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Crossing the finish line! April AtoZ & TBR2014 Challenge wrap-up

Hooray and three cheers!

cartoon of chocolate cake with 4 birthday candles

Celebrate! (c)OCAL

1. It’s BooksYALove’s fourth birthday!

2. I successfully completed all 26 days of the AtoZ April Blog Challenge (as entry #785). I didn’t have time to visit many AtoZ bloggers, didn’t get many comments or new followers (all the reasons we usually do blog challenges), but I did post on-time every day according to the alphabet and recommended 25 books, which is why I forced myself to do AtoZ during such a busy time for me.

3. For the TBR2014 Challenge (I’m #30 on list), I’m now up to 30 titles toward my goal of recommending 50+ books with 2013 (or older) copyright dates during this year!

Here are April’s 20 additions to my TBR2013 list – just click on the title to get my no-spoiler review in a new window:

All My Noble Dreams and Then What Happens – India’s independence fight and a young British lady’s heart

Americus – graphic novel about freedom to read, book-banning, and bullies

The Apprentices (Apothecary, book 2) – friends battle Cold War peril to save the world

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea – beautiful boy, terrible talent, death by the shore

Break These Rules: 35 YA Authors on Speaking Up, Standing Out, and Being Yourself

The Butterfly Sister – literary mystery as college tragedy repeats itself?

Control – in 2051 un-United States, genetic diversity is illegal and profitable

Dead Ends – missing dads, finding friends as unlikely allies

Forget Me Not – dead to classmates through social media; paranormal limbo

Hypnotize Me (book 1 of The Hypnotists) – a powerful gift, wrong hands grasping for him

Little Fish: a Memoir From a Different Kind of Year – graphic novel of small town graduate moving to big city college

Mountain Dog – novel-in-verse of lonely boy, rescue dog in training, hope for safety

Riese: Kingdom Falling – princess faces war and treachery

Screwed – pregnant, disowned, rescued, redeemed

When You Were Here – searching in Tokyo to answer California questions

Where Stars Still Shine – kidnapped by mom as tot, returned to family as teen

The Wild Queen: The Days and Nights of Mary, Queen of Scots

Will in Scarlet – young Robin Hood legend begins

William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, a New Hope – first of trilogy, forsooth!

A Wounded Name: A Tragedy – Hamlet at boarding school, from Ophelia’s perspective

If a blog challenge sounds like fun to you, join me in the WordCount Blogathon in June – a very supportive community of bloggers, lots of suggestions for posts, connections to find/become a guest blogger, and a chance to “build up your blogging muscles” by posting all 30 days of June. Registration opens in mid-May.

Taking a breather from daily postings in May, but still planning to recommend a few books every week,

(clipart of birthday cake with 4 candles courtesy of OCAL on

Blogathon2013 on the horizon; TBR2012 rolls on

Phillip Martin cartoon of girl lying down with book

image (c) Phillip Martin

The merry month of May…
reading, writing, reading,
slow progress on TBR2012 shelf,
WordCount Blogathon2013 dead ahead!

Oh, I recommended plenty of books in May, but only 2 from my to-be-reviewed shelf had publication dates of 2012 or earlier:

Renegade Magic, by Stephanie Burgis
Arm of the Starfish, by Madeleine L’Engle

So totaled with my January, February, March, and April TBR2012 Challenge title lists, that makes 46 pre-2013 books that I’ve offered for your consideration this year (just click on the link to get to that month’s wrap-up post with titles and links to my recommendations; each opens in new tab/window).

Now, I’m poised to take on the blog-every-day-of-June-challenge of WordCount Blogathon2013! (remember, if you sign up by 11 pm EDT/8 pm PDT today and blog each day in June, you’re eligible for nifty prizes)

I plan to take full advantage of the traditional Blogathon days for haiku, word clouds, “my top five” and at least one guest blogger, as well as sending a guest post to another Blogathonner’s blog or two. Even with those special days counted in, that still means over two dozen new books will be recommended for you in June as I #blog2013!

During the summer, I will be joining many librarians and teachers in trying to read a #bookaday (thank goodness I also review picture books for!), Tweeting my progress @BooksYALove. Since I read fast and write with due deliberation, there may be quite a gap between my #bookaday tweet and its appearance here on BooksYALove. If you spot a title that you can’t wait to hear more about, give me a holler here, and I’ll try to move its recommendation post up the calendar.

Of course, not every book I read makes the cut for BooksYALove – only the best are good enough for YA readers to spend their time and money on, in my opinion.

So, what will you be reading and writing this summer??

Image of reader lying down copyrighted by and courtesy of Phillip Martin