The Weekly Recap

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Total spend: £5

My Week

This week has been great – I was at work the first few days and then off visiting family, which has been great fun but hasn’t meant much reading time! I haven’t made too much progress for #ReadThemAllThon but I did get The Lost Hero finished, which I really enjoyed.  I’ve nearly finished Queen of Shadows too, which I’m re-reading ready for Empire of Storms.  Not too much else on to report really!

Finished: The Lost Hero

Currently Reading: Queen of Shadows

How was your week?

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Review: The Lost Hero

Review: The Lost HeroThe Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1) by Rick Riordan
Published by Puffin Books on October 6th 2011
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy
Pages: 551
Format: Paperback
Goodreads
One StarOne StarOne Star

The Number one, bestselling title in this new spin-off series from Percy Jackson creator, Rick Riordan.
OLD ENEMIES AWAKEN AS CAMP HALF-BLOOD'S NEW ARRIVALS PREPARE FOR WAR When Jason, Piper and Leo crash land at Camp Half-Blood, they have no idea what to expect. Apparently this is the only safe place for children of the Greek Gods - despite the monsters roaming the woods and demigods practising archery with flaming arrows and explosives. But rumours of a terrible curse - and a missing hero - are flying around camp. It seems Jason, Piper and Leo are the chosen ones to embark on a terrifying new quest, which they must complete by the winter solstice. In just four days time. Can the trio succeed on this deadly mission - and what must they sacrifice in order to survive?

When I read it…

I read this between August 14th and August 17th.

What I’d heard before I read it:

About this particular book, not much – while I’ve heard great things about Rick Riordan in general, I’ve actually not heard too much about the Heroes of Olympus series, and about all I’d heard about this book was that it took my sister (who I’m borrowing it from) a while to get into and she was saddened by the lack of Nico…

What worked for me:

  • The opening: I loved that Jason had no memories, because it instantly drew me into the story. I not only wanted to know everything that he’d forgotten, but also how everyone would cope with his lack of memories.
  • The slightly older feel & the longer length: The Lost Hero definitely felt more like a young adult read than the Percy Jackson series, and I think the longer length probably helped a little with that too. I really loved having slightly older characters to follow as occasionally the young ages in Percy Jackson made the characters feel a bit too distant and therefore harder to relate to.
  • Leo & Piper: I really liked both Leo and Piper. Leo was witty and funny and instantly likeable so I warmed to him pretty much straight away. It took a while longer for me to warm to Piper, but I loved how she took no crap from anyone and how her confidence grew throughout the book.
  • Returning to Camp Half-blood: Of course returning to Camp Half-Blood was always bound to be fun, and I really enjoyed that we got to see it through fresh eyes all over again too.
  • The multiple points of view: I’m a BIG fan of multiple POV stories, so I loved that we got to see more than one perspective throughout The Lost Hero.

What didn’t quite work for me:

  • Jason: I didn’t hate Jason, but I didn’t love him either. He’s a bit too perfect (apart from his lack of memories)
  • The pacing: It took me three days to reach 49% – and then one day to read the other 51%.  It wasn’t a huge deal, but I felt like it took a little while to get really going.

I enjoyed The Lost Hero – possibly more than Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief – and I thought it was a pretty good start to the series. I’m definitely looking forward to getting my hands on the sequel!

Other reviews of The Lost Hero: The Illiterate Reader | Novel Reaction | Blog of a Bookaholic

One StarOne StarOne Star

Pokemon Indigo League ReadThemAllThon Sign up and TBR list

ReadThemAllThon

 

Aentee of Read At Midnight is hosting an absolutely awesome Pokemon inspired readathon, and there’s absolutely no way I could resist joining in!  The aim is to read 8 books in 3 weeks (between 14th August & 4th September), to get all the gym badges, and we also get to pick a Pokemon and level them up with our reading, which is super awesome!

My trainer card:

Pokemon trainer card

Pokemon trainer card inspired by Aentee’s, book pile image from Freepik, Squirtle image belongs to The Pokemon Company [Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures].

Squirtle is an absolute favourite of mine, and I knew I wanted a Pokemon with 3-stage evolution, so it was an easy choice!

My TBR list:

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Pewter Gym: The Lost Hero

I finally got around to finishing Percy Jackson & The Olympians this year, but I’m hoping to work my way through (at least a good chunk of) Heroes of Olympus by the end of the year as well, so I’d better get started…

Page count: 551
Potential CP: 55
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Cerulean Gym:
Queen of Shadows

Maas always has the ability to put me through an emotional rollercoaster, so I figure this has a good shot of potentially making me cry.  I’m re-reading ready for Empire of Storms and I can definitely remember a few heart-wrenching moments from my first read through!

Page count: 648
Potential CP: 64
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Vermillion Gym: The Final Empire

The amount of great things I’ve heard about this series is just phenomenal, but I’ve yet to actually get started (though I read and loved The Reckoners series).  This readathon will be the time!

Page count: 647
Potential CP: 64
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Celadon Gym:
As I Descended

Well, this just sounds awesome to be honest – a modern day lesbian retelling of Macbeth?! Enough said, I think!

Page count: 384
Potential CP: 38

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Fuschia Gym: Shadow & Bone

So I struggled a bit with this one since a) I’m in a definite fantasy mood at the moment and b) how can you tell if there’s an epic romance until you’ve read it?! But, I’ve picked Shadow and Bone because a friend constantly talks about how she loves the series’ romance, and it’s been shelved on goodreads as romance 300 or so times, so I figure it must have a good romance in!

Page Count: 308
Potential CP: 30
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Saffron Gym: Three Dark Crowns

This just sounds really cool and I have to admit I love the different cover options (currently torn between the snake and the fire, so indecisive!)

Page count: 416
Potential CP: 41
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Cinnabar Gym:
What’s a Girl Gotta do?

I’ve never actually read any of Holly Bourne’s books, but I picked this one up on impulse the other day and I’m really excited to start it, since I’ve heard such amazing things!

Page count: 432
Potential CP: 43
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Viridian Gym: Morning Star

My other half finally started reading Red Rising while on holiday this year and discussing it just made me miss the awesomeness, so I’ve been re-reading the series (and still absolutely adoring it).

Page count: 544
Potential CP: 54

This is a pretty ridiculously ambitious reading list for me, but I’m going to give it a shot!  I definitely don’t expect I’ll finish all 8 books, but I’m going to have fun reading as much as I can.

Potential CP if I read all of the books: 389
+ 8x gym badge completion: 160
= 549

 

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Review: Wild

Published by HarperTeen Genres: Contemporary, Retelling, Young Adult
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
One StarOne Star

The forest is full of secrets, and no one understands that better than Cade. Foraging, hunting, surviving— that’s all he knows. Alone for years, Cade believes he’s the sole survivor. At least, until he catches a glimpse of a beautiful stranger…

Dara expected to find natural wonders when she set off for a spring break camping trip. Instead, she discovers a primitive boy— he’s stealthy and handsome and he might be following her. Intrigued, Dara seeks him out and sets a catastrophe in motion.

Thrust back into society, Cade struggles with the realization that the life he knew was a lie. But he’s not the only one. Trying to explain life in a normal town leaves Dara questioning it.

As the media swarm and the police close in, Dara and Cade risk everything to get closer. But will the truth about Cade’s past tear them apart?

A YA Tarzan retelling.

When I read it…

I read this between July 10th and August 7th.

What I’d heard before I read it:

Almost nothing. This is a 2014 release I requested but didn’t end up starting immediately and then have heard pretty much nothing about since.

What worked for me:

  • The premise: I really liked the idea of a modern day Tarzan retelling, and although it’s difficult to talk about too much without spoilers, I liked the way Mallory had set everything up.
  • Sofia: Dara’s best friend Sofia was fun, and sweet, and I liked the way she was always looking out for Dara.
  • Cade: I liked Cade, and his naivety regarding life outside the forest made me feel for him instantly.  I loved seeing his life in the forest, how competent and comfortable he was in the wild.
  • The forest setting: I really liked seeing the national park, both through Dara’s eyes and Cade’s.  The two see the forest so differently, and I really loved seeing the beauty, the danger, the usefulness, all as complementary facets.

What didn’t quite work for me:

  • The romance: I just found the romance way too much, way too soon, and it didn’t work for me at all.
  • The ending: While I enjoyed the story as it was going on, the ending was a real disappointment for me.  I have no idea what the best ending should have been – indeed, part of the reason I was so hooked was because I had no idea how it was going to end – but I just found the ending ultimately quite unbelievable and unsatisfying.
  • The justification for life in the wild: I liked the idea, but I felt like it needed a bit more back story to make it believable – while I could see one parent resorting to such extreme measures, I’m not sure I could see both agreeing to it, at least without seeing a little more of their lives and personalities before living in the wild.

I wanted to like Wild, but for me, this was definitely a case of the execution not living up to the premise.  I didn’t really like the vast majority of the characters, which probably explains a lot about why I didn’t like the book as much as I’d hoped to. I couldn’t understand Dara, who wasn’t spooked by someone stalking their camp.  I was irritated by Josh’s change from protective to basically absent. I was also frustrated by their overall relationship: despite having been in a long term relationship, Dara seems to feel their relationship is doomed and founded on very little in common.  I felt like the author was trying to discredit the relationship from the beginning, to make room for the potential romance between Cade and Dara, but that meant I either felt their relationship was implausible to start with, or that the rather abrupt change made no sense!

Other reviews of Wild: The Young Folks | The Daily Prophecy | There Were Books Involved

One StarOne Star

Top Ten Tuesday (#84): Things Books Have Made Me Want To Do or Learn About After Reading Them

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted at The Broke and The Bookish where they post a list idea and everyone is welcome to post the list with their own answers. This week is a rewind week, so we get to go back to any topic we like that we either missed or want to revisit.  I missed one just a few weeks ago that seems like great fun: “Things Books Have Made Me Want To Do or Learn About After Reading Them” so I’ve gone back to that.  I’ve stick to things that I could theoretically achieve, rather than fictional experiences I’d like to have, just because otherwise my list would be filled entirely with things like “go to Hogwarts” and “ride a dragon” (not because those are bad experiences to want to have but because I want this to be the kind of list I can look at when I want to set a new goal for myself!).  So, in no particular order…

 

Run/Challenge myself physically

So, I’m not at all an athletic person – I’m the kind of person who’s perfect evening involves pyjamas, some tv, a book and some snacks. But I like the IDEA of being an active person – and definitely of being healthier, so I occasionally drag myself to the gym/to an exercise class etc.  I absolutely adored Born to Run though, and it definitely made me want to do more: not just to do the bare minimum to feel a bit healthier, but to also see just what I can do if I really go for it.  Rule 1: Cardio (my gym shirt says so!). I might have possibly just signed up for a beginner’s triathlon I’m not at all ready for thanks to Born to Run being super inspirational… Now I just have to get fit in like…. 6 weeks. Eep.

Take control (where I can) of my own happiness

The Happiness Project was probably my first real audiobook success: I absolutely loved listening to it on the way to and from uni every day. I found Gretchen so down to earth and normal – her normal might be a bit different to my normal, but I loved the idea of doing what you can to make your life just a little bit happier, and in small ways not “move your life to a whole other country” kind of ways.  I also absolutely loved Matt Haig’s Reasons to Stay Alive. There were so many amazing things in the book, but one that I particularly took away was the idea of a list of things that make you feel good, and things that make you feel bad: it sounds simple, but sometimes when you feel crappy, you don’t really want to do anything, but that list can be a good prompt to find SOMETHING (whether that’s an episode of anime or a walk or a particular song you like) to give you a little boost. You can bet these will be in my bullet journal!

 

Live in Japan/speak Japanese

Okay, so it really just inspired me to want to live in another country and speak another language, but Japan would be particularly high on the list!

Get good at video games

So, confession, I don’t think I’ve finished a video game since about Crash Bandicoot 3… Both of these books though definitely made me want to change that.

Get back into Fanfiction/Write

I loved this book on so many different levels, not least because like Cath, I’m a big fanfiction fan but I’ve never written anything original.  It hadn’t really occurred to me to try because I didn’t have a particular idea in mind.  Fangirl both reignited my love for fanfiction reading and writing, but also opened my mind to the idea of giving original fiction a go too.  Nanowrimo in November maybe?!

Learn some basic survival skills

So, hopefully my newfound exercise enthusiasm (well, maybe more kinda lukewarm enthusiasm) means I won’t be the first to get eaten in the event of the zombie apocalypse/killed in the hunger games etc BUT I probably wouldn’t last very long even after that anyways. There are plenty of dystopian books that make me want to learn some basic survival skills to try and keep me alive!

Travel

This isn’t the result of any particular book, but just seeing other worlds and places always makes me want to see other places in our world too!

Own a house with a library

Again, no particular book that makes me want this, just a selection of books with great houses including libraries!

Be more confident & dress up more

So here’s a thing you might have figured out about me by now: I’m pretty lazy.  I like getting dressed up now and again, but for day to day life I’m pretty much a roll out of bed and throw on jeans and a t-shirt type. But then, I read a book like The Siren or A Court of Mist and Fury which has these awesome kick-ass, feminine women and it always makes me want to be less lazy and more feminine!

Literary tattoo

I’m pretty indecisive, but it would probably be Harry Potter or Red Rising related!