Serafina and the Black Cloak Meets Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index Review

The problem with coming up with a TBR for a readathon is that now all I want to do is to read all of the books that I have chosen. Sadly, in this case, I cannot. I just don’t want the stress of having to come up with a replacement book. I still have some books that I need to finish reading, but I decided that I was due for some reviews. So let’s hope that this will not be a really long post.

I will start off with the books that I have read in Booktubeathon.

IMG_2542The first book that I got to finish in Booktubeathon was Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty. This book is about a girl who lives in the basement with her father. One night as she is going through the house she sees a little girl running away from a man in a black cloak. When she is following the duo, she sees that the girl gets swallowed up by the cloaked figure. This brings us to the adventure of our girl trying to figure out who this cloaked figure is while trying to save the people whom he has consumed.

I gave this book four out of five stars on Goodreads. If I was to be honest, I would have given the book four and a half stars out of five. I really love our main character Serafina. I not only love her sense of right from wrong, I really enjoyed how realistic she felt. I enjoyed her honesty. She was not afraid to admit how terrified she was going through some of her situations that she was in. The only issue that I had with our main character was that I felt she was a bit too mature for a 12-year-old. The other issue that I had about our main character is her success in interacting with the world for the first time. for the 12 years of her life, the world never knew that she existed. the only human interaction that she had was her father. I felt that she was too successful in being able to interact with people and her new surroundings. I am sorry, that was the one really unrealistic aspect of Serafina. In a way, I really wanted to see her develop and grow from this new experience. There was no growth, in which Phycology and science claim there is a need for.

As the story itself, I enjoyed it. There were parts of the book where there was little to no action, and the book did go back and forth with the action. I will admit that those slow parts are your most important parts because there is a lot of details hidden within those sections. There were a couple of times where I had to reread sections because I felt like I was missing something. The other thing that I enjoyed about the story was there were a couple of moments in which I was creeped out. Let me highlight the word couple. I can actually tell you there were two moments that I was creeped out. The story isn’t horror. I would say it is a mystery with a couple of thriller vibes.

I did do a combination of reading the book as well as listening to the audio. I will have to say that the audio performance was really good. Cassandra Campbell is a great voice actress, and I felt as though she gave Serafina more of that realistic feel. I also felt as though she brought the story to life.

In the end, I do recommend reading this book. I believe that everyone will enjoy it. If you do not have time to read it, I do recommend the audio. I know that you will love listening to Cassandra Campbell’s voice and how she brings the story to life with her words.

IMG_2539The second book that I read during Booktubeathon was Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index by Julie Israel. This book is about Juniper coming to terms with the loss of her sister and dealing with the grief that comes with it. In addition, you also have her trying to find closure with finding this mysterious lover whom her sister wrote a love letter to.

This is the part where I will try not to divert too much, but I do wish that Goodreads allow partial ratings for books. If I am to be honest, this book is 3.5 stars out of five. Instead, I am going back and forth giving the book three to a four-star rating. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed the story. I enjoyed the writing. I enjoyed the growth of our main character. It is just that I feel disappointed with this book. I just felt as though there should be more to this story. I am also disappointed in how this book ends (I am not going into details for a spoiler free review). I get why the author did what she did, but I still don’t feel the closure. I believe that a book should give you at least a different perspective, but should also fulfill you and inspire you. As much as this book does give you a new perspective and a different take on an experience, it did not fulfill me.

Before I recommend this book there are a few trigger warnings. In this book, there is abuse, talk of suicide, bullying, abandonment (from both a parent and friend), and a little bit of residual trauma from the accident. With that said, if you are triggered by any of these or just the talk of loss, don’t read this book. It is not worth it. I rather you be alive and safe than trying to read this book.

With that said, my recommendation for this book is to read it at your own choice. I do not feel confident in recommending this book to you (This is the other reason why I gave this book three stars on Goodreads). On one hand, I want you to read it for the sake of having a dialog about this book. I want to talk to you about who you think You might be, and about your thoughts on this book. On the other hand, I also do not want you to feel as disappointed about this book as much as I am feeling. As much as this book does give you a new perspective and a different take on an experience, I believe that when you finish a book you should be fulfilling.

I do hope that you enjoyed the reviews. If you have any questions or concerns or you just want to talk about the two books leave me a message down below.

Until next time.

Happy reading!

December 2014 TBR

Okay. I realize that we are about halfway through december, but I am determine to complete my December TBR. This TBR is very simple. I want to finish all the books that I am “currently reading” on Goodreads. I started to realize that I have way too many books that I am currently reading, and decided that it is time to bring that list down. So let’s put this into a list… shall we?

  1. The Serpent’s Shadow by Rick Riordan
  2. Lovestruck in London by Rachel Schurig
  3. Defying Mars by Cidney Swanson
  4. The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
  5. The Gatekeeper’s Sons by Eva Pohler
  6. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
  7. UnEnchanted #1 by Chanda Hahn
  8. Clean, Well-Lighted Sentences: Guide to Avoiding the Most common Errors in Grammar and Punctuation by Janis Bell – A little disclaimer, I have lost the book, so I will see if I will be able to finish the book before the end of the new year
  9. Something Witchy This Way Comes #5 by H.P.Mallory
  10. Insurgent #2 by Veronica Roth
  11. Doing History: Investigating with Children in Elementary and Middle School by Linda S. Levstik
  12. Castle in the Ari #2 by Diana Wynne Jones
  13. The Sudarshana #4 by Aiki Flinthart

Looking back at this list, I realize how huge it is, however, I really would like to cut this list in half. I know why most of these book I have moved away from, but I want to give them another try and to see if I can enjoy them again. I have highlighted the books I definitely want to read and enjoy this holiday season.

I do hope that everyone’s holiday season is going great. I will not be working for the following week because I got all four of my wisdom teeth taken out. Yes my mouth hurts, but I am glad that I finally master the art of drinking water again. I know that does not sound too good, but it is better than what it was earlier this day. My Christmas shopping is almost done, I only have two people left on my list and they are kind of hard to shop for. With all of that said, I am planning on doing a lot of reading and blogging this week. I still have two review to do and I tag that I would like to participate in. I am still thinking about joining the December Book-tube-a-thon. It is smaller than the one in July, but it is meant to get a lot of reading done in a short amount of time, as well as getting that personal TBR shelf smaller again before the end of the holiday season.

I do hope that everyone’s holiday is going great and everyone is enjoying their time with friends, and family. I am also hoping that you are finding the time to be by yourself and enjoy your little tastes in adventure. Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!

Life and a Blood Moon Harvest Review

So much has happened in such a short period of time. I was able to finish reading Blood Moon Harvest and have started Moon of the Terrible. In fact, I am about half way though Moon of the Terrible. So far the Cain Chronicles are getting stronger and improving as I am reading them. In addition, I have about two chapters left of Clean Well-lighted Sentences. I am hoping to finish both books by the end of this week, and to at least start on Red Rose Moon and Perfect Scoundrels by next week.

However, yesterday was my most productive day. I do not know why, but I got so much done it was crazy. I woke up did my morning routine and took my sister to school. Afterwards I did two loads of laundry, one load of dishes, went shopping for food (dinner), bought lunch, took out the trash, did about two hours of math using Khan Academy, and got through half of Moon of the Terrible, as well as reading a chapter from Clean Well-lighted Sentences. I ended the day making dinner that no one touched because they all went somewhere else for dinner, and then to a meeting. How can I not feel good about myself with a day like that? Have you ever had a day that you felt was so productive that you could not help it but feel proud? 

Sadly, today was not that much productive. I did read, mainly from the grammar book, and an hour of math, and took my brother to work. I do think that the time shift from 7:50 to 8am made a difference. That ten minutes just made me really productive. Speaking of productivity, let’s get onto the review. 

Blood Moon Harvest,by S.M. Reine, is the second book of the Cain Chronicles. This follows from the point of after the proposal and Abel getting shot to the Werewolves having to move back to California for protection due to the threat that lingers with Cain and the other demons. 

I must say that I really did enjoy this book. Much better than the first book! Not as much review, and the parts that we did have a review on was not that bad. I actually enjoyed the different perspective of the same set of events. There were some lull moments in which the characters really did nothing by walked around and chill. Those parts were a little boring. However, the threats and action that existed throughout the book was amazing and fun to read. 

I did give this book four out of five stars on Goodreads. I did enjoy the book, but I did not end the book in complete fandom. Though, I will recommend this book to everyone. As long as you read the Seasons of the Moon series, you really do not need to read the first book, and you can jump into the second book. 

I do hope that you will have a great week. Hopefully, I will make a vlog reviewing this book soon. Happy Reading!

Look at all those book!

Okay… I must make a confession before I give out my November 2013 TBR list. I graphed the amount of books that I have read for each month of this year, for the exception of November and December for obvious reasons. However, I must say that I do not know what I expect when I decided to do this little project. I really can say that I do not have a clue as to why I started this project other than just plain curiosity. I know that it is not impressive little project, and many of your will find it pointless but I did find it a bit fascinating. And I must be honest here, I really do love math, so why not add a little math fun in my day beyond the Khan Academy review that I do every day.

So what did I learn… Well, I can proudly say that the lowest amount of book that I have read is one book a month. Surprisingly, I thought the month of June would be zero, but I discovered that I ended up reading just one book. The most amount of books read went to July with 16, but August had 13 with October being 12, and May being 10. So far it is not so bad, being able to claim 72 books read this year is not shabby. I am also curious to see how many actual pages that I have read in total, because Goodreads is not accurate with page count. But let us just say that I am quite glad with what I have here.

ImageOkay beyond this lovely little chart, I will now give the November TBR list. I will check off one of the books since I have completed reading that book. However, I must say that my list has changed from the beginning of this month to now since I will be completing most of the Cain Chronicles. However, I do not believe that I will stick to this list either since I have already have changed the list in the matter of 24 hours. Though there are two books that will not change for this month and that will be the Clean, Well-lighted sentences and the Mary Kay book. Both are for the two jobs that I have. One is to improve my writing for tutoring, and the other is for the Mary Kay business that I am starting.

1.       New Moon Summer

2.       Blood Moon Harvest

3.       Moon of the Terrible

4.       Red Rose Moon

5.       Clean, Well-Lighted Sentences

6.       Perfect Scoundrels

7.       Uncommonly Criminal

8.      Beast and Maidens

I also want to let you know that I will be trying an experiment in working with Youtube and creating videos. I will still continue to blog, but I also need a bit more flexibility with my crazy schedule. I want to share all the good books that I am reading! In addition, I have been thinking about vlogging, and I have wanted to try it out to see if it is for me. We will see. The Youtube page I am hoping will have the same name as this blog, and I do want to post those vlogs onto this blog. Again it is an experiment.

I do hope that you will have an amazing week full of fun adventures. Happy Reading!

The Ghost and the Goth Review

Okay! So reading this week is going better than the whole month of September. I actually finished a book! Sadly it is not Ender’s Game. However, it is a book that is on my October reads shelf. Then for some reason today, I took a break from reading and decided to spend time on youtube, facebook, and sleep.  However, I did get a job interview in this morning, as well as filling the car up with gas. So there was some productivity in there today.

As of now, I have finished reading The Ghost and the Goth and Cinderella is Evil. In addition,  I am 64% done of Ender’s Game and 43% done of Queen of the Dead, the sequel of The Ghost and the Goth. Which is almost an added book to my October list (shown below).

  1. Ender’s Game  – 64% done
  2. The Ghost and the Goth
  3. Anna Dress in Blood (?)
  4. Never Say Die
  5. Scary Mary
  6. Cinderella is Evil
  7. Queen of the Dead  – 43% done

Sadly, I am not going to be writing about Cinderella is Evil tonight. I will be doing a review on The Ghost and the Goth. I will get to the review on Cinderella on Sunday. I am also hoping that I will finish either Ender’s Game or Queen of the Dead by Saturday to complete another review as well.

The Ghost and the Goth is about a cheer leader, Alona, who died of a tragic accident of a school bus full of band geeks as she is walking across the street. After the first few days of being dead, has discovered an outcast boy, Will, could see her. Throughout the book, both discover their part of belonging in a world belonging to both living and the nonliving, while helping out Will’s friend  overcome the loss of a friend.

First, I must say, that I did enjoy the book. I love the format of getting the same story from two different perspectives. Both characters are believable. However, both did partake in some clichés that  I felt that it could have been skipped. They were not crucial for character development, it was just used in the beginning as a description, but her characters never went back and acted out those clichés or used them in any way. I also enjoyed the story. It was just a fun story, and enjoyed the interactions between the two characters.

In the end, I gave this book five out of five stars on Goodreads. I ended the book really looking forward  and was excited to read the second book to see how the relationship of our two main characters turn out, as well as what other adventures and mess they will go through. 

Blogging Moving Day and Reading for October.

Okay. I must admit that I did not get a lot of reading done this week. In addition, after thinking about for some time, I have decided to try to move my blogging days to Sunday. I will add posts if I need to, but I must say that in the end, I really think that Sunday will be the best day that I can blog. I have just not found the time in reading. As it is, I am about 42% done of Ender’s Game, and I must say that I am loving the book. I am a bit surprised that ender is only seven in this book, because the movie made him look like he was 10 – 14 years old. However, I am finding the content interesting and motivating to read. I am definitely realizing that I am slaking off in reading, and I am just kind of in a non-reading phase right now. However, I really think that I will get back into the game soon.

For October, I will finish Ender’s Game, and I am hoping to read either The Ghost and the Goth or Anna Dress in Blood. I am looking forward to doing a reading discussion on either one of those books on Goodreads for the group Young Adults Enthusiast <http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/60623-young-adult-enthusiasts>. Their theme this month goes along with October, and they are reading spooky to paranormal books.

In addition to those books, I am interested in reading Never Say Die by Will Hobbs, Scary Mary by S. A. Hunter, and Cinderella is Evil by Jamie Campbell. Maybe not into the Halloween spirit for reading in October, however, I am not a fan of scary so that will be an interesting experience for me this month as I venture into a new sub-genre.

I do hope that all of your reading adventures are going wonderfully well, and happy reading!

July Wrap up

Okay, I just felt like I needed to do a July wrap up. I have read so many books this past month that I felt like I needed to give everyone a total book count along with a page count. This started after I saw Regan with her July wrap up, and I was curious as to how many books and pages I have read this past month. So here we go.

I have read a total of 16 books. However, this equates to 5,800 pages. Due to Booktube-a-thon, most of the review and the books I have posted below in previous blogs. Most of the other books I have posted reviews below since Booktube-a-thon. Nevertheless, I kind of want to see all the books together on one post. (I know I am weird like that, but I am just curious to see what it would look like.)

In order from the most recent to the earliest in July… (Note: Those with an Asterisk* already have review)

Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Moving Castle, #1) *Howl’s Moving Castle ,   Long Night Moon (Seasons of the Moon, #3)*Long Night Moon,   Waking Up Married*Waking Up Married,

All Hallows Moon (Seasons of the Moon, #2)*All Hallows Moon,   Here We Come (Aggie's Inheritance, #3)*Here We Come,  For Keeps (Aggie's Inheritance, #2)*For Keeps

Ready or Not (Aggie's Inheritance, #1)*Ready or Not,  To Kill a Mockingbird*To Kill a Mockingbird,   What Happened to Goodbye*What Happen to Goodbye,

Thrice Upon a Marigold*Thrice Upon a Marigold,   Twice Upon a Marigold (Upon a Marigold, #2)*Twice Upon a Marigold,  Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins, #1)*Mary Poppins,

Every Soul A Star*Every Soul a Star,  Six Moon Summer (Seasons of the Moon, #1)*Six Moon Summer (I must admit that this book is between out of my mind and swim. I just wanted to save space.)

Out of My MindOut of my Mind – A really cute book about a girl with special needs dealing with the challenges of everyday life. I gave this book five out of five stars on Goodreads. I just felt as though it was amazing and it left me thinking about other children we tend to leave behind because they look and act differently. I recommend everyone to read this book. You will not be the same afterwards.

SwimSwim – An interesting novella about a woman dealing with her problem of a broken heart and her life after she left her job. I heard the author changed this novella into a book, however, after trying to read the book, I just felt a bit lost and confused as to what happened to the characters. I did not feel the connection between the novella and the novel. However, I did give this novella three out of five stars on goodreads. Even though the story was good, and it kept you moving, I was still left with questions that I wished were answered. Read it and tell me what you think.

I do hope that you enjoyed this recap. Let me know if this was a complete wast of blogging space.  Happy reading!