September 2017 Wrap Up

This is what I was able to read in September…I read 1 book, listened to 2 audiobooks, and read 1 graphic novel, for a grand total of: 4!

Baba Yaga’s Assistant by Marika McCoola, illustrated by Emily Carroll

  • Great illustrations. Feels like the beginning of a story.
  • Rating: 3 stars

Stop in the Name of Pants (audiobook) by Louise Rennison

  • Story is finally moving. Laugh out loud. More lippy.
  • Rating: 3 stars

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

  • Feyre and Rhysand forever. Those human queens…why though? MORE CASSIAN.
  • Rating: 4.5 stars

Are These My Basoomas I See Before Me? (audiobook) by Louise Rennison

  • FINALLY a choice is made. Poor Massimo. “Ooo-errr”
  • Rating: 3 stars

What did you read this month? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

Advertisements

Are These My Basoomas I See Before Me? by Lousie Rennison

“Everyone is so bloody keen on me thinking all of a sudden. It’s not what I do.”

Synopsis from GoodreadsOhmygiddygodspyjamas! The tenth marvy book in the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson is here! Get ready to laugh like a loon on loon tablets. It’s the FINAL installment of Georgia’s fab and hilarious diary! Does Georgia escape the cakeshop of luuurve? Can there be more heartbreaknosity in store? Will the Sex God pop up again unexpectedly (oo-er)! And what about the supreme accidental snogmaster Dave the Laugh? Will she FINALLY choose her only one and only? So many boys, so little time!

Feelings: OO-ER. (That phrase probably came up a thousand times in this book.) I genuinely don’t know what to say about this book that I haven’t already said about the others. I think Georgia’s voice is great both figuratively and literally (I highly recommend the audiobook). I think her friend group adds an interesting dynamic and her boy toys are pretty different, as well. So there’s some variety in characters, but not with the actual plot line.

I wish there had been visual aids to help me with their school’s production of Romeo and Juliet. I mean…the villagers ARE blood. And the kissing scene involved waves. I just can’t. It had to be pure hilariosity.

Issues: Like I’ve said about every other book in this series…they’re all the same and this one was barely any different. They just…have the same characteristics and the same series of events happening in different ways. It makes for a mindless read, but at the same time, I feel like it could all be condensed into a duology and I wouldn’t have spent so much time finishing this series.

Characters: I’ve always been a fan of Dave the Laugh, and that doesn’t change in this finale. Well played, well chosen, way to go everyone. I like the way Georgia and Dave end up and I’m hoping that she will finally experience something real-ish with him.

Oh, Massimo, you sweet Luurrvvee God and Italian Stallion. He was willing to give up his career to stay around for Georgia…and she’s only like 15! He made the right decision in the end…for multiple reasons. But I was SO frustrated with Georgia when she was trying to decide between asking him to stay or letting him go. But honestly, that may be because I’m an adult reading this and not a teenager.

Final thoughts: I’m glad I finished this series, only because my boy won out in the end. But again, I think you could stop reading the series at any point and your life will go on. I wish I had read this series as a teenager because I think I would have enjoyed it much more. As an adult, there was little sympathy or understanding from me towards Georgia. The writing is really funny and the diary format makes for a quick read; Georgia’s narrations are engaging and hilarious, so it has its merits!

Goodreads rating: 4.21/5

Amazon.com rating: 4.2/5

My rating: 3/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

*This review will contain some spoilers if you haven’t caught up with this series.*

“It’s a rare person to face who they are and not run from it – not be broken by it.”

Synopsis from GoodreadsFeyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s manoeuvrings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well. As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places. In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

Feelings: I seriously, seriously love Maas’ writing style. She always uses just the right amount of detail and I’m not even mad that this book was 699 pages long. NOT EVEN MAD. I always look forward to her stories and read them fairly quickly, all things considered (with a tiny exception with this one).

I feel like this world is finally rounding out. We have information on ever sector of this land, historical background to explain tensions and relationships, and the major conflicts make sense. While it IS all coming together, there are a still a couple of story arcs that don’t feel necessary right now, but I could see how she may develop them moving forward.

Issues: From the beginning, this story felt different from the other two. The first quarter of the book felt really, really rushed and it wasn’t making me want to read. I wasn’t as drawn in as I was with the previous two books; it took me a lot longer to really get going. However, once I hit the 200 page mark, I flew through the rest of it!

I have been SO conflicted about Tamlin from the very first book. It wasn’t just that my feelings were changing as the story developed, but I felt like Tamlin as a character hadn’t been nailed down yet; the writing felt like he was supposed to be good, then bad, then good…and I have reading whiplash. By the end of this book, I think we’re starting to get to know the real Tamlin and I’m hopeful about where his story arc is headed.

The way the huge battle at the end of the story gets wrapped up kind of felt like it came out of nowhere. Sure, the allies that showed up were great and well explained, but that ONE character that we haven’t heard from or seen in a while…then he was gone…and I just didn’t jive with that choice.

On that note, I really feel like if the whole “human queens” plot line wasn’t a thing…this series could have ended here and I would have been mostly satisfied. I worry that the next book will feel like this story is dragging on and on…which is how I feel about Maas’s Throne of Glass series.

Characters: FINALLY a reason for Mor and Azriel’s awkward love (dis)connection. Poor guy has loved her for 500 years and I was feeling frustrated about her lack of resolution. I felt like she was just stringing him along…for 5 centuries! But near the end of this book, Mor finally confesses what’s going on with her. And honestly, I think the way Maas wrote Mor’s feelings and conflict here was well done; I think a lot of people will be able to see themselves in Mor and relate to what she’s going through. I’m hopeful that she tells Azriel the truth in the next book, so we can see her live her best life.

I was really happy to see that Lucien was stepping back from Elain and letting her adjust to her new life, rather than pushing himself and their mating bond onto her. She had a handful of major life changes to figure out and I feel like by the end of this book, she’s starting to act like her true, new self. So I think the next book will be interesting between both her and Lucien AND her and Azriel.

I feel like Feyre and her two sisters really grow together in this story. Yes, they have some issues to navigate through but this book just felt like we really saw them as sisters and I love that. They’re finally seeing, accepting, and loving each other as they are.

How can I NOT menton Feyre and Rhysand? (Also, is ANYONE pronouncing his name correctly? I should probably google it, but I’m afraid I’ve been saying it wrong all along…like Voldemort.) ANYWAY…I love them. A lot. I love that they’re imperfect. And I love that even though they’re mates, they’ve still got a lot to learn about each other; that helps me believe that they could spend centuries together. I love the way they see each other and support each other. I’m just a fan, I have to say. I loved Rhys from the beginning, so I’m all about this duo. Feyre bothered me in the first book and into the second, but I think she’s really developed at this point. I loved the scene with the Ouroboros mirror; seeing her true self and loving the good and the ugly.

Final thoughts: After I got through the bumpy start, it was smooth sailing. If you’ve been reading this series and you’ve felt hesitant about book 3, my advice is to continue reading. As always with Maas’ books, I worry about the following story, but I’m still onboard! Great characters, beautiful writing…there’s a reason Maas is one of my auto-buy authors.

Goodreads rating: 4.54/5

Amazon.com rating: 4.7/5

My rating: 4.5/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

Love is a Many Trousered Thing by Louise Rennison

“It’s always tough to hurt someone and tell them the truth. I know that. You’re a really lovely girl. Lovely . . . mad . . . but
lovely. I’ll always like you. Don’t worry.”

Synopsis from GoodreadsThe original Sex God has re-landed, Masimo the Italian Stallion wants to be her boyfriend, and Dave the Laugh is still a regular snoggee. How will Georgia cope juggling all three boys of her dreams? Have her days on the rack of love really gone for good? Or will this just lead to confusionosity and merde?

Feelings:  I decided to once again go for the audiobook version. This book had a different narrator, so it isn’t narrated by the author. It was still narrated really well and I think this reader really captured Georgia’s personality and spirit.

Georgia always makes me laugh, but for some reason this book in particular made me laugh out loud multiple times. Literally – out loud, on my own, just laughing. For example, there’s a scene where Gee is complaining about a documentary they have to watch at school about bees. When it’s over, she’s talking about how awesome it was and how they wanted to watch two queen bees in a bitch fight a second time. So great and so classic Georgia.

Issues: The only thing I really have to say about this book is that it kind of dragged sometimes. The tempo of the story slowed down quite a bit at times, but then it would pick back up and I’d be interested again.

Characters: One thing I thought was really funny was how Georgia kept referring to her love interests as desserts. She just kept going back to that cake shop of love and switching things up – so funny to listen to. Ever since I started reading this series, I’ve mentioned I want Georgia to grow up some more. I’d say we see that in this book more so than the others, and I’m HERE for it. We’ve only got 2 books left, so I’m allowing myself to hope for some maturiosity.

I feel nothing towards Masimo. I don’t find him to be a particularly interesting character and I’m ready for Georgia to move on from him. I get that he’s foreign and has that accent…but being from Pizza-a-gogo land isn’t doing it for me. Surprisingly, I was okay with Robbie being back! That surprised me, but it’s probably mostly because I was bored by the Italian Stallion. Still rooting for Dave the Laugh, I have to say!

I enjoyed the scene where Jas puts her new found acting skills to use, role playing as herself talking to Tom. It seemed like Georgia was noticing that Jas isn’t completely useless, as she’s stated many times, but then NOPE. Back to complaining about her “best friend”.

Final thoughts: I think this is a good series and I enjoy it. It’s not deep, compelling literature for the ages, but it’s entertaining and fun. It’s also nice as a buffer between serious novels or non-fiction. Georgia lightens things up and I like that about her!

Goodreads rating: 4.15/5

Amazon.com rating: 4.7/5

My rating: 4/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

August 2017 Wrap Up

This is what I was able to read in August…I read 0 books, listened to 2 audiobooks, and read 0 graphic novels, for a grand total of: 2!

Love is a Many Trousered Thing (audiobook) by Louise Rennison

  • Laugh out loud funny. Italian Stalion. Still rooting for Dave the Laugh..
  • Rating: 4 stars

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (audiobook) by J.K. Rowling

  • Fantastic narration. Maybe not my favorite of the series.
  • Rating: 4.5 stars

 

I went back to work this month, which means I had zero energy when I got home at the end of the day. I’m starting to want to read more again and making time to do so now, though; I’m hoping I’m able to read more than TWO books in September!

What did you read this month? Let me know in the comments below! 

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

July 2017 Wrap Up

This is what I was able to read in July…I read 5 books, listened to 2 audiobooks, and read 1 graphic novel, for a grand total of: 8!

Dancing in My Nuddy-Pants by Louise Rennison

  • Georgia is still mean. Bridge between stories. More Dave the Laugh.
  • Around the World in 80 Books Challenge: Paris, France
  • My rating: 3 stars

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

  • Long awaited book 2. Painfully beautiful ending. Heart-wrenching characters.
  • My rating: 5 stars

Away Laughing on a Fast Camel (audiobook) written and narrated by Louise Rennison

  • Great narrations by the author. Story is taking a positive turn for me. New boy stalking.
  • My rating: 4.25 stars

Keep the Home Fires Burning, Part One: Spitfire Down! by S. Block

  • Picks up where the show left off. Favorite characters returned. Cliffhanger relief.
  • Around the World in 80 Books Challenge: Cheshire, England
  • My rating: 4 stars

Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers (audiobook) written and narrated by Louise Rennison

  • More great narrations from the author. Poor Jas. Seriously, more Robbie?
  • Around the World in 80 Books Challenge: Memphis, Tennessee
  • My rating: 4 stars

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

  • Re-read. Favorite from middle school. Still magical.
  • Around the World in 80 Books Challenge: Euclid, Ohio
  • My rating: 4.5 stars

Started By His Furry Shorts by Louise Rennison

  • Favorite so far. Finally some action. 3 love options.
  • My rating: 4.25 stars

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 1: Squirrel Power by Ryan North and Erica Henderson

  • Clever. Laugh out loud. Iron Man.
  • My rating: 4 stars

What did you read this month? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

“Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked two moons in his moccasins.”

Synopsis from GoodreadsThirteen-year-old Salamanca Tree Hiddle’s mother has disappeared. While tracing her steps on a car trip from Ohio to Idaho with her grandparents, Salamanca tells a story to pass the time about a friend named Phoebe Winterbottom whose mother vanished and who received secret messages after her disappearance. One of them read, “Don’t judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins.” Despite her father’s warning that she is “fishing in the air,” Salamanca hopes to bring her home. By drawing strength from her Native American ancestry, she is able to face the truth about her mother.

Feelings: I remember reading this book when I was in 8th grade. It was an assigned text and while I couldn’t really recall what it was about exactly – I remember loving it. Recently, I’ve been reconsidering what books I teach in my 8th grade class and thought I’d see about this one, so it was time for a re-read. I’m SO glad I picked this book up again!

Something that really jumped off the pages to me is the way Creech writes. There’s something really poetic and magical about the words and phrases she uses. I felt myself getting swept away in her language and that’s something I really love about reading.

There are a lot of things going on in this story – a lot of really well woven together elements. In the “present”, we’re traveling with Sal and her wild grandparents and she tells us a story of the past, introducing us to Phoebe Winterbottom and Mrs. Cadaver. As she relays this story, we learn more about her as a person than we could if we were just in the present. Within this tapestry, there’s mystery and sweet young love and heartbreak and layers and layers more.

Issues: At the very beginning, I got a little confused about whether or not Sal’s mom was alive. She told us her mom was “resting peacefully”, but then talked about how the trip with her grandparents was so they could “bring her home.” I don’t know if this was something the author used to make us question intentionally, but it’s probably the closest thing I have to an issue in this book.

Characters: Making this journey with Sal made her more relatable to me. I haven’t experienced everything that she has, but because she was telling her story to us herself, I felt what she was going through. There were moments where I could tell that Sal had hardened her emotions, which is understandable, but we got to see her let people in and let herself feel. This is so powerful, especially to young readers who may see themselves in her situation.

Phoebe is a PILL. Sometimes I wanted to tell her to shut up, but I never got so annoyed by her that I skimmed over her dialogue or hoped for her life to fall to pieces. I certainly wanted her to appreciate her mother more and I think she was well on her way there by the end.

Perhaps my favorite aspect of this story was spending time with Sal’s grandparents. I’ve lost beloved grandparents and reading about her travels made me imagine laughing with my family, too, and that’s a precious thing to me. Their love for each other and for Sal was really sweet and a dynamic that I think YA literature is missing the mark on more and more.

Final thoughts: This is still one of my favorite books even after all these years. I’ve been reading so much modern YA lit lately that it was nice to pick up a book that was written more than 10 years ago and see how different stories were. (Because they may have had a lot of similarities, but there are for sure a lot of differences!) I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for something a little bit different.

 

Goodreads rating: 3.95/5

Amazon.com rating: 4.7/5

My rating: 4.5/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn