Jan 17, 2010

Sunday Salon

Another week come and gone.
Lately I've been seeing quite a bit of posts about bloggers getting burned out from blogging, or just getting plain bored with it.  It seems like everyone is in need of some refreshing ideas, and new things.  I sorta feel the same way.  I never really faithfully jumped into the whole meme's thing.  I think it's because it felt somewhat like school, on this day you do this, and on this day you do that. Not my cup of tea.  I've decided to just post whenever I want.  If I just found out about a new interesting book coming out, i'll post about it, and not worry about it being posted on its correct day. It's my blog, right?

On the home front, tomorrow is my oldest child's birthday!  She (Jaci) will be turning 12.  Yes, the teens are just around the corner.  I'm blessed, she is a smart, vivacious wonderful girl, with a little bit of her momma's attitude (she loves to roll those eyes of hers).  She wants to be a fashion designer when she grows up, and she has no problem asking with a straight face if she can have 200 dollar boots.  You really have to smile at  her chutzpah.   I love this picture of her..she's laughing at something her dad is saying.

On the book front another great week in reading.  I finished 3 books this week, Stargirl- Jerry Spinelli, Enthusiasm- Polly Shulman, and Paper Towns by John Green.  I loved Paper Towns, but I really, really dislike Stargirl.  My reviews on all three should be up soon.  I'm going to try not to shred Stargirl....too much.  j/k! 

I'm currently reading Fallen by Lauren Kate for a book tour, and then I don't know what I'll pick up.  I've got so many great books to choice from.  I still have to finish The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson, which is so good, but it's the last book :( and I want to take my time reading it. 

My birthday is coming up on the 24th, not so exciting since i'll be turning 29 for the second year.  LOL!  I've decided to stay put there, so for now on every year is my 29th.  Okay, okay I'll own my age...31 (on the 24th).

Hope everyone has a great Sunday, and upcoming week.

I'm out


Team Conan!!!!!!

Jan 16, 2010

Review: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare (Mortal Instruments, Bk 2)

Spoiler Warning

City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments, #2)

City of Ashes- Cassandra Clare

From Goodreads:

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go -- especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil -- and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings -- and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

City of Ashes is book 2 in the mortal instrument series by Cassandra Clare. It was just as good as the first in my opinion . All the previous characters are back and still looking to take down Valentine, who is still trying to gain power to start a war between Shadowhunters, and the Downworlders.

City of Ashes is just as action packed as City of Bones. Someone is draining the blood from Downworlders, and the Clave have sent someone to investigate what is going on. This leads to some all out battles. This time there are more demons. They have been brought up by Valentine to help take down the Clave. It was definitely a fast pace book.

In the first book we find out that Jace is the son of Valentine. Just because Jace, and Clary find out they are brother and sister it does not stop them from feeling more than sibling love. Simon has also declared his love for Clary, and now that Jace and clary know that they are brother, and sister does that leave Clary’s heart wide open for Simon to take his place?

From beginning to end, City of Ashes keeps your attention. I’m so looking forward to reading the final installment in this exciting series.

Rating: 4.5/5

Jan 15, 2010

My January Can't Wait Read

The HistorianThis month one of my highly anticipated books came out, The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova.  The Swan Thieves is the second book by Ms. Kostova.  I'm a huge fan of her first novel, The Historian.  I feel in love with her writing, and descriptions in The Historian that I really can't wait to read The Swan Thieves.

From goodreads.com the description on The Swan Thieves is

The Swan ThievesPsychiatrist Andrew Marlowe has a perfectly ordered life--solitary, perhaps, but full of devotion to his profession and the painting hobby he loves. This order is destroyed when renowned painter Robert Oliver attacks a canvas in the National Gallery of Art and becomes his patient. In response, Marlowe finds himself going beyond his own legal and ethical boundaries to understand the secret that torments this genius, a journey that will lead him into the lives of the women closest to Robert Oliver and toward a tragedy at the heart of French Impressionism. Ranging from American museums to the coast of Normandy, from the late nineteenth century to the late twentieth, from young love to last love, THE SWAN THIEVES is a story of obsession, the losses of history, and the power of art to preserve human hope.

Doesn't that sound sooo good? 

Book Info:
Hardcover: 576 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (January 12, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316065781

Jan 14, 2010

Review: The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard

The Secret Year

The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard

From Goodreads: 

Seventeen-year-old Colt has been sneaking out at night to meet Julia, a girl from an upper-class neighborhood unlike his own. They’ve never told anyone else about their relationship: not their family or friends, and especially not Julia’s boyfriend.When Julia dies suddenly, Colt tries to cope with her death while pretending that he never even knew her. He discovers a journal she left behind. But he is not prepared for the truths he discovers about their intense relationship, nor to pay the price for the secrets he’s kept.


The Secret Year is about a relationship between two teenagers who are in the opposite social circles. When upper crust Julia dies, Colt can’t grieve in the open because his relationship with Julia was a secret.

I’m kind of torn about The Secret Year. I thought it was just okay. We get to know Julia by the journal she leaves behind, and to be honest I just wasn’t liking her character to much. Colt was a alright character but I just couldn’t get myself to really care what happen to him. Colt’s brother on the other hand, Tom, was the shining character in the book in my opinion. His parts in the book were interesting, and I really like what the author did with his character.

The Secret Year was a quick read that was so-so. I’m glad it was a short book at less than 200 pages. I’m sure plenty of people love/will love this book, I’m just not one of them. It was not a complete waste of time though. See what I mean I can’t decide where I am at with this one.

Rating: 3/5

Book provided for review by Around the World Tours

Jan 11, 2010

Review of I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

I Capture the Castle

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

From Goodreads: 

I Capture the Castle tells the story of seventeen-year-old Cassandra and her family, who live in not-so-genteel poverty in a ramshackle old English castle. Here she strives, over six turbulent months, to hone her writing skills. She fills three notebooks with sharply funny yet poignant entries. Her journals candidly chronicle the great changes that take place within the castle's walls, and her own first descent into love. By the time she pens her final entry, she has "captured the castle"--and the heart of the reader--in one of literature's most enchanting entertainments.

A wonderful coming of age story. Cassandra is a 17 yr. old girl living in a castle, but despite how grand the castle is they are poor. We are told the story of her family and the Cottons through her journal she is writing. Her father is a writer who hasn’t written anything in years, but her blind faith in him is heartwarming, and her outlook in life is one you would find in a innocent, naïve girl…in the beginning.

Dodie Smith wrote such a great book about love, betrayal, and innocence lost. Cassandra and Rose are sisters that are complete opposites. Rose is about getting what she wants, and Cassandra is about smelling the roses, and finding true love. When the Cottons come into the picture they can see the difference between the two, but can’t ignore Rose’s beauty. About half way through the book this book takes a turn for the harsh. Cassandra’s eyes become wide open with the reality of life.

The story was beautifully written . By the end I loved the castle, as well as the family that lived there. I had a tiny problem with the end, but that’s only because I was so into the characters I wanted that perfect ending. Some people love the ending…to each their own.

I Capture the Castle is truly a magical, heartbreaking novel touched with harsh realities, and young innocence.


Jan 10, 2010

Sunday Salon

January has been a good month for me so far.  I got a decent amount of reading done this week, and they were all good, some great. 

This week I finished City of Bones, and read City of Ashes, I Capture the Castle, The Secret Year, Stupid and Contagious.  I also watched I Capture the Castle on Netflix.  I thought the movie was good, but in no way was it better than the book.

StargirlI am about to start reading Stargirl.  This will count for both my YA challenge, and Book Blogger Recommendation Challenge.   Don't you love when you can do that.
I'm not sure what i'll be reading next.  I love being able to just pick up anything, and not having to read something i'm not in the mood for because I need to review, or I need to send it for a swap game.

Last week my daughter was using my laptop, and dropped it, needless, to say it does not work anymore.  It was on it's last leg though.  My birthday is coming up on the 24th and surprise, surprise my husband couldn't take me whining about having to use the PC, so I got a great suprise Monday...a early birthday present.  A brand new LAPTOP!  I love it, love it. My daughter thinks I should be thanking her, because if she wouldn't have broken mine who knows when I would have gotten a new one.

Hope everyone has a great Sunday and week ahead.

Jan 8, 2010

Review of Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

Shanghai Girls

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

From Goodreads:

In 1937, Shanghai is the Paris of Asia, a city of great wealth and glamour, the home of millionaires and beggars, gangsters and gamblers, patriots and revolutionaries, artists and warlords. Thanks to the financial security and material comforts provided by their father’s prosperous rickshaw business, twenty-one-year-old Pearl Chin and her younger sister, May, are having the time of their lives. Though both sisters wave off authority and tradition, they couldn’t be more different: Pearl is a Dragon sign, strong and stubborn, while May is a true Sheep, adorable and placid. Both are beautiful, modern, and carefree . . . until the day their father tells them that he has gambled away their wealth and that in order to repay his debts he must sell the girls as wives to suitors who have traveled from California to find Chinese brides.

As Japanese bombs fall on their beloved city, Pearl and May set out on the journey of a lifetime, one that will take them through the Chinese countryside, in and out of the clutch of brutal soldiers, and across the Pacific to the shores of America. In Los Angeles they begin a fresh chapter, trying to find love with the strangers they have married, brushing against the seduction of Hollywood, and striving to embrace American life even as they fight against discrimination, brave Communist witch hunts, and find themselves hemmed in by Chinatown’s old ways and rules.

At its heart, Shanghai Girls is a story of sisters: Pearl and May are inseparable best friends who share hopes, dreams, and a deep connection, but like sisters everywhere they also harbor petty jealousies and rivalries. They love each other, but each knows exactly where to drive the knife to hurt the other the most. Along the way they face terrible sacrifices, make impossible choices, and confront a devastating, life-changing secret, but through it all the two heroines of this astounding new novel hold fast to who they are–Shanghai girls.


Shanghai Girls is a rich tale of sisters who escape from Shanghai when war breaks out between china and Japan. The story is of their lives in shanghai, and in the United States after migrating.

I really enjoyed this book. The cultural aspect of Shanghai Girls was very interesting. It was engrossing to read about Chinese customs. Their superstitious ways as a culture is very familiar to my culture(Hispanic). I could relate to Pearl and May rolling their eyes at the old thinking, and wise tales from the older generation.

Shanghai Girls was a heartbreaking, courageous story of the journey Pearl and May take. I love the interaction between them, and the sacrifices they both make, mostly Pearl . Her strength was inspiring to read about. Many immigrants coming into the United States endured hardships that are beyond our imaginations, with my generation having it easy, it’s easy to take everything for granted. Shanghai Girls really made me stop to think about how it must have been for people coming into the U.S, all searching for better lives, some not even knowing the language.

The characters were so put together. I easily liked Pearl, but May on the other hand was sometimes hard to like. May’s manipulative ways was just sometimes to much for me read about. Pearl in one hand seemed like a pushover, but then I could understand she was playing the role she was given by her parents, which was to make May happy at all cost. I would catch glimpses of a May that seemed independent, mature, and full of life, but quickly that would turn into whining, and annoying. She was definitely hard to like at times. The family they are married into in America was surprising to me. Surprising, how? I don’t want to spoil.

I’m so glad I picked this up as my first read in the new year. I feel like I started my reading year great. I closed the book completely satisfied, and that’s the best feeling.

Rating: 5/5

Jan 6, 2010

Review of City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones (Mortal Instruments, #1)

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

From Goodreads:

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder - much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing - not even a smear of blood - to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know....

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

I’ve heard so many great things about City of Bones, and though books like these don’t really hold my interest, I was willing to give it a try. I’m so glad I did..I really really liked it.

City of Bones really takes you on a adventure where warlocks, shadow hunters, vampires, werewolves, and more all exist in plain sight to “mundanes”(that would be us simple non-freak humans). I love that it wasn’t complex, and hard to follow. I was able to compartmentalize all the different kinds of, what should I call them….unmundanes, I guess. The plot was very interesting. As you turn each page you get more engrossed. I do have to say the ending was fabulous (wasn’t expecting).

City of Bones had really unique characters, and they were all great. Even Valentine was a good villain. Simon, the mundane, running around with the shadow hunters was fun. Why not have a ordinary human who wears glasses have some fun too. Clary wasn’t clingy or naïve, she was scared, but yet determined. I felt she was ordinary strong, by that I mean she wasn’t written like a superhero, she was real. She had fears, and doubts but kept pushing along…strong.

I’m so glad I gave City of Bones a try, and now I’m really excited to start book two City of Ashes. Thanks to all the bloggers out there who wrote so many good reviews on this one, because of you all I picked it up.

Rating: 4/5

Jan 5, 2010

2010 Books Read

Artichoke's Heart
Arcadia Falls

The Birthday Ball
Bird in Hand
Book of Love
Bright Lights, Big Ass

City of Ashes
City of Bones 
City of Glass 
The Clearing
Catching Fire
The Carrie Diaries
Claire de Lune
Crossing the Wire (Jesse's Review)
Crazy Love
Cracked Up To Be
The Christmas Gift
Crash Into Me


The Eternal Ones

Friend Is Not A Verb

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
Gimme a Call
Geek Abroad


I Capture the Castle
Into the Wild

Jumping Off Swings
Just One Wish
The Juliet Club
Just Like Me, Only Better
Just Listen

The Karma Club
The Kite Runner

Love is a Mix Tape
The Lies We Told
Love is a Many Trousered Thing
The Lost Symbol  (Jesse's Review)
Leaving Paradise
Lust, Loathing a A Little Lip Gloss
Looking For Andrew McCarthy
Love in Mid Air
The Little Stranger

The Mark
Match Me If You Can

A Note From an Old Acquaintance

October Breezes
Oblivion Road
The Oracle of Dating
Obsession, Deceit, and Really Dark Chocolate
One for the Money
O' Juliet

Paper Towns
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane
Perfect Chemistry
Passion, Betrayl and Killer Highlights
Prada and Prejudice
Pretty Little Liars (Jaci's Review)


Return to Paradise
Rules of Attraction
Rumor Has It

The Secret Year
Shanghai Girls
Stupid and Contagious
Startled by His Furry Shorts
Seven Year Switch
The Swan Thieves
The Summer of Skinny Dipping
Shadow Hills
The Spellmans Stike Again
Summer's Child
Shoe Addicts Anonymous
Sonata for Miriam
Something, Maybe
Super in the City
Shit My Dad Says
Starting From Square Two

That Summer
Tyger Tyger
Two for the Dough
The Transformation of Things
This Lullaby
The True Story of Hansel and Gretel

The Unwritten Rule
Unchartered Territori


When We Were Gods: A Novel of Cleopatra
The Weight of Silence


You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried
You Had Me at Halo


Jan 4, 2010

Great Contest in the Book Blog World

Eleni at LA FEMME READER is having a great giveaway.  Two winners will be winning a book of their choice (must be under $25, and a 2010 release). 

I know there is a must read for you all coming out in 2010.  Hop on over to her blog and enter.


Review of Save Karyn by Karyn Bosnak

Save Karyn: One Shopaholic's Journey to Debt and Back

Save Karyn by Karyn Bosnak

From Goodreads:

Drowning in $20,000 of credit card debt, shopaholic Karyn Bosnak asked strangers for money online -- and it worked!

What would you do if you owed $20,000? Would you: A) not tell your parents? B) start your own website that asked for money without apology? or C) stop coloring your hair, getting pedicures, and buying Gucci? If you were Karyn Bosnak, you'd do all three.

Karyn started a funny yet honest website, www.savekaryn.com, on which she asked for donations to help her get out of debt. Karyn received e-mails from people all over the world, either confessing their own debt-ridden lives, or criticizing hers. But after four months of Internet panhandling and selling her prized possessions on eBay, her debt was gone!

In Save Karyn: One Shopaholic's Journey to Debt and Back, Karyn details the bumpy road her financial -- and personal -- life has traveled to get her where she is today: happy, grateful, and completely debt-free. In this charming cautionary tale, Karyn chronicles her glamorous rise, her embarrassing fall, and how the kindness of strangers in cyberia really can make a difference.


I had a review written out on Save Karyn on my laptop, but yesterday my daughter dropped it, and now it's not working so I'm starting all over. : (

Karyn Bosnak is a genuis..lol!  The fact that her savekaryn.com website worked is astonishing, and it so wouldn't work right now. 

I really enjoyed her honesty about how she got into debt.  I'm sure everyone wants to spend frivilously, but of course knows better.  Being able to see how one rationalizes spending money they don't have on 600 dollar coats, and expensive lingerie was very interesting, and funny.  I don't see how people were in a uproar about the way she got out of debt.  I wouldn't have gave her money, nor did I care that some did. 

Karyn Bosnak is a ordinary women who got herself into finanical trouble, and out of desperation, and part joke, came up with a genius idea.  In the end she got a book deal, and I'm sure is now living a debt free nice life.  Happy ending I would say. 

Rating: 4/5

Jan 3, 2010

2009 Books

 List of all the books reviewed in 2009

600 Hours of Edward

After You
All the Numbers
All We Ever Wanted was Everything
Almost Single
Along for the Ride
Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging

Best Friends Forever
Bitter is the New Black
Body of Knowledge
Book of a Thousand Days
The Book of Luke
The Boy Book
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
The Boyfriend List

Case Histories
A Certain Slant of Light
Charity Girl
The Christmas Box
A Countess Below Stairs
Cross my Heart and Hope to Spy
The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder
Cruel Summer
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time
Cult Insanity

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover
The Double Bind
Driftwood Summer

The Elephant Keeper
Entrapment: A High School Comedy in Chat
Evil at Heart

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Five Things I can't Live Without

The Gift
The Girl She Use to Be
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
The Girl Who Played With Fire
The Given Day
Good Girls

The Help
The Heretic Queen
The Historian
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Hold Tight
Hush, Hush

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You

Juliet, Naked

Kiss Me Kill Me

Lady in the Vamp
Let the Right One In
The Little Book
The Lost Hours
Love You Hate You Miss You
Lust for  Life

A Match Made In High School

The Naughty List
No One You Know
Notes From the Backseat

Paint it Black
Perfect You
Prairie Tale
Pretty in Plaid
The Princess and the Pauper

Queen of the Road

Rena's Promise
Revenge of the Spellmans

Sarah's Key
Save Karyn
Sheer Abandon
The Shining
The Smile
South of Broad
Standing Still
Sugar Queen

Thirteen Reasons Why
Those Who Save Us
Time of My Life
Treasure Map of Boys
Twenties Girl
Two Way Street

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox
A Visit from Voltaire

Without One Plea

Sunday Salon

Ahh..the first Sunday of the New Year.  I love being able to start fresh.  I haven't been reading much this holiday break, way to much running around. 

Shanghai GirlsI finished my first book of 2010 yesterday, Shanghai Girls by Lisa See. I loved it, and it was a great start to my 2010 reading.  My review should be up in a couple of days, keep a lookout for it.
City of Bones (Mortal Instruments, #1)I'm currently reading City of Bones by Cassandra Clare.  I'll be able to use this for almost all my challenges i'm in this year...gotta love that.  I'm enjoying it so far, luckily I have book 2 sitting on my end table so i'll be able to jump right into that one, if I want to.
On the blog front I have major ADD. I can't seem to settle on layout, and template.  I really wish I knew how to mess around with the HTML.  I'll keep what I have up right now for awhile, because I'm just so tired to messing with it.  I was also thinking of organizing my reviews alphabetically and by year read, but it seems so daunting, and time consuming.  Is doing something like that easier for readers to go back and check out previous reviews?   If anyone has any suggestions for me on making my blog better please let me know.  You can email me at jjameli(at)cableone(dot)net.  I would love to hear your input.

Shout out to the Texas Longhorns who will be playing January 7th in the National Championship.  I will be glued to my TV eating chicken wings (mmm...love it) hopefully watching Texas kick some "Bama" butt.  No offense to Alabama peeps. LOL!

Have a great week ahead!

Jan 2, 2010

Great Contest at Books Obsession

Books Obsession is having a New Years Extravaganza Giveaway.

Some books included in this giveaway are Going to Far, and the complete Mortal Instruments boxed set, plus many more.

Go check it out--Books Obsession