Sunday, April 5, 2015

March Wrap Up + A Day in the Life (#33)

I don't usually do wrap up posts, but I thought since I haven't done regular reviews in a long time it might be a good way to let you guys know what I'm reading (if you aren't following me on Goodreads. Aka my family haha!) I'd meant to have this up Wednesday but well....I didn't and I have a TON of links for my Day in the Life post, so I figured pairing these up was as good as not.  So let's start with the March wrap up!

March Books
(I'm not including rereads or picture books in the this section, or we'd be here all day)

5 Stars
Soulless (Parasol Protectorate #1) by Gail Carriger
The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns #1) by Rae Carson
Keys to the Kingdom (Locke & Key #4) by Joe Hill

4.5 Stars
Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy #1) by Pierce Brown
City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6) by Cassandra Clare
Head Games (Locke & Key #2) by Joe Hill
Crown of Shadows (Locke & Key #3) by Joe Hill
Alpha & Omega (Locke & Key #6) by Joe Hill
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

4 Stars
Whisper the Dead (The Lovegrove Legacy #2) by Alyxandra Harvey
Clockworks (Locke & Key #5) by Joe Hill
Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos #1) by Dan Simmons
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 (Adrian Mole #1) by Sue Townsend
A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller

3.5 Stars
One Dance With a Duke (Stud Club #1) by Tessa Dare
A Breath of Frost (The Lovegrove Legacy #1) by Alyxandra Harvey
Welcome to Lovecraft (Locke & Key #1) by Joe Hill
Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky #1) by Veronica Rossi

2.5 Stars
Shadowland (The Mediator #1) by Meg Cabot

2 Stars
Once Upon a Winter's Eve (Spindle Cove #1.5) by Tessa Dare

1.5 Stars
The Waking Dreamer (The Waking Dreamer #1) by J.E. Alexander

Biggest Surprise

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6)

It's no hidden secret that I absolutely LOATHED books 4 & 5 in The Mortal Instrument series and that books 1-3 were fun, but since the characters I love technically aren't the main characters, they don't do much for me. Clary and Jace are super boring.  In fact, I wasn't even planning on reading this book, but it was the only audiobook the library had that I hadn't already read, listened to, or knew I would be unfit to drive due to crying, so I picked it up. And I am so, so glad I did because man, Cassandra Clare really pulled out all the stops for this one.  And can I just say that it feels like it had some Sarah Rees Brennan influence in it? Maybe I'm imagining it, but I don't remember any of the previous books being nearly as heart wrenching as the moments in this one.

Biggest Turn Around

Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy, #1)

I started out not liking this one very much, and it took some weird tangents where Brown spent way more time on certain sections that I thought he was going to, so throughout the book I was fluctuating around 2 - 4 stars (mostly around a 2.5) , and then by the ending he had me so invested that it swerved all the way up to a 4.5 and I don't even understand how he managed to do that. I don't think I've EVER changed my mind on a book so many times!

Favourite Picture Books


The Goblin and the Empty Chair

1. It was really, really hard for me to read The Goblin and the Empty Chair without crying.  It's definitely a powerful book, and I think it would be a great addition for a child who is experiencing or has someone close to them who is experiencing grief.  The clues are really subtle, and I think children are only going to pick up on what they're ready to, so it isn't going to like...punch them in the face with sad stuff.

2. First off, Hattie and the Fox has absolutely gorgeous artwork!  Secondly, the story sets up in a manner that will be very familiar to you...and then the ending comes and it's not at all what you expect.  The five year old and I definitely laughed really hard because of it!

3. What Do You Say, Dear? is so, so, so funny!  It teaches the most ridiculous way possible. It's exactly the sort of book I would have loved as a kid, and it's definitely a new favourite of mine as an adult. And I think Maurice Sendak is the perfect illustrator for this - in fact in a lot of ways, the tone is similar to his own books.  It does have some conventional gender roles, which I didn't love...but it was just so ridiculous that I couldn't bring myself to care enough about it.  

Notable Quotes

I don't usually pay a whole lot of attention to quotes - I never remember to mark them! But I did make a point of writing these ones down:

"You are picking dandelions and columbines outside the castle. Suddenly a fierce dragon appears and blows red smoke at you, but just then a brave knight gallops up and cuts off the dragon's head.
What do you say, dear?
Thank you very much." - What Do You Say, Dear?

"I'm not sure how I will vote. Sometimes I think Mrs. Thatcher is a nice sort of woman. Then the next day I see her on television and she frightens me rigid. She has got eyes like a psychotic woman, but a voice like a gentle person. It is a bit confusing." - The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 

What's been on my playlist

Foreign Song:

Rediscovering a favourite band:

What else I've had on repeat:

Bookish Things

Appropriate Literature: Guest Post by Elana K. Arnold - Yes, yes, yes! (But also WOAH. I'm so glad I never had a problem like that with a teacher)
What 17 Adults Learned From Rereading Their Favorite Childhood Books - This is something I encounter fairly frequently since I reread so often. It's surpring though - a large amount of the picture books I loved as a kid, I definitely don't now.
Gender, books, and publishing - This just...covers everything. It's so well thought out and it doesn't only voice facts and opinions, Lark Bookwyrm's also put together a great list of things you can do to help promote changes in the publishing industry. I definitely recommend reading this!
Teen Library Advocates Get Booted Out of Missouri Governor’s Office -Wow. That's kind of crazy (also an 87% budget cut?!?)
Bookish Thoughts: Reuniting with Books - Asti talks about seeing her old books for the first time in years. As someone who has bounced all over the country for the last few years, and then all of a sudden had to collect ALL of my belongings from said places, I can definitely relate.
YA SCI-FI/DYSTOPIAS & STARTALK - Christina talks about the science behind dystopias, and anti-science messages in books.
Bookish Thoughts: My Love of Villains - I'm definitely with Asti on this one. I LOVE my villains! (They're often the most complicated people - or they can be when well written)
GUEST POST: ERIN LINDSAY MCCABE TALKS DIVERSITY IN HISTORICAL FICTION - Yes!! I realized when thinking up diverse authors, that I really didn't have any diversity not only in authors, but also in characters when it comes both to historical fiction and romance (probably because I also only read historical romances).  I've read a couple of these already,  but I'll definitely be putting the rest on my list!

Guys you have to listen until just before the 40 second mark. Amber says frying pan and I don't have a clue why and it just cracks me up like crazy every time.  Also Amber is my favourite and this song has brass and that's pretty much enough to make me like a song. (Unfortunately, as one of the trainers pointed out, she bears a striking resemblance to Justin Bieber in this video. *sighs* Also GLITTER JORTS. WHYYYYY.  But man that girl can dance and she makes me happyyy)

Specific Books/Authors
Cinderella: Survivor - This is so interesting. I'm one of those that was never into the Disney Cinderella story (although I do like the original and many retellings). I had never thought of it this way and this is a really important point of view I'd never come across. I now want a Cinderella story that's a bit more brutal with what she deals with instead of kind of brushing it off.
‘Speak’ and ‘Waking Up to the Enduring Memory of Rape’ - This is powerful, and a really interesting lesson plan. I definitely recommend listening to Laurie Halse Anderson reading the poem she made out of people's letters to her. Probably not in public though, I was bawling haha
The Mary Sue Interview: Fairy Tale Expert and The Turnip Princess Translator Maria Tatar - Once again, bringing you all there is in fairy tale news!
7 Fairy Tales That Seriously Need YA Retellings - Oh my I NEED THESE IN MY LIFE.  Please someone write these!
WHAT I THINK ABOUT ANDREW SMITH AND WHAT HE SAID - Chuck Wendig. This is just a list of things, but I agree with a lot of the stuff. I think it's a bit complicated when it comes down to it (or at least responding to what Andrew Smith said)
i finally got to a live at the met this saturday* - Robin McKinley's blog. Dear GOD I love this woman! And this post is particularly hilarious (although admittedly it probably helps that I am a classical musician and definite opera fan)
See the First Pages from the IllustratedHarry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone - I. NEED. THESE. COPIES.  You hear me people who buy me Christmas gifts? It's a need. Not a want. NEEEEEEEED.
None of the Above: guest post + box of Harper ARCs giveaway - GUYS. This book sounds amazing!! 1. It features an intersex MC who's just learned that she's intersex (I really need to learn how to use intersex in a sentence!!). 2. There's an awesome giveaway.  3. You should go check out all the stops on the tour because they are all really thoughtful and are making me rethink my rules on book tours because this whole tour is great. 4. I WISH MY LIBRARY HAD THIS because this book doesn't only have a diverse MC, the author is diverse so it fits my rule for the month of April and the only reason I can't read it is no monies and no library copy *wails* (I might make a monies exception at the end of the month if I have some extra for this)

Blogging/Reading/Fun Stuff
Top 4 Tips for Blogging Safely - Always a good reminder!
Young Adult Meets Friends - It even picks out what character would enjoy which book the most (and they're great match ups I have to say)
The 18 Most Beautiful YA Endpapers in the World - Not gonna lie, these are really gorgeous. And some I own and hadn't noticed before! (I usually skip straight to the words lol)
Which Hogwarts Professor Would Be Your Mentor? - I got Lupin, unsurprisingly :)
A Tapestry Of Words: YA Reviews: YA Through The Ages: the '90s - A really interesting look at the trends and evolution of YA books.
#VeryRealisticYA Shows Youth Life Outside Of Carefully Constructed Teen Narratives - These range from thoughtful (Mara Wilson's) to funny (The Bloggess)

I'm like addicted to these videos.  Also this one in particular is really, really interesting (to me at least)

Nonbookish Things
MALEFICENT – REVISIONIST FAIRY TALE MOTHERHOOD - Wow. Stephie brings up some really interesting things that I hadn't even thought of when it came to this movie, and it definitely changes how I'm looking at it now.
Sameface Syndrome and other stories - I hadn't noticed this before, but now I definitely am.
The Righteous Anger of Girls - Daniel Handler has an awesome conversation with his sister about "nice girls"
Steven Moffat Calls Sherlock Season 4 “Bloody Frightening,” SherlockFanfic “Creative & Exciting” - Holy cow. I think Moffat just had a whole interview where he didn't put his foot in it once! (Also so much yay on the fanfic response!)



  1. Lark's post about the gender inequality in publishing is pretty great. It's always shocking to me that this is still a thing and I don't know why. The thing. I get most worked up about is that women are expected to like and do and relate to everything the guys do (and I for one think I do) but the reverse is not the case.

    I got Professor Sprout as my Hogwart's mentor, I think mostly because I though Herbology might be my favorite class with my liking for gardening and such. I would have been super excited if we'd had such a class at my school. Or perhaps I am Neville Longbottom, sigh...

    Finally, You read a LOT this month! I'm glad you got a chance to pick up and Alyxandra Harvey and that it looks like you enjoyed her books. A Breath of Frost is kind of a mess - it's like someone decided the book needed a snappier pace and instead of doing an actual edit just went through and cut random sentences and paragraphs, lol. But Harvey's strength is creating great characters and not taking things too seriously and those things shine through, I think.

  2. Yay! You didn't hate COHF! I thought it was one of my favourite concluding books in a series-- she righted so many wrongs and whether she meant to or not, it created a really good character arc for basically everyone. *ahem* *small voice* I'm not obsessed or anything. Nope. *closes COHF audiobook*

  3. What a fantastic post! You read a ton, including Mixed Up Files, one of my childhood favorites. And all these links are great -- I'm off to check some of them out!
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen at YA Romantics

  4. Holy cow, you are giving me so many articles to read. And it looks like you are reading a ton of books too. I hope your April is just as good!

  5. 1. Same Face - I never really noticed! But she is totally right? I would be interested to see a write up about anime characters too. Because I feel like the guys actually suffer more from same face in anime than girls do.
    2. Fairytale retellings - I loved the stories she picked! I'm not 100% on board with her retelling choices, but the stories were awesome.
    3. Endpapers - this is the problem with electronic books. (Not that I have a problem with electronic books, but I wish they would show the end papers! That would be cool)
    4. 90s YA - oh man. That brought back some memories! Goosebumps! I also checked out her 80s YA post, which included books by Lurlene McDaniels, which is so funny because I was JUST thinking about her "cancer porn" books the other day. Also, have you read Sharon Creech's Walk Two Moons? Because you should. You really really should.
    5. Very Realistic YA: SO funny!
    6. Villains - I totally agree with The Darkling and Queen Levana!

  6. Yes!! And when you talk to people, they just don't get that it's weird that we have to be ok with girl AND boy things, but boys only have to be ok with girl things!

    A little of me wish the Hufflepuffs got more page time, we don't really get to know Professor Sprout too well. And Neville is one of my favourites actually haha!

    I know right? I guess I came off my slump a couple months ago with a vengeance haha! And I really did enjoy Harvey's books! I wish we had the Drake Chronicles at the library, but if I recall we don't :(. I'm definitely going to be on the lookout for books by her though - her characters are so much fun!

  7. I was really, really surprised. And she really did do a fantastic job with it. I think part of the reason I liked it so much is that by the end of the series it doesn't feel like Clary and Jace are the main characters, it feels like it's Clary, Jace, Magnus, Alec, Isabel, and Simon. (And OHMYGOD I was freaking out about the Simon bit!!) And we got to see some favourites from her other series (that I now wish I'd finished because there were some serious spoilers haha! But that's alright. I might just reread that trilogy since I can't remember much about it). I thought it was weird having two narrators for the book though, to be honest. I didn't really get the point of it, but it didn't detract too much for me

  8. Yeah, I just had a really good reading month! And I hadn't read Mixed Up Files before - I read it and then immediately brought it to read to the kids I nanny (they loved it).

  9. Yeah I haven't done A Day in the Life post for a couple weeks and I got totally bogged down with posts haha (and that's even though I'm a week behind on reading all my posts in bloglovin!).

  10. 1. That's an excellent point - I'm curious about that too! I might do some poking around on the webs.
    2. The retelling ideas are so over the top ridiculous. I LOVE THEM. (But either way there's a couple here that even I haven't read so yay more fairy tales! Fairy tales all the time!)
    4. I have! Walk Two Moons is my favourite of the books by her I read! I think it's funny that I'm in general very reluctant to try contemporary reads because I look back at some of my favourites and realize I wasn't always that way haha! I definitely went through a big Sharon Creech phase!

  11. La La in the LibraryApril 7, 2015 at 7:20 PM

    You read soooooooooo many books! I am definitely putting The Goblin and the Empty Chair on my Someday Grandchildren Book List. If my lbrary has it I will probably revew it on my Children's book blog.

  12. This month was definitely a good reading month haha! Oooh that's a good list to have! I need to start adding picture books I've really liked just so I can keep track of the ones I want to get one day maybe lol. If you do review it I'd love to see! I keep forgetting you have a children's book blog - I need to browse through that, especially since I'm reading SO MANY picture books these days!

  13. It actually gets better with Simon in Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy. My biggest issue with Clare's world is that the protectors are very elitist and their laws are clearly meant to keep them the safest, while allowing Downworlders to suffer for even the smallest of transgressions (even well-meaning ones). She tackles that through Simon in TFSA. ^_^ (And yes, you should totes read The Infernal Devices. I think I prefer it, despite the lack of Magnus. I know, SHOCKING!)

  14. Oh, and I have to add, I don't love the audiobook. Jason Dohring and Sophie Turner may be good actors, but their voices and accents are pretty flat. Mae Whitman who did City of Bones, on the other hand, is a born voice actor. It's a bit weird though, because I kept picturing Katara as a Shadowhunter ... ??

  15. Yes! Throughout the series, the Shadowhunters are as much the MCs enemies as the Big Bads are. But instead of seeing people push for change, we're always distracted by the Big Bad, so it feels like nothing is evolving in that sense, and that's really what I feel is a more interesting "villain" of sorts. And I wish we got to see more of the people's whose opinions ARE changing (like..I think it's Gia? The one whose daughter is a lesbian) or are more moderate. I'm SUPER excited about TFSA because it's just...there's so many interesting things she can do with this! So, I'm glad I read this last book because it's basically just been a palate cleanser for me as far as Cassandra Clare is and now I'm excited about it again. (This is also in no small part due to you - you hear enough about someone who's opinion you value raving about something, it makes you more open to trying it again haha). ALSO I need to finish The Bane Chronicles! I was like halfway through the one about Rafael when my ebook expired :(

    Yeah they definitely weren't my favourite narrators. Especially with the British/American accent - it was super jarring. It's not like with Susan Denakker (who I think is my ALL TIME FAVOURITE SHE'S SO AMAZING) who manages to do a whole bunch of different accents (but centered around her own natural accent) so it's just..well, pretty much amazing listening to her narrate. Also Katara would make a BAD ASS Shadowhunter. Oooh I bet there's good fan art of that...

  16. 1. Can't help raving when I'm obsessed. Glad that my madcap raving did not let you down. 2. I MUST look up Susan Denakker's audios. 3. I don't have any fanart of Katara as a Shadowhunter, but look! 4. Be sure to post/tweet me when you're done TBC! ^_^

  17. I definitely will! (And YES Korra fanart just as awesome!!)

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