Monday, November 20, 2017

COYER Winter Challenge Sign-up


It is almost time for the Winter COYER challenge.  As usual we have three amazing hostesses: Michelle @ Because Reading is Better than Real Life, Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! and Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun.  The official sing-up post is over at the COYER web-site.

I have participated in the COYER challenges since the summer of 2015 and always look forward to them.  I was excited to see they are having the List option again.  I participated in the List Challenge last summer and felt like it gave me some added motivation and focus.  ANY book in your possession prior to the start of the challenge will count as long as it was acquired legally.  For every 5 books completed, you can add 5 additional books to the list.  The challenge will run from midnight on December 16th and ends March 9th at midnight.

They have a couple of additional challenge options, which you can check out on the sign up post, if you aren't interested in completing a list.

The following is my Winter Reading Challenge List:
  1. Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
  2. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
  3. The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin - Completed
  4. Onyx by Jennifer Armentrout - Currently Reading
  5. Crossed by Ally Condie - Completed
  6. The Heir and the Spare by Emily Albright
  7. Don't Kiss the Messenger by Katie Ray Kacvinsky
  8. High Five by Janet Evanovich 
  9. Mrs. de Winter by Susan Hill
  10. Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols
  11. The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead
  12. Between the Lines by Tammara Webber
  13. The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead
  14. Once and for All by Sarah Dessen
  15. Invaded by Melissa Landers
  16. The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines
  17. Never Never by Colleen Hoover
  18. The Sixth Man by David Baldacci
  19. The Silver Spoon by StaceyKlemstein (Stacey Kade)
  20. One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake
  21. Dare You by Jennifer Brown
  22. Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
  23. Replica by Lauren Oliver
  24. Cress by Marissa Meyer
  25. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  26. Love Show by Audrey Bell - Currently Reading
  27. See How They Run by Ally Carter
  28. Shopaholic Takes Manhattan by Sophie Kinsella
  29. Heartless by Marissa Meyer
  30. Bad Blood by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Additional 5 books added after completing 5 books:

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Creativity Corner - Halloween 2017 Jordan Spieth Costume

My 12 year-old son, Preston, is very crafty and enjoys all forms of art.  I decided to start this Creativity Corner feature as a way for us to look back on our projects while sharing ideas with others.

Preston is a 7th grader and was on his middle school golf team this year.  He decided he wanted to be Jordan Spieth, a professional golfer, for Halloween.  That was easy enough since Jordan is sponsored by Under Armour and my son's closet is full of Under Armour golf clothes.  The only problem, he would have looked like himself walking around asking for free candy. 

In order to pull off this costume, I decided I would be his caddie and he would have to be Jordan after his Masters victory.  The green jacket with the Under Armour apparel would give it a more thought out appearance.

I bought the white jumpsuit like the caddies wear at the Masters on Amazon and added "Spieth" to the back with heat transfer vinyl that I cut out on my Cricut.  I also added the #80 to the front since that was his caddie's number the year he won.  I bought the Master's patch on Etsy and attached it with velcro to a blazer I already had.  Everything else we already had, so it was a pretty inexpensive costume this year.

We stopped at the course for a few pictures before trick or treating.

"Jordan" made me carry his full set of clubs all evening.  Fortunately, I could take out the 30+ balls he had stashed in that bag.

This was also the first year Preston designed and carved his pumpkin all by himself. Here is his spooky creation.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Review: The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue (Guide, #1)

Goodreads Overview:

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

My Review:

I started out reading the book, but I got busy and the library snatched my ebook. I switched to the audio version about 1/3 of the way through because it was available, so this is a combined book/audio review.

The description of this book was very catchy from the start.  1700's historical fiction, England, Paris, reckless rich boys...  In fact, I really enjoyed the concept along with the characters and their travels.  I loved listening to Monty's accent, the vocabulary, and reliving their lack of innovation.  I also enjoyed hearing about some of the places I have visited in Paris, such as Versailles when it was at its finest and still the home of the royal family.  

On the other hand, I felt like this book would never end.  If some of the nonsense was removed and the important elements were condensed, the story would have been far more entertaining.  I also felt like some of the major plot points were a bit far fetched towards the end, which contributed to the dragging feeling.

Overall - I ended up giving it 3 out of 5 stars.  It was better than okay, but it never captivated my attention.