My mother is absolutely obsessed with Mark Twain. She has the leather-bound copy of his collected works from Barnes and Noble, a 900 page biography, and a vintage edition from the 1800s that she keeps locked away somewhere. She loves the quirkiness of the characters and the portrayal of the Deep South.
Reading Challenge: A book your mom loves
Summary: Huckleberry Finn fakes his own death and gets caught up in an adventure with Jim, a runaway slave. Together, they seek to get Jim to a free state and encounter a lot of crazy people and situations along the way. It’s a classic story of American realism of life on the Mississippi.
Likes: Honestly, this book was really hard for me to get in to. There were some parts that were really funny, but overall, I just could not get into the story.
Dislikes: This book is incredibly controversial because many people consider it to be racist. Others think it’s a satire. I’m very uncomfortable with some of the material in the book, and not just the racial slurs. I’m still on the fence about whether it’s satire or not, but even if it was satire, I still found it difficult to read.
TL;DR: This book is a classic and a definitive part of the American Realism movement. However, I personally found it difficult to enjoy because of the racist elements.
I only ever watched a minimalist performance of this play. The whole time, I was really confused about where everyone was and who everyone was. Reading it made the play make a lot more sense.
Reading Challenge: A book you were supposed to read in high school but didn’t
Summary: After a tense battle, Macbeth meets three witches, one of whom predicts he will become Thane of Cawdor and one who predicts he will become King of Scotland. He doesn’t believe them at first, but after he is announced as the new Thane of Cawdor, he and his wife concoct a plan to murder the current king.
Likes: I really liked all the scene with the Weird Sisters. They’re really amusing and were only in the play because King James thought witches were cool.
Dislikes: I personally had a difficult time following the story and getting into it.
TL;DR: I know this is one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays but I’d probably pick up Hamlet if you’re wanting to read a classic where everyone goes crazy and kills each other.
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature over at Breaking the Spine. Check them out. They have some really great stuff.
Author: Megan Shepherd
Release Date: May 26, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins
The Maze Runner meets Scott Westerfeld in this gripping new series about teens held captive in a human zoo by an otherworldly race. From Megan Shepherd, the acclaimed author of The Madman’s Daughter trilogy.
When Cora Mason wakes in a desert, she doesn’t know where she is or who put her there. As she explores, she finds an impossible mix of environments—tundra next to desert, farm next to jungle, and a strangely empty town cobbled together from different cultures—all watched over by eerie black windows. And she isn’t alone.
Four other teenagers have also been taken: a beautiful model, a tattooed smuggler, a secretive genius, and an army brat who seems to know too much about Cora’s past. None of them have a clue as to what happened, and all of them have secrets. As the unlikely group struggles for leadership, they slowly start to trust each other. But when their mysterious jailer—a handsome young guard called Cassian—appears, they realize that their captivity is more terrifying than they could ever imagine: Their captors aren’t from Earth. And they have taken the five teenagers for an otherworldly zoo—where the exhibits are humans.
As a forbidden attraction develops between Cora and Cassian, she realizes that her best chance of escape might be in the arms of her own jailer—though that would mean leaving the others behind. Can Cora manage to save herself and her companions? And if so . . . what world lies beyond the walls of their cage?
I love this kind of book: dystopia with a sci-fi twist. It’s one of the things I loved about the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld, which this book is compared to. I’ve been looking to add more current dystopian books to my list, and this one is on it!
What books are you waiting for?
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature over at The Broke and the Bookish. Check them out. They have some really great stuff.
My TBR list is probably two miles long at this point and isn’t getting any shorter. Even though these books aren’t necessarily Spring-themed, they’re the books I’m planning on reading next.
- Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
- Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
- Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
- Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind
- Cinder by Marissa Meyer
- The Giver by Lois Lowry
- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
- Solitaire by Alice Oseman
- The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
- The Princess Bride by William Goldman
What books are you planning on reading this Spring?
This past week was pretty hectic school-wise because this upcoming week is Spring Break! In between all the midterms and projects, I still managed to find time to read and watch stuff. Because we all know the best time to binge-watch a show on Netflix is the night before a midterm, right?
I’m kidding please don’t do this. I also went out with my bestie for her birthday and exchanged gifts, since our birthdays are so close together.
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Made Progress In
Henry IV Part 1 by William Shakespeare
The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan (review forthcoming)
Parks and Rec (series finale)
New Girl (Season 4)
Modern Family (Season 6)
Pushing Daisies (Season 1)
Agent Carter (Season finale)
Dragon Age: Awakening
What books, shows, movies, or games were a part of your week?
Five Fandom Friday is a weekly feature over at The Nerdy Girlie. Check out her blog. She has some really great stuff.
This week’s topic is a bit difficult. It’s one thing to just list five of your favorite characters and be done with it. But would I actually be best friends with most of my favorite characters? Probably not. So here are some characters I could actually see myself being good friends with.
- Hermione Granger (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)
- Cather Avery (Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell)
- Bilbo Baggins (The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien)
- Annabeth Chase (Percy Jackson and the Olympians/The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan)
- Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer)
Which fictional characters would be your BFFs?
I’ve been following this series for a while now, ever since right after the third book came out. This is the fifth (kinda the sixth depending on which editions you have) and last book in the series, so it’s a little bittersweet. Spoilers for anyone who hasn’t read this series yet!
Reading Challenge: A book with a one-word title
Summary: Not only do Gabi and Lia have to deal with the normal life at the castello (medieval marriage and pregnancy!) but now they have to deal with rumors swirling about family members who claim to be from another time. These alleged family members could mean trouble for the Betarrinis–maybe even getting them accused of witchcraft. And they’ve already got enough on their minds with the Black Plague on the horizon.
Likes: I really like how the author did such a good job with the characters and their relationships. Some very difficult things happen in this book, and I thought they were handled well even if they were heartbreaking. I also liked how the book was split into sections, so the plot was able to cover all that it needed to in one book without feeling too choppy.
Dislikes: The ending scene itself was incredibly disappointing and unsatisfying for me. The whole ending sequence was pretty emotional and profound, but the ending scene itself kind of felt like whiplash.
TL;DR: You definitely have to read this book if you liked the rest of the series. Grab the tissues, though. And if you like historical romance, I would definitely recommend this series to you.
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature over at Breaking the Spine. Check out her blog. She has some really great stuff.
Author: Multiple. Edited by Stephanie Perkins
Release Date: Expected Summer 2016
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
“A collection of twelve romantic tales of young summer love. Edited by Stephanie Perkins. Featuring new short stories by Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith.”
I was over the moon when Stephanie Perkins announced this book on her Tumblr the other day. While I haven’t gotten the chance to read her other anthology yet (though believe me; it’s definitely on my list) I’m really excited about a book all about summer lovin’. I’ve seen a lot of anthologies that focus on winter or Christmas love stories, but this is the first I’ve seen all about summer, which is my personal favorite season. Plus, I’m really looking forward to Veronica Roth’s contribution.
What books are you looking forward to?
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature over at The Broke and the Bookish. Check out their blog. They have some really great stuff.
This week’s challenge was fairly open-ended. So, I figured that I’d focus on one my all-time favorite genres: dystopian. Here are the top ten books I would recommend to anyone who likes dystopian fiction. I will admit that I have not read all of the books on this list, but the ones I haven’t read are in my TBR pile.
- 1984 by George Orwell
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
- Divergent by Veronica Roth
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
- Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
- A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
- The Giver by Lois Lowry
- The Host by Stephanie Meyer
What are books you would recommend to readers who like dystopian?
Summary Sunday is a weekly post idea that I’m playing around with in which I’ll summarize what books I’ve finished, started, bought, etc. during the previous week. I’ll also probably talk about the shows or movies I’ve watched because that is also an unfortunately large part of my life.
Henry IV Part I by William Shakespeare
Made Progress In
Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind
Friends (Season 9)
Sailor Moon Crystal (pilot)
Fleet Girls (pilot)
Modern Family (Season 6)
New Girl (Season 4)
Agent Carter (Season 1)
What books, shows, or movies have been a part of your week?