Lady Thief

***** (5 out of 5)

Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen

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Disclaimer: All Amazon Links are affiliate links. That means if you purchase any of these books through one of my links I will get a small commission! All the thoughts/opinions in my posts are mine and in no way influenced by Amazon.

Scarlet Series:

I love Robin Hood.  Not specifically the Robin Hood in this book, but Robin Hood in general.  I have read a TON of Robin Hood related books and watched at least 7 of the Robin Hood movies plus the 2006 BBC TV series.  I don’t know what it is about the rapscallion, but I just can’t resist him.  As a result this review might be a little tiny bit biased.

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I liked this book almost as much as I liked Scarlet. I really enjoyed how the story is told through Scarlet’s POV.  You still get some of her slang and odd way of talking, but it isn’t as noticeable in this one.  For the most part she just replaces “was” with “were.”

Side story time! I accidentally said “were” instead of “was” in a sentence today when talking with my friend.  I corrected myself immediately, and I don’t think he noticed, but I was surprised and knew exactly where it came from.  Sometimes if I get super engrossed in a book I will catch myself talking like the character.  Thanks to Pinterest I actually have a name for it! Experience-taking:

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Since I don’t believe everything I read on the internet I googled it (yes I see the irony), and it seems to be an actual thing.  There is an article by Medical Daily that explains it really well and provides background into actual studies that have been conducted. It is not unusual for this phenomenon to happen to me, and its usually not concerning, but it sucks when the character’s grammar is so bad and I have to make an effort not to talk like her.

Alright, enough about me.  Back the the review:  Its a Robin Hood story so its awesome.  I love all the characters and I think its super clever to make Will Scarlet a girl.  (not a spoiler! Its in the synopsis of the first book)  The characters are so real and each have their own personalities and I even started to like one of the bad guys (gasp! I know its awful).  Though this bad guy has some irredeemable qualities, he isn’t 100% awful like you are originally led to believe.  Though it is a little frustrating to start to feel bad for someone you are sworn to hate! And then to top it off one of the good guys has some bad qualities too!  His aren’t his fault (PTSD) but the way Scarlet handles them is stupid and just puts herself in danger without actually fixing anything.  I didn’t like that.

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Since Robin Hood is such a well known story there isn’t a whole lot you can do to change up the plot.  There were some big things that happened that were totally predictable.

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But there were a lot of smaller things that were total surprises and there were still some large plot twists.  So it stayed captivating and exciting.

It did end on a cliff hanger and I HATE cliffhangers, but the third and final book has been published so at least I don’t have to wait long to find out what happens!

Overall this is a great book and I can’t wait to read the next one!

Bonus content:  I am definitely not a stickler for correct grammar and punctuation (I’m sure you could find tons of errors in my posts) but I get really excited and proud of myself when I find errors in books.  I don’t know what it is, maybe just knowing that I saw something that editors, and computers, and who knows how many other people missed.  Or maybe its those stupid memes where they hide duplicate words and I always fall for it.

The

Drum-roll please … I would like to point out that location 2601 in the kindle edition says “but not the the dais”  The word “the” is written twice in a row!

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Yay me! Okay that was it.  Not super exciting bonus content but it made me happy.

Scarlet

***** (5 out of 5)

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

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Disclaimer: All Amazon Links are affiliate links. That means if you purchase any of these books through one of my links I will get a small commission! All the thoughts/opinions in my posts are mine and in no way influenced by Amazon.

Scarlet Series:

Completely random intro:  I have noticed on a couple other book blogs that the blogger keeps a “review notebook” close by when they read so they can write stuff down.  I thought this was a brilliant idea because I am always telling myself I will remember something to add to the review and then forgetting it. So I stole borrowed a notepad from work and gave it a shot:

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As you can see, I failed.  (and yes, I know I spelled “grammer” wrong) I wrote a comment about the very first sentence of the book and then didn’t write anything else.  I’ll come back to my comment later, but the fact that I had only one, speaks volumes to how awesome this book was.  I couldn’t even remember that I was supposed to be reviewing things.  I was so completely engrossed in the story that it never once occurred to me to write anything down.  I read the book in two sittings and only stopped because I had a volleyball game.

I will warn you there is a love triangle.

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If you read my last couple book reviews you might have noticed that I really really didn’t like the love triangle and I reviewed the series harshly because of it.  In general I think love triangles are overused and abused.  However, in Scarlet I didn’t mind it.  I don’t want to give anything away so I won’t go into details, but the love triangle actually helped the story and was fine.  It was also not overdone.

Alright so back to the first and only comment in my review notebook.  The writing is a little bit different.  Here are a couple random sentences from the first page of the book:

  • No one really knows ’bout me
  • It were too hot and stank of beer and men
  • It were heaving with bodies, laughs, and mugs slinging ’bout
  • that I’m none too pleased ’bout

It is written through the eyes of Will Scarlet so its written like he talks.  And he talks like a peasant in Medieval times.

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Halfway through the first page I wasn’t sure I’d be able to finish the whole book if it stayed like that.  (it did)  But after a couple pages I didn’t even notice it anymore and it didn’t bother me at all.  I actually kind of liked it.  However, when I came back from my volleyball game, I had forgotten how bad it was and it took me a couple pages to re-adjust but then I was fine again.  It reminded me of Pudd’nhead Wilson (Amazon) by Mark Twain. There were certain characters in that story that were hard to understand.  Scarlet wasn’t nearly as bad as Pudd’nhead Wilson .  Also, as an added bonus, the way Will talks comes into play later in the book, so its not completely pointless.  Don’t let the grammar scare you! Its worth it.  Just try and get through the first couple pages and hopefully you will get used to it like I did!

I went through a Robin Hood phase in middle school where I read every single Robin Hood re-telling I could find.

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Because of that I will always have a soft spot for Robin Hood books, especially ones where the girls are not just love interests but part of the band.  My favorite from before, was one where Robin was a girl.  Since then there have been a lot more re-tellings with female Robins, but this is the first with a female Will Scarlet. (not a spoiler, it says Will is a girl in the synopsis)  It was super creative.

The plot was great too.  It kept all the Robin Hood vibes but was unique enough that it kept me on my toes.  There were some really great twists and turns.

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Like I mentioned before I was completely engrossed in the book!  It was awesome.  (I also enjoyed the chance to use Robin Hood gifs)  There is a very real chance this book may re-start my Robin Hood obsession, but at least there are two more books in the series to keep me satisfied!

The Beauty of Darkness

*** (3 out of 5)

The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson

The Remnant Chronicles Book 2

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Disclaimer: All Amazon Links are affiliate links. That means if you purchase any of these books through one of my links I will get a small commission! All the thoughts/opinions in my posts are mine and in no way influenced by Amazon.

The Remnant Chronicles:

If you read my reviews of The Kiss of Deception and The Heart of Betrayal you may have gathered that I have a love/hate relationship with this series.  I love Lia but there are so many things that drive me nuts!

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Lets start with the good.  Lia is freakin awesome.  She is independent, strong, smart, and doesn’t take shit from anybody.  When the entire world is conspiring against her she doesn’t back down.  She risks everything to do what is right.  She would make a great role model for any girl.  Especially in today’s world when a lot of heroines put their love life before everything else, Lia is a breath of fresh air.

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While there is a lot of emphasis on the love aspect of the story, the rest of the plot is still very strong.  You could remove the love triangle and it would probably make the book better.  Lia fights for all the different Kingdoms, and she wins the hearts of the inhabitants wherever she goes.  She finds the good in every single place she visits.  You can’t help falling in love with the kingdoms who publicly denounce her and the inhabitants that support her.  Seriously Lia’s whole journey is an amazing story, all by itself.  It is the only reason I kept reading the series.

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Now for the bad: The love triangle

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I am not completely opposed to love triangles on principal but this one got tiring.  I really liked both men, and wanted them both to be happy.  At one point she makes her decision which I was glad of, but then, of course, circumstances conspired against her and we were right back where we started.  One of the classic tropes of love triangles is the “loser” finding someone else and living happily with them.  This happened here too but it was rushed and weird.  It just didn’t feel right.  It would have been so much better if Lia had made her choice earlier and then we could have seen the other romance bloom properly.

The other issue I had with the book was the ending.  The story dragged on right up until the very end and then it was super rushed.  It was so rushed I couldn’t even figure out what was happening.  I had to re-read a couple parts to figure out what was going on, and then I still didn’t understand.  It was awful.  All this build up is should have been great but it was just confusing.

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So overall this book had some really great parts, but others parts fell short.  I felt more frustrated with the book than anything else.  I didn’t get the closure I needed at the end of the series.  I debated giving the book only two stars, but I did like Lia and her Journey so I feel it deserved three.

 

Book Subscription Boxes

Deciding what book box to subscribe to is a surprisingly daunting task.  I seriously thought it would be easy. I didn’t realize how many different subscriptions existed.  Originally I was going to pick one and then just write an “unveiling” post every month when it arrived.  However, once I realized how hard this is going to be, I decided to write a post detailing how I picked one.  So here it goes:

Note: None of the links are affiliate links and the prices are for one box, without any discounts.

Step 1: Finding as many subscriptions as possible

First things first, I googled book subscription boxes and opened every single one I could find. (I ended up getting a lot of duplicates)

I opened so many tabs they turned into triangles.  I didn’t even know they did that!

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Step 2: Quick Rejects

Next I did a super quick sweep through, removing duplicates and closing any that I knew I wouldn’t like.

Here are the ones I closed with a brief explanation as to why:

Quarterly – I am too inpatient!  I  want a monthly subscription not a quarterly subscription.

Not my cup of tea – Literally they send you tea or coffee related items and I don’t like tea or coffee.

Children’s Books – I was surprised to find I had opened so many kids books boxes.  I just opened everything and really wasn’t paying attention.

No longer exists or not accepting new subscribers – A lot of the lists I was pulling from were old so some don’t exist anymore.

  • Blind Box Comics
  • LitKit
  • Storyed
  • Paper Street Books and Comics
  • Bethany Beach Books
  • Wonder Girl Box
  • BookUBox
  • The Bookworm Box
  • Bibliophile Crate
  • The Book Drop
  • Fairy Loot

Other

Step 3: Eliminating Genres

You would think that after eliminating 41 boxes I would be getting close.  Nope! I still have 21 left.  My browser is looking a lot better though:

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I still need to do some mass eliminations, and genre seems as good a way as any.

Romance – Romance is the first genre to go.  I love romance novels but they are a dime a dozen.  I own so many I haven’t read, and I can get them super cheap everywhere.

Indie – According to Wikipedia: The National Literary Awards defines independent or “indie” literature as “books published outside mainstream publishing.” The logical part of me knows that these books can be every bit as great as mainstream books, but the illogical part of me thinks there will be a lot of weird books in these boxes:

Boring – Yes, I know “Boring” isn’t a genre, but after looking more closely at these boxes I don’t think I will like the books

  • Hello Book Lover – “curated for the modern woman” – $28
  • Boxwalla – “potential Nobel Laureates as well as classics” – $30

Step 4: Cost

I’m not made out of money.  The box can’t be that expensive.  $37 a month is about as high as I can go.  It doesn’t matter how great the box if I can’t afford it.

Step 5: In Depth Eliminations

Down to the top 9!  I actually have to start making decisions here.

  • Fresh Fiction Box – $26
    • Contains 3-5 new release print books and 2-4 eBooks
    • That is a LOT of books.  It would take me the entire month to read them all and that wouldn’t leave me any time to read books of my choosing.  I just don’t need that many books.
  • Read Dog – $32
    • They select over a hundred books that fit their theme and then send you the one they think you will like best along with some other trinkets
    • I really like the idea of them customizing a book for me, but I don’t know how well that will work (reviews aren’t promising)
    • Looking at the past boxes the trinkets are not that great.  Puzzle Pieces, Bubbles, Tea, Seashells, etc.
  • Book of the Month – $16
    • They give you 5 books to choose from in your given genre. You pick one book then can add up to two more for $9.99 each
    • I want a surprise book, if I have to pick my own book I might as well do it from scratch instead of being limited to their five.
  • Parnassus Next – $?
    • They only charge you the cost of the book plus $6 shipping every month.
    • Also all the books are YA first edition signed hardcover books.
    • I like that they charge you only the cost of the book, but then you aren’t really getting a discount, and other than it being signed there is really nothing special about it.
  • BookCase.Club – $10
    • I really like the price of this one.  You get two books for $10 (plus $5 shipping)
    • They have a good selection of genres too. (I would pick the sci-fi/fantasy one)
    • This would be my #1 pick except I want “goodies” with my box, not just books.
  • Paige Habit – $30
    • This one has a YA box that looks pretty cool. It comes with a variety of goodies.
    • Books contain annotations from the author.  It pretty much has sticky notes throughout the book with notes from the author.
    • I really like the author annotations idea, but the rest of the box just doesn’t seem up to par with my top 3, though it was a close call.

Step 6: Top 3!!!

Yay! We are almost there!!! Here are my top 3:

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Urg!! I am so bad at making decisions.  This is soooo hard.  OwlCrate is the most well known.  OwlCrate and Lit Cube come with more stuff and tend towards fantasy.  Uppercase has a sweet interactive guide thing that sounds cool, but their book choices are iffy.   Lit Cube’s Sept theme sounds awful and OwlCrate’s sounds awesome. Uppercase doesn’t even have a theme.  No box is perfect but they are all so cool!

Which one would you choose? (don’t limit yourself to my top 3)  Are you already subscribed to a book Box? Do you love it? Did anyone even get this far in my post before losing interest? Let me know in the comments!

Now for my selection.  Drum Roll Please:



































!!!!!Lit Cube!!!!!

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I don’t really have any solid reasons why I picked Lit Cube over the others.  Its mostly just a gut feeling. If I don’t like it I can always change to another! Keep an eye out next month for the box reveal and review! I’m so excited!

 

First and Only Destiny

Throw Back Thursday!!

Before my blog I rarely took the time to review the books I read.  I would give it a star rating, but I would not write an actual review.  However, I did review First and Only Destiny because I won it in a Goodreads givaway.

If you have never been to Goodreads its an awesome website where you can keep track of all the books you have read, and the ones you want to read.  Its also great for getting info about books, series and authors.  In other words I am a huge fan.  They also have this section for giveaways where you can enter to win free books (Yay!!).  In return they ask that, if you win, you write a review. (easy peasy).  So checkout the giveaways page, and remember to only enter for books you are actually willing to read!

And yes, I stole that last paragraph, word for word, from my review of The Fairytale’s Daughter, but this is a “Throw Back Thursday” post so I can do what I want!

Here is my review of First and Only Destiny, from May 2017.  It is pre-blog so it is short and boring and has no cool gifs or pictures.

* (1 out of 5)

“I got this book from a Good Reads giveaway, and I wanted to like it but couldn’t. The overall idea for the story itself was fine, but the execution wasn’t good. The writing was too over the top with random descriptions, especially at the beginning. It got better as the book went on, or maybe I just didn’t notice it as much. At times Devraj’s behavior was bordering assault and not romantic at all. The ending was abrupt and unfulfilling. I was able to use my imagination and believed they were able to live happily ever after, but the synopsis of the second book shattered that illusion. The whole book tries to deal with the complexities of interracial couples with strong religious backgrounds, but the characters fail to accomplish anything worthwhile. Overall it just wasn’t a good book.”

Text Don’t Call

*** (3 out of 5)

Text Don’t Call by INFJoe

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Before I get into my review I want to give you some background knowledge on the Author’s name.  INFJ is one of 16 personalities as defined by the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

If you don’t know your type there are tons of free tests you can take online to figure it out.  Personally I like this one: https://www.16personalities.com. The free online tests are usually shorter than the real test, but I get the same results everywhere I take it (including the official MBTI test I did in school)

I am not going to go into detail about all the types.  If you want more information most free test sites have info, you can visit the wiki page, or you can google it yourself.

Here is the full list of personality types in order of frequency:

Types

My personality type is INFJ, so this book especially appealed to me because the author is INFJ too.  If you are not INFJ, don’t worry, this book is about introverts in general, not specifically INFJs.  So, if you are an introvert, or if you are an extrovert wanting to learn more about introverts, then this is the book for you!

One issue I had with the book, is that it is hella short.  It only took me 30 minutes to read. It cost me $8.50 on Amazon, but the cover price is $14.  There is no way I would ever pay full price for this.  Its just not worth it.  There are a lot of comics, and I knew it would be a quick read, but I still wasn’t expecting it to be THAT short.

The comics themselves are awesome.  The drawings are crude, but that just adds to their charm. For the most part the content is spot on.  I had a lot of “Hey! That sounds like me” moments.

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All my life I have had trouble explaining how I felt and this book was able to pinpoint exactly what its like:

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(This is a comic from the book, but you can also see it on INFJoe’s blog.)

I always want to be included and I hate feeling left out, but at the same time I don’t want to go do anything.  It sounds super contradictory and most people don’t get it, but this comic sums it up perfectly.  Its nice to know I am not the only one that feels this way!

While I related to most of the book, there were still some points that didn’t apply to me. This is a book of generalizations about Introverts, so it won’t describe any one person perfectly.

For example, introverts tend to be quiet.  INFJoe says this is because we prefer to listen and observe, and because we process what we want to say and only speak when we feel we have something worth saying.

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(This is a comic from the book, but you can also see it on INFJoe’s blog.)

This one doesn’t quite apply to me.  I love to talk and ramble on, but I rarely feel comfortable enough to do so.  Talking to certain people I won’t shut up, but talking to strangers I am often really quiet.  I also do better in one-on-one situations.  When I am in a group I can’t process the conversation fast enough.  Usually by the time I figure out what to say the conversation has moved on and my thought is no longer relevant.

Overall I liked this book.  For the most part the content was accurate with respect to me.  It would have been nice if it was a little cheaper or a little longer.  The author could have gone into more detail about how two different introverts might appear the same on the outside, but their inner struggles could be completely different.  Instead he generalized with the most common struggles.

If you are interested in buying the book you can get it from Amazon.

(That is an affiliate link.  If you purchase the book through my link I will get a small commission! All the thoughts/opinions in this post are mine and in no way influenced by Amazon.)

6 Degrees of Separation – Pride and Prejudice

Guys!!!! Guess what I found!!!! There is this game* where you start with a given book and then you list the next book that comes to mind, then you go from that book to another book, creating a chain.  You do this 6 times (so you have 7 books including the one you started with).

* I call it a game because that is what I think of it as, but the word the originator uses is “meme.” I thought memes were viral pictures with different captions, so I am a little confused.  I am going to continue calling it a game even though that might not be technically correct.

I was just perusing (good word huh?) random blogs, searching for other Pride and Prejudice lovers, when I stumbled across a 6 Degrees of Separation post on a blog titled luv to read.  In the post she connects Pride and Prejudice to The Secret Garden. To see how she got there you will have to read her post!

The game/meme originates from a blog titled Books Are My Favorite and Best. Every month they pick a new book to start off the chains.  They have a set of rules that are super easy and fun.  Mostly they want you to link back to their blog so that everyone can play!  In her post, Kate connects Pride and Prejudice to Swing Time.

My goal from here on out will be to play every month!!! I am so excited! For August the pick is, my favorite book ever, Pride and Prejudice!!!!  Here goes nothing:

Disclaimer: The header titles are affiliate links to Amazon.  If you purchase any of these books through one of my links I will get a small commission! All the thoughts/opinions in this post are mine and in no way influenced by Amazon.

1. Pride and Prejudice
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I LOVE this book! I will save you the details, but if you want you can read my review here.

2. The Princess Bride

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Thinking of Pride and Prejudice, and how it is my favorite book, got me thinking about my other favorite books… and the fact that I don’t really have any other favorites.  But my favorite movie is The Princess Bride.  Which also happens to be a book!  This is one of the rare occasions where I watched the movie before I read the book.  (Because I didn’t know it was a book until after I watched the movie)

3. Eragon

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Thinking of more instances where I watched the movie before I read the book, reminds me of Eragon.  I loved the movie and was so excited when I found out it was a book.  After reading the book, I realized why everyone hated the movie (its an awful adaptation), but I still really liked both. Though that is only because I watched the movie first.  If I had read the book first I probably would have hated the movie.

4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

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Thinking about Eragon reminds me how pissed off I was that the author stretched his trilogy into a “cycle” with four books.  There were a LOT of boring sections that added little or nothing to the story.  He didn’t need to stretch it out, he just wanted to milk more money out of the series.  Thinking about how bad Christopher Paolini treated his series got me thinking about authors that know how to write a good series.  The best of the best would have to be J.K. Rowling, which brings us to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

5. Anne of Green Gables

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone brings back lots of good memories:

  1. My 3rd grade teacher reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone aloud to the entire class.  All of us anxiously waiting for reading time so we could find out what happened.  Then when it was finished we begged Mrs. Chaney to read the next book but she refused, saying if we wanted to find out what happened in the next book we would have to read it ourselves. Which may sound mean, but was actually brilliant, because I am pretty sure the whole class read the second book on their own.
  2. My best friend Alyissa and I racing to buy/read the rest of the books in the series as they came out.
  3. Spending the night at my Aunt’s house and staying up till midnight to get the 7th book right as it came out.  We went to Walmart in our Pjs and waited in a huge line that wrapped around the store to get our copies.  Then we went home, and of course we had to start reading! We didn’t get a lot of sleep that night.

Unfortunately, none of these memories lead me to another book.  I don’t remember any of the other books Mrs. Chaney read to us.  Alyissa and I didn’t read any other books together.  I have never bought any other book at midnight right when it was released.

But thinking about books that bring back memories reminds my of Anne of Green Gables.  When we were kids we would take a road trip every summer.  On one of the road trips my Mom read Anne of Green Gables to us.  It was really cool to read a book together as an entire family.

6. Maze Runner

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After reading Anne of Green Gables I wanted to read the rest of the series, so my dad bought be the next couple books in the series. I never got around to reading them.  This reminded me of the time that I almost bought the entire Maze Runner series, without having read any of the books.  But then I thought of all the unread books I owned and decided I should only get the first one.  I knew I could come back and get the rest of the series later.

7. The Hobbit

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It is a good thing I didn’t buy the entire Maze Runner series because I ended up reading only half of the first book and then losing interest.  It is a rare thing for me not to finish a book.  Thinking of other books I didn’t finish, reminds me of The Hobbit. I had trouble reading The Hobbit.  The first time I read it I only got about half way through.  The second time I don’t even think I made it that far.  For such a tiny book it was super hard for me to get through.  I kept getting distracted and losing interest or getting confused.  Years later I decided to read the Lord of the Rings books, and really liked them.  Afterwards I gave The Hobbit one last chance, and was able to finish it!  I actually enjoyed it.  I think the first 2 times I tried to read The Hobbit, the timing just wasn’t right.  I was probably stressed out about some thing or another and a deep, in depth book was not what I needed.


Yay! That was fun. It really made me think about all the different books I have read.  I can’t wait to do this again next month!  Let me know what you think of my chain and share your own!