Wednesday, June 17, 2015

#BlumeAlong: A Judy Blume Read Along

There is an awesome Judy Blume Read Along that is hosted by Entomology of a Bookworm that is happening right now and ends July 17th. The two books that are going to be read during this Read Along are Are You Here God? It's Me Margaret. (June 15-26) and Summer Sisters (June 26-July 17th). For this Read Along, we will be using the hashtag #BlumeAlong on twitter and anywhere else that uses hashtags (such as Instagram). More information on the Read Along can be found here.

I plan on participating in this Read Along. I have the first book on my shelf already and I hae been meaning to read it. I think I have read some of Judy Blume's books as a child but for the life of me I cannot remember which ones I have read.

Are you planning on participating in this Read Along? What are your favorite Judy Blume books? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet me (@blog_gal).

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Book Spotlight and Trailer Reveal: The Six

I received an egalley of The Six by Mark Alpert from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review and I am so excited to be reading and reviewing it soon. Until I am able to read and review it, I wanted to do a book spotlight and show you the awesome new trailer for the book! Here it is!

The Six
By Mark Alpert
Sourcebooks Fire
July 7, 2015
Advance Praise for Mark Alpert
“Adam is an unusual hero—and he faces a frightening question: Computers can’t kill—CAN they? I’m still shaken by the answer. Will the near-future really be this terrifying?” —R.L. Stine, bestselling author of the Goosebumps and Fear Street series
“An exciting action story chock-full of characters you’ll love. The Six is full of big ideas, big questions, real science, and things that will make you think and wonder and lie awake late at night.” —Michael Grant, New York Times bestselling author of the Gone series
“The Six are introduced as terminally-ill teens, but there’s plenty of high-speed action in which they engage. Their physical disabilities and limitations through disease are forgotten as the teens’ hearts, minds, and personalities shine through...questions of principle, power, and possibility keep this look at our modern, hardwired existence fresh and fascinating.” STARRED Booklist
“Alpert's exploration of neuromorphic electronics raises interesting questions about ethics, technology, and human nature…a haunting ending scene will leave readers pondering the line between progress and loss. A thought-provoking clash between humanity and machinery.”- Kirkus Reviews
“A well-researched, hardcore science-fiction joyride, great for fans of first-person shooter video games like Halo and Destiny. Highly recommended” –School Library Journal
“Do not just read The Six; make your friends read it too.” –VOYA Magazine
Avatar meets The Terminator in this thrilling cyber-tech adventure…
Book Info:
Adam’s muscular dystrophy has taken his motility, his friends, and in a few short years, it will take his life. He takes solace in playing video games he’s programmed to reflect the life that he used to have. Virtual reality is the one realm where he can be the hero, and it’s where he chooses to spend his time, until an entity called Sigma tries to kill him.
A dangerously advanced artificial intelligence program created by Adam’s computer-genius father, Sigma has escaped its cyber prison and is threatening global destruction and domination. But Adam’s father has a plan. He will stop Sigma by using the technology he developed to digitally preserve the mind of his dying son.
Adam’s consciousness is uploaded into the body of a weaponized robot, along with a group of five other gifted teens who are terminally ill. Together, they must learn how to manipulate their new mechanical forms and prepare for combat before Sigma destroys humanity. Adam can finally play the hero for real, but will his new body be worth the sacrifice of his human existence?
This innovative and thought-provoking young adult debut, from the critically acclaimed author of adult thrillers Final Theory and The Omega Theory, questions what it means to be human and whether we are destined to be defined by our physical bodies or our intellect.  
Amazon | AppleB&N | BAM | !ndigo |  IndieBound | Kindle |  Nook

Mark Alpert:
Mark Alpert is a former editor at Scientific American, and the author of several adult thrillers. He’s been praised by Douglas Preston as the “heir to Michael Crichton.” Visit Mark online at
Excerpt from The Six:
Shannon rears back in her seat as if she’s been slapped. “And where are you going to store the copies of our brains?” Her voice is furious. “In a supercomputer? A big electronic prison?”
Dad doesn’t take offense. He answers her calmly. “The scanning process converts human intelligence to a digital form, allowing it to run on any neuromorphic computer that has enough memory and processing power. But in the initial stage right after the transfer, we believe it’s important to connect the intelligence to a machine that can move around and sense the outside world. A human intelligence is accustomed to controlling a body, so if we want to preserve its sanity, we’d better give it something to control. Here, let me show you.”
He puts the vial of nanoprobes back in his pocket and pulls out something else, a small remote--control device. He points it at the doorway beside the stage, and a moment later I hear a loud clanking. The noise startles the soldiers standing by the doorway. They step backward, flattening themselves against the wall. Then a seven--foot--tall robot emerges from the doorway and brushes past them.
The robot strides across the stage. It has two arms and two legs, but otherwise it isn’t very humanlike. It has no head or neck. Its torso is shaped like a giant bullet, with the rounded end on top. Its legs angle downward from the base of its torso and rest on oval steel--plate footpads that clang against the floor.
The machine marches briskly past the podium and stops in front of my dad, who presses a button on his remote control. This command extends the robot’s arms, which telescope to a full length of six feet. They look like multi--jointed tentacles. The machine’s hands, though, resemble human hands, with dexterous mechanical fingers and thumbs.
Dad presses another button, and the robot’s rounded top starts to turn like a turret. “The cameras and acoustic sensors are up here,” Dad says, pointing at the top end. “But the neuromorphic electronics are deep inside the torso, encased in armor plating. These robots were originally designed for the war in Afghanistan, so they’re pretty sturdy.” He raps his knuckles against the torso. “All in all, it’s an excellent platform for a newly transferred intelligence, but really it’s just the beginning. The whole point of the Pioneer Project is to bridge the gap between man and machine, and that means the human intelligences must explore their new environment. The Pioneers will have to learn how to use their new capabilities, and that includes transferring their intelligences from one machine to another.”
His voice grows louder again, full of enthusiasm. “Once the Pioneers have mastered these tasks, our hope is that they’ll be able to establish a connection with Sigma. If all goes well, they’ll start communicating with the AI before it launches any of the Russian missiles. And then the toughest challenge will begin. At the same time that the humans are learning how to be machines, they’ll have to teach Sigma how to be human.”

Rafflecopter Giveaway Link for Sourcebooks Fire Sci-Fi Book Pack including a copy of The Six by Mark Alpert (Runs June 11-June 23rd) US and Canada only:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#Rainbowthon Daily Progress

The #rainbowthon is this week (June 15-21) and I cannot wait to join. It is hosted by The Carpe Librum Book Club (@CarpethisLibrum on Twitter). I probably will not read that much this week, but I will be reading so let's see how much I can get done.

In this post, I will have a running thread in which I discuss my daily progress during the readathon. My TBR pile for this readathon can be found here.


I read from page 288 to page 330 from Half-Hearts for a total of 42 pages. 

Today's Page Count: 42
Total Page Count: 42


I read from page 330 to 414 from Half Hearts for a total of 84 pages today.

Today's Page Count: 84
Total Page Count: 126


So far today, I have read 2 pages from God Every Day 365 which is a Christian daily devotional. I am loving this devotional so far. As this is a yearly devotional, I do not believe that I will be able to finish this during this readathon, so I think I may change my TBR from what I listed in my #Rainbowthon TBR post

I think I will change my blue book to Are Your There God? It's Me Margaret. This book is part of the #BlumeAlong readathon that I discussed in today's post. I also posted a picture on instagram about this book:
A photo posted by Jessica Bradley Barnes (@blog_gal) on
I read 26 pages of Are You There God? It's Me Margaret today.

I also read from page 414 to 424 from Half-Hearts for a total of 10 pages from that book. I am really loving this book; I just did not have much time to read yesterday. I love the world that this book is set in. The characters are finally being developed and I am loving all of them.

Today's Page Count: 38
Total Page Count: 164

Thursday (in progress)

I am 95% complete with Half-Hearts; I read 126 pages today of it and it is absolutely amazing. The intensity of the book is so high right now. I imagine I will be completing this book very soon!

I also read a good majority of Are You There God? It's Me Margaret today. I have read a total of 94 pages of the book so far (68 pages today). This book is engaging, but it is not one of my favorites. I enjoy the writing style, but the content is not something that I can relate to at my current age. I am 22 and the main character is 11 (almost 12). This period in my life is so far gone that I cannot even imagine what I was like at that age. I am sure many younger kids would be able to relate to this book better than I currently can.

Today's Page Count: 194
Total Page Count: 358


I finished Half-Hearts today by reading 32 pages. I loved this book and gave it a 4/5 star rating. A full review will be coming soon on my blog.

I also read 25 pages of Are You There God? It's Me Margaret.

Today's Page Count: 57
Total Page Count: 415

Saturday in progress

I have finished Are You There God? It's Me Margaret by reading 30 pages. I am not sure what I will pick up next.

Today's Page Count: 30
Total Page Count: 445



Total Page Count: 445
Books Started Before the Readathon: 2
Books Started During the Readathon: 1
Books Completed: 2

Monday, June 15, 2015

#Rainbowthon TBR

The #rainbowthon is this week (June 15-21) and I cannot wait to join. It is hosted by The Carpe Librum Book Club (@CarpethisLibrum on Twitter). I probably will not read that much this week, but I will be reading so let's see how much I can get done.

Here is my TBR for the readathon:

A photo posted by Jessica Bradley Barnes (@blog_gal) on