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2014 Hub Reading Challenge Check-in #1

2014 February 9
by Carli Spina
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Hub Reading Challenge logoNot signed up for YALSA’s 2014 Hub Reading Challenge? Read the official rules and sign up on the original post. Anything you’ve read since February 3 counts, so sign up now!

So, it is officially week 2 of the 2014 Hub Reading Challenge! How are you doing with your new stack of (at least) 25 books? Which book did you read first? Was it one that you have been meaning to read/listen to for a long time or a new discovery that you unearthed after watching the Youth Media Awards? How are you sharing your thoughts on the books you read?

We want to hear all about the books as you finish them, so leave a comment below, share pictures or thoughts on the books on social media using the #hubchallenge hashtag, or join the 2014 Hub Challenge group on Goodreads.

If you haven’t started yet, don’t worry; there is still plenty of time! You have until 11:59PM EST on June 22nd to finish all 25 books. Just be sure to keep track of your progress! We’ll be posting these check-in posts each week so you can talk about the book(s) you read/listen to that week and share links to your reviews online. We can’t wait to hear what you think of all our award winners!

If you are a particularly fast reader and have already completed the challenge by reading or listening to 25 titles from the list of eligible books, be sure to fill out the form below so we can send you your Challenge Finisher badge, get in touch to coordinate your reader’s response and, perhaps best of all, to notify you if you win our exciting grand prize drawing! Be sure to use an email you check frequently and do not fill out this form until you have completed the challenge by reading 25 titles.

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49 Responses
  1. Jessica permalink
    February 9, 2014

    I kicked off the challenge with Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen and Faith Erin Hicks. I loved it! I love Faith Erin Hicks’ art so much!

    I started Midwinterblood last night and I am flying through it. It’s so good! I kept passing on this one because the cover was such a turn off, but I’m so glad I finally gave it a chance.

  2. February 9, 2014

    I started with Beautiful Music for Ugly Children. This was a title I’d missed completely and loved the book. This is why I love the challenge!

    I had a busy week and thought I might only get through one book, but we’ve been snowed (and now iced) in in Portland, OR and I also read Two Boys Kissing. An amazing & beautiful book. Today, day 4 of the storm of the century, I’m starting The Kingdom of Little Wounds.

  3. February 9, 2014

    I finished one book so far (although I already read all the Morris/ NF for that challenge so technically now I’m at 11)… The Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks. Not sure how I missed out on this before as I love her work. This one was no exception! Super fun read. Here’s my goodreads shelf: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/659853-jenna-goodall?shelf=hub-challenge I’m really looking forward to Strobe Edge.

  4. February 9, 2014

    I had already read Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn and Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross while participating in the Morris/Nonfiction challenge. This week I read Sex & Violence by Carrie Mesrobian. I’ve loved all of them so far and none of them were titles that I would of picked up if not for the challenge.

    I’m currently reading and listening to Scowler by Daniel Kraus.

  5. February 9, 2014

    32 down! I’ve got about 20 or so more that I have never read, then I’m heading back to re-read the 30 or so that I read pre-challenge so that I can conquer it!

  6. Elizabeth permalink
    February 9, 2014

    Books I get to count because I read them during the Nonfiction Challenge:

    The President Has Been Shot
    Courage Has No Color
    The Nazi Hunters
    Imprisoned

    Books I read this week:
    Charm and Strange
    Zombie Baseball Beatdown
    Belle Epoque

    Now reading:
    Relish
    Navigating Early
    Viva Jacquelina

  7. Jennie Evans permalink
    February 9, 2014

    I’m currently listening to Etiquette and Espionage and loving it.

    I’m getting ready to start Strobe Edge volume 5. I wasn’t sure about the series at first, but it’s really growing on me. I understand why the committee nominated the volumes as a whole–the story didn’t really grab me until volume 4.

    I’ve also finished Will and Whit which I thought was okay but not stellar and The Sea of Tranquility which I loved.

    Thanks to the Morris, I’ve already finished Imprisoned and In the Shadow of Blackbirds.

    Now I think I’m going to start on Lexicon.

  8. Sarah Granville permalink
    February 9, 2014

    I started with Boxers & Saints. I loved them so much! When I returned them this morning I convinced a coworker to read them. They are going to be the latest thing I’m telling everyone to read.

  9. February 9, 2014

    I kicked off the challenge this year with Midwinter Blood. Not my favorite. Excited to start The Lives of Tao later today!

  10. Sara Ray permalink
    February 9, 2014

    I’m so excited other people here love Faith Erin Hicks! I think I’ve read everything she’s done, including reading book #6 for the challenge (had the 5 non-fic titles), The Adventures of Superhero Girl. It was a very quick read and cute!

    I’m currently reading multiple books at work and home so I hope to have those done for next weekend to count! I’m very excited because I just got a new position, as of last week, that will allow me to order teen books. I’ve already put the ones we own on display and can’t wait to get more! And share with the teens how awesome they are!

  11. February 9, 2014

    Books I read for the NF/Morris Challenge:
    Sex and Violence
    Charm and Strange
    The president has been shot
    In the Shadow of Blackbirds

    I finished Boxers and Saints this week and loved them both!

    I’m currently reading The Nazi Hunters and listening to Scowler (however I’ve heard that the horror aspect of it is really intense so I may not be able to handle it while driving…)

  12. MindyE permalink
    February 9, 2014

    This week I read The Kingdom of Little Wounds and Beautiful Music for Ugly Children.
    I also finished the Morris and Nonfiction Challenge so I’m looking forward to besting my total from last year!

  13. charlene.librarian permalink
    February 9, 2014

    Check-in #1

    I started with Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn and found it completely riveting. Her short sentences really move the story along in an appropriate way. Very impressive.

    Also started Saints by Gene Luen Yang (a big fan of American Born Chinese) and Terry Pratchett’s Dodger (amazing audiobook), to be completed soon.

  14. Meaghan permalink
    February 9, 2014

    From the Morris/Nonfiction Challenge I have already read 5 titles: Sex & Violence, The Nazi Hunters, The President Has Been Shot, Imprisoned, and Go. This week I read Branded By the Pink Triangle and found myself wanting to read more — I’ve added a number of Setterington’s recommended titles to my “to read” list.

    Just started book #7 Charm and Strange this evening.

  15. February 9, 2014

    I started with Maggot Moon and the went on to read Two Boys Kissing, Far Far Away, Mother mother, Swim the Fly, Scowler, and Will and Whit. So seven down, and I am working on Freakboy.

  16. February 9, 2014

    This week I finished Maggot Moon and listened to Eleanor & Park. Two great books! I am halfway through the “Etiquette and Espionage” audiobook and I have started Getting the Girl.

    I completed nine books during the Morris/Nonfiction challenge (everything but Sex & Violence) so my number stands at 11 so far! A great beginning!!

  17. Debbie permalink
    February 9, 2014

    I started by rereading the paperback version of Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. Sometimes the satire gets over-the-top wacky, but I still love the girl-power message.

    I’m about halfway through The Book Thief. It’s another one I’ve read before, so I already know I am going to love it.

    Total read: 1

  18. Carly permalink
    February 9, 2014

    I started with Will & Whit, which I found to be a little too light to really get into the characters, but it was still fun. I’m about halfway through Help for the Haunted, which I’m so glad is on the list, as it intrigued me when it came out and then promptly fell off my radar; it’s definitely got a spooky tone! I also just started Midwinterblood, which is awesome so far.

    Total read: 1

  19. Julie permalink
    February 10, 2014

    Where to start!
    I’ve got the 10 from the challenge in January done adding the following 4
    from this past week.

    Lexicon by Barry Lyga (1/5) & The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell (1/5)
    were so awful! One starts by telling you that 2 girls just buried their parents
    in the back yard (!!!) and the other starts with someone having a needle poked
    into their eye. The 1st one was so confusing & strange, I could not wait for the
    end. The latter one was just dreadful!!!! Who picks winning books with so
    much foul language on every single page? My only description of this book
    would be to quote my grandmother when encountering unacceptable
    language – guttersnipe talk. They both actually made me wish for a
    graphic novel (which I only read for this challenge).

    The other books I read were Beautiful Music for Ugly Children which was
    such a good book & Beauty Queens which was good, but also hilarious. It
    took a good swipe at beauty pageants. Am picking up a new batch at library
    this afternoon. Not sure what’s in it as I have 12 on hold
    (noticed I was 71st in line for Scowler!)

    • Mindy Engler permalink
      February 10, 2014

      You should listen to Beauty Queens also! I listened to it for last years Challenge and Libba Bray is hilarious portraying the characters! She portrays Lady Bird with Sarah Palin-esque characterization.

  20. Kristi permalink
    February 10, 2014

    This week I read:

    Dogs of War
    March, Book 1
    Eleanor and Park

    I am halfway done with Proxy.

  21. February 10, 2014

    I’ve got three down so far. I read Sex & Violence during the Morris/Non-Fiction Challenge. And this week I read Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong and I listened to Zombie Baseball Beatdown. Loved both of them!

  22. Mary permalink
    February 10, 2014

    I started with Rose Under Fire. It was amazing. I liked it a lot more than Code Name Verity. Although my appreciation for Code Name increased with reading Rose. Highly, highly recommend!!!

  23. Beth permalink
    February 10, 2014

    I finished one book during this first week – Sex & Violence. I thought it was really well done, but unsettling at many points. It’s hard for me to say I loved it, but I definitely see why it was a contender for the Morris Award.

    I’m working on Relish and Dr. Birds Advice for Sad Poets this week. I can already tell that Relish is going to be right up my alley, so I expect to fly through it.

    Yay! I love this challenge!

  24. Kelly permalink
    February 10, 2014

    I’ve been meaning to read The Book Thief for a while now and it seems this week is the perfect time to start! I previously read Dr. Birds Advice for Sad Poets so I’m moving along just a little slowly.

  25. February 10, 2014

    Finished this week (in best to worst order):
    Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong
    Rust V.2: Secrets of the Cell
    Dogs of War
    Zombie Baseball Beatdown

    That puts me at a total of 14 so far. In the middle ofMidwinterblood and Scowler, and waiting as the slow trickle of requests at my library gets filled.

  26. February 10, 2014

    I have a lot of books on my plate right now, so I’ve only read one so far. I read Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell and loved it. I read the whole thing in one day. I’m currently reading Crap Kingdom.

  27. February 10, 2014

    I’ve only finished one, Will & Whit by Laura Lee Gulledge. Really loved the art and the character Will! I’m still waiting for several books to come in so I can start reading for the challenge in earnest.

  28. Sophie permalink
    February 10, 2014

    I just finished March: Book 1. I really enjoyed it and immediately recommended it to my history teacher husband as a potential intro-point for studying the time period.

  29. Brenda Schwarz permalink
    February 10, 2014

    I had a very busy weekend but I still have Imprisoned: the betrayal of Japanese Americans During World War II. I was planning on reading if for the non-fiction challenge but never got to it. I am really interested in it because I come from a Japanese heritage. You wouldn’t know it from looking at me but my grandfather was Japanese. I also am going to start Out of the Easy. Hopefully this week will be a better week for reading.

  30. Colette C. permalink
    February 10, 2014

    I read and loved Midwinterblood and Rose Under Fire. I laughing like crazy in the car listening to Zombie Baseball Beatdown.
    “Braaaaaaaiiiiiinnnnnsssss!”

  31. Samantha Tai permalink
    February 10, 2014

    I also finished all ten titles for the Morris/Non-Fiction Challenge. This week I finished two graphic novels: Dogs of War and March. I also started The Sea of Tranquility and should finish that today. I’m keeping track of my books on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1270547-samantha-tai

    I’m about halfway through Relish which I’m really enjoying. Next up is Help for the Haunted.

  32. Donna S. permalink
    February 10, 2014

    I previously read the ten books from the Morris/Non-fiction challenge, so I have the credit for those (I love that perk!). I also read Will & Whit, War Brothres, Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong, and March, v. 1 for the Grapic Novels. Those are the only titles owned locally and I only read GNs for this challenge. I think I will spend an afternoon at B&N and see if I can’t finish off the others on the list. Of these I most liked Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong. It reminded me very much of Drama (from last year’s challenge) – contentwise – and of course – was drawn by the woman who drew Friends With Boys (from last year’s challenge). From a historical viewpoint, I did enjoy March, but I found the lettering near to indecipherable a lot of the time. I thought War Brothers was really heartbreaking. I also read Help for the Haunted which I enjoyed a good bit. I liked the storyline though there were a few times when I found myself questioning people’s actions and reactions. A huge factor in my enjoyment was the place of the novel. My nephew lives in Dundalk and I always find it exciting to actually know the place someone is describing in their writing. I’ll start Death of Bees or Lexicon next I have them both at home.

  33. Lucie permalink
    February 10, 2014

    Finished previously, for Morris challenge:
    Belle Epoque
    Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets (which I loved!)

    Now reading:
    The Book Thief, which I have long intended to read
    Out of the Easy

    and waiting for Courage Has No Color to come in at my branch!

  34. February 10, 2014

    I started off with “Beautiful Music for Ugly Children” which I liked a lot, especially the inclusion of a trans* character, but I was bothered a little by the way Gabe objectified the girls around him. In depth review is here http://lezbrarian.wordpress.com/2014/02/05/book-review-beautiful-music-for-ugly-children/

    I also read “Two Boys Kissing” which I really enjoyed. It didn’t remind me of anything I’d read before and I loved the choice of narrators.

    Just started “Rose Under Fire” today. Hoping to get through 2 or 3 this week.

  35. Ramona permalink
    February 10, 2014

    I just finished William Shakespeare’s Star Wars on the way to work this morning. It is awesome, especially if you’re a Star Wars fan! I’m not a Shakespeare scholar, so I don’t know how well I can comment on the veracity of the adaptation, though I did recognize some lines lifted directly or adapted to the story. The voices are all very good, especially C-3PO. There are some inner thoughts/backstories added in soliloquy form (including R2-D2) and a bunch of inside jokes. My favorite (which almost caused me to crash my car I was laughing so hard): “And whether I shot first, I’ll ne’er confess.”

    Next up in audio: Better Nate Than Ever. Book: All the Truth That’s In Me

  36. February 10, 2014

    So far I’ve read Out of the Easy by Sepetys, Relish by Knisley, & Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Shen & Hicks. Next I’m going for either Freakboy or Audrey Wait, I think.

  37. February 10, 2014

    I read Nazi Hunters and Imprisoned and also have a copy of Courage Has No Color. I loved Bascomb and Sandler’s books, very well researched, very readable to teens (and adults).

  38. Andrea permalink
    February 10, 2014

    This week, I read Charm & Strange from the Morris list and *most* of March: Book One before handing it off to a library patron.

  39. February 11, 2014

    I started off with Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong and Hold Me Closer, Necromancer! LOVED NCPGW and Necromancer was fun!

  40. February 11, 2014

    Started off with The Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks. She’s one of my favorite graphic novelists! This book did not disappoint! Sadly, my second book did, Better Nate Than Ever. Nate just felt flat, a stereotypical naive hick. He’s misunderstood. His parents favor his athlete brother and don’t appreciate his talents. None of the other characters seemed much better.

    So far so good tracking my progress on my blog and my Tumblr. But I’m most consistent with my Goodreads Hub 2014 Challenge shelf.

    I’m definitely enjoying the Goodreads group!

  41. February 11, 2014

    I finished reading Sex & Violence and am currently reading Far, Far Away – two very different books, but both worthwhile reads. I got How to Speak Dog out of the library and flipped through it enough to know that I will thoroughly enjoy it. Lots of interesting facts, high quality of photos, very visually appealing! Looking forward to reading it cover to cover and re-evaluating my dogs behaviors :)

  42. February 11, 2014

    I started with Midwinterblood, and I didn’t care for it at all. I don’t know why, with the main characters being adults (most of the time), this is considered a teen book.

    Then I read All the Truth That’s in Me. I really liked this one. I liked the hint of Puritan culture. I saw that some people think there’s a sci-fi element to it, but I don’t really get that at all. As I put in my review, it’s sort of like Speak in a different setting.

    Next was Winger. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book. I want to give this kid a hug so bad. Yeah, he does a lot of stupid things, but he has such a big heart. I’m totally going to fangirl if I see Andrew Smith at TLA.

    I just finished Ash. I liked seeing a twisted fairy tale with that kind of ending. It was different enough to make it interesting, but familiar enough to be comfortable.

    With the 9 I read during the Morris/Nonfiction challenge, that brings me up to 13!

  43. Anna Chappell permalink
    February 11, 2014

    I did read the 10 books from Morris/Nonfiction challenge already, but I’m going to try to read 25 new ones. :) I started with March: Book One by John Lewis et al, and I just finished both Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang. Both of them were amazing! I just started listening to Etiquette & Espionage as well, but I’ll count it officially when I’m done. Off to a good start!

  44. Rebecca King permalink
    February 11, 2014

    Read Charm & Strange and Maggot Moon this weekend. Liked C & S more than I expected, considering the topic. A unique twist in storytelling. MM was hard to get into, I kept reminding myself to suspend all basis in reality and let the story take me away.

  45. Leah W. permalink
    February 12, 2014

    Currently listening to Dodger, and it’s (as the award nomination would imply) amazing! Great narrator.

  46. Margaret permalink
    February 14, 2014

    Already read as part of the Nonfiction challenge:
    Go: A Kidd’s guide to graphic design
    Courage has no color
    Imprisoned
    The Nazi hunters
    “The President has been shot!”

    Still think that Go was by far the most amazing of the shortlist, and I wish that it had won.

    Read this week-and-a-half:
    Midwinterblood
    Yaqui Delgado wants to kick your ass
    Nothing can possibly go wrong
    March

    Yaqui would be my pick of those. I can see the craftsmanship in Midwinterblood, but couldn’t find a character to connect to, and without being able to do that I can very seldom love a book. OTOH, LOVED Congressman Lewis’s story in March about preaching to the chickens.

    Currently reading:
    Will & Whit
    Rose under fire
    Ettiquette & espionage

  47. Andrea Egbert permalink
    June 11, 2014

    Whoops, missed the part in the original post about check-ins! I re-read the Book Thief and Rose Under Fire for the first week, then picked up Far, Far Away since it had been on my list for a while, and got most of the way through All the Truth that’s in Me (also had been on my radar!). I enjoyed all four of them, and was especially pleased with Far, Far Away. What can I say, I like new takes on the fairy tales!

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