Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley

Rites of Passage
Title: Rites of Passage
Author: Joy N. Hensley
Published: September 9, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Gifted by a friend

 

 

Description

Sam McKenna’s never turned down a dare. And she’s not going to start with the last one her brother gave her before he died.

So Sam joins the first-ever class of girls at the prestigious Denmark Military Academy. She’s expecting push-ups and long runs, rope climbing and mud-crawling. As a military brat, she can handle an obstacle course just as well as the boys. She’s even expecting the hostility she gets from some of the cadets who don’t think girls belong there. What she’s not expecting is her fiery attraction to her drill sergeant. But dating is strictly forbidden and Sam won’t risk her future, or the dare, on something so petty…no matter how much she wants him.

As Sam struggles to prove herself, she discovers that some of the boys don’t just want her gone—they will stop at nothing to drive her out. When their petty threats turn to brutal hazing, bleeding into every corner of her life, she realizes they are not acting alone. A decades-old secret society is alive and active… and determined to force her out.
At any cost.

Now time’s running short. Sam must decide who she can trust…and choosing the wrong person could have deadly consequences.

My Thoughts

Even with all the hype, Rites of Passage more than lived up to my expectations. I was having a hard time writing a coherent review so I thought I would give you three reasons why you should check this book out.

 

Forbidden Romance

As the first batch of female recruits begin their year at the Denmark Military Academy, a rule is put in place that not only can they not date anyone higher up than them, they are not allowed to date fellow recruits either. Sure, stick a bunch of teenagers in close quarters and tell them to stay away from each other. SOLID PLAN.

Tough Heroine

Let me just tell you, Sam McKenna is someone you don’t want to mess with. Don’t mess with her friends either. She is by far the toughest person at DMA. Not only is she physically capable, but she has strong mental game. Beyond that, she’s simply a good person without being a goody-goody. She makes you want to root for her, and I did.

Friendship

I loved the way Rites of Passage explored both her female and male friendships. Even though she has a lot of enemies, she has a few allies as well. These friendships were far from uncomplicated though. As much as her friends want to protect her, their loyalties are constantly being tested. In such a high pressure environment where they’re being driven to the point of exhaustion, it becomes quite easy for her fellow recruits to be manipulated.

Bonus Content

Alanna

If you’ve read Rites of Passage and you’re looking for something else to read, you should definitely check out the Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce. It may be fantasy, but it has a lot of themes in common with Rites of Passage. The series is about a girl named Alanna who wants to be a knight. However, in Tortall, only men can be knights so she must disguise herself as a boy to become a page.

 
 

Have any of you read Rites of Passage? What did you think?

When Books and Life Collide

The last two books I read, though arguably different genres, ended up having some similar underlying themes and so I have some thoughts. Both books I read dealt with ideas of fate and destiny and parallel worlds. In A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray (review here), there is an invention called the Firebird, which allows for travel between different dimensions. In that book, there’s a discussion that even between those vastly different worlds, there are patterns. There’s a trend of people gravitating towards each other despite having made different choices. My most recent read was Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young, and this book is all about the idea of fate. The main character has an important decision to make, revolving around the failing health of her grandmother, and that choice divides the rest of the book in two as we follow the result of both possible outcomes. The series of events that follows results in the exploration of the idea that even if we make different choices in life, we can still end up in essentially the same place.

Does fate exist? This is something we’ve all thought about. It’s been discussed in TV, in movies (how many times have I seen Serendipity?) and no one really knows the answer. I don’t even know what I believe myself. I think the reason I want to believe in fate is that it brings with it a certain level of comfort. It’s reassuring to think that there’s a master plan for your life and that even if you’re responsible for your every day decisions, there isn’t much you can do to ultimately derail this.

I think there’s very much a reason I want to believe and it’s all a little personal so bear with me here. I’m 25, but I’m basically the equivalent of a college freshman. I walked the same path the rest of my friends did. I graduated from high school, I attended CEGEP (a 2 year college that is essentially grade 12 plus freshman year of university here in Quebec) and then I went to university. I never stopped to think about what I was doing. I chose a program I thought would be fine, and when I stopped doing well in school, which being smart was always my “thing”, I crashed hard. I developed some very bad study habits over my life and never did anything to fix them, so when I was studying something I didn’t like, things got worse. I kept thinking I was the problem, that I should be able to do this anyway. I didn’t realize what a toll it would take on me. I couldn’t seem to force myself to do the work, and felt anxious about it all constantly. It got to the point where I was just ignoring everything and thinking it would fix itself. I kept trying for YEARS. Finally, I decided I was done. I left school and decided I needed a break, at least for my sanity. In some ways it was a reprieve, in others not so much. My brother was on my case all the time, thinking that that constant pressure was the best thing for me. I think my mom didn’t know what to do with me. She later told me she didn’t think I would even go back to school, despite my having assured her time and time again.

Now to make a long story short (too late) I worked for a year and a half, and finally went back to school this past September to study business. I’m still not 100% sure it’s what I want to do, but I know better this time. I know to listen to myself and to realize that I’m not always the problem. Yes, I can work hard, but if something is not right, I need to change it. And I’m working hard to procrastinate less, because I really felt like I was on the edge of having a much more serious problem with anxiety back then. It’s not a perfect plan, and I’ll probably be close to 30 by the time I finally have my bachelor’s degree, but I finally feel right about what I’m doing, even if starting over is scary as hell.

So what does this have to do with fate? Well I often wonder, what did I do to my life when I made these decisions? Will I end up in the same place eventually, even with a 5 year detour? I really hope so. I hope that I would have found happiness then, and that I’ll find it now. If that’s the case, then I don’t mind that all I’ve done is stretch out my timeline. It’s scary to think that I’ve severely and permanently altered what I could have had, if only I’d learned to trust myself a bit earlier. On the other hand, I may not have been better off if I’d never learned these lessons. I still have to hold back the jealousy sometimes when I see my friends pursuing their master’s degrees and now PhDs, but I need to remind myself that not everyone has the same journey. It’s most definitely a process, but I’m getting there.

If you’ve made it to the end, thank you for reading. I’d really love to hear from you guys if you have anything to say. Maybe you have thoughts on the existence of destiny, or maybe you have your own story to share. Either way, I want to hear it!

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

A Thousand Pieces of You

Title: A Thousand Pieces of You
Author: Claudia Gray
Published: November 4, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: gift from the lovely Tiff
Links: Claudia’s Twitter                                                                                                      Goodreads

 

Goodreads Description:

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined. 

My Thoughts

First, can we talk about this cover? I think it might be the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. I’ll admit, I didn’t look too closely at it before starting the book. If I had, I would have realized how much it tells you. The cover shows you two of the settings, London and St. Petersburg, and ties them together with a watercolour theme. This fits perfectly since our main character, Marguerite, is an artist. Her art shapes her views, and we see each new place through her eyes. Her art is also a reflection of herself, because though she remains genetically identical in each new world, she is shaped by the changes around her, which manifest through her art.

There is such infinite beauty in the concept of this book. The Firebird can take you to an endless number of dimensions, so long as your genetic self exists within that world. This leaves room for an incredible amount of creativity. Just think, if one of the greatest scientists of our time had never existed, would we be so technologically advanced? Or perhaps there was a scientific genius who was never born in our world, but existed in another. This planet would change drastically. It’s genius. It’s clear that Claudia Gray has done research for her book, but at the same time she has a certain creative license to make each world her own, because technically they never existed, so how can you be factually incorrect? Basically this book is a historical, futuristic sci-fi, contemporary novel. Didn’t you know that’s a thing?

In case it isn’t already obvious, I really enjoyed this book. I loved that it managed to have every element from family, to adventure and romance, and not feel too overwhelming. A lot of the story centers on Marguerite and her multidimensional pursuit, so what I’m looking forward to in the next book is a focus on the dynamics within the family, and an exploration of Marguerite’s relationship with her sister, Josie. As for the romance, things are complicated. Marguerite figures out her feelings over the course of the book in a very natural way, and it’s not nearly as love-triangly as you expect, which works in its favour. I would have liked the “romantic” moments to have been a bit more drawn out, personally.

There is a part of me that wishes A Thousand Pieces of You was a standalone, and not the first in a series. I feel that with some edits and another 50-100 pages, it probably could have been kept at one book. I think the part of me that wishes this is the part that doesn’t want to wait endlessly for more sequels so really it’s a selfish thing. I can’t actually complain if more books means more dimensions explored because I love the worlds that Claudia Gray has already created.

Spoiler Territory! Read at your own risk!

Even from the jacket description, you know there’s more to the story with Paul and Marguerite. What I thought was interesting was the idea that even if you’re physically the same person in another world, how much of the other you is in there. If Marguerite has fallen in love with one version, has she fallen in love with all of them? I think the answer is maybe 50% yes. I believe that we’re equally made up of who we are at birth and who we become through life. I got a little frustrated with Marguerite’s indecision when it came to Paul from her world, versus other dimension Paul that she came to love. I think she was so quick to love Paul 2.0 because she recognized her Paul in him from the beginning. I just wanted to shake her when she couldn’t realize this.

Quotable Moment

A Thousand Pieces of You-Quote

Have you read A Thousand Pieces of You or any other Claudia Gray book? This was my first!

What genre would you consider this book to be? 

Leave me your thoughts below!

 

 

2014 End of Year Book Survey-Part 2

Thanks again to Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner for creating this survey. Because I was too lazy to fill mine out in one go, here is part 2! If you missed part 1, you can find it here.

Best in Books

21. Best book you read in 2014 that you read based solely on a recommendation from somebody else?

Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier. A friend from work read it years ago and was reminded of it when our store began carrying the newly released version. She really wanted to share her experience of reading it with me, and I’m always up for reading something that’s a bit more diverse than my usual reads. I honestly didn’t expect to like it that much. The friendships and the romance, mixed with family drama, were so well done.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?

Is it bad to say Warner from the Shatter Me series? I’m normally one for the good guys but I loved him. Also Matt Finch from Open Road Summer because I really do like nice guys.

23. Best 2014 debut you read?

This isn’t even a contest. 100% Open Road Summer. Not since Something Like Normal by Trish Doller have I seen such a well-crafted debut. I anticipate great things from Emery Lord.

24. Best worldbuilding/most vivid setting you read this year?

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. It reminded me of why I love fantasy so much. She had the opportunity to build up two worlds in her book, one realistic within the city of Prague and one fantastical, filled with magic and creatures. She managed to do both so well.

25. Book that put a smile on your face/was the most fun to read?

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall. This book is written from many different perspectives, including those of a squirrel and bench, as we see two people fall in love. Those chapters were my favourite to read.

26. Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2014?

This is a hard one for me. I actually cry so easily but I’m having a hard time answering this one. I think I did a bit at the end of Allegiant, but that’s all I can come up with! Damn my terrible memory. Nothing I read this past year was as devastating as Morgan Matson’s Second Chance Summer, but I’m sure I still cried a fair bit.

27. Hidden gem of the year?

I think I’d have to go with A Little Something Different. I haven’t heard nearly as much about it as I expected to. I had such a great reading experience with it but it seems like not everyone has felt that way.

28. Book that crushed your soul?

Has to be Fangirl. I just felt for Cath so much in this book. She was awkward and nerdy and brilliant all at once. I felt like I was her in that book so everything that happened to her felt like it was happening to me.

29. Most unique book you read in 2014?

My True Love Gave to Me, an anthology edited by Stephanie Perkins. I’m taking this very literally, in that it’s the only anthology I read this year. For me, this really is a change because I’m all about the journey, and with short stories you have to fit so much into such a mall amount of pages. There were some definite hits and misses within all of the stories.

30. Book that made you the most mad?

The Treatment by Suzanne Young. I really enjoyed The Program but I felt like The Treatment just undid so much. The characters took weird turns that I didn’t think fit. There was a lot of character assassination, and it was so frustrating.

Your Blogging-Bookish Life

1. New favourite book blog you discovered in 2014?

I’m only starting to discover new blogs as I’ve started my own, but I continue to love posts by Magan and Estelle at Rather Be Reading and our survey host, Jamie.

2. Favourite review that you wrote in 2014?

Sooooo I’ve yet to technically write a review yet. I mean I did a half review of the Veronica Mars book and a lot of book recommendations, but no solid review yet.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

I really enjoyed writing this post on audiobooks, because I got to share my awkward personality with you guys in gif form.

4. Best event that you participated in?

As part of my job, I got to attend a preview event from Harper Collins which highlighted their upcoming releases. It was my first time attending anything like that, and it was a lot of fun.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014?

Definitely starting my blog. After going back and forth for months/years, I finally did it!

6. Most popular post this year on your blog?

My very first post has both the most views and the most comments. I was really touched with all the support I received from the blogging community.

7. Post you wished got a little more love?

Honestly, most of them, but I’m just starting out so I’m trying to keep my expectations in check. It can be hard, because as soon as you post something new, you’re so excited to share it with everyone and get a discussion going, but the reality is that you may not even get a single comment.

8. Best bookish discovery?

Gillian from Writer of Wrongs is crazy talented. I’m a little jealous but mostly in awe. My best discovery was that now you can actually buy some of her bookish art here in various forms.

9. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I didn’t have any this past year, but I’m hoping to read 75 books next year and take part in a few reading challenges.

Looking Ahead

1. One book you didn’t get to in 2014 but will be your number one priority in 2015?

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. I’m almost scared to read it at this point due to the infinite praise but I must get to it!

2. Book (non-debut) you are most anticipating for 2015?

I Was Here by Gayle Forman, The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord, All the Rage by Courtney Summers and Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales. So many!

3. 2015 debut you are most anticipating?

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. I’ve been hearing AMAZING things about this one. I hope it lives up to the hype.

4. Series ending/a sequel you are most anticipating in 2015?

Please Remain Calm, which is a novella sequel to This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers, which is a brilliant book.

5. One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging life in 2015?

I want to continue making my blog something I’m proud of. I hope that I’ll be able to keep it up and feel like I’m making a contribution to the reading community.

6. A 2015 release you’ve already read and recommend to everyone?

The only 2015 release I’ve read was All Fall Down by Ally Carter, but I can’t say I loved it unfortunately.

AND DONE! Thank you if you’ve made it this far, and if you skipped to the end, well I still love you. Just slightly less.

Which 2015 book are you excited for? Any reading goals for the new year?

2014 End of Year Book Survey-Part 1

This survey was created by Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner and I’m so excited to be taking part in it. This is actually quite a challenge for someone with such a terrible memory, but I’m going to do my best.

2014 Reading Stats

1. Number of Books You Read: 55-58 is my best guess. I’ll have to start keeping better track!

2. Number of Re-Reads: 6

3. Genre You Read the Most From: Contemporary. About 40-45 of the books I read this year.

Best in Books

1. Best book you read in 2015?

I could break this down by category, but when I look at the list of books I’ve read this past year, there are two that jump out at me. The first is Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson. It’s funny because SYBG isn’t even my favourite novel of hers. That’s just how good she is. The second one is Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell which is an all-around brilliant book.

2. Book you were excited about & thought you were going to love more but didn’t?

There were quite a few disappointments for me this year.

-How to Love by Katie Cotugno. It wasn’t bad, but I really thought I would love it.

-The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. Again, I had such high hopes, but I wasn’t a fan of the main character.

-Panic by Lauren Oliver. I’ve been waiting for LO to write another contemporary book since Before I Fall but this one never lived up to my expectations. I still think she’s a very talented writer, but Panic didn’t work.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014?

The Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi. I knew how popular these books were, but I somehow didn’t think I would like them. Her writing style takes some getting used to but once you’re past that, you can’t imagine reading this story any other way. I loved where she took the final book in the trilogy, though I know not everyone agrees with me.

4. Book you “pushed” the most people to read (and they did) in 2014?

2014 was the year of If I Stay. I work in a bookstore, and so I used the movie to my advantage in selling If I Stay to customers. I managed to personally sell at least 100 copies within a few months because I love this book so much. Gayle Forman is a master.

5. Best series you started in 2014? Best sequel of 2014? Best series ender of 2014?

Since I read so much contemporary, I actually didn’t read very many series this past year. By default, I think this entire category may go to Shatter Me, Unravel Me and Ignite Me. Honorable mention to Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor because I think she’s a wonderful writer and world-builder.

6. Favourite new author you discovered in 2014?

This one has to go to Leila Sales. I read This Song Will Save Your Life and immediately connected with her writing. I can’t wait to read everything else she’s written.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

I don’t read a lot of adult fiction, which I know isn’t really a genre so much as a category, but it’s what I’m going with. I really enjoyed The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

The Program by Suzanne Young is probably the most action-packed, but unputdownable would be Just One Night by Gayle Forman. I was dying to read that book and it did not disappoint.

9. Book you read in 2014 that you are most likely to re-read next year?

Since You’ve Been Gone for sure, and Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller. I love her writing.

10. Favourite cover of a book you read in 2014?

Untitled-1Lauren Morrill’s Meant to Be was one of my favourite covers of 2013, but her latest book, Being Sloane Jacobs, holds a special place in my heart because it has Montreal’s skyline on the cover. Honorable mentions to A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall, Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.

11. Most memorable character of 2014?

Cath from Fangirl and Emily from Since You’ve Been Gone. I’m mentioning these two books a lot, and with good reason. I identified so much with both the main characters. I was such a shy kid, and I still am in so many ways. I’ve so often felt overshadowed by the people around me, and Cath and Emily are the same way. I loved how they grew and became more confident.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?

I think I have to go with Just One Night by Gayle Forman. Her writing gets me right in the heart. She manages to capture so many emotions that I could never put into words.

13. Most thought-provoking/life-changing book of 2014?

See question 11. For me, the most thought-provoking books are the ones in which I see myself. I’m typically a pretty self-aware person but those two books had me thinking more and more about who I was, who I’ve become, and especially what’s made me this way.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited until 2014 to finally read?

Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier. Most books I’ve read were 2013/2014 releases, but this one was originally released in 2003. I hadn’t heard of it until this past year, when it was re-released with a new cover. I was really pleasantly surprised, and enjoyed reading about a character who is stuck between two different cultures.

15. Favourite passage/quote from a book you read in 2014?

I’m completely terrible about keeping track of quotes, but I’ll just go ahead and assume it’s anything from Just One Night.

16. Shortest & longest book you read in 2014?

If novellas count, then the shortest is Just One Night at 40 pages, and if not then it’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane at 181 pages. The longest book I read was Allegiant, which had 526 pages.

17. Book that shocked you the most?

I’d have to say the end of Allegiant, just because I didn’t think Veronica Roth would go there. Ignite Me was also shocking, because Tahereh Mafi basically reinvented a character in what I thought was a stroke of brilliance.

18. OTP of the year?

Because I read The Thousand Dollar Tan Line this year, I’m going to cheat and say Veronica Mars and Logan Echolls. I will 100% go down with that ship. Anyone who’s seen Veronica Mars gets it.

19. Favourite non-romantic relationship of the year?

All of the friendships in This Song Will Save Your Life, Fangirl and Since You’ve Been Gone. The books were about the main characters venturing outside of their usual crowds and making new friends. I loved all of these interactions.

20. Favourite book you read in 2014 from an author you’ve read previously?

No surprise: Since You’ve Been Gone.

That’s it for now! Look for Part 2 in the coming days.

What was your favourite book of 2014? Feel free to answer any of these questions yourself in the comments below.

Top Ten Goals For 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

I’m not sure if I’m a firm believer in New Year’s resolutions. On one hand, I know how slim the chances are that we keep them, but on the other hand I do like to think that each new year brings with it lots of possibilities and potential for change. That being said, here are 10 things I would like to accomplish in the new year:

Bookish

1. Read 75 books. I don’t think it’s necessary to assign yourself a quantitative goal when it comes to books, but I’ve been reading less recently. I’d really like something to push me to take the time to read more and watch less TV. I remember years when I’ve read 100, but this past year I barely hit 50.

2. Read more adult fiction. I don’t have this goal because I think I should be reading “adult” books and not YA. I just realized that because I love YA so much, I’ve been missing out on so many great books. I don’t have time to read everything but I want to carve out a bit more time to explore other things.

3. Read more classics. I can’t stand pretentious readers. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves in life. There is no single right way to be a reader. Personally, I would like to add more classics to my reading list this coming year. I think history is important and classics are literary history to me.

4. Read more fantasy. I have always loved fantasy. From Harry Potter to Tamora Pierce, fantasy was my genre of choice as a kid. I don’t want to stop exploring new worlds. I love contemporary YA so much that I sometimes forget to keep my reading options open. Specifically this year, I want to finish the Grisha trilogy, take the Throne of Glass plunge, and find out why everyone loves the Mistborn trilogy.

Blogging

5. Be more consistent. I’ve only been blogging for under a month and already I’ve had issues with posting consistently. Between celebrating the holidays with my family, getting over a cold and working constantly, I didn’t have much free time. I want to work on anticipating this and having posts ready ahead of time so I can still share new content during busy times. I already know this will be the most difficult thing for me.

6. Post more reviews. Posting reviews is difficult because you can only post as many as the number of books you read. And then of course there are books you read that are basically a big “meh” and what do you write then? I want to work more on articulating my thoughts. This ties back to goal #5 in that I want to consistently offer new posts.

7. Be creative. I’ll take vague goals for 100 please, Alex. What does this even mean? I’ve always struggled with my lack of creativity. I look at people with artistic talent and imaginative minds and I’m jealous. I don’t consider myself to be among those people, unless you count a relentless imagination for generating terrible scenarios. My one talent in life. There are a lot of bloggers out there, which means a lot of posts have been written and many opinions shared. I want to try to come up with original and interesting content.

Personal

8. Study. I’ve recently gone back to school after a little break. I’m trying to find out what it is I want to do as a career and taking my time to make the right decision this time around. I want to make myself proud with my work. I don’t want to have as many regrets as I do from the first time I went to university. I don’t want to keep thinking “I should have” or “If only I had” and instead I want those thoughts to begin with “I’m so glad I…” because really only I am responsible for my successes or failures. It’s taken me a while to come to terms with this, and some days it’s still a work in progress.

9. Work out more. The irony of wanting to be more creative and then having the most typical resolution possible has not escaped me, don’t you worry. I’ve had a hard time convincing myself to work out since I started a retail job where I’m on my feet for hours every day. In 2015, I want to get back to how active I used to be. I’ve never been that consistent, or at least I was very consistent for several months until I wasn’t at all. I want this to be the year that changes finally.

10. Be more adventurous. I’ve never been a very outgoing person, though I’m WAY less shy than I used to be. Even from five years ago, I feel like I’ve really grown as a person. Still, I want to push myself to try new things. I may not be as shy, but I’m still extremely self-conscious. I want to make myself do things even when there’s a very good chance I’ll end up embarrassing myself. I haven’t come up with a concrete list of things yet, but you recognize those moments even when you’re in them. Your first instinct is to say no, and instead I want to force myself to say yes.

 

There you have it! My goals for 2015. I’m sure I won’t be able to keep all of them, but I look forward to reading these again in a year, and seeing how I did.

What are your goals for the new year? Do you believe in resolutions at all? Leave me a comment below.

Baby’s First Audiobook-Veronica Mars Edition

I posted the other day here about how I’d never listened to an audiobook before and I decided to experiment with the Veronica Mars novel The Thousand Dollar Tan Line. This won’t be a traditional review of the book, though I will say a little bit about it. Mostly, this is going to be an account of my first audiobook listen. All the same, if you want to read more about the Thousand Dollar Tan Line, click here!

In short, the audiobook format just did NOT work for me. I’m a one book at a time person, and I kept wanting to pick up another book while I was listening but then I kept thinking about how confusing that would be for me. I have a terrible memory, so reading two books at once has never been a possible thing in my case. This is me:

 

goldfish

 

So if I take a day off from reading a book to read a different one, I’m basically like…

 

As a book monogamist, it’s a format that just doesn’t work for me. The Veronica Mars audiobook was just under 9 hours, and that took me an entire week to get through. I found my attention drifting constantly, which is probably why it took so long. I prefer the efficiency of reading a book myself.

The reason I started the audiobook in the first place was because it was narrated by Kristen Bell. This worked great for the parts that were actually Veronica speaking, but it just was not the same to have her imitating Keith and Logan. GIVE ME THE REAL LOGAN. What I really wanted was a live action version of this book, which is hardly its fault. Book, it’s me, not you.

Onto the actual book. Maybe it’s just me, but wouldn’t you naturally tell a Veronica Mars story from a first-person point of view? It’s perhaps not a true film noir style to do so, but through watching the show you become so accustomed to hearing Veronica’s thoughts. It was something I couldn’t get over as I listened. Because the narrator is not Veronica herself, Kristen Bell doesn’t voice it that way. While it makes sense, you’re still missing a piece of the show that you fell in love with. Another complaint I have is the lack of Logan. Without spoiling anything, he’s pretty absent for most of the novel. It’s also sad to be teased about him without actually getting to see him. I mean…

Veronica Mars

Yep.

I’m not sure this new series of novels adds much to the experience for me. If anything, it makes me miss the show even more. I’m a HUGE Veronica Mars fan, ever since it first aired on TV. I remember that crushing feeling of cancellation like it was yesterday. It’s actually the only show I own every season of on DVD. That’s commitment for me. Even with the movie, I miss these characters so much. I would have loved to see them one more time.

What if the audiobook had actually been voiced by each of the appropriate actors, with a different voice actor as the narrator. Basically it would have felt like an episode of Veronica Mars with described video and no actual video component. I would have LOVED this. Has this been done before? It could have been great.

To make a long story short (too late), I enjoyed revisiting my favourite Veronica Mars characters, but it wasn’t the same for me. You guys might feel differently, but personally I won’t be continuing on with the next one.

Anyone else a Veronica Mars fan out there? Leave me a comment below.