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06 December, 2013

Movie Review: Frozen



Released: 27 November, 2013
Producer: Disney
Run Time: 108 minutes
Rating: 

Review:

26 November, 2013

Movie Review: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire


Released: 22 November, 2013
Producer: Lionsgate
Run Time: 146 minutes
Rating: 

Review: 

Teaser Tuesday #6


 
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


"She found that mundane jobs such as housework and shopping helped relieve the stress, even though she had to force herself along, but there was no relief from the war."
-Dance the Moon Down, Robert Bartram, pg. 64

"Wide-open eyes, a childlike smile, just enough confidentiality for the lies to sound sincere. It had worked well then, and it was surprisingly easy to use the same technique, with only modest adjustments, in the adult world." 
- Game, Anders de la Motte 

21 November, 2013

A Worthy Kickstarter

Over the years I've read my fair share of book series. I've read the Harry Potter series, the Twilight series, and a number of other series including the A Song of Fire and Ice series.  That said, one of the series I've enjoyed a lot is the Looking Glass Wars series, a trinity of books that focus on an alternate version of Lewis Carroll's famous books Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. In the series, Alyss (Alice) is the princess of the Queendom of Wonderland (a queendom is just as it sounds, a kingdom ruled by the queen and passed along via the female children verse the male). During a coup d'état on her birthday, Alyss is spirited away to the Pool of Tears by her mother's faithful bodyguard Hatter Maddigan (The Mad Hatter). Separated in their journey into our world during the Victorian Era, Alyss finds herself lost and eventually adopted into the Liddell Family. I won't say much more than that as to say more would spoil the books for you, however, it is worth noting that the second and third books follow what happens when she goes back to take her crown. 

From this sprang a graphic novel series based around Hatter Maddigan, which as reached four novels thus far. And now the author, Frank Beddor, is looking for help on financing the fifth and final graphic novel of the Hatter M series as well as financing his next book for the Looking Glass Wars universe. You can find his kickstarter here: 

Honestly, I'd love to help with this kickstarter, but sadly money doesn't grow on trees. Still, it looks interesting plus some of the contribution prizes look amazing (especially that one for $2000 that's already gone). I'd definitely suggest going to check it out in the very least. Maybe if I save up the money before the kickstarter date is up, I can contribute for a copy of the graphic novel in the very least.

16 November, 2013

Review: The Voice on the Radio (Janie Johnson #3) by Caroline B. Cooney

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Cover found on Goodreads.

Goodreads.com summary: 

The kidnapping is long past, and the Johnsons and the Springs are on the way to restoring their lives. Janie is ever grateful to her devoted boyfriend who helped her through it all. As Janie tries to balance herself between the two families, she feels torn. It seems the only thing keeping her together is her love for Reeve, but he is away at college and Janie misses him terribly. 

For Reeve, college life seems overwhelming. And as a first-time disc jockey at his college radio station, he is discovering that dead air can kill you. To fill the silence, he finds himself spilling Janie's story over the airwaves. Reeve is so sure that Janie will never find out what's making his broadcast such a hit that he doesn't stop himself. What will be the price for Janie?

Review

ISBN: 978-0-385-74240-5
Cost: $7.99
Edition: Paperback
Rating: 

For me, these books are a call back to my childhood. I can remember being in the eight grade and reading the first two books with feelings of amazement that someone could have picked out that she was the victim of the child kidnapping. To be honest, the feeling of amazement didn't go away when I finished the first two books, and I was left with the question. What happens after that second book ends. Janie gets to go back to her life in Connecticut and the family left behind has to deal with that. The Voice on the Radio definitely provide some of the answers to the questions raised in the second book.

A full year has happened since the events of Whatever Happened to Janie? and we are introduced to the fact that Reeve, lovely Reeve who is the boy-next-door that every girl wishes she could have, has gone off to college. After a life of wanting to be heard from under his three older siblings accomplishments, Reeve joins with his college's radio station with the hopes and dreams of becoming a deejay, of captivating millions of people with the sound of his voice. But once he's move to prime-time airing at 10 pm, Reeve discovers that it's not as easy as it was at 3 am when there wasn't anyone listening. Now he has so many people listening, and he's about to screw it up without anything to say.... that is until he realizes he has a story he can tell. The only problem is, it's not his story, it's Janie's. 

Without concern to protecting the innocent, Reeve launches into Janie's story, and thus starts a series of events he couldn't foresee. Janie isn't there, she won't ever find out, he thinks. And after all, it's a story for the media and he knows the full details of both sides of the story. But the problem is, Janie does find out. And she's beyond devastated and upset. True to the form of the first two books, Cooney makes it a point to have a struggle for our hero and heroine, giving more depth to Reeve to prove that even the boy-next-door isn't perfect.

The book does however raise a few more questions. At the end of Whatever Happened to Janie? readers were left with the impression that Hannah was lost, a statistic in the city of New York City in the life of a seemingly wasted junkie. However, it's on the same night that Janie finds out about her life being aired to the world that Reeve receives another phone call, one from someone claiming to be Hannah. Unfortunately, our protagonist chooses to disconnect the call instead of answering the question that the person has, and eventually erases the recorded call. The book ends on what I'd call a cliff-hanger, with Janie telling Reeve that the need to talk after ignoring him for nearly two weeks. 

All in all, it's a good read no matter if you're 12 or if you're 24. I would recommend reading the previous two titles Face on the Milk Carton and Whatever Happened to Janie? before picking up this novel. After all, series don't make much sense if you try to start in the middle.

14 November, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday #13



I am one of this week's Feature & Follow's Featured Bloggers.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!

This Week's Question:

Are there any book to movie adaptations where you think the movie is better than the book?


Eh? Not really? Typically I view movies based on books as stand-alone things within a series, mostly because many of the movies tend to deviate widely away from the books. The only thing I can even remotely think of are possibly the comic book movies, but again they're a universe unto themselves. 

Sometimes Good things Happen


For the past couple of days I've been attending the South Carolina Library Association/Southeastern Library Association's joint convention in a neighboring city. Upon arriving today, I chose to go listen to this lovely lady speak about her 90+ Young Adult novels and her upcoming projects. Who is she? This is Caroline B. Cooney, arguably most famous for her novel Face on the Milk Carton and its sequel Whatever Happened to Janie?. Other titles of hers include Three Black Swans, Code Orange, and The Lost Songs. 

I was excited to meet her this morning. I'll admit, I'm not the most outgoing person, and having been thrust into this conference on my own, I've been struggling to make connections and pass out as many business cards as I can. When I arrived at the session this morning, not only did she come over and greet me, she also graciously agree to take a picture with me. While I didn't say it to her, Mrs. Cooney's writing was influential on me. Arguably, many authors works have been influential in my life, however Mrs. Cooney's novels have stuck with me. Despite having been lacking in keeping up with her works, I can remember reading the first two books of the Janie series back when I was in the eight grade. They were captivating novels and left me questioning. I always wanted to know what happened to Janie after the second book, but never thought anymore of it.

After the session this morning, Mrs. Cooney was doing a book signing for the two free books we got during the session (I believe everyone received a copy of Code Orange and I picked a bag with Three Black Swans in it). I got both of my books signed to me, and they're going in my personal collection as my current job wouldn't really benefit from them, and I have a hard time giving away books. Afterwards, since I couldn't pick a session of interest that was located in the main venue of the conference, I wandered over to a bookseller's booth in the exhibition and purchased the third and forth books in the Janie series, and I'm looking forward to reading them. Both books are autographed, though not personally to me, and I managed to get them for right at $16 for both. 

Sometimes good things do happen, and it's not as bad as it seems.

10 November, 2013

Block #1

It was like she was seeing the world through two kaleidoscopes.

One was brightly coloured, a collision of colours, sounds, sights, feelings, and tastes that could have only been classified as eccentric and wild. A feeling of freedom, undefined and unhampered that sent her heart skittering across the floor and her feet flying towards the open world beyond. A plane of existence where nothing could ever bring her down, strike her out of the sky, or send her down to an early grave. 

The other, however, was nothing but blacks and greys that shadowed a landscape so bleak and hostile she wondered if it could possibly exist. Here nothing could go right, the world was always against her. Shattered glass sometimes reflected the bright colours of her other kaleidoscope, but it was only fleeting. Reflections of a technicoloured world that settled along the edges of her vision but were never there when she truly looked towards them. Always fleeting. This world drug her downward, forcing her lower than her lowest points and drove her down more and more. 

It was at the times these two views crosses that her life felt in balance, the lows and highs not being too hard to grasp or to fight. But too much of one and too little of the other left her feeling trapped and hopeless, even in that brightly freedom. For even the brightest freedom is an illusion if there isn’t something to ground you down.

31 October, 2013

A Bit of History About Soul Cakes

 
Photo credit from wikipedia.org.
Soul cakes are small, round cakes that are made for All Saints Day (Nov. 1st also known as Hallowmas)  or All Souls’ Day (Nov. 2nd). These little cakes were given out to ‘Soulers’ or people, typically children and beggers, who would go from door to door on Hallowmas singing and saying prayers for the dead. Each soul cake eaten represented a soul released from purgatory. 
This practice is seen as a predecessor of the modern day trick-or-treating, and the cakes were filled with allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and other spices while adding raisins or currants in before the baking. Also placed on the top of these cakes were the symbol of the cross. 
Songs sung by children/beggers were similar to the song ‘A Soalin’ that was written and preformed by Peter, Paul, and Mary in 1963. In more recent years, rock musician Sting created his own adaptation of the original 1963 version for his album “If On a Winter’s Night.” 
The song lyrics: 

Soul, Soul, a soul cake!
I pray thee, good missus, a soul cake!
One for Peter, two for Paul,
three for Him what made us all!
Soul Cake, soul cake, please good missus, a soul cake.
An apple, a pear, a plum, or a cherry, any good thing to make us all merry.
One for Peter, two for Paul, & three for Him who made us all.
Lyrics copyright belongs to Sting and any of his associates. No money is made off this post. 

Feature and Follow Friday #12

Increase Blog Followers 

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!

This Week's Question:

What book are you embarrassed to admit you LOVED? (try to think beyond Twilight)

It is really difficult for me to think of a book that I'm embarrassed to admit that I loved. I find that embarrassment is fleeting emotion for me, and what might seem embarrassing at the time tends to just lose that quality over time. If I had to say one, I'd possibly go with:

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I read these books ages ago, and for a brief period while trying to type this up, I could not remember the title of them for the life of me. They're interesting books, the concept of them intriguing, however they're simplistically written and seen as younger teen novels. Still, I love them and need to reread the first few so I can read the last ones.

Happy Halloween!

 

In honor of All Hallow's Eve, have a few photos of what I'm wearing to work. I'm going as the Doctor from Doctor Who.

29 October, 2013

Review: Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion #1) by Aimèe Carter

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Goodreads summary: YOU CAN BE A VII. IF YOU GIVE UP EVERYTHING.

For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country. 



If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter. 



There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed …and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand.

Review:
Rating:
★★★★★

 
I've been looking forward to this book for a while now, ever since I read the summary on goodreads after finding a countdown widget that featured this book. And I must say, this book did not disappoint. From the first moment of opening the book on my iPad through the Kindle app, I was captivated and drawn into the world of Kitty Doe, an orphaned girl in a society where rank is everything. At first glance, the summary itself is a bit misleading, providing that the Kitty is even aware of the choice she's making.


The ranking system, started seventy-five years past, seems to be based upon the caste systems of many cultures, and there are an established set of rules. You take the test, you earn your rank, and you fulfill your assignment. Or... you can rebel. Ranked on your seventeen birthday, your life can change for better or worst depending on how pass the test assigned. The problem is, for all the talk of equality in the test, things really aren't that way. You're set up in a world where the slightest mistake can cost you your life or get you sent Elsewhere.  II's and III's tend to make up the lower end of society, doing the menial jobs such as sewer cleaning or other unpleasant tasks that the upper rankings don't wish to do. When you're born into the lower classes, the highest ranking you can receive is a VI. To get a VII, you have to be born a Hart... or so Kitty thinks. 

Running from her assignment, Kitty finds herself in a less than ideal situation where she's being bid off to the highest payer. The problem is, the moment she finds herself bought by the Prime Minister and given the opportunity to become a VII, Kitty sees it as an opportunity she can't refuse. After all, it's either that or being sent Elsewhere. From there, her life takes a whirlwind spin down the rabbit hole from hell of becoming the most popular face in the country, Lila Hart. 

This book keeps the reader guessing, and there are a fair number of twists that would make even the most stouthearted reader cringe and feel anger at Kitty's predicaments. All in all, I can't wait for the next book of the series to be released.

22 October, 2013

Review: Countdown by Michelle Rowen

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Goodreads Summary: 3 seconds left to live.

Once the countdown starts, it cannot be stopped.

2 pawns thrown into a brutal underground reality game.

Kira Jordan survived her family's murder and months on plague-devastated city streets with hard-won savvy and a low-level psi ability. She figures she can handle anything. Until she wakes up in a barren room, chained next to the notorious Rogan Ellis.

1 reason Kira will never, ever trust Rogan. Even though both their lives depend on it.

Their every move is controlled and televised for a vicious exclusive audience. And as Kira's psi skill unexpectedly grows and Rogan's secrets prove ever more deadly, Kira's only chance of survival is to risk trusting him as much as her instincts. Even if that means running head-on into the one trap she can't escape.

GAME 0VER

Review:
Received as an Advanced Reader Copy from Netgalley.com. 
Rating: ★★★☆☆

This was a book that intrigued me with just it's summary while I was browsing on Netgalley. It was a good story, the idea of it an interesting one. Underground digital feeds for the wealthy in a ruined world. Criminals battling it out to the death. A romance that blooms at the most inopportune time. All things that I think could potentially bring a good book, however there were details in the book that threw me off a bit.

Kira really annoyed me. If she wasn't completely reminiscing over her parents and sister's murder (I know it's a difficult thing to get over and one she'll live with the rest of her life, however I don't need to be reminded of it every single chapter of the book), she was fawning over Rogan and his devilishly good looks. A good twenty percent of this book could be cut out between those two things alone. That said, Kira does have her moments where she does add to the plot trying to get further through the games to survive. 

The book does have it's high moments, the chapters about the different levels of the game were definitely engaging and left me wanting to know more. But there are some things that aren't explained. Such as how they pick contestants now. Some of them are murderers or juvenile delinquents who are looking for a clean record. Rowen fails to explain how people like Kira, low level thieves and the like, are actually chosen. Kira receives the explanation that because she picked the wrong person's pocket, she found herself in the game. However, it's never explained if others like her have been in the game or how they were chosen. 

There were a few inconsistencies in the grammar and spelling of words. Sometimes Rogan's name was spelled with an 'a', but there were times when the name seemed to be spelled with an 'e'. Sometimes words would have strange spaces between letters such as 'f lowers' or 'd ance'. It was a bit disorienting, but nothing that should stop you from at least picking up the book and giving it a chance.

17 October, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday #11

Increase Blog Followers 

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!

This Week's Question:

What are some of your favorite magazines?

Some of my favorite magazines in no particular order include:

 
 http://25.media.tumblr.com/5853bb9e011aa4e9855680b2dbc4c57a/tumblr_mhv3iyYXco1qcoev6o1_500.jpg

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3132/3201477241_8c0d473b78_n.jpg



http://mockingjay.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/People-Mag.jpg

http://www.ufosnw.com/news_items/astronomydec2007/astronomydec2007.jpg

http://www.scientificamerican.com/media/cover/cover_2013-11.jpg

http://timeentertainment.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/bigelow-cover-v-0204.jpg?w=260

09 October, 2013

Review: Roomies by Sarah Zarr and Tara Altebrando

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Received as an ARC from Netgalley.

Goodreads Summary: It's time to meet your new roomie.

When East Coast native Elizabeth receives her freshman-year roommate assignment, she shoots off an e-mail to coordinate the basics: television, microwave, mini-fridge. That first note to San Franciscan Lauren sparks a series of e-mails that alters the landscape of each girl's summer -- and raises questions about how two girls who are so different will ever share a dorm room.

As the countdown to college begins, life at home becomes increasingly complex. With family relationships and childhood friendships strained by change, it suddenly seems that the only people Elizabeth and Lauren can rely on are the complicated new boys in their lives . . . and each other. Even though they've never met.

National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr and acclaimed author Tara Altebrando join forces for a novel about growing up, leaving home, and getting that one fateful e-mail that assigns your college roommate

Review:

Ah, college, a time of roommates, growing up and what not right? I'll admit this book was an interesting plot at the beginning, and it rings a bit true for my freshman year of college and getting that first letter telling me who my roommate was and how to contact them. It would seem however that EB and Lauren's relationship was a better one than I achieve with my first three roommates.

Still, after the first couple of chapters, a ton of drama shows up. Elizabeth (or EB as she likes to be called) has a less than ideal life, her father walked out when she was 5, moving first to New York and then to San Francisco. And in a sense, she's picked her University on that sole fact. She wants to meet him again. Things quickly spiral out of control in this novel for her. Two jobs, flirting with a boy, dealing with her mom's affairs, breaking up with her boyfriend and catching the same one she was flirting in a span of 24 hours (which is slightly unrealistic if you're catching a rebound boyfriend-girlfriend relationship). And then dealing with the fact that her father has straight up lied to her. It's almost most too much to handle. 

Then on the other side of the country is Lauren, who's facing the fact that she requested a single and has been shoved in with a roommate. At first she's hostile, and I can't blame her really. She wanted a single after having to share her life with five younger siblings. And yet they shoved her with this. Her first few emails are hostile, but gradually she starts sharing things with EB. This seems to accelerate the drama really.

On a whole, the book is disappointing, it feels like you're reading two books at once because every other chapter is the other girl's thoughts and lives. It slightly felt like I was getting whiplash from it going back and forth so much. It doesn't help that both girls have semi-sorta-kinda relationships blooming but not really. There were a few mistakes here and there with the grammar and spelling, but mainly my issues lie with the plot and the style chose. The ending was also hugely disappoint, ending right as the girls move into their dorm together. It doesn't even give a scene of them actually saying hi, it just stops when EB opens the door to their dorm room and they start again.

I would not recommend reading this book, even if you're looking for nostalgia of your own days in college. It's not worth it.

07 October, 2013

Review: Her Mad Hatter (Kingdom Series #1) by Marie Hall

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Goodreads Summary: Alice is all grown up. Running the Mad Hatter's Cupcakery and Tea Shoppe is a delicious job, until fate--and a fairy godmother with a weakness for bad boys--throws her a curveball. Now, Alice is the newest resident of Wonderland, where the Mad Hatter fuels her fantasies and thrills her body with his dark touch.
The Mad Hatter may have a voice and a body made for sex, but he takes no lovers. Ever. But a determined fairy godmother has forced Alice into Wonderland--and his arms. Now, as desire and madness converge, the Hatter must decide if he will fight the fairy godmother's mating--or fight for Alice.

Review: 
I picked this book up as a free read from a bargain on Amazon... and I have to admit, I can see why it's free. 

The story-line itself isn't too terrible, provoking the idea of the Fairy Tale worlds we love as their own separate alternate dimension where every group of denizens there have a fairy godmother. Simple enough right? Not so much. Meet Danika, fairy godmother of the damned souls of this happy endings place. Her mission, over the next year, is to make sure that the five worst baddies of the land find their true love matches. I fail to see how the Wolf from Little Red Riding Hood, the Djinn from Aladdin, some unidentified fellow named Gerard, Captain Hook, and the Mad Hatter all classify as the worst of the worst, but okay. Danika, it seems, likes to meddle and it's not just their lives that end up getting messed up.

Meet Alice Hu, the great-granddaughter of the original Alice Hu who stole the Hatter's heart and broke him beyond repair. She's been obsessed with everything Wonderland and the Mad Hatter since she can remember, though the most pivotal point was when she was 13 and dying of brain cancer. It was then when she first met the Hatter and when she fell in love. Cheesy? Very much so. I'm afraid it doesn't get much better from there. A visit from Danika sends Alice down the rabbit hole and into the twisted landscape of Wonderland on a mission to save the world that's linked to Hatter and his twisted madness.

Three days, that's the magic number, is all Alice has to make Hatter fall in love with her. To be fair, it felt like every other paragraph when they were featured together was Alice and Hatter attempting to NOT jump each other's bones that very moment. In fact, perhaps a good three-forth of the book focuses on this lust-filled ideal of "look but don't touch" and "resist because it's just three days". The thing you don't learn until near the very end of the book is that Three Days in Wonderland equals out to being Three Months in the real world. How very jarring that is for Alice when she finally steps back out from the rabbit hole and finds herself taking a turn of the worse with a relapse of her cancer. 

All in all, this book was filled with awkward grammar, strange and silly metaphors. It was also filled with a disturbing amount of misquoted Edgar Allen Poe, something that seems a bit distance beyond the one fleeting riddle in the original Alice in Wonderland books about the raven and the writing desk. 

My suggestion for this book is if you have to pay for it, it's definitely not worth the money. However if cheesy romance books are your thing, by all means go enjoy. You won't get any erotica until the last three or four chapters of the book anyways.

04 October, 2013

Things to Look Forward To: Fall and Winter Movies 2013

Ah movies, a book-lovers dreams and nightmares all rolled into one. This is a look at some of the upcoming movies of the Fall and Winter 2013. 

Notes: All movies are listed in the order of release date based upon the U.S. Release date. Most should be released on the same day, but there's no guarantee. All summaries are from the Rotten Tomatoes rating site. Some movies may be rated R as standard with the U.S. rating system, viewer digression advised.

03 October, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday #10

Increase Blog Followers 

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!

This Week's Question:

What book (or TV show or movie) have you not read that seemingly everyone else has?

I know it's only requiring one answer, however I'll give three, one for each item included in the question.

Book: Any novel by Sarah Dessen really. She's one of the authors I was assigned a book to read from in grad school that I tried to start and immediately lost interest in her works. They're more romance based, a genre I avoid like the plague. Still, she seems like an interesting author, even if I can't stand her novels.

T.V. Show: Breaking Bad. I don't subscribe to the channel it comes on (I don't believe I do anyways) and I'm not overly interested in the plot. 

Movie:  The Sound of Music. This musical turned movie has so many historical inaccuracies that it makes me laugh. It doesn't help that I was forced as a child to sing many of the songs from the musical without really seeing the entire movie. P.S. at the end of the movie, when they're running away over the mountains? They're totally heading for Nazi Germany. Oops.

01 October, 2013

Teaser Tuesday #5

 
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teasers:

"Mordred cut off any potential for further disruptions with an explanation. 'Classes include fighter, wizard, cleric-'." -Critical Failure by Robert Bevan
"Tori strained against the fretted sandalwood screen to observe the plaza in the gathering dusk. Her view was constricted by elaborate curlicues, making it difficult to see Jai's signal when it came, if it came." - A Thousand Perfect Things by Kay Kenton
 

26 September, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday #9


Increase Blog Followers 

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!

 This Week's Activity: 

Reading Nook Tour: Give us a tour of your favorite reading spots.

My favorite reading spots include my bed and a chair in our back room. They're both extremely comfortable.


24 September, 2013

Teaser Tuesday #4

 

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


 My Teasers:

"In his long practice of being aware of six things at once, he noticed that Elizabeth Platt wasn't merely passing around candy. She was giving out picture books. Time to reign her in before a village elder threw her down the well. Merciful Christ, women on a political junket. It was going to take all his finesse.

Excusing himself from Astoria, he made it to the book wagon just as the village tahsildar strode up to bark at the children and confiscate the books. Old rascal didn't want the children educated, nor women either, come to that." - page 108, A Thousand Perfect Things by Kay Kenton

"Colette, Tucker's mom, was from another planet. France, specifically. She was exotic, glamorous, and the only person I knew whose parties required cocktail attire. Or were catered, for that matter.

Tuck never had any food in the fridge, but he always had designer clothes on his back-his appearance was the one thing about him that held Colette's interest. But that was no surprise. Tuck made pretty much every female pause and smooth down her hair." - Page 2, Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson.

23 September, 2013

Musing Monday #2

http://shouldbereading.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/musingmondays51.jpg 
Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…
• Describe one of your reading habits. • Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s). • What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!  • Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it. • Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us! • Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

My Musing:

I recently bought  The Left-Hander's 2014 Calendar for myself and thus far have found it amusing. Despite the calendar not officially starting until January of 2014, each page is designed for lefties (like me). Set up with all the pages of dates and space to write on the left side, this planner is reversed from a normal book and offers a bunch of tidbits, facts, and interesting helpful items that left-handed people might need. 

Want something else for left-handers? There's websites full of items reversed to make life easier for us, as well as a handbook. Also, don't forget an entire day dedicated to being Left Handed.
  

19 September, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday #8




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The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!

This Week's Question:
What were some of your favorite picture books as a kid? If you have kids, what are your favorites to read to them?  



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As a child I spent a fair amount of time reading Little Golden Books as they were what my mum had read as a child and what had been saved to pass down to me. Some of my favorites though include The Poky Little Puppy and The Little Engine That Could. I was also into the Little Critter series. I don't have children yet, but I feel like if or when I have them I'll probably pass down some of these books to them.

Review: Inhuman (Fetch #1) by Kat Falls

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Summary: In a world ravaged by mutation, a teenage girl must travel into the forbidden Savage Zone to recover lost artifacts or her father’s life is forfeit.

America has been ravaged by a war that has left the eastern half of the country riddled with mutation. Many of the people there exhibit varying degrees of animal traits. Even the plantlife has gone feral.

Crossing from west to east is supposed to be forbidden, but sometimes it’s necessary. Some enter the Savage Zone to provide humanitarian relief. Sixteen-year-old Lane’s father goes there to retrieve lost artifacts—he is a Fetch. It’s a dangerous life, but rewarding—until he’s caught.

Desperate to save her father, Lane agrees to complete his latest job. That means leaving behind her life of comfort and risking life and limb—and her very DNA—in the Savage Zone. But she’s not alone. In order to complete her objective, Lane strikes a deal with handsome, roguish Rafe. In exchange for his help as a guide, Lane is supposed to sneak him back west. But though Rafe doesn’t exhibit any signs of “manimal” mutation, he’s hardly civilized . . . and he may not be trustworthy.

Offered as a promotional item on Netgalley, Inhuman was promoted to have a similar theme to that of the popular series The Hunger Games. Beyond the similarities of Dystopian America and the idea of sacrificing yourself to save loved ones, the novels hold very little in common. 

The theme of this book is a common one; Lane, our main character, finds herself whisked out of her comfortable, nonthreatening and clean life to retrieve something from the very unsafe world beyond the wall that separates civilized humanity from the Ferae infested groups on the other side. With her father's fate in the balance, Lane sets off to do a 'Fetch' or retrieve a left behind item before time runs out to save his life. The problem is she doesn't have any real experience for surviving on this side of the wall. To make matters worse, she's got a limited amount of days to do the fetch before her way back into the West is closed potentially for good. 

As this advance copy is unedited, I can only hope that the formatting issues that arose with the kindle edition will be resolved. There were many times that sentences were split oddly (in the middle of people's dialogue) as well as dialogue running together. 

I was ultimately displeased with the ending of the book, while it appears to be the first book in a series, the ending of the book felt like there was no lead in for a second novel. I must also admit that I am not overly pleased with the fact that everything seemed to work out for the Main Character. She looses two friends, yes, however ultimately her father and she are cleared of all crimes and are on their way to have his leg treated on the Western side of the wall away from the Feral Zone. 

All in all, I wouldn't recommend this if you're looking for a captivating novel, but if you want a quick read, this could fall into that category.

12 September, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday #7

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The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!

Since I failed to get it up last week as well, I'll post both September 6th and September 13th activities here this week.

Things to Look Forward to: Video Game Edition

Video games, time consuming enhancements that supposedly keeps children, teens, and adults away from reading. That, in itself, I could write a whole article on and probably not exhaust the topic of how I think they can enhance reading and open it up to others out there. That said, I've got a few games that I'm desperately looking forward to with their eventual or recent releases.

Upcoming and Recently Released Games:

Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD Remix - 
Release Date: September 10, 2013, Platform: Playstation 3

Description: Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix includes both Kingdom Hearts Final Mix and Re:Chain of Memories in high-definition and trophy support. Additionally, the collection features Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days in a Theater Mode, spanning 2 hours and 50 minutes of HD remastered cinematics from the original game, as well as new scenes. The 358/2 Days cinematic also has trophy support.




Whether you've been with the series since it began in 2002 or just recently joined in the magic, Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD Remix is something that might be worth investing in. This installment of the series offers a way for players to reconnect with the original game including materials that were previously unreleased outside of Japan, as well as the remake of the first handheld game Chain of Memories. Also available for viewing but not playing, is the 358/2, one of the later handheld games that runs parallel with the Chain of Memories time line.

Overall, I'll have to hope that the Playstation 4 will have the capability to play previous generation games if I wish to play this game.

Pokemon X and Y - 
Release Date: October 12, 2013, Platform: Nintendo 3DS

Description: Pokémon X and Y are role-playing video games with adventure elements, presented in a third-person, overhead perspective. The player controls a young trainer who goes on a quest to catch and train creatures known as Pokémon, and win battles against other trainers. By defeating enemy Pokémon in turn-based battles, the player's Pokémon gains experience, allowing them to level up and increase their battle statistics, learn new abilities, and in some cases, evolve into more powerful Pokémon. Alternatively, players can capture wild Pokémon, found during random encounters, by weakening them in battle and catching them with Poké Balls, allowing them to be added to their party. Players are also able to battle and trade Pokémon with other human players using the Nintendo 3DS's connectivity features. Like in previous games in the series, certain Pokémon are only obtainable in either X or Y, with players encouraged to trade with others in order to obtain all Pokémon from both versions.



Pokemon games were my own introduction into the world of gaming, and I'm not certain I have any other games that have been around quite as long as them. These quaint games tend to have the same story line, but each generation introduces new Pokemon to capture, new places to see, and of course new features. In this game, players will be able to use the 3DS's interface to interact with their pokemon on a personal level, participate in 'sky battles' and connect with players all over the world to reach the goal of collecting them all. 

I definitely will be getting my hands on a copy of both games, if only for the ability to collect promotional pokemon and to see what the differences between the versions are.

Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds -
Release Date: November 22, 2013, Platform: Nintendo 3DS

Description: The game takes place in the same world as The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, a 1991 game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Its Japanese name (translated to Triforce of the Gods 2) is closely related to the Japanese title for A Link to the Past, Triforce of the Gods. According to Satoru Iwata, the game takes place six generations after the death of Ganon, the ultimate antagonist of A Link to the Past.




This game certainly looks fun, though I'm afraid I've not played the game that it's supposed to follow up. Legend of Zelda has been around since the 80s, with lots of growth and development with every generation of gaming system. Several of the games have been re-released as new technology comes available, however, we still get excited when a new game is released. The game itself follows the same basic guidelines, save the world from evil but like Pokemon, it introduces new places within the Hyrule and follows the growth and demise of different kingdoms in the area.

I'll be asking this for Christmas I think.

Child of Light - 
Release Date: 2014, Platform: Playstation 4, Xbox One, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, and Computer

Description: Child of Light is a platforming role-playing video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. The game puts players in the shoes of Aurora, a child stolen from her home, who, in her quest to return, must bring back the sun, the moon and the stars held captive by the mysterious Queen of the Night. Helped by her playable companion Igniculus the firefly and several unlikely allies, Aurora will face her darkest fears in this modern take on a coming-of-age story.



This game's trailer was circling on Tumblr recently, and it caught my attention immediately. The artwork reminds me of the game Okami, though both are produced by two separate companies. Still, the game play and the music of the trailer are enough to make me itch to play this game and is worth keeping an eye out as more news becomes available.

Kingdom Hearts III -
Release Date: Unknown, Platform: Playstation 4, supposedly Xbox One

Description: Sora will once again be the protagonist of the game. The game will also see the return of Riku, Donald Duck, Goofy, and King Mickey, as well as the inclusion of familiar Disney characters. Continuing from Dream Drop Distance, Sora, Donald and Goofy will attempt to search for seven guardians of light and the "Key to Return Hearts", while King Mickey and Riku search for previous Keyblade wielders, in an attempt to stop Master Xehanort's plan to balance the light and darkness, which may ultimately lead to the final showdown between Sora and Master Xehanort.



To round out my things to look forward to, we'll revisit the Kingdom Hearts series. The long awaited third Console game, Kingdom Hearts III is to be the end of the Xehanort saga which has stretched from the original game in 2002. To be fair, it's possibly a good thing there's not a release date quite yet since I'd recommend playing or at least watching a play-through of all the previous games so you're not completely lost. All new worlds, higher definition graphics, and of course the balance between light and dark are all draws into this game. 

I'll definitely be looking out for this game and all the news related to it.

10 September, 2013

Teaser Tuesday #3

 
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


My Teasers:

"Mahindra sat upon the platform, legs crossed beneath him. he had been sitting so long he could no longer feel the pain." - pg. 46, A Thousand Perfect Things by Kay Kenyon

"Irewen did her best to surpress a shiver. She rolled to her side and pulled the heavy wool cloak tighter against her body in a feeble attempt to keep out the winter chill.The campfire had begun to die long ago; she could hear the faint sizzle of the last remaining embers clinging desperately to life." - pg. 12, Silevethiel by Andi O'Connor
 

29 August, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday #6

Increase Blog Followers

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!

This weeks Question: 

If you could only have ONE – one book – for the rest of your life. Don’t cheat…what would it be?

Ah, ah ah ah.... 

Marlfox by Brian Jacques. This is my favorite book of the entire Redwall series, and I could re-read it many, many times. 

22 August, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday #4

Increase Blog Followers

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!


This weeks Question:

Book Selfie! Take a pic with your current read.



I actually read 4 to 6 books at one shot due to an inability to focus solely on one book at a time. Therefore this is just one of the four I'm currently reading. It's The Rogue Crew, the last in the Redwall Series by Brian Jacques before his death in 2011. 

Daughter of Camelot (Empire of Shadows #1) by Glynis Cooney


Raised in the shadow of a fort dedicated to training Knights of the Round Table, Deirdre thirsts for adventure.  Instead, at 14, she is sent to court to learn the etiquette and talents of a young woman. Court life, however, is more fraught with danger than she expected, and Deirdre finds herself entangled in a deadly conspiracy that stretches deep into the very heart of Camelot.  All Deirdre thought she knew and believed in—loyalty, love, bravery—is challenged when she embarks on a quest to defy Fate and save the King.

My initial impression of Daughter of Camelot was one of interest. I have always been a lover of Arthurian tales, and often find myself entangled within the pages of novels that are a spin off of these tales. And in the terms of Arthurian time era, this book was one that particularly filled that thirst.

Generally, I enjoyed the plot of the book, though parts were awkward to read and sometimes a bit unbelievable. Deirdre, the lovely narrator of the tale, is on the verge of her fourteenth birthday when our story starts. Immediately, she points out that she is already an oddity due to being a twin, an ill omen in the time period. With the knowledge of being sent to court, she is both resentful and resistant to fitting into the mold the world has set for her. The story continues from court, sending her off on her own journey against fate and time to rescue her world that is quickly falling apart. While I like the fact that Deirdre is a strong female character, and she does undergo character development, there were sections of the book that she felt flat and almost boring in comparison to her companions, Lady Sioned and Dewey the Dwarf. 

The story is hindered further by a lack of editing on the author's part. Many times, the story shifts from the first person narrative into a third person observation. There were places that dialogue went unmarked, and some things, such as the religious practices of druids and the 'old' ways felt disjointed from the story. As Deirdre's story continues with her struggle to prove her worth in the world and defy fate by helping High King Arthur, she struggles with her love of a knight. The love, I felt, was slightly forced in places and more than a bit unrealistic in some of the interactions. Deirdre accepts an invitation from the knight that fancies her to visit his kingdom, despite the fact that she is on her way home in shame from court. Still, unsurprisingly, she accepts the offer and finds herself in a second court, trying to integrate into the court, and ultimately almost having the quest of her dreams dropped right into her lap. 


I won't spoil the ending for you, and if you enjoy stories set in the Arthurian era or are looking for a quick read, I would definitely recommend this book. Enjoy!
 
 
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