Thursday, November 29, 2012

Review: Falling For Hamlet

Title Falling For Hamlet
By Michelle Ray
Genre YA Contemporary
Pages 348
Recommended by Me

First Sentence Zara leans in, looking like a schoolgirl sharing a secret.

A modern day re-telling of the classic play by Shakespeare.

What it has going for it
Hamlet is my favorite Shakespeare. I could write a whole review on it and why I love it so much but I won't bore you to tears, don't worry. Needless to say ever since I heard about this one I've been eyeing it nervously. See, every time I read a re-telling of a favorite book I'm usually painfully disappointed. I think if you can re-write a story with very little differences from the original and still keep the reader glued to the pages, even if they already know how it's all going to end, then you deserve a round of applause. Michelle Ray managed to keep me flipping pages late into the night several times so hats off...although.....

What's lacking
....I think the original story and what I love about it is what really kept me reading. In my opinion re-tellings shouldn't be THAT close to the original. I know it's walking a dangerous line to write a re-telling. On the one hand you risk taking too many liberties and pissing off lovers of the original, but on the other hand, you risk staying so close to the original that you make your readers wonder why they didn't just read the original again rather than your book. I am sympathetic to that dilemma so I won't be too harsh but this one just stuck to close to the original but it was in a modern day world. So some of those lines the author tried to squeeze in just sounded stupid. I also sort of had hopes that something was going to happen and it didn't. That's no fault of the authors but still.

Favorite moment
I adore when Ophelia loses it and starts prattling on to the king and queen and Horatio carriers her off. It's my favorite scene in the original and still was in this one too.

Yea or Nay?
Uh, yeah, I guess but if at all possible please just stick to the original.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Review: We'll Always Have Summer

Title We'll Always Have Summer (Summer Series 3)
By Jenny Han
Genre YA Contemporary
Pages 291
Recommended by Me

First Sentence On Wednesday nights when I was little, my mom and I would watch old musicals.

Belly is all grown and going to college. She thought she knew what she wanted but some memories don't let go. Belly will have to decide once and for all what she really wants.

What it has going for it
I really don't know how to write this review and keep it spoiler free. This is one of my favorite series with a love triangle....well, let's be honest. It's the only love triangle in a book series that not only could I stand but had me emotionally invested. As much as Belly annoyed me and never really grew on me I loved the two guys in this book. Loved them not because they're perfectly dreamy but because they're flawed and real. Getting a glimpse into Conrad's head at last was a smart move on the author's part. If we hadn't gotten that glimpse I'm not sure how I would have felt. I love when you're reading a book, perfectly aware that you're being manipulated, but you just don't care. I knew how this whole series was going to end and I was afraid I'd be mad but Jenny Han handled this story perfectly and I was very satisfied. I know at some point I'll probably re-read these and that's the best compliment I can give a book.

What's lacking
Um, Belly never really grew on me  and that was frustrating. By the end of this series she's 18 almost 19 and I was sort of hoping she'd grow up more than she did. I also felt like a certain character, that shall not be named, did not get the respect from the author that they deserved. The whole thing was handled in what felt like a convenient for the author kind of way.

Favorite moment
When Conrad and Jeremiah got in a fight and the whole letter thing. Took my breath away.

Yea or Nay?
If you're longing for a love triangle done right, yes! But seriously, I would highly recommend this series.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Review: Forgive My Fins

Title Forgive My Fins ( Fins #1)
By Tera Lynn Childs
Genre YA supernatural/paranormal
Pages 293
Recommended by Me

First Sentence Water calms me.

Lilly's life is complicated. Going to high school in the human world when you've grown up as a mermaid is complicated. Being a princess is complicated. Having to find true love by your 18th birthday is complicated. Lilly definitely doesn't need the next door neighbor boy, Quince making things worse but why should anything be less complicated in her life?

What it has going for it
I don't remember who was talking about this but someone was saying they'd like, just once, for there to be a mermaid book where we get to actually see a world underwater. I remember thinking about all the mermaid books I've read and thinking, yeah! Where are all those books? Well, look no further. This one actually has an underwater world...and the half the book takes place there! Shocking, I know. I'm not sure how believable I found that world but I was happy it existed and we actually got to see it. Oh, and I really love the cover of this one!

What's lacking
So, the whole time I was reading this one I kept thinking, really? That's it? There really isn't much of a plot here. I find that rather sad. I like a touch more substance to my stories but, hey. Then came the epilogue. WTH?! Seriously? What was that? We just finished this weak plotted book with no real conflict and suddenly the evil cousin steps up and turns the whole thing into a bad daytime soap? Ugh! No thanks. I shan't be reading the rest of the series.

Favorite moment
Despite the weak plot, I did find Quince rather dreamy...before he got too sweet. I loved his snarkiness.

Yea or Nay?
If you want weak plot, sure.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

In My Thoughts This Fine Day # 7

1 I finally got to watch Downton Abbey season 2. So here comes the gushing. First, Branson and Sybil! Eeep! Favorite part ever was when the house was putting on a show for the soldiers and Mary was singing. The way Branson was looking at Sybil....Sigh!!!! All the drama with Bates and Anna was stressful. Enough said. K, Mary didn't annoy me quite that bad this season but...and don't kill me...I just don't get the fascination with Matthew. I don't particularly like him. He's too effeminate and whiny!

2 I'm finally getting a little reading steam back but the blogging is still overwhelming me. Mostly I'm just so busy and tired all of the time that when I get home from work all I want to do is watch TV and sleep. If I try to read, I fall asleep almost instantly. It's driving me crazy, people! I don't know what to do! :(

3 Speaking of TV...I'm not overly impressed with some of the new shows. I was looking forward to a few of them and was not all. The Arrow just can't hold my interest and Beauty and the Beast is way too detective-y for me. Anyone else disappointed in our new shows this season? Thank goodness for some old favorites!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Review: The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton (Blog Tour)

Title The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton (book 1: Crash Landing on Ooleeoo)
By Angela Shelton
Genre Scifi, fantasy,
Pages 272
Recommended by Teddy

First sentence Umberto Uranoscopy looked up at the stars, staring into the night.

Somewhere out in the Sombrero Galaxy, Tilda Pinkerton–mystical maker of mysterious, magnificent, magical hats–is being hunted by the Keeper of Darkness. Yet Tilda simply does not recall, at all, after taking a tremendous fall. No one on Ooleeoo, where Tilda crash-landed, knows she is from another planet. Only Star Jumper Randy can tell her—but he’s light years away, frantically searching for his missing love, desperate that without her, the entire galaxy soon may be lost. Even in the middle of cosmic danger, Tilda loves to create hats, for which she has a rare and uncanny knack. All who receive them sparkle, in fact—and spark their innermost talent. With a Tilda hat, people can suddenly do whatever they dream of, causing brilliant ideas to grow madly.With Gladys the toad, who thinks she’s a cat, and Frank the fish, who lives in her hat, Tilda must discover who she is and what her enemy wants from her so badly. (From Goodreads)

What it has going for it
When Teddy of Virtual Author Book Tours contacted me and invited me to participate in this book tour I decided I definitely wanted to. This book sounded unusual and crazy and just plain fun. Lucky for me it was just that. Even in my current reading slump it was easy to get lost in the wacky world of Ooleeoo. Who wouldn't want to visit a world with chocolate, strawberry and vanilla flavored grass that results in like flavored milk from the cows who eat it? I thoroughly enjoyed the sophisticated language you'll find in these pages; the "big" words. I'm not positive what age group the book is geared towards if any, but I could definitely imagine reading it out loud to preteens. I think they'd love the imaginative adventures within these pages and I'll be hanging on to this one for the day I have my own kids to read it to.

What's lacking
Sometimes the story felt slightly more like a strange dream than a coherent plot but that might have been my easily distracted mood. 

Favorite moment
The idea of that flavored grass, of course! 

Yea or Nay?
Yes, I'd say give it a go...particularly if you have kids to read it to. I think they'll like it and you'll both enjoy the experience. 

author photo: Laura Burke
About Angela Shelton:
Angela Shelton is an author, actor, blogger and public speaker. She has been writing since she was eight years old. Her first novel was adapted into the movie Tumbleweeds. Angela won a regional Emmy award for her portrayal of Safe Side Superchick in The Safe Side video series created by Baby Einstein’s Julie Clark and America’s Most Wanted’s John Walsh. After living in Los Angeles for over a decade, Angela left the big city for a one-light country town to marry her first love and fulfill her dream of writing books in a barn house.
Find out how Angela has incorporated the character of Tilda Pinkerton into an entire line of book projects, each geared towards a different age group at

My thanks to both Teddy and Angela for a copy of this book to review.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

October Wrapup 2012

Oh boy. Well at least I read two books this month.  Life's been crazy busy and I've been stressed and depressed. I'm sorry to all my blogging friends. Excuse my absence around here and on your own blogs. I'm not giving up but I need a break. :( Anywho, Here's the two books I read this month.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E Smith
Cute and fun with just a touch of depth.

Odd Apocalypse by Dean Koontz 
Weird and creepy but, oh, how I LOVE Odd.

Yep, that's it. And I liked them both. So I guess if you only manage two books in a month but you love them both then it's not too shabby. Am I right? ;)