Monday, December 31, 2012

Classic Double Challenge...Just In The Nick Of Time

My friend Melissa started this challenge just this year and I decided I really needed to join. I chose to just read one classic and a retelling. It's a dang good thing I didn't try to do more than that because I barely managed to read the two books for it! I decided at some point this last summer to read The Scarlet Letter and the retelling, When She Woke. When She Woke took me like maybe a week to read. The Scarlet Letter took me four freaking months! Argh! Anywho, here we go.

Title The Scarlet Letter
By Nathaniel Hawthorne
Genre Classic
Pages 247
Recommended by Me

First Sentence A throng of bearded men, in sad-coloured garments and grey steeple-crowned hats, inter-mixed with women, some wearing hoods, others bareheaded, was assembled in front of a wooded edifice, the door of which was heavily timbered with oak, and studded with iron spikes.

Hester Pryne has been sentenced with the crime of adultery....does anyone NOT know what this one's about? Really???

Title When She Woke
By Hillary Jordan
Pages 344
Recommended by Kaye

First Sentence When she woke, she was red.

Hannah lives in a world where a person's crime is told by the color of their skin. She has been turned red. Her crime: abortion. Released after time in prison, Hannah must learn to live as she is. Haunted by her choices she begins a journey to discover who she truly is and what she really believes.

What it has going for it 
Um, well, it's a classic. That's something, right? Everyone and their dog and their neighbor's best friend's dog was forced had the pleasure of reading this one in high school. That has to mean it's an amazing book. I know people say there's all this symbolism and crap but really all I saw and took away from the book was... and shall here for be called "good ol' Puritan guilt". I was so freaking shocked at how guilty everyone felt! For heaven's sake! Quit living in the past, Hester, Reverend Dimmesdale! Sheesh! Your choices were made now deal with it and move on. So, yeah, I at least felt I took a little something away from the book. Let's not all walk around with are hand pressed to our chest feeling so guilty that we actually, physically make ourselves sick and die!

Sadly I read this one a good four five months ago and I don't remember every little detail. What I did enjoy about this one was Hannah's journey away from all that "good ol' Puritan guilt" to a new life with self acceptance. I also really liked that it slapped you in the face with every single thing in this world that makes people judge and called you out on it. It was eye opening, I tells ya! The world that was created in this one was very well put together and thought out. Nothing was fudged over or didn't make sense. Very important in a dystopian, am I right? Can I get an amen?! Alright it's late, I'm tired just ignore me. ;)

What's lacking
Oh boy, I'm really not sure why this one is required reading in high school. It's so ridiculously pretentious! The writing, I mean. The whole story could have been told in 25 pages...50 tops. But all that fluffy, snooty writing? So not necessary. I really despised all the characters too. Their guilt being the biggest reason. Reverend Dimmesdale was so freaking annoying! I mean, yeah, we're none of us perfect, but come on! What a pansy! I sure as hell wouldn't have fell for him. Hester would have been fine but her inner feelings about her only child being some devil spawn were awful. If guilt is making you feel that way towards your own kids, it's REALLY time to stop.

The only real complaint I had with this one was the whole lesbian thing. And not because of THAT reason. I just thought it came out of nowhere and was only thrown in to have one more thing in the story to remind us not to judge. That's fine but it didn't all.

Favorite moment
When the good Reverend FINALLY owned up and then died! Huzzah!

When Hannah finally stormed out of that "women's center". R E S P E C T find out what it means to me! You go girl!

Yea or Nay
TSC    If you weren't tied down to a chair in high school with your eyes taped open and forced to read this one, consider yourself lucky to have escaped THAT misery, and move on.
WSW  I would recommend this one. And just try not to judge anything that the author shoves in your face. I dare you!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Best And Worst Of 2012

It's that time again! I know you all are listing the best books you read this year and I wanted to join you. But I can't resist throwing in the WORST books too. So here you go!


This retelling was spectacular! If you haven't read it, you must!

 Oh. My. Awsomeness! Please don't tell me this one just isn't your type. You HAVE to read this one. It will mess with your a good way. ;)

Beautiful! Romantic! Heat warming! Touching! (do you feel like you're reading one of "those" reviews yet?) Seriously, though. A must read. ;)

The greatest unknown, unheard of book ever! So romantic and sweet!

I LOVE this series. I loved how it ended...well, I want more actually but I'm OK with the ending.
Oh, Cassel! Sigh!

Like you didn't know this book would be on here. ;) Once again I plead with all urban fantasy lovers to read this series. Please!

In a world of overused plot line and overdone love triangles comes something refreshingly unique!

FINALLY more Odd to enjoy! And I did, I did!

This was the only book this year I just could NOT put down! I adored it! I want more! You hear me, Camille, I want more!

So startlingly real! I love this woman's books! They make you laugh and cry and fall in love...sigh!

(And the real reason you're reading this post)

LA LA LA, LA LA LA (That's the Smurf song, btw) The entire book fit that theme song. Can you say all over the place?!

Oh, John, my boy. Quit trying to discover yourself by writing about yourself. It's SO ANNOYING!

It sounded good, it was urban fantasy (my favorite genre) but oh how scattered and boring. Sigh!

A book about bunnies?! I expected magic or superpowers but no. Just bunnies doing bunny things. And lest you think there's some symbolism there, NO! Don't you dare try to make this book better in your mind. The author says there was no symbolism.

The author could have TRIED to disguise the fact that she ripped off She's The Man a tinsy bit better. Just sayin'.

Just thinking about this series makes my eye twitch and my hands involunteeringly pull at my hair. Stupid, stupid, stupid characters!

 Just sad and dark and depressing. Maybe that's Neverland to some people but not me!

"Oh, no she din't!"  Oh, yes I did! What a pretentiously written book.

If you're going to make a story THAT boring the least you could have done was make it surprising. But, no. Predictable, thy name is Ender's Game.

Feminist? Anti-feminist? We'll never know, we're still trying to figure out what the heck happened!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Review: Unwind

Title Unwind (Unwind 1)
By Neal Shusterman
Genre YA dystopian
Pages 335
Recommended by Book Club

First Sentence "There are places you can go, " Ariana tells him, "and a guy as smart as you has a decent chance of surviving to eighteen."

In the future, parents have the choice to have there children between the ages of 13 to 18 "Unwound". Conner, Risa, and Lev are on the run after their parents choose to have them Unwound.

What it has going for it
I have absolutely nothing against Neal Shusterman, the man's a genius and a damn fine story teller. I'll admit I've only read a few books by him so far but I've enjoyed each one. This one's strongest attribute is how much it makes you think. I read it for book club and, boy, did we have a fun discussion. You can't read a book like this one and not discuss. Told from mostly three point of views, I was surprised that in the end I most enjoyed Lev and was curious as to where his story would go. Conner and Risa were fine but I couldn't connect to either and I felt a little bit like I was being told what to feel for them. Not so with Lev. And, yeah, that's about all I can say in support of this one.

What's lacking
Sadly I was rather disappointed in this one. First off, it was completely unbelievable. I have a hard time buying that pro-life people would actually agree to the whole Unwind thing. I seriously doubt it. Second, I was expecting this nonstop, gripping, un-put-downable book and what I got was a rather dull "journey" book. Everything that happened didn't exactly feel like it fit together. No, instead it felt rather episodic, if that makes sense.  I really did like Lev, though, (don't ask me why, I'm not sure) and I think I might read the rest of the series just for him.

Favorite moment
Hands down how Lev steals from the pawn shop....AWESOME!

Yea or Nay?
Once again I seem to be in the minority on this one so don't take my word for it. Go ahead and give it a go.

Monday, December 17, 2012

In My Thoughts This Fine Day # 7

1 Well, despite decorating, putting up a tree...

and watching all my holiday movies I don't seem to be feeling Christmas-y. Instead of Christmas music I can't get enough of blaring this song.  Apparently it's not one of their popular songs. See? It's not just in books that I'm in the minority!

2 I've been slowly trying to get back to all you guys. There're day's I just can't muster up the energy to even read let alone blog but I'm getting better, I swear! Thanks for bearing with me. I love that I can go days or weeks without blogging and then post something and still get readers. Makes me so happy! Time wise, I've been thinking about stopping replying to all my comments. Would anyone miss them? I can't decide so please weigh in. 

3  I'm not sure why I decided AFTER getting a job to finally get Netflix but I did....I need more time, people! Yeah, sure there's lot's of TV series on there that everyone is telling me to watch but there's so many bad movies I HAVE to's a sickness, I tells ya! 

Sorry, this was one boring post. Now you know what my thoughts have been like lately...boring.  
Have a great week! 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Review: Pushing The Limits

Title Pushing The Limits (Pushing The Limits 1)
By Katie Mcgarry
Genre YA Contemporary
Pages 392
Recommended by Steph

First Sentence "My father is a control freak, I hate my stepmother, my brother is dead and my mother has...well...issues."

Echo used to be "normal". But coming back to school with scars all over her arms and no memory of how they got there hasn't been easy. As if that's not bad enough, she's in therapy, and so is Noah. Noah has lost his parents and gone through foster care. His brothers have been taken from him and he'll do anything to get them back, even if it means meeting with a therapist.

What it has going for it
I'm such a sucker for a romance that promises to be steamy, and with that cover you just know this one is going to be. ;) The premise behind this one immedietly drew my attention and from page one, I was sucked in. I loved LOVED the slow building of the romance. No annoying insta-love here. So refreshing, guys. This ones biggest strength is the characters. They were carefully written out with little traits that were consistent and true to them, and for a book written in two points of view, I was impressed. It was an easy read despite the issues and length.

What's lacking
Sigh! Well, despite it being easy to read I did find myself looking at how many pages I had left and wondering why the heck the book had to be THAT long. It took no time at all to figure out what happened to Echo and what the big "mystery" was. I was very invested in the romance until Noah started calling Echo "Babe". Oh my gosh! Gag! That's just a personal thing but if a guy ever calls me "babe" I'll sucker punch him! Noah just wasn't a very believable guy to me and that, and the length, sorta ruined this one for me. I didn't hate it....I just didn't love it.

Favorite moment
The Valentines dance, when Noah and Echo finally got together...alas, he ruined it by beginning to call her "babe" Ugh! 

Yea or Nay?
Remember, dear blog readers, I'm always in the minority and everyone else adores this one. So, yes, go ahead and read it if YA romance is your thing.     

Friday, December 7, 2012

Review: Shut Out

Title Shut Out
By Kody Keplinger
Genre YA contemporary
Pages 273
Recommended by Me

First Sentence there is nothing more humiliating than being topless in the backseat of your boyfriends car when someone decides to throw an egg at the windshield.

Tired of the feud between her high school's soccer team and football team always getting in the way of her dates with her football playing boyfriend, Lissa decides to take matters into her own hands. She convinces the girlfriends of both teams to join her in a sex strike. No sex for the boys until the feud ends but will the girls be able to stay strong when the boys start fighting back?

What it has going for it
Kody Keplinger fascinates me. She really does. Her books sound like they're going to be just awful. Not badly written but incedibly risque...they are steamy but risque isn't a word I'd use to describe them. This one had such a surprisingly good little message in it and I enjoyed that the best. But I also loved watching the neurotic Lissa learn to let go a little and grow up. Usually in Keplinger's books the endings wrap up all neat and clean and it never feels very realistic considering the issues that are in her books but this one didn't have any huge issues so the nice little happy ending was perfectly fine by me.

What's lacking
I'll admit that this one and A Midsummer's Nightmare weren't quite as delicious to me as The DUFF was but I still enjoyed them. My biggest complaint was how unrealistically perfect Cash was. Seriously? I don't think so....but I guess that's why they call it fiction.

Favorite moment
I'm going to say it. Don't judge. I LOVE the steamy kissy scenes in this book. Whew! *fans self*

Yea or Nay?
Yeah, I say give it a go.     

Saturday, December 1, 2012

November Wrapup 2012

Well, despite my slump I managed a few more books this month...not by much but hey.

The Adventures Of Tilda Pinkerton by Angela Shelton
Best read aloud to children.

Forgive my Fins by Terra Lynn Childs
Finally a mermaid book that takes place underwater...if only there had been more plot.

We'll Always Have Summer (summer #3) By Jenny Han
What an ending! A love triangle done right.

Falling for Hamlet by Michelle Ray
I'll stick to the original thanks.

Favorite of the month was We'll Always Have Summer. I was so emotionally invested in the love triangle. Least favorite...Hmmm, not sure. I didn't HATE any this month. Crazy huh?