Sunday, July 31, 2011

2011 Debut Author Challenge 12: Dark Parties by Sara Grant

Dark PartiesDark Parties by Sara Grant

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The main character of this book is Neva, and she is 16. She has lived her whole life under the Protectosphere, and feels like she is trapped. Part of the feeling comes from what her grandmother used to tell her, at least before her grandmother disappeared, and even her parents acted like her grandmother never existed. Supposedly their was nuclear war outside of this dome, and so by staying inside they are protected from the wastelands and chemicals. But to Neva and her friends, it is like a prison. So Neva and her friend Sanna plan a "dark party" to recruit their friends to do some rebellious stuff. But through this more people will disappear, and they will soon learn where their loyalties are, and if they government is really lying, and if they are, what they will do to keep their secrets and order.

I did enjoy this book, it is another in what seems to be a growing list of dystopian novels that I'm reading lately. It had some of the same elements as several that I've read though. First it had what I would call a dome called a Protectosphere over this city, state, country, not sure from the book itself, and that made me think of the Goneseries by Michael Grant. Next there were issues with reproduction it seems, or not issues exactly, but the government was trying to control it, and that reminded me of several books: Wither, XVI, and a little bit of Delirium. I liked the name of the book, although it seemed that the only mention of "dark parties" was at the very beginning of the book, and then we never really saw anything like that again. There were several things left unanswered, but as I assume from the way it ends that there will be a sequel, really has to be, hopefully those will be answered. I will read on as I said if there is another. And it is a good quick read if you like dystopian novels. I read this as an egalley from Hachette Book Group that I got on

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The HelpThe Help by Kathryn Stockett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is about exactly what the title says. It is about the women who were housekeepers and more in Mississippi in 1962. These were black women, who as we read in the book were often more of a mother to the white children they were raising than their own mothers were. Yet they are treated as if they are diseased, having to have their own separate toilets, and are fired or sent to jail for things that a white person would never have to worry about. Sometimes even beat up just because they try to stand up for themselves or others. But it is also a tale of how some of the white people aren't like that. One of the main characters, Skeeter, is a white woman who wants to write a story about what she sees going on. But she wants it to be told from the help's point of view. At first she has to struggle to get these women to confide in her. They know what kinds of repercussions they could face if they are caught. And Skeeter soon learns how this will affect her as she begins losing childhood friends and even the guy she thought might be the one. In the end things pretty much turn out well, as well as things could actually get to in that time period.

I loved this book! I picked it up to read because the movie is coming out. I have to say that I normally don't jump on the bandwagon of bestselling books. Quite often they don't really stand out as something I want to read. And with this one, well I have to admit I never actually picked it up to read what it was about. But when I saw an ad for the movie, I was intrigued because the story looks really good. And once I started the book, I was hooked. I couldn't put it down. Or at least I really didn't want to even though I had to. The stories were told from 3 different views, and usually I'm not a big fan of that, but it worked for this. The 3 main personalities really helped show all sides of the story. Aibileen was the calm woman who first decided to help out Skeeter, the woman writing the book. And Minnie was kind of the emotional one who had some really extreme situations to write about. Now, I heard that there was some controversy that both sides were shown unfairly. But I disagree. I feel like this book showed all different types of people on both sides. So, in conclusion, great story, and I can't wait to see the movie!

I do have to point out one thing a woman I work with said when I suggested she read this book. She said that she didn't like stories about eccentric southern women. I thought she was just being her same old humorous self, but she was serious! I'll never forget her saying that. But this isn't really that kind of book in my opinion. So I'm going to continue suggesting to her that she read it.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Table of YA Recommendations at my B&N, and the latest authors I met!

First, I can't believe I haven't posted a picture of my table at the Barnes & Noble where I work. I'm so proud of it! Whenever I go in I have to make sure that it is full and looks good!

Also, tonight was the night I got to meet Maggie Stiefvater. Unfortunately my picture with her turned out a bit blurry, but I'm so excited I got to meet her. She was so funny! I loved listening to her talk. And I loved her advice about writing. But I'm actually at a point where I'm thinking since I am not a good writer, and have trouble finishing a book, maybe I just want to read. But one thing she said, know basically the ending when you start writing. And with my YA novel I started, I had an idea, but didn't know what all was going to happen, so maybe that's why I got stuck really quick.
And the biggest surprise was that she had 2 other YA authors with her! One, Tessa Gratton, I have yet to read, but I bought her book tonight and got it autographed. And I have seen her book and picked it up and thought about reading it, just hadn't put it on a TBR list yet. Now it is. My goal/quest of meeting 12 authors this year was to meet authors of books I've read and liked, and so as of now, she doesn't count. But as soon as I read her book, I can put her on my list, and I'll now be a month ahead with 8 authors!

And the other author, well, I really wish I'd known she would be there, especially as I do have a copy of her book, and it is the ARC of The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff that I am getting ready to send to my 100 Follower Giveway at But I got to meet and talk to her, and get my picture with her.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Winner of My 100 Follower Giveaway

Thanks to all of you who entered. I had 13 different people who entered, so I'm choosing this time to just draw one winner. That winner is Valerie at Stuck in

Stuck in Books


Valerie chose the copy of The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff as her prize.

Congratulations Valerie! I hope you enjoy your prize.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

100 Follower Giveaway!

Contest is over!! Thanks to all who entered, results will be posted shortly!

I'm so excited! I finally passed the 100 follower mark this past week! I'm sure I'm following way more people than that, but glad to have so many more people to follow me and share their reviews with me. And as promised in earlier posts, I'm going to have a giveaway! Now, I'm kind of new to the whole Google Docs thing. I made a form, and am going to link to it in this post. Just hope that it works out for me. Just in case, if you are entering, you might want to go ahead and add a comment to this post as well with your name and email address. I'm giving you a shot at 1 of 6 giveway items, and if I get enough entries, I might even giveaway 2 of the items.

  • Autographed copy of Forever by Maggie Stiefvater. She is coming to my town this Wednesday, so I will have it personally autographed to you.

  • $10 gift card to Barnes and Noble. This can be used online at as well. I work at Barnes and Noble, so feel I need to support my company rather than other online book sources.

  • ARC of The Replacements by Brenna Yovanoff. I know the book has been out a little while, but it is a good one, so if you don't have it, this is a way to get it!

  • ARC of Sapphique (sequel to Incarceron) by Catherine Fisher, again, book is already published.

  • Cathy's Book by Sean Stewart, with all the little extra things in it still brand new in their envelope.

  • Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern. Thought I'd throw in a kind of funny book.

I'm going to end this contest on Monday, July 25th, by midnight. I will announce the winner on Tuesday, and if you choose the Forever by Maggie Stiefvater, I hope to get ahold of you by email before Wednesday night at 7:00 pm CST so I can find out what name you want her to autograph it to.

Again, thanks to all my new followers, and old followers! Hope I'm offering something in this giveway that you'll be interested in! Fill out this form, and don't forget to leave a comment on this post just in case my form doesn't work.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Book Blogger Hop #10 and Follow Friday #7

Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop is sponsored by Crazy for Books and is a place where bloggers and readers connect over the weekend and chat about books. This week's question is:

What is the one genre you wish you could get into, but just can't?

I guess I'd have to pick steampunk probably. I would say some fantasy, but I do read some types of fantasy, so didn't think that would really count. I don't really get into Fairy stuff, but have read books with fairies, so again, don't feel I can really count. I know that SteamPunk is getting to be such a big thing, so I feel as if I should try to read it. I have friends who are kind of into the whole SteamPunk thing, don't know if they read the books too, but feel like I should be able to. Maybe some day.

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. It is a blog hop where you can expand your blog following by a joint effort between bloggers. This week's question is:

Name 3 authors you would love to sit down and spend an hour or a meal with just talking about either their books or get advice on writing from?

First I would love to sit and get a chance to talk to Stephenie Meyer. When she came to Kansas City a couple years ago, she said one thing that helps me whenever I get stuck with my writing. She said she wrote the story for herself. Sometimes I get bogged down thinking, would other people like this? But when I just think about writing the story I want to tell, it helps me to get through a little more of my story.

Second would be JK Rowling. I just want to know did she have the whole thing planned out when she first started?

Third would be Dean Koontz, because I would love to talk to him about dogs and writing stories.

So, what are your answers to these questions? And check back in the next day or so I'm going to have a giveaway for reaching 100 follower finally!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan

Immortal Beloved (Immortal Beloved, #1)Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I remember when I first saw this book, I believe it was around the same time as when The Eternal Ones came out, and at first I thought this was another reincarnation novel, and I was intrigued. But I picked it up and read that it was about "immortals" as you might guess from the title. I thought, oh no, another vampire book, and set it back down. When the Borders store closest to me was getting ready to close this past spring, I ran in and found this hardcover book there for like $4, and so I grabbed it and brought it home. I picked it up to read 2 days ago, and I was hooked!

The main character is Nastaya, or Nasty for short. (Which, I kinda hate that nickname, sorry.) But that's not her real name, she is about 460 years old, and has had many name changes because of the times changing, as well as many different passports when needed. We begin the story with her as she's lived for a long time, with her gang of immortal friends, out being crazy, drinking, partying, etc. She does this to keep her mind from remembering all the bad things that have happened in her life. Well, this night, her best friend Innocencio, or Incy for short, uses magick to hurt a cab driver, hurt really bad. Nastaya has never been a fan of magick as it always makes her sick afterwards, and she's really not a fan of using it for dark purposes like this. The next morning she wakes up still freaked out and decides she has to get away and figure out what she wants. She remembers another immortal she met years ago who told her she didn't have to live that way and if she ever wanted help, told her where she lived so she could come get help. And that's where she goes. But part of it is trying to get away from her friends for a break from them. And so she tells her doorman somewhere else, and then she goes to America to see this immortal named River. River's place is a small farm that actually is pretty old fashioned. Along with classes, they do manual labor and all share chores. Their classes consist of learning to use magick and their powers. When Nastaya gets there, of course she at first doesn't think she'll stay, as she's used to a life of excess. And there is a REALLY hot guy there, who is also really a jerk to her. While there she starts having visions, and realizes that there are some reminders she must face from the beginning of her life.

Okay, enough summary. More of my opinion. I seriously LOVED this book. Did I already say that? I love what these immortals "are". I love the new story. These immortals aren't vampires, they're just humans who live a really, really, really long time. They can be killed, but it is really hard to do. They are only born to two immortals. And when they reach their teen years, their "aging" slows down, and they tend to stay teens to 20 year old looking for a long time. And so I guess because they look like this might be why this was considered a teen book. BUT! I actually didn't feel at all as if I was reading a teen book, not that teen books are bad, as you know if you follow me, I read a LOT of them. But I really feel as if this was an adult science fiction book. Yeah, she looks like a teen, BUT, she's lived a LONG time. And all of them have, and their conversations and what they do are totally people who are adults. Again, not that teens can't read adult fiction, but just not sure why this is classified as it is. I don't care where they put it in the bookstore though, I just can't wait for part two to come out, and I think I have to wait till 2012! Yikes!

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday - All You Desire by Kirsten Miller

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating!

This week I've chosen the book All You Desire by Kirsten Miller. This is the sequel to her book The Eternal Ones which I was lucky enough to get to read as an ARC. Here is the synopsis from

Haven Moore and Iain Morrow have been living a blissful life in Rome, an ocean way from the Ouroboros Society and its diabolical leader. But paradise is not to last. The mysterious disappearance of Haven's best friend, Beau, sends the pair running back to New York, where they encounter the Horae, an underground group of women who have spent centuries scheming to destroy Adam Rosier. Only they can help Haven uncover the secret to Beau's whereabouts in one of her past lives. But their help comes at a price: Haven must infiltrate the Ouroboros Society, charm Adam Rosier, and lure him into a trap. It's a plan the Horae believe will save the world-but Haven and Iain fear that it may destroy the happiness they've been chasing for two thousand years.

I loved the story in the first book, it was one of several reincarnation books I found at that time to read. So I'm looking forward to reading on with the story and seeing where it goes next.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar ChildrenMiss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I love the theme behind this book. A bunch of random old photos found and a story built around them. Although some of the pictures were kind of boring, I was hoping for more of the really neat looking ones. But hey, they can't all be weird, right? I also liked the story. It had an original plot, one I hadn't really read anything like lately. The main character is Jacob, and he grows up with a grandfather who tells really weird stories, and has pictures to go with them! Pictures of a girl floating above the ground, clothes standing with no head, a small person holding a really big rock, and what appears to be a face painted on the back of a head, but with a real mouth! As Jacob grows up he of course grows out of believing these stories of his grandfather's. He takes from his parents that his grandfather did deal with "monsters," the Nazi's, as he escaped when his family was all taken to concentration camps, and then fought them in World War II. Until when he is 16 his grandfather calls him all freaked out. When he goes over to check on him, he finds him dead, or dying anyway, and Jacob sees, or thinks he sees a scary monster. Soon after Jacob begins seeing a therapist to help him get over the nightmares and finally figure out he didn't really see what he thought. Jacob decides to go visit this island his grandfather described growing up on to learn about what really happened there. Once he gets there, he finds more of the pictures, and find out his grandfather really did have some adventures on that island. As Jacob gets drawn into this island's mysteries, he has to make a choice on whether to stay with his new friends, or try to go back to his old life.

Now, I did like this, but it wasn't a book that I was constantly wanting to get back to in order to find out what was happening. So, good book, and I think there is going to be a sequel from what I've read from the author having more pictures to write about, as well as how the story leaves off. So, I'm a fan, and will definitely be recommending this one to students at my school, as well as customers at my store.

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Switched by Amanda Hocking

Switched (Trylle Trilogy, #1)Switched by Amanda Hocking

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I downloaded this book to my Nook because it was only 99 cents. At first I was only reading it on my iPhone Nook app, and let me tell you, reading a book on an iPhone is not much fun. It is like you turn the page every paragraph! I only resorted to this when I ended up somewhere where I'd had no idea I might need a book. Then, while waiting in line to see the Harry Potter midnight premiere, I didn't want to bring a bunch of books with me. Plus, I was finishing up a book on my Nook, so I just brought my Nook and figured to read whatever was on there when I finished that book. And I decided to read this next. And wow, once I really was able to read it like a real book I was sucked into the story. I really liked this! I see many reviewers have called this a Twilight knockoff. I disagree. I do think that people who enjoyed Twilight will also enjoy this, but to me the story is a bit different. The main character is Wendy. When she was a little girl growing up her mother was never happy with her, and on her 6th birthday, her mother tried to kill her with a knife, saying she wasn't really her child. Her mother was put away into a mental institute, and she lived from then on with her aunt and her older brother who had always kind of been her protector. They've moved around quite a bit due to Wendy not really trying to fit in and the problems she has. At the latest place she's at she meets a boy named Finn, who she can't quite keep her eyes off of, and he can't seem to keep his eyes off of her too. Well, it turns out that he is there to take her to the real world that she belongs in. Her "mother" was actually right all this time. In case you're wondering what "Trylle" means, it means troll, although not trolls in the way we have always described them. And we'll learn more about it in this trilogy, which I've now had to buy the rest of them, still a pretty good price for an e-book, although not the 99 cents.

I really enjoyed this, I like the characters, the world she's going into, and somewhat how Wendy is dealing with it. I can totally see her point. Like all these supernatural books lately, she is a teenager, who just wants to have a normal life after all the things she's already been through. My one hope, is that there won't be a big love triangle, as seems to be the "thing" these days. But we'll see as I read on!

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Deviant by Adrian McKinty

DeviantDeviant by Adrian McKinty

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After reading the reviews already posted before I'd really gotten into this book, I was a bit nervous about reading it. But then I got into it and really enjoyed it. The serial killer aspect to the book was very interesting. I liked how really it kept me guessing, it's that guy, no it's this kid, no wait, it's that kid. I love when it takes me a bit to figure out who the bad guy is. As a science teacher I also like how it talked about Tesla and other science topics. As a teacher, can I say that while I don't think that is the proper method for helping children learn, I would be in heaven if I had a classroom of students who sat without talking when they weren't supposed to? HEAVEN!

The main character is Danny Lopez, but he is actually part Native American. He doesn't really know his real dad, but doesn't really like his stepdad either. He's grown up in Las Vegas now moving to Colorado because of a mistake he made. Also his mother will be in charge of the new casino opening up on the reservation here. His stepdad is working at the prison, with the convicts that are really close to being let go for the end of their sentences. Danny meets some interesting prisoners, on in particular who will be a help, but could be the problem later on. The girl who lives right by him, Tony, tends to just walk into his house without knocking, even going into his bedroom when he's still sleeping! But he kind of has a crush on her. He is immediately asked to join one of the secret societies in this school with its unorthodox method of teaching students. There are cats being killed, and this seems to be the work of a serial killer in the way it is being done. Danny has issues with other students at the school of course being the new kid. All in all this was a good book, I can see many boys I've taught that would enjoy it. Danny is also a big skateboarder, which is kind of difficult in Colorado with the snow.

I read this as an egalley from from Abrams publisher, it will be released in October.

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Book Blogger Hop #9 and Follow Friday #6

Book Blogger Hop is sponsored over at Crazy for Books. It's a place for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word. This week's question is:

How/where do you get your books? Do you buy them or go to the library? Is there a certain website you use like paperbackswap?

Good question. If you read my blog you'll know that I work at a bookstore, Barnes and Noble. So most of the books I buy come from there. I also own a Nook, B&N's e-reader. So far I've only actually purchased a couple books for it, most of them I've gotten free from a website called Every year when I participate in my state's school librarain association award nominee group, I tend to just check those books out from either the library at the school I work at, or the public library, or I can even check out hardcover books at the bookstore where I work as well. I've also been getting some books through the RAK over at Proud Book Nerd.

Follow Friday is sponsored by Parajunkee. This is a blog hop that expands your blog by a joint effort between bloggers. There is also a featured blogger each week. I'm so excited that I've gotten on the list to be a future featured blogger! This week's question is:

What do I do when I are not reading?

Okay, not sure if the incorrect grammar is to be cute, as a teacher who has to grade for those things, it bothers me to post it like that. :-) But anyway. When I'm not reading, I'm either watching tv, playing on the internet, at the movies, or hanging out with family. Or last, because it's my least favorite, working, which right now includes teaching 8th grade science, working at the bookstore, and teaching an online class for a career college. And I guess there's some sleeping added in each night as well. I actually tend to read even while I'm eating since I live alone. And I even read sometimes while watching tv. I like to shop as well, but that costs money. Reading would be a cheaper habit, if I didn't keep buying new books, because I have 300 to read sitting in my office. Oh yeah, and from the header on my blog, you can see I have an adorable mini dachshund, her name is Sydney, but as she's older, she just sleeps most of the time. Considering getting a puppy to see if that would making perk her up a bit.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Hazards of Working at a Bookstore Vol. 3.1 Part 2

Okay, part 2. I also realized I could do a part 3, as we had an upcoming catalog of YA title sitting in the breakroom at the bookstore where I work and I found 3 other books I wanted to read. But I'll post those another time. For today I'm going to just list the 4 books I saw actually sitting in the store the last two nights that I worked.
First is Lucy by Laurence Gonzales. Now, I think I've actually posted about this when it came out in hardcover, not sure. But I'm going to talk about it again just in case. It is now in paperback, and so I may have to buy it. Lucy is the story of what might happen if someone tried to breed an ape and a human. Lucy is a 14 year old daughter of a primatologist who has grown up only being around apes. She is rescued when her parent is killed in a civil war in the Congo and brought to Chicago to live. When they find out what she is, she must now prove that she has the right to continue to live her life as she has been. Sounds like a very intense book to me! And one that is right up my alley of what I like to read in adult fiction.

Second is Exes & Ohs: A Downtown Girl's (Mostly Awkward) Tales of Love, Lust, Revenge, and a Little Facebook Stalking by Shallon Lester. This is in the humor section of our store. It's a dating memoir of a person who has been a waitress, a gossip columnist, and an MTV reality tv star. Her stories include a new boyfriend finding a huge pile of Magnum condoms under her bed, getting caught stealing bacon at a grocery store, and being dumped two Valentine's Days in a row. I can't wait to read this one!

Third is My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me: And Other Stories I Shouldn't Share with Acquaintances, Co-workers, Taxi Drivers, Assistants, Job interviewers, Bikini ...And Ex/Current/Future Boyfriends But Have by Hilary Winston. Another hilarious sounding book to read about not being able to keep from saying things in work and the dating life. The author is a TV writer and things life is going well till she finds out an exboyfriend has written a novel about her where she is referred to as the fat-assed girlfriend. So she kind of strikes back with stories of her own.

And the fourth and final book I'm going to write about is This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein by Kenneth Oppel. I've never read any of Kenneth Oppel's books. But I've picked them up and read the blurbs before. This is the first that really caught my attention. I don't know that I've posted about it, but I already had it marked as to read on

Again, tell me if you've read any of these so I know what to expect. I always like to see other people's views on books I'm going to read. Especially the awesome book bloggers that I follow!

The Hazards of Working at a Bookstore Vol. 3.1 Part 1

Okay, this is either going to be really long, or I'm going to split it into a few. This is a collection of papers from working 3 days last week and 2 this week. And at first I thought I didn't find many, but I did. I found 8 (edit, only 7, 2nd book I was going to list I didn't write an author, so not sure of it). So, I'm making an executive decision right now, this will be two separate posts.
First is Anno Dracula by Kim Newman. This is an adult fiction. It begins in England, 1888. In this retelling of Dracula, he is married to Queen Victoria and basically is ruling England, turning it into an undead country. There is also another race of vampires, and a detective from this group is trying to solve the Jack the Ripper murders. I like the themes of Jack the Ripper, that is a story that has fascinated me since the movie From Hell, and the book written by Patricia Cornwell. This sounds to be another story also where vampires are trying to live among the world, similar in a way to the Sookie Stackhouse series, just at a much earlier time in history.

Second is Original Sin by Lisa DesRochers, which I guess is second in the Personal Demons series. Don't remember the first one, but this is a story about a girl named Frannie, who is kind of a good Catholic girl until her senior year when a boy named Luc enrolls in her school. She's instantly attracted to him. But he's there on a mission to take her soul back to hell, all he has to do is get her to sin. Soon the angel Gabriel shows up to try to save her soul. Sounds like a love triangle to me. And I like the use of the angels' names in this.

Third is Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George, which after looking up on Goodreads I guess is 2nd in a series as well! I've got a lot to get caught up on! Anyway, it sounds like a retelling of a fairy tale in a way, and I've really been getting to where I enjoy these. I think my enjoyment started with Gregory Maguire's dark retelling of Cinderella and Wizard of Oz. But those were so involved that these are better in a way to me. This is another retelling of Cinderella with some changes. Looks like the 1st in this series was another take of the 12 Dancing Princesses, another fairy tale I really like.
That's all for this blog. Part 2 will have 4 books from this week. All these were from working last week.
Have you read any of these? Would you recommend I keep them on my TBR list?

You Have to Kiss a Lot of Frogs by Laurie Graff

You Have To Kiss A Lot Of Frogs (Red Dress Ink)You Have To Kiss A Lot Of Frogs by Laurie Graff

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was my latest book to keep by the big bathtub for reading while taking a bubble bath. It had some really hilarious moments. I also at first was unsure as I started reading whether it was supposed to be a memoir or was just fiction. I'm guessing from reading the "about author" part that it is based on some real stories from her life. The guys that she dates, well, some of them are just unbelievable in the way they act. The main character is Jewish, and so I enjoyed reading about the types of issues that Jewish women have when dating. In fact, the end of the book really touches on this with something called the Shiksa complex. This is where Jewish men want to find non-Jewish women to date and take home, and then when they get married, these women convert to being Jewish. There is one part where the main character even pretends to not be Jewish just to get a Jewish guy. Only at a Jewish holiday, she finally can't hold it in anymore and lets out her secret. The guy gets all upset and even says he had been going to ask her to marry him that night, but now he can't. And what's weird is that he doesn't say it's because he can't trust her for lying, it's because he doesn't want to marry a Jewish girl! It's crazy. Then she dates a guy who can't make up his mind. So annoying. But what's kind of worse is that she keeps getting in and out of a relationship with him! I could see keeping him around as a friend with benefits, but I could never let someone that annoying keep getting in and messing with my head like she seemed to do.

Karrie Kline is her name, and as an actress she moves out to LA at one point in the book. Here we get to see what dating is like out there. Again, there are some crazy men. We do get a little bit of information about her family. Like she never knew her real father because he supposedly ran away to be a clown, literally. And we do meet him in LA. At the end she gets a dog, and I loved that part. It is true that they give you unconditional love. But I disagree with her in that she is okay waiting for someone because she now has this love. I've had my dog for over 12 years now, and I still want to find a boyfriend. It's a different type of love. So the ending was a bit disappointing.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - Fever (Chemical Garden Trilogy #2) by Lauren DeStefano

Waiting on Wednesday is sponsored by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

I haven't done this in awhile because I felt I'd pretty much listed all the books I'd really been waiting on. But, au contraire, mon frere. It's just that a lot of the books I'm not waiting on will not be published for another year because I read the first one in the series before they were published, so they've just been published and now I'm waiting. In fact, this book I'm choosing today will not come out till 2012. And at the moment I haven't found a cover for it, it is supposed to be revealed sometime this month.

Fever is the 2nd in the Chemical Garden trilogy by Lauren DeStefano. It is the sequel to Wither, one of the latest dystopian teen novels I enjoyed reading this past year. Wither is currently on my Staff recommendation table at the bookstore where I work. In this story, because humans have figured out how to live long lives, now their children die young, girls at the age of 20, boys at the age of 25. So young girls are kidnapped to be sold to rich men to have their babies. It is even possible for these rich men to basically have harems of wives. Other young girls are sold to research lab so they can try to figure out how to solve this problem.

Rhine is our main character, and she had been kidnapped away from her twin brother and forced to marry Linden to have his babies. I won't spoil it for anyone who hasn't read the first one yet. But needless to say we left off at a cliffhanger and I want to know where it goes next!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Top 10 Tuesday: Top Ten Authors I'd Love to Meet

I was going to post a Hazards of Working at a Bookstore post today, I have 4 books to list from last week, but then I saw this post and thought I'd enjoy doing this.
This week's Top Ten is the authors you'd like to meet. There are more than 10 for me as well, but I'll stick to 10. And there are some I've already met, so I won't include them, even though earlier they would have been on my list.

1. Stephen King: I've loved his books since I began reading them my freshman year of high school. I've also enjoyed reading the articles he did for Entertainment Weekly magazine, even when I disagreed with him.

2. Dean Koontz: I have been reading his books for a long time as well. At least since high school. I love his attachment to his dog, Trixie at first. I loved the dogs in his stories. I would love to sit down and just talk to him about dogs.

3. Maureen Johnson. I discovered her when I began following her on Twitter. Then I read her books. She is hilarious! I think she would just be a ton of fun to hang out with.

4. Nancy Holder. I have been reading her books since the Buffy the Vampire Series books and love the way she captured the characters as well as wrote the stories.

5. Robert McCammon. Another author that I have read almost all of his books, except for the ones written in the past 5 or so years.

6. James Rollins. I think his original books were great, although I've gotten quite a bit behind in his Sigma Force books.

7. Maggie Stiefvater. Although, I should be getting to meet her on July 27th! So I may get to cross that off soon!

8. Charlaine Harris. I love the Sookie Stackhouse books, and would love to just sit and talk to her about how she comes up with her characters.

9. Laurie Halse Anderson. When I read her book Speak, you could say it spoke to me personally as I had a similar experience during my college years. I wonder if she's had the experience herself, or how she was able to write about such an experience and hit it the feelings right on the head.

10. Robin Wasserman. I love her books as well, and would love to again sit down with her and ask her how she came up with her stories.

Authors I've already met include: Stephenie Meyer, Jasper Fforde, Ellen Hopkins, Rick Riordan, Heather Brewer, Jay Asher, Meg Cabot, Veda Boyd Jones, Cheryl Harness, Carolyn Mulford, Roland Smith, Marie Smith, and James Howe. I wish I could have had more time with Stephenie Meyer and Meg Cabot though.

Authors I talk to on Twitter that are also on my list include (in no particular order): Melissa Marr, Cassandra Clare, Carrie Ryan, Rebecca Stead, Sarah Rees Brennan, Barry Lyga, Libba Bray, Beth Revis, Cara Lynn Schultz, Ally Condie, Andrea Cremer, Christoper Golden, Joe Hill, Becca Fitzpatrick, Sarah Mlynowski, Ally Carter, Scott Westerfeld, RL Stine, Lisa McMann, Jo Knowles, Judy Blume, Alyson Noel

Okay, I'm going to stop now. I really would like to meet all my favorite authors if truth be known.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Battered Earth by D. Hilleren

Battered EarthBattered Earth by D. Hilleren

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Okay, this is a hard review to do. I was so excited to win this, my first, and only, book that I've won from a Goodreads contest. And it came to me signed from the author, which is really cool. I signed up for the contest because the information about this book sounded interesting. Once I got it though, I had so many other books I was really enjoying, and I have really been on more of a YA book kick, that it took me awhile to pick it up and read it. And when I picked it up to read, it took me awhile to get through because of the reasons I'll state later in the review. But let's start with the good things I have to say.

First, the plot/storyline is really intriguing. I could really see this story being made into a movie, with either Matt Damon or Jason Statham as Oliver the government agent. With either one of them in that role, my friend Kim and I would be sure to be in the theater to see it! I think all the different "crimes" were done in a way to throw off suspicion from what was really happening. I didn't quite figure the whole "bad guy" part of the story out till later in the book, and to me that is a good book. I want to be kept hanging, trying to figure out either who is the bad guy, or what will happen next, and this book was pretty good about that. I also liked seeing how one of the "bad guys" kind of understood what he'd done was wrong at the end. Whether that is realistic or not, for the type of guy he was, I still like to see that occasionally. Then to have other bad guys who were still just as bad as ever, also a good thing. And it kind of left off in a way that there could possible be a sequel with some of our main characters, good and bad, brought back.

Now, for my complaints. This was a self-published book, and as with the last book I read that I knew was self-published, I can see the definite downside to doing this. And the main reason is in the writing. Now, while there weren't many errors in this one, which I can't help but see as I teach a class where I am expected to edit papers for these things, so I automatically see when I read just about anything anymore. My complaint with the writing in this is the way that the dialogue was written. It was very stilted, not the way that people really talk, that made it hard for me to read. It's as if the author was just trying to be grammatically correct, which doesn't work for dialogue in a novel. The other complaint I have is a personal one. I am not a person who "believes" in global warming. Do I think the Earth's climate is changing? Do I think that humans can do things to affect it? Yes to both of those. But, as an Earth Science major in college who has spoken to many geologists, I don't believe humans can really create as huge of changes in Earth's climate as some people like to say. And if scientists need to be working on anything, it is not how to "fix" the climate back to what we're used to, but to figure out how we can adapt to the changes. Because change is what the Earth does, whether we're here or not, and if we can't adapt to the changes, we'll be the latest round of extinctions, and another form of life will come up and take over. Earth doesn't need us to survive. Sorry, off my soap box there. Make that my teacher's podium, as it is my area of study.

All in all, a good read, a good story if you read it as that, just needs some work on dialogue. And hopefully as the author continues to write she will get better at that and continue to put out interesting stories.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Nerd Do Well by Simon Pegg

Nerd Do WellNerd Do Well by Simon Pegg

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I know this isn't my usual YA fiction that I review most of the time, as it is a memoir of an adult comic. However, it does fit in with my love of YA in some ways. The fact that I am such a big fan that I have to read about things I love, and I love Simon Pegg movies! He is also quite the "fanboy" as he discusses over and over in this book. This memoir goes clear back to his boyhood, telling about when he first discovered a love of acting, to his love of movies of the zombie genre, as well as the Star Wars series. I loved reading about how these things developed in his life. I love how he can now go back and see how it seems as if things happened for a reason. Makes me wish something would happen in my life soon so that I can start seeing reasons for things that have happened in my life.

A couple things I didn't enjoy were his fictional story he added in to the book every few chapters. It really wasn't that funny, a few points made me laugh, like the referrals to Shawshank Redemption, but really, I would scan through those bits so fast to get on with the real stuff. The other part I didn't like he even discusses about how it is kind of annoying. People who go to film school and then must discuss all the symbolism in movies and what the filmmaker was trying to say in relation to the politics or world happenings of the day. It's the same way I felt whenever sitting in a literature class having to discuss the same things about books. I know, maybe the symbolism really is there, meant or not, but can't I just read a story and enjoy it for the story? Maybe that's why I have so much trouble finishing any stories I start, because I'm just writing a story, not trying to get a bunch of symbolism across. I don't know, just my opinion.

Reading the book made me eager to get out Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz and watch them again. Also made me eager for Paul to be released on DVD so I can buy it and watch it, even though it wasn't quite as funny as the first two moves I've listed. It's also made me realize I must get a hold of the show Spaced and watch it.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness June Wrap-Up

Book Soulmates

June was a great month for me to participate! Although I had one person I was going to send an ARC to who was too picky to get an ARC, I sent books to two other people, and got two books myself! Personally, I love ARCs. I feel special, because not everyone gets one. I got to read Matched way before it came out because of that. And even though my ARC doesn't have the really cool final cover, it's cool because it's different. I like different. And I'm not going to be picky for being given a book I want to read. Used works for me as well! Hint, to anyone who chooses to send me a book as part of July RAK. :-)

I think my goal for July will be to send to three different people. Although I'm a bit behind at the moment, I'll pick someone this week to get started.

If you don't know about RAK, it is sponsored by Book Soulmates. What you do is sign up and go to their site and post your wish list, or post it on your own blog. Mine is here on Amazon. Then you pick another person to send a book to from the list. The first month I did this I didn't get anything, but sent one book. This month I sent two books and got two back! After you sign up, you need to post on your blog about it so you can get other people involved as well. At the end of the month, do like I'm doing here and post your thank you list.

First I sent a copy of The Goddess Test to Jennifer at The Book Nympho. (I love that name!)
Then I got Across the Universe from Kate at Literary Explorations. So then I sent Kiss Me Kill Me to Becky at Stories & Sweeties.And then Becky sent me Shiver! Such a fun type of challenge to participate in. I encourage anyone to go sign up that enjoys spreading the love of reading!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Book Blogger Hop #8 and Follow Friday #5

So my goal is to get to 100 followers by the end of July. In fact I think tomorrow I'm going to post a contest to try to help get it sooner rather than later. But more on that tomorrow!
So let's start with Book Blogger Hop which is sponsored over at Crazy For Books.
This week's question is:
"What keeps you reading beyond the first few pages of a book, and what makes you want to stop reading a book and put it back on the shelf?"
Well, that's a hard one. Once I pick up a book, I have trouble putting it down. Not always because it is good, but because I hate quitting. But, if a story doesn't pull me in right away, grab my attention, or maybe I don't relate in any way to any of the characters even though it is a type of book that I feel that I should, those are reasons to put it down. I currently have so many books to read, that I have begun letting myself give up on books if they just don't draw me in quick enough. I just know there are so many books I want to read, that it is not worth my time to fight through a book just because I started it. I don't have a set amount of pages/chapters, although maybe I should start, maybe 100 pages?
And next is Follow Friday, hosted over at This week's question is:
"Ack! Your favorite book/movie character (example Hermione Granger played by that Emma chick) just walked into the room? Who is it and what would be your first reaction? You get extra points if you include visual stimulation."
Okay, trying to decide who to pick here. I don't quite know who would be my favorite book/movie character. Parajunkee picked Jasper Hale, and my first thought was one of the Twilight boys. But then I wondered if I could pick someone who was just either a book or a movie character, but maybe not both? Or maybe someone who is both, but I've never read the book, only seen the movie? I know, maybe I'm overthinking it too much? So to make it easier, I'll go with a Twilight guy, now I do crush on both Edward and Jacob, but I thought I'd go with one of the characters that makes me laugh in the book and in the movie, and I still adore them, and they are hot. Emmett Cullen/Kellan Lutz. I just love his character in the book, he makes me laugh with his comments to Bella and Edward in the last book, and love his character in the movies too. And some extra points for visual stimulation? I liked how Parajunkee had a video of Jasper, so here is my favorite line from Eclipse, and I can't wait till the arm wrestling scene, probably in Breaking Dawn part 2!