July reading round-up

  • # of books read: 15
  • audiobooks listened to: 3
  • graphic novels read: 2
  • total page count: 4,402
  • year total page count: 28,874

This was a crazy month, and despite having a week of vacation, it wasn’t exactly *restful* vacation.  Plus with all the running around for the summer reading program at my library, and planning for the trip, I didn’t get as much reading in as I would have liked.

Chapter one… #empireofstorms #sarahjmaas #currentlyreading #bookstagram

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After waiting for what seemed like forever for the ebook of Empire of Storms to come in, I broke down and checked out the physical book.  I hadn’t realized how small the font is in these books – it made me feel old!  The book design, however, is quite nice (as you can see from the chapter headings, above).  But I still read it in under 2 weeks.  I felt a bit like this world is becoming too unwieldy and I enjoyed many of the side characters’ stories more than Aelin’s, but I’m still looking forward to the next book in the series.  Maybe now I can move on and read A Court of Thorns and Roses

I ❤️vintage YA #bookstagram #ninetieskids #ilovethenineties

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I read a bunch of vintage YA this month, largely thanks to a visit to the infamous Book Barn in Niantic, CT.  First up was After the First Death by Robert Cormier, which was just as dark as any of his others I’ve read.  The plot sounded similiar to Ransom (aka Five Were Missing) by Lois Duncan – children on a school bus held captive.  In this case, however, the ransomers were Middle Eastern terrorists who were ready to kill all the children to make a political statement if their demands were not met.

In a stroke of luck I found the entire Forbidden Game trilogy by L.J. Smith.  Look at those amazing neon covers!  The fast pace of the books brought me right back to my teen years.  I read a few reviews of Caraval that compared it to The Forbidden Game, but so far I’m not seeing too much by way of similarities aside from a character named Julian and the fact that they are playing a game.

One book I managed to read during one flight was The Lie by C.L. Taylor.  The description on the back was vague enough – four friends go on what promises to be an amazing trip and turns into a nightmare – that I had no idea what was in store.  Didn’t expect any of it!  This is a great thriller for anyone who liked Girl on the Train or In a Dark, Dark Wood (in other words, you kinda wanted to slap the narrator, but also you wanted to race to the end).

In bookish news, I visited the Trinity College Library on my trip to Ireland and it was just as amazing as I dreamed it would be.

I listened to a bunch of audiobooks this month.  One was The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and it was amazing, highly recommended! (I’ve been waiting months for the audio of this!).  The other two were duds I downloaded via AudiobookSYNC.  Beast by Donna Jo Napoli was another Beauty and the Beast remix and it was strange, to say the least (do I need to imagine the Beast as a lion, sniffing after the female lions?  Not really).  The other was Remember to Forget by Ashley Royer, a Wattpad fanfiction novel.  The premise was interesting but overall it was a bit boring.

I thought maybe I’d add a little superlatives list for my round-ups, so here goes…

  • Best Overall: The Hate U Give
  • Worst Overall: The Beast
  • Fastest Read: The Lie (under 6 hours)
  • Slowest Read: Empire of Storms (12 days)
  • Best Audio: The Hate U Give
  • Best Illustrations: Olympos

The full list:

  1. I Am a Hero book 1 by Kengo Hanazawa (graphic novel)
  2. Beast by Donna Jo Napoli (audiobook)
  3. After the First Death by Robert Cormier
  4. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (audiobook)
  5. Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5) by Sarah J. Maas
  6. Remember to Forget by Ashley Royer (audiobook)
  7. Olympos by Aki (graphic novel)
  8. Sextrap Dungeon by Kurt Knox
  9. The Hunter (The Forbidden Game #1) by L.J. Smith
  10. The Ghost Files by Apryl Baker
  11. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  12. The Lie by C.L. Taylor
  13. The Chase (The Forbidden Game #2) by L.J. Smith
  14. The Kill (The Forbidden Game #3) by L.J. Smith
  15. An Illustrated History of Notable Shadowhunters and Denizens of Downworld by Cassandra Clare, illustrated by Cassandra Jean

31 Days of Halloween, Day 18: Teen Witch

p11602_d_v8_aaIn one of my recent searches I stumbled across this beauty, which had been lost to my subconscious for a good reason.  From the opening that made me wonder if I had somehow accidentally turned on a Michael Bolton music video, to the odd musical numbers, this was a trip back to the 80s.  So many cliches!  The mean popular girls, the shoulder pads, the nerd who can somehow transform into a beauty who is obsessed with the jock (who has a heart of gold, naturally).

I definitely didn’t remember (or perhaps these things went over my head) the sex ed class wherein the class clown reels off a list of penis synonyms, or the nerd that the main nerd is tricked into going to a dance with who repeatedly tries to grope her.  But luckily our heroine is about to turn 16 and come into her witchy powers.  Now everything she wishes comes true!

So, why does she have to learn actual spells in Latin, when she can just wish her little brother to turn into a dog?  Who knows!  The next obvious step is getting the popular girls to turn on themselves and spell the jock to fall in love with her.  One of her clever plans is to have the jock come over to do schoolwork and she hides all the chairs in her room so they have to both sit on the bed.  Naughty, naughty!

Some of my favorite moments:

  • Teen witch pulls out a voodoo doll.  Mom: “Oh, isn’t that cute!”
  • Rap battle
  • Random saxophone solo
  • The bedazzled jean jacket, heels with ankle socks, hair teased to the sky

Want to experience a piece of the magic?

There are only a handful of other Halloween films that can compete with this, such as:

  • The Craft (1996) – Witches in full mid-nineties glory, but basically the same plot.
  • Hocus Pocus (1993) – This one stands the test of time much better than Teen Witch, but it’s still a lot of fun!
  • The Worst Witch (1986) – Tim Curry is so… dreamy?  This stars a young Fairuza Balk (of The Craft fame).  You really need to watch to the end for that awesomely awful musical number.