Monday, January 11, 2016

2016 Goals and Series Wrap Ups

I had great plans for 2015 but with so much happening last year, my reading fell to the side. Still, I'm excited to get a ton of reading done this year and hopefully I'll reach my goal this time.

My goal for 2016 is to read at least 50 books. They have to be over 100 pages to count as one book and manga will only be counted once. So, I will use one volume to represent having read the entire manga series instead of counting each volume as a separate book. I started reading manga in Japanese so that is why I am adding manga this year. These are my personal rules.

Aside from just reading 50 books this year, I also really need to finish some series that I started. I want to buy new books but I cannot justify doing so without finishing these ones first. I'm going to power read through the YA books on that list in the beginning of the year.

Those are my plans for the year so far. What's going on with you? Any book/reading plans for 2016?

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Selection to be Made into a Movie

Another YA book series is getting a movie adaptation. This time it is "The Selection" by Kiera Cass!

I'm pretty excited for this movie adaptation because it gives me a reason to start reading this series now. I've had The Selection on my wishlist for a while but have not yet gotten around to reading the series.

The Selection follows America Singer who is selected along with thirty-four other girls to have the chance to marry Prince Maxon. The plot sounds sort of like The Bachelor done in a YA style. America does not even want to be a part of the competition to marry the prince though. She's in love with Aspen but he's of a lower status than her so she must take part in the Selection.

This is a five part book series and the final part comes out May 3, 2016. It will probably get at least six movies if the first does well. After all, they have to stretch the final book into two movies as that seems to be the trend now.

Cass said in an interview with Yahoo that she is happy with the script. "I have read the first draft of the script and I'm very happy with the direction they're heading in." She went on to say "We had a long conversation about the story and points that we thought fans would consider must-haves."

So if Cass is happy with the direction that the film is going in, fans who liked the book will probably be happy with it too. Authors don't usually actually have any real or deeper involvement with writing the script or any other part of making the film.

Judging by the reviews on goodreads it seems like people either love or hate the book but nothing in between. So, have you read The Selection? Did you love it or hate it?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Chosen One Review

Title: The Chosen One
Author: Carol Lynch Williams
Buy It At: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The Chosen One is a story about a young, teen girl named Kyra who lives in a compound run by a religious cult leader. She is only thirteen years old when the cult leader comes to her father and tells him that God has chosen for her to marry her Uncle and become one of his many wives. Despite no one being happy with the match, no one will help Kyra escape and the marriage cannot be stopped. Kyra makes the life changing decision to break out of the compound and gain her freedom.

The Chosen One is obviously a take on the FLDS cult though the book does not outright state the religion of the characters.

Kyra's story might be fictional but the issues she faced are very real and do happen to many young girls living in the FLDS compounds. This is a world where women have no choices when it comes to anything and must always "be sweet" so they don't upset the men. The Chosen One gives readers a brief glimpse into what such a life is like for a teenage girl. All Kyra wants is to spent time with the boy she likes, read books and play the piano. Instead, she must prepare to marry a man more than twice her age and get ready to become a wife and bare children.

This is a young adult novel so the story is easier to read and does not go into a lot of details compared to FLDS Mormon and polygamy books aimed at adults. So, while we know Kyra's story it is just one girl's story. The book does not give a lot of details about the cult, community or living situations of other members on the compound because this is just Kyra's story.

Still, I personally think it was better that the book focused on one girl's story instead of trying to cover a wide range of topics. Especially because this is a young adult book.

While I absolutely loved the story, some of the writing was a little off putting to me. At times the writing style tried to be too pose-like for my taste.

The Chosen One was a very interesting and captivating read. You cannot help but hope and cheer for Kyra as she struggles with wanting to escape the marriage (which means leaving the compound, her family and the only life she has ever known).

Rating: 4 out of 5

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The History Book Club Read-a-Thon: April

The History Book Club on goodreads is having another read-a-thon this month. The date for April is the 25th. The rules say that you can read whatever you like but in the spirit of the group, I am going to try to stick with books set in the past, historical fiction/YA, nonfiction books about history or current events. Below is a list of books I currently have that I can choose to read during this and future read-a-thons in this group. There are five more read-a-thons scheduled for this year so no worries if I don't get to all my books on the 25th.

My goal is to read at least 20 Books by the last read-a-thon.

Obviously I am not going to write post reviews here for non-YA books, but I wanted to make this post to organize my read-a-thon plans and to invite everyone reading this to join us

Non-Fiction Books

Winner Take All by Dambisa Moyo
Religio Romana Handbook by Lucius Vitellius Triarius
Meditations on the Roman Deities by Lucius Vitellius Triarius
Temple of the Cosmos by Jeremy Naydler
Dancing for Hathor by Carolyn Graves-Brown
Dreaming in Hindi by Katherine Rich
The Three Empresses by Philip Longworth
Finding God: Selected Responses by Rifat Sonsino
Without You There is No Us by Suki Kim
Dear Leader by Jang Jin-Sung

Historical Fiction and Young Adult Books (list needs to be updated)

Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine

Historical Romances

The Russian Concubine by Kate Furnivall
Athenais by Lisa Hilton
Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah McLean
Figures in Silk by Vanora Bennet
A Lilly Among Thorns by Rose Lerner
Britannia by Letitia Coyne

Sweet Peril Review

Title: Sweet Peril Review (The Sweet Trilogy #2)
Author: Wendy Higgins
Get the Book: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

I finally got around to finishing Sweet Peril. To be honest, I was not feeling this book as much as I was the first book and I really enjoyed the first book. A lot of other readers and reviewers are saying they loved the second book and that it even blow the first book away. That wasn't really the case with me. I am still not sure if I am going to pick up the third book or not.

Sweet Peril picks up where Sweet Evil left off. Kai and Anna have broken up and now Anna has to put together a team of Nephs in order to stop the demons and end things once in for all.

I think one of the reasons why I was not as into this book as I was the first book is because the whole book was Anna getting allies and putting together a team. It was all preparation. The book started to get interesting again towards the end though. Sure, it was interesting to read about Anna and Kope going to Syria to meet Z, and I did enjoy reading the book overall, but the rest was not as exciting.

Anna spends some time talking with her dad and getting a cool sword. Anna is pretty accepting and trusting of her dad despite the fact that he was never in her life. I mean, it makes sense that he was never in her life because otherwise he would have had to corrupt her from the beginning, but Anna is way for accepting, trusting and forgiving than I would have been in her situation.

Anna also graduates from high school in this book! I did not really care for the fluffiness of Anna graduating. Patti actually started to annoy me a lot during this part of the book. She is just too good and nice. Dial it down a notch, Patti.

I really did not care at all for the love triangle between Anna, Kope and Kai either. We all know Anna will end up with Kai in the end. Speaking of Kai and Anna...

There was a very steamy scene between Anna and Kai near the end of the book. My first thought while reading it was "I thought this was more of a Christian YA!" Of course, nothing actually happened but it was unexpected.

Overall, I did enjoy the book but I was not in love with it like I was the first book.

Rating: 3 our of 3