Sunday, March 29, 2009
The book that's been on my shelf the longest:
Actually, it's a series of books. I've had a set of 4 Ramona books (by Beverly Cleary) for as long as I can remember. Those books are awesome, and sometimes I still read them now. *sheepish grin*
A book that reminds me of something specific in my life:
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. It was an adorable book, and I remember reading it curled up on my bed right before lunch on Christmas Day.
A book that I acquired in some interesting way:
I am going to say Shiloh here, because I get most of my books in boring ways. I don't remember how I got Shiloh, and that's the most interesting story I have. (Sorry. I know. I'm pathetic.)
The most recent addition to my shelves:
Mackenzie Blue. You can see my review here, and let me just say that I did not like it.
A book that has been with you the most places:
There are two. One is a Mary Poppins one (I'm not sure which one) and the other is The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan. I took both of those on an Europe tour in 2007, during which I visited 8 countries (I think.)
And an extra one:
When I went to India a couple years ago, I got a ton of mystery books by Enid Blyton. They aren't the best books ever, but they are quite interesting, and if you ever have the chance to go to England or somewhere you can get books by this British author, I would definitely recommend her.
For the rules, you can go to Emily Ruth's post here. I'm tagging everyone who wants to do this, because it's fun and everyone should have an opportunity to participate.
I've also received the Sisterhood Award from Jen, who is another fabulous blogger. The rules are here on Jen's post, and this time, I'm passing the award along to...Maya, from allegro!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
by Tina Wells
(coming out in May 2009)
Synopsis (taken from back of book):
Meet Mackenzie Blue, aka Zee She has it all—smarts, talent, humor, and style. . . . Is it enough to survive middle school?
Countdown to a 7th Grade Meltdown
1. Your BFF moves away.
2. Someone steals your diary and reveals your deepest secrets—to the entire class.
3. You have one chance to become a rock star and one chance to totally blow it. Guess what!? All three happened to me! School's a disaster already. Don't get me wrong—I love Brookdale Academy and I have a fabulous crew of friends. (At least, I think I do.) But, if I'm going to survive, I need all the help I can get!
This is probably one of the most negative reviews I will write on this blog. I requested this ARC from HarperCollins, thinking that it would be a quick, fun read. I was completely wrong. The first thing I noticed was the cover, all pink and purple. I started getting apprehensive. Then, I read the first paragraph:
Today I'm kind of blue. Not blue as in Mackenzie Blue, which I always am. (Ew! I can't believe I just made that joke.) This kind of blue is so not even funny. Not even a little.
So, that first paragraph, especially the writing and language, kind of indicated to me that Mackenzie Blue was sort of a chick-flick book. And that point was proved several times throughout the story, with all of the annoying text messaging and obsessions over sequins.
All of the characters were very stereotypical and shallow. I didn't get to learn about anyone in-depth, and everything was very predictable. The whole story was very girly (there was a whole page on book bag designs!) and cliched.
Oh, and one more thing. There were sketches in the book (about one small one every page) which were hideous. They gave me headaches. Everyone had big heads, gigantic eyes, super tiny waists, and giant feet. There were pictures of lipstick, hearts, teen posters, etc. (And they weren't even very well drawn.)
So...basically, Mackenzie Blue is definitely not worth your time. Unless you find such books as above hilarious and entertaining.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
I decided to change things up a little (mostly because there is nothing of importance in both my bag and my backpack). So I'm going to take y'all on a tour of one of my desk drawers. There will be no picture (because I didn't feel like taking one), but I'll try and make everything as descriptive as possible.
Silver, black, white, navy blue, sparkles, polka dots, etc. I don't even know where I got some of them from.
iPod Song Downloading Cord
for my wonderful iPod, which is big and white (first edition)
Two pink Hello Kitty ones and one green Spacemaker one.
Crayons, markers, colored pencils. And also Erasable Markers. Those are very cool. They erase pretty well, except the colors are really faded out and light.
Magic "Invisible" Cards
For magic tricks. The catch is that almost all the cards have a blank side. So that somehow helps with the tricks. (I never managed to pull them off.)
Another lost cause. There are three soft balls with triangular patterns. Each one is red, green, and yellow. I cannot throw more than two at a time.
A Gray Box with a Transparent Lid
This box contains several important things: tons of stickers, small pieces of paper that I wanted to keep, random pieces of junk, a bell that I got from my sister that was supposedly from The Polar Express, etc.
A Goody Bag filled with Ribbons
Courtesy of Borders Bookstore. The ribbons are shiny and silver and red.
I tag anyone who wants to do this. If you do, then post the link in the comments--I want to see all of your posts! (If you do them, of course.)
Also, I want to thank Beth for this. It made me VERY happy. :)
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Nothing But Ghosts isn’t just about ghosts. It’s about discovering the past, the present, and the future. It’s about appreciating the beauty and variety of the natural world. It’s about understanding and loving the people around you. It’s about exploring, seeing, traveling, and living life to its fullest.
NBG tells the story of Katie D’Amore, who’s lived with her father ever since her mother died. While on a summer job, Katie finds herself wrapped up in a fascinating whirlwind of unsolved mysteries and hidden knowledge. Her quest for the truth takes her to the library, where she patiently sorts through seven boxes of “Local Lore” in order to find answers to the lifelong questions she seeks.
In NBG, I felt that the characters were the most developed I’d ever seen in a book. Everyone had their own distinctive personality, from Old Olson’s secretive and grumpy demeanor to Jimmy D’Amore’s enthusiastic and passionate whims. Unlike some other books, I never got annoyed with the characters nor did I find them mundane; on the contrary, I kept discovering more about each character and their personal qualities.
What I really loved about this book was how Katie, piece by piece, solved the burning questions in her mind. Although I couldn’t see how anything would fit together at the beginning, all the small details I’d overlooked started becoming a part of the mystery. Everything started coming together until I could complete the puzzle.
Beth Kephart, other than being a super-nice person, is one of the most evocative and creative authors I’ve ever met. Her elaborate words conjure up such bright images in my mind (and the descriptions of food in NBG always made me hungry!) Many of her sentences were so poetic and singsong, and definitely added to the overall feel of the book. The unique elements in the story (an annoying finch, colorful bottles, an unidentifiable painting, etc.) also accentuated the mystery of NBG and set up the atmosphere for the whole novel, making it (in my opinion) a masterpiece.
Coming out in July 2009.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Madam President by Lane Smith
The Butt Book by Artie Bennett
The Lump of Coal by Lemony Snicket
A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban
A Midnight Clear by Katherine Paterson
Araminta Spookie: My Haunted House by Angie Sage
Charlie Bone and the Red Knight by Jenny Nimmo
Charlie Bone and the Shadow by Jenny Nimmo
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Just Grace and the Snack Attack by Charise Mericle Harper
Long Shadows by Erin Hunter (contains major spoilers)
Mackenzie Blue by Tina Wells
Mackenzie Blue: Friends Forever? by Tina Wells
Mackenzie Blue: The Secret Crush by Tina Wells
Matilda by Roald Dahl
My Sparkling Misfortune by Laura Lond
Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
Shakespeare’s Secret by Elise Broach
The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forester
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
The Runaway Dolls by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin
The Somebodies by N.E. Bode
The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Young Adult (YA) Books
A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner
A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Adventure at Simba Hill by Susan Runholt
A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly
Behind Every Illusion by Christina Harner
Big Fat Manifesto by Susan Vaught
Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
Broadway Lights by Jen Calonita
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors
Dangerous Neighbors by Beth Kephart
Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter
Dream Life by Lauren Mechling
Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst
Enna Burning by Shannon Hale
Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass
Explorer X- Alpha by LM. Preston
Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
Forest Born by Shannon Hale
Heist Society by Ally Carter
How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier
I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder
Into the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst
Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City by Kirsten Miller
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent
North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
Nothing But Ghosts by Beth Kephart
Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies) by Justina Chen Headley
Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter
Out of the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Perchance to Dream by Lisa Mantchev
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George
Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
River Secrets by Shannon Hale
Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian
Scarlett Fever by Maureen Johnson
Slept Away by Julie Kraut
Stealing Death by Janet Lee Carey
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy
The Dragons of Noor by Janet Lee Carey
The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June by Robin Benway
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
The Heart is Not a Size by Beth Kephart
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Miles Between by Mary E. Pearson
The Shadow Thieves by Anne Ursu
Undercover by Beth Kephart
Wayfarer by R.J. Anderson
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon, Dean, and Nathan Hale
Calamity Jack by Shannon, Dean, and Nathan Hale
A Midsummer Night's Dream
As You Like It
Much Ado About Nothing
Romeo and Juliet
113 Things to do by 13 by Brittany and Terri MacLeod
Best Books of 2009
Best Books of 2010
Thursday, March 12, 2009
And also, I'm doing a little renovation on my blog now. I'm trying to organize my posts a little better now and everything, and I may be playing around with the template. I'll try and settle everything soon.
Monday, March 09, 2009
-note: I realized that I'm overusing the words "love," "like," "enjoy," "really," and "interesting" in my book reviews. So I'm going to attempt writing this review without using any of these words. (expanding my vocab...)
Patty Ho has always been teased- teased for her name, her Asian background, her mother, her bad breath (due to the stinky Tonic Soup her mother makes her drink), and basically everything having to do with her. All this changes when her authoritative mother sends her to math camp at Stanford, where her whole perspective on herself and her life changes.
Nothing But The Truth (and a few white lies) is pretty similar to North of Beautiful in terms of its overall message (learning to appreciate yourself), but the method of conveying that message was very different. After reading the first few pages, I was immediately intrigued by the story plot. Patty seemed like a honest, down-to-earth person, and I felt like I was reading her book of truths (which I was metaphorically, not but literally). Also, Patty, being a half-Asian who has to live up to her mother's high expectations and constantly be compared to others, is a highly relatable character--I could totally sympathize with her feelings all throughout the book.
In addition, I was fascinated by Patty's discovery of herself, her friends and family, and the whole world around her. Her friend Jasmine related in many ways to Jacob (from North of Beautiful) in that she challenged Patty to look beyond other people's opinions of her and embrace her inner geek and bravery. Patty's math coach Brian silently helped her by revealing her true potential and just being a good friend to count on in times of need. All of these characters were well-thought-out and developed, and they were woven neatly into the story. Overall, Nothing But the Truth was heartwarming, touching, fun...kudos to Justina for her awesome writing!
* And by the way (after much thought), I decided not to go with ratings on my reviews. My reviews kind of speak for themselves. But if you're interested in seeing my ratings, I have all of them up on Goodreads. *
Sunday, March 08, 2009
layered papers in a collage of wind,
ice, snow, rain
The wind tears apart the clouds, so
blinding with hints of blue
tucked among the curves of the sky,
the tips of craggy mountaintops, and teetering cliffs.
The sun paints black figures as it
drips through the glass and onto
my book of yesterdays.
Saturday, March 07, 2009
The Goose Girl is probably my example of a perfectly-written book. It has all the elements of a perfect story- adventure, magic, and romance, and I just could not put it down. Ani's story was really distinctive for me (having never read the fairytale version of this story), and I loved how she could interact with the wind. The best part of The Goose Girl is that whenever I reread it, I always take away something new and discover things I didn't notice before.
Enna Burning wasn't as good as The Goose Girl for me, but it was enjoyable all the same. Enna's character is so different from Ani's, and it was interesting to read from her point of view. (Go fire!) I just loved the whole story and I reread this book over 20 times. :)
Isn't this cover just luscious? It's probably my favorite Allison Jay cover. River Secrets is just as good. Finally from the point of a male character, Razo, the story tells the tale of the young boy's travel to a neighboring city, where there is a mystery to be solved... For the first time in the Books of Bayern, River Secrets had a hint of mystery in it as well, which I really liked. It was fun to read about Razo's coming-of-age and becoming a man (I loved when he accused Enna of shrinking his pants), especially since he really didn't believe it. :P
Very intriguing book, written in diary formatting. Unlike most other diary books I've read, this one was very serious. Surprisingly, it was the most realistic Shannon Hale book for me, because it seemed to encompass different cultures, lifestyles, and people. Gosh, I should've written this review when I actually remembered most of the book. :-/ But anyways, I had fun reading it, and you probably will too.
Now we come to the Newbery Honor book. And my first Hale book too. It didn't look very interesting from the back summary, but I'm glad I read it, because it was very good. Shannon Hale took the concept of a academy for princesses and transformed it into a school for "mountain girls." Miri was an interesting character as well as Katar, Britta, Olana (she reminded me of Umbridge), etc. etc. Very nicely written and definitely deserves the Newbery.
And I have a question for everyone:
Which of these covers do you like the best? I say The Goose Girl, but most people seem to go with Enna's.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
These are the first two castings for the Lightning Thief movie. I think that Logan Lerman, who is playing Percy, might work out fine, but Brandon T. Jackson for Grover? No. Just doesn't work that way.
So I was feeling very sad about the Grover casting. And then Maya and Maribeth had the ingenious idea to have a mourning party on Goodreads (with virtual smoothies!) It is on March 20th, 8 PM central time, and I hope to see all of you there! :-P
Monday, March 02, 2009
Sunday, March 01, 2009
24 teenagers are thrown into a giant arena where they get to fight each other to the death for several days.
What I Thought of It:
I personally found The Hunger Games to be intriguing, suspenseful, mildly satirical, and very entertaining. The book was an interesting way to portray Darwin's survival-of-the-fittest theory (at least for me) in a complete dystopia. Some parts were funny, some were sad--it was a very nice mix. I've never read anything else like The Hunger Games, and I'm looking forward to Catching Fire.
Sorry for the short review--I'm not really in a reviewing mood right now. I do have one question for everyone who reads my blog: do you think I should add ratings on my book reviews (ie. one star, two stars, three stars, etc.) ?