Sunday, November 28, 2010

Audio Books: The Test for a True Reader

For Thanksgiving this year I drove down to my parents house in Florida.  It is about an 8 hour drive, and I was making the haul alone this time.  About an hour into the trip I was tired of flipping through radio stations and digging through old CD's (you would have thought I could have planned better, as I am a list maker...).  I was coming up to an exit with a Cracker Barrel (yummm) when I realized that they have the audio books that you can rent.  I've seen audio books in Borders and Barnes & Noble before but they were always so expensive that I never really wanted to give them a try.  I also don't really know when/where I would listen to them.  My commute to work is pretty short, and other than that when I'm in the car I want to jam!  
I decided that I would stop at Cracker Barrel and see about getting and audio book.  I figured, I've got seven more hours to go, I might as well "read" a book.  I browsed through the rack of audio books and found one that peaked my interest: Insatiable by Meg Cabot.  I love Meg Cabot and thought it would be a great book to try.  

After finding out that I have to put up the full amount of the audio book ($44.00) and would be reimbursed everything except for the $3.95 rental fee, I couldn't take it any longer.  I had to see what all the hype was about audio books.  I got back into the car, and continued the long trek.  I had a lot of things going through my mind going into this. 

What if I don't like the voice of the person reading me this book?
What if I can't follow along?
What if it is too fast? Or too slow?
What if I start to fall asleep listening to this?
What if, what if, what if...

Well, as it turns out, the voice of the lady reading the book was awful.  She sounded like a twelve year old girl that really enjoyed using accents and making funny sounds.  It wasn't hard to follow along with the story line....but after a full CD I thought -- "Wow, there are a lot of CD's in this case -- I wonder how long this book is."  16.45 hours, that's how long.  The woman girl reading the book read at a snails pace and I kept getting really bored.  At one point I really thought I was going to fall asleep if she didn't pick up the pace.  

Once I realized how long the book was and that there was no way I could stand to listen to the little girl any longer, I switched back to channel surfing the radio.  As soon as I made it down to my parents house I busted out the Kindle and downloaded the book.  

Needless to say -- audio books are not for me.  I am way too ADD and such a control freak that I have to read the books myself.  My boyfriend jokingly told me that the only way he thinks I would enjoy an audio book would be if I recorded it myself.  Half because I love to hear my own voice...

Have you tried audio books before?  Do you like them?  Am I missing something?  The thrill just wasn't there for me.  I'm sticking to regular books until someone gives me the secret!

Happy Reading!

Review: The Girl in the Green Raincoat - Laura Lippman

The Girl in the Green Raincoat: A Tess Monaghan Novel
The Girl in the Green Raincoat - Laura Lippman
E-book from NetGalley
Published by Avon A, 2011

GoodReads Review: 
In this modern twist on Rear Window, Tess Monaghan has been put on bed rest for the last two months of her pregnancy.  Day after day she watches a girl in a green raincoat in the park with her greyhound, until one day Tess ominously notices the dog running loose.  Convinced some harm has befallen its owner she becomes dangerously obsessed with learning her fate.

My Review:
I thought this was very similar to some of the Janet Evanovich books I've read in the past.  It was a cute little mystery with a female detective that saves the day.  It was a nice quick read that definitely was full of twists and turns.  I really thought that this was going to be a predictable book, but I was mistaken.  

This is the first of the Tess Monaghan novels I've read and I really enjoyed it -- I will definitely be checking out the first 10 books.  I didn't realize that this was a book that was part of a series, but I liked that I didn't really have to read the others to understand what was going on.  

I enjoyed Tess's character, as well as the other fun and quirky characters (especially Whitney -- what a friend!).  What a little terror Dempsey was in the beginning!  It all turned out well though, as he definitely helped to save the day!

I would recommend this to anyone looking for a quick, lazy Sunday read.  It was a thrilling mystery packed with great characters and a plot line that will keep you guessing.

4 out of 5 stars.

Happy Reading!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium - Lauren Oliver
E-book from NetGalley
Published by HarperTeen, 2011

Goodreads Review
Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing.  They didn't understand that once love - the deliria - blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold.  Things are different now.  Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demand that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen.  Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she'll be cured.  A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

My Review:
Lauren Oliver is an incredible writer and story teller.  The whole story kept me interested and wanting more.  The plot is incredible - I love that she uses love as the disease.  It kind of makes you think -- are we all love sick?  Does it make sense to eradicate love?  Can we really exists without love!?

I loved the main character, Lena.  I felt like I could really relate to her.  She always follows the rules, and didn't expect there to be anything outside of her little bubble of life that was created by the government.  She is eager to get through the procedure and get paired with her husband.  She had goals and dreams to go to college and have a family and live by her best friend, Hana.  All of this is changed when Lena goes to her evaluation and sees Alex.  She completely flakes on her evaluation, but is saved by the mass chaos brought on by a "mix up". 

I was completely caught off guard by the ending.  It seemed like the story was wrapping up and I really liked the way that things were going...but then there was a twist.  I still really liked the ending, it just was not what I was expecting at all. 

I thought this book was a real fast paced page turner with a great story line. I am definitely going to be checking out future (and past) books by Lauren Oliver. 

I would recommend this book to all YA lovers, and those that love a nice little love story.

4.5 out of 5 stars

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (7)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly event held by MizB at Should Be Reading.  I love this event, and love giving a little teaser to my readers.  This can either suck you in to reading the book I'm reading, or make you realize that you don't want to read it! 

The rules are simple:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share 2 "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • ***Please do not include spoilers!***    ((Be sure what you post doesn't give too much away!  You don't want to ruin the read for the next guy!))
  • Share title & author so that other TT followers can add the book to their TBR pile if they like your teaser!
  • Always be sure to check out the host's blog and leave a link to your TT post!

My Teaser

"My heart is drumming in my chest so hard it aches, but it's the good kind of ache, like the feeling you get on the first real day of autumn, when the air is crisp and the leaves are all flaring at the edges and the wind smells just vaguely of smoke - like the end and the beginning of something all at once."

Delirium - Lauren Oliver

Happy Reading!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Interview with a Non-Reader

So I challenged you all to come up with the best questions you could for my boyfriend, and the answers are in!

As I mentioned before, while I am an avid reader, my boyfriend is the complete opposite.  He would never "waste his time" reading a book when he could just wait for the movie to come out.  I wanted to interview him so that I (and hopefully some of you) could get an understanding from a non-readers point of view.  It really intrigues me that reading just isn't something that he likes to do -- I guess because I am so in love with it.

Here goes:

What kind of things do you enjoy doing for fun?
Playing video games & watching sports.

Do you not like reading because it takes a lot of time?  Do you find it hard to stay focused and interested?
Both.  It doesn't move fast enough for me.  I'd rather watch a two hour movie than read a three inch book.  It is a lot easier for me to remember important stuff that happens in the beginning of  a movie than to try to remember what happened in chapter two of a book.  I read slow, and I don't really retain things.  I love magazine articles -- articles that are about 8 pages in length are as far as it goes.  

What is it about reading that doesn't spark your interest?  Is there a type of story that you think would spark your interest?
It is time consuming, to me it is just boring.  I can't get lost in it like you do.  I think I would read non-fiction stuff.  I enjoy reading articles about science and technology.  I read Wired magazine cover to cover -- at the back there are longer stories...they are like "bleeding edge" technological things, like how they might be able to cure cancer in a few years or something like that.  

When did your interest in books leave you?  Did you enjoy reading as a kid?  Did your parents read to you at night?
I don't remember if my parents read to me.  I read in elementary school, but at that age I think it is somewhat forced upon you.  There was a book fair, and other reward programs to encourage reading.

 Do you think that required reading in schools turns children away from leisurely reading?
That makes sense -- the fact that you are forcing kids to read things that they couldn't care less about, yeah I guess.  But then again, I didn't want to sit through Algebra, but I had to.  There are a lot of things that I would change about our education system, but I don't think that is the point.  I don't remember required reading -- I either wasn't assigned it, or just didn't do it. I used to do those stupid tests all the time in the library.  You would read a book and then you could go to the library to take a five question test on it and win a prize.  I wouldn't read the book, but I would go in and take the test and most of the time I would pass it.  If I missed a question, I could just come back the next day and take it again.  It didn't encourage me to read, because I didn't have to read the book and I could still get the reward.

What books did you like as a kid?
The only books I ever remember liking are the Animorph books.

Would you read a non-fiction book, like something about The Atlanta Braves, or another sports team?
I would really be interested in a memoir of Bobby Cox.  If you were to get me a book like that I would read it.  

Is there a book out there that you've heard a lot about that you would like to read?  Like a NY Times Bestseller?
No, I don't really look at things where they talk about "hot upcoming books".  I couldn't even tell you what is on the top ten bestseller list.  I can guarantee you that if it is on the bestseller list I'm not going to read it.  The only reason those books get put on that list is because Oprah likes them and has promoted them on her show.  If she likes a book -- it is number one on the booksellers list. 

You enjoyed the Lord of the Rings movies, would you ever consider reading the books?  Or a book like it?
No.  First of all, I've already seen the movies, so that would bore me to death to read about something I've already seen.  I know how it ends, so no.  Plus, those books are really long.

Would you try reading a graphic novel?
Uh, no...

What about an audio book?
No, I just wouldn't pay attention to it.  I think people that like audio books are people that enjoy reading in the first place.  The only reason to use them is because for some reason you can't read a book. 

What book was a required reading book that you just couldn't stand?  Or what book have you read or tried to read that you couldn't stand?
Honestly, I've read so few books I can't tell you. 

How many books do you think you've read in your life?
20?  I guess the Animorphs books would be about 8 or 9 of them...I've read 1984 by George Orwell.  I don't remember much of it -- I guess it didn't leave that big of an impression on me.  I can only remember a few parts -- I was really interested in politics at the time, so that's why I read it.

What was your favorite book growing up?
I remember liking the book Goodnight, Moon.  I remember being really young, and my aunt took me to a bookstore and really wanted to buy me a book.  I didn't have the heart to tell her that I didn't want a book, so I just picked up Goodnight, Moon because I knew that I liked it.  She wasn't very happy when she found out I already had a copy of it at home...

Did your family encourage you to read?
My mom reads all the time, but no I guess not.

How do you feel about other people reading?  I mean you know how much I love reading...
It keeps you out of my hair.  
No, at this point, you are pretty much obsessed with reading.  You've got the challenge to read 100 books this year, and you've got a blog with followers and stuff.  It doesn't really bother me, I'm not going to start some campaign about not reading or anything, but I'm not going to start reading. 

Do you see the value in reading?  Educational or otherwise?
Fiction books, no.  I don't see how it is any different than watching NCIS or something like that.  I don't see the educational value of reading a non-fiction book.  There is no educational value at all, in a fiction book.  Other than like historical context or something...but you could watch the movie Gone With the Wind and get just as much "educational value" out of it as reading the books.  I didn't get any educational value out of reading Animorphs...people don't turn into animals in real life. I would say a large portion of fiction books have no educational value at all. 

This was so interesting to be.  I love talking books with people, and it was nice to hear things from his perspective as a non-reader.  I honestly don't agree with 90% of what he has to say...but it was interesting.  I will definitely be looking into getting him a Bobby Cox memoir...and hopefully I can get him to review it for us on here!

I would really like to just mention how amazing he is.  He is so supportive of me, and I really appreciate him taking his time to do this interview with me.  I know he would rather have finished playing his video game, or watch a football game (I made sure all the games today were over - LOL). Thanks sweetie! I love you!

What did you think of the interview?  Do you have friends or family members that don't like reading either?  I wonder if they have the same feelings as my boyfriend...

Happy Reading!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Follow Friday (7)!

Book Blogger Hop

Follow Friday and Book Blogger Hop are weekly events hosted by Parajunkee and Crazy for Books respectively.  I absolutely love, love, love both of these weekly events!!  It is a great way to promote your blog, as well as find some great blogs to follow!  Hurry back to their sites, follow them, and let the hopping and following begin!

"Since Thanksgiving is coming up next week, let's use this week's Hop to share what we are most thankful for and what our holiday traditions are!"

I am so thankful for so many things in my life. Hands down the thing I am most thankful for is my family.  I don't know what I would do with out my parents -- they are my biggest fans and have stuck by me through thick and thin.  I'm also incredibly thankful that I found the love of my life so early on.  My boyfriend is incredible and I'm thankful that I've got the support, and love from him as well -- he is my rock.  
For Thanksgiving, when we go visit my parents, Thanksgiving is a blast!  We spend the day before Thanksgiving running around and making sure we've got all of the ingredients we need to cook and usually start getting some stuff prepared.  I love the togetherness of Thanksgiving!! My mom and I found out a few years ago that the outlet mall that is by her house opens at Midnight on Thanksgiving for Black Friday.  As a joke the first year we found out we were pumped and ready to go.  My dad and boyfriend thought we were crazy, but since neither of us had ever gone out in the mad rush before, we thought it would be fun.  IT WAS A BLAST!!!! So, ever since, we've gone every year!  We usually spend Thanksgiving morning together, in the kitchen, and have an early dinner.  Everyone usually watches a little football and naps throughout the day.  My mom and I will eat dinner and then hurry up and get into bed at or before 6pm!  We've gotta get our beauty sleep in so we can fight the crowds!  We will wake up at 11 and get rolling!  It is so much fun!! 

How do you spend your Thanksgiving?

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Review: Francis, Not the Saint by Floriana Hall

Francis, Not the Saint - Floriana Hall
Paperback - 304 Pages
Published by BookSurge, 2008
Sent to me by Casey at The Bookish Type

GoodReads Review:
Francis, Not the Saint is a true story of a family's triumph over adversity during The Great Depression and World War II.  It is an important part of history.  It is also a mesmerizing story of a wonderful mother who taught her three children morals and manners and who was sometimes thought of as a saint, and a father who was anything but a saint, though his religious background gnawed at his very soul.  It is a story of a man who tried to juggle three families at the same time and found out that it cannot be done.  A man who lied and cheated and made his children victims of his lies.  It is a spiritual story of a daughter's forgiveness of the lies he told, which is a criteria for complete and peaceful existence.  Bust most of all, it is a story to help warn young women to beware of egotistical men who flatter too much, flirt too much, cry too much, and who lust for many.

My Review:
This book was sent to me by a wonderful fellow blogger, Casey at The Bookish Type (go check her out!).  I was pretty wary about it when I started because I'm not the hugest fan of historical fiction, but I do love a good memoir!

I was hooked from the first page!  Hall starts off the book with a poem that I just fell in love with:


Our mother was the glue that held our family together,
Her love went beyond any disaster we could weather, 
She was there for us when anything went awry, 
We'd laugh with her, and sometimes we'd cry, 
For life is full of twists and turns ---
Illness, failure, abandonment, then money to earn.
She boosted us up when troubles befell us, 
And listened patiently to opinions from all of us.
When food was scarce, she gave us her portion -- 
To have a mother so loving was such good fortune.
She encouraged us to be the best we could be, 
She was our inspiration, the head of our family.
Now that she's gone, we still follow her teachings,
The lessons she taught us will keep us reaching
For higher plateaus, unselfishness, and kindness
To imitate our mother, to be the finest.

No joke, at this point I was already in tears.  I knew this was going to be a heartwarming story, and it made me miss my mom, and just remember how important she is to me.

I really enjoyed the pace that the book was set at -- a complete page turner.  I truly loved following in the lives of Floriana and her family, and felt as though I was there with them going through the same hardships.  It was hard to get used to Francis and hard to accept the things that he did.  Money was tight enough for one family during The Great Depression, but he was secretly leading three separate lives with three different families.  Floriana describes days and weeks where all her family had to eat was bread for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  She described the other kids standing in the milk line at school and having to pass up the opportunity for milk because her family could not afford it.  

Hall definitely got the point across that Francis was certainly no saint!  I hated him from page one!  She included some letters that he wrote to her during the last decade or so of his life, and I just wanted to rip those pages out.  They added to the story of course, but just angered me.  Francis thought that he had found Jesus and was going to be absolved of all of his sins, however during this time he was still pursuing a lady.  This was one of the very things he constantly wrote about, blaming the devil for his sexual appetite.  I think that it was pretty obvious that Francis didn't care who he hurt on the way to getting what he want, but as soon as he knew he wanted it -- he was going to get it. 

I loved hearing all about Floriana and her family.  She had five babies, and it was such fun to hear about all her grandchildren!  I think one of my other favorite things about this book was seeing how different things were back then.  I take for granted so many things, and this really put it into perspective for me.  Thankfully, never in my lifetime have I had to struggle for food, housing or clothing.  To see that Hall had to deal with these things, and turned out such a wonderful person is so inspiring.

This book came during a perfect time in my life.  Not to get deep or anything, but I've been realizing that there are a lot of life lessons that I need to get used to and understand.  It seemed like every page I turned had a quote in there that just related to my life/day perfectly.  Hall has a true gift for words (including all of the great poetry she added in there)! 

Honestly, I would highly recommend this book to anyone!  It is just a fantastic, heartwarming, inspiring book. I think that we could all learn a lesson or two from this book!

5 out of 5 Stars

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Challenge to My Readers!

The Ultimate Challenge!

I have a challenge, and I need your help!!  My boyfriend of seven years is not an avid reader, and it always intrigues me.  I am obsessed with books, and can't read enough!  It always seems to drive me a little crazy when he says things like "Why read the book, when you can just wait a few months for the movie to come out?"

I have come to the realization that not everyone is as awesome as us book lovers, and that is okay.  He has many other things that he enjoys doing, and I can respect that.  What I want to do is delve into his mind and figure out why it is that he doesn't like reading.

Why is it that some people read tons of books a year, while others would rather do anything else.  I mean the man despises books -- I don't think I could get him to read a book even if I wanted to.  I've tried buying him books that I think he would like, based on things in life that he is interested in, but it never fails -- they don't get read.  The only thing I have seen him read (aside from magazines about technology) is the Almanac.  I'm not saying there is anything wrong with it, but he could sit on the couch and read the Almanac all day long.
Different strokes for different folks right?

So -- here is where you come in.  What kinds of questions do you have for him?  Is there anything you are dying to find out from a non-reader?  Anything you would like to know, just leave it in the comments, and I will get everything compiled so we can figure out -- WHY!

Thanks for your help, and Happy Reading!

Teaser Tuesday (6)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly event held by MizB at Should Be Reading.  I love this event, and love giving a little teaser to my readers.  This can either suck you in to reading the book I'm reading, or make you realize that you don't want to read it! 

The rules are simple:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share 2 "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • ***Please do not include spoilers!***    ((Be sure what you post doesn't give too much away!  You don't want to ruin the read for the next guy!))
  • Share title & author so that other TT followers can add the book to their TBR pile if they like your teaser!
  • Always be sure to check out the host's blog and leave a link to your TT post!

My Teaser

"I found out that sometimes it doesn't matter how good a person you are, or how kind or smart you are, there will always be someone who doesn't like you.  The secret to life is not to take it personally."

Francis, Not the Saint: A true story
Francis, Not the Saint - Floriana Hall

Happy Reading!

Monday, November 15, 2010

In My Mailbox (3)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.

This is a great weekly meme to share what books you got this weekend, whether bought, borrowed or sent to you.

This week I received:

From The Bookish Type for review:
Francis, Not the Saint - Floriana Hall

From Amazon (Free Kindle Books):
Stupid History: Tales of Stupidity, Strangeness & Mythconceptions Throughout the Ages - Leland Gregory
Crush - Alan Jacobson
Enemies & Playmates - Darcia Helle
Crossing Oceans - Gina Holmes
Almost Heaven - Chris Fabry
Danger in the Shadows - Dee Henderson
House of Dark Shadows - Robert Liparulo

From NetGalley:
Trouble in Paradise - Jennifer Greene
A Daring Proposition - Jennifer Greene
Seven Years - Peter Stamm
My Soul to Steal - Rachel Vincent

What a mother-load that is!!

I have no idea when I will be able to get to all of these, but hopefully sooner than later!  Anyone willing to pay me so I can just read and review full-time??  

Happy Reading! 

2011 Reading Challenge!!!!!!

Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge

So, as you all know, I am trying to read 100 books this year.  I'm at 72, and I've still got a month and a half...but I doubt I will make it to 100.  I think this reading challenge is just for me!  I haven't completely decided what my goal for next year will be, but I do agree with The Book Vixen, and I am going to out-do myself next year.  As this year comes closer to an end and I can see what my total count is, I am going to make a prediction for next year --- so stay tuned!

I encourage you all to join this challenge, and out-do yourself!

Happy Reading!

Review: 053805: Life at Fifteen - Robert J. Gagnon

053803 Life at Fifteen
053803: Life at Fifteen - Robert J. Gagnon
Paperback - 336 Pages
Published by R. J. Gagnon Publishing, 2006
Borrowed from Karmin

GoodReads Review:
Before the time of youthful offender camps, a fifteen year old bank robber is sentenced to life in adult prison.  Covering a 9 1/2 year period from 1975 through 1985, the author gives a vivid description of how he survived by using his wits, luck, and creative remedies.  Insightful, informative and at times humorous, prison life is explained from a unique perspective that anyone can relate to.  Thorough descriptions of actual escapes and a prison riot are included along with a breakdown of prison policies and inmate mentality.  

Listed in the National Criminal Justice Referral Service Library as a study aid for its social and educational value.  Currently under review for suggested reading in Florida high school reading groups.

My Review:
I was extremely intrigued by the review of this book on GoodReads.  As a lover of all crime type books I really thought this would be so interesting.  I was getting to go inside prison as a 15 year old boy, and see what things were really like.  

The story started out really slow, and I was hoping that the pace would pick up.  Unfortunately it never did, but overall I was interested in what was going to happen to Robert.  I found myself extremely upset in the beginning because I just can't understand how a juvenile would be charged and sentenced to life in prison for a botched burglary.  I really felt like from the get go he was doomed.  

There were many times throughout the book that I just felt bad for him, however there were many times that I was cheering for him.  He was able to use his wits and humor to make it through 9 years in an adult prison.  While I realized that a lot of the things he described happen, I just didn't realize that the adults in the prison would treat a juvenile the way that they did.  If he wasn't so smart and quick on his feet, I don't know if he would have made it through.  

The ending was heartwarming, and I'm glad to know that eventually everything worked out.  I just was extremely frustrated about how he was treated.  I don't know the laws in Florida, so I don't know if what he did would qualify for life in prison, but even during his parole hearings I thought he was treated like crap.
I really enjoyed all of the descriptions of what went down during his years in prison, and I could really relate to what he was going to (even though I've never been in jail before).  It is much of the same stuff that we go through in the free world, only a little harder.  While his descriptions of the "bossmen" (guards) irked me a little, I'm sure that is how they act.  He portrayed them as jerks that really just liked to beat the hell out of inmates/convicts just to show them who's boss.  You have to think about it from their point of view too.  They've got hundreds of men locked up in a confined area that have all been convicted of a they've gotta show some authority.

I enjoyed the book, however I did feel that it was really slow and some of the grammar and punctuation irritated me.

My Recommendation
I would recommend this to pretty much anyone that hasn't served jail time (and even those that have).  I think that it was a very informative book, and really showed how growing up in prison can affect someone.

3 out of 5 stars

Happy Reading!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Follow Friday (6)

Book Blogger Hop

Follow Friday and Book Blogger Hop are weekly events hosted by Parajunkee and Crazy for Books respectively.  I absolutely love, love, love both of these weekly events!!  It is a great way to promote your blog, as well as find some great blogs to follow!  Hurry back to their sites, follow them, and let the hopping and following begin!

This weeks question comes from Christina who blogs at All About YA Books:

"If you find a book that looks interesting but is part of a series, do you always start with the first title?"

My Answer: ABSOLUTELY!  I have accidentally started series in the middle of a book, and since then have vowed to do my research before I start reading.  I really love series, and I would hate to come into the story late and not understand what is going on.  I've noticed that majority of authors are good about series books still including pertinent information, so if you don't read them in order you would still understand what is happening, but I just think that takes the fun out of it.  Would you start reading a book on page 120?  No, you start on the first page, so why start a series in the middle!

Happy Reading, and Happy Hopping!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (5)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly event held by MizB at Should Be Reading.  I love this event, and love giving a little teaser to my readers.  This can either suck you in to reading the book I'm reading, or make you realize that you don't want to read it! 

The rules are simple:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share 2 "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • ***Please do not include spoilers!***    ((Be sure what you post doesn't give too much away!  You don't want to ruin the read for the next guy!))
  • Share title & author so that other TT followers can add the book to their TBR pile if they like your teaser!
  • Always be sure to check out the host's blog  and leave a link to your TT post!

My Teaser

"First, you can't trust anyone.  Not the people around you, or the guys with notorious reputations."

053803 Life at Fifteen
053803: Life at Fifteen - Robert J. Gagnon

Happy Reading!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Review: Cries in the Desert - John Glatt

Cries in the Desert
Cries in the Desert - John Glatt
Paperback - 288 Pages
Published by St. Martin's True Crime - 2002
Borrowed from Karmin

Goodreads Review:  
In the fall of 1999, a twenty-two-year-old-woman was discovered naked and bleeding on the streets of a small New Mexico town south of Albuquerque.  She was chained to a padlocked metal collar.  The tale she told authorities - of being beaten, raped, and tortured with electric shock - was unthinkable.  Until she led them to 59-year-old David Ray Parker, his 39-year-old fiancee Cindy Hendy and the lakeside trailer they called their 'toy box'.  What the FBI uncovered was unprecedented in the annals of serial crime: restraining devices, elaborate implements of torture, books on anatomy, medical equipment, scalpels, and a gynecologist's examination table.  But these horrors were only part of the shocking story that would unfold in a stunning trial...

My Review:
Without giving it all away, there is no way for me to truly write about this book.  All I can say is, obviously I've been living under a rock, because never in a million years would I think someone this sick and twisted actually existed. While reading this book, there were a few times I had to stop and close my eyes, to escape the creepy, crazy mess that was this book.  Honestly, if you want the pants scared off of you -- take a peek at this book...otherwise...keep to the cutesy, romantic tales...

Recommendation:  I guess the only people that I could recommend this to would be people like me -- interested in true crime, psychology lovers, and maybe just a handful of wacko's...

3 stars -- because it was creepy, and because it kinda dragged on forever and ever...

Happy Reading!

Review: According to Jane - Marilyn Brant

According To Jane
According to Jane- Marilyn Brant
E-Book / Downloaded to Kindle from Amazon
Published 2009 by Kensington

Goodreads Review: 
It begins one day in sophomore English class, just as Ellie Barnett's teacher is assigning Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice".  From nowhere comes a quiet 'tsk' of displeasure.  The target: Sam Blaine, the cute bad boy who's teasing Ellie mercilessly, just as he has since kindergarten.  Entirely unbidden, as Jane might say, the author's ghost has taken up residence in Ellie's mind, and seems determined to stay there.  Jane's wise and witty advice guides Ellie through the hell of adolescence and beyond, serving as the voice she trusts, usually far more than her own.  Years and boyfriends come and go -- sometimes a little too quickly, sometimes not nearly fast enough.  But Jane's counsel is constant, and on the subject of Sam, quite insistent.  Stay away, Jane demands.  He is your Mr. Wickham.  Still, everyone has something to learn about love -- perhaps even Jane herself.  And lately, the voice in Ellie's head is being drowned out by another, urging her to look beyond everything she thought she knew and seek out her very own, very unexpected, happy ending.

My Review:
First let me start off by saying, I've not read Pride and Prejudice, nor anything else written by the Great Jane Austen.  Not because I don't want to, I just haven't gotten around to it.  I guess because mostly this was something that was forced upon me during school, and now that I'm free to read whatever I want...I do.  I surely will give Pride and Prejudice a chance...soon.

I must admit, at first, I thought -- wow, this Ellie chick is whacked out.  She's hearing voices in her head, and not just that --- it is the voice of Jane Austen!  I loved the conversations that Jane and Ellie would have.  They had me laughing, tearing up, and even getting angry at some points.  It is totally appropriate that Jane Austen was residing in Ellie's head (I won't spoil it for you, but Jane discloses her reasoning at the end of the book), especially since Ellie is a nerd, with a big heart.  I probably would have gotten a lot more of the references and homage to Pride and Prejudice had I read that before, but I still thought overall this was a really cute book.

The author, Marilyn Brant did a great job of getting me hooked right from the get-go.  Not being a die hard Jane Austen fan, I find that quite impressive.  As I started reading, I just had to know why Jane was in Ellie's head, and what would happen to Ellie.  I really enjoyed Marilyn Brant's writing style, and will definitely look into other books she has written.

I love, love, love the ending of the book and think it is perfect.  I would not have asked for anything more, as it is exactly what I wanted to happen for sweet Ellie.  I won't lie -- while I did love Ellie, her sister annoyed me throughout the entire book.  I'm pretty sure she was supposed to be an annoying character, but I couldn't help but be angry when I read Di's name, and realized I would have to listen to her blab on and complain about something.  I guess you win some you lose some, huh?

Overall, I liked the book, so I will give it 4 stars, however, (to no fault of the author's) since I haven't read Pride and Prejudice I didn't get a lot of the references that I am sure made the book even better.

My Recommendation: I would recommend this to anyone that is a Jane Austen fan for sure, as well as anyone that loves a sweet little hopelessly romantic tale.

Happy Reading!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Follow Friday (5)

Book Blogger Hop

Follow Friday and Book Blogger Hop are weekly events hosted by Parajunkee and Crazy For Books respectively.  I absolutely love, love, love both of these weekly events!!  It is a great way to promote your blog, as well as find some great blogs to follow!  Hurry back to their sites, follow them, and let the hopping and following begin!

This week's question comes from Vicki who blogs at The Wolfs Den.

"What are your feelings on losing followers?  Have you ever stopped following a blog?"

My Answer:  Okay, personally, I follow like ten thousand blogs.  I don't get a chance to read every single post by every single blogger, but I do spend time scrolling through and seeing if there is a post that I really really really want to read.  The only reason I would ever stop following a blog is if the blogger stopped blogging, or the content started to bore me.  I think when I pick which blogs I want to follow, I do it with the intent that it is something I do like, and will want to continue reading.  I'm not going to just follow blogs just to follow them. 

As far as losing followers, I think that on some level, all of us bloggers feel a little sting when we notice that number drop.  I think that we all pour our hearts into these blogs, and then to see someone stop following you can be somewhat devastating.  I think that if my blog is not living up to someones expectations, I would rather them e-mail me and let me know that my content is lacking, than just drop me.

How do you feel about this?  Do you stop following blogs?

Happy Reading! Happy Hopping! Happy Friday!!


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