Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon

I'm going to be participating in my first readathon ever with Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon next Saturday.  It starts at seven AM for me so I'm taking that as a good sign I can do it.  If it had started late at night or too early in the morning I wouldn't have been able to stay away for it and would have been demotivated.
I've already got a small stack of books that I think are doable for it.  I have a classic, a Newbery book, a book that's been on my shelf awhile and a book I want to read just because.

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
The Beach House by Jane Green
Somewhere in Time by Richard Matheson

If I don't have Moby-Dick done by then (which I probably won't since I'm only 300 pages in right now) and I finish these four then I'm going to spend the rest of my time working on that beast.

Getting three of these books (minus Winn-Dixie since it belongs to my girls) out of my bookcase and into my rummage sale pile makes me very excited!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Boo by Neil Smith *review*

I won Boo by Neil Smith through a Goodreads giveaway a few weeks ago and after a rough start I pretty much zoomed through the rest.

This book is beautiful.  I love the colors and how the picture ties into the story. And the inside flap was also a nice surprise.

Each chapter is numbered according to the periodic table and while I think the author took used numerous numbers at once just to advance us closer to the 106 number, I was really glad to see a different way of using the chapters.

To be honest I must have only skimmed through the summary before I entered the contest because I assumed this was going to have a bit more of a horror element in it based on the title, the creepy cover and the fact that it's about a dead boy.  When I read the first 50 or so pages I was so confused as to what I was actually reading that I got on Goodreads to read some of the reviews already posted.  A lot of them mention that this book is similar to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time and my heart sunk a little because I really didn't enjoy that book.  After I made it through the introductory part of the book the pace picked up a little and I wasn't quite so leery of it.

Boo is a thirteen year old boy who believes he died of a medical condition and wakes up in a surreal form of heaven where everyone who dies is divided by their age and country.  While this is an interesting and new take on heaven, I'm a little confused as to what happens if you're a newborn baby that dies.  Boo makes it a point to explain that life in heaven is pretty much the same as on Earth where you need to eat and can be hurt (even though you heal quicker).  Even though you exist in this version of heaven for fifty years you may grow wiser but your body never ages so can you imagine living for fifty years in the body of a two year old?  I think that up to at least age six or seven it would be impossible for these rules to apply and I wish that had been explained.

Johnny was my favorite character because you could tell he kept an enormous amount of secrets close to his heart.  A part of me thinks that he might have had a little bit of a crush on Boo back in their real lives and I am completely on board with that because it explains why he does everything that he does for him throughout the book.  Even though he arrives at heaven five weeks later than Boo he quickly turns into the leader of their little group and tries to protect Boo and build up his confidence.  He smirked a lot, though.  Pretty much every chapter had someone smirking and it was almost always Johnny.

A book with an autistic narrator is interesting and I'm glad we didn't have the same boring old character like 99% of other YA novels.  On the other hand, autism is very clinical and matter of fact and I feel like it was hard to connect with Boo through most of the book.  It wasn't until towards the end that we kind of cracked his shell and got to really feel for him. 

The side characters were all colorful and full of personality and once again, extremely glad that Smith included so many different types of people.  We had a girl with dwarfism, an African-American and another African-American who suffered from vitiligo. 

The twist in the middle of the book was easily read from a mile away but I loved how the twist slowly unraveled the further you read and up until the very end you were still confused as to what actually happened. 

Boo and the portal was a little bit of a deus ex machina and I didn't enjoy that part much.  Too much had changed and it was a little jarring to have him out in the real world even if it was for only a chapter.

Overall I enjoyed this book and I'm glad I got the chance to read and review it even if it wasn't what I was expecting. 

3/5 stars

Friday, April 10, 2015

My Insta Life

Have I mentioned I love Instagram?  I have?  A couple of times?  Oops.
I go back and forth on having a Facebook (I've been deactivated for two weeks and loving every second!) so it's nice to have a page that I can post pictures of things that make me smile and not have to deal with drama, drama, drama every second.

For example, I can ask my kids to clean out their bookcases because every dollar we make selling junk this year is going into our Disney World Food Fund.
Look at how many they got rid of in one afternoon!  And it didn't even make a dent in their bookcases.  We have an addiction.

I can take part in the CleanHouse2k15 program myself and fill the back of my living room up with junk, junk and more junk.
This was another long afternoon spent cleaning.  As you can see there are even more books in this pile.  Honestly this pile goes out to the shed every few weeks and it's only a matter of days before it's this high again.  Where is all the stuff coming from?  Surely I will start seeing my floor any day now, right?

My most-posted pictures are of books (I told you we are addicted).  I love seeing pictures of other people's current reads so I just throw mine out there as well.
I finished The Three Musketeers last month, a long-running TBR of mine.  It wasn't the best book ever but I passed many a beautiful afternoon relaxing at the table with this book and a hot cup of coffee.

Speaking of books (aren't we always speaking of books over here?), I recently won a box of books from the amazing blog Jump Into a Book and was so excited to come home from work and see it sitting on my front steps.
We haven't read them yet because right now Bug is only letting me read Little House on the Prairie to her, but they are in our book basket and a full review will come once we finish off the second book in the Little House series.

Another book I've recently received was the absolutely amazing Orhan's Inheritance by Aline Ohanesian.  I won this in a Goodread's giveaway and could not put it down.  Please, please if you're looking for a new book to read do yourself a favor and look this one up.

And lastly, another thing I enjoy sharing are pictures of my zoo.  Minus the kids.  I don't really post my girls.  But my BOY.  He gets featured quite regularly.  I love you, sweet man.