First of all, Gazelle and I have been planning a Percy Jackson marathon for a while now, and although we would love for the last day to be on Percy's birthday, Gazelle has classes that week. So, we're going to be starting on Friday, August 7th. Basically what the Percy Jackson challenge/marathon/thingy/whatever-you-want-to-call-it is where you read each of the books for each day. On Friday you read The Lightning Thief, Saturday read The Sea of Monsters, Sunday read The Titan's Curse and so on until The Blood of Olympus. We're going to try and have a birthday party/pool party for Percy on the last weekend of it to celebrate the end of it. This is great if you haven't read the Percy Jackson books yet, or if you want a refresher before the Magnus Chase books.
• Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children- Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children was our book of the month. I actually started this on audiobook during a road trip and had to finish it on ebook on my phone because I didn't have the patience to finish the audiobook. It's actually going to become a movie soon directed by the one and only Tim Burton! The premise of the book is kind of hard to explain but I'll try my best. There's this kid named Jacob who's 16 and his grandpa is his idol because he told him all these amazing stories about his life when Jacob was very young. After a string of events, Jacob decides to find the children's home where his grandfather grew up to try and figure out if his grandfather's stories were true. There were some aspects of the book I really enjoyed and some I didn't enjoy very much. It took about half of the book before I really had an understanding about what the actual plot was. This is by no means a fast-paced book, but I did hope for a bit more speed in the beginning of the story. I did really like the pictures in the book and how they related to the story, because they added a spooky element that words alone would not achieve. The romance in this book felt very forced and I think I would've appreciated the book without it, especially since it kind of disturbed me. Overall, this was a good first book, (I gave it 4 stars) but I'm hoping for more from the next two, especially since all the world-building has already been done.
• The Retribution of Mara Dyer- The Retribution of Mara Dyer is the final book in the Mara Dyer Trilogy. I really can't say anything without spoiling you, but I am going to be posting a Mara Dyer series review with all of the spoilery goodness. I gave this book 3 stars, mainly because the beginning was really slow, but the book started to pick up speed and I started to pick up interest as I went along with the book. I seriously considered dropping it about 100 pages in, but I forced myself to keep reading and am glad I got the closure I needed for this story.
• Love and Other Unknown Variables- Butter actually recommended Love and Other Unknown Variables when we went to the library together, since we both love math. It's about this senior named Charlie who's extremely smart and his only loves are math and MIT (his dream college). Enter his sister's newfound best friend Charlotte, who happens to be the sister of the English teacher everyone hates. You can guess what happens from there. Some parts of the story seemed pretty generic, but it was a good book, and I really enjoyed all the theorizing about math. Also, IT SPOILS TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD!!! I have yet to read To Kill a Mockingbird, so I just skimmed that part. I gave this book 4 stars, but you don't have to enjoy math to enjoy this book.
• The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things- I actually just picked this book up before realizing that it was already on my TBR shelf on Goodreads. It's about a girl named Sage who had a dark past that no one knows about, but now lives with her aunt and is extremely perky. She meets a guy named Shane who is dark and mysterious, and is immediately attracted to him. Again, a cliched book with a slight twist. Despite a lot of the cliches, the parts that weren't made the book enjoyable. I loved how real the characters felt, but for some reason, Sage just didn't feel real. She said she'd never been in a car, but there were too many points in her life before moving that she had to have been in a car. I gave this 4 stars because it helped pull me out of a reading slump and I read the book in one sitting.
• The Lovely Bones- This book simultaneously broke my heart and scared the bajeezus out of me. It starts with our main character Suzie already in heaven. After she explains how she was raped and murdered, we watch her murderer, family and friends during the next year after her death. This book is by no means a light read. You have to be in a certain mindset to read this. I felt like, at times, there wasn't really much of a point to the story, as we were just watching her family try to carry on, but I think that's part of the message, as young girls get murdered every day. I had my problems with some parts, but the haunting tale of this book kept me reading. Definitely for mature readers with a heart of steel. I wouldn't say I enjoyed this book and I won't be reading it again, but I gave it 3 stars since it had a powerful message, but needed more of a story to keep it flowing.
• I'll Meet You There- 4.5 STARS I'll Meet You There is about a girl named Skylar, who is excited to leave her off-the-highway town of Creek View (where most of the girls her age live in trailers with their one-year-old children) to study art in San Francisco. But just after she graduates, her mother loses her job, and Skylar worries that she'll never get to leave when she was so close to finally doing just that. Josh used to be the grade-A douchebag of Creek View, but that was before he joined the Marines and lost his leg and his best friend in Afghanistan. Now he's back in Creek View, a changed person. As Skylar and Josh become friends at their job, they begin to slowly change each others lives for the better. I really liked Skylar and Josh as well as their boss (whose name I can't remember even though I finished the book an hour ago). I really enjoyed how the book focused more on how they healed each other and very little on the romance. Josh's chapters were very well written, I loved the style because the emotions were very raw with the run on sentences and how he addressed them to his best friend. One of the only real complaints I had was that every time Josh made a homosexual joke, a piece of my heart died, especially since no one ever really called him out on that.