10.13.2014

Chasing Power by Sarah Beth Durst | Book Review

Chasing Power Book Cover
Chasing Power by Sarah Beth Durst
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: eGalley (courtesy of Bloomsbury & Netgalley)
Genre: YA, SciFi, Supernatural, Paranormal
Publication Date: Oct. 14, 2014
Lies, secrets, and magic — three things that define Kayla's life.

Sixteen-year-old Kayla plans to spend her summer hanging out on the beach in Santa Barbara and stealing whatever she wants, whenever she wants it. Born with the ability to move things with her mind — things like credit cards, diamond rings, and buttons on cash registers — she has become a master shoplifter. She steals to build up a safety net, enough money for her and her mom to be able to flee if her dad finds them again. Well, that, and the thrill of using her secret talents.

But her summer plans change when she's caught stealing by a boy named Daniel — a boy who needs her help and is willing to blackmail her to get it. Daniel has a talent of his own. He can teleport, appearing anywhere in the world in an instant, but he lies as easily as he travels. Together, they embark on a quest to find and steal an ancient incantation, written on three indestructible stones and hidden millennia ago, all to rescue Daniel's kidnapped mother. But Kayla has no idea that this rescue mission will lead back to her own family — and to betrayals that she may not be able to forgive... or survive.
"Who hides an evil spell, and then leaves a map?"
-The Queen, Chasing Power by Sarah Beth Durst
It took me a chapter or two to get into this book, but it was a great adventure afterward. I really enjoyed the main character, Kayla's, relationship with her mother, and getting to see how it changed over the course of the book. It was great to see Kayla herself change throughout the book as well, and really come into a sense of confidence. She was great at feigning confidence in the beginning, but seemed to grow into her own skin (and power) as the story goes on. There are also some great parallel happenings going on with those around her, which I thought were cool. The characters around the main character aren't stagnant beings in the book--they learn and grow along with her.

Though there is a romance in the story--and yes, it happens a bit too quickly for my taste--it isn't based solely on the romance alone. In fact, a lot of the book has to do with family matters. And the rest is about an adventure that takes Kayla and Daniel to many cool places. Side note: The homeschooler in me was excited at all the history you can pick up from reading this book. :D 

I think the biggest thing I didn't like about the story is how seemingly easily things are resolved towards the end. Yet there are two big reasons I still appreciate the ending:
1.) I didn't see it coming, as I was expecting something much different and thrilling. This is, I suppose, the result of being used to reading things with thrills for the sake of thrills. After contemplating the ending, I appreciate the subtle way in which things unfold.
2.) It didn't end there. The conflict gets resolved, yes, but because of certain events there is still much the characters have to do before returning to their lives--and even then, their lives won't be the same. I appreciate Durst showing the 'after' of things. The cleanup, if you will.

In all, this is a fun book with very cool magic, and characters who change and grow as the story progresses. It is also another great Sarah Beth Durst novel! This is the third standalone of hers that I have read, and while each of them have been as different as night and day, I have enjoyed them all!


Temp. Guide
Read this if:
...you like family drama, and adventure with a touch of history.

Content Warning
*This section may contain some spoilers about content!*
Highlight between the brackets to reveal the text.
{Other than a few kissing scenes, and a few swear words, the book is pretty clean! There is also one possibly scary scene in an ancient crypt, but it's only scary if--like me--you don't like bones!}


Also from Sarah Beth Durst:
Drink, Slay, Love   /  Vessell (Don't have a review for this one, but I recommend it!)  /  More here

Purchase Chasing Power:
Sarah Beth Durst:
Website  /  Twitter  /  Facebook  /  Blog

9.30.2014

The Book With No Pictures by BJ Novak | Review

The Book With No Pictures by BJ Novak
Publisher:Penguin Audio
Format: Audiobook (courtesy of Penguin Audio)
Genre: Childrens
Publication Date: September 30, 2014
This innovative and wildly funny read-aloud by award-winning humorist/actor B.J. Novak will turn any listener into a comedian.

You might think a book with no pictures seems boring and serious. Except . . . here's how books work. Everything written on the page has to be said by the person reading it aloud. Even if the words say....BLORK. Or BLUURF. Even if the words are a preposterous song about eating ants for breakfast, or just a list of astonishingly goofy sounds like BLAGGITY BLAGGITY and GLIBBITY GLOBBITY.

Cleverly irreverent and irresistibly silly, The Book with No Pictures is one that kids will beg to hear again and again. (And parents will be happy to oblige.)

I was so happy to get a copy of this audiobook for review! I hadn't heard of it until then, but I just knew it was a book my son would love. I played it for him today, and we both sat there laughing through the entire thing.

About the audiobook:
BJ Novak is hilarious! His inflection changes as the words change, and it had even me laughing. The audiobook is great, even if it feels a bit short (be prepared to hit replay to listen to it again...and again, and again). If you aren't feeling up to reading this and sounding silly (oh, come one, what are you afraid of?), or if your child keeps asking you to read the book over and over, the audiobook is the perfect solution. The only downside I can see is that now I want a copy in book form, so I can read it to my son myself. :)

About the book:
In a way, it reminds me of one of my favorite children's books: The Monster At The End of This Book. It calls for the reader to be interactive with the words, meaning that each time it is read, the result can be made new and fresh, creating laughs long after the child has memorized the words--and if my son is any indication, your children will memorize them, only to repeat them back to you.

It was a fun experience for the both of us. This is the perfect book for young children, as they get to hear their parent--(or any other person who reads it to them--speak utter gibberish, and say funny and completely insane things. It's fun to let loose once in a while, and this book facilitates that.

Edit: We have since played this for my nieces and nephews, after my son begged me to let them hear it during a sleepover. It was such a hit! I had to play it three times over, while five children from the ages of 2-9 laughed and giggled, and shook the entire bed.

Some quotes from these kids:
Reader: "Can I please stop reading this book?"
Four children: "No!"
Fifth child: "Never!"

Reader: "Next time, PLEASE choose a book with pictures."
Three children: "Nope!"

Reader: "The end."
2-year-old: "Again! Again!"

Temp. Guide
Read this if:
...you have children, or like to let your own inner child out.

Content Warning
None.







Purchase The Book With No Pictures:
BJ Novak:
Blog  /  Twitter  /  Instagram

9.25.2014

Mockingjay Part 1 Premier Gathering!

Hey Rebels! 
It's time to take down the Capitol! 

The time has come again! Bring your family and friends, and join as we watch the premier of Mockingjay part 1! This has become somewhat of a tradition with each movie, and I am so excited to do it again! The information is below (most of it I just copied and pasted from last year--forgive me!). No matter who you are, we would love to have you join us! Book bloggers, book lovers, HG lovers, anyone reading this--you're invited!

Here's the plan:
Dinner
  • This is optional, and will be right before the movie. The restaurant hasn't been finalized yet, but it will be a restaurant near the theater. For those who came last year: did you like Iggy's, or would you prefer somewhere else?
  • Like last year, there will be some prizes and other fun things!
  • Even if you aren't eating, come talk and have fun with us! We would love to meet you.

Movie
  • Mockingjay part 1 premiers November 21, 2014. The movie will be the night of November 20, at anywhere from 8pm-midnight.
  • The theater we are going to is the Cinemark theater at the University Mall, in Orem.
  • We'll be going to the midnight showing, unless the theater offers an earlier showing (I won't pick one earlier than 8). I'm fairly certain they will offer an early showing, but I won't know for sure until the tickets go on sale (when I plan to grab tickets ASAP, to get us all the best seats). Because of this, please make sure you're okay with a showtime as early as 8pm, or as late as midnight.
  • I'll purchase a block of the best seats possible, so we can all sit together. It's reserved seating, so no lines! :)
  • Tickets are $9.25/person.

If you'd like to join us, purchase your movie ticket(s) by sending $9.25 per ticket via Paypal to:

penelopelolohea(AT)gmail(DOT)com

The last day to purchase tickets is October 26 at 11:59 PM MST.
(I had a fancy button for this, but couldn't get it to work. Go figure.)

Super Important information: 
  • Please enter the following information in the comments section of the checkout screen:
    • Your email address - so I can email you updates, or contact you if there is a problem. 
    • Whether you would like me to mail you your ticket(s), or give them to you the day of. If you want me to mail them, please include your mailing address.
  • The $9.50 charge is for your ticket for the movie alone. I am purchasing all of the tickets at once, so that we can all sit together. It's a race to get tickets each year. There is no tax or anything for the tickets. Also, I am NOT making any money off of this.
  • By purchasing a ticket, you agree that any showtime from 8pm Nov. 20 - to 12:01am Nov. 21 is acceptable (see above for an explanation). I will let you know the time as soon as the tickets have been purchased.
  • Because of the way I am purchasing the tickets, I cannot give refunds (if you want more information on this, email me at readingfever@gmail.com). If you have an emergency and can't make it, I will do my best to sell your ticket to someone else and return your money that way, but I can't make any guarantees. 

I want to be as transparent as possible in this, so if you have ANY questions or concerns, feel free to contact me at readingfever@gmail.com. Hope to see you there!

Edit: I am accepting donations for prizes this year! If you want to help you, and have anything you want to add to the prizes given away at the dinner, let me know!
Thanks for the idea, Jenni!

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