Reading Challenge

Fairytale Bingo Reading Challenge

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With National Fairy Tale Day coming up tomorrow (February 26th), I felt it appropriate to share one of the other reading challenges I’m doing this year to help me get through the #unreadshelfchallenge2018.

This is a bingo challenge, and it’s the second bingo challenge I’ve done. There are two ways to complete the challenge. You can either choose to get a BINGO (five squares in a row- horizontally, vertically or diagonally), or you can choose to complete the whole board.
fairytale bingo

I’m going to focus on completing a BINGO for the next month or so, but am aiming to complete the whole board by the end of the year. I have already read Spindle by Shonna Slayton (and loved it 🙂 ), but that’s the only square I’ve filled in so far.

The Fairytale Forum facebook group (ran by Ashlee Willis and Shonna Slayton) is hosting this challenge. If you love fairytales, you should definitely check this group out.

And tomorrow, I will be posting an original fairy tale to my blog. Be sure to check it out! 🙂

How will you be celebrating National Fairy Tale Day? Let me know in the comments.

 

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Reading Challenge

Fantastic February

The first smaller reading challenge I’m doing this year is a monthly (February) book challenge. If you missed my previous post about the yearly reading challenge I’m doing  you can check it out here.

The Fantastic February reading challenge is hosted by Kathy, author of the Books and Munches blog, and you can find all the details here.

Basically, this is a challenge that focuses on reading fantasy/paranormal books. Since I have a bunch of those on my unread bookcase, this is perfect!

Here is my TBR list for February:

fantastic february books

The Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine- I started this series awhile back and only have four books left in this series, so I’ll be finishing the series this month – Black Dawn, Bitter Blood, Fall of Night (not pictured), and Daylighters. 

The Queen of Hearts series by Colleen Oakes – I loved the first book and can’t wait to read the last two in this trilogy – Blood of Wonderland, and War of the Cards.

The Midnight Dance by Nikki Katz – This books sounded so good I pre-ordered it, and just haven’t had a chance to read it yet.

Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo – I’ve heard so many good things about this book,  it had to be added to the list.

After Alice by Gregory Maguire – I’ve actually never read a book by Maguire before, but have heard many good things about him, I decided to give this book a try. Also, this is an audiobook. (Audiobooks are one way I up my book count for the year.)

If you couldn’t tell, I love fairytale retellings, and am psyched to be doing a fantasy-themed challenge. I realize this is an ambitious list, but I will be trying to fit them all in. Like I said in my previous post, challenges motivate me. 🙂

What’s on your TBR list for February? Are you participating in Fantastic February or any other reading challenge for the month? Let me know in the comments.

 

Reading Challenge

The #unreadshelfproject2018 Reading Challenge

unread shelf

This year, I’m focusing on my reading by having more specific goals, and with that comes the reading challenges. I love a good challenge. I’m a bit competitive, so challenges really motivate me. 🙂

If you follow me on Instagram (@charityrau), then you know I’m participating in the #unreadshelfproject2018. What is that, you ask?  It is a reading challenge hosted by @theunreadshelf,  @katereadsbooks_, and @calsreads on Instagram.

The objective of the challenge – to focus on reading your own unread books. I have a ton of books that I haven’t read yet, and had been contemplating doing something like this for 2018 when I found this challenge. It’s the perfect motivation! The hosts will be posting weekly, and sometimes monthly, challenges throughout the year which will help me stay motivated and stick to my goal.

One of the first challenges was to count your unread books. Now, when I say I have a ton of unread books, I’m not exaggerating. Some are in boxes and others are scattered among books I have already read. I started with the one bookcase I know contains mostly unread books.

unread bookshelf

There are 120 unread books on that shelf, so that’s my goal for the year – to read 120 of my unread books.  I read 140 books last year, so this is doable for me. I will read a few library books as well, but only ones that qualify as highly anticipated reads for this year.

First I’ll be reading series – there are several series I’ve started, but haven’t finished. I’m currently finishing up the Lunar Chronicles.  I’m also planning to finish The Queen of Heart series, The Morganville Vampire series, the Beautiful Creatures series, and The Throne of Glass series.

This is my big reading challenge for the year, but I’ll also be doing some smaller challenges to help me stay motivated. I’ll be posting about some of those a little later. 🙂

What are your reading goals for 2018? Are you participating in any challenges? Let me know in the comments!

 

Beauty and the Beast Series, Reading Challenge

As Old As Time

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The next book in the challenge is As Old As Time. This is also a Disney book. However, this one is based more on the animated classic, than the new live action movie. This is part of a series of books called Twisted Tales. (There is also an Aladdin and a Sleeping Beauty story in the series.)

The twist in this story is that Belle’s mother was the enchantress who cursed the Beast. While there were a lot of scenes taken straight from the animated movie, there were also some flashback scenes telling how Maurice and his wife met, and the events that led up to the Beast’s curse. At part two (1/3 of the way through the book), the book takes a different turn from the movie and really develops into it’s own story.

I liked the way this book used inspiration from the movie, and enjoyed the twists along the way.  It was entertaining, though a bit darker than the animated movie. One of the things I really liked was the way the author highlighted Belle’s and the Beast’s parents choices versus their own. In other words, the child does not have to make the same choice as the parent.  In fact, one of Belle’s quotes near the end is a great reminder of this. “Everyone is different. Each person has his or her own soul and is master of his or her own destiny.”

The only thing I didn’t like was the open-ended ending. I’m not going to give anything away, other than to say, everything wasn’t totally knitted up into a perfect happy ending. It was for the most part happy, and gave the impression that all would end that way, but I personally, like the nicely tied up endings better.

Overall, it was a good read that I enjoyed. I read it within three days and it’s nearly 500 pages long! I would recommend it to any Disney fan, any Beauty and the Beast fan, or any fairytale fan. Just be prepared for the twist and turns it takes from the original Disney classic! 🙂

If you missed all the information about the reading challenge, you can find it here. Feel free to jump in for any or all of the books. Reviews are nonspoiler, so you have plenty of time to read each book. Whenever you finish, you can answer the questions or comment on the book via the comments section.

And the questions:

  1. Do you think that a parent automatically determines the choices/path a child has to take? Why or why not?
  2. How did you like the backstory of Maurice and Belle’s mother?
  3. What did you think of the twists the book took away from the movie?
  4. What was your favorite part of the book?
Beauty and the Beast Series, Reading Challenge

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in A Book

I just have to say – I loved this book! The perfect companion to the new movie, it takes places after Belle has come to the castle and been rescued from the wolves, but  before Belle and the Beast have their dance.

The Beast has just given Belle the library, and she finds a magical book there. It’s a book she can actually step into and become a part of the book’s world. The book, called Nevermore, is written by  Comtesse des Terres De Morts, a countess who befriends Belle once she enters Nevermore. The countess shows Belle exciting things – marvelous parties, the highlights of Paris, and a life of luxury. But Belle has to wonder, is it real? And is it really better than her life with the Beast and his servants?

This book expounded on some of the things I loved about the new movie. There was a little more about Belle’s past and a little more about the Beast’s past. I also loved the way it handled love – it’s sometimes hard and unglamorous, but when it’s real it’s worth it. It was an enchanting read, and also a deeper read than it first appeared to be.

If you love the Beauty and the Beast story, you’ll enjoy this book. And if you really loved the new Beauty and the Beast movie, this book is a must read! It fits with the movie so perfectly, adding a bit more to Belle and the Beast’s story.

Up next in the Beauty and the Beast reading challenge is, As Old As Time by Liz Braswell. If you haven’t finished Lost in A Book yet, no problem. You can always come back to share in the discussion here once you have. If you haven’t finished the book, you might not want to look at the discussions, there could be spoilers there. 🙂

And as promised, a few discussions questions. Share your answers in the comments!

What did you think of the Love/Death dichotomy?

Death said that Love was even more ferocious that Death herself was. Do you think that’s true, and why?

Why do you think the Beast had such a hard time having talking with Belle the way she wanted him to? Do you think this made him a bad friend?

What do you think is the best way to tell if a friend is true or not?

And, of course, what was your favorite part of the book?

Beauty and the Beast Series, Reading Challenge

It’s time for another fairytale series! If you missed my first series (The Cinderella Series), you can check it out here.  With the new Beauty and the Beast movie about to be released (which I’m super psyched about), I thought it fitting to do a Beauty and the Beast series.

This time I wanted to make it a challenge that anyone can participate in. I’ve chosen five retellings. I’ve already read two of them, and I love them! The rest are books I have on my TBR list. If you love Beauty and the Beast, I think you’ll enjoy them all.

I’ve added the Goodreads links for each book, and listed the date on which I’ll post a review, here on my blog, with discussion questions.

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly (on Goodreads) March 23, 2017

As Old as Time by Liz Braswell (on Goodreads) April 3, 2017

Beauty by Robin McKinley (on Goodreads) May 3, 2017

Beauty and the Beast by K.M. Shea (on Goodreads) May 15, 2017

Hunted by Meagan Spooner (on Goodreads) May 29, 2017

You can choose to read all of them or just the ones you want. I’ve given about two weeks reading time for each book, but if you don’t finish a book by its review post that’s okay. They’ll be nonspoiler reviews. And you can always go back to the said book’s post and comment after you finish reading it.

You can participate in discussion on Twitter and Instagram too. Just use #bbreadingchallenge. I’ll also have a giveaway or two (Beauty and the Beast themed stuff) to go along with this challenge, so be on the lookout. 🙂

If you’ve already read some of this books, that’s okay too. You can still hop in on the discussions and let us know what you think about the book.