Goodreads Challenge

Last year I challenged myself to read 50 books, and ended up with a much longer list. This year, I decided to repeat the challenge. Half the year has passed, and I continue to be ahead of my list. Here is an update on the books I have read this year, and the rating I’ve given each story. I will do some reviews and recommendations on my favorite books later!

Obsidian (Lux, #1) – Jennifer L. Armentrout <4 Stars>

Lux (Lux, #2) –  Jennifer L. Armentrout <4 Stars>

Night- Elie Wiesel <4 Stars>

Soundless- Richelle Mead <5 Stars>

Roomies-  Sara Zarr ❤ Stars>

The Alchemist- Paulo Coelho <4 Stars>

Life and death: twilight reimagined-   Stephenie Meyer <5 Stars>

The infinite sea (The 5th wave, #2)- Rick Yancey <5 Stars>

Animal Farm- George Orwell <2 Stars>

Illuminae (The illuminae files, #1) – Amie Kaufman <5 Stars>

Me before you- Jojo Moyes <55 Stars>

Carry on- Rainbow Rowell <5 Stars>

Fangirl- Rainbow Rowell <4 Stars>

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #1) – Ransom Riggs <4 Stars>

The Wrath and the dawn (The wrath ad the dawn, #1)- Renee Ahdieh <5 Stars>

Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush #1) – Becca Fitzpatrick <4 Stars>

In 27 days- honorintherain ❤ Stars>

 

Percy Jackson and the Olympians:   Rick Riordan

The lighting thief (Percy Jackson and the the Olympians, #1) <5 Stars>

The sea of monsters (Percy Jackson and the the Olympians, #2) <5 Stars>

The titian’s curse (Percy Jackson and the the Olympians, #3) <5 Stars>

The battle of the labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the the Olympians, #4) <5 Stars>

The last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the the Olympians, #5) <5 Stars>

 

Heroes of Olympus:  Rick Riordan

The lost hero (Heroes of Olympus, #1) <5 Stars>

The son of Neptune (Heroes of Olympus, #2) <5 Stars>

The mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus, #3) <5 Stars>

The house of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4) <5 Stars>

Blood of Olympus (Heroes of Olympus, #5) <5 Stars>

 

Trials of Apollo (Trials of Apollo, #1) –  Rick Riordan <5 Stars>

 

Let me know down on the comments how you guys are doing with your challenges!

 

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Will “The Alchemist” be a classic in 100 years?

Paulo Coelho’s enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.  

Books became known as classics, when after years, decades, and centuries, they are still being read, and just as popular or even more, as they were when they were first written. “The alchemist” by Paulo Coelho will surely become a memorable book. This book was first published in the year 1988, and to this day, it is still being read, and picking popularity as it goes. Not many authors can find a way to connect with readers of all ages, yet Coelho managed that when he wrote “The alchemist”. This book can associate from children, to elders. There are many lessons taught throughout the story, that can encourage the young ones to follow their dreams and never give up, no matter what life throws your way. It also connects to the elder by reminding them of their youth, and their own personal legends. Many have wept over this book, either because it has truly inspired them, or because it found a way to relate to those who never reached their dreams.

The novel “The alchemist” by Paulo Coelho, is about Santiago, a young man, who is pursuing his personal legend. It all starts when he decides to become a shepherd after he discovers that he wants to travel the world. For a year or so, he learns much of his sheep, and he learns much of the lands he travels around. However, everything changes when he dreams- more than once- of a treasure hidden in the pyramids of Egypt. Santiago meets a king named Melchizedek who claims to rule Salem. He speaks to the boy of his dreams, and mentions to him that he should follow his personal legend. The king “…whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth.” Melchizedek tells Santiago that dreams serve as the primary means by which people can get in touch with the mystical force that connects everything in the universe. The boy then decides to trust omens, and begins his journey, leaving his sheep behind. Throughout this adventure he discovers himself, and how far he is willing to work to convert his dream into reality. He loses faith more than once, but still a part of him keeps him moving through unknown lands. Santiago learns the language of the universe, and connects with the Soul of the World. He meets several people, most importantly the alchemist, who teaches him to never settle for what he already has, the alchemist always helps him move on and encourages him follow his personal legend.

The story of Santiago, has many ideas, that identify with real life, and hit too close to home for many readers. For example, “What you still need to know is this: before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream. That’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one ‘dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.’ “Every search begins with beginner’s luck. And every search ends with the victor’s being severely tested.” When we work up the courage to dream of something that seems impossible, we are scared. The universe conspires to help us, and we begin to see little signs that encourage us to pursue our dreams. Then everything we live remind us of that one dream. The more we push it away, the more we see it. Not many are strong enough to follow such dreams, but those who are, follow a hard and difficult road, which has many ups and downs. Yet still, many lessons are learned along the way, lessons that have meaning just as important as the universe itself. The last test we face is always the most difficult, and when we don’t complete it, we fail our life’s missions, and nothing makes sense anymore. But when we do, we realize that our impossible dream, was what led us into an amazing adventure, which we know as life. The journey is always the best part, in the story Santiago travels through Spain, into Africa, and across the Sahara to the pyramids, only to learn that the treasure he seeks lies under a tree in the area where he began his trip, but he would have never achieved his personal legend and his transformation of he had not traveled throughout so many places and got influenced by many different people.

“The alchemist” teaches its readers of the importance of a personal legend. How traveling a long and difficult roads can lead to having a satisfying life, instead of avoiding a personal legend and never being happy, but only full of regret, and remorse. Another great lesson that is taught is the unity of nature. It is mentioned throughout the book, that the universe has a soul, and that the universe is one because it was written by the same hand. According to the book, in order to achieve your personal legend you must learn to understand the soul of the world, only then you will be purified and the universe will help you reach your goal. Dreams, and omens are a big theme in the book as well, no matter one’s religion, identifying with the universe is always possible, and Santiago finds his spirituality in his journey, just as many others who learns from experience.

Books become classics when they impact society, and teach lessons throughout generations. “The alchemist” would make a great classic novel. It has impacted many lives in the short time that it has been published for. It has inspired many to pursuit their dreams and to enjoy the journey. This book has made many realize their mistakes, and taught others to find themselves in the soul of the world. Santiago was the victim of a theft, and with no money he kept going. He found an honest job, and suck with a routine that would help him continue his journey when he was ready. He traveled the desert in the middle of a war, and he survived by instinct and with the help of friends he made on the way. He followed the omens and he found his true love, and his treasure, Santiago accomplished his personal legend, and lived a happy life because he never had to worry about running out of time without doing anything important. This short story written by Paulo Coelho is sure to teach great lessons to generations to come. The alchemist is a book that identifies with everyone at some point throughout the story, and this book will be read in 100 years or more, from now.

Review- The baby by: Sylvia Norman

A Dark Novella of Fear, Revenge, & Maternity

Patricia and William can’t wait to have children, but as soon as she gives birth, things seem to change. First, although she doesn’t remember it, Patricia apparently tried to commit suicide in the hospital room. The doctors write it off as postpartum depression, but Patricia has the oddest feeling her baby, Bernard, had something to do with it.

William tries to be supportive of his recovering wife. He is careful and loving with their son, but she seems almost afraid of little Bernard. She doesn’t treat him as a mother would-with love, compassion, and patience. To Patricia, Bernard is some kind of monster, and sometimes, she swears he looks like an old man . . . and talks like one too.

Is Bernard the evil creature she suspects, or is the horror just part of Patricia’s twisted imagination? William fears for his family, but he’s not sure where to turn. He hates to think his wife is mad, yet her behavior gives him little choice. Patricia, however, feels she has a purpose: to destroy the child she brought into the world before he hurts others, William included.

 I want to thank for sending me a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. Also I want to thank the autor, Sylvia Norman, for the opportunity to read her book.

This book has a big plot twist. I actually enjoyed reading it, it was quick and easy and I read it in one sitting. At first I was a little nervous of starting this book, I had no idea what to expect. But it sat on my book shelf no more than two days because curiosity won me over, and I decided that I needed to know what was going to happen in this book. I feel like this story has just the right amount of intensity and the right amount of darkness to it. I can hardly wait to see how the athor continues the story, and what she has in store for her main character Patricia. It was a unique read, and i’m honored that I got a chance to review this book for the lovely Sylvia Norman. I would recommend this book over and over again. Read it, and tell me what you think!

Review- John Smith last known survivor of the Microsoft Wars by: Roland Hughes

What if the Mayans got the start of the end correct because they had survived it once before? What if our written history was just as accurate as the old tale about three blind men describing an elephant? What if classic science fiction writing and television shows each got a piece of it correct, would you know which ones? If your eyes can only see a tiny portion of a collage do you know it is a collage?

Fans of Babylon 5, Star Trek TNG, Battle Star Galactica (the new one) and classic science fiction writing will enjoy the bountiful Easter Egg hunt contained within. When you were a child you learned to connect paper clips or thread beads together to make a necklace. Sit back and watch the beads you’ve had all your life form the picture you could not see. Consider for one second the possibility of the story, then hang onto your mind with both hands while you take the ride.

First of all, I want to thank the author for sending me a paperback copy of this book for an honest review.

It took me a long time to finish this book, but that was my fault, otherwise the review would have been posted a while ago. This book can be complicated for some ages, when I began reading the book, I found that some of the things explained I had just learned in my chemistry class. I felt insecure to read on because I was not sure if I would understand what was being discussed, but Ronald Hughes did an incredible job explaining everything I had trouble comprehending. As I read, I felt like I was the interviewer needing all the answers! Overall this book was amazing, it taught me many new things, and it really made me question life, and everything about it. This book honestly captured me, and took me into a world of possibilities and ideas that had never even bothered to cross my mind. I am a big fan of conspiracy theories, so it made the book even more amazing. There were only some parts at which the book slowed down a bit, and I believe it could have been better if it were set much further into the future, but either way, this book was something different, and I obviously recommend it.

My rating 4.5 stars.

Review- Never Forgotten by: Kelly Risser

One minute Meara Quinn is making plans for the summer before her senior year. The next she finds out that her mother’s cancer has returned and they’re moving away from the only home she’s ever known. Every day becomes a struggle as Meara tries to cope with her mother’s illness while being forced to move to another country to live with grandparents who are strangers. Add weird visions of a father who was absent her entire life and top it all off with one whopping secret that everyone seems bent on keeping from her, and Meara has the perfect ingredients for a major melt down. The only things keeping her from coming unglued are some new friends and Evan—the son of her mother’s childhood friend—who seems to know Meara almost better than she knows herself. Together with Evan and her friends, Meara embarks on a new journey to unlock the secrets that will not only tell Meara who she is, but what she is.

My rating is 2 stars. At some points the book dragged on, and it felt quite slow, however the plot of the story has so much potential and I can’t wait to see how much further the author is risking to take the next book. I know it can do much better. The writing however was amazing, it was compelling, and it made me want to keep reading. I felt myslef feeling the character’s emotions, and understanding her decisions. This book can hit close to home for many young girls, and make a difference in their lives. It holds hope, and understanding, the two top emotions that girls find themselves needing. I will read the second book to this series because I know it will be much greater.

Review- Olivay by: Deborah Reed

We don’t believe that our lives can change in an instant—until they do.

Olivay, widowed for a year and sleepwalking through life, meets Henry by chance. She takes him to her Los Angeles loft, thinking it will just be for the night. But the following morning, bombs detonate across the city; mayhem and carnage fill the streets; and her loft is covered in broken glass and her own blood. Henry is skittish, solicitous, and strangely distracted. Who is this man she’s marooned with as the city goes on lockdown? Why is she catching him in lie after lie? Is he somehow connected to her husband’s death and the terrorist attacks outside?

With eloquent and suspenseful prose, Olivay explores the wreckage of loss and the collision of grief, desire, and terror in its aftermath. As the characters get pushed outside their comfort zones, forced to walk the thin line between destruction and salvation, Olivay keeps readers guessing what will become of Olivay and Henry until the very end.

One thing is this book is not for everyone. But if you are one of those who this book is made for, congrats. You have just walked into a whole new perspective of life. It has a slow pace, but it still manages to keep you on your toes with the tension the story contains. It’s a whole other way of writing,, it’s incredible how the author keeps putting these thougths into your head, but you can’t be certain of any, so you find yourself needing to get to the end just to find out what is really going on with the characters. This book is a head spinner for sure, so if you think you can handle it, go for it. My rating is 3.5  stars.

Review- Boywatching by: Chloe Bennet

The annual joint school dance (aka the Snog Fest) is looming, and Chloe and her three best friends are determined not to repeat last year’s disaster, which led to Year 9’s top Mean Girl, Maggie, humiliating them online as a pack of sad losers. First they need to figure out just what’s going with the utterly incomprehensible yet strangely attractive St Thomas’s boys – and so the science of BoyWatching is born…

Rated 3.5 stars.

I can identify myself a lot with this book. I understand how hard teenager years can be, and how difficult it is to make a choice that can, and will most likely affect us for the rest of our lives. Teen years are filled with joy, and sadness. Anger and understading. Love and hate. But at the end of the day we all go through it. It would be great if life was like a book, that’s why the end dissapointed me. It was completly expected and a tiny bit cliché, it could have been a greater piece of writing,if it would have had a more realistic ending. I loved Chloe from the very begining, she’s alot like me, I loved her character’s personality. She is a determined young woman who knows what she wants and is willing to get it, even if the whole world is against her, and even if she has the worst luck. However I did find this book inspiring, and enjoyed the plot of the story. I do recommend this book, so go buy it, it’s worth Reading!