Huge Birthday Book Haul

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Hi everyone! I am really behind on posting. These are all of the books that I bought on or around my 30th birthday (11-12-16). They are from the thrift shop, Dollar Tree and a Harvest Bazaar that a local church was having. I found a ton of R.L. Stine’s Fear Street books! Thanks to the great prices, all of these books only cost me $11.22 total. For 36 books! The books I got are:

  • Room 13 by Henry Garfield
  • The Scent of Shadows (The First Sign of the Zodiac) by Vicki Pettersson
  • The Taste of Night (The Second Sign of the Zodiac) by Vicki Pettersson
  • Sister by Rosamund Lupton
  • Blood Memories (Vampire Memories #1) by Barb Hendee
  • Hunting Memories (Vampire Memories #2) by Barb Hendee
  • Memories of Envy (Vampire Memories #3) by Barb Hendee
  • The Graces by Laure Eve
  • Trinkets by Kirsten Smith
  • Every Which Way But Dead (Rachel Morgan #3) by Kim Harrison
  • Cheerleaders: The First Evil by R.L. Stine
  • Cheerleaders: The Second Evil by R.L. Stine
  • Cheerleaders: The Third Evil by R.L. Stine
  • Cheerleaders: The New Evil (Cheerleaders #4) by R.L. Stine
  • The Thrill Club by R.L. Stine
  • Truth or Dare by R.L. Stine
  • The Dead Girlfriend by R.L. Stine
  • The Boyfriend by R.L. Stine
  • The Girlfriend by R.L. Stine
  • Party Summer by R.L. Stine
  • Silent Night by R.L. Stine
  • The Dead Lifeguard by R.L. Stine (Accidental repurchase. Oops!)
  • Betty Crocker’s Easy Meatless Dishes
  • Night Terrors edited by Lois Duncan
  • Strangest of All by Frank Edwards
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch #15 Harvest Moon by Mel Odom
  • Twilight #21 Evil on the Bayou by Richie Tankersly Cusick
  • More Ghost Stories
  • Railway Ghosts and Highway Horrors by Daniel Cohen
  • Pillsbury Fast and Healthy Magazine low-fat Italian!
  • Evernight by Claudia Gray
  • Tantalize by Cynthia Smith
  • Spin Magazine’s Underground USA
  • Stories of Ghosts, Witches and Demons edited by Freya Littledale
  • The Shadow and Other Strange Tales by Howard Goldsmith
  • Hereafter by Tara Hudson

Have you read any of these books? If you have, were they good? I’ve read Tantalize and most of the R.L. Stine ones before, but I wanted them for nostalgia’s sake. Now I just need to find time to read.

If anyone is interested, I also filmed a Youtube video of this haul.

Ninth Grade Slays #2: The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod Graphic Novel by Zac Brewer

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I really enjoyed the Vladimir Tod series and I was pleasantly surprised to find this at Dollar Tree. I liked reading about these characters again and the illustrated version of Vlad is pretty much how I pictured him.

The art is nice and the story is the same as the paperback book, with some stuff thrown in like “That’s right. So and so did this.” Those moments seemed out of place and kind of cheesy, but I’ve seen comic books use that method of storytelling too.

Overall, it was a nice read.

Review of How to Wash A Cat by Rebecca M. Hale

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How to Wash a Cat is a mystery about an accountant named Rebecca who inherits her uncle’s antique shop, The Green Vase, after he dies suddenly. She moves in with her two cats, Isabella and Rupert, and meets the other shop owners and residents of the neighborhood before getting swept up in a mystery surrounding a man from the gold rush.

The book was ok, but the author uses a lot of adjectives and adverbs. A lot. There were so many in the beginning of the book that I got annoyed and put it down. I wanted to quit reading it two other times but I hate to quit on  book. By the end of the book, I barely cared about the twists and surprises. I won’t be reading the next one in the series.

Review This Above All A Novel by Lindsey Roth Culli

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I requested this book from NetGalley because the title is from my favorite Shakespeare quote (“This above all: to thine ownself be true.”). The quote is actually from Hamlet, but this story focuses on a high school drama class’ performance of Romeo and Juliet.

The main character, Piper, comes from a very conservative religious family and she’s the daughter of an evangelical pastor. Despite knowing it’s not allowed, she tries out for the play anyway and gets the lead role…as Romeo. She quarrels with herself over it because she’s been taught that being gay is wrong, and wouldn’t it make her gay to play Romeo since Juliet is a girl too?

Piper has a lot of growth over the course of the book and really becomes her own person. She stands up for what she believes in and defends her new friends, even though that means defying her father nd everything that she’s been taught. She even finds love. The friendships in the book were well done and felt like they’d be accurate for high school kids (disagreements, rumors, getting to know new people, etc.).

Religion is mentioned a lot in the book since her father’s a pastor, but it’s not anti-religion. Piper remains faithful throughout the book, but she questions her father’s tactics (which are very similar to those of the Westboro Baptist Church). I know that can be a touchy subject, but I feel like the author handled it well without insulting anything.

I would recommend this to fans of Shakespeare, young adult books (especially lgbt ya) and to people who like reading good books.

Review of Life of Pi by Yann Martel

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I’ve been hearing about this book for a few years now and I ended up with a free copy.  I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading it. I mean, how could a boy and a tiger survive at sea for over 200 days? I was curious to find out.
I like the way the story is told,  but it’s a very sad tale. The main character, Pi, loses his whole family when their ship sinks and he’s stuck in a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean with some zoo animals. I could feel his despair, sorrow and desperation.  When he describes eating animals at first, it’s obvious how conflicted and guilty he feels. I thought of what I would do in that situation since I’m also a vegetarian. I think most people would end up living off of whatever they could to survive.
As things get worse and worse for Pi and his passenger Richard Parker (the bengal tiger) I found myself surprised that they were still alive. They survived quite a few problems (hunger, thirst, exposure to the elements) and started giving up.
When Pi is finally rescued, I was happy for him, but it wasn’t the end of his story or journey. He meets with officials from the ship’s company and they don’t believe his tale. The alternate version of it sheds a whole new, horrible light on what he has been through.
I really enjoyed the author’s writing style. It made me interested in what he was saying and I never found myself getting bored. I like the chapter set up and always wanted to see what would happen next. Pi Patel is an interesting character, full of wit, intelligence and determination.
If you haven’t read it yet, it’s a good read.

Review of Thank You Notes 2 by Jimmy Fallon

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I found this book at Dollar Tree and had to get it. The “Thank You Notes” music instantly popped into my head. It’s one of my favorite parts of Jimmy’s show and I try to watch it every Friday.
The book consists of a thank you note with a photo on each page. Some were funnier than others. It was fun to flip through, but I was hoping it would be funnier. I’m sure they save the really good ones for the show though.
If you’re a fan of Jimmy Fallon and enjoy the “Thank You Notes” segment of the show, check it out. It’s a fun, quick read.