Monthly Archives: May 2014

The Museum of Intangible Things by Wendy Wunder Review

I am way behind on writing reviews! It’s time to get back on track. Here we go!

 

museum

The Museum of Intangible Things by Wendy Wunder
April 10, 2014
Razorbill
Hardcover, 304 pages.

What it’s about:

Hannah and Zoe have faced many challenges in their lives, but they have always faced them together. So when Zoe insists that she has to get out of their New Jersey town, Hannah agrees to pack up her old LeMans and head west. The girls leave behind family dramas, romance traumas, and the prospect of disappointing futures as they chase storms and maybe break a few laws. Zoe has always been the more outgoing of the pair and as their journey progresses Zoe encourages Hannah to be bolder, dream bigger, and take more risks. She tries to teach Hannah about the things missing from her life. While Hannah embraces Zoe’s  daring lessons she tries to hold on to a bit of her old self, the Hannah that is the grounding, stable force in Zoe’s chaotic world.

Why you might like it:

Before I give you a few things that you might like about this book, I have to warn you that the cover is terribly misleading and really has nothing to do with the story. Yes, there are two girls in the story, and yes, they see some mountains, but that is it. This road trip is not all sunshine and flowers. It is frenetic in an earth-shattering, life changing way. So, if you up for some heartbreak, then I definitely recommend this story that touches on so many issues. If you love books about road trips, you might enjoy Zoe and Hannah’s trip from New Jersey to the Grand Canyon. Their trip is quite entertaining at times, even if it does require readers to suspend disbelief at times. If you are interested in alcoholism or mental illnesses, and the impact they have on families and friendships, you’ll find they are both powerful forces in this book. If you love a first romance, and an unbreakable best friend bond you’ll find both here.  If you can handle sadness, heartbreak, and shock that often comes along with the joy and humor in life, you might pick this book. The Museum of Intangible Things is not a light, summer-y road trip book that is all about romance and self-discovery. Actually, it IS about friendship, romance and self-discovery, but it is certainly not light! This book was not what I was expecting, but I was quite moved by what I found.

Want more like this?

For more road trip tales and epic journeys try An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, and The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner. You might also enjoy Breakfast Served Anytime by Sarah Combs, It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini, and Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler.

Waiting on Wednesday-The Secret Place-5/28/14

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week I am so excited about this one:

secret place

The Secret Place (Dublin Murder Squad #5) by Tana French
September 2, 2014

From Goodreads:

“The photo on the card shows a boy who was found murdered, a year ago, on the grounds of a girls’ boarding school in the leafy suburbs of Dublin. The caption says, I KNOW WHO KILLED HIM.

Detective Stephen Moran has been waiting for his chance to get a foot in the door of Dublin’s Murder Squad—and one morning, sixteen-year-old Holly Mackey brings him this photo. The Secret Place, a board where the girls at St. Kilda’s School can pin up their secrets anonymously, is normally a mishmash of gossip and covert cruelty, but today someone has used it to reignite the stalled investigation into the murder of handsome, popular Chris Harper. Stephen joins forces with the abrasive Detective Antoinette Conway to find out who and why.

But everything they discover leads them back to Holly’s close-knit group of friends and their fierce enemies, a rival clique—and to the tangled web of relationships that bound all the girls to Chris Harper. Every step in their direction turns up the pressure. Antoinette Conway is already suspicious of Stephen’s links to the Mackey family. St. Kilda’s will go a long way to keep murder outside their walls. Holly’s father, Detective Frank Mackey, is circling, ready to pounce if any of the new evidence points toward his daughter. And the private underworld of teenage girls can be more mysterious and more dangerous than either of the detectives imagined.

The Secret Place is a powerful, haunting exploration of friendship and loyalty, and a gripping addition to the Dublin Murder Squad series.

The majority of my reading is YA, but there are a handful of non-YA authors who I love. Tana French is one of them. Her Dublin Murder Squad series is one of my favorite mystery series. I can’t wait for this next installment!

Happy Reading!

∼Megan

Top Ten Tuesday-Freebie, Or, Ten Series I Need to Finish in 2014 5/27/14

toptentuesday

I hope everyone had a nice long holiday weekend! I certainly enjoyed the lovely weather, but now it’s time to get back to work. Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie topic. It turns out I randomly chose the same topic as our hosts, The Broke and the Bookish. I keep telling myself that I should finish old series before I begin a new one, but that never really works out so well. Maybe this list will help me focus a little bit and actually finish some series.

Series that have ended and are available now:

1. Ashfall by Mike Mullin. I am afraid to read the final book, Sunrise.

sunrise

2. Dust Lands by Moira Young. I am really excited to read Raging Star!

raging star

3. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. I cannot believe that I haven’t listened to Dreams of Gods and Monsters yet!

dreams of gods and monsters

4. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. Ok, I am not going lie. I am kind of relieved that this series is coming to an end. And if we’re being honest with each other, I may as well put it out there that I might not be interested in further Shadowhunter series. We’ll see.

city of heavenly fire

5. The League of Princes by Christopher Healy. I am really sad that The Hero’s Guide to Being an Outlaw will be the last book in the series. I have it at home and really should get started on it.

hero's guide outlaw

6. Blood of Eden by Julie Kagawa. I have only read the first book of the trilogy, but I think I can manage the other two books this year!

eternity cure forever song

 

…and some Coming Soon series enders:

7. The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan. We can’t really be saying goodbye to Percy and Annabeth, can we?

blood of olympus

8. Mara Dyer series by Michelle Hodkin. Oh, I am hooked! The cliffhanger at the end of book two was brutal!

retribution of mara dyer

9. The Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo. I have really enjoyed this series on audio. Ruin and Rising is coming soon!

ruin and rising

10. His Fair Assassin series by Robin LeFevers. I *finally* managed to read Grave Mercy and I am so excited to continue this one. I just bought the second book and will be ordering the third one soon! Yay, Barnes & Noble member coupons!

dark triumph mortal heart

Bonus:

Jasper Dent by Barry Lyga, Article 5 by Kristen Simmons, and BZRK by Michael Grant (I am actually working on an arc of this one!!!)

Happy Reading!

∼Megan

 

Waiting on Wednesday-The Cure for Dreaming 5/21/14

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week I am so excited about this one:

cure for dreaming

The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters
October 14, 2014

From Goodreads:

“Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout.”

I loved Cat Winters’ stunning debut, In the Shadow of Blackbirds. I expect this next offering to be just as amazing! This is how I love my historical fiction-with a touch of the supernatural, plenty of suspense, and a little mystery. Also, her covers are phenomenal!

Happy Reading!

∼Megan

Top Ten Tuesday-Books About Friendship 5/20/14

toptentuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is an ode to friendships.

1. Also Known As by Robin Benway. Maggie has grown up as a spy, living a life of adventure on the go. There has never been time for friends, until an assignment brings the family back, to settle in New York. Enter Roux, the best bestie ever!

also known as

2. The Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan. One of the main themes throughout this series is friendship. I just love the relationships between Halt and Will, and Will and Horace.

 

rangers

3.  Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern is about one girl’s quest to find new friends. Because her old ones totally suck. She branches out, discovers new interests, meets new people, and she ultimately finds herself. Love this one!

nerd

4. Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg attempts to answer the age-old question: can guys and girls just be friends? Macallan and Levi have been best friends since middle school and they can’t figure out why everyone assumes they are a couple.

better off friends

5. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz is a touching story of friendship between two boys. Ari was an angry loner before he met Dante, but as their friendship grows Ari learns a lot about himself and his family.

aristotle and dante

6. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater is about magic and fate and myths and true love, but at its core is the friendship amongst the four boys from Aglionby Academy. Gansey is the glue that holds these boys together. It is truly magica.

raven boys

7. The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extance is the story of an unlikely friendship between an epileptic teen and a reclusive American expat and Vietnam veteran. This book will certainly have a spot on my favorites of 2014 list.

universe verses

8. The Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter has some of the best female friendships around. Sure, the girls are all training at a top-secret spy school, but Cammie, Bex, Liz, and Macey really have each others’ backs.

gallagher

9. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta is a beautifully heartbreaking look at friendship.

jellicoe road

10. The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan starring Percy, Anabeth, and Grover has one of my favorite group of friends since those loveable Harry Potter kids!

percy box

Runners Up: Winger by Andrew Smith, Okay For Now by Gary Schmidt, and I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak.

Happy Reading!

∼Megan

 

 

 

 

Mondays With Megan: Bout of Books 10 Wrap-up/What Are You Reading? 5/19/14

Happy Monday, dear readers! Did everyone have a nice weekend? Did you squeeze in some reading time? I got a lot of listening in, but I think that I am in a bit of a reading slump when it comes to using my own eyeballs. There are a number of factors contributing to this, but I have isolated the one thing that I can actually change. I need to loosen up on the “rules.” I have really enjoyed having my teens pick books for me to read and for the most part, I have enjoyed their choices. I have also enjoyed participating in the Random Reads meme. However, with two book clubs, two teen’s choices, and a random read each month, there is less time to just read what I want to read. I had hoped a loosely structured readathon like Bout of Books would help, but sadly, I really dropped the ball on that one. Now that I am aware of what is hanging me up, I think I am going to take the summer “off” and just read whatever I want. Oh, the troubles that plague us readers, right? Despite my self-perceived slum, I managed to finish a few things last week.

mondayreading new monday

Here’s a quick check-in with Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts for another It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Finished:

rebel belle chocolate war rules for breaking rosie project

  • Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins was so much fun! The story was fresh (this is the first teen Paladin I have encounter outside of Dungeons & Dragons!) with plenty of action, sass, and romance.
  • The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier is a YA classic. I honestly didn’t know much about it going in. This story is dark, disturbing, and stands the test of time.
  • The Rules for Breaking by Ashley Elston is the sequel to her thriller, The Rules for Disappearing. Again, a fresh story (a teen in witness protection) and lots of danger and suspense.
  • The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion is definitely my favorite of the bunch. This debut novel is so quirky and sweet and I loved every minute of the audiobook.

Current Audio:

this is where i leave you prisoner of night and fog

Currently Reading:

messenger enchantment buzz kill bzrk 3

On Deck:

museum article 5 raging star

Happy Reading!

∼Megan

Bout of Books 10 Updates

bouty

The Bout of Books Readathon has reached the halfway point and I have really slacked. Time to kick things into gear and go out strong! Here’s a quick recap of what I had hoped to accomplish:

Goals:

1. Finish all Currently Reading books

  • I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
  • Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
  • Enchantment by Orson Scott Card
  • The Rules For Breaking by Ashley Elston

2. Finish all Current Audio (see below)

  • The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
  • The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

3. Read The Museum of Intangible Things by Wendy Wunder and BZRK: Apocalypse by Michael Grant

DAY 5:

Finished Books:

  • Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
  • The Chocolate Wars by Robert Cormier
  • The Rules For Breaking by Ashley Elston

Reading Progress:

  • I am the Messenger pg. 192/360
  • Enchantment pg. 77/387
  • BZRK: Apocalypse pg. 35 /400

 

 

DAY 4:

Total Books Finished:

  • Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
  • The Chocolate Wars by Robert Cormier

Reading Progress:

  • I am the Messenger pg. 192/360
  • Enchantment pg. 55/387
  • Rules for Breaking pg 258/320

 

Here is my progress so far (DAY 3):

Total Books Finished:

  • Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
  • The Chocolate Wars by Robert Cormier

Reading Progress:

  • I am the Messenger pg. 127/360
  • Enchantment pg. 55/387
  • Rules for Breaking pg 105/320

I have a lot of work to do!

Happy Reading!

∼Megan