August Wrap Up

Where did the month go? I swear, it feels like July just ended and now we’re going into fall? Today when I went in to Starbucks, I noticed they have their fall drinks out! But anyway, I digress . . .

So, how was my reading in August?  Not great, I’ll tell you that much! My reading has been slacking like no one’s business this past summer.I read only seven books in August.  They are as follows:

YA Fiction:

The First Part Last, Angela Johnson

Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire, Suzanne Coolins

In a Heartbeat, Loretta Ellsworth

Nonfiction:

Cleo, Helen Brown

Georgette Heyer’s Regency World, Jennifer Kloester

Fiction:

Fingersmith, Sarah Waters

Although Mockingjay was great, as were all the other books I read this month, my favorite book from August had to have been Fingersmith.  If you haven’t read anything by Waters,you need to make it a priority.

The fact that more than half of the books I read were YA is even more embarrassing, as it takes me a fraction of the time to read YA novels.  Hopefully September will be a much better reading month for me!

How did everyone else do this month?

RIP V

Yes, it is that time of the year again!  Did autumn sneak up on you this year?  Because I feel like summer just started! No matter though, because I am ready to whip out my footie pajamas and lounge on my couch with a good book and some hot apple cider!

So for this challenge, I decided to go for Peril in the First.  I waffled back and forth, unsure if I would finish four books but I figured I would go for it and if I don’t read four, oh well–it certainly won’t be the first challenge where I fall short!

To qualify for this challenge, a book must meet at least one of the following categories.

Mystery.
Suspense.
Thriller.
Dark Fantasy.
Gothic.
Horror.
Supernatural.

As for my tentative list, here it is–

The Historian, Elizabeth Kostova

The Ask and the Answer, Patrick Ness

The Little Stranger, Sarah Waters

Faithful Place, Tana French

Mistress of the Art of Death, Ariana Franklin

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, John Berendt

Obviously my list is subject to change, as it typically does.

I am super excited to start this challenge.  For anyone who would like to join, you can find the sign ups here.

Book Review: Mockingjay *SPOILERS*

Mockingjay

Suzanne Collins

Scholastic Press

400 pages

I had no intention originally of buying Mockingjay.  Once that flew out the window, I had no intention of putting everything aside to read it, thinking maybe I would get to it in the next few weeks. Obviously all the hoopla surrounding this final book in The Hunger Games trilogy got to me, because I pretty much spent all day Saturday reading Mockingjay.  And it felt good.

Katniss is back and she is the center of a big rebellion brewing in District 13.  She is still recovering from the quarter quell and the injuries she sustained, both mental and physical.  Peeta, meanwhile, was not rescued by District 13 and he is being held prisoner in the Capitol.  Gale is still by Katniss’s side, as are her mother and Prim.  And let’s not forget one of my favorites, Haymitch!

Life in District 13 isn’t easy but it’s a respite from the games and District 12.  Katniss quickly becomes enveloped in the rebellion launched against the Capitol by District 13 and she is known as the “Mockingjay”.  She is very active in the rebellion and she travels frequently to the other districts to lend support.  In the end, Katniss even joins the war, at which point the action becomes all encompassing!

Hopefully my meager review is sufficient.  It is always difficult to write reviews for books that are so popular and elicit such strong reactions.  I am happy now to move on to mentioning my main thoughts on Mockingjay.

-I had held out hope throughout the book that Mockingjay would not, in fact, be the final book in this series.  Sadly, that seems to be the case, at least from this particular angle.

-I HATED the epilogue.  It seemed completely unnecessary and was a major disservice to the quality of this series on a whole.  With the exception of the epilogue, this book, as well as the other two, were so raw and gritty, but the epilogue seemed like it was trying to explain everything away.  It was a horrible note on which to end not just the book, but also the series.

-I have been pretty vocal about my antipathy towards the love triangle between Peeta, Gale and Katniss.  I was still struggling to choose between Peeta and Gale throughout Mockingjay, and I am not sure why I am not totally happy with Katniss’s choice because I have no issue with Peeta.  Maybe the problem is I think her rejection of Gale was completely unfair! I understand how tormented she was by Prim’s death, but I just don’t understand how she can hold Gale accountable.

As far as the three books, I think this may actually have been my favorite.  I felt the most invested in this one, and the other characters took on a more personal role as well.  I was audibly upset when Finnick died, much to my husband’s amusement.  If you’re a fan of the series, you obviously can’t miss this one!

Other Reviews:

The Story Siren

Presenting Lenore

Books and Movies

Devourer of Books

I purchased this book from a local bookseller.

Sunday Salon

Happy Sunday all!  I had hoped to get my post up earlier today but I slept in and then we had to go to a birthday party.  We just got back though and we have no plans or obligations for the rest of the day, a prospect that my husband is overly excited about!

My week in reading has been abysmal.  I thought my slump had passed but oh, was I wrong!  Part of the problem was that I was sick Monday.  I had to take a day off of work, which ordinarily would leave me with a lot of reading time.  In fact, I often secretly wish to be sick enough to call off of work but not too sick to lay about in bed all day reading.  Unfortunately, this time I was too sick to do any reading.  I felt too sick to even watch TV, so I just laid in bed dozing in and out of sleep.  The week didn’t get much better from there.

I was fickle with my reading and nothing could grab my attention.  I must have picked up four or five books over the week.  I even gave up on The Inheritance of Loss 200 pages in.  Hopefully I will pick it up again but, at this point there’s no guarantee.  However, I may now be out of my slump.  What did the trick, you may ask?

For some reason, I was going to put this one off.  Maybe I like to torture myself? But then my husband had to work all day yesterday and I had the entire day to myself, so I figured I should give in and read it.  We had plans last night so I had to leave the house with about 50 pages left.  We didn’t get home until 1AM and I was pretty tired, but there was no way I was going to sleep without reading the end! All in all, I was very pleased with Mockingjay and I am glad I read it instead of waiting.

So now my quandary is what to read now.  Will it compare to Mockingjay?

Birthday Loot!!

As I mentioned in my last Sunday Salon, Monday was my birthday, and my plans were to go to a local indie bookstore, The Book Loft, and then go to dinner with my family.  As we all know though, even the best laid plans go awry, and I happened to wake up Monday morning with an awful stomach bug.  Oh, the injustice of it!  The virus then proceeded to make its rounds through my household, so we weren’t completely recovered until today.  I finally got my shopping trip today!  Here are the goodies I bought.


Book Review: Catching Fire

Catching Fire

Suzanne Collins

Scholastic Press

400 pages

So I could have possibly been the last person around to read Catching Fire.  I have no real excuse to offer, so I will just go on ahead to my review. First though, two disclaimers–

1. You have probably read a million reviews for this book, so my synopsis will be short and to the point.

2. If you have not read The Hunger Games, this review may quite possibly contain spoilers.

Katniss Everdeen won the last Hunger Games, along with Peeta, but the government is not pleased with Katniss’ shenanigans and they are ready to make her pay.  She believes that she can downplay the issue by pretending to be in love and in a relationship with Peeta.

So we have Katniss walking a fine line between staying true to herself and following the commands of President Snow.  And then, the unbelievable happens . . . another Hunger Games! Yada yada yada, you get the gist.

Catching Fire is comparable to The Hunger Games in terms of entertainment value.  I was gripped throughout, especially during the second half of the book that actually focused on the games.  Usually with series, I can point out one of the books as my favorite, however, with this series I would say they were equal, which is rare for me.

As much as I enjoy these books, I am too ambivalent about both Gale and Peeta to pick a “team”.  For whatever reason, I am not that emotionally involved with the series to the point where I have any feelings towards the characters.

Regardless though, I plan on reading Mockingjay pretty soon.  I was sure that it would take me forever to get a copy of it from my library since I am #96 on the waitlist, but my library system ordered 220 copies so I already got a notification that it is ready for pick up!

I am not even going to bother linking any other reviews, as I am sure anyone who is reading this review has already read millions of other reviews on this same book!

I purchased this book from B&N.

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