March 31, 2009

"The Graveyard Book" is Gripping!

"The Graveyard Book"
by Neil Gaiman


Nobody Owen's life is far from ordinary. When he was just a baby, a mysterious man killed his family in the middle of the night. He escaped into a graveyard and was found by the souls living there. The graveyard's residents decide to take him in and figure out a system to care for him. Mr. and Mrs. Owen, a married couple who never had children, take the baby as their own and give him the name Nobody. The graveyard’s “caretaker”, Silas, takes special interest in Nobody bringing him food and supervision. Even though Silas and the other souls look after the young boy, he won’t stay a child forever. As Nobody grows older he yearns to interact with the living; however, he has no protection outside the graveyard walls and a man from his past is still looking to finish the job he started many years ago.

I really loved this book! It was so original that I didn’t really know where it was going to take me next, but I was totally up for the ride. This review is hard to write because I do not want to give anything away. I’ve only read “The Graveyard Book” and “Coraline”, but I feel like Gaiman is a wonderful storyteller who develops an alternative world that seems like something out of a dream; however, he makes the dream world a reality. I truly believe this book deserved both the Cybil and Newbery awards. Nobody’s story is worth a listen; it is filled with mystery and adventure that I could never have imagined.

I have to admit that I could be slightly biased because I do enjoy exploring graveyards. It may sound weird, but they all have different personalities. I bet I’ll be thinking about this book on my next excursion.

Teaser Tuesdays

"Ranger's Apprentice"
by John Flanagan
Excerpt from page 40:
"But then he squared his shoulders and came to a decision. He had known the consequences of being caught."

Teaser Tuesdays was started by MizB on her blog. On Teaser Tuesdays participants are asked to grab the book they are currently reading and open it to a random page. Then fist two "teaser" sentences on that page between lines 7 and 12. The key is to entice readers to pick up the book without giving away any spoilers.

March 26, 2009

Thursday Updates

This week's blog entry is going to focus on movies that I've watched recently.

This weekend I saw "I Love You, Man" and I loved it! It was hilarious and had a great message behind it. If you like Paul Rudd or/and Jason Segel then this is a movie you must see. They both play their roles perfectly and the movie managed to enhanced my huge crush on Jason Segel! If you do not know who Jason Segel is then you need to watch "How I Met Your Mother", "Forgetting Sarah Marshall", "Freaks and Geeks" (he is a dream boat in this movie!), and "Knocked Up". He also has a tiny role in "Can't Hardly Wait" as "Watermelon Guy", which you can view on YouTube.

I also really enjoyed the movie "He's just not that Into You". It was just a lot of fun and basically summed up everything in the book into a couple of hours. I would still suggest reading the book for any female who wants to better understand guys they are in relationships with.

I am also happy to say that I finally got a chance to watch my "Twilight" DVD last night. Of course I saw the movie opening night, but I hadn't gotten a chance to see it since then. Honestly, I don't think I'd enjoy it as much if I didn't think Robert Pattinson was such a hotty. Tall, dark, and handsome... totally my type. Although I have to say that he's no Jason Segel. I would totally date Robert Pattinson but I think I would rather marry Jason Segel... like either of those day dreams will EVER happen! ANYWAY! Other than Robert Pattinson, the next best thing about the Twilight movie is the soundtrack. It has really great songs throughout the whole movie. Especially the baseball scene! That is probably my favorite part of the movie.

"Prom Night" the remake is one of the worst movies I've ever seen. it was just totally generic and unrealistic in so many different ways. I have to say that this is a movie that I wouldn't bother watching. I love horror movies, especially cheesy ones... but there was nothing redeeming about "Prom Night".

Sorry this post is late! I had a lot more to say then I thought!

March 24, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays

"Pride and Prejudice"
by Jane Austen
Excerpt from page 52:
"She then ran gaily off , rejoicing as she rambled about, in the hope of being at home again in a day or two. Jane was already so much recovered as to intend leaving her room for a couple of hours that evening."

Teaser Tuesdays was started by MizB on her blog. On Teaser Tuesdays participants are asked to grab the book they are currently reading and open it to a random page. Then fist two "teaser" sentences on that page between lines 7 and 12. The key is to entice readers to pick up the book without giving away any spoilers.

March 22, 2009

On My Chair

Here are the list of books that I've aquired over the last week (this post was inspired by The Story Siren). I hope at least one of the two sounds interesting!

"Pride and Prejudice and Zombies"
By Seth Grahame-Smith Adapted from Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice"

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains." So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton-and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she's soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers-and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead. Can she vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you'd actually want to read.

I know this book sounds completely ridiculous but that is the appeal! I've been putting off reading "Pride and Prejudice" because I didn't want to get too distracted during school, but this book pushed it up on my reading list. This book is either going to be randomly awesome or laughably horrible. I will soon find out and share my review with you!

by Natsuki Takaya

is an ex-thief trying to give up her criminal past in exchange for an honest life. Joined by former military commander A fantasy adventure from the creator of the world’s #1 shojo manga, Fruits Basket!...KotobukiRaimon, she has turned her illegal ways toward the exciting but simple adventures of finding a "normal" job. But people seeking the Tsubasa, a legendary object that grants its beholder any wish she or he wants, never stop causing them trouble. Everyone is trying to claim it as their own--and use Kotobuki and Raimon's skills to do so!

I haven't read all of the "Fruits Basket" Series, but I love what I've read so far. I find them really funny and completely adorable. Once I saw the cover to this new book by Takaya, I had to buy it. It took me two weeks to cave, but I finally did.

March 20, 2009

"Tantalize" was a Tease

by Cynthia Leitich Smith


Quincie Morris lives in Austen Texas with her Uncle Davidson running her families' restaurant. It used to belong to her parents before they died when she was 13-years-old. As a way to bring in more business, Quincie and her uncle decide to re-vamp the restaurant using a vampire theme. Everything is on schedule until Vaggio, the head chef and their close friend, is mauled to death in the kitchen. To make matters worse, Quincie's best friend and crush, Kieren, is the prime suspect in the murder mainly because he is a "hybrid-werewolf" which is consistent with the brutality of the murder.

Quincie's life is turned upside down not only because of Vaggio’s death, but Kieren is acting distant and Uncle Davidson is always with his new girlfriend. Quincie is starting to feel completely alone until Brad is hired as a new chef. Quincie starts to spend more time with Brad and less with Kieren. She begins to question Kieren’s innocents and is more enticed by Brad with every hour she spend with him.

This was a really hard book to review because overall I did really enjoy the book. It was a quick read and I thought it had a really interesting plot; however, the end of the book was terrible. It was very abrupt and too easy. There was a huge build up towards the end of the book and it just did not deliver. I am left asking myself “what was the point reading the book if it ends this way?”

The reason that the book got a 2.5 is because the first half of the book was really good. I actually stopped listening to the audio of “Eragon” that I usually listen to at the gym in order to read more of “Tantalize”. It would have easily gotten a 3.5 if the end hadn’t been so wretched. I wouldn’t stop someone from reading this book, but I wouldn’t recommend it either. It is definitely a book that you would be best borrowing from the library rather than buying it. Think of it this way… if you borrow it from the library and the end doesn’t ruin the book for you then you read a book you enjoyed; however, if the end does ruin the book for you then at least you didn’t buy it. I’m very happy that I opted to buy “Wake” instead of “Tantalize”… GREAT decision!

March 19, 2009

Thursday Update

Sometimes I want to share random information about stuff I'm watching or anything else that may be fun information other people want to know... but then I never end up posting it because it has nothing to do with books. These posts will allow me to share this information without letting it overtake the main purpose of this blog. I'll try to post these every week, but life sometimes gets in the way of these things.

I was so excited today to find out that Lionsgate obtained the rights to "The Hunger Games". That book is definitely one of my favorites. If you haven't read it yet, you should put it to the front of your reading list! Click here if you want to look at the article about the movie.

Part of the reason I've been slacking a bit on my posts is that I've been watching tons of Sailor Moon. They used to have it on TV really early in the morning when I was a kid so I was only able to watch a few episodes. It is kind of ridiculous... but I love it anyway! Romance, action, adorable, and random... these are a few of my favorite things. ; )

March 15, 2009

Fall into the Underland in “Gregor the Overlander”

“Gregor the Overlander” (Underland Chronicles Series #1)
by Suzanne Collins


When Gregor’s little sister Boots disappears into a hole in their laundry room, a simple morning of doing laundry turns into an unbelievable adventure. Gregor follows his sister deep underground and comes across giant cockroaches that take them into a beautiful city. They soon find that the people who live in there, the Underlanders, will not allow them to go home. After a disastrous escape attempt, Gregor learns about a vague prophecy and finds himself on a quest to locate his missing father. If Gregor is not successful in his mission it will not only mean the end of his father, but possibly the end of the Underlanders as well.

Even though I ended up really liking this book, I had a little bit of trouble getting into it. Overall I thought the book was really great, but for some reason the first 50 pages or so were kind of blah. I’m not sure if part of it has to do with the fact that I spend 8 hours a day listening to children whine and complain, but the character Boots was just annoying me. For the first 100 pages I just wished she didn’t exists. However, once Gregor’s quest began and I read more about the Underland I totally loved the book and had trouble putting it down. I loved the relationships that the bats had with the Underlanders and how there were these class structures based on whether you were bat, cockroach, spider, or rat. I really don’t want to give anything away because there are a lot of wonderful aspects to this book, but I really enjoyed discovering the mysteries of the Underland with Gregor. Collins did a great job making this fantasy world come to life. By the end of the book I really felt connected with all the characters and actually found Boots to be cute! I was pretty bummed out that book had to end; however, there are four other books to the series! I will definitely read more of the series and I’m glad I stuck through the first 50 pages

March 10, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays

"Gregor the Overlander"
(Underland Chronicles series #1)
by Suzanne Collins
Excerpt from page 145
"She hesitated for a moment, then ran for the edge. She and Henry launched into the air like a pair of beautiful birds and vanished, presumably on their bats."

Teaser Tuesdays was started by MizB on her blog. On Teaser Tuesdays participants are asked to grab the book they are currently reading and open it to a random page. Then fist two "teaser" sentences on that page between lines 7 and 12. The key is to entice readers to pick up the book without giving away any spoilers.

March 9, 2009

Contest for ARC of "Eyes Like Stars"

If you are interested in winning a copy of "Eyes Like Stars" by Lisa Mantchev then go to Book Reviews by Jess here and just comment to her post. Your entry must be received before midnight on Sunday, March 15th. The Book sounds REALLY awesome, so read Jess's review (99/100) and enter to win it! I'm definitely entering this contest. : )

March 8, 2009

"Wake" is a Wicked Good Read

by Lisa McMann


Ever wonder what it would be like if you could watch other people's dreams? Lisa McMann explores this idea in her novel "Wake". Seventeen-year-old Janie has been getting sucked into other people's dreams since she was a child. She did a pretty good job about avoiding these spells, but it is not so easy now that she is in high school and has a job working in a retirement home. Janie is having a harder time hiding her secret from the people around her and is learning that these occurrences can be dangerous if she isn't in the right environment.

I thought this book was really great. I loved the whole idea of a girl being dragged unwillingly into other people’s dreams. I have always thought it would be awful to be able to read people’s minds, but this seems like it could be just as bad. I really empathize with Janie because she can’t enjoy simple things like having a sleepover with friends or driving late at night. Sometimes a nighttime drive can be the most relaxing thing, but Janie has to worry about being sucked into people’s dreams… I think McMann did a great job about developing a realistic character in Janie. She has real emotions and character faults. She is very guarded, even around her closest friend. Not only does this make sense because of her dream disability, but also because of the relationship she has with her alcoholic mother.

My only complaint about the book was that it was too short! I spend through the book in a few hours and wanted to read more! Thank goodness there is a sequel out and a third book in the works. ; )

Enter to Win Ten ARCs

The Story Siren is having a contest where you can win 10 ARCs. Some of the book have been released and some have not! All you have to do is go here and reply to her post with your "dream ARC pick." Good luck everyone!

On My Chair

Since I have no room on my bookshelf, I keep the books that I recently bought or borrowed on the chair I read in (this post was inspired by The Story Siren). This week I have:

Gregor the Overlander (Underland Chronicles Series #1)
by Suzanne Collins

When Gregor falls through a grate in the laundry room of his apartment building, he hurtles into the dark Underland, where spiders, rats, cockroaches coexist uneasily with humans. This world is on the brink of war, and Gregor's arrival is no accident. A prophecy foretells that Gregor has a role to play in the Underland's uncertain future. Gregor wants no p
art of it -- until he realizes it's the only way to solve the mystery of his father's disappearance. Reluctantly, Gregor embarks on a dangerous adventure that will change both him and the Underland forever.

"Crank" by Ellen Hopkins

Kristina Georgia Snow is the perfect daughter: gifted high school junior, quiet, never any trouble. But on a trip to visit her absentee father, Kristina disappears and Bree takes her place. Bree is the exact opposite of Kristina — she's fearless.

Through a boy, Bree meets the monster: crank. And what begins as a wild, ecstatic ride turns into a struggle through hell for her mind, her soul — her life.

Book one of "The Bartimaeus Trilogy: The Amulet of Samarkand"
by Jonathan Stroud

Nathaniel is a magician's apprentice, taking his first lessons in the arts of magic. But when a devious hot-shot wizard named Simon Lovelace ruthlessly humiliates Nathaniel in front of his elders, Nathaniel decides to kick up his education a few notches and show Lovelace who's boss. With revenge on his mind, he summons the powerful djinni, Bartimaeus. But summoning Bartimaeus and controlling him are two different things entirely, and when Nathaniel sends the djinni out to steal Lovelace's greatest treasure, the Amulet of Samarkand, he finds himself caught up in a whirlwind of magical espionage, murder, and rebellion.

"Tantalize" by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Quincie Morris has never felt more alone. Her parents are dead, and her hybrid-werewolf first love is threatening to embark on a rite of passage that will separate them forever. Then, as she and her uncle are about to unveil their hot vampire-themed restaurant, a brutal murder leaves them scrambling for a chef. Can Quincie transform their new hire into a culinary Dark Lord before opening night? Can he wow the crowd in his fake fangs, cheap cape, and red contact lenses — or is there more to this earnest face than meets the eye? As human and preternatural forces clash, a deadly love triangle forms, and the line between predator and prey begins to blur. Who’s playing whom? And how long can Quincie play along before she loses everything? TANTALIZE marks Cynthia Leitich Smith’s delicious debut as a preeminent author of dark fantasy.

March 3, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays: "Wake"

Lisa McMann
Excerpt from page 72:
"She also sees him, a raging maniac. A scarred-face lunatic with knife-fingers, who repeatedly stabs, slices, and beheads one middle-aged man, over and over and over again."

Teaser Tuesdays was started by MizB on her blog. On Teaser Tuesdays participants are asked to grab the book they are currently reading and open it to a random page. Then fist two "teaser" sentences on that page between lines 7 and 12. The key is to entice readers to pick up the book without giving away any spoilers. I thought this sounded like a fun way to promote books, so this is my first entry.