a few helpful...and professional drawings to demonstrate the world, I'm sad I have to wait a few more years until the next book comes out.  And I discovered a great name: Sylphrena!

Elizabeth, Zoe, please tell me if you're still doing this.  If not, I'll get my sister involved to finish this workload...

'If he loves you, set him free.  If he returns, it was meant to be.' -famous quote

Love from Justi!

Monday, May 30, 2011

138 books down, 98 days to go!

Justi again.  Elizabeth, honestly, do you still exist?  Please?
Okay, only two more books.  I know, a bummer.  A book I was reading came due before I could finish it.  I've taken to rereading the Harry Potter series...just finished the fourth one.  As Elizabeth has commented on the first three, I think I'll continue from where she left off.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire--what else can I say but that this is the book where it really grows up?  Love lives start forming, action beyond anything three-hundred more pages than book three.  I've missed this series.
Other than HP, I finished Snakehead, another book in the queue of Alex Rider.  I can't say I honestly enjoyed this one.  However, the author still gives the details with no sugar-coating, and the plotline, if possible, becomes more improbable with every turning page.
I'm currently reading two more books to tag along...should be up soon.  Cousin/someone, please tell me that I'm not alone in this!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

136 books down, 110 days to go!

Four more books for Justi!  I've been reading the 'Alex Rider' series...the books including 'Skeleton Key', 'Eagle Strike', 'Scorpia', and 'Ark Angel.'  14-year old Alex Rider has become a spy for the British military.  And he's become the most effective unit out there.  These books are nothing if not a thrill ride, taking seemingly impossible situations and placing a teenager into them.  I especially enjoyed the last two books...the situation becomes more serious with each passing sentence.  Quick reads, fun and easy...if you're in the mood, these would be perfect for a boring afternoon.
Just saying, random fact deals with the plotline of Ark from Justina!
Skylab, the first American space station, fell to the earth in thousands of pieces in 1979. Thankfully most over the ocean.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

132 books down, 117 days to go.

Justi here!  I realized I got confused somehow on the official count of days left.  Not sure when, or where, but I was way off.  I've still got more time than I thought...Anyway, four more books.
Jealousy, book three of Strange Angels.  This was the most colorful of the books, full of drama and moments that made me smile.  While the writing remains drab, it's growing on me.
The Throne of Fire, the second book in the Kain Chronicles by Rick Riordan.  He's a marvelous author, taking old dry myths and turning them into almost hilarious modern instances.  This sequel lives up to the Red Pyramid, and now I'm waiting for more.
After a failed attempt at reading a different book--which sucked, by the way--my current focus is on an author by the name of Anthony Horowitz.  I'm currently reading the Alex Rider series...a fourteen year old boy turned spy, sent on mission after mission.  The writing reminds me of a dryer version of Eion Colfer's Artemis Fowl series, but it's not a bad read, so it shall continue.  Two books down from it...Stormbreaker and Point Blank.
So, love to my cousins, whom I haven't heard from in quite some time now...I was going to find a random fact, but I think I just gave my computer a virus instead...oh, how I love the Internet.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

128 books down, 94 days to go.

Justi again!  Cousin, where are you?!  Anyway, we're now in the double digits.  Aah!
So I finished up the Everworld series...I can't say I liked the end.  The last book was small, however, so it's not going on the official account.
Betrayals, book two of Strange Angels...if you recall, I read the first book about a month ago...was okay.  Lili St. Crow, the author, maintains her writing style that makes me want to groan.  She's a good author, but the climatic bits are dulled by interludes of details; the characters keep a surreal feel, very hard to relate to.  I'm continuing the series, not for her writing, but for the conceptual ideas she created.  They've got me hooked.
The Space Between Trees is a sad little novel, with a disappointing but realistic denouement.  A body is found in the woods, and when Evie makes a new friend, she becomes entangled in a different life.  It's thrilling, realistic, and, at this age, it's easy to connect with the characters involved.
Into the Wild.  This isn't a novel...well, in the loosest sense of the word, it is.  In 1992, Chris McCandless walked into the Alasken frontier--his body was found a few months later.  The author, a reporter, is piecing the young man's life together.  I read this for my English class--I've no idea why.  It isn't my type of read, but, nevertheless, it was interesting.

So, three more books down!  Now, the random fact of the day...try it!

Take the last two digits of the year you were born, and add the age that you will be in 2011...whatever you'll turn to.  The sum will always be 111.
Example: 94+17=111.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

125 books down, 101 days to go

Four more books from Justi.
Two more books from Everworld, Understand the Unknown and Mystify the Magician.  Only one more book to go in that series, so I'm excited.  I've got no clue how it's going to end, so I'll try not to spoil anything when I get to that post!
'I'll Get There; It Better be Worth the Trip' is a book about a young boy.  It's easy to relate with him; however, pitying him makes it hard to see any faults he may have.  Warning to all: do not read this book lightly.  Please don't.  I made that mistake, and I almost ruined a touching story.  Don't put it down when you realize what's happening--just keep on reading.  I'm sure you'll understand the title when you get to the end.
The Beast of Noor was a 500 page book about a fantasy world in which a wolf-like beast haunts a family.  Pure adventure, no mystery or other edges to give this book a proper sendoff.  Hanna and her brother, Miles, must fend for each other as they try to survive in a magical world.  If you love fantasy, this would be good; as it were, a lot is left hanging.  However, I have a feeling there's a series to this, so I'll be looking that up.

More than 80 spelling variations are recorded for Shakespeare's name, from “Shappere” to “Shaxberd.

Love from Justi!  Elizabeth, are you still reading?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

121 books down, 108 days to go.

Three more books for Justi, and a pile waiting on my bookshelf to be read!  Elizabeth, you still there?
I read two more books in Everworld, Brave the Betrayal and Inside the Illusion.  First time I'm able to post for this series, really--each book is usually less than 200 pages.  But they're getting a bit longer.  Basically, four kids are in this strange world that the gods created thousands of years ago.  They've given up getting fully home--when they fall asleep, they're home enough.  But now they need to survive, and that's harder than it sounds in a place of gods and magic...
Crave was the other book I read.  It's the first vampire book I've read in a while that I really loved.  Shay is the Sick Girl, with an unknown blood disease.  She knows she's dying.  But then she starts to get Gabriel's blood...who and what is he to her?  I can't wait for the next book of the series to come.  It's thrilling, makes you love both characters, and it's predictable in a way that keeps you anticipating more.
So, 108 days to go, with 121 books down!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

118 books down, 118 days to go.

Two more books down. =)
Echo is a confusing book about a young girl trying to figure out her life.  Tons of view shifts, and I suppose if you like reading depressing books about modern LA and Hollywood, and even New York, it's good.  For me, despite the references to fantastical creatures, it didn't hold anything special.
The Amaranth Enchantment, on the other hand, is a must read.  I feel like I'm trying to sell something here...anyway, Lucinda lost everything when her parents died.  Ten years later, the past comes back to haunt her.  A complete spin-around of a fairy-tale, with bits and pieces of all of the most well-known stories.  The ending was what sold it for me.  The author is more than willing to put her characters in embarrassing situations, and yet make you smile all throughout the last page.
So, 118 books down, 118 days to go...same number.  Ironic, to say the least...keep on reading!

Friday, April 1, 2011

116 books down, 120 days to go.

Three more books.  Yeah, I wanted more, but I was, um, busy.  This is Justi, btw.
The Poison Apples was a cute read, following the tale of the evil stepmothers and going one step further--getting payback.  It isn't hard to sympathize with the characters, and even without too much fairy tale allusion, this book has a surreal feel to it, along with that notion of the difference between fairy tales and real life.

I also read Tattoo, and its sequel, Fate.  Four best friends get superpowers when they put on temporary tattoos..and unravel a plot about the Sidhe, a race of fairies from Celtic legend.  I had recently gotten fascinated with the Sidhe, so I was happy to find a book that expanded on both Greek and Celtic mythology.  The ending of the second book was a little...well, not as climatic as I thought it should have been, but the first book makes you want to be one of the friends.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

113 books down, 130 days to go.

Two more books for Justi.  This is what comes with spring break. I've read more, but those books have been less than a hundred pages, so we're not counting them...
Midnight Predator--not too great.  Interesting idea, mercenary vampire hunters, a rebuilding civilization, but it passes by too fast to be considered worthwhile.  The main character, with her own demons, makes for a strong lead, and if this was part of a series, I could see the confusion, but as a loner it would be something to skip.  Harsh of me, maybe, but still...
Secondhand Charm--I loved this one.  Fast, and it could have used more plain discussion, but the writing is great, and the storyline sweet and interesting.  Evelyn, known in her town as a healer, gets the chance to go to University.  But after her ship is capsized at sea, she must learn a secret about her family and herself.  Hint: the summary inside the book cover is doesn't explain anything at all.  Just read it; I can almost guarantee you'll be smiling.

So, more books coming.  Hopefully.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

111 books down, 132 days to go!

Two more books for Justi.  More on the way...spring break here, and I've found several books to occupy my time with.  Question of the day: Elizabeth, have you blogged for The Summoning yet?  You've blogged for The Awakening and the Reckoning, but I'm not sure about the first book in the series...and I want to read that series!
Strange Angels...overall not a bad read.  Not sure I'm willing to continue with the series, but if you like horror, drama, and grotesque imaging, this is the right book.  Dru Anderson and her father hunt, well, the paranormal.  But when something goes wrong, she has to find somebody new to side with.  The only bad things about this book were the long, complicated sentences--made for slow action sequences--and the same analogies repeated again and again (referring to sleepy as rubbing grain out of eyes).
The next book I read I finished in a few hours.  A fast read, keeps you going...Everworld: the Search for Senna.  Great for a fast paced and adventurous read.  I'm going to start the series as soon as Monday comes and I can grab the next book.  Basically, David and three other teens get somehow sent to a, well, parallel world.  Confusion as they meet Loki, learn of different gods and cultures, and embark on a Viking raid.  Tons of fun...
So, more books are coming.  And where are my cousins?!  Wait, did they go on that trip...?
Love Justi!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

109 books down, 136 days to go!

Three more books for Justi!
The Search for Truth, the third book in Erec was okay.  Basically, Erec continues in his quest for the kingdom.  Not great, but the ideas are fun, and I can't wait to read the fourth book.  Which might take a while, since I can't find it at the local library, and I really don't want to have to buy it...
The End is, you guessed it, the last book to the Series of Unfortunate Events.  Really, read this series.  Interesting, extremely witty...the ending is, well, strange, to say the least, but it was the only way to end.  Plus the 'Fourteenth Chapter'...really, read this.  It might not make your favorites, but you'll appreciate it in the long run!
Raven...I managed in one day.  All you Twilight fans, look no further for another good book.  Okay, so it's immortals, not vampires, but it's fast paced, full of philosophical questions on the right to immortality, on being changed and the characters are pretty lovable.  I need to see if there's more to this than one book...

Well, 109 books down, 136 days to go.  I think we're now ahead of last year...that's a good thing!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

106 books down, 142 days to go...

Five more books for Justi.  Where are my cousins?  Ah!
Dead Connection was an okay read.  A fast ending, in my opinion, and I thought it was more of a mystery novel than a supernatural thriller, but, oh well.  A kid can talk to graves.  Fun, huh?  Until he gets caught up in a murder mystery...
The Penultimate Peril, second to last in A Series of Unfortunate Events.  So close to done!  And, of course, the mystery keeps on thickening!  I love this series...written for a younger audience, but easy to enjoy, along with interesting concepts and references I'm sure the older audience will enjoy.
Immortal Beloved was written by the author that got me interested in Wicca, Kate Tiernan.  Something like that.  Anyway, more Wiccan concepts, along with immortality and romance--always fun.  A great read, and I  can't wait for the next book in the series!
The Dragon's Eye and The Monsters of Otherness are the first two books in the Erec Rex series.  If you're interested in magic intertwined with pop culture and cell phones, this would be your series.  If isn't the greatest.  Don't get me wrong, it isn't bad, but the writing style is far from great.  The plot has trouble holding; it's the concepts that keep me reading these books.
So, love from Justi!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

101 books down, 157 days to go...

Sorry for the long delay.  February hasn't been a good month for reading...well, for anything.  But I've managed five more books since last month...
You, Maybe was a little book I wasn't too bad.  It settled the part of my mind that wanted a good teenage read.  It was a little depressing, but it was truthful, no sugar coatings or anything special.
The Carnivorous Carnival, The Slippery Slope, and The Grim Grotto...aka the next three books in Series of Unfortunate Events.  I'm going to finish this series, I promise!  These next three books deal more directly with the individual Baudelaire's and their feelings, not to mention showing more of Olaf.  Sunny also transgresses from a baby to a little girl, which I thought was entirely adorable, and the reference to T.S. Eliot was an added bonus.
The book that's been commanding most of my time was Queen of Camelot.  Six hundred pages full of Arthorian myth and legend surrounding his High Queen Guinevere.  A great read if a bit slow, sad and hopeful.  And thanks to that, I've been starting a craze for Arthorian legend!  I've been watching BBC's Merlin series nonstop (which might explain my lack of reading), so once I finish this pile of books I've had out for a while, I'm going to read more about Camelot.

Well, we've finally surpassed the hundred book mark!  Love from Justi!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

96 books down, 185 days to go...

Justi here with four new books.  I've read three more books for Series of Unfortunate Events--The Ersatz Elevator, The Vile Village, and The Hostile Hospital.  These books are failing to disappoint.  Ironic happenings, mysteries that demand the reader to solve them, a hidden plot, and the author's usual witty charm keeps these books from growing old, and still appealing to this reader.  The series is also steadily getting darker, and I hope that lasts.  Of course, each book is also getting longer...I'll be done with this soon enough!
Awakened is the latest book in House of Night.  While a lot of drastic changes occurred, this book lacked the sense of an overall plotline with its shifting character viewpoints.  It felt more like a filler, unfortunately, than like a stand-alone story in this series.  However, I enjoyed the ending, and am sad to have to wait until next year when the next book comes out.
So that's four more books down. 185 days to go!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

92 books down, 186 days to go!

Hey everyone! I finished seven books!  Pretty good, eh?

Secrets of Truth and Beauty, Flash Burnout, A Couple of April Fools, Just Listen, Ash, Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks, and Our Tragic Universe.  Secrets of Truth and Beauty is about a girl named Dara who leaves her parents to find her thirty-something-old sister.  When she does, she moves in with her sister and her gay teen runaways (even though Dara is not gay) farm.  After all, what does she have to go back to? Her parents removed her for the last couple of months of school, because she did her video autobiography on how she used to be in pageants, but then gained too much weight.  This is basically the typical teen discovering herself, and what really matters.  Good book.  Not great but worth your time (if that makes sense).  Flash Burnout was virtually plot-less.  It is basically about a boy turn between the friend that needs him and the girlfriend that "loves" him (if love exists at fifteen).  Not exactly worth your time, choose Truth and Beauty instead.  A Couple of April Fools was given to my by a friend.  And this was plot-less.  Please don't get this sixth-grade novel about the "Tattletales" and the "Copycats".  Just Listen is about a girl, the youngest in her family at 17 (I think she is 17...?) who has grown up in a family of two other girls, and has continued the traditions of modeling.  This book is about self-discovery, learning not to give up, learning how to deal with the hard ships in life, learning not to judge, and learning when is the right time to speak up.  This books was amazing, though it had a view intense scenes, that were very graphic (this includes seeing her sister after her eating disorder takes it's toll) and going through in an unfortunate time with her ex-best-friend's boyfriend, against her will.  Very sad, yet kind of happy.  Now that really doesn't makes sense.  But this book is definitely worth your time and your money (though I bet they have it at your local library).  Great book!  Ash is yet another Cinderella story, taking place long ago.  But this interpretation of that old tale does have its twists.  An okay book, but it was very hard for me to finish.  And I was hopelessly confused in parts!  I thought her soon-to-be "prince" (though he is not royalty) is female.  Let's just say I was very surprised, when for a while I thought she was male.  But hey, I don't judge.  :)  Peace Love and Baby Ducks is one of those books about a girl and her sister.  But in this case, the main character Carly is being "ditched" by her little sister, after coming back for a sobering camp, full of self discovery.  Not to mention that fact that her sister happened to turn "hot" over the summer.  Like head turning hot.  Carly is waiting for the shallow parts of the world to end, but she misses her sister.  Which is more important?  Not worth your time, I would say.  Go for the Dead Is... Series I blogged about a while back.  You know they're good books when you keep thinking back about them and counting down the days till the next sequel (not for a long, long time!).  Our Tragic Universe is a clever books about an author trying to discover what she is really trying to achieve.  I'm still not sure about this book, like whether it had a real plot or not. ?

92 books down, 186 days to go!

Monday, January 24, 2011


I, Elizabeth, have read more books, but I won't blog about them until tomorrow because I am literally 17 pages away from finishing one more book.  I just thought I would ask you to give this website a try:
This is another blog I have, that I share with my friends.  It is a very funny blog, and I hope you enjoy it. (scroll down to the last blog on the page, background info, to see what we are trying to do.)  By the way- I'm Michie.  :) enjoy!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

85 books down, 191 days to go!

Justi here, by the way.  Six books, and more on the way...!
First of all, three more Doctor Who books.  Not done with those, btw, but I'm taking a needed break from the Whoniverse.  Prisoner of the Daleks was okay...first DW book I read where so many die.  But that's expected, and it was an okay read.  Autonomy...a little confusing.  It would have been better without the complex setting--a supermall/minitown.  But besides the setting, this one was pretty DW believable.  The Krillitane Storm was one of my favorites.  Set in the middle of the Dark Ages, Krillitanes come, and they aren't trying to take over the world.  Bummer, huh?  Anyhow, besides the characters getting a little predictable, it was okay.
Burned, the seventh House of Night novel, was all right.  I'm reading the eighth book right now, so I need to hold opinion back until then, but currently Burned is my favorite in the series.
Two more.  I'm reading Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket...I know these are aimed at younger kids, but I never read them, and I'm finding them quite amusing.  So, the two I've read that are 200+ pages are The Wide Window and The Austere Academy.  Austere Academy is my favorite...two triplets, though, instead of three, which made me very sad.  Snicket writes in an amusing and witty manner, making you depressed yet laughing hysterically at the same time, so I'd advise anyone out there to read his works.

So, six more books to our collection!