Friday, February 10, 2012

Follow Friday

"Follow My Book Blog Friday" is a weekly meme hosted by Rachel at Parajunkee's View and Allison at Allison Can Read where bloggers make new friends!

Q: What would your prefer: reading your favorite book over and over again until you got sick of it OR reading 100s of mediocre books? And why?

This is a really tough question. I read a lot of 3 Star books and they are okay, but I live for the 4 & 5 Star books. I love falling in love with the characters and tumbling through the pages into their adventures. From my experience 3 Star and below books don't have very well developed characters and that is a must for me. On the other hand, I would never want to get sick of one of my favorite books. Now if it was a choice of rereading my favorite books vs reading 100 mediocre books I would choose my favorites. They are my comfort, they have helped me when I'm stressed, sad, angry, tired, and sick of the world. I love my books and I wouldn't give them up.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Christmas Carol

Title: A Christmas Carol
Author: Charles Dickens
Publisher: Signet Classic
Publication Date: October 10, 1984 (first published winter 1843)
Rating: 4 Stars

This is the first Dickens book I've read and I think it was the perfect one to start off with. For starters, it's short, it's only a little over 100 pages (by my copy), and the first part is really funny! I can't even count how many times my sister has read me that first part, Dickens puts a lot of thought into the phrase "dead as a door nail", you'll have to read it to get it. I'm not explaining it well.

I love Scrooge's complete willingness to change the way he is, he sees the way he is and as soon as he gets the chance he has a complete change of heart. I started tearing up when he's begging the Ghost of Christmas Future to tell him that it's not too late for him to change. My favorite Ghost was the Ghost of Christmas Future. In my opinion that's the most powerful part of the book, filled with horror and sadness. It really drives the point home.

By the end of the book I was crying, I couldn't help myself, it was such a great ending. I walked away from that book with a warm feeling in my heart and I intend to read another Charles Dickens book when I get the chance.

Happy (late) Birthday Charles Dickens!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Little House in the Big Woods (Little House #1)

Title: Little House in the Big Woods (Little House #1)
Author: Laura Ingalls-Wilder
Publisher: Scholastic Books
Publication Date: Published 1960 (first published 1932)
Rating: 4 Stars

Meet Laura Ingalls, the little girl who would grow up to write the Little House books. Wolves and panthers and bears roam the deep Wisconsin woods in the late 1870's. In those same woods, Laura lives with Pa and Ma, and her sisters, Mary and Baby Carrie, in a snug little house built of logs. Pa hunts and traps. Ma makes her own cheese and butter. All night long, the wind howls lonesomely, but Pa plays the fiddle and sings, keeping the family safe and cozy.-GoodReads

I can't believe this is the first time I read this book. I loved it. If your looking for a book about everyday life in the late 1800's you won't find any better than this book. I loved reading about making maple sugar, and smoking meat, and..... just everything. It was absolutly fascinating. I was suprised to find myself laughing at some of the things also, and I don't laugh aloud when I'm reading. My dad asked me if I was laughing because is sounded like my sister tripped over something in the kitchen(CRASH!) or my book. It turned out to be my book.

Life back then was so different than life now. Everything could be used for something and nothing was ever wasted. It's amazing when looking at it from my perspective, someone who lives in a wasteful world. I think that was why she wrote the books. The Industrial Revolution was booming and the world had changed so much, I think she wanted people to remember the way things used to be and give people like us a taste of something we will never see.

Happy Birthday Laura Ingalls-Wilder!

Celebrating Dickens and Ingalls-Wilder

Today is Charles Dickens 200th birthday! Could you imagine a world that didn't have his books? So many of his books are titles you've probably heard of if even if you have not read them: A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, Little Dorrit, Hard Times, and probably most well known of all A Christmas Carol. I am ashamed to say that I have never read a book by Charles Dickens, today that is going to change. In honor of his birthday I am going to read A Christmas Carol. It is one of my sister's favorite books and she has been bugging me about reading it. So, Happy Birthday Dickens! You will not be soon forgotten.

Another birthday today is Laura Ingalls-Wilder. She turns 145 today. She is another author, like Dickens, that you cannot imagine the world without. Her Little House books are always there to remind us what it was like in the days before the Industrial Revolution. You may be shock to hear that I had not read any of her books before today either. I used to watch the movie and the TV show and I started the first book a few times but never made it through. I just finished reading Little House in the Big Woods this morning and will later be posting my review. Happy Birthday Laura!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Firelight (Firelight #1)

Title: Firelight (Firelight #1)
Author: Sophie Jordan
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: September, 7th 2010
Rating: 3 Stars

A hidden truth.
Mortal enemies.
Doomed love.

Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki—a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.

Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.

Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide.-GoodReads

This story idea was original, I'll give it that. It's not everyday you read a book about a girl who can change back and forth between human and dragon(draki). I liked the story for the most part. I disliked the romance. I started getting sick of obsessive romances not long after I got out of Twilight. Actually, probably even before that. I have read way too many of them and I'm just not interested in the same old thing. Who knew "true love" could go out of style.

The story was good but now that I come to think about it, I didn't actually like any of the characters. I didn't dislike them, I just didn't with connect to them. I probably would have liked the book much better if I had. Jacinda's constant back-and-forth about staying or leaving gets really annoying. Will seemed to be the type male character that is in most YA Paranormals, flat and prone to violence.

And after all that because of the last 30 pages, and also my inability to give up on a book, I have already put the sequel on hold at the library. I can't help myself.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Summer of Cotton Candy (Sweet Seasons #1)

Title: The Summer of Cotton Candy (Sweet Seasons #1)

Most people think The Zone is an amusement park, but Candy Thompson knows it's really a slave labor camp. What else would you call a summer job that requires a sixteen-year-old girl to set aside her whole social life for the privilege of standing out in the hot sun selling cotton candy? Still, there are perks---particularly the mysterious hunk in the Lone Ranger costume. Behind that mask are the most amazing eyes Candy has ever seen. Who is that masked man? But someone else is just as interested. And romantic competition isn't the only problem. Besides being hard work, The Zone is eating up major time. How is Candy supposed to stay involved in church? Worse yet, will she lose her best friend, Tamara, who resents how Candy's job limits their time together? This is NOT the summer Candy hoped for! But as she is about to discover, the summer of cotton candy will be the greatest summer of her life.-GoodReads

First of all,

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Title: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Poppy
Publication Date: January 2, 2012
Rating: 4 Stars

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.-GoodReads

There is something really simple and beautiful about this book. For the first time I liked a book just because of the romance. The relationship between Hadley and Oliver just felt right. There was no dramatic professions of love or stupid fights or feeling they were going to die without the other. It felt real.

The characters were likeable and they all reacted believably to situations. I liked that Hadley wasn't a complete brat, her actions were all completely understandable. Oliver was a complete sweetheart and had a great sense of humor, plus he's a brit, I don't know what teen girl wouldn't fall in love with him. Also, although it was only a small part of the book, I loved the story of her mom and Harrison. It was so cute!

As much as I loved this book there was one rather large aspect of it that I did not like. Hadley's dad was encouraged by his wife to accept the teaching job at Oxford because she knew it was his dream. The four months he's gone he had hooked up with some other chick. Both the dad and Charlotte(the woman he was marrying) were likeable characters for the most part but I hate them when I think of what they did. It was because of love, they said, like love makes leaving your wife and kid for another woman excusable. Love makes screwing around with a married man alright. I think that's a load of crap, people have a choice about who they love, if they're married they shouldn't go looking at other people, and if you know the man is married you can choose to stay away.

So, other than that part, the book was good. I was a little disappointed there wasn't more of London shown but I forgive it. I loved the cover and it was the perfect length, short and sweet. The ending was so adorable, the perfect conclusion to a truly sweet book.

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Wrinkle in Time (Time #1)

Title: A Wrinkle in Time
Author: Madeleine L'Engle
Publisher: Yearling
Publication Date:May 11th 1999 by Yearling
(first published 1962)
Rating: 3 Stars

Meg Murray, her little brother Charles Wallace, and their mother are having a midnight snack on a dark and stormy night when an unearthly stranger appears at their door. He claims to have been blown off course, and goes on to tell them that there is such a thing as a "tesseract," which, if you didn't know, is a wrinkle in time.

Meg's father had been experimenting with time-travel when he suddenly disappeared. Will Meg, Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin outwit the forces of evil as they search through space for their father?-Amazon

A long time ago one of my favorite librarians recommended this book to me when I was bored. At the time I wasn't a big reader and the 200+ pages looked impossible so I'm ashamed to say I never read it. My sister read it for a children's lit class and said she really didn't care for it but since she hates to part with books it's still on her bookshelf. After all these years I finally read it today.

I liked they style of it, it just felt... right. At page 2 I knew it was going to be an interesting book when the main character Meg tackled a boy for insulting her younger brother. I really liked the unique relationship between Meg and Charles Wallace. For a five year old Charles Wallace is scarily mature, he acts like an adult. He seems to act like the older sibling, always taking care of Meg and his mother and knowing when they need someone to talk to. The Mrs. W's were hilarious and mysterious, I loved the names: Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which. I love Aunt Beast, as little as she was in the book she had this attitude that made her seem so sweet. If I was going to meet an alien she would be probably my second choice(first choice would be the Doctor, but that's a different matter). I also love her race, they way that they didn't see things but knew it by WHAT it was instead what it looked like.

I wish the book would have gotten more into what Calvin and Charles Wallace were and why they were special but it is a series so maybe it goes into that later. I loved the fact that with all the impossible things that happened such as traveling through time and space, meeting aliens and fighting the darkness Christianity and God was still acknowledged by all, even the aliens. For once Science and God were both counted as truth. It felt natural and was very refreshing.

I gave this book 3 Stars because while it was interesting and there was a lot I liked about it I wasn't in love with it.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Dear John

Title: Dear John
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Publisher: Warner Books
Publication Date: October 30, 2006
Rating: 3 Stars

An angry rebel, John dropped out of school and enlisted in the Army, not knowing what else to do with his life--until he meets the girl of his dreams, Savannah. Their mutual attraction quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah waiting for John to finish his tour of duty, and John wanting to settle down with the woman who has captured his heart. But 9/11 changes everything. John feels it is his duty to re-enlist. And sadly, the long separation finds Savannah falling in love with someone else. "Dear John," the letter read...and with those two words, a heart was broken and two lives were changed forever. Returning home, John must come to grips with the fact that Savannah, now married, is still his true love—and face the hardest decision of his life.-GoodReads

I don't know why I decided to read another Nicholas Sparks book. I've read 3 before this one and I didn't care for them much. I'll even go so far to say that I hated the Notebook and only loyalty to the movie keeps me from saying the same about A Walk to Remember. So why do I keep coming back for more? I do not know.

I honestly don't have much to say about this book. It was good... I really don't have anything bad to say about it, just that it's not my type. The writing is fine, although, I would love to see Sparks try another pattern than the one he always follows but he is a talented author. I liked the story well enough, I actually can't say much about the pace of the book because I can't judge such a thing when I read a book in nearly one sitting.

The characters were likable but I didn't connect with them. I read in a couple of reviews that people were in love with John Tyree, I can't say I was. I liked Savannah but I didn't connect with her either. I didn't get close to the characters, I didn't get invested in their story so when the heart wrenching parts came (it's a Sparks book you know it can only end in tears) I didn't feel anything. I just felt like a casual observer. Unlike The Last Song I didn't even cry. I felt nothing.