Monday, November 30, 2009

Review: Farworld: Land Keep by J. Scott Savage

Book: Farworld: Land Keep by J. Scott Savage

Genre: YA (Middle Grade actually) Fantasy

Rating: A

For: Fun... and to Support My Local Authors (hey, would anyone be interested in a challenge with such a premise as this?)

This story continues the adventures of friends and buddies, Kyja and Marcus, that began with Far World: Water Keep. They are on a quest to save Farworld from the Dark Circle. They've learned that to do this, they must gather the support from all the Elementals: water, land, air and fire. So this book takes them through some amazing adventures as they seek out the Land Elementals.

I love the theme that carries over from the first book, finding the magic within yourself. Also, this book ponders the idea of sacrifice, and what certain things, or people, are worth to you. What would you give up to help someone? Some pretty deep subjects to touch on as we bounce from one crazy thing to another!

Kyja and Marcus(one from Earth, one from Farworld... one with magic and one without) are tested over and over as they try to solve riddles, and figure out the strange things they come up against. Everything is very fast-paced and never boring or dull.

Seriously, it's quite the adventure. If you enjoyed the first one, and I know tons of you did because there was huge blogger blitz going on with it when it came out, then you don't want to miss this one.

And of course, there's that ending! Yet another one where I banged the book against my head and said, "You've GOT to be kidding me!" These authors... they know we love it.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Sunday Salon: Whew! What a Weekend!

Here it is Sunday, the end of a fun-filled, crazy, Thanksgiving five day weekend! I feel like I'm just coming back from a long vacation, and yet, I haven't gone anywhere. I had so many plans to accomplish so many things, but I ended up playing the whole time and getting nothing at all done.

Wednesday: The five day weekend begun. We were all free from school and work. I think I did get a very very small bit of shopping done this day. We all split up and went our separate ways that afternoon. The kids thought that was especially great since they were out on the town on their own too. That evening we just hung out.

Thursday: We joined my family for dinner around noon, and spent the rest of the day with them. I made four pies and the sweet potatoes. We finished off the pies when we got home, but there's still lots of sweet potatoes left!

Friday: Slept in until nearly 11:00! Now THAT's what I'm talking about! :) None of this shopping at 4:00 am for me! But even with that good sleep, I didn't feel too great that day and ended up resting a lot during the day. I had plans to shop later, but ended up not going out at all until evening when we had yet another family party. This time at a brother's house who couldn't make it to Thanksgiving the day before. We had pizza, white elephant presents, and decorated cookies. We came home and watched Survivor (On Demand) and read until late.

Saturday: Slept in until.... ugh... nearly 11:00 a.m. AGAIN! Then, my sister, who had been trying to figure out a sister's New Moon adventure, called and said we had to go to the noon showing! So JJ and I got ready quickly and met my two sisters at the theater and saw New Moon again... dejavu from the Saturday of last week. I loved seeing it again. Totally enjoyed it all. Then we came home, ate pizza leftovers with the boys who were watching the big rival game, then went BACK to the movies and saw The Blind Side. What a wonderful inspirational movie that is! And then, when we got home from that, everyone left, and it was time to go to bed already. I did NOTHING but watch movies and worry about food all day long. Oh, and Moder bought a beta fish. Add that to our pet list now!

Sunday: Today is actually being fairly normal. Church, dinner, and now blogging and hopefully reading, all followed by Amazing Race later. Oh, and a nap sometime. Because even with all that sleeping in all weekend, I'm still tired. Funny how that happens.

Book related, when I had reading time this weekend, I managed to get myself totally immersed in the Vampire Diaries saga. Totally different from the TV show. Character names are the same, but that's pretty much it. And I've been reading my Wilkie Collins book, Hide and Seek, quite a bit. It's fun too.

But I haven't done any shopping, and we planned to paint Toto's room and that didn't happen, and I wanted to get all ready for the big church party I'm in charge of this Friday and I didn't do much with that. I need to finish getting the outside lights figured out, and turned on. But the tree and the rest of the decor... they are waiting until next weekend I'm thinking.

What a crazy weekend. Fun, but crazy.

How did your weekend go? Crazy too? Or were you able to relax? Did you get any reading done at all?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I'm Thankful For....

  • libraries

  • dishwashers

  • quilts

  • kitties

  • drums

  • cars

  • levis and tshirts

  • happy kids

  • a supportive husband

  • chocolate chips

  • a huge extended family

  • travel opportunities

  • cameras

  • indoor plumbing

  • authors

  • book bloggin' buddies

  • Josh Groban

  • mountains, trees, flowers and rain

  • fresh tomatoes

  • book shelves

  • computers

  • music

  • Honey Bunches of Oats

  • electricity

  • book clubs

  • memories

  • grandma and grandpa

  • air conditioning

  • perms

  • Ibuprofen

  • ice cold water
  • freedom

  • and last, but not least, BOOKS!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thoughts on New Moon

Just in case you wondered, here's what I thought about New Moon:

What I liked:

- the dialogue wasn't as cheesy, in fact, it was often quite funny

- Bella's friend, Jessica, was great!

- Jacob with short hair

- Jasper's one line

- Charlie

- all the work Taylor L. went through to create the perfect (and shirtless) Jacob

- the almost kisses (thanks to Brodi Ashton for that term!)

- the creepiness of Aro

- smiling Jacob

- Bella and Edward's chemistry

- Alice

- the sparkle was improved

- the wolf pack

What I didn't like:

- I meant to notice the music, and then I didn't. This bugged me. Did it mean I was wrapped up in the movie, or did it mean the music didn't stand out?

- too much slo-mo

- Bella and Edward do too much mumbling

- I needed more Volturi stuff. It seemed longer in the book and flew by in the movie. There was tons of Dakota Fanning build up and then.... she was gone in a flash.

- it was over too soon,

- and that ending was extremely abrupt!

I wanted an audience that was into it, but not too screamy, and we lucked out there too. They laughed at all the right times, and oohed and aahed at the right times, but didn't overly freak out at the wrong times. So, it was great! Fun movie. I enjoyed it.

Now, what to see this weekend during the holiday?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Sunday Salon: Sick of Reading?

I had a tiny little Twitter conversation with Kelly of The Written World where we were moaning about not being too drawn into our books this past while and starting lots, but not finishing any. She said, "Maybe we're just tired of reading."

What? Did she really say that?? Tired of reading? Me? Us? Is that even possible!!??

But then I thought, hmmm... you know what.... I think that perhaps she's right. What a weird thought that is, but perhaps I'm just tired of reading. Maybe it's time to haul out the sewing machine and quilt something for Christmas. Maybe I should catch up on some scrapbooks. Maybe I should jump into the Christmas prep wholeheartedly, without complaining, and actually have fun with it.

Maybe I should stop stressing about getting challenges done by year's end, or reaching some 100 books read goal (no way that's going to happen this year!) Maybe I should stop reading what I feel must/needs to be read, and only read what I want to.

What if I went for a whole week without reading? No, now that's just going to far!

Have you ever been just plain old sick and tired of reading? Do you ever take a week off? How'd it go?

Books I am reading/should be reading this Sunday:

Hide and Seek by Wilkie Collins: my post for this book for The Classics Circuit will be up on Dec. 8. Be sure to drop by then. I'm enjoying the book, it's just not grabbing me, you know. But I will finish and have a post.

The Fatal Waltz by Tasha Alexander: I need to get this borrowed book back to it's owner. And I'm halfway done, and I'm just not into it.

The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley: I grabbed this one because it fit into my purse, and I needed something on the run. But so far, I have no idea what's happening. But I know I'm going to love it... soon.

Farworld: Land Keep by J. Scott Savage: The treadmill book. Just a few more pages! And I have been loving it. Very exciting, fast paced story. After tomorrow's walking session, I'll have figure out a new treadmill book.

What the family is reading:

The Mr.: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
JJ: The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith
Moder: The Odyssey by Homer
Toto: Pendragon book #6 by D.J. MacHale

Weekly Geeks 2009.43: Favorite Books Published in 2009

It's time for the Weekly Geeks "Best Books of 2009" list! This means we make suggestions on our blogs and then the Weekly Geek team will compile the lists and come up with one big list of books, published this year, that bloggers found to be the very best.

My problem is that I read TONS of books not published in that current year. And in fact, sometimes I think I'm reading a "new" book but in reality it's several years old or something. Anyway, to the best of my knowledge and with a bit of research, here are the books I liked the best from what I read of 2009 books:

1. Wings by Aprilynne Pike: YA Fantasy
2. Just One Wish by Jannette Rallison: YA
3. Beach Trip by Cathy Holton: General Literary Fiction
4. Homer and Langley by E.L. Doctorow: Historical Fiction
5. The Way He Lived by Emily Wing Smith: YA
6. Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunnant: Historical Fiction
7. The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon: Paranormal/Thriller
8. The Maze Runner by James Dashner: YA Science Fiction
9. Black Angels by Linda Beatrice Brown: YA Historical Fiction
10. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford: Historical Fiction

Wow. There's more than I thought! Anyway, stay tuned for my list of favorites from everything I read this year, coming up in about month. Ah, I love that year end book number crunching business!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Random Friday Fun

I guess it's about time for another one of those random/rambling posts. Right? Of course right.

** Book club was fun last night. Many people decided they were neither Team Gale nor Peeta, but rather Team Finnik! We also discussed the future of our world and if we are headed for a Hunger Games type situation. Then we all got depressed. Next month for book club we are reading Walking Across Egypt by Clyde Edgerton. Anyone read it? What'd you think?

** I'm very excited to see New Moon tomorrow, and in the meantime, I hope to avoid "spoilers"... if you know what I mean. My mom, who hates everything Twilight, ended up with tickets last night to a sneak preview before all the pandemonium of midnight. I'm so curious to know how she "survived" the experience! Do you have New Moon plans?

** Our city has arrived because we now have an In and Out Burger. I happened to drive past yesterday on opening day and it was INSANE!! I can't believe what people will do for a hamburger! And today at work I heard that there are plans for a second one, so then we really WILL have it made! Where do you stand on the In and Out Burger issue? Is it worth all the hype?

** I can't concentrate on any one book at the moment. Don't ya hate it when that happens? So I'm reading like five at a time, a chapter here in one and there in another. It's kind of making me crazy actually. I need one to jump up and grab me so I can focus.

** I've been listening to Adam Lambert's debut cd streaming from his MySpace this week. Totally loving it. I especially love his mellow songs like this one:

What'd you think? Like it? Hate it?

** Ten second TV Thoughts: Gave up on V, loving Survivor lately, Amazing Race is okay, FlashForward totally strange, Mohinder is back on Heroes!, haven't watched Glee for awhile now, Vampire Diaries is all about Damon I suppose, what a dude, and I want to watch Jon and Kate's last episode. Yes. I know. Why? I don't know. Feel free to comment with your ten second TV thoughts!

** Okay, so is it really Thanksgiving next week? Seriously? I think I'm headed for a panic attack. There's just too much to do, and I just want to.... read... or something.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Posterity

Booking Through Thursday's question suggested by Barbara asks:

Do you think any current author is of the same caliber as Dickens, Austen, Bronte, or any of the classic authors? If so, who, and why do you think so? If not, why not? What books from this era might be read 100 years from now?

Definitely I think that there are current authors the same caliber as our favorite classics authors. I'm just not sure who they are yet! :)

Maybe Margaret Atwood? Toni Morrison? Robin McKinley? Perhaps Isabel Allende?

One hundred years from now I think we'll still be reading the Harry Potter series. And I bet The Book Thief will still be around. All of Stephen King's books will still be popular. I think The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series will turn into a major kid's classic. I also think we'll still be reading The Kite Runner, and A Fine Balance.

Gosh, I don't know! This is harder than it first appears. What are YOUR picks for future classic books and authors?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Book Club: A Hunger Games/ Catching Fire Discussion

Not that I'm worried we'll have anything to talk about tomorrow night for my F2F book club discussion on The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, but still, I thought it would be fun to list some questions I'm thinking about and get the conversation going right here and now.

Feel free to post your answers in comments OR suggest other questions you think we should discuss.

  • What's your feeling about Katniss as a character? What are her strengths? What are her weaknesses?
  • The Love Triangle! Who do you like the best? Yet, who's better for Katniss? Is the answer the same? Or can we even know yet? And if you are firmly on one team or another, I want to know WHY... specific reasons!
  • What draws us to Peeta? And if you don't like him, why not?
  • Are you yearning to know more about Gale? How do you think he fits into, or will fit into, the story?
  • Secondary characters.... who's your favorite and why?
  • What are the differences between the two books? Did Catching Fire live up to your expectations? If not, why?
  • What do you think it is about these books that seem to capture us (or most of us anyway) so strongly? Is it the plot? The characters? The writing? The subject matter?
  • Are there parts that made you cry? If so, which parts and why?
  • Are there parts that made you laugh? If so, which parts and why?
  • Are there parts that made you cringe? If so, which parts and why?
  • Is there a certain direction you'd like this story to take? Have we been set up for some sort of climax that we will or will not be happy about? What questions MUST be answered in the next book in order to make you feel satisfied and pleased with the outcome?
Okay. I'd say that's plenty of questions for one book discussion! I'd love to know your answers, so start discussing in comments! Let the spoilers fly... and let this be fair warning to those who haven't read the books yet, comments will NOT be spoiler free.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Review: Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

Book: Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

Genre: Paranormal

Rating: A-

For: Fun

I put it on hold at the library. It became available, so I brought it home. There was no time to read it. Then it was due. THEN I decided I was NOT taking it back until I'd read it. So suddenly, I found time and read it! Funny how that happens. And now I have a little overdue fine at the library.

If seen a lot of mixed reviews for this book, so I was curious how I'd feel about it. First of all, it did not wow me like A Time Traveler's Wife did, but yet, it was still very unique and interesting and engaging. A very strange book though, but fun anyway.

It's about two sets of twins. One of the twins in the older set dies in the first chapter. In her will, she gives her apartment in England to the other set, who are her American nieces, with the stipulation that they come live there for a year.

The book is mostly about the younger set of twins, and their strange and odd behavior. They are very dependent on one another. So the book is about how they end up dealing with that, rebelling a little perhaps and the relationships they make in their new environment.

My favorite part of this whole book was by far the descriptions and the little tours we are taken on of London. I spent all of a weekend there years ago and still, I was able to picture the city as the twins discovered all its treasures. And then there's the Highgate Cemetery, which is basically a character in the book in it's own right. This place sounds fascinating, and let's just say that if I ever get a chance to go to London again, it will be on the top of my list of places to see.

From some of the reviews I've read, I expected this book to be scarier. It wasn't scary at all for me, not even really creepy, but it was disturbing in parts. And the end is more than strange.

Other reviews:

Monday, November 16, 2009

Weekly Geeks 2009.42: Podcasts Anyone?

The task for this week's Weekly Geeks is two share some favorite podcasts.... then if there's time, visit everyone, and came back and share some new favorites you've discovered.

I have two podcasts that I really love. I've listened to these two podcasts since they began, which is kinda cool. The first one is done by three local (to me) guys, who discuss the writing industry as a whole, and fantasy writing specifically. They call it Writing Excuses:
Fifteen Minutes Long Because You're in a Hurry and We're Not That Smart! The guys are Brandon Sanderson (of recent Wheel of Time fame,) Howard Taylor (who writes a web comic,) and Dan Wells (who is just breaking into the teen horror genre.) I find their podcast interesting because there's a lot of talk about the writing process in general, which I think is completely fascinating. They often have guests join them, and it's all very fun. And funny too. I love it.

The other podcast I really like is called Books on the Nightstand, done by two Random House employees Michael Kindness and Ann Kingman. This is a general book discussion podcast with themed episodes. It recent went from a bi-monthly show, to a weekly one. These guys are very personable, and after a short time, you feel like you are their best friends. Many books I've read I first heard about on this podcast including The Hunger Games and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It's like they talk about certain books and then a month or so later, the blogging world explodes with a buzz on the same books. Interesting. They also have a wonderful blog to go along with their show, where they keep track of all the stuff they talk about.

I subscribe to both of these podcasts on iTunes, where I let the episodes build up a few at at time. Then I download a bunch into my iPod and then I can then listen to them while driving, or working on a project at home. I usually listen to several in a row until I'm all caught up. Then I'll do it all over again in another month or so.

Drop on by Weekly Geeks this week and write a post about YOUR favorite podcasts!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Sunday Salon: What Book Now?

Just as the weekend started, I finished Her Fearful Symmetry. Good but strange...more on that later. So all the rest of this weekend I've been kinda floundering around as to what to pick next! I spent both Friday and Saturday evening taking girls to dance performances, so I picked a book based on what was small and I could carry easily and stick in my purse. I always think I'm going to read while waiting, but I end up never reading much.

Then today, we've been entertaining for the most part of the day, so not much reading's been going on either.

Meanwhile, my night stand stack has grown. And I still haven't really started on anything!

My choices:

Hide and Seek by Wilkie Collins

The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

A Fatal Waltz by Tasha Alexander

Mercy by Toni Morrison

How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosney

Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

Yes, those are ALL sitting on the nightstand at the moment, and I've wasted the whole weekend, reading-wise, and haven't really jumped into any of them! So sad.

How did your reading weekend go?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Review: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jaime Ford

Book: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jaime Ford
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: A
For: F2F Book Club (the other one)

This is a great book about the sweet story of a Chinese boy (Henry) and a Japanese girl (Keiko)living in Seattle during WWII and the friendship they develop when they are the only two Asian kids in a white school.

It's also the bitter story of the Japanese American internment during this time and how so many people, including Henry's dad, regard them as the enemy, which, of course, causes major problems for Henry and Keiko.

I loved this story and it made me wish that I'd known about the Panama Hotel when I spent a day in Seattle last June. That would have been cool to see. This is the real hotel that the story revolves around where may Japanese Americans hid some of their stuff, with hopes of retrieving it later, when they were shipped off to the internment camps.

Some of the story was a bit predictable, and it's not without it's problems, but I didn't care and loved it despite all that.

Other reviews:

The Book Lady's Blog

Booking Mama


Literary Feline

B &b Ex Libris

Trish's Reading Nook

Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin'?

Rhapsody in Books

.... and pretty much every other blog I read!

Here's the author talking about his book:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Too Short?

Booking Through Thursday asks (as suggested by JM):

“Life is too short to read bad books.” I’d always heard that, but I still read books through until the end no matter how bad they were because I had this sense of obligation.

That is, until this week when I tried (really tried) to read a book that is utterly boring and unrealistic. I had to stop reading.

Do you read everything all the way through or do you feel life really is too short to read bad books?

I sort of fall in the middle on this issue. Yes, it bugs me to not finish a book, yet, I can and do give up now and then. However, often when I give up, I don't really think that I'm giving up, I just think I'm giving it a rest, and plan to come back and finish sometime.

Books I plan to finish sometime:

War and Peace
The Idiot
The Wings of a Dove
Peter Pan
American Gods

... this list is actually quite big and I could go on and on...

Books I gave up on and will not come back to:

The Prodigal Summer
Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All

.... and I know there's more, but these two are all I can think of for now!

So anyway, it's really a rare thing for me, but I will do it, because yes, life is too short!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Blogging Slump

Yes, I seem to be in one. All the excitement from BBAW and the Readathon... it's all over and faded away. And suddenly, I can't think of anything interesting, bookish, or remotely clever to write about.


Where are those meme things when you need one? Five Things? Seven Quirks? Where was I Ten Years Ago? Where will I be Twenty years from now? What's my Favorite this, that or the other?

I don't even feel like doing those. It's all been said!

And where is everyone anyway? NaNoWriMo- ing? Christmas shopping?

So I guess instead of blogging, I'll go back to reading. Maybe I can get through a big list this month? Well, we'll see.

Or maybe I could clean.

Or maybe not.

Anyway, I'll leave you at least with a song for the day. If I clean, I'm going to blast this and mambo all through the house at the same time! (And I don't even know how to mambo!)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Review: The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks

Book: The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks

Genre: SF

Rating: A-

For: The 2009 TBR Challenge

It seems like this book made a big buzz a few years ago. Does anybody remember, or am I dreaming? It was way before blogging days (mine anyway,) but I must have heard about it somewhere somehow, because I spent gift cards on it a Christmas or two ago, and thus, it ended up on my TBR Challenge list.

I had no idea what to expect, but it turns out this is very much a science fiction book, with quite a bit of high-tech type talk scattered throughout. It totally reminded me of a the Jason Bourne novels, with a 1984 feel mixed in. I liked it. For me, it was quite the page turner.

It's about a girl who's father is a Harlequin, those who are sworn to protect, at the point of fighting to the death, those who are Travelers. Her dad taught her much about this "profession" but she decided to forgo the responsibility.

That is, until two brothers arrive on the scene who just might be the last Travelers alive. Suddenly, she's back in the game. The bad guys want them for their own scientific experiments, so it's a race to see who gains control of whom.

And what's a Traveler anyway? They are people who have the ability to move between the realms, with our Earth being the Fourth Realm.

Thus, this book is, you guessed it, the first of a trilogy called The Fourth Realm.

I really enjoyed the story, but I did notice that it was written in a very unemotional detached style. Maybe that was to give us a feel for the machine-like emotions some of characters have. But even with that, I ended up caring for and worrying about those very characters, and I think that the relationship aspect of the story was just getting going when it ended. Ah, well. Good thing there's book two! (And three which just recently came out.)

Other Reviews:

Femmes Fatals (this one has some fun info and speculation about the mysteriousness of the author)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Sunday Salon: The Treadmill Book is Back!

Yep. I've taken a little treadmill vacation, but no more. The treadmill is back, and along with that, a book to read while walking. My first treadmill book is to finish J. Scott Savage's Farworld: Land Keep. The uncorrected proof version I have of that book is perfect for the treadmill book holder. See, it can't just be any book that's designated as the treadmill book! It's got to work in that holder!

Today I've spent a good chunk of the day reading Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. This is the book for my "other" book club (the one were I just go but don't lead) coming up in a few weeks. I'm learning much about the Japanese evacuations and round up, in Seattle particularly, during World War II.

Yesterday I finished up The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks. I remember it making quite a buzz a few years ago, but I sure haven't heard about it in recent years. Anyway, it was on my TBR Challenge list, so I decided to get another one of those done, though I think I won't finish my list before the year is over. It was a fun and quite intense SF like I haven't read for a long time.

Coming up in my pile:

Her Fearful Symmetry... because it's due soon at the library

Hide and Seek... for the Wilkie Collins Classic Circuit tour

When you Reach Me... a quick read, also from the library

A review of Tom Sawyer... for my book club

A Fatal Waltz... because it's borrowed and I need to get it back

Maybe something else from the TBR Challenge list

Friday, November 6, 2009

Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate

Book: Fallen by Lauren Kate
Genre: YA Paranormal
Rating: A
For: ARC sent for review from Random House/Delacorte Press: To be released Dec. 8

The premise for this book sounded too intriguing to pass up, so I requested an ARC and actually got one! (I know, old news for many of you, but for me, it's still extremely cool.) I was very anxious to get to it, but it had to wait it's turn for a week or two, which wasn't too bad really, considering.

Anyway. So here's the deal. The promotion and marketing for this book is bothering me, because it seems to me that if most of the book is the main character trying to figure something out, then we as readers, should be learning and figuring and discovering right along with her. So I don't WANT to know from the get go what that conclusion will be. Know what I mean? So anyway, be careful if that sort of thing bothers you too. Don't read too much about this book if you want to learn things along with the character.

All that, of course, makes it awfully hard to review! Let's just say this has a bit of a Twilight feel, but don't let that steer you away, all you Twilight haters! There's many twists and turns and scenarios that makes it quite different from Twilight.

So it's about a girl named Luce, who ends up in this school for delinquents and crazy kids. Her parents don't quite know what to do with her because she's been having some problems, particularly a strange incident at her former school. At the new school, she makes a bunch of very unique friends and eventually starts digging into the past of one particular guy. Then things get very intense and Luce is totally confused for most of it.

So, yes, I loved it. It did get a little sappy in parts, and there's plenty of violence too, but not overly done. And yes, there's more to come. Of course! Every book I read these days is the start of yet another trilogy! What is UP with that?

Other Reviews (esp. if you want a little more info than what I revealed!)

The Book Lush

Jo's Fantasy Book Reviews

Here's a trailer that I liked that kinda gives you a feel for the book without giving anything away. (Sorry, I tried to embed it, but it was doing strange and funky things... so click on the link then pick Fallen which you'll see on the right. This is also where you can see the trailer to Maze Runner, if you haven't seen it yet.)The only problem with it... the dude does NOT fit the look needed. Not even close! Sorry dude.

Review: Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Book: Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Genre: YA

Rating: A-

For: Fun

This was the book JJ read during all of the readathon, and she seemed to totally love it. So as soon as I could, I picked it up and also read it quite quickly. Gotta love those Sarah Dessen books!

This one is about a girl named Auden, who decides to spend the summer before college hanging with her dad and step mom and their brand new baby. The step mom has major adjustment problems to the baby, the dad is a total jerk, and Auden ends up doing much to help them. Of course, she meets a quiet, mysterious, brooding dude. It appears he was a major biker in his former life, but something has happened to completely change him, and now he apparently is not himself... quite.

They discover that they have an interesting thing in common.... they can't sleep, so they end up spending their nights together roaming the town. Interesting premise. I would freak, as a mom, if my kid was doing that. Sheesh.

Anyway, great story. But now that I've read, I think, five Dessen novels, I'm tending to rank them. This one would fall in the middle. Lock and Key, and Just Listen remain at the top! This one tended to focus on the parent's problems too much... and I didn't really care about them. They were most irritating. I did like that the language wasn't as rough in this one as it has been in others. It was still there, just not as abundant.

Other reviews:

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Biography vs. Autobiography vs. Memoir

Booking Through Thursday asks: Which do you prefer? Biographies written about someone? Or Autobiographies written by the actual person (and/or ghost-writer)?

I think when it's written by the actual person, of course it's going to be better. That being said, I do love biographies too. In fact, I even thought about making a Suey's Top Ten list of favorite biographies and/or autobiographies, but as I was thinking about what I'd put on that list, I started wondering if what I was coming up with were actually memoirs.

So, I got confused, and now am asking a question back to YOU, my readers, what is the difference between an autobiography and a memoir? Is a memoir only a small part of a person's life? And an autobiography their whole life? So is Angela's Ashes a memoir? A Girl Named Zippy? Or are they autobiographies? And they're not, I'm now wondering if I've even read any actual autobiographies!

I know you'll know, and am looking forward to your answers!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Bookword Game: Winning Word and a New Word

And the winner is...

A Throne Tome:
A book that's good to read in the bathroom!

Congratulations to CarrieK of Books and Movies for coming up with the winning word!

For our next word, let's think of something to describe a book that has a very distinctive smell. Perhaps it smells so good that you find yourself constantly sticking your nose all the way in and taking a big whiff. Or maybe it smells so bad that you find yourself stopping to put the book down because you feel a headache coming on!

What should we call a book that has such a distinctive smell that we find it distracting?

Comment with your suggestions! Don't be shy! Voting will be next week at An Adventure in Reading.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

NaNoWriMo... NOT... and other stuff

I got a kick out of John Green's latest vlog so I thought I'd share.... especially for all you NaNoWriMo types! He cracks me up...

Good luck to all you writers. I wish I could try it, just for fun, but I decided to put that little thought on hold for now. Maybe some year.

In other news....

Want to learn more about my book club? We're featured today over at Booking Mama's so be sure to go check it out!

Oh, and it's time for all the fun blogger Christmas festivities to begin. If you want to participate in the Book Blogger's Holiday Swap, go sign up before Nov. 12. I promise, it's very fun. Then there's the Blog Advent Tour that's coming up during the month of December, so be watching The Written World for more details on that. And finally, we've got the Buy Books for the Holidays cause starting up again too, so don't forget to check that out!

Whew. What fabulous ideas everyone comes up with and all the work and organization that goes into everything. It's very cool.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Review: The Seer of Shadows by Avi

Book: The Seer of Shadows by Avi

Genre: MG Paranormal

Rating: B+

For: Fun (Readathon)

This was the last book I read on Readathon day. It was pretty quick and easy, yet engaging enough to hold my attention as I was getting tired. It's one of the books Scholastic is promoting at their book fairs this year, and so of course, I bought one.

The story is about a photographer's apprentice, back in the early beginnings of the art of photography. One day, he and his boss get a job to come and photograph this rich lady who appears to be in major mourning for her recently departed daughter. Then the photographer gets this sneaky idea to have his apprentice take pictures of the daughter (from other pictures on display in the house) on the sly, and then they will double expose both pictures so it will look like the daughter is in the picture with her mom.

Horace, our apprentice hero, feels a little bit worried about the scheme, and as it turns out, he had reason to be because it unleashes a whole huge can of worms!

A fun and interesting ghost story perfect for upper elementary grade levels where they end up learning something (the history and process of photography) at the same time. My low-ish rating is because I think I was expecting it to be a little more scary, and so I was disappointed that it didn't creep me out more.

Other reviews:

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Sunday Salon: October Recap

Well. What a month it's been! Here's the list of wonderful books I read:

The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon: David yearns to be a famous a writer even to the point of selling his soul.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner: Thomas finds himself in the middle of a maze, and has no memory of his former life, yet for some reason, he knows he must be a Runner.

All the Lovely Bad Ones by Mary Downing Hahn: Two mischievous kids play a ghostly prank that turns around and gets them back.

Black Angels by Linda Beatrice Brown: Three orphaned kids come together to survive the after effects of the Civil War.

The Forever King by Molly Cochran and Warren Murphy: The Arthur legend is reincarnated in modern times.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseni: Amir tries to make right a terrible betrayal he commits as a kid. (A re-read)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney: Greg has to survive a long and boring summer that is somehow still full of adventures.

The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry: Lucinda meets the prince, goes to the ball, befriends a witch and learns about her past.

The Seer of Shadows by Avi: A photographer's apprentice learns he has a unique power.

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen: Auden spends the summer with her dad and step mom and ends up on a quest with a mysterious quiet boy.

Favorites of the month: The Kite Runner was just as good for me the second time around. I also really enjoyed The Angel's Game and The Maze Runner. But once again, they were all amazing books!

And today, I finished the first one for the month of November, Fallen by Lauren Kate. More on that one later!

And now I'm off to a birthday party. Happy reading to all!


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