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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children Series by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

From Goodreads:

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

 Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

From Goodreads:

The extraordinary journey that began in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children continues as Jacob Portman and his newfound friends journey to London the peculiar capital of the world. But in this war-torn city, hideous surprises lurk around every corner. Like its predecessor, this second novel in the Peculiar Children series blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reacting experience.

I really wasn't sure what to expect going in to these, the photos used in the covers have that old time eerie feel combined with an extra wrongness that's intriguing and unsettling. I was prepared to find them just too weird, but while they are odd, and really "peculiar" is the perfect word for it, they are also endearing.

The characters are all very alive, with their own distinct personalities aside from their peculiar talents.  The world is our own, current and historical, but also fantastical, often dark and despairing during their travels.  I really felt invested in their struggles, and a bit haunted by some of the scenes presented and their outcomes.

I actually listened to the audiobook so I didn't have the additional photos to look at, but I do intend to go find a real copy so I can check them out.  The covers definitely drew me in, my mind not agreeing with what my eyes were seeing, even though it's there plain as day.

There is a movie scheduled for July 2015, directed by Tim Burton, so I'm definitely on board for that, interested to see how they handle the effects.  I don't see any news on a third book listed yet, but I'm hopeful since the story thus far indicates there should be more. 

Ransom Riggs' website is definitely worth a look as there is information on his other work there, he is deeply interested in photography and old photos and there is a free download there about 13 photographs that changed the world.

When you're ready for something a little different, give these a try.  You might not want to like them at first because parts are just so odd and out of our normal comfort zone of what is, but you'll come around.  I did. ;)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spring Bloggiesta March 27-30

It's time again for a Bloggiesta! Join us March 27-30 and mark off some of those to-do's you've been meaning to get to, or get some inspiration if you're just starting out. Maybe you've stepped away for awhile and need a kick to get back into it, you'll get all that and more here!

If this sounds like fun to you, head on over to the Bloggiesta Sign Ups Page and then get started on your to do list!

To do:

1. Write/schedule 4 book reviews - 3 down 1 to go!
2. Attend at least 1 Twitter chat done!
3. Work on cleaning up labels
4. Prepare/post a new giveaway
5. Do at least 1 mini-challenge done!
6. Attend the Google+ Hangout (Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern) done!
7. Visit other participants and comment (I need practice at this!)
8. Seriously Series Challenge update post. done!

Whew, that looks like a lot!  Hope to see you there!

1. Attended Social Media Twitter Chat Thursday night at 8 pm, and learned things!
2. Turned on embedded comments so I can reply to individual comments - this excites me!  Thanks to +Tif Sweeney for that tip!
3. Attended +Amanda Shofner's Google+ On Air Hangout Tutorial and now I need to experiment!
4. Completed PicMonkey Challenge and made a new blog header, which led to a complete template color scheme overhaul that may change, but now I know how to do it!
5. Created/scheduled Seriously Series Challenge update, and used PicMonkey again!
6. Wrote/scheduled 1st review - Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children series
7. Wrote/scheduled 2nd review - The Raven Cycle series
8. Worked through the About Me Challenge and only needed to add contact info!
9. Got rid of a few pages that I decided weren't needed or interesting to anyone else.
10. Wrote/scheduled 3rd review - The Disillusionists series.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring Reading Challenge 3/20 - 6/20 and Read-a-thon March 3/20 - 3/26

I was just thinking I needed a Read-a-thon to get me back in the reading groove, so this is just the ticket! Book Dragon's Lair is hosting a Spring Reading Challenge from March 20th - June 20th, and kicked it off with a Read-a-thon from March 20th - March 26th! Click on the pictures to go to the sign ups, they both start today!

Read-a-thon Progess:

03/20/14 - Starting Line

The First American Army - starting location 103
Blood Rules - starting location 1460
Lover Reborn - starting page 100
Heal Your Headache - starting page 22
A Feast for Crows - starting at 6:10

I'm sure I won't get through all of this in a week, but anything will be progress!

03/22/14 - Update

Backup - Finished!  Picked this up at the library yesterday and gave a quick read last night and today.

03/25/14 - Update

With only one day left, my goal will be to finish Blood Rules, the Kindle says I have just under 3 hours left on it, so hopefully I'll make it!

3/26/14 - Update

So I didn't actually finish Blood Rules, but I only have an hour left on it, so I still consider that pretty good, and more than I've gotten read lately! 

Finish Line:

The First American Army - starting location 103, ended at 103
Blood Rules - starting location 1460, ended at 4425 - estimate 174 pages
Lover Reborn - starting page 100, ended at 128 - 28 pages
Heal Your Headache - starting page 22, ended at 60 - 38 pages
A Feast for Crows - starting at 6:10, ended at 12:00 estimated
Backup - started at 1 - finished at 70

Total = 310 pages and almost 6 hours of listening.

Challenge Progess:

1. Backup by Jim Butcher - finished 3/22/14

Books Completed

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