Thursday, December 31, 2009
This was a great day, I went to go see Oliver! the musical with my friends which was an amazing experience. Now there's a change of schedule as far as my reviews are concerned. Originally my first review of 2010 was going to be Geek Magnet, but then after reading the first chapter I realized I already knew what was going to happen and I peeked ahead to see if I was right, and it turned out, I was. So I'm not finishing it, and am now moving on to Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink. Now this year has been a great reading year for me. I read a lot of good books, and of course many not so good books. Here is a list of my top 10 favorite and my top 10 least favorite books of 2009:
Top 10 Favorite:
1. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
2. Persuasion by Jane Austen
3. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
4. The Sign of the Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
5. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
6. Chicks With Sticks (It's a Purl Thing) by Elizabeth Lenhard
7. The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel) by Ellen Raskin
8. Christy by Catherine Marshall
9. Ruined by Paula Morris
10. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Top 10 Least Favorite:
1. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
2. the Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman
3. Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard
4. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
5. Daughters of the Sea: Hannah by Kathryn Lasky
6. Wings by E.D. Baker
7. Secret Vampire by J.L. Smith
8. Pride and Prescience by Carrie Bebris
9. Beauty by Robin Mckinley
10. 3 Willows by Ann Brashares
So how was this year for you reading wise? What were your favorites? Least Favorites? Celebrate your year of reading and let me know in the comment section!
May 2010 be an even better year for books then 2009 and a better year for humankind everywhere full of peace and happiness! Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
|What Kind of Reader Are You? |
Your Result: Dedicated Reader
|Literate Good Citizen|
|What Kind of Reader Are You?|
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz
Author: Melissa Kantor
Reading Level: 13 and up
Summary: When high school sophomore Lucy Norton's father remarries, her life is turned upside down. She and her father move from their West Coast home to a suburb on Long Island. With a small bedroom in the unfinished basement, a wicked stepmother and bratty stepsisters, countless chores, a blank social calendar, and a huge crush on the dashing prince of the varsity basketball team, Lucy’s life has all the makings of a Cinderella story. So with all the characters in place, will Lucy get the prince and live happily ever after?
In this royally funny and romantic novel, Melissa Kantor explores the struggle of finding your true prince and more important — yourself.
My Review(SPOILERS): This I think was a pretty good finding yourself book. It was different them most as the girl has the not right for her boyfriend for most of the plot. I also liked that it had a realistic ending as in it's not perfect but Lucy finds ways to make her family life a little better and her relationship with her father becomes stronger. I also liked that Jessica and Madison, two girls that started being friends with Lucy when she started dating the popular boy Connor , actually turned out to be true friends instead of backstabbing social climbers. Lucy's relationship with Sam was also really nice and realistic and the confession scene at the end was super cute. All in all it wasn't one of my favorite books this year, but I think a lot of girls could relate to Lucy and find solace and inspiration reading how she deals with her problems.
Content: Language, drug and alcohol use by teens
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Recommend: yes for teen girls who have step families and go to public school
Upcoming Review: Geek Magnet by Kieran Scott
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Author: Jenny B. Jones
Genre: Comedy of Errors/Mystery
Reading Level: 14 and up
Summary: New York's social darling just woke up in a nightmare: Oklahoma. Problem is, it's right where God wants her.
Bella Kirkwood had it all: A-list friends at her prestigious private school, Broadway in her backyard, and Daddy's MasterCard in her wallet. Then her father, a plastic surgeon to the stars, decided to trade her mother in for a newer model.
When Bella's mom falls in love with a man she met on the Internet--a factory worker with two bratty sons--Bella has to pack up and move in with her new family in Truman, Oklahoma. On a farm no less!
Forced to trade her uber-trendy NYC lifestyle for down-home charm, Bella feels like a pair of Rock & Republic jeans in a sea of Wranglers.
At least some of the people in her new high school are pretty cool. Especially the hunky football player who invites her to lunch. And maybe even the annoying--but kinda hot--editor of the school newspaper.
But before long, Bella smells something rotten in the town of Truman, and it's not just the cow pasture. With her savvy reporter's instincts, she is determined to find the story behind all the secrets.
How can a girl go on when her charmed life is gone and God appears to be giving her the total smackdown?
My Review: Let me tell you something. I didn't expect much coming into this book. I knew it was a fish out of water type tale, and when I saw how large it was (326 pages) I said to my self "how long can someone talk about not fitting in?". I expected to be bored. Boy was I wrong. I fell into the story soon in. Bella is hilarious, and the way she thinks had me bursting out laughing at moments. Then there was the mystery! Wow that part of the book really helped me because I've been going through mystery withdrawal and I found this one totally enthralling, near the end I could barely put the book down! Also I've finally found a couple I could root for, Bella and Luke are great together, they have the perfect love/hate chemistry I squeal over in books and movies. One were there's friendship and respect that turns into something more, even though the more part hasn't really happened yet. There's also a sweet storyline of how Bella learns to appreciate and even love her new step-brothers. Bella's faith (she's a christian) was also an interesting aspect to the novel. Some people said it didn't fit in but I disagree and thought it was a cute touch to the novel. With a clever plot, and witty dialogue Jenny B. Jones has written a book that was well worth my time, and when I have a chance, I cannot wait to dip into the sequel and see what other crazy situations Bella get's into.
Content: innuendo's and a little violence
Rating: 4 big stars out of 5
Recommend: yes for book lovers who like a little adventure with their chick lit. (:
Upcoming Review: If I Have a Wicked Step Mother, Where's My Prince? by Melissa Kantor
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Author: Kathryn Lasky
Reading Level: 12 and up
Summary: Hannah, 15 years old, knows she not normal. She feels an undeniable pull toward the sea and when she's not near it she feels sick and sheds crystallized salt. Soon, to keep herself near the sea Hannah becomes a scullery maid for a high class family the Hawley's, with three daughters. There she meets a mysterious painter who seems to know a little too much about Hannah. With only her feelings to guide her, Hannah tries to solve the mystery of her life, and also stay out of the way of Lila Hawley, the deeply disturbed eldest daughter, and her demonic cat Jade.
My Review: I'm actually quite sad. I didn't enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. It is the first book in a series and it really shows. There are a lot of things that don't make sense. The plot really takes a long time to develop. You're almost finished the story before anything interesting happens, like Hannah realizing she's a mermaid. The characters also didn't put enough emotion across. I couldn't feel for Hannah, because she just didn't flesh out for me, there was no personality, She just seemed to amble through the story watching everything unfold around her. As for the painter, Hannah's "love interest" I'm still trying to figure out why he was even in the story, besides being someone Hannah and Lila could fight over. Hannah and the painter are the 3rd couple in a YA novel that I've read about who have no chemistry or point to their rushed unbelievable relationship. I enjoyed Lila and Jade a little, but even they did not meet my expectations as the writing was so emotionless sometimes I wasn't sure what was going on. One minute there's a fight, the next minute something completely different is happening. I also actually started feeling compassion for Lila, as it was so obvious she was not mentally stable and needed help desperately. Ettie, Lila's younger sister, added some spark and humor to the story, but she couldn't save it for me. The book ended on a cliffhanger, but I'm not intrigued enough to find out what happens next. On the slight plus side, I liked the historical setting, and learning about how the working class worked back in 1899, and that Kathryn Lasky found a use for the word lugubrious.
Content: Nothing too shocking, some profanity, and kissing, and Hannah likes to sleep and swim in the nude. But heck she's a mermaid.
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5.
Recommend: No there has to be better mermaid stories out there.
Upcoming Review: So Not Happening by Jenny B. Jones
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Author: Mandy Hubbard
Reading Level: 13 and up
Fifteen-year-old Callie buys a pair of real Prada pumps to impress the cool crowd on a school trip to London. Goodbye, Callie the clumsy geek-girl, hello popularity! But before she knows what’s hit her, Callie wobbles, trips, conks her head… and wakes up in the year 1815!
She stumbles about until she meets the kind-hearted Emily, who takes Callie in, mistaking her for a long-lost friend. Sparks soon fly between Callie and Emily’s cousin, Alex, the maddeningly handsome—though totally arrogant—Duke of Harksbury. Too bad he seems to have something sinister up his ruffled sleeve…
From face-planting off velvet piano benches and hiding behind claw-foot couches to streaking through the estate halls wearing nothing but an itchy blanket, Callie’s curiosity about Alex creates all kinds of trouble.
But the grandfather clock is ticking on her 19th Century shenanigans. Can Callie save Emily from a dire engagement, win a kiss from Alex, and prove to herself that she’s more than just a loud-mouth klutz before her time there is up?
My Review: Like so many books I pick up this one had potential to be good. Unfortunately the main character doesn't stop whining and going on about the "amazingly hot" Alex long enough for you to enjoy it. Maybe I'm just not suited for mainstream romances. I got all the references to Pride and Prejudice the author threw in but Callie and Alex, are no Lizzie and Darcy, they don't have the spark that Lizzie and Darcy did and they have no chemistry. I really didn't care if they got together or not. In fact I was more rooting for not. Emily Callie's friend was cute, but I also didn't care too much about her storyline either. Callie also goes through the "becoming a stronger women" transformation, but it's just not as interesting and gripping as other ones I've read. What I did enjoy about the book was this, all the references to life in the 1815's and that Callie actually enjoyed being there. The part where she teaches two little boys the robot dance was also pretty funny. The writing was okay, it just didn't have enough substance or originality in Callie's voice for me to like it.
Content: References to ruining a girls reputation.
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
Upcoming Review: Hannah (Daughters of the Sea Book 1) by Kathryn Lasky
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Author: Suzanne Selfors
Genre: Coming of age/Fantasy/Romance
Reading Level: 15 and up
Summary: From the author of Saving Juliet comes a romantic comedy that is good to the last drop. When Katrina spots a homeless guy sleeping in the alley behind her grandmother’s coffee shop, she decides to leave him a cup of coffee, a bag of chocolate-covered coffee beans, and some pastries to tide him over. Little does she know that this random act of kindness is about to turn her life upside down. Because this adorable vagrant, Malcolm, is really a guardian angel on a break between missions. And he won’t leave until he can reward Katrina’s selflessness by fulfilling her deepest desire. Now if only she could decide what that might be . . .
My Review: I'm writing this while drinking coffee and there's a blanket of snow outside. That has nothing to do with the book but it sure is picturesque. (; Anyway the only reason I read this book was because it had the word coffee in it. Fortunately it was really cute. This story I think is more about Katrina's journey to a strong women instead of the romance as I didn't think her and Malcolm really don't have that much couple chemistry. The romance felt rushed and was more telling in my opinion than showing their growing friendship/romance. Other than that I can't think of anything to complain about. I liked Katrina's friend Elizabeth, she was a great support for her and I loved whenever she said, "I'm gonna be brutally honest" like only a good friend can. I loved the idea's Katrina ended up coming up with in the end, and the quirky messed up wishes Malcolm grants her are really funny, I laughed out loud a couple times. Malcolm's also a pretty cute character in the way that animals who are turned into humans are, because they're discovering everything about the human world and aren't afraid to eat butter plain. (: Also discussed are the changing relationship between Katrina and her guy friend Vincent which I think had a new and honest ending to it. My favorite Quote in the book was when Elizabeth said about not being able to find Malcolm's employer online, "We can't find his employer because, if he's an angel, then his employer is...God. We can't send an e-mail to God."
Content: Some language, thematic elements, and innuendo's.
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Recommend: For young chick-lit fans who love fairytale stories.
Upcoming Review: Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: Fantasy Adventure
Reading Level: 10 and up
Summary: What if the gods of Olympus were alive in the 21st Century? What if they still fell in love with mortals and had children who might become great heroes — like Theseus, Jason and Hercules?
What if you were one of those children?
Such is the discovery that launches twelve-year-old Percy Jackson on the most dangerous quest of his life. With the help of a satyr and a daughter of Athena, Percy must journey across the United States to catch a thief who has stolen the original weapon of mass destruction – Zeus’ master bolt. Along the way, he must face a host of mythological enemies determined to stop him. Most of all, he must come to terms with a father he has never known, and an Oracle that has warned him of betrayal by a friend.
My Review: Well one things for sure. This book is definitely first class entertainment for fantasy fans. I absolutely loved it. It was fast paced, the plot was fun, and the characters were great, I think a lot of boys 10 and up will be able to relate to Percy. He is like the every boy, (despite the fact he's a demi-god, and has cool water powers) impulsive, strong willed, and he also has a pretty short temper. But he has a good heart, and his voice is a lot of fun to listen to (this is a first person narration). I loved all the old mythology seamlessly adapted into modern day situations. It made me want to look up all the original stories about the characters, which is amazing 'cause I found Greek mythology terribly boring. But this book makes it anything but, I look forward to reading the other books in the Percy Jackson series which I will be picking up as soon as possible.
Content: some crude humor, scary situations, and violence
Rating: 4 big stars out of 5
Recommend: Definitely, It's great for kids and clever enough for adults
Here is a trailer from the upcoming movie, and sure the guy who plays Percy doesn't look like he's seen 12 for a while and some of the scenes seem to be situated differently from how they were in the book, but the most important thing is that they keep the spirit of the book intact...right? It's such a great book I'd hate it if the movie didn't live up to it. But it's too early to judge so I'll just keep my fingers crossed.
Upcoming Review:Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors
Until the next book,
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Now I have a confession: I had a relapse in my whole "don't check out library books and read the ones I have at home." commitment. What can I say, I'm terribly terribly weak, and the books on the library shelves call to me, pleading in sultry voices, "Check us out, we have pretty covers, and we promise we're interesting!" and I say, "No I have tons of books at home to read!" and then they say, "But you could just hold us meanwhile, you know how you love to hold new books and have them in your room, oh and that wonderful book smell of sweet ink and musty paper. You'll eventually finish all the ones you have at home, you'll be able to read us in no time and then take us back without having a fine." and then I can't resist because everything they say is true and pulls me in and before I know it I'm walking out of the library with a bunch of books. *sigh* So now I have a lot of serious reading to do, because I'm a weak bookaholic. But it is what I love after all. (;
Until my next book review,
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Title: Emily The Strange: The Lost Days
Author(s): Rob Reger,(author,illustrator) Jessica Gruner,(author) and Buzz Parker(illustrator)
Genre: Mystery,black comedy
Reading Level: 12 and up
Summary: Emily, finds herself in a strange small town with out a single memory about who she was, what she is like, or even if she has a family. With only a slingshot, notebook, and pen she starts out on a hunt to find her identity and who dropped her off in such a bizarre town and why.
My Review: I've been an Emily fan since I was 12. But that was when she was the queen of hot topic, a place she frequencies less now in days and I don't blame her since it's been overrun by emo-vampires. Anyway I digress. This is her first novel and I must say it didn't disappoint me in her weird/strange department. The narration really felt like it would come from a goth 13 year old girl, (or any 13 year old for that matter)puzzled with amnesia and most of it is telling instead of showing, in a very choppy,adolescent way. The conversations were put out in script form which got kinda annoying. The list of 13 items that was scattered in the book at various spots was also a little tiresome. It was funny in parts and very bizarre in a cartoony "that could never happen way" in others which is what we Emily fans have come to expect, I for one enjoyed all of the odd moments. I feel that people who don't know Emily so well might be a tad confused with the way the story unfolds, (heck even a couple of times I was like "hey what's going on?")because there are a lot of different plot points. Other then that I thought the mystery was rather smart, and there were a lot of clever twist in which you really get to see what a diabolical mastermind Emily is. A lot of the other characters have less personality (there is a reason for some) but Emily "friends" Molly and Jakey added a little color to the narration and gave Emily someone her own age to talk too even though Emily is the type of girl who prefers feline company to humans. The cats, I love the cats but then they don't talk so there more of silent helpers. Overall it was an enjoyable light read.
Content: some crude humor and reference to curse words (although these are put in @#%$! form)
Rating: 3 star out of 5
Recommend: Emily fans and people who enjoy dark humor/books will enjoy this strange fare, others I'm afraid won't warm up to her.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
A ghost with a deep, dark secret, and a serious score to settle.
As Rebecca learns more from her ghost friend -- and as she slowly learns to trust Anton Grey -- she also uncovers startling truths about her own history. Will Rebecca be able to right the wrongs of the past, or has everything been ruined beyond repair?
Monday, December 7, 2009
I just made a blog button
It's a little big right now but I hope to work some more on it and for right now I've put it on the bottom of my page. I may move it up and some of the picture might go out but it might come out all right on your blog. I still think it looks pretty cute.:)