Wonderfully Wicked Read-a-thon Day 2

My Shelf Confessions

Day 2 Stats
Starting page: Page 138 of Anne of Green Gables, Page 1 of Dracula, Page 1 of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Finishing page: Page 148 of Anne of Green Gables, Page 14 of Dracula, Page 40 of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Pages read: 64 pages
Book finished: –

I did so amazingly well on day 1 that it was bound to go downhill from there, lol. I had planned to read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in it’s entirety but sadly that didn’t happen. My edition only has 96 pages so really it was a no-brainer one-day read but I slacked. A lot! Instead of reading I spend time watching make-up collection videos on Youtube and watching The Biggest Loser. Both are also really fun to do but not in the middle of a read-a-thon!! Today I am going to be good again. Although it is already 12.30 and I have yet to read anything today. I did however get a nice sleep in. Those are much appreciated ;). The plan for today is to finish The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, read chapter 2 of Dracula and start Where She Went by Gayle Forman. Should certainly be very doable!

To make myself feel a little better, these are the stats from day 1 & 2:
Total pages read: 298
Books finished: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Did your day 2 go better then mine?

 

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Wonderfully Wicked Read-a-thon Day 1

My Shelf Confessions
The first day of Wonderfully Wicked Read-a-thon was a great success. I decided to give my current reads a rest and start fresh with the beginning of the marathon! I have wanted to read If I Stay for a while now, especially now that the movie has come out. I bought the boxset at couple of weeks ago and started reading it yesterday morning. I did not expect the shortness of the book! It was only 234 pages long. This means that I flew through it and that by the end of the day I had finished my first book. I really notice that setting myself lower goals is really motivating me to read more for some weird reason!

Day 1 Stats
Starting page: Page 1 of If I Stay
Finishing page: Page 234 of If I Stay
Pages read: 234 pages
Book finished: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

My goal for Wonderfully Wicked Read-a-thon is to read 4 books. After day 1 I have already reached 25% of that goal. I hope that I can keep up the good work! Now that my first day went so well I am confident that I can managed some pages in the books I had already started. I want to try and read a few chapters of Anne of Green Gables. Also read about 25 pages of Dracula and lastly I want to try to start and finish The Wonderful Wizard of Oz today!
How did your first day go?

Wonderfully Wicked Read-a-thon 2014 – Sign-up & TBR

My Shelf Confessions

I have planned for a while to participate in this read-a-thon. I just love read-a-thon’s! But then I forgot about and suddenly it is here. It starts tomorrow! The last 2 weeks have been really bad for me in terms of reading. I have finished about 1.5 books and I am not happy with those numbers! Luckily this read-a-thon starts at the right time and gives me ample time to enjoy some reading in the rest of the month!

The Wonderfully Wicked Read-a-thon is hosted by My Shelf Confessions and takes place from October 17 to October 27, 2014. This gives me 11 days to read a massive amount of pages!

I am going to keep my goals rather simple; they are really aimed to get me reading again so I am not going to be harsh with myself :).
Goals:
1) Simple – read everyday, even though it is only 20 pages. I need to remember why it is so much fun to read again!
2) Try to finish 4 books during the read-a-thon. From previous read-a-thon’s I know that this is doable in 7 days but again I want to keep the pressure low.
3) Enjoy reading again! Participate on twitter, try my hand at the challenges and keep you guys up to date with progress posts here on Jirrine Reads Fiction.
4) Comment on 5 people’s progress every day. We are all doing this together and it is awesome to support each other :).

Well, now for my very tentative tbr:

1) If I Stay by Gayle Forman. I really want to see the movie but I want to read the book first.
2) Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Same goes for this book.
3) Dune by Frank Herbert. Started this book a few weeks ago. It is massive but enjoyable so far. I would really like to get to the halfway point.
4) Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. This book is fun although somewhat slow. I am nearing the halfway point so finishing this should be a formality.
5) Dracula – Bram Stoker. This read-a-thon is called wonderfully wicked for a reason so a good creepy book is a necessary element. Hopefully I will not be too freaked out by Dracula!

I am ready to get back into the groove with reading. Wish me luck! Oh and if you are participating leave me your sign-up post/tbr below. I would love to check it out!

 

Review: The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There – Catherynne M. Valente

16128147Title: The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There
Author: Catherynne M. Valente
Publisher: Much-In-Little
Publication Date: October 2, 2012
Genre/themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fairy Tale, Adventure
Source: From my own bookshelf
Series?: Book 2 in the Fairyland series

You can add this book to Goodreads by clicking the cover.

WARNING, THIS IS BOOK 2 IN A SERIES SO THIS REVIEW MIGHT CONTAIN SPOILERS.

Goodreads Synopsis:
In the kingdom of Fairyland-Below, preparation are underway for the annual Revels… but aboveground, the creatures of Fairyland are in no mood for a party.

It has been a long time since young September bid farewell to Fairyland, and she is excited to to see it again; but upon her return she is shocked to find that her friends have been losing their shadows, and therefore their magic, to the kingdom of Fairyland-Below… it spells certain disaster and September won’t stand for it. Determined to make amends, she travels down into the underworld where, among creatures of ice and moonlight, she encounters a face she recognizes all too well: Halloween, the Hollow Queen. Only then does September realize what she must do to save Fairyland from slipping into the mundane world forever.

Come and join in the Revels with September and her friends. But be warned: in Fairyland-Below, even the best of friends aren’t always what they seem…

My Thoughts:
I started this book right after I finished my re-read of book 1. I was eager to see what more the author was going to do with the world. I must say that she pleasantly surprised me.

September is once again whisked away to Fairyland, although this time she manages to do so on her accord, as she follows the Silver Wind through a crack in the worlds. Her return starts off pleasantly but soon September notices that something is wrong. The shadows of all the creatures are disappearing. At first September is not quite upset, as she had already parted with her shadow the last time she was in Fairyland. But September’s shadow has taken on a new name and is now ruling the land beneath Fairyland. It is up to September to talk some sense into her shadow and save Fairyland from losing its magic.

September is faced with some difficult scenario’s in this book and I feel that is what makes this book much better than the first one. I thoroughly enjoyed The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland but this book had much more depth. Usually Middle Grade Fairytale books are characterized by their black and white view of the world, where the main character is represent good and the villain represents evil. Although these stories can be lots of fun there is an enormous degree of predictability in those stereotyped books. After all, it is rarely that evil wins. Cathrynne Valente tried break down this binary of good and evil and that made for a very fun read!

When September is confronted with her shadow’s evilness, she is indirectly faced with her own evilness, as shadows take on all the bad traits that people normally not really express in their character. And September’s shadow has a valid point: why shouldn’t the shadows deserve their own chance at happiness? September is faced with a major dilemma: on the one hand Fairyland is losing its shadows and on the other hand there are shadows that she cannot rob of their newly received freedom. It is this conflict that makes this book so interesting, because this starting point there are so many scenario’s that can play out. There is a very real chance that evil might win this time!

As mentioned in the review of the first book, The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland, I do not really consider this book to be Middle Grade. First because it has much more depth than Middle Grade and secondly because there use of language is advanced. There were some words and phrases that I did not get, and although I am not a native speaker I do consider my language level adequate enough to comprehend 99% of what I read.

Bottom-line is that I enjoyed this book. September is a clever girl who really thinks for herself and questions the motivations of others. This makes for a very interesting journey in the quest for the shadows of Fairyland. Even if you thought that the first book was just ok, I still urge you to give this a try; there are so many wonderful things to discover in Fairyland!

5 Stars

October 2014 Reading Goals

Another month has begun. I can’t believe that we are less than a 100 days from Christmas. Only 3 months left in this year. Time is sure flying by. I have decided that for this month I am not going to set myself a tbr. Sure, there are a lot of books I want to read but this month I am just going to read what strikes my fancy. There is such a massive stack I can pick from; I know that I am going to read some good books! There are a couple of books that are planned because I have deadlines for reading them. First is We Were Liars by Ann Brasheres. This book will be the second book for the new book club I am in. Our first book is The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Our first meeting will be in 10(!) minutes. I am so excited! I have always wanted to be in a book club. I really hope we are going to have lots of fun with discussing the book. Another series I really want to start this month is Dune. I have the first 4 books on loan from the library and they have been setting on my shelves for more than a month now. I cannot keep them indefinitely so I need to get going. I think that Dune will be one of the first books that I start this month.

I am also currently reading Anne of Green Gables. I have heard from many people that it is truly a children’s classic but I have never read it. I have the first six books in the series and I plan to have them read before the end of the year. They are not that big so that should not be a problem. Another current read is Gone With the Wind. I have read about 360 pages but sadly I cannot loan the book any longer, as I already have it at home for three months. I plan on returning it and borrow it again at the end of the month so that I can continue to read it.

I would also really like to read If I Stay. The movie is now in cinema’s and when I can I try to read the book before the movie. I have the boxset so I really hope that I can power through those so I can see the movie! I am a little bummed that I already saw the cast, now I cannot make my own little head movie anymore :(. So this is some of the things I can read this month. Of course there is a lot more I can pick from. The stack also has Dracula by Bram Stoker, Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris, The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer, Four to Score by Janet Evanovich and Red Queen by Philippa Gregory to mention a few. I have enough that I am looking forward to! In two weeks I have three weeks off and there is a read-a-thon coming up so who knows how much reading I’ll get done this month :)!

September 2014 Recap

Yes I am back! I had a massive reading slump for about a week or so. I had some issues with my back (which are now completely gone!) and I spend a couple of days in bed with a massive cross stitching project, my new obsession, and a massive amount of Criminal Minds episodes! But this morning I finished a book again and I am ready to get my reading mojo back. Needless to say I did not really accomplish the goals I set for September but I am still happy with what I read :D!

In my September goal post, here, I set out the following goals:
General Goals:
(1) Read 15 books –> I managed to read 9 books and 1 novella
(2) Finish 2 series –> I did finish 1 series and I am really close with the other one!
(3) Read every day (even if it is only a couple of pages –> Apart from a couple of days at the end of the month I read every day so yeah!

From my 15 book TBR I set for September I managed to read 7, and I started another 1! I was on my way with The Passage by Justin Cronin as well but I just couldn’t get into it. I returned the book to the library and if the mood strikes I will try again :). Some of the books I own have been transferred to my October TBR. There will be a read-a-thon soon so I want to get a lot of reading done this month!

Books I read and reviewed this month:
22451703587316Girl of Nightmares - Kendare Blake286808Three to get Deadly - Stephanie Plum95913986631792

You can click the covers to go to the reviews!

Other books I read:
16128147134144138366074

Clicking the covers will take you to Goodreads. I certainly will review both The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and The Handmaid’s Tale. Especially about the latter there is a lot I want to say. Keep an eye out for those later this month :).

So, this was my September. What was the best book you read in September?

Review: The Book of Tomorrow – Cecilia Ahern

6631792Title: The Book of Tomorrow
Author: Cecilia Ahern
Publication Date: January 1, 2009
Publisher: Harper Collins
Genre/themes: Mystery, Fantasy, Contemporary, Chick Lit, Magic Realism
Source: My local library
Series?: No this is a standalone.

You can add this book to Goodreads by clicking the cover.

Goodreads Synopsis:
Born into the lap of luxury and comfortable in the here and now, spoiled, tempestuous Tamara Goodwin has never had to look to the future–until the abrupt death of her father leaves her and her mother a mountain of debt and forces them to move in with Tamara’s peculiar aunt and uncle in a tiny countryside village.
Tamara is lonely and bored, with a traveling library as her only diversion. There she finds a large leather-bound book with a gold clasp and padlock, but no author name or title. Intrigued, she pries open the lock, and what she finds takes her breath away.
Tamara sees entries written in her own handwriting, and dated for the following day. When the next day unfolds exactly as recorded, Tamara realizes she may have found a solution to her problems. But in her quest to find answers, Tamara soon learns that some pages are better left unturned and that, try as she may, she mustn’t interfere with fate.

My thoughts:
I was so misled by the cover and the author. To be honest, I had expected to find a romancy, chick-lit type book. Instead I found an amazing story, full of magic and mystery. So much more than I had bargained for and therefore it exceeded all of my expectations.

Tamara was the one that found him; her father after he killed himself. Turns out that daddy has immense debts and she and her mom are losing everything. Since they no longer have a house they move to rural Irish countryside to leave with Tamara’s uncle and aunt. One day she finds a blank diary in a traveling library. The next day, however, the diary is not so empty.

This was such an amazing book <3! With every page there was more mystery. Mystery about the diary, mystery about her mother who since moving only sleeps, about her aunt who wants to control everything and then there is that mysterious house on the other side of the road, where Tamara is not allowed to go. Questions, I had so many questions. I just wanted to know so bad what the hell was going on! This book was like a puzzle. Every few pages there was a new clue, that exposed a little bit more about all the weird stuff that was going on. But there were always such plausible explanations for the mystery that at one point I began to question Tamara’s sanity, and even my own! I was totally ready for a very disappointing end, but instead the ending I got was everything I hoped for. Like I said, the entire story fitted together like a puzzle!

Tamara was an amazing narrator. She left nothing out. Especially her self-reflection was very inspiring. Tamara is not a nice person. If I would have met her like she was at the beginning of The Book of Tomorrow, I would never have liked her in a million years. But Tamara knows this about herself. Under all the harshness and meanness, Tamara is just a young woman afraid of abandonment. Coming from a one child household, where her parents were already busy, she feels really alone. This loneliness drives her to lash out against anybody that is coming close, even people that mean very well to her. I have a lot of respect for the side characters in this book. They had to put up with a lot of trouble and a lot of bad mouthing from Tamara, but they all saw the goodness in her. Brick for brick the wall around Tamara came down.

I also really liked the concept of the diary. I won’t give away to much about it because you have to find out for yourself what the impact of the diary is. I can say that it was really cool concept and it added a lot of magic to the story. I would have liked even more diary! But in the end I totally agreed with Tamara’s decision concerning the diary. It prevented her from fully living!

The setting of this book was also really magical. Tamara’s aunt and uncle live on the grounds of a burned down castle, in rural Ireland. The descriptions about the former glory of the castle and the chapel were amazing. The story just really fit into the setting and added to the mystery. After long walks through the empty woods and a visit to a scorched castle I would start to question the freaky things too! All in all this was an amazing book that really went above and beyond my expectations. I am certainly glad that my prejudice towards this cover did not stop me from reading it! Consequently I have added all of Cecilia Ahern’s books to my wishlist :).

5 Stars

Review: The Girl Who Circumnagivated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making – Catherynne M. Valente

9591398Title: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
Author: Catherynne M. Valente
Publication Date: May 10, 2011
Publisher: Much-In-Little
Genre/themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure, Magic, Fairies
Source: My own bookshelf
Series?: Yes #1 in the Fairyland Series

You can add this book to Goodreads by clicking the cover.

Goodreads Synopsis:
Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn’t . . . then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday.

My thoughts:
This was a re-read for me. I read this for the first time last year and I was very charmed with the book. I took me a very long time to buy books 2 and 3 so I decided to re-read this one to get more into the story.

This story starts with September, a little girl from Omaha. She rides on the back of the Green Wind to Fairyland where she meets the evil Marquess, and finds out that Fairyland needs saving. Is September up for the job? This story is wonderful! The cover is gorgeous, the characters are magical and the adventure is just all over the place, in a good way ;)!

Let me start with September. September is such a sweet girl. She has a good heart (well, at least she grows a good one) and she is desperate for an adventure. She gets this in the form of a quest. September meets really awesome beings on this quest. She becomes friends with a Marid, named Saturday and a Wyvern, named A-through-L. There is really not much I can tell you about all the other creatures she meets because there are just so many! Catherynne Valente did such a fantastic job coming up with the magical world of Fairyland. She really has great imagination!

I first thought that this book was Middle Grade but I really think that this book is a little too difficult to classify it as that. The language is not geared toward Middle Graders as it quite complex and also there is some plus 14 content, as some scenes are painted quite vivid. I think this is a pity because this would be such a wonderful book to read out loud. Don’t know if there are any fourteen year old’s out there that want to be read to, haha.

It is just really difficult to explain why this is such a fun and good book. It has really pretty chapter headers, with wonderful illustrations. September is a really likeable character and I would want to go on an adventure with her! It was not all rainbows and sunshine however, because there was certainly some evil going on. There is not a lot of depth in the characters but I think that would only muddle up the magical qualities of this story. This re-read was somewhat less enjoyable than the first time I read it, just because of the flatness of the characters, but still well worth a read. There is really not a lot more I can tell you other than: read it!

4 Stars

Life’s Snapshots 22/9/2014

Life's Snap Shots
Another weeks bites the dust! It is incredible how fast time is flying right now! So what did I do last week?

  • Saturday the bf and I were planning on going to a local food festival. We were so excited to go! They promised all sorts of food trucks and music and so much fun. We were about to go when we noticed that our youngest kitty was not walking very well and he also displayed some labored breathing. As a safety precaution we took him to the vet. Unfortunately he had a lot of pain in his left hind leg, and the vet told us that he probably had an infection in there. He was given a shot of antibiotics and a painkiller and luckily we could take him home again. He had a similar infection a couple of weeks ago so this time round we are really going to make sure he stays inside for at least a week, until he is fully healthy again. Right now he is slowly becoming his normal, healthy self again! Luckily it was not something major, because he had as scared for a moment!
  • New Girl season 3 is on Netflix! 28304Finally.. I waited for so long to watch it. I blasted through season 1 and 2 about 8 months ago and then I had to wait. And wait. And do so more waiting. Finally my sister texted me that it was online. So far I have only let myself watch 1 episode because I know I will just get sucked in until the end of the season. I am also watching season 2 of Criminal Minds which I am about halfway through :).
  • My first essay was due today and I am happy to report that I was finished on time! I have such problems with time-management when it comes to assignments for school. Well, it is more that I never want to work on them. At the beginning of this semester I vowed to change my ways and start on time. I am really glad that I did. It feels so much better to finish with time to spare, rather than trying to wing it or come up with an excuse for why I haven’t finished. I hope to get this going all semester. Fingers crossed.
  • I want to read 15 books this month so I really got to push myself this week. I have been eying a beautiful hardback bind up of The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry, and I promised myself that if I read 5 books this week and do all my schoolwork, I can buy it. It is just so gorgeous :). I also really like the individual hardback editions but they are significantly more expensive. To not break the bank entirely I settled on the hardback bind-up. 9780544340978Ain’t it pretty? ❤

Q: What book is on your next to buy list?

 

One Lovely Blog Award

olba

I just received some really lovely news. Aida from Scripturiently nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award! I am really happy that she likes my blog and thought it good enough to nominate me! I am not going to nominate other people (despite how flattered I am with the reward!!) because I just don’t have the time to do that. I will however list 7 facts about myself, one of the rules for this award :).

7 Facts About Me:
1) I like to spend my Sundays in bed, regardless of what I have to do that day. I eat, watch tv, read, do homework.. Basically everything, as long as I don’t have to get out. Perfect excuse to stay in pajamas all day <3.
2) I have an immense obsessing with lists. I have numerous reading lists on my fridge. I use stickers to mark the books I read (bonus fact: I love stickers!). There is something so immensely satisfying in crossing something of a list. I don’t only have book lists, I also have movie lists, restaurant lists, recipe lists, to do lists, gaming lists. I have a list of my lists (haha, just kidding).
3) History was (and is) my favorite subject in school. Since I have gone to university 4 years ago I haven’t done any history courses, which I really hate, but I hope to some history course again in the (near)future.
4) I am football fan. I try to watch all the games of my favorite football club Ajax. Unfortunately I live very far from their stadium, as in 2 hours away, but when I can I go to games. I just finished watching a game. They played awful but they took the 3 points home (which meant they won :))!
5) I have two younger sisters, 18 and 16 years old. You might know by now that my name is Jirrine, but my sisters also have a name starting with J. In fact, my parents also have a name starting with a J. We called ourselves J5. And all our names have a different vowel as a second letter. So Jo, Je, Ji, Ja and Ju. My parents spent a lot of time coming up with names!
6) I cry really quickly. If I see a sad movie or read a sad book, I can wail intensely. At times so much that I scare my parents and bf. They think that something really bad has happened and than I have to explain that a character in my book died. They find it hilarious that I can cry because of a book. I just see it as an amazing compliment to an author. I mean, if they can provoke such emotion, there book is darn good!
7) Like Aida I really like to game. A lot. I am currently playing Assassin’s Creed I, a game I have already finished before but wanted to play again. Since my bf is also an avid game, we own all the AC games so I just want to play them all after one another ^-^!

So, these were 7 facts about them. Again, I really want to thank Aida for nominating me :D. Go take a look at her blog if your are interested!