Monthly Archives: April 2013

Requiem by Lauren Oliver


*This review may contain possible unintentional spoilers to the previous two books.

For Lena, the security she once had of a house and a home seems like it was something she must have dreamed long ago.  Those memories have taken on a softer faded recall in her mind and sometimes she has to wonder if what she recalls is even true…

For now, since the rescue of Julian, Lena finds herself along with the rest of her group of invalids, back in the Wilds.  To Lena, this is a comfort as she finally feels like she is on familiar ground.  For Jillian, this is new and unfamiliar territory.  He is out of hos comfort zone but as any of the “invalids” as they are so called, have come to know… it never pays to feel too comfortable.

And then there is Alex.  Now back, he is shocked and hurt to see that Lena has moved on and no amount of Lena’s explaining how long she had hoped and prayed that he was alive was anything he wanted to listen too.  Thrown back together in this final book of the series, both Lena and Alex need to learn how to move forward together in their cause but separate in their lives.

The Wilds are no longer the safe place they used to be.  Now Regulators have been seen searching the Wilds to eliminate the world of people just like Lena, Julian, and Alex… people who have decided that the ability to love…

just might be something worth fighting for.



Lauren Oliver should be commended.  From those first pages of Delirium, to the final pages of Requiem…. I was hooked into this storyline of love being a disease that must be eliminated.  Fascinating stuff for me… I imagine for younger YA readers, it even holds a stronger pull.

Bu what impresses me about the series is that each book – while linked together, are very different stories and very different settings.  Even though Requiem takes you back to the Wilds, it is not the Wilds that we knew in the second book, Pandemonium.  This ability to change up the location but keep things rolling with all the new rules and new dangers as well as hold true to the world that once was Lena’s is exhilarating.  To be kept up to speed through the words of her best friend Hannah who still is in Portland, about to be married to her pair, after her procedure, levels this book out to its page turning crashing conclusion.

Requiem held strong to its upbringing and brings a different side to the battle that I enjoyed.  I thoroughly liked all three of the books and recommend this YA series.


You can find my reviews of the two previous books here:




Now – I do of course have some thoughts about this book that are true spoilers so it is my pleasure to take the Spoiler Button that I LOVE to use, out of storage, give it a good cleaning and check the gauges.  It appears to be in working order so for those of you who wish to rant or rave or both about this book… follow me to the Spoiler Page… where the story will continue…





BEA: Book Bloggers Connections List


Hi all!  Recently Jill from Rhapsody In Books  and I were discussing a way for book bloggers going to New York for BEA to connect, plan meet ups, see who else is going they may know etc…  She was saying that Bloggers did this in D.C. at the National Book Fest and it worked great.

By doing this you can see who else will be in New York and possibly get a chance to meet them face to face.  For those of us who do wish to connect I am creating the form below for BEA attendees to fill out.  Most of the questions are optional so if there is something you do not wish to share, just leave it blank.  The week before BEA a spreadsheet will be emailed to all of you who have filled out the form so you can see who is going and perhaps connect with them if you wish to do so.

This will be my 4th time going to the Book Expo and I have to tell you that meeting some of the bloggers that you chat with on twitter and frequent their blogs is such a blast and honestly one of the highlights of attending!  Every book blogger I have met has been exactly as they are online.  Something about us readers…. we keep it real.  😀

If you are going to BEA this year please let us know – and please pass this post’s information on to others you know who are going to BEA.  Lets create a great spreadsheet of attendees!


Please feel free to take the button and link back to here to let others know about connecting for BEA 2013!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?


Welcome to It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

I love being a part of this and I hope you do too!  As part of this weekly meme I love to encourage you all to go and visit the others participating in this meme.  I offer a weekly contest for those who visit 10 or more of the Monday Meme participants and leave a comment telling me how many you visited.  **You do not have to have a blog to participate! You receive one entry for every 10 comments, just come back here and tell me how many in the comment area.

Under the new and hopefully improved 2013 guidelines, the winner each week will receive a $5 Amazon gift card.  This past weeks winner is:

Holly from Reading Teaching Learning!


Well hey… what a week.  (Why does it feel like I say that a lot?)  World Book Night, Readathon….Here is what I posted this last week:

The day after World Book Night and The Virus Monster!!!!


Dewey Read a Thon Recap (how I did … what I read)


And that is it.  😯  NO book reviews.  I need to get writing them… I have some good ones 😀


This week I am finishing up current reads and audio but here is what is new for this week:



“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them-not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.
His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.
But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all-family money, good looks, devoted friends-but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys…






“That was it. That was all of it. A grace so ordinary there was no reason at all to remember it. Yet I have never across the forty years since it was spoken forgotten a single word.” New Bremen, Minnesota, 1961. The Twins were playing their debut season, ice-cold root beers were selling out at the soda counter of Halderson’s Drugstore, and Hot Stuff comic books were a mainstay on every barbershop magazine rack. It was a time of innocence and hope for a country with a new, young president. But for thirteen-year-old Frank Drum it was a grim summer in which death visited frequently and assumed many forms. Accident. Nature. Suicide. Murder.

Frank begins the season preoccupied with the concerns of any teenage boy, but when tragedy unexpectedly strikes his family— which includes his Methodist minister father; his passionate, artistic mother; Juilliard-bound older sister; and wise-beyond-his-years kid brother— he finds himself thrust into an adult world full of secrets, lies, adultery, and betrayal, suddenly called upon to demonstrate a maturity and gumption beyond his years.

Told from Frank’s perspective forty years after that fateful summer, Ordinary Grace is a brilliantly moving account of a boy standing at the door of his young manhood, trying to understand a world that seems to be falling apart around him. It is an unforgettable novel about discovering the terrible price of wisdom and the enduring grace of God.

That’s all that is new.  How about you, what are you reading this week?  Please add your link below where it says click here:

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And for those of you who read mainly YA or Middle grade books, feel free to also link up the younger version of # IMWAYR as well


Morning Meanderings… Dewey Read A Thon Recap


Good morning!  How many of us groggy book blogger peeps did the Dewey read A Thon yesterday?  From the looks of the Dewey site and Twitter…. I would say a LOT.  The hashtag #readathon was trending for awhile and I heard last night that over 1,000 pictures has been uploaded to instygram for the #readathon.


I think so… imagine all of us reading around the world…. seriously, it gives me goosebumps.

So how did I do?

Not as good as I had hoped. 😀

It started yesterday at 7 am central time.  I woke up at 6 am and started reading.  By 7:30 I decided I should work on my posts for my co-hosting shift coming up for the readathon…. and that took me almost to the time that I started hosting, hour 5.  😯

From hour 5 to hour 8,  I was co-hosting which was a BLAST!  It was my first time and it really was a wake up call to how much is happening behind the scenes on the read a thon!  I watched for emails and questions, I stayed active on twitter, made sure the links worked to the mini challenges, carried on conversations on the comments at the website… it was a lot of fun and I was honored to be a part of it.

At hour 9 I had to get out or the recliner that I had been in since an hour before the read a thon started.  I put on an audio (Requiem) and went outside to clean off the deck as yesterday was the first nice weather day we have had this year in Central Minnesota.  Just 3 days ago it was still snowing… now it is finally melting and the deck is clear….

At hour 12 I had made supper (while listening to audio), picked up the cheese bag by the wrong end and “cheesed” my entire kitchen floor and then went to book for hour 13 – 16.

Ah hour 16 (10 pm) I was fading…. I was trying to read but I kept closing my eyes.  I tried coffee but I was done for.  About 10 to 11 pm I went to bed.

At hour 22 I was up. 

I immediately went back to audio (now Raven Boys) and finished out the read a thon doing that. 😀

Here is the end of event meme questionnaire:

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you?  Hour 16.  I was just too far gone and all I could think was I am TIRED.  😛

  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? Requiem was awesome… I listened to it on audio while I got up and moved around… really good!

  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?  I thought it went well… I enjoyed the changing hosts on the sites and the fun things they posted.

  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?  Hmmm…  I think everything, the mini challenges were fun, it seemed like it went really smooth.

  5. How many books did you read? only 2 finished and a couple of audio advanced in.

  6. What were the names of the books you read?  How To Start A Home Based Event Planning Business (lol it was good!) , Requiem

  7. Which book did you enjoy most? I actually really enjoyed them both – for different reasons 🙂

  8. Which did you enjoy least?  none

  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?  I was not a cheerleader.

  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?  I hope to always participate, I really look forward to it and as soon as I know the dates I put it on my calendar.  I have joked in the past about going to a hotel for the day just to get away from everything and do the read a thon and I still may do that one of these times 🙂

      I would love to help with the co hosting again… I was new this time and I learned a lot of how it works and how to keep up with it. 😀

That’s the read a thon.  If you are curious about it, go check out the site.  I highly recommend it!




Today I have my uncles funeral and some family things after wards.  My uncle fought cancer hard for years but this last year it really took over his body.  Last September he decided no more chemo and so he quit all the treatments to not feel sick all the time.  He had some good months before he started slipping these past weeks.  While it is a loss to our family, we are all happy that he is no longer suffering and in pain.  Today will be a celebration of his life. 

Book Appetit! Dewey Read-A-Thon Mini Challenge!


Hey read-a-thoners!!!!  Watcha reading???  Are you getting a little hungry while reading?

My book club meets each month at someones home and we try to bring food to go with the book we just read.  It is a lot of fun to see how creative we can get!  For instance when we read the book ROOM by Emma Donoghue, there was Jack’s birthday cake as described in the book, Jack’s favorite meal of macaroni and cheese, ma’s favorite treat and on the creative side – we had pigs in a blanket renamed for the book “Jack in a rug”.  (To get that one you have to have read the book).  😛

Another example would be… say you are reading Chocolat.  Well, of course you would be whipping up some tasting chocolat concoctions!  Or…  you are reading The 19th wife which has to do with Iowa and a funeral… you would always do funeral type foods that were popular in Iowa at the time…. 

Anyhoo.. for this mini challenge if you choose to accept it, I will be asking you to come up a menu to go along with your current read or one of the books in your reading pile for today.  Now… imagine that you have friends coming over to discuss the book with you.  You have prepared food and beverage items to go with your meeting (money…. is no object).  And what I need to see from you is:

1.  Book title and author

2.  The menu, food, beverage, you can even go as far as background music, decorations…. have fun with this!

3.  You will receive an additional entry if you create a drink to go with your book event and give it a name

4.  While you are welcome to post your response in the comments below, you will receive an additional entry if you leave a comment AND link up to a post about this on your own blog.  (Linky available below)


SO…. Swedish Chef…. what are they playing for?

A winner will be chosen at the end of this mini challenge time using and will be announced here that they have won a $20 Amazon gift card that will be sent by email today to the winner!  **If more than 40 participate in this challenge, a runner up $10 Amazon card will be added.

Have fun!  I can not wait to see what you come up with!  😀

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Winners of this mini challenge are

$20 Amazon gift card to Jo Jo from Jojo’s Corner
$10 Amazon gift card to Melissa from Avid Reader’s Musings


Dewey Read A Thon – Updates and Challenges


Check in:  it is 12:23  my time and sadly I have nothing to show for these first 6 hours.  I am go-hosting the Dewey read a thon site with 5 other awesome peeps and I spent the early hours prepping my posts for my hours (and checking links and double checking links… and then when my posts started going live I am watching the website, the twitter feed, emails from participants, and the lock so I post my next one on time.  😀  *whew*  Its a ll good fun though.

So not I am 35 minutes out before the next post so I am going to try to do a couple mini challenges because I am a confirmed game geek and I love the mini challenges.

So for Book Spine Poetry I went a little dark….  (you should probably imagine a dark room, people holding up their lighters and some sort of low tone twanky music in the background….


Say it slow and poetic like…. Man and boy…. the crying tree… black and blue… fatal incident….

For The Self Portrait mini challenge, here it is:


7:00 am Central time kick off of the Dewey Read a Thon for me… so this is the post that I will use for updates and challenges.  And this is hour one and we have been asked to share a little info….

Introductory Questionnaire

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?  I am reading from Central Minnesota and yes, we still have snow…
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?  I have been wanting to start While We Were Watching Downton Abbey for a while now.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?  Hmmmmm……  baked Doritos and salsa I guess… ooh or guacamole!  Of hummus!
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!  Book lover, bike rider, adventure seeker, likes long walks on the beach…. (lol sounds like a singles ad…)
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? Staying on task.  I am hopeful to last longer than I did last year and read more for the cause I am supporting.  😀

And I am off! 

Dewey Read A Thon Is Here!


*This post will be a sticky post for the day – all new posts including the mini challenge post and my mini challenge post will be directly below this one. 😀

Are you ready?  I sure am!  I love the Dewey Read a Thon and today is going to be a lot of fun participating.  I have a couple audio books I hope to finish up while doing things around the house but I also have several books I hope to sit down and dig into. 

As I have done the past two years I will be reading for a cause today and my cause is for Camp Benedict, a camp for people infected and affected by AIDS.  You can read about my connections to this camp here.  As in the past, I will personally donate  10 cents per page I read and $1.00 for every 10 minutes of audio I listen too.  If you would like to sponsor me for this wonderful cause I would be so appreciative and humbled by your generosity. 


So for the book possibilities today….


Any mini challenges I sign up to do and updates to how I am doing will be continued on a separate post below but I will only use one post so as not to create multiple post pop ups in your emails and readers if you are following me.  Also, my mini challenge will come up today (it’s a fun one! :D) and that too will be a separate post to give a shout out to those participating.

I hope those of you doing the read a thon have an awesome day of books and audio!  😀  Pop in and say hi throughout the day – as I need breaks I will be popping in ans seeing a few of you as well 🙂

Morning Meanderings… I was never a reluctant reader… but I was a non reader


Good morning! 

This morning while sipping on my coffee using THAT CUP you see above, I was reading Shelf Awareness and reading some of the stories that surround World Book Night.  I enjoy reading about the reluctant readers who received a book this past week and who are curiously (hopefully excitedly) cracking open that book and falling into a story.

I love that imagery of “falling in” because that has happened to me so many times before. 😀

As I sit here this morning ignoring the clock and the fact that I still need to do my 4 minute express workout before prepping for my day (a promise I made to myself), I think back over my history with books.

Books have pretty much always been there for me although I do not come from a family of readers.  Neither my mom or my dad were readers,  I only had my sister for 5 years and during that time she was not a reader…. I wonder now if she would have loved books the way I did and the way I do….


As a child – I think life circumstances brought me to books.  I was an only child until the age of 7 with two working parents.  People didn’t travel then as much as they do now and I found my way around the world through books.  As a kid it was Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, and The Little House On The Prairie Books.  As middle grade it was more like Judy Blume (there was not a lot of great choices for middle grade and YA then like there is now).

I remember I fell away from books in High School when life was BUSY and homework, friends and boys called my name… when I had my first real job and driving was suddenly an option. 

After High School when I was living on my own and holding down a job I went back to books and stayed there through my twenties finding Dean Koontz, and Stephen King to my liking for mysteries and crazy suspense….  I think I dropped off a bit as the boys became involved in sports and boy scouts … and then back again as they became involved in their own lives and branched out… by then I was in the Bookies and book doors had opened wider than I ever thought they would.

The cool thing about book clubs I think you will agree, is that you will read a book that you may never have chosen for yourself or by yourself.  Book Clubs stretch our reading and boy… .mine did that for me!  I love watching people come into our book club with a “I do not read this, and I won’t read that….” and months later they are reading this and that and enjoying it. 

Books change people.

Well… the rest of my book life is history.  Books led me to book club, book club led me to blogging, blogging led me to you fellow readers, and book expos and author events and well….

That’s my train of thought this morning.  Books are amazing.  Readers are amazing.  It’s almost like we take on an extra dimension in our way of thinking in our way of relating….

ahhhhh….. books 😀

Morning Meandering…. The Day After WBN and the Virus Monster


Good morning!  Wednesday right?  Its been a pretty sweet week so far.  Last night, or yesterday I guess, was World Book Night… my second year participating, the second year in the United States.

My quest…..

to hand out 20 copies of John Green’s Looking for Alaska. 

My day began like this…

I stopped at the gas station to get a cup of ice (mmmm hmmmmmm…. that’s what I do….).  I was wearing the “I am a book giver” sticker and when I checked out the lady behind the counter said “Ok, I will ask, what is a book giver?”

Now… as much fun as it would have been right there to go all sci-fi YA dystopian on her, have my face fall off to reveal a creature that laughs high and shrill and screeches “It is a VIRUS!  And you are now one of us!”….

Instead I (Sheila, me… not virus monster) responded “I am so glad you asked!”  I explained what WBN was.

“Oh,” she said… “I am not much of a reader”.

Again… Virus monster wanted to jump up on the counter, green spittle flying everywhere and say in that same creepy shrill voice, “Oh…. but you are now my dear….. you are now!”

But alas, no, just Sheila said “That is perfect! That is what WGN is about, and you obviously have never read John Green!”   I shared with her about the book I had, which was in my purse and handed her a copy.

“I suppose I could give it a try.” she said.

“Touchdown!”  yelled Virus Monster raising his long finger nailed green hands high over his head in triumph.

“That’s great,” I said and went on my way to work.


And so my day went like that.  I found a young boy in the library with his mom – no no no….  she was the reader, not he… and no no no I was not handing out my books at the library (kind of a cheat don’t you think?) – I was stopping there to pick up books I had reserved…. but I knew the mom, and her son was just along because he had to be. 

I talked to him about books and he received one from me too.

The rest was basic hand outs at Costco where I realized quickly my book choice of a YA read did not fit my clientele of 3:30 pm at Costco.  These people were busy moms or dads or the older generation who looked at me cautiously like I was going to bring out the Virus Monster again….

I should have taken my chances at pick up time at the high school.  😀

Anyway – as always it was fun and I am so honored to have been a part of it two years in a row!  Next year our library is hoping to have a bigger part in WBN and really make a presence in our community.

How about you – did you participate in WBN?  If so how did it go?  If not, did you see or know any givers in your area?

Morning Meanderings… It is World Book Night!


Good morning!  Would you believe that yesterday I drove home from St Cloud in a snow storm?  Well… I did.  This is truly the winter that will not quit.  Although… we are supposed to be in the 70’s this weekend so who knows.  😯

I was in St Cloud yesterday visiting the Mother Ship Barnes and Noble to pick up my World Book Night books.  As today is world book day I know I was pushing the deadline but last week was a whirlwind of activity and St Cloud is an hour away and I did not have those couple of hours that I needed to make the round trip. 

And now today… April 23rd, is World Book Night.  According to the statistics I read this morning on Shelf Awareness, more than 25,000 givers (like me!) will be out and about today handing out 500,000 free books to lite and non readers. We had 30 titles to choose from.  This year was a harder pick for me because I am not choosing the book that I most enjoyed out of this group (although I did enjoy my pick very much!) I was looking for the book that would pull in a non reader.  Last years choice was easier as Hunger Games was in the mix and with the movie having recently been released it was a book that had piqued people’s interest.

So…. what did I go with?


John Green’s looking for alaska.  Not my favorite by John Green, but still… it is John Green.   If given the choice, The Fault In Our Stars would have been the book I would have liked to have given out by him because John Green writes as awesome YA!  (Finished that one on audio last year on the 4th of July on the back of a motor cycle, tears running down my face….. yes… it was that awesome!)

So later today after work, I need to go to Costco, and then will be at the gym for Group Power so will work on giving books out in both places.  I may move on to the grocery store after that if I have any left.

Oh, and to the Lady I met last year at the bank who I tried to give a copy of Hunger Games and instead wanted to know if I had any copies of 50 Shades Of Gray…. even if that would have been a choice out of the 30, I still would not be handing that one out.  😀  You would have to find a different giver. 😛

Hope you all have a wonderful World Book Day and Night.  What a wonderful event and I am sooooo excited to be a part of it.