Adventures in Reading

Posted 12 August, 2010 by Danny in / 16 Comments

I remember the book that made me fall in love with reading.
I was visiting my Grandma back east for the summer.
As I was packing up to head home she handed me a paper back novel.
I can recall the moment so vividly.
The book was The Secret by Julie Garwood.
She described it as –
“A really sweet story about two girls who live in the Highlands.”
Some might question my Grandma’s sanity.
Handing a junior higher a sex filled romance novel might not be kosher.
However, it was the perfect story handed to me at just the right moment.
One that started off a life long obsession with reading.
After devouring the novel, I was on a mission to recapture the emotions
I felt while reading The Secret. Thus, I began haunting used bookstores,
the library, and any place where books could be procured.
I didn’t have a favorite author or a trusted book recommender.
Hell, I didn’t even have a computer to look things up on,
let alone know what a book blog was?!
(I don’t even know that they were around. Stone-age much?)
I just had to go with my gut and experiment.
Recently, I realized I don’t branch out the way I use to.
I tend to stick to what I’ve heard is good or authors I like.
I pre-order or request everything ahead of time.
Turning to sites like Goodreads or my favey book bloggers
to help me decide what I should read next.
This is not a bad thing, it’s just my new thang.
This realization hit me this past weekend while my
daughter and I were walking around the library together.
It’s been far too long since I’ve put my to-read list aside and
meandered about reading the backs of books looking for just the right one.
So, loooong story short, that’s just what I did.
The following books were picked on a whim for no other reason
then something stuck out when I pulled them off the library shelf.
My plan is to read one book a day and write a short review.
Five books. Five Days. Ready, Steady, GO!

Day One: Saturday August 7 2010

At First Sight by Catherine Hapka
Reason I picked it: Honestly, I’ve been reading so many heavy
novels that a light and fluffy teen-chick-lit sounded heavenly.
Description: Lauren is a practical teenage girl with a killer sense of style.
She doesn’t believe in love at first sight and scoffs at her bff’s constant
declarations of love. But one school trip will change that all
when she meets Riley, a sweetly romantic, adorkable bass player.
When their first meeting is cut short, Riley turns to Facebook to find her.
But Riley never saw her face and he doesn’t know her name,
so how will Lauren be able to prove she’s The One with
so many other girls claiming to be her?!
Verdict: Absolutely adorable! It’s not rocket science.
Nor will it blow your mind. But if you are looking for a sweet
lil love story, one that will make you giggle and smile, sigh and swoon,
I highly recommend you give this novel a whirl.
Bookworm rating:


(Because plain and simple it’s a lovely story!
And I may or may not be buying it… *blushes*)

Day Two: Sunday August 8 2010

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
Reason I picked it: I liked the cover.
Yep, it was that simple.
Description: After losing her mother in a terrible tragedy in India,
Gemma Doyle is sent away to Spence Academy in London to become
a proper young lady. What she uncovers there is a haunting secret about
her mother, unknown and terrible visions she cannot control, and a
mysterious young man who has followed her from India.
Verdict: I have no effin’ clue what the heck I just read but I know I LOVED IT!!!
Truly, Libba Bray is not only a compelling writer,
but witty with a fantastic sense of humor.
She masterfully combined the supernatural, with historical fiction,
and a dash of school girl rivalry.
I am officially hooked on this crazy unique series.
Bookworm rating:

(Because sometimes I didn’t understand the plot nor like the characters,
but that didn’t stop me from adoring the story and wanting more!
P.S. I want me some more Kartik in the next novel… nom.)

Day Three: Monday August 9 2010

Dragon’s Keep by Janet Lee Carey

Reason I picked it: DUDE, it’s about a girl with a dragon finger!
Description: Princess Rosalind would one day become the 21st queen of
Wilde Island, a queen meant to end a war and bring honor back to her
namesake. However, she was also born with a curse.
One of her fingers is a dragon’s talon.
Her life has been spent hiding her shame from everyone save her mother.
A mother hell bent on healing her daughter
so that she can restore honor to her family and return them to England.
But as with all fairy tales, nothing is ever that simple.
Verdict: I am torn after reading this novel!
One part of me adores it, the beauty of this fairy tale,
filled with a rich history, heart wrenching moments that made me cry
and the author’s beautiful writing style.
Yet, I must admit I felt the story dragged at times, and it took me a while
to connect with the main character, Rosie. Also, the ending was rushed
and the love story was sorely lacking, albeit sweet.
It was a wonderful read and if you enjoy fairy tales I recommend it.
But remember when I said it’s not perfect.
Bookworm rating:

 (I truly admire the author and think it is an extremely unique story

even if it does drag and lack in some areas.)

Day Four: Tuesday August 10 2010
by Lynne Rae Perkins
Reason I picked it: The book’s descriptions:
He’ll get there.
Won’t he?
And again, I simply liked the cover.
Description: As Ry stood and watched the train pull off into the distance
leaving him in the middle of nowhere, he pondered how he could have
possibly gotten there. How had things gone wrong? Little did he know
that being left behind by a train was merely the beginning of an
incredible summer odyssey.
Verdict: I adore, *heart*, admire, and emphatically love this novel.
What seems at first to be a simple story of a lost boy
blooms into something grander, something deeper.
And the author’s playful way of telling the story keeps the reader hooked.
Words escape me and I feel I am falling short in this review
so I shall leave you with this quote:

While he is doing so, a tribute to showers: They are amazing.
You could call them “transfromers.”
Especially if it’s been a couple/few days.
You feel like a different person afterward, a person who is ready.
A person who can take it on. Deal with it. Whatever it might be.
This fades over time, but for at least half an hour,
everything is within the realm of possibility.
For this reason, it may or may not be a good time to make decisions.
If you decide to do something big right after a shower,
maybe you should wait an hour.
Count to 216,000, then decide.
I don’t know.
I’m just saying.

Poetry me thinks.
Give it a read, please!
It’s not super-natural.
It’s not a love story per-say.
It’s something more… something different. Something good.
Bookworm rating:

 (Did I happen to mention I love this novel?)

Day Five: Wednesday August 11 2010
The Fire Opal by Regina McBride
Reason I picked it: I’ve always enjoy Celtic lore but I hardly ever read 
stories about it. Plus, I’ve never heard of this author and it just came out.
Description: Set against the backdrop of the English invading Ireland,
Maeve must fend off the advance of a villainous suitor while saving the
souls of her mother and sister, all the while searching for her true love.
Verdict: I liked it, nearly loved it, yet I was constantly confused and
overwhelmed. And I must admit the ending left me wanting.
I feel like there should be a sequel to this novel or it should have
been 50 pages longer. I definitely feel like I was left hanging.
Having said that Ms. McBride is a wonderful writer and I would love
to read any of her other novels.
Bookworm rating:

(Beautifully written, yet slightly overwhelming with an ending
that left me wanting, makes this book a definite like but one that left me wanting.)

In conclusion:

That was five days.
Five books
1682 pages give or take.
Four kids.
Back to school shopping.
Dishes, dinners, laundry…
And on and on and on.
I’m ready for a nap.
*gazes over at to-read stack*
I’m thinking I’m gonna start reading Stargazer
or maybe The Hunger Games (again)
since Mockingjay comes out soon (!!!)
or maybe ….

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Obsessive Reader by Night - Scientist at Day! You can also find me on goodreads. I'd love to get to know you so, don't be shy and say Hello!

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16 Responses to “Adventures in Reading”

  1. Greta

    I totally think I'm going to give "As Easy as falling off the face of the Earth" a try.

    WOW!! How on earth did you read all that in 5 days? My eyeballs would have exploded 🙂

    Good reviews!

    Reply »

  2. cutie, you are a BEAST! Five books in five days, and five awesometastic reviews? You win at life, clearly. And I admire you also for doing something I miss doing myself — I miss walking into a library and just grabbing books that caught my attention. I haven't done that in foreeeever. I think I'm going to have to pick up that second-to-last book. The excerpt you included grabbed me.
    My recent post Falling for Fall

    Reply »

  3. Please do! I really loved it.
    And, truth be told, five books in five days isn't too much out of the norm for me. Having the deadline of this post made it intense however! I'z a nerd for this.

    Reply »

  4. I need to read Going Bovine! I didn't realize it was the same author. Truly I just picked up the book because the cover caught my eye! And you are the impressive one, my friend. Thank you for always being my cheerleader.

    Reply »

  5. I adore The Secret. I have read and own every Julie Garwood novel. I think another favorite of mine would be Honors Splendor…. But I also love Prince Charming…. and I also like… hehe

    Reply »

  6. I was starting to feel that way. Up until lately, I've never had a physical to-read list. I'm always reading but I just wandered around aimlessly picking novels. I love having a to-read list now to keep track of everything but it does tend to get in the way. Did that make any sense at all? LOL

    Reply »

  7. You will LOVE it bunny! I just know it. =)
    I'm gonna buy it for the kids when they get older to read.
    I *heart* wandering around the library. It's my place of solitude. *overly dramatic*

    Reply »

  8. Greta

    WOW!! It seems like a ton of people I know can do that. I must have ADHD lolz. I can't sit still for that long and my mind tends to wander. Glad you had fun doing it (I don't like deadlines either lolz)

    Reply »

  9. AHfromGoodreads

    I am very impressed – 5 books in 5 days with 4 kids and all the work and disruptions that real life brings….Now you have me adding more books to my gargantuan to-read list! I loved Great and Terrible Beauty – I found that it relaxed me and took me to a simple world. The other books in the series are long, but I think you will enjoy them.

    Reply »

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