Monday, February 1, 2016

January Books

In January I read ten books. 

1. Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

I read this book because it was recommended by Goodreads and Amazon because of enjoying Mr. Lemoncello's Library. I thought this book was a lot of fun. It is middle grade. 

 "Twelve-year-old Emily is on the move again. Her family is relocating to San Francisco, home of her literary idol: Garrison Griswold, creator of the online sensation Book Scavenger, a game where books are hidden all over the country and clues to find them are revealed through puzzles. But Emily soon learns that Griswold has been attacked and is in a coma, and no one knows anything about the epic new game he had been poised to launch. Then Emily and her new friend James discover an odd book, which they come to believe is from Griswold and leads to a valuable prize. But there are others on the hunt for this book, and Emily and James must race to solve the puzzles Griswold left behind before Griswold's attackers make them their next target." (Goodreads)

As I read this book I knew that if I had read it when I was Abi's age (10) it would have been one of my very favorite books. The premise is really fun and as soon as I finished I looked it up online and found that there is a small scale book scavenger activity that goes with it. The girls and I immediately went looking for a few books but didn't find them. Abigail read it too and she loved it. 
4 stars **** 

2. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

 This was a re-read for me as I read it for the first time a few years ago. 
I read it this time for my book club. 

"I have two weeks. You'll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.That's what you do to enemy agents. It's what we do to enemy agents. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and cooperation is the easy way out. Possibly the only way out for a girl caught red-handed doing dirty work like mine - and I will do anything, anything to avoid SS-Hauptsturmf√ľhrer von Linden interrogating me again.
He has said that I can have as much paper as I need. All I have to do is cough up everything I can remember about the British War Effort. And I'm going to. But the story of how I came to be here starts with my friend Maddie. She is the pilot who flew me into France - an Allied Invasion of Two." (Goodreads)

 This book breaks my heart. I wondered if I would enjoy it as much the second time around and I really did. It is heartbreaking and hard to read at times and gives you a lot to think about. I have heard a few people say they didn't connect with the characters but I did not have that problem. I was all in. I also wondered if it would make me cry again even though I knew what was coming... well, it did. 
5 stars *****

3. Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

I got this book for Doug for Christmas because I was so curious about it after hearing about in all over the book community. 

 This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.This afternoon, her planet was invaded. The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit. But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again. Told through hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes." (Goodreads)

This book was very interesting. I read it in only a couple of days. However it isn't as long as it looks because of some of the ways it is written... like this....

I rated this book five stars for presentation because it is an amazing looking book and so different from anything else I have read when it comes to the way it is told and the way they have created the book but only 3 stars for content as it was entertaining but not amazing. 
There were some really disturbing parts in the book as well as a lot of swearing. 
To be fair, every swear word is blocked out. BUT when I was reading it my mind would automatically fill in the swear word so it might as well have been there. Doug told me to start thinking "cuss" instead of the real word every time that happened but that didn't do much except make me laugh at parts that weren't necessarily funny. 
Still, I'm glad I read it but I don't know if I will finish the trilogy. 
 3 stars ***

4. Troublemaker, Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini

I have to say this was a fascinating read. 

" The outspoken actress, talk show host, and reality television star offers up a no-holds-barred memoir, including an eye-opening insider account of her tumultuous and heart-wrenching thirty-year-plus association with the Church of Scientology." (Goodreads)

I am very intrigued about religions and always wondered about Scientology and whether it was a cult or not. I am very hesitant to ever classify something as a cult when I don't know all the facts. But after reading this book I think I can safely classify it as such. 
She writes in a very personable and honest way and can be quite crass at times. 
After reading this I watched the documentary Going Clear and it really backed up a lot of the things she talked about in this book. 
Truly scary stuff. 
4 stars ****

5.  The Doldrums by Nicholas Gannon

Many of you may remember me mentioning this book a few months ago when I talked about my most beautiful books. I bought it because of the artwork which is so stunning. This month I finally got to read it!

 "Archer B. Helmsley has grown up in a house full of oddities and treasures collected by his grandparents, the famous explorers. He knows every nook and cranny. He knows them all too well. After all, ever since his grandparents went missing on an iceberg, his mother barely lets him leave the house. Archer longs for adventure. Grand adventures, with parachutes and exotic sunsets and interesting characters. But how can he have an adventure when he can’t leave his house?"

I really enjoyed this middle grade book. It was a fun adventure and there were actually some really beautiful passages hidden in there. I am hoping for more. 
4 stars****

6. How do I know if I know? by John Bythway

This was a really quick read. I try to read a religious book along with my scripture study in the morning and I picked this up because it was a John Bythway book I hadn't read yet. (I loved him when I was a teenager!) This book was good. It has some good info. Nothing ground breaking or mind blowing. But good. I think it would really help a lot of teenagers.
3.5-4 stars****

 7. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

I have been meaning to re-read the books in The Infernal Devices for so long. I got the third book right when it came out but somehow hadn't read it yet. It had been so long I knew I needed to read the rest of the books again before reading the last one. I enjoyed it so much! Such a fun series. 

 "In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series. The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans."
4 stars ****

8. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

This is a really good second book in the series. I won't go into the plot since it is just an extension of the first one but I really enjoyed it. 
4 stars ****

9. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

This is the final installment in the Infernal Devices trilogy and I loved it. 
I was completely satisfied with the ending and it actually surprised me and even made me cry a bit. 
4 big old stars ****

10. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

As soon as I finished the Infernal Devices trilogy I wanted to get going on the re-read and finishing of the Mortal Instruments series. 

"When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy? This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know... " (Goodreads)

I still really enjoyed this. It took me a little while to get into it as I was on kind of a book hangover from the last series but soon I was right back into this world and fully enjoying myself. 
4 stars****

It was a great reading month. I read a lot more books than I thought I was going to be able to. And they were all good, some of them great. 

I am really looking forward to Febrauary to be another really good month!
February's To Be Read: 

I am hoping that in February I will be able to finish the Mortal Instruments series. I have not read the last two books in it yet so I am really excited to be get to those. All of this is in prep for Lady Midnight, the next series set in this world coming out very soon. 

I also plan on reading The Fourteenth Goldfish for the library mother/ daughter book club, Ramona the Brave with the girls, 84, Charring Cross Road , and Nory Ryan's Song for book club. 

What books did you enjoy in January? 
What are you hoping to read in February?


The Kings said...

I haven't read any of the books you read except for "Code Name Verity" and I really enjoyed it even though it was sad. I have ordered the sequel to read. "The Doldrums" sounds really good...I may have to try that book. In January I read "Verity" and while I was sick I read "Peter and the Shadow Thieves" because I liked "Peter and the Star Catchers" so much! (Peter Pan). I have ordered the 3rd book in the trilogy. I am now reading "The Scorpio Races"...I am not sure what I think about the book yet. I got it at our Book Club Christmas Book Exchange in 2014. So it is about time to read it.

cheryl said...

Well, if you don't like Scorpio Races you can give it to me. I loved it and don't have a copy! :)
I hope you like it!
I still need to get to the Peter and the Star Catchers books. I have owned the first one for so long and still haven't read them.