Oct 31, 2009

Book of the Month

I read quite a few great books this month, but my pick for October is

The Help- Kathryn Stockett

This book really got to me emotionally, and I can't stop raving about it.

You can find my review here.

What was your favorite book of the month.

Happy Halloween!

Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Halloween!

Eat lots of candy, and STAY SAFE!

Oct 30, 2009

Treasure Map of Boys & The Boyfriend List Contest Winner

The winner of The Boyfriend List and The Treasure Map of Boys by E. Lockhart is

I Heart Book Gossip!

Congrats to the winner! I will be emailing you shortly, you have 48 hrs. to respond, or I will have pick another winner.

Oct 28, 2009

YA Mini Reviews

Entr@pment: A High School Comedy in Chat

Entrapment: A High School Comedy in Chat- Michael Spooner

Entrapment written in all chat and IM, was a very quick read. In the beginning it was hard to follow because you had to remember who was who with the chat names, but once you got the hang of that, it was easy. If you're not familiar with the chat lingo, you also might have a hard time following. I had to ask my daughter a couple times what something meant. As for the story, Entrapment, is a good title, because that is exactly what the girls did to there boyfriends.
It was a okay read, but nothing to rave about.

Rating: 2.5/3


Good Girls

Good Girls- Laura Ruby

Good Girls is a very well-written, engaging YA book. It was a candid look at the double standards between boys and girls, when it comes to sex. The book is about a adult subject, and the language can be vulgar. Sadly, I think this is a accurate potrayal of what it is like to be a teenager in this day. I highly recommend you give this one a read.

Rating: 4/5


The Smile

The Smile- Donna Jo Napoli

I wasn't very impressed with this one. It has so many good reviews, but I was actually pretty bored. The first half never went anywhere, and by the time the second half starts moving, I had already checked out. I thought it would be interesting to read a fiction novel about the real Mona Lisa, and when I read in the description about love, and love lost, I thought I was going to be swept away by a love story. I wasn't.

Rating: 2/5


Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson (Confessions of Georgia Nicolson Book 1)

Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontall Snogging- Louise Rennison

I thought this book was hilarious, laugh out loud hilarious. Georgia is a character in the biggest sense. She's feisty, funny, and bratty. I'm looking forward to reading more. If you're looking for a good YA series, pick this one up.

Rating- 4/5


For full description of the book click on the cover. It will take you to Amazon.

Oct 27, 2009

Review of No One You Know- Michelle Richmond

No One You Know- Michelle Richmond

From the publisher-

All her life Ellie Enderlin had been known as Lila’s sister. Until one day, without warning, the shape of their family changed forever. Twenty years ago, Lila, a top math student at Stanford, was murdered in a crime that was never solved. In the aftermath of her sister’s death, Ellie entrusted her most intimate feelings to a man who turned the story into a bestselling true crime book—a book that both devastated her family and identified one of Lila’s professors as the killer.

Decades later, two Americans meet in a remote village in Nicaragua. Ellie is now a professional coffee buyer, an inveterate traveler and incapable of trust. Peter is a ruined academic. And their meeting is not by chance. As rain beats down on the steaming rooftops of the village, Peter leaves Ellie with a gift—the notebook that Lila carried everywhere, a piece of evidence not found with her body. Stunned, Ellie will return home to San Francisco to explore the mysteries of Lila’s notebook, filled with mathematical equations, and begin a search that has been waiting for her all these years. It will lead her to a hundred-year-old mathematical puzzle, to a lover no one knew Lila had, to the motives and fate of the man who profited from their family’s anguish—and to the deepest secrets even sisters keep from each other. As she connects with people whose lives unknowingly swirled around her own, Ellie will confront a series of startling revelations—from the eloquent truths of numbers to confessions of love, pain and loss.

A novel about the stories and lies that strangers, lovers and families tell—and the secrets we keep even from ourselves—Michelle Richmond’s new novel is a work of astonishing depth and beauty, at once heartbreaking, provocative, and impossible to put down.

No One You Know is the first book I've read by Michelle Richmond. Though I wasn't wild about it, I wasn't disappointed either. The book is about Ellie, and her emotional struggle with the murder of her sister, Lily.

Michelle Richmond's writing is very precise, and I liked that. There were a couple of times the story slowed down for me. Lily was a expert at math, and because of that Michelle Richmond put in quite a bit about math equations, and theories, and Ellie's job dealt with coffee, so there was a bunch of coffee information. I like coffee, but I don't find it interesting, and I hate math. I found myself skimming through those parts. The story would be going fluently, then brake. It got frustrating.

Ellie finds herself confiding about her sister, and her murder to her college professor, who she thinks has become a good friend, only to be betrayed when she finds out he is writing a nonfiction book about it. The consequences in so many peoples lives when the book comes out was a very interesting part of the book.

Though there was the mystery of who killed Lily, I didn't really get into it like a typical who done it. The mystery part took second to the emotional journey of Ellie through her grief, and what ifs.

No One You Know is a decent read, but not all I was expecting it to be. I wouldn't go out and buy it, but if you come upon it at the library, check it out, and give it a try.

Rating: 3/5

Oct 26, 2009

Review of Hold Tight- Harlan Coben

Hold Tight- Harlan Coben

From the publisher-

Mike and Tia Baye decide to spy on their son Adam, who has become moody and withdrawn since his friend’s suicide. The software they install on his computer exposes every website visited, every e-mail and instant message sent or received. But each keystroke draws them deeper into a maze of mayhem and violence that could destroy them all.

Hold Tight is another awesome book by Harlan Coben. I never set out to read his books, but when I do, I can't stop until I've reached the end.

This book is a suspense/mystery/thriller that really has all the elements. Throughout the book we are asking ourselves, who done it, what's going on, and holding are breath to see what's coming next.

As a parent I was frightened with this book. It ask the old question, " do parents really know what there kids are doing?". I don't want to give anything away, so I won't say much, but there is a couple of things going on in the book, that will all make sense at the end.

Harlan Coben's writing is easy to read, and the movement of the story is quick and purposeful, to get the climatic ending. As I mentioned before, I really don't like fillers, and Mr. Coben rarely has, or needs them. He sets his "stage" in the first couple of pages, and that is why you shouldn't start one of his books, unless you know you have plenty of time to spend finishing it.

Hold Tight is a disturbing book to read, especially if your a parent, but it's so good. I recommend you give this one a go.

Rating- 4/5

Review of Juliet, Naked- Nick Hornby

Juliet, Naked- Nick Hornby

From the publisher-

Annie loves Duncan—or thinks she does. Duncan loves Annie, but then, all of a sudden, he doesn’t. Duncan really loves Tucker Crowe, a reclusive Dylanish singer-songwriter who stopped making music ten years ago. Annie stops loving Duncan, and starts getting her own life.

In doing so, she initiates an e-mail correspondence with Tucker, and a connection is forged between two lonely people who are looking for more out of what they’ve got. Tucker’s been languishing (and he’s unnervingly aware of it), living in rural Pennsylvania with what he sees as his one hope for redemption amid a life of emotional and artistic ruin—his young son, Jackson. But then there’s also the new material he’s about to release to the world: an acoustic, stripped-down version of his greatest album, Juliet—entitled, Juliet, Naked.

What happens when a washed-up musician looks for another chance? And miles away, a restless, childless woman looks for a change? Juliet, Naked is a powerfully engrossing, humblingly humorous novel about music, love, loneliness, and the struggle to live up to one’s promise.

Juliet, Naked is a book I was excited to read. Nick Hornby has always been an author that I rush to read when a new book comes at.

Juliet, Naked started off really good. After reading a couple of pages, I had high hopes, but it quickly got absurd and boring. The core of the book was not believable, a washed up famous musician starts up a relationship with a women who wrote a review on his demo called Juliet, Naked. Throughout the book I was confused about what they were getting from this interaction between both of them, and what they wanted from it.

The characters were not at all appealing, which surprised me, since I was excited to read about a ex famous musician. I thought his character at least had so much potential to be great. I guess because I didn't find the characters appealing, it got harder and harder to finish the book. It was just boring to me.

Nick Hornby's writing is tantalizing, no matter what he is writing about, it's hip and fresh. He definitely writes for the cool clique, and this time I wasn't in it. At times I felt like I was watching a bad episode of VH1's Behind the Music.

Juliet, Naked is not a good book, in my opinion, but nevertheless, Nick Hornby's words were as usual, chic. The writing was there, it's just the story was missing.

Rating: 2/5

Oct 25, 2009

Readathon Wrap Up

The readathon was so much fun, and I can't believe I hadn't done it before. Towards the end I wasn't even able to comprehend what I was reading. LOL! I knew it was time to call it in. I went to bed around 4:50 AM. I enjoyed going around to other blogs, and seeing how they were doing. It really felt like a community with everyone cheering everyone on. I will definitely be doing it again.

Total Books Read- 4 Total

1. Entrapment- Michael Spooner
2. Good Girls- Laura Ruby
3. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy- Douglas Adams
4. Queen of the Road- Doreen Orion.
I got halfway through The Smile- Donna Jo Napoli

Total pages read- 1105 pages

Total minutes reading- 749 minutes (12.5 hours)

Not bad!

Mini Challenge- Give Me Five

Mini Challenge- Name five of your favorite children's books.

1. There's a Boy in the Girls Bathroom- Louis Sachar
2. Where The Sidewalk Ends- Shel Silverstein
3. Charlotte's Web- E.B. White
4. Superfudge- Judy Blume
5. Cat in the Hat- Dr. Seuss

Oct 24, 2009

Read-A-Thon Post

9:07 am CT

Alright I officially started, there was no way I was going to be up at 7 am. I tried. I'm going to be posting all updates on this post. Good luck, everyone!


10:40 am CT- Just finished first book, Entrapment: A High School Comedy in Chat- Michael Spooner. I read to a 100 last night, and just finished the rest.

Pages read- 208 pages

Minutes reading- 61 minutes


1:33 pm CT

Finished second book, Good Girls by Laura Ruby.

Pages Read since last update- 274 pgs.

Minutes reading since last update- 115 minutes

Hope everyone is having fun, and reading great books. Thanks for the encouragement!


4:22 pm CT

Currently reading- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

Pages reads since last update- 46 pgs

Minutes reading since last update- 52 minutes

I could here my stomach growling so I took a break to eat and chat with the kids. I'm ready to go again.


6:21 pm CT

Finished third book, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy- Douglas Adams

Pages read since last update- 169 pages

Minutes reading since last update- 115 min.

Thanks for the cheering on!

11:52 pm CT

Just finished Queen of the Road by Doreen Orion

Pages read since last update- 272 pgs.

Minutes reading since last update- 229 minutes

I'm so excited that I've complete 4 books. Everyone is in bed now, and the house is quiet. I'm about to make a pot of coffee, and start 5th book. I'm still feeling good!


2:42 am CT

Currently reading The Smile- Donna Jo Napoli

Pages read since last update - 58 pages

Minutes reading since last update- 80 minutes

It's started to become difficult for me now. I've kinda been browsing around, looking at updates, and stuff for a change of pace. I'll get back to reading in a bit. Almost there.


4:50 am CT

Currently Reading- The Smile- Donna Jo Napoli

Pages read since last update- 78 pgs.

Minutes reading since last update- 97 minutes

Oct 23, 2009

Review of The Shining- Stephen King

The Shining

The Shining- Stephen King

From the Publisher-

First published in 1977, The Shining quickly became a benchmark in the literary career of Stephen King. This tale of a troubled man hired to care for a remote mountain resort over the winter, his loyal wife, and their uniquely gifted son slowly but steadily unfolds as secrets from the Overlook Hotel's past are revealed, and the hotel itself attempts to claim the very souls of the Torrance family. Adapted into a cinematic masterpiece of horror by legendary director Stanley Kubrick -- featuring an unforgettable performance by a demonic Jack Nicholson -- The Shining stands as a cultural icon of modern horror, a searing study of a family torn apart, and a nightmarish glimpse into the dark recesses of human weakness and dementia.

The Shining was October's pick for both the book club I belong to, and my 1001 Book Challenge. I was so impressed with how scared I actually was while reading it. Stephen King is a phenomenal storyteller. He really takes you for a ride.

The characters were dynamic. I loved that they all have had intricate lives, and it showed in there personalities. The fact that Jack had such a hard demeanor, and had a temper that was beastly was a direct consequence from growing up with a dad that would terrorize him and his family. Stephen King gave the readers a background to his characters, I actually felt like I knew them.

I thought The Shining was a scary book, particular the parts about Rm. 217. I've read scary books before, but there is something about the words he uses in his description, plus the descriptions themselves, that leave you with a horrific image. The ballroom parts were also good, but in a different way. I loved reading about the Overlook's history, it was very interesting. I could have read a whole other book about the history of the Overlook alone.

The book and the movie are different, and I can honestly say that the movie is missing so much. I always thought the movie was great, and I still do, but I can see it could have been so much better. At the same time though the movie would have had to be 2 hrs longer.

The Shining is a great book, especially for Halloween. Even though I had seen the movie, I'm really glad I read the book.

Rating: 4.5/5

Product Details

Pocket, October 2002
Trade Paperback, 528 pages
ISBN-10: 0743437497
ISBN-13: 9780743437493

Oct 22, 2009

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday is a weekly event hosted by Jenny of Take Me Away.

"It is the time each week to recognize those older books… an older book you’ve always wanted to read, or one that you have read and love; maybe one from your childhood; or review an older book -- how about even a classic!"


Where the Sidewalk Ends

From the Publisher:

If you are a dreamer, come in,
If you are a dreamer,
A wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er,
A magic bean buyer …

Come in … for where the sidewalk ends, Shel Silverstein’s world begins. You’ll meet a boy who turns into a TV set, and a girl who eats a whale. The Unicorn and the Bloath live there, and so does Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out. It is a place where you wash your shadow and plant diamond gardens, a place where shoes fly, sisters are auctioned off, and crocodiles go to the dentist.

Shel Silverstein’s masterful collection of poems and drawings is at once outrageously funny and profound.

I loved this book when I was a kid. I remembered I would check it out from the school library over and over again. It was loved by many kids, I remember the book was falling apart.

Oct 21, 2009

Author Interview~~ Ron Riekki: U.P.

U.P by Ron Riekki

From Publisher:

From a bold new novelist comes a complex tale of friendship and brutality. Set in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, U.P. is the story of four teens immersed in an ugly world, one whose threat of violence is always simmering beneath the surface. R.A. Riekki's distinctive characters and their poignant quest for freedom is a swan song to lost youth, redefining the traditional coming-of-age story. Four boys, four distinct narratives that converge into a harrowing and heartbreaking whole.

Book Description
Paperback: 236 pages
Publisher: Ghost Road Press; First edition (November 15, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0979625564



1. What three words would you use to describe your book U.P?

That's hard. Only three words. Hmmm . . . Yooper, metal, punk.
Although I like Taylor Antrim's review--he wrote The Headmaster Ritual, Houghton Mifflin--where he called U.P. "funny, sad, sexy."

2. Who is your favorite writer and why?

One? That's impossible. In fact, as soon as I like an author too much, I purposely stop reading them so I don't get their voice too trapped in my head, e.g. Charles Bukowski and Jack Kerouac. If it's me and one author's works on a desert island though, it's probably William Shakespeare. Timon of Athens is brilliant. Macbeth, wow. King Lear is Kathy Acker before Kathy Acker. I love his writing. But I'm really a multi-author reader, not a fan of one person--Acker, Sarah Kane, Bukowski, Jim Carroll, Lewis Carroll, Kerouac, Martin Luther King, Mark Leyner, George Orwell, Dalton Trumbo, Neil LaBute--those are all perfect ten authors for me, flawless, where everything they write (at least that I've read so far) has something that pulls me in. But Shakespeare's probably above them all. Shakespeare and Kerouac are probably 11 out of 10s. Where I just read and go, my God, that was awesome:
She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
Poetry, play, and prose at the same time. Just thick, filled, rich, complex-and-simplistic-simultaneously language. And onstage, so visual. I really like Shakespeare. Especially the older I get . . . Hamlet bored me in high school. Bored me. Because I hadn't lived any sort of Hamlet-like life . . . yet. But now, now I feel I know exactly what Hamlet's going through, because I went through my own Hamlet years, and it stuns me, the writing. If I can read something twenty times and still love it, that's impressive. (By the way, my publisher Matt Davis and producer/actor Steven Wiig both told me they've read my novel multiple times and loved it each time and that's a huge compliment I really appreciate.)

3. Describe your typical writing day?

There is no typical writing day. There's only atypical writing days for me. Sometimes I rush in a half hour of writing, usually rewriting. Sometimes I write for twelve hour stretches. That's how I wrote U.P. Double-digit stretches of typetypetypetyping nonstop. Ten, eleven, thirteen hour days. That's how I wrote the first draft in a week. I had just moved to Charlottesville and didn't know anyone and had all this time to kill, nothing to do the next day, no one to do it with, and this novel was in my head, so I had the time and energy to get it down. There's nothing better for me than having an entire night to myself, from dusk to dawn, a city asleep, and nothing for me to do or that's due the next day. Then I can write. Just write. I love that. If I can get to a point where that's everyday, I will be really on track with where I'd like to be. That's the great thing about success. The Stephen King life. Having one book do very well will allow you the leisure to work hard. Someone recently asked me what I'd do if I won a million dollars and I said, "Then I could really work hard." On my writing. I'd love that. But the reality is I have two jobs right now. I'm battling against minimum wage. Minimum wage breaks your back. It sucks your days away. So you have to fight it. That's what I liked about Bukowski. He battled against minimum wage and won. But I fight for time. And I've done it for a decade plus now. A lot of times I skip sleep. Instead of sleeping I write. And then I ache the next day, but I got my pages in. And you have to get your pages in. Non-writers sleep. Non-writers go to the party. I tended to skip other things so I could write. In grad school, amazing authors would come to our university to read and instead of going, I'd stay home and rewrite U.P. I had an agent friend, Lisa Halliday, tell me that the secret formula to being a writer is SOLITUDE + DISCIPLINE = PROLIFIC. She gave me a beautiful formula right there, because I've definitely been prolific.

4. What book do you wish you had written and why?

I'll go with Hamlet. If I can say a play. Or The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus. Or Dark of the Moon. I tend to think of plays that I wish I'd written. I like my books. I'm happy I've written what I've written. So I don't have that envy with novels, but maybe with plays. Or films. Buffalo '66. Or CDs. Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too or The Bends.

5. What are you currently working on?

The rewrite to the screenplay to U.P., a horror novel rewrite that I need to send out to agents/publishers, and I just have this bulk of writing that I need to prioritize and get out. I have too much to write here, too many projects, but now I tend to go where the interest is. Two producers are interested in the U.P. screenplay so a lot of time's going into that. And I know the horror novel'll get published, so I need to get that into really good shape. And then I have two books coming out with Ghost Road Press (www.ghostroadpress.com) next year--the experimental horror novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Boogey Man in spring 2010 and my pulp novel Hunger and the Ass in fall 2010, so I'm collecting the blurbs for that and other little things the author does in the pre-publication phase, but I'm done with their rewrites--both books are all set to go and under contract. But I have a memoir that I did and a few other books I've written and a ton of plays I need to send out. A lot of stuff in my back pocket.

6. What books are on your nightstand?

Nightstand? Well, really only one. The Well of Loneliness, Radclyffe Hall. But I always have Cult Fiction: a reader's guide and The Little Zen Companion by my bedside. They both inspire me--daily I skim the little biographies of my favorite writers and I like the inspiration of the quotes in the Zen book, stuff like Lenny Bruce's "Every day people are straying away from church and going back to God" and John Donne's "God is so omnipresent . . . God is an angel in an angel, and a stone in a stone, and a straw in a straw." Just great little quotes. In my car though I have Stephen King's Salem's Lot, John Irving's The World According to Garp, and part of Samuel Beckett's Watt (part, because the book is falling into pieces). And my bathroom book is Finnegans Wake, Joyce, which I only have about 50 pages left. I like to have a lot of books going at the same time.

Thanks to Ron Riekki for letting me do the interview.

Ron Riekki Bio-

R.A. Riekki's U.P. has been Ghost Road Press's bestseller in fiction for 34 weeks. National Book Award winner John Casey nominated U.P. for the Sewanee Writers' Series. Riekki has a three book deal with Ghost Road that includes the publication of his novels A Portrait of the Artist as a Boogey Man and Hunger and the Ass both in 2010.

Oct 20, 2009

Treasure Map of Boys: Noel, Jackson, Finn, and Hutch, and Me, Ruby Oliver (Ruby Oliver, Bk 3)

Treasure Map of Boys: Noel, Jackson, Finn, Hutch, and Me, Ruby Oliver - E. Lockhart

From Goodreads-

Ruby is back at Tate Prep, and it's her thirty-seventh week in the state of Noboyfriend. Her panic attacks are bad, her love life is even worse, and what's more: Noel is writing her notes, Jackson is giving her frogs, Gideon is helping her cook, and Finn is making her brownies. Rumors are flying, and Ruby's already-sucky reputation is heading downhill. Not only that, she's also: running a bake sale, learning the secrets of heavymetal therapy, encountering some seriously smelly feet, defending the rights of pygmy goats, and bodyguarding Noel from unwanted advances. In this companion novel to The Boyfriend List and The Boy Book, Ruby struggles to secure some sort of mental health, to understand what constitutes a real friendship, and to find true love--if such a thing exists.

Treasure Map of Boys is the third book in the Ruby Oliver series, and it was just as great as the first two. There are many reasons why I love this series.

One, the series is just so darn cute. I love the mishaps and drama in Ruby's life. They seem so trival to a grownup, but I'm not to old not to remember what it felt like a being a teenager. I recognize my teenage self in Ruby, and I realize how entertaining I must have been to my parents.

Two, the boys are all different in personality, and it makes the story that much more interesting, and entertaining. It's so refreshing that not one is a vampire.

Three, Ruby is one of the best characters i've come across in YA books. She's neurotic, boy crazy, and flawed. She makes mistakes, but tries hard to correct them, sometimes succeeding, and sometimes failing.

Treasure Map of Boys is a book I recommend. You really have to read book 1 and 2 to really know what's going on in this one, though.

Rating: 5/5

Oct 19, 2009

Cruel Summer- Alyson Noel

Cruel Summer- Alyson Noel

From Goodreads-

This was supposed to be my best summer yet, the one I've been working toward since practically forever. Now I'm being banished from everything I know and love, and it just doesn't make any sense.
Having recently discarded her dorky image- and the best friend that went with it- Colby Cavendish is looking forward to a long hot season of parties, beach BBQs, and hopefully, more hook-ups with Levi Bonham, the hottest guy in school. But her world comes crashing down when her parents send her away to spend the summer in Greece with her crazy aunt Tally.
Stranded on a boring island with no malls, no cell phone reception, and an aunt who talks to her plants, Colby worries that her new friends have forgotten all about her. But when she meets Yannis, a cute Greek local, everything changes. She experiences something deeper and more intense than a summer fling, and it forces her to see herself, and the life she left behind, in a whole new way.

During the summer Colby's parents will be getting a divorce, and think sending Colby to Greece to visit her aunt would be the best. Colby is determined not have her summer ruined by getting shipped off to Greece, but even with begging, she's off.

I thought Cruel Summer was a cute, fun quick read. At first I was quite annoyed with Colby. She was in Greece, and all she could do was complain. Huh? As soon as she meets Yannis though, the good looking greek guy, she quickly changes her tune. The story is written through emails, letters, blogging, and journal entries. Just looking at the cover makes me want to book a flight to Greece. Beautiful!

Rating: 3/5

Oct 18, 2009

Sunday Salon

Books Read- This week I read 5 books, Cruel Summer, Treasure Map of Boys, The Shining, Hold Tight, and Juliet, Naked. My favorite for this week was Treasure Map of Boys by E. Lockhart. I'm currently giving away a copy of this one and book one, The Boyfriend List. You can enter here. I finished my 1001 book for October The Shining by Stephen King. Look for upcoming reviews for all these. I'm getting behind again. LOL!

Currently Reading- The Man Who Loved Books Too Much- Allison Hoover Bartlett. Just started it, but it looks promising.

Dewey's Readathon- As I mentioned before I'll be participating in the 24 hour reading marathon October 24th. I'm excited, it will be my first. I came up with my reading pile, and I'm looking forward to start. reading pile

Challenges- I'm doing great so far with the 1001 Book Challenge, but not so great with my Douglas Adam Hitchhiker's Challenge. I've yet to even crack open the first book in the series. Luckily though I did put book 1 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in my reading pile for the readathon. I also joined The Christmas Reading Challenge hosted by Michelle at The True Book Addict. I honestly don't think I've ever read one Christmas book, so this should be really fun.

Have a great Sunday and week ahead!

Oct 16, 2009

Giveaway****** The Boyfriend List and Treasure Map of Boys by E. Lockhart

I just finished Bk 3 in the Ruby Oliver series, The Treasure Map of Boys by E. Lockhart, and I'm so loving this YA series, I decided to give away my copy. I will also include Bk 1 The Boyfriend List.

These are both used copies. The Boyfriend List is in tradesize paperback, and Treasure Map of Boys is hardcover.

How to enter

You must be a follower

Only open to U.S residents

+ 1 for new followers

+ 3 if you already a follower

+ 2 if you post about the giveaway somewhere (sidebar is okay)

Don't forget to leave your email. Without email you won't be entered.

Contest will be open until October 30th.

Oct 15, 2009

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday is a weekly event hosted by Jenny of Take Me Away.

"It is the time each week to recognize those older books… an older book you’ve always wanted to read, or one that you have read and love; maybe one from your childhood; or review an older book -- how about even a classic!"


Throwback for this week is

From Goodreads:

The Overlook Hotel is more than just a home-away-from-home for the Torrance family. For Jack, Wendy, and their young son, Danny, it is a place where past horrors come to life. And where those gifted with the shining do battle with the darkest evils. Stephen King's classic thriller is one of the most powerfully imagined novels of our time.

This was the October pick for a book club I'm in and also a book from my 1001 Book Challenge. I'm currently reading it right now, such a great read especially for Halloween.

Oct 14, 2009

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Help- Kathyrn Stockett

From Goodreads-

Be prepared to meet three unforgettable women:

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody’s business, but she can’t mind her tongue, so she’s lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women—mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends—view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don’t.

The Help is about a white women who views the mistreatment of the black help from the white upper class families around her in Mississippi, and is determined to make their stories known to the world. The story makes even more of impact with the timing, during the brink of the Civil Rights Movement.

What a impressive first novel for Kathryn Stockett. I loved this book! The Help paints a picture of what life was like during those times. I went through so many emotions while reading this one. I couldn't imagine feeling powerless, like these women felt. I cannot say enough how well written this book is. I felt I was in the kitchen with them, I could smell the southern food, and I could feel there dejection. I laughed while reading it, and I had to stop sometimes because I was so spitting mad, that's a testament to how great this book is.

The characters whether they were ones you liked or not were well written. I immediately felt drawn to Minny. I admired her spirit, and her cheered her rebellion. On the other hand, the white women who employed them reminded me of sheep, all following a way of life they were taught to believe, not thinking for themselves, and for that I pitied them. Not all of them were that way, which gave it a true, authentic feel to it, because though I'm sure many were, I know many were considered good, fair employers.

I cannot recommend The Help enough! If you haven't read it, you are missing out on a fantastic book, that is sure to be a classic.

Rating: 5/5

Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Putnam Adult; 1 edition (February 10, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0399155341

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

The Gift- Cecelia Ahern

From Goodreads-

New York Times bestselling author Cecelia Ahern spins a witty, warm, and wise modern-day fable of love, regret, hope, and second chances.

extremely successful executive, Lou Suffern is always overstretched, immune to the holiday spirit that delights everyone around him. The classic workaholic who never has a moment to spare, he is always multitasking while shortchanging his devoted wife and their adorable children. And ever since he started competing for a big promotion, he has barely seen his family at all.

One frigid morning in an uncharacteristic burst of generosity, he buys a cup of coffee for Gabe, a homeless man huddled outside his office building. Inspired by his own unexpected act of kindness, Lou decides to prolong his charitable streak and contrives to get Gabe a job in his company's mailroom. But when Gabe begins to meddle in Lou's life, the helping hand appears to be a serious mistake. Gabe seems to know more about Lou than Lou does about himself, and, perhaps more disturbingly, Gabe always seems to be in two places at once.

With Lou's personal and professional fates at important crossroads and Christmas looming, Gabe resorts to some unorthodox methods to show his stubborn patron what truly matters and how precious the gift of time is. But can he help him fix what's broken before it's too late?

I like Cecelia Ahern's books, and with Christmas just around the corner, I'm really looking forward to reading this. It would also be a great book for the Christmas Challenge I signed up for.

Oct 12, 2009

Dewey's 24 Hr. Read-a-thon (October)

This will be my first Read-A-Thon I've been in, and I'm so excited. I'm thinking it's going to be tons of fun. I've been going through my books to get a reading list figured out. How many books does one get through during these? I've been reading that it's best to go with short books, because it could get tedious.

Right now my reading list is

Good Girls- Laura Ruby
The Smile- Donna Jo Napoli
Sucks to Be Me- Kimberly Pauley
Blue Moon- Alyson Noel
Entrapment: A High School Comedy in Chat- Michael Spooner

Queen of the Road: The True Tale of 47 States, 22,000 Miles, 200 Shoes, 2 Cats, 1 Poodle, a Husband, and a Bus with a Will of it's Own

Jane Austen Ruined My Life- Beth Pattillo
After You'd Gone- Maggie O'Farrell
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy- Douglas Adams

Oct 11, 2009

Mini Reviews

Wish- Melina Gerosa Bellows

A good story about a girl, Bella, trying to find herself, and at the same time connect to her autistic brother. I thought it was funny, and heartwarming.
I liked Bella, and her character flaws. Through the book you can see her transformation, and her relationship with her brother growing.

Rating: 4/5

Book Description

Songbird- Walter Zacharius

I've read several books, fiction, and nonfiction, about the Holocaust, and this was not up to par with most. The first half was pretty good, but then it just fell apart for me. The story got confusing, and bad. There are so many great books out there, that I wouldn't recommend you waste your time on something that fell short.

Rating- 1.5/5

Book Description

Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover- Ally Carter

This is Bk 3 of the Gallagher Girls series. After a failed kidnapping attempt on Macey, the girls are on high alert, and trying to find out who's behind it. It was a good read, but it took me awhile to get through. I think I might be getting tired of the series. I find myself more interested in what's going on with Zach, and he's left dangling out of reach. I would really like to see the girls mature more, also.

Rating: 3/5

Book Description

Oct 9, 2009

Texas vs. Colorado (College Football)

My family and I are huge Longhorn fans, and I was able to snag two tickets to the Texas -Colorado game for my husband's birthday. My husband and I will be leaving tonight to Austin, I'm so excited. We have never been to a Texas game. We as a family are huge sports fans. We go every year to a couple of Spurs games, even one game 7 NBA playoff game, and we've been to some NFL games, but this will be our first College Football game.

Hook'em Horns!

Oct 7, 2009

Series Review~ The Boyfriend List (Ruby Oliver Bk 1) and The Boy Book (Ruby Oliver Bk 2)- E. Lockhart

The Boyfriend List (Ruby Oliver Bk 1)- E. Lockhart


Ruby Oliver is 15 and has a shrink. She knows it's unusual, but give her a break - she's had a rough 10 days. In the past 10 days she:

*lost her boyfriend (#13 on the list)
*lost her best friend (Kim)
*lost all her other friends (Nora, Cricket)
*did something suspicious with a boy (#10)
*did something advanced with a boy (#15)
*had an argument with a boy (#14)
*drank her first beer (someone handed it to her)
*got caught by her mom (ag!)
*had a panic attack (scary)
*lost a lacrosse game (she's the goalie)
*failed a math test (she'll make it up)
*hurt Meghan's feelings (even though they aren't really friends)
*became a social outcast (no one to sit with at lunch)
*and had graffiti written about her in the girls' bathroom (who knows what was in the boys'!?!).

But don't worry - Ruby lives to tell the tale. And make more lists.

Through Ruby's therapy sessions we hear Ruby tell her story. Ruby goes through her list of 15 guys, some just a dot on her boy path, but still in her mind significant.

I loved this book! It was fun, cute, and realistic. While reading it I was giggling like a 12 yr old, and though slightly embarrassing it felt good. Ruby is a great character. She's spunky, insecure, and full of drama. Her observations of whats going on around her spot on, and hilarious. My teenage self wanted to be her friend.

Throughout the book there are footnotes, all funny, and not all at distracting to the story.

Here's a footnote, that was spot on.

"It is so mean to tell someone you "need to talk" but then refuse to say what about. If you ever want to dump someone, or even just tell the person something important, don't go saying you "need to talk." Just talk and be done with it."

The Boyfriend List is a must read. If you haven't read it, then you really should pick it up. It will put a smile on your face.

Rating: 5/5


The Boy Book- E. Lockhart


Here is how things stand at the beginning of newly-licensed driver Ruby Oliver's junior year at Tate Prep:

Kim: Not speaking. But far away in Tokyo.
Cricket: Not speaking.
Nora: Speaking--sort of. Chatted a couple times this summer when they bumped into each other outside of school--once shopping in the U District, and once in the Elliot Bay Bookstore. But she hadn't called Ruby, or anything.
Noel: Didn't care what anyone thinks.
Meghan: Didn't have any other friends.
Dr. Z: Speaking.
And Jackson. The big one. Not speaking.

But, by Winter Break, a new job, an unlikely but satisfying friend combo, additional entries to The Boy Book and many difficult decisions help Ruby to see that there is, indeed, life outside the Tate Universe.

In the second book of the series, we learn more about Ruby, and find out what's going on in her life, in the new school year.

I don't want to give anything away, if you haven't read the first one, but I'll just say that this was up there with the first book. I'm really loving this series, and can't wait to get my hands on the third book The Treasure Map of Boys.

Rating: 4.5/5

Oct 6, 2009

The Girl She Used to Be- David Cristofano

The Girl She Used to Be- David Cristofano

From Goodreads-

When Melody Grace McCartney was six years old, she and her parents witnessed an act of violence so brutal that it changed their lives forever. The federal government lured them into the Witness Protection Program with the promise of safety, and they went gratefully. But the program took Melody's name, her home, her innocence, and, ultimately, her family. She's been May Adams, Karen Smith, Anne Johnson, and countless others--everyone but the one person she longs to be: herself. So when the feds spirit her off to begin yet another new life in another town, she's stunned when a man confronts her and calls her by her real name. Jonathan Bovaro, the mafioso sent to hunt her down, knows her, the real her, and it's a dangerous thrill that Melody can't resist. He's insistent that she's just a pawn in the government's war against the Bovaro family. But can she trust her life and her identity to this vicious stranger whose acts of violence are legendary?

Melody hasn't been Melody since she was six, when her parents and her saw mob boss Bovaro murder a guy in a restuarant. They are put in the witness protection program after testifying for the goverment. The book is about Melody really trying to find out who she is after years of being whoever and whatever the government said she was.

The story was really bizarre. It wasn't anything at all what I expected it to be. The author really did give a good description of what Melody was feeling. I got why she was so frustrated and angry with the way her life turned out, but the way the story unfolds, I found myself saying 'what'. I couldn't understand why she was doing the things she was doing. Parts were ridiculous and unbelievable. This could have been a really great book, but in my opinion, the author went out of the lines with it, and the story lost it's credibility.

The Girl She Used to Be isn't a must read, I can't say 'go and buy it'. It was just to farfetched to be considered a good read.

Rating: 2.5/5

Oct 5, 2009

Lady and the Vamp (Immortality Bites BK 3) - Michelle Rowen

Lady and the Vamp- Michelle Rowen

From Goodreads-

Former vampire hunter Michael Quinn is living a nightmare: he's been turned into a vampire. His only hope is the "Eye"--a long-lost artifact that, once every millennium, will grant one wish to its possessor. Fortunately for Quinn, he has a map detailing the path to the "Eye." All he needs to do is find it, then he can wish himself back into humanity.
Janie Parker has made a lot of many mistakes in her life, not the least of which was getting tricked into working for a demon. Not only is the pay awful, but she has to successfully complete all her unsavory assignments or risk a torturous death. Her latest mission is to track a vampire who apparently knows where some stupid treasure is. No problem. Until she sees who the vampire is -- Michael Quinn, a man she's had a crush on since she was twelve years old. Too bad she'll have to kill him to get to the "Eye."
But Quinn and Janie are kindred spirits, and soon they're falling in love even though they're after what the other person is desperate for: the "Eye".

Lady and the Vamp is the third book in the Immortality Bites series. Ex Vampire hunter Michael Quinn really wants to be a human again. He's on a mission to find the "eye", which grants a person one wish.

This is the first book in the series that doesn't have Sarah or Thierry in it, and I was a little hesitant to read it because I love those two characters, but surprising enough, the book kept my interest the whole way through. It was fast paced from the start, and the interactions of Janie and Quinn were fun, and enjoyable.

Lady and the Vamp is a great addition to the series, and I'm looking forward to reading Bk 4.

Rating: 3.5/5

Oct 4, 2009

Sunday Salon

This week has been a book frenzy week. I went through my TBR shelves and noticed so many books I'm no longer interested in reading. I've had some of these since 2006-2007, so I figured it was time to let them go. It was hard to get rid of these books, even knowing I'd probably not read them. I ended up posting 46 books on PBS, on the bright side, I sent out 24 books and now have credits to spend on books I definitely know I will read. I still have SO MANY books left, but I feel good about what little I've done.

Books Read-This week I read 6 books. Four of them are for swaps i'm in. I had two favorites this week, Sarah's Key, and The Boyfriend List. Two completely different books, but both great.

Abandoned Books- I abandoned one book, What Would Emma Do?- Eileen Cook. I was just bored with this YA book, after reading The Boyfriend List, it was hard to get into this one.

Currently Reading- I'm currently reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett. So far it is a awesome book. I'm really loving it.

Have a great Sunday, and week ahead!

Oct 2, 2009

Love You Hate You Miss You- Elizabeth Scott

Love You Hate Miss You- Elizabeth Scott

From Goodreads-

It's been seventy five days. Amy's sick of her parents suddenly taking an interest in her, and she's really sick of people asking her about Julia. Julia's gone, and Amy doesn't want to talk about it. No one knew Julia like she did. No one gets what life is without her.

No one understands what it's like to know that it's all your fault.

Amy's shrink thinks she should keep a journal but instead, Amy starts writing letters to Julia. As she writes letter after letter, she begins to realize that the past holds its own secrets--and that the present deserves a chance.

Amy and her best friend are in a car accident. Amy is in rehab, and her best friend, Julia, is dead. The Story is about Amy coming to terms with her friends death, her guilt about that tragic night, and her problem with alcohol.

Elizabeth Scott has a way with writing teen books that are relevant to what's going on in today's youth. This book has such a strong message. Amy is weighed down with guilt about what happen with her best friend, and you can feel her despair. The emotional distance between Amy's parents, and her is significant, and you really do feel for Amy. As a parent though I can totally relate to her parents. What do you say? What do you do?

I really liked the way you can see Amy slowly starting to come out of that fog she had been in since Julia's death. Amy's progress throughout was realistic, though at times I really wanted to smack her, but maybe that was the parent side of me.

Love You Hate You Miss You is a good book written by a great YA writer. I wouldn't say this is a must read, but if you get your hands on it, definitely read it.

Rating: 3.5