Random Musings by Frodosco

Posts tagged “Maureen Johnson

Top Ten Books I’m Not Sure I Want To Read


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week on Top Ten Tuesday I will give you a glimpse into the part of my print TBR that I’m not so sure about anymore. I won’t be doing eBooks because that list would go on WAY too long for a TTT. I’ll let you know why I’m unsure about the books and whether or not I’ll read them anyway. Let’s get into it!

Tersias 1. Tersias the Oracle by G.P. Taylor – I wanted to start with an easy one, and what is easier to explain than a pure cover buy? I got this one at a Half Price Books sale for a dollar, not knowing anything about it, and later found out it was book two in a duology. It still sounds interesting, but I won’t be rushing out to get book one anytime soon, so it’ll sit for a while.

 2. Icons by Margaret Stohl – I’m pretty sure I won this in a giveaway, and now it has been sitting on my shelf for about a year. Some of the bloggers I know, and especially one I really trust in Nikki Wang of Fiction Freak, gave it a rating between meh and ew, so that isn’t helping either.

 3. The Snow Garden by Christopher Rice – Another bargain buy, The Snow Garden is an adult mystery/thriller, something I just don’t read much anymore. I’ll probably read it eventually, but only if/when my TBR is running really low.

 4. Midwinter Blood by Mons Kallentoft – This is another giveaway win, and if memory serves one I accidentally entered into (thinking it was a different one) by mistake. Similar to TSG, Midwinter Blood is an adult mystery, and just not a book that’s grabbing me right now, but maybe I’ll get around to it.

 5. Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon – I bought this one as part of a buying spree I was doing when I first discovered Book Outlet. It was cheap, seemed kinda interesting, and I had seen it in a few hauls at the time so I picked it up. Someday, maybe? Idk.

The Golem and the Jinni 6. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick – Oh boy… this was another in that Book Outlet buy, and within a day of purchasing it I saw Christina from A Reader of Fictions say how ridiculous and awful it was and ugh. It might be one I have to read for myself just so I can share in other people’s pain.

 7. Devilish by Maureen Johnson – I hate to say anything bad about Maureen because I love her on Twitter and YouTube, and I bought Devilish and Suite Scarlett because I thought her personality would translate. Well, Scarlett was good but not what I thought it’d be, and Devilish seems possibly even more fluffy and I just don’t know if I can read it. o_o Maybe I’ll just stick with the Shades of London series.

 8. The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker – Here is one that I actually started reading and had to put down. I think I made it through maybe 50 to 75 pages or so, but it was moving so slowly that I just couldn’t get into it. I’ve heard great things, notably from Kimberly from Caffeinated Book Reviewer, so I’ll give it a go at a later date.

 9. Graceling by Kristin Cashore – This is one of the rare cases where there is so much hype and blogger love that I’ve avoided starting it. I grabbed it when I was browsing in a bookstore, and it has been sitting on my shelf for ages, but I’m also not sure I’m ready to dive into a fantasy series. I’ll try eventually, but not anytime soon.

 10. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown – I enjoyed Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code so when I saw this one on sale at Target I grabbed it. However, I have to be in the mood for that kind of story these days, and it just hasn’t hit me yet. I’ll read it, but your guess is as good as mine as to when.


There are other books I thought about when making this list, but these are definitely at the top. What books are you unsure of? What is the book (if there is one) that you might not want to read that is the most hyped? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^

Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2013


Totally Random Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week on Top Ten Tuesday it is all about the new authors you discovered this year! This was my first year where I really dove into reading at a higher, book blogger-level pace, so pretty much all of the authors I read this year were new for me.  So these are just SOME of my favorites in no particular order. Enjoy! ^.^

1. Jay Asher – Author of Thirteen Reasons Why, my favorite book I read in 2013. I LOVED that book for reasons I can’t even explain. It was easily the book that hit me the hardest emotionally, where I felt like the book really took me to that story and forced me to live through every ordeal and difficulty along with the characters. It was brutal, it was draining, and I loved it, so for that Asher is on this list.

2. A.G. Howard – Author of Splintered, my favorite debut of 2013 by a wide margin, and someone who I’ve even had the pleasure of speaking with on Twitter! She is so sweet, and Splintered being her debut with how amazing it was still boggles my mind. I look forward to reading Unhinged so I have an excuse to talk with/about her more just as much as for the book itself. ^.^

3. Gail Carriger – Author of Etiquette & Espionage, my favorite book outside of my usual genres and also in my top 5 overall for the year. I haven’t spoken to Carriger, but I did REALLY enjoy E&E and need to get to book two early next year. Her writing, engaging characters, and fantastic world building do it for me in every way and I get to read steampunk!

4. Ann Aguirre – Author of Enclave and Outpost, two more of my favorite reads of the year and the best dystopian series out there. Aguirre is someone I respect as an author, a person, and as someone who fights against adversity and stereotyping. I became such a big fan of her and her work that I bought EVERY single book she has out for my print collection, and her discussion on females in science fiction writing was a huge part of that. If you haven’t read it I highly encourage you to do so here. I can’t say enough nice things about her, she’s an inspiration.

5. Victoria Schwab – Author of The Archived, a book that definitely made my top ten for the year and a series I can’t wait to continue in January when The Unbound is released. Schwab is one of the best bookish/author personalities on Twitter, really fun to talk to, and I loved The Archived so more of her books in my life in 2014 will be wonderful.

6. Leigh Wilder – Author of the Deadly Liaisons series and one of my best author friends on Twitter. Her naughty books add some spice to my reading life which is much needed and her writing is excellent. She’s got a great sense of humor, I love talking to her as often as I can manage, and I can’t wait for more of her work next year.

7. Zoe E. Whitten – Author of Peter the Wolf and Penny for Your Debts, one of the most skilled writers you probably (sadly) haven’t heard of, and whose collection I own on my Kindle app on my computer. She is another of my best author friends on Twitter, and someone I could never get tired of talking to. She’s amazing and so are her books, I look forward to reading more in 2014. ^.^

8. Rick Riordan – Author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and someone I’m sure  anyone reading this knows all about. I found out about Riordan way late in the game, but I enjoyed the first two Percy Jackson books and I’m excited to read more by him next year.

9. Larry Kollar – Author of Accidental Sorcerers and White Pickups, someone you probably (and again sadly) might not have heard of, and a great friend of mine on Twitter. Larry is a great guy, always funny, and one of the most enthusiastic authors that I’ve come across. I enjoyed his series thus far and look forward to see what he has in store for 2014! ^.^

10. Maureen Johnson – Author of The Name of the Star, a name the vast majority of you know, and a fellow nerdfighter. I’ve only read The Name of the Star by her so far, despite owning the sequel, but I did enjoy it and Maureen, of course, is amazing on all fronts so I’m sure I’ll like the rest of her work too. She’s hilarious, a fantastic Twitter personality, and great on vlogbrothers videos. Need I say more?

So those are the top ten new-to-me authors for this year! What is your top ten list for this week? Are your authors mainstream, indie, or a mix? Are they ones that debuted in 2013 or, like mine, have been at it for a while? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^

Dewey’s Read-a-Thon!

Dewey’s Read-a-Thon!


How can you not love Dewey’s Read-a-Thon? It is easily one of my favorites of the year and the amount of awesomeness they pack into it is always amazing. Challenges, twitter conversations, prizes and wonderful hosts throughout the 24 hours makes for a crazy but super fun day of (kinda) reading. Unlike my last go round with Dewey’s I am somewhat less prepared, I blame getting off a 50hr work week having much to do with that. Anyhow, on to my books (sorry no pictures, no time!). This is by no means a full list, but it has a bunch I’d really like to get to and I have SOOO many to choose from. ^.^ Oh and my challenge posts will be under the list so look for that!

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

Storm by Brigid Kemmerer

Outpost by Ann Aguirre

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett

The Culling by Steven Dos Santos

The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge

The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

Devilish by Maureen Johnson



Currently Reading:

Books Finished: The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

Pages Read: 279

Amount of Time Spent Reading: 3hrs 15minutes

Snacks Eaten:

Challenges Participated In:



Introductory Questionnaire

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? – Cologne, MN, USA (My bedroom)

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? – Tossup b/n The Madness Underneath and The Sea of Monsters

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? – I always get Domino’s for readathons, can’t wait! (Supreme if you are curious)

4) Tell us a little something about yourself! – o_o I love books? Cliche… I used to paint LotR figures? Outdated… Umm…I’m on the back of Sarah-Jane Lehoux’s latest book!

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? – I did participate in the last one and I had a blast combining reading with challenges and a bunch of social interaction, I think I’ll likely do the same thing again though I might go a little heavier on reading and lighter on challenges. We shall see!

Stacking the Shelves #11

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves

A quick reminder that Stacking The Shelves is a wonderful way that we can share books we’ve won, bought, or been gifted in either printed or eBook form. It is a weekly meme created by Tynga’s Reviews that is generally posted on Saturdays.

Finally, another Stacking the Shelves post! It helps when I actually get books. 😛 I’ve been trying to limit how many books I buy since I have such a ridiculous TBR pile already, but I had to get a few pretties! So this will essentially cover my books for the last month:

Some Awesome eBooks

Print Books

I am so excited to read all of these new books, though I have already read The Wind Through The Keyhole and really enjoyed it (review here). The Demetri Martin book I just happened to see while in the cities a couple days ago but it looks like it should be pretty funny and a good change of pace from my seemingly constant barrage of fantasy/general YA.

Thanks so much for stopping by, I hope you find something in that list of books that interests you! Please feel free to leave comments about my post or with your own Stacking The Shelves, I do read them all and would love to see your hauls for this week! Enjoy your weekend! :)

Day 44: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Day 44

Summary From GoodreadsThe Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it’s the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn’t notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.


Part fantasy, part thriller, but with the feel of a contemporary The Name of the Star was the perfect blend of all of those genres done in Maureen Johnson’s unique writing style. I didn’t have the foggiest clue what to expect from TNotS, my first experience with Johnson’s work, but from following her on twitter and her interactions with John Green and nerdfighteria, I had high hopes. Luckily for me they were met and then some.

Rory is a very relatable main character, with a quirky sense of humor, a predictably adequate-but-not-stellar level of smarts so that she struggles just enough to need help but not enough to be considered a dunce. She has the usual struggles adjusting to living in London and in a new school. Johnson’s style, something that despite my best efforts I am completely failing at describing, brings Rory, and the rest of the characters to life and keeps them from being stale school-aged-teen cardboard cutouts. Jazza, the best friend, is a very likable character. Though she is very focused on her schoolwork she is goofy, especially when a little tipsy, and brings out the best in everyone, especially Rory. Also her love of books is something that always makes a character more endearing to me regardless of whether that has any bearing on the character’s actual personality, silly but true. Love Books

The relationship that you could see coming from the beginning of the book like there were strobe lights and neon signs all around it was the only thing I didn’t love about TNotS. It was understated in its importance/impact on the book, which is fine, except that it almost felt like it was just in there because there needed to be some sort of romance/extra-special-bond in the book. That coupled with it being painfully obvious who was pairing up made this the only major disappointment for me. I don’t know if I just want it to have been better or scrapped, oh well.

In contrast I felt the plot was very well done. The fact that we did know the dates of the major events before hand did remove some surprise factor, but it added to the quality of the build up and it was a trade off I was happy to make. The mix of thriller style/murder mystery and fantasy works really well here, especially after the initial encounter of Rory and the main suspect. I couldn’t put the book down and the ending really drove it home in perfect dramatic fashion while opening up a tantalizing cliffhanger for The Madness Underneath, which I can’t wait to read now.

I thought the book was great and I’ll certainly be getting the other books by Johnson as soon as I can so I will be able to devour those as well. As always thanks for reading and come back tomorrow for Day 45!

Mount TBR Challenge #35/150+; 2013 TBR Pile #35/50; Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #44/365; Seriously Series Reading Challenge #16/44

Three Smiling Frodos w Background

Wicked Valentine’s Read-a-Thon

Wicked Valentine’s Read-a-Thon

Wicked Valentine's Readathon

Hosted by My Shelf Confessions

Oh come on, you all know me, I can’t resist a readathon! Besides, with reading a book a day there really is no reason for me not to join and socialize/read a bit more. Also, this is the perfect time for me to do one of these bad boys as I only work 3 of the days that this goes on, huzzah! ^.^

For anyone who wants to sign up you can click the pretty picture above or right here and make sure to use #WWReadathon on twitter to join in on the socializing fun! There will be prizes and challenges and twitter parties during the readathon so make sure to look for that! I’ll be using this as my update post throughout the readathon for any challenges I participate in as well as my reading progress.

Going into this I didn’t really have any specific goals outside of my usual book/day, but I suppose it would be to read 10 in the 7 days instead of 7 so I could get a little ahead for the weekend (since I work Friday-Sunday after the readathon). Here are some of the books I’m considering:

Prophecy by Ellen Oh

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan

Going Nowhere Faster by Sean Beaudoin

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

Splintered by A.G. Howard

The Quillan Games by D.J. MacHale

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff



Pages Read: 1,559

Books Completed: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson, Going Nowhere Faster by Sean Beaudoin, Murder in Retrospect by Agatha Christie, Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan, Against All Odds by Rick Cabral, World Serious by Paul Kocak & The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Snacks Eaten: Cherry Danish, Rice Crispy Bar, Pizza, Cheddar Bunnies

Waiting on Wednesday #7

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by the fantastic people over at Breaking The Spine that highlights upcoming releases that we are excited about.

For this week my pre-publication selection that I can’t wait for is:

The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

Set For Release On: February 26th, 2013

Summary From Goodreads

After her near-fatal run-in with the Jack the Ripper copycat, Rory Devereaux has been living in Bristol under the close watch of her parents. So when her therapist suddenly suggests she return to Wexford, Rory jumps at the chance. But Rory’s brush with the Ripper touched her more than she thought possible: she’s become a human terminus, with the power to eliminate ghosts on contact. She soon finds out that the Shades—the city’s secret ghost-fighting police—are responsible for her return. The Ripper may be gone, but now there is a string of new inexplicable deaths threatening London. Rory has evidence that the deaths are no coincidence. Something much more sinister is going on, and now she must convince the squad to listen to her before it’s too late.

In this follow-up to the Edgar Award-nominated The Name of the Star, Maureen Johnson adds another layer of spectacularly gruesome details to the streets of London that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.


I know, it’s going to be released this month so I’m not “waiting” that long, but still! I have this on pre-order from a bookstore in Chicago as part of an independent bookstore campaign which includes a signed bookplate and a bunch of awesome stickers and can’t wait to get it! For more information on that go here.

As for the book, I’ll admit, I still need to read The Name of the Star, I’m bad I know. However, I know because it is Maureen Johnson that I will love it and I can’t read them both. The Madness Underneath is guaranteed to be made of pure awesome and I recommend you check out the link to pre-order a copy if you haven’t already. I mean come on, how awesome is the power to eliminate ghosts just by touching them?

Does The Madness Underneath appeal to you? Do you already have it pre-ordered? What book are you “Waiting On”? Let me know in the comments and/or leave a link to your own WoW post and I will make sure to stop by! Thanks for checking out my Waiting On Wednesday! 🙂

Stacking the Shelves #10

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves

A quick reminder that Stacking The Shelves is a wonderful way that we can share books we’ve won, bought, or been gifted in either printed or eBook form. It is a weekly meme created by Tynga’s Reviews that is generally posted on Saturdays.

Wow, it sure has been a while since I’ve done one of these! The amount of print/eBooks I’ve received since my last one way back on November 9th, 2012 is a tad ridiculous so I’m just going to do a recap of the print ones I’ve received/bought since the start of 2013 and include a select few eBooks as well. Sound good? Alrighty! Without further ado, my haul for the last month!

Some Awesome eBooks

Duplicity by Nikki Jefford

Shift by M.R. Merrick

Cold Hearted Son of a Witch by M.R. Mathias

Derailed by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Print Books (Bought)

Print Books (Won/Gifted)

Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Inheritance by Christopher Paolini

The Dark Lord by Kathryn Le Veque

There you have it! Yes, I know it is an insane amount of books, especially in the “bought” group, but I can’t help it! They’re so pretty…oh boy do I have an addiction. Well, at least it is to books right?! Right? Anyone? Oh well…

Thanks so much for stopping by, I hope you find something in that list of books that interests you! Please feel free to leave comments about my post or with your own Stacking The Shelves, I do read them all and would love to see your hauls for this week! Enjoy your weekend! 🙂