The Hedgeathon Summer Reading Challenge

I thought it would be really fun to do a reading challenge this summer. I am trying to catch up on my goal to read 100 books in 2016, and I really need to catch up on my “To Read” pile. Thus I came up with The Hedgeathon. (Get it? Hedgehogs. Readathons. Hedgeathon)

Hedgeathon[white]

 

Details you need to know.

  1. The challenge will start on June 1 and end on July 31
  2. Reading will be involved, you will need some books to read, (big surprise there I’m sure).
  3. Below is a reading list, not of books but of guidelines to follow.  You must read 8  books that meet the guidelines in order to officially win the challenge. That means you can pick four of the guidelines to skip.
  4. Each book can only be applied to one of the guidelines. So you can’t read one book that covers four different guidelines and mark off all four guidelines, you can only mark off one.
  5. There is no set order that you have to follow
  6. In order for the books to count you must have finished them.
  7. Have fun and don’t put much pressure on yourself.

Now you don’t have to do this next step but I would really appreciate it if you did, I think it will make the challenge a whole lot more fun.

8. Join the Facebook group for the challenge here, and the Goodreads group here. You don’t have to join these groups but I think that it could be a lot of fun. You can post pictures of the books you are reading for the challenge and links to blog posts about the challenge. And who knows you might just make a new friend. It can happen. I think this is where most of the interaction will happen. In addition to that if you make blog posts, vlogs, take pictures, etc. That have to do with this challenge please post a link to it in the comments so I can see it, and use the hashtag #hedgeathon I can’t wait to see what everyone does.

The challenge part:

Pick a book that is…

  1. A classic- This needs to be an older book, and one that is generally classified as a classic.

2. Overly-hyped- You know what I’m talking about. Pick one of those books that no one can seem to stop gushing over and talking about. They aren’t bad books they are just hyped.

3. By an indie author–  This could be a self-published book, one written by a less well known author, or even a novel you found on Wattpad, the possibilities are endless.

4. Something you normally wouldn’t read-Try a new genre or format.

5. Actually a novella– Shorter than a novel and less popular but just as good.

6. Over 400 pages- Finally time to tackle that long book you never pick up.

7. A movie as well– either book that has a movie based off of it or one that is based off a movie.

8. A true story– Time to bust out the non-fiction!

9. Recommended by a friend– Or me, or someone one else in the challenge

10. A retelling– These are super popular right now, and I have yet to read one.

11.One you bought only because of the cover– Don’t lie, we all do it at some point.

12. About a road trip- Because we can’t all actually go on one this summer.

 

The awards:

I will post the details on claiming your prize once I have all of the details worked out, so keep an eye out for that. I am also still in the process of gathering prizes,  at the moment anyone that completes the challenge and claims their win will get some really cute hedgehog themed printables, like bookmarks and such.

Please share this with your friends so that they can join as well.

If you have any questions or suggestions you can comment, or send them to me via the Facebook or Goodreads group.

I hope that you guys are as excited about this as I am. Will you be participating?

 

 

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Exit, Pursued by A Bear by E.K. Johnston

I bought this book because of the cover. I have cheered most of my life and I was so excited to see a book that at least involved cheerleading at some level. So I was a little surprised to find that this book was about a girl who was raped. I was kind of afraid to read it because I was worried that it was going to be really heavy  and dark but this book dealt with a very heavy topic in a good way. I was also afraid that it would be really graphic and it wasn’t in the least bit. It’s raw and honest, but not graphic. This book was a really good emotional read that has a lot to say about not just over coming rape but over coming any tough situation.

Summary: 

Hermione is the captain of her cheerleading team with her best friend Polly, it’s their senior year and sadly their last year to cheer. Hermione goes into her last cheer camp excited and ready to make the most of every last second. Camp is a blast and on the last Friday everyone dresses up and goes to a dance, unfortunately for Hermione someone slips a drug into her drink and rapes her.

Hermione fights to keep control and refuses to be a cautionary tale. With the support of her family and friends we get to watch Hermione as she takes back the control, heals, and wins.

 

Favorite things:

The cover. Can we stop and just take a moment to gaze at this cover, seriously just look at it.  It’s just SO beautiful and it relates to the story perfectly.

Descriptions. The descriptions in this book were excellent.  There were times that I felt like I was  actually in cheer camp. The day she wakes up in the hospital after being raped is full of emotions and I was surprised when I actually started feeling the panic and emotion.

Hermione. The way that Hermione deals with her rape is empowering. She refuses to let it define her and she doesn’t want to become known as the girl that helped make someone’s career. While she wants justice and to know who did it, it isn’t her main goal and there is something to be said for that. Because she doesn’t remember the rape she feels distant from it which makes her recovery a little more interesting. She is a strong, smart, ambitious women and she doesn’t let the fact that she was raped change what she is going to do. She deals with it and moves on with her life.

Polly. Polly is Hermione’s best friend and she is wonderful. She is just one of those friends you wish you had or wish that you could be for someone. She is always there for Hermione and  is just great. If I start talking about her I might not stop.

Community. So most of the reviews I read talked about how the community rallied around Hermione and supported her, which they did (a lot more than most do). However, that doesn’t mean that things are easy for her. Rumors run like wild fire through the school and she is bullied online. I felt so bad for Hermione when she first comes back to cheer practice because the boys aren’t sure how to act around her and she calls them on it (which I liked). And I my heart broke for her parents because they aren’t sure what to do either. Also, I really liked her therapist.

Cheer. When I started reading this book I almost put it down before finishing the first chapter because I thought it was going to make cheerleading out to be like all of the terrible stereotypes but I kept on reading and was relived that it didn’t. Intentional or not I don’t know, but having Hermione be a cheerleader led to the most natural conflict. Hermione is a flyer which means that she has to be picked up and that she has to trust the boys on the team to keep her up in the air and catch her even when she isn’t sure how to trust guys in general at first. Especially since she doesn’t know that it wasn’t one of the guys on her team that attacked her.

Not so favorite things:

I could not stand her boyfriend Leo. He was a real jerk. He had a jealously problem and he didn’t even bother to text and check on her after she was attacked. In fact he would hardly even look at her. He treated her like it was her fault and that made me mad. He does get a little better towards the end though, so there is that.

On a more serious note I have kind of mixed feelings about how almost simple this book was. There’s conflict and things aren’t great for the characters but I just feel like every little problem is resolved quickly and without a whole lot of problems or difficulty. SPOILER ALERT skip the next paragraph if you are really worried about it, but it’s not a huge surprise.

Even her pregnancy is quickly resolved with no problems and little after thought.

END SPOILER

The book just felt so perfect, everyone supported every choice she made and while I know this would be the ideal situation it just doesn’t happen that often. That being said I don’t hate the fact that everything worked out for her and that she had all of that support.

Another thing is that I just feel like I missed something with this book. All of these people are talking about the impact this book had and how it made them feel, and at the end I didn’t really feel anything. In fact I had a hard time gathering my thoughts for this book, I had to rewrite this review three times. I’m not sure why I am having such a hard time processing it. I cared about the characters and I was of course mad and upset for Hermione but… I don’t know. Maybe I need to reread it, I read it all in one sitting and I did enjoy the story I just feel like I missed something.

Some favorite quotes:

“Maybe this would be easier if I acted like I am broken. Then they’ll be able to fix me. You can’t fix something that doesn’t know it’s broken.”

“I forget that I am damaged and remember that I love to fly.”

“Polly will make sure you look perfect when you land, and I’m the one that will make sure someone is in the right place to catch you.”

The quills:

Cursing?

There isn’t a whole lot of cursing, but the f word is used one or twice and there is some other minor language sprinkled though out.

Physical romance?

Not really.

Gore?

Nope.

Will you cry?

I didn’t cry, but I think most people that read this book do at some point. Especially if you or a loved one have had to deal with a similar situation.

Overall rating?

Three out of five hedgehogs

I don’t know, I may change this later if I reread it but for now three is where I’m at.

The Author:

E. K. Johnston who you can follow from the links below.

Website

Twitter

 

Do you think the cover is as perfect as I do? Do you feel like this book was too perfect as well?

Photo source

Quick Update

I wanted to do a real quick update just to kind of explain myself. For starters there will not be a review post this week either. This is the last week of school and I simply don’t have time. There will be a review post up next week when I get back on track. I am also working on a post that I am really excited about. I hope to have it up next week as well.

I know that I kind of fell off track in April, and honestly I just haven’t gotten my life caught up yet in general. On top of Camp NaNo and school ending, I have been dealing with and going through some family stuff and while things are getting better now most of April and May have been hard and tiring months. I hope that you all understand.

Anyway. How are things in your life going? Have you read any good books lately?

April Recap

April went by so quickly, it was just here and gone for me. I did not get much reading done, and I missed two review posts which I hate. However, I am giving myself grace since I have been sick for the past two weeks and when I did feel like writing I was working on my book for Camp NaNo.

Books I read:

I only read three books this month, and two of them were books that I read with or to my middle grade class. I also ran out of my cute hedgehog sticky flags so I had to use boring blue ones.

Posts:

Eleanor and Park (review)

Since You’ve Been Gone (review)

Camp NaNo Update One (update)

Camp NaNo Update Two (update)

Camp NaNo update Three (update)

Camp NaNo update Four (update)

Camp NaNo update Five (update)

Prepping for North Texas Teen Book Festival (book events)

Favorite book of the month:

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. It was the only YA book I read in April, but nonetheless it still would have won. This book was great, you can check out my review here.

Things I did this month:

Went to the North Texas Teen Book Festival. I had a blast and I will be doing a post about it soon.

Won Came NaNo. I wrote 50K in 30 days. This was a huge thing for me personally and it took me a lot of time and hard work.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

This book is witty, fast paced, fun, and unique. The story is told in so many other formats than just your generic chapter format. I really enjoyed this book, it’s everything I wanted it to be and more, (pun intended).

Summary:

Madeline has a rare disease that makes her allergic to everything, the only company she has is her mom and her nurse, she has never been outside of her house, and she has to go to school online. Madeline for the most part is content with this, (she doesn’t give herself any choice but to be), that is until a new family moves in next door and she sees Olly. She immediately wants to know more about him, she starts to fall in love with him, and then everything just goes downhill from there.

Favorite things:

Format. I was so excited when I opened the book and saw all of the unique medians that are used. There are pictures, charts, texts, and emails to name a few. I loved these so much it make the book much more fun to read and it fit in so well with the plot and the characters. To be honest, the format alone could have made me adore this book.

Olly and Madeline. This might just be one of the cutest relationships. They are so different and witty. I loved reading all of their interactions, it was very easy to really see the two characters personalities through the emails and messages. The relationship it’s self is just so sweet cheesey, I enjoyed it.

The plot. I liked 90% of the plot in this novel. The whole thing was fast moving and kept you interested and always wondering what would happen next. Then we got to the ending and things went from “fast paced” to “who hit the fast forward button?” I didn’t mind this too much, but I know some people were pretty upset by it.

Instalove. I know, I know “no one likes instalove, instalove is unrealistic.” But here is the thing, I don’t mind a little bit of instalove. Especially not in this case. Madeline has been locked in her house, which would make her have very little social skills, not to mention the fact that she hasn’t seen many people offline. So in my humble opinion it makes sense that she would fall for the first guy that she has any real life interaction with, granted I didn’t expect her to take things as far as she did. There is my thought on the topic, take it or leave it.

The Quills:

Cursing?

It was pretty  minimal, but what is there I would call PG-13

Physical romance?

Yep, their innocent relationship doesn’t stay that way. It’s not what I would call explicit, and it’s pretty minimal (like I think it was only discussed for a page, maybe two).

Gore?

Nope.

Will you cry?

No.

Overall rating?

Four out of five hedgehogs

I really liked this book and how different it was, that being said there were a few things that just don’t add up. I won’t go into details because of spoilers.

The Author:

Nicola Yoon, she writes her first drafts by hand in notebooks, which I think is so neat. Also, her husband did the illustration for Everything, Everything.

Be sure to check out her website and her Twitter.

What are your thoughts/feelings towards instalove in general? Have you read Everything, Everything, if so what did you think about it?

Photo source

The Books are Coming: May 2016

Here are a few of the books that I am looking forward to this month. In order of release date because that really is the only fair way to list them.

I wanted to get this post up last week, but with Camp NaNo, head colds, and family stuff it just didn’t happen. I am going to get back on track this month.

Both of these first two books come out on May 3rd. I am so excited about both of these books I have no clue which one I will read first.

The Crown

Release date: May 3rd

 

This is the last book in The Selection series. While I am so excited for this book I’m really sad that the series is going to be over. I loved these books so much, I can’t wait to see how it all warps up. I  really like this book cover, all of the books in this series are just SO pretty! I love the beautiful dresses on all of them.

 

The Unexpected Everything 

Release date: May 3rd

I have high expectations for this book. I loved Since You’ve been Gone by Morgan Matson, and I can’t wait to get my hands on her latest book. I hope that I’m not let down by it. I already preordered this one from Target since they have a Target exclusive edition with bonus content.

All I really know about this book is that we follow a girl named Andie and that she is a daughter of a politician. She has her whole life planned out, but then there is a scandal and it turns her life upside down. She ends up having to live with her dad and walk an insane number of dogs. She also meets a guy named Clark.

That is all I really want to know about this book, it’s all I really need to know. Lately, I have been wanting to go into books knowing as little about them as possible.

Highly Illogical Behavior

Release date: May 10th

The psychologist part of  me is so excited about this book. I am not sure what all is going to happen in this book but the concept has me hooked. I am going into this one a little carefully though because I have a little pet peeve about books glamorizing or taking mental illnesses too lightly.

In this book we follow Solomon who is agoraphobic, and hasn’t left his house in three years. There is also Lisa who is trying to get into the second-best psychology program for college, and she decides that the way she is going to earn her spot there is by “fixing” Solomon.

The Last Star

Release date: May 24th (so far away…)

Another conclusion book, this time to a trilogy. This is the last book in The 5th Wave trilogy. I really enjoyed the others and I just hope that this one isn’t a disappointment like so many trilogy conclusions can be. Honestly, I have no clue how Rick Yancey will finish this trilogy, I just hope that I am satisfied with the ending.

 

What books are you looking forward to this month?

 

Photos are all from Goodreads

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