Monday, August 29, 2016

Crenshaw

23310699Goodreads Synopsis:    In her first novel since winning the Newbery Medal, Katherine Applegate delivers an unforgettable and magical story about family, friendship, and resilience.

Jackson and his family have fallen on hard times. There's no more money for rent. And not much for food, either. His parents, his little sister, and their dog may have to live in their minivan. Again.

Crenshaw is a cat. He's large, he's outspoken, and he's imaginary. He has come back into Jackson's life to help him. But is an imaginary friend enough to save this family from losing everything?

Beloved author Katherine Applegate proves in unexpected ways that friends matter, whether real or imaginary.


My Thoughts:

-    This book covers a tough subject, and it is pretty impressive for a middle grade book.

-    The overall feel of the book is kinda sad. There is hope, but I really felt sad and horrible for Jackson and his family. 

-    I'm surprised that the authorities didn't step in to do something about Jackson and his sister. They could have been taken away from their parents.

-    I never had an imaginary friend as a kid, and now I wish I did. Crenshaw brought a little humor to the story, but he is mostly there for moral support. I love how Crenshaw brings comfort and advice to Jackson.

-    I loved the idea of a giant cat for an imaginary friend. Mine would be a giant hamster or a red panda.

-    This book made me want to hold my kids. I'm feel very grateful that my husband has a good job, and our family is provided with all the things we need. 

-    This book also made me want to help other families in need. Children should feel safe and happy in their home. They shouldn't have to worry about when they are going to eat next or where they are going to live. It just breaks my heart knowing there are families out there like this AND in worse situations. STUPID MONEY!!

-    This was a great book, the kind that stick with you for a while, but it was sad. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Bout of Books Progress

Bout of Books

Day 1
August 22

Books Read:    2
18053786 23433228
Pages Read:    292
Total Books Read:    2
Total Pages Read:    292
My Thoughts:    I got a head start, but yesterday I finished The Storybook of Legends, and I started and finished Never Said. I couldn't put it down!


Day 2
August 23

Books Read:    0
Pages Read:    42
Total Books Read:    2
Total Pages Read:    334
My Thoughts:    I didn't have a stellar reading day. I worked on the yard and did other things instead. Also, the book I'm reading isn't super gripping.


Day 3
August 24

Books Read:    0
Pages Read:    41
Total Books Read:    2
Total Pages Read:    375

My Thoughts:    Another bad reading day :'( I'm kinda struggling with the book I'm reading. It is weird, and I feel like it is a Harry Potter meets Divergent rip off. I'm really debating if I should stick with it or move on to the next book.

Day 4
August 25

Books Read:    0
Pages Read:    96
Total Books Read:    2
Total Pages Read:    471

My Thoughts:    I decided to move on to another book, and I'm glad I did. I'm enjoying the new book SO much more! I also had a better reading day even though I didn't have much time to read.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Utah Book Week & Bout of Books Kick Off!


It's Utah Book Week!! Wahoo! 

Jessica from The Bluestocking Society will be hosting her usual Instagram Challenge!
Don't forget to use #UtahBooks & #ubwinstachallenge!

Like I said in my earlier post, I will be knocking out two events in one! I'm also participating in Bout of Books this week!
Bout of Books

Here is the stack of books I'm hoping to read:
18053786 22929540
31224971 23433228
I got head start, so hopefully I can fit all four books in this week.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Star Wars Annual #1 and Star Wars #16 - #20

28153562Goodreads Says:    Galactic espionage hits the Empire—hard! Haarkon Dak has been undercover in the Imperial bureaucracy for years ...but now, he’s the only chance to save Rebel sympathetic senators!












My Thoughts:

-    The artwork is fantastic! The emperor is really creepy looking,

-    The MC constantly talking to himself is a little weird. It's like the whole comic is a giant monologue.

-    I like how this issue shows just how twisted and evil Emperor Palpatine really is, and how he manipulated the people to follow him.


29201290From Goodreads:    REBEL JAIL starts now! The Rebels travel to a prison base having taken an important captive in Vader Down. Unfortunately, they aren't the only ones with their eyes on the prisoners. The adventures of Luke Skywalker and the Rebel Alliance continue!











My Thoughts:

-    Aphra has be moved over to the Star Wars series. This should be interesting!

-    The artwork is good, but I don't like it as much as the previous issues. It is kinda dark, and there are a lot of shadows on faces.


29604364Goodreads Says:    Han takes Luke out to fly the Falcon with him! Meanwhile...Leia and a few of her "friends" have troubles of their own. The rebel prison base is under siege!













My Thoughts:

-    Luke looks like a girl on the cover :(

-    Sana is like a female Han Solo.

-    We are in the middle of a war, and Han has time to gamble and do some smuggling on the side. Ha!

-    I don't like the new artwork. It is weird.


30041862From Goodreads:    With the Rebel base completely overtaken, our only hope is...Leia...Sana...and Aphra?! Can they save the Imperial prisoners? Do they want to?













My Thoughts:

-    I love how Luke gets Han to let him drive the Falcon for a little bit. Ha! Han is a bad back seat driver!

-    I like how Leia is very strong kick butt leader in this volume. She doesn't mess around. She just gets the job done. 

-    I really want to know who is in the weird suit, and how did they get on the base?

-    This was a fun issue. I liked it a lot, but I'm still not happy with the art style.


30288456From Goodreads:    Will Leia be able to save a prison full of Imperial forces? Or will the mastermind of the takeover strike back against the Empire? Find out as "Rebel Jail" concludes!













My Thoughts:

-    Despite not liking the new art style, I really like the cover for this one.

-    I don't know when they started or who decided to start putting ads in comics, but I actually kinda like them. The stuff they advertise is interesting, and they've really nailed the target audience. The ads are pretty fun to view.

-    Holy Schnikes! I'm glad I read the Annual comic! Whoa!

-    I'm glad this is last Rebel Jail issue. It was fun, but I'm really tired of the artwork. I hope they change it in the next issue.

-    I felt like the feminist movement got it's paws on these last few comics. It was all about girl power and saving the boys. I'm all for equality, but I don't like feminism shoved in my face. I also don't like when men are turned into bumbling idiots. Can't we all be kick butt intelligent heroes?


30625669Goodreads Says:    Another dive into the journal of Obi-Wan Kenobi! Jabba has hired bounty hunter Black Krrsantan to find out who's been thwarting his men! The old hermit of the dune wastes might know something about that.












My Thoughts:

-    Hooray for another Obi-Wan Kenobi issue!

-    When I saw the name Mayhew on the cover along with a big scary wookie, I got all excited, but alas, it isn't Peter Mayhew. It is Mike Mayhew the illustrator, but he is an amazing illustrator! The artwork is AMAZING! It looks very realistic. 

-    I like how Luke, Aunt Beru, and Uncle Owen are all wearing the same clothes they have in A New Hope, but the characters are younger. They must really like their clothes to make several of them in different sizes.

-    I really liked seeing Luke as a boy, and Obi Wan watching out for his family. I hope there are more of these in the future. They are really fun to read.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Awkward

23657454Goodreads Synopsis:    Cardinal rule #1 for surviving school: Don't get noticed by the mean kids.

Cardinal rule #2 for surviving school: Seek out groups with similar interests and join them.

On her first day at her new school, Penelope--Peppi--Torres reminds herself of these basics. But when she trips into a quiet boy in the hall, Jaime Thompson, she's already broken the first rule, and the mean kids start calling her the "nerder girlfriend." How does she handle this crisis? By shoving poor Jaime and running away!

Falling back on rule two and surrounding herself with new friends in the art club, Peppi still can't help feeling ashamed about the way she treated Jaime. Things are already awkward enough between the two, but to make matters worse, he's a member of her own club's archrivals--the science club! And when the two clubs go to war, Peppi realizes that sometimes you have to break the rules to survive middle school!

My Thoughts:

-    Great book for anyone who had a club rivalry at school.

-    I love when simple books like this have a great moral message, and this one delivered. It wasn't a preachy or a shove the moral down your throat kind of a approach. It was just average kids learning how to get along with each other and coming together to do something great. 

-    Not everything is black and white. You can like more than one thing, and I love that this book really got that. 

-    The characters were really fun. I liked Peppi and Jamie a lot. There are a lot of side characters, but it wasn't distracting and I was able to keep track of all of them. I couldn't tell you their names, but I know which club they belong to. 

-    I also liked the message of friendship. Peppi and Jamie just wanted to be friends, and it was hard to be friends outside of their groups, but in the end their common interests and friendship won out! 

-    I know I say this a lot, but I really liked the art in this book. I loved the character design, especially Jamie. I just wanted to reach in and ruffle his hair. 

-    This was a fun and cute book. I think the target audience will really enjoy this one! Adults might like it too, but it is geared towards middle grade audiences. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Summerlost

17731927Goodreads Says:    It's the first real summer since the devastating accident that killed Cedar's father and younger brother, Ben. But now Cedar and what’s left of her family are returning to the town of Iron Creek for the summer. They’re just settling into their new house when a boy named Leo, dressed in costume, rides by on his bike. Intrigued, Cedar follows him to the renowned Summerlost theatre festival. Soon, she not only has a new friend in Leo and a job working concessions at the festival, she finds herself surrounded by mystery. The mystery of the tragic, too-short life of the Hollywood actress who haunts the halls of Summerlost. And the mystery of the strange gifts that keep appearing for Cedar. 

Infused with emotion and rich with understanding, Summerlost is the touching middle grade debut from Ally Condie, the international bestselling author of the Matched series, that highlights the strength of family and personal resilience in the face of tragedy.


My Thoughts:

-    A perfect read for summer time. 

-    Ally has such a way with words. While this book wasn't as poetic as her other works, it was still beautiful and flowed like only Ally Condie can write. 

-    I really like that this is a tribute to The Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City. I have never been to the festival, but this makes me really want to go. I thought it was canny that the main character's name was Cedar. Ha!

-    The story is a very sweet one filled with friendship, a little mystery, and a tad of sadness. I felt a lot of emotions for Cedar. I wanted to give her hug.

-    I really liked Leo, and I liked that Cedar and Leo were just friends. You can have a great story with kids just being kids and a boy and a girl just being friends! THANK YOU!

-    Even though this is a middle grade book, I think adults will really like it too. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Around the World

10853145From Goodreads:    A Scott O'Dell Award-winning graphic novelist follows three dauntless adventurers on a Jules Verne-inspired challenge: circling the world, solo!

As the nineteenth century wound down, a public inspired by the novel Around the World in Eighty Days clamored for intrepid adventure. The challenge of circumnavigating the globe as no one ever had before--a feat assuring fame if not fortune--attracted the fearless in droves. Three hardy spirits stayed the course: In 1884, former miner Thomas Stevens made the journey on a bicycle, the kind with a big front wheel. In 1889, pioneer reporter Nellie Bly embarked on a global race against time that assumed the heights of spectacle, ushering in the age of the American celebrity. And in 1895, retired sea captain Joshua Slocum quietly set sail on a thirty-six-foot sloop, braving pirates and treacherous seas to become the first person to sail around the world alone. With cinematic pacing and deft, expressive art, acclaimed graphic novelist Matt Phelan weaves a trio of epic journeys into a single bold tale of three visionaries who set their sights on nothing short of the world.

My Thoughts:

-    I picked this book up on a whim. I was browsing the library and it just caught my eye.

-    The book was pretty interesting. I didn't know people were so inspired by Jules Verne's book. 

-    The book is divided into three stories. I liked the first one the best. Riding an old dangerous bike like that for so long must have been exhausting. It was the most impressive journey to me. The second story was fun. I am surprised that lady made her deadline. The third story was intriguing but the least interesting to me. 

-    The illustrations were simple and great. They were perfect for the time period.

-    I really like historical graphic novels. I think it is a great way to learn history because I get visuals as well as the history. I don't have to wonder what the author is talking about or how things looked.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Utah Book Week


It is that time again! One of my favorite events of the year is Utah Book Month. A month was getting to be too much for us, so we decided to cut it down to a week! We'll be celebrating Utah Books, Utah Authors, Utah Books Stores, and all things Utah during August 22 - 28. I hope you'll join us!

Bout of Books
This also coincides with the Bout of Books Read-a-thon! Woo! You can knock out both at the same time by reading Utah Books for the read-a-thon! I'm excited!

If you'd like to join us for Utah Book Week, please sign up on the Utah Books Blog.

Don't forget to use #UtahBooks on Twitter and Instagram!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Wink Poppy Midnight

23203106Goodreads Says:    Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.

Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.

What really happened?
Someone knows.
Someone is lying.

My Thoughts:

-    I was so excited to read this book, but I was majorly disappointed. 

-    The characters were awful! I hated all of them. There was no redeeming factor at all.

-    The title is clever. I like that it is just the three main character's names. 

-    This was a quick read, but I it wasn't worth it. I almost quit several times.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Manga Classics: Les Miserables

21433251From Goodreads:    Adapted for stage and screen, loved by millions, Victor Hugo's classic novel of love and tragedy set in 19th century France is reborn in this fantastic new manga edition!

Gorgeous and expressive art brigns to life the unforgettable stories of Jean Valjean, Inspector Javert, and the tragic Fantine in this epic adaptation of Les Misérables!







My Thoughts:

-    I've been struggling with my reading lately. I'm still reading, but I don't seem to be enjoying anything I've read. When in a slump, I usually read more graphic novels to get me through, but even those have been disappointing. But I FINALLY found something AMAZING! 

-    I enjoyed Manga Classics: Pride and Prejudice immensely! This was no different! I devoured this book in one day. I couldn't stop reading. I have always loved this classic tale, and it is fantastic in any adaptation. As a manga, I was plunged into ecstasy!

-    Les Miserables always gives me chills, and it almost always brings me to tears. I love the each character's story, and I love the overall theme of redemption. Every character pulls at my heartstrings! 

-    The artwork was SO good! I loved the portrayal of all the characters. The panel layouts were great. 

-    I loved reading the Author's Note about adapting the book into a manga. There were some great insights on the process. 

-    I can't wait to read more Manga Classics!! They are my new favorites!