Are you a speed reader?

Image from karosu-maker.deviantart.com
I just realized that my book, The Darkest Mind, is due back to the library by tomorrow and I can't renew because there is a waiting list. I am current on page 90 of 488 pages. So I need to read about 400 pages in two days.

Can I do it?

I don't think I've ever read that much that fast. Other bloggers/vloggers list the number of books they read a week, a month and I'm like how. Am I a slow reader? How do you read 100 books a year? That's like two books a week? I don't get it. Is there a trick to it?

Anyways, I really want to finish this book. I could order it or go to the store and find it but right now I am planning to try to push through 400 pages in two days. Whew! My eyes are already tired but I accept the challenge!


Abandoned Books

This picture makes me feel so sad BTW.
Did you know that there is a such thing as the most popular abandoned books list? Who knew. That's awful if you think about it. As an author I'm sure you want to be a part of a list. However, I doubt you would want to be the #1 book that people stopped reading.

Unfortunately, my shelf is littered with books I began with good intentions. Books I started reading with gusto and just knew that I would fly through this amazing book with the amazing cover and I would love love everything about it. I would feel all the feels and have a favorite new novel. Every book begins this way.

To me, there is an excitement to purchasing a novel. Oh the possibilities! So how do books go from a world waiting to be explored to a sad, abandoned book collecting dust on the shelf. Personally, I have 3 reasons why this happens to me.

1. The SLOOOOOOOW Starter:  
I have learned in my many years of reading that I have to plow through the first 50 or so pages all at once. If I start a book and read a couple of pages then set it down, it tends to stay down. By page 50 or so if I'm not totally thinking about the characters next steps or what happened in the first 50 pages, there is a chance that I will not finish the book. When I'm not reading, the characters have to be on my mind. I must look forward to the spare time I will have throughout the day to get back to the story. This is detrimental to books that start slow. I understand building the scenes and making introductions but I need to feel something immediately about the main character. Whether its love or hate or worry, just something to keep them on my mind.

2. The Line Cutter: 
Poor books sometimes get skipped in line like kids at the water fountain. I've made the mistake of picking up another book, knowing that I am completely wrapped up in this other book, just to have the new book make me forget all about the first one. The new characters start to infect my thoughts then the old characters get dusty and forgotten. This has happened several times. I just mean to read a little to get a feel for it but it takes over my mind. I'm going through this right now with Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King. We all know that Mr. King is an amazing author, his stories make you grip the edge of your seat and possibly give you nightmares but in my case two books jumped right in front of Mr. Mercedes. I still think about the crazy guy driving the Mercedes, mowing people down just not at much as the little 16 year old girl who just figured out she is orange instead of green.

3. She's Just Not That Into You:
Reading is my leisure activity, my way to escape and relax. Before I rarely put stipulations on my reading (like challenges or book clubs). I never wanted to be forced to read something in my spare time, I had enough of that in high school and college. If I'm not enjoying the book, I have a very VERY hard time forcing myself to finish it. I've tried. I've said self, now, you started this and you are going to finish it, then only to be distracted by a new release or pretty cover. I rationalize that if you aren't enjoying it why waste your time. Reading should never feel like a chore.

Anywhoo, so have you abandoned any books lately? If so, why? What causes you to put down a novel never to return? Or do you plan to come back to them? 

There is now an option on Goodreads to create your own list of books you have abandoned.

Also, check out this article on Most Abandoned Books and the Psychology Behind It: Business Insider: Most Abandoned Books


BOOK REVIEW: See Me by Nicholas Sparks

Title: See Me
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Publication Date: October 13, 2015
Print Length: 486 pages
Publisher: Grand Central 

Summary: See me just as I see you . . .

Colin Hancock is giving his second chance his best shot. With a history of violence and bad decisions behind him and the threat of prison dogging his every step, he's determined to walk a straight line. To Colin, that means applying himself single-mindedly toward his teaching degree and avoiding everything that proved destructive in his earlier life. Reminding himself daily of his hard-earned lessons, the last thing he is looking for is a serious relationship.

Maria Sanchez, the hardworking daughter of Mexican immigrants, is the picture of conventional success. With a degree from Duke Law School and a job at a prestigious firm in Wilmington, she is a dark-haired beauty with a seemingly flawless professional track record. And yet Maria has a traumatic history of her own, one that compelled her to return to her hometown and left her questioning so much of what she once believed.

A chance encounter on a rain-swept road will alter the course of both Colin and Maria's lives, challenging deeply held assumptions about each other and ultimately, themselves. As love unexpectedly takes hold between them, they dare to envision what a future together could possibly look like . . . until menacing reminders of events in Maria's past begin to surface.

As a series of threatening incidents wreaks chaos in Maria's life, Maria and Colin will be tested in increasingly terrifying ways. Will demons from their past destroy the tenuous relationship they've begun to build, or will their love protect them, even in the darkest hour?

My  Review: So I have a crush on Nicholas Sparks, have since forever. When I need to read something set in a beautiful location (**I wish I could live in Wilmington in real life) that pulls and tugs all on my little hearts strings and makes me cry some, I look to Nicholas Sparks. He crafts novels that are easy to see unfolding in front of you. I always get wrapped up in his story. However, this one is a little different. For one, I don't think I shed one tear. Nope, not a one. Which is fine. Sometimes you want a love story where none of the main characters die or get cancer. I was surprised by this though. Both of the main characters stood so well independently. Typically, when novels alternate voices I tend to lean more towards one then the other but not with this book. Colin and his side of the story kept me just as interested as Maria and her side of the story. I enjoyed all the characters in this books. 

Secondly, the drama in this book was different then the other Sparks novels I've read. This had a suspense/who-dun-it element. It was kind of a downside to me just because of who actually ended up dun-it. I feel like he still could have kept the suspense/mystery but I really would have preferred more of Colin's life in that aspect. Whew, that was hard. I was trying to give my opinion without spoiling the story. I believe I was successful. Was I? Maybe not. There were touch and go moments when I was thinking, 'who's going to die?' 'Is he going to die?' 'Or will it be her?' That part of the suspense I loved. Everyone was in danger during this story at one point in time. Oh wait I just remembered, there was death in this book. Sigh. 

Anyways,  I thoroughly enjoyed this book except for that one little personal preference part. But it's Nicholas Sparks so I expected to enjoy this novel. And since almost all of his books become movies as soon as I started reading I was deciding who should play who in the movie. These are my picks:

John Cena as Colin

Of course John Cena is Colin. No one else came to mind while reading. His face is the only face I saw in my head the whole time. He fits perfectly physically with his big, rough wrestling tough guy thing. Oh, Colin is a MMA fighter (as well as a student) who we are introduced to with healing bruises and cuts from a recent fight. I'm not sure about John Cena's range as an actor but he would be perfect physically.

Gina Rodriguez as Maria

This was a easy character choice as well. Maria is a shy woman focused on her career and her family. She's not someone you would typically see with the Colin type. Although, I severely dislike Jane, the virgin (ugh the whole premise in just stupid), I think she would be perfect for this part. She has the mannerisms and physical appearance of Maria.


Where do you read?

(image from Apartment Therapy)

Me: In Bed
I mostly read in bed which is a very bad idea. I start reading then fall asleep then wake up pick my book/tablet up off the floor then start reading again just to fall asleep again. It is a vicious cycle. It greatly hinders my productivity.

Unfortunately, right now I do not have a big comfy chair or a specific area dedicated to read in. I live vicariously through all the images of the perfect reading nooks online.

If you are like me, you love to see the pictures of these cozy spaces with couches and pillows, tons of books and maybe a fireplace. Places and spaces I wish I had in my house. P.S. I have a Pinterest page dedicated to bookish spaces I wish I had in my house. Every time I come across these images I sigh, drool a little, maybe let out a silent tear or two overwhelmed by the comfort and beauty of books and pillows. Yes, I am that dramatic.

Of all these pictures of cozy room wishes, this is the one I most drool over:
I absolutely love this space! All that is missing are bookshelves lining that brick wall from the ceiling down. Wait, I think I can create that. Hold on....*skips off to photoshop****

Eh. That's better somewhat. Ok, so my photoshop skills aren't the best but you get the idea. This space is completely perfect. Perfet number of pillows, cushions, light and the little wooden area where the tea sits perfectly balanced. Yes. I love this spot. 
Share with me your favorite reading spot. It can be an actual spot you have in your house or a spot you wish you had in your house. 


BOOK REVIEW: All the Rage by Courtney Summers

Title: All the Rage
Author: Courtney Summers
Publication Date: April 14, 2015
Print Length: 336 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Summary: The sheriff's son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything-friends, family, and her community. Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy's only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town. No one knows her name or her past there; she can finally be anonymous. But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, and news of him assaulting another girl in a town close by gets out, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn't speak up. Nobody believed her the first time-and they certainly won't now-but the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear.

My Review: I’ve read several of Courtney Summers novel (Some Girls Are, Fall for Anything, Cracked Up to Be) so I love her poetic writing style. All of her characters are relatable and genuine. So as soon as I read the summary for this book I was instantly intrigued, ready to see how her normally relatable main character would deal with this situation. Unfortunately, Romy fell flat. The beginning of the book was very confusing, therefore hard for me to get into. Eventually the story started to even out and make more sense but Romy wasn’t relatable at all. I found myself annoyed by her actions and didn’t feel for her plight. It also didn’t help that not much is explained about Kellan and what exactly happened until the very end and even then didn’t make me feel.

Having just finished Fall for Anything and being so caught up in everything that Eddie was going through, I specifically sought out another Courtney Summers book. Sadly, this book disappointed me. I didn’t feel anything for the main character or her family or her situation. In fact, the most interesting part of the book was the side story/mystery about the 'not-as-mean' mean girl. Wanting to find out what happened with her kept me reading.

All and all, the book was just ok. Don’t get me wrong her words are poetic. Ms. Summers can string together some sentences that give you all the feels. The problem
with this book was the characters. Of the three Courtney books I’ve read I liked this one the least. However, I will probably pick up another one of the novels to read in the future. This one just didn’t reach me.



I can't believe it's been YEARS since I blogged. Wow. Anyways, I'M BACK! I decided that 2016 I will pick back up my previously abandoned book blog. I had the most fun when I was reading and blogging. Also, thinking about getting involved with book vlogging also. Hmmm. Decisions decisions.

Moving along, I am participating in the 2016 Reading Challenge. I have chosen my books to read.

I'm starting with the book recommended by your local librarian which is See Me by Nicholas Sparks. I borrowed the ebook from the library and I'm still in the beginning but I'm moving along. This is the second Nicholas Sparks novel that I've read. I previously read Dear John which I really liked. His books move a little slow to me but he tells a great story.

Towards the end of December I started reading All the Rage by Courtney Summers. I finished the first week of January so it will be my first book review of my newly reestablish book blog. I figure Thursday is a good day so look for that tomorrow.

Let me know if you are participating in this 2016 Reading Challenge or any other reading challenges.

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