Monday, October 31, 2011

Review: The Weight of Silence

Title The Weight of Silence
By Heather Gudenkauf
Source I own it
Pages 384
Recommended by Me

First sentence Callie stirred in her bed.

One August morning two girls go missing, Callie, a seven year old who hasn't talked since she was four, and her best friend Petra. Told from different points of view, we learn about these two girls, their families, and the secret behind Callie's silence.

* Note* I'm going to start adding who recommended a book to me, either directly or indirectly through their blog, on my review posts. But...I just want everyone to know, you don't have to get offended if I didn't like it; I'm not blaming you. Everyone has different opinions and I never hold anyone responsible for a book I didn't like. I choose to read a book based on the synopsis not so much a recommendation so it's always MY fault. ;) 

General thoughts
K, so I bought this book ages ago when I couldn't walk into bookstore without seeing it. I thought it might be a good, chilling story for the RIP challenge so it was the book I chose. Two little girls go missing, sounds kinda scary right? Not so much. First off, I just don't get why this book was so popular. It wasn't amazingly written, the author kept going back and telling all this back story, half of which was completely unnecessary to the rest of the story, and we're told right in the prologue that at least one of the little girls is found. BORING! I liked when it actually was telling the story but there was so much reminiscing and back story. Anywho, I guess I just didn't get why it was soooo popular. It wasn't THAT great. Oh and the convenience? Really? Really?! *rolls eyes*

Callie, She was the only POV I liked reading about.
Petra, How could you not like her?
Ben, He was a sweet kid.
Antonia, I just don't get girls that stay in abusive relationships.
Louis, Seriously, dude, move on!
Martin, Not much to him.
Griff, Yuck!

Would I recommend it? 
Meh, no, it wasn't that great.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

ABCs Of Me Meme

I saw this fun little get-to-know-you meme over on Suey's blog. I 'm not sure where it originally started but I thought it looked fun so....

Age:    Ugh! You're never supposed to ask a girl that! But I've never been one for following the rules so...I'm 30. Yep, the big three zero. Sigh!

Bed Size:    K, do NOT laugh! I'm still in a tinsy tinsy twin because it was all that would fit in my room. Now that I moved I could have something bigger but I'm too cheap to care.

Chore that you hate:   Washing windows. My arms start hurting like, 5 seconds in.

Dogs:   Are great...if you don't care about your yard. Sorry but I had some growing up and I'm STILL afraid to step on the lawn.

Essential start to your day:   Breakfast. Boring, I know, but you do NOT want to be around me if I haven't eaten and my blood sugar is low.

Favorite colors:   Navy blue and hunter green.

Gold or Silver:   Gold, and none of that white gold crap!

Height:   5'6

Instruments you play:   LOL, I can't make one hand do one thing while the other hand does something else so playing an instrument...well, it was never meant to be.

Job Title:   Big fat unemployed. :( I'm trying, I'm trying!

Kids:   Nope, that's where that disgust at being 30 comes in.

Live:   In Utah and I'm not so sure I want to be here the rest of my life. 

Mother-in-Law’s name:   Oh my freak! Another reason to be mad I'm 30. Not married, unemployed, no kids. Was this meme supposed to make me feel like crap? ;)

Nicknames:   Jenny. What?! You didn't know my real name wasn't Jenny? It's not, it's, not Jennifer...can you guess?

Overnight hospital stays:   Never...well, maybe when I was born.

Pet Peeves:   Where to start. Water being flicked in my face by some moron that thinks it's funny, people trying to control my life, people who make right hand turns at a snails pace, and on, and on, and on. ;)

Quote from a movie:   I just think it'll be depressing; it'll be depressing. Favorite movie!

Right or Left handed:   Right.

Siblings:   I'm the youngest of...11. Now you see where that (people telling me what to do) pet peeve comes from.

Time you wake up:   Without a job? I sleep in till 9:00 or 10:00 most days.

Underwear:   Underwear? Underwear?! Is there something under something?! Is there a spider?!!!

Vegetable you hate:   Beets...are beets a vegetable, though?

What makes you run late:   Usually myself meandering thinking I'm going to be early.

X-Rays you’ve had:   Mainly teeth X-rays at the dentist but I have had my chest X-rayed.

Yummy food that you make:   Hmmm, lot's of things but lately...Chicken ceaser salad wraps.

Zoo animal:   Oh boy! I love river otters, anteaters, and fruit bats. 

Join in if you so desire! Tell us more about you!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Review: Under the Dome

Title Under the Dome
By Stephen King
Source I own it
Pages 1087!
Recommended by Me

First sentence From two thousand feet, where Claudette Sanders was taking a flying lesson, the town of Chester's Mill gleamed in the morning light like something freshly made and just set down.

When the town of Chester's Mill is suddenly shut off from the rest of the world by a giant dome, where it came from and how long it will trap them becomes the least of the towns worries. It's good vs evil vs The Just Plain Crazy.

* Note* I'm going to start adding who recommended a book to me, either directly or indirectly through their blog, on my review posts. But...I just want everyone to know, you don't have to get offended if I didn't like it; I'm not blaming you. Everyone has different opinions and I never hold anyone responsible for a book I didn't like. I choose to read a book based on the synopsis not so much a recommendation so it's always MY fault. ;) 

General thoughts
I really, really wanted to read this one for the longest time but until Suey and I decided to host a group read for the RIP challenge, I never had the courage. I'm so glad we got organized and went ahead because it's been ages since I read a book that had me, gasping out loud, crying, laughing, and, yes, even talking to it. I haven't read tons of King books, I think I've seen more of the movies based on his books, but I'm always pleasantly surprised by them. Even the ones with sad, or just plain weird, endings. This one was no exception. I thought I'd have a hard time keeping the characters straight but King does such a good job making each character have an individual personality and he makes them so gosh darn REAL, it was a piece of cake. I rooted for the good guys, booed at the bad, and when the big "mystery" was revealed, I set the book down and tried to gather the pieces of my blown mind.

There are Soooo many I'll just point out a few.
Barbie, Well, yeah, of course I loved him, he's humble, smart, and kicks ass!
Rennie, Wow, it's been awhile since a "villain" pissed me off THAT bad!
Rusty, Thank goodness the doc was on the good side, am I right?
Julie, Stubborn little thing, thank goodness for that, and, hey, she saved the day.
Joe, Smart teenager! This kid was indispensable.
Rommie, Yeah, so he was listed as a minor character, so what! I loved this guy! Now that his wife's gone maybe he'll marry me. ;)
Ollie, Wow, if there was anything to take away from this book it was the determination of this amazing kid!
Junior, I still shudder when I think of him. Freaky! I can't help but wonder what he was like BEFORE the tumor.

Oh man, I could go on and on with everyone of these unique, unforgettable characters but that would be one LONG post.

Would I recommend it? 
Yes, but not to the feint of heart or the easily depressed or queasy person. Plus it's long...but it doesn't feel like it.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Under the Dome Group Read Final Discussion

Well, we did it! I know you were worried. ;) We're all done and it's time for the last questions and answers discussion. Brace yourself. 

1. Were you pleased with the end that Stephen King gave Jim Rennie? Is it what you expected? Was it fitting? If not, how would you have changed it? 
Sigh! Yes, I suppose it was fitting, and definitely freaky, but I really wanted to see someone blow his brains out. Yeah, I have a violent streak in me. In fact, I started hoping at the end that he'd live just so I could see him get busted and thrown in prison.

2. Explain to us what you thought about the aliens and their "magnifying glass." Did you take it at face value, or is there some underlying deep meaning to it? In other words, is there actually a moral to this story? And if so, how would you explain it?
Oh snap! When the whole ant analogy was revealed I set the book down and just sat there trying to gather the pieces of my blown mind. Oh sure they were "aliens" but the description of them certainly sounded like ants to me and in my mind they were. Or at least represented them.

3. Pretty much everyone dies! Which death was the saddest for you? The hardest for you to read about? The most gruesome? The one that had you cheering? The one that made you the maddest?

Saddest? I cried when Sammy Bushey did the whole murder suicide thing. I just felt bad for her. 
Hardest to read about? When Rory tried to shoot a whole threw the Dome. :( I was sad but mainly I was just cringing like crazy.
Most gruesome? Hands down, when Junior killed Angie McCane at the very beginning. *shivers*
Cheering? I'd have to go with the Sammy Bushey murder suicide again. I was sad for her but glad she was killing those other two creeps! 
Maddest? I was furious when Brenda Perkins went to Rennie all alone. Like we didn't know what was coming.

4. If this were made into a movie (as Stephen King books often are) who would you cast in some of the leading roles?
I can't answer this. I never picture books made into movies and if I do I never imagine who would play the characters. Seriously. Sorry.

5. Do you think this book is an accurate portrayal of true human nature? Do you think everyone is as corrupt as this? How do you think your community would do in such a crisis? How would you personally handle it? What side would you have ended up on?
I think it was a good portrayal in certain communties\cities. There are people as insane and power hungry and corrupt as Rennie out there. Likewise, there are people as basically good as Barbie and his "gang". I have no idea how I'd handle something like this. I'd probably be most like one of the unnamed characters who dies horribly in the end. :( 

I had a blast reading this with everyone. I hope you all did too. I do have to add that by the end, my favorite character was Rommie. Don't ask, I just loved him. I also cried like a baby during the scenes between Ollie and Private Ames. Ollie's story was heartbreaking and inspiring.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Review: The Sweet, Terrible, Glorious Year I Truly, Completely Lost It

Title The Sweet, Terrible, Glorious Year I Truly, Completely Lost It
By Lisa Shanahan
Source Library
Pages 295

First sentence When Debbie told Dad she was marrying Brian, her new boyfriend of one month, Dad, went ballistic.

Dealing with her sister's upcoming wedding, her crush on cute guy at school, and the ever annoying Raven, a boy from a questionable family, Gemma Stone has a hard, hilarious year ahead of her.

General thoughts
I'm serious, people, I'm starting to think Australian authors can do know wrong! This book was downright hilarious and, yet, had depth to it. Two things that are horribly important to me in a book of this kind. I LOVED it. I was laughing one page, crying on the next, and just truly enjoying it! I won't go on and on but if you haven't read this awesome little book go out there and pick it up!!! The only two little itty bitty things that bothered me were: Gemma's friend Jody, who just wasn't it it enough for a "best" friend, and there was no kiss! What the heck?!

Gemma: I don't usually like female protagonists, they're all the same: whiny, no backbone, selfish, but not this time. Gemma was a breath of fresh air! Completely realistic, imperfect, and hilarious.
Raven: Ah, a perfectly captured male specimen. ;) I love when teenage boys ACT like teenage boys.
Gemma's parents: Oh my gosh, look! present parents. They were involved. They actually talked to Gemma.
Debbie: Bridezilla! Isn't that what they all act like though? Just a little. ;)

There's a whole bunch of other characters with there very own REAL personalities in this one so just go read it!

Would I recommend it?
Are you still sitting here when I told you to go get this book?!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Review: Speak

Title Speak
By Laurie Halse Anderson
Source I own it
Pages 208
Recommended by Everyone!
First Sentence It is my first morning of High School.

Ostracized by her friends for calling the cops at a party, Melinda starts high school with more problems than just the loss of her friends. Why did she call the cops? Why is she seeming to lose the ability to speak?  

General thoughts
I pretty much got was I expected with this one. I thought the paragraph breaks were weird but it was easily forgotten. What I liked most was the simplistic way the story was told; there's no fancy fluff to distract from the story and every thing was raw and real.  I think it's a tough issue for a writer to tackle but Laurie handled it well. Sheesh, what else can I say? I enjoyed it for what it was, and thought it was well done. I loved the symbolism littered throughout and the realistic feel of the book.

I'm not going to break them down. I'll just say I thought all the characters were realistically captured. Believe me...that's a hard thing to do. Apparently. ;)

Would I recommend it? 
Yes, I didn't think anything was handled in a way that would only be appropriate for older teens.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

Today  The Broke and the Bookish asks the question: What are your Top Ten Books to read during Halloween?

I've only ever had one book that actually scared me so I seriously doubt I'll be able to come up with ten books but I'll do my best.

This one scared the crap out of me! Not the vampires, but the suspense. *shudders*

This is the first Odd book, and I specifically chose it for several freaky scenes that are sure to disturb and scare you.

I'm reading this one at the moment and besides being a King book, and freaky, it actually takes place around Halloween! How perfect is that?

K, I haven't read this one but I hear good things and how freaky is that cover. I think we can safely say this is a good Halloween read.

It's been so long since I read this one but it was very suspenseful.

A cliche, perhaps, but very creepy.

Another typical choice but a classic. Am I right?

Well, that's about all I can think of...Sigh. What are you're favorite Halloween reads?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Review: Brightly Woven

Title Brightly Woven
By Alexandra Bracken
Source I own it
Pages 368

First sentence The day the rains finally came was like any other, with blistering air coating the canyon in a heavy stillness.

When Wayland North wanders in to a town suffering a drought he brings the rain. It return for this favor he is rewarded anything he asks for. He chooses Sydelle, a young woman who has longed for adventure, but hanging out with North who drinks too much and drives her crazy isn't as exiting as she thought.   

General thoughts
I'm going to steal a page from Melissa from One Librarian's Book Reviews. Cause I didn't hate this one but I didn't love it either. There was an equal amount of good things and bad things...Make sense? Anywho, Melissa always points out things she likes and things she doesn't like. So here goes.

Things I liked...
I really enjoyed the premise and idea behind this one; it was unique and fun. I liked the idea behind Jinxes and North's curse. The adventure was fun and I was rooting for the good and booing at the bad but...

Things I didn't like...
I hated both of the main characters. Sydelle, (cool name btw) was headstrong and to all over the place in her emotions and North was a control freak! Why would a girl go for a guy who never showered?! Ewww. I also was unimpressed with the traveling. Most fantasy books have a lot of traveling and I usually love it, but the traveling in this one felt like a way for the author to use the "cool" map at the front of the book. There was no rhyme nor reason to it. Just cause it's on the map doesn't mean the main characters HAVE to go there.

So, yeah, I liked some stuff but other things just bothered me.

Would I recommend it? 
Yeah, it wasn't awful and most people aren't as picky about characters as me.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Let's Do This Thing!!! Read-aThon updates.

Hey, everyone! It's the Dewey's 24 hour Read-a-Thon! Like you didn't know. ;)

After a late start getting up, cause I LOVE to sleep, I've put only a measly 100 pages of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson under my belt before I had to eat. So two yummy pieces of double fiber french toast with sugar free, metallic tasting syrup later, I'm going to read a bit more before my soccer game. I do need to vacuum my floors so that might get done too.


Well, here it is just after 3:00 and I managed to finish Speak. Yay for me! I did vacuum my floor and I exercised while I watched my soccer game. (they won!4-0) I've even showered...hmmm, maybe I'm missing the whole point of a read-a-thon. Oh well. I'm afraid I wasn't as prepared as I wanted to be so I have to make a quick trip to the store but then I shall be buckling down. I hope to finish at least one more book and start a few more.   

Last Update!!!

Well, after a trip to the store for the makings of a pizza, I got back to reading. I meant to read a little from a few books but got totally wrapped up, and finished, The Sweet, Terrible, Glorious Year I Truly, Completely Lost It by Lisa Shanahan. I LOVED it and just had to finish it.

So...I finished two books and am planning on reading some more before I go to sleep, yep, sorry but it has to be done. I've got church early in the morning. I'm thinking I'll read some of Crave and get started on The Weight of Silence. I've had fun and even though I didn't read straight through. I'm kinda glad I didn't; I think those breaks helped me stay awake. ;) Happy reading!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Under the Dome Group Read Discussion 3

Whew! I had a tinsy lull during this section but things certainly got exciting again. Maybe it wasn't a lull but "the wall" You know? When you're running and you hit that point where you can't take one more step and then you get a second wind? Yeah, maybe that's what happened. Anyway here's the questions and my answers for this week.

We finally got to see what's probably behind the Dome. Did that freak you out? Are you convinced it's extraterrestrial?
Oh man! I was so freaked out and at the edge of my seat when Rusty was discovering what is probably behind the Dome. I say probably because who knows with King?! Anywho, I almost had a stab of disappointment when we found out it might be otherworldly. :( Still, it's very exciting...and scary!

Jackie thinks no one outside the Dome understands. She thinks it's "different" for the people inside the Dome. Do you agree with that, or do you tend to feel like Cox and think someone should just put a bullet in Rennie's head?
Oh, I'm so with Cox! Seriously. If I was in a situation like this or Lord of the Flies I swear I'd just kill off the bad guy and take the consequences. I hate control freaks and power hungry evil dudes! Of course, I say that, but in truth, I probably wouldn't do anything either. Sigh!

Speaking of Rennie, do you think he really believes that everything he's doing is for the good of the town, or is it all about power?
I have mixed feelings but I think I'm deciding that he tells himself that he's good and great and doing everything for the good of the town but he's just covering his ass and wants power; thrives on it, apparently. I swear if his heart takes him out and not Barbie, I'm gonna be so mad!!! The Chef on the other hand, I think he truly believes all that religious stuff.

I'm finding it very interesting that the bad guys all seem to have some strong religious beliefs. Have you noticed that and wondered about it? Do you think it's symbolic of something or just coincidence?
I don't think it's coincidence, nor is it bugging me. Sometimes I feel like authors have some issue with religion and think all religious people are freaks so they lash out at them in books. However I don't think that's what King is doing. And it is true that power hungry control freaks often use religion as an excuse to take over. 

Do you think Barbie being dragged to jail was the push the town needed to start forming their "side"? Do you think a war of sorts is brewing and will that be what causes the fire on Halloween? 
I'm afraid a war is brewing. What with The Chef having all those weapons and the police force being a bunch of crazy high school kids. But all that hot weather stuff is making me wonder if that won't eventually cause the fire. Either way I'm nervous but excited to see how it all comes together.

So, yeah, I'm excited to finish up in the coming week and finally see what the heck will happen and what's going on.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Follow Friday

Q: What superhero is your alter-ego?

Let's face it, if I fell into a vat of radioactive waste, was bitten my a radioactive spider, or was simply born with a genetic anomaly that gave me a super power I'm far too bad tempered to ever choose to be a superhero. I might try, but the truth is, I'd probably become some horrible super villain. Or...
...Hancock, before his rehabilitation of course.

Or worse, If I had telekinesis I'm afraid I'd end up really, REALLY fat. :( I'm just being realistic here.

Happy Friday!

Read-a-Thon plans

 This weekend is my very first time participating in the Dewey's 24 hour Read-a-Thon! I'm very excited. Can't you tell? ;) Around these parts the starting time is 6:00 AM. LOL! There's no freaking way I can get up that early and try to read. I'd just fall right back to sleep. So...when I get up, at long last, I shall be working on these.
I hope I picked some quick, fun, entertaining reads.
 Here's where I'll be reading...minus the freaky glowing eyes.

Yeah, I know, my diet makes my snacks boring. Still, nuts are good and I have that nummy hot chocolate.

So, besides a quick break to watch my soccer game,(cause reading's great but...

mmmhmm!) and time spent visiting all you guys, I shall be reading as much as possible. 

So, how about you? Are you going to be joining? I'm so excited!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Yes, I do like to read!

I was at book club the other night and as we sat around discussing lots of things books included, Jenni asked me an interesting question. If I hate so much of what I read than why do I still bother reading. Good question huh? I'll admit it totally took me by surprise, and then I started wondering who else out there has wondered the same thing about me. So let me explain, cause I've thought about it quite a bit now.

Why do I continue to read so much and buy so many books without reading them if I end up not liking many of them? Several reasons.

1 I love to read! Bad books good books, it doesn't matter, it's reading. Escapism, entertainment, call it what you will I love it!

2 Sure, I might hate a book and find myself annoyed with the characters, the writing, the plot, or the pacing, but that doesn't mean I'll let one book ruin reading for me forever. Besides, those bad books make the good ones so much more enjoyable. Plus, critiquing books is half the fun. ;)

3 I'm actually still in the process of learning what I enjoy. Crazy, I know, but true. Because of all this self reflection Jenni's question induced, I've realized I usually end up being dissatisfied with Paranormal YA and Dystopian YA. Not that I'll hate all of the books in those genres but I'm seeing a pattern in my reading likes and dislikes and usually I dislike these two genres more often than not. Strangely, I'm finding I usually like YA contemporary more often than not and I never would have thought that would happen. See? I'm just learning about my tastes. Of course, this doesn't mean I'll stop reading YA paranormal books; I do like some, and I just can't help my curiosity about them. I just go into them a little warily and with pretty low expectations most of the time. 

So, I hope my self reflection hasn't bored you to tears. Am I the only person who finds themselves hating quite a few books? Does a string of bad books make you want to give up on reading all together? Are you still learning what you like and dislike?

Thanks for the post idea Jenni!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mini Movie Reviews

Ugh! I'm having such a blogging\life-in-general slump. So, it's been awhile since I've bothered posting or even turning on my computer. Enter a boring movie review post. ;)

Yeah, yeah, I just BARELY saw this one. Um, I was less than impressed with the first one but the second one entertained me so I thought maybe, just maybe the third one would be good. Argh! It was fine I guess, but so freaking long. I also have a huge bone to pick! What the blazes is wrong with that little Shia LaBeouf?! Freaking ingrate! Bumblebee saves his sorry ass THREE times in this one and does he once say thanks?! No! All he gives a dang about is his stupid little girlfriend! I've never been so pissed! Poor, unappreciated Bumblebee; I don't know why he bothers with that little brat! Hmph!

I only saw this one because my brother in law had a friend who worked on it. Well, that and it has Hugh Jackman. ;) Fighting robots isn't something that truly excites me but the feel good family movie with eight thousand "awww!" moments just pushed me over the edge. So, if you like that kind of thing you might like this one but it was just a little too cutesie for me. Even Hugh, in all his hotness, couldn't save it for me.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Under The Dome Group Read Discussion 2

Hey, everyone! It's week two of our group read of Under the Dome for the R.I.P Challenge. Some crazy stuff is going down and I'm getting all worked up. Argh! This book should not be read in public. I tried it once and kept gasping and drawing attention to myself. So, anyways, this week Suey from It's All About Books has provided our questions.
1.  We've talked a little bit about characters already, but I'd like to know who is your favorite so far? And why? 
This one's tough! One of my favorites just got killed! Ahhh! I don't think anyone's safe and I don't want to get attached. :( I think I'm going to have to go with "Scarecrow" Joe McClatchey. Mainly because I think he might be safe but I don't even know if that's true. I do like Barbie and his way of handling things (the store riot) but his hesitancy bothers me but it's probably for the best. So, basically, I don't want to have a favorite; they'll get killed! 
2. What do you think is up with these kid seizures? Do you have any clue how they are tied to the dome?
I'm thinking the Dome is electric or magnetic or something so I could see that having something to do with the seizures but why it's only affecting kids (sort of) is beyond me.
3. What has been your most favorite creepy/scary scene so far?
Oh boy, I don't know. The riot was freaky because it was so realistic but the truth is, Junior freaks me out. Who sits with dead people and touches them and holds their hands. He likes the smell of their decay, for heavens sake! Blech! Anytime it starts talking about him I get seriously creeped out! 

4. I'm assuming everyone knew what to expect from a Stephen King book, writing/style-wise. But still, I'm curious to know how you are all handling the vulgarity in parts. Does it bother you? Does it add to the story and give you a feel for certain characters? Or does it distract?
I'm so immune to this stuff (unfortunately) that I haven't really noticed. I've also been out there in the world and seen that people really do swear...a lot! So, it's not that unrealistic. Necessary? Meh, but it's normal for King and most people so why wouldn't he add it?

5. This last section ended with what I thought was an unexpected murder. Do you think anyone could get murdered at this point? Or is there a line that you do not cross regarding certain characters? In other words, do you think certain characters are safe from getting the ax? Are you curious about who will get it next, and who will survive? 
Oh my gosh! That murder was not unexpected when she chose to go alone to meet Big Jim but I was still devastated. And the way he "buried" the body...Ahhhh! With King anything is possible; Big Jim could win and all the good characters could be killed off. I almost wouldn't be surprised. And, because of all the ominous hints about more suicides I'm starting to think, "OK, crap! Who's going to kill themselves?" I said it before and I'll say it again, I'm trying REALLY hard not to get attached to these characters!

So, despite the anxiety this book is causing me I'm loving it so far and am dying to know what will happen next. It's very hard to reign myself in and try to keep to the assignments instead of reading ahead.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Review: The DUFF

Title The DUFF
By Kody Keplinger
For Fun
Source I own it

First sentence This was getting old.

Life isn't so great for Bianca. Her mom is always traveling, her friends brother her who broke her heart three years before is coming back into town and to make matters worse, Wesley Rush, the school's biggest womanizer, just deemed her as the DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend).  Throwing herself into a sexual relationship with Wesley for distraction might not be the best of plans but things get even more complicated when Bianca finds herself actually having feelings for him. 

General thoughts
Holy crap! I was in the mood for a contemporary YA, sick of all the paranormal, so maybe that explains it, but I picked up this book off my shelf and started reading at 10:30 at night and stayed up till 1:30 to finish it! I couldn't put it down! I don't you think you fully comprehend how rare it is for me to let a book, even and amazing one, keep me from precious sleep! Keplinger wrote this book at 19, (or at least she was 19 when it was published) and I had no complaints about the writing. This is rare too. Not to say young people don't know how to write, but with the onslaught of YA books beings published I'm often less than impressed with the writing, so I was already wary going in and knowing this author was young, I'll admit, I was very skeptical but I needn't have bothered.

Maybe if I'd been in a different mood I would have been bothered with the negative, cynical MC or unimpressed with the neat ending, or even annoyed at the "preachyness" of the story but I wasn' all. I really liked this book! Bianca's negativity certainly stemmed from some legitimate problems, and I can certainly understand her escapism tendencies. I can even believe Wesley's transformation from womanizer to the sweet guy. I loved the lesson to be learned from this one as well, but mostly I just love a book that grabs you, sucks you in with emotion evoking writing, and MAKES you believe its story!

Word of warning...there is A LOT of swearing and sensuality in this book but I don't think it was unnecessary. Well, maybe a few of the f-words could have been omitted

Bianca: I know her pessimism bothered some people but I'm a bit negative and pessimistic myself so I could relate.
Wesley: He was a realistically portrayed teenage guy. Loved him!
Casey: Some friends in YA books fall flat or seem too cliche. Not Casey she was another realistically portrayed character.
Jessica: Sweet to a fault. ;)
Toby: Not sure any guy is THAT perfect but that's OK.
Bianca's parents: If any characters weren't very realistic, it was these two but I liked the story too much to care.

Would I recommend it? 
Maybe not to the "prude of heart" but, yeah, I would.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Method To My Madness

Sometimes, I click on over to Real Madrid's website and watch these "boring" videos.

Why, you ask? Ah, that's a great question. See, when soccer players are training you might notice that they aren't wearing cleats. Therefore, they are not wearing those knee length socks. What do I have to spell it out for you?  There calves aren't covered!  ;) So, if I ever want to see those hot calves I have to watch these "boring" videos. Now go ahead and watch it again, you know you want to. See? Wasn't it more fun when you have some dang nice calves to look at? ;)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Review: Crossed

Title Crossed (Matched 2)
By Ally Condie
For Fun
Source Won ARC at the Utah book blogger social.

First sentence I'm standing in a river.

Separated from each other, Cassia and Ky are both on the run from The Society. Searching for each other and the rumored Rising they each face an uncertain future.

General thoughts
Ugh, I'm sorry but this one was one big circle! Completely a filler\bridge book. Ky and Cassia both get to narrate but I found their voice so similar that I kept getting confused...not good. I'm not a Ky fan so listening to him mope on and on wasn't really a blast for me and there was hardly any thing about Xander which was a bit of a disappointment. The worst thing, though, was the circle I mentioned. ***spoilery*** Ky and Cassia start out separated, end up both wandering around in the mountains, find each other, wander around some more and then end up separated again with Cassia going back to the Society. And that's it, people, that's the whole book! ***end of spoiler*** What was the point of that?!  In Matched the Society was a villain you love to hate, they were freaky, always watching, an ever present danger, but in this one they were virtually nonexistent. Sure, they were mentioned but they hardly had a role, and after the absolute control they had in Matched I found it a little hard to buy into their convenient absence. The ending was rushed and wrapped up a little to nicely for my taste. It would have been better if there was less time wandering in the mountains and more time with the Rising.

Cassia: Meh, she actually doesn't bother me that much. She's fairly practical and at least cares for more than just Ky. *spoiler* Really? Really she'd just shrug and go back to the Society, no questions asked? *end spoiler*
Ky: Argh! I hate his poor picked on me attitude! What do people see in him?!
Indie: A little zealous but I liked her.
Eli: Cute kid but he fell a little flat to me.
Vick: Lets just say I didn't shed any tears.
Hunter: I didn't really have an opinion of him.
Xander: Um, Xander was in this book? Are you sure? ;)

Would I recommend it? 
Yeah, they're not terrible books. This one just fell a flat for me.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday Salon

And now a bunch of useless information you never wanted to know about me. ;-)

Outside my window: Yep, I'm whining about the cold. :(

I am listening to: Old classical favorites. 

I am watching:  So many TV series, I won't list them.

I am thinking: How hard it is trying to not become too attached to "things" I have so much crap I should get rid of but I can't. :(

I am grateful for: The cold weather that's killing all those spiders. Come on, I have to be grateful for something about the freezing cold.

I am reading: Under the Dome and Crossed...I was hoping Crossed would be distracting enough to keep me from reading ahead in Under the Dome, which is sooooo good, but it's not working.

I am photographing: Nothing this week...boring!

I am listing: Again...nothing.   

Around the house: I weather stripped my front door!!! Yay!!! OK, maybe it's not exciting to you but it's keeping the cold and spiders out...mostly. I also bought fleece sheets...BEST. PURCHASE. EVER!!!   

From the kitchen: Sometimes I really hate trying to find things to eat. I wish I had a personal chef...don't we all? 

One of my favorite things: Hot chocolate and hot baths. 

The children this week: No kids just my cat Buns and I think her bristly fur means she's cold too.

Plans for the week: Book club is this week!

Thanks to Ibeeeg of Polishing Mud Balls for the inspiration for this post's layout.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Under the Dome Group Read Discussion 1

Hey, everyone, it's week one the Under the Dome group read! As part of the R.I.P Challenge, Suey and I decided to host a group read of this massive book for the Peril of the Group Read Challenge. Fridays through the month of October will be our discussion days. So here we go, a few questions and my answers. 

Wow, we are being introduced to a lot of characters, some that aren't even making it. Are you having a hard time keeping everyone straight?   
I knew going into this one, that it was going to be full of lots and lots of characters so I was prepared. I try not to get to bogged down and worry about it. I figure King writes well enough to make me remember the important ones and so far so good. I'm Hating Jim Rennie and am downright scared of his freaky son. I'm liking Barbara, Dr Everett and Julia Shumway.

It's early in, but any predictions on what the Dome is or where it came from? Were you surprised at the idea of someone inside the town being responsible? 
I have absolutely no predictions at all, I don't even want to go there. I'll just let the story unfold. I hadn't even thought about someone inside being responsible until it was pointed out in the book. Now I'm looking at everyone suspiciously! 

Is the Science of the Dome and the science being used to test it interesting to you, or are you more character driven and could care less about what can and cannot get through the dome or how deep under ground it goes etc?
Once again, I hadn't really thought about it and now that things are being discussed in the book I'm quite fascinated, still I don't want to make any guesses as to where it came from. Either I'll be way off and embarrass myself, or I'll ruin the story by guessing too much so I'll just wait and see. 

Who do you think will prove to be the bigger threat inside the Dome: Jim Rennie or his son Junior? Or someone else entirely?  
Oh boy! Jim seems the bigger threat but knowing what we know about his son Junior...I'm terrified! I can't wait to see what happens. It's like being drawn to a gruesome accident; sure, you're cringing and horrified but also morbidly fascinated. 

Do you think, so far, King has realistically described what would happen if this happened in reality?
Oh yes! The military, the presidents speech, the religious reactions, the protests, all of it! You just know there would be some one looking to make a few bucks off a tragedy like this. So the store owner selling hot dogs and drinks at the protest and prayer meeting was incredibly realistic to me. 

So, yeah, I was a little scared going in that I wouldn't like it, or that I'd have a hard time, but now I'm all wrapped up in the story and all I want to do is read. I'm trying to pace myself but I'm already a little ahead of schedule, I can't help it, I'm loving it!

If you want to check out the other readers in our group and their answers and thoughts here they are.

Suey It's all about books
Selina Fragments of Fiction
Bellezza  Dolce Bellezza
Michelle The True Book Addict
Kaye Paper Reader

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Blame It On The Testosterone

Come on, you know you wanted too much information about me to start out your day. ;) I have poly cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and, as a result, have too much testosterone. This results in some annoying little side effects, which I won't bore you with, but I'm starting to wonder if it is now effecting my reading likes and dislikes. I started thinking about some of my favorite books and realizing that most of them had male protagonists as the main character. I think it's because I can relate to a male character easier. See? That's where that "too much testosterone" theory comes in.   

What are some of my favorites you ask?

Curse Workers Series by Holly Black
Cassel, is very relatable to me. He wants to be a good guy despite the family connections that would make it so easy to be bad. 

Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz
Sigh! He's a gentleman, he doesn't know how cute he is, and he always does the right thing. K, maybe he's not that relatable, he's too perfect. But what a fun character. 

The Schwa Was Here by Neal Shusterman
Antsy is so much fun! He's kind and loyal and I'd love to have him as a friend.

Urban Magic Series by Kate Griffin
Matthew, Matthew,  he doesn't want all the trouble that's constantly following him around but he never backs down or gives up. Plus, he's so dang hilarious!

I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak
Ed Kennedy is so great! He's honest and real. When faced with a huge burdensome task he steps up to the plate and, through trial and error, succeeds.

Getting the Girl by Markus Zusak
Cameron Wolfe is so relatable to me I can't even begin to explain it without giving away much more information than you EVER wanted to know about me.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Eragon has so many relatable faults but wants so much to be good and do right that I can't help but love him.

I'm well aware that some of these books were written by women so what that does to my theory I'm not sure but I do know I rarely like the female main characters. I read books with female MCs for the adventure and the cool premise and, yeah, maybe even the romantic interest, but I usually could care less about the girl and either find her too whiny, too selfish or just plain stupid! It's true, I don't have a lot of sympathy for my own sex. This makes it very hard to relate to the girl and almost impossible to actually like her.

So is it the testosterone? Is it weird that I don't like girl main characters? I'm always reading reviews about how awesome the girl was, or how relatable and even though, in public, I'm nodding and smiling, inside I'm thinking, "what the heck's wrong with me? I don't see it. I didn't like her! I didn't relate!" I'm so confused. That's not to say I NEVER like or relate to the girl, it's just very rare.

So do you like mail MCs better, and even if you do can you still relate to the girls? Like them even? And now for the fun part (for me, anyways) Any suggestions of books with male protagonist as the MC that I might like?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

Today  The Broke and the Bookish asks the question: What are the Top Ten books that left your mouth hanging open because of a cliffhanger or mindblowing ending?

So here goes.


I can't believe the cliffhanger the author threw at us! Argh!

This one wasn't so much the plot cliffhanger but the twist Cassel's mother threw in at the end.

Come on, Koontz, this was the only one with a cliffhanger and then you just stop writing them?!!


Any one who read this one knows what I'm talking about. The whole thing is mindblowing!
I can't even begin to explain how awesome this one was.

I still think about this one and just shake my head. It was such a surprise for me!

Yeah, that's all I can come up with. I know there's more but my brain just isn't working.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Review Ella Minnow Pea

Title Ella Minnow Pea
By Mark Dunn
For Book club
Source Library book club set

First sentence Dear Cousin Tassie, thank you for the lovely postcards.

On the fictional island of Nollop, named for Nevin Nollop, the man famous for the phrase: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog, cousins Ella and Tassie write letters as an unfortunate even takes place. As letters of the famous phrase begin to fall from the statue of Nollop, the town council bans each letter from use as it falls.

General thoughts
Oh, where can I begin? I really expected to like this one and, yet, I don't feel bad saying I didn't. Maybe I just took this one way too seriously, alright I'll admit that's exactly what I did, but any time "government" takes too much control I take things very seriously! My biggest annoyance, after all was said and done, was the convenience of the story. The letters that fell, the younger children being allowed to speak the banned letters, (thrown in so someone could write down the new phrase they were all trying to come up with. Come on, you know that's why he threw that in,) the sudden decision to allow the use of proxy letters. All of these things were just used as a means to an end but it really bothered me. I'm not saying I could manage to write this book, and I'm sure Dunn had a hard time figuring it all out but he chose which letters fell for HIS convenience. All the clever ways he came up with to deliver the letters after the mail was being checked sounded as contrived as saying a pink elephant flew into town and began delivering them. I also had the impression that Dunn decided he liked Tassie more than Ella and almost forgot that he had to have Ella as the main character for a fun title to the book. And don't get me started on the dang council! If I'd been on the island I would have marched up to the statue, after the first banned letter, and knocked them all down and proclaimed my self a vessel for Nollop and inform them that they should all bow down and worship me. They probably would have fallen for it too! On the other hand I was irritated with what I felt was a mockery of deity and religion. And then the author manages to insult Nollop and accuse him of stumbling upon the phrase and probably stealing it. Yes, much like Dunn contrived a stupid little book and stole millions of people's money!  Alright, alright, I'm shutting up. (grumble, grumble) I'm sorry I'm being so mean but I did NOT like this one and I feel entitled to my opinion.

Sorry, but all the characters were just a means to an end as well. Resulting in absolutely no connection to any of them.

Would I recommend it? 
I know most people love it and enjoy it as a simple story but I delved deeper and I hated what I read! So no, I wouldn't.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

September Wrapup

As you may remember I wanted to work on some series I was behind on. Sigh, I didn't do as well as I would have liked but I did manage to get two series out of the way and that's something...right? Right?! ;)

Birthmarked by Caragh M O'Brien
Ugh! This one drove me crazy on levels I didn't even know I had!

The Body Finder (Body Finder 1) by Kimberly Derting
Too high of expectations and an overly controlling boy ruined this one for me.

Desires of the Dead (Body Finder 2) by Kimberly Derting
Dang you, you stupid book, you made me want to read more!

The Underdog by Markus Zusak
Can Zusak really do anything wrong? Really?! No.

Road to Rome (The Forgotten Legion 3) by Ben Kane
A fine conclusion to a fun series. (sorry, I didn't review this one)

City of Bones (Mortal Instruments 1) by Cassandra Clare
This time, too low of expectations helped me enjoy this adventurous story.

City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments 2) by Cassandra Clare
Meh, I still don't get what everyone sees in Jace but I enjoyed it.

City of Glass (Mortal Instruments 3) by Cassandra Clare
Too predictable but a nice wrapup and I've no intention of reading any more of this series.

Favorite of the month was The Underdog and least favorite was Birthmarked. Also, and I thought this was rather interesting, every book I read in September was written in third person, and I didn't even plan it that way. Weird huh?