O.W.L.s Readathon – TBR

The one where Kacie picks the career path most like her own…

Hello again and welcome back! I cannot believe this month is finally at its close. This has been the longest month I’ve felt in a long time. My school has been closed due to the pandemic since March 16th and we got word today that we will be closed “until further notice.” Yikes.

Between meetings, preparing work for students to complete online, and completing Special Education paperwork, I’ve found time to relax and enjoy my hobbies:  playing video games, painting, and, of course, reading. I’ve got a lot of books pre-loaded on my Kindle account as well as an embarrassing amount of unread physical copies to keep me occupied. However, I tend to be one of those readers that goes for something new rather than a book they’ve owned for a while. There seems to be one thing, though, that gets me to read those backlist books:  readathons.

It’s the prompts. I enjoy looking at the challenges and trying to match them with the books I’ve got. It’s like a scavenger hunt and the prize is me getting to read in a challenge! That’s why I love readathons. I’m either reading for points, battling against other readers or teams of readers, or I’m reading to challenge myself. Can I finish these prompts in the set amount of time? Can I even spend this much time reading?

Don’t tell me I can’t. I’m too stubborn.

I had a lot of fun with the Animal Crossing Readathon I did March 9 – 20th, but I didn’t finish. A lot was going on in school, and then I didn’t finish my book because Animal Crossing came out! I did do the majority of my reading when the school closed, though. It would probably have been a disaster of a readathon had we had a normal March.

Oh, how I wish we had a normal March.

The next readathon I’m participating in is the Magical Readathon. To be more specific, I’m taking the O.W.L.s! This takes place from April 1st – April 30th! If you’ve read any of the Harry Potter books, the term O.W.L.s should be familiar to you. If not, they are Ordinary Wizarding Levels, a set of tests students take in their fifth year. They need certain grades if they hope to get into their N.E.W.T. level courses (where they must earn certain grades) if they want their chosen career path.

Essentially, I’ve chosen a career path and must take its required O.W.L.s by reading a book for each subject. If I complete the challenge and read a book, I’ve passed the subject! Now, each career path requires different subjects, so what will I be taking? What books am I choosing to read to complete the course? Let’s find out!

I’ve picked the career path of Care of Magical Children. Think about magical children before they go to Hogwarts. What if those kids need foster care – who manages that? What if those children have an especially difficult time controlling their magic? Who in the muggle world works with a lot of unruly children and has a lot of patience? Teachers, that’s who. This job is perfect for me.

Here are the books I’ve chosen:

Arithmancy – Balances/Opposites: Read a book outside your favorite genre

Illuminae – Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff

I chose this novel because I’m not that big on Sci-Fi or novels written in this format. I’ve also had and ARC of this since summer of 2015. Oops.

Charms – Lumos Maxima: White Cover

Lock In – John Scalzi

Even though this is another Sci-Fi (really, guys, I don’t like Sci-Fi unless it’s an added element to a book in a completely different genre), I’ve had this on my Kindle for a long time, on the recommendation of my sister…but I haven’t read it. Probably because it’s Sci-Fi. Well, let’s change that.

Defense Against the Dark Arts – Grindylows: Book set at the sea/coast

House of Salt and Sorrows – Erin A. Craig

I got this book in an Owlcrate a few months back and have been meaning to pick it up. The blurb on Goodreads starts out with something along the lines of “Annaleight lives in a manor by the sea.” I think it fits.

Herbology – Mimbulus Mimbletonia: Title starts with an M

Magonia – Maria Dahvana

I’m not even going to look up my purchase date for this for Kindle. I’ve had it for at least 4 years.

History of Magic – Witch Hunt: Book featuring witches or wizards

The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss

I honestly don’t know much about this book, but I own all of them as I got them for Christmas. I’ve been told it’s Harry Potter for adults…ok?

Muggle Studies – Book from the perspective of a muggle (contemporary)

Waiting for Tom Hanks – Kerry Winfrey

I’m a sucker from rom-coms, and Tom Hanks was the king of 90s rom-coms, right?

Potions – Shrinking Solution: Book under 150 pages

The Selection:  The Queen – Keira Cass

I’ve read the novels of the Selection series, and some of the novellas, but not this one!

Transfiguration – Animagus Lecture: Book that features shapeshifting

Sorcery of Thorns – Margaret Rogerson

I got this last summer in an Owlcrate, and was excited for it, but fell into a reading slump. I’ve been meaning to pick it back up again!


That seems like a lot…8 challenges! Can I complete 8 books in a month? Well, at the time of posting, I’ve read 7 in March sooo…Something to note here is that I don’t need to pass all of these to take the N.E.W.T.s in August!

In order to be successful in my endeavor to Care for Magical Children, I must also pass Charms, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Herbology, and Potions at the N.E.W.T. level. There are three passing grades and each comes with a prompt. 1 prompt = Acceptable, 2 prompts = Exceeds Expectations, 3 prompts = Outstanding. I need 2 O’s, 1 E, and 1 A for a total of 9 books in August. I’ve got this!!!! (Start recommending me short stories and graphic novels now!)

Another cool thing added this year is the ability to take extra trainings or seminars. Think of them like elective classes. I looked through the offerings and I saw Merpeople Linguistics. How awesome would it be to learn Mermish as another language? The requirements are an O.W.L. in Herbology (check) and an E at the N.E.W.T. level (just add one more prompt!). I’m gonna try.

Imma get me a job in the wizarding world. Don’t tell me I can’t.


Are you participating in the Magical Readathon? What’s your career path? Let’s chat!

To find out more about the O.W.L.s and the Magical Readathon, click HERE.

-Kacie

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ARC Review: More Than Maybe

More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn

Note: I received an eBook version of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My receiving of this ARC in no way influenced my opinion.

Title: More Than Maybe
Author: Erin Hahn
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Pages: 336 (Hardcover Release)
Publication Date: July 21, 2020

Growing up under his punk rocker dad’s spotlight, eighteen-year-old Luke Greenly knows fame and wants nothing to do with it. His real love isn’t in front of a crowd, it’s on the page. Hiding his gift and secretly hoarding songs in his bedroom at night, he prefers the anonymous comfort of the locally popular podcast he co-hosts with his outgoing and meddling, far-too-jealousy-inspiringly-happy-with-his-long-term-boyfriend twin brother, Cullen. But that’s not Luke’s only secret. He also has a major un-requited crush on music blogger, Vada Carsewell.

Vada’s got a five year plan: secure a job at the Loud Lizard to learn from local legend (and her mom’s boyfriend) Phil Josephs (check), take over Phil’s music blog (double check), get accepted into Berkeley’s prestigious music journalism program (check, check, check), manage Ann Arbor’s summer concert series and secure a Rolling Stone internship. Luke Greenly is most definitely NOT on the list. So what if his self-deprecating charm and out-of-this-world music knowledge makes her dizzy? Or his brother just released a bootleg recording of Luke singing about some mystery girl on their podcast and she really, really wishes it was her?

Goodreads

This was not my first Erin Hahn novel, and I was pumped to be reading it so soon after reading You’d Be Mine. Hahn’s writing style felt natural to me; the reading was easy, so the story flowed and built itself around me. I lost time due to this book, finishing all 336 pages within 24 hours.

Both Luke and Vada are involved in the music world somehow. Vada writes a music review blog and words in a music venue-slash-bar. Luke’s father is a retired, but legendary punk rocker. Their love of music is something they bond and flirt over. With each song referenced and texted between the two of them, my smile grew wider. Do Erin Hahn and I have the same taste in music or did we just grow up on the same songs? Maybe a little of both?

While I identified with their taste in music, I did not see myself in their characters in any other way. Vada was counting down the days left in her high school career and had her whole future mapped out, which was, essentially, the total opposite of me. Luke rejects the possibility of capitalizing on his father’s fame, preferring to write his songs in secret. He’s described in the beginning as not speaking much, letting his twin brother do more of the talking. Okay, so in retrospect, I guess I did relate to Luke on another aspect only because he’s very introverted, as am I. That’s me, listening and processing more of the conversation than contributing. Oops.

Other than their mutual love of music, the pair have quite a bit in common, including having a crappy family member that gets in their way. I can’t disclose anything else without going into spoiler territory. The romance in this novel is not instantaneous or in your face. It’s fluffy in all the right ways and you can’t help but root for them. There are, of course, problems that come up to threaten their careers and futures together. The other events that move the plot mostly hold up. Remember, this is YA – suspend your disbelief when things get a little too dramatic.

It doesn’t tug at your heartstrings or anything, but it should make you feel good. And if you’re like me, listen to the songs in the novel over and over again: Erin Hahn made THIS playlist that includes all of the songs!

I gave this one 5/5 stars. Again, it had a few issues, but not enough to dock it a star. YA gets a little more freedom and leniency from me on the cheese-factor (read: fully fleshed lyrics to songs, aka one of Kacie’s pet peeves). More Than Maybe was supposed to come out on May 12, but due to the outbreak of COVID-19, its publication date has been pushed to July 21, 2020.

You can pre-order it HERE or from your favorite bookseller.

About the Author

Erin started writing her own books when her little sister gave her shade about a country music-themed Twilight fanfic. By day, she gets to share her favorite stories with her elementary students. By night, she writes swoons. Erin married her own YA love interest whom she met on her first day of college and has two kids who are much, much cooler than she ever was at their age. She lives in Michigan, aka the greenest place on earth and has a cat, Gus, who plays fetch. (Goodreads)


As always, happy reading.

-Kacie

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Weekend Reads – 3/27

What am I doing this weekend?

Ah, it’s finally Friday. What a crazy week it’s been! I’ve been busy remotely planning lessons with my 5th grade team, pushing out assignments via Google Classroom, and talking with parents and students on the phone. I won’t even get into all the planning and preparation that I’ve been doing from home on the special education side of things. With all the postponing and waiving of standardized tests and other annual obligations of schools going on, special education still must fulfill all deadlines. It’s been…stressful. Let’s just say we’ve been getting creative.

When I first graduated from college in 2015, I started book blogging after watching people gush about books on YouTube. I really can’t believe it’s been five years, when it feels like maybe a year or two. One thing I enjoyed writing was a weekly post on Fridays, discussing what I planned to read and do on the weekend, hence the title of the post, Weekend Reads. I’m officially bringin’ it back!

In such posts, I will discuss the books that I’m currently reading, plan to finish, or plan to start. I’ll also talk about the music I’m currently jamming to, movies I’m planning to check out, or video games I’m obsessed with at the time. Welcome to the mind of Kacie.

Whether you like it or not.

muahahaha!
What Am I Reading?

The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

I finally got my hands on this! When I first read the synopsis posted on Goodreads, I knew this was a book for me. The Kingdom of Back is a historical fiction fantasy novel based on the lives of the Mozart siblings, particularly the sister of Wolfgang – Maria Anna, or Nannerl. Nannerl dreams of being remembered, but when Wolfgang starts to outshine her, a mysterious stranger from an even stranger land offers to grant her wish. What is the cost of being remembered forever?

This book was released at the beginning of the month, and I’m super excited to be reading it. I’m only 80 or so pages into it, so it’s still in the process of being strange and hasn’t sucked me in quite yet. I’ll let you know later.


More than Maybe by Erin Hahn

I received an ARC of this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

It goes without saying that I’m excited to be reading this. It was announced today (3/27) that this book’s publication date was pushed back from May 12 to July 21 because of the COVID-19 outbreak. While I am sure she is upset she had to do this, and readers are upset as well, this is an understandable choice.

More than Maybe is a double-POV YA Contemporary Romance set within the music scene of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Luke is famous but doesn’t want to be. He keeps his music a secret, preferring the anonymity of the podcast he hosts with his twin brother as well as his pining over Vada, a music blogger on whom he has an un-requited crush. Vada, on the other hand, has plans that include taking over the music blog, getting into the music journalism program at Berkeley, and landing an internship with Rolling Stone. Luke is not on that list, but when she hears him singing about some mystery girl, maybe she wishes it was her. Okay…she wishes it was her a little more than maybe. Eh? Eh?! See what I did there?

What I Plan to Start Reading

This section usually never gets completed…I should probably title it “Kacie’s Eyes Are Too Big for Her Stomach.” If, and that’s a big if, I complete the books I’m currently reading, this is what I plan to pick up next:

The Chain by Adrian McKinty

The Chain is one of the runners up in Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show Summer Reads this past summer. You can check out all 5 book choices in the announcement video below (The Chain is discussed around the 1:30 mark):

I heard about Ask Again Yes by Mary Beth Keane because of this event. It was fantastic. I’m hoping that the rest of the books are just as wonderful. I also have Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner on my Kindle (heck yeah, waiting for Kindle price drops!).

In The Chain, children are kidnapped and the only way to ensure their release is to kidnap someone else’s child. When that parent kidnaps another child, a previously snatched kid will be returned and a new parent is entered into this terrible chain.

It’s been awhile since I’ve read a mystery/thriller/crime novel, so it’ll be just what I’m looking for after a fluffy, YA rom-com. Even if I don’t get to it this week, it’s coming up next!

What Am I Listening To?

3.15.20 – Childish Gambino

I typically listen to a wide variety of music. My childhood was in the ‘90s and early ‘00s, listening to a lot of Third Eye Blind, Matchbox Twenty, and Gin Blossoms. I never grew out of my phase of 2005 – 2010 pop punk/emo. I also like to listen to a lot of bluegrass, particularly Greensky Bluegrass and Trampled by Turtles. I’ll even venture into rap/hip hop, but I have very specific tastes. If it’s not a song that I’m listening to purely for nostalgia’s sake, it’ll a certain artist that I enjoy.

One such artist is Childish Gambino, aka Donald Glover. I’m a huge fan of Glover’s comedy and acting, which led me to check out his music. I have a playlist of a bunch of his songs that pump me up or just generally make me happy. Under Childish Gambino, he’s put out a variety of sounds, blending today’s feel with 70’s funk and 80’s pop, among other styles of music. I’m just here for it, ya know? I’ve been waiting awhile for him to put out a new album.

Well, on March 15, he streamed an album on his website for 12 hours before taking it down. The album was then released on streaming/download services on March 22. It’s aptly named 3.15.20, the day it was initially released.

What Am I Playing?

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Duh. No brainer. This game was released on March 20. I played it slightly after midnight, having it pre-downloaded and ready to go. I have been playing it off and on all week, during breaks from working at home. I’ve been spending my evenings as Bryony from Thornham, fishing and hunting tarantulas, just trying to earn enough bells to pay off my home loans.

Anyone remember the show Doug? Judy Funnie?

Gosh, that sounds awful.

It’s really a lot of fun, okay? I’ve been connecting with my best friend and playing together. We chat over Discord while playing, which has been awesome. He’s a doctoral student out of state, and I get to see him maybe once a year if I’m lucky. Animal Crossing is bringing friends together! Aww…barf.


The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

This is the game that got me into the Zelda franchise (and really, video games in general). I had this game for my Game Boy! I re-played this game to death. The moment I was able to pre-order this game for the Nintendo Switch, I did. I got the game and played until I got to my least favorite dungeon…I just need to pick it back up again and play. The graphics are beautiful. The gameplay is just as wonderful as I remember the original. It’s so much fun! I plan to play this weekend after I complete all the daily tasks in Animal Crossing. I don’t want to get burned out too quickly!


That’s what I’m up to this weekend! I don’t have any movies in my queue, but I’ll probably scroll through Netflix or Amazon Prime later tonight. Do you have anything to recommend? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks and happy reading!

~Kacie

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Top 5 Wish List Books

Kacie’s 5 Most Wanted Books on Her Kindle Wish List

Hello, and welcome back! Special hello to my new followers! You all rock.

It’s still Wednesday, right? It is in my neck of the woods, so I’m going for it! I’ve been posting High Fidelity-esque Top 5 lists on Wednesdays. This week is all about my Kindle Wish List, and my daily routine of checking it for any new deals.

Have you ever wanted to add a book to your TBR or wish list, but you weren’t feeling strongly enough about it that you want to go out and buy a physical copy? Maybe the book is very expensive (and even the Kindle edition is expensive – looking at you Stephen King!). Or maybe you just have so many unread physical copies that you should probably just relax on that front and have some ebooks in your arsenal?

There are some books that I add directly to a wish list on Amazon dedicated to Kindle ebooks. Each day, I visit Amazon’s Kindle Daily Deals page to see if there’s anything I must have. Then, I revisit my Kindle Wish List and see if anything’s on sale! It may take awhile, but I get something I want every now and then!

However, there are some that I just break down and buy a physical copy if the price is right or if I just can’t wait any longer.

The problem is that I do not have a local bookstore. I live in the middle of nowhere. The nearest bookstore is a 40-minute drive away and even then, it’s a chain bookstore. I do order from Book Depository/Book Outlet from time to time. I rarely spend more than a few dollars at Amazon for a book.

Anyway, here are the Top 5 Books on My Wish List Right Now:

#5: Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan

This is the sequel to Girls of Paper and Fire, which I received in my Owlcrate box and loved. It currently costs $12.99 for the Kindle edition and $9.49 for the hardcover. Now, I know it would be cheaper to just order the hardcover…and it would go nicely with Book 1.

Okay, I might have to break down and get this one.


#4: Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

I tend to read a lot of YA contemporary romance…but don’t really talk about it. I don’t own much of it, except for the few that I’ve received in Owlcrate boxes. It’s almost a guilty pleasure genre of mine. It’s a palette cleanser after I’ve read something dense, lengthy, or with heavy topics. I like a little fluff every now and then. I’ve entered giveaways for this book, but I don’t want to pay for a physical copy of this one. I’d love an ebook of this, and at $9.99, I’ll wait until it’s on sale.


#3: One of Us is Next by Karen McManus

This is also a sequel! This follows One of Us is Lying, which I read on my Kindle…I either got it on sale or used an Amazon gift card for this one. Since the first one is on my Kindle, I don’t want a physical copy for Book 2. That would drive me insane.

I’ve also entered giveaways for this book, though. I love free books! This one is currently $10.99 for the Kindle edition.


#2: Winger by Andrew Smith

This book has been on my Kindle Wish List since February 7, 2018. MORE THAN TWO YEARS. The reason it’s still here is because I don’t know much about it. This is a book that I’ve seen in the background of so many booktubers’ videos. It seems like Winger was on everyone’s shelves. It appeared in monthly wrap-up videos and the booktubers seemed to enjoy it…they just didn’t seem to say much about it. I looked at the Goodreads page, decided I wanted to read it, saw it wasn’t available at my library, and added it to the wish list. It hasn’t dropped from $9.99 since.


#1: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

It seems like everyone and their mother is reading or has read this book. According to my Libby app, everyone, their mother, their sister, their aunt, and all of their friends are reading this book. My greater library area has 13 copies and 21 people are waiting per copy. I am 261st in line. It’ll be awhile to get it from the library, huh?

As for Kindle…$14.99!? No. I tend to avoid the daily deals when they’re $3.99, thinking that’s too much!


There are FIFTY-FOUR books on my Kindle Wish List. This is why I have it. I don’t have enough room for the physical books I do have! I should do an unhaul soon. In fact, I was planning to go through my books to decide which of them are going to a secondhand store, but then the quarantine happened…hopefully we’ll soon be able to go back to some semblance of normalcy! Fingers crossed!

Have you read any of my wished for books? What are some books you’re wishing for?

As always, happy reading!

-Kacie

~

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Book Review: All the Stars and Teeth (Spoiler Free)

All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace

(Note: While this post does not contain spoilers to the book…it does contain spoilers to February’s Owlcrate Box, but seeing that Owlcrate posted it March 5th, I’M NOT SORRY ‘BOUT IT.)

Title: All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth #1)
Author: Adalyn Grace
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 373 (Owlcrate Edition)
Publication Date: February 4, 2020

Set in a kingdom where danger lurks beneath the sea, mermaids seek vengeance with song, and magic is a choice.

She will reign.

As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer—the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.

When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.

But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder—and more peril—than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.

I am the right choice. The only choice. And I will protect my kingdom.

Goodreads

This novel is Adalyn Grace’s debut and she came out swinging! A princess, a pirate, a stowaway, and a mermaid make up the crew that is on a mission to restore the princess’s grace as well as reunite a crumbling kingdom? Sign me up! That’s quite a cast of characters, isn’t it?

Let’s talk about those characters, shall we? As I always do when immersing myself in a new world, I formed opinions about the characters. I liked some, loved one, and disliked another. However, Grace was able to develop those characters throughout the novel and make me change my opinions! Without giving you any spoilers, Grace’s characters do a bit of learning through their journey and this development is shown in their character traits.

Was there a scene or two that bothered me, in which I thought the conversation was a bit over-dramatic and unrealistic? Yeah, but that seems to go with the territory with YA. I was able to roll my eyes right beyond it and it didn’t even impact my rating.

Grace was able to build a world that I wanted to climb into myself. When I wasn’t reading, I found myself debating which magic I wanted to learn and therefore, the island on which I wanted to live. Her vivid imagery and descriptions nearly rendered the provided map unnecessary. I really only flipped back to the beginning to check out which island/magic was associated with which stone. While I have never had a problem with visualization in reading, this novel was super easy to picture. I was transported into Visidia, walking along with the cast of characters as they navigated the islands.

My only criticism of the writing in this novel is that some phrases were a bit repetitive. As this novel is set in a kingdom of islands, sometimes aboard a pirate’s ship, the salty, fishy ocean is needed to be described quite often – she does so as smelling like brine. At first, I appreciated the appeal to my senses, but after the fifth or so time, I got smidge annoyed with it. I wanted her to use a different way to describe salty, ocean air! Each time, I let loose a breath I didn’t know I was holding….I’M KIDDING.

Finally, there’s the plot. Now, I can’t talk too much about this because of spoilers, but I can tell you that I was enthralled. I was trying to make predictions as I went, chuckling to myself (“Oh, that’s not going to end well.”) at certain turns of events. The only thing I’m a tad bummed about is that I’m going to have to wait for the next book in the duology!

Overall, I rated this 5/5 stars! The characters were well developed and experienced growth, the world-building was wonderful, and I was hanging on every bit of the plot. I only put this book down when I had other obligations. I’m a teacher who is currently trying to navigate the online learning environment, which currently means lots of hangouts on Google Meet, talking with parents on the phone, and reading to keep myself busy. We’re in unprecedented territory right now, and we’re just taking it one hour at a time as we get new information from the governor as well as our state’s department of education. Hopefully, I’ll be back in school with my students soon!

This book came out on February 4, 2020. You can order it HERE or from your favorite bookseller.


About the Author

Adalyn Grace graduated Summa Cum Laude when she was 19-years-old. She spent four years working in live theater, and acted as the managing editor of a nonprofit newspaper. During and after college, she studied storytelling as an intern on Nickelodeon Animation’s popular animated show, The Legend of Korra (sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender).

Adalyn splits time between San Diego and Arizona with her bossy cat and two dorky dogs, and spends her days writing full time while trying to find the city’s best burrito.


You can follow her on:
Twitter: @AdalynGrace_
Instagram: @authoradalyngrace (bio from Goodreads)


I received this book as part of my Owlcrate subscription! GO TO THE NEXT PAGE if you want to check out the other goodies in February’s Owlcrate! If not, thanks for reading! Let me know if you’ve read All the Stars and Teeth! What did you think of it?

Animal Crossing Readathon Wrap-Up

Animal Crossing Readathon Wrap-Up

Note: The Animal Crossing Readathon can be found HERE and ran from March 9th – the 20th. You can check out my Week 1 Update HERE.

IT IS FINALLY HERE! ANIMAL CROSSING: NEW HORIZONS IS HERE AND IT IS GLORIOUS!

I’ll try to be calm now.

Peace. Calm. Serenity now.

Hello and welcome back! The #acreadathon is officially over! I thought LAST week was “quite a week.” Well, everything changed…and not just for me, huh? I did a lot of reading while in social-distancing mode. I’m not at work and there isn’t a whole lot that I can do from home. Really, the only thing that kept me from completing one more challenge than I did was Animal Crossing releasing on the final day of the Readathon. Here’s how I did:

Eh? Ehhhhh?

Much better than my last check-in; I had only read The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill and had used a bookmark! Since 3/13, I finished the following books:

1. Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan (not on the challenges, but I started it before the readathon)

I wrote a review for this ARC here. This is the second book in Duncan’s Something Dark and Holy series. It comes out April 7, 2020, so I really wanted to finish it!


2. You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn

A full review of this book will be coming, but in short, this one tugs at the heartstrings (or…guitar strings?). Pop-country star/bad boy needs country music’s newest sweetheart to join the tour and smooth over his reputation. The will they/won’t they and the ups and downs had me reaching for my remote to turn on “A Star is Born.”


3. All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace

I loved this and you bet your striped pirate britches I’ll be reviewing this. Princess Amora needs to prove her worth in order to be the heir to the throne. Too bad she screws that up and must flee while her kingdom falls apart around her. With the help of a sarcastic pirate, a kickass mermaid, and a fiancé she doesn’t want to marry, she must redeem herself and reunite her kingdom. Give me the next one now, please!


Also, I’m about halfway through Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. I’m really enjoying it. In fact, if I wasn’t so obsessed with Animal Crossing, I probably would have finished it yesterday! I’ll finish it either today or tomorrow after I’ve exhausted everything there is to do other than fish and catch bugs. There’s only so much hangin’ out with Tom Nook a girl can handle.

Cracking open a cold one with my boys, amirite?

Do you play Animal Crossing? Let’s be pals.

-Kacie

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Top 5 Green Books

Kacie’s Top 5 Favorite Books With Green Covers

It’s been a week since I’ve given you a Top 5 book list, and what better theme for this week to give myself than Green Covers? Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day and I celebrated by wearing green pajamas while I “worked from home.” I had a test conference call at 9:30 am, but other than that, I’m not expected to do much while at home; I just need to be checking my e-mail periodically. Can do.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I’m going to talk about some books I like that have green on the cover. This list is in no discernable order and they represent a wide variety of genres that I read.

So. What are Kacie’s Top 5 Green Books She Has Read? Let’s do this.


#5: A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

Before I even get any further, let me just say that green is my favorite color. I love this cover – it is gorgeous! The shades of green, the gold and silver alongside it, the purple flower …just beautiful.

This is the second book in the Cursebreakers series, a Beauty and the Beast retelling in which our universe runs parallel to the beast’s. I read the first one (A Curse So Dark and Lonely) over the summer for a readathon and was itching to get my hands on book #2. When I won an ARC of AHSFaB in a Twitter giveaway, I was practically dancing around my house. I flew through this novel and will most definitely reread both when the third installment comes out.


#4: Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
Green…ish?

I also read this during a readathon, but I heard about this novel through Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show Summer Reads. I voted for this one and was super pumped when it was picked! When I started it, I couldn’t put it down…which was a problem, because I had multiple grad class projects to finish!

Essentially, it’s about two cop families that live next door to each other in the suburbs of NYC. When something tragic happens, one family moves away…but can the families stay apart forever? Should they?

Just thinking about it makes me want to reread it!


#3: Watermelon by Marian Keyes

I have read this book 3 or 4 times! It’s my go-to, feel-good book. If I need my spirits lifted, need a laugh, or I just need a palette cleanser after something heavy, Watermelon (or any of the Walsh Family books) are just what I need. This is the first of the Walsh Family books and it made me fall in love with the family.

Claire’s husband James leaves her…on the day she gives birth to their child. Yeah, what a stand-up guy. So, with no better ideas and a newborn, Claire heads home to Ireland to be with her family.

Imagine rom-com levels of hijinks and you’ve got it.

Really, I should rename this post Top 5 Green Books Kacie’s Going to End Up Rereading Now That She’s Thinking About Them. Too bad that’s a mouthful.


#2: A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin

Okay, so it’ll be awhile until I reread this one. If you look over at my side-bar, you should see that I’m currently reading A Clash of Kings. In fact, I haven’t touched it in almost a year (as of this post). That’s a reread, though, so I’m not too worried about it. I’ll get to it…maybe when Martin actually publishes the next Game of Thrones book? Hmm? Ugh.

This lovely green book is the third book in the series and I have a particularly strong memory reading it. I was an Orientation leader in my undergraduate days. This meant facilitating placement tests for incoming freshmen, so I had a lot of downtime to read. A few of us had testing groups in a giant computer lab while the students tested for math. We sat around the room, reading our books, when something very tragic and dramatic happened in my book. I had to be calm as to not disturb the test takers when really, I wanted to chuck the book across the room.

If you’ve read it (or watched the series), you can probably guess exactly which scene I’m talking about. Hint: it has to do with the opposite color of this post’s theme.


#1: Wildcard by Marie Lu
Without the jacket, it’s lime green!

I really like video games.

You already know how pumped I am for Animal Crossing on Friday. What you don’t know, because I don’t think I’ve mentioned it yet, is that I’ve been playing Zelda: Breath of the Wild off and on all week when I haven’t been reading.

So, when I first heard about Warcross, a book centered around a video game that’s essentially a way of life, I said, “Sign me up!” I binge-read the first book and bought a copy of Wildcard at a bookstore its release week. It picks up right where the first one left off, as if together, they make one book.

These are the only Marie Lu books I’ve read, but I know that I’ve got to read more!


See, I told you there was a wide variety of genres. From YA to adult, fantasy to sci-fi to contemporary to rom-com (I’m not calling it “chick lit!”), I got it all! Pro-tip: varied taste really helps when you’re a mood reader, though.

Have you read any of my green books? Do you have any green books to recommend?

Happy reading!

-Kacie


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