It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 12/29/14

Welcome to the final #IMWAYR post of 2014! I have to say that this challenge not only kept me motivated to read but motivated to write as well. Thanks to all those below!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme started by Book Journey. The folks over at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers have given it a children’s/YA spin. I thought it would be a fun way to recap last week’s reading and give a sneak peek of my TBR pile.

Last Week’s Books:

Beastly by Alex Flinn is a retelling of “Beauty and the Beast.” I’m kind of surprised I never read this one before, as I went through a period a few years ago where I read tons of retellings. I need to booktalk it when I return to work, as the 8th graders are doing literature circles and the books have to be those that have been made into films (thanks, CCSS). I found this one to be pretty straight-forward and adapted well for more modern times. Kyle/Adrian goes through a believable change of heart, and Lindy’s acceptance of him is gradual enough to make their eventual relationship feasible and satisfying. I do have to say, though, that now that the book is seven years old, the message board transcripts that appear once in a while make the book seem dated rather than modern. As for the movie, I know the appearance of “Beast” always bugged me in trailers on book covers, etc. so I’m not sure I will watch it–the students have to, but I don’t 😉


Over the past year I have been making some attempts to simplify my belongings–and not succeeding as well as I would like. I read about Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing in several different places and finally decided to buy the book (an e-book, of course, so as not to add one more physical book to my collection 😉 ). While not everything in the book resonated with me, I am intrigued by Kondo’s assertion that we must keep only those things that give us joy and discard the rest. I can definitely see that an attitude like that will help me to go through clothes, books, and sentimental items, but I am not so sure about kitchen items. I can’t say my can opener brings me joy, but I would sure hate not to have it!


I need to be better about reading the DRCs that I request on Netgalley, and now Edelweiss, too. To that end, I made sure to read Nick Lake’s There Will Be Lies since it will be published next week on 1.6.15. This is the first Nick Lake novel that I have read. The story description was intriguing, and he did win the Printz a couple of years ago . . . .

Shelby Jane Cooper and her mother, Shaylene,  live in Phoenix. It is clear from the beginning that Shaylene is quite the overprotective mother–homeschooling Shelby, rarely letting her go anywhere alone, and constantly warning her about the dangers of crossing the street and talking to strangers, especially men. Shelby is hit by a car while waiting for her mom outside the library, and when the hospital releases her, Shaylene says they must flee, lest Shelby’s abusive father, whom Shaylene previously told Shelby was dead. , finds them. But remember the title of the book? On this journey, Shelby finds out that their entire lives have been a lie. (No spoilers from me.) This book is quite the twisty thriller, and I quite enjoyed the parts set in the real world. However, a good portion of the action takes place elsewhere.

Right after Shelby is hit by the car, a coyote makes an appearance. It turns out that cute-guy Mark from the library is Coyote of many Native American legends. He brings Shelby into the world of The Dreaming, and the two go on a quest to kill The Crone and save The Child. Shelby drifts in and out of The Dreaming throughout the book and what she experiences there does tie in with the rest of her story; however, to me it felt like these sequences were distracting me from the real-world action and eventually I began to skim through them. Yes, Shelby’s character grows as a result of her courage and determination in The Dreaming, but I’m not sure that the book couldn’t work (possibly better) without all of it. Now that I am finished, I am interested in reading other reviews to see what the consensus is.

Currently Reading:

I plan to finish these up before the end of the year.

On Deck:

???? Wondering if I should choose something “significant” for my first book for 2015. Last year I participated in Book Journey’s First Book of the Year. Here is the 2015 challenge.

Aha! I just decided. But you’ll have to wait and tune in on January 1st 🙂

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6 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 12/29/14

  1. I forgot to say above that I liked the style in which the realistic parts of There Will Be Lies was written. Shelby broke the fourth wall, directly talking to the reader at times. I thought it made me like and understand her more.

  2. I recently read a review of the new Nick Lake book at Debbie Reese’s blog, American Indians in Children’s Literature. She expressed some serious concerns about how he incorporates Native American culture. Don’t know if I’ll be reading that one, though I’m intrigued by what you say about it. I laughed when I read your comment about your can opener. I finally replaced my (manual) can opener that barely worked with another manual can opener that works BEAUTIFULLY, and I think it just might bring me joy every time I use it, LOL. I was just reading about that tidying book somewhere else….. I just might have to get a copy of it, though I think I might be a lost cause!

    1. I just read that review from Debbie Reese as well, and it is just more proof that The Dreaming element of the book was just not a good idea at all.

      I, too, have #canopenerproblems so I can imagine how nice it must be to finally get a good one 🙂

  3. I think I enjoyed Beastly when I read it ages ago. I wonder if the fact I don’t actually remember much means I really need The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up? I loved Nick Lake’s In Darkness, and while I enjoyed Hostage Three, it was a bit too violent for me.

    1. Ha-ha! The best thing about the tidying book is that it encourages you to keep those things which bring you joy–so I won’t have to purge my book collection much at all 😉

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