Hour 14 Update


I honestly have no clue how much of what I have read since my last update. I am doing a very bad job of tracking this. hahaha. Good grief. Although, I don’t think it is actually that big of a deal. I don’t fully know what I try to keep full track anyway. Here is what I do know, I have listened to a total of 5 hours of Elantris (actually more because I realized I zoned out a full hour and had to go back and listen to it again). I listened to 4 hours of The Final Empire (I finished that. I had started it a week ago). And I have read about 20 pages of The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall.

As for food, I have had two cups of bean soup. So yummy. A tumbler full of Wassail. Sour Gummy Worms. A couple pieces of pineapple. Oh, and a Cheer Wine. I love Cheer Wine (it isn’t wine). It is harder to come by here in California so I get it as a readathon treat.

Books Read since last update: Elantris by Brandon Sanderson; Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall

Food consumed since last update: Sour Gummy Worms
Total Pages Read: 10 Hours Audio; 20 pages 
Books Finished: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

Books In-Progress: Elantris by Brandon Sanderson; The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall
Total time read: 11 hours? I don’t know. I need to do a better job of keeping track in the future. lol

Hour 10



I took a bit of a nap. Probably 2.5 hours. I am just not designed for 5 am starts. hahaha. I stopped worrying about that sort of thing of thing readathons ago. I co-host the final hours and I need my energy for that. I will spend some time reading tomorrow to make up for the hours I missed today. My bean soup in the crock pot is just about ready to eat. And the wassail on the stovetop has been simmering away (literally. I had to add more juice when I woke up from the nap).  I have a few chores to do and will listen continue listening to Elantris in the mean time. By the end of this hour, though, I should be able to read a physical book. Or I may choose to cross stitch while continuing to listen to Elantris. However, I do have some books I have started that I want to finish… 

Well, off to eat my soup and drink my Wassail. And do some chores.

Books Read since last update: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (105 minutes audio); Elantris by Brandon Sanderson (2 hours 45 minutes audio)
Pages Read Since last update: 4 hours 30 minutes audio
Food consumed since last update: none – I am hungry though. I need to eat!
Total Pages Read: 390 minutes audio
Books Started: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson; Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
Books Finished: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
Total time read: 240 minutes
Mini-Challenges Completed: Introduction Meme

Hour 3


Books Read since last update: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (60 minutes audio)
Pages Read Since last update: 60 minutes audio
Food consumed since last update: none – though I am going to put my bean soup on in the crockpot and wassail on the stove to start simmering
Total Pages Read: 120 minutes audio
Books Started: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
Books Finished: none
Total time read: 120 minutes
Mini-Challenges Completed: Introduction Meme



Hour 2


Books Read since last update: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
Pages Read Since last update: 60 minutes audio
Food consumed since last update: none – though I am going to put my bean soup on in the crockpot and wassail on the stove to start simmering
Total Pages Read: 60 minutes audio
Books Started: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
Books Finished: none
Total time read: 60 minutes
Mini-Challenges Completed: Introduction Meme below

Introduction Meme:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Roseville, CA (That is Northern California… where its at, yo. Nor Cal > So Cal)
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? Eleantris by Brandon Sanderson
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? Bean Soup and Cheer Wine
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! My name is Kate and I am so excited to be participating in this readathon. I am a mod on the Goodreads Group and I am also the co-host of the final four hours. Other than reading, I cross stitch, crochet, and quilt. I watch obscene amounts of tv (due to the crafting mentioned above). I love soccer. It is the only sport I watch or pay attention to. I tend to listen to audiobooks all day while at work. I am lucky in that I have a job that allows that.
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? One thing I will do differently… well, this is only the second time participating that I have my own place. Last time, I was still setting up my apartment (literally, my bed arrived that day and I was setting it up). This year, I am going to try to change reading positions frequently. Right now I am on my couch. Later I will change to a chair or the bed or on the porch. That type of thing.

MILA 2.0 – Debra Driza

Title: MILA 2.0 (#1)

Author: Debra Driza

Summary From Goodreads:

Mila 2.0 is the first book in an electrifying sci-fi thriller series about a teenage girl who discovers that she is an experiment in artificial intelligence.

Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past—that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.

Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.

Mila 2.0 is Debra Driza’s bold debut and the first book in a Bourne Identity-style trilogy that combines heart-pounding action with a riveting exploration of what it really means to be human. Fans of I Am Number Four will love Mila for who she is and what she longs to be—and a cliffhanger ending will leave them breathlessly awaiting the sequel.

Personal Review:

MILA 2.0 is the first book I have ever read about an android. And I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, there were one of two issues that I had with it, but for the most part, I really enjoyed it.

Cast of Characters:
For the most part, I really liked that cast of characters. MILA was a very interesting character with a full array of teenage emotions. Having once been a teenage girl, I remember some of those emotions. And yet there are android aspects to her that made for a very interesting dynamic. The reconciling of the two parts of her was very well done, in my opinion. I imagine if all of a sudden, I found out I wasn’t human and I could pull up a GPS in my brain and switch into ninja mode, I would be super freaked out as well and have trouble dealing with it. I like that Debra Driza addressed this and showed us MILA slowly coming to deal with this. As for the other characters in the book… I felt that they were underdeveloped, but that as the series continues, they will be developed further. The girls that MILA was friends with in Clearwater… I felt they were overly shallow. They were completely horrible to MILA at the end, yet they were so ready to adopt her as a friend when she first showed up? I never really understand that.

I was going to call this section “Instalove” but then I realized that I actually have two rants that I want to talk about her.These both have to do with the character Hunter. He is the mysterious good looking guy that shows up at the dairy queen and instantly all the girls are in love with him. Now let me first rant about that for a minutes. I hate it (in both real life and in novels) when a guy shows up and girls let him destroy their friendships with other girls. But in this case, it is even worse because the guy is in the picture for literally three days. What kind of person tries to nearly literally kill their friend for a guy who has been around for a day and hasn’t even shown the slightest interest in you? Also, what kind of friend starts a rumor that you cut off your arm and gave it to your ex-boyfriend? I mean, really, why are girls the worst to each other? And why do boys drive us to treat each other this way? It is unacceptable. Sisters before misters, you know.

Which brings me to the most horrible of all plot devices… the instalove. The I don’t know anything about you but I will do anything for you because we are soulmates and it doesn’t matter what secrets you have (including not being human) because I looked in your eyes at the dairy queen and I know you were the one. First of all, you all are teenagers. Let’s be real. Everyone is “the one” at that age. Second of all, I find this to be a really weak plot device. It makes me angry, to be honest. The author can’t be bothered to take the time and develop a relationship between the characters? At least set it along a more realistic time frame. I am pretty sure that not more than 3 days passed between Hunter and MILA meeting and her and her mom having to run away. And the girl cannot stop obsessing about him. I felt no connection between them. Because when an author employs instalove, there is no connection to be felt. You are simply told that they have just met, are in love with each other. And that is that. I cannot possibly be expected to care about Hunter. I feel nothing for him.

Lucas on the other hand… Now there is a guy I can get behind and support as a love interest. He literally risks his life multiple times for her And I felt there was a little bit more development. Not the whole instalove thing.

Now if this turns into a love triangle (which, lets face it, this is YA… that always happens), I will be upset. Because I hate love triangles. In part because I usually end up rooting for the losing party. Except for Peeta and Edward. But other than that, I invariably pick the wrong one to root for. And then I get angry. And then I hate the series. Is it to much for an author to have only one love interest but to actually spend time developing it? To let it grow and for us, as a whole fan base, to cheer them on? I guess it is. But we will wait for a later book for me to really spiral off onto a tangent rant about my hate of this plot device.

The Action:
There was a lot of action in this book. And I really enjoyed that. The whole running from the supposed good guys who are really the bad guys and having to fight for your life thing… I really enjoy that in movies, and it was really enjoyable here. I like that MILA struggled with her human side and was determined not to be turned into the killer that she could be.

Final Conclusions:
Despite my rants and love, I actually really enjoyed this book and look forward to continuing the series. I debated giving this a lower rating because of the instalove and the other issues I brought up. But I decided that that was actually such a small part of the plot of this book that I would only deduct one star for it.

Rating: 4

All Fall Down – Ally Carter

Title: All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1)

Author: Ally Carter

Summary From Goodreads:

A new series of global proportions — from master of intrigue, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter.

This exciting new series from NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter focuses on Grace, who can best be described as a daredevil, an Army brat, and a rebel. She is also the only granddaughter of perhaps the most powerful ambassador in the world, and Grace has spent every summer of her childhood running across the roofs of Embassy Row.

Now, at age sixteen, she’s come back to stay–in order to solve the mystery of her mother’s death. In the process, she uncovers an international conspiracy of unsettling proportions, and must choose her friends and watch her foes carefully if she and the world are to be saved.

Personal Review:

** spoiler alert ** I cannot write this review without revealing spoilers. Because the end of the book entirely dictates the rating I gave this book.

First of all, All Fall Down should be very happy that I have several book “issues”. The first is that I cannot quit a book, even if I hate it. The second is that I love Ally Carter. Because the truth is, if I had quit this book and rated it on all but the last 20 pages, it would have been a one star rating. But I love Ally Carter… and I have my issues… so I continued to the end. And I did love the end. That is the only reason it go so high as 2 stars.

Lets start with the characters. I hated the main character (Grace). I can’t even express fully how much I hated her. I spent most of my time reading this book, texting my sister, telling her how much I wished she would just shut up and die. She was immature, whiny, self-centered. She treated her friends poorly. She was extremely disrespectful to those around her. She was pretty much everything I hate in a character. She refused to listen to anyone else, convinced there was some big plot against her and that she was completely right. And then there was the constant feeling sorry for herself and the whole shoving it in other people’s faces that she had seen her mother die. Like she had to shock people at every turn. It was just really… painful. I honestly have nothing positive to say about Grace.

The other characters, however, I found interesting. I did not understand why they latched on to Grace and were so intent on being her friend. I also thought they were shallowly developed. First there is Megan. The person who wanted to be Grace’s friend every summer Grace came to visit. I am a little confused on why she was so quickly to be friends when it had been 3 years since they had seen each other. But she was actually a cool character and I found myself wanting her to go be a Gallagher Girl. Then there was Rosie. My only issue with Rosie is that there is no way she was only 12. No way her parents would let her have so much free reign at that young of an age. I feel like if she had been given a more realistic age, everything about her character would have been perfect.

And then there were the boys. Which brings me to one of my biggest book pet peeves. Instalove. I do not get it and I do not like it I mean, I don’t know if these boys exactly love her, but there is that idea of like an instant bond or something. The first time Grace and Noah meet, he proclaims himself her official best friend. I’m sorry, but what? That isn’t awkward at all. And then the story proceeds like they have been best friends their whole lives and he acts all super hurt when she didn’t tell him that she had accused multiple people of being her mother’s murderer and that she had been committed as a crazy person before. I mean those are some pretty heavy secrets. Then there was Alexei… He just seemed really… random. Like he was there and then he would disappear and then he would show back up again. I didn’t really get it.

The only thing that saved this book for me is the end. I spent most of this book being like “great, this is going to be one of those books where at the end, main character is going to be proven right the whole time about her mom being killed by scarface and then she is going to be vindicated.” I was actually extremely angry at this thought. But thank you, Ally Carter, for not going down that path. It might not have been the most believable ending, but at least it wasn’t horribly cliche.

Anyone else think “her mom was a Gallagher Girl” at the end of the book? Oh how I wanted that to be the case. Mainly because I love the Gallagher Girl books. It is one of my favorite series. I love the characters and I love the focus on friendship. I just really love them. And so I thought it would be cool to have a little tie in to that in this book. Probably won’t happen, but a girl can dream.

Will I read the next book in the series? Probably. Because… well it is Ally Carter and I love her books. But also because there are questions that need to be answered. And I like knowing answers. But I probably won’t buy it. Just borrow it from the library. Because, honestly, don’t know that it is worth my hard earned dollars.

Rating: 2