Mini Review: In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce

Friday, April 29, 2016
Title: In the Hand of the Goddess
Author: Tamora Pierce
SeriesSong of the Lioness #2
Publisher: Atheneum Books For Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 1984
Pages: 241
Format/Source: Paperback/Purchased 

Age Group/Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Disguised as a boy, Alanna of Trebond becomes a squire, to none other than the prince of the realm. But Prince Jonathan is much more to Alanna; he is her ally, her best friend, and one of the few who knows that she's really a girl. Now it will take all of Alanna's awesome skill, strength, and growing magical powers to protect him from the mysterious evil sorcerer who is bent on his destruction, and hers!

Here continues the story of Alanna, a young woman bound for glory who is willing to fight against enormous odds for what she believes in. (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads.)

*Warning:  This is the second book in a series.  While I really don't like spoilers, you might find some slight Book 1 spoilers in this review.*

Like with most sequels, I am just going to write a mini review where I share some of my notes:

  • I didn't think about it until I started reading In the Hand of the Goddess, but these are totally feminist books. Yay!
  • Love the action and suspense right from the beginning.
  • Slut shaming. And coming from the main character, a female. NOT COOL.
  • So far, I'm Team George, but Jonathan gained some brownie points for coming to help Alanna when she throws up.
  • Several instances of telling instead of showing.
  • I like that her brother is super smart at what he does, too, and that he's not a bad guy. He's on her side.
  • That damn Roger!
  • Some crazy parts at the end!

My rating for In the Hand of the Goddess, by Tamora Pierce:
4 stars. I enjoyed this one about as much as I enjoyed Alanna, and I liked that this one was more Young Adult than Middle Grade, since Alanna is older in this story.
Find it:  Goodreads │ Amazon │ Simon & Schuster

Disclaimer:  I purchased this book myself.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.

Waiting on Wednesday (71): Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh

Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick this week:
by Julie Eshbaugh
Release Date:  June 7, 2016
Published by HarperTeen
A prehistoric fantasy—with allusions to Pride and Prejudice.

Hunting, gathering, and keeping his family safe—that’s the life seventeen-year-old Kol knows. Then bold, enigmatic Mya arrives from the south with her family, and Kol is captivated. He wants her to like and trust him, but any hopes of impressing her are ruined when he makes a careless—and nearly grave—mistake. However, there’s something more to Mya’s cool disdain…a history wrought with loss that comes to light when another clan arrives. With them is Lo, an enemy from Mya’s past who Mya swears has ulterior motives.

As Kol gets to know Lo, tensions between Mya and Lo escalate until violence erupts. Faced with shattering losses, Kol is forced to question every person he’s trusted. One thing is for sure: this was a war that Mya or Lo—Kol doesn’t know which—had been planning all along. (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads.)
So I still haven't read Pride and Prejudice (I know, I know! I need to do that ASAP!) but I have seen some of the adaptations and I think that this book just sounds so cool. Even though it has allusions to Pride and Prejudice, it seems like a fresh story and I'm super excited to read it.

What book are you waiting on?  Let me know, or leave a link to your WoW post in the comments, and I'll try to stop by your blog! 

April 2016 Readathon: Finish Line!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Dewey's 24-Hour Read-A-Thon is a bi-annual readathon, hosted at, where readers and bloggers get together and read for 24 hours, sharing their experience with others.

Well, guys, how did everyone do? I really wish I had spent more time reading during the day, because I really don't feel like I accomplished much. Oh, well. There's always next time!

Here are my answers to the End of Event Meme:

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?

Basically all day. I really didn't get into the groove of reading except for a few hours. But I guess the hardest hours were 16-20. I was tired during all of those, and really, really tired during the last couple. It was hard to focus, much less read and retain it.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
Graphic novels are always good if you're a slow reader like me.

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
In April 2015, the last readathon I did before this one, there was a readathon book, The Yellow Wallpaper, that many people read. And I remember that there wasn't really any discussion about it. But I would have liked to see one of those again, with some kind of discussion afterwards.

This was my first year to cheer, and I have to say it was more time-consuming than I thought it would be. But I'm sure using Twitter to cheer is much less time-consuming than commenting on individual blogs. However, I was kind of sad because I only had one comment on my Starting Line post, and none on my Updates post. I understand that not all participants have blogs, but now it feels like maybe I'm wasting my time by posting all these updates on my blog? Because entering in data and things like that does take time away from reading, too. I don't know. I am a blogger and I enjoy posting these kinds of things on my blog, but if the readathon is going to become more of a social media thing, then maybe I won't post all this stuff on my blog anymore.

Also, maybe make sure the people hosting mini-challenges aren't doing the same kinds of challenges? I saw two road-trip challenges and two quote challenges this year. I did one road-trip challenge, and decided not to do the other, because I had already done the first one.

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
I think the cheering on Twitter was probably a lot easier and more efficient than cheering used to be (although I missed having comments on my blog posts, like I stated above). But when I went to look at the list of blogs that supposedly didn't have cheerleaders, that weren't signed up for Twitter cheers or something, my name was on the list. I feel like that list was inaccurate so I decided not to cheer for some people on that list, as I wasn't sure who really didn't have cheerleaders.

5. How many books did you read?
Just 2, unfortunately. I really wanted to get more read, but it just didn't happen.

6. What were the names of the books you read?
The Walking Dead, Compendium Two by Robert Kirkman, et al.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz graphic novel by L. Frank Baum, Eric Shanower, and Skottie Young

7. Which book did you enjoy most?

The Walking Dead, Compendium Two

8. Which did you enjoy least?
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz graphic novel. I enjoyed it, but I felt too familiar with the story so I got a little bored at times. And I was falling asleep as I was trying to read it, so that made it not as much fun.

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
This was my first time cheering. I think just be prepared for it to take a lot of time, especially if you want to try to cheer for everyone on your team. I think I was only able to get to about 1/3 of my team, and that makes me sad.

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?

I'll definitely be participating any time that I can. I think next time I might have to get a hotel room or something so that I can have less distractions.

Thanks again to all the organizers and volunteers!  You guys rock!  And great job to all the readers!

April 2016 Readathon: Updates & Mini Challenges

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Dewey's 24-Hour Read-A-Thon is a bi-annual readathon, hosted at, where readers and bloggers get together and read for 24 hours, sharing their experience with others.

Instead of writing several posts, I thought I'd just keep all my updates and mini challenges on one page, with separate posts for the Opening Meme and the End of Event Meme.

Hours 1-6

Book(s) read: The Walking Dead, Compendium Two by Robert Kirkman, et al.
Thoughts on current read: I was about 75% done with The Walking Dead Compendium Two before the readathon, so I'm hoping to finish it within the next couple hours. I like how the comics are similar to the show, but different as well, so that I am still surprised by things. (Or I guess I should say that the show is different yet similar to the comics, since the comics came before the show, but I watched the show first...)
Total books read so far:  None finished
Pages read:  134
Total pages read so far: 134
Amount of time spent reading: 1 hour, 20 minutes  
Total time spent reading so far: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Notes:  The readathon starts at 5am my time, and I enjoy my sleep, so I didn't wake up until 8, the start of hour 3. And then I spent some time laying around in bed with my hubs and kiddos, and then published my Starting Line post with the Opening Meme. Then I had breakfast and then there was an impromptu bath for the baby after a lovely diaper blow out, and then I found out I won a prize during hour 5! Yay! So I didn't actually start reading until halfway into hour 5. But hopefully I'll get much more reading done during the rest of the day! 

Hours 7-12

Book(s) read:  The Walking Dead, Compendium Two - Finished!
Thoughts on current read:  Still enjoying it!
Total books read so far:  Finished 1
Pages read:  132
Total pages read so far: 266 
Amount of time spent reading: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Total time spent reading so far: 2 hours, 40 minutes 

Notes:  Did the Taco Road Trip challenge (see below) during hour 7, even though the challenge was technically over. I had lots of fun with it, though! Spent hour 8 cheering for fellow members of Team Goldfinch and visited a couple of blogs. In hour 9 I did the Facebook Group Challenge, and did my new exercise routine. Hour 10 I recovered from my exercise routine, spent some time with my husband, and took a shower. During hour 11 I ate lunch, then started reading again. Finished The Walking Dead, Compendium Two just before the end of hour 12.

Mid-Event Survey

1. What are you reading right now? 
I just finished The Walking Dead, Compendium Two.
2. How many books have you read so far?
So far, I've only finished one. But I've only spent 2 hours and 40 minutes reading so far. (I need to spend more time reading!)
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
Basically all of the books that are on my stack:
They're all graphic novels so I should be able to read them quickly. I just wanted to finish The Walking Dead, Compendium Two, since I was pretty close to finishing it before the readathon began.
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
Yes. Every time I leave my bedroom I end up being gone for longer than I expected, because of my kiddos and my husband. It's not annoying, and they're not trying to keep me away from reading, it's just things that happen when you have kids. I just have to try to remember to get back to my reading as quickly as possible.
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
Well, I've done this readathon lots of times, but this is my first time to be a cheerleader, and man, I didn't realize how much time that took. So far I've only cheered for an hour but I didn't get through many people at all. And I imagine in previous years, it probably took even longer since cheering wasn't on Twitter then. But I'm going to try to cheer again later.

Hours 13-18

Book(s) read: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz graphic novel by L. Frank Baum, Eric Shanower, and Skottie Young
Thoughts on current read: I'm enjoying it, but also just really wanting to finish it.
Total books read so far: 1 finished, 1 started 
Pages read: 142
Total pages read so far: 408 
Amount of time spent reading: 2 hours, 20 minutes 
Total time spent reading so far: 5 hours

Notes: My husband left at the beginning of hour 14, so that left me the closing shift as parent. I spent hour 14 and 15 hanging with the kiddos, making and having dinner with them, and getting them to bed. A little after the start of hour 16, I was back in my room, and started in on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. I started to get really tired at the end of that hour, so my reading was slow-going. In hour 17, I decided to do some more cheering, and continued to get even sleepier. Before the hour was up, I decided to have a snack and that woke me up a bit. I read for another hour, until my hubs came home and he and I talked for a bit until he went to bed. I'm really still quite tired but I'm determined to finish this book so hopefully I will be able to do that before I fall asleep!

Hours 19-24

Book(s) read: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz graphic novel - finished!
Thoughts on current read: I might have to reread some of this because I was so tired and falling asleep while trying to finish reading it.
Total books read so far: 2
Pages read: 45
Total pages read so far: 453  
Amount of time spent reading: 1 hour   
Total time spent reading so far: 6 hours 

Notes: I started falling asleep at the end of hour 19, and decided I needed to go to bed. But then I messed around on social media for a little while, and then in the middle of hour 20, I decided to rally and try to finish The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Finally finished, and went to bed at the start of hour21. 

Mini Challenges  

Taco Road Trip (Hosted at In The Forest of Stories)

We were supposed to go on a road trip with a character in our current read and write a postcard to another character, telling them all about our road trip. Mine turned pretty depressing, because of the book I'm reading, but I'm kind of proud of it. I wrote it in about 3 minutes and I would totally change some things, but I'm just going to leave it as it is.

Book: The Walking Dead, Compendium Two by Robert Kirkman, et al.
Traveling Buddy: Rick Grimes

Postcard to Carl Grimes:

Hi Carl! Your dad, Rick, and I took a little trip today. I know you wanted to come but it's too dangerous out there with all the Walkers for you to come all the time. So you just needed to stay put today, buddy. I miss the old road trips we used to have. They were much more fun than these. I used to take trips with my friends all over the country. We'd eat all the tacos we could handle, listen to songs way too loudly, and visit lots of cool places. Maybe one of these days, you and me and your dad can do that again. Maybe one day things will all be back like they used to be, before dead people started rising again. Maybe your dad and I can find some stuff to make tacos and we can bring them back to you. I miss tacos a lot. I miss my old friends. I miss the way life used to be. And I don't even know why I'm writing you a postcard, because there's no post office to deliver it to you. Oh, well. All we can do is keep living, keep fighting, and maybe one day we'll have a post office, tacos, road trips and music again. We can't give up hope. See you soon.

I also did the Facebook Challenge.


Other participants I've visited:
Jessie from Jessie Marie Reads
Kate from Midnight Book Girl

Prizes I've won:
I won during hour 5! Yay! I'm so excited!

Official Read-a-Thon page

I adapted this template from Irish at Ticket to Anywhere.  Thanks, Irish!

April 2016 Readathon: Starting Line

Dewey's 24-Hour Read-A-Thon is a bi-annual readathon, hosted at, where readers and bloggers get together and read for 24 hours, sharing their experience with others.

Hi, everyone! 

The readathon starts at 5am my time, and I like my sleep, so here it is, 3 and a half hours into readathon and I'm just now getting started. But that's okay. How is everyone else doing so far this morning?

So here is my book pile for this readathon (subject to change, as always):

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
Low, Vol. 1: The Delirium of Hope by Rick Remender & Greg Tocchini
Injection, Vol. 1 by Warren Ellis, et al.
The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen, et al.
Saga, Vol. 2, Vol. 3, Vol. 4, and Vol. 5 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Eric Shanower, et al.

(Not pictured) The Walking Dead, Compendium Two by Robert Kirkman - I'm almost done with this one, so I'll be starting with it today.

So I'm sticking with graphic novels/graphic memoirs this time around. I am such a slow reader so graphic novels always make me feel more accomplished during readathons. But if I get tired of them, I may switch it up and start a full-length novel. My only real goal this readathon is just to read as much as I can, and to cheer for at least a couple of hours, since I'm a cheerleader for the first time!

And here are my answers to the Opening Meme:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
Washington State, USA

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
I'm not sure. I think I'm really looking forward to each and every book on my pile! I'll probably read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz graphic novel first because it's a library book and I'll want to make sure I get that one done.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
I just started an exercise routine and I'm eating more healthy foods so anything that will help keep me awake and reading!

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
I'm a stay-at-home mom of two boys, I play pool on a couple of teams (and have done so for about 14 years), and as I stated in #3, I just started a new exercise routine and it's kicking my butt. I danced for 12 years as a kid, so I'm doing the new Cize exercise routine and I thought that maybe I'd do well with it, but since I'm so out of shape, I'm getting the moves down but having trouble having the stamina to complete the whole session. But I'm determined and I'm going to keep going, so I'll be doing that routine at some point during the day today. Anyone else doing Cize right now, too? Let me know and we can cheer each other on!

5) If you participated in the last readathon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first readathon, what are you most looking forward to?
I didn't participate in the last readathon, but I have participated in several before. This year my main goal is just to read as much as I can, which honestly feels really liberating. This is also my first time to be a cheerleader, so that will be different, and I'm looking forward to it!

Good luck to everyone who's participating!  I hope to visit lots of people who are participating today!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...