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Throwback Paperback: A Young Adult Novel Podcast

Throwback Paperback: A Young Adult Novel Podcast

By The Nerd Party

Throwback Paperback is a book club podcast on the Nerd Party network hosted by best friends Asia Bonilla and Charles Scheland. Asia and Charles share young adult books with each other
that one of them read, but the other never got to, and they see how these young adult staples
appear when read or re-read as adults. Every week, they assign which book and chapters they
will be covering the following week and they start with a brief summary if you can’t read along.
Then they dive into the plot, themes, and experience of favorite young adult books.
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Episode 110 - Crossed: Chapters 27-54
Episode 110 - Crossed: Chapters 27-54
Once reunited, of course there must be trouble in paradise in the second half of Crossed. Ky and Cassia find each other, only to have division sown between them. Cassia and Indy really want to join the rising; Ky really does not. Combine that and the fact that Xander is secretly part of the rising, and you have this week’s reading full of tension. Some of our mysteries continue to linger, and we are still vibing with the central relationship, so we still classify this series as a page-turner, but we are seeing the cracks and foreshadowing of future issues. Next week we will be reading chapters 1-32 of book 3 in the series, Reached.
38:09
November 21, 2022
Episode 109 - Crossed: Chapters 1-26
Episode 109 - Crossed: Chapters 1-26
Ky and Cassia are split up as they start their lives of resistance in Crossed. Cassia is working as a laborer planning her chance to break out in search of Ky, and Ky is being used as a human shield looking to find Cassia. With some help on both ends, including that of Xander, the two escape the society and start to trek further away from the central district, and luckily they are reunited, but things have changed between them as they have both learned of an upcoming rebellion, the rising. They must now see if they can and even want to join the open rebellion against the society. Next week we will be reading chapters 27-54 of book 2 in the series, Crossed.
55:39
November 14, 2022
Episode 108 - Matched: Chapters 17-32
Episode 108 - Matched: Chapters 17-32
Romance is in the air in the second half of Matched! Cassia and Ky’s relationship develops quickly from furtive glances to well much more than that. Their behavior seems poised for rebellion, but they also seem to have no plan to act on that rebellion. That is fine of course, but leaves your hosts confused. The two protagonists seem to be desirous of fighting the society but actually seem to have no plans or efforts to get what they want. This reading actually has some dramatic twists and turns with an ending that leaves us with a lot of questions. But that’s not a bad thing; we’re thrilled to keep reading. Next week we will be reading chapters 1-26 of book 2 in the series, Crossed.
40:52
November 07, 2022
Episode 107 - Matched: Chapters 1-16
Episode 107 - Matched: Chapters 1-16
We dive into The Society as we cover the first half of Allie Condie’s Matched. Cassia lives in a post-society utopia, and everything seems perfect when she is matched with her hot best friend Xander. Lucky them, they get to be together forever and live happily ever after. Of course, that doesn’t make for an interesting story and instead Cassia starts to fall in love with another forbidden boy, Ky. This series is the embodiment of tropes and love triangles, and we are enjoying it. Meanwhile, Cassia’s grandfather stirs rebellion in her which will probably come back more importantly later. In a society that is The Giver meets Divergent, we follow Cassia’s path and love life full of drama. Next week we will be reading chapters 17-32 of book 1 in the series, Matched.
55:08
October 31, 2022
Episode 106 - Switch: Chapters 18-34
Episode 106 - Switch: Chapters 18-34
We finished a series today! Today we have finished Switch, and thereby the whole Savvy trilogy. Gypsy and company get their groove back and collect grandma Pat, only to be irresponsible and lose her again. The prophecy does come true because of course it has to, and Charles has plenty to say about that. Let us know if you can follow his logic and his frustration when he goes down this fortune-telling rabbit hole. Join us as we finish up our exploration of the savvy world and we have our final discussion of the characters, concept, readability etc. Did you enjoy the series as much as we did? Next week we will be reading chapters 1-16 of Matched, book 1 in our new series, The Matched Trilogy.
46:56
October 24, 2022
Episode 105 - Switch: Chapters 1-17
Episode 105 - Switch: Chapters 1-17
It’s time for the final Savvy book and we return to the Beaumont branch of the savvy family with Gypsy as she turns thirteen as well as older brother Samson and younger brother Tuck. Just as Gypsy is getting some control over her kind of stupid savvy, some important family news rattles the Beaumonts and all savvy bearers and savvy-eligble people switch their savvies. Needless to say, this leads to some chaos. The family must learn to scumble their new savvies while trying to deal with the familial pressures of moving an unwilling grandparent into their house. The final savvy book definitely is pulling out all the stops and building up all the tension. Next week we will be reading chapters 18-34 of book 3 in the series, Switch.
37:43
October 17, 2022
Episode 104 - Scumble: Chapters 19-36
Episode 104 - Scumble: Chapters 19-36
We’re back with Ledger on his journey of scumbling his explosive savvy. He and cousin Rocket start to bond which definitely helps, though Sarah Jane continues her campaign of interference. This time big bad Noble Cabot gets involved and decides to come after the savvy family ranch. Rocket and Ledger have to help each other scumble despite all the pressures from around them distracting them and preventing their growth. We have a tender and touching journey of self-acceptance and we get to learn the deep secrets of scumbling your hidden savvy as well as some important family secrets along the way. Next week we will be reading chapters 1-17 of book 3 in the series, Switch.
29:31
October 10, 2022
Episode 103 - Scumble: Chapters 1-18
Episode 103 - Scumble: Chapters 1-18
We’re staying in the savvy world, as we cover the first half of Scumble and follow along with Ledger Kale as he gets his savvy. Ledger’s savvy has him blowing things up and yet his irresponsible parents drive cross-country with him for a wedding. Don’t worry, we have plenty to say about that and bad parenting. Ledger and his sister then get to spend the rest of the summer on the farm of savvy family rejects for people who are failing to scumble. Ledger continues to get in trouble, mostly due to the actions of local town girl Sarah Jane Cabot. Ledger is trying to learn to scumble while also trying to keep family secrets. Next week we will be reading chapters 19-36 of book 2 in the series, Scumble.
43:38
October 03, 2022
Episode 102 - Savvy: Chapters 19-37
Episode 102 - Savvy: Chapters 19-37
The craziest road trip ever continues as Mibs and colony continue to travel along in the second half of Savvy. Mibs starts to figure out her savvy and how to control it, but at this point they’ve been taken away from their parents for over 24 hours so that’s not going to end well. We follow the kids on the rest of their trip in an effort to grow up, free Lil and Lester from social restraints, and get back to Papa Beaumont which was the original point of the whole quest. We continue to enjoy the book, the family relationship, and just the whole tenor of the story so we’re thrilled to keep reading in this savvy world. Next week we will be reading chapters 1-18 of book 2 in the series, Scumble.
32:39
September 26, 2022
Episode 101 - Savvy: Chapters 1-18
Episode 101 - Savvy: Chapters 1-18
New series time on Throwback Paperback! We are reading Savvy by Ingrid Law, and it’s a Charles pick that Asia likes. We are just as surprised as you are. The Beaumont family all have special gifts, or savvies as they call them, and Mibs is about to turn 13 and receive hers. Unfortunately a bunch of things go wrong, and Mibs is now on a bus traveling with her brothers, her friends, and some random adults. This book so far is heart-warming and entertaining with likable characters and a fun premise. Hopefully this enjoyment can continue! ​Next week we will be reading chapters 19-37 of Savvy, book 1 in the series, The Savvy Trilogy.
44:12
September 19, 2022
Episode 100 - Full Tilt
Episode 100 - Full Tilt
It’s time for another Neal Shusterman book as we cover Full Tilt. This book was another Asia recommendation, and once again it’s a personal recommendation from Neal directly. This book is more of a thriller, and follows Blake, his brother Quinn, and his friends. They go on amusement park rides and eventually dive into a transformative psychological experience. Ultimately this book takes the protagonists on a deep exploration of trauma with a moral to melt your heart. However, this does end up catering more exclusively to a younger audience, as it leaves both hosts with a sense of lacking. How did you feel after reading it?? Next week we will be reading chapters 1-18 of Savvy, book 1 in our new series, The Savvy Trilogy.
39:29
September 12, 2022
Episode 99 - Elsewhere
Episode 99 - Elsewhere
We’re entering the life after death, as we cover Elsewhere. This time we explore another take on what happens after death. Liz, our 15 year old protagonist gets hit by a car and comes to terms with loss. This book is another tender story that both hosts enjoy. It’s an excellent book that leaves both you, the reader, and our hosts satisfied. You will enjoy the themes and Liz’s journey, so you should definitely join us in Elsewhere. (See what I did there?) Next week we will be reading a new book in one week, Full Tilt.
39:41
September 05, 2022
Episode 98 - The Lovely Bones
Episode 98 - The Lovely Bones
TW: This episode includes topics of graphic violence, rape, and murder. Please take care of yourself and only listen if these are safe topics for you. If you need to talk to someone or need further resources, the national sexual assault hotline is: 1-800-656-4673. Please listen at your discretion. In our possibly heaviest book ever covered on Throwback Paperback, this week, we read The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. Susie Salmon watched her hometown from heaven after her violent murder. She follows her family’s deterioration and breakage, her friends‘ forlorn futures, and her murderers efforts to evade justice. Susie slowly comes to terms with the tragedy in her life as she lives vicariously through her sister and loves her family from a distance. This book is poignant and heavy and takes a new approach to discussing tragedy. The focus is on the aftermath for those left behind, and we commend the effort to build a realistic response to unspeakable tragedy for each unique character. Next week we will be reading a new book in one week, Elsewhere.
01:05:19
August 29, 2022
Episode 97 - Looking for Alaska
Episode 97 - Looking for Alaska
Today we’re starting a new unit of sad fiction picked by Asia. To start off this set of four single books we’re starting with cult classic Looking for Alaska by John Green. A once controversial book for introducing young adults to young adult appropriate content, this book follows teenagers at boarding school as they rebel against a repressive system and search for the meaning of life. Miles, the Colonel, and Alaska are coming of age when an unfortunate tragedy strikes. They go through classic teen angst and hormonal development. The book accurately and humanly deals with the struggles of adolescence, and both hosts enjoy this book and its ultimately hopeful conclusion. Next week we will be reading a new book in one week, The Lovely Bones.
55:02
August 22, 2022
Episode 96 - The Last Battle
Episode 96 - The Last Battle
We are finally here, at the ending of Narnia. This week we cover The Last Battle, as the last king of Narnia along with Jill and Eustace try, and fail, to save the world. This book is heartbreaking because of all of the lies and deceit, but we do get a reunion with almost all of our main characters from the last six books. Asia has a lot to say about the ending and the overall message of the book, while Charles is much less critical. The whole world ends with a big judgment day, so there are Christian metaphors abound. It’s a dramatic and shocking ending to the series. Next week we will be reading a new book in one week, Looking for Alaska.
59:22
August 15, 2022
Episode 95 - The Silver Chair
Episode 95 - The Silver Chair
We’re beginning the end of the Chronicles of Narnia as we cover book 6, The Silver Chair. This book might be Charles’ favorite while it definitely does not impress Asia. Eustace is back, with a new companion, Jill, as they quest for Caspian’s long lost son. They travel out of Narnia, and it turns out they’re both frequently stupid. We all know how Asia responds to stupid characters. Luckily, they are able to find and rescue the prince, and surprisingly enough they do it without Aslan swooping in to save the day. We can definitely feel the ending of the series coming. Next week we will be reading a new book in one week, The Last Battle, book 7 of The Chronicles of Narnia.
54:23
August 08, 2022
Episode 94 - The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Episode 94 - The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
It’s time for an adventure as we cover book 5, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. This book is an undisputed fan favorite, and possibly Asia’s favorite book in the series. Shocking! We meet Eustace who is a pain, and we see the return of two Pevensie children, Caspian, and the indisputable best character, Reepicheep. The gang are traveling east to find Aslan’s country, and boy does Asia have something to say about that. Aslan makes frequent appearances as they move east and find more islands and trials. This book definitely feels like a highlight of the series for both co hosts. Next week we will be reading a new book in one week, The Silver Chair, book 6 of The Chronicles of Narnia.
47:08
August 01, 2022
Episode 93 - Prince Caspian
Episode 93 - Prince Caspian
Back to the famous Chronicles this week, we are covering Prince Caspian. We’re turning over a new leaf because Asia actually enjoys this book. We are finally starting to get some series connective tissue for her and more fun characters. She continues her journey of disliking a main character, and we start to see the infamous decline of Susan in the reader’s view. We applaud the construction of this plot full of callbacks and laying the groundwork for future books. Of course, we do have hot takes, so it’s worth listening to hear them. Next week we will be reading a new book in one week, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, book 5 of The Chronicles of Narnia.
54:49
July 25, 2022
Episode 92 - The Horse and His Boy
Episode 92 - The Horse and His Boy
This week it’s time to return to the golden age of Narnia, but our story takes place in the neighboring countries of Calormen and Archenland. Shasta, Aravis, Hwin, and Bree travel through Calormen to the free North in an adventure that Charles enjoys and Asia tolerates. This book we get into a longer conversation about the stereotypes and accusations of racism levied against the series. Do you agree with our takes? Asia is starting to develop a least favorite character in the series that is frankly unexpected, so definitely listen to hear whom she’s not vibing with. Next week we will be reading a new book in one week, Prince Caspian, book 4 of The Chronicles of Narnia.
48:54
July 18, 2022
Episode 91 - The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
Episode 91 - The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
It’s time for the most famous of the Chronicles of Narnia. This week we read the iconic The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. We meet the Pevensie children and discuss the things that Asia remembered from the Disney movie, as well as much of the heavy Christian imagery within the story. Charles continues to enjoy the nostalgia, while Asia remains unconvinced. These books are definitely for a younger audience, so while we can breeze through the short and simple readings, there is definitely a heft and complexity that we are missing. Next week we will be reading a new book in one week, The Horse and his Boy, book 3 of The Chronicles of Narnia.
47:13
July 11, 2022
Episode 90 - The Magician's Nephew
Episode 90 - The Magician's Nephew
Diving right into the most classic of children’s literature, we cover all of The Magician’s Nephew this week. This first book of the series follows the birth of Narnia, and while Charles is drowning in nostalgia, Asia is not here for it. This book sets the stage, and admittedly does feel like a prequel to some of the more adventurous stories that will be coming down the line. We discuss the fame of the series and some of its subsequent controversies. Naturally we also have a hefty segment railing against men and boys being stupid. That is to be expected at this point on Throwback Paperback. Next week we will be reading a new book in one week, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, book 2 of The Chronicles of Narnia.
41:23
July 04, 2022
Episode 89 - Everfound: Chapters 29-53
Episode 89 - Everfound: Chapters 29-53
It is time to finish The Skinjacker Trilogy as we wrap up Everfound. This week the stakes become all too real as Mary goes in search of an atomic bomb to end humanity. Allie and Clarence are pushed to the point of assassinations in order to protect humanity. We argue that they are justified, but do you agree with us? After a couple of dead-end plot points, all characters converge and most Afterlights are freed. All of our characters get fitting endings, and we discuss if we would recommend this book to others. There’s also plenty of heartfelt tenderness. Next week we will be reading a new book in one week, The Magician’s Nephew, book 1 of The Chronicles of Narnia.
48:26
June 27, 2022
Episode 88 - Everfound: Chapters 1-28
Episode 88 - Everfound: Chapters 1-28
TW: This episode includes topics of mass violence and guns. Please take care of yourself and only listen if these are safe topics for you. If you need to talk to someone or need further resources, the Disaster Distress Helpline is 1-800-985-5990. Please listen at your discretion. This week starts the final Skinjacker book, and preparations for the final confrontation are underway. Milos is trying to hold together Mary’s evil coalition, and failing miserably. This leads him down his own path of further evil which we spend quite  a bit of time unpacking. Both of us enjoy our new characters, and our romances. The good guys in this story are just so fulfilling! The worldbuilding expands, and we appreciate the complexity it adds to the story. Mary is extra evil. Asia and Charles are really enjoying the series, and can’t wait to finish the series next week. Next week we will be reading chapters 29-53 of book 3 in the series, Everfound.
54:21
June 20, 2022
Episode 87 - Everwild: Chapters 20-40
Episode 87 - Everwild: Chapters 20-40
Well the build off pays off this week as things get absolutely crazy in Everlost. All of our characters converge in Memphis for a big showdown. Allie is skinjacking a ton and learning important things about herself and the nature of skinjackers. Nick is fighting a losing battle against the chocolate and trying to prepare for his fight with Mary. Mary herself has gone off the deep end. Charles and Asia have a discussion on the nature of evil, and Mary’s descent into madness. The ending of this reading is crazy, in a good way, and you really have to read it to believe it. Next week we will be reading chapters 1-28 of book 3 in the series, Everfound.
48:45
June 13, 2022
Episode 86 - Everwild: Chapters 1-19
Episode 86 - Everwild: Chapters 1-19
The second book of the Skinjacker trilogy starts with multiple different plotlines as our characters navigate their own journeys through the Everwild. Nick and Mary continue their opposing journeys and now try to recruit talented afterlights in preparation for battle. Meanwhile, Allie and Mikey are diving into their own talents and feeling how those actually strain their budding relationship. We are definitely learning more about the mechanics of Everlost and powers, but we are unsure how much of the information we should trust. There are definitely some bigger questions we need answers to. Next week we will be reading chapters 20-40 of book 2 in the series, Everwild.
33:44
June 06, 2022
Episode 85 - Everlost: Chapters 15-30
Episode 85 - Everlost: Chapters 15-30
We are wrapping up the first half of Everlost today as Allie tries to lure the McGill into a false sense of security. Nick and Mary’s relationship also takes a couple of steps forward and then comes to a climax. We learn a lot about the logistics of Everlost, and we even get some hints as to what happens after Everlost. Some characters fear it, some embrace it, and we finally get some lines drawn as to who is bad, who is good, and who is just trying their best. Charles and Asia are both liking the series, albeit for different reasons. See if you are enjoying it the same way we are! Next week we will be reading chapters 1-19 of book 2 in the series, Everwild.
36:11
May 30, 2022
Episode 84 - Everlost: Chapters 1-14
Episode 84 - Everlost: Chapters 1-14
It’s once again time for a new series on Throwback Paperback, and we have taken a complete turn from the fantasy and general bookishness of the last series into a much darker afterlife, Everlost. We’re following the souls of recently departed children as they navigate the dangers of the in between in Everlost. These books were suggested by Asia, and so far both hosts are enjoying them,  though it seems for different reasons. Join us as we follow Allie, Nick, and Lief on their quest to evade a cult among other dangers. Next week we will be reading chapters 15-30 of book 1 in the series, Everlost.
32:45
May 23, 2022
Episode 83 - Inkdeath: Chapters 42-81
Episode 83 - Inkdeath: Chapters 42-81
It’s time for the final book in the Inkworld to come to a close. Today we’re finishing Inkdeath and leaving Mo and Meggie behind us. The conflict between the Atterhead and the forces of good comes to a head as Dustfinger and Mo team up to fight Orpheus. The final battle commences with a rather twist of an ending and resolution. Which of the annoying characters will survive? Oh wait, that’s all of them. Will we be sad to see this series go? Next week we will be reading chapters 1-14 of Everlost, book 1 in our new series, The Skinjacker Trilogy.
39:55
May 16, 2022
Episode 82 - Inkdeath: Chapters 1-41
Episode 82 - Inkdeath: Chapters 1-41
We left the last episode on a relative high with some interest and some empathy. Alas, we spoke too soon, which we can confirm as we dive into the final Inkheart book, Inkdeath. The theme of this reading was once again chaos, but not in an alluring, attractive, or compelling way. What on earth is happening? We have all of our characters in the Inkworld, and still none of them have enough common sense to get them out of their problems. They seem to have forgotten that they are in a book. Mo’s character transformation is continuing and affecting everyone else. Asia has a lot of thoughts on that in particular. Next week we will be reading chapters 42-81 of book 3 in the series, Inkdeath.
40:03
May 09, 2022
Episode 81 - Inkspell: Chapters 40-77
Episode 81 - Inkspell: Chapters 40-77
Are things turning around for us with the story? In what is undoubtedly our favorite Inkworld reading so far, the political turmoil reaches a boiling point. Relationships are tested and fortified, which brings us joy. Fenoglio and Orpheus continue to exist and interfere, which does not. Worldbuilding picks up in this reading, so if you’ve been missing it, it is somewhat rectified this episode. With a big twist at the end of the reading, we find ourselves wanting more. We definitely need to know what happens in the final book. Next week we will be reading chapters 1-41 of book 3 in the series, Inkdeath.
53:16
May 02, 2022
Episode 80 - Inkspell: Chapters 1-39
Episode 80 - Inkspell: Chapters 1-39
We’re entering the Inkworld this week as most of our characters are transported inside the book. Dustfinger first, then Meggie and Farid, and finally Mo, Resa, Mortola, and Basta all make it into Inkheart where chaos ensues. Unsurprisingly we respond well to burgeoning romance and tender familial relationships and respond poorly to Fenoglio’s increasingly gross behavior. The Inkworld is changing and taking on a life of its own. Too bad neither of your co-hosts cares that much. We still think that the story is missing a hook, but maybe we’re just too judgmental. Next week we will be reading chapters 40-77 of book 2 in the series, Inkspell.
41:26
April 25, 2022
Episode 79 - Inkheart: Chapters 31-59
Episode 79 - Inkheart: Chapters 31-59
All parties converge on Capricorn’s village as he prepares his plan for the Shadow to execute Dustfinger once and for all. Meanwhile Fenoglio and Meggie have a plan of their own to circumvent this outcome. We discuss Meggie’s mom, and meet her, in what we think is probably the most interesting part of the book. Listen to see how we feel about the ending, and the idea of a sequel. What is going to happen in the next book? What worlds might we explore? ​Next week we will be reading chapters 1-39 of book 2 in the series, Inkspell.
37:53
April 18, 2022
Episode 78 - Inkheart: Chapters 1-30
Episode 78 - Inkheart: Chapters 1-30
It’s finally time for a new series back at Throwback Paperback, and we’re diving into the cult-classic Inkheart trilogy by Cornelia Funke. We return to fantasy, and let’s just say both hosts have plenty of feedback. While neither of us have read the books before, they come highly recommended, so we enter with high expectations. Does the book live up to them? It is worth noting that for a change Asia does a lot of the predicting this week instead of Charles. How do you think her predictions worked out? ​Next week we will be reading chapters 31-59 of book 1 in the series, Inkheart.
46:44
April 11, 2022
Episode 77 - Bruiser
Episode 77 - Bruiser
TW: This episode includes topics of violence, assault, mental and emotional abuse. Please take care of yourself and only listen if these are safe topics for you. If you need to talk to someone or need further resources, the national domestic violence hotline is 1-800-799-7233. Please listen at your discretion.  This week we cover Bruiser by Neal Shusterman. In this book, we follow Bronte, Tennyson, and Brewster as they navigate regular teenage tribulations with the added difficulty of Brewster’s special power. This book takes us on a journey through the highs and lows of pain, love, sacrifice, and responsibility. Expect for Charles and Asia to reaffirm their friendship to each other as they break down the heavy material in this book. ​Next week we will be reading chapters 1-30 of Inkheart, book 1 in our new series, Inkheart.
01:03:10
April 04, 2022
Episode 76 - Eggs
Episode 76 - Eggs
In week 3 of our single books on tragedy, we have Eggs, a tale of two misfits who form an unexpected but necessary friendship. David, who is dealing with the loss of his mother, and Primrose, who is dealing with a lifetime of neglect, find each other, and start on various escapades. We debate if they are responsible for each other, and how to deal with their difficult life challenges. This is another tender and sweet book, but definitely geared towards a younger audience. Next week we will be reading a new book in one week, Bruiser.
38:56
March 28, 2022
Episode 75 - The Fault in Our Stars
Episode 75 - The Fault in Our Stars
Continuing with our journey of sadness, we are covering The Fault in Our Stars this week. With heavy allusions to Shakespeare, we get to follow the star-crossed lovers of Augustus and Hazel as they meet, bond over their mutual burden of cancer, and fall in love. Another tender love story, we spend a considerable amount of time enjoying the character development and wit of the protagonists. It is a poignant book on living in-spite of all trial and tribulation, and making the most out of each day. Be ready for an emotional episode. Next week we will be reading a new book in one week, Eggs.
50:55
March 21, 2022
Episode 74 - The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Episode 74 - The Perks of Being a Wallflower
TW: This episode includes a discussion of sexual assault and rape. Please take care of yourself, and only listen if these are safe topics for you. If you need to talk to someone or need further resources, the national sexual assault hotline is: 1-800-656-4673. Please listen at your discretion. This week we cover all of The Perks of Being a Wallflower and get into all sorts of themes of trauma and abuse. This beautifully haunting book paints a vivid picture of adolescence, and Asia enjoys reminiscing on the book while Charles enjoys returning to memories of his own high school. We follow Charlie in his episolary journey as he starts high school and his own infinity. The topics he’s dealing with are heavy, but we watch as he does his best to overcome his past, and be a support to his loved ones. Next week we will be reading a new book in one week, The Fault in Our Stars.
01:14:35
March 14, 2022
Episode 73 - The Death Cure: Chapters 38-73
Episode 73 - The Death Cure: Chapters 38-73
It is time to finish up the Maze Runner trilogy as we finish The Death Cure. This episode wraps up a LONG unit on dystopian fiction, and we have mixed feelings. Of course, there is some horror because these books have been super scary, but no surprise there. This episode we do discuss the ethical question between Newt and Thomas. Would Asia and Charles do the same for each other? The story is still quite the page turner, though we do take exception to the ending. On a scale of Divergent to Hunger Games, where does The Maze Runner fall? Next week we will be reading a new book in one week, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
48:03
March 07, 2022
Episode 72 - The Death Cure: Chapters 1-37
Episode 72 - The Death Cure: Chapters 1-37
We dive into the third and final book of the Maze Runner trilogy, The Death Cure. Thomas and the gang make their dramatic escape from Wicked only to be plunged into the realities of a flare infested world. The feuding between Thomas and Teresa continues, and unsurprisingly, we do not approve of this. Expect more horror, more violence, and more confusion as usual. Some of the characters take a turn towards idiocy, which we also unsurprisingly judge rather harshly. If given the chance to get your memories back, would you have taken it? Next week we will be reading chapters 38-73 of book 3 in the series, The Death Cure.
58:14
February 28, 2022
Episode 71 - The Scorch Trials: Chapters 32-65
Episode 71 - The Scorch Trials: Chapters 32-65
Plots thicken and so does the suspicion as we finish the second half of The Scorch Trials. In this episode, we discuss the larger ramifications of the trials and the real life impact they will have on these kids. They have to fight their way through the city, through the betrayal trial, and then through some more monsters because these are still horror books, and we couldn't have you forgetting that. Teresa’s actions are polarizing, but both hosts agree that the book is a page turner. We simply must keep reading to find out what happens next. Next week we will be reading chapters 1-37 of book 3 in the series, The Death Cure.
50:38
February 21, 2022
Episode 70 - The Scorch Trials: Chapters 1-31
Episode 70 - The Scorch Trials: Chapters 1-31
Another week of the Maze Runner trilogy, and another episode filled with vile disgusting content. The boys of the Glade think they are safe only to be thrown into possibly worse conditions than the maze. We discuss trauma, fear, and the vast potential outcomes that the book provides. This series is full of twists and turns, and at this point we are willing to question anything and believe any outcome. Thomas continues to be a superhero, but what else is new at this point. ​Next week we will be reading chapters 32-65 of book 2 in the series, The Scorch Trials.
52:19
February 14, 2022
Episode 69 - The Maze Runner: Chapters 32-62
Episode 69 - The Maze Runner: Chapters 32-62
The Gladers get kicked into high gear as the end of their maze trial looms. The maze enters its ending phase and the violence, horror, and gore are elevated to a new level. We also get to see the beginning of Thomas and Teresa’s friendship as she wakes up from her coma. The ending leaves us on the edge of our seats and begging to dive into the next book of the series. Which of the hosts was right in their prediction as to how to escape the maze, because one of us got pretty close! ​Next week we will be reading chapters 1-31 of book 2 in the series, The Scorch Trials.
47:11
February 07, 2022
Episode 68 - The Maze Runner: Chapters 1-31
Episode 68 - The Maze Runner: Chapters 1-31
We jump right back into a dystopian/post-apocalyptic/hellscape as we start The Maze Runner trilogy. This book feels like the perfect encapsulation of our dystopian unit and brings some new levels of gore and horror to the podcast. If you thought His Dark Materials was rough, this will be even darker. Where our last series was a page turner for its charm, this series is a page turner for the shock and terror. Neither of us could put it down. Have you figured out the maze yet? Have we? Next week we will be reading chapters 32-62 of book 1 in the series, The Maze Runner.
48:10
January 31, 2022
Episode 67 - The Diamond of Darkhold: Chapters 15-27
Episode 67 - The Diamond of Darkhold: Chapters 15-27
This week we finish the Ember trilogy as we wrap up the Diamond of Darkhold. We have thoroughly enjoyed the series, we definitely feel ready to wrap it up and move on to the next one! We start with Doon’s daring escape and end up with the happily ever after that was to be expected. How do Lina and Doon reconnect? What is the diamond anyway? What does each of the hosts take away from the series? Do you want more City of Ember content on the podcast? Listen to this episode to wrap it up and get some payoff on some long teased material. Next week we will be reading chapters 1-31 of The Maze Runner, book 1 in our new series, Maze Runner.
32:53
January 24, 2022
Episode 66 - The Diamond of Darkhold: Chapters 1-14
Episode 66 - The Diamond of Darkhold: Chapters 1-14
It’s time for us to dive into the end of the Ember trilogy as we start the Diamond of Darkhold. While we are still thoroughly enjoying the series, the realism hits a bit of a snag, as Lina and Doon return to Ember. The book is still a page turner as we try to decode the hidden message from the Builders and the usefulness of the tool they left for the Emberites. Asia takes exception to Lina and Doon’s superhuman pathfinding and walking abilities, but Charles is more bothered by their assumption of the ability of flight. Which one is being less realistic? ​Next week we will be reading chapters 15-27 of book 3 in the series, The Diamond of Darkhold.
38:32
January 17, 2022
Episode 65 - The People of Sparks: Chapters 16-29
Episode 65 - The People of Sparks: Chapters 16-29
The tension has been building and finally comes to a boiling point. Lina has been bonding with Maddie, and Doon has been spying on Tick. The racism parallels are on full display, but we both think that the book is a total page turner. Finally, the tension boils over, and we have an almost full out brawl. Once again we marvel at how much we are enjoying this series, and the development of our two protagonists. Listen to hear if the Emberites are successful at assimilation or if the Sparks’ xenophobic tendencies win out. ​Next week we will be reading chapters 1-14 of book 3 in the series, The Diamond of Darkhold.
36:08
January 10, 2022
Episode 64 - The People of Sparks: Chapters 1-15
Episode 64 - The People of Sparks: Chapters 1-15
It’s time for the second book of the trilogy, The People of Sparks. The denizens of Ember have emerged into a post apocalyptic society that only begrudgingly takes them in. As is to be expected, we have a good time ribbing both our great characters like Lina and our insufferable ones too like Torren. There is a brewing conflict between the Emberites and the people of Sparks. Charles and Asia have suggestions as to how conflict should be avoided, but will that advice be heeded? Lina goes off on an adventure and Doon becomes an on-again off-again member of the Tick fan club. But are either decisions good ones? ​Next week we will be reading chapters 16-29 of book 2 in the series, The People of Sparks.
50:20
January 03, 2022
Episode 63 - The City of Ember: Chapters 11-20
Episode 63 - The City of Ember: Chapters 11-20
The story picks up quite quickly this week as Lina and Doon super sleuth out both the corruption and greed of Ember as well as the egress from the city. This week we once again have to contend with younger characters who are naïve and that does push the book towards a slightly younger reader group, but we do enjoy the narrative of it. Darkness is continuing to fall in Ember, so Lina and Doon have to decide how to proceed. Listen to find out how we felt about the ending of this book, especially in comparison to the last series we read. Next week we will be reading chapters 1-15 of book 2 in the series, The People of Sparks.
51:21
December 27, 2021
Episode 62 - The City of Ember: Chapters 1-10
Episode 62 - The City of Ember: Chapters 1-10
We start our new series with strong Giver vibes and a return to younger characters. We get to enjoy the mystery of the failing world of Ember as this dark city starts to deteriorate. This book Charles and Asia get to follow two innocent and likable protagonists but they like to run and look at bugs, which obviously we are not about at all. What is happening to the City of Ember and will the people be able to escape the collapse of their city? Also, why is it so dark in Ember? Next week we will be reading chapters 11-20 of book 1 in the series, The City of Ember.
40:48
December 20, 2021
Episode 61 - Allegiant: Chapters 26-56
Episode 61 - Allegiant: Chapters 26-56
If the Divergent trilogy was chaotic before, it has reached an apex in this final reading. We have the big and polarizing reveal as well as lots of co-host feelings about it. For once, Charles even tries to provide the benefit of the doubt, but the reading does leave both hosts at a loss for words. Will we read these books again? Listen to hear our final thoughts on the whole series.  ​ Next week we will be reading chapters 1-10 of The City of Ember, book 1 in our new series, The City of Ember.
01:13:37
December 13, 2021
Episode 60 - Allegiant: Chapters 1-25
Episode 60 - Allegiant: Chapters 1-25
The books take a drastic turn and the thematic discussion changes completely as we cover the first half of Allegiant. The world has completely changed, leading to more confusion for Asia and Charles. Continuing lack of romance does not help both of our sappy hearts, and we can both feel another big battle coming up. Expect commentary on the formula that these books seem to be following.  ​ Next week we will be reading chapters 26-56 of book 3 in the series, Allegiant. ​
01:08:34
December 06, 2021
Episode 59 - Insurgent: Chapters 25-47
Episode 59 - Insurgent: Chapters 25-47
Things on the pod start to unravel much like the plot of the books. Charles continues to be quite confused, but he luckily has Asia there to guide him through it. We watch more stress on Tris and Tobias. Both are at fault, and neither seems to win our overall sympathy. Once again we end on a cliffhanger that your co-hosts have intense feelings about, some of which will have to be resolved next week. Next week we will be reading chapters 1-25 of book 3 in the series, Allegiant.
01:06:51
November 29, 2021
Episode 58 - Insurgent: Chapters 1-24
Episode 58 - Insurgent: Chapters 1-24
Diving into the second book of the series, the war effort continues, and the reader's confusion starts to grow. As the romance struggles, so does our enjoyment of the series. The plot does start to feel messy, and when Charles gets confused, he luckily has Asia to guide him through. More and more of the world-building and character choices start to unravel, and the lack of logic does start to wear us down. Ironically though, we can sense even more unhinging coming up ahead. ​ Next week we will be reading chapters 25-47 of book 2 in the series, Insurgent.
01:10:24
November 22, 2021
Episode 57 - Divergent: Chapters 21-39
Episode 57 - Divergent: Chapters 21-39
We go 0 to 100 real quick as we wrap up Dauntless initiation and immediately get into the overarching of the series, the Erudite-initiated war. Tris and her ability to escape simulations is pivotal, but this is when we start to see some continuity cracks. The ending is quite polarizing, but for once, we actually agree on how to respond. The romance is also doing it for us still as we finish the first book of the trilogy. ​ Next week we will be reading chapters 1-24 of book 2 in the series, Insurgent.
01:04:09
November 15, 2021
Episode 56 - Divergent: Chapters 1-20
Episode 56 - Divergent: Chapters 1-20
This week we are choosing our factions as we start the Divergent Trilogy! We are entering the world of Tris Prior as she makes the monumental decision to leave the selfless Abnegation and join the brave Dauntless. There’s a lot of romance and sexual tension, so of course your two co-hosts love that part of the story. We also get into the building mysteries, and we’re excited to uncover the answers. What faction do you think each of the hosts would have come from and which one would they have chosen? Next week we will be reading chapters 21-39 of book 1 in the series, Divergent.
01:08:56
November 08, 2021
Episode 55 - Son: Chapters 23-45
Episode 55 - Son: Chapters 23-45
As we wrap up the series, we end up feeling more and more like Messenger and less and less like The Giver. We continue Claire’s story as she reclaims her memories, climbs out of the ditch, and finds her way to Gabe. We debate Claire’s trade as well as the successes and failures of the series. Would we recommend this series to a friend? Does the ending really stack up to the hype? How does the whole series feel as we finish it up? You’ll have to listen to find out. Next week we will be reading chapters 1-20 of Divergent, book 1 in our new series, Divergent.
42:59
November 01, 2021
Episode 54 - Son: Chapters 1-22
Episode 54 - Son: Chapters 1-22
It’s time for the final book of The Giver Quartet. This final book is called Son, and we return to Jonas’ original community. We are following Gabriel’s birthmother, Claire, as she gives birth to Gabe, is dismissed from being a birthmother and starts to rebel against the community. We thoroughly enjoy returning to Jonas’ community as that dystopian set-up is what we have enjoyed the most. Join us on Claire’s journey as we get close to finishing the series. Next week we will be reading chapters 23-45 of book 4 in the series, Son.
33:46
October 25, 2021
Episode 53 - Messenger: Chapters 12-21
Episode 53 - Messenger: Chapters 12-21
In an excoriation of an episode, we wrap up Messenger. Make sure you listen to hear how we respond to all of the suspense built up in the first half of the book. This episode is rather quick as the reading is short, but we cover many perspectives on the resolution of the book. There’s a discussion of the powers of the protagonists, the worldbuilding, and arc of this particular novel. Once again, we confront the idea that these books all feel like separate books, rather than a cohesive series. Next week we will be reading chapters 1-22 of book 4 in the series, Son.
34:04
October 18, 2021
Episode 52 - Messenger: Chapters 1-11
Episode 52 - Messenger: Chapters 1-11
After divisive episodes on Gathering Blue, we are back this week with renewed hopes for book number three, Messenger. This community connects our first two books and also develops its own struggles and complexities. The protagonist Matty is a fun character to read from, and we are excited about the darker themes being explored in this particular conflict. Both hosts do take some exception to the ret-conning and world inconsistencies revealed, but are hopeful for the second half. Next week we will be reading chapters 12-21 of book 3 in the series, Messenger.
41:28
October 11, 2021
Episode 51 - Gathering Blue: Chapters 13-23
Episode 51 - Gathering Blue: Chapters 13-23
This week Charles and Asia continue the discussion of Gathering Blue. This time both hosts agree on their feelings on the ending unlike last week. All of our mysteries are solved and even new ones that are introduced are quickly answered as well. We learn more of the sinister nature of this community and the lengths the leaders are willing to go to to capture the artists they need. The one exciting reveal at the end of the book does set up the next book well, and we’re excited to get into the plot arc by the end of this episode. Next week we will be reading chapters 1-11 of book 3 in the series, Messenger.
37:02
October 04, 2021
Episode 50 - Gathering Blue: Chapters 1-12
Episode 50 - Gathering Blue: Chapters 1-12
It’s time for Gathering Blue, the second book of The Giver Quartet. Possibly for the first time, we have a real disagreement between the hosts. One of us is totally vibing with this book, and the other is not at all. This community or world is quite different from Jonas’ but we have a good time drawing parallels and contrasts between these two worlds. We are left with a lot of cliffhangers, so to find out who liked the book you have to listen this week, and to get resolution to those cliffhangers, you have to listen again next week.  ​Next week we will be reading chapters 13-23 of book 2 in the series, Gathering Blue.
34:30
September 27, 2021
Episode 49 - The Giver: Chapters 13-23
Episode 49 - The Giver: Chapters 13-23
We wrap up The Giver this week as we watch Jonas discover more secrets of the community. He learns more about pain, humanity, and the procedure called release. Upon discovering the secrets of suppressed knowledge and the full range of human emotion, Jonas feels he must make a difference in the world. We discuss the lack of humanity as well as our theories and debates from the previous episode. Finally, we wrap up the book with more questions than answers hoping we will get at least some fragments of answers within the next three books in the set. ​Next week we will be reading chapters 1-12 of book 2 in the series, Gathering Blue.
38:43
September 20, 2021
Episode 48 - The Giver: Chapters 1-12
Episode 48 - The Giver: Chapters 1-12
We continue our unit on dystopian society as we explore “the community” where Jonas turns 12 and his world is turned upside down when he becomes the Receiver of Memory. As we read through Jonas’ eyes we find out how disgustingly “same” his community is and how much of life has been taken away from the denizens. The writing and approach to narrative is quite different from our recent books, and as usual Charles and Asia debate if it’s a spoiler if you have a gut feeling about a plot point in a book that you read a decade ago but cannot now remember.  ​ Next week we will be reading chapters 13-23 of book 1 in the series, The Giver.
01:03:30
September 13, 2021
Episode 47 - The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes: Chapters 17-30
Episode 47 - The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes: Chapters 17-30
Wrapping up The Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, we see Coriolanus Snow’s final and complete descent into evil. After being caught cheating to win the 10th Hunger Games, Snow becomes a peacekeeper and much more drama occurs, which Charles was most definitely not expecting. We get into Snow’s mental state and his tendency to justify his cruel and bad behavior. His final descent ends up being quite perverse, but Snow lands on top. In this episode, we frequently commend Collins’ writing and all the ways she ties the prequel so neatly to the original trilogy. Next week we will be reading chapters 1-12 of The Giver, book 1 in our new series, The Giver Quartet.
01:00:09
September 06, 2021
Episode 46 - The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes: Chapters 1-16
Episode 46 - The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes: Chapters 1-16
Charles and Asia dive into The Hunger Games prequel novel this week, and they follow a young Coriolanus Snow on his journey as a mentor in the 10th annual Hunger Games. We get to know Coriolanus as the only surviving male in a once wealthy high-class family, trying desperately to maintain his social status in the Capitol while not letting anyone else know of his troubles. The prequel serves to provide even more world building and explanations of Panem and furthers our conversations on how the Hunger Games were not designed that well, which we see on full blast in these earlier iterations of the games. We’re already seeing Coriolanus’ cruel side, and we’re expecting to see that blossom even more in the second half. Next week we will be reading chapters 17-30 of the prequel novel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
01:05:23
August 30, 2021
Episode 45 - Mockingjay: Chapters 15-27
Episode 45 - Mockingjay: Chapters 15-27
This week, we wrap up the Katniss Everdeen story, as she, Gale, and Peeta fight through the Capitol. We discuss the conflict between Katniss and Coin, and the resolution of the love triangle between Peeta, Katniss, and Gale. We lose many major characters, and Asia and Charles get into how those deaths compare as first time readers, second time readers, and watchers of the movies. As expected we spend a fair bit of time on the love triangle and the essential differences in Gale and Katniss’ natures. Also, apparently Katniss spends months without showering, so we have to talk about that too. Next week we will be reading chapters 1-16 of the prequel novel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
42:45
August 23, 2021
Episode 44 - Mockingjay: Chapters 1-14
Episode 44 - Mockingjay: Chapters 1-14
We enter the final book of the trilogy this week, Mockingjay. This episode we get to explore the Gale and Katniss dynamic as we haven’t actually gotten too much in writing yet. We also take inventory of the things that we didn’t notice on our first time reading like Coin’s red flags and Prim’s wisdom. We are able to label the conflict between the Capitol and District 13 as a metaphor for the cold war between capitalism and communism, and get into how Katniss responds to these approaches of governance. Of course, we have to hate on Gale for his Jacob Black qualities, and we continue to be a Team Peeta podcast. Next week we will be reading chapters 15-21 of book 3 in the series, Mockingjay.
49:16
August 16, 2021
Episode 43 - Catching Fire: Chapters 15-27
Episode 43 - Catching Fire: Chapters 15-27
This episode wraps up Catching Fire, so we follow the plot from the prep time in the Capitol, through the arena, and into the final explosion. Charles and Asia dive into Katniss’ new strategy in the games of saving Peeta rather than herself, and the strange alliance that never made any sense. We get to meet some of the other victors as Katniss meets them, and like her, we generally like them. Asia thinks we could have figured out the clock sooner, but we do concede the horror of some of the more evil segments. As we’ve mentioned this podcast is officially Pro-Peeta, and we really enjoy getting to see Peeta and Katniss together in this section, both trying to die to protect the other. Next week we will be reading chapters 1-14 of book 3 in the series, Mockingjay.
57:15
August 09, 2021
Episode 42 - Catching Fire: Chapters 1-14
Episode 42 - Catching Fire: Chapters 1-14
We start the best of the books in the The Hunger Games trilogy, Catching Fire. In this episode, we unpack the six months from Katniss and Peeta’s victory tour to their return to the capital as tributes in the Quell. It’s finally time for some love triangle in this story, and we are both heavily on Team Peeta, even bringing back some of our hatred for Jacob Black from Twilight. We admire how Katniss is handling the trauma and drama in her life, and we have a great time exploring this section of the plot which is pretty much skipped over in the movie. Of course, we’re preparing for the arena and the Quell as Katniss plans to save Peeta this time rather than herself. Next week we will be reading chapters 15-27 of book 2 in the series, Catching Fire.
56:08
August 02, 2021
Episode 41 - The Hunger Games: Chapters 15-27
Episode 41 - The Hunger Games: Chapters 15-27
In this section, we get the second half of the Hunger Games including Katniss’ alliance with Rue and her final alliance with Peeta. We discuss the final few tributes, the darkness of the books, and the ending of the games. Charles and Asia unpack the complications of Katniss and Peeta’s relationship, and while we support Peeta’s love, we’re not happy with his reaction to Katniss’ confusion. We discuss the quality of the writing which does not disappoint and how this book sets up the remainder of the series so nicely. We also take some time to appreciate the gravity of the content, the loss of 22 teenagers’ lives, and we especially appreciate that Collins respects the severity of the content. Next week we will be reading chapters 1-14 of book 2 in the series, Catching Fire.
51:43
July 26, 2021
Episode 40 - The Hunger Games: Chapters 1-14
Episode 40 - The Hunger Games: Chapters 1-14
For this next series, Asia and Charles are going to Panem and returning home to a series that they both have read and love dearly. We get to follow Katniss around, and we revel in some eighth grade dystopian angst. Katniss and Peeta enter The Hunger Games, and we follow their journey from District 12, through training, all the way into the arena. We compliment Suzanne Collins’ writing because she simply does an excellent job worldbuilding while keeping the plot moving along. This section was definitely a page turner. Next week we will be reading chapters 15-27 of book 1 in the series, The Hunger Games. Note: This episode was recorded around 4th of July, so please excuse some fireworks in the background.
50:54
July 19, 2021
Episode 39 - The Amber Spyglass: Chapters 20-38
Episode 39 - The Amber Spyglass: Chapters 20-38
We finish His Dark Materials with our final showdown between good and evil, sense and confusion. Will and Lyra take us on an insane journey through the land of the dead, and Coulter and Asriel have the best arcs we could consider for them. The mulefa are still crazy, and there are a fair number of moments that we think lack the payoff that they truly deserve. We disagree on the ending which Charles finds tragically beautiful and Asia just finds tragic, and as promised, the anti-organized religion sentiments are further explored as the series wraps up. Next week we will be reading chapters 1-14 of The Hunger Games, book 1 in our new series, The Hunger Games.
01:12:40
July 12, 2021
Episode 38 - The Amber Spyglass: Chapters 1-19
Episode 38 - The Amber Spyglass: Chapters 1-19
This week we’re diving into our final book of His Dark Materials, The Amber Spyglass. If you thought that this story was already too complicated, it gets way worse this week. Will chases down Lyra, and the war is brewing further. We have a great time building up the tension and prepping for the final show down. Mrs. Coulter is still evil, but what else is new. And of course, the church criticism rises even further this week.  Next week we will be reading chapters 20-38 of book 3 in the series, The Amber Spyglass.
50:12
July 05, 2021
Episode 37 - The Subtle Knife: Chapters 9-15
Episode 37 - The Subtle Knife: Chapters 9-15
As we wrap up The Subtle Knife, we get some answers to the questions from the last reading, but we also get posed some new and larger questions about Dust. While Lyra and Will’s friendship blossoms, it seems that everything else around them is going wrong. Mrs. Coulter’s evil takes new heights, Will’s reunion with his father is disappointingly brief, and Lee/Hester’s passing is a hard chapter to read. We also start to get into the discussion of Lyra as Mother Eve and the implication of her role as Eve. ​Next week we will be reading chapters 1-19 of book 3 in the series, The Amber Spyglass.
45:43
June 28, 2021
Episode 36 - The Subtle Knife: Chapters 1-8
Episode 36 - The Subtle Knife: Chapters 1-8
In this episode, we dive further into the complexities of Pullman’s worlds. We meet Will who meets Lyra, and they become fast friends. Both Charles and Asia enjoy this friendship and are excited to watch it develop. Serafina Pekkala and Lee Scoresby are on other adventures. Lyra meets Dr. Malone and makes some steps in her research of Dust. Meanwhile, Will is on a quest to find his father. And of course, Mrs. Coulter is still evil. Next week we will be reading chapters 9-15 of book 2 in the series, The Subtle Knife. 
35:36
June 21, 2021
Episode 35 - The Golden Compass: Chapters 14-23
Episode 35 - The Golden Compass: Chapters 14-23
We finish The Golden Compass this week with Lyra’s adventures at Bolvangar and Svalbard. We spend more time with evil Mrs. Coulter and some extra time with, equally evil, Lord Asriel. Somehow we get to discussions of seal kidneys and other gross topics as well as the emotional torture perpetrated by the magisterium. Ultimately, we have Lyra’s betrayal because by bringing Roger to her father she brings about his death. This leads her and Pan to decide that Dust is good and they must pursue it; so they follow Asriel into a new world.  Next week we will be reading chapters 1-8 of book 2 in the series, The Subtle Knife.
51:15
June 14, 2021
Episode 34 - The Golden Compass: Chapters 1-13
Episode 34 - The Golden Compass: Chapters 1-13
This week we dive into the fourth series on the podcast, His Dark Materials, by Philip Pullman. We cover the first half of the first book, The Golden Compass, and we get introduced to Lyra and her world of daemons. The worldbuilding in this series is darker and more complex, and Asia rightfully calls Charles out on picking another complicated series. Lyra starts her journey in Oxford, then heads to London, and finally up north as she tries to find the missing children and learns how to read her alethiometer. Next week we will be reading chapters 14-23 of book 1 in the series, The Golden Compass.
39:43
June 07, 2021
Episode 33 - Midnight Sun
Episode 33 - Midnight Sun
This week we spend one more episode with Stephenie Meyer’s vampires. We cover all of Midnight Sun in this episode which means we get to relive the initial falling-in-love but from a new vantage point. We have fun pointing out the little tidbits that Midnight Sun provides. We flesh out some frustrations with Edward, which while not justifying Jacob’s behavior in Eclipse, at least make it more bearable. Next week we will be reading chapters 1-13 of The Golden Compass, book 1 in our new series, His Dark Materials.
56:60
May 31, 2021
Episode 32 - Breaking Dawn: Chapters 19-39
Episode 32 - Breaking Dawn: Chapters 19-39
This week, we finish the plot of the Twilight Saga. This episode and reading really tie the whole series together into one neat ending. We get to enjoy Bella as a vampire and Edward’s equal. We get her whole family: Charlie, the wolves, and the Cullens. We also harken back to previous books with more of the Volturi and more of the vampire world-building. This was probably our favorite Twilight Saga reading, so we’re really glad to spend one more week with these characters next week when we cover Midnight Sun. Next week we will be reading the entire extra book in the series, Midnight Sun.
49:13
May 24, 2021
Episode 31 - Breaking Dawn: Chapters 1-18
Episode 31 - Breaking Dawn: Chapters 1-18
It is finally time to dive into the last book of the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn. This section covers Bella’s wedding, honeymoon, and scary scary pregnancy. We do finally get to get some sympathy for Jacob because we do get to hear his thoughts, but that still doesn’t make us fully like him. We get more insight into pack dynamics and a rather strange ebbing and flowing bromance between Edward and Jacob. We can also feel the tension building all the way until Bella goes into labor! Next week we will be reading chapters 19-39 of book 4 in the series, Breaking Dawn.
53:18
May 17, 2021
Episode 30 Bonus - The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner
Episode 30 Bonus - The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner
In this mini bonus episode, Charles and Asia discuss the Eclipse novella, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner. The novella covers the last week of Bree Tanner’s life as a vampire as a member of Victoria’s revenge coven. We thoroughly enjoy getting the insight of a vampire’s perspective as this is our first time in the series that we get a true 1st person account of “the thirst.” The novella also provides more insight and drama into the Volturi which we can’t wait to discuss in Breaking Dawn. Next week we will be reading chapters 1-18 of book 4 in the series, Breaking Dawn.
21:26
May 10, 2021
Episode 30 - Eclipse: Chapters 16-27
Episode 30 - Eclipse: Chapters 16-27
TW: This episode includes a discussion of sexual assault and rape. Please take care of yourself, and only listen if these are safe topics for you. If you need to talk to someone or need further resources, the national sexual assault hotline is: 1-800-656-4673. Please listen at your discretion. We wrap up Eclipse by having Bella’s high school graduation and an alliance between the werewolves and the Cullens. Tensions continue to rise within the love triangle, and they do finally boil over. Bella does ultimately make the right choice in partner, at least according to Asia and Charles. We have the big newborn battle and Edward’s chivalry as always. Finally, we prepare for the final book of the series. Bella’s transformation and departure from the human world gets ever closer, and we are already getting excited for the wedding and Bella and Edward’s future together. Next week we will be reading chapters 1-18 of book 4 in the series, Breaking Dawn.
50:07
May 10, 2021
Episode 29 - Eclipse: Chapters 1-15
Episode 29 - Eclipse: Chapters 1-15
TW: This episode includes a discussion of sexual assault and rape. Please take care of yourself, and only listen if these are safe topics for you. If you need to talk to someone or need further resources, the national sexual assault hotline is: 1-800-656-4673. Please listen at your discretion. Diving into Eclipse, the love triangle gets more tenuous, and we also see tension building in Bella’s relationship with Charlie. As graduation grows closer, the worst is brought out in basically all of our characters except Edward, so we fawn over him, and get pretty frustrated with Bella and as always Jacob. This reading also provides a lot of stories and world building, both vampire and werewolf origins, so we also enjoy that quite a bit. Bella also seems to have vampire transformation second thoughts. Next week we will be reading chapters 16-27 of book 3 in the series, Eclipse.
01:04:15
May 03, 2021
Episode 28 - New Moon: Chapters 14-24
Episode 28 - New Moon: Chapters 14-24
We wrap up New Moon with, as always, a huge amount of action. Alice returns, Bella and her run to Italy. The Cullens return; they say they want Bella to become a vampire, and Jacob breaks Bella’s heart. We have a lot of relationship material to catch up on. The startings of a love triangle is forming with Jacob, and Bella continues to be clear that those feelings are not reciprocal. Men not respecting Bella’s feelings. But what else is new! Next week we will be reading chapters 1-15 of book 3 in the series, Eclipse.
38:13
April 26, 2021
Episode 27 - New Moon: Chapters 1-13
Episode 27 - New Moon: Chapters 1-13
This week we discuss the first half of New Moon as Edward and the Cullens leave, Bella spirals into a deep depression, and Jacob becomes a werewolf. We have a lot to say about Edward’s behavior, as well as the lack of respect for Bella’s feelings that most of the boys display. We dig into Bella’s depression and rebellion and we tap into some new discoveries for both Asia and Charles. The back and forth in this episode really shows our favorite aspect of our podcast, the difference in perspective that a new reader and a re-reader bring to a book. Next week we will be reading chapters 14-24 of book 2 in the series, New Moon.
43:06
April 19, 2021
Episode 26 - Twilight: Chapters 14-24
Episode 26 - Twilight: Chapters 14-24
Edward and Bella’s relationship quickly escalates, and then chaos ensues. Just as Bella gets truly comfortable with her relationship with Charlie as well, Bella gets to meet the rest of the Cullens. Then there is a big chase and big drama. We discuss their relationship dynamics and merits. Charles has lots to say and of course Asia has to back up her beloved Twilight. Should Edward convert Bella into a vampire? If so, when? What do you think? Find out what we think! Next week we will be reading chapters 1-13 of book 2 in the series, New Moon.
56:36
April 12, 2021
Episode 25 - Twilight: Chapters 1-13
Episode 25 - Twilight: Chapters 1-13
We finally start our 3rd series of the podcast, the Twilight Saga. Charles gets his first taste of Bella and Edward, and Asia is just overjoyed sharing the book with him. We get into the plot, and characters so far. We also start discussing some of the social media and pop culture portrayals of the saga because it does always seem to arouse incredibly strong feelings whether positive or negative. Is Edward a stalker, based on information so far? Listen to find out! Next week we will be reading chapters 14-24 of book 1 in the series, Twilight.
53:00
April 05, 2021
Episode 24 - The Enchantress: Chapters 41-79
Episode 24 - The Enchantress: Chapters 41-79
This week we wrap up the second series of our podcast, The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. We finish The Enchantress and obviously, there is plenty to say. We discuss character arcs, Marethyu’s identity, and Sophie’s rather anticlimactic finish. Of course, we do throw in some horror and mispronunciation, but we do enjoy the ending of the series, and agree that this whole series was geared towards a slightly older age demographic than Percy Jackson. We’ve enjoyed our mythology, but we’re really looking forward to our new series and the vampires and a completely different genre. Next week we will be reading chapters 1-13 of book 1 in our new series, the Twilight Saga.
56:12
March 29, 2021
Episode 23 - The Enchantress: Chapters 1-40
Episode 23 - The Enchantress: Chapters 1-40
We dive into the final book of the series as our characters move into preparation for the endgame. We have a huge convergence of good guys trying to beat the monsters on Alcatraz and then our other good guys on Danu Talis. We discuss Marethyu, Isis and Osiris, and Josh of course. We’re really excited about the final battle(s), and finally getting answers to our many questions. The tension is building, and we’re so close to resolution. Next week, we finish our second series of the podcast. Next week we will be reading chapters 41-79 of book 6 in the series, The Enchantress.
50:09
March 22, 2021
Episode 22 - The Warlock: Chapters 29-56
Episode 22 - The Warlock: Chapters 29-56
Things are coming to a head as the monsters start to be released, and our large contingents of good guys and recently converted bad guys are doing everything they can to thwart that. Sophie and Josh both learn more magic, and Sophie learns a lot about Tsagaglalal and Abraham. It is becoming very clear how much of this story was pre-planned and expected. Of course, we have Josh bashing because that is the theme of our show, and we prep for the final book in our series. Next week we will be reading chapters 1-40 of book 6 in the series, The Enchantress.
01:04:08
March 15, 2021
Episode 21 - The Warlock: Chapters 1-28
Episode 21 - The Warlock: Chapters 1-28
We left off last week with a really big moment of Josh leaving Sophie to officially join team bad-guy. You already know that we have plenty to say about that. In this reading we get a big reveal of Aunt Agnes’ true identity as well as more proof of Machiavelli and Billy’s humanity. We also celebrate our boss women, good or bad, so we have love for Perenelle, Scathach, and Virginia. We also start to move into more discussion of the inevitability of the events of the series and we can feel that tension continuing to build. Next week we will be reading chapters 29-56 of book 5 in the series, The Warlock.
44:20
March 08, 2021
Episode 20 - The Necromancer: Chapters 34-66
Episode 20 - The Necromancer: Chapters 34-66
This week we wrap up The Necromancer, and boy is this episode a doozy. We have a lot of suspense with the hook-handed man, and some awesome discussion about Machiavelli’s humanity. Most importantly, Josh learns fire magic and gets lured away by Dee. After a big battle and when given the choice, Josh turns his back on Sophie and leaves her in favor of Dee and Dare. Obviously, we have a lot of thought about that. Next week we will be reading chapters 1-28 of book 5 in the series, The Warlock.
56:25
March 01, 2021
Episode 19 - The Necromancer: Chapters 1-33
Episode 19 - The Necromancer: Chapters 1-33
Diving into the second half of the series, we have a reading that basically recalibrates the story and tone for the second half of the series. Machiavelli and Dee revel in their failures but already develop plans to protect themselves. We meet Scatty’s twin sister and get lots of Josh suspicion. So clearly we have a lot to say. Francis is on the chase trying to find Joan, and Perenelle and Nicholas basically lay down the law for the rest of the series. Next week we will be reading chapters 34-66 of book 4 in the series, The Necromancer.
01:01:51
February 22, 2021
Episode 18 - The Sorceress: Chapters 36-70
Episode 18 - The Sorceress: Chapters 36-70
We wrap up Perenelle’s book with her being an absolute boss. We spend a good portion of this episode just raving about her intellect and powers. Sophie and Josh learn water magic, and while we don’t lay into Josh as much as usual, we definitely have some words for him. Our cast of characters seems to grow and they get increasingly more spread out, but at least we do have a return of Scatty. Both Dee and Machiavelli have failed in their missions, so we are on the look-out for their punishments and how they will respond. Next week we will be reading chapters 1-33 of book 4 in the series, The Necromancer.
45:49
February 15, 2021
Episode 17 - The Sorceress: Chapters 1-35
Episode 17 - The Sorceress: Chapters 1-35
We head into Perenelle’s book with her facing off against all manner of attacks on Alcatraz, and Nicholas leading the twins around London. With both twins awakened and powerful, their behavior has changed, and arguably, not for the better. We meet some more immortals, both good and bad, and our first Archon. Also we continue to talk about the divide between Dee and Machiavelli, and the importance of this growing rift. We end on a cliffhanger on both plot lines, not knowing what will happen with any of our characters. Oh, and Scatty is still in the river. Next week we will be reading chapters 36-70 of book 3 in the series, The Sorceress.
58:52
February 08, 2021
Episode 16 - The Magician: Chapters 28-55
Episode 16 - The Magician: Chapters 28-55
This week we have the attack of the Disir and Nidhogg attacks our crew and rampages through Paris. Josh gets brave and gets awakened, but still no love from us, and he needs his sister to come save him from his own stupidity. We discuss Dee and Machiavelli’s motives and approaches to Josh, and we start to see Josh’s skepticism rubbing off on Sophie. Ultimately though, we end book 2 in a relatively good place. Nicholas is safe with both twins awakened, Perenelle rules Alcatraz, but Scatty is still underwater. Next week we will be reading chapters 1-35 of book 3 in the series, The Sorceress.
40:08
February 01, 2021
Episode 15 - The Magician: Chapters 1-27
Episode 15 - The Magician: Chapters 1-27
This week we dive into our second book of our second series, The Magician. Transported to Paris, our crew is looking for allies, while their enemies seem to only be growing in number. Josh is also really really trying to get on our bad side and join the enemy cause. We meet a bunch more immortal humans; Josh gets a sword, and Sophie learns fire magic. Perenelle is still alone in SF, but she seems to be doing just fine on her own, though it looks like that might change soon. Next week we will be reading chapters 28-55 of book 2 in the series, The Magician.
38:10
January 25, 2021
Episode 14 - The Alchemyst: Chapters 22-41
Episode 14 - The Alchemyst: Chapters 22-41
We wrap up our first book of our second series, The Alchemyst. This section includes a lot of magic, Perenelle awesomeness, and Dee evil. We meet Endor, the coolest grandma and get some more answers to Asia’s questions. We also have an iconic and dramatic fall from grace for Josh, and Charles really let’s Asia lay into Josh’s emotional immaturity. This is a really fun episode in which you can get a lot more of our individual personalities shining through. Next week we will be reading chapters 1-27 of book 2 in the series, The Magician.
34:59
January 18, 2021
Episode 13 - The Alchemyst: Chapters 1-21
Episode 13 - The Alchemyst: Chapters 1-21
This week we break into series number two, The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel! We read the first half of The Alchemyst, and we start our new world building, learning all about auras, magic, and Elders. This week we have a really great time swapping the roles. Charles finally gets to fill in plot questions for Asia since she was always answering his questions during Percy Jackson. As always, we have fun with pronunciation and we discuss each other’s aura scents, so that alone is worth listening to. Next week we will be reading chapters 22-41 of book 1 in the series, The Alchemyst.
54:52
January 11, 2021
Episode 12 - Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian: Chapters 13-23
Episode 12 - Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian: Chapters 13-23
In this super exciting episode, we wrap up our first series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians. In the second half of The Last Olympian we have the battle for Olympus, the fight with Kronos, the spies, the rewards, and our official Percy and Annabeth relationship. We discover that the Great Prophecy is only triggered by Percy turning 16, but that the hero is Luke in his redemption and ultimate betrayal of Kronos. We get epic battles, tender moments, and a nice ending to our first series. Next week we will be reading chapters 1-21 of book 1 in our new series, The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, The Alchemyst.
55:39
January 04, 2021
Episode 11 - Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian: Chapters 1-12
Episode 11 - Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian: Chapters 1-12
We jump into the final book of our first series! This book is completely different as we basically start with all of our characters in teenager mode and already at warfare. We get some harsh calculations and sacrifices, the progress of the war between the Gods and the Titans and the full contents of the Great Prophecy are revealed. We discuss Achilles, Luke, and Percy, and lots of conversation about spies. Next week we will be reading chapters 13-23 of book 5 in the series, The Last Olympian.
58:17
December 28, 2020
Episode 10 - Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth: Chapters 11-20
Episode 10 - Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth: Chapters 11-20
In this episode we finish The Battle of the Labyrinth and get a lot of our longer running questions answered. We have the return of Rachel, the discovery of Daedalus, and most importantly, the resurrection of Kronos in Luke’s body. This episode really flies by with lots of important plot points for the full arc like Percy and Annabeth fighting and the anticlimactic death of Pan. We discuss that you can definitely feel the tension growing towards the end of the series. Next week we will be reading chapters 1-12 of book 5 in the series, The Last Olympian.
54:10
December 21, 2020
Episode 9 - Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth: Chapters 1-10
Episode 9 - Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth: Chapters 1-10
We dive right into The Battle of the Labyrinth, in which our characters start getting older and having to deal with more adult emotions. We get some more answers on Rachel Dare and Clarisse, but we also get more questions around some mysterious characters. As Percy and Co. dive into Daedalus’ Labyrinth, Percy starts to receive visions of Greek history, and confrontations with Nico and Luke seem inevitable. For some levity, Charles and Asia also spend an inordinate amount of time discussing pronunciation, so if you want to hear us embarrass ourselves, we cover that as well. Next week we will be reading chapters 11-20 of book 4 in the series, The Battle of the Labyrinth.
01:01:46
December 14, 2020
Episode 8 - Percy Jackson and the Titan's Curse: Chapters 11-20
Episode 8 - Percy Jackson and the Titan's Curse: Chapters 11-20
We wrap up The Titan’s Curse, getting all five lines of the dark prophecy fulfilled, and some dramatic twists. Our crew meets more gods, titans, and learns even more about the big prophecy of the series. We get lots of explanation around our new characters and a dramatic way to kick Thalia out of the rest of the story. Charles and Asia have fun talking about fatal flaws again and leave off on another cliffhanger as we enter the second half of the series. Next week we will be reading chapters 1-10 of book 4 in the series, The Battle of the Labyrinth.
46:59
December 07, 2020
Episode 7 - Percy Jackson and the Titan's Curse: Chapters 1-10
Episode 7 - Percy Jackson and the Titan's Curse: Chapters 1-10
This week we jump into the first half of The Titan’s Curse, discussing Artemis, more prophecy, and lots of Thalia. We get introduced to a big faction of the fantasy world, the Hunters, and we hear a lot about the spooky spooky General. Annabeth goes missing and we get a big prophecy so there’s a lot to cover. Next week we will be reading chapters 11-20 of book 3 in the series, the Titan’s Curse.
01:01:18
November 30, 2020
Episode 6 - Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters: Chapters 15-20
Episode 6 - Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters: Chapters 15-20
In our final episode on the Sea of Monsters, our crew escapes Polyphemus, has a run in with Luke, some more prophecy fun, and we get a BIG reveal for the remainder of the series. Charles and Asia get into more Clarisse, some more budding romance, and a really nice tie-up to the Tyson plotline. We discuss the merits and successes of the gods’ parenting skills, and start speculation for the next book. Next week we will be reading chapters 1-10 of book 3 in the series, the Titan’s Curse.
35:29
November 23, 2020
Episode 5 - Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters: Chapters 8-14
Episode 5 - Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters: Chapters 8-14
We travel to the Sea of Monsters and run into a bunch of obstacles not least of which are Luke and Clarisse. We talk about Luke’s evil plan, Clarisse’s problem solving methods, and lots and lots of romance. We also get into more fun facts, history lessons, and each other’s fatal flaws, and did we already mention the romance? Next week we will be reading chapters 15-20 of book 2 in the series, The Sea of Monsters.
50:54
November 16, 2020
Episode 4 - Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters: Chapters 1-7
Episode 4 - Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters: Chapters 1-7
We break into The Sea of Monsters to discuss chapters 1-7 and get into conversations on dreams, poisoned trees, and how only in fiction do we allow absolutely terrible people to be responsible for children. We tackle the not-so-tough questions of when did you figure out that something was up with Tyson and when did Annabeth start stalking Percy? And we discuss the plural of cyclops. Stay tuned if you know what it is. Next week we will be reading chapters 8-14 of book 2 in the series, the Sea of Monsters.
43:06
November 09, 2020
Episode 3 - Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief: Chapters 16-22
Episode 3 - Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief: Chapters 16-22
In episode 3 of our mini introductory arc, Asia and Charles wrap up the first book of the pod! We finish off with a journey to the Underworld, plenty more gods, more of Percy’s sass, and a lot of our predictions coming true. Percy and crew face off with basically everyone, and the true traitor is revealed, though we still have mixed feelings on the prophecy. Next week we will be reading chapters 1-7 of book 2 in the series, The Sea of Monsters.
41:26
October 30, 2020
Episode 2 - Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief: Chapters 9-15
Episode 2 - Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief: Chapters 9-15
In this episode, Asia and Charles discuss chapters 9-15 of The Lightning Thief and get into lots of world building, a lot of action, and suspicious characters. We meet the war god and discuss how to cross the country with $100. Fittingly for all of Percy and crew’s drama, we finish the episode discussing each other’s greatest fears, and make our final hypotheses for how the book will end.
41:59
October 30, 2020
Episode 1 - Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief: Chapters 1-8
Episode 1 - Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief: Chapters 1-8
Welcome to the pilot episode of Throwback Paperback! Throwback Paperback is a new podcast on the Nerd Party network, where cohosts Asia Bonilla and Charles Scheland share young adult literature with each other and re-read books to see how they feel from an adult perspective. To get this new pod going, we’re starting with Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series, and the first book, The Lightning Thief. We are discussing chapters 1-8, learning about Demigods, blue food, Camp Half-Blood, and lots of monsters. Asia introduces Charles to a series that she read in sixth grade, and you get to know a little bit about us as cohosts.
36:00
October 30, 2020