Monday, May 31, 2010

Movie Monday - Will The Real Vampire Please Stand Up

Daybreakers


Written by: Peter Spierig and Michael Spierig

Directed by: Peter Spierig and Michael Spierig

Released: January 8, 2010

Rated: R


Summary: In a world 10 years into the future, vampires make up the vast majority of the population with only 5% of the human race remaining. This presents particular challenges as the vampires' food supply - human blood - is dwindling and rationing is now the norm. There is growing evidence that vampires deprived of an adequate blood supply are themselves evolving into wild, vile creatures that attack anyone and anything in order to survive. Dr. Edward Dalton, a vampire and haematologist who works for a pharmaceutical firm, has been working on finding an artificial blood supply that will meet the vampire society's needs. He is sympathetic to humans and sees his work as a way of alleviating their suffering but his views on finding a solution change considerably when he meets someone who found a way to transform himself from being a vampire to again take human form.





Finally a vampire movie in the wake of all this Twilight BS that makes sense. I’m sorry, but vampires don’t sparkle in the sunlight, their eyes don’t change colour depending on their diet, and they sure as hell don’t fall in love with psychotic… I mean psychic teenage human girls. This movie takes the entire vampire myth and turns it into something completely modern. It’s like if Blade and 28 Days Later made a baby… sort of.

Anyways, the point is that this movie was rather good. Sure, I went into it thinking that it might just be a B horror movie with semi-A list actors. I mean, there are three actors that are really big names in this movie and the rest all seem to be from Australia and I’ve never heard of them. Still, the acting was pretty good no matter the popularity of said actors.

What really made this movie was the entire premise of it. The idea that vampires take over the world is rather ridiculous but it’s the later years that this movie portrays that really make the story. Think about it; vampires are basically parasites who feed on human blood. The blood banks are low as it is now, imagine how it would be if vampires took over and humans were close to extinction? It would be the equivalent of if suddenly all that was left on earth were poisonous vegetation, salt water, and mosquitoes. People would turn on each other and become undistinguishable cannibals until no one was left. I like how this movie took that sort of idea and made it the final product.

The one thing that I didn’t like was the cure. Ok, I get the initial cure, but the second one (sorry to ruin a bit of the story) was a little bogus and seemed to be a little bit of a cop-out. To me anyways. But hey, this is a movie so what can you expect?

At least the ending wasn’t all sunshine and roses, so that was good. And it ended the movie well. It may not have tied it up all nice in a little bow, and it did leave it sort of open to the possibility of a sequel, but what movie is completely perfect now a days?

I’m giving this movie a 7/10. I don’t know if I would choose to watch it again just for the hell of it, but I wouldn’t not watch it again with other people.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Double Take - Book Covers (2)

Ok, am I the only one who doesn’t understand why they re-use book cover photos? I mean, if it was my book I would want something that not only reflected the content of said book, but that no one else had.

While perusing random IMMs throughout the blogisphere, I stumbled across the cover for Dreaming of Amelia by Jaclyn Moriarty which looks disturbingly like The Mermaid’s Mirror by L.K. Madigan.




I have to admit that I like The Mermaid’s Mirror a lot better. It’s just so wispy and romantic and the added details make it look together with the background. Dreaming of Amelia is just too slapped together and the blue too stark. But that’s just me.

Still, the point is; why do authors agree to these covers? Then again, do authors really have all that much say in their final cover art? I would think so, but I don’t know for sure.

In My Mailbox (5)

In My Mailbox is a meme run over at The Story Siren by Kristi and it’s a fantastic way to check out what other bloggers are getting their hands on. Especially since BEA was this past week, sadly I wasn’t able to go and I am SO jealous of those who did, so a lot of bloggers are going to have massive hauls.

Mine this week was a good size, but I can’t compete. Still, I barely spent any money on books for the amount that I was able to score. So here they are.




I went to Value Village – don’t laugh – it’s basically a thrift store here in Ontario like the Salvation Army and I love going there for books. In fact, I love going to thrift stores period of books. Where I am we have a Goodwill that’s only books and several VVs along with Sally Anne’s to go along with all the used book stores. Seriously, thrift stores are the most amazing things ever. You can get some really amazing books like I have over the years for under $4 all the time. I’m talking hardcovers, antiques, first editions, everything. This week I was able to find;




Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
I LOVE the movie and have wanted to read the book that started it all for quite a while.

Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures by Vincent Lam
This is like brand new. I was so excited.

The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty
This book just sounded really fun, so I bought it.







Then, I had $75 worth of points on my Shoppers Optimum Card, so while I was there picking up nail polish I raided the book section and came out with;


My Soul to Keep by Rachel Vincent
I was so surprised to find it out before the June 1 release date. Seriously, my jaw dropped and I did a double take.

Swoon by Nina Malkin




Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder

Dark Secrets 2 by Elizabeth Chandler
Even though I already own these books as individual books, I needed the second volume to match the first that I got. I wouldn’t have bought either at all but I have not been able to find one of the books in the first volume in used book stores anywhere.




So this is what I got in my mailbox this week. What’s in yours?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Liars Liars Three

Perfect

Written by: Sara Shepard

Released: September 1, 2007 by HarperTeen


Summary: In a town where gossip thrives like the ivy that clings to its mansions, where mysteries lie behind manicured hedges and skeletons hide in every walk-in closet, four perfect-looking girls aren't nearly as perfect as they seem.

Three years ago, Spencer, Aria, Emily, Hanna, and their best friend Alison were the girls at Rosewood Day School. They clicked through the halls in their Miu Miu flats, tanned in their matching Pucci bikinis, and laughed behind their freshly manicured fingernails. They were the girls everyone loved but secretly hated—especially Alison.

So when Alison mysteriously vanished one night, Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hanna's grief was tinged with . . . relief. And when Alison's body was later discovered in her own backyard, the girls were forced to unearth some ugly memories of their old friend, too. Could there be more to Alison's death than anyone realizes?

Now someone named A, someone who seems to know everything, is pointing the finger at one of them for Ali's murder. As their secrets get darker and their scandals turn deadly, A is poised to ruin their perfect little lives forever.







Well, the good news what that I was able to break the Harry Potter Syndrome long enough to finish reading this book. The bad news was that I finished the book.

So this book was more of a bridging book that is meant to help along the story and give all those little details that otherwise would bog down one of the truly fantabulous books in the series. Or so I though. Sure, the majority of the book is like that; you get what you expect. But then there are the last few chapters. All I can say is HOLY SHIT cliff-hanger Batman.

Of course, unless I wanted to spoil it for everyone who hasn’t read the book yet, I can’t go into details, but I found myself afraid to read on, like I was seriously scared of what was going to happen. And then something happened. I am so happy though that I didn’t start this series when it was first released because I might have shot something if I would have had to wait for the next book. Luckily I don’t since it’s sitting on my newly organized bookshelf.

Now I have to read said next book in the series, Unbelievable, and I can’t wait – though Harry is deciding to stick around for a little longer I think. Overall, I’m giving this book an 8/10; it would have been lower but that ending – wowza. It saved the book.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Harry Potter Syndrome

I don’t know if this just happens to me, but lately I can’t get into reading any book. Particularly Perfect by Sara Shepard, but that’s just a particular example. And it’s not as if I don’t want to read it, because I really do want to, but I can’t bring myself to pick it up off my bedside table and read it instead of doing other things like watching YouTube.

Seriously, though, I re-arranged two rooms at my dad’s house (mine and the guest bedroom) and I went full out moving furniture from one to the other, moving ALL of my books from the guest room to my own along with two huge bookcases and then I organized everything.

But it gets worst. I’ve also been going to the barn (my dad has race horses) and cleaning stalls. For no reason other than it’s something to do. And then during the rest of my time I’m working and can’t read.

I don’t get it, this funk that I’m in. I love to read, I want to read, so why am I not just reading? Instead it’s as if I’m looking at is as a chore or something. At first I thought that it was just because of the move, but now I’m thinking that it’s something else.

In fact, I think that I’m suffering from the Harry Potter syndrome. Seriously. I still have yet to read the last book even though I got it the first day that it came out. So what, that’s four summers ago, three? it was as if I knew (obviously) that there weren’t going to be any more HP books and so I didn’t want to read the last one because that meant that it would really be over. I think this is happening again with the Pretty Little Liars books; I want to read them but the last books comes out soon and then it will be over. I’ll know who A is and how everything ends. The End.

Ok, that’s it. I am going to finish reading Perfect and then go on to the next book and so on. But… not right this minute because I have to work in the morning. Soon, though, I will pick up that darn book and read it. And that’s all there is to it.

Writing Challenge - Day... 22?

Could someone let me know what day it is in the Page A Day Writing Challenge over at Books, Writing and More, Oh My!!! because I’m really not sure but I think that it’s day 22. Anyways, either way, I’m posting

So today I wanted to try something a little different and I’m not really sure how it turned out. Let me know if it doesn’t work or if it does work and at the end you’re all ‘what the hell’, which was what I’m going for. I had a bit of a hard time writing this because I didn’t want to give anything away until the end, but by doing that I don’t know if it made it seem cluttered or something.

Well, whatever. Here it is for better or (hopefully not) worse!





Alexi the Temptress





The din was almost unbearable with the constant to and fro from both above and all around. Stage hands were rushing to set up the first scene before curtain; practiced though they were they were also cutting it extremely short.

Alone at a dressing table sat Alex who was succeeding at blocking out everything with an iPod and a good set of ear-buds, the cord snaking around Alex’ back and up the spine before resting in-ear. This was a trick that Alex had learned from the great Cheryl who was the star of then entire show. Cheryl had taken Alex under her wing from the very first day and taught every trick in the book. The cord around the back was to prevent it from getting in the way of the make-up process; a heavy task indeed. With all the bright stage lights, everything was shellacked on, sealed twice, and as thick as you could bear.

Yes, thanks to Cheryl, Alex now knew how to lift, tuck, and camouflage any imperfection in order to bring out the best physique possible. Cheryl explained the importance of glitter, hair pieces, and falsies. Alex wouldn’t have been able to apply a set of fake eyelashes even at gunpoint before without gluing the upper to the lower lash-line. Alex also now knew how to highlight, conceal, and contour the face in order to get numerous different effects whether it was supposed to be chiselled or soft.

“Have a great show tonight”, came a voice from behind Alex as the passerby proceeded to the stage door. Misty, a lanky redhead was the opening act and took that seriously and her five inch heels clacked noisily as she scurried by.

“Five minutes Alex”, the stage manager Franc yelled through the dispersing crowd.

Alex nodded as if to show that the warning was heard and quickly swiped another coat of lip gloss. Four minutes more and it was show time. The only thing left to do was make sure that the wig was firmly secured to the head and Alex would be completely transformed from a mild-mannered accountant into Alexi the Temptress who belted out the songs and danced like there was no tomorrow.

Just as Alex was about to stand, high heels firmly on feet, the black cell phone on the dressing table rang, the tune one designated for Alex’s little sister. Sighing, the call needing to be answered, Alex flipped it open and held it loosely to the ear.

“I’m just about to go onstage Becky. Can I call you after I’m done?”

“This will just take a second. I’m just calling to tell you to break a leg. And to say that Mom and Dad are going to be in the audience with me. They wanted to see you perform and see what it was all about. After all, it’s not every day that their son takes the stage of a local night club dressed as a woman.”

Alex sighed again as stress and nerves entered into his body. His parents had never come to see any of his shows, the shock that their athletic son was choosing to become a woman three nights a week still floating through their system. Tonight was a step in the right direction though, which meant that Alex needed to give his best ever.

“Thanks Becky, I’ll see you after the show. Love you.” And after there was a quick response, Alex flipped the phone shut and threw it back onto his dressing table in one fluid motion while standing and starting towards the stage.

Tonight was going to be his greatest night. And as the crowd roared with applause for Misty, who was exiting stage left, Alexi the Temptress took over and entered stage left ready to perform.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Teasers - The Good and The Bad

Forgive My Fins

Written by: Tera Lynn Childs

Released: June 1, 2010 by Katherine Tegen Books



Summary: Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it’s not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Unrequited love is hard enough when you’re a normal teenage girl, but when you’re half human, half mermaid like Lily, there’s no such thing as a simple crush.
Lily’s mermaid identity is a secret that can’t get out, since she’s not just any mermaid – she’s a Thalassinian princess. When Lily found out three years ago that her mother was actually a human, she finally realized why she didn’t feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she’s been living on land and going to Seaview high school ever since, hoping to find where she truly belongs. Sure, land has its problems – like her obnoxious, biker boy neighbor Quince Fletcher – but it has that one major perk – Brody.
The problem is, mermaids aren’t really the casual dating type – when they “bond,” it’s for life.
When Lily’s attempt to win Brody’s love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she is in for a tidal wave of relationship drama, and she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily-ever-after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned.




Teaser chapters are, at least I think so, the most horrible thing ever while still being absolutely amazing.

Case and point; I found the first 6 chapters and first 60 pages online of Forgive My Fins and, of course, I read it because this book has been enticing me for over a month. Plus, mermaid books are amazing and I was excited to see how this was written. Anyways, it was just getting into the juicy stuff, the ‘oh my god what is going to happen’ stuff, and it stops. However I was able to get a really good feel for the book and it’s made me even more excited to read it next week when it’s released.

One thing though is that I think I know partially what’s going to happen – at least on the romance side of things. Then again, I could be completely wrong… but my intuition is telling me different. Personally, I think that Lily is going to stop with the Brody-wanting and eventually (though I can’t guess how) end up with Quince. But that’s just me.

Another thing that I don’t fully understand is why on Goodreads it lists the publisher as Katherine Tegen Books where as Chapters lists it as HarperCollins… Oh well. It also has two different release dated on Goodreads for the hardcover.

Still, I’m excited to get my hands on this book soon and from the few chapters that I have read, I’m guessing it’s going to be a 7+/10 for me.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wish List Wednesday - Number Seven

The Ivy

Written by: Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur

Released: August 31, 2010 by Greenwillow Books

Summary: When Callie arrives for her freshman year at Harvard, she encounters her three vastly different roommates, new friendships, steamy romance, and scandalous secrets.



This book sounds so vague from the summary but I can only guess that it’s about a secret society at Harvard; like the Skull and Crossbones (I think) only for women. At least that’s my guess. Or else it’s about being at an ivy-league school… Whatever it is, it sounds good to me! Plus, the cover is gorgeous and the white lettering really pops against the red and black background.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Vintage Tuesdays – The Witch of the West

Due to my non-ability to read lately, though still wanting to keep posting every day (preferably reviews), I’ve come up with the perfect solution; Vintage Tuesdays. In a week where I already have Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday covered with meme’s, Tuesday was the logical choice. Plus, it was the one day that sounded the best with the word ‘vintage’.

Basically what this is going to mean is that every Tuesday I’m going to review an old book that I have read in the past, probably one that has stuck in my mind so much that I still periodically think about it. I figure that with all the new books that I have yet to read, I’m not going to re-read an old book purely to post a review but I still want to share these already read books so this is ideal.

In celebration of this first ever Vintage Tuesday, I’ve decided to work off my IMM this week and review…




Wicked

Written by: Gregory Maguire

Released: October 5, 1995 by Harpercollins Publishers



Summary: When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum's classic tale, we heard only her side of the story. But what about her arch-nemesis, the mysterious witch? Where did she come from? How did she become so wicked? And what is the true nature of evil?

Gregory Maguire creates a fantasy world so rich and vivid that we will never look at Oz the same way again. Wicked is about a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. And then there is the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to be the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, a smart, prickly and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.




When you’ve read a really good book you can remember basically everything about it. With this book, I know that it was a really good one because I can still remember getting the recommendation for it. I was working at the time at Giant Tiger in my hometown and I was still in high school. I was on cash, like always, when a customer came through and said that she was in a hurry because she needed to get home to finish reading this absolutely amazing book for her book club. Me, being the book nerd that I am, asked what the book was, and thus came a glowing referral, and the sudden overpowering want to read the book as well.

Upon actually buying the book before the musical became what it is today – in fact I think that it was even before the musical came to be – I fell in love with it (and was SO happy that I got one of the original book covers and not one of the musical poster ones). I thought that the way Maguire went into detail about the Wicked Witch of the West, her family, her life, her friends, her heart; it was all so beautiful and made you think about the original book in a different light. I suppose this book was proving (though really creating) the other side of the coin for the entire Dorothy story and giving reason to why the witch turned out the way that she did. I mean, having your lover killed and then finding the body would damage anyone and turn their heart against the world.

I think that this book should be read by anyone who is an antagonist empathizer or anyone who wants to see a different view of a classic tale. Though I haven’t read the second and third books that accompany this book, they are on my ever-growing TBR pile, the third one just bought. I’m giving this book a 9/10; I definitely want to read it again eventually too.

Monday, May 24, 2010

In Fair Verona

Letters to Juliet

Written by: Jose Rivera and Tim Sullivan

Directed by: Gary Winick

Released: May 14, 2010

Rated: PG


Summary: An American girl on vacation in Italy finds an unanswered "letter to Juliet" -- one of thousands of missives left at the fictional lover's Verona courtyard, which are typically answered by a the "secretaries of Juliet" -- and she goes on a quest to find the lovers referenced in the letter.




I went and saw this movie with my Little last week on cheap night at the movies and it was really good, which surprised me a little, though I don’t know why.

The plot was simple – girl helps woman find her childhood sweetheart and falls in love – but the way that the story was portrayed was what really made it. It all just seemed to flow so naturally, as if this was how it would really happen if this actual scenario was to ever really happen. Plus, the acting was great, which added that final element to the entire movie.

The scenic views in this movie are absolutely phenomenal. I was in Verona once on a spring break trip to Italy and I've always wanted to go back. Watching this movie was like being there again and I recognized a lot of the places.

I have to honest, though. The part that really made this movie amazing was the actor who played Charlie; Christopher Egan. Not only is this guy smoking hot, but he was able to capture his character in just a way that… it’s so hard to describe. He was just so sarcastic and funny, and exactly how I can see so many of my guy friends reacting in those types of situations.

I can’t really say what else was so good about this movie, but it was just one of those films that made you feel happy at the end. I’m giving this movie a 9/10. If you haven’t seen it already, go see it. It’s perfect for a girls’ night out or a date movie.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

In My Mailbox (4)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted over at The Story Siren by Kristi. It’s an amazing meme that offers the opportunity to surf around and find new blogs that also participate in it. Plus, it showcases some amazing books. So go check out her blog. You won't regret it.

So while driving from one side of the province to the other, I inevitably stopped at Chapters and picked up a few books while getting my Starbucks fix and choosing a birthday gift for my Little. Then while catching up with friends, we went to Chapters again.

One of my new books, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I already had a copy of that I got at Christmas, but it was the movie poster cover and I decided to get one of the non-movie poster ones and give the movie poster book to my Little for her birthday. Yes, I am that obsessed about my books that I would do that. But hey, it was still a brand new book never opened or read (yet), so I say no harm no foul.

So without further ado, here’s what in my mailbox this week.



Killer – Sara Shepard
Heartless – Sara Shepard


The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
A Lion Among Men – Gregory Maguire


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson




So this is what I got. What's in your mailbox?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Reader Beware: Appetite Will Be Lost

Fast Food Nation

Written by: Eric Schlosser

Released: January 17, 2001 by Harper Perennial


Summary: On any given day, one out of four Americans opts for a quick and cheap meal at a fast-food restaurant, without giving either its speed or its thriftiness a second thought. Fast food is so ubiquitous that it now seems as American, and harmless, as apple pie. But the industry's drive for consolidation, homogenization, and speed has radically transformed America's diet, landscape, economy, and workforce, often in insidiously destructive ways. Eric Schlosser, an award-winning journalist, opens his ambitious and ultimately devastating exposé with an introduction to the iconoclasts and high school dropouts, such as Harlan Sanders and the McDonald brothers, who first applied the principles of a factory assembly line to a commercial kitchen. Quickly, however, he moves behind the counter with the overworked and underpaid teenage workers, onto the factory farms where the potatoes and beef are grown, and into the slaughterhouses run by giant meatpacking corporations. Schlosser wants you to know why those French fries taste so good (with a visit to the world's largest flavour company) and "what really lurks between those sesame-seed buns." Eater beware: forget your concerns about cholesterol, there is--literally--feces in your meat.
Schlosser's investigation reaches its frightening peak in the meatpacking plants as he reveals the almost complete lack of federal oversight of a seemingly lawless industry. His searing portrayal of the industry is disturbingly similar to Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, written in 1906: nightmare working conditions, union busting, and unsanitary practices that introduce E. coli and other pathogens into restaurants, public schools, and homes. Almost as disturbing is his description of how the industry "both feeds and feeds off the young," insinuating itself into all aspects of children's lives, even the pages of their school books, while leaving them prone to obesity and disease. Fortunately, Schlosser offers some eminently practical remedies. "Eating in the United States should no longer be a form of high-risk behaviour," he writes. Where to begin? Ask yourself, is the true cost of having it "your way" really worth it? --Lesley Reed




So this week I moved from one side of the province to the other and started a new-old job (same summer job that I had last year), so reading has taken a back seat for the last few days. However, I’m only working weekends for the next month, so luckily I’ll be able to catch up on my extensive reading list come tomorrow night after 6. Because of all this, I’m digging deep into my high school past and reviewing a book that I read for one of my classes taught by a prejudiced teacher.

Anyways, for this class which I can’t remember what it was called – it was something like world relations… something – we had to read two non-fiction books about topics related to whatever we were talking about that year in class. I read Saddam’s Bomb and this book.

I have to admit that I was hesitant about reading this at all since I’m not much of a non-fiction person, but this was absolutely horrible. Of course, when I say horrible in this context, I mean absolutely disgusting, fascinating, and amazing. It was so gripping that I don’t think I ate fast food for over 6 months.
The details that this book goes into, the real-life testimonies from people, the fact that McDonalds has its own freaking university, it’s unbelievable.

I don’t think that I will ever read this book again, I like my Wendy’s Spicy Chicken and fries way too much, but I would recommend it to anyone who wants to read about the subject, or anyone who wants a good non-fiction book. I give it an 8/10. If you want to gross yourself out, or if you want to stop eating food that’s bad for you, this book is definitely for you.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Countdown Begins...

Super exciting news! The first Queen of Glass book by Sarah J. Maas has a new title. It’s now called Eye of the Chosen. And there’s a summary, so here it is.




An infamous young assassin who is more than she seems must battle her way to freedom in a corrupt kingdom where magic has been outlawed.


How amazing does this sound? I can’t wait for 2011. Still no cover photo though. I cannot wait to see what they’re going to come up with to visually represent this book.

Writing Challenge - Day Unknown... 15 I think



So today would be the… 15th? ... day of the Page A Day Writing Challenge over at Books, Writing and More, Oh My!!! and though I have roughly been writing a page a day, though it doesn’t feel like it since it’s all been reviews and whatnot for this blog, it’s been long enough that I felt as though a proper page was due. Plus, I also have absolutely no idea how many pages I have written since this challenge started. Oh well.

But then raises the question: What on earth do I write about? In writing class, we were always given an outline or at least a prompt, a word even, that we were to elaborate upon and write at least 200 words. So I did what any person in my position would do; I googled writing prompt exercises and I found this old blog, Write on Right Now! Though it’s no longer updated, it had a lot of good ideas, which gave me ideas, which led me to this.

I had found this picture last year on flickr, so unfortunately I can’t give the proper props deserved to whoever too said picture, but I’m not claiming it as my own so that should be ok. Anyways, it spoke to me and begged me to write something about it, something to give the picture more depth. So here goes.

Oh, and I’m also slightly cheating and using this for FP Friday as well since, technically, it works being online fiction and all…



The night was over, the morning sun breaking slowly through the fine mist of clouds that obscured the sky. Light lit up the small room, ricocheting off the mirror and casting a tepid shine on everything while a petite girl sat upon the dusty floor and gazed into her hand.

Hours before she had been dancing the night away in her pink lace dress and her soft up-do, but as time chased her further and further towards the light, her hair fell down around her face and her dress began to lose its brilliance. The only constant were her golden beads draped around her neck; a hundred baubles in total and a life-time of memories associated with them.

As she stared deeply into the palm of her hand, not really seeing it but looking beyond it, those memories came flooding back to her as if a reservoir had been opened after a lifetime of being rusted closed.

When she first had received her necklace, she had been wearing a pink dress as well. It had been her fifth birthday and a golden necklace was an opulent gift to receive but it was tradition. Each bead then had a meaning cemented far into her familial history, each being a hope and dream that her ancestors had had for her long before she had even existed. With holding them in her hands, she held her entire family and the love that they emanated.

It was their guidance that she was asking for that very morning. The night before, she had received a marriage proposal from two very different men. The first was a man who was financially stable, something her parents approved of, with intelligence to rival that of the most learned men that she knew. He was polite and proper, though he didn’t have a passionate bone in his body. The second was a poor poet who showered her with sonnets and ballads. He offered only the love in his heart and the clothing on his back, but he was kind and generous though financially irresponsible. Her parents had already implored her to choose the first, but her heart pleaded for the second; she was torn between duty and love.

With a pensive look upon her unadorned face, she stared and tried to choose between her head and her heart, her dress pooled around her as she knelt on the floor, and her hair falling to her shoulders.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Liars Liars Two


Flawless

Written by: Sara Shepard

Released: March 15, 2007 by HarperTeen


Summary: Spencer stole her sister's boyfriend. Aria is brokenhearted over her English teacher. Emily likes her new friend Maya . . . as much more than a friend. Hanna's obsession with looking flawless is making her sick. And their most horrible secret yet is so scandalous that the truth would ruin them forever.
And why shouldn't I tell? They deserve to lose it all. With every crumpled note, wicked IM, and vindictive text message I send, I'll be taking these pretty little liars down. Trust me, I've got enough dirt to bury them alive.



Oh my god, I just want to absorb these books through osmosis just so that I can know what is going on! This, being a good thing, just goes to show how much I am getting into the series. Seriously, though, I am so thankful that there is only going to be one more book released (after the rest that are out already) so that it’s not a repeat of the House of Night books where the end is nowhere in sight.

The development of the story, the thought that you might find out who A is only to, well, not, and the entire range of emotions that you go through while reading about the four girls… It’s insane.

I’m not really sure what I can say, more, about this book without giving anything away. I feel so sorry for each Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hanna but I can’t wait to see what hell A puts them though in the next book. This is a solid 8/10.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

According to Me 2

Top 10 Worst Books Ever Read


This is a meme that is hosted over at Random Ramblings. I know that this is an old list topic, but I thought that I would give it a go.

To be fair, for the most part the worst books that I have ever read are those that I have also since blocked completely from memory unless someone brings them up. To be honest, most of the worst books that I have ever read have also been for classes and I was forced to read them. After all, why would I pick up a book that, when I read the summary, it looks like I’m not going to enjoy it? And even when that does accidentally happen, I generally tend to not finish the book and this list seems to me as though it should be books that I have read all the way through; or at least “finished” reading using Wikipedia or SparkNotes for the entire plot summary. Of course, it always felt like I read it too when we discussed it in class until the entire subject brought upon a type of brain-death that lasted until the hour (or three depending on the class) was up.

Anyways, here it is, in no particular order.



10. Breaking Dawn – Stephenie Meyer
Ugh. Just, ugh.
9. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
I hated reading this in school.
8. The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
I hate all his work and how writing.
7. A Canticle for Lebowitz – Walter M. Miller Jr.
I hated writing a paper on this book. If it wasn’t mandatory for class I wouldn’t have even read it.
6. The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz – Mordecai Richler
The ending of this book bothered me SOOOO much. Heck, the entire book bothered me. I hated the character Duddy.
5. Death of a Salesman – Arthur Miller
So boring.
4. Rollback – Robert J. Sawyer
Really boring.
3. Eragon – Christopher Paolini
No original thought in the book at all.
2. The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks
Overrated and not worth reading. The movie was better, but even that sucked.
1. Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List – Rachel Cohen & David Levithan
Like my review said, I think that this would be better as an audio book.

Wish List Wednesday - Number Six


So many books but so little time. Here are some books that I can’t wait to come out so that I can read and/or own. It seems as though zombies are going to be the next bog thing with books; movies did it a few years ago with 28 Days Later and the remake of Dawn of the Dead. I hope that the books are better and more amazing than either of those.


Feed – Mira Grant
May 1, 2010
This reminds me of 28 Weeks Later. I hope that it’s better.
Rot and Ruin – Jonathan Maberry
October 5, 2010
The cover of this is just so creepy and amazing with the eye just staring at you.


The Julian Game – Adele Griffin
August 26, 2010
Facebook used as something sinister?
The Replacement – Brenna Yovanoff
September 16, 2010
A Changeling story never seems to disappoint.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Liars Liars One



Pretty Little Liars

Written by: Sara Shepard

Released: October 1, 2006 by HarperTeen


Summary: Everyone has something to hide—especially high school juniors Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hanna.
Spencer covets her sister's boyfriend. Aria's fantasizing about her English teacher. Emily's crushing on the new girl at school. Hanna uses some ugly tricks to stay beautiful.
But they've all kept an even bigger secret since their friend Alison vanished.
How do I know? Because I know everything about the bad girls they were, the naughty girls they are, and all the dirty secrets they've kept. And guess what? I'm telling.





I originally wanted to read these books after watching the trailer for the T.V. show that is being based on it, airing in ABC Family this summer. I then was looking around the internet and, since the trailer intrigued me, when I read that the author thought that the pilot was very close to the first book, I figured ‘why not try it’. Then, I remembered that I had seen a lot of the books on the bargain book shelf at Chapters, so I figured why not just buy them since the library didn’t have them. I think that, after reading this book, that it was a very good idea. I just wish that I had gotten the first two in hardcover but they were only available in paperback.

I was worried that this book wouldn’t be that good. Meaning that it would be a more mature version of The Clique books and really not all that interesting to read. I was then very happy to be proved wrong. If anything, this has a small dash of The Clique books, mixed with a little Gossip Girl, then mixed with a whole lot of amazing mystery, romance, and betrayal. I was so enraptured with the first book that I quickly breezed through it (in a good way) and was on to the second within a day. I couldn’t put the book down because I wanted to know who A was, what the Jenna Thing was, and what Tony had done. Admittedly, I guessed some things, but the rest still has me completely guessing. In fact, it’s driving me crazy trying to figure out who A is and what they want.

Normally, I’m not a fan of the altering perspectives and the changing narrators, but with this book it adds to the drama and the story. Plus, it makes a big difference that it’s written in third-person perspective and not alternating first-person. One complaint that I do have is the abundance of characters; it’s sometimes hard to keep them all straight.

The characters are very different and work well together, yet they are never really together. I suppose that that will change as the series develops and they get closer to who A is. It’s interesting to see just how their lives intersect without their knowing.

Overall, I am in love with this series and I can’t wait to see how much better it gets, though it’s fantastic right now. I’m giving this book an 8/10.

Books to Television





It’s been featured on several blogs around the book blogisphere lately, which is how I came to pick up the books, so I’m late on joining the bandwagon, but join I have.

Let me just say that I am super excited about this series, especially since I have now read some of the books with the rest waiting to be read very soon. I don’t like the idea that they changed how the characters look, though, a la Vampire Diaries, but hopefully it will turn out well. I can’t wait until June 8th now, but I will have to watch the show online since I don’t get ABC Family.

Actually, does anyone know if it’s going to be aired in Canada at all?




Monday, May 17, 2010

When It’s Just Not Enough…


Last month, during one of my frequent trips to the library, I picked up a few books that I thought looked amazing, that I had heard great things about, and that I was really excited to read. For some unknown reason (probably since I’m moving today and thus cannot renew them anymore) I just wasn’t able to get around to reading them; meaning suddenly I just couldn’t bring myself to crack them open.

I don’t know if this happens to a lot of other people, but I rarely choose books that I just plain old don’t read. If it turns out that it wasn’t what I expect, I stop reading them but I at least give them a chance.

Maybe once I get settled this week and am able to make it into town, I’ll see if I can get them out of the library. However, my own books are piling up and I really want to read them, so the library may take a back-burner for a few weeks.

Here are the books that I just wasn’t able to get around to.



Cracked Up to Be – Courtney Summers
Bewitching Season – Marissa Doyle


Winter’s End – Jean-Claude Mourlevat
Here Lies Arthur – Philip Reeve

Movie Monday - When Bad Girls Go Badder



St. Trinian’s 2: The Legend of Fritton’s Gold

Written by: Piers Ashworth and Nick Moorcroft based upon the cartoons by Ronald Searle

Directed by: Oliver Parker and Barnaby Thompson

Released: 18 December 2009 (in the United Kingdom)

Rating: PG (UK)


Summary: The girls of St. Trinian’s stumble upon an ancient pirate legend and start a quest to find the legendary treasure. With two rings to find, an ancient society to ditch, and a map to construct, the girls are more than ready to conquer all which step in their path.




I am a huge fan of the original St. Trinian’s movies (I just wish that they were more available to watch) and I really enjoyed the “remake” (not really sure what else it would be but it’s not true to the original movie, instead is more of a modern take on the idea) that came out on DVD last summer here in Canada, so I figured that I would like this sequel just as much. I don’t know, maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention (I was multi-tasking while watching) but I wasn’t as taken with this one as I was the previous.

Granted, it’s not as if these movies are intellectual, but this one just seemed a little more… for lack of better word, dumb. I don’t know, I think that I may have to watch it again, this time with more attention, but it just wasn’t the same. The overall look was different too, like something was off. It leaves me wondering if I will eventually buy it just so that I have a copy to complete the fact that I have its predecessor…

Perhaps it was also that they replaced some of the characters which were in the first movie with different ones and the cast just didn’t have the same overall chemistry. Colin Firth and Rupert Everett were amazing as always, but even their chemistry was lacking in this movie from what it was in the first.

The plot was as ridiculous as all the St. Trinian’s movie plots are, so I can’t fault it there. It was a little more involved than the last movie, I think, and I really thought that the stint at the boy’s school was funny.

I think that if you’re just looking for a movie to laugh at, then this would be a good movie for you. Or, if you are a fan of the original movies this isn’t so bad. Still, overall I’m giving this movie a 6/10. It did have its fun moments and it was entertaining. It definitely could have been better though, at least I think so.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

In My Mailbox (3)


In My Mailbox is a meme hosted over at The Story Siren where people can post their own IMM links and from that travel around and see what’s new/old/amazing on the book market.

This week was a big week of book buying since I was taking advantage of my discount at work before my last day and there were just so many good books at Chapters on the bargain shelf that I couldn’t help myself. Plus, I couldn’t just but the first Pretty Little Liars book, especially not when some of them were under $8.

So here’s what’s in my mailbox this week. What’s in yours?



Pretty Little Liars – Sara Shepard
Flawless – Sara Shepard
Perfect – Sara Shepard


Unbelievable – Sara Shepard
Wicked – Sara Shepard
Princess of the Midnight Ball – Jessica Day George


The Hunger Games – Suzanna Collins
Sweet Little Lies – Lauren Conrad
White Cat – Holly Black

Pirate Ship One




Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary “Jacky” Faber, Ship’s Boy

Written by: L.A. Meyer

Released: September 1, 2002 by Harcourt Children’s Books


Summary: Life as a ship's boy aboard HMS Dolphin is a dream come true for Jacky Faber. Gone are the days of scavenging for food and fighting for survival on the streets of eighteenth-century London. Instead, Jacky is becoming a skilled and respected sailor as the crew pursues pirates on the high seas.
There's only one problem: Jacky is a girl. And she will have to use every bit of her spirit, wit, and courage to keep the crew from discovering her secret. This could be the adventure of her life--if only she doesn't get caught. . . .



I loved this book. I could not put it down and I can’t wait to read the next books in the series. In fact, this is a series that I might just have to pick up copies of for myself.

The only complaint that I have is the language though I know that it’s a device used to make the book more dimensional.

The characters were amazing. I loved Mary “Jacky” and James. Their romance, the building, the climax, the separation; I just wanted to cry. It leaves so much open for the next books in the series and I can’t wait to see what develops. The supporting characters were all phenomenal and it was amazing to see how one person could change the direction of everything.

The idea of a girl disguising herself as a boy in order to escape her life is not a new concept, but the way that this book was written, the details that were added like the codpiece, it was so easy to believe that Jacky could be mistaken as a sexually confused boy. The fact that she was a girl added so many dimensions to thinking like a man and her take on their actions were funny and endearing.

The ending left me unsatisfied, though I understand that it was necessary in order to set up the next novel. In that regard, it was done so well.

I just don’t know how to properly describe this book in order to represent it in the best light. I think that this is a book that everyone should read and it is written in such a way (at least this first one is) so that both boys and girls can read it and enjoy it.

I’m giving this book a 9/10. I loved it and I can’t wait to read about Jacky again.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Snob Squad: The Fifth



The Pretty Committee Strikes Back: A Clique Novel

Written by: Lisi Harrison

Released: March 1, 2006 by Little, Brown Young Readers


Summary: A tragic haircut leaves Kristen looking manlier than a New York Jets linebacker. Will she be condemned to a season of trying to find cute hats when, as everyone knows, hats are so over? Meanwhile, Claire's got everything she wants -- new camo converse high-tops, bags and bags of gummies, and best of all, her first ever cell phone, from Massie. Although Claire's now an official member of the Clique, presents don't matter to her -- all she really wants is her first kiss from Cam, of course!



I didn’t like this book as much as the other ones. I’m not sure exactly why, but unlike the others I had to keep coming back to reading it.

That being said, it wasn’t that bad and it really cemented me in the belief that I need to read these in order and before I pick up the sixth from the library I need to go and get the second and third.

It was interesting to read about Massie’s kissing club and how fish-out-of-water the girls were while camping. Laine’s character really annoyed me in this book… I don’t know if it’s her constant food obsession or just her general annoying personality.

Honestly, I just can’t relate to anything that goes on in these books but they are still a fun book to read when I want something stupid, silly, and mind-numbing. I’m giving this book a 5/10. As a series, I can see where the appeal is for younger readers, but I think that these books would be better utilized as a television show like they’re doing for the Pretty Little Liars books – ones which I now am reading.

Friday, May 14, 2010

FP Friday - Website Recommendation




For this edition of FP Friday, I’m deciding to do things a little different.

Basically, it’s been really hard to find some of the amazing stories that I have previously read online due to plagiarism and authors protecting their work by taking it down. Really, it makes me both sick and sad that someone would take someone else’s idea and pass it off as their own. Who does that benefit? Does a person really feel as though they have accomplished something when they get a comment or review on something that they posted but didn’t create themselves?

Anyways, this week is going to be a little different and I’m featuring A Drop of Romeo. This is an amazing website that specializes in listing some great online reads. If you’re wanting something to read but don’t have a book handy, but do have internet access, then this is the place for you.

Juliet, the faceless wonder who runs the site. Her introduction really sums it all up, so here it is.



Hello. I go by the alias Juliet.
Don't you ever have a yearning to read a romance story...but with specific details? Like, you could suddenly feel like reading a story about a girl who falls in love with a werewolf. Or if you feel like reading a romance where the geek goes for the jock?
A Drop of Romeo is the solution to your problems! Cue in cheesy, ridiculously cheerful music.
Just kidding about the last paragraph.
So, this site will mainly be run by you! Yes, you, staring at the screen, wondering why you are still reading. You send recommendations for the categories and stuff, so we can make a place where you can get straight to the story you want to read. Capiche?
I thought so.


So there you go. The lovely picture was provided via the website but the poster was taken from here and altered by me.

2010 YA Reading Challenge



So I’ve decided to participate in the 2010 YA Reading Challenge over at Home Girl’s Book Blog and I’m going for the Super Size Me category so I have to read 75 books. This looks like a great challenge and with the different levels of reading it’s great for anyone.

Now all I have to do is find out how to get one of those counter things to have in my side-bar in order to keep track of my progress…

Any suggestions?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

BBC 100 - Part 4


The final chapter in the BBC Top 100 books that people should read but most have not even cracked open 6...
I believe that I have porved myself as a more learned person and I laugh in their faces over at the BBC. I mean, come on, at least the latest generations of people in high school and college have read over 6 of these. Hell, some kids in elementary school have read over six.
So, without delay, here is the final 25 of 100. Where do you rank?





76. The Inferno – Dante
I've read parts of this for certain English courses but not all of it.

77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

78. Germinal - Emile Zola

79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
I have started to read this but haven’t finished.

80. Possession - AS Byatt

81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
I’ve heard that this is good. Oprah recommends it.

84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

87. Charlotte’s Web - EB White
Such a classic children’s book. I loved it.

88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
This was recommended highly by a friend but I never got around to reading it.

89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
I have old leather-bound copies of this and I’m almost scared to read it for fear of hurting them.

90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
I read this for one of my university English classes. I didn’t like it.

92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
I bought this for my nephew but I’ve never read it myself. I want to though.

93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
A classic that I haven’t gotten around to reading.

95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute

97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
Bookshelf.

98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
Of course.

99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
I read this in 5th grade with my class. I loved it but the sequel wasn’t as good.

100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
Bookshelf.




So four more on this part of the list, with more sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read and more still that I haven't finished. So that's 21+/100. Not too bad. I can always read more, too, and make that number bigger!

House of Night Seven



Burned: A House of Night Novel

Written by: P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Released: April 27, 2010 by St. Martin’s Griffin


Summary: Y’all need to get yourselves together. Here’s a newsflash from the only High Priestess you have left at this dang school: Zoey isn’t dead. And believe me, I know dead. I’ve been there, done that and got the fricken tee-shirt. Zoey Redbird is the youngest High Priestess in House of Night history and is the only person – vamp or fledgling – that can stop the evil Neferet from raising all kinds of immortal trouble. And she might just have a chance if she wasn’t so busy being dead. Well, dead is too strong a word. Stevie Rae knows she can bring her BFF back from her unscheduled va-cay in the Otherworld. But it’s going to take a lot more than hoping to bring Zoey back. Stevie Rae will have to give up a few secrets of her own . . .




So this is a series that I have read since the New Year up until this latest book. I have to admit that while the first fourish books or so really engulfed me while reading, this latest book and the one before just didn’t cut it. I mean, this was ok, but really only that. I had to force myself to read it over three weeks, which is a long time for me to be reading any book, but I wanted to finish it just to keep up with everything. Really, I was just waiting for the end and I honestly think that I could have read the first few chapters, a few in the middle, and the last few and been fine not reading all the others.

I think that what I really don’t like about this book is the fact that it’s so Stevie Rae centric, and her character has always annoyed me. Besides, this series isn’t supposed to be about her anyways so why should she have a novel almost entirely dedicated to her? Granted, this book would be the best one to have her centered in since Zoey is catatonic with her soul-shattering and that plot line wouldn’t have stood to be an entire book on its own.

One thing that I really did like about this book compared to the others was the fact that it didn’t repeat the annoying factioids about the main characters. By the third book, readers should have been aware already about the Twins and Damon’s passion for all-things gay. These really weren’t things that needed to have pages devoted to them in all the previous books. Thankfully this one skipped over it. I would have liked a reminder on who the High Council vampires were though…

Like I said above, I am not a Stevie Rae fan, thus I wasn’t a huge fan of the plot in this book. I understand that it was more like a bridge-book linking the beginning saga with the final instalments that are to come. Yes, it needed to be done, but did it have to be done this way? At least the ending wasn’t as horribly agonising as the last book and I didn’t feel like throwing it against a wall when I was done reading it. My cousin, on the other hand (they are her books that I read) says that she’s not going to read any of the remaining books that are due for release until they’re all out because she can’t deal with the cliff-hanger endings. I’m inclined to agree but I’ve already read so many of these books that I just want to get the rest over with as soon as possible.

As far as characterization goes in this book, Stevie Rae aside (and even then, nothing really happened), there wasn’t any movement. Sure, Stark overcame himself, Zoey was restored, blah blah blah. I think that the most interesting character in this book was Rephaim and currently he’s about as two-dimensional as they come.

Overall, yes I am going to finish reading these books… the multitudes that are slated for release already with the potential of more to come, but they’re lasting too long for my taste. Really, they could cut out the crap and finish this in one, maybe two if you push it, books. Personally, I can’t wait to see how it all ends just so that I know that it has in fact ended. Like Marissa being killed off the OC. So, I’m giving this book a 5/10.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Children of Gods: The Audio Book - Take Five - part II



So, I was finally able to finish listening to The Last Olympian on audio disk, especially since I was booted from the library’s hold list. The beginning of this review can he found here, including the publishing information.

All I can say is that this was amazing. The last few chapters had so much happening in them that, though I kept falling asleep, I was so involved that it took all my concentration. Hence the falling asleep while concentrating on it so hard and trying to get every word. I mean, I kept wanting to find out who the spy was, where Kronos’ Achilles heel (figuratively, of course) was, and how everything was going to go down. I also wanted to see Percy and Annabeth finally together. I was not disappointed on any front, though it took three weeks.

This is such a 10/10 book that it’s not funny. I still want to read the actual book, but it’s not such a dire need now that I’ve finally listened to the entire thing.

I still wish that I had read it though… audio book listening just isn’t the same. However, L.A. Meyer’s Curse of the Blue Tattoo (a Bloody Jack novel) is the next one I’ll be listening to since the library didn’t have a print copy.

Wish List Wednesday - Number Five



Sleepless

Written by: Cyn Balog

Released: July 13, 2010 by Delacorte Press


Summary: Eron De Marchelle isn't supposed to feel a connection. He is a Sandman, a supernatural being whose purpose is to seduce human charges to sleep. While he can communicate with his charges in their dreams, he isn't encouraged to--after all, getting too involved in one human's life would prevent him helping his other charges get their needed rest. But he can't deny that he feels something for Julia. Julia, with her fiery red hair and her sad dreams. Just weeks ago, her boyfriend died in a car accident, and Eron can tell that she feels more alone than ever. Eron was human once too, many years ago, and he remembers how it felt to lose the one he loved. Eron has always felt protective of Julia . . . but now, when she seems to need him more than ever, he can't seem to reach her . . . Sandmen are forbidden from communicating with humans outside their dreams. But will Eron be willing to risk everything for a chance to be with the person he loves?



The cover of this book was what originally enticed me to click on the link for more information. I have to say that I’m looking forward to this. It seems like it’s going to be a bit of a volatile romance full of angst and tragedy.





The Duff

Written by: Kody Leplinger

Released: September 7, 2010 by Little Brown/Poppy


Summary: Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "Duffy," she throws her Coke in his face. But things aren't so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley. Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.



The yellow words were what caught my attention but the summary was what made me want to put it on my wish list. I can’t wait for this book in the fall.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Seven Kingdoms Part 1



Graceling

Written by: Kristin Cashore

Released: October 1, 2008 by Harcourt Children’s Books


Summary: In a world where some people are born with extreme and often-feared skills called Graces, Katsa struggles for redemption from her own horrifying Grace, the Grace of killing, and teams up with another young fighter to save their land from a corrupt king.




What can I say about this book? Well, to say that I loved reading it wouldn’t quite cover the enjoyment I found from it. I admit that it took a chapter or two to fully get into the rhythm of the story but after I did it was hard to put it down.

Katsa as a character was one who was so beautifully written that she seemed almost real. Of course, with her constant evolution of a character, the constant growth, it wasn’t a hard stretch to imagine her as a real person. Po was the same. I just loved their chemistry too; it was absolutely explosive. The secondary characters just added so much to the story as well, like they were a spice to the main dish. I know that sounds strange but it’s the best that I can come up with to describe it.

The plot was great too. I liked how there were so many elements that worked together flawlessly in order to complete the entire story. I think that if one of these components hadn’t been there that the books wouldn’t have been as great as it was. I really liked how the Graces were portrayed within the book and how both Katsa and Po discovered the true breadth of their own. I would have liked to learn more about other characters who had Graces, but maybe that will come with the second novel, though it takes place before Graceling, I’m not sure how I’ll like it.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wanted something adventurous, slightly magical, and full of anticipation and semi-romance. I can’t wait to read more about the Seven Kingdoms, Katsa and Po. I’m giving this book a 9/10.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Movie Monday - The Ultimate Nightmare



A Nightmare on Elm Street

Released: November 16, 1984

Written by: Wes Craven

Directed by: Wes Craven

Rated: R


Summary: Nancy is having nightmares, violent nightmares about a mysterious badly burned man with a razor fingered glove on his right hand that calls himself Freddy. When she realizes that her friends are having the same nightmares and that one by one they are being brutally murdered in their sleep she turns to her father who does not believe her and thinks her to be crazy. After she finds out the horrible truth behind Freddy's rampage she decides to take action and bring this dream murderer out of dreamland and into the real world where she can send him straight to where he belongs.


I really wanted to see the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street last week and I never got around to it… maybe this week though. Anyways, this leaves me with no new releases to review so I’m diving into my reserve and choosing a favourite instead; the original A Nightmare on Elm Street.

This is one of my favourite horror movie series out there. I’ve seen every movie, some several times over, and I never tire of them. It’s the one movie that makes you scared to sleep… just in case.

First released in 1984, the first movie put fear into the hearts of people everywhere and made the name Freddy Kruger a household name. His striped sweater, fedora hat, burned physique and legendary finger-knives have made him one of the more revered horror figures of all time. There even was the showdown between him and Jason Voorhees in the 2000 movie Freddy vs. Jason.

The first movie, the one that started it all, was a sight to behold. The deaths were horrendous – Johnny Depp being eaten by his bed anyone? – and so brutal that even watching made the strongest people squirm. I squirmed and I’m usually the one in the theatre that’s laughing at the horror movie.

Robert Englund was, and is, a truly phenomenal actor who was able to make Freddy come alive on the screen better than anyone else. The rest of the cast was selected superbly and the ensemble brought the movie to amazing heights.

I would highly recommend this movie to anyone who wants a good scare because this is a movie that is timeless even though it was made almost 30 years ago. It truly brings a whole new meaning to “slasher” films. I’m giving it a 10 /10

Sunday, May 9, 2010

SOOOOOO Frustrated!



So I was supposed to get The Last Olympian around now from the library and when I went in there today I figured that I would ask just in case the book was overdue. I then found out that not only have I been on this list for over a month, but somehow I was taken off the list within the last few weeks. They then asked if I wanted to be placed BACK on the list. At the bottom. Below several other people.

This means that I’m going to have to wait a few more weeks at least until I can get my hands on a different copy at a different library (because I’m moving next week).

It is situations like these that make me really rather buy my own books. And it’s all the more reason that I’m going to get my hands on the box set as soon as possible… after I get the fifth book from the library.

In My Mailbox (2)


In My Mailbox is a meme hosted over at The Story Siren that is an amazing way to find out what new books are out there and explore books that you might never thought of reading.

This was a slow week for me… at least slow in my mind. I love to get new books and am a complete sucker when it comes to buying them.

So here’s what I got in my mailbox this week. What did you get in yours?




Storm Glass (Glass #1) by Maria V. Snyder
Sea Glass (Glass #2) by Maria V. Snyder
Catching Fire (Hunger Games #2) by Suzanne Collins

Taking Flight



The Swan Maiden

Written by: Heather Tomlinson

Released: August 7, 2010 by Henry Holt and Co.


Summary: In the quiet hour before dawn, anything can happen. Doucette can dream of being a creature of flight and magic, of wearing a swan skin like her older sisters. But she must run the castle household while her sisters learn to weave spells. Her dream of flying is exactly that . . . until the day she discovers her own hidden birthright. Sudden, soaring freedom—it is a wish come true. Yet, not even magic can protect against every danger, especially when the heart is involved. As she struggles to find her own way in the world, Doucette risks losing the one person she loves most of all.



Well, what can I say about this book? I liked it, I thought that it was a great read, but there were so many elements that were just not there for me; mostly concerning characters and the ways that things were treated.

I didn’t care for the cover, though I thought that it represented the book and the original fairy tale really well.

I loved the take on the swan maiden fairy tale. I thought that it was ingenious and so beautiful. I liked how it took the lore of the swan cloaks and made it into something more. Now, if I’m remembering my fairy tales correctly, this was more like an expansion on the original with Doucette’s aunt acting in the place of the original Swan Maiden.

The details in the way that this was written were amazing. It was so easy to picture what was taking place and you could just feel the beauty of the countryside and the landscapes.

As far as characters go, I thought that Doucette was annoying and childish throughout the majority of the book. She had her redeeming qualities but then there were times where, if she were a real person, I would have slapped her silly. Her sisters were alright, if you like spoiled and selfish characters. Her oldest sister was the worst though. Doucette’s mother had absolutely no qualities about her that I liked. I thought that she was a horrible person and absolutely despicable.

I suppose that the way I reacted towards the characters just goes to show how invested I was in the story, which is a good thing when reading a book.

I liked the ending. I thought that it was the prefect cap to the book and the last few chapters were really good.

Overall, I’m giving this book a 6/10. I don’t know if I would read it again but I would recommend it to anyone who wanted to read a good fairy tale interpretation.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mariposa - Butterfly



Wish

Written by: Alexandra Bullen

Released: January 1, 2010 by Alloy Entertainment


Summary: For broken-hearted Olivia Larsen, nothing can change the fact that her
twin sister, Violet, is gone... until a mysterious, beautiful gown arrives on
her doorstep. The dress doesn't just look magical; it is magical. It has the
power to grant her one wish, and the only thing Olivia wants is her sister back.
With Violet again by her side, both girls get a second chance at life. And
as the sisters soon discover, they have two more dresses-and two more wishes
left. But magic can't solve everything, and Olivia is forced to confront her
ghosts to learn how to laugh, love, and live again.
In a breathtaking debut
from Alexandra Bullen, Wish asks the question: If you could have anything, what
would you wish for?



My first thought was that this book would be about a girl whose sister came back from the dead. As in she was a physical being and could be seen by all. That not being the case, I was slightly saddened that this was more of a ghost story than anything. However, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t like it. In fact, once I got into the story I rather enjoyed it.

It’s a basic story that caught me as part Pinocchio and part Aladdin, with a twist of Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother. It was a weird combination that worked well together and made the plot interesting. I have to admit that I was never completely sure what was going to happen next though I always had my suspicions. I also liked the ending – it tied everything up nicely – though I’m unsure on my opinion on the epilogue and the open-ended possibility for the beginning of a series or an off-shot book. I think that it could have been left out completely and nothing would have changed.

I enjoyed the characters (though I was hoping that Olivia would end up with Miles) and I thought that they were well written. However, maybe I’m just in a cynical mood as I write this, but I thought that they were a little bit too perfect. I mean, their problems were stereotypical “perfect” people problems that appeared as though they were thrown into the story in order to make the characters a bit more dynamical and interesting.

All in all, this was, at the very least, an entertaining read that filled my down-time. I would recommend it to anyone who wanted a good fairy tale-esque book that was more modern and subtle or anyone who wanted a complicated romance-tragedy type book. It was rather sad after all at certain parts. I’m giving this book a 7/10.

Friday, May 7, 2010

FP Friday - Model Turns Student




The Heaven I Found in Hell

Written by: AfterPartyFiasco

Rated: T

Summary: Alex is a Victoria’s Secret model that is forced to go to Boarding School, and being downright gorgeous, she can make any guy turn head over heels in love with her. But why is she having a hard time with her room mate's handsome brother?



If you’re looking for a good read that’s a bit unreal, this is the story for you. I enjoyed reading about things that will never really happen, but it was nice to submerge myself into a world that I could never truly be a part of.

The fashion that this story talks about actually taught me a lot and I learned a bit about high-end sports cars.

Before you get the wrong idea, honestly I did really like reading this and I have read it a couple of times. I thought that it was fun with flirty characters and a romantic plot line. I liked experiencing the turmoil with the characters as things went wrong, which they always do, of course.

So, if you’re looking for something that will allow you to submerge yourself into a modern-day fairy tale type story (as in classic fairy tale, not a reimagining of an old one or anything) then this is for you. Overall, I’m giving it a 6/10. Go check it out.



Image, as always, was taken from the internet (most likely flickr) and altered by me.