WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday – 4/17/19

WWW New

WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Sam at Taking On a World of Words. Three questions, three answers. Let’s go!

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading The Circle: Taken by Sage Sask. I just got a review copy for this and will be posting about it next week. Also still making progress with Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling. Finally got back to my Chapter-A-Long posts this week, which makes me happy.

What did you recently finish reading?

I finished The Raven’s Tale by Cat Winters and I loved it so much! Review will be posted tomorrow, so look for that.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I have two blog tours coming up in May that I need to get ready for: Art of Death by Becca Vincenza and The Bone Charmer by Breeana Shields. Other than that, I plan on reading Kushiel’s Avatar by Jacqueline Carey after I finish Empire of Storms.

What are you reading this week? Anything good?

Chapter-A-Long

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – Chapter 7 (#PotterheadReadAlong19)

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In Chapter 7, we get settled in at the campsite and enjoy the festivities. Let’s go!

I want to go to the Quidditch World Cup so bad! It sounds like so much fun! More than just a sporting event, this is THE sporting event. It’s a festival-like atmosphere and it just sounds incredible.

So they arrive and are directed to their campsite, managed by a Muggled named Roberts who has to constantly have his memory modified by an Obliviate spell in order to not get too suspicious. It’s all been a bit of a hassle for the people in charge of security, and it’s no surprise as to why.

They trudged up the misty field between long rows of tents. Most looked almost ordinary; their owners had clearly tried to make them as Muggle-like as possible, but had slipped up by adding chimneys, or bellpulls, or weather vanes. However, here and there was a tent so obviously magical that Harry could hardly be surprised that Mr. Roberts was getting suspicious. Halfway up the field stood an extravagant confection of striped silk like a miniature palace, with several live peacocks tethered at the entrance. A little farther on they passed a tent that had three floors and several turrets; and a short way beyond that was a tent that had a front garden attached, complete with birdbath, sundial, and fountain.

I wouldn’t mind going camping if I could stay in tents like these! Speaking of tents, the Weasleys have two tents for their very large group of people, but they are thankfully magical tents, which are about the size of a three bedroom apartment on the inside. It’s also really fun to see different wizards from what we are used to. Like very young children with toy broomsticks. Or wizards from other parts of the world, like Africa or America.

Or Ireland, if you are visiting the tents belonging to Seamus Finnigan’s family. All shamrocks, all the time. They are very proud to support their home team in the World Cup. The Bulgarians are also out in full force with their white, green and red flags and posters of their star player:

“Krum!” said Ron. “Viktor Krum, the Bulgarian Seeker!”

“He looks really grumpy,” said Hermione, looking around at the many Krums blinking and scowling at them.

“‘Really grumpy‘?” Ron raised his eyes to the heavens. “Who cares what he looks like? He’s unbelievable. He’s really young too. Only just eighteen or something. He’s a genius, you wait until tonight, you’ll see.”

Ron might be a little bit of a Viktor Krum fanboy. Just a tad.

They run into a bunch of other friends from school: Oliver Wood, Ernie Macmillan, and Cho Chang. They also run into an older wizard who doesn’t understand what’s wrong with his incognito Muggle attire – he’s wearing a lady’s nightgown. Once they get back to their campsite, they get to see several members of the Ministry, all who stop to say hello to Mr. Weasley.

Including Ludo Bagman, Head of the Department of Magical Games, and one of the people supposedly helping to run the World Cup. He used to play professional Quidditch and is walking around in his bright yellow and black stripped Quidditch robes, which is gaining a lot of attention. He also seems very interested in gambling on the outcome of the match, which Mr. Weasley reluctantly does, but the twins are all in. All their pocket money bet on that Ireland will win, but Krum will get the Snitch.

Barty Crouch, Percy’s boss at the Ministry and Head of the International Magical Cooperation office, also shows up. He would easily pass as the most boring of Muggles in his perfect suit and tie and shined shoes. Ludo hints that they have something else big coming up that they are planning, something taking place at Hogwarts, but of course, they won’t give it away just yet.

Souvenir vendors appear all over the place, selling all kinds of things for Ireland and Bulgaria. As the sky darkens, a path lights up, leading the way to the field. It’s on!

See you next time for Chapter 8!

 

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday – 4/16/19

tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Purple Booker. Here are the rules if you want to play along:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

She had attracted a grand total of four customers to her little tent so far, mostly young men looking to know which of the village girls fancied them, barely noticing that Elide—beneath the makeup pasted thick as cream on her face—was no older than they were. They’d scampered off when their friends had rushed by, whispering through the star-painted flaps that a swordsman was putting on the show of a lifetime, and his arms were nearly the size of tree trunks.

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

I’m going to finish this book if it’s the last thing I do! It’s not that it isn’t good, it’s just that I ended up with so many review requests that I didn’t expect to get approved for. Got a tad bit over my head, but working through them. That’s the nice thing about books – they don’t go anywhere! They’re always there for you to come back to!

No Top Ten today, as I am short on time. I do plan to get back to those as well, but right now, things are still a bit crazy.

Please leave your teasers in comments!

Chapter-A-Long

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – Chapter 6 (#PotterheadReadAlong19)

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In Chapter 6, it’s off to the Quidditch World Cup! Let’s go!

One thing that I am really enjoying is the fact that these first chapters in Goblet of Fire are short! Not much really happens in this chapter – basically, the main “action” is that everyone wakes up and then takes a walk to a hill where their transportation to the Quidditch World Cup pitch awaits. That’s it, really. But still, there’s a lot of interesting information in this chapter that I really enjoy reading, things that make this world even richer and more detailed.

Harry, Hermione and the Weasleys all have to wake up early in order to get to their destination – except for Bill, Charlie and Percy, who are able to Apparate. I can’t remember if we had learned about Apparition before, but it is the ability to basically teleport yourself from one place to another through magic. You have to take a test once you’re of age – Percy just took his and passed. Sort of like taking a test for your drivers license for us Muggles, I’m guessing, only a much more convenient method of travel. It’s not without its dangers though. If you aren’t careful, you can get Splinched.

“They left half of themselves behind,” said Mr. Weasley, now spooning large amounts of treacle onto his porridge. “So, of course, they were stuck. Couldn’t move either way. Had to wait for the Accidental Magic Reversal Squad to sort them out. Meant a fair old bit of paperwork, I can tell you, what with the Muggles who spotted the body parts they’d left behind . . .”

This sounds almost comical, but we learn later in Deathly Hallows that it’s actually quite dangerous and painful. Plus, it would be extremely disturbing to see only part of someone disappear and have random body parts left. I’m way to squeamish for that!

Fred and George also get in trouble, again. They attempted to smuggle some of their creations to the World Cup, but it’s really hard to sneak something past Mrs. Weasley. She confiscates the sweets and throws them away, which of course, Fred and George are not happy about. They spent six months making these! Mrs. Weasley is furious that they wasted their time on this instead of studying for their O.W.L. exams.

Everyone heads out to Stoatshead Hill, the location of the closest Portkey. A Portkey is an object that can be used basically the same way as Apparating, except that it is an item. It is scheduled for a particular time and will transport whoever happens to be touching it. Mr. Weasley goes into detail about how hard the Quidditch World Cup has been to organize, mostly to keep Muggles from finding out about it. Wizards and witches from all over the world are coming, after all. They can’t clog up Muggle transportation or risk Muggles asking questions. There are Portkeys scattered across Britain, each set to go off on a certain schedule. Theirs is an old boot.

At the Portkey, we meet Amos Diggory, the father of Cedric Diggory, the Captain of the Hufflepuff Quidditch team. Cedric is a nice guy (even if Fred and George haven’t forgiven him for beating Gryffindor that one year) but his dad is a bit . . . pompous. Or at least extremely proud of his son. He’s excited to meet the famous Harry Potter, but is even more excited to crow about how HIS son beat Harry.

“Harry fell off his broom, Dad,” he (Cedric) muttered. “I told you . . . it was an accident . . .”

“Yes, but youdidn’t fall off, did you?” roared Amos genially, slapping his son on the back. “Always modest, our Ced, always the gentleman . . . but the best man won, I’m sure Harry’d say the same, wouldn’t you, eh? One falls off his broom, one stays on, you don’t need to be a genius to tell which one’s the better flier!”

Amos Diggory, please shut up before I smack you.

They all gather around the Portkey, as they are the only ones there traveling that way (there are two other wizarding families in the area, but the Fawcetts didn’t get tickets, and the Lovegoods are already there). Traveling by Portkey sounds uncomfortable, feeling as though a hook is pulling through your bellybutton and then slamming you onto the ground. But they made it! On to the festivities!

See you next time for Chapter 7!

Added to GoodReads

Added to GoodReads – 4/15/19

goodreads

Added to GoodReads is a weekly feature where I talk about the new books I have discovered and highlight some of the wonderful bloggers who have shared them. Unfortunately, due to some of the issues I was having last week, I haven’t been keeping up with reading other blogs as much as I want to. I still love all of you! I promise! Real life is just getting in my way.

Instead, I wanted to share some of the books that I have found from other sources or other recommendations. As things settle down a bit, I am hoping to get back to checking in more regularly.

  • The Bone Charmer by Breeana Shields – I was lucky enough to get approved for a book tour on this one. It’s coming out next month. A YA fantasy, which you know I really enjoy.
  • Romanov by Nadine Brandes – This is one that I asked to review for NetGalley, but unfortunately, I was turned down. Still, this one looks really good, sort of a fantasy retelling of the story of Anastasia. And I do love that movie, so I have high hopes.
  • Her Crown of Fire by Renee April – I was lucky enough to get to participate in the cover reveal for this one, which you can see here in case you missed it. The cover is really, really pretty, although we have to wait until November to read this one.
  • The Circle: Taken by Sage Sask – This one I do get to review for Rockstar Book Tours, so I am excited about that. Looks like it’s a YA dystopian sort of thing, which is super fun. Look for that review later this month.
  • Becoming the Witch by J.M. Davies – Another review copy that I got, this time courtesy of Xpresso Book Tours. This looks to be a prequel to the Rise of Orion series, which I know nothing about except that it’s a paranormal romance series. This review will be up sometime in June, although I’m not sure when.

I think that’s it as far as new books. Again, I’m sorry that I’m not doing a normal AtG post today – you all know how much I love to give shout outs to my fellow book bloggers – but hopefully next week will be back to normal. Or at least what passes for normal around here!

nostalgic reads

Nostalgic Reads – Playing With Fire

Nostalgic Reads

Playing With FireTitlePlaying With Fire

Author: Francine Pascal, Kate William

SeriesSweet Valley High #3

Blurb: Watch out, Sweet Valley High! Once again, Jessica Wakefield has gotten her way. Fresh from her greatest social triumph, Jessica proceeds to sink her hooks into rich, handsome Bruce Patman, the most eligible, sought-after guy at SVH.

Or has Bruce gotten his hooks into Jessica? Elizabeth, Jessica’s twin, notices a big change in her sister. Suddenly Jessica’s following Bruce everywhere and dropping everything just to spend time with him.

Elizabeth doesn’t trust Bruce one bit – he’s arrogant, demanding, and way too fast. Jessica can usually hold her own with any guy, but this time Elizabeth’s afraid her sister may be going too far…

Review: So this one picks up after Jessica won the title of fall queen at the dance, but was stuck with school nerd, Winston Egbert, as her king. She doesn’t want anything to do with Winston, of course. She only has eyes for Bruce Patman, the rich kid who drives a Porsche, but she’s stuck with Winston for all official school activities for the rest of the year, like the dance contest which kicks off this book. Of course, because she’s Jessica, she has to break Winston’s heart just as soon as Bruce shows her the slightest attention and she ends up going to the after party with Bruce instead.

It’s almost karma — the two worst people are together. A match made in heaven, really. Here’s the thing though. Bruce is a bit more . . . more than Jessica is used to. He wants to move faster than she does, or has in the past. For example, at the after party, they are swimming in each others arms and he unties her bikini top. Jessica is used to being the one in control of everything when it comes to guys, but that’s not the case with Bruce. Elizabeth is worried about her sister, but when Jessica tells her to mind her own business, there’s not much that Elizabeth can do.

As time passes, Jessica gets more and more obsessed with Bruce, even more obsessed than she usually is with herself. She cuts class, ditches other plans with friends. And her relationship with Bruce is really toxic. He’s manipulative and mean. They play tennis up at his estate (because of course he lives on an estate) and he gets angry every time Jessica scores. She doesn’t even question him about it – instead, she stops playing to her full potential and throws the match so he can win and be happy.

Elizabeth describes Jessica as “a helpless puppet — and Bruce Patman was pulling all the strings.” Definitely not the Jessica we all love to hate.  He even convinces her to quit the cheerleading squad. In turn, Jessica ends up treating one of her friends, Robin, almost as bad as Bruce is treating her — dropping plans, using her for help at school, foisting Winston off on her. Of course, Jessica doesn’t see it that way, but when does Jessica ever see the way her actions affect other people? It’s almost karma that she is being manipulated as badly by Bruce, but even so, no one deserves to be treated like this.

Bruce finally pushes things too far and Elizabeth helps Jessica see that he had been cheating on her. She breaks up with him, very publicly at the pizza parlor, where she throws gooey pizza on him and dumps a pitcher of soda over his head. She even makes things up with Winston.

There is also a subplot about the rock band at school, the Droids, getting picked up by an agent who promises to break them into the L.A. rock scene. The promise of success drives up tensions between the members of the band and, when their gigs are nothing but dive bars, it doesn’t help matters. The agent turns out to be a dud who only tried to “help” them because he had a thing for their lead singer, Dana.

I can honestly say that I didn’t spend the entire book hating Jessica this time, only because I was worried about her for most of it. I’d like to think she might have learned something, maybe that looks and money aren’t everything, and that she should really give people like Winston or Robin a chance. But this is Jessica we’re talking about, so let’s be honest, it’s not gonna happen.

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday – 4/10/19

WWW New

Hello everyone! Had to take a couple days off to deal with some personal matters, but I am back and have a whole bunch of stuff to talk about this week!

WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Sam at Taking On a World of Words. Three questions, three answers. Let’s go!

What are you currently reading?

So many things! This is what happens when you take a break. I started The Raven’s Tale by Cat Winters and oh my goodness is this book perfect for me! I am so glad I got this one for review on NetGalley! The other book I got lucky enough to read is S.S.S.: Year One by Yumoyori Wilson. This is another book tour I got selected for through Rockstar Book Tours, so I am excited to dive in. I’ve only read the first couple of chapters, but it is really fun. Sort of a paranormal/urban fantasy/mystery vibe to it.

Also still making slow progress on Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas. I am enjoying it, but trying to get through the review copies has slowed me down a bit. Also still reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling and will hopefully pick up my Chapter-A-Long posts either later this week or next week. This means I probably won’t finish the book by the end of the month for the #PotterheadReadAlong19, but that’s okay. I’d rather keep doing the Chapter-A-Longs rather than just rush to finish it.

What did you recently finish reading?

The last book I finished was The Wrythe and the Reckoning by Yvonthia Leland for NetGalley. You can read my review here. This book was really odd, which I hated, because I really don’t like writing negative reviews, but I also have to be honest.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Since things are a bit weird right now, my reading might slow down a bit over the next few weeks until things even back out again. I did get approved for two more book tours in May, which is exciting: Art of Death by Becca Vincenza and The Bone Charmer by Breeana Shields. Other than that, I plan on jumping back into the world of Terre D’Ange with Kushiel’s Avatar by Jacqueline Carey to finish up that trilogy, but I probably won’t start that one until after I finish Empire of Storms.

Hope you are all having a good week!