Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Review: Elevated

Title Elevated
By Elana Johnson
Genre YA Contemporary Verse
Pages 300

First Sentence April rain sinks in sheets, forces me to squint against the chaos in the sky, makes the WALK signal blurry, almost invisible.

The last person Elly wants to get trapped in an elevator with is her ex Travis. She hasn't told him why she broke up with him or why she hasn't talked to him for five months. But her secrets are about to come out. When you have nowhere to go, you can't hide from the truth.

What it has going for it
Let me just start off telling you two very important things about this book. One, the cover and synopsis make it look just adorable and fluffy. It's not. Two, I hated this book the whole way through until the end...and then I loved it. With that out of the way let me tell you a little about why I loved it without spoiling too much. This book, though it looks light and fluffy, is anything but. There's not one single piece of fluff in this one. It's sad and depressing and seemingly hopeless...seemingly. It has that beautiful writing a verse novel has and Elana pulls out all the guns on the feelings department. In the end, if you can make it through the poor decisions and MC's guilt trips, you'll find a beautiful and important message. A message so important that the whole sad story made it worth it.

What's lacking
It's very hard to read this one and agree with the choices being made and to see the things these poor characters have to deal with. It's gritty and real and painful. I really didn't like Travis. I'm sorry but he was just so broken and there was no fixing him. The ending made it worth it, though.

Yea or Nay?
Yes, I'd highly recommend it. It's a verse novel, as I mentioned and so a fast read. It's also too real and beautiful to miss.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Rant & Rave #1

                                                                Rant & Rave

Welcome to my first Rant and Rave post. A place where I can Rave about something or someone, and a place where I can get that chip off my shoulder by Ranting.

I'm such a negative person that Raving about things just isn't "me", if you know what I mean. But, yes, occasionally I get over my pessimism and find something glorious and beautiful in life to rave about.
Today's Rave: My all time favorite toy ever! My leaf blower. I know, you think I've really lost it now but don't click away just yet. I seriously love this thing. I love how powerful it makes me feel. I love when I'm in a particularly bad mood how taking the ol' leaf blower out and blowing my yard free of leaves dust and dirt just makes me smile. Nothing, can withstand it's force. (ok not really, but it feels that way) and just holding the power of wind in my hands makes me happy! I use it to clean not just my yard but my shop vac's filter out. Yep, just take that baby outside, have someone hold it, then blow the crap out of it! Wahoo! I also used that technique on my furnace filter when I wasn't able to replace it quite yet. Seriously, just ask my husband. When ever there's a job for the leaf blower; I get a huge grin on my face, a slight skip in my step and run to my beloved leaf blower.

Today's Rant: Stupid drivers. Actually, you'll probably see this little rant of mine more than once. My particular rant today has to do with people in parking lots. OK, so say you're driving down the little isle between parking spots looking for a good one or you've just exited your spot and are making your way down the isle to the exit and suddenly, someone starts pulling out. Well, obviously you can see better than they can, so you slow down waiting for them to see you. Now in my humble opinion. If you're pulling out of a parking spot you yield to the person in the "road" but lately theses entitled bastard just keep pulling out! They know I'm not waiting for their spot they just can't be bothered to stop. Apparently, in their mind, they have the write of way. What the hell?! It's happened to me so many times in the last little bit that I swear...one more person does it and I'll ram my crappy dented Honda Civic into their shiny new Mercedes. I swear I'll do it, consequences be damned! Phew! That felt good. Sorry about the swears.

Hope you enjoyed my Ranting and Raving. What are you Raving and Ranting about today? Please share.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Review: Dune

Title Dune
By Frank Herbert
Genre Adult Scifi
Pages 528

First Sentence In the week before their departure to Arrakis, when all the final scurrying about had reached a nearly unbearable frenzy, an old crone came to visit the mother of the boy, Paul.

 Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Muad'Dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family--and would bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream. (from Goodreads)

What is has going for it
I'll make this short and sweet. If you want to read my discussion posts about this book for a more in depth review you can find them here, here and here.  I read this one for Book Club and as part of a read along hosted by Jenni, Kami, and Suey. The read-along was awesome. There were Twitter chats and a sort of ongoing discussion going on all the time. I really enjoyed that aspect of reading this book. And while I can say I'm glad I read it, and no, it wasn't torture, I enjoyed the read along better then the book.

What's lacking
My biggest problem with this one was that it starts out very confusing and took quite awhile to get into. That being said, once you do get into it, it moves along at a quick pace, covering a lot of ground...Too much ground. It just seemed like too much happened for one book. Even if it was over 500 pages. I also really disliked the way Paul turned out. He seemed too bitter at being a slave to fate. Even though, Jenni assures me that, when read again and again, one picks up on so much more and might have a different opinion of Paul, I don't think I'll read it again. 

So, no, I didn't hate this one I just didn't really like it. 

Yea or Nay?
If you love scifi and classics, then yes. Otherwise, it's not one I'd recommend. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sunday Salon

Welcome to the Sunday Salon. A Weekly Update of my boring life. 

Weather Small Talk:  Still having that typical Utah spring weather. Hot as Hades one day, cold as ice the next. 

On The Idiot Box: My TV watching is pretty much down to series on Netflix. I tried out The 100, The Paradise and Daredevil. So far I'm only still interested in Daredevil. I guess I'll just stick with Game of Thrones.

Weekly Reads: I read two books again this week! I'm on a roll! I finished Dune and read Elevated by Elana Johnson. 

Crazy Kitties: I'm at my wits end with Belly. She keeps going potty on the bathroom rug. Now I don't get to have a rug in the bathroom. Any tips? Seriously. I've tried everything from punishment to ignoring her and nothing helps. It's a territorial thing and I can't get her to stop. 

This Week: Had some serious highs and lows this week emotionally. Stupid hormones! 

Movie of the Week: No new movies but I watched The Babadook (a Australian horror movie) on Netflix. I laughed through most of it as I often do in horror movies but this one had this whole symbolic thing going and it was pretty interesting. 

Food Talk: I know you're never going to believe this but I think I'm all sugared out. I just can't stand the thought of eating more sugary foods...just give me a few days. I'm sure I'll be back to sugar soon. 

Married Life: I decided to add a little something about my married life to this post. Tell me what you think. The past couple of weeks, It's occurred to me that the honeymoon phase is over. No, no. I don't mean I'm miserable and my marriage is boring and loveless. It's just not all passion and lovey dovey crap anymore. However, the communication level has gotten really good and I'd take that any day of the week over romance. 

Lessons Learned: Unfortunately, though I have these amazing breakthroughs about life everyday, I don't seem to act on them very well. Oh well. I'm still working on my goal of the year to love myself more. It's hard guys. Why do we woman struggle with this so much?!

Plans For The Week: The gross swamp we have growing in the pool is going bye bye. I'm so excited to get it all cleaned out and filled. Now if the weather will just cooperate and get warm! 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Dune Read Along: Discussion Three

Well, we did it! We finished reading Dune. For our third and final discussion Kami is hosting. Stop on by her blog to link up and read other peoples thoughts on part three. Don't forget the Twitter chat tonight at 9:00 pm MDT. #DuneRAL

1. What are your overall thoughts? Did you like it?
I was into the plot but just never connected to anyone. I also felt like A LOT happened in just one book. It felt like too much and that affected my overall opinion.

2. Do you think you could ride a giant worm?

Never. Despite being a big fat wimp, I'd feel bad. I couldn't believe how they hurt them to keep them above sand. It was an awesome idea and it worked well for the story but it made me sad.

3. Paul's relationship with his mom, Jessica, dramatically changed and evolved over the course of the book. How did their relationship change and why do you think it did?

Definitely things changed between them. He was all dependent on her at first but then quickly took a leadership role. I understood his resentment of her but I thought he was kind of a jerk about it.

4. What do you think about Paul's lack of emotion?

I didn't think Paul had a lack of emotions until that last scene. Then I sort of thought he became a complete asshole! So he was pissed at his fate. Big deal! We all have crap we have to do and hate it sometimes. So what! Suck it up!

5. Now that I've finished, I feel like I'd pick up on a lot more of the details and things if I read it again. Do you think you'll reread Dune? If this is a reread, did you catch different things this time around?

I won't be re-reading this one. I know I'd pick up on more if I did but I just can't. There wasn't enough emotional connection to any of the characters for me.

6. How do you feel about the political arrangement at the end? Do you feel bad for Princess Irulan or Chani?

That was a really shitty ending. I'm sorry, but ouch! Why were they so damn heartless towards Princess Irulan? Geeze. You'd think Paul, being a slave of fate, would be more understanding of her. What a horrible cruel way to end the book. I felt like Jessica and Paul had become incredibly bitter.

7. Will you read the rest of the series?

No. Mainly because I learned in this book that when I expected that maybe Herbert wasn't a complete jerk and would maybe take us down a better path he NEVER did. So I can hardly continue reading the series. He won't make any thing better.

8. Favorite character and why?
I might have said Alia or Jessica or even Paul but by the end of the book my favorite character was Princess Irulan. Most of the chapter introductions were her history of Maud'Dib and after seeing how cruelly she was going to be treated it made me think, "maybe she finds solace in writing the history".

9. What did you think about the quotes at the beginning of each chapter? Did you read them? Were they interesting? Were they helpful?

I think I covered this question above. I read them. I enjoyed them but I was trying to figure out who Princess Irulan was.

10. Did you have fun during the Read Along? Was there anything we could have done better? Would you have read this book if you hadn't joined?

I had fun. The Twitter chats were fun and seeing everyone's opinions has been fun too. I would have read this book for book club but I would have dragged through it. The Read Along helped me get through it faster.