11.20.2013

(Afraid Of) Commitment

In the last year, I have begun reading over 200 books. Of those 200+ books, I have actually finished only forty. FORTY! And the majority of those were read in the first three months of the year. The rest have been sporadic. I've been having some serious trouble finishing books lately (as evidenced by my clear lack of reviews). I've been trying to get myself to read more, and at least meet my startlingly low (for me) Goodreads challenge goal of 50 books read this year...but it doesn't look like I'll make it. I've been coming home from the library this entire year with 4-8 new books to try out each week. How many of those do I actually finish? Usually none. Seriously people, I am returning books to the library, unread!

I thought I was in a huge reading slump, but decided that wasn't the right thing to call it, since I definitely want to read, and have been at least attempting to read ton of books. It wasn't until tonight, that the realization struck me, that I am utterly and completely afraid of commitment to a story.


  • I'm afraid that I'll get into a story, only to realize that the main character is just like 100 other main characters I have read about.
  • I'm afraid that I'll get into a story, and be utterly disappointed in the end.
  • I'm afraid that I'll get into a book, only to find it full of cliches that I'll then have to suffer through.
  • I'm afraid that I won't like the second (or third, etc.) book as much as I loved the first.
  • And mostly: I'm afraid that I'll love a story so much, that the bar will be set even higher.

My reading preferences have changed drastically in the last year (and it was completely without my permission), and I find I have no idea how to handle the change. I'm less satisfied with simple, easy endings; less happy with typical male stereotypes; more annoyed with typical female stereotypes; less entertained by the wonders of YA. And, for the first time in my life, I have had less time for reading. This has given me a sense of urgency, which has translated into me not wanting to "waste" time on books I won't like. 

Hence, my fear of commitment.

Hopefully it will pass someday soon. Until then, I'll be over here in my corner of the world, steadily moving towards holding the world record for the most unfinished books, ever. 

9.26.2013

Shadowlands by Kate Brian | Book Review

Shadowlands by Kate Brian (Shadowlands #1)
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Format: Hardcover
Genre: YA, Thriller, Supernatural
Publication Date: 8 January, 2013
Rory Miller had one chance to fight back and she took it. Rory survived and the serial killer who attacked her escaped. Now that the infamous Steven Nell is on the loose, Rory must enter the witness protection program. Entering the program alongside her, is her father and sister Darcy. The trio starts a new life and a new beginning leaving their friends and family behind without a goodbye.

Starting over in a new town with only each other is unimaginable for Rory and Darcy. They were inseparable as children but now they can barely stand each other. As the sisters settle in to Juniper Landing, a picturesque vacation island, it seems like their new home may be just the fresh start they need. They fall in with a group of beautiful, carefree teens and spend their days surfing, partying on the beach, and hiking into endless sunsets. Just as they’re starting to feel safe again, one of their new friends goes missing. Is it a coincidence? Or is the nightmare beginning all over again?

I picked this book up purely based on the reactions it was getting. I love a book that can mess with my mind, and I was told this one was a doozy. So I checked it out from the library, and settled in for the read.

And, well...I wanted to like it. It starts off great, with Rory, the MC, barely escaping from her would-be murderer. There's a creepy chapter from the serial murderer himself, that makes your skin crawl--something that happens sporadically throughout the book. And then everything goes downhill, starting with the most infuriating reaction from the MC's father and sister. From the start, the father is demeaning towards, and uncooperative with, the FBI. He even goes to far as to have an outburst of anger at his daughter for walking alone in the woods, and almost getting herself killed. Way to blame the victim, dad! The sister is also angry, but only because she can no longer go to the party she was planning on going to, and later gets more upset at her sister--the victim--because they have to go into witness protection because of her.

During this time, the FBI is there and doing a horrible job. I can't claim to have first-hand knowledge of the workings of the FBI and the witness protection program, but there are a couple things I am pretty sure would never happen:
1.) The boy who picked her up in the beginning as she was running from the murderer, effectively saving her, would never have been able to just drop her off at her house full of police vehicles and FBI personnel, and drive away without even being questioned.
2.) With a serial killer bent on retribution on the loose, I don't think the family would have been given a car and sent off to a safe house alone, and with no one planning to meet them at the actual safe house to make sure they make it alright/get settled in. I think the FBI is more cautious than that.

Lastly, I couldn't handle anything that happened after that. The mysterious inhabitants of the town they end up in, the staring, the whispering, the secret club that seems to know something about Rory, the strange occurrences, the boy who seems to be able to read Rory's thoughts, and on, and on.... The 'clues' are about as subtle as Thor's hammer. I could see the cleverness behind the crazy plot twist, and I really wanted to feel something for the characters when it came. Unfortunately, I had not only already figured it out (spoiler: >>the biggest clue is the title!<<), but I had grown to despise the characters so much, that I really didn't care.

It's an easy read, and I read it in just a few hours. If it had been done differently/been more subtle/had more character development, I would have loved it. As it is, I can't recommend it.


Temp. Guide

Content Warning
*This section may contain some spoilers about content!*
Highlight between the brackets to reveal the text.
{Includes disturbing thoughts of a murderer, a few graphic scenes, underage drinking, and a few swear words.}




Other Books in the Series:
Book 2: Hereafter

Purchase Shadowlands:
Kate Brian:
Website  /  Twitter  /  Facebook

9.23.2013

Utah Blogger Catching Fire Gathering!


Hey Hunger Games fans!

Bring your family and friends, and come join other Utah book lovers as we watch the premier of Catching Fire! Our gathering last year was so fun, and I can't wait to do it again. It's going to be a GREAT night!

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 one of the restaurants near the theater (most likely Iggy's).
  • 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
  • We'll be going to the midnight showing, unless the theater offers an earlier showing (no earlier than 7). 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 7pm, 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/person.

If you'd like to join us, purchase your movie ticket(s) below! 
You can change the quantity of tickets in the left-hand column, on the next screen.

Tickets go on sale Oct. 1st, so the deadline to RSVP (purchase tickets) is September 29th at 11:59pm.


Super Important information: 
  • Please enter your email address in the comments section, so I can email you updates, or contact you if there is a problem. 
  • I plan to send you your tickets in the mail after they have been purchased. If you would rather I NOT do this, please let me know.
  • The $9 charge is for your ticket for the movie, and nothing else. I am purchasing all of the tickets at once, so that we can all sit together (it was a race to get tickets last year, and I expect it to be worse this year). I am NOT making any money off of this.
  • By purchasing a ticket, you agree that any showtime from 7pm to 12:01am 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!

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