Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I met Jenny Lawson

I met The Bloggess, in person... and barely said a word, damn social awkwardness. I wrote this the next day, but am just now gathering the strength to post it. Jenny, if you somehow stumble upon this, Thank you for being you in public, that is an admirable trait.


I was so very excited to meet Jenny last night. I was nervous for a week thinking in short bursts about ramble after ramble to spout at her. Then I promptly lost more an more of those words as I stood in line waiting to meet her.

It wasn't as though I was scared of her, really, but the prospect of this moment being the only impression I could ever make on her. That if I didn't make an impact I would have failed at properly meeting someone I find inspiring, because this would probably be my only chance. (Below is what I wanted to portray, so it addresses Jenny Lawson directly.)

The book store was crowded, and I was alone, spineless. I felt rushed to express something about why your book and your blog meant so much to me. What I got out was the gist of the most important point I had. That you, Jenny Lawson, are an inspiration to all us weird girls out here. It wasn't the most poignant delivery. And by weird I meant every shy, anxiety ridden, different and honest woman trying to be herself and be successful at the same time. For each one of us that doesn't fit society's mold you are a testament to the possibilities.

You inspire me through the pain of not fitting in. Your journey makes me think, maybe I can contribute and live the honest life I've dreamed of for years. Maybe I do have something interesting enough to share. Maybe my honesty will encourage others. This is what you have given me, not only in your blog and book but also your strength to do appearances despite your anxiety. Here in Oregon you were so funny and still so genuine towering over the fear of being surrounded by so many strangers. Possibly because you knew a lot of us were facing the fear of the crowd just to meet you, to thank you, for being you in public and encouraging us all to do the same.

And now for everyone, the lists:

Things that are awesome about meeting The Bloggess:
1. She understands.
2. She said thank you and my squeaking compliments brought tears to her eyes, meaning even if she's heard it from every other fan we are all important to her.
3. She is Hi-Larious
4. You get to be in a room full of people who are "fucked-up in the best possible way."

Not So?:
1. The manager who promised she knew how to use my camera failed to get a picture of me with Jenny, and I didn't know until I got home.
2. I forgot all the words! Then I cried, happy for remembering the most important thing, that it touched her, but also because I was so mad that I let myself feel scared and rushed.

What I wanted to say to The Bloggess:
1. I DID buy your book! Just the audio version, and that is why I only had a picture, not a book, for signing. I am going to frame it and make people jealous, all the people will be jealous!
2. You should totally be able to pick up BITCH Magazine at Book People in Austin, but you have to ask for it.
3. You are awesome. Your insights about writing, through pain, anxiety, and depression give me a weapon to beat my current career depressions and insecurities with.

One day maybe I will be on tour and Jenny will come to see me. We will laugh at the circular nature of life, the tragedies that made us who we are, and how great it all ends up.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Top Six Tips For New Book Bloggers

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

I am still working on my blog -- so I often feel like a new blogger. But these are my thoughts:

  1. A unique opinion in the writing.
  2. Concise content: Rambling is OK every once in a while but usually I, and many others according to surveys, only have a few minutes.
  3. Easy to read: Artistic vision is great but make sure it doesn't distract from the writing (leave your background in the Background).
  4. Have your own touch -- deliver more than facts -- be funny or ranty or inquisitive or whoever you are, just give people something to relate to.
  5. Read and take hint from as many TTT suggestions today from bloggers you like/admire.
  6. Be open to suggestion, and (I know it's hard) criticism. Some people are just mean, some are helpful, some are both.
That's all I have this week, I am going to take my own advise and see what everyone else has to say. If anyone has suggestions I would love to know, and thank you all who read this and who comment, you guys make my week!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Deceiving Ten

Wildefire (Wildefire, #1)
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
  1. Wildefire: The cover is a beautiful and mysterious piece of art (look above) and the synopsis promises crazy times with teenage mythological Gods. It still angers me how shallow and underdeveloped the actual story was.
  2. Ditched: What seemed like it would be cute and light was surprisingly substantial and moving.
  3. The Name of the Star: Fun with the paranormal became a story about making sure you are a person you respect and not letting the world just happen to you. (+ bits of intriguing history)
  4. The Knife of Never Letting Go: A boy chased by an army on an alien world seemed like an interesting sci-fi that would be full of action. BUT this is also a story about truth and hope and all the big questions.
  5. Atlas Shrugged: I thought this super thick philosophy classic would hold important insights but be a typical dredge. Really, though it has some monster monologues, it was rather enjoyable with amazingly complex characters, moments of extreme action and shocking reveals.
  6. Divergent: I thought this interesting debut would be fun but ultimately forgettable in the sea of dystopians. What I discovered were characters I instantly connected with and cared about + can't put it down action.
  7. Anna and The French Kiss: I thought chick flick in Paris, fun but typical fluff. This story is actually unforgettable and moving, and the Paris in the story puts you there in the bustle of a real word, not a fantasy. A world you'll never want to let go.
  8. The Hunger Games: I thought this would be a remake of older "fight the man" stories (Brave New World/1984/etc) with teenagers; unoriginal. But surprise: Katniss is pure, caring, witty, independent and affecting; and the story was able to stand on its own and excite revolutionary thought.
  9. The Fault In Our Stars: I thought nerdy coming of age, emotional with great characters (ya know, typical John Green). It was those things but it was also a real life epic. Life changing without the use of extraordinary circumstance.
  10. Haunted: I sought interesting tales about the dark in some people. The disturbing result  bore into my brain making all people a little frightening after reading a story about what people will subject themselves to for financial freedom and then later survival.
  11. Have you guys read any of these, and were you as surprised as I was? Any suggestions on what surprising novel I should delve into next or completely avoid?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Top Ten Books To Read In A Day

Something, Maybe
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

I took this as what would I read in a 24 hour re-read-a-thon. These are some of my shorter favorites.
  1. Animal Farm: 112 pages. What happens when the animals take over. I remember loving reading this in a history class, but I have lost all the details as to why.
  2. Fahrenheit 451: 179 pages. I love this every time I read it. In a future where individualism is so frowned upon firefighters burn books, one fire fighter's life is turned upside down by them.
  3. Stargirl: 186 pages. This story of a girl that embraces her differences. It is so uplifting.
  4. Poetry Out Loud: 203 pages. This is one of the best poetry collections I've seen. The poetry spans the ages and genres. And all these do lend themselves to being read out loud so it would break up a marathon reading day nicely.
  5. Ella Minnow Pea: 208 pages. A funny love affair with letters, very creatively written.
  6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower: 213 pages. A favorite of mine that is long over due for a re-read. This story takes you through every emotion. A wonderful coming of age story.
  7. Something Maybe: 217 pages. The cutest little story about a girl coming out of her shell after hiding from the spotlight her mother tries to live in.
  8. Angus Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging: 247 pages. The hilarious diary of British teenager in school and in love.
  9. Ditched: 288 pages. Ever look at things the wrong way and mess things up? A desert of a story. Check out my review.
  10. Anna and the French Kiss: 372 pages. Kind of long but if I had a whole day I was using to escape into reading I couldn't resist this beautiful story.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring Fever: Top Ten Books I'd Play Hooky With

Twilight (Twilight, #1)
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

To me, if I play hooky, I want to be transported somewhere else.These are books I know would take me out of the everyday and refresh me. They are like a vacation from my reality.
  1. Twilight: I don't care about the haters out there. This story is romantic and thrilling, it takes you somewhere totally new and of its own. Don't over analyze, this is a vacation.
  2. A Great and Terrible Beauty: These girls go to a magical world they can manipulate. Powerful take you away stuff.
  3. The Fault In Our Stars: If you are ever feeling bad take a walk in Hazel's shoes. You'll feel like you're living your best life today.
  4. Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes: Traveling on a journey led by letters. It's a lot of fun.
  5. The Hitchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy: If this isn't the most fun thing in the universe X 42. 
  6. Necklace of Kisses: Weetzie Bat all grown up and in need of a break. Who can't relate?
  7. Stargirl:  Different in the best ways. If you don't know this girl you should. 
  8. Ella Mnnow Pea: Fun with words and the political worship of "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog". How much fun would it be to live in a world where words are worshiped, before everyone goes crazy at least.
  9. Ditched: This prom night is a deliciously fun story.
  10. Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging: These diaries are the most fun and funniest ever! And they have fun American/British glossaries.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Top Ten Spring TBR List!

Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #1)
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
  1. Born Wicked: Witch sisters in a town that reviles witches. This debut has excited more than all the others I have heard of this year and the reviews have been very good.
  2. Scorpio Races: A magical and dangerous horse race. I wanted to read something by Maggie because I love her blog and I decided to start with what everyone agrees is her best.
  3. Delirium: A dystopian everyone won't stop raving about. Am I the only person who hasn't read this?
  4. The Book Thief: I love the idea  the narration by death. AND the things people say about this book, it makes me feel like I'm a blasphemer against the world of great literature. I must read this... hmm.. I seem to be in a dramatic mood, but that's how I feel...
  5. Youth In Revolt: A boys epic journal, sounds fun and different.
  6. Tithe: It seems most of my favorite writers are crazy about this story and it is a faerie story which is a former obsession of mine. This one somehow has never jumped to the top of my TBR and so I am changing that.
  7. The Sky Is Everywhere: Too many people love this emotional roller coaster for me to pass it up.
  8. Secrets of Simplicity: I have a dream of a simple life and bought this on a whim. I hope it helps.
  9. This Book Will Save Your Life: I love this writer's short stories about the secrets of suburbianism and this story about corporate living-dead sounds just as good.
  10. How I Became a Famous Novelist: My honey bought this for me and this "careful what you wish for" story sounds perfect for me (I might sometimes romanticize the life of famous writers).

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Top 10 Classic Books

Fahrenheit 451
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
  1. King Lear: I love Shakespeare, every play I've seen or read and all the remakes and cameos. King Lear is a story about pretty lies and harsh truths, and I don't think it gets enough attention lately. People who truly love you will tell you the truth and you have to be strong enough accept it.
  2. Frankenstein: Ever feel like you don't fit in? Did it make you mad? This is the classic for you.
  3. Atlas Shrugged: A world built on pity will not survive. The few that do can not shoulder the many that won't forever. At a time when the world wasn't worth holding up Atlas Shrugged.
  4. Animal Farm: Anyone for a little political satire?
  5. A Christmas Carol: Material gains only take you so far. This is a look at what is really important in life with a surprisingly charming and snarky narrator.
  6. Flowers For Algernon: Is there such a thing as too smart? What happens when the greatest gift you're given starts to slip away?
  7. Candide: More satire, and crazy times.
  8. Are You There God, It's Me Margaret: This is the best introduction to becoming a young woman I know of, or have heard of.
  9. Pygmalion: My Fair Lady, Pretty Woman, She's All That.. this book has spawned some of the most fun remakes but the original has something none of the other's do - a kickass prologue from the author's point of view and a whole different ending. All the versions are awesome in my opinion, though.
  10. The Jungle: What a hard hitting look at the industries that built America? The things you learn you will never forget.  
  11. Fahrenheit 451: Had to add this one, because where would a book lover be without it?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Challenge Update

  • TBR Double Dare: I am about two books behind where I'd like to be, but I am loving every book this year so far.
  • Eragon: The first years old TBR I'm picking up and dusting off.
  • I have bought and lusted over new books (didn't want to do that...), but I haven't read them (yea! I have some resolve)
  • I got rid of a book. My first official DNF. I have decided it's ok to accept this book will never be on my read list, it will also never agin breach my TBR to be ignored forever.
  • DAC: Ditched was great. But I have not picked a 2nd DAC yet, I've been grappling over a couple.

Which DAC should I read?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Ask and the Answer

The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking, #2)

Published: September 8th 2009 by Candlewick Press
Pages: 519
Audio Performance: I don't think I would have read this book. The written dialogue is not one I Laugh
could imagine well, and that would have been a shame because it is a wonderful story. I am very glad for this performance.
Part of a Series: Chaos Walking #2 ***Read this review at own risk. If you have not read the first in the series moments could be spoiled***
Read For a Challenge: No
Recommended By: The gut-wrenching cliff-hanger of the The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking #1)
Teaser: "Better the devil you know... I wonder why the only choice is between two devils."
In a sentence or so:
*Rating: 9/10
GoodReads Description:
Reaching the end of their tense and desperate flight in THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO, Todd and Viola did not find healing and hope in Haven. They found instead their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss, waiting to welcome them to New Prentisstown. There they are forced into separate lives: Todd to prison, and Viola to a house of healing where her wounds are treated. Soon Viola is swept into the ruthless activities of the Answer, aimed at overthrowing the tyrannical government. Todd, meanwhile, faces impossible choices when forced to join the mayor’s oppressive new regime. In alternating narratives — Todd’s gritty and volatile; Viola’s calmer but equally stubborn — the two struggle to reconcile their own dubious actions with their deepest beliefs. Torn by confusion and compromise, suspicion and betrayal, can their trust in each other possibly survive?

1. Type of story: YA Dystopia/Fantasy (Free 1 point)
2.Consistency: No fail. (1 Point)
3. Flesh: The love the main characters feel for each other, the insanity of a tyrant, and everyone in between doing what they can just not to be murdered. (1 Point)
4. Flow: Dragging survival. It moves at a day to day pace, just making it. (1/2 Point)
5. Character Growth: From young adults to hearts of leaders. From running towards hope somebody's got to do it. (1 Point)
6. A Point/ Purpose/ Journey: Love, see number 8. (1 Point)
7. Witty Dialogue: Adding Viola voice does add a little. The way I'd describe the voices here, though, is pure. (1 Point)
8. Love: Todd and Viola sharing so much love they would sacrifice anything to save the other. Many levels of love and the strength derived from it. (1 Point)
9. Evoke Realistic Images: The first book was about the world, this is more about the people. The descriptions of Mayor Printess, Davey, Spackle, The townsfolk of Haven. I can picture them all so clearly just thinking about the book, it's like I've met them. Actually more like I've observed them, I can see them in detail. (1 Point)
10. Writing/Story telling: This one has a grungy drag to it. It starts out with Todd, beaten and without Viola and just goes through violence, violence, so mach violence it stops touching you. The last quarter is when I remembered why I was so obsessed with this story. (1/2 Point)

Reread Worthy: Only as a whole series reread.
Recommendation: Can you handle the violence without getting jaded and then bored? There is a meaning here in this part, but it is the middle of a bigger picture, it's more dull than the first story, this one could not stand alone, also can't be left behind.

*Click Rating to see post about my 10 aspects of a great book.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Top Ten Favorite Covers

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

I love a lot of covers. I hate to say it but it is often the cover that gets me. With so many books in the world my attention must be grabbed. Though attractive covers get my attention if they don't relate well to the story beautiful covers are ultimately forgettable. These are some favorites I feel relate well to the stories within.

Ella Minnow PeaLamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood PalAnna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1)

1. Ella Minnow Pea: Everything about this book expresses a love for language in a fun and slightly silly way. This cover expresses the whimsical nature of a story about a town that loves the alphabet and their interesting politics.
2. Lamb: An imagination of what Christ was like as a young man is wonderfully captured here. I think this special edition is bond like a gospel and it fits perfectly.
3.Anna Dressed In Blood: This girl floating here -- Beautiful, long black hair, gorgeous white dress from her first young adult party, ... and her blood staining white red, so much blood, her blood -- is a girl rightly bent on revenge from being cut down in the prime of her life. The cover is eerie and strong and unforgettable, just like Anna.

White OleanderSpeakLooking for AlaskaAtlas Shrugged

 4.White Oleander: Life really beats down on Astrid. This cover expresses that feeling for me, of being exposed and open to people and getting destroyed, face in the ground, over and over.
5. Speak: Trees live so long, see so much, they hide our secrets. This imagery expresses the emotions of the main character hiding her pain, being stoic, and quiet; unable to speak the truth.
6. Looking For Alaska: The story is mysterious and lovely, the labyrinth is mysterious and lovely, Alaska is mysterious and lovely. Just like smoke. There are also inferences to candles that can be taken after finishing the story.
7. Atlas Shrugged: When the people of the world were no longer worth holding up Atlas Shrugged. I love Greek mythology and the reference to the few people who are the driving force of this world as Atlas.. I just love it.

Where the Sidewalk EndsA Monster CallsFahrenheit 451

8. Where The Sidewalk Ends: It is very literal and amusing. It is my favorite book from childhood and I think the accent of Shel's art to his writing sealed the deal.
 9. A Monster Calls: The Green Man comes walking with stories of the complicated nature of humans. The Illustrations in this book are amazing. Check out my review.
10. Fahrenheit 451: A burning man, to me, shows the growth of the character in the story -- from a man that blindly follows orders to burn books to the internal burning of the questions he must answer after seeing people who would sacrifices their lives rather than be without literature.

This was more difficult than I thought it would be. What criteria did you judge your favorites by?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Review: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars

Published: January 10th 2012 by Dutton Juvenile
Pages: 318
Part of a Series: No
Read For a Challenge: The TBR Double Dare
Recommended By: Hank Green
Teaser: "Some infinities are bigger than other infinities."
In a sentence or so: Don't let death take you before it takes you for good. Live, love, laugh with everyday you're given.
*Rating: 10/10
GoodReads Description:
Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

1. Type of story: YA Contemporary/Romance (Free 1 point)
2.Consistency: This is like a joke to discuss with loved, established authors such as John Green. John and his loved publishing team have proven time and again their worth in this area; TFIOS is no exception. (1 point)
3. Flesh: Pulsing bleeding, human flesh and bones. These characters are so real, and often they are in real pain. (1 point)
4. Flow: Runs as I imagine a short life must run. Or how my life runs with a goal and a deadline. This story isn't rushed and it isn't action!action!intrigue! but it most definitely is not slow. It travels at a pace that includes what is necessary to feel all the things but doesn't waste time with anything unnecessary.
5. Character Growth: These characters are pretty great people to begin with, but they do learn a bit about human relationships.
6. A Point/ Purpose/ Journey: Living your best life, today.
7. Witty Dialogue: A whole new level! Witty, literary, and dry humor laughing in the face of a disease that destroys many. These characters refuse to let cancer kill them before they're really dead.
8. Love: This book is all love, in all types.
9. Evoke Realistic Images: This TFIOS universe wants you to acknowledge it and it has been created worthy of your attention. So much does TFIOS make you notice in the story that when ripped to reality you notice our universe anew.
10. Writing/Story telling: John Green, I have loved your work for a while and thought your style was pretty well established, but then BLAM! You hit another level. This story is a lifetime favorite kind of story - a change your life outlook book, a yearly reread.

Reread Worthy: Hell yeah, I wanted to reread right away. Unfortunately my TBR is glaring at me.
Recommendation: Everyone who wants to truly live their lives to the fullest.

*Click Rating to see post about my 10 aspects of a great book.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Top Ten Books I'd Give A Theme Song To

I've never thought of this before, I enjoy that the stories exist in my imagination and I think adding music might change the view.  So for this I just took some random favorite books and matched them with favorite songs with similar sentiment. Hope you like the matches.

  1. Ditched: A Love Story: Like You by Bow Wow and Ciara (I ain't never had nobody show me all the thiings that you done showed me And the special way I feel when you hold me)  -- This song has the same feelings of girl trying to win all theromantic attentions of someone she's deemed amazing.
  2. Knife of Never Letting Go: Maiden Calling (oh don't deceive me. oh never leave me.) --This is the song in the story and it will eat your heart.
  3. Fahrenheit 451: Slept So Long ( touching you makes me die inside, touching you makes me feel alive) -- Expressing the thrill of knowing literture though it's forbidden.
  4. The Fault In Our Stars: Iris by The Goo Goo Dolls (And I don't want the world to see me Cuz I don't think that they'd understand When everything's made to be broken I just want you to know who I am) -- Agustus and Hazel connect over what most of the world just can't understand.
  5. Confessions of Georgia Nickleson: Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Lepperd (come on fire me up) - I can see Georgia dancing to this, it's just as crazy as she is.
  6. Weetzie Bat: So Sick by Flyleaf (I'm so sick infected with where I live. Can't we live without this emptyness, selfish.)-- Weetzie refuses to live life on everyone elses terms.
  7. Fight Club: Bodies by Drowning Pool (Nothing wrong with me...Something's got to give) -- A life going nowhere, it's time to make a change or lose your mind, or both...
  8. Safety of Objects: I Write Sins not Tragedies by Panic! At the Disco (I chime in with a "Haven't you people ever heard of closing the god damn door?!") -- All the secrets of the suburbs revealed.
  9. Anna Dressed In Blood: Sarah Yellin' by 3 Doors Down (This time it's over I' gonna make it end. Now it's over, the old man is dead.) A bad girl ghost; strong, evil and vengeful.
  10. Awaken: Loose Lips by Kimya Dawson (we won't stop until somebody calls the cops and even then we'll start again and just pretend that nothing ever happened) -- Fighting for what's right and not giving up on humanity.
  11. White Oleander: Bleed by Anna Nalick (And the edge of your sword isn't sharp enough for me
    To bleed)--
    Anyone with an overshadowing mother can relate.
  12. The Taming of the Shrew: Joan Jett And The Blackhearts Bad Reputation (A girl can do what she wants to do and that's What I'm gonna do An' I don't give a damn ' bout my bad reputation) I think that expains it all.
WOW that was hard. Opinions?

    Thursday, February 23, 2012

    Wither by Lauren DeStefano

    Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1)

    Published: March 22nd 2011 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
    Pages: 358
    Part of a Series: The Chemical Garden #1
    Read For a Challenge: The TBR Double Dare
    Recommended By: The Story Siren
    Teaser: "They keep us in the dark for so long that we lose sense of our eyelids. .....We've gone too long without speaking, and all we do is  bury ourselves more into the dark."
    In a sentence or so: What would you choose: Freedom and the dangers of a poverty stricken and dying world or life as one of many wives to a rich man (a pretty dream placed atop an ugly imprisonment).
    *Rating: 8/10
    In the future the diseases plaguing 2012 are abolished . The new generations have healthy but brief lives in poverty and fear leaching whatever joy they can get in their 20 (females) to 25 (males) years. Rhine's life changes when she's kidnapped and forced to marry a rich man. This is her journey through being a prisoner in a lush mansion but missing her old life because the old hardships come with freedom, truth, and her twin brother.
    1. Type of story: YA Sci-Fi (Free 1 point)
    2.Consistency: The writing in this book was surprising. Only three years older then me and Lauren DeStefano has given me gold in her first book. Very consistent. (1 point)
    3. Flesh: The characters include a collection of people in different levels of complacency in their mansion/prison. The husband, House Governor Lindon is surprisingly ignorant and gullible, the other wives carrying different pasts to make them OK with what life has handed them, the servants frustrated with how unimportant and replaceable they feel in a place that has become their whole world, and Rhine who is struggling with her identity, need for her freedom and her brother and growing connection to the people she now shares her life with. Rhine serves as a very worthy narrator. (1 point)
    4. Flow: This story is mysterious and intense but in a soft way. It's slow but not in a bad way. The story is introspective. (1 point)
    5. Character Growth: Rhine learns a lot about the complicated nature of humans and the shades of grey in life. But she has a ways to go. If there is anything I could get from the sequels it's seeing how Rhine grows and who she ends up becoming. (1/2 point)
    6. A Point/ Purpose/ Journey: There is the journey towards escape and hope. But more importantly (in MHO) is the journey towards self discovery. (1 point)
    7. Witty Dialogue: Jenna the oldest wife is quiet experienced and observant. She gives most of the wit. Rhine has her moments but most of the story is spent in her over taxed head. Not much time for wit when you spend your time worrying about the death of everyone you care about and escaping before those deaths happen. She is often too worn to be witty. (1/2 point)
    8. Love: There are many strong feelings and inklings of love, but the lives these live are so over run by lies and the weight of quickly pending death, at a time when most are barely becoming their full selves. (1/2 point)
    9. Evoke Realistic Images: I could see the dirt and horror washed over by glitz and glamour in every scene. I could see the eyes of the teenage girls, used until death then thrown carelessly into the cold, I could see the  big lighted marquees and holograms so real you have to touch them that were projected to keep the eyes of the rich off the gruesome realities. Garish imagery very well done. (1 point)
    10. Writing/Story telling: It was interesting. The changes in the world seem well thought out. The only thing is the end, I don't know what's coming next, but I'm not sure if I need to. This ending could have been the end of the story letting readers imagine what they would like. (1/2 point)

    Reread Worthy: Yes, I am definitely seeing this as a story I can enjoy years down the line.
    Recommendation: Fans of Sarah Dessen (especially Dreamland or The Truth About Forever), The Name of The Star, White Oleander, or Divergent
    *Click Rating to see post about my 10 aspects of a great book.

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012

    Top Ten Books I'd Quickly Save If My House Was Going To Be Abducted By Aliens

    A Light in the Attic Where the Sidewalk Ends Falling Up
    Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
    1. Shel Silverstein's Poem collection: This is actually three books but they are the books I've owned the longest. This was my first favorite author at 7 years old, and the first person's death I cried over at 12. Wonderful books that can bring people together and bring a smile to a child's face. Pictured above: A Light in the Attic, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Falling Up.
    2. Fahrenheit 451: This is a book I have read many times and really expresses my love of literature.
    3. The 100 Best Poems of All Time: I can always find a poem to express how I'm feeling and comfort me in this book.
    4. You Are Here, This Is Now: There are some wonderful stories in this (especially one involving Oreo sponsership) and I dont think it would be easily replacable.
    5. Ella Minnow Pea: Another that explores the love of language.
    6. White Oleander: One of my favorites. This goes through many emtions and is a beautifully written slow read that I could enjoy over an over again just as much as the first time.
    7. Atlas Shrugged: This is a long story I could read over and over. And the copy I own is littered with sticky tabs of my favorite points, from when I wrote a paper on the book.
    8.  The Fault in Our Stars: I haven't even finished this but I can tell it will be a favorite, and a favorite to reread.
    9. A Collection of Readings for Writers: I have the forth edition; a gift I think would be near impossible to replace. Though I haven't read much of it I always felt it would make me a better writer as I did.  
    10. Canterbury Tales: I haven't read all the tales, but I like the ones I have. And I have the beautiful goldleafed copy below.
    Canterbury Tales
      What do you guys think? Would you pick all favorites or some you've never read?

    Thursday, February 16, 2012

    Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

    The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1)
    Published: Published May 2008 by Walker
    Pages: 479 (11 hours 55 minutes)
    Audio Performance: I don't think I would have read this book. The written dialogue is not one I Laugh
     could imagine well, and that would have been a shame because it is a wonderful story. I am very glad for this performance.
    Part of a Series: Chaos Walking #1
    Read For a Challenge: No
    Recommended By: Forever Young Adult
    Teaser: "Early one morning, just as the sun was rising, I heard a maiden call from the valley below. "Oh, don't deceive me. Oh, never leave me. How could you use a poor maiden so?""
    In a sentence or so: In a world where Todd can hear everyone's thoughts, even his dog's, a sudden silence surprises him. A month before an integral birthday Todd's discovery turns his world upside down and he is now out running an army made of men he thought he knew.
    *Rating: 9/10 (9.5 for the Audio version)
    GoodReads Description:
    Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee -- whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not -- stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden -- a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.

    But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?

    1. Type of story YA Dystopia/Fantasy (Free 1 point)
    2.Consistency: Flawless. I am starting to fall in love with Mr. Ness (or at least his writing) because I don't even think about it when I'm reading. (1 point)
    3. Flesh: Heart strings get plucked. Oh my, the passion I felt for the dog  is enough to tell you how powerfully these characters were written. Manchee! I love you, you are the best dog ever. Who doesn't wish they could talk to their dog? And Manchee thinks like a real dog: loyal, protective, easily distracted and a little simple ("Poo, Todd?"). Characters to hate, to fear, and to adore. (1 point)
    4. Flow: Fast! There are very few slow scenes in this story. All action here, and when there isn't action you'll be anticipating the running because, you know, THEY ARE BEING CHASED BY AN ARMY! (1 point)
    5. Character Growth: Todd is waiting for his thirteenth birthday to become a man, a tradition in his town, we all know though that age is just a number. On his journey Todd learns what being a man is, the tough choices of being a good man and many other lessons. This book is intense, and it is only the first part of a trilogy. (1 point)
    6. A Point/ Purpose/ Journey: Todd is running away from an Army and towards truth and hope, hope against horrible odds. (1 point)
    7. Witty Dialogue: The dialogue is indicative of Todd's up bringing. He didn't get to finish school because the schools were all abolished. I had the audiobook and was glad for it because I got to live in the emotions of characters instead of their dialogue. Of course there was a little wit, these characters are fully formed people, you'll care about them like they're your real friends. (1/2 point)
    8. Love: Family love, inklings of love, learning about how people fall in love, grief of love lost, love in the caring of strangers, and the love you will feel these people. (1 point)
    9. Evoke Realistic Images: The imagery was minimalist in the description but in a good way. It was just enough to spark the interest and let your own imagination run. I could see New World very clearly. (1 point)
    10. Writing/Story telling: You know how I said I falling in love? This guy knows how to capture an audience. He will torture you in this story but you will never turn away. Very character driven (phonetically written to truly express the voice of Todd). (1/2 point)

    Reread Worthy: Eff yeah!
    Recommendation: Can you handle the pain? Well then this is don't miss. And if you have a hard time getting in the groove with grammatically loose books may I suggest the audio which will blow your mind, make you swoon and bring you to tears.
    *Click Rating to see post about my 10 aspects of a great book.

    Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    Top Ten Books That Broke My Heart A Little

    White Oleander
    1. White Oleander: Oh Astrid, so dragged through the dirt. A life of satisfying other people's agendas and overcoming to find herself. Yeah, this is a gut-wrenching story but it is also so good.
    2. Knife of Never Letting Go: The most common comment I have read about this book is it makes your heart leak out your eyeballs. It is violent, torturous, but it is so worth it.  
    3. A Monster Calls:  Patrick Ness you are a heartbreaker. This guy, I am new to him, and he just drags you through the dirt until you're screaming and you'll do whatever he wants. And Patrick wants the truth, the whole screaming, dirty truth of you. At the end you are torn but you're a better person and you just want him to torture you a little more.
    4. Before I Fall:  Life is short, some more so then others, will you be happy with what you've accomplished? You've probably learned these lessons before but they were well delivered.
    5. Looking for Alaska: This story, BAM, it hits you hard. And TRUTH (is this a trend here?) and pain and mysteries!
    6. The Jungle: Dark gritty secrets of being an immigrant in Chicago 1906 are revealed and the family featured has it tough . This story has violence and dirt, death and disgusting sacrifices. It is, also, the most touching and life changing book I read in high school.
    7. Weetzie Bat: Fairytale world meets hazy punk LA. Francesca Lia Block builds a world in a soft pink smog and thicker in emotion.
    8. Divergent: A broken world has five different factions of beliefs on how to rebuild. At 16 one must chose their faction. This is the journey of a girl choosing her faction and hope, against hope, that they choose her back and she survives initiation. Then there is a disturbance bubbling under the shaky peace the world is in. Every second of this story is walking on some edge.
    9. Awaken: Electronic are great, but do they break us apart. The lies we accept from false images has allowed us to hide from each other. Can we get the connections back?
    10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower: This is a roller coaster of a story. Those lows man they are low, but I shed happy tears at some points in this story too,and that is just an indescribable feeling.

    Thursday, February 9, 2012

    Review: Bossypants by Tina Fey**

    Published: April 5th 2011
    Pages: 277 (5 hours 31 minutes)
    Part of a Series: No
    Read For a Challenge: No
    Rating: 4 Goodreads stars
    GoodReads Description:
    Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.

    She has seen both these dreams come true.

    Genre: Comedy/Memoir
    Writing Style: I was drawn in by Tina Fey's writing. Her stories were amusing and interesting portraying her messages smoothly.
    Her Point: This was a memoir of sorts but the recurring theme that tied a story together was women being themselves and abandoning the image of what society says we are supposed to be, and not "giving a fuck if they like it". ("they" being those who perpetuate this stereotypical girly barbie-like image of woman and try to stand in the way of our differences being celebrated.)
    Voice:  Witty, Snarky, Funny, Genuine, and Caring.
    Flow: Like a nice gift: a strong message snuck in without disturbing the quick easy fun.

    Rolling on the floor laughingAudio Performance: Well fitted. I am so glad Tina read this herself, it doesn't seem like any other would have been as good, especially as extra content was added that pertained only to the audio book format.
    Complaints: The message isn't a new one, that's for sure, but Tina approached this from her own experience making the message feel genuine. This is worth reading (or listening to) even though you learn nothing new about the message.
    Bonus: Pictures! (included as a PDF with audible audiobook.)

    **After trying to do my review for this book by the criteria I set up I realize it doesn't apply to non-fiction books well. I will set up a criteria for non-fiction soon.**

    Tuesday, February 7, 2012

    Top Ten Books You'd Hand To Someone Who Says They Don't Like To Read

    The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1)

    The Name of the Star: Jack-The-Ripper, ghosts, boarding school in England, and the legendary wit of Maureen Johnson. It is just so thrilling. I stayed up hours past my bedtime, happily sacrificing sleep for the next page.

    Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading: It's about a person who avoids books! It is hilarious and shows how much stories impact our lives, no matter what. 

    Uglies: A wild ride. A cliche saying but it was. Around every turn you wondered would the authorities be there? What would happen if they were? And was the life the authorities offered actually better than fighting for the alternative? I think the subjects posed affect us all these days and I've had success with a "non-reader" getting interested in this one before.

    Candide: It was so much fun and short AND SO MANY WILD THINGS happen! It could change anyones' mind about what Classics contain.

    Anna Dressed In Blood: From the first sentence the narrators voice is gripping. Snark in the best way. Then there is Anna, scary, tragic, killer, and unforgettable to get to know.

    Down and Out in Paris and London: Semi-autobiography, that is entertaining, and shows that we written accounts of real life can be well written. This book is interesting enough for me to take another look at non-fiction (even though some classify it as fiction, so this one does blur the line), which I usually find too dry to be anything but work. I feel it would be the same for others.

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Any nerdy or geeky person should have this book in their repertoire. And most people I know fall into those categories. The tangents and cultural references make it enjoyable and unmissable.

    American Gods: A story of worship. The original Gods are being replaced, forgotten because of what the modern person worships, like TV and Highways. Who of us can't relate? And it is well written and the characters are well developed.

    Lamb: Christian influence is something I think most people have been effected by, and because of that I think a well thought out and funny look at a young Christ's life would be an intriguing tale for even those who don't really read.

    The Perks of Being a Wallflower: I remember this book being such an impact on me. The narrator addresses the reader as this friend he's writing to, it's like you're let into the greatest secrets in his life and at one of the biggest turning points of his lifetime. It's amazing.

    You guys read these? Have you gotten any reluctant friends to read any of them?

    Thursday, February 2, 2012

    Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

    A Monster Calls

    Published: September 27th 2011, Candlewick Press
    Pages: 215 pages
    Part of a Series: No (inspired work from final story idea of Siobhan Dowd)
    Read For a Challenge: The TBR Double Dare
    Recommended By: Forever Young Adult
    Teaser: "Stories are the wildest things of all, the monster rumbled. Stories chase and bite and hunt."
    In a sentence or so: Life is hard and humans are complicated creatures. This is a story of Charlie facing the whole truth of life.
    *Rating: 10/10
    GoodReads Description:
    This is an extraordinarily moving novel about coming to terms with loss. The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming. . . .

    This monster, though, is something different. Something ancient, something wild.

    1. Type of story: Children's Horror/Grief (Free 1 point)
    2.Consistency: It's such a powerful moment in this character's life any deviation would have ruined everything, so I'm glad to say Mr. Ness maintained very well. (1 point)
    3. Flesh: The best monster ever! The Yew Tree, The Green Man, whatever you chose to call him. He can be frightening, could crush you if you should be punished or he could have come walking to teach you in a slightly more gentle, life-changing way. And Charlie - so strong on the outside, but needing desperately the attention and stories the monster comes to bring. And the few characters that jump from the mist Charlies life has become are impactful in hurtful or dismissive, or caring blips, and they're all wonderful. (1 point)
    4. Flow: Up and down like the life the main character is living -- daytime is grey, soft,  passive; nights are action and horror...nightmares... monsters. (1 point)
    5. Character Growth: Strength, truth, acceptance, these are all hard lessons and even more difficult virtues to maintain through life's most difficult times. (1 point)

    6. A Point/ Purpose/ Journey: The power of truth, the lessons in stories, and the complication of real life and real people.(1 point)

    7. Witty Dialogue: Not exactly-- it wasn't the wry humor I normally crave but it was wise and touching dialogue.(1 point)
    8. Love: The human condition - love being necessary is present and possessing; but the love expressed here is only of the familial kind. (1 point)

    9. Evoke Realistic Images: Illustrated! Beautiful Illustrations, but the writing is also so imaginative. The words will knock your breathe out and they would make any lesser artist useless. The illustrations go wonderfully with the words. (1 point)
    10. Writing/Story telling: The writing seemed to personify The Green Man character. It was like story time with an ancient. Observant, teaching, enthralling, and entertaining. (1 point)

    Reread Worthy: Often - within these pages are lessons I need to regularly be reminded of.
    Recommendation: Everyone! (If they're old enough to understand serious illness and guilt, love and the complications of a real human life.)

    *Click Rating to see post about my 10 aspects of a great book

    Tuesday, January 31, 2012

    Top Ten Books I Think Would Make Great Book Club Picks

    I have never been in  a book club so I will be kind of winging this.. These will be stand-alone novels, 200-400 pages, conversation starters, with somewhat wide appeal.

    1. The Lovely Bones: A devastating murder and what happens after to those involved. The murderers life, the victims take on an afterlife, and the after effects on her family and friends.
    2. The Bermudez Triangle: A fun and touching tale dealing with first love and GLBT issues.
    3. The Jungle: A classic that exposes the dirty underside of living and working as an immigrant in turn of the century Chicago.
    4. Awaken: When was the last time you looked someone in the eyes and felt comfortable? When was the last time you met someone new and hugged them because you hit it off so well? This digital age connects us in so many ways, but does it disconnect us in the most important ways?
    5. Smack: Two teenagers in love run away and get caught up in a dark drug filled world.
    6. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things: A story of never fitting in from the perspective of a narrator who is refreshingly blunt and witty.
    7. A Monster Calls: This novel goes through topics of strength in grief, the power of stories, the complicated nature of humans, and the importance of truth in our lives.  
    8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower: This book has so much in so few pages... It's a story of growing up, of embracing life and of facing truth.
    9. Ella Minnow Pea: On a more fun note this is a story about the love of words. Would you be able to communicate effectively if letters of the alphabet were banned?
    10. Speak: girl is ostracized at school after calling the police at a party, but the real problem haunting her is the secret she's keeping, the reason she called the cops in the first place.   

    Have you guys read these? What do you think? Do you agree with my choices? Would you join my bookclub?

      Thursday, January 26, 2012

      Review: Ditched by Robin Mellom

      Published: January 10th 2012, Disney-Hyperion
      Pages: 288
      Part of a Series: Stand Alone
      Setting: Small town America
      Read For a Challenge: 2012 Debut Author's Challenge
      Recommended By: Allison at Reading Everywhere
      Teaser: "You must be a scumbag too, Ian. You took me to prom and I ended up in a ditch!"
      In a sentence or so: Justina is retracing a prom night gone awry by following the map on her dress: it's literally stained with bad memories.
      *Rating: 9.5/10
      GoodReads Description:
      High school senior Justina Griffith was never the girl who dreamed of going to prom. Designer dresses and strappy heels? Not her thing. So she never expected her best friend, Ian Clark, to ask her.
      Ian, who always passed her the baseball bat handle first.
      Ian, who knew exactly when she needed red licorice.
      Ian, who promised her the most amazing night at prom.
      And then ditched her.
      Now, as the sun rises over her small town, and with only the help of some opinionated ladies at the 7-Eleven, Justina must piece together — stain by stain on her thrift-store dress — exactly how she ended up dateless. A three-legged Chihuahua was involved. Along with a demolition derby-ready Cadillac. And there was that incident at the tattoo parlor. Plus the flying leap from Brian Sontag's moving car...

      1. Type of story: YA Contemporary/Romance (Free 1 point)
      2.Consistency: Flawless, so much so I didn't even think about it until writing this review. No chinks in the story, nothing that pulled me out. (1 point)
      3. Flesh:This book wasn't trying to break any stereotypes. These are all characters we've loved before, friendly stoners, full of themselves popular people, great boy-next-door best-friend, etc. Then there is Justina, who narrates her way through the night sprinkling in bits of her reputation as "The girl at that party" a former make-out queen. All imaginable together and fun. (1 point)
      4. Flow: Perfect for making me want more. I had to keep reading to find out how the story would all end. This story ebbs and flows, rushing to tell you some juicy bit then pausing as the main character analyzes and hesitates with the next truth of her prom night.  (1 point)
      5. Character Growth: Justina starts off with a very assumptive nature and grows by connecting the truth of the night's events. (1 point)
      6. A Point/ Purpose/ Journey: An oldie but goody: when you assume what do you make? (1 point)
      7. Witty Dialogue: The dialogue was more straightforward. Each character's speech matching their archetype. There were a couple moments, though. (1/2 point)
      8. Love: Oh Yeah.... Chicka, chick-aahhhh.Prom night could turn Justina's Boy-next-door BFF into her own professional boyfriend. But everything goes awry and she has to figure out how her plans failed so badly. (1 point)
      9. Evoke Realistic Images: This book has a few black and white photos to assist, but they really just back the narrator as she recalls her night by recalling how she got each stain on her dress. This tie to her dress made the recounting very visual and easily imaginable. (1 point)
      10. Writing/Story telling: Sometimes corny and totally predictable, but oh so sweet and irresistible. This story is like a Cinnabon, only better (healthier) for you. The writing is simple, minimalist, conversational, and un-distracting. (1 point)

      Reread Worthy: Definitely, anytime I'm in need of losing myself in something sweet. This book isn't life changing, but it is perfect at being what it is: dessert. And who doesn't need something  nice, easy, and fun to bring us out of the dark every once in a while.
      Recommendation: For fans of the movie She's All That, Never Been Kissed, or Grease; or the book You Are So Undead To Me, Princess Diaries, or Something, Maybe.
      *Click Rating to see post about my 10 aspects of a great book.

      Tuesday, January 24, 2012

      Top Ten Freebie

      Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
      White Oleander

      For this Freebie I have decided to research a question that I always ask in the back of my mind: What books inspired the authors I love? So.. Here are ten authors and a book of theirs I love each paired with a book they loved.*

      1. Maureen Johnson (13 Little Blue Envelopes- Ginny is led on a journey through her deceased aunt's letters): Berlin Stories: Set in the 1930s an incredibly descriptive mix of history and fantasy.
      2. John Green (Looking for Alaska- A life changed by a mysterious girl named Alaska): The Catcher In The Rye: A complicated 16 year old leaves his prep school to discover underground New York.
      3. Libba Bray (A Great and Terrible Beauty- Historical fantasy about secret pasts and magical escapes with a dark side): Tithe: An independent modern teenager, Kaye, becomes caught between battling faerie kingdoms.
      4. Scott Westerfeld (Uglies- A world where the government makes pretty at sixteen with surgery, but is that the whole story?): Charlotte's Web: Charlotte the spider makes her friend Wilbur the most famous pig in town to save him from a usual darker farm pig destiny.
      5. Sarah Dessen (This Lullaby- A life shattering tale of first love): Mrs. Darcy and the Blue Eyed Stranger: 14 bittersweet short stories.
      6. Christopher Moore (Lamb- A take on those years missing from Jesus' tale in the Bible): Choke: Victor goes to fancy restaurants and pretends to choke making his "saviors" feel responsible for his life and getting them to send him monthly checks for bills.
      7. Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss- A romantic tale of an American student in Paris; so real, so touching, so irresistible): Cat's Cradle: John researches what was going on in America when Hiroshima was bombed and ends up following this spiral of a historical journey.
      8. Judy Blume (Forever- The truth of what happens in most tales of first love no matter our intentions): Betsy-Tacy: Stories about friends so close people often referred to them as though they were one person.
      9. Stephenie Meyers (Twilight- Love it, or hate it an epic love tale and a new take on vampires): Wuthering Heights: A classic story of all consuming passion.
      10. Janet Fitch (White Oleander- A tale of Astrid's journey through foster care and never really escaping her all encompassing mother): Tropic of Cancer: Part autobiography, part fiction story of an expatriate in Paris.

      *Out of these author favorites I have only read two, eight more to add to the monstrous TBR. Can you guess which two I've read? Have you read any of these? Have you ever wondered what your favorite authors read and have more to add to my list? (Some of these were very easy to find, Christopher Moore suggesting who to read while waiting in between his own releases, And some difficult, like Scott Westerfeld saying he thought favorites were silly questions and only giving in on a childhood remembrance.)

      Thursday, January 19, 2012

      The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

      The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1) 

      Published: September 29th 2011, Putnam Juvenile
      Pages: 372 pages
      Part of a Series: Shades of London #1
      Read For a Challenge: The TBR Double Dare
      Teaser: "Babbling and babbling like a babbling thing.. Madness. Wouldn't shut up. She's fine really, probably some period thing. I go completely mental too. Period fever. It's the worst.
      In a sentence or so: A monster seems to come from the past to kill and Rory is the only one who sees him. She is only a school student she can't save anyone, right?
      *Rating: 9.5/10
      GoodReads Description:
      The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.
      Soon "Rippermania" takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

      1. Type of story: YA Horror/Paranormal Fantasy *set in England* (Free 1 point)
      2.Consistency: Teacherly - sprinkling, hinting, foreshadowing, and occasionally repeating the important bits. This distracted from the flow  a little bu was barely noticeable. (1/2 point)
      3. Flesh: I love every character in this book. "The Ripper" is a curious character. Rory has a wonderfully quirky family and background, she is brave and just all around quality friend material. Jo is the most admirable character I have met in a long time. I could go on and on, even characters that only existed for a couple pages were fascinating such as the ripperologist and the girl who sets up security camera systems. (1 point)
      4. Flow: Like water in a stream I glided through this story; it was only slow enough to be memorable. (1 point)
      5. Character Growth: Rory embraces this new life, a new side of herself, and becomes so brave. Very coming-of-age - she's making herself. (1 point)
      6. A Point/ Purpose/ Journey: This story is Rory growing into what she's going to be and the mystery with "The Ripper" providing the platform. She went looking for a path in England, so even though it wasn't how she expected, she got what she wanted. (1 point)
      7. Witty Dialogue: This is natural to Ms. Johnson's writing. So much that it need not be discussed. (1 point)
      8. Love: First love shows its potential here for Rory, but the true passion in this story is bonding with friends that are the never-ending type. (1 point)
      9. Evoke Realistic Images: I know Maureen spends a lot of time in England from her blog and that she is a dedicated researcher. This book shows the fruit of those labors in the best light. (1 point)
      10. Writing/Story telling: Maureen you are the history teacher I always wanted. She give me a story with well rounded characters and intrigue me with truth so I must know more. Also her books slip in admirable traits in characters so I want to emulate them. (1 point)

      Reread Worthy: Every chance I guess.
      Recommendation: History buffs, serial killer story enthusiasts, those who want (just a little) vicarious horror in their lives, and fans of: Maureen Johnson's previous work (This is still in the same style though the genre has changed.), Scott Westerfield, Libba Bray, or John Green.
      *Click Rating to see post about my 10 aspects of a great book.

      Tuesday, January 17, 2012

      Top Ten Books I'd Recommend To Someone Who Doesn't Read X

      Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

       Atlas Shrugged
      1. Atlas Shrugged: A social commentary hidden within a suspense novel. For those who avoid social commentary.
      2. The Black Book: Diary of a Teenage Stud, Vol. I: Girls, Girls, Girls: Short, sweet and very funny, fun, enjoyable. Recommended to those that don't read male protagonists.
      3.  100 Selected Poems e.e. Cummings: So much story in so few words. E.E. Cummings is easy to follow and relate to and I recommend this to any readers weary of poetry.
      4. The Jungle: Dirty true story of being a turn of the century immigrant in Chicago. This i for anyone who thinks of classics as boring, stuffy, or uptight.
      5. A Great and Terrible Beauty: Historical fiction that entwines a Victorian world and a magical one. For any out there who have never gotten completely caught up in a fantasy novel.
      6. Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading: Charlie tells a hilarious story that, in a reverse-psychological type of way, shows the importance of literature and the unavoidable impact of stories in our lives. I recommend it to all reluctant readers mature enough to catch the message.
      7. Anna and the French Kiss: An irresistible romance in Paris. Recommended for women, or others with interest in Parisian boys, sites and/or food, who don't read YA.
      8. Looking For Alaska: Life changing story about the impact of a whirlwind mystery contained in a girl called Alaska. Top of the list for those who dismiss YA because it isn't serious literature.
      9. Generation Dead: A different look at the undead as part of contributing society. My gift to everyone who doesn't read about zombies.
      10. Uglies: Social commentary wrapped up in a beautiful, engaging Sci-Fi. Highly recommended to those who keep their reading grounded in this world.

      Tuesday, January 10, 2012

      Top Ten Authors I Wish Would Write Another Book

      Top Ten Tuesday
      Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish

      Goddess in the Kitchen: 201 Heavenly Recipes, Spirited Stories & Saucy Secrets

      1. Goddess in the Kitchen: 201 Heavenly Recipes, Spirited Stories & Saucy Secrets: This is the only book I could think of when I could think of NEEDing more. This is my kitchen secret weapon. It isn't a wish from more from the Author but rather more like this. This book makes everyone think I should be a professional chef and it is also full of enchanting stories to accompany the recipes making reading through it so much fun. 
      2. Shel Silverstein: This author died when I was in elementary school and I remember this being the first time I was affected by death. I wish he was still around making children love poetry.

      And that is all I have for this week's list so I cheated. These are 7 Authors I need to read more of so I can be anxious for more releases:
      1. Maureen Johnson: She is a wonderful author but I keep reading new authors so i still have many of her novels I need to get to.
      2. Scott Westerfeld: The Uglies was an amazing series. An extraordinary world was built. All of Scott's books get similar praise but I haven't gotten to them, I should. 
      3. Ray Bradbury: This man wrote Fahrenheit 451, which is, in my opinion, the ultimate book lovers book. BUT I have only read a couple of his short stories after, when I should have devoured everything.
      4. Charles Dickens: I loved A Christmas Carol in school. I thought it would be boring because I knew the story so well but the writing, the personalization, I thought Dickens was a genius after that and that I would reread his book every Christmas. I didn't, or any of his other books either.
      5. George Orwell: I loved Animal Farm AND Down and Out in Paris and London, a non-fiction book. I even found his non-fiction engaging, which is rare for me. I didn't read any of his other stories.
      6. Stephanie Perkins: This needs no explanation for why I should read Perkins, and there is no excuse for why I haven't yet.
      7. Megan McCafferty: Same as Perkins 

      And lastly, because I'm pretty sure I'll see this book's author a lot today, I must read:
      1. To Kill a Mockingbird: I'm going to get it done! Soon!
      What do you think guys? Link your lists and let me know what other extraordinary authors I'm missing out on.

      Tuesday, January 3, 2012

      Most awaited reads 2012*

      1. The Fault In Our Stars: I love John's writing and I love the vlogbrothers youtube videos, and John has mentioned how much he put into this book working on it for almost ten years.
      2. The Book Thief: Every review I've read indicates this is a must for book lovers so I am excited to move it from the wishlist to the read list this year.
      3. The Name of the Star: I am reading this already. I just love Maureen and need to read everything by her. I have been getting so bogged down with new books and authors I didn't read any of my favorite authors last year.
      4. A Monster Calls: I have been hearing about how wonderful this is so much lately then I saw the illistrations and had to have it.
      5. The Thirteenth Tale: Has been sitting on my shelf patiently for a couple years while I read less worthy books, it is time to get it read.
      6. The Host: I was encouraged to read this by commentors on another post, another that has been on my shelves for too long.
      7. Jane Austen's Lady Susan: An introduction into Jane Austen's work. I have been putting off reading this celebrated author for too long.
      8. The Scorpio Races: An introduction into Maggie Stiefvater. I keep reading her blog but still haven't read her books...
      9. Slaughterhouse-Five: An introduction into Kurt Vonnegut. I have always found his quotes amusing but never read a full novel.
      10. Lola and the Boy Next Door: I loved Anna and the French Kiss, that's the whole reason.

      *TBTB Top Ten Tuesday