IMWAYR – September 26, 2016

ItsMondayGraphicThis week I read Once Upon a Dream, by Liz Braswell.  This is another wonderful book for my collection of flipped or twisted tales.  This takes my favorite princess movie, Sleeping Beauty, and asks the question “What if Sleeping Beauty never woke up?”

Aurora is living with Maleficent in the Thorn Castle.  She loves her adopted aunt, but life in the castle is quite boring.

One day, Aurora sees some strange dust mites.  They are colored and seem to speak to her.  Aurora decides to try to sneak out of the Thorn Castle.

Upon her escape from the castle, Aurora meets up with a prince.  They embark on a quest to beat Maleficent, awaken Aurora, and hope to escape the dream world they are all trapped in.  There are demons, returning memories, magic, action, and outwitting.

I loved this book!  It is a bit long (430+ pages).  However, there was action all the way through.  I loved how much the author stayed true to the Disney version of Sleeping Beauty (it was published by Disney presses), yet Aurora Rose discovers her true strength, intelligence, and grace to lead her kingdom.  She has compassion and bravery.  A true strong princess.  Great example of a strong woman!!

Well, this book and the huge amount of school work took my time this week!  Up next the he highly anticipated Danielle Paige book Stealing Snow that arrived on Thursday!  I’m excited to get started with it.  😀


IMWAYR – September 19, 2016

ItsMondayGraphicHappy Monday!  This past week I really got into a couple of books.  I mean, they were so good that I couldn’t put them down.  Interested?  Let’s check them out…..

First up, we have Shannon Hale and Dean Hale’s story of an awesome, crime-fighting princess, Princess in Black.  In this one we are introduced to our superhero princess, Princess Magnolia.  She has the nosy Duchess Wigtower over for hot cocoa.  Just then, the secret monster alarm goes off.  Magnolia excuses herself and takes on her ninja-like crime fighting identity – the Princess in Black!  The Princess in Black goes to save the goat herd and send the invading monster back to his land.

With gorgeous illustrations, fast moving plot, and engaging action, Princess in Black is a must read for children of all ages!

I then went in a different direction and read an amazing YA novel.  Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, tells the story of Melinda.  Melinda is a high school freshman who is suddenly outcast from her group of friends.  As the novel progresses, Melinda speaks less and less.  The reader discovers why she is not speaking, and the events surrounding the night that changed her life forever.

This powerful novel was a tough one to put down.  It is written without much dialogue, but rather, as a stream of consciousness type narrative.  Laurie Halse Anderson has said that she woke up one night from a nightmare to hear a girl screaming.  That inner girl is the character who became Melinda.  I loved the writing and totally relate to Melinda’s feelings of being lost within oneself.

Finally, I went back to one of the books on my TBR from last fall’s Children’s Lit class.  The Poet Slave of Cuba, by Margarita Engle, tells the story of Juan Francisco Manzano.  Juan was a slave in Havanna who is incredibly talented at reciting and creating poems and songs.  This biographical tale, adapted from Juan’s own autobiography, explores the confusion, frustration, and growth of this amazing poet.

I loved the verse writing style!  She truly attempted to keep close to the essence of Manzano.  His story is one of heartbreak, joy, pain, and love.  This was a true “book-a-day” read as I started and finished it in an afternoon!

Well, that’s what is up for this past week!  I am currently reading a twisted Sleeping Beauty tale and anxiously awaiting the arrival of Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige.  My Amazon account estimates I’ll get that one by Friday – a full 2 1/2 days post publication day.  I guess I have to survive though!

IMWAYR – September 12, 2016

ItsMondayGraphicIt’s Monday and I am actually blogging!  Actually, I’m writing on Sunday evening, but still…..  This is improvement!

This past week I finished up a pretty amazing YA mystery novel.  Ripper, by Stefan Petrucha, follows Carver, a young teen in late 1800’s New York.  He is adopted by an eccentric old detective.  His new mentor, Mr. Hawking, wants him to discover the identity of his father from a mysterious note left at the orphanage for Carver.

In the course of his search for his father, there are a series of grisly murders.  Carver, his friends, and the secret detective agency led by Mr. Hawking, work to discover where this Jack the Ripper is, and hope to stop the murders.

I really liked this book.  There were a few chapters in the early-middle that were slow, but I enjoyed all of the action and mystery.  I also liked that the author gave me some clues, just like Carver, but left some unknown.  It made for a great ending!

I also dove into and devoured the second prequel novella to Stealing Snow, the upcoming novel by Danielle Paige.  In this installment, Queen Rising, we find Margot and her brother Go are being sold by their poor, abusive mother for money.  Margot is adopted by the Witch of the Woods and goes to the Hollow to learn magic.

Well, a book isn’t good if there are no twists.  Paige does not fail in this at all!  After a few years, Margot is banished/sent out from the Hollow because she is not learning magic.  Desperate, she ends up taking up with a robber.  He teaches her the trade.  Margot’s brother Go, who has grown up as the companion/friend of the Prince, tells Margot to leave and not visit him anymore.
What’s a girl to do?  You have to read the novella to find out!

Side note:  Someone remind me to not to read Danielle Paige’s prequel novellas before I have the upcoming novel in my hot little hands.  This is really KILLING me waiting until next week!

That’s it for this week!  I’ve got some good ones coming up in the TBR pile.  Tune in next week to see what I’ve read!

Reading Update

I really, really wish that I had more discipline when it came to updating the blog!  Oh well, I’m going to change it now by letting you know what I’ve read in the last three or so weeks!

I have posted reviews/stars on my Goodreads feed, so if you want to know more about these books and what I thought, visit the sidebar to the right!  —>

Novels and “Fun” Reads

I haven’t quite kept up with my Book a Day plan, but I have read some amazing books!

The Devil Wears Prada, by Lauren Weisberger – a deliciously indulgent read and different from the film.  If you liked the movie, read the book!

We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart – a twisted and turning book about a teenage girl and her crazy family.  Read this if you liked The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl, or other psychological explorations/thrillers.


Flora and Ulysses:  The Illuminated Adventures, by Kate DiCamillo – follow young Flora, her romance writer mother, crazy neighbor, odd nephew of crazy neighbor, her odd father, and a super squirrel (!) as they embark on some adventures.  Cute and engaging.  Read this if you are ready to step up from graphic novels or illustrated novels like Wimpy Kid, or if you believe in superpowers.

Nine, Ten:  A September 11 Story, by Nora Raleigh Baskin – I’ve never been one to read extensively about the events of that fateful September – neither fiction nor nonfiction.  However, my YA Lit social media was absolutely blowing up with reviews of this work.  I got it on release day (thanks Amazon!) and I was not disappointed.  The book follows four middle school students in the days leading up to the attack.  The book was brilliant, touching, honest, and real.  Enough said!

Order of the Wicked, by Danielle Paige – another prequel installment from the amazingly twisted Oz of Danielle Paige.  I can’t wait for the next novel – or for her new series beginning up soon with Stealing Snow.  Read this if you enjoy twisted tales, revisits of some of your favorite characters, or if you want an intense and amazing read!


What Alice Forgot, by Liane Moriarty – imagine waking up 10 years in the future and not remembering anything in between.  That’s what happens to Alice.  Moriarty takes us through Alice’s life in snatched memories of the last 10 years.  A perfect summer read filled with confusion, clarity, and self-discovery.

Well, that’s enough for now.  Check out my Goodreads feed to see the textbooks I read in the last few weeks too!

How is your summer reading going?  Let’s chat!

IMWAYR – May 30, 2016


It is the last Monday in May!  Yikes – where has the year gone?

This past week I did more traveling back and forth to college.  This meant more audio book time.  I am really enjoying Inkheart as an audio book.  In fact, I am not sure that I will ever decide to watch the movie.  I just cannot picture Brenden Fraser as Mo.  I hope to finish up the audio book sometime in the next couple of weeks!

I finished reading Fallout by Ellen Hopkins.  I really liked how the story is told through the eyes of Kristina’s eldest three children.  I made a lot of connections between the choices they were making and the choices their mother made.  However, I think that the most interesting part is the afterward written by the real “Kristina”.  Ellen Hopkins has made no secret that the story is modeled after the struggles her daughter faced when fighting the Monster.  The afterward explores “Kristina’s” thoughts about the books, her struggle with the Monster, and the choices she has made.  I LOVED that part most!!

Finally, thanks to a long weekend, I completed a #bookaday yesterday.

Some Girls Are, by Courtney Summers follows Regina Afton in the weeks following a crazy high school party.  At the party, her “BFF” Anna is passed out drunk.  Anna’s boyfriend Donnie rapes Regina.  Frightened and disoriented, Regina finds herself at “friend” Kara’s house immediately following the attack.  That his where things go upside down and sideways for Regina.

Instead of being supported and embraced by her friends, Regina finds herself frozen out of the friend circle, dumped by her boyfriend, and bullied on a daily basis.  All because Kara told Anna that Regina slept with Donnie.  The novel follows Regina in her attempts to deal with losing her friend group, boyfriend, popularity, and reputation.  Regina starts a very uncertain friendship with an outcast named Michael – but is he all she wants or needs him to be?  How will she survive the rest of her senior year?

This book was intense, but it was great!  I definitely recommend you read it.

So, what did you read this week?

IMWAYR – May 23, 2016

ItsMondayGraphicGreetings readers!

I am not even going to lie.  Not enough reading for fun is going on in my life.

Sure, we all have our excuses.  If you don’t want to read mine, scroll down to the next part and I’ll tell you my progress!

The Excuses (in no particular order)
  1. Taking Block is a lot more time intensive than I thought it would be.  Not only is there class M-F for three hours, but then there are homework assignments too.
  2. Online classes on top of in person classes is actually harder than I thought.
  3. I spent a lot of time getting things organized so I can graduate in a year.  That took longer than I expected.
  4. Driving 6 hours a week is exhausting.  Although, the audio book is going well.

All in all though, I am really enjoying Block.  I love my classmates and it is great to get to hang out together all week!

Now, the reading progress!

The audio book thing is going pretty well for me though.  I’m listening to Inkheart and am really enjoying it.  There are times during my drive when the reader kind of sounds monotone.  I do occasional crank on the tunes instead of the audio book, but I am really enjoying it!

I am also reading through the final book in the Crank series.  Fallout is just as good, if not better, than the previous two.  What is great about this installment is that the narrative POV changes between Bree/Kristina’s various children.  I had to renew it from the library, but I am really, really, really loving it!

Well, that’s it for now!  What have you been reading?

IMWAYR – May 16, 2016

ItsMondayGraphicThis week was my first week of Block out in Chadron.  I had 6 hours of driving this week – 3 hours each way. One of my summer reading plan elements was to add some audio books into my repertoire.  I didn’t do any audio books this week, but I did listen to some amazing podcasts.

Reading With My Ears

On the way out I finished the second season of the Serial podcast.  If you haven’t listened to the podcasts, I highly recommend them. Season 1 was better than Season 2, but they both are good.  Check out their site here.

On the way back, I spent some time listening to the Book Love Foundation’s Podcast.  Penny Kittle and her collaborators shared stories of matching students with the perfect book.  They also talk about some really awesome books-including All American Boys, one of my faves this past semester!  Check out the Book Love Foundation’s podcast site here.

Now….on to the book!

This week I read a book that has been on my Kindle for a little while.  Deleted, by Ashley Cunningham, tells Elsie’s story.  Elsie, a high school junior who has been hiding her acceptance to NYU from her mom and hangs out with her best friend Miles, gets a threatening email.  This is followed by increasingly intense and threatening messages.

Overall, this wasn’t my favorite book I have read.  There were some plot twists that were expected.  Other than a lackluster ending, I also struggled with the grammar and spelling errors that were present throughout the book.  It was hard for me to get past them.

Coming up this week….

I went to the library and checked out two different audio books.  I’ll try out Inkheart on audio book this week.  Hopefully, my drive will be a great time for me to finish reading this YA book that I got into this past semester.

I don’t know if Book a Day is going to be feasible, but I am still trying to get a lot of reading in.  Tune in next week to find out what I get through!

What did you read this week?  Got any audio book suggestions?