Saturday, June 30, 2012

Photo A Day July

K, I watched my friends Suey and Jenni have fun posting pictures for this fun event hosted by Fat Mum Slim in June. Now that it's still going for July I just couldn't resist joining. So look for my photos inspired by the prompts below. And if you want to join head on over to Fat Mum Slim for more details. It's going to be fun!

I can't wait to get snapping. Even if it is with my crappy camera phone. ;)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Review: Endure

Title Endure (Need 4)
By Carrie Jones
Genre YA supernatural/paranormal romance
Pages 262
Recommended by Me

First sentence "Do you want some more spaghetti?"

Blah blah blah. The series comes to and end and I'm sure there was some story going on, but all I really cared about was who Zara was going to choose!

A rambling review...cause I can't break this one down into good and bad
K, my synopsis isn't really that fair but it's been two years since I read the book before this one and I hardly remembered a thing. That's not good! I should have remembered that Zara did in fact rescue Nick! After all, she was so whiny about it during the last whiny that I actually DO remember that! Sorry, but the reason I was so hooked into this series is because of Astley...insert long dreamy sigh here... Astley is a serious book crush of mine. And I don't mean I like him and he makes me smile. I mean that every time he "walks onto the page" I get this nervous excited feeling like I do in real life when a crush walks into the room. He's kind, sweet, NOT a controlling crazy psycho like some people *cough* every guy in YA *cough*. He's sacrificing, practical and selfless. I love him, guys! And in comparison to Nick a boy that is the exact opposite of all these qualities, he shines! Positively shines!

This is the last and final book in the series so I knew the decision was coming. There was much hand wringing and nervous gulping going on, let me tell you. With Nick back being his usual jackass self and Zara still crushing on him I was panicking. Why?! Why couldn't this once I like the guy the MC actually ends up with? Just this once, please!...And now I'm going to shut up in case you are reading this series or plan to and don't want to know what happens. I'm afraid if I even tell you I liked or disliked it I'll ruin it for you sooo, I'll tell those of you who want to know below...the rest of you guys, just skip to the bottom.

Well, guys, for once in my freaking life the MC saw what I saw in a love interest and chose the right guy! I was thrilled! However, I have mixed feelings. See, I hated that the author threw in that fake out about Astley being bad. Not only was it completely unbelievable because Astley is incapable of evilness, but it was just plain aggravating. I was furious with Zara for actually believing his act. Whatever! She wouldn't have believed so easily, it was completely out of character and downright insulting to me as a reader! So, yeah, I was happy she chose Astley but the way in unfolded pissed me off.
***End of Spoiler***

If you haven't read this series I'd recommend it based solely on Astley. Just so you can meet him and be introduced to a real man! But remember, he's mine! Don't even think about stealing him! ;)  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Review: The Color of Evil (Blog Tour)

Title The Color of Evil
By Connie Corcoran-Wilson
Genre Adult suspense
Pages 279
Recommended by Me

First sentence It was April 1, 1995 and Tad McGreevy's eighth birthday party.

Lives of the people in a small town are entwined when a killer escapes prison and starts killing. At the center of these people is Tad McGreevy, a kid who sees auras. Years ago, at his eight birthday party, he saw the aura of the clown his mom hired. It was a sickly grey/green. The worst kind. The clown, Michael Clayton was arrested for the torture and killing of little boys. But now he's back and Tad must protect those he loves. 

What it has going for it
First off, a crazy killing clown is freaky! Second,  a kid who sees auras and has prophetic dreams about said killer clown sounds like one heck of  a book, am I right? This book was, in a word, intense. The suspense kept me turning pages in morbid fascination as I winced my way through this one. The look into the lives of these characters and their own individual  "evils" was like they say, "watching a train wreck". You just can't look away. Tad was a good protagonist. After the horrors he faced as a child I was impressed with his resiliency and conviction. If my parents had done to me what his did to him, I'd be in no hurry to start trying to warn people again. I'd want to keep my mouth shut! But not Tad. He worked well as a central point to all the characters in the book, and, believe me, there were a lot. Twisted and crazy this one will keep you turning those pages. 

What's lacking
I mentioned that there were a lot of characters and there was. A lot. That was fine with me. I didn't have too hard of a time keeping them all straight, but what did bother me was we kept getting all this back story every time we skipped characters and it slowed down the plot. I was all into the suspense and all of the sudden it would be talking about why so and so was the way they were due to some event that took places ages ago. It got a little frustrating. I also found the writing to read more like newspaper articles than fiction. That made sense once I got to the end of the book and found out the author, did in fact, write for several newspapers. It worked for this particular book but could sometimes pull you out of the story with its neutral look on things. 

Favorite moment
When Tad got Charlie Chandler to agree to help him find Stevie. I like the idea of those two teaming up.

Yea or Nay?
Obviously this is a preferred taste type of book. Those who like watching crime shows on TV, like myself, will enjoy the suspense. And to them I say yes.  

My thanks to the author, Connie and Premier Virtual Author Book Tours for getting me a review copy.

If you'd like to check out more reviews for this book or learn more about the author and this book you can click here.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Review: Bad Kitty

Title Bad Kitty (Bad Kitty 1)
By Michele Jaffe
Genre YA contemporary
Pages 268
Recommended by My mom

First sentence I believe everyone has a superpower.

Jasmine has become a little obsessed with solving mysteries despite her father's disapproval. But she never goes looking for just seems to find her. While on vacation with her family in Las Vegas, Jasmine gets involved in a mystery when a three legged cat jumps in her lap and refuses to let go. Even with the help of her friends this might be one mystery Jasmine might not solve not with her life intact anyway.

What it has going for it
In the same vein of Georgia Nicolson and Ruby Oliver, Jasmine's voice had me laughing out loud on every page! In fact, if you took GN or RO and threw them into a mystery you might get something similar to this book. Not to say Jaffe hasn't created something unique here. Her writing is unique and hilarious not to mention creative. With larger than life characters that I don't doubt will stick with me for some time, and a spunky MC this book was tons of fun. The mystery wasn't horribly obvious to me and in a mystery book that's a good thing. Far too often I have the whole story predicted within the first 20 or so pages. I kid you not!  Not here, though.

What's lacking
I don't want to say anything mean about this one because I'm 99% sure any dislike was totally a mood thing. For example I read the first fifty pages and was heehawing and immensely enjoying myself and then, when I picked it up again, I was having a hard time getting into the language and humor. THEN when I picked it up again I was all laughy again. See? I'm pretty sure it was a mood thing. However, I can say with some certainty that this was ridiculously unbelievable. So much happened that just would not actually happen in real life. But, hey, they don't call it fiction for nothing. 

Favorite moment
When Jasmine starts taking off Jack's clothes (to look for clues) and sees his snoopy boxers. Priceless. Or should I say, Mastercard? 

Yea or Nay?
If you love to laugh and like mystery I'd highly recommend it. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Review: On The Island

Title On The Island
By Tracey Garvis Graves
Genre Adult contemporary
Pages 329
Recommended by Rebecca

First sentence I was thirty years old when the seaplane T.J. Callahan and I were on crash-landed in the Indian Ocean.

Anna's life appears to be heading no where. She has a job she loves but she's 30 years old and her boyfriend of eight years won't commit. When the opportunity to tutor 16 year old T.J for the summer at the families summer home in the Maldives arises, Anna jumps at the chance to get away and make some decisions. But life is about to get a lot more complicated. When the seaplane crash-lands in the Indian Ocean she and T.J are the only survivors. Stranded on a deserted island the two struggle to survive and fight the growing attachment between them.

What it has going for it
I'm not going to lie. I love deserted on tropical island stories. Throw in a 30 year old girl and a 16 year old boy and mention a possible romance and I'm definitely intrigued. No, not because I'm a perve! It's just conflict....really interesting conflict. And I LOVE conflict. First and foremost, my favorite part of the book was how the two survived. How they found food water and shelter and learned to adapt. I always find stories where people have to survive without anything absolutely thrilling. I don't want to be too spoilery so if you are already itching to read this one you can skip this next bit. ***I liked that the story wasn't just about the two on the island but how they got off and life after. Albeit a little less exciting, the story needed to go on beyond their rescue.*** The romance if you're worrying wasn't too shocking. I'll just go ahead and admit that if I was stranded on an island with a guy (almost any age) for three and a half years I'd have a heck of a hard time not having some sort of romance. If you survived this type of tragedy and spent that much time with only one person to talk to, some sort of deep relationship (not necessarily romantic) is going to happen. Just sayin'. I read this book in two days. It was very gripping and held my attention even during the slow parts. Lately...that's a good thing.

What's lacking
Um, I knew this was going to be romantic chick-lit in the guise of a survival story but I wasn't overly thrilled that, in reality, it was erotica in the guise of romance. Make sense? I'm not saying this was total crap but because it focused so much on the physical part of the romance I had a hard time believing these two were really in love. And as the whole story is based on their love I wanted to believe in it more. I also felt...and this might be spoilery again, ***that when they got off the island reality would have sunk in and they wouldn't have been so comfortable with their relationship anymore.***

Favorite moment
It was very exciting and kinda sweet when Anna got stung by a jelly fish and T.J had to take care of her. Oh, and the dolphins helping kill the shark was cool too.

Yea or Nay?
Yeah, I might recommend it but only with the warning that there was sexual situations that bordered on erotica. Or maybe I just don't read enough "romance" and am being naive. ;)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Mini Movie Reviews #2

So, I've seen quite a few movies lately and so I thought I'd share my thoughts. Cause I know you just love my thoughts. ;)

I was so shocked that people were camping out in my city to see this one. Good heavens It doesn't even have any of the good Marvel superheroes! Ahem, well if you haven't already closed this window and pulled up a word document to start making a list of ways to kill me, read on. I enjoyed this one well enough but I was bored through most of it. It took forever to set up the story and...hello! I went to see a superhero movie with very little storyline and lots of cool fighting. It took far too long to get to the fighting. Just sayin'. I did LOVE the ending after the the restaurant. Hee hee.

Much better than the second. Am I right?! The story was good the acting was superb. Jame Brolin rocked a younger Agent K. My favorite line was when Tommy Lee Jones asks Will Smith if he knows what the biggest threat to the world is and Will Smith says, "sugar." Oh, I heehawed over that one. Yes, yes, I do believe sugar is mankind's biggest threat.

And why, you ask, do I have a picture of Stefano rather than a movie poster of Madagascar 3? Because he was so dang CUTE! I have never wanted to squish a cartoon character before. Not even Puss in Boots, and he's pretty dang cute. Oh my gosh! I have a weakness for sea lions but Stefano pushed me over the edge. With his cute little Italian accent and his adorably expressive face I just can't help my self. Oh, uh, how did I feel about the movie? I liked it. I still like the first one best but this one was fun. 

I have mixed feelings about this one. Everyone was so excited for it and so was I, but after it came out and a few reviews started popping up saying it was horrible, I started to worry. Still, as we all know, I'm not one to follow the crowd's opinion, so I watched it anyway. This movie was dark. That didn't surprise me. I knew it was going to be darker. Heck, I even thought it's slogan should have been, "this isn't your mother's Snow White!" I didn't mind the "darkness". It was supposed to be scary and action packed and it was! Then there was the whole romance thing, and this, I think, is what bothered people. I went into it thinking I was going to like the Huntsman and, well, I ended up liking William, the "prince" way better! So that had me freaking out the whole movie. I say, ignore those naysayers and go see this one. I highly recommend it. Just don't go for the romance. Go for the adventure. The visual effects/cinematography was beautiful, btw. Loved it!

And now for a cute video of Stefano because I just can't resist.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

In My Thoughts This Fine Day #3

It's time for some rambling again!

I've been eating a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches lately...hmmm, maybe I'm trying to regain my youth.

I need to feel young sometimes. After seeing a movie and sitting for two hours my knees hurt. What the heck?! I'm only 31! 

The group stage of the Euro cup is over and only two of my teams made it. What was up with the Netherlands? Seriously. They weren't themselves and it cost them. Oh well, I'm rooting for Spain anyway.

I just spent the last hour trying to figure out why Google Chrome and Safari makes commenting on my blog difficult. It's like the comment box is all out of whack and where you're writing is higher than what you can see...or something. It's driving me crazy and I can't figure out how to fix it. I'd hate to have to go back to the pop up window comments because I can't do replies that way, but I hate that some of you can't comment. :( Oh what to do?!

I'm thinking it's time for a new profile picture for my blog/Goodreads/twitter etc. My old picture has nothing to do with reading and it was back in my heavier days so....yeah. Now if I can just get my sister to help me take a good picture. 

Well, I'm off. Thanks for listening to my ramble. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Review: I Believe In Jesus Too

Title I Believe In Jesus Too
By Mark S Nielsen
Illustrated by Craig Stapley
Genre Children's picture book
Pages 30
Recommended by Mark Nielsen

First Sentence Latter-day saint children everywhere in the world believe in Jesus Christ.

Geared towards Latter-day saint children, this book highlights children all over the world who believe in Jesus Christ and shows how they worship.

What it has going for it
When Mark Nielsen, the author of this book, contacted me I was impressed with his pleasant optimistic attitude. Even though I never review children books on my blog I just had to say yes. I hardly expected this lovely book. The author had written a personal note to me AND signed the book. Filled with beautiful illustrations this book does a great job of showing how children all over the world worship. I've let my nephews flip through it at they love the bright beautiful pictures and listening to the story. Every time they come over they grab it and ask for me to read it. What better praise can I give?

What's lacking
No complaints.

Favorite moment
It talks about children taking the subway in New York to church and I liked that. I've never been to New York but it reminded me of when I was in London and took the Underground to church. So different than Utah where there's always a church building within walking distance.

Yea or Nay?
As this is geared towards LDS children, I'm sure this might not appeal to most of my readers but it's worth a look. The pictures are beautiful and it talks a little about LDS beliefs.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Review: Overbite

Title Overbite (Insatiable 2)
By Meg Cabot
Genre Adult paranormal romance
Pages 275
Recommended by Me

First sentence Meena Harper knew things, things no one else knew...things no one could know.

Meena Harper can tell see when a person is going to die. An annoying gift but a useful one. Fate can be changed, and if she warns someone not to do something they better listen. She now works for The Palatine Guard, a secret demon hunting unit of the Vatican. When she keeps dreaming of Lucien her ex boyfriend, a vampire who happens to be the son of Vlad The Impaler, she tries to convince her boss and her  partner Alaric Wulf that there is good in Lucien. But with tourists going missing all over the city and Lucien being the number one suspect, Meena's not having much luck.

What it has going for it
I have such mixed feelings! I read the first book several years ago and enjoyed it. It was funny and exciting and had two super hot guys for the heroine Meena. What's not to love? In the first book I loved Alaric, the demon hunter. I couldn't get why Meena wanted to be with boring old Lucien. In this one I felt the opposite... sorta. I still liked Alaric but Lucien suddenly came back all redemptive. I was quite smitten with him. My point is, I love Meg Cabot books. She writes such funny adventurous books that make you laugh and make you flip pages at an alarming rate. The mystery was fun and I wasn't able to easily predict what was going to happen and, by the end, I was hooked into the story....

What's lacking
However, and it might have been a mood thing, I was a little bored in this one. I kept having to force myself to pick it up.  Yeah, the end got good but it dragged a little in the middle.

Favorite moment
Too spoilery but it was so sweet and sad.

Yea or Nay?
If you liked the first one you'll like this one. I'd say, continue on with the series.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunday Salon

Welcome to the new Sunday Salon. A weekly update post about my boring life. ;)

Weather Small Talk: Warm, warm, warm! Perfect laying out weather. I already have the beginnings of a tan. Don't judge! ;)

Music Discoveries: K, I discovered Tongue Tied by Grouplove awhile ago but was hesitant to share. I know some people might be weirded out but I love this song. I love the carnival/roller coaster feel.

On The Idiot Box: A lot less TV watching goes on in the summer but there are a few shows I enjoy. MTV's Teen Wolf is all sorts of awesome. I love USA's Burn Notice, Suits, and Covert Affairs, though the latter hasn't started yet. TNT's Falling Skies starts tonight and I'm sooooo excited!

Weekly Reads: I finished The Color of Evil that I'm reading for a blog tour. It was suspenseful. I'm working on Bad Kitty and just started Endure, the last of the Need series. It HAD BETTER end well! Just sayin'.

Crazy Kitty: Either I'm freezing and she's comfortable or I'm comfortable and she's hot. Sigh!

This Week: I got to go to the Fierce Reads at my local library and meet some awesome authors. I do such horrible recaps that I didn't bother but Suey, Kathy, and Lorren all did some lovely recaps you can check out.

Movie of the Week: Wow, let's see, since I last posted about movies I've seen The Avengers, MIB3, Madagascar 3 and Snow White And The Huntsman....I'm thinking I'll do a mini review post on them rather than go on and on here.

Food Talk: Ugh, no recipes to share today. I've cut dairy out for the month and I'm about to lose it! No, not inches, my sanity! I want cheese!!!! :(

Soccer Sightings: The Euro cup is in full swing. With two games on every day at the moment I feel like all my time is consumed with soccer. I even dreamed that this handsome fellow was my brother in law...not sure what sister he was married to, though.

Plans For The Week:More Euro cup watching...obviously and book club. Yay!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Three Types Of Posts I Hate Commenting On

This is probably the lamest post I've ever written but I've been thinking about these things and feel the need to torture you with my commentary.

There are a few posts/memes I rarely bother commenting on. What are they and why, you ask? (just pretend you care)

I know, I'm sorry! But when I first started blogging I participated in this meme. My TBR shelf went from like 300 to 600 books in a couple of months. Just seeing book after book highlighted was too tempting to resist and I didn't. So, yeah, on this one I don't just not comment, I can't even read it. So, if you've noticed my absence on those posts now you know why.

Now here's a post I'll read but that I just plain struggle to comment on. Who the heck am I supposed to address? The Interviewer/blogger or the author? And what am I even supposed to say? Maybe it's easy for others but I struggle so hard to come up with something to say.

No, my uninvolvement in this meme has nothing to do with the debacle involving The Story Siren, I just don't get books in the mail. Not from publishers. Not from ordering them(very often) so I just don't see the point in participating. But the reason I don't comment is because I don't know what to say. "Oh, you got such and such a book" "that one looks fun" "have fun reading so and so". See? They're not very fun comments. Maybe it's just me that struggles with commenting on these posts, though.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who reads a post and wants to comment but just can't figure out what to say. What about you? What posts do you struggle to comment on? And if you do struggle what do you do about it? And who the heck are we supposed to be addressing on those interview posts?    

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Review: About A Boy

Title About A Boy
By Nick Hornby
Genre Adult Contemporary
Pages 320
Recommended by Book Club

First sentence "So, have you split up now?"

About A Boy follows the lives of Will and Marcus. Will is a laid back 30 something bachelor who's never had to work a day of his life. Marcus is a 12 year old boy starting at a new school. His mother is depressed and things aren't going so well. When the two meet they begin an unlikely friendship that will change them both for the better.

What it has going for it
Yes, this is the book the movie starring Hugh Grant is based on. I've been meaning to read it for along time because I love the movie. Finally my book club decided to read it and I couldn't be more thrilled. This is such a strange story. A single guy in his thirties who's never had any real friends becoming a friend to a 12 year old boy. As unlikely as this is it works so well and makes for a great story about the need for people and friends in our lives. The characters are all so vivid and individual. Our narrators, Will and Marcus, have such different voices and our easy to like. Yes, even Will, the womanizing, lazy, unemployed, loser. Easy, fast, fun read with a sweet message!

What's lacking
This isn't actually something that was THAT lacking but the movie and book are so almost word for word similar. It worked for me because I love the movie so it was just like watching it again. However, it does take longer to read than watch a movie...well, for most of us, anyway, and so some people might prefer to just watch the movie. However, before you decide to pass on the book, you should know the endings are completely different! The movie has been Hollywood-ized and is much more "neat". The ending of the book was a little less flashy and I can see that bugging some people. I actually preferred the book's ending, though.

Favorite moment
I've always loved the dead duck scene but I prefer the movie version for the look on the babies face. We don't get to see that in the book. In the book, itself, I loved the change that takes place in Will when he meets and dates Rachel.

Yea or Nay?
Yes, and don't write off the book because you've seen the movie. If you loved the movie you'll love the book....maybe even more.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Best Thing About Birthdays

It was my birthday on Sunday. I was having one of those, lets pretend I'm not getting older by celebrating my birthday years. Sigh. However I did get some amazing books from friends.

See?! Don't I have awesome friends? Thanks Suey, Trina and Christal....oh, and me. Yes, I bought myself a few books too.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Review: Spartacus The Gladiator (Blog Tour)

Title Spartacus The Gladiator
By Ben Kan
Genre Historical Fiction
Pages 448
Recommended by Me

First sentence When the village came into sight at the top of a distant hill, a surging joy filled him.

Spartacus has returned, after escaping from life as an auxiliary in the Roman army. But he quickly falls foul of his overlord, the Thracian king, who has set his heart on Dionysian priestess, Ariadne -- later to become wife of Spartacus. Betrayed again to the Romans by his jealous king, Spartacus -- and with him Ariadne -- are taken in captivity to the school of gladiators at Capua. It is here -- against the unbelievable brutality of gladiatorial life -- that Spartacus and Crixus the Gaul plan the audacious overthrow of their Roman masters, escaping to Vesuvius, where they recruit and train a huge slave army -- an army which will keep the might of Rome at bay for two years and create one of the most extraordinary legends in history.  (From Goodreads) 

What it has going for it
I read and enjoyed Ben Kane's Forgotten Legion Chronicles  during the past few years so when I was offered a chance to participate in the blog tour of his new book, Spartacus, I was excited. I don't, or didn't, know squat about Spartacus. I haven't even seen the famous Kubrick film, so this was my first foray into getting to know him. I have to give a shout out to the author for writing historical fiction that gets you invested in the characters. I love learning history without realizing I'm actually learning something. ;) The fighting scenes, whilst very violent, are always my favorite. Kane gets you invested enough in a character's well being that when said character is thrown into a battle you're left gripping the book a little too firmly hoping that character survives. My favorite character was, no, not Spartacus, but Carbo. He was, as far as I could tell, not based on a real person but I loved him. I'm very interested to see where the author takes this character. See, we already know what happens to Spartacus, or least you will after reading this book, but the author could do anything with Carbo and I'm dying to know what?! All in all, a fun read with great battle scenes and characters worth caring about.

What's lacking
Since this book was about Spartacus I wanted to like him better. His story felt a little too check list of historical events. Make sense? Till halfway through I didn't know there was a going to be a second book, or, for that matter, that Spartacus doesn't make it. I still don't know whether he's killed or just captured but I can guess. (I repeat, I know squat about Spartacus) Needless to say finding out both those things in the middle of a book can be a bit of a let down but, I digress, that's not really a reflection on the book.

Favorite moment
When Carbo gets the girl!

Yea or Nay?
This book, and all of Kane's books, are very violent. They aren't for the faint of heart. But if you can handle the violence and learning while enjoying a good read then, yes, I'd recommend it.

 Ben Kane was born in Kenya and raised there and in Ireland. He studied veterinary medicine at University College Dublin but after that he travelled the world extensively, indulging his passion for ancient history. Now he lives in North Somerset, where he researches, writes and practises as a small animal vet. The Forgotten Legion, born of a lifelong fascination with military history in general, and Roman history in particular, is his first novel. (From Goodreads) 

 My thanks to St Martin's Press for a review copy of this book.

Friday, June 8, 2012

In My Thoughts This Fine Day #2

It's time for some randomness again.

First, and of course the most exciting, the Euro Cup starts today! Woohoo! Let hours in front of the TV and checking my phone for scores every five minutes begin! I'm hoping Spain will keep the title but I'm OK with the Netherlands or Portugal winning too. Anyone but the German team and that dastardly Schweinsteiger!

Second: yesterday, June 7th, was Karl Urban's birthday. Who the heck is Karl Urban, you ask? Let me remind you.

He plays Dr. Leonard McCoy in the 2009 version of Star Trek and William Cooper in Red. Those are the ones you've probably heard of, anyway. He also played Eomer in The Lord Of The Rings movies.

Anywho, my sister has a massive crush on him so what did we do? Why, we celebrated of course! We watched Red and had some cheesecake in his honor. Don't believe me?

See?!  Don't ask about the number 5. It's all we had! 

Here I am looking dubious about are celebration

and my sister trying to contain her excitement.

My sister's son was just excited we got real movie theater popcorn for the event. 
 Until next time.  Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Let The Unsung Hero Singing Begin!

The other day as I was blow drying my hair I started thinking about books and book characters. This isn't that unusual. I sit on the ground in front of three of my book shelves while blow drying my hair every day, and with books staring at you it's pretty hard not to think about...well books. AND on top of my blow drying inspiration, I also spent a lazy weekend watching all three of the special edition Lord of the Rings.

So what did all this amazing inspiration inspire? Why, this post of course! Let me explain.

You know in Lord of the Rings when after a physically, emotionally, mentally taxing journey, the four Hobbit friends return to The Shire to a big fat nothing?! No one knows nor cares where the friends were. The other hobbits are completely unaware what doom might have befallen their little town had the friends not done what they did. In ignorance they live their lives not ever knowing that they owed those very lives to the four friends. Alright, sure, the four friends got one heck of celebration in Gondor but it still got me thinking of those unsung heroes.

Two of my favorite book series are about unsung heroes.

                                             A Madness of AngelsThe Midnight MayorThe Neon CourtThe Minority Council

Matthew Swift. Reluctant host to the Blue Electric Angels. Unwilling Midnight Mayor. Four time saver of the city. And does he ever get a celebration? Do the citizens of London ever truly know what he did for them? Do the people who actually know what he's done even thank him? And most importantly, does he even care? No. That's what's so great about unsung heroes. They save the world/city/people numerous times and don't expect a thing for it. They do it because they're good people who make the hard decision for no better reason than it needs to be done.

                                             Odd ThomasForever OddBrother OddOdd HoursOdd Apocalypse: A Novel

Odd Thomas. The quiet fry cook who sees ghosts. He doesn't want attention or credit for the help he gives and he never withholds that help. He has a gift/curse and instead of trying to run away from it and ignore it he    accepts and uses it. Even when it costs him everything he doesn't stop. But I'll shut up before I ruin it for you.

So why am I going on and on about these unsung heroes? Because they deserve it!

And here's where you come in. Tell me about your favorite unsung heroes in literature. Sing out! They deserve it. Besides, I love these heroes and I want to meet more of them and read their stories. So do share.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Review: The Fox Inheritance

Title The Fox Inheritance (Jenna Fox Chronicles 2)
By Mary E. Pearson
Genre YA science fiction/dystopian
Pages 304
Recommended by Me

First sentence My hands close around the heavy drape, twisting it into a thick cord.

Locke and Kara's minds have been trapped in computers for two hundred and sixty years. Given bodies made of Bioperfect with enhanced abilities was gift enough, but being set free was the real gift. But the man that set them free has an agenda of his own and being locked in their minds for two hundred and sixty years has Kara and Locke suffering side effects as they race to find their old friend Jenna.

What it has going for it
First off, I have to give some love to Mary E Pearson's writing. It's simple and beautiful and I thoroughly enjoy it. The first half of this book sucked me in and, as I guessed, had much more of a story than the first book in the series. The future world Pearson created was freakishly scary in its believability! The ideas she came up with were the type I can totally see happening in our own future world. I loved the characters in this one too! The good guys were worth rooting for and the bad guys were perfectly hateable. I was on pins and needles while Kara and Locke went on the run and that first half of the book was read in one sitting....

What's lacking
And then I got to the second half of the book. :( What a let down. Not only did this awesome world start to unravel with discrepancies and holes, but it was as if the author tried too hard to bring in some of the symbolism and messages from the first book. It would have been better if she'd just finished with a great story and not tried so hard. Mainly I just got bored with the story and irritated with all the holes that littered the second half. What a shame.

Favorite moment
Any moment with Dot. I just loved her!

Yea or Nay?
For the world building yes, but for the fall of that world...not so much. I don't know what to tell you. Read at your own risk.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

May Wrapup 2012

And May is over and we're almost half way through the year. Eeeep! I'm so proud of myself. I read quite a few books in May and almost caught up with my Goodreads challenge!

Precious Bane by Mary Webb
The great unknown classic. May it become a little more well known.

Happyface by Stephen Emond
The story just couldn't hold up to the great art.

On The Bright Side, I'm Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God (Georgia Nicolson 2) by Louise Rennison 
Not quite as funny as the first but still fun.

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta 
Realistically perfect. A new favorite!

Notes To Self by Avery Sawyer
A short read with a big beautiful story.

Star Crossed (Theif Errant 1) by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Amazing plot and a great MC combine to make this one a real treasure.

Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr 
Oh the symbolism! Loved this one!

The Fox Inheritance (Jenna Fox Chronicles 2)  by Mary E. Pearson
Started with promise ended in disappointment. :(

Stolen: A Letter To My Captor by Lucy Christopher 
Intense and unputdownable but with a depressing ending.

Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors 1) by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Another intense read but where was the hope?!

Didn't Finish

Tempest Rising (Tempest 1) by Tracey Deebs
Boredom in the guise of YA paranormal romance.

Touch of Frost Mythos Academy 1) by Jennifer Estep 
150 pages in and it was still barely getting started. Maybe I'll try another time.

Favorites of the month were Saving Francesca, Precious Bane and One Was Lost. Least favorites, obviously the ones I couldn't finish.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Review: Happyface

Title Happyface
By Stephen Emond
Genre YA Contemporary
Pages 320
Recommended by Kathy

First sentence So I'm opening my Christmas present in June.

Written in journal style with awesome pictures, Happyface tells the story of a boy who decided to reinvent himself when he starts at a new school. No longer will he be that "kid in the corner drawing you", but, instead, a cool laid back guy with a grin plastered on his face. No matter what.

What is has going for it
The art! The art in this book was a blast for me. It's not a graphic novel; the pictures don't tell the story, but they could. They're that good. From doodle style to beautiful sketches and everything in between, the pictures made this book worth the read. I also enjoyed the journal style writing as it's always very personal feeling and pulls you into the characters head better than other styles might.

What's lacking
Unfortunately the story didn't do it for me. The surprises were thrown at you in a way that made you feel lied to because it was in journal style. I can see the reasoning behind it but I still didn't like that feeling of betrayal. But what really ruined the book for me was the sarcasm and bitterness dripping from the pages. I know it's unprofessional to lash out at authors but I felt like, in this case, the author had been burned at some point in his life and used this book as a tool for getting sympathy. I don't know, maybe there was some message I missed but I just found myself rather disgusted with the MC and that's never a good thing.

Favorite moment
For me it was just looking at the art. There wasn't really a part of the story that was a favorite.

Yea or Nay?
You know me, even if I don't like a book, doesn't mean I won't recommend it. For this one I'll say sure, for the art, sure. And if you actually get what the author was going for let me know. ;)