75 Books...More or Less! discussion

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Archive (2018 GR Challenge) > Rachel's 2018 Challenge

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message 1: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy 1. A Morbid Taste for Bones (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #1) by Ellis Peters by Ellis Peters January 1st

This was a lovely little mystery as told through the eyes of Benedictine Brother Cadfael. I have seen some of the Cadfael PBS series but this was my first time reading any of the books, and I was very pleasantly surprised to find that the TV series was true to the author and her character.

A definite recommend, both the book and the series!
5 stars


message 2: by Elyse, Moderator (new)

Elyse (winesaboutbooks) | 7657 comments Mod
Welcome back, Rachel!


message 3: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy Thanks, Elyse!
Here's hoping that 2018 is a good year ;)!


message 4: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy 2. Night Train to Memphis (Vicky Bliss, #5) by Elizabeth Peters by Elizabeth Peters January 6th

I have to admit, for the first half of this book I had half a mind to just put it down and walk away from this series altogether. I should have known better, should have known that Peters would make things right. And she did, of course.

Another great story in the Vicky Bliss saga. Only one left to go, I do wonder where Peters will take us to in the end. What will happen to Vicky and John?
4 stars


message 5: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy 3. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo by Kate DiCamillo January 12th

A very sweet book.
Be sure to have a box of tissues for the ending, which is completely predictable, by the way.
4 stars


message 6: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy 4. Dingoes at Dinnertime (Magic Tree House, #20) by Mary Pope Osborne by Mary Pope Osborne January 14th

4 stars


message 7: by Rachel Joy (last edited Jan 15, 2018 06:00AM) (new)

Rachel Joy 5. The Immortal Game (The Immortal Game #1) by Joannah Miley by Joannah Miley January 15th

1 star


message 8: by Rachel Joy (last edited Jan 21, 2018 09:05AM) (new)

Rachel Joy 6. Citadel (Languedoc, #3) by Kate Mosse by Kate Mosse January 21st

I have been debating this in my head for some time now: whether I should rate a book that I cannot find it in myself to finish because I just can't read about characters who are so evil that the word "evil" does not actually suffice?
In the end, I decided that I should not.

I absolutely love Mosse and her writing, and will continue to read her books, but this particular topic in history hits too close to home for me, having lost family members to the Nazis.
no rating


message 9: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy 7. High Tide in Hawaii (Magic Tree House, #28) by Mary Pope Osborne by Mary Pope Osborne January 26th

4 stars


message 10: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy 8. Flora & Ulysses The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo by Kate DiCamillo January 26th

This is one of those novel/graphic novel books, where some pages are graphic and others are just writing. I like the way that books are evolving these days!

The story of Flora and her supernatural squirrel friend, Ulysses, is really sweet and funny. There's also a whole cast of secondary characters that fill out the plot and make for a truly entertaining book.
4 stars


message 11: by Rachel Joy (last edited Jan 31, 2018 08:03AM) (new)

Rachel Joy 9. School Ship Tobermory (School Ship Tobermory, #1) by Alexander McCall Smith by Alexander McCall Smith January 31st

What a lovely story!
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read about an unconventional school, some really lovable kids, and a little mystery to spice things up.

4 stars


message 12: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy 10. The Laughter of Dead Kings (Vicky Bliss, #6) by Elizabeth Peters by Elizabeth Peters February 6th

A most satisfying ending to a fun series!

And we received a little surprise, two actually, as well. One, Peters wrote herself into the book, ever so nonchalantly. And two, she decided to connect this series to Amelia Peabody through family relation.

Very clever!
4 stars


message 13: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy 11. The Wizards of Once (The Wizards of Once #1) by Cressida Cowell by Cressida Cowell February 6th

I really tried to like this book, but after three plus hours of listening to a reader who wishes he were as good as Jim Dale but who is most decidedly not, I have come to the conclusion, once again, that there is no accounting for taste.

I don't see what others like so much about this author. I gave her a chance to impress me and she very plainly didn't.

Onward . . .
1 star


message 14: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy 12. Bad Kitty vs Uncle Murray The Uproar at the Front Door by Nick Bruel by Nick Bruel February 7th

2 stars


message 15: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy 13. Bespelling Jane Austen by Mary Balogh by Mary Balogh, Colleen Gleason, Susan Krinard, and Janet Mullany February 11th

This is a collection of four Jane Austen retellings as told by talented authors who clearly demonstrate an intelligent respect for Austen and her characters. Unlike other so-called Austen paranormal retellings, these authors are true to Austen's original intentions, insofar as we can hope to know what those were, and they have faithfully placed our most beloved heroines in today's world with a twist of fantasy.

A definite recommend!
4 stars


message 16: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy 14. Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles, #4.5) by Marissa Meyer by Marissa Meyer February 13th

This is a sweet, sad, romantic, and moving collection of stories from the Lunar Chronicles universe.
The reader gets to glimpse the main characters of the series during their childhoods, which is a rare treat not often afforded to the audience. And the icing on the cake is the last story which is an epilogue to the main books, giving us the much needed happily ever after we've all been wanting--all us Lunar Chronicles fans, that is ;).
5 stars


message 17: by Rachel Joy (last edited Feb 14, 2018 12:02PM) (new)

Rachel Joy 15. The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo by Kate DiCamillo February 14th

(view spoiler)

Not my cup of tea.
2 stars


message 18: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy 16. Black Heart (Black Wings, #6) by Christina Henry by Christina Henry February 17th

I have become completely attached to Maddy Black, but am still upset over the loss of Gabriel. I am still not convinced that Nathaniel is a worthy substitute.
One more to go . . .
4 stars


message 19: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy 17. Everneath (Everneath, #1) by Brodi Ashton by Brodi Ashton February 18th

At first, I really wasn't sure if I'd finish this book. It was definitely touch and go there for a while.
I chose to read this book because it has been on my TBR list for some time and it fit some challenges I'm doing.

I did finish it, and it was okay. It read like so many other YA retellings of the Hades/Persephone myth, but was not exceptional in any way. I will probably not continue on in the trilogy as it seems fairly predictable as to where the author would go with the story.
3 stars


message 20: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy 18. Monday with a Mad Genius (Magic Tree House, #38) by Mary Pope Osborne by Mary Pope Osborne February 22nd

4 stars


message 21: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy 19. The Help by Kathryn Stockett by Kathryn Stockett February 23rd

This is chic lit, with an emphasis on the literature aspect of it.

Beyond that, it is a good story, looking at the true life of Black maids in the deep South, because it doesn't get any deeper than Mississippi, during the height of the Civil Rights movement.
It's powerful and it does illustrate the incredible resilience of the human spirit in the face of horrific racism.

4 stars


message 22: by Elyse, Moderator (new)

Elyse (winesaboutbooks) | 7657 comments Mod
That pie though!!!


message 23: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy Elyse wrote: "That pie though!!!"

(Much laughing!!)
Yeah, I know! I love that part, especially that her own mother laughs at her for treating the help so terribly.


message 24: by Elyse, Moderator (new)

Elyse (winesaboutbooks) | 7657 comments Mod
Rachel wrote: "Elyse wrote: "That pie though!!!"

(Much laughing!!)
Yeah, I know! I love that part, especially that her own mother laughs at her for treating the help so terribly."


THE. BEST.


message 25: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy 20. Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1) by Sarah Rees Brennan by Sarah Rees Brennan February 27th

I love a good Gothic story, and this is one of those.

Brennan has a lovely sense of humor that will make you laugh even as you are hiding under the blanket for fear of what is going to happen next. I like all the characters, however my favorites are Jared and Angela, for their complete lack of pretense.

Onward to book two in the trilogy . . .
4 stars


message 26: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy 21. Untold (The Lynburn Legacy, #2) by Sarah Rees Brennan by Sarah Rees Brennan February 28th

The second book in the Lynburn Legacy trilogy, this one is ever as good as the first one was.
I love Brennan's dry sense of humor, maybe it's a British thing. And, of course, it was most satisfying to read about the progress of the relationship between Kami and Jared.
4 stars


message 27: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy 22. Juliet by Anne Fortier by Anne Fortier March 2nd

What a wonderful trip into the history of Romeo and Juliet!!
There's a bit of everything in this book: adventure, mystery, romance, history, and even an ancient family curse.
What a ride!!
4 stars


message 28: by Elyse, Moderator (new)

Elyse (winesaboutbooks) | 7657 comments Mod
Rachel wrote: "22. Juliet by Anne Fortier by Anne Fortier March 2nd

What a wonderful trip into the history of Romeo and Juliet!!
There's a bit of everything in this book: adventure, mystery, romance, history..."


Well, now I have to read this as her last name is my maiden name!


message 29: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy Elyse wrote: "Rachel wrote: "22. Juliet by Anne Fortier by Anne Fortier March 2nd

What a wonderful trip into the history of Romeo and Juliet!!
There's a bit of everything in this book: adventure, mystery, r..."


It's a really good, fun book!! I think you would enjoy it!


message 30: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy 23. Hereafter (Hereafter, #1) by Tara Hudson by Tara Hudson March 4th

This was a seriously weak story!
Not sure why I hung on until the end. Needless to say, I will not be reading the rest of the trilogy.
I needed a book with a ghost on the cover for a challenge and I didn't have anything on my shelves so I thought I'd try it.
2 stars


message 31: by Elyse, Moderator (new)

Elyse (winesaboutbooks) | 7657 comments Mod
Rachel wrote: "23. Hereafter (Hereafter, #1) by Tara Hudson by Tara Hudson March 4th

This was a seriously weak story!
Not sure why I hung on until the end. Needless to say, I will not be reading the rest of the trilogy.
I ..."


They do get worse. Smart choice not continuing.


message 32: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy 24. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins by Paula Hawkins March 5th

Some acts are unforgivable, they destroy so completely that the damage is irrevocable.

Reading this book brought to mind this question: Why do so many people say their marriage vows with absolutely no intention of keeping those vows? Not just the notion that they have found their true love and will be true to them, but also the whole idea of "for better and for worse."
Hawkins illustrates for us just how destructive breaking those vows can be.
Thank you, Ms. Hawkins!
4 stars


message 33: by Rachel Joy (last edited Mar 05, 2018 08:46PM) (new)

Rachel Joy 25. Pirates! by Celia Rees by Celia Rees March 5th

This book was an interesting mix of both what I did and did not expect.
In the end, however, I would recommend it. It's a fun ride through the history of pirates, two women pirates, without apology for their freedom or way of life.
4 stars


message 34: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy 26. Ink and Bone (The Great Library, #1) by Rachel Caine by Rachel Caine March 6th

I tried all day today, my last day of vacation, to like this book. Really, I did. But when I fell asleep while reading it I took that for a sign that, although the premise of this book had such incredible potential, it is not apparently for me.
I just found it so boring (yawn).
1 star


message 35: by Elyse, Moderator (new)

Elyse (winesaboutbooks) | 7657 comments Mod
I've read the first 2 of the Ink and Bone series and they are HARD to get into!!! lol. I liked the second one better. A better series is The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman!


message 36: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy Elyse wrote: "I've read the first 2 of the Ink and Bone series and they are HARD to get into!!! lol. I liked the second one better. A better series is The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman!"

Yeah, I have The Invisible Library on my TBR list, so I'll give that a try.


message 37: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy 27. Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy, #3) by Sarah Rees Brennan by Sarah Rees Brennan March 14th

I really, really enjoyed this trilogy! It was part Gothic, part fantasy, and part romance--some of my favorite ingredients in a story.

A definite recommend!
4 stars


message 38: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy 28. The Ice Princess (Patrik Hedström, #1) by Camilla Läckberg by Camilla Lackberg March 16th

I found this to be somewhat disappointing. I didn't really buy the ending.

I did have a quote I liked:
". . when one gets old it involves certain responsibilities, you understand."
"Responsibilities?"
"One is expected to show a bit of eccentricity to be interesting. Otherwise one is simply a sad old crone, and no one wants that, you know."
2 stars


message 39: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy 29. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry by Lois Lowry March 19th

What a beautiful story!
"The gift of a world of human decency . . ."
Makes you think about what state our world is in today, doesn't it?
5 stars


message 40: by Elyse, Moderator (new)

Elyse (winesaboutbooks) | 7657 comments Mod
Rachel Joy wrote: "29. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry by Lois Lowry March 19th

What a beautiful story!
"The gift of a world of human decency . . ."
Makes you think about what state our world is in today, doesn't..."


Such an amazing book! I read it as a child and it really stuck with me!


message 41: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy 30. Great-Grandpa's in the Litter Box (The Zack Files #1) by Dan Greenburg by Dan Greenburg March 20th

3 stars


message 42: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy 31. The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg by Fannie Flagg March 20th

Total chic lit book.
It's funny, because I have read Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe several times and, of course, seen the movie adaptation, and even though that is total chic lit as well it was different somehow. Fried Green Tomatoes has strong women who fight back, who take their lives back for themselves, but The All-Girl Filling Station does not. I finished this book just to find out what the big mystery was, and it wasn't that big in the end.
3 stars


message 43: by Rachel Joy (last edited Mar 22, 2018 10:07AM) (new)

Rachel Joy 32. Black Spring (Black Wings, #7) by Christina Henry by Christina Henry March 22nd

Well, that is the ending of the "Black Wings" series and it was mostly satisfactory. I think Henry poked a little fun at all the supernatural beings and their agendas with how she wrapped it all up.
(view spoiler)

4 stars


message 44: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy 33. In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware by Ruth Ware March 24th

I don't know if it is just me, or maybe books tagged as "Thriller" just are not my cup of tea, but this was not terribly "thrilling" or particularly "scary" (the cover promised it was very scary). What it was, was somewhat predictable. And the ending was so bleak that I am going to have to find myself something funny to read, like, right now!
3 stars


message 45: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy 34. Through the Medicine Cabinet (The Zack Files #2) by Dan Greenburg by Dan Greenburg March 28th

3 stars


message 46: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy 35. Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore by Kristin Cashore April 3rd

Not impressed. At all.
The premise is quite an interesting one but the execution lacked in quality and any kind of conclusion.
I didn't especially like any of the possibilities given, and some I found to be unpleasant even.
2 stars


message 47: by Elyse, Moderator (new)

Elyse (winesaboutbooks) | 7657 comments Mod
Rachel Joy wrote: "35. Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore by Kristin Cashore April 3rd

Not impressed. At all.
The premise is quite an interesting one but the execution lacked in quality and any kind of conclusion...."


Oh noooo! I love Cashore's Graceling books and preordered this but haven't read it yet. It just seems too...strange! :/


message 48: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy Elyse wrote: "Rachel Joy wrote: "35. Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore by Kristin Cashore April 3rd

Not impressed. At all.
The premise is quite an interesting one but the execution lacked in quality and any ..."


Yeah, I know, I loved her Graceling books too!

This was, as you say, strange to say the least. Cashore introduces you to Jane and then takes you on five different possible adventures with Jane. All of which have the same secondary characters but different story lines and even genres. As a premise, I thought it had real potential to be interesting, but alas it wasn't.


message 49: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy 36. The Gallery by Laura Marx Fitzgerald by Laura Marx Fitzgerald April 4th

Lots of fun!
(view spoiler)
4 stars


message 50: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy 37. A Ghost Named Wanda (The Zack Files #3) by Dan Greenburg by Dan Greenburg April 5th

3 stars


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