Sunday, November 28, 2010

Another CSN Stores Giveaway!

For those of you who aren't familiar with CSN Stores, it's an online store that sells a variety of products, from children's luggage to rugs to stationery. If you're looking for holiday presents, CSN Stores is a great option to get all of your shopping done. I just hosted a CSN gift certificate giveaway, and I've received the chance to host another one!

More info:
  • One person will win a $65 gift certificate to use at any of the CSN Stores!
  • Open only to US and Canadian residents (sorry!), and the gift certificate will not cover international fees to Canada.
  • Giveaway ends on Friday, December 10th, 2010.

Because this is a bigger giveaway than the last one, and because it's the holidays, I decided to add in the opportunity to earn extra entries! I want to thank all of my followers and everyone who has supported me so far on this blog. So here's how that will work:

  • +1 for simply filling out the form below and entering the giveaway.
  • +2 for being a follower of this blog, Book Crumbs
  • +1 for every time you link to this giveaway in a blog post, tweet, blog sidebar, etc. (So for example, if you link to this giveaway twice, you will get 2 extra entries.)

To enter, please fill out the form below. After the 10th, I'll randomly select a winner. Good luck!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

I went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 in Imax yesterday! I have to congratulate the director for finally sticking close to the book! I was glad that there were no big changes to the story, and the minor changes fit well and weren't awkward or weird at all.

One thing that disappointed me was how much sitting around there was. I know that most of the first half of the book was just sitting around and going from forest to forest, but I'd hoped that they would add more action in the movie. The action scenes were few and far between, and they were quite short and abrupt as well. Most of the movie focused on the emotional trauma and difficulties that Harry, Ron, and Hermione were going through. The only reason why I wasn't bored was that I knew what was going to happen next, so I could eagerly anticipate it.

I didn't like the casting for Yaxley at all (he was blond, I thought he should have had darker hair and a sharper face), the guy who played Mundungus Fletcher was weird and totally unexpected, but he still kind of worked. The casting for Bathilda Bagshot was spot on and even creepier than I imagined! The scene with her in Godric's Hollow was awesome.

Also, the scene where Dobby dies was so sad! I thought the dialogue in that part was absolutely perfect, especially what Dobby says right before he dies.

I thought that the decision to portray the Tale of the Three Brothers as a creepy animation was a great one - the animation definitely served its purpose and enhanced the story so much!

For those who have watched the movie, I also LOVED the scene with Hermione and Greyback, when she can see him and he can smell her perfume, but not see her due to the protective enchantments! Amazing!

One word of caution for people who are planning to see it - if you haven't read the books, then the movie is probably going to be confusing and/or boring (at least, that's what I think). The storyline can get complicated at times - before the movie, I was trying to explain the story to my dad and it took forever because I had to keep backtracking and explaining side stories of why this character would do this and how Horcruxes are different from Hallows, etc. I know that if I hadn't read the books, I would have had a tough time understanding what was going on. Especially since sometimes, with their British accents (as wonderful as they may be), the actors can be a bit hard to understand, and sometimes they swallowed the words at the end of their sentences.

Overall, though, HP7 Part 1 was a good, dark, and tense buildup to the last movie, which I can't wait to see!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving! Wishing you and your family a very happy holiday weekend. :-)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

CSN Stores Giveaway WINNER!

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in my CSN Stores Giveaway! I used a random number generator to pick the winner, who is...


Congratulations, Evelyn! I've already sent you an email. If I don't get a reply after 48 hours, I'll pick another winner.

If you didn't win, I'm planning on hosting another CSN giveaway soon, so you'll have another opportunity to win a gift certificate. Keep your eyes peeled for that!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dangerous Neighbors

by Beth Kephart

Katherine and Anna are two peas in a pod, two sisters that are so close together than only death can really tear them apart. After Anna's tragic death, Katherine is so filled with sorrow, anger, and guilt that her desire to live fades away; it takes a series of surprises and near-disasters for Katherine to find her way. As we ride through Katherine's memories and current life, the story of her and Anna is slowly unraveled, until the thing that we've all been dying (pardon the pun) to know about is finally revealed.

Dangerous Neighbors is a quietly powerful and poignant novel that kept me enthralled the whole time. It's a lot shorter than I expected it to be - only 166 pages - but I feel that its brevity only enriched the story. Once again, the main thing that stands out in this novel - and all of Beth Kephart's novels - is the writing. All of the words were so deliberately picked, the descriptions were like poetry, and awkward phrases were nonexistent. Kephart can put things into words that the rest of us cannot, and in such a beautiful and touching way as well.

The characters were also a strong point in this novel. I could relate so much to the main character, especially since I have a sister as well, and even if you don't have a sibling, the characters were so endearing. The variety of people was wonderful.

In addition, I loved the setting. I learned so much about the Philadelphia Centennial Fair of 1876 and so much about Philidelphia in general too. The scenery was breathtaking and the events that occurred in the book felt so real to me, just because I knew that many of them had actually taken place in history.

Beth Kephart has this fantastic knack for details that is hard to come by in authors, and her attention to the little things - the meeting of eyes, simple gestures and words - is what truly makes her an exceptional writer.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


A couple weeks ago, my sister and I took a walk around the neighborhood and snapped a couple pictures of the autumn leaves before they fell. Maya's posted a couple up already; here are some more:

Friday, November 05, 2010

The Lost Hero

by Rick Riordan

The Lost Hero is the first book in the Heroes of Olympus series, which is the successor to the wildly popular Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. In The Lost Hero, we get to see new demigods as well as old. Percy, Annabeth, and their friends are still in the series and play major roles, but we have new main characters: Jason, Piper, and Leo (all demigods). And they have major obstacles coming ahead - an ancient enemy worse than Kronos is rising, and bringing the dead and all kinds of monsters with her.

The Lost Hero, although it didn't quite match up to the previous Percy Jackson books, was still a good beginning to the series. Riordan has made several huge leaps in his story, and although I'm not too fond of them, they did keep me entertained. The writing was just as good as usual - the humor felt a little forced, but I'm putting that down to the new narrators, who are a lot more flawed (and a bit more annoying) than Percy. There were a lot of twists in the book, and the ending was a depressing cliffhanger that will probably make everyone go, "What??? Noooo!!!"

It probably sounds like I didn't like the book very much, because I'm pointing out all its problems, but I really did enjoy it. I can't wait for the second book and if you're a Percy Jackson fan as well, this is a must-read.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

CSN Stores Giveaway!

You've probably heard me mention CSN Stores before in previous posts - it's an online store that sells almost everything! Contemporary coffee tables, handbags, artwork... you name it, they've got it. A few months ago, I got the opportunity to review a few CSN products. Now, as a CSN Preferred Blogger, I was given the opportunity to host a giveaway!

So here's how it goes:
  • One person will win a $45 gift certificate to use at any of the CSN stores.
  • Open to everyone *eta: Open only to US and Canadian residents (and gift card won't cover international fees to Canada) ... sorry for the mess up!
  • Giveaway ends on Saturday, November 20th, 2010.

Since this is my first time hosting a giveaway, I've decided to keep it really simple - there won't be any extra entries or anything. To enter, please fill out the form below. A winner will be randomly selected after the 20th.