Thursday, 18 January 2018

Winter Biannual Bibliothon 2018

One of my favorite read-a-thons to participate in is the Biannual Bibliothon. The winter one is happening January 20-26. There are seven challenges for this round and I have doubled up on a few.

Seven Challenges, maybe 7 books:



1. Read the group book: The group picked is Otherworld by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller. I am in the middle of reading Otherworld. I put it down because I started the Diviners by Libba Bray.
I am super excited to get back into this book because I was really enjoying it.



2. Read a sequel: Maybe Not by Colleen Hoover.
I have not read Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover and I need to. Maybe Not will work for one other challenge and that is why I selected it. So I may have to read Maybe Someday during the read-a-thon as well.


3. Read a book you have never heard of before: The Light of Paris by Eleanor Brown
I picked this book up from a used book sale a while back because I remembered Bree Hill talk about it on her YouTube Channel but I have since forgotten what it is about.



4. A book about mental illness: A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis Or The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime

I am not sure if A Madness So Discreet deals with mental illness. On the back of the book it says that the main character is locked away in an insane asylum so I'm not sure if she is struggling with a mental illness or if she was just forced into an insane asylum by her family.

Another book I have was actually on a mental illness book list on Goodreads and that is The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-Time. I have no idea what this is about but I have heard great things about it.

I might read one or both. Not sure at the moment. (If you have read A Madness So Discreet please let me know in the comments if the main character has a mental illness.)



5. Read a book mentioned in another book: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter was mentioned in A List of Cages by Robin Roe. (Order of the Phoenix was mentioned but I have not read any of the Harry Potter books so I am going to read the first book.)



6. Read a book under 200 pages: Maybe Not by Colleen Hover
This is the only book that I own that is under 200 pages.

7. Read a book that was published before 2017: The Light of Paris by Eleanor Brown


That is my stack of books for the winter Biannual Bibliothon.

If you are participating in the Biannual Bibliothon let me know what you plan on reading.

I hope you have a good day.
~Mariah

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Thoughts on The Girl in the Spiders Web by David Lagercrantz

The Girl in the Spiders Web is the fourth book in the Millenium Series. If you did not know the original author Stieg Larsson died thirteen years ago but David Lagercrantz was picked up to continue the storyline that Stieg Larsson created.



Since this is the fourth book in the series I am going to be talking about the other books briefly and I want to get into a spoiler discussion on this book so if you do not want to be spoiled for the previous books or this novel I would leave now.




I read the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo right after I watched the movie. Normally, I would not have done that but I did not know that it was a book series before watching the film. I remember that my best friend and I wanted to go see a movie together. (This was when the American version with Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig came out). I remember seeing the trailer for the movie and how it was this murder mystery with that this punk girl riding around the city on a motorcycle. We were both intrigued and saw the movie. We had no idea that it was rated R or what the majority of the premise of this movie was. It was a shock watching the movie but after exiting the theatre all I wanted to do was run to Walmart to see if they had the book.

Luckly, they did and I immediately started reading it. I remember being so engrossed in this series that I told my grandmother about it. I talked about it so much that she started reading it too.

I remember that when I finished the third book in this series I wanted more. I wanted more mysteries for Salander and Blomkvist to solve. The ending of the third book just left me hanging. I knew that there had to be more books with these characters. That is when I did some digging, found out that Stieg Larrson died, and all the controversy surrounding his partner and the series.

With all of what I read regarding how the family dealt with his estate I really had no interest in continuing with the series. I knew that they were in the process of finding another author to pick up where Stieg Larsson had left the series but I just lost interest. I felt like no one could do Lisbeth and Mikael justice.

Which brings me to now...

Last week I was scrolling through the books on my library app and there was a section that said something like "soon to be movies 2018" so I scrolled through that section. That is when I found The Girl in the Spiders Web. I thought 'There is no way this is happening'. Well I was wrong. They are skipping books two and three to make book four a movie. (I know that there are the Swedish versions of the series and I have watched them. It just seems weird that they are skipping some pretty big events in this series by making book four into a movie.)

Anyway after hearing that there is going to be another movie and that there is a new book, The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye, I wanted to give this series another chance. I did not have high hopes going in, like I said earlier, no one can do Lisbeth and Mikael like Steig Larsson.

Honestly I was right. This book for me felt hollow.

According to Goodreads I read the original trilogy about four years ago. So I don't remember the small details in the trilogy and I am not sure what I wanted out of this story but I expected more from Lisbeth and Mikael.
On the cover it says A Lisbeth Salander Novel well I don't think that there was much of Salander in the novel. She was brought up more at the end because she was taking care of August but she was not the main person in the novel and neither was Blomkvist. To me it felt like I got more from the cops than I did the two main characters of this series.

I understand that the cops are supposed to be brought up a bit because this book deals with the corruption of the government but it was just to much.

I wanted more interaction from Mikael and Salander. They corresponded very briefly in this novel and it was kind of upsetting. They are supposed to be a team.

A few things that just made me angry:
There is a rape torture scene in this novel that is completely unnecessary. Zander gets raped and tortured by a women whose name is escaping me. (I listened to this book on audio and this was just terrible.) I did not want to go back and listen to find her name.

 There is a scene at the end of the book where a man was talking about how drunk him and his partner were and how he had sex with her so many times. (Very Uncomfortable to sit through. Completely unnecessary.)

This next bit did not make me angry per se but I just do not understand why it was done this way. What I am talking about is that in this book the author announces characters like Lisbeth and Mikael; telling the readers who they are and what they do. This is book four in a series I do not need the author to reiterate for me that Mikael is a journalist at Millenium Magazine and that Lisbeth is this renowned hacker.

The last thing that really got to me, I touched on this earlier, is that Mikael and Lisbeth do not meet again until the end of the book. This to me is very infuriating for a few reasons, the first is that they are the main characters of this series they should meet up more than once. I get that this story dealt with being under the radar but still. The second reason that this made me mad is because the ending felt like the same ending from the third book. I remember at the end of the third book they finally meet up again and they agree to be friends and to hear the same ending almost for this book is just irritating.

After I finished this book I was super excited to start the next one. I guess I was just on a book high or something but now that I think about it more I do not want to. I have also seen some of the reviews for this next book and they are not good.

I don't think I ever mentioned this but I gave this book 2 stars.

So there are all my rambly thoughts on this book and the soon to be movie. I have no idea if I am going to see the movie or not. I am going to wait and watch trailers for the movie. Then I'm going to decide.

If you have read this book let me know what you thought.

I hope you have a great day.
~Mariah


Sunday, 7 January 2018

6 Books That I Would Like To Read In 2018

I set my reading goal on Goodreads at twelve books for this year.

I want this year to be stress free. I stressed myself out last year over the number of books I was reading, if I was going to complete the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge, and if I was going to participate in the many read-a-thons that I was interested in.

I am not doing that to myself this year. My goal this year for reading (and my personal life) is not to stress.

If I don't read these six books this year or complete my reading challenge thats okay and I am putting these six books aside because I feel like it is always good to set a goal for myself.

On to the books...



1. Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

I read the Diviners (book 1 in this series) last month and was blown away. I love that book and cannot wait to continue on with the series.

If you do not know about the Diviners it is a murder mystery paranormal book set in 1920s New York. There is a whole bunch of characters and you follow their journey to find this serial killer.

2. Before The Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray
This is book three in the Diviners series.

3. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
All I know about this book is that it is about four broke college students moving to New York.

4. Tales From The Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Breenan, Maureen Johnston, and Robin Wasserman
This is a collection of novellas from the shadowhunter world. I believe they follow Simon but I could be wrong. I want to read this, Lady Midnight, and Lord of Shadows in preparation for Queen of Air and Darkness.

5. Beautiful Bastard or Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren
I just finished Roomies by Christina Lauren and I need to read more from them. I have Dating You/Hating You and the first book in the Beautiful Bastard series. I am just unsure which I want to read next.
I am not sure what Beautiful Bastard is about and I think that Dating You/Hating You is a love to hate story.

6. The Arsonist by Stephanie Oakes
I think that this book is about a murder mystery and how a diary helps them solve the murder. I could be wrong.
I really enjoyed The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes and I am excited to read more of her work.

Those are the six books that I would love to get to this year. What books do you want to read this year?

Thanks for reading!
I hope you have a good day!
~Mariah

2017 Pop Sugar Reading Challenge Review

I tried to finish the challenges for the pop sugar reading challenge last year.

Even though I did not complete all the challenges I am glad that I was able to mark a few off.

I am going to list the challenges and the ones that I did not complete are highlighted.

1.  A book recommended by a librarian.
2.  A book that has been on your TBR way too long
3.  A book of letters
4.  An Audiobook- Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
5.  A book by a person of color
6.  A book with one of the four seasons in the title
7.  A book that is a story within a story-The Diviners by Libba Bray
8.  A book with multiple authors-Let it Snow by John Green, Lauren Myracle, Maureen Johnson
9.  An espionage thriller- The Sacred Lies of Minnow By by Stephanie Oakes
10.  A book with a cat on the color
11.  A book by an author who uses a pseudonym- Fifty Shades Freed by E. L. James 
12.  A bestseller from a genre you don't normally read- Grey by E. L. James
13.  A book by or about a person who has a disability
14.  A book involving travel
15.  A book with a subtitle- Stars Between the Sun and Moon: One Woman's Life in and Escape to Freedom by Lucia Jang and Susan McClelland
16.  A book that's published in 2017- Darker by E. L. James
17.  A book involving a mythical creature
18.  A book you've read before that never fails to make you smile
19.  A book about food
20.  A book with career advice
21.  A book from a nonhuman perspective
22.  A steampunk novel
23.  A book with a red spine- Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
24.  A book set in the wilderness
25.  A book you loved as a child- Matilda (I never read the book as a child but I loved the movie.)
26.  A book by an author from a country you've never visited- I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
27.  A book that has a characters name in the title- The Giver by Lois Lowry
28.  A book set during war time
29.  A book with an unreliable narrator- Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker
30.  A book with pictures- Saga Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
31.  A book where the main character is a different ethnicity than you
32.  A book about an interesting woman- Girl Boss by Sophia Amoruso
33.  A book set in two different time periods
34.  A book with a month or day of the week in the title
35.  A book set in a hotel- Thanks For The Trouble by Tommy Wallace
36.  A book written by someone you admire- I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
37.  A book becoming a movie in 2017- Fifty Shades Darker by E. L. James
38.  A book set around a holiday other than Christmas
39.  The first book in a series you haven't read before- Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James
40.  A book you bought on a trip
Advanced:
41.  A book recommended by an author you love
42.  A bestseller from 2016- Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
43.  A book that has a family member term in the title- Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan
44.  A book that takes place over a characters life span
45.  A book about an immigrant or refugee
46.  A book from a genre/sub-genre you've never hear of 
47.  A book with an eccentric character
48.  A book thats more than 800 pages
49.  A book you got from a used book sale
50.  A book that's been mentioned in another book
51.  A book about a difficult topic
52.  A book based on mythology- Norse Mythology by Neil Gaimen

If you participated in this reading challenge I would love to hear about what books you read for the challenges.

Thank you for reading.
I hope you have a good day!
~Mariah

Friday, 5 January 2018

What Happened in December

The fall semester ended this past month and I had some time to get somethings done. I read some books and watched some shows/movies.

Books

Darker by E.L. James 2.5-3 Stars
I had no intention of reading this Darker but when I looked at the ratings for this book on Goodreads it was really high (over 4 stars) so I decided to give it a chance. 
I was not impressed by this book. I did like that there was more to Christian in this book but other than that I was not blown away, which I did not go into this book to be blown away.

There are a few things that drove me crazy while reading this book:
1. I didn't like that Christian kept calling Jose boy.
2. I was getting very tired and frustrated with Christians self-loathing. I get he does not have high self-esteem but I feel like every page he would mention some self-loathing comment. It was okay for a the first few chapters but after that it just made me want to chuck the book. 
3. Possession of Ana. I guess I just forgot how possessive he is in the series. It was a lot to handle in this book.

The Diviners by Libba Bray 4.5-5 Stars

I wasn't sure what I would think of this book going in but the synopsis of this blew me away. Its a murder mystery set in 1920s New York. There are multiple points of view and some of these characters have powers.

That is what I was told about this book and oh my gosh! I was just blown away. I finished this book in a matter of days. I borrowed the ebook and the audiobook from this library app that I have. I was glad that I could borrow both at the same time. It really helped me get through it so quickly especially when I drove to my moms house which is two hours away from where I live.

What I loved:
-The setting. Libba Bray writing painted the picture of New York so vividly that I thought I was there.
-The mystery. I was on the edge of my seat. I wanted to know what was going to happen so bad that I had the audiobook playing at a fast speed.
-The cast of characters. It has been a while since I've read a book with so many characters and I loved it.

What I did not like:
-The love triangle. There was not a love triangle per se but who Evie fell for at the end of the book ( I do not want to ruin it for you if you haven't read it.) I just did not like how that was handled. I'm not mad about who she ended up with, just her thought process when it came to her friend was what got me.

This book is definitely one of my favorites. I wasn't even half way through with this book when I ran out to Books A Million and bought the next two.  


Movies
The Spirit of Christmas
I was scrolling through Netflix for a Christmas movie and I found this one. I will let you know that this movie is very cheesy and sometimes cringe worthy. The dialogue is not the best and the acting at times is terrible but it was exactly what I wanted.

The Greatest Showman
I went to the movies to see this opening night and I think that everyone should see this. I love it!
I love:
-how the movie was shot
-the songs
-the plot
-the choreography

I want to go and watch this movie again. If you are at all interested in circus movies or musicals you should check this out. 

Watching this movie made me happy, angry, and sad. I cried twice.

From the very beginning it is just amazing. When the movie started I got goosebumps.

TV Shows
Beauty and the Beast
I started watching the TV show on Netflix this past month. I remember watching it when it first came out but I fell behind on episodes.
It is not as great as I remembered it to be. The dialogue is not the best and the plot is repetitive but I have enjoyed watching it again. I have 4-5 episodes left in the last season and I can't wait to see how it all ends.

Let me know what books, TV shows, and movies that you read and watched this past month. 

Thank you for reading. 
I hope you have a great day!
~Mariah


Thursday, 2 November 2017

What I read and watched in October

I actually read a decent amount of books this month. Since starting this semester I feel like I have hardly read anything but this month I feel like I made a dent in the books that I brought with me and bought recently.



1. Tell me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum: 4 stars
What I enjoyed:
1. The emails, texts, and IMs
2.  The growth of the family unit
3. The friendships

This book is marketed as like a contemporary with a mystery twist. The mystery isn't really a mystery. I guessed who SN was within the first few chapters. It was nice though being able to see the main character go through the journey to figure out who SN is.
There were times where the book became slow but I still kept on reading because I was dying to see how she figured it out.

The one thing that I kept thinking the entire book was how he got her email. I don't think it was ever mentioned in the book how he got her email. Which I know to some isn't a big deal but it kinda is to me. I guess I just stress over the small stuff.

(If it turns out that this was mentioned in the book please let me know. Maybe I forgot...)

If you are looking for a cute contemporary I would recommend this.

2. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaimen: 3 stars

This book is a collection of stories about Norse Mythology and I thought it was okay. I started this book a couple months ago. I mainly listened to it when I was driving or walking to class.

If you are really interested in Norse Mythology I would recommend it  but if you are on the fence maybe borrow it from the library.

3. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai



I am not going to rate this book because I don't like rating memoirs or biographies but I want to tell you that I love this book. I started and finished this book in a day. I borrowed the audiobook from the library app that I have and turned it on while I ate breakfast and ran errands. It is completely inspiring and tear jerking. I was in the frozen food section at Wal-Mart and I thought I was going to start crying.
I think that everyone should read this book.

(I am not going to give a summary for this book because I feel like the title gives an accurate summary of the book.)

4. Matilda by Roald Dahl: 4 stars
I had never read this book as a kid but I remember watching the movie all the time. I needed something to listen to so I borrowed this. I liked the book. I felt like it was a good book to movie adaptation. In a way I felt like I was watching the movie as I was listening. I could see the scenes while they were being told.

What the book is about:
Matilda's family doesn't pay attention to her. She stays at home during the day while her dad goes to work, her mom goes to bingo, and her brother goes to school. One day she found out about books and the library, which is where she spends most of her days. Matilda also finds out that she is telekinetic and things get kind of crazy from there.



5. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green: 4.5-5 stars

This book is great. I was super excited to read this when it was released. I read this in a matter of days. This book is emotional, intriguing, and addicting. I didn't want to stop reading this. I would recommend this to people but be warned if you have anxiety or compulsive tendencies you might not want to pick this up. The main character suffers from severe anxiety and she does some compulsive things to calm her anxiety.
It is very hard for me to decide if I want to rate this a 4.5 or a 5 stars. This book is going to stick with me for a long time just like TFIOS will. This book will probably be one of my favorites of the year. I just can't fully decide how I feel right now.

What this book is about:
Mr. Pickett, the owner of a huge company, has gone missing just days before the police were going to arrest him. Since Mr. Pickett has disappeared there is a money offer on the table to find out where he could be hiding. Daisy thinks that it is a good idea to get involved to try and find Mr. Pickett so she can get the reward. Daisy talks to her best friend Aza about it. Aza knew Mr. Pickett's son, Davis, when they were younger and Daisy thinks that Aza could help her find Mr. Pickett. Aza is apprehensive about helping Daisy. She doesn't want to get involved but she gets sucked in. Aza struggles daily with her thoughts of catching diseases that will kill her. She does things every day to help her ensure, in her mind, that she does not and will not get a disease and die.
While they investigate where Mr. Pickett might be hiding Aza reconnects with Davis. (The story takes off from there.)

Shows:

I started watching The Gifted this month and it looks like its going to be good. If you like superhero shows I would check this out.

I also started re-watching True Blood this month. I am on Season 5 right now. I forgot how funny this show can be. If you want a good vampire show I would recommend True Blood. Be advised it is not for children.

Let me know what you guys read or watched this month I would love to know.
Thanks for reading.
I hope you have a wonderful day!
~Mariah

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Books I read and TV Shows I've watched in September

Hey everyone!
Today I just want to chat about the book I read and the TV shows I watched in September.



The only book that I completed in September was Emma In The Night by Wendy Walker.

What this book is about:
Cass returns home after being gone for years. Her family didn't know what happened to her or her sister. They were kidnapped. Cass was able to escape this island that her and her sister Emma were trapped on. Cass has made it her mission now to go and rescue Emma.

I gave this a 4.5/5 stars. I really enjoyed this book. The reason that I gave the book a 4.5 instead of a 5 stars is because there are things in this book that lead me to guess the ending. I didn't guess all of the ending but parts.
I still think that this is still a book worth reading if you haven't already. This will probably be on my list of favorites for the year.


I watched:
1. I started and finished Sense8 on Netflix and I love it.
Took me only a few days to finish. You need to watch it. I am not going to tell you anything about this series. I went into it barely knowing anything and I loved trying to figure out how it all connected.

2. I finished American Horror Story Seasons 1-5 (season 6 isn't on Netflix).
I started watching American Horror Story in August I believe. I originally started watching the series when Hotel aired. My mom and siblings were raving about the show so I watched that season first. I wanted to start from the beginning because season 7 was coming out. (Its already out. I believe there are six episodes so far.) I am enjoying this season so far. Its interesting.
If I had to rank the seasons I think this is how I would rank them:
1. is a tie between Hotel and Murder House
2. Asylum
3. Freakshow
4. Coven
5. Roanoke (I didn't watch all of the episodes when it aired. Think I got 4-5 episodes before I stopped.)

If you have watched AHS how do you rank the seasons?

3. The Good Doctor
I just watched the pilot and I am impressed. This reminds me of a lighthearted version of House.



Winter Biannual Bibliothon 2018

One of my favorite read-a-thons to participate in is the Biannual Bibliothon. The winter one is happening January 20-26. There are seven cha...