Bout of Bookes 8.0 Goals and Updates

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 19th and runs through Sunday, August 25th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 8.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Visit at least 3 blogs a day
Participate in tweet chats #BoutOfBooks (mon@2pm and Wed@9pm)
Participate in 2 or more challenges

The BookBFFs and I each came up with a mini challenge like BookTubeAThon.

Novella: As They Slip Away
Debut: Reboot
Male POV: Monument 14
Procrastinated starting: Eve
Children Classic Reread: Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal

These are bonuses:
Audiobook: Losing Hope
Adaptation: City of Bones!


What I've read today: Eve (240pgs) 
Totatal number of pgs today: 240
Total number of books I’ve read so far: x
Participated in: Twitter Chat & Bookish Bucket List Challenge
Reviews: x
Thoughts: x I was hating this one at first, but now I'm actually kind of liking it.  It's very suspenseful.  I just keep seeing plot holes and world building issues. It's reminding me of The Host and Delirium mixed together.
Today in 140 characters: If in Twitter jail there was bail that was met when someone started a # trending, Amanda's account would never be in a cyber cell again. 
Favorite quote of the day: 
"No, I thought then, and now, watching as Caleb glanced up at me and smiled that kind, brilliant smile.  Happiness is a moment." -Eve


What I've read today: Eve (96pgs), Losing Hope Audiobook (10%), Reboot (22), HP y la piedra filosofal (23)
Total number of pgs I've read today: 141
 number of books I’ve read so far: 1
Participated in: Commented on blogs and met some people on twitter!
Thoughts: I really liked the last half of Eve.  Once the main character wasn't frustrating me anymore.  I'm definitely going to continue that series eventually. I'm loving reading Harry Potter in Spanish! Also reboot is awesome so far and I'm only a few pgs in!
Today in 140 characters: Book BFF's video update day 1&2
Favorite quote of the day: 
"Love was death's only adversary, the only thing powerful enough to combat its clawing, desperate grasp."-Eve


What I've read today: Reboot (43), Unearthly (45)
Totatal number of pgs today: 91
Total number of books I’ve read so far: 1
Participated in:x
Reviews: X
Thoughts: I'm loving Reboot. The world building is phenomenal and so original.  Twenty-two is adorable and wren is so kick ass.  I'm also loving my reread of Unearthly.  I'm behind on that though lol. I keep getting side tracked. Like today I ended up going to the b&n that's moving in my town bc they were having a big sale.  And then at night I went to dinner with my family.  So I only read before bed pretty much.  Sometimes during rewdsthons I know I'm supposed to be reading so I don't. Anyone else have this issue?
Today in 140 characters: Procrastinating by buying more books can be fun, but kind of unproductive if you really think about it.  tomorrow will be better...I hope.
Favorite quote of the day: 
"Try not to scream when I break your bones. It bothers me. You can cry if you want; that's fine."
He burst out laughing. I didn't realize that was a funny statement.
"Got it," he said, trying unsuccessfully to cover his grin. "Screaming, no. Crying, yes.".  -Reboot


What I've read today: Reboot (287)
Totatal number of pgs today: 287
Total number of books I’ve read so far: 1
Participated in: Reading sprints on Twitter
Reviews: X
Thoughts: Reboot is impossible to put down and it's surprisingly funny.  I'm glad I chose this as one of my BOB reads because I was able to read it quickly.  Today I was able to not get distracted and read a lot.  After I filmed my Over and Under Hyped Books video I pretty much just read for the rest of the day.
Today in 140 characters: Am I the only one who wanted to get a barcode tattoo like Wren has after reading Reboot?!?! #AmIRight?
Favorite quote of the day: 
"I stayed up and kept watch.  Plus you look all cute and nonlethal when you sleep." -Reboot


What I've read today: Reboot (35), As They Slip Away (48), Losing Hope Audiobook (30 minutes) Monument 14 (28)
Totatal number of pgs today: 83
Total number of books I’ve read so far: 3
Participated in:x
Reviews: x
Thoughts: Kinda sad Reboot is done.  But now I can move on to Monument 14 which Melina has been raving to me about. I'm a little disturbed by the Across The Universe novella.  It was depressing and had nothing to do with the story.  Well, except to show how sick Luthe is.  Weird. I listened to a little of the audiobook on my way to this ice cream place that has live outdoor music (I wasn't kidding about needing ice cream after that novella).  Now I'm starting Monument 14 before bed.
Today in 140 characters: Silly me. Here I was thinking this novella would be a fun read.  I'm now thoroughly disturbed, depressed, and in need of ice cream and a nap.
Favorite quote of the day: 
I reached for his hand, melting into the kiss.  Behind me, someone cleared her throat.
"Are we kissing or flying?" Beth asked, her annoyance tinged with amusement. -Reboot


What I've read today: Monument 14 (50)
Totatal number of pgs today: 50
Total number of books I’ve read so far: 3
Participated in:x
Reviews: x
Thoughts: I did everything but read.  It was just one of those days.  I got my car inspected, sad outside and enjoyed the sun, even rearranged furniture.  I was getting ready to read then I noticed I wanted to move my trashcan to under my desk.  Which then promptly turned into me moving all the furniture in my room.  But now there's tons more room so #IWin.  I also went to my friend's baby shower.  It was so much fun and my mouth still hurts from smiling so much and saying AWWWWW at every gift she opened.  This is going to be the best dressed baby ever haha. Hopefully Sunday I actually read so I can finish my 4th book.
Today in 140 characters: Feng Shui is like Pringles. Move one piece of furniture and you can't stop.  But hey, at least now there's more room for activities!
Favorite quote of the day: 
(I literally laughed out loud for like ten minutes at this part where they're marching around signing this and the guy outside is trying to get in.  Not sure why it was so funny.


What I've read today: Monument 14 (169)
Totatal number of pgs today: 169
Total number of books I’ve read so far: 4
Participated in:x
Reviews: x
Thoughts: x So glad I listened to Melina and Lindsay and picked up this book.  I'd had the sequel on my shelf for awhile and I wasn't planning on getting to it any time soon, but they were raving.  It was such a realistic post apocalyptic book and I think the characters definitely kept my attention.  I really cared about them by the end...even Brayden.  I'm pretty proud I got through 4 books this week.  I'll probably read a little more HP tonight, but the VMAs are on and I want to see the Divergent trailer so...I'm probably done for today.
Today in 140 characters: x
Favorite quote of the day: x

Wrap Up

Books Read: (4) Eve, Reboot, As They Slip Away, and Reboot
Total number of pages read: 1,111
Participated in:Tweet chats and 2 challenges
ThoughtsYou know how usually when I know I'm supposed to be reading I find everything else in the world to do but read?  I'll be like I should read so I can reach my goal...ooooo shiny.  And then I'm distracted for 5 hours.  Well this time I resisted the shiny objects that are life's distractions.  And I actually slept because I found out during the BookTubeAThon that humans need sleep to survive...who knew? So I think that's why I was so successful in finishing 1,111 pages.   

1. Bucket List: I really want to go to BEA and ALA this year. I really want to meet the bloggers I’ve talked to on Twitter finally. Plus meeting some of my favorite authors and getting books. What more could you ask for?! This is def the top of my book bucket list!

A. City of Bones- Cassandra Claire
B. President Snow- The Hunger Games-Suzanne Collins
C. Something Strange and Deadly- Susan Dennard
D. Thirteen reasons Why- Jay Asher.
E. Shadow and Bone- Leigh Bardugo
F. Hermione Granger- Harry Potter
G. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake- Aimee Bender

Help! I'm being held captive at City of Bones by President Snow!
It is very strange here!
He is demanding thirteen bones to set me free!
I have just discovered that Hermione Granger was captured too!
On second thought, please send lemon cake, and don't worry if you don't hear from us for a awhile!

This was fun!  I thought it was funny how it worked out with the bones being the ransom!  I wouldn't mind chillin' with Hermione eating lemon cake at all haha.

^^Back To the Top^^

Dytopians, Birds, and Why They're so Commonly Mixed.

Personally birds freak me out.  Their lack of hands, ability to float in the air, and sharp pointy beaks are just too creepy for my liking.  Plus, their beady eyes have this way of staring straight into your soul it seems.  And I know I'm not alone in my dislike of this species.  

So then why do so many YA books, especially in the Dystopian genre, continuously reference them?  Lately, I've noticed all my favorites have made reference to a bird as a theme of the novel.  And it made me wonder.  Is this such a universal and powerful theme that is necessary for a book about a world of destruction and societal disintegration?  Or is it just so commonly overdone because no one can think of anything original?  I'd like to think the former because the books I'm about to mention are written by some of my absolute favorite authors.  There are mild spoilers so if you haven't read any of these books just skip on to the next one.

Lets start with Divergent.

I used the UK cover image as evidence.  Those three birds represent the tattoo Tris got once she moved over to the Dauntless factor.  While Tris says she got those tattoos to represent each family member she had left behind when leaving her faction, I still wonder.  Why birds?  Veronica Roth could have used, hearts, even initials.

I think it's supposed to symbolize her freedom and independence.  She has flown the coop and is exploring new world.  It might also represent her fear.  Not only of leaving her family, but one of her actual fears.  When the birds attack her in her landscape she feels she has no control over the situation. Much like she feels in her new faction.  So again I ask.  Why birds?  Roth could have had a pack of feral dogs descend upon Tris.

"This time, I do not hit the bird as hard as I can. I crouch, listening to the thunder of wings behind me, and run my hand through the grass, just above the ground. What combats powerlessness? Power. And the first time I felt powerful in the Dauntless compound was when I was holding a gun.
A lump forms in my throat and I want the talons off. The bird squawks and my stomach clenches, but then I feel something hard and metal in the grass. My gun."

Shatter Me is a little more straight forward I think, but yet still holds some mystery to me.

Juliette is locked in a cell for the majority of her life.  Whether it's the physical one in the beginning of the book or the emotional cell society has placed her in by isolating her as a young child.  So it didn't come as a surprise to me when she kept dreaming about a bird and why Adam just so happened to have one tattooed on his chest.  At first I thought it symbolized her yearning for freedom.  But then why would Adam have it on his chest?  It makes me think there is more to this tattoo choice...unless he was drunk one Friday night and lost a bet against Kenji.  But I doubt that.

“There will be a bird today. It will be white with streaks of gold like a crown atop its head. It will fly."

Yep, you knew this one was coming.  The Hunger Games trilogy is all about the Mockingjay bird.  I had looked up what a Mockingjay was because like many of you out there I had no idea.  It sounds suspiciously like Mockingbird though.  

National Wildlife Federation explains that it is a made up species.  Apparently the Capitol created these birds to spy on the people of Panem.  But when the people figured it out they used the birds against the Capitol and the birds were cast off to live in the wild.

The NWF site says, "But, in an example of extraordinary wildlife almost never doing what we expect, male jabberjays bred with female mockingbirds, giving birth to the mockingjay, which could repeat both human melodies and birdsong and were thus better able to protect themselves - See more at:".

The line I highlighted really popped out at me.  Was suzanne Collins using this species that unexpectedly transformed into something different as a symbol for Katniss, who President Snow had no way of knowing would transform into the leader of a revolution?  Like the evolution of the birds, Katniss evolved from a plan to keep the people of Panem in line to something more. 

Also why Mockingjay?  and not Parrotjay?  Both would imply that the bird could mimick sounds.  I think Suzanne used Mockingjay because it's similar to a Mockingbird.  Which brings me to my next book.

"We had to save you because you're the mockingjay, Katniss," says Plutarch. "While you live, the revolution lives."

The bird, the pin, the song, the berries, the watch, the cracker, the dress that burst into flames. I am the mockingjay. The one that survived despite the Capitol's plans. The symbol of the rebellion." 

Now while To Kill A Mockingbird is not technically a Dystopian, I would never want to live in that world/time period because it had dystopian like qualities.

So while this author uses the death of the bird as a symbol of loss of innocence, The Hunger Game's rise of the Mockingjay could symbolize the same thing.  Katniss (and really all of Panem for that matter) is no longer a bystander.  She's fighting back.  Also, Harper Lee uses the death of a Mockingbird as a martyr almost.  The line,

“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but . . . sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” 

suggests that killing this bird that is minding it's own business is evil.  Which is kind of like the Capitol and the Hunger Games killing innocent children.

And then there's Delirium.  While this one doesn't throw the bird reference in your face as often (it's not even on the cover!), it does mention it a few times.  Enough for me to notice.  

Lauren Oliver writes about these birds flying over the fence the government had put up to keep out the Deleria and keep in the people "free" of the disease.  So when Lena sees birds flying over the fence I think it's supposed to symbolize the freedom she wishes she had.  

I think it also helps her realize that while the government is keeping the people in this gated area, they aren't able to control everything like the birds.  And that thought gives Lena something dangerous...hope.

“I thought nothing was totally free in Portland but I was wrong, there was always the birds.” 

Now I want to hear from you guys.  What do these symbols mean to you?  
Have you noticed birds being used in any other books?

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 8

DAY 8:

  1. Pretty design (bright colors, fun patterns, etc.)
  2. Easy to read font
  3. An About the Blogger page somewhere on the blog
  4. A pic of what they're currently reading
  5. Easy to locate social media links 
  6. Funny, honest, and thought out reviews.
  7. Original posts/memes
  8. Pictures (I'm a visual person lol)
  9. Vlogs/videos
  10. Pictures/footage from bookish events
  11. An updated review archive
  12. An even mixture between reviews, memes, tours, discussions, and original posts.
  13. When the author comments back on comments from their followers
  14. Themed blogs
  15. GIFs 

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge

DAY 7:
  1. I'm never satisfied with my blog layout.  I always feel like trying new html codes or moving stuff around.
  2. I have a binder to keep me organized which includes: a calendar, notes printed from my phone app (from while I was reading), my tbr list, and ideas for posts. 
  3. At some point I ended up with 50+ unread books on my shelf and decided to read all those before I took on any tours or self pub books.
  4. I feel like I have to publish my posts at midnight.  For some reason it bothers me if they go live mid-day.
  5. Confession: I'm starting to like BookTubing more than blogging =O I know blasphemy! 
  6. I get very behind on writing reviews.  I currently have about 10 books I've read and took notes on, but have not reviewed.
  7. I plan out my month in blogging, but then don't follow it often.

What are your blogging quirks?  
Any of them the same as mine?

Stacking The Shelves & Sunday Post #41

 The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by  Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  
Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  Both are a chance to share what books you got this week, what happened on your blog last week, and what is to come next week.
Anatomy of a Boyfriend (For Review)

The Book BFFs also did our monthly combined book haul!

Guest Post: Summer Vacation Reads Flow Chart (on Angela's blog!)
15 Day Book  Blogging Challenge:

    I'm finally feeling like myself again and eating food...real food!  I'll never take eating for granted again that's for sure.  I'll be posting more regularly again starting this upcoming week so get excited!  I'm baaaaaaack.

    So this week I had plenty of time to read which was perfect because it was the #BookTubeAThon!  I participated using the BookBFF YouTube channel.  If you haven't heard of it this it's a readathon for BookTubers where you try to read 300 pages a day and complete mini challenges like finish a series or read a book that's been on your shelf forever.  It's been so much fun and I've almost completed all the challenges.  I did a few of the reading sprints on twitter where everyone turns off all their electronics and just reads for an allotted amount of time and then we sumarized what we read in 5 words and stuff.  My summary while reading Gone by Michael Grant was:

    Did you participate in the BookTubeAThon?  Let me know how you're doing!

*Anatomy of a Boyfriend/Single Girl
*How My Summer Went Up in Flames
*The Moon and More
* Top Ten Words/Topics That Will Make You NOT pick up a book 
*Review & Recipe: How Zoe Made Her Dreams Mostly Come True & My Peach Pops 

What did you get this week?

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 6

DAY 6:

      I love buying physical books.  There's something about going to the store, browsing the shelves for an hour or so and leaving with one or ten new books.  If I'm having a bad day a trip to B&N can cheer me up.  In fact, one day I was having a terrible day and my mom suggested a trip to the bookstore...she knows me well.  I'm convinced retail therapy is a real thing!

     First thing I do when I get to the bookstore is go to the YA section and look at all the end caps.  I don't know why.  Then I look at the shelves multiple times.  Eventually I mosey on over to the Adult Fiction section, but after about a minute I think to myself "who am I kidding?" and go back to the YA section.  Finally I check out the New Release shelves by the door and the sale shelves.  Then I might go back to YA section and pick up a few books I wasn't sure about.  Then and only then do I check out.

     Now recently I discovered the miracle that is Amazon Prime and Kindle books.  You's very dangerous and addicting!  That one click to buy button is pure evil.  I still prefer going to the actual store, but lately it's been more convenient to just order online.

So how do you guys buy books?  Do you have a in store ritual like me or am I weird?

BookTubeAThon Update

BookTubeAThon Update

If you're wondering why I haven't been posting much these past few days it's because I'm participating in the BookTubeAThon over on the BookBFFs youtube channel!  Here's a quick video to show my progress so far.  

Are you participating?  
Leave a link to your update video below!

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 5

DAY 5:
     I used to be a very emotional person, but for some reason it takes a lot to get me to ugly cry when reading.  Occasionally I'll tear up and sniffle, but very rarely will I full on bawl my eyes out while reading.  Now mind you, I have not read TFIOS or If I Stay yet, both of which I own.  So when I had to think of a  book that made me cry this once came to mind first.  

     Growing up I was never really close with my dad.  We kind of coexisted in the same house.  And I always regretted that, but never knew how to change it.  I figured it was normal. 

     I remember reading The Last Song in my dorm room Junior year and just crying hysterically (SPOILER:highlight to read spoiler) when the dad got sick. and died. It really upset me because the main character took her dad for granted.  And I saw myself in that character and I didn't like what I saw.  I didn't want my story to end up like hers.  So the tears came as I felt so much for these characters and all they had lost and missed out on.  

     I'm happy to report that my dad and I have grown really close this past year.  While this book isn't what made us closer, it is a constant reminder to me not to take him for granted.  Wow, this post turned into how much I love my dad, but that's okay.  So what I'm trying to say is if you want a good cry go read this book.  Make sure you have a full box of tissues with you!  

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 4

DAY 4:
     The last book I wanted to fling across the room was Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver.  Never in my life has a cliffhanger ever frustrated me more!  Seriously I got to the last sentence and literally screamed "Are You f'ing kidding me?!"   Now, if I hadn't been reading it on my iPad I would have definitely chucked that ish across the room.  But unfortunately I'm poor and can't afford a new ereader, so I restrained myself and settled on angrily slamming the case shut (see people this is why we need to read physical books!)  

I'm starting Requiem today for the BookTubeathon so hopefully that ending doesn't give me the urge to throw it as well.  

What book made you angry?

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 3

DAY 3:
     Funny you should ask!  I just met my Book BFFs at the last Bout of Books readathon.  I literally talk to them everyday now about wayyyyy more than just books.  In fact, the day of my surgery they were texting me wishing me luck while my IRL friends forgot that was the day I was getting it done.  So ya, I'm very thankful to have these amazing women in my life now! 

  Angela from Reading Angels
Rie from Mission to Read
Lindsay from The Novel Life

     This whole thing kind of exploded from nothingness.  One minute we're chatting on twitter about how we all love cookies and coffee and the next thing I know we've formed a goodreads group where we read a book together each month and a YouTube channel where we put out a bunch of videos every week.  It's one of the best things that has come out of my stupid illness.  If I had been working instead of on the couch at the Bout of Books Twitter party I would not have met these girls.  So they are my silver lining that made all the past 6 months worth it.  <3 you guys!

We're also on:
Facebook Page:
Facebook Group:


15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 2

DAY 2:
    My bedtime reading ritual has gotten all discombobled this past six months because I have been sick and sleeping on the couch.  Since I haven't been working I stay up reading until 12-2am and then sleep in or take naps during the day.  So my ritual is all out of whack.  

     Six months ago I'd come home from work, go to Zumba, eat dinner, shower, watch my tv shows, and read for an hour, then pass out.  But lately I've been reading for like 2-3 hours before I finally go to sleep.  This is why I've read 64 books already this year!   

      I'm also a night person.  In college I'd write all my papers from like 9pm-2am.  That's just when I'm most awake.  Maybe I'm secretly a vampire!  Then I could date Eric from True Blood and all would be right with the world.  Anyways, my point is, if I start a good book before bed I am likely to read way past the time I allotted because I'm rarely ever tired when I lay down to sleep in the first place.

What are your bedtime reading rituals?

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge Day 1

DAY 1:
1. I can't stop reading in the middle of a chapter unless there's an emergency like the house is on fire...even then I'd probably continue to read as I ran out the door and down the street.

2. I can read in a car, 
I can read at a bar,
I can read in a park,
I can read after dark,
I can read at a fair,
I can read anywhere.

3. If the cover is ugly you couldn't pay me to read the book, much less convince me to pay the author to read it (aka I refuse to buy ugly covers...sad but true)

4.  One of my major fears before going into surgery last week was not just death, but dying before I was able to read all the books that I want to.

5. When I lend out a book a little piece of my soul breaks.  Unless I'm lending it to my two cousins because I know 1. They'll give it back in a timely manor and 2. They won't ruin it.

6. I rearrange my bookshelves often for no reason.  Right now they are color coded/rainbow.

7. I don't talk about my blog with my IRL friends really.  They're unaware of my hoarding tendencies/book obsession.

8. Boys who read books are instantly cuter.

9. Like Rory Gilmore taught me at a young age: Always carry a book in your purse at all times!

10. I wish I could read more classics, but too many good YA books keep being released I don't have time.

11. I'm a sucker for a readathon.  But sometimes when I sign up for one I end up in a reading slump and not reading that week =X

12. I hate reading ebooks, yet I read faster when I read an ebook.

13.  I get into genre grooves.  One month I'll be obsessed with Contemp (like this summer) and then next I'll only read dystopian.

14.  My favorite place to read is at the park a few minutes from my house.

15. When I flag my books with post its they have to be all the same color or my OCD mind is not happy.

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Melissa has read 5 books toward her goal of 100 books.

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