Saturday, August 16, 2014

Bout of Books Readathon TBR and Goals

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon begins on Monday.  For those of you who may not know what this is, here is the official blurb:
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
In this post, I will be discussing my goals for the read-a-thon.  First off, let us discuss my TBR.  I am super excited about all the books that are on my list.  My TBR list is just a list of the books that I will pull from for this read-a-thon.

  • Amity of Angelmen by T.C. Slonaker (YA Christian Fantasy, Review Copy)
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling (Middle Grade/YA Fantasy)
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling (Middle Grade/YA Fantasy)
  • Saving Max by
  • Gone by Michael Grant (YA Dystopian)
  • The Reckoning by Teyla Branton (YA Urban Fantasy, Review Copy)
  • The Dress Lodger by Sheri Holman (Adult Historical Fiction)
  • The Girl Who Never Was by Skylar Dorset (YA Fantasy, Review Copy)
  • Wither by Lauren DeStefano (YA Dystopian Fantasy)
  • Insurgent by Veronica Roth (YA Dystopian)
As I stated before, this TBR pile is just a list of books that I am planning on pulling from for this read-a-thon.  I do not plan on reading all the books on the list.  So what are my goals for this read-a-thon?
  • Read at least 1 book that I have received for review
  • Finish at least 3 books throughout the week
  • Participate in all three twitter chats (schedule below)
  • Participate in at least 5 daily challenges (schedule below)
  • Chat on Twitter everyday using the hashtag #boutofbooks
Here is a list of the scheduled events for the Bout of Books Readathon:


Monday 8/18
Book Scavenger Hunt -- The Book Monsters
Playlist -- LuLo FanGirl

Tuesday 8/19
One True Pairing -- Infinite Ink
Book Spine Poetry -- My Little Pocketbooks

Wednesday 8/20
Create a Sentence -- Book Reviews from Christian Gal

Thursday 8/21
Like This, Try This -- Writing My Own Fairy Tale

Friday 8/22
Recreate a Book Cover -- Spines and Covers
Book Chain -- Christian Bookshelf Reviews

Saturday 8/23
Spell It Out -- Kimberly Faye Reads

Sunday 8/24
5 Books -- Falling Down the Book Hole

Twitter Chats
(chats last approximately one hour)
TZC = Time Zone Conversion

Monday: 1pm CST (TZC)
Wednesday: 8pm CST (TZC)
Saturday: 10am CST (TZC)

Are you participating in Bout of Books 11? What are your goals?

Have you read any of the books in my TBR?  What do you think of them?  Which should I read first?

Top 5 Qualities that I Look for in a Book: World Building (Part 1/5)

While reading other blogs, I have realized that a great book review blog does not just review books but has original book related discussion.  I enjoy discussing books with others.  I am going to start having more original, discussion based posts.  The first of which is discussing the qualities that I find in great, memorable books, which will be presented in weekly segments.

One of the main reasons that I enjoy reading fantasy and science fiction novels is the world building aspects.  World building shows creativity.  It sets the book apart from other books.  It makes the book memorable.

One of my biggest pet peeves about world building is when a book has a really complex world and throws all the information at you all at once.  It becomes confusing and hard to keep up with.  This was my biggest problem with the Queen of the Realm of Faerie series by Heidi Garrett.  Don't get me wrong, I loved this book but it was hard to keep up with the complex world.  There were many different fantasy races with unique abilities and grudges with other races.  There were also many different characters and it was hard to keep everything straight.  After I was accustomed to the world and understood the many facets, I was able to really enjoy the series.  Another example of this is the Lord of the Rings series.  I have problems staying interested in the books due to the complex world.

I enjoy unique nuances in a dystopian society that seeks to disclose a flaw in society.  Unwind by Neal Shusterman is a great example of this.  In Unwind, at the age of 13 parents have the right to "unwind" their children.  When a child is unwound, there body parts are used to replace malfunctioning body parts in others in order to save lives.  For instance, if someone was blind they could get eyes from an unwind.  Although this is really cruel, I feel like this shows how cruel abortion can be as it is also destroying the life of a child.  It also adds an incredibly unique twist to a book.

The Exile by Eric Buffington is another example of wonderful world building.  In The Exile, men are sent outside of the city to survive on their own for a year as part of a coming of age ceremony.  If they return, they are then considered men.  Additionally, each person is born with unique abilities.  Each person is marked with his or her ability.  For example, some people have marks on their ear and are incredible listeners.  Others have marks above their eyes and have incredible vision.  Stones of Power can increase these abilities and are incredibly rare.  What I enjoy about this world building is the complexity and uniqueness.  It creates the foundation for incredible plots for books.  I will discuss this a little more next week in my post about complex plots.

A few other books that have remarkable world building are pictured below:

What qualities are most important to you in a book?  How important is world building?  What books do you think have great world building?  Please leave your comments below.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thursday Tags: Harry Potter Tag


Since Harry Potter is one of my favorite fantasy series, I wanted to do a Harry Potter tag this week.  I found this tag on the blog "Book Lover".

1. Favorite book?

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is my favorite book in this series.  I have read it over 5 times.

2. Least favorite book? 
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was not as appealing to me as the rest of the series.  I am not really sure why.

3. Saddest death?
Dobby was definitely the death that makes me cry just thinking about it.  Can I have a tissue?

4. Favorite character?
This is a hard one.  I think I would say Luna Lovegood.  Dumbledore, Dobby, and Hermione are all close choices too.

5. What would your Patronus be?
I think that it would either be a horse or an owl.

6. If you could have the Resurrection Stone, Invisibility Cloak or the Elder Wand which one would you choose?
Invisibility cloak maybe.  I could stay in the bookstore for hours after it's closed reading :)

7. What House would you be in?


8. Favourite subject in Hogwarts?
I think that would be Quidditch.  Although I do not like sports in real life too much, I think that I would enjoy learning Quidditch.

9. Have you played any of the video games?
I have only played the Sorcerer's stone on PS1 and the Chamber of Secrets on the computer.

10. If you were on the Quiddich team which position would you play?
Probably the Chaser.  I would like to say the Beater because I love baseball, but I cannot imagine throwing a Bludger at anyone...

11. Were you happy with the book’s ending?
I loved the ending!

12. How much does Harry Potter mean to you?
I have always enjoyed the books.  It is probably one of the best pieces of fiction there is.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Children's Book Review Tuesdays: Pig and Small

Book Title: Pig and Small

Author:  Alex Latimer

Publish Date: August 1, 2014

 Why I Read this Book: I received a free copy of this book for review purposes from NetGalley.  This in no way influenced my review.












So cute!  This book is a story about friendship that illustrates that you can still have different interests and still be best friends.  I love books that have a lesson behind them.  This is a great read for anyone in 1st grade or under.

Final Statements

Recommended Reading Age: 6 and under

Overall Rating: 5/5

Monday, August 11, 2014

Monsterthon (#PickYourThon) Read-a-thon/Review-a-thon Wrap-Up


Books Finished

Books DNF:
Pages Read:  1150


I wrote reviews this week for:

I also wrote a few other blog posts that will be published this month.
Overall Thoughts

I really enjoyed this Monsterthon Read-a-thon/Review-a-thon.  I enjoyed the combination of reading a reviewing books.  I enjoyed interacting with others through Twitter.  I enjoyed the progress that I made in reading and shortening my TBR pile and I enjoyed all the books that I read this week.  I cannot wait for another Monsterthon and for the next read-a-thon that I will be doing this month: bout-of-books.

Monsterthon Day 7 Updates (Sunday, August 10)

This is my final update post for the Monsterthon read-a-thon/review-a-thon, but my wrap-up post for the entire week will be coming soon! 

I read another wonderful book today and clocked in at 61 pages.

Today, I read Hide and Watch by Jill Hicks Lawson.  Beautifully written, Hide and Watch is a nonfiction Christian story about a women who struggles through the pain of taking care of her mother while her health is declining.  Hide and Seek offers advice on what to do when life is difficult and hope is hard to find.  This is a great read!  This book is only a total of 61 pages, but is full of depth and great lessons!  Full review will soon be posted on my blog!

(I received Hide and Seek from the author in exchange for an honest review.  This in no way influenced my review.)
I actually reviewed quiet a lot of books this afternoon.  Here is a list of the reviews:

  1. Hide and Watch by Jill Hicks Lawson
  2. The Lost Boy by Greg Ruth (Graphic Novel)
  3. Appaloosa Summer by Tudor Robins  
  4. 12 Titanic Lessons for Christians by Charles C. Hagan, Jr.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Monsterthon Days 5 and 6 (Friday and Saturday, August 8-9)

Read-a-thon Updates
I read the most amazing book today (Day 6).

I read 8 pages of Appaloosa Summer by Tudor Robins on Day 5, but I re-read these pages on Day 6 and finished the book on Day 6.  I did this because I am doing a 48 hour read-a-thon this weekend.  I know; I am addicted to read-a-thons, but I was already doing a read-a-thon, so I thought, "Why Not".  Anyways, for this read-a-thon, you get points for the books that you have read and those books have to be started and finished during the read-a-thon in order to receive points for that book.  The 48 hour read-a-thon is on Goodreads as part of a group that I am involved in, Crazy for Young Adult Books.

I read Appaloosa Summer from start to finish on Day 6 giving me a total of 230 pages for Day 6!  I gave this book a 5 star rating!  First off, can we talk about the cover?  Gorgeous!  Secondly, the writing style was perfect and it was a nice, light contemporary love story that involves one of my favorite animals: horses.  I will of course discuss this book in more details when I write my full review.  As a side note, my review will also include an author interview :)

(I received this book from the author as part of a blog tour in exchange for an honest review.  This in no way influenced my review.) 

Review-a-thon Updates

On Day 5, I did some blogging.  I reviewed Fourmile by Watt Key that I read earlier this week for the read-a-thon.  I also scheduled some discussion posts that will be coming later this month that I have been working on for a while now.  I am happy that I did a little reviewing for the review-a-thon and I hope that I can do a little more tomorrow!