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2014 Hub Reading Challenge Check-in #8

2014 March 30
by Julie Bartel
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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!

I don’t know about you but I am drowning in good books!  I feel like I’m barely treading water and my to-read pile is threatening to wipe me out any minute now.  This is not a bad problem to have, though I’ll admit it’s making me a little anxious these days.  I’ve got Max Berry’s Lexicon here, which looks so good and is also a challenge title.  I’ve also got a couple of galleys I’m dying to dip into, not to mention the two books I’m currently reading.  And on top of that, Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham’s Veronica Mars novel The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line (in narrated-by-Kristen-Bell-audio and paper) is exhibiting the pull of an especially strong riptide.

Ok, enough with the water metaphors.  It’s a good time to be a reader, don’t you think?  What are you reading?  Are you satisfied with your reading challenge progress?  What books are (last one!) floating your boat these days?  Have you finished the challenge?

Remember, you can follow the challenge on social media by joining the Goodreads 2014 Hub Challenge Group and by using the #hubchallenge hashtag. We’re collecting tweets and hope you’ll join the conversation if you haven’t already!  The challenge ends at 11:59PM EST on June 22nd so you still have plenty of time to participate.

If you are 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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27 Responses leave one →
  1. Sara Ray permalink
    March 30, 2014

    I didn’t complete any since last week. I’ve been wanting to read but staying busy. Hoping to catch up soon. At 15 total. Craving a day where I can possibly spend a few hour reading, preferably in the sun!

  2. Debbie permalink
    March 30, 2014

    I added two more to my total this week, bringing me to 32.

    Both of my picks this week were slow reads, but for different reasons.

    Rose Under Fire, the follow-up to Code Name Verity, about an American pilot who ends up in a German concentration camp was well done, but the difficult subject matter made it slow going.
    If You Could Be Mine had some interesting moments, but I had a hard time liking the main characters. One only thought of herself and the other jumped so quickly to the most extreme solution to her problem that I had a hard time believing it. I would have liked to have seen more about life in Iran and more backstory for some of the minor characters.

  3. March 30, 2014

    I finished another 3 titles this week, bringing my total up to 18.

    Crap Kingdom: If I were rating this based on my reaction, I’d probably give it just 2 stars. But I’m definitely not the target audience. And I think this story is well-suited for its target audience. On that basis, I’m giving it 4 stars.
    Midwinterblood: Wow! This one left my head spinning. There are so many layers and so much symbolism. An obvious contender for a prize like the Printz that is based solely on literary merit.
    Relish: Didn’t enjoy this one as much as I expected I would. I found the images cramped and hard to follow at times.

    Once I read Rose Under Fire I will have completed one title from each list. But I found myself in the mood for something lighter after Midwinterblood, so I’m currently reading Ash.

  4. March 30, 2014

    I haven’t checked in for the last two weeks, but I’m still going strong. Up to 9 books. Read Carter Finally Gets it, Navigating Early, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, Getting the Girl, and The Testing since my last check in. Up next is All the Truth That’s in Me.

    I’m a post or two behind at the blog, but am keeping track of the books there.

  5. March 30, 2014

    Since last check in, I have finished:
    The Universe Versus Alex Woods (LOVED it)
    Golden Boy by Sullivan (also fantastic)
    Boy Nobody (not terrible, but not awesome in my opinion, can see appeal for reluctant readers)

    These bring me to 13 completed & I’m about 1/3 through Proxy by London & reading Mother, Mother by Zailckas on my phone here & there.

  6. March 30, 2014

    I only read one this week: Navigating Early. I had started & abandoned it earlier this year. I felt the main character was tho whiney. I’m glad I persevered because it needed up much better than I expected. I’m at 33. I’m currently listening to Scowler and reading help for the Haunted. I have to do scary books in small chunks.

  7. Jen Jazwinski permalink
    March 30, 2014

    Read Swim the Fly by Don Calame and The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau this week. Both good, quick reads with lots of appeal and therefore clearly good fits for their lists (Popular Paperbacks and Quick Picks respectively), but I’ve seen both genres done better. At 7 completed – good thing I’ve got ’til June to do this! Started Dodger on CD in my car – Stephen Briggs is always a treat to listen to. Also started reading Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets.

    Goodreads shelf here:
    https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/66673-jennifer?shelf=2014hubchallenge

  8. charlene.librarian permalink
    March 30, 2014

    I also didn’t finish any new titles since last Sunday, but I’m almost done with All the Truth That’s in Me and liking it very much. Still reading

    Chip Kidd’s non-fiction title
    Will & Whit
    Boxers

    and just learned that Shakespeare’s Star Wars is available at my workplace. Yay!

  9. Robin permalink
    March 30, 2014

    This is my first time checking in for this year’s challenge. So far, I’ve read 12 of the titles:

    -The first six volumes of Strobe Edge
    -The Adventures of Super Hero Girl
    -Rust: Secrets of the Cell
    -Dogs of War
    -Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong
    -Sex & Violence
    -100 Questions You’d Never Ask Your Parents

    I loved how realistic Strobe Edge was in terms of awkward first crushes and navigating how to communicate romantic feelings.

    Currently, I’m listening to Better Nate than Ever, and find it absolutely charming!

  10. Julie T permalink
    March 31, 2014

    Books read this weeK:

    Lives of Tao – 1/5 – Didn’t like at all. Had a hard time finishing it
    War Brothers – 4/5 – Wow! A very powerful story. Will admit the drawings
    were well done, & would have given it a 5 if it had been written non-
    comic book style.
    How to Speak Dog – 2.5/5 – If you are thinking about getting a dog for your
    child, it would be good to give this to said child to learn about dogs.
    If you do have a dog, you already know 99.9% of this.
    Boxers & Saints – 3/5 – Learned something, but still do not enjoy comics
    Eleanor & Park – 3.5/5 – Okay – Didn’t hold my attention until over 1/2
    way through. Ending predictable.
    Fighting Ruben Wolfe – 3/5 – Liked his other books better.

    Listening to Better Nate Than Ever – Tim Federle is a better writer
    than a reader – very boring voice. Liked the book better.

    I think this is 57 for me. None of my “hold” books are ready so this
    next week will be spare. Am reading 2 off list books at the moment.

  11. Mindy Engler permalink
    March 31, 2014

    It’s been a week or 2 since I checked in, so here’s my list!

    #26 – Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass
    #27 – Freakboy
    #28 – Swim the Fly
    #29 – Audrey, Wait
    #30 – Out of the Easy
    #31 – Winger
    #32 – Scowler
    #33 – Far Far Away

    I’ve enjoyed all the books I’ve read so far. I can’t say that I dislike any of them. Some I like more than others.. like Midwinterblood, Out of the Easy, Winger, Two Boys Kissing.

  12. Shannon Krug permalink
    March 31, 2014

    One this week, All the Truth That’s In Me. I liked it, had moments of “why am I reading this” but still pulled back in to want to finish it and I am glad I did. It has been so long, but Scarlet Letter came to mind. I’m glad things got tied up at the end, but it also ended fairly abruptly, for me, too. On to Midwinterblood ..

  13. March 31, 2014

    Finished my 14th book and onto Charm and Strange for 15!

  14. Allison permalink
    March 31, 2014

    I finished reading The Sea of Tranquility this week. Wow what a powerful book. It was my #9. I also started listening to Etiquette & Espionage. What a fun romp through a steampunk Jane Austen/Harry Potter fantasy!

  15. Bethany Miller permalink
    March 31, 2014

    I finished In the Shadow of Blackbirds and All the Truth That’s in Me. I rated both 3/5 stars. Both titles had interesting and unique settings and subject matter, but I’m not sure if either will have a high level of appeal for my students.

    That brings me to six books completed, and I’m almost finished with Boxers and plan to read Saints next.

  16. Kim Farnsworth permalink
    March 31, 2014

    Finished 5 this week, all of which I liked:

    The Adventures of Superhero Girl – loved it!
    William Shakespeare’s Star Wars, audiobook – hilarious and well done as an audiobook, even if a bit repetitive. Reading it wouldn’t be nearly as fun.
    Will & Whit
    The Boy on the Wooden Box, audiobook
    I Am the Messenger – I had a hard time with it at the beginning, but it really grew on me. I didn’t love the ending, but I think it’s definitely something my teens would appreciate.

  17. Robin Brandt permalink
    March 31, 2014

    Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys. For some reason I had it my head that it was about Katrina. Not a murder mystery but a book about the ramifications of a murder.

    This brings my total to 22

  18. March 31, 2014

    Last week I read Star Wars Jedi Academy, it was great fun, I have become a bigger Star Wars fan since my husband joined the 501st legion! I am up to 15, only 10 to go, I can’t believe I am going to make it this year. Hurray! Up next is either Lexicon or Killer of Enemies, depending which is on shelf.

  19. Emily Childress-Campbell permalink
    March 31, 2014

    I just joined the challenge today so I’m backtracking. The only one I’ve read since Feb. 3 was

    Far, Far Away by Tom McNeil as an audiobook. (I thought I would like it a lot more than I did. I loved the narrator, but I just couldn’t quite suspend my disbelief about other aspects of the novel. Plus I was put off by the juxtaposition of the fairytale quality with the modern day serial killer. All of that aside, however I thought W. Morgan Sheppard was a fantastic reader.)

    https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/16089080-emily-childress-campbell

  20. March 31, 2014

    Finished The Testing. That makes 13 so far.

  21. March 31, 2014

    This week’s book was Will and Whit. I LOVED it, and think my students would love it, too. What a great little story of a slice of life “unplugged.” Very inspiring. And I hear the author is making this graphic novel into a stage play. I cannot wait for the carnival of light!

  22. Carly permalink
    March 31, 2014

    This week I finished Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong, which I (predictably) thoroughly enjoyed. I’m going to try to get our Robotics coaches to read it next. I also finished Boy Nobody, which I found to be the weakest title I’ve read so far (high points for action and crisp writing style, so I see why it’s on the list for reluctant readers, but both the love interest and her father acted completely unbelievably, even for an action story, and I found that impossible to get past), and Etiquette and Espionage on audio, which was light (sometimes too light) and fun and especially engaging in audio format. A nice introduction to steampunk, for readers looking to explore that genre a bit.

    That brings my total completed so far to 12.

  23. Beth permalink
    April 1, 2014

    Finished one last week & completely forgot to post it until now!

    #12 – The Testing – For some reason, I was slightly resistant to a Hunger Games read-alike, which is crazy, because I loved Hunger Games. Either way, The Testing was extremely compelling. I was sucked into the story and characters and am fighting the urge to read the sequel immediately over another challenge title.

  24. Donna S. permalink
    April 1, 2014

    I finally finished listening to Scowler, this week, ugh. I dithered and dithered about this, but ended up just giving it 1/5 stars. The graphic descriptions of violence were so repugnant to me – and trust me, I have a high tolerance for gore. The story itself just seemed to wander all over the place. I also finished the Testing which I quite liked, even though it reminded me very much of the Hunger Games and Divergent. I keep checking in late so I can’t remember if I reported having read Audrey, Wait. I gave that 2/5 stars. It just seemed like a very tired story. I just started listening to Viva, Jacquelina! So far, I do not like it at all. My total is now 38.

  25. April 1, 2014

    I just signed up last week, so this is my first checkpoint. I am a Teen Librarian, so I read a lot of YA (but also adult) novels. I am counting the books if I read them after the February start date (hope that is OK). Here is my list:

    Will & Whit
    March Book One
    Eleanor & Park – a relisten – MY FAVORITE THUS FAR
    Out of the Easy – reread
    Between Shades of Gray
    The Book Thief – reread

    If the books are listed as a “reread/listen” my website has my review on the original date read. All Books are also reviewed on Goodreads.

    My next audiobook is If you could be mine :)

  26. Rebekka Hanson permalink
    April 5, 2014

    This is my first check-in. I’ve got four to report:

    Maggot Moon (finished 3/6)
    Two Boys Kissing (finished 3/13) – LOVED, LOVED, LOVED!
    Midwinterblood (finished 3/14)
    Navigating Early (finished 3/22)

    Here’s my Goodreads Shelf for this challenge:
    https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/3089890-bekka?shelf=yalsa-hub-challenge-2014

    I’ve read a bunch more, but all before February 3rd! hehe – so we’ll see how many others I can get.

    thanks!

  27. Andrea Egbert permalink
    June 11, 2014

    I made it through my pile of highly anticipated new YA books, and surfaced in time to read The Nazi Hunters this week. Most of my reading has been during WWII, not so much after the fact. I found it to be interesting.

    Next on my list, I have Out of the Easy.

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