Tuesday, September 12, 2017

SUYB: August Books

Show Us Your Books!
Erin's Challenge = COMPLETE!  I do not participate in the bonus round so I can give myself some time to read books that have been gathering e-dust on my e-shelves.

I fucking SLAYED some books this month.  Partially because many of these were in progress last month, but I kept breaking up my progress for library books, because return due dates are the wooorssttt.

Rating scale*:

1/5 - Hated it, didn't finish.
2/5 - Tolerated it on principle to finish, didn't like it.
3/5 - Eh, didn't love it, didn't hate it. Had some good parts/kept me interested/finished it on principle.
3.5/5 - I liked parts of it.
4/5 - I liked the whole thing.
4.5/5 - I liked it a lot, but not sure I'd read it again.
5/5 - I LURVED it and I'd read it again.

*Subject to change based on my mood, the phase of the moon, or other unpredictable variables.

Skimmers, stick with the bold text (TL;DR* parts).
PS. Possible spoilers included in reviews.

Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach  DNF/5 (library ebook)

Essentially, this book is a research paper on sex and orgasms and bodies and etc etc etc.  I think I would have been able to power through this as an audiobook because I could have just tuned the book out when it was droll.  As an ebook though, I had to pay attention to the words for, ya know, comprehension, and I just kept thinking to myself, this book is stupid and it feels like she just wants to talk about the clitoris to talk about the clitoris and I'm over it.  When the library took this book the first time, I requested it again, and then when it arrived I decided no mas.  #notsorry

This was a challenge book, so I substituted it with Beartown and had NO regrets.

TL;DR: Teenage Megan probably would have enjoyed the "educational yet risque" nature of this book, but Adult Megan was like, I'll figure it out myself, hard pass.

Morning Star by Pierce Brown  4.75/5 (Audible audiobook)

Books 1 and 2 of this trilogy sometimes felt like a slog, but this book SLAYED ME.  It was so good that at the end I was sending Kristen snaps about my feelings because I was so overwhelmed and needed to share them with someone who would understand.. and since she's the reason I read this trilogy, she was my victim.

Darrow finally ends the revolt that he started.  This entire series is a roller coaster and you never know who to trust and this book has ruined me for all other books because now I have trust issues.  #TRUSTNOONE  At the end, I had resigned myself to one ending, then BAM!  NOPE!  Megan was wrong!  All the tricksies were pulled on me and I was sad and glad and omg feelings!

In fact, when I finished this book, I didn't want to start another audiobook because I didn't want to end my book high from this book.  I have The Hope U Give on Audible waiting on me, but I just didn't want to lose my Golden Son feeling.

Also, there was great joy from all the Pax references.  That said, I didn't name our dog, Teh German did, but so much Pax in my life brought me so much joy.

TL;DR: This final book of the trilogy made up for the less enjoyable parts of books 1 and 2.  I WAS BLOWN AWAY by the ending and didn't see it coming.  I even almost cried at the very end and I'm heartless and it wasn't even PMS time.

A Dog's Journey (A Dog's Purpose #2) by W. Bruce Cameron  3/5 (hard copy)

A book about a dog who is reincarnated to take care of his human family.  This is book 2 and I probably could have lived without this book in my life.  Gloria was a horrible person and CJ's bulimia wasn't something I was super interested in.  I get it, people have problems that I shouldn't choose to ignore, but I just didn't dig this book (see what I did there?).  It is what it is.  If you want to read a from-the-dog's-perspective book, check out The Art of Racing in the Rain.
 TL;DR: I wanted to like these books, but I really didn't.  I finished this book since it was an easy enough read and there's a movie that I might watch one day.  Overall though, I'd pass on these book.  PS. Yappy dogs are annoying even in print, who knew.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate   3.75/5 (library ebook) 

I originally thought this was a kid's book, but I think the subject was a bit too heavy for a child.  It was a super easy read about an elephant and a gorilla who are used as an attraction at a mall with goals of eventually finding more of their own species.  Apparently, this book is based on a true story?  IDK.  It was entertaining enough and I used it as a challenge book substitute after a selection didn't get published.

TL;DR: An easy read that is geared towards NOT children about a showcase gorilla who can "paint".

Destiny’s Escape: A Greyhound’s Tale by Tony Feeherry  2/5 (free Amazon ebook)

Someone in one of my dog groups posted about this free book and I figured why not.  I'll tell you why not, this book is so obviously anti-greyhound racing, it was painful.  This is how children get brainwashed.  Horrible bias in this book and I was just not really that impressed.  I am mostly neutral on the subject of greyhound racing due to the increase in standards maintained at tracks now.  If this book had come out in the early 90's, then it would be different.

TL;DR: An anti-greyhound racing children's book.  Pass.

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer  4.25/5 (library audiobook)  

After finishing Cinder last month, I knew I'd be continuing on with The Lunar Chronicles, especially with Marissa Meyer coming to Charleston in November for YALL Fest.  I really enjoyed Scarlet.  I didn't enjoy the narrator's accent inconsistency, but I'm trying to overlook my OCD problems for the greater good.

I thought that the characters in the books would run parallel with each other, but eventually they overlapped, which I really enjoyed.  Cinder is obviously based on Cinderella while Scarlet is based on The Big Bad Wolf/Little Red Riding Hood, if you didn't assume that.  After dealing with all of Darrow's betrayals, I thought the worst of Wolf, and we'll see if his good behavior continues.

I did keep thinking to myself, "My what big eyes you have.  My what big teeth you have," during all of the descriptions of the wolf characters.  I can remember stories from before I started school, but I can't remember math from 12 years ago.  #ItsHardToBeMe

TL;DR: A play on Little Red Riding Hood and Cinder does eventually join in, because it's a series.  It sound weird, but it works well.  Good jorb, Meyer.

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley   4.5/5 (hard copy, own)

One of the books I bought from the bookstore in a trailer.  I had seen good things about it.  I wasn't disappointed.  This story follows Rachel and Henry.  Rachel doesn't want to tell people that her brother is dead and it makes things awkward, but I kinda get it.  She feels like a failure and doesn't want people to think that she's using her brother's death as an excuse for her poor choices.

Not to be punny, but this book feels like going swimming at night while the water is warm and you just float.  Refreshing, buoyant.  IDK, this was a book I didn't know I needed.  I enjoyed that it was about books and that the characters were original.

TL;DR: Coming of age story that isn't filled with too much drama and angst.

Cress by Marissa Meyer  4.5/5 (library audiobook) 

Continuing on with The Lunar Chronicles, Cress is based on Rapunzel.  As with Scarlet, all the characters eventually join up.  It didn't feel like there were too many characters, but maybe because you get to know them slowly in the first 2 books so it isn't overwhelming. 

In this book the characters pair off into couples, which I figured was bound to happen at some point.  I was glad and sad that Scarlet was abducted, because it would have been too perfect if she hadn't.  I mean, eventually, something bad has to happen, otherwise there is no book.

The little connect with Dr. Erlund and Cress were interesting touches, though I'm wondering if that will be relevant for anything else in the series.  I am interested to get more of Winter in the next book.

TL;DR: Book 3 of The Lunar Chronicles and probably my favorite of the 3 I've read.  Continuing on with Winter!

In Progress:

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy  */5 (hard copy, own)
-I bought this book at the traveling bookstore and I'm about halfway and so, so, so confused.

Winter by Marissa Meyer  */5 (library, ebook)
-Continuing the series. I need to get my hands on Fairest, but I own a hard copy of Stars Above so I can read the novellas when I finish.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas   */5 (Audible audiobook) 
-I started this after finishing Morning Star, but then library books came through, so I had to hit pause. I'm already hooked and I'm only 5% into the book.  I've heard so many good things about this one, so I'm excited to get to it.

On Deck:

Stars Above by Marissa Meyer  */5 (hard copy, own)

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver   */5 (library ebook)
-I started this one and got maybe one chapter into it when other library books for my challenge came in and this one was no longer a priority.  I was highly interested from the first few chapters, so I will probably check this back out before November since Lauren Oliver is one of the YALL Fest authors.

Nightmares! by Jason Segel, Kirsten Miller   */5 (library ebook)
Jason Segel is going to be in Charleston for YALL Fest and I already bought tickets to see his talk, so I wanted to read his book to be able to keep up with the conversation.  It seems to be aimed towards youths/young adults, but it's a "scary" book, so I'm not sure how young is too young.  The library took this back before I could finish it and I started the audio version (which is narrated by Segel), but I couldn't get into it and I needed to finish Scarlet before it expired.

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson  */5 (Audible audiobook)

Outlander 4-infinity, including the novellas (most of which happen to be contained in one handy dandy book).

YAY for books!
*TL;DR = too long, don't read


  1. At my library, Nightmares! is in the middle grade section. I haven't read it - though I do want too! He has a new one coming out this year that's YA.

    I LOVE the Lunar Chronicles. I've read Fairest - I liked it! - so I just need to read Winter so I can finally read Stars Above and Wires and Nerve.


    1. I was able to an ebook of Winter from my library, but they don't have the audiobook, which is a bummer. I don't know if I would get into Wires and Nerves, but it's a cool concept and I really enjoyed Iko.

  2. Huh, I always thought The One and Only Ivan was a kid's book as well.

  3. Scarlet & Wolf are my favorite! But for some reason we are fans of LRRH in my house.

    Fun fact: I went to the library this weekend and could not remember Word in Deep Blue. Literally just typed in "deep blue," which did not work.

  4. I loved Words in Deep Blue so much.

    I also didn't want to get off the high of the Red Rising series.

  5. I was so happy to be your 'victim' haha. seriously the 3rd book was my favourite. i am so glad you liked it.
    oh bummer about Ivan. i adored it, and sobbed like a crazy person. I still think it's a kids book, just not for young youngens.
    No spoilers but I adore Scarlet and Wolf. I was meh about Fairest. LOVED Winter and Stars Above (especially the story set after Winter) is all sorts of good. I can't tell you how happy I am that you are enjoying this series! It's one of my favourites and I love when other people love it. I need to re-read it.

  6. I also read Words in Deep Blue and Ivan this month! haha. Mostly share similar thoughts to your own. You have inspired me to get back into the Red Rising series, I've only read the first one but it sounds like it improves considerably!!!

    1. Oh, forgot to mention how much I also love the Lunar Chronicles...I think Winter was my favourite but I loved Cress too. Enjoy the end!!

  7. I loved the Red Rising series so much. And I also loved the Lunar Chronicles too. I am generally not a big short story fan but I really liked the short stories in Stars Above, especially the last one which takes places after Winter. Words in Deep Blue is already on my TBR and sounds great.

    1. I like to read the novellas after finishing the series to get extra details after the fact and to avoid spoilers.

  8. Fun fact: I am OBSESSED with Jason Segel

    The Hate U Give is amazing amazing amazing and I'm going to check out that Words book

  9. I am working my way through the lunar series and just got Winter last night, as soon as I finish my run tonight, I'm diving into it. I need to know how it all finishes ASAP!!

    I really loved Before I Fall! I've been recommending it to anybody who will listen to me. Excellent book! It still hunts me.

    1. I do, eventually, want to finish Before I Fall, it just wasn't in the cards this month. I want to read Winter badly, but I have an unfortunate homework problem. :(

  10. Sounds like you had some winners this month! Morning Star sounds really good.

  11. I'm so glad that you're enjoying The Lunar Chronicles! It was one of my favorite series I've ever read, and I was so sad when it was over! I still need to read the novellas though!

  12. The Red Rising Trilogy were some of my favourite books from last year. I loved the first and second book, and probably like the third book the least. It would have been five stars, but I wasn't so keen on the very end of it. But I'm excited to see there's another book coming out set a good few years after Morning Star so I can't wait to read that.

    This might actually be a series that I'd like to re-read sometime and I never re-read books.

    I still haven't got around to checking out The Lunar Chronicles even though I see nothing but good things about them. I'm definitely sticking these on my TBR for 2018! 2017 is already filled up haha!

    Here's to a great reading September!

  13. I have Words in Deep Blue on my TBR so I am glad you liked it. I read the first Dog's Purpose book and I enjoyed it but probably wont keep up with the series. One was enough for me. I still need to get around to the Lunar Chronicles!

  14. Oh fun. I loved the Lunar Chronicles. I read the main series last year, and I need to get to Stars Above, Wires, and Fairest someday. I loved Scarlet and Cress (the books) most. Glad you are enjoying them. I can't handle animal books, but i am glad you are enjoying them. Here from SUYB. :) XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

  15. I've heard of all of these (minus the first one) but read none. I don't, generally, do animal stories because I can't deal with sadness with animals. And never can I read or watch things about dogs. It's a weird tendency I picked up when I became a dog-owner.


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