September 6th, 2013

e on log

Four on Friday...

1. Well, I got a taste of how things will be yesterday (when classes officially started). I worked on school stuff and work stuff until 5:40. No time for writing or my other project. *sigh* However, I think I will be able to streamline my efforts as I get further into the semester. Of course, I start helping in the classrooms (both E's and D's) near the end of September, so that will be another adjustment. Always something new, right?

2. The Broncos won. 'Nuff said (ha).

3. D's first official game is tomorrow. I think DH might be more nervous than D. D is not an aggressive kiddo, so it's going to be a challenge for him to really excel at football. He wants to, though, so I'm thinking he'll get it. But he may never be the aggressive player DH was...and that will be good for both of them, I think. *waits to see what happens*

4. I signed E up for a science and technology class. She's always building things with legos and using paper to make furniture (for her tiny 'pets', especially her little penguin). This class is supposed to encourage that type of thing and give the girls some technological tips, as well. I'm hoping it will be interesting (and not so easy that she's bored). It's only for girls, which I like too.

TGIF -- have a great weekend! Any fun plans?

Book Reports (75-81)...

For those of you who happened to Google your title and ended up here, please know that one star is not a bad thing in Robin's world -- just the fact that I picked up your book and started it means that somewhere it's getting good buzz (or that your blurb was really cool). 'R' means it's a re-read. Brackets mean it's an ARC (linked to Tattered Cover's book page) or e-galley.

If you'd like to see my recent four-plus- and five-star YA recommendations, visit Robin ReadsnWrites.

* I didn't make it beyond the first 20 pages.
** I made it to the end, but I either skimmed or skipped large sections.
*** I might have skipped/skimmed, but I liked it and might read it again.
**** I read at least 95% of the book and it was good -- probably will be reread.
***** I read every word, and I loved it! A favorite and definite reread.

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Boy Nobody, by Allen Zadoff ****+ This was intriguing. I liked the short bursts of chapters and the slowly revealed information. I liked the flashbacks too, and although I was frustrated for a bit, by the end, I was mostly just intrigued. I'll definitely look for the next book, because I want to know where this is going. The story: 'Ben' is surprised to receive his new job because it's a rush. Usually he has a couple of months to infiltrate his target's life before he must kill him/her. But this time, he has only five days. On top of that, when he meets the target -- the mayor of NYC -- he's thrown back into memories of his own father, his old life (the life before he became an assassin) and he cannot make the kill. His reluctance then changes his assignment, and he finds himself faced with killing the mayor's daughter -- a girl he's strangely drawn to, a girl who has secrets of her own. Will Ben be able to complete his assignment? Will he learn what truly happened in his own family? And how will he handle the truths which are slowly revealed? (YA suspense, released 6/13, publisher: Little, Brown)

[Inhuman, by Kat Falls ***+ This was very interesting, but a little weirder than I usually like. That said, even though I skimmed much of the middle, I will definitely look for the next book, because my interest was captured. I liked the grey areas of this story, the places where humanity shouldn't have existed but did. I liked the distinction between those behind the wall and those trapped within...and I like the entire concept, despite the bizarre-ness of having half-human, half-animal beings. And the way the non-humans were treated was pretty horrible, so that was hard to read, as well. Intriguing ideas, though. The story: Lane lives behind the wall which separates civilization from the Feral Zone, the area which still holds the remnants of a world ravaged by a virus which erased humanity from humans. But one night, Lane discovers her father is a Fetch, someone who goes behind the wall to find artifacts and sell them. Lane is given one option: she can go behind the wall and find an artifact, or she can watch her father be executed. When Lane goes behind the wall herself, however, she quickly discovers that nothing is what she expected...except that some things are strangely familiar. Her father has been telling her bedtime stories for years, and Lane begins to recognize some of the characters of those stories behind the wall. And as she fights for her life, hoping she won't get bitten by one of the strange half-human, half-animal creatures (which would give her the virus which destroyed their world), she begins to learn things about the Feral Zone that she never imagined before, even as she is torn between two young men -- one who has lived his whole life in the Feral Zone and one who is fighting to save those trapped there. (YA fantasy/dystopia, released 9/13, publisher: Scholastic)]

Again, by Mary Calmes **** I liked this, even though it was kind of short (a novella). I think it could have easily been expanded into a full novel, and that would have made it much stronger. The characterization and the plot both seemed to skim the surface. Still, I liked the characters and simply wanted more of the story. The story: On the day Noah discovered their surrogate was finally pregnant with their child, he caught his boyfriend kissing a woman at the airport -- and then Noah learned that his boyfriend was in love with her and no longer wanted to be in Noah's life. Devastated, Noah makes the decision to raise their daughter alone. He moves out of their home, and starts a new life. Six years later, however, Noah runs into his ex again...and this time, he's not sure he can simply walk away from the man he still loves. (Adult romance, GLBT, released 7/11, publisher: Dreamspinner Press)

Timing, by Mary Calmes ***** I really enjoyed this. I liked the characters, and I loved the rich setting (a ranch in Texas). As with all of Calmes' stories, the relationships are very loving and the families are strong. I really enjoy spending time with her characters, even though her MCs are always beloved by all (which seems pretty unrealistic). Still, it's an enjoyable journey, and I was sorry to see the story come to an end. The story: When Stefan's best friend Charlotte gets married, Stefan immediately agrees to be her best man. But when he reaches Charlotte's childhood home in Texas, he's disturbed to find her brother there -- the brother she promised would be absent. Rand has never been nice to Stefan; in fact, he's degraded him for being gay. Stefan decides he'll do what he must for Charlotte and the rest of her family, but Rand starts acting strange...and soon, it seems that maybe Rand was hiding some strong (romantic?) feelings behind his rude and cruel comments. Added to all that, Stefan's business dealings in that end of the world take a dangerous turn, and Stefan finds himself the target of a killer. (Adult romance, GLBT, released 3/10, publisher: Dreamspinner Press)

Acrobat, by Mary Calmes (R) Yep, the other two put me in the mood for my favorite of her books (still).

Cop Out, by KC Burns (R) And that put me in the mood for another of my favorite M/M romances. ;)

Good Bones, by Kim Fielding (R) Same here.

Currently Reading: The Last Academy and Unbreakable

On Deck: Still a large pile, but two favorites are coming soon (Bitter Kingdom and the final Gallagher Girls book)