Friday, June 07, 2013

Starting Line 48 Hour Book Challenge

I am participating in the 48 Hour Book Challenge hosted this year by Ms. Yingling Reads.  (The rules for this year.) Full reviews of the books will be posted later this month, but I will share a short sentence or two on my first impressions of the book.

My start time will be 8PM Friday which means my end time will be 8PM Sunday.

What I've read:

Title: The Moon and More
Author: Sarah Dessen
# of Pages: 384 pages
Hours Spent Reading: 3
Rating: 4 stars
My thoughts: While The Moon and More isn't my new favorite Dessen novel of all time, it was WONDERFUL to spend time with new characters in the beach town of Colby. What I love about Dessen's YA novels is the fact that relationships--ALL relationships matter. Family relationships and friendships are typically very important in her works. This one was not an exception.

Title: Al Capone Does My Homework
Author: Gennifer Choldenko
# of Pages: 224 pages
Hours Spent Reading: 2 
Rating: 5 stars
My thoughts: I love Moose! I do! It was such a treat to get a third book in this series. Like the previous books, it's set in the mid-1930s on Alcatraz. Early in the novel, the Flanagan's apartment catches fire. While some mean busybodies assume Natalie, Moose's older sister, is to blame, Moose and his most faithful friends (Jimmy and Annie) know that it isn't so. They work together to prove that SOMETHING is going on on Alcatraz, and that Natalie is innocent.

Title: Odessa Again

Author: Dana Reinhardt
# of Pages: 196
Hours Spent Reading: 90 minutes
Rating: 3 stars
My thoughts: Odessa Again has a unique concept. Odessa, our heroine, discovers that she has a magical attic floor in her new house. By jumping up and down, she can travel back in time, twenty-four hours, twenty-three hours, twenty-two hours, etc. At first, she uses these opportunities to "fix" her life for really small things, but towards the end she wants to start making HUGE changes to her life. What she learns is that even with time travel, change happens and that is okay too.

Title: The Mouse With The Question Mark Tail
Author: Richard Peck
# of Pages: 224
Hours Spent Reading: 2
Rating: 5 stars
My thoughts: Richard Peck is a great author. I just loved the "nameless" mouse hero in this one. (He's sometimes called Mouse Minor.) This is a great adventure story set in Victorian England. The writing was great. One of my favorite lines: "You rarely see a mouse that size unless he's fallen into a butter churn" (106).  Or possibly, "A double life? A secret agent? You never know the full truth about a teacher. And he was everywhere I turned, practically in two places at once. But then, bats can fly. Very worrying. "What a merry chase you have led us from a schoolroom where you benefited from my teaching and protection," he wheezed, shaking his scaly old head. "All the right sort of schools are bat-run, of course, from burrow to belfry," he said, off on a tangent as usual. "How much the world has to learn from us. Yes, I think you'll find that all the best teachers are old bats." (170)

Title: Zoo Station
Author: David Downing
# of Pages: 304
Hours Spent Reading: 3 hrs. 40 min.
Rating: 3
My thoughts: I enjoyed the first book in the John Russell spy series. The book is set in Germany in 1938 or 1939, I believe.

Title: They Found Him Dead
Author: Georgette Heyer
# of Pages: 323
Hours Spent Reading: 2 
Rating: 4
My thoughts: If only I'd read They Found Him Dead before reading Duplicate Death! There are TWO murders and two attempted murders to try to solve in this delightful mystery starring a dysfunctional family! I enjoyed quite a few of the suspects and I am really getting attached to both Inspector Hannasyde and Inspector Hemingway.

Title: A Blunt Instrument
Author: Georgette Heyer
# of Pages: 309
Hours Spent Reading: 2
Rating: 3
My thoughts: Constable Malachi Glass has to be one of the most irritating characters to ever star in a mystery novel! I would have given up on it perhaps if it hadn't been for my growing interest in Helen North, Sally Drew,  and Neville Fletcher. While there were irritating elements to this mystery novel, it had its moments!

Title: The Language Inside
Author: Holly Thompson
# of Pages: 520 (verse novel)
Hours Spent Reading: 2
Rating: 4?
My thoughts: Emma Karas may not be the first heroine in a YA novel to ask the ever-important question: where do I belong? but her story--told in verse--is powerful and compelling.

© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Ms. Yingling 9:56 PM  

Yeay! Glad you are participating! I did get a copy of Mary Marie in case I run out of new things to read. I'll be watching what fun titles you have with especial interest. And did you feel like watching any Esther Willams' films today. I did. Sigh.

Tammy 12:28 AM  

Good luck with your reading challenge!

Charlotte 6:45 AM  

I hope the reading goes well!

Anonymous,  10:49 PM  

Ooh, that little snippet of The Mouse with the Question Mark Tale is sooo enticing. Love Richard Peck, love the bat joke.

Tallulah A. Scribbles 4:21 PM  

Dropping by to see what you are reading. I haven't read any of Sarah Dessen's books. Which one is your favorite?

Good luck and happy reading!

Tallulah A. @ MAD Hoydenish

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

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