Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Spark (Elemental #2)

Spark (Elemental, #2)Spark by Brigid Kemmerer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh man, I LOve LOVe LOVE this series! It's so funny and so good it just sucks you in. And to top it off Gabriel is my favorite of the brothers so I really couldn't put this book down. The best thing about the writing is the dialogue, both between characters and their internal thoughts, because it's so real. The brothers interact and speak exactly like every guy I've ever known and it kept me laughing since of course it included plenty of ribbing lol.

The story is about 4 teen brothers who were orphaned but their oldest brother managed to gain custody so they could continue living as a family together. Aside from the problems they have trying to keep their lives on track without parents, the brothers also share a family secret: they are elementals, or humans with strong supernatural affinities that can be very dangerous for people around them.
This book is Gabriel's book and he's one of the twins whose element is fire, hence the title Spark.

If you haven't read book 1 or the ebook shorts you won't be lost (I myself still havent read Hunter's e-novella yet) but I highly recommend doing so because it really adds depth to the characters and their backgrounds. Plus, they were just as much fun to read as this book.
The only aspect I didn't like about this story was a detail in the plot's turning point.
****But Spoiler Alert****do not read rest if you don't want a spoiler****
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The part I personally didn't like was when Layne's scars are supernaturally wiped away. When I first learned about her scars and how they made her who she is I liked that she wasn't perfect and was learning to find who she really is. And I liked that Gabriel was able to show his true character when she shared that part of herself with him. So when she suddenly lost the scars I felt a little cheated out of that aspect of the story, those parts of the characters.
Regardless, I still loved the book. It was hilarious to be in Gabriel's head and nice to see him grow and find friendship and love with Layne.

Thank you to LibraryThing Early Reviewers and Kensington Teen for the chance to win this copy:)

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Last Sookie Book...

It's just been announced, the last book in the Sookie Stackhouse series is gonna be titled:
I'm excited to see how it turns out, even if Deadlocked underwhelmed me. All in all I'm ready to see some closure with Sookie and move on to a new Charlaine Harris world. It's been a great ride and I think the end will be worth sticking through it all!

Quick update...

So I'm a goober and have been doing things the hard way because I never took the time to explore goodreads after all their upgrades. I was using it in just the most basic way, and not connecting it with any other accounts (fb, twitter, etc) so I was missing out on some tools that make blogging much easier. I still haven't connected it to fb yet but I did start the post sharing here, which is so much easier! I don't know why I wasn't doing it before. I can only blame my burned out brain that is so tired of textbooks and group projects that it didn't want to read another word that wasn't required for a grade :P But class/finals/etc are all finally over and I'm not doing summer semester, so I'm looking forward to some fun and of course relaxing summer reads:)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love Love LOVED book one in this series and couldn't wait for book 2, but had to postpone reading it til after finals! That was hard but well worth the wait. While it had a few bits that I saw coming the majority of it was a nice adventure to read. The author flipped back and forth between the past and present of Lena's life smoothly and it made it easy for me as a reader to connect with her emotions of the past and see how they were driving her present decisions.
This book is just as dramatic and emotional as the first, and it even has just as strong a cliffhanger ending to boot. If you're looking for an intense and romantic series this one is great!

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris

Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse, #12)Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I don't even know what to say about this one because it's completely NOT what I was expecting. Usually I find all of the Sookie books un-put-downable and give up sleep just to see what happens next! But this one? Nope. It was boring and I kept putting it down to watch tv instead or even do homework!lol
Basically it comes down to this. I read a quote from Charlaine about the release of Deadlocked in which she said that she worked hard to make her books the best they could be and that this book marked an "essential passage in Sookie's history". Since I've loved all the Sookie books, even the ones many other people disliked, I was excited. I saw a lot of crazy and Sookie-world potential storylines that could come from the Cluviel Dor. But When reading this latest book I didn't feel like much happened. I felt like I followed Sookie around for a few days while she did random and boring things like laundry or whatever.
Sookie also felt a little off from her character consistency too. She has a birthday in this book and though I can't recall how old she turns (does the book even say directly?) I do know she's still under 30. My problem is that at one point Sookie describes Bill using her computer and she doesn't know what a "jump drive" is or even that her computer has usb ports!!! The wtf-ery of this moment was just too ridiculous for me. I mean seriously y'all, even my mom knows what they are.
And last but not least, when the Cluviel Dor moment finally comes it really wasn't a moment for me at all. It was too late by that point; the book had lost me much earlier in it's clutter of mundane and I could care less at that point what she did with the damn thing. I never thought I'd say this but I sure do hope this series is coming to a satisfactory end because I'm worried it will lose it's magic and run on without any feet.

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

❧Film❧ The Sunset Limited

 
I am well and truly amazed at how the works of Cormac McCarthy can strike me so deeply. He’s got a gift for asking real questions, and I admire his writing for it. The film The Sunset Limited is a great example of what I love about Cormac's stuff. To top it off you’ve got two master actors bringing it to life and that combination creates a masterpiece. 
Breaking Bread --this scene made me laugh!
Based on McCarthy’s play, there are two men of very different backgrounds that end up having an intense conversation. The characters are named at the end of the film simply as “Black” (played by Samuel L Jackson) and “White” (played by Tommy Lee Jones). Samuel L’s character is a believer in God, a man of faith, and an ex-con who happened to be at the Sunset Limited platform when Tommy Lee’s character tried to take a suicidal leap in front of the train. White is a man that doesn’t believe in God and doesn’t see any reason for life itself; specifically his own. No medication or therapy has made any kind of difference in White's life, nor has he found enough of any kind of a connection with anyone to even claim as a friend. Black has a completely different viewpoint in life. He’s been in prison, been literally gutted by a man, and even committed murder himself. But he still finds life meaningful because of his faith and so he has taken it upon himself to try and save White from his fatal decision. 
Now here’s where the meat of the film lies: the conversation between Black and White is a philosophical tennis match between the two men, one serving a dark theory and the other volleying it back with an equal and opposite strength of reason. The discourse is like a study in so many concepts of value! Like what value is life if you don’t believe God exists, but that all is left is suffering? How valuable are words? How valuable are the words of an ex-con? Are they any more or less valuable than a professor’s elegant words? How about the professor? Does his life matter even if you disagree with everything he says and thinks? 
Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L Jackson
And I love how the camerawork echoes the same sorts of themes too. The camera never leaves the constricted little tenement apartment and for me it felt the same as a distressed person (like White) never leaving their head, never coming outside himself and thus struggling even harder to get a fix on reality and “primacy” of what matters. I found myself wondering "how the hell is this gonna end so that I'm satisfied?!" and couldn't help stopping and reversing the movie when I my brain went off on tangents of its own accord to ponder some of Black & White's questions which definitely didn't have black & white answers. It’s an amazing film. If you like performances that make you think and brilliant cinema don't miss this one!
Tommy Lee Jones (Director) and Cormac McCarthy (Writer)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Fair Game by Patricia Briggs (Alpha & Omega Series #3)

Title: Fair Game
Author(s): Patricia Briggs
Genre: Fiction -Science Fiction/Paranormal
Hardcover:304 pages
ISBN: 9780441020034
Publisher: Penguin Group(March 06, 2012)

Holy crap! I just finished reading Fair Game, book 3 in the Alpha and Omega series, and man was it ever the most  satisfying read! I laughed, held my breath, became angry, and even experienced chills while reading it, lol.
If you have not read the Mercy Thompson series and the corresponding Alpha & Omega series by Patricia Briggs then you HAVE TO READ THEM NOW! I cannot even begin to explain how awesomely intricate the world is and how gorgeously detailed and nuanced the characters are in these books :D

It's as if they are real people, and Ms. Briggs is beautifully relaying their deeds and adventures to us much like a good friend who has the best way of sharing gossip without it having any seemly qualities to it, lol!

In this A&O series, Anna and Charles are the main characters. Charles is the second son of Bran (the Marrock whom we know from Mercy's tales) and Anna is his mate and a very special woman. She is an Omega, which is something rare and very valuable type of person because of the special abilities they bring to the table in strengthening a pack. This is explained very well in the first books and while entertaining and fun, the first 2 books give way for Briggs to really make the A&O story come alive in Fair Game. It's a lotta bit mystery/suspense, a little bit urban fantasy/romance, and of course the scifi and paranormal all mixed into a divinely fantastic tale. I loved it and once again can't wait for my next hit of Brigg's master storytelling!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Let the Games Begin!

Things have been insanely busy for me this month, even this week of Spring Break. But since it IS Spring Break I made sure to plan at least one fun thing and so I'm off to see The Hunger Games tonight at midnight! WoOhoO! I even have my Mockingjay pin ready to wear lol. 

Also, I thought some of y'all might like to know that chapter 1 of Richelle Mead's The Golden Lily was posted yesterday at EW. It's book 2 of her Bloodline's series, the spinoff of her Vampire Academy series. I haven't even had time to read that 1 chapter yet, but I'm really itching to get to it. I'll probably have to try and read it in small bits on my breaks at work tomorrow... well, if my brain is awake enough after tonight's late movie, lol.

Monday, February 27, 2012

I know it's been an annoying meme but...

I just had to share one. Coming from the public library world I've gotta say it's the "what taxpayers think I do" pic that made me laugh:

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Friday, February 17, 2012

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Author(s): Isaac Marion
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperback:239 pages
ISBN: 1439192324
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group(April 26, 2011)

I had NO idea what to expect from this book but I’d heard it was good and seen it get an average of 4 or more stars from various readers and bloggers that I trust. So when the opportunity to enter a contest and participate in an online book club for it came along, I decided to do it. And am I ever glad I did:D
This book is amazingly written! The author has a unique way of weaving complex and seemingly random information into not just dialogue but also into the characters themselves. I found myself often reading a portion and then stopping to jot down my own personal thoughts and feelings in regard to R and his musings or actions. R is the main character and a zombie. And since he’s a zombie, there is little he recalls of his former self aside from the fact that his name began with an “R”. The zombie disease spread like the epidemic it is, and all the undead crave living flesh to feed the incessant hunger that plagues them. Eating flesh of the living is the only way they can “live”.

But R is different. Though muddled and sticky, he begins to have thoughts on things other than just human flesh. He wonders how old he is, what did his job used to be that caused him to still be wearing slacks, tie and shirt, and wants to know names of the others. But none of them remember or seem interested in being a philosophical zombie like R.  He feels lonely and adrift until suddenly he eats the brain of young man named Perry. Everything starts to snowball from there, into one of the best and weirdest retellings of Romeo and Juliet I’ve ever read.
Warm bodies is one of those fiction books that is so well written it made me reflect more than most nonfiction I’ve read. It’s a fantastic mix of things I never would have thought could work: zombies, romance, and what it means to be alive.

Thanks to Danielle at Bookwhore.com for hosting the fabulous online discussions (great questions Danielle!) and also to Isaac Marion for donating the copy I was lucky enough to receive. I loved it! 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Have y'all seen these funny Downton Abbey cards? I liked this one the best, with the sneaky footman plotting to win your heart :D I did start reading this really interesting book called Attached, though. It's about how adult attachment and love happen in one of 3 ways: Anxious, Avoidant, or Secure. It's intriguing and I still have quite a bit to go in the book, so I'll wait to finish it before saying more. May everyone have a little love in their day today =) 


Monday, February 6, 2012

Heir of my Sundays

Of course I'm not unique in my new obsession, but ZOMG I LOVE DOWNTON ABBEY! The British tv series airs on PBS Masterpiece and has completely inherited my Sundays:) I didn't begin watching until this year when, in preparation for Season 2, PBS ran a marathon of Season 1. I watched it all in one sitting and now greedily await each new episode. 
The show begins in the early 1900s with the Crawley family losing their heir on the Titanic and waiting to see who will be next in line;the Earl of Grantham and his family currently live at Downton with their staff but since the daughters can not inherit, they are forced to find a male relative for next in line. Season 1 then leaves us as the first World War breaks out in 1914. Season 2 picked up there and is now running with just 2 more episodes to go, but already Season 3 is making news as it's been confirmed that Shirley MacLaine has been cast as Lady Grantham’s mother, Martha Levinson! 
And though I'm aware there are many who don't like her, I just love Lady Mary and am hoping she and Matthew will end up together. I really don't think she's as cold as she pretends to be and there's just something about her chemistry with Matthew that makes me feel like they'd be happy together if they could just work it out, lol. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Lady Awakened by Cecilia Grant



Title: A Lady Awakened (Blackshear Family #1)
Author(s): Cecilia Grant
Genre: Romance - Historical
Mass Market Paperback:346 pages
ISBN: 0553593838 
Publisher: Bantam (December 27, 2011)

This was one of those rare books that makes me the tenacious kind of reader I am. What I mean by that is I am a reader that rarely ever DNF's a book. There may be occasions where my mood changes and I put it down and don't pick it up again for a month but I almost never leave a book unfinished. One reason is I'm pretty good at determining and choosing books I'll like, so it isn't often I pick up something that I totally hate. The other reason is there are books like this one. Books where I'm thinking "aw man, I thought I was going to like this but it's so not working for me". For instance, I had given this 3 stars already. Then suddenly this book took a turn.... for awesome!
The basic premise is like the summary says: Martha, a young widow plots to save herself and her female servants from dire circumstances by engaging in an affair with her rakish neighbor Theophilus to conceive an heir.
But for me the beginning was dragging and mostly I was having a hard time with the absence of any romance or true intimacy. The characters don't flirt or even have any fire between them because, after all, their relations are a business deal. And because of this the sex is terrible and made me just wince from all the awkwardness and obvious lack of pleasure. And I get it; I know it was totally because of the situation but geez it was hard going!
Without that connection between them (for at least the first 100 pages if not more) and cringing at how awful it must be to just have such mechanical sex I was almost about to DNF this one. However the author does a good job of showing the main character's personalities outside of each other and we get to know them in a way that builds just enough to hold on.
Actually, the slow story/character building and humor sort of reminded me of Jane Austen-ish/Elizabeth Gaskell type stuff. The kind where overall it's a romance you're reading but there's all this crappy stuff that happens too, and not a lot of sexy stuff that modern readers are used to in historical novels from this century. The only difference is we know going into those older books to somewhat expect that, and also this book IS modern so it has sex scenes, lol. Once I got into this book I began loving it as I got to know Theo and laughing at some of the hilarious remarks he'd make. He has some really funny scenes with a pig on the farm, and I started looking forward to those scenes with the pig lol! I sort of liked Martha right away and her private conversations with her maid and cleric helped show who she was. Once Martha and Theo started really talking and opening up I liked it more of course.
So it starts slower than most historical romances but it's written so well and comes together in a way that makes it pay off:)


Thanks to LibraryThing Early Reviewers program and Random House for the review copy.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

it's a new year

Well, I'm not sure I feel ready to have everything feel normal again but then when is anyone ever ready? After all, classes have started again and work is busy as always, and I might as well kick myself into doing things I generally enjoy. So even though it's late, here's to 2012 and hopefully a better year and better things to come...