Tag Archives: Nicole

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. 

 

Netflix Book Tag

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1.Recently Watched: The last book you finished reading

Isis: Shelter the Sea by Heidi Cullinan. This is a sequel in the Roosevelt series, and I really enjoyed it. I think it’s an important read, really diverse. It made me so happy.

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Nicole: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. It was a good graphic novel.

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2. Top Picks: A book/books that have been recommended to you based on books you have previously read

Isis: I read The Song of Achilles because everyone recommended it after reading Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. But I was so disappointed in The Song of Achilles. It was not my cup of tea. I still don’t get the hype for it.

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Nicole: People recommend The Iron Trial by Cassandra Claire and Holly Black to people who like the Harry Potter books. I did not like it at all.

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3. Recently Added: The last book you bought

Isis: I just recently bought an e-book I found randomly called Bonfires by Amy Lane. It’s about two older men who fall in love, both men have children from previous marriages, both are trying to get through life. It just sounds right up my alley. I’m excited to read it.

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Nicole: I finally bought The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig. I’ve been wanting it for a long time, so now I’m resisting the urge to drop what I’m currently reading in order to get to it quicker. 

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4. Popular on Netflix: Books that everyone knows about (2 you’ve read and 2 you have never read or have no interest in reading)

Isis: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Gotta go back to the oldies. 

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I feel like everyone has heard about this book. 

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City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. Love Shadowhunters, but I don’t like the author of the books. I don’t think I’m missing out on anything. The show is amazing.

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Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I’ve heard mixed things about this one. I’m not interested in a new book format or whatever. The story itself doesn’t really interest me.

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Nicole: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. A surprisingly good book.

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The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. With how everyone talked about it, I expected it to be fantastic. It wasn’t.

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The Divergent series by Veronica Roth. I feel like everyone can still be obsessed with it, but after I found out the premise my already mediocre interest fell completely away. It just doesn’t sound interesting to me at all.

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The Black Witch by Laurie Forest. This one’s buzz is mainly on twitter, but it still counts. At first I was interested in this one because I simply heard it was about witches and it was good. Then all the negativity surrounding it happened, and I learned it was about unlearning racism, badly, in a fantasy setting. Even if it was well done, I still would have decided not to read it. It simply isn’t a plot that interests me.

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5. Comedies: A funny book

Isis: The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore. I loved the humor in this book. It was the sort of humor that sinks in and really gets to you. If that makes sense. I still think about this book. It had a lot of heart too.

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Nicole: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan. I think it’s his funniest series yet.

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6. Dramas: A character who is a drama queen/king

 Isis: As a drama queen myself, it’s hard for me to really pinpoint other drama queens/kings because I think everyone should be dramatic. But Juliette Ferrars was pretty dramatic in the Shatter Me series. I really loved her development though.

Nicole: Draco Malfoy is the ultimate drama king.

7. Animated: A book with cartoons on the cover

Isis: The new Carry On paperback book has this amazing cover. Simon and Baz are cartoons and they look beautiful. 

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Nicole: Dragonbreath by Ursula Vernon.

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8. Watch it again: A book/book series that you want to re-read

Isis: Eventually, I’d love to re-read the Gives Light series. I’ve talked about this one before. It’s one of my favorites. It’s set in a Native American Reservation, which is something you don’t see a lot. It was beautiful and so informative.

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Nicole: I’m not a big re-reader. I have been kind of wanting to re-read the Harry Potter series, which is the only books I’ve really re-read before. Also the two books I mention in the childhood favorites list.

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9. Documentaries: A non-fiction book you’d recommend to everyone

Isis: I think everyone should read We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It’s a good starting piece.

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Nicole: Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight by M.E. Thomas. I think it’s not popular, but it really opened my eyes. I think it has important information that society, especially present in the media, doesn’t share at all.

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10. Action and Adventure: An action packed book

Isis: I don’t read many action packed books, but Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan was full of action. I wanted it to slow down, but it never did.

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Nicole: The  Outliers by Kimberly McCreight. This book never stopped from the first page. Every page had something dramatic happen till the very last sentence.

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11. New Releases: A book that just came out or will be coming out soon that you can’t wait to read

Isis: I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, but I’m dying to read When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. It looks so good and sweet and summery. I still haven’t bought it yet, but soon!

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Nicole: Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh comes out on July 25th, and I can’t wait. It’s a middle grade mystery book that includes ghosts, and it sounds amazing.

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12. Max: Tag some people

Everyone, consider yourselves tagged

Favorite Childhood Reads

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Isis:

I never read much as a child. I do remember reading Clifford obsessively and these Maisy books because they had little pop ups. They were my favorites as a kid.

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Nicole:

I read a lot more than Isis. Not like now, but I’ve read a lot of different books. I remember rereading a lot of the same book over and over again. Unlike now when I rarely ever reread books.

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I’m pretty sure that I read all the Dr. Seuss books, and a lot of The Berenstain Bears seriesI would finish one book in one sitting and start on the next one right away.

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I was obsessed with Winnie-the-Pooh when I was little. I vaguely remember the book, but I watched the movies over and over again. My room for years only had Winnie-the-Pooh decorations.

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I had a lot of these Little Golden Books. I read a lot of them but Aladdin and 101 Dalmatians were a couple of my favorites. I would read these and then watch the movie and then read these again.

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My kindergarten teacher used to read to us everyday. I don’t remember any of the books she read except with the Junie B. Jones series. I loved these. I loved Junie, and all of her mishaps. I found this through my teacher, but I loved it so much that I would go to the library to get the ones she didn’t read.

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I remember always picking this series up though I don’t remember what actually happened during it. I do want to find these in thrift shops or the library and reread them when I can. 

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I’m so glad I decided to do this post, because I’ve been trying to figure out the name of this book for ages and I could never find it. I tried one more time so I could add it to this list, and I finally figured it out. In elementary school sometimes if you got there early they would take you to the library and the librarian would read to everyone until it was time to go to class. This was one of the books she read though I never got the full story since sometimes I would miss school or come later so then I missed out on parts of the story. But I always wondered what happened at the end. Now that I remember the title, I’m going to look it up and read it again.

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We had to read these books in fifth grade, but I never minded the work involved because I loved these stories. With Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry especially. I went to the library and got all the other books in the series. When I finished them all, I was so upset that it ended that I wrote my own fanfiction of it. Not that I knew the term then.

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These aren’t so much children’s books, but I felt the need to add them here. I didn’t read as much as I got to middle school, but these books were my everything. I would get in trouble all the time for reading the Maximum Ride series in class. I never liked getting in trouble, but I just had to know what was going to happen. Though by the time I think the third or the fourth book came out I was over them. I think I read all the books that Lois Duncan had out. I would read them in one or two sittings because I was so captivated, and then I would immediately go to the library to get another one. This was also the time I picked up Harry Potter, and became obsessed with that. Then, for years Harry Potter books or fanfiction was the only thing I read.