Friday, July 29, 2011

Review: Middlemarch

Title Middlemarch
By George Eliot
For Book Club summer reading project
Source I own it

First sentence Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress.

The tale of several people in the 1800s in the town Middlemarch.

General thoughts
I'm sure in the time I've been plugging through this book I've mentioned that I watched the movie back in the spring and wasn't horribly impressed. Not that I hated it, I just wasn't enthralled. So, when my book club decided to read this one I was a little depressed. I'd intended to read it at some point but, after watching the movie, I wanted a long enough break that I could forget most of the story line. In a way, I think it actually was probably a good thing that I'd just watched the movie. It helped me stick with the book. All that being said, I still didn't LOVE this one. I didn't hate it, but I just didn't really care for it. The political talk bored me to tears. The disgusting gossip efficiently ticked me off. The romance of some of the characters had me rolling my eyes. And Eliot's random musings informing me that I shouldn't judge her characters had me a little upset. Sure, it's a great bit of wisdom to learn not to judge people but I wanted to! I didn't like some of the characters and it's a book, the characters aren't real, if I want to hate some shouldn't I be allowed too?! I did learn two very interesting things from this book. One, it's a becoming, marriageable quality in a woman to have a fondness for Geraniums. (Dang! I knew there was a reason I was 30 and still single, I've never liked Geraniums.) Two, it's equally appealing in a marriageable man to have a trout stream. (Yet, another reason I'm single. Anyone know any single guys who own a trout stream?)

Holy crap, there's a lot so bear with me.
Dorthea: She started off such a know-it-all snot and was suddenly such a sweet, kind, generous person I had a hard time with her. I admired her going back to Rosamonde after everything that had happened and still offering help but she just wasn't floating my boat.
Mr Casaubon: Here was one of those characters Eliot told me not to judge. This man was determined to be miserable so who the heck cares what became of him or his stupid selfish feelings?!
Celia: I liked her better at the beginning. By the end she was the know-it-all and rather over-the-top silly to me.
James Chettam: I really liked him in the movie so I was horribly disappointed that in the book he was such a control freak! He made me so mad!
Mr Brook: I actually really liked this silly guy. He might have been a bit arrogant and naive but he lets Dorthea do as she likes, and the way he talked had me smiling nearly every time he opened his mouth.
Will Ladislaw: Oh. My. Gosh! Seriously? This guy was so overly bite-his-knuckles dramatic I wanted to slap him. How could anyone like that?! Take a chill pill, dude!
Tertius Lydgate: Ah, here was a somewhat reasonable man with a good heart who falls pray to a pair of pretty eyes and blond hair and for that he deserved what he got. Sorry. No mercy here.
Rosamonde: The epitome of every skinny little blond who connives her way into a man's life just to make it a living hell! Selfish and petty, I bet she likes geraniums!
Farebrother: I've got to like a guy that gives up the woman he loves out of pure selflessness.
Nicholas Bulstrode: I could almost sympathize with him. Sure, he was so obsessed with what people thought about him and money that he lied his way to the top and practically murders Raffles by his own hand, but I can sympathize with that fear of what others think of you. Stupid but true.  
Harriet Bulstrode: She made me cry when she forgave her husband and just accepted him.
Caleb and Susan Garth: Caleb is almost too perfect but I loved him. He and Susan felt the most real of all the characters.
Mary Gath and Fred Vincy: I saved the best for last. I loved that Fred became the man he did, a better man, because of his love for a good, sensible woman! I love their story best of all.

Would I recommend it? 
If you like classics, yes, but be warned, Jane Austen these are not.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Review: Ripple

Title Ripple
By Mandy Hubbard
For Fun
Source I actually bought the damn thing!!!

First sentence The first boy I ever loved, Steven Goode, was really into cars.

Um, I'm concluding this was about a bipolar siren who falls in love with a nineties wannabe guy named Cole.

General thoughts 
Oh. My. Gosh! I want those precious hours of my life back! Before I even begin to really rant I want to start by saying: I bought this book, I pre-ordered it, spent a hefty five dollars to have it delivered on the day it was released, didn't just let it sit on my shelf but actually dove right in as soon as I finished the last book I was reading, and this badly paced, ill-edited, book was what I got?! Now before I go on you should know I'm really not THAT picky about bad editing jobs. Most of the time I just don't notice or care. If the story is good who cares if there are a few mistakes. I mean, I don't completely understand how they weren't caught before the final publication, but, whatever. But when bad editing litters a story that is this unbelievable, I tend to get a little mad! The whole story was one big eye roll followed by anger, lots and lots of anger! I truly felt like Lexi, the main character was bipolar. At the beginning she's "the ice queen", then suddenly, she makes up with her friends, is all bubbly and happy again, falls for, not one, but TWO guys, in a matter of weeks, and then loses her friends again. All within 260 pages?! I don't freaking think so! I wanted to like this one sooooo bad! I have been waiting for it for over a year! What a horribly sad let-down. :'(  If it had just been drawn out a little longer so that everything wasn't so ridiculously rushed it might have been more believable. If the characters had been more carefully thought out, relationships grown at a better pace, this would have been a much better book.  Seriously, I can't even go on. I wanted to at least try to make you laugh at the ridiculousness of it all but I can't even be bothered.

I won't single them out. I'll just tell you there was a lot of description about what they wore and it sounded a great deal like this book was written in the nineties. I don't claim to be stylish AT ALL, but what was with the clothes these TEENAGERS wore? Cashmere? Pearls? Ruffled skirts? One-sleeved dresses? Just sayin'.

Would I recommend it? 
No, oh good heavens, no!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Oh crap! She's talking soccer again!

Yeah, I'm talking soccer again! The new season starts on the weekend of August 20th!!! Yay! So, for those of you who might be new to my blog and are thinking of running away screaming, let me just tell you what I told my early followers. I promise to never talk about soccer without posting a picture of a hot player (usually shirtless) for your efforts of sticking with me.

I won't go on and on today I just wanted to introduce you (and me) to the new signings this year and to complain about the new jerseys.
Last seasons jerseys. Nice, right? The white one is for home games the blue is the away kit.

New Jerseys Blech! what's with the tan stripes?! 
Well, maybe if Kaka came with it!
So, yeah, that tan color is bugging me. Anywho...these are the new signings. Believe it or not I don't just watch soccer for the hot guys. So, I'll reserve final judgement till I see their skills.
Nuri Sahin. Yeah, I could fall for those eyes.
Jose Callejon
Fabio Coentrao
Hamit Altintop
Raphael Varane
So, any guys you're just dying to see without their shirt on? I'll admit I never know what to think of each new signing, and I don't follow other teams and players all that much, so I don't know any of these guys, but I look forward to it. Last year, Real Madrid signed Mesut Ozil and I was determined to not like him. First off he's German ( I hate the German national team) and second, I just didn't think he was good lookin' but now, after watching him play for a year, I get a goofy smile on every time I see him. See? You just never know.
Mesut Ozil. Partially shirtless for your viewing pleasure.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Review: Warprize

Title Warprize
By Elizabeth Vaughan
For Fun
Source I own it
Recommended by Ang of Eastern Sunset Reads

First Sentence I pulled the shard out just as his wound began spurting blood.

Xylara is the daughter of a king but she is also a healer. With the her country at war and the opposing army at their doors, Xylara must make a choice. The Warlord has offered peace if he can claim her as a warprize.

General thoughts
This book was labeled under romantic fantasy so I was a little hesitant going into it. I used to read romance all the time as a teenager but nothing too racy, so I didn't know what to expect from this one. However, my fears were needless. Their was nothing too risque in this adventurous story. There was nothing "fantasy" either. There were hints of magic talked about but none happening. In fact, the whole story read more like a political, historical fiction with traces of romance than anything else. That's not to say I didn't like it, I did, I was just taken by surprise by the difference of the actual book and my expectations. However, I smiled and laughed at the characters and the romance. I was on the edge of my seat with the action and fascinated with the (old fashioned) healing descriptions. Only the political talk and detailed differences between Xylara's people and the Warlord's people had me slightly bored. I also went into this one thinking it was a stand alone book. It's not, there are four other books in the series so far. That actually makes me happy. I was a little disappointed in the way it all ended. I'm glad to to know there's more to come. I just hope it's not quite so political. ;) Bottom line: I liked it, it's been awhile since I've read a book like this, but I want more.

It's hard to talk about ALL the characters in a book like this, there were tons, so I'll just name a few. I loved: Xylara's spunk, Keir's soft side, Simus' gruff humor, Markus's overprotective nature, Anne and Othur's parent like love, Heath's loyalty, Atira's womanly advice, (giggle) and...Joden...Ah, Joden, screw the Warlord I would have run away with you!    

Would I recommend it?
Despite the lack of fantasy, (and I believe we'll see more as the series continues) I would recommend this to fantasy lovers who love a good war story and need some romance to go along with it.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Book Loot!

So, I went to the Borders closing sale that started to day, and after sadly staring at all the sad signs and mustering up the courage not to cry, I went in. Um, can you say crowded? It was packed in there and yet, most there books, fiction, YA, fantasy, were only 10 % off! I'm sure the prices will get lower as time passes but 10%?!! Is that the best they could do?! Sorry, I'm being mean. Not too mean, though. I did buy five books at practically full price.

And...I went to the used book store with a few books I was getting rid of and traded for some new-to-me books. I don't like to buy stuff at my used book store because, if you ask me, they charge way too much but they do have a great selection. These are the books I got there.

I also got one book in the mail.

Hmmm, you know when you tell your self, NO MORE BOOK BUYING? Sigh, oh well.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Follow Friday

Q. Name 3 authors that you would love to sit down and spend an hour or a meal with just talking about either their books or get advice on writing from?

 Well, now. This is quite hard. I have to choose just three?

Markus Zusak
I did have the amazing pleasure to meet him, but to actually sit down with him??? Well, hopefully after fifteen minutes, or so, I could finally muster the courage to actually talk to him.

Mary Shelley
 I think Frankenstein was the first book I ever read that just moved me. Not to tears or laughter or romantic sighing, just deeply, profoundly moved me. Plus, she had the most interesting life. I'd love to just listen to her talk about it.

 J. K. Rowling
 Yes, I know, but how could I resist? Who wouldn't want to meet this woman and talk Harry Potter? That is if she isn't so sick of it she could scream.


To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:

  1. (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee & Alison Can Read}
  2. (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers - We Fancy Books & Unrequited Desire
  3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say "hi" in your comments and that they are now following you.
  5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "HI"
  6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
  7. If you're new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Review: Tattoo

Title Tattoo
By Jennifer Lynn Barnes
For Fun
Source I own it

First sentence "Passion Purple, Fruity Fuchsia, Playful Pink."

When four friends share the temporary tattoos one bought they suddenly find themselves with psychic powers. And just in time too, an ancient evil is about to start wreaking havoc on the earth and the friends are the only one who can stop it.

General thoughts
I LOVE books like this. Oh, they look silly, and they are, but what fun and adventure you have in the process. I loved the mix of mythology and fairy lore. I liked figuring out the mystery along with the four girls. I loved, LOVED, the small taste of "real" romance we get. But most of all I loved how strong and individually developed each of the friends were. Sigh, sometimes it's so hard to write reviews for books I liked. If I hated a book I can think of thousands of things to say but if I loved it...I just can't express myself. So, yeah, it might looks silly and light to you, and maybe even like a poorly written book but, I assure you, it's not. It's a fun book with a great story and engaging, laugh-out-loud writing. Besides, it short and you probably can and will gobble it up in an afternoon.

Characters I loved the four friends: Bailey, Annabelle, Zo and, yes, even Delia. Bailey was unsure and hesitant and relies on her friends but by the end she's her own woman. Annabelle the quiet, thoughtful, stubborn one was great and kick-ass Zo? Oh, how I loved her. Delia, fashion obsessed Delia, had me laughing out loud with her ridiculous remarks.

Would I recommend it?
Oh, I more than recommend it, I demand you get a hold of it! Believe me, you'll have a blast reading it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

First time for everything

So I've been blogging for just over three months and I'm having my very first blogging slump! How excitingly dull. Usually, if I have no fun ideas for my blog or reviews, I just do a meme but I get to bored of reading them sometimes and so writing them is very boring too.

Anywho, I thought I'd just do a random post again with a few thoughts I've been having.

First off, I was very depressed to hear that Borders is officially going out of business. My Borders made the first cut of closing stores and now that it will be closing too I feel horribly depressed! I HATE Barnes and Noble! They charge full price for everything! You have to pay just to get there 10% off membership and they NEVER offer coupons. Plus I hate buying stuff on line. I like to actually go to the bookstore, smell the inky, papery, coffee smell, and wander amongst the shelves until I find the book I want. Buying online just isn't the same! Good bye, dear Borders, you'll be sorely missed!

Am I alone in this? I always read a synopsis to a book and immediately imagine how it will be. I make up the rest of the story in my head, fill in the holes with my own ideas and eagerly wait to get my hands on the actual  book. Then when I do get the book and read it I always find that it never was what I expected. It's either better and my silly imaginings are forgotten in the beauty of its reality or it's not. I hate when the latter happens. I always end up thinking, "I could have done better than that!"  Either way it ALWAYS happens. And I'm not talking about high expectations here. I mean reading the synopsis and imagining what I'd do with that outline.

Well I've leave you be for now. Have a great week and forgive my slump. I'll just have to let it run it's course.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Review Shiver

Title Shiver
By Maggie Stiefvater
For Fun
Source I own it

First Sentence I remember lying in the snow, a small red spot of warm going cold, surrounded by wolves.

Grace has always lived for winters. It's when her wolf with the brilliant yellow eyes roams the forest that borders her house. Then she meets Sam with his yellow eyes, eyes so similar to her wolves.

General thoughts
I'm having such a hard time forming an opinion with this one. I listened to the first 130 pages on audio book while driving and was irritated with the narrators. The girl reading for Grace sounded about thirteen and the guy reading for Sam sounded around forty...I had a really hard time getting over the sound of his voice. Plus the two of them read so slow and with such sappy, breathy tones that for 6 hours I had only gotten to page 130...Dude quite angsting it up and just read the dang thing!!! However, after I just read the rest in "normal" book form I was still disgusted with the long flowery writing. For like one minute, every so often, something was actually happening and then there were pages of NOTHING happening. At least once I was reading it myself  I could read at my own pace in my own voice!  I did enjoy the aspect of the weather and how it affected the wolves. I thought that was unique and interesting. I've heard good things about the relationship between Cole and Isabel in the second book, so I will continue the series but Grace and Sam and their overly romantic relationship...ick! Basically, my whole problem with this one besides the gushy romantic  angst, was the pacing.  

Grace was incredibly selfish to me. She dumps her friends after a little tiff and clings to Sam ignoring everything that's going on. Argh, I hate girls like that. Sam was unbelievable to me. I just didn't buy his attitude. I did feel bad about his horrible childhood and I'll admit that the forty year old voice wouldn't leave my head which probably influenced my feelings about him. Olive and Rachel felt like fillers to prove Grace was a normal adjusted girl. Grace's parents bugged me with their absence but I was more frustrated with the author for even creating such pathetic parents. I really didn't feel like I got to know the other wolves well enough to connect to them. Isabel was a fun character I actually want to get to know better. (fingers crossed)

Would I recommend it? 
I'm sure most of you have read it, so I probably shouldn't even bother but, yes, I'd recommend it because I know my opinion was warped and that most people would love it.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Reunion Report.

Well, it's late Saturday night and at the crack of dawn I'm going to get my HORRIBLE Sunburned self out of bed and drive home. Oh why, why did I forget to put sunblock on? Why did I insist on playing those two games of badminton in the hot sun? Even if I did win them both. ;)

So just a quick recap.
Thursday night we had S'mores round the fire. Not everyone had arrived yet.

Friday after a bit of confusion and waiting for last minute arrivals we headed to Capitol Reef National Park and did some hiking.
First off, I'm the worst picture taker. Not only do I take crappy pictures, but I hardly take any!

Here I am sporting a, I just finished the hike, pose. That rock to the side and above me is the arch we hiked to.
   After the hike we ate lunch at a park and played in the very muddy river.
My Brother Steven and his daughter Railey.
Then, back at the house, while dinner was prepared, the rest of us did relays. I know, I suck big time. I didn't get pictures. But my sister did  and I'll post them later if you'd like.

That night we had the most ridiculous "talent"/skit show and had prizes for the funniest, most impressive, where-have-you-been-hiding-that-all-these-years, and the least thought out talent....Yeah, that one had quite a few contenders, but three of my nephews took the prize with a skit about buying pre-blessed food. Don't ask.

Saturday was spent playing badminton, volleyball, and croquet and swimming in the kiddie pools and slippin' on the slippin' slide.

Saturday night we had S'mores again and I had too much, chocolate! (is that even possible?) I forced people to eat S'mores and still had to give packs of Hershey bars out to people who didn't vomit at the sight of them.

Fun stuff. Now hopefully I'll sleep better that this....
...and get home in one piece.
Night, night. Thanks for bearing with family stuff rather than book stuff.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

And I'm Off!

So, I'm off to the family reunion this weekend, where awkward socializing and sick kids will abound. Don't I sound thrilled? Sigh. I plan on bringing my laptop and hope to keep up with your posts and will comment but whether I have the energy to write my own posts is doubtful. I haven't even been able to schedule posts because of preparation stress.

Onto reading, cause, um, this is sort of a book blog. I'll be listening to Shiver on my ipod whilst driving. I've never listened to an audiobook before and I thought this would be the perfect time to try it. We'll see how it goes. I'm also planning on bringing Middlemarch so I can continue my 50 pages a day goal. But whether that happens or not is yet to be seen. BTW, I'm halfway through Middlemarch as of last night!!!! Whoo hoo! I'm struggling so much with the political talk and the random musing of the author that are sporadically thrown in everywhere. But I WILL finish it!

Wish me luck. TTYL.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Review: Divergent

Title Divergent
By Veronica Roth
For fun
Source I own it

First sentance
There is one mirror in my house.

Argh, I can't even be bothered. This book had 80 pages of story and 400 pages of mindless, flashy violence with no purpose other than to sell books. Or something like that.

General thoughts
As you can probably guess, I did NOT like this one. I don't want to influence your opinion or spoil anything for you so you might not want to read on. I can't complain properly without giving away some things. First off, nothing, and I mean nothing, happens for 400 pages. The whole thing felt like filler; mind numbing violent filler. I mean, obviously we know the books supposed to be about Divergent and what that means, but it doesn't really even come into play till the last part of the book. So as I dragged my way through pages and pages of crying, (oh, but Tris never cries. Whatever) throwing up and "oh, boo hoo. Am I a self depracating loser or a adrenalin junkie?" and then Finally things started to happen. Started happening so fast that it became incredibly sloppy, rushed writing.  For example:  page 268, Tris "luckily" hits the guard in the shooting arm. Really? That lucky, huh? And then people start ducking bullets. You can't duck bullets! Furthermore, Tris got shot in the freaking shoulder and she's running around like she's perfectly fine even after she breaks her stitches. Whatever! And the "important" deaths? I felt like the author just threw them in to pull at our heartstrings but they were so rushed and Tris didn't seem to care so why the hell should I? And one last thing, I was bothered that at the family visiting day Tris figures out that her mother used to be Dauntless and her mother knew she was Divergent and yet, at the end of the book it's like that conversation had never happened. Did the author forget about it, did the editor miss it, or was I just supposed to be so caught up in the action at the end that I overlooked that little tid bit? Sorry, this one just wasn't for me. Just because it's dystopian and "action" packed doesn't mean I should just accept all the unbelievable crap thrown at me.

Nope, not going to waste my time talking about characters I didn't like or care about. I can't like people that duck bullets. Well, that drunk factionless guy at the beginning had some mystery and depth to him. I'd like to get to know him better. ;)

Would I recommend it?
I know everyone else likes it so far and you're probably going to read it anyway, but just remember, I warned you.

Top Ten Tuesday

Today  The Broke and the Bookish asks the question: Top Ten Authors I Would DIE to meet (living or dead)

So here they are in no particular order.

1 Kate Griffin author of the Mathew Swift Novels.
Oh please, like you didn't see that coming!

2 Jane Austen
And you know you saw that one coming too.

3 Brad Meltzer
One day, one day.

4 Christopher Paolini.
I just found out he's coming to my area this year, so my dream is coming true!!!

5 Mary Shelley
Frankenstein is my favorite book of all time and I once saw a biography on Shelley and, wow, she led a weird life. I'd love to meet her.

6 Neal Shusterman
I have to believe this one isn't impossible.

7 Gard D. Schmidt
How could I not?!

8 Elizabeth Gaskell
And the first thing I'd ask was, "How were you going to end Wives and Daughters?"

9 Deak Koontz.
And my question for him would be, "Come on! You totally left Odd just hanging! When are you finishing his story?!"

10 Bram Stoker
Cause who wouldn't want to meet the genius behind Dracula?

This list was too hard! I want to meet ton's more! J.K Rowling, Robin McKinley, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Carrie Jones, Stephan King. I could go on and on! Sigh.