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