Hello 2017, I swear I’m still here

Hello everyone! I’m so excited to finally be back from my disappearance. I have been sick literally the whole month of January. In fact I didn’t even read a single book in the month of January, (shameful I know). I have been teaching then coming home and doing next to nothing. I have however watched the first three seasons of Parenthood on Netflix.

Thankfully, I am finally back to feeling more like myself this week. I was going to post a whole 2016 recap but I think it’s a bit late for that one, so I am just going to move on and not look in the past. I am so excited for February, I can’t believe that it has been almost a year since I started this blog. I’ve got some fun posts planned for this month, and some books that I hope to get around to reading. I’m already sort of behind on my 2017 goals but I’m gonna post them anyway and try to catch up.

Reading

  • Read 50 books. Every year I try to read 100 books and every year I fail. So I decided that this year I wouldn’t set myself up for failure again. I think I may actually reach my goal this year.
  • Finally read a classic or two.

 

Blogging

  • Hit 100 followers
  • Post at least once a week
  • Receive an ARC

 

Writing

  • Start my middle grade book
  • Finish edits for my Camp NaNo novel
  • Win one of the Camp NaNos or NaNoWriMo

 

That’s about it. I know this is super sort but hey it’s a blog post right? What are some of your goals for 2017? Anyone else already falling behind?

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Big Changes are Coming!!!

I know I’ve already been gone for a awhile, but I’m about to extend my absence for the rest of this week. I’ve got some updates to put into place on the blog, the biggest one being a name change.

I’ve been debating a name and URL change for a few months now and I’ve finally decided to do it. Books and Quills is just too popular of a name for literary related things and I really want my blog to be unique. My content won’t change and of course hedgehogs will still be involved. I can’t wait to tell you the new name of Books and Quills but I will have to wait until Saturday.

The website will still be up and I will still be responding to comments, I just won’t be publishing new posts for the rest of this week.

Until Saturday, have a great week and happy Halloween!

July Recap

Hello, so July was another rough month for me. I had very few posts and I lost Camp NaNo. I ended up having to be at school a lot getting my classroom ready and when I was home I was working on school stuff. School started back so hopefully now that school is back I will get into the routine of blogging again. I know this post is late but I don’t care, I’m posting it anyway.

Books I read:

I read 3 books.

Paper Towns

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

A Court of Throns and Roses

Posts:

I didn’t post nearly as much as I should have. Other than the Hedgeathon posts, I only posted one other post.

The Last Star (review)

Favorite book of the month:

A Court of Thorns and roses.

Things I did this month:

Not a whole lot. I lost Camp Nano and I didn’t read a whole lot. However, I did get ready for back to school.

 

Hedgathon Award update!

I ordered the prizes but they were out of stock so they should be shipped to me this week. They are coming just not as quickly as I would like.

 

The Hedgeathon: Awards

The Hedgeathon is almost over, which means it’s time to talk about prizes and how to claim your win.  If you don’t know what the Hedgeathon is, read this post. This post is a long time coming, but I was waiting until I had the prizes in hand to show you, which was supposed to be two weeks ago. Since then I have had to change my plans for prizes.

Long story short, the Etsy store that was supposed to be making my printable bookmarks and such dropped out. They told me they couldn’t do it after all, that they just had too much on their plate; which I understand completely, it happens. But I wish I had been given more notice. Because of that, I talked to a few other Etsy stores to see what they could do for me, but they couldn’t guarantee anything in the short time I needed it. So I have had to change my plans, and actually I am more excited about this new plan than my old one.

Now on to claiming your win.  I messed with a few different options on this, but I think this will be the best solution.

Fill out the forum below with your name, email, mailing address, list of books you read, and if you posted one, a link to your blog post about the hedgathon.

You have until August 5th to submit your win. I will email you once your prize has been mailed, sometime during the second week of August after the winning period has ended. 

Also, I am sorry for disappearing again. I will do much better once school starts and I have some sort of schedule and I might actually be able to know what day it is without looking on my phone. Right now the days are sort of just running together, which makes the weeks run together. And the next thing I know I’ve missed a bunch of blog posts. Also, my old computer crashed so I have been without a computer for a few days.

How are you doing on the reading challenge? Are you having fun with it? Are you scrambling to finish? I know I am!

The Last Star by Rick Yancey

If you haven’t read the first two books in the trilogy don’t read this review. I don’t want to ruin who lives and dies for you. If you want spoiler free reviews of the first two books you can check out my review for The 5th Wave here and The Infinite Sea here

The Last Star was everything I wanted and more. The conclusion was great, heck the whole book was great. The plot was fast paced and kept me on my toes. I am still sad that I won’t get to read more about these characters but I feel like it ended nicely and I’m satisfied.

Summary: 

The enemy is Other. The enemy is us.

They’re down here, they’re up there, they’re nowhere. They want the Earth, they want us to have it. They came to wipe us out, they came to save us.

But beneath these riddles lies one truth: Cassie has been betrayed. So has Ringer. Zombie. Nugget. And all 7.5 billion people who used to live on our planet. Betrayed first by the Others, and now by ourselves.

In these last days, Earth’s remaining survivors will need to decide what’s more important: saving themselves…or saving what makes us human – goodreads

Favorite things:

Sam.I loved that  you could really see how much everything has changed Sam. He can’t remember his ABCs yet he can build a bomb, he has grown up too fast and it’s sad.

All the couples. So there is one couple that people seem to be really upset about. They keep talking about how there was never anything between these two characters and that Yancey just put them together because it had to be, but this is just not how I saw it. As much as I hated it these two had chemistry from the start and I have seen them getting together the whole time. So in a way I was kind of happy they finally got together.

The characters. I loved them for the same reasons I have in the first two books. They all have such great personalities and I have really enjoyed watching them grow and change.

The ending. If you have read the book you will understand why I have mixed feelings about the ending. That being said, it was really satisfying ending and I feel like it was a good conclusion for the trilogy.

Some favorite quotes:

“For some, death is the midwife to faith. For others, it is faith’s executioner.”

“Some things, down to the smallest of tings, are worth the sum of all things.”

“You don’t run from the people who need you. You fight for them. You fight beside them. No matter the cost. No matter the risk.”

The quills:

Cursing?

There is a fair amount of cursing, it’s not full of it; but there is use of the f word a little more often than I would like.

Physical romance?

There isn’t a whole lot, but there is some and there is a fair amount of discussion about it.

Gore?

A little, but it’s not terrible.

Will you cry?

Probably, I was very close to crying but I held it together.

Overall rating?

four out of five hedgehogs

The Author:

Rick Yancey, who you can follow on his website.

He has a pretty awesome and up to date Facebook page.

 

If you have read The Last Star, what do you think about it? Were you satisfied? Also, did you feel like Cassie was a tiny bit inconsistent in this one? I’m on the fence about it myself.

Photo source

 

Hedgeathon Starts…Now!

This post was supposed to go up yesterday on June 1st, but of course that would be the day that my internet decides to take a break.

If you missed the original post about The Hedgeathon Summer Reading Challenge check it out here. That post gives you all of the details you need to know. It isn’t too late to join, you can this challenge at any time. As of yesterday you can start reading books off the list of guidelines and let them count towards the challenge. The challenge ends on July 31st.

I hope that you will be participating and please go ahead and join the Facebook group  here and Goodreads group here. The Facebook group a closed/private  group but if you send a request I will accept it. I just wanted to be able to remove someone if they started causing problems by intentionally hurting others.

Are you participating in the Hedgeathon, if so have you already started reading? I haven’t but I hope to tomorrow.

 

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

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Honestly, I was disappointed by this book. I went into it with high expectations and they crumbled. I didn’t feel as connected to the characters as I would have liked, and while I liked Eleanor and Park as a couple, I didn’t feel the relationship as much as I wanted. It was an alright read, but it didn’t sweep me off my feet or anything. I really wanted to like this book, and I feel like maybe I need to reread it because I must have missed something since I seem to be the only one who didn’t get it.

Summary:

This story takes place over the course of one school year during 1986. Eleanor is the new girl at school and she meets another misfit named Park. They both know that first loves very rarely make it, but are brave enough to try.

Favorites:

Page 59. So I have to be honest, I started this book off disappointed. Everyone talked about how good this book was and said that the writing was amazing. I went in with these high expectations and I just didn’t see any of it. Until page 59. I’m not sure why page 59 but that was when I realized this book was alright and I started enjoying it.

Eleanor. She was such a unique main character. I feel like lately the trend has been to have these beautifully dressed, out-spoken, main characters, and Eleanor wasn’t. She was just herself. She’s broken, she has this awful life at home, and life is just rough for her. I just wanted to hug her and fix everything.

 Eleanor and Park. I felt like their relationship was really natural, and I like that they didn’t immediately like each other. I also found it so sweet how they knew that if they could just see each other all of the problems in life would fade away and for a moment they could be happy.

Park’s mom. I loved Park’s mom. At first I didn’t, but once she started kind of taking Eleanor in under her wing, it was just so sweet. And I just loved her overall personality, and that fact that you could tell who really ran the house.

The ending. I have a love/hate relationship with this ending. I won’t say what happens, but if you have read it you know what I’m talking about. It needed to happen, even though you didn’t want it to. However, I feel like the very last paragraph of the book brings hope for Eleanor and Park. I liked it.

Some favorite quotes:

“Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive.”

“I don’t like you. I need you.”

“He looked like himself but bolder. Like Park with the volume turned all the way up.”

 

The Quills:

Cursing?

Personally, I had an issue with the language in the book. The f word is used, which I can kind of look past, it’s hard to avoid these days. There is also some vulgar phrases, I understand they were put in there to prove a point, and I get that, I do. However, the characters were always misusing the names of God, and not just in a OMG kind of way. That bothered me, but I’m not letting it change how I rate the book.

Physical romance?

Yes, I would say it’s PG-13, and when there is physical romance, it’s not what I would call graphic. I’m having a hard time explaining how it’s done really.

Gore?

Nope.

Will you cry?

Maybe, I didn’t but  I know a bunch of people who did.

Overall rating?

Three out of five hedgehogs.

Just don’t go into it with crazy high expectations like I did. Most people liked it, I just didn’t.

The Author:

Rainbow Rowell you can check out her website here.

Click the links below to some of her social media sites.

Facebook

Twitter

Extras:

Get some really cute Eleanor and Park merch here.

Were you let down by this book, or is it just me?

Photo source.