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2023 Bookish Books Reading Challenge

My Progress:

23 / 30 books. 77% done!

20 Books of Summer 2023

My Progress:

17 / 20 books. 85% done!

2023 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (2)
- Alaska (1)
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (12)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut (3)
- Delaware (1)
- Florida (1)
- Georgia (1)
- Hawaii (1)
- Idaho (1)
- Illinois
- Indiana (1)
- Iowa (1)
- Kansas (1)
- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine (3)
- Maryland (2)
- Massachusetts (3)
- Michigan (2)
- Minnesota (1)
- Mississippi (1)
- Missouri (1)
- Montana (1)
- Nebraska (1)
- Nevada
- New Hampshire (1)
- New Jersey (1)
- New Mexico (1)
- New York (11)
- North Carolina (4)
- North Dakota (1)
- Ohio (3)
- Oklahoma (1)
- Oregon (1)
- Pennsylvania (1)
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina (1)
- South Dakota
- Tennessee (1)
- Texas (4)
- Utah (1)
- Vermont (3)
- Virginia
- Washington (3)
- West Virginia (1)
- Wisconsin (2)
- Wyoming
- Washington, D.C.* (1)


- Australia (3)
- Canada (7)
- Chile (1)
- England (21)
- France (2)
- Ireland (2)
-Italy (1)
- Scotland (2)
- South Korea (1)
- Sweden (1)
- The Netherlands (2)
-Vietnam (1)

My Progress:

45 / 51 states. 88% done!

2023 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

25 / 25 books. 100% done!

2023 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

48 / 50 books. 96% done!

Booklist Queen's 2023 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

50 / 52 books. 96% done!

2023 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:

46 / 52 books. 88% done!

2023 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

35 / 40 books. 88% done!

2023 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

29 / 40 books. 73% done!

2023 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

14 / 25 books. 56% done!

2023 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

Book Bingo Reading Challenge

20 / 25 books. 80% done!

2023 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

90 / 109 books. 83% done!

Children's Book Reading Challenge...For Adults!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Saying Goodbye to the Guilt (Sorry, Blog Tours)

It's hard to express just how fun and satisfying book blogging is for me.  It really is such a good time.  I'm secure enough in my nerdiness to admit that publicly (not that it will surprise any of you).  As much as I love this gig, though, there are parts of my "job" that make me feel stressed, pressured and guilty.  Yes, I'm talking about blog tours.  I've tried cutting back, agreeing to review only the books I'm really, really, really interested in and yet, I still find myself signing up for more tours than I can handle and then having trouble meeting those commitments.  This makes me feel both embarrassed and guilty.  It's not the blog tour coordinators or anyone else making me feel this way—it's me!  I can't control myself.  So, I am officially resigning from participation in blog tours.  In addition, scheduled reviews will no longer be available, except in the special cases described below.  I feel terrible doing this, but I know it will help me remain sane and keep blogging fun.

What's going to happen to the tours for which I've already signed up?  I will honor those engagements to the best of my ability.  However, no new tour stops will be scheduled from here on out.  I'm still interested in reviewing books, of course, but only those that can be evaluated within my own time frame.  If that doesn't work for you, then you'll have to find a different reviewer.  I'm still open to hosting giveaways, author interviews, product reviews (of at least a semi-bookish nature) and cover reveals/tour stops/guest posts for authors with whom I have previously worked or with whom I would like to work.  In addition, I may be open to scheduling an occasional tour stop, but only for books published through a traditional, established publisher (i.e. Harper Collins, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, Deseret Book, etc.) or written by authors to whom I've given positive reviews in the past.  Anyone is welcome to email me with questions or queries, just be aware that unless your book meets the above guidelines, I will probably not accept it for review.  

Just to make everything crystal clear, I will no longer be participating in blog tours.  If you run a tour company, you can take my name off your contact list or you can continue querying me.  It's totally up to you. If you are an author, publicist, intern, etc. looking to have a book reviewed in an open time frame, please feel free to query me.  I'll accept or decline requests in the same way I always have—based on how much a book appeals to me.

I hope all this makes sense.  If you have questions or comments, you're always welcome to email me.  I love getting your ideas and feedback, so don't hesitate to communicate with me.

Thank you for understanding!  I really think this decision will help me be a better, more relaxed, more efficient reviewer.  And that's what we all want, right?

It's Not the Most Original YA Dystopian on the Block, But So What?

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

June Iparis and Daniel "Day" Wing are both 15-year-olds living in a city that used to be one of the biggest, most glamorous metropolises on the west coast of The United States.  Now, Los Angeles is part of The Republic, a crumbling country that's always at war with its neighbors, The Colonies.  Military might is essential for The Republic's victory and June was born to lead great armies.  Hailing from one of the wealthiest, most important families in the area, she's a military prodigy, destined to take her place in the highest circles of Republican society.  Smart, beautiful and confident to the point of cockiness, June's got the whole world at her feet.  Day is June's polar opposite.  The city's most notorious outlaw, he's made an art form out of his rebellion and loathing of a government he sees as corrupt.  He may not be the most dangerous criminal on the streets, but he's definitely the most wanted.  Lucky for him, no one knows what he really looks like, let alone when—or where—he'll strike next.

When Metias, June's beloved older brother, is murdered, Day becomes the primary suspect.  In her grief and anger, June vows to see the criminal hanged.  As June tracks him across the city, she begins to understand that with Day, not everything is as it seems.  But is he telling the truth about Metias' death?  And if he is, what does that mean for June?  While doggedly searching for answers, June must decide who she can trust—not just with the truth, but also with her heart.

I read a lot of YA dystopians, some of which intrigue and entertain me, some of which do not.  Legend, the first book in Marie Lu's best-selling series, happens to fall in the former category.  It's not because the plot's overly original (it's not) or because the writing's breathtakingly beautiful (nope) or because the characters are so incredibly real (uh uh)—and yet, the story's very compelling.  I flew through the pages, practically spraining a wrist as I raced through the book to find out what happened next.  It's just intense and exciting like that.  In the end, I really didn't care that Legend felt like lots of other novels in this genre, I just enjoyed the read.  And, truth be told, I kind of love it when that happens.  

(Readalikes:  Prodigy and Champion by Marie Lu)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for brief, mild language (no F-bombs) and violence

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find
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The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer


My Calamity Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows

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