Thursday, October 24, 2013

Happy Friday!

Hello!

I am not really a morning person, so a lot of my posts will be for the next day.  So happy Thursday for those of you reading this today.

I will be going out of town this weekend and *might* not be able to get a MMGM together for you guys. Sorry!

I promise that there will be something awesome on November 3rd ready for you guys! Yay!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Middle Grade Monday: Counting By 7s

Today I've decided to change the format of my MMGM.  Hopefully, you'll like it!

This week's MMGM is Counting By 7s.


Goodreads says:

In the tradition of Out of My Mind, Wonder, and Mockingbird, this is an intensely moving middle grade novel about being an outsider, coping with loss, and discovering the true meaning of family.

Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life . . . until now.

Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read.

Stars:

Goodreads: 4.35 stars out of 5

Amazon: 4.5 stars out of 5

I personally prefer rating things out of 10 rather that 5.  So I would give it a 9.65 out of ten or a 4.825 out of five.

My Summary:

Twelve-year-old Willow Chance is a genius. She likes to learn about medical conditions and loves to garden. But her life isn't exactly easy.  She has no friends and, accused of cheating on a test, is sent to see a therapist.

Her life is blown apart when her parents are killed in a car crash and she is left alone without any real friends or any family besides her grandmother, who thinks every day is Tuesday.

Searching for a place in a world she thought she knew, Willow must find a way to cope with her new situation- and, maybe, even find a way to make it out okay.

My Review: 

I am a fan of both Wonder and Out of My Mind. That's what brought me to this book. 

After reading it, I think that it isn't really like either of them. Those are about overcoming a disability. Counting By 7s is about change- extreme change that hit you out of nowhere.  It is about overcoming terrible events and learning to cope with the world.

That being said, it was very good. Not as good as Out of My Mind or Wonder, but still very well written.  I felt for Willow and wished I could help her.  The ending, in my opinion, offered not closure, but hope. It showed the path of depression without you sitting there feeling sad the whole time. I also liked how people's lives were touched and we saw how immensely powerful one person can be without knowing.

There were parts of the ending that I felt were weak and I wish those would have been more solid. Spoiler: Pattie has a boatload of cash she's been hoarding.  

 I also liked how I feel like I not only learned about people and gained an understanding of the world, but also learned random facts, like that the space between your eyebrows is called your glabella. 

I think that this would be a great book for (depending on maturity level) would be great to read once when you are eight or nine, then again when you are a tween/teen, and then one last time when you are an adult.
  
I am almost done putting something exciting together, so keep coming back to check it out! 

Halloween Question

Okay. I have a very important question for you guys.

What should I do for Halloween?

Usually I go as one of my favorite book characters (last year I was Sophie from Keeper of of the Lost Cities).  But my favorites are usually not very well known so I get a lot of odd looks and people asking what I am. And, of course, you tell them who you are and they give you a puzzled look. Most back away slowly with an "okkkaaaaayyyy". But the braver, awesome ones ask what that is from. (Then there are the EPIC ones I LOVE who high-five you and say something around the lines of "Dude, that is so AWESOME! You are so COOL!! I wish I thought to do that!")

That's why I carry around a copy of that book.

So I could do the same thing this year.  Or I could do something different.

My other choices:

The easiest, although the most boring choice, is to not dress up at all.

I could go as a mix-match. You know, pair my Elgen Academy backpack with some white gloves and an awesome INSANE or Maxfield Academy t-shirt. Do the rustov thing above my eye and wear am Omega necklace.  Maybe carry around some chalk... (extra points if you can name all the references without using a search engine!)

That could be fun... (Plus it would be awesome to wear that backpack all night).

Or I could go as a famous book character and wear Hogwarts robes or a Camp Half-Blood t-shirt.

The other choice I have is to drop by the closest Halloween store and buy the first thing I see that looks marginally cool.

So, what do you guys think I should do?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Middle Grade Monday: House of Hades

I promised. So I'm here!

Now, I'm sure you all know what book I'm doing this week from the title.  That's right, House of Hades. Before I begin, I want to let you know that the spoilers are limited to what you would find on the inside of the book jacket.  I know that I would hate to have House of Hades ruined for me... like it was! (You know who you are, calling me screaming that spoiler!)

Get ready for the awesome cover:

If you look closely you'll see this:
Has anyone else noticed how you have NEVER seen Percy's face on the covers before? It is always covered in a shadow or something! But that now you see part of it?

And he's in the Underworld... remember, don't look back? From Orpheus's myth?

I won't say anything else. Not until I put this up. (The Goodreads thing... and if you've been checking back, you'll know why).

So now I'll just start with my review:

I loved it. Like 12/10 loved it. If I was an English teacher and this was a creative writing assignment, that student's grade would have been 500% because of the extra credit I added to this assignment.

If I had to break it down, I would say 4 main things about this book:
  1. Lots of character development 
  2. Great foreshadowing
  3. Tons of EPICNESS + AWESOMENESS- so much that it will blow your mind
  4. Look out for characters from the other series coming back to haunt you. In the best way possible.
It does a great job continuing the series and taking care of that evil cliff hanger from the last book.  I admit, I felt kind of like this:


It is NOT easy to wait for these things, people. We all know that.

I admit, I thought that Mark of Athena was kind of flat compared to The Son of Neptune. It was good, but it just felt a little watered down. House of Hades was a punch to the stomach compared to that.  There was never a dull moment and stuff was just so crazy awesome. There was no Nico chapter (I love Nico- he's my favorite) like I know many people have been wishing for, but there were chapters by all of the seven.

I know that some of characters didn't have a lot going on in the first few chapters- like, say Piper. But they kind of got their glory when their chapters rolled around and they got to save the person they were with/the people they were with/the whole team.

Rick didn't disappoint- it was VERY funny.  He has a great writing voice and you just have to love it when he mentions one of them "chaperoning their chaperon". We all know Coach Hedge is a little bonkers and trigger-crazy.

I know that something in this will be VERY controversial.  You can easily find it all over the web if you look on Goodreads or other blogs.  And if you REALLY want to know, see page 292.

In short: read this. It is amazing.

But read Percy Jackson and the first three before that way you'll get it all. And maybe by then one of the 400 copies at the library will no longer be taken.  Or at least the hold number will be below the 1117 it is right now at my library...

Oh! The winner for The Golden Compass is

Elizabeth!

 If that is you, please email me at birdie(dot)on(dot)books(at)gmail(dot)com to claim your prize!

Thanks for reading this! Keep checking back for updates and something great coming up!
 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Going "Dark" for the First Time

Hello all!

I'm sorry I've gone "dark" (I read way to much of Shannon Messenger's blog and I'm sure you''ll see me use her terms like that from time to time). I have been busy. And yes, I know that it is a little early in my blogging career to have gone dark.  

Thanks for checking my blog out if you have!

The Golden Compass is still open (for another 27-ish hours) so you will want to check that out! (You can see it here.)

Because you are awesome, I have something VERY special coming up. So keep checking back!  But I'm evil so I won't tell you what it is besides a very tiny hint: giveaway.

I'm PRETTY sure I'll have a MMGM, so long as life doesn't get in the way. Why can't we have days like Mercury does? I would love that!

Or I could get a neural processor installed.

Powers over time? Or maybe a time turner...

I'll have a review up soon. I promise. Or at least a real post.

Thanks for hanging in there! :)



Wednesday, October 2, 2013

It Arrived!

So guess what I found when I came home?

My copy of Keeper of the Lost Cities 2: Exile!  And to prove it to you, I give you:


Isn't it pretty? I love the cover.  And I'm glad it's finally here.  I've been so distracted lately wondering WHEN they were FINALLY going to show up.  My day went kind of like this:

Disclaimer: If you ever hear about Birdie Reader in art class, it will be for crimes against art.  I am AWFUL.  



In case you can't tell (and I know it is hard because of the lighting)(And yes, that IS the lighting), but that's Iggy. I saw this and tried to base mine off of it. Because Iggy turns pink in there, I know that much...

Hopefully I'll be fine until the rest of those books I ordered arrive. (Hello, anyone there? Amazon!!!)

I have something awesome planned for you guys, so keep checking back. And there is only one entry for The Golden Compass, so get in on that! :)


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Do You Know What Today Is????

Okay, quick question people.

Do you know what today is?

It's October 1st!!!

For those of you who didn't get that, I'll do it again-

It's October 1st!!!

Do you even know what that means?! It means that ALL those awesome MG books you've been waiting for are coming out!!! (Fine, House of Hades comes out on the eighth.  And yes, School of Good and Evil 2 isn't out until spring, but you- shhh!)

Yes! I'm talking about Keeper of the Lost Cities 2: Exile, The Cloak Society 2: Villains Rising, Dead City: Blue Moon!

Oh, and how could I forget Dark Lord 2? And did I mention Keeper of the Lost Cities 2? Because I am still going bonkers whenever I see the first one.  It was EPIC. 

So go to a bookstore and check out what is new. I'll just be waiting on my front porch for the UPS guy.  

Anyway, have a great, book-filled October! (And try not to go around writing 9/1/13- I'm totally going to do that at least twice today.)