Monthly Archives: July 2017

BookTube-A-Thon 2017 Update #3 and Wrap Up

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Day 6: My plan for Saturday was to do nothing but focus on finishing Iron Cast. Unfortunately, real life stuff came up and I had to move suddenly. Before it all went to shit, I read  67 pages. 

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Day 7: I had no time at all to read on Sunday.

So to wrap BookTube-A-Thon up I read two books, and got almost halfway into a third. While my plans didn’t pan out, I’m happy I got that much done because usually I would have read maybe one book. Overall, I finished 699 pages this week. I took notes on the two books I finished, so reviews for those will be coming up in the next week. 

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BookTube-A-Thon 2017 Update #2

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Day 4:

I read a lot on Thursday, and ended up finishing up Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library. The story really picked up, and I had no problem finishing it. I think I gave it four stars. It was around 11 P.M. when I finished so I also decided to pick up my next book for a little bit of reading. I choose to the the person on the cover challenge, and got 32 pages of Iron Cast done. So I ended up reading 232 pages in day 4.

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Day 5:

I read for a lot of this day as well. Though I got a lot less pages done. I only got through 88 pages. I feel like Iron Cast isn’t the best book for a read-a-thon because it’s a slower paced book, but I am enjoying myself. It’s picking up the pace as well, so I’m hoping to finish it Saturday. Honestly, I think if I push myself I could end up finishing five books for this at the most. Here’s hoping.

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BookTube-A-Thon 2017 Update #1

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Day 1:

I decided to first tackle the read a book in one day challenge. It was the easiest thing to do aside from reading the graphic novel. But I wasn’t in the mood to go outside, so Saxby Smart kept me company.

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I finished this in four hours. It was the quick, easy read I expected it to be. I took a bit of a break to eat dinner, and watch day one vlogs then I decided to start Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library. I was hoping to at least get half through this one though ideally I would have finished in order to get really ahead. Unfortunately, I had a harder time focusing and only read 62 pages. I finished day one with 286 pages read.

Day 2:

Tuesday was a bad day for me. I didn’t open the book at all.

Day 3:

Wednesday was a busy day for me, so I only read a little bit. But it was better than Tuesday. I read 26 pages.

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There’s four days left, and I doubt that I will finish six books in that time. I’m not gonna worry about it though. I’ll finish as many as I can, but it’s 1:13 AM right now and I’m not tired. So I’m gonna spend my time reading while watching a playthrough of The Walking Dead season 1 from one of my favorite youtubers since I just finished the New Frontier. It was so bad that it made me miss Lee. It’s something I do a lot that I find helps me focus on my book a lot more.

BookTube-A-Thon TBR 2017

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From today until July 30th is the BookTube-A-Thon, and I’ve decided to try it this year since I’m fifteen books behind according to goodreads. I feel like I’m already failing since it is almost 2 P.M. where I am and I haven’t started reading at all. Hopefully I can catch up to everyone who started reading at midnight. Here’s the books I plan to read this week:

Challenge #1: Read a book with a person on the cover

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Iron Cast by Destiny Soria. Set in the 1900s, two girls who can create illusions through their magical art try and fail at trying to con their city’s elite. I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while, so I’m excited to finally get to it. It’s 376 pages.

Challenge #2: Read a hyped book

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The third book in the Percy Jackson series, The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan. I’ve wanting to continue this series for a while, and what’s more hyped than Percy Jackson? This is 312 pages.

Challenge #3: Finish a book in one day

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The third book in the Saxby Smart, Private Detective series. I had meant to finish and review this before the read-a-thon started, but oh well. The best laid plans and all that. This is 224 pages.

Challenge #4: Read about a character that is very different from you.

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I feel like this is a weird attempt to say read a diverse book, but I’ve seen people decide to go with animal protagonists and outgoing characters for this. Anyway, I choose The Land by Mildred D. Taylor. In post-Civil War Georgia, Paul-Edward Logan struggles with being biracial. He dreams of owning a piece of land. This is 369 pages.

Challenge #5: Read a book completely outdoors

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I’m gonna make this as easy as possible for myself and start my reread of the Saga books. This is 160 pages.

Challenge #6: Read a book you bought because of the cover

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Dirty Magic by Jaye Wells. The cover combined with the title caught my attention when browsing the shelves of Barnes and Noble, and I knew I had to find out what it was about. In a world where magic is a drug, a patrol cop finds herself in trouble as she shoots the lead snitch in a crucial case. This is 385 pages. 

Challenge #7: Read seven books

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For my last book I knew I had to pick this one up. My mom raved about it after she finished this middle grade mystery in two days. Something she never does. This is 288 pages.

So that is my TBR for this week. It adds up to a total of 2,114 pages. Very intimidating but I’m really hoping to get to all of them. Throughout the week I will be doing update posts, but for now, I’m going to get to reading.

 

Saxby Smart in the Treasure of Dead Man’s Lane and Other Case Files by Simon Cheshire and R.W. Alley

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“I’ve got some homemade spy gear with me.”

“Why do you have to keep bringing spies into everything?”

“Spies are cool.”

“So are fridges, so what? We are not spies. This is detective work.”

This is the second book in the Saxby Smart, Private Detective series. Like the first one, it follows Saxby Smart as he solves three cases.

The first case in this one is called The Tomb of Death. It’s about a missing comic. This was my least favorite for reasons that isn’t the book’s fault. Simply put, the person who had the book before me wrote in the early pages who did the crime. So it was hard to be into the mystery when I already knew what happened. 

The second case is called The Treasure of Dead Man’s Lane. It’s about finding a treasure in an old house. I thought this was a fun mystery. It’s different from the others, but I had a hard time with it. In it, it has an old letter where they find clues. It’s in a different font and everything. I had a really hard time reading it, so a lot of time I had no idea what Saxby was talking about. I couldn’t guess any of the answers so that takes some of the fun out of it.

The Fangs of the Dragon is the third and final case of this book. It’s a weird case that involves robbery’s that are not really robbery’s. This was my favorite case of this book. It was a little too lucky guesswork on Saxby’s part, but I really liked how the mystery unraveled. 

All in all I think this still a five star book. It’s such a fast and addicting read that I can’t wait to jump into the third one.

The Curse of the Ancient Mask and Other Case Files by Simon Cheshire and R.W. Alley

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My name is Saxby Smart, and I’m a private detective. I go to St. Egbert’s School, my office is in the toolshed, and these are my case files. Unlike some detectives, I don’t have a sidekick, so that part I’m leaving up to you-pay attention, I’ll ask questions.

Saxby Smart is the best detective in his elementary school. He has his own office set up in his shed where he has his thinking chair and his desk. He makes case files for each of the mysteries he solves. Three of which are in this book. 

The first one is call The Curse of the Ancient Mask. This was my favorite case out of this book. A classmate’s father thinks the mask he picked up in Japan is curse, and Saxby helps them out. I like the whole storyline of this one.

The second case is called The Mark of the Purple Homework. Student’s essays are getting destroyed, including Saxbys. I liked the mystery of this one, and how Saxby’s questions to the readers were set up. It’s different than the others, and it’s a lot of fun.

The third case is called The Clasp of Doom, and it’s my least favorite. While I still enjoyed myself, it was mainly because I like the writing style. The mystery was a little boring to me.

This is a children’s book aimed at grades 3-6 I would say. But I still had a blast reading it. It’s slightly unique I would say because the book invites the reader to participate. Saxby regularly pauses his story to ask the reader if they have figured out what he did. He also lists all the facts he has gained periodically through the stories. 

The stories themselves are fun, but not too complicated. That doesn’t mean they are that easy to figure out. While I did figure out two of the mysteries myself, and plenty of the clues, there was one case I couldn’t and other clues I had no idea what he was going on about. It was all completely logical though, and very easily to follow along.

I was surprised by the summary of this book on goodreads. It mentions this series was created to get boys interested in reading. I don’t understand the distinction. While reading, I was slightly impressed how Saxby’s best friend Izzy was super girly and super scientific and smart and helped so much with Saxboy’s case. And it was just a fact. There was no she wasn’t like other girls or anything like that. It was simply her room was pink and glittery and she had all the research Saxby needed, and that was that. I think this book could get a lot of kids reading, not simply boys since it’s a boy narrator. I know this is a minor thing, but it’s something I felt like pointing out.

This is a series of ten books. I currently have the first three checked out, and I look forward to reading the other two soon. It’s a fast, easy, fun read. I also really think that kids would enjoy this, and parents and guardians will love how this book encourages them to think.

The Big Sick-Movie Review

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The Big Sick is a romantic comedy based on a true story. It’s about Kumail, an aspiring comedian, and Emily, an aspiring therapist, as they go through their relationship. They deal with commitment issues, Kumail’s parents wanting to arrange a marriage for him, lying, trust issues, and a medical coma.

The Kumail in the movie is actually Kumail in real life. He and his wife actually wrote the script too. I think that really added something special to this movie. I’m not a big fan of romantic comedies. I usually think they are boring and typical. This movie was a breath of fresh air. The two love interests had actual chemistry together. It was actually funny and heartbreaking and well acted out. I also loved that both of their parents were featured heavily.

This is a small film. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January where  it was picked up by Amazon Studios. It was a limited release last weekend which is when I saw it, but it’s a wider one this weekend. I strongly recommend going out and watching this movie. Kamail Nanjiani is definitely somebody to watch and support as he grows bigger.