Reading Wrap-Up (June 23, 2021)

Okay, I guess last Sunday’s post didn’t get me out of my writing rut. I did finally find the focus to read again though. I had started reading a book again a few weeks ago after a lot of slow reading in various books. Or rather, no reading at all even though I have a lot of books I’m in the middle of.

To celebrate the fact that I finally seem to be able to read semi-consistently again (my reading streak in Apple Books is twelve days), I’ll post a reading wrap-up. I’m joining in with WWW Wednesday.

What I’m Currently Reading

Still in the middle of The Choices We Make by Karma Brown. And My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga. And After the Cure by Deirdre Gould. I think I may give up on that one, since it’s a pretty plot-dense story and there’s also a little too much profanity in it for my liking. All that being said, I’m not actually currently reading any of these books, since I spent the majority of the week trying to finish off the book I got into a few weeks ago.

What I Recently Finished Reading

For some still unknown to me reason, a few weeks ago, I was drawn to the books I’d downloaded for free thanks to BookBub. I still think I picked the one I chose pretty much at random but it was a good choice. The only reason I didn’t end up giving Once Gone (Riley Paige, #1) by Blake Pierce five stars on Goodreads, is that it’s my first traditional mystery read and I think others might be even better. I ended up giving it four stars.

What I Think I’ll Read Next

Probably another mystery. I have several of Blake Pierce’s other series starters downloaded for free. I might also check out one of the other books in the Riley Paige series.

In addition, I really need to start on Thrive (The Overthrow, #3) by Kenneth Oppel. The ending of Hatch was a little disappointing, which is why I’m not eager to start this one soon. However, I really want to finish the trilogy anyway. If for no other reason, then because it was my first read that wasn’t a standalone in a long time.

What have you been reading recently?

Reading Wrap-Up (February 22, 2021) #IMWAYR

Hi again readers. It’s time for another reading wrap-up. As usual, I’m joining #IMWAYR. Because I have been hoarding books again, I’m also linking up with Stacking the Shelves.

Life Update

I have been doing okay’ish over the past week. On Thursday, I was in a bit of a crisis due to significant overload. I’ve also been anxious about my lack of productivity. I mean, I haven’t been moving as much as I should. Last week, I could blame the snow. Now I can’t. Thankfully though, today I caught up again. However, in other areas I’ve also been less active and I’m still undecided as to whether I have my expectations up too high.

Similarly, this past week wasn’t as great a reading week as I’d expected, but that may’ve been because I had my expectations up pretty high. I hope to finish another book by the end of the month, as I would need to in order to keep on track with my Goodreads reading goal.

What I’m Currently Reading

I read some more in The Choices We Make by Karma Brown. Unfortunately, I’m not moving as quickly as I’d like.

In addition, I purchased A Life Lost by Cathy Glass, which is her latest fostering memoir. So far, like most of her books, I love it, but I’m not moving in it as quickly as I’d like either.

What I Recently Finished Reading

Uhm, nothing. I really need to finish more if I want to reach my Goodreads goal, which I’ve set at 20 books, so very low for a book lover. Then again, as much as I love books, I’m also a slow reader.

What I Think I’ll Be Reading Next

I honestly don’t know. I got so many books I think I’ll love that it’s hard to pick one. I’m also truly a mood reader, so I can’t really predict what will grab my attention next.

Stacking the Shelves

I love love love BookBub, which for those not familiar with it, is a site where you can find book deals. Thanks to BookBub, I have literally been hoarding books over the past week. Okay, I also have Apple Books to thank, as I got some while browsing similar books on there. I got several science fiction series starters, including After the Cure by Deirdre Gould and Apocalypse by Kyle West. I also got a romance called Second Chance Spring by Delancey Stewart.

I had been debating whether to get a book on crystal healing too. I know, I know, there’s absolutely no reason to believe in crystal healing and it’s rather occult too. However, I can’t stop myself being interested in it, so today I did get a book on the topic. I obviously got it off Bookshare, as I have absolutely no interest in paying for such a book. For those who don’t know, Bookshare is a service for print disabled (blind or dyslexic) people, allowing members to download almost unlimited books for $50 a year. I totally love it!

What have you been reading lately?

Book Review: Hatch by Kenneth Oppel

Yay, I finally finished Hatch by Kenneth Oppel. I had read Bloom, the first book in the trilogy, last summer and reviewed it here in August. Hatch came out on December 1 I think (although Goodreads says it came out on September 15). I got it off Bookshare the next day. Today I’m finally able to review it.

Summary

Fans left desperate for more at the end of Bloom will dive into this second book of the Overthrow trilogy–where the danger mounts and alien creatures begin to hatch. First the rain brought seeds. Seeds that grew into alien plants that burrowed and strangled and fed. Seth, Anaya, and Petra are strangely immune to the plants’ toxins and found a way to combat them. But just as they have their first success, the rain begins again. This rain brings eggs. That hatch into insects. Not small insects. Bird-sized mosquitos that carry disease. Borer worms that can eat through the foundation of a house. Boat-sized water striders that carry away their prey. But our heroes aren’t able to help this time–they’ve been locked away in a government lab with other kids who are also immune. What is their secret? Could they be… part alien themselves? Whose side are they on? Kenneth Oppel expertly escalates the threats and ratchets up the tension in this can’t-read-it-fast-enough adventure with an alien twist. Readers will be gasping for the next book as soon as they turn the last page…

My Review

I truly loved the first half or so of the book. It shows how Anaya, Petra and Seth try to survive whilst being locked up in a government lab and cruelly experimented on by the military. I didn’t care that they were part alien themselves. In fact, just like while reading Bloom, I mostly just cared about the main characters’ wellbeing and was hardly touched by the rest of the world being harmed by the alien insects. I think that’s a true positive about this series, that it paints the characters so well that I truly empathize with them.

Then, around 65% into the book, it got a bit boring. I was convinced I’d neared the end of the story only to find out from my app that I was only at two-thirds or so. By around 80%, the story got more fast-paced again and I truly raced through those last pages.

I don’t want to give away the ending, but I do need to say it was not what I’d expected. Though I do really want to know more, the ending of this book was a bit of a disappointment.

I ended up rating this book four out of five stars because of its not so fast-paced bits in the middle and its ending.

Book Details

Title: Hatch (The Overthrow, #2)
Author: Kenneth Oppel
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Publication Date: December 1, 2020

Reading Wrap-Up (February 15, 2021) #IMWAYR

Hi everyone! I finally managed to do some significant amount of reading, so today I’m sharing another reading wrap-up. I really wish I spent more time in the day reading consistently, but for whatever reason, it seems to go in ebbs and flows. It’s so interesting that, like with most everything else, I love collecting books more than actually reading them. For this reason, my various book apps are overflowing. Thankfully, I have enough space on my iPhone, so it’s really no problem.

As usual, I’m linking up this post to It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? or #IMWAYR. I’m also linking up with the Sunday Salon.

Life Update

I’ve been up since 4:30 this morning. It’s not surprising, as I slept a lot yesterday afternoon. I could’ve tried to go back to sleep, of course, but instead chose to listen to Hour of Power, Bobby Schuller’s television church service. This week, Schuller wasn’t preaching, but I loved the pastor who was.

In addition, I spent some time reading. I then made coffee at six o’clock. I hope the sound of my Senseo machine didn’t wake anyone else. It’s now 9:15AM and I already had breakfast and another cup of coffee. How nice.

If you’d like to know more about the rest of my week, please check out my #WeekendCoffeeShare post, which I wrote on Saturday.

What I’m Currently Reading

I finally picked up The Choices We Make by Karma Brown. It was recommended to me through Storygraph. Not that I use that thing anymore, as it’s not very accessible. I’m just going with Goodreads. However, Storygraph’s recommendations are good. Anyway, I had gotten this one off Bookshare already over a month ago, but wasn’t really into reading during most of January.

That is, I did read a lot, but mostly Christian nonfiction, such as devotionals and Bible studies. I am loving Made In His Image by Zondervan.

What I Recently Finished Reading

Yay, I finally finished Hatch, the second book in The Overthrow trilogy by Kenneth Oppel. I’ll post a review soon. Let me just say already that the ending was not what I’d expected.

What I Think I’ll Be Reading Next

I got several free eBooks through Bookbub this past week. One of them is Fire Starter by P. Anastasia. I was drawn to it after I’d finished Hatch, because it’s the first installment in the Fluorescence tetralogy, another young adult SciFi series, and seems to share some themes with Kenneth Oppel’s trilogy.

I also downloaded Sunshine Cottage by Barbara Cool Lee. This sounds like a cozy mystery I may really like, so I may be reading that next too.

Lastly, I really have my eyes on The Land Darkened by Tony Urban and Drew Strickland, a post-apocalyptic thriller. Yes, I really think I’m into scarier and less realistic books now than I was before. However, it’s not available on Bookshare or Apple Books as far as I can tell.

What have you been reading lately?

Book Review: Bloom by Kenneth Oppel

I hardly ever read science fiction or fantasy. In fact, the only science fiction novel I can remember having read is The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy at age twelve. I only read the first book in that series and was maybe a little too young to understand all the humor. After that, I literally only read realistic fiction or non-fiction. That is until a few months ago I decided to broaden my reading horizons and downloaded a couple of SciFi and fantasy novels off Bookshare. The blurb for Bloom particularly appealed to me, but I didn’t get to read it till last week.

Summary

The first book in a can’t-put-it-down, can’t-read-it-fast-enough action-thriller trilogy that’s part Hatchet, part Little Shop of Horrors!

The invasion begins–but not as you’d expect. It begins with rain. Rain that carries seeds. Seeds that sprout–overnight, everywhere. These new plants take over crop fields, twine up houses, and burrow below streets. They bloom–and release toxic pollens. They bloom–and form Venus flytrap-like pods that swallow animals and people. They bloom–everywhere, unstoppable.

Or are they? Three kids on a remote island seem immune to the toxic plants. Anaya, Petra, Seth. They each have strange allergies–and yet not to these plants. What’s their secret? Can they somehow be the key to beating back this invasion? They’d better figure it out fast, because it’s starting to rain again… 

My Review

I was pretty easily drawn into the story. To be honest, the plot is already mostly summed up by the blurb, but the details were what made this amazing. I really wanted to find out what made Anaya, Petra and Seth special, both in terms of their everyday allergies and their apparent immunity to the invasive plants.

The story is told alternatingly from each of these three characters. That way, I learned not only about their special characteristics but about them in more depth. These characters are all very well-developed. I also learned about their mutual relations.

The story itself didn’t have many twists and turns that I couldn’t see coming, but I liked it nonetheless. After all, the details were all very well written out.

This book really got me interested in science fiction. The world building isn’t overly strange, but still fascinating. I am fascinated with and scared of toxic plants at the same time, so this was a really great story. I can’t wait for the sequel to come out next month.

Book Details

Title: Bloom (The Overthrow, #1)
Author: Kenneth Oppel
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: March 10, 2020