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2014 Hub Reading Challenge Check-in #2

2014 February 16
by Geri Diorio
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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!

The 2014 Hub Reading Challenge is now in its third week. How are you getting along? Were you as pleased as I was after realizing that by working on the Morris/Nonfiction Challenge, you had gotten a head start on this bigger challenge?  Woo, four books down, 21 to go! And with all this lovely snow outside my door (thanks, winter storm Easton!) this weekend’s been a perfect time to read a couple more titles.

If you have finished some books, please leave a comment below. We’d love to read how you’re doing and what you thought of the books you’ve finished. And if you are feeling social (media) about things, please share your thoughts, photos, videos etc, using the #hubchallenge hashtag.  Are you a Goodreads person? Why not join the 2014 Hub Challenge Group there?

You have plenty of time to get through this challenge; it ends at 11:59PM EST on June 22nd.  Please keep reading and tracking your progress and check back here each Sunday to let us know how you are doing and to see how other folks are doing.

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 leave one →
  1. Jessica permalink
    February 16, 2014

    This week I finished Midwinterblood and LOVED it! What an amazing novel! I wasn’t crazy about the epilogue, but I loved everything else.

    I started reading Charm and Strange next, and I’m having trouble getting in to the story. I’m hoping the action picks up soon!

    • February 16, 2014

      I also read Midwinterblood this week. I’m still thinking about it – I loved it! I read Charm and Strange before the challenge – stick with it. It’s creepily weird and also another one that will keep you thinking.

      • February 16, 2014

        Weird, me too! I really liked it (Midwinterblood). I thought it was so inventive, magical, and sad. Very, very lovely and great thoughts about the nature of love, and the different relationships where you can love.

        It took me to the halfway point of Charm & Strange before I really wanted to know more. I agree: stick with it!

  2. February 16, 2014

    I read these books this week:
    Rust
    The Adventures of Superhero Girl
    I am the Messenger
    The Death of Bees
    Carter Finally Gets It
    Audrey, Wait
    Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong
    Proxy

    I am very nearly done with Killer of Enemies. That makes 35 books read during the challenge, with 22 left that I’ve not read before (if you count the six volumes of Strobe Edge as one book), and then only 22 books to re-read before I’ve conquered the challenge.

    • February 16, 2014

      I forgot that I also read 100 Questions You’d Never Ask Your Parents.

  3. February 16, 2014

    This week, I read

    Dogs of War by Sheila Keenan and Nathan Fox
    War Brothers: The Graphic Novel by Sharon McKay and Daniel Lafrance
    The Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal
    Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

    I absolutely loved The Kingdom of Little Wounds. It is my favorite at this point.

  4. February 16, 2014

    I finished two more books this week. Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen & Faith Erin Hicks and Will & Whit by Laura Lee Gulledge. Of the two, I preferred Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong. It took what could have been a stereotypical conflict between jocks and geeks in a new direction. I especially appreciated the strong female characters – smart, ambitious cheerleaders and robot driver Joanna who definitely does not fit the stereotype of socially inept geeks.

    I didn’t think the story in Will & Whit was quite as strong. But I loved the way Gulledge used stippling for the shadows that haunt Will. I live and work in Charlottesville, VA and enjoyed recognizing local landmarks as well.

    I’m slightly concerned that 3 of the 4 books I’ve read so far are graphic novels. I fear my progress is going to bog down once I’ve worked through all the GNs in my library. But I have so many other things waiting to be read right now. Maybe I’ll be disciplined and alternate between the two stacks.

    On the plus side, I’ve been good about keeping up on my blog, in social media (Twitter: @booksnquilts, Tumblr: booksnquilts), and on Goodreads.

  5. February 16, 2014

    I read Midwinterblood this week and enjoyed it quite a bit. I feel like I’m missing something though because I’m not sure why it’s classified as YA. I’m not trying to criticize the book – it was great. But I think I’m missing something.

    I’m trying to get through Crap Kingdom, but having a hard time. I’m usually totally on board with this style of humor, but I’m just not into it right now, I guess.

  6. charlene.librarian permalink
    February 16, 2014

    Check-in #2

    I finished Terry Pratchett’s Dodger, an amazing audiobook. Nice mix of adventure, humor, and serious themes. Believe it or not, this was my first Pratchett book. I also read Gene Yuen Lang’s Saints and on to Boxers this coming week. It was much more serious than I was expecting and I’m eager to find out about the Boxers.

    Just about done with Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein. I like the way it’s laid out in time with the protagonist, Rose, telling the story through her writing. The three sections of the book break up the intensity of the content in a good way. I really like the use of poetry and featuring Edna St. Vincent Millay. At the same time, I’m in the middle of Etiquette & Espionage, an amazing audiobook. What a juxtaposition with these two.

    I have a wonderful pile waiting for me this coming week.

  7. Debbie permalink
    February 17, 2014

    Cold weather = good reading. :)

    This week, I added five books to my total, bringing me to 6.

    The Book Thief and I am the Messenger–loved them both.
    Crap Kingdom–funny moments, but really didn’t do it for me. Kind of meh.
    Dodger–my first Pratchett book and I enjoyed the mix of historical fiction and fantasy.
    Etiquette and Espionage–light and fun. Not something I’ll reread, but I know lots of teen readers who will enjoy it.

  8. Ramona permalink
    February 17, 2014

    I read Midwinterblood and listened to Better Nate Than Ever this week. Thought Midwinterblood was beautifully written, but as others have said, didn’t really feel YA to me. BNTE was fun and cute, felt a little old-fashioned sometimes though. Currently listening to Etiquette And Espionage and about to start All The Truth That’s In Me.

  9. Jenn Hartley permalink
    February 17, 2014

    Read Zombellenium and All the Truth That’s in Me. I enjoyed them both, but was pleasantly surprised by how good All the Truth That’s in Me was. Very glad that I read that one.

  10. February 17, 2014

    I read Rose Under Fire and loved it; the writing, the characters and the friendship between Rose and the women in the concentration camp was strong, resilient and so sad.

  11. Carly permalink
    February 17, 2014

    This week I finished Help for the Haunted, which I really enjoyed; perfect mix of atmospheric spookiness, mystery, and family dynamics. I also finally read Midwinterblood, which I loved. I agree it’s probably not going to be the most popular title in my (high school) library, but for a handful of students, I think this will really grab them. I also read Sex & Violence, and Charm & Strange, both heavy hitters in terms of mature content. I actually preferred Sex & Violence, but I’m still digesting them both.

  12. February 17, 2014

    I finished The Nazi Hunters. It was wonderfully written and for someone who doesn’t usually like historical non-fiction I found it fascinating. I’m almost finished with Scowler and it is so good and pretty terrifying! A really great audiobook production but I’m finding that I probably only have a couple of kids in my library that I would give it to. I tried to start Courage has no color for this week but I think I need some fiction so I think I’ll start Dr. Birds advice for sad poets tonight.

  13. February 17, 2014

    I finished Boxers & Saints this week. I have a hard time getting into graphic novels, and I was having that same problem with Boxers, but I loved Saints, and I really liked how the stories came together. I just wished there had been more to the end, although it did encourage me to look up the Boxer Rebellion, so there’s that.

    I also read Maggot Moon, and I really didn’t care for it at all. I had a hard time getting into the story because I kept trying to figure out the setting. I didn’t know anything about the book before I started it, and I ended up stopping halfway through to look it up. I’ve seen a lot of people praise the different writing style, but the writing style is what kept me from feeling anything about the character, and when it got to the big secret, I felt like it was kind of meh.

    Now I’m up to 15!

  14. Kelly permalink
    February 17, 2014

    This week I finished The Book Thief and loved it even though it took me a while to get through it and next I’m starting Beautiful Music for Ugly Children.

  15. Brenda Schwarz permalink
    February 17, 2014

    I started reading Branded by a Pink Triangle and I have to say that it may not have been a book that I normally would pick up but it is turning out to be very interesting. I just got All the truth that is in me and I am the messenger. I am really looking forward to reading the other two.

  16. Kristi permalink
    February 17, 2014

    This week I finished reading:

    Eleanor and Park
    Proxy
    Charm & Strange

    I am listening to Zombie Baseball Beatdown

  17. February 17, 2014

    Finished: BEAUTY QUEENS by Libba Bray and laughed out loud multiple times. It’s a very creative, fun read.

  18. MindyE permalink
    February 17, 2014

    This week I read:
    Relish by Lucy Knisely (loved it! My foodie friends are also reading it)
    Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein (loved too how Code Name Verity characters were in it too)
    Branded by the Pink Triangle by Ken Setttergton
    Will & Whit by Laura Lee Gulledge (cute)
    and started listening to Scowler

  19. Jennie Evans permalink
    February 17, 2014

    It was a slow week reading-wise.

    I finished Etiquette and Espionage which was wonderful. The narrator did a fabulous job.

    I started Help for the Haunted but just couldn’t get into it. I may table it for something else.

    I’m currently listening to Scowler. WHOA! It is SO INTENSE! I almost feel like I have to listen to something else and take breaks otherwise I’m going to be a nervous, emotional wreck.

    This week may be another slow one because I just couldn’t wait to start Cress! :)

  20. February 17, 2014

    This week I have enjoyed “The President Has Been Shot!” and Navigating Early, and was blown away this morning by In the Shadow of Blackbirds. I really love books with a combination of historical fiction and paranormal.

  21. Sara Ray permalink
    February 17, 2014

    This week I finished two (for a total of 8). Sex and Violence is right up my alley for a “problem” novel but I didn’t love it as much as I wanted to. I am glad Evan seemed to find peace. I also finished 100 Questions You wouldn’t ask your parents. I definitely learned things and would share this with any curious teen.

    I’m in the middle of so many right now (can’t wait to see where Piddy in “Yaqui Delgado” is going — enjoyable character!)

  22. February 17, 2014

    Read Go by Kidd today, and am about halfway through Charm and Strange. At 7.5 right now. Go was really neat, when I was designing a poster today at the library all the things I read kept jumping into my head!

  23. Meaghan permalink
    February 17, 2014

    Finished book #7 this week — Charm & Strange. I have so many from the list currently checked out that it’s a hard choice to choose the next one!

  24. Julie T. permalink
    February 18, 2014

    Well – 2 snow days, a weekend and a holiday has helped. My list & ratings:

    Audrey, Wait! Cute MS book 3.5/5
    All the Truth That’s in Me very good 4/5
    Better Nate than Ever another cute MS book 3.5/5
    Will & Whit don’t like GNs or the story 2/5
    Two Boys Kissing Not what I expected 2/5
    Hold me Closer, Necromancer definitely didn’t like 2/5
    Between Shades of Grey FABULOUS book 5/5
    Didn’t read it when is came out – boring cover, eh title – but it was
    soooo good. Yes, depressing, but wow.
    21 books read so far.

    • Shannon Krug permalink
      February 19, 2014

      What does MS stand for in a book review?

  25. Beth permalink
    February 18, 2014

    I finished three books this week (with the long weekend tied in) for a grand total of 4:

    #2 – Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets – I enjoyed the humor and the honest portrayal of someone suffering from depression and anxiety. A few of the plot elements were either underplayed or overplayed. I wouldn’t say I loved it, but I liked it quite a bit.

    #3 – Relish – Right up my alley! I knew it would be when I chose it. I appreciate the combination of memoir, cookbook, and graphic novel. It made me want to create a food chronology of my own life. :-)

    #4 – Maggot Moon – This one was a sleeper. I wasn’t sure what was happening or where it was going for the longest time. I wasn’t sure I could relate to Standish or even fully understand the world he was living in. But it suddenly became powerful for me in the last 50 pages or so. It’s the kind of book that warrants a second read.

    Working on Navigating Early and Eleanor & Park for this week!

  26. Robin Brandt permalink
    February 18, 2014

    I’m up to 5 titles: Besides Clark’s Freakboy, I’ve read Berry’s All the Truth That’s In Me, Hicks’s The Adventures of Superhero Girl (loved it), Rowell’s Eleanor and Park (I liked Fangirl better), and Stone’s Courage Has No Color>

  27. February 18, 2014

    Almost done with Beauty Queens! Loving it.

  28. February 18, 2014

    I finished Far, Far Away which brings my total to 3 (I know…kind of pathetic). I really enjoyed it, but I’m not sure it will have wide appeal for teens. I do not have it in my library yet, and I might wait for the paperback before I purchase because I just don’t see it circulating a whole lot.

  29. Donna S. permalink
    February 18, 2014

    This week I read 100 Questions . . . , it was fine. I liked the way each question and answer were alloted at least one page. Thankfully, not many of the questions (I guess I should say answers) were news to me, but I definitely concur that (for the most part) these were not questions I would be asking my mother! I also read Lexicon, which I did not like at all. I would never have finished it (and this applies to less than .001% of any book I start) if it weren’t part of this challenge. I also read Relish: My life in the kitchen which I throughly enjoyed. I especially liked the clarity of the drawings and the bonus recipes tucked into the book. Oh, and lastly I read Star Wars Jedi Academy. I thought it was a cute story especially good for the audience for whom it was intended, that isn’t me, but I can easily see suggesting this title to some of our younger patrons. This puts me at ninetten so far. Another couple of snow days and I should be finished with the challenge!

  30. Jen Bojkov permalink
    February 18, 2014

    Reading Maggot Moon right now- not sure how I feel about it yet. It’s one of those books that seems intentionally vague in order for the reader to fill in the blanks. Those are not always my favorite. But so far, I’ve kept turning the pages, so I guess that’s a good sign.

  31. Brandi permalink
    February 18, 2014

    So far I’ve finished Eleanor & Park (which I loved), and Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets (meh, it had it’s high points, but overall not my favorite).
    https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/1339227-brandi-rae?shelf=2014-yalsa-hub-challenge

  32. February 18, 2014

    Four down! Twenty-one to go!

  33. February 19, 2014

    I’ve been tearing through these books, but I just can’t seem to write about them! So far I’ve read Swim the Fly, Carter Gets It, All the Truth That’s In Me, Midwinterblood, and listened to Scowler. Scowler stood out the most to me, since it was so hard to get through. I do not like horror, and I found myself physically shaking with disgust while listening to this book. Despite the fact that I did not enjoy this book and in fact actively dislike it-I know many teens who I would recommend this book to. I admit that this book is well written, and the audio version definitely adds a new level to the story by including the voices and sounds of the main character’s toy friends.

    Swim the Fly and Carter Gets It were very similar books, and I’m sorry I read them back to back. Don’t do that! I don’t find the world of fourteen year old boys to be a fun place, and I didn’t find the books particularly funny. Oh well, I’ve got a couple more lined up, hopefully I can make myself write goodreads reviews soon!

  34. Shannon Krug permalink
    February 19, 2014

    I have only read one book so far, Audrey Wait! Oh dear, YA literature is not what I remember from the late 80′s/early 90′s. So much swearing and self indulgence .. not my cup of tea .. when did swearing become good literature?
    Picked up Between Shades of Gray and it is looking like a quick read, and has more substance (for me).
    At this rate, not sure I’ll get close to 25 reads, but at least I’ll be exposed to some new reads!
    I’ll keep trying!

    • Julie T. permalink
      February 20, 2014

      Shannon – I have to agree with you. The kids here at school tell me its generational, but
      I’m still not entertained by “swearing and self indulgence”. You will enjoy Between Shades of Grey – depressing subject matter, but I couldn’t put it down. It does have lots of substance and is historical fiction. Her other book is also good. Different subject matter entirely, but a quick read.

      • Shannon Krug permalink
        February 24, 2014

        Julie – Yes, I am loving Shades of Gray (for it being so well written and engaging (very sad about the reality of it) and being truly thankful for what I have!)
        Good to hear Audrey, Wait! is just generational!

  35. Lucie permalink
    February 19, 2014

    Finished: The Book Thief and Courage Has No Color, both excellent.

    Still reading Out of the Easy, which I am enjoying but which is not a top contender for my favorite.

  36. Sarah Granville permalink
    February 19, 2014

    I finished three (!) this past week, and enjoyed all of them. The Adventures of Superhero Girl was super cute and I’m adding it to my graphic novel collection. Relish made me hungry. I really liked Midwinterblood. I thought it was well written and I loved how each story connected to the other.

  37. Brittney Reed permalink
    February 19, 2014

    I have been off to a very start with the Challenge. So far I’ve only finished The Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks… But I completely loved it! Awesome artwork and a superhero I think a lot of young women (including myself!) can relate to.

    I started The Death of Bees today, and although it’s grisly and a rough read, I can’t stop thinking about it and wanting to read it. Plan to have it finished this week.

    • Brittney Reed permalink
      February 19, 2014

      Very slow start, that is.

  38. Anna Chappell permalink
    February 22, 2014

    I listened to Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carringer this week. It was amazing, the audio very well-done, and the story was really fun as well.

    I was planning to listen to The Boy on the Wooden Box next, which is listed here: http://www.yalsa.ala.org/thehub/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/2014-Hub-Reading-Challenge-printable-list1.pdf

    But it isn’t in that list above, where you can check the 25 books you finished. Is it part of the challenge?

    • Geri Diorio permalink
      February 22, 2014

      Oh wow, good catch Anna Chappell! I’ll see what we can do to fix the form. Thanks!

      • Anna Chappell permalink
        February 22, 2014

        You’re welcome! I was really looking forward to it, so I’m glad it’s still part of the challenge. :) However, looks like I’m listening to Zombie Baseball Beatdown first, as it’s available. But I have a hold on The Boy on the Wooden Box!

  39. February 24, 2014

    I’m enjoying this – so far! I’m afraid I’m behind and won’t finish in time, but maybe the pressure will be good for me. So far I’ve finished “Between Shades of Grey” “The Book Thief” and “I am the Messenger” “Far Far Away” “Eleanor & Park” “Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design” and “The Nazi Hunters” Loved all of them so far!

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