Monday, September 1, 2014

Shannon's August Reading Challenge Wrap-up

Goodreads challenge: 134/215

 I managed 16 books but still 7 books off schedule.


http://sweetmarie-83.blogspot.ca/2013/12/2014-historic-fiction-reading-challenge.html

1-5 books ~ Testing the bonds of time
6-12 books ~ Slipping through time
13-20 books ~ Traveling back in time
21+ books ~ Living in the past

Two this month!  It's not a lot, but I'll take it!

JAN:
1. Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger (Victorian)
MAR:
2. Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen (11th Century England)
3. Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen (11th Century England)
4. A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs (Edwardian England)
APR:
5. The Dead in Their Vault Arches by Alan Bradley (1950's England)
MAY:
6. Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman (1930's Germany)
7. Sekret by Lindsay Smith (1960's Communist Russia)
AUGUST:
8. Rose Under Fire (WWII)
9. Strange and Ever After (Victorian)

My goal is to read 15+ series enders and reach Level 4.  I will update here as I read them.

Only two again this month.

JAN
1. Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3) by Veronica Rossi
2. Horde (Razorland #3) by Ann Aguirre
FEB
3. Evertrue (Everneath #3) by Jodi Ashton
4. Ignite Me (Shatter #3) by Tahereh Mafi
5. Phantom Eyes (Witch Eyes #3) by Scott Tracey
6. Burn (Pure #3) by Julianna Baggott
MAR:
7. Killer Frost (Mythos Academy #6)
8. The Shadow Throne (The Ascendance Trilogy #3) by Jennifer A. Nielsen
APR:
9. Infinite (New Soul #3) by Jodi Meadows
10. Three (Article 5 #3) by Kristen Simmons
MAY:
11. Raging Star (Dust Lands #3) by Moira Young
12. The One (The Selection #3) by Kiera Cass
13. Forever Song (Blood of Eden #3) by Julie Kagawa
JULY:
14. Ruin and Rising (Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo
15. Gasp (Crash #3) by Lisa McMann
AUGUST:
15. Sinner (Wolves of Mercy Falls #3.5) by Maggie Stiefvater
16. Strange and Ever After (Strange and Deadly #3) by Susan Dennard


The goal is to read 24 post-apocalyptic dystopian YA novel.  I will list my books here as I read them.

One one again this month.

JAN:
1. Altered by Gennifer Albin
2. Enclave by Ann Aguirre
3. Outpost by Ann Aguirre
4. Horde by Ann Aguirre
5. Angelfall by Susan Ee
6. World After by Susan Ee
FEB
7. Burn by Julianna Baggott
8. Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi
MAR:
9. Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons
APR:
10. Three by Kristen Simmons
MAY
11. Plus One by Elizabeth Fama
12. Raging Star by Moira Young
13. The One by Kiera Cass
14. Forever Song by Julie Kagawa
JUNE
15. Taken by Erin Bowman
JULY
16. For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diane Peterfreund
AUGUST
17. Across a Star Swept Sea by Diane Peterfreund



2014 Standalone Reading Challenge

The goal is to read 15 standalone novels published in 2014.  Last year I read about 27, so I'm upping my goal to 30 standalones.

I read 6 this month and hit my goal! 

FEB:
1. No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale 
MAR:
2. Something Real by Heather Demetrios 
3. Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott 
4. A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs 
APR:
5. Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas 
6. Panic by Lauren Oliver 
7. Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano 
8. The Best Last Kiss by Claire LaZebnik 
9. Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg 
MAY:
10. Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman 
11. Sekret by Lindsay Smith 
12. Plus One by Elizabeth Fama
13. Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
14. Side Effect May Vary by Julie Murphy
15. Promise of Shadows by Justina Ireland
16. Me Since You by Laura Weiss
17. Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell
18. Pointe by Brandy Colbert
19. What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
20. Far From You by Tessa Sharpe
JUNE
21. Tease by Amanda Maciel 
22. Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes
23. The Last Forever by Deb Caletti
24. How to Meet Boys by Catherine Clark
25. The End or Something Like It by Ann Dee Clark
JULY
26. My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal
27. On the Fence by Kasie West
28. 17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen
AUGUST:
29. #scandal by Sarah Ockler
30. Chaos of the Stars by Kiersten White
31. The Fever by Megan Abbott
32. Conversion by Katherine Howe
33. Don't Look Back by Jennifer Armentrout
34. The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu


preqseqbutton

This year Novel Heartbeat is co-hosting with Writer Grrrl Reads and they are assigning a point system based on whether you read a novella, a sequel or finish a whole series.  Here are some sequels I am hoping to get to this year.  I will update too as I discover new series or decide not to finish a series.

Only 2 sequels with this month.

The Sweetest Dark Trilogy by Shana Abe - Untitled (#3)
Razorland Trilogy by Ann Aguirre - [Enclave (#1)]/ JAN: Outpost (#2)/JAN: Horde (#3)
Crewel World series by Gennifer Albin - JAN: Altered (#2)
Arkwell Academy Series by Mindee Arnett - APR: Nightmare Dilemma (#2)
Everneath Trilogy by Brodi Ashton - FEB: Evertrue (#3)
Pure Trilogy by Julianna Baggott - FEB: Burn (#3)
Grishna Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo - JUL: Ruin and Rising (#3)
Goddess War Series by Kendare Blake - Aristeia (#2)
The Darkest Minds Series by Alexandra Bracken - Never Fade (#3)
The Diviners Series by Libba Bray - Lair of Dreams (#2)
Finishing School Series by Gail Carringer - [Etiquettes and Espionage (#1)]/Curtsies and Conspiracies (#2), Waistcoats and Weapons (#3) DNF
So Close to You Series by Rachel Carter - Find Me Where the Water Ends (#3)
The Selection Trilogy by Kiera Cass - MAY: The One (#3)
Something Strange and Deadly Trilogy by Susan Dennard - AUG: Strange and Ever After (#3)
Penryn and the End of Days Series by Susan Ee: JAN: World After (#2)
Mythos Academy by Jennifer Estep - MAR: Killer Frost (#6)
Dark Star Series by Bethany Frenette - MAR: Burn Bright (#2)/Fire Fall (#3)
Caster Chronicles by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl - Beautiful Darkness (#2)/Beautiful Chaos (#3)/Beautiful Redemption /(#4) DECIDED NOT TO FINISH
Scarlet series by A.C. Gaughen - MAR: Lady Thief (#2)
Burn for Burn Series by Jenny Han - Ash to Ash (#3)
Nantucket Blue duology by Leila Howland: JUN: Nantucket Red (#2)
The Shades of London by Maureen Johnson - The Shadow Cabinet (#3)
Blood of Eden Series by Julie KagawaMAY: The Forever Song (#3)
The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten by Julie Kagawa - JAN: The Iron Traitor (#2)/Untitled (#3)
His Fair Assassin Series by R. L. LaFevers - Mortal Heart (#3)
Throne of Glass Series by Sarah Maas - Heir of Fire (#3)
Shatter Me Series byTahereh Mafi - FEB: Ignite Me (#3)
Crash Series by Lisa McMann - MAR: Bang (#2)/JUL: Gasp (#3)
New Soul Series by Jodi Meadows - APR: Infinite (#3)
Lunar Chronicles Series by Melissa Meyer - FEB: Cress (#3)
Ascendance Trilogy by Jennifer Nielsen - MAR: The Shadow Throne (#3)
For Darkness Shows the Stars duology by Diane Peterfreund - AUG: Across a Star Swept Sea (#2)
Ripper Series by Amy Carol Reeve - Renegade (#2)/Resurrection (#3)
Falling Kingdoms Series by Morgan Rhodes - Rebel Spring (#2)/Untitled (#3) DNF
Under the Never Sky Trilogy by Veronica Rossi - JAN: Into the Still Blue (#3)
Altered Series by Jennifer Rush - FEB: Erased (#2)
The Bone Season Series by Samatha Shannon - Mime Order (#2)
The Article 5 Trilogy by Kristen Simmons: MAR: Breaking Point (#2)/APR: Three (#3)
Cahill Witch Chronicles Trilogy by Jessica Spotswood - Sister’s Fate (#3)
Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater: AUG: Sinner (#3.5)
The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater - Lily Blue, Blue Lily (#3)
All Our Yesterday Series by Cristin Terrill - Untitled (#2)
Witch Eyes Series by Scott Tracey - FEB: Demon Eyes (#2)/FEB: Phantom Eyes (#3)
Pivot Point Series by Kacie West - MAR: Split Second (#2)
Mind Games by Kiersten White - FEB: Perfect Lies (#2)
Code Name Verity series by Elizabeth Wein: AUG: Rose Under Fire (#2)
The 5th Wave Series by Rick Yancy - Infinite Sea (#2)
The Dustland Trilogy by Moira Young - MAY: Raging Star (#3)
The Program Series by Suzanne Young - The Treatment (#2)
The Hybrid Chronicles by Kat Zhang - [Whats Left of Me(#1)]/Once We Were(#2)/Untitled (#3)



Phantasmic Reads
I have decided that 2014 is the year to put a dent in my Kindle TBR!  A good chunk of them are books for review. 
  • 1-10: Apprentice
  • 11-20: Journeyman
  • 21-30: Master
  • 31-40: Grand Master
  • 40+:  Adept 
I read 7 (yay!), putting me at 35 total.

  1. 17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen (JUL: REVIEW HERE)
  2. Across a Star Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund (AUG: REVIEW HERE)
  3. The After Girls by Leah Konen
  4. After the End by Amy Plum
  5. Another Little Piece by Kate Quinn
  6. Arclight by Josin McQuien
  7. Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes (JUNE: REVIEW HERE)
  8. Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas (APR: REVIEW HERE)
  9. Avalon by Mindee Arnett (JAN: REVIEW HERE)
  10. Between Two Thorns by Emily Newman
  11. Body in the Woods by April Henry (JUL: REVIEW HERE)
  12. Born of Illusion by Teri Brown
  13. Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech
  14. Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas (AUG:  REVIEW HERE)
  15. Chaos of the Stars by Kiersten White (AUG: REVIEW HERE)
  16. The Collection by Shannon Stoker
  17. Constable and Toop by Gareth Jones
  18. Consume by Melissa Darnell
  19. Corpse-Rat King by Lee Battersby
  20. Crash and Burn by Michael Hassan
  21. Daring Ladies of Lowell by Kate Alcott
  22. Darkest Fear by Cate Tiernan (APR: REVIEW HERE)
  23. The Dead in their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley (APR: REVIEW HERE)
  24. Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell (MAY: REVIEW HERE)
  25. Death Sworn by Leah Cypress
  26. Don’t Look Now by Michelle Gagnon
  27. Don’t You Forget About Me by Kate Quinn
  28. Dualed by Elsie Chapman
  29. Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  30. Faking It by Cara Carmack
  31. Faking Normal by Courtney Stevens
  32. The Falconer by Elizabeth May
  33. Fan Art by Sarah Tregay
  34. Finding It by Cara Carmack 
  35. For Darkness Shows the Stars (JUL: REVIEW HERE
  36. Game Board of the Gods by Richelle Mead
  37. Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shephard
  38. History of the World in 12 maps by Jerry Brotton
  39. Hokey Pokey by Jerry Spinelli
  40. House of Ivy and Sorrow by Natalie Whipple
  41. How To Meet Boys by Catherine Clark (JUNE: REVIEW HERE)
  42. If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
  43. In The After by Demitiria Lunetta
  44. Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle
  45. Into the Dark by Bree Despain
  46. Iron Traitor by Julia Kagawa (JAN: REVIEW HERE)
  47. Killer Frost by Jennifer Estep (MAR: REVIEW HERE)
  48. Kingdom of Rarities by Eric Dinerstein
  49. Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson (AUG: REVEW HERE)
  50. The Last Best Kiss by Claire LaZebnick (APR: REVIEW HERE)
  51. The Last Forever by Deb Caletti (JUNE: REVIEW HERE)
  52. The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier
  53. Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu
  54. Little Wolves by Thomas Maltman
  55. The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepard
  56. Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke
  57. Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch
  58. Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor
  59. Me Since You by Laura Weiss (MAY: REVIEW HERE)
  60. MILA 2.0 by Debra Driza
  61. Mind Games by Kiersten White (FEB: REVIEW HERE)
  62. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
  63. More than This by Patrick Ness
  64. The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings
  65. Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman
  66. My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal (JUL: REVIEW HERE)
  67. Night School by C.J. Daughtery
  68. No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale (FEB: REVIEW HERE)
  69. Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  70. Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
  71. On the Fence by Kasie West (JUL: REVIEW HERE)
  72. Once We Were by Kat Zhang
  73. Orphanage of Miracles by Amy Netfzger
  74. Parallel by Lauren Miller
  75. Perfect Lies by Kiersten White (FEB: REVIEW HERE)
  76. Phantom Eyes by Scott Tracy (FEB: REVIEW HERE)
  77. Pivot Point by Kacie West (MAR: REVIEW HERE)
  78. Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley
  79. Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman (MAY: REVIEW HERE)
  80. The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine
  81. Promise of Shadows by Justina Ireland (MAY: REVIEW HERE)
  82. Prophecy by Ellen Oh
  83. Reboot by Amy Tintera
  84. The Registry by Shannon Stoker
  85. Renegade by Amy Carol Reeve
  86. Resist by Sarah Crossan
  87. The Returned by Jason Mott
  88. Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt
  89. Salvage by Alexandra Duncan
  90. Saving Lucas Briggs by Marisa de los Santos
  91. #scandal by Sarah Ockler (AUG: REVIEW HERE)
  92. Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen (MAR: REVIEW HERE)
  93. Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy (MAY: REVIEW HERE)
  94. Silence for the Dead by Simone St. James
  95. Speechless by Hannah Harrington
  96. Starbreak by Phoebe North
  97. Starglass by Phoebe North
  98. Strange and Ever After by Susan Dennard (AUG: REVIEW HERE)
  99. Taken by Erin Bowman (JUNE: REVIEW HERE)
  100. Talker 25 by Joshua McCune
  101. Tease by Amanda Maciel (JUNE: REVIEW HERE)
  102. This is W.A.R. by Linda Roecker
  103. Thousand Perfect Things by Kay Kenyon
  104. Towering by Alex Finn
  105. Transparent by Natalie Whipple
  106. The Treatment by Suzanne Young
  107. The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu (AUG: REVIEW HERE)
  108. Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart by Leanna Hieber
  109. Unbroken by Paula Morris
  110. Vivian Divine is Dead by Lauren Sabel
  111. The Ward by Jordana Frankel
  112. Warrior by Ellen Oh
  113. The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon
  114. Witchstruck by Victoria Lamb
  115. You Look Different in Real Life by Jennifer Castle







 



 
 
 
  
 
 



Thursday, August 28, 2014

#scandal by Sarah Ockler [Review]

#scandal3.5 out of 5 Robots!
  


#scandal by Sarah Ockler
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Release: June 17, 2014
Hardcover:  416 Pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse
My Copy: Publisher (Edelweiss)
Reviewer: Shannon
Buy the Book: Amazon

Book Summary:
Lucy’s learned some important lessons from tabloid darling Jayla Heart’s all-too-public blunders: Avoid the spotlight, don’t feed the Internet trolls, and keep your secrets secret. The policy has served Lucy well all through high school, so when her best friend Ellie gets sick before prom and begs her to step in as Cole’s date, she accepts with a smile, silencing about ten different reservations. Like the one where she’d rather stay home shredding online zombies. And the one where she hates playing dress-up. And especially the one where she’s been secretly in love with Cole since the dawn of time.

When Cole surprises her at the after party with a kiss under the stars, it’s everything Lucy has ever dreamed of… and the biggest BFF deal-breaker ever. Despite Cole’s lingering sweetness, Lucy knows they’ll have to ’fess up to Ellie. But before they get the chance, Lucy’s own Facebook profile mysteriously explodes with compromising pics of her and Cole, along with tons of other students’ party indiscretions. Tagged. Liked. And furiously viral.

By Monday morning, Lucy’s been branded a slut, a backstabber, and a narc, mired in a tabloid-worthy scandal just weeks before graduation.

Lucy’s been battling undead masses online long enough to know there’s only one way to survive a disaster of this magnitude: Stand up and fight. Game plan? Uncover and expose the Facebook hacker, win back her best friend’s trust, and graduate with a clean slate.

There’s just one snag—Cole. Turns out Lucy’s not the only one who’s been harboring unrequited love...
(Courtesy of the Publisher)

Shannon's Thoughts:
I didn't really get #scandal.  I think it had a lot of promise, but by the end I was feeling underwhelmed by the whole thing.  I felt like #scandal never quite knew what it wanted to be.  It would hang out in the slightly quirky YA arena, but swerve over into the serious side of bullying, only to verve off into the over the top territory.  I also think there were just so many subplots that not enough time could be properly devoted to any of them.

The heart of the story involves around Lucy, her best friend Ellie, and Ellie's boyfriend, Cole.  Lucy has always had a thing for Cole, but was too scared to admit it.  Ellie and Cole ended up dating instead and stayed together for a few years with Lucy silently holding the torch for Cole.  That is, until Ellie gets sick on the day of Prom and convinces Lucy to go in her place with Cole.  Lucy, who is not really a "prom kind of girl", reluctantly agrees.  Lucy and Cole find themselves at an after party and end up kissing.  We find out that Cole and Ellie had actually broken up, but Lucy still feels horrible.  Meanwhile, someone steals Lucy's phone and posts incriminating photos from the party from Lucy's Facebook page, including a picture of Lucy and Cole kissing.  Everything goes south very quickly.

But I had a hard time buying into this whole thing.  Never mind the fact that Lucy never told Ellie how she felt about Cole (which, I probably wouldn't have either) but Ellie never told Lucy they broke up.  And Cole didn't tell Lucy they broke up before he kissed her.  What?  And I certainly didn't understand Ellie pushing Lucy to go to the prom with Cole.  Who does that?  And considering how this sorta love triangle is the crux of the story, there is very little romance.  We have no reason to root for them really since they are barely together in the book.

The other part of the book is taken up with a mishmash of plot threads.  We have (e)VIL - a student group against having an online presence, Miss Demeanor - an anonymous Facebook gossip site, Lucy's estranged relationship with her sister and the mystery of the stole phone.  Some parts, like (e)VIL and Miss Demeanor felt really over the top.  But I did like the phone mystery part.  It was probably the most interesting part of the book, to be honest.

Overall, I didn't dislike this book, but I wasn't really sold on it either. 

Disclosure:  I reviewed a copy free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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