Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday Utah Book Month Edition: Fairy Tale Re-tellings by Utah Authors

The prompt over at The Broke and the Bookish today is fairy tale re-tellings you've read or want to read. So, as is tradition, during Utah Book Month in August we tweak the prompt to fit our celebration!  And luckily, there are many authors here in Utah that write retellings.. and some that write their own fairy tales. I'll include both here.

Top Ten Fourteen Utah Authors That Write Fairy Tales: Retellings and Original


1. Shannon Hale: The Goose Girl series and Book of a Thousand Days, and Rapunzel's Revenge
2. Jessica Day George: Princess of the Midnight Ball series and Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow
3. Melissa Lemon: Cinder and Ella
4. Michelle D. Argyle: Cinders
5. Daniel Coleman: Jabberwocky and Mad Hatter
6. Heather Dixon: Entwined
7. R.C. Lewis: Stitching Snow
8. Danyelle Leafty: The Fairy Godmother Dilemma series and many others

Own Fairy Tales

9. Ally Condie: Atlantia (loosely based on a fairy tale)
10. Chantele Sedgwick: Not Your Average Fairy Tale and Not Your Average Happy Ending
11. Mette Ivie Harrison: Princess and the Hound and sequels
12. Brandon Mull: Fablehaven series
13. Woven by David Powers King and Michael Jensen
14. Sheila Neilson: The Forbidden Sea

I'm sure there are tons more, but that's all I can think of right now. Have you read any of these? Did you love them? What fairy tale re-tellings are on your list?

P.S. Don't forget to join us today for our first Twitter chat with a Utah authors! Michelle Paige Holmes will be chatting with us at 8:00 pm MDT using the #UtahBooks tag. I'll see you there!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Book Review Discussion: Elevated by Elana Johnson

Book: Elevated by Elana Johnson
Genre: YA Romance/ Verse
Rating:★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
For: Utah Book Month
From: Bought on Kindle

Short Synopsis: A bad thing happened before the story starts that we as readers are gradually made aware of. What we do know is that El has been avoiding a certain guy for months since this thing happened, and that the elevator is significant in this relationship. So this one day, she has to take the elevator and it gets stuck, but before that happens, this boy gets on. Yes, they are stuck together. And then, they start talking, because he has no idea what's up with her. Then we get all the flashbacks as they talk and learn what's going on with them and what happened. And finally, what they are going to do about it.

My Response: I totally enjoyed this. The verse thing is awesome, especially for a book like this that is pretty much total emotion. Sometimes it may have been a little over the top emotion, but still, I liked that and got totally caught up in it. The romance was great and the story engaging. I was dying to know how they would work it all out.

Bottom Line: A quick fast read when you are in a emotional verse mood!

Let's Talk About: How are you with emotionally charged books? Do you love them? Immerse yourself in the emotion? Or do you tend to roll your eyes and moan a little? I think you know that I for one, love them.

Other Reviews:

This is a format I personally love, and Elana does a great job with it. I sincerely hope there will be more novels in verse from her in the future! From Christine Fonseca

The characters were very fleshed out and story was very deep. It was a lot darker than I had imagined it would be. From Jenni Elyse

There’s something about the off kilter narrative, the way we bounce back and forth through the present (in the elevator) and all the things that led us to this point that makes this book so good. From A.B. Keuser

In the end, if you can make it through the poor decisions and MC's guilt trips, you'll find a beautiful and important message. A message so important that the whole sad story made it worth it. From Alternate Readality

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Pondering Reading Habits

I was tagged by Jenni Elyse to do this one!

1. Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

The couch in the living room (or piano room as we call it) and my bed. Pretty much just those two places. BUT, I have dreams about creating an outside space for reading. Maybe that will come true some day. I did create a library space, and it's turned out great for books, but not so great for actual reading.

2. Do you use a bookmark or a random piece of paper?

Usually a bookmark, but paper if I can't find one fast enough.

3. Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter or a certain amount of pages?

I can just stop. If I have to. But chapter breaks are good. However, if the author has done their job, even chapter breaks are too hard to stop at. And then I stop at a more boring part in the middle of one. Yeah, it doesn't bother me to stop anywhere.

4. Do you eat or drink while reading?

Not usually. But if candy happens to be around, that's always good. So hopefully it's not around much.

5. Do you watch TV or listen to music while reading?

Not on purpose. If music and/or TV is on but I'm not doing the watching or listening, I can read. If someone happens to turn Gilmore Girls on, then it's over. I can't read while that show is on no matter how many times I've seen it! Music doesn't bother me at all. I can do anything to music. It's my super power.

6. Do you read one book at a time or several at once?

Several. Sort of . One that I'm concentrating one, others on the edges. Make sense?

7. Do you prefer to read at home or anywhere?

I prefer home, but I can mostly sort of read anywhere. Now... I can read while music is on, but it's hard for me to, say, read while waiting for stuff... unless I'm in the car. Then all is well. But usually, I get distracted by people watching otherwise. Or being nervous, depending on what I'm waiting for.

8. Do you read out loud or silently?

Why would I ever read out loud? Strange question. I mean, I guess if I was reading to someone else, but that hasn't happened for years!

9. Do you read ahead or skip pages?

Are you kidding me? No way Jose. I might skim. I might flip pages. But I'd never actually SKIP them.

10. Do you break the spine or keep it like new?

Somewhere in the middle? I don't break it on purpose, but if I read a book, it probably looks like it's been read when I'm done. Know what I mean?

11. Do you write in your books?

Nope. But as I've said before, sometimes I wish I could. I think it would be a cool thing to leave for re-reads, or the next reader. I don't know.

Want to participate in this survey? Consider yourself tagged!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Utah Book Month 2015: My Utah Authors TBR

It's finally time to kick off Utah Book Month! This month of August I plan to get caught up (ha!) on all the books by Utah authors that are laying around and need reading!

Here's a stack of physical books I hope to work on:

Blindsided by Natalie Whipple
Veil of Darkness by Greg Park
The Rule of Thoughts by James Dashner
Eleanor by Johnny Worthen
How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr
Ink and Ashes by Valynne Maetani
The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson

And here's a list of some on my Kindle that would be nice to get to also:
(At least I think these people all live in Utah. Maybe they've moved. I don't know. At any rate, most of them do!)

Mania by J.R. Johansson (working on this one right now!)
Lost Without You by Annette Lyon
Rising by Holly Kelly
Mysteries of Cove: Fires of Invention by J. Scott Savage
Small Town Superhero by Cheree Alsop
Not Your Average Fairy Tale by Chantele Sedgwick
Lightning Rider y Jen Greyson
Heart of the Ocean by Heather B. Moore
Cinders by Michelle Argyle
Eternal Echoes by Angela Corbet

See how I'll never run out of Utah books to read? They just keep writing and writing and writing!

We have a link up for those of you who plan to read Utah book with us this month. It's over on the Utah Books blog, so be sure to link up if you read and review something Utah-ish this month.

And talk to us on Twitter using #UtahBooks. We'll have several chats going on during the month with different Utah authors (see picture above!) A schedule will be posted each week to announce them, (click here to see what's planned for the first week) and I'll be sure to let you know here and on Twitter too. We'd love for any and all to join us to chat with an author!

PLUS, there's a read along! I have a separate just for that info. Check it out here.

Let the reading begin!

Utah Book Month 2015: Read Along for Not in the Script by Amy Finnegan

We asked, you voted, we counted and the results are in. The winner of our first ever Utah Books Read Along is:

Not in the Script by Amy Finnegan

Such a fun book! Perfect for lazy summer days. I hope you join us. A TON of people voted for this book so I fully expect a TON of people to be reading along with us. Am I right?

The schedule for the read along is very simple and easy:

August 1 to 10: pages 1 to 183
August 11 to 20: pages 184 to end

We'll have a midpoint discussion post and a finish line discussion post. The whole thing end with an appearance by Amy herself at book club at my house. (If you read along with us and are local to the area, you are totally invited! Let me know so I can give you book club details!) We'll be chatting with Amy on Twitter (#UtahBooks) on August 10th at 7:30 p.m. Do join us to talk about the first half of the book then!

Make a blog post with your intention to join in the fun and then link it up here. That way we'll know who actually will be reading with us.

Friday, July 31, 2015

July 2015 Reading Recap

Favorite picture from July:
Our Spanish Steps selfie... cracks me up.
Celebrating the 4th of July in Rome!

Not a bad month considering the craziness going on around here. Most of these books were ones I started in June and finished in July. Here's the list:

The Duff by Kody Keplinger: Bianca is hurting, so she uses Wesley as her distraction. 

Animal Farm by George Orwell: What happens when animals take over the farm and become human like? Nothing too good, that's for sure.

This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner: A rebel and a soldier team up to solve the mystery of their world and stop a war.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare: Tessa is wanted by an evil Master for her shape shifting powers and the rest of the Shadow Hunters must thwart this plan.

Elevated by Elana Johnson: What happens when you get stuck in a elevator with the guy you've been avoiding for months? A massive catharsis that's what!

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch: Spring has taken over Winter and all the Winterians want is their kingdom back and their young king on the throne once again.

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang: A young Chinese American boy comes to terms with his heritage with the help of an old ancient legend.

Favorites of the month: This Shattered World, Elevated and American Born Chinese. Reviews on those last two coming soon. 

Plans for August:
  • Utah Book Month! (There'll be more detailed post on what I hope to read coming soon.)
  • Re-read Not in the Script for book club and our Utah Book Month Read Along
  • Read Eleanor by Johnny Worthen
  • Read How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr
I can't wait to get started... which is why I didn't! LOL!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Movie Review: Jurassic World

Movie: Jurassic World
Genre: Adventure
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard
Rating: PG 13
My Rating: Two thumbs up

This movie came out the weekend before our big trip. And there was absolutely now time for us to go then. When we came back, I was worried we'd missed our window to see it on the big screen, but it was still here. And then, it took us two more weeks to find time to get out to it! But we finally did and I was pleased that all the buzz about it was correct.

So much fun!

What I mostly loved about it was all the nods to the original Jurassic Park. Not just the relics that they find lying about but, the actual story too. Very similar. Just bigger and badder. Sort of. I mean nothing really compares to that first one, right?

And as you all said, what's his face Chris Pratt was perfect! I'm liking him better and better! The girl, played by Bryce Dallas Howard... she was okay. But the boys, spot on. Loved them.

Anyway, do you want a fast summary? So, the park is back... the vision is pretty much what the grandpa from the first movie wanted. And they have bred some pretty ruthless cross breeds of dinosaurs in the time being. So, when one of them gets out... then lots and lots of bad stuff happens.

But what's his face saves the day! Because he is a dinosaur whisperer! And the girl, who was straight laced and stiff as a board.. she is suddenly all loose and her hair even went curly, right in the middle of all that fighting!

And  of course, there's the music. Such awesome music. Even though John Williams didn't actually do this one, they left all the themes in. Perfect.

Here's the trailer:


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