Friday, August 31, 2012

Review: Seers

Title Seers (Seers 1)
By Heather Frost
Genre YA supernatural/paranormal romance
Pages 330
Recommended by Me

First sentence I stared in the mirror, frowning deeply at my reflection.

Kate Bennett hasn't been the same since the car accident that took her parent's lives and almost took hers. She can see Auras. Just when she's getting used to this new power she meets two boys with no auras. Kate's about to learn more than she wanted about her gift and her future.

What is has going for it
I picked up this book in February at LTUE a conference for writers and readers. The Author is local and this is her first published book. I've always been fascinated with auras (I swear I saw my sister's once) and so the premise sounded exciting. It was a unique little story. Sure, we have the usual girl meets new mysterious boy and gets pulled into a crazy adventure, but the world Kate enters was unique and not something I'd seen before. Patrick, the love interest, (nope, no love triangle. Yay! ) was very dreamy. But that could have just been his Irish accent. ;) He wasn't the only character I liked, though. I enjoyed Toni, he made me laugh, and Lee, Kate's best friend, was a good friend. The ending was exciting and ended with enough closure to satisfy but there was enough left open for the rest of the series cause, yep, it's the start of another series.

What's lacking
And here's where I guiltily pick this one apart. I feel bad trashing a Utah author. She's young and this is her first book so I wasn't expecting perfection but I was hoping for a little bit better writing. So what was it about the writing that was so awful? Holy detailed details, Batman! Every single, and I mean EVERY SINGLE, little move any of the characters made was written down! It was annoying in the first 50 pages. By page 100 I was gritting my teeth and by page 250 I was considering just giving up completely. There's so much that could have been left out and you'd still get the story, but it wasn't, and it was incredibly frustrating! Still, this is a new young author and, with time, she'll get better.

Favorite moment
When Kate first met Toni and actually talked to him. He just cracked me up and I knew before she talked to him I was going to like him and I did.

Yea or Nay?
If you can get through the way too detailed writing there's a fun, unique story to be enjoyed.

Mini Movie Reviews # 3

It's time for more movie reviews. Yay! Or something like that. ;) Enjoy!

The Amazing Spider-Man
Where the earlier movies screwed up this one gets it right! Thank goodness cause I couldn't have stood another dreadful interpretation of one of my favorite super heroes. Andrew Garfield did a way better job. Agreed? Emma Stone was much more easy to tolerate as well. Sorry, but my favorite girl in the Spider-Man world is Felicia. Until we get her in a movie...well, yeah.  My only complaint was Dr. Connors. They got it all wrong. When Dr. Connors was a lizard, yeah, sure, he was evil but he wasn't evil once he transformed back into himself. I didn't like how in this one he was evil as both until he was healed. Not how it was!

The Dark Knight Rises
Well, it was better than the second one. Sorry, but this one was far too predictable. But it had Joseph Gordon-Levitt so all is forgiven. ;)

 The Bourne Legacy 
Sigh! I love the Bourne movies but this one just failed for me. I didn't mind Jeremy Renner like I thought I would but it was far too long. See, the director and writer of this one wrote but didn't direct the other ones. It's like he had more control and just couldn't bear to edit anything so he kept it all. All of the boring stuff. All of the action. Everything. And it was just too much. Plus they got someone else to do the music. James Newton Howard. I don't mind him but John Powell did such an amazing job with the others they should have got him again. I missed the music so bad!

Total Recall 
I think if I hadn't been sitting a measly two row back I would have liked this one better. As it was all I got was a pain in the neck and a view of Colin Farrell's (lovely as they are) noise hairs and pores. Les Wiseman should just stick to directing the Underworld movies. ;)

Did you see any of these yet? What did you think?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I Hated It So You Can Win It!


Welcome to a themed giveaway you'll be seeing around here from now on. See, I have a nasty habit of buying books before reading them and I really shouldn't because I'm such a picky reader. So, it often happens that I buy a book and read it and hate it. That's where you come in. ;) I'll be giving away books I hated from now on and to start with we have...

See, not so bad. Just because I hated it I know most of you loved it. In fact, you probably all own it already but this one is signed. Yep! A hardback signed copy of a horrible book. You know you want it!

To enter to win just say you're interested in the comments. I'm too lazy to put Rafflecopter up. :( You don't have to be a follower or anything but unfortunately you do have to be here in the US or Canada. Sorry to all my international friends.

 I'll email the winner and announce it on my blog on September 5th Feel free to Tweet about this giveaway to anyone you think might be interested in winning.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Soccer Woes

It's soccer season again but you wouldn't know it. I don't know how I missed all the news but apparently a new TV channel has bought up all the rights to my precious La Liga. A TV channel that my cable provider doesn't carry. You think I was mad? You should see the outrage of millions of fans. It was crazy! So crazy that Comcast gave in and came to a deal with said sport channel. Unfortunately it's not on my line up yet. Soon, though....or else! Anywho, it's a shame because without me, their good luck charm, watching they're losing! Argh! Hurry, Comcast. They need me!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Review: How To Save A Life

Title How To Save A Life
By Sara Zarr
Genre YA contemporary
Pages 341
Recommended by Me

First sentence I'm writing in response to your Love Grows post from Christmas Day.

Told from two perspectives is the story of two very different girls with different upbringings and how their lives come together.

What it has going for it
First off, if you haven't read a Sara Zarr book before GET TO IT! She's truly an amazing author with stories that actually make you feel something! Anywho, back to this one. As usual, I found my self loving the characters and how real they and their situations felt. Ugh, I hate writing reviews for books I liked. I never know how to articulate my feelings. I specifically liked the characters in this one. There was an element of cliche in each of them but it worked. I liked the message I took away from it. I swear I keep reading books that are exactly what I need to read right now in my life and this one was no exception. :)

What's lacking
I did enjoy this one, I really did, but I thought the ending was a little too neat. I kept hoping it wouldn't end the way it did. I was OK with it but I'd have preferred something a little more realistic.

Favorite Moment
I loved when Jill elbowed Ravi in the face. It made me laugh and feel bad for the poor guy.

Yea or Nay?
Did you not hear me? I told you to read a Sara Zarr book and this one will do. ;)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Review: The Maze Runner

Title The Maze Runner (Maze Runner 1)
By James Dashner
Genre YA post apocalyptic
Pages 374
Recommended by Me

First sentence He began his new life standing up, surrounded by cold darkness and stale, dusty air.

Thomas arrives in the Glade with no memory of how he got there or anything about his life before. Joining the other Gladers, Thomas begins to discover more about the Glade and the Maze that surrounds it.

What it has going for it
Well, with ridiculously high expectations I put off reading this one forever. But in honor of Utah Book Month I decided to give it a go. See, those high expectations quickly became low, really low and I went into this one thinking I was going to despise it. That always bodes well for a book. ;) It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. The mystery held my attention and I wanted to know what would happen next. I like Thomas and Teresa and am interested to see where that goes. The world Dashner created was disturbing and exciting all in one and I found my self really wanting to see this the day of course. I'd heard complaints about the ending but it didn't bother me. I thought it wrapped up well enough and then threw a nice little "surprise" at us. I also like (and hated) that Dashner wasn't afraid to kill of some main characters. It was sad but realistic.

What's lacking
Well, who am I to complain about a New York Times bestselling author but I was shocked and disappointed in the writing. The way he created mystery by having the other Gladers tell Thomas to just wait for more info was really annoying and amateur in my opinion. Plus we kept getting hit over the head that Thomas didn't remember anything. Argh! After the millionth time I was gritting my teeth. Oh, and the Grievers...Did not sound scary at all!!! I think I'd just laugh at them while they killed me. I hate when I'm reading a book thinking of how I'd handle the situation the characters were in if it were me and it takes the characters far too long to come to the same conclusion. Just annoying!

Favorite moment
When Thomas realized Teresa could talk to him in his mind.  Just because it was cool.

Yea or Nay?
Well, if you haven't read this one there anyone left who hasn't?...sure, give it a go. It's exciting at least, if a little confusing.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Sunday Salon Cause It's Been Awhile

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

Weather Small Talk: I'm so freaking sick of it getting cloudy and then not raining! Don't tease me like that! 

Music Discoveries: Nothing uber new lately. I have been enjoying the new Keane album. Especially the song Disconnected. What do you think? 

On The Idiot Box: My summer series are almost over. I watched Teen Wolf on MTV and was just as entertained as last season. The cliffhangers are horrible! I have one episode of Burn Notice, Suits and Falling Skies left and I'm really worried the latter is going to have the worst cliffhanger ever! And just when all these shows end we have a whole new season of network shows. So much TV! 

Weekly Reads: I managed to finish Ender's Game which was complete torture and I'm working on The Maze Runner too. 

Crazy Kitty: Is so needy! She misses me now that I'm at work all the time. The other day she was sitting near my stuffed animals (yes, I still have a few) grooming herself when she suddenly looked up angrily at my Eeyore from Whinnie The Pooh and bit him on the nose followed by a lick. It was hilarious!  

This Week: I had my family reunion. We went camping. During a game of kickball I pulled something and I'm STILL sore. I'm getting so old! I also had book club and found out I wasn't the only one who thought Ender's Game was boring. Yay! 

Movie of the Week: I've seen lot's of movies since I've posted a Sunday Salon. I might have to do another movie review post. Yep, I think I shall. That'll give me something to post until I finish a book for review. ;) 

Food Talk: Finding lunches that are easy to bring to work sucks! I used to work at a hotel with a full kitchen and time to cook. Now I have a microwave and that's it. Sigh! 

Soccer Sightings: Today the new season of La Liga starts!!! Are you ready for me to start talking soccer again? Cause it's coming. ;P 

Plans For The Week: Work, work and more work. :( I also plan on finishing The Maze Runner. I've been working on it for far too long. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Review: Ender's Game

Title Ender's Game (Ender's Saga 1)
By Orson Scott Card
Genre YA scifi
Pages 322
Recommended by Book club

First sentence "I've watched through his eyes, I've listened through his ears, and I tell you he's the one."

Boring, boring, boring, training, training, training, 40 pages of "action" and then it ends. There. Beat that synopsis.

What it has going for it
All I can say for this one was I get it. I can see why so many people like it. I got the symbolism. I get that the world building was "cool". Innovative, before it's time. Blah, blah blah.

What's lacking
This is the shortest review I've ever written on this blog. I wasted days forcing my way through the boredom that was this book; I'm not going to waste even more time writing about it. It was like a playing a really boring video, it was like watching someone else play a really boring video game. 280 pages of nothing happening? I just don't have time for that anymore. Sorry.

Favorite moment
I actually was shocked at one point and considering I usually had a glazed expression on while reading, that's something.

Yea or Nay?
Apparently this is one beloved book so don't take my word for it. You might really like it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Author Interview!

Hey, guys! Today in honor of Utah Book Month I have the great pleasure to interview author Becca Wilhite. I'm so excited because I loved both her books. Thank goodness, right? ;) I tease, I tease! Becca is the author of Bright Blue Miracle and My Ridiculous Romantic Obsessions which I reviewed just last week here.
Now on to the interview, shall we?

I have to ask. What are some of your favorite books?
 I am a compulsive re-reader. If I love a book, I'll read it over and over. This year's favorite is, hands down, John Green's "THE FAULT IN OUR STARS" which I've already read twice in six months and talked about obsessively. It's gorgeous. Every sentence I read makes me (think I'm getting) smarter. I breathe in his words and live in envy of his brilliance. And his humor. And the romance, the pathos, the tragedy. (Are you convinced that you should try it?) Other books I've read till pages fell out and I had to buy new copies? "THE BOOK THIEF," "THE POISONWOOD BIBLE," "PRIDE AND PREJUDICE," "PEACE LIKE A RIVER," "TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD," and "LES MISERABLES."

I was very excited to discover that My Ridiculous Romantic Obsessions was about a college student, not a high school student. It's hard to find books with college aged characters. Was there a reason you chose to make Sarah older?
I wanted to write something for the kid I once was - the girl ready to move toward the next step. In this case, college. I had heard about "new adult" books (not much since I wrote this one, though) -- books aimed at the age group between YA and adult fiction. I love that age. I loved being that age. But I remember (all too well) the angst of insecurity. (Incidentally, editors apparently say there's not a market for this age group. They may be right, but I'm not sorry to have put Sarah and Ben in college.)

I really love the covers of your books! I know authors don't often have a say on what their covers look like. Did you? And what do you think of the covers?
I cried when I saw them. Tears of worry. I got over it, both times. :) With "Bright Blue Miracle" I wondered who would ever pick up a book with feet on the cover. I mean, FEET? Come on. But I did get over it before too long. About the time I bought all the blue OPI nail polish I could find.

And with MRRO, I gasped at that beautiful, thin, long-necked redhead. In my head, Sarah is ... rounder. A lot. And she has wicked black curls. But then this willowy Sarah started to grow on me. So even though I'm not actually a fan of humans on covers, I have come to love it. Both of them.
I didn't have any say in the covers, but the publisher did send me digital mock-ups a few months before the books were printed. It was perfect -- just enough time for me to learn to LOVE them. :)

When you're not writing what else do you enjoy doing?
I have a really great husband. And 4 kids. So I do a whole lot of family-ness. I have a part-time job. I teach writing classes. I love to cook. And eat. And read books. I take walks and mow the lawn and clean a fishbowl (because I don't do furry pets. Or furry-green glass fishbowls.)

What's next? Are you working on anything new?
I signed with an agent (Meredith Kaffel with DeFiore & Co) this spring. She's terrific. She's very editorial, and is holding my hand through a rash of revisions. Hopefully I'll be ready to submit this YA fantasy masterpiece this fall. :) (I'll let you know.)

Thank you so much, Becca. I'm so excited to hear more about this new book coming out. 

My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions

My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions

Sarah Howard's first year at the university is everything and nothing she expected especially when a very cute boy named Ben in her Art History class starts to show interest in her.

Sarah feels like she's an average, normal, everyday girl. So, when Ben (to whom she secretly refers as Adonis because she thinks he could be a Greek god) begins to take interest in her, Sarah is in denial. For one thing, last year she was deeply crushed and humiliated by Jesse James a guy who she thought liked her.

She's determined not to get burned again. But in her heart of hearts, what she really wants is a Jane Austen kind of romance. Ridiculous, right? That kind of romance doesn t exist anymore . . . or does it? Sarah is smart and fun to be around and even pretty, despite her Medusa-like red curls. She even plays the guitar. (So does Ben!) Yes, Sarah is everything Ben has wanted. He's crazy for her, but Sarah is just not getting it. She's playing hard to get, and if she s not careful, she s going to lose a real hot gentleman -- her 21st-century Mr. Darcy. (From Goodreads)

Bright Blue Miracle

Bright Blue Miracle

Seventeen-year-old Leigh Mason is not sure she's ready to share her mom, her bedroom, and her little sisters with her new stepsister, Betsy. And she's definitely not ready to share her best friend, who happens to be a boy! Coping with a blended family is not easy for either Leigh or Betsy, especially during their senior year in high school. Each step brings them nearer to a crisis that will either send them running in different directions or bind them firmly together (which, let's face it, would take a miracle).
Bright Blue Miracle is a new young adult novel that has everything a girl wants: a hero (more specifically, a really cute boy), a villain (who happens to be a stepsister), comedy, despair, pedicures, ice cream, love, hate, tennis, revenge, and, of course, a couple of surprises that might send you for some tissues. (From Goodreads)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Blogger Interview!

Hey, everyone! As part of Utah Book Month we Utah bloggers got the opportunity to interview each other. It's been quite fun as both my interviewer and interviewee were both strangers to me. So I got to meet two new bloggers from my very own state. Fun, huh? Anywho, I was interviewed by Krista at Cubicle Blindness (in case you missed it) and today I get to interview Shanda from LDS Women's Book Review! Enjoy.

Hey, Shanda Welcome to my blog! Let's get started, shall we?

Hi! For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a wife, mother of four children (3 daughters, 1 son), and lover of good books.

I have always loved to read. My mom told me I was reading the TV Guide before I started kindergarten. The first “grown-up” book I read was Shadow’s Song by Dorothy Keddington. My best friend, Hillary, loaned me her mother’s copy in junior high. I loved it, reading the rest of Dorothy Keddington’s books shortly after. I was hooked on the “good story.” I’ve spent the last 15+ years looking for and finding it. I love fiction, especially stories that are so well written you can’t stop thinking about the characters as if they were real people you know. It helps if there’s a good romance, too.

I also enjoy scrapbooking, photography, movies, walking, being in the mountains, crocheting, instrumental music (especially Celtic music) and dark mint chocolate. Happy reading.

How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I actually started reviewing books and interviewing authors on the LDS Women's Book Review podcast before starting the blog. We've been podcasting for 6 1/2 years so the LDSWBR blog is just a little younger than the podcast.
I founded LDS Women's Book Review because I had started reading again (my kids were getting older and less demanding) and I had no one to talk to about the books I was reading. My hubby told me about podcasts and I knew what I wanted to do. What started as three women talking about books on a podcast turned into author interviews and book reviews promoting good clean reads and a lot of local and LDS authors. I love it!

What has been your favorite or most memorable moment blogging?
Oh, wow. It's hard to choose just one.
LDSWBR has been able to present a Whitney Award each year for the last four years and that is a huge honor for us. Rob Wells was the first author we ever interviewed on the blog, and now that he has been published nationally with VARIANT it's nice to have that claim to fame. And James Dashner has been to my house. We podcasted with James Dashner and J. Scott Savage while James was working on Maze Runner and now both are national authors.
The best part of what we do is watching all of the local authors we have interviewed and met over the years find success after all of their hard work. We love to promote and support local authors.

What else do you do besides read and blog? Other hobbies, etc.
Is there anything else besides reading and blogging? Just kidding. :)

I like photography and scrapbooking, but can't tell you the last time I finished a scrapbook layout. I have been known to crochet on occasion. I've recently started writing, but I'm not sure how that will end up. Taking the kids to the park to play volleyball, baseball, frisbee, etc, and snuggling on the couch with my hubby is how I've spent most of my not-reading-or-blogging time lately. Thinking about this question has made me realize how boring I am. :)

What's been your favorite read of 2012? And why?
I had to cheat and go look on Goodreads to remember the 70+ books I've read so far this year. If I could only pick one, it would be I Don't Want to Kill You by Dan Wells. I loved I Am Not a Serial Killer and Mr. Monster, and IDWTKY was the perfect wrap up to this fascinating, brilliant series. I did not expect to cry, but cry I did. On a side note, Dan Well's Night of Blacker Darkness is hilarious and I highly recommend it. I laughed out loud so many times my hubby didn't know whether to be annoyed or jealous.

 If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?
IRELAND. I really don't like flying but I would get on a plane to go to Ireland. (Valium, anyone?) I love the countryside, the culture, the history, the castles, the music, the people, the accent. Not sure about the food. My ancestry says I am mostly German but that drop of Irish in my blood overtakes everything else. My two littlest are redheads and the youngest, my 3 year-old daughter, has naturally curly red hair. They even have Irish names that I chose before I ever knew they would be redheads. So, yeah, Ireland.

Thank you, Shanda. I love your answers! I too love Dan Wells' books. I've yet to read Night Of Blacker Darkness because it's only on audio book right now but soon I'll get my hands on it. I also loved learning I wasn't the only one with an obsession with Ireland. I really want to go there too. I have a strong Irish streak in my blood and a strong English streak too. You can imagine the confusion that causes. ;) We seem to have a lot in common. It's been fun getting to know you better. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Did You Know?

What with the new job and very little time to blog let alone read, I won't be doing a whole lot of posts this month in celebration of Utah Book Month. I'm not doing any mini challenges, I don't have time to read more than a few books but I'm trying, people, I really am. Anywho, I did want to do this post, though.  I thought I'd share some books you might now know were written by Utah authors. A sort of, did you know thing. ;)

The Goose Girl (The Books of Bayern, #1) Fablehaven (Fablehaven, #1) Princess of the Midnight Ball (Princess #1)

Matched (Matched, #1)
The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1) The Chosen One The Dark Divine (The Dark Divine, #1) The Hourglass Door (Hourglass Door, #1)

The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1) Everneath (Everneath, #1)
The Forbidden Sea The Princess and the Hound (Princess, #1)

Once Was Lost Possession (Possession, #1) Glimpse Back When You Were Easier to Love

My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions Wolves, Boys and Other Things That Might Kill Me Water Keep (Farworld, #1) The Loser's Guide to Life and Love: A Novel

Everything Is Fine. Variant (Variant, #1) Partials (Partials, #1) Entwined

Return to Exile (The Hunter Chronicles #1) The Sum of All Men (Runelords #1) Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy, #1) Ender's Game (Ender's Saga, #1)

And that's just the tip of the iceberg! You can check out a much more extensive list here. And technically Dan Wells, Orson Scott Card, and Kiersten White don't live in Utah any more but I still claim them. ;) Did you know these books were written by Utah authors? Pretty cool, huh? I feel very honored to live in the same state as so many awesome people.