Sunday, November 30, 2008

Secrets of My Suburban Life by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Title: Secrets of My Suburban Life (Paperback)
Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Simon & Schuster
Reading Level:
Young Adult
Publication Date: January 2008
Pages: 240

Rating: D
Plot - 14/20
Characters - 13/20
Writing - 12/20
Originality - 14/20
Entertainment - 7/10
Recommendation - 6/10
Total: 70/100

Everything changed for Lauren ("Ren") after Harry Potter killed her mom. No,it's not what you think--Harry Potter didn't come to life and stab her or anything. A stack of those thick books crushed her. Now Ren is stuck out in the suburbs of Connecticut, dragged out there because her father is too grief stricken to continue living in New York. Ren tries to fit in at her new school, but the most popular girl, Farrin, keeps icing her out. Then Ren discovers that Farrin has a secret: She's been communicating online with an older man, and they are actually planning to meet! Ren can't let Farrin go through with it--she's witnessed enough tragic events as it is. So she comes up with the perfect plan to stop the perv. But then she finds out who he is...

This book was definitely not what I was expecting.Rengave a very bad first impression. She came off as a snobby rich, spoiled kid, and she kind of is, minus the snobby part. Her mom's death was completely unreal, and Ren's and her fathers emotions didn't go through well enough about the death.

Ren's character was developed pretty badly. The scenes were constructed okay, but not great.
The whole layout of the novel felt staged and unreal. The ending was definitely predictable. The dramatic irony in the story of us knowing and Ren not, because of the predictability, made her seem clueless. Farrin was the stereotypical rich, popular, snobby girl. Jack and Ren relationship was cliched.

Baratz-Logsted's writing was good, but not great. She didn't give enough emotion in her writing, and it was like reading from the outside looking outside. The only good thing about this novel was
that the plot was semi enjoyable. The fact the she goes after a pervert, the fact that Baratz-Logsted detailed a serious issue into this book was a plus. Because it was, pretty enjoyable.

Overall, this novel was enjoyable, kind of boring, and very predictable. It was good, but it could've been much better.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkey Day! And a New Blog.

Happy American Thanksgiving! How's everybody doing today? Me, I'll probably start helping my mom cook real soon for the dinner. I already cook some Pumpkin Pies (Yum!) and Pecan Pies (Yuck!) last night and prepared my dad's green bean casserole for today, and my mom made a quiche for this morning yesterday that was delish! So, anyways, I hope everyone has an awesome Thanksgiving this year, and who's going shopping tomorrow for Black Friday? Anybody watching the Macy's Parade? I think Ashanti's singing on a float right now, and hey, there's Beethoven, the St. Bernard!


Okay, now for that New Blog surprise, I have created a new blog, called Sane Headers. It's a blog for customized and specialized headers. I've made Headers for a few blogs already and I gust thought, if more people wanted them, they could, so I made a blog just for headers. I will keep updating with new header designs every while. So check it out if you want a header for your blog! HERE.

ALSO: Expect a review for Secrets of My Suburban Life tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"Waiting On" Wednesday (1)

I've seen so many "Waiting On" Wednesday's on the blog world, that I wanted to join in on the fun and do it! So here it is!


I saw this book a little bit ago and ith as stuck to me to strongly. It's just screams my type of book, you know, the ultimate romance book with some serious, mysterious climax. Now, those are my types of books! Plus Julia Hoban is a debut author and I'm sure Willow will be a success.

Seven months ago, on a rainy March night, sixteen year- old Willow’s parents died in a horrible car accident. Willow was driving. Now her older brother barely speaks to her, her new classmates know her as the killer orphan girl, and Willow is blocking the pain by secretly cutting herself. But when one boy —one sensitive, soulful boy—discovers Willow’s secret, it sparks an intense relationship that turns the “safe” world Willow has created for herself upside down. Told in an extraordinary fresh voice, Willow is an unforgettable novel about one girl’s struggle to cope with tragedy, and one boy’s refusal to give up on her.

Ah, now doesn't that just sound perfect?!?! It does and I am SO determined to get an ARC of it! You have no idea. So, ya know, wish me luck! And isn't the cover just gorgeous? I am in love, I think . . .

Monday, November 24, 2008

Invisible Touch by Kelly Parra

Title: Invisible Touch
Kelly Parra
MTV Books
Reading Level:
Young Adult
Publication Date:
October 14, 2008
Pages: 288

Plot - 17/20
Characters - 20/20
Writing - 18/20
Originality - 18/20
Entertainment - 9/10
Recommendation - 10/10
Total: 92/100

Kara Martinez has been trying to be "normal" ever since the accident that took her father's life when she was eleven years old. She's buried the caliente side of her Mexican heritage with her father and tried to be the girl her rigid mother wants her to be—compliant and dressed in pink, and certainly not acting out like her older brother Jason. Not even Danielle, her best friend at Valdez High, has seen the real Kara; only those who read her anonymous blog know the deepest secrets of the Sign Seer.

Because Kara has a gift—one that often feels like a curse. She sees signs, visions that are clues to a person's fate, if she can put together the pieces of the puzzle in time. So far, she's been able to solve the clues and avert disaster for those she's been warned about—until she sees the flash of a gun on a fellow classmate, and the stakes are raised higher than ever before. Kara does her best to follow the signs, but it's her heart that wanders into new territory when she falls for a mysterious guy from the wrong side of town, taking her closer to answers she may not be able to handle. Will her forbidden romance help her solve the deadly puzzle before it's too late...or lead her even further into danger?

Wow--Just wow. This book was fantastic. I started it last night and almost got yelled at by the teacher because I couldn't stop reading during school. From the start with Kara's first blog entry to her last at Secret Fates, I was hooked at the edge of my seat. It was intense! Parra's writing was distinctive and literal. I just couldn't stop! Kara was a hard, and strong girl trying to live her mothers life after her dad's was taken away. Living with a secret she couldn't share that was tearing her apart. It was all so addictive.

Parra's writing was really descriptive and knowing. We knew every little detail, from the oak-trimmed mirror Kara looks at her dark circles under her eyes to the gray-stone counters her mother leans against while flipping through mail to the white plastic bowl Kara sets out full with milk for Faith, and that was what made her stand out, those little things really brought a different thing to the table.

Having the book take place in the Latina world was so surreal, with gang's on the streets and homeless people, the lifestyle Kara and Anthony both differently lived in made this novel so much more real then it already was. It was different, and it was gracefully done.

Kara was such a great character. Her paranormal abilities, her strength after her dad's death, her hope to be happy one day, it was gorgeously portrayed. Anthony was so strong and indefinite and his character just changed the whole course of the novel in a great way. The characters Parra created were three-dimensional and illustrated beautifully.

The mysteries and the paranormal differences were portrayed so distinctively and they were a big part of this novel, they are what is tearing Kara apart, what brought Anthony and Kara together, what brought the shocking ending to a surprising halt. It didn't feel unreal at all, it felt so natural, like anybody could have them and feel horrible and so unhappy about.

I had no idea where this novel was heading towards but I enjoyed how it started and definitely how it ended in the surprising way. Parra is definitely one to watch with more novels. This novel was a 2 thumbs up and there will be no dissappointment. I highly, highly recommend it as I gave it a ten out of ten.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

You Had Me At Halo by Amanda Ashby

Title: You Had Me At Halo
Amanda Ashby
Reading Level:
Young Adult
Publication Date:
August 2007

Plot - 17/20
Characters - 17/20
Writing - 17/20
Originality - 19/20
Entertainment - 6/10
Recommendation - 8/10
Total: 84/100

Holly Evans has just seen her own body laid to rest. Now she would like to move onto the afterlife. But apparently she has some mortal baggage to unload first, starting with the matter of how she died. Her heavenly shrink isn't buying that she didn't kill herself-and says she must return to earth to straighten things out. The thing is, she needs to borrow the body of computer geek Vince Murphy to do it. Oh, and although Vince was supposed to have vacated the premises, he apparently never got the memo.

Now, Holly has forty-eight hours to resolve her issues while sharing arms, legs, and...other things...with a guy she barely noticed while she was alive. But the real surprise is what life has to offer when you have only two days to live it.

I was kind of shocked by how this novel played out. Some things I just want to share with you, first: Even though the book is for Young Adult's, the characters were actually in there early 20's. Holly was 22, actually. But the rest of it, minus the ages and the lifestyle, was completely young adults. Which was a nice change, something I didn't expect but ended up really liking. It was original. Second: . . . well, there really isn't a second, I just wanted to say that above and it would've been weird if I just stopped at the first one, and I'm rambling so just ignore this last part.

Okay, the plot was really original and finely crafted. Heaven was a interesting place, besides the fact that only like two short chapters were in Heaven, it still interested me, like most Heaven books do. I like the whole ability and the ideas about it and, yeah, it was enjoyable. It the first bit at least. The middle-ish, last-almost part of the book were considerately boring. Which is why it has taken me a week to read this, a WEEK!, but the beginning was interesting enough to grab me in and keep me reading through the boooorrring part, to the end, which was exciting. The ending was really enjoyable. I just fell in love with how it carried out.

The writing was neatly done, nothing spectacular but Ashby brings a great plot, with good writing and a great main character and supporting characters to the table and mixes it together and overall gives out a fairly awesome book with some sore parts to it. The characters were very entertaining, and along with the plot and originality, the best part.

Ashby brought something original and her writing has the potential to bring it big. I can't wait to read more of her works, check out her new book Zombie Queen of Newbury High out March 5, 2009. Anybody still not sure, think of Gabrielle Zevin's Elsewhere with a huge twist on earth.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Theatrical Trailer!

I know some of you have seen it already since it was introduced with Twilight in theaters yesterday, but I say nobody posted about it yet, so here it is! I saw it before the movie was out on IMDb but when I went back to look for it right before I left for Twilight they had taken it off-line and I couldn't find it anywhere, but it's here now:

That last part just breaks my heart knowing what happens at the end . . .

Friday, November 21, 2008

Twilight Movie Review

Okay, special edition review for the Twilight Movie, of course I had to!(I like this cover better even though the date wrong, ignore it.)

Okay, the movie was just beautiful, I just have to comment on the scenery, it was GORGEOUS, one of the most beautiful locations ever! The film stay so very close to the book, you can even hear a bunch of quotes from the book! It was hilarious, way more then expected. I loved it.

Kristen Stewart, I have to be honest, disappointed me. It's true. She was very uh, um, huh . . . fidgety as an actress, and I was watching her on all of her interviews yesterday on Today and Letterman and it just isn't her acting, it's her. So, it kind of bothered me. But she was clumsy, beautiful and acted like Bella.

Rob Pattinson was the PERFECT Edward. His acting was superb and just fantastic. He was beautiful, true to Edward, and like I already said, perfectperfectperfect. I just don't know what else to say about him . . .

Taylor Lautner had, like, four different spots in the film, so not really much to say about him but that I think he is a very good Jacob and I fully look forward to seeing way more of him in New Moon.

Billy Burke a.k.a. Charlie was AWESOME, he was the perfect choice for Charlie, one of my favorite characters. He was really just a hilarious character bringing humor into every scene he's in, well almost.

The Cullens: Carlisle-Peter Facinelli was a great Carlisle, he was funny, clever, and a mysterious and humorous character. Esme-Elizabeth Reeser didn't have much of a roll and she was okay, nothing really special about her. Alice-Ashley Greene was hilarious, cute, witty, and awesome loved her scenes and her pitching, plus, OMG!, look at her go! Emmett-Kellan Lutz was the perfect Emmett, PERFECT. He was hilarious and she the perfect Emmett you can think of, but I knew that already. Rosalie-Nikki Reed was very anti-Bella and showed it well, she was gorgeous like so in the book and I loved the chot of her and her 5-inch heels! Now . . . Jasper-Jackson Rathbone-uh, the worst cast. He looked like he was in pain the ENTIRE movie and he like said two words and I don't think his acting was good and uh, he just ruined the image of the perfect Jasper in my head.

The Enemies: James was the right choice, definitely. He was evil, and viscious, and cynical, and spooky. Same with Victoria. Rachelle Lafevre and Cam Gigandet were great, and Vitoria left it at a scary note!!! Laurent was weird and unusual like so and he was played good by Edi Gathegi.

The Friends: Hilarious. They like were the most hilarious, I just loved them. Mike and Jessica especially. Mike was a very straight-forward and fun character and Jess was kind of a dumb but funny and right fit for the character.

Overall: The movie was fantastic, especially the last hour of it. I especially loved the baseball scene and the ballet studio fight scene, AH! It was just PERFECT (I know that word is used a lot! But it was!)! It started right and ended right. I just loved it and anyone not having read the book will love it also because a bunch of my friends hadn't read the book, went and LOVEDLOVEDLOVED it, so if you don't plan to read it, I would so go, you'd probably like it more then us who have read the book already.

So, yes, GO SEE IT!

Also, there were some girls in the row in front of us with Twilight shirts on and i already asked my mom for it for Christmas and i also asked for the soundtrack! LOVED Bella's Lullaby, by the way. Also, I'll be seeing it again, next Sunday I think I planned it. Just so the hype gets down a bit more and I can see it in peace.


Who's excited? I am! My mom bought us tickets last Wednesday! My movie will be starting at 6:45! I seriously don't know how I'll get through Math, English, Science, etc . . . I'm gonna be jumpy, and hyper all day lllloooonnnggg................. (I'm typing this up on Thursday.)

How's your Twilight Day going for you?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Jenny Green's Killer Junior Year by Amy Belasen and Jacob Osborn

Title: Jenny Green's Killer Junior Year
Amy Belasen and Jacob Osborn
Simon and Schuster
Reading Level:
Young Adult
Publication Date:
September 2008

Rating: B-
Plot - 16/20
Characters - 11/20
Writing - 13/20
Originality - 19/20
Entertainment - 14/10
Recommendation - 7/10
Total: 80/100

Hell hath no fury...

Jenny Green is a spoiled teen "princess" and the newest junior at Montreal's Molson Academy. Jenny wants a fresh start in her new school, and she's curious to see what Montreal has to offer, most especially in the boy department. Beautiful, charming, and sharp-witted, Jenny has no trouble getting the boys to fall for her.

But when she discovers just how despicable the male gender can be—with the lying, the cheating, and the utter disrespect—she decides to make them pay...with their lives.

Well, this novel turned into something I truly didn't expect. The summary really doesn't do this novel justice. The plot was very original and silly but exciting. I mean, the summary makes it seem like she's just a random serial killer, right? But she did have her reasons, it just got out of hand.

The writing was probably the worst part of this novel, it wasn't that well constructed. It was kind of strange and it felt fake. But it was well enough done to read and enjoy. The characters were also kind of flatly constructed and really unreal, but Jenny was probably the best, she was smart and humorous. She was just your typical rich, spoiled princess with a few good qualities to her.

But, the book was really enjoyable and it made me so curious to find out what would happen with Jenny. I would recommend it, just don't plan to be blown away.

Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein Guest Blog

Today we have Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein with us for a guest blog. Dr. Holstein is the author of The Truth (I'm a girl, I'm smart and I know everything). This is part of her Pump Up Your Book Tour.


A Positive Psychologist Takes Her Hand to Fiction and the Result is a Win-Win for Everybody

By Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

Why would a psychologist take her hand to fiction? I guess I am a kind of visionary in the sense that I am always looking for new ways to help girls, teens and women celebrate themselves and 'be' themselves in the true meaning of 'being', not faking or copying or struggling to be someone else. I think I have had that longing to help women and girls since I was a kid. I saw women not feeling good about themselves and what they had become, and that made me sad and angry as a kid. I also saw women who did develop and move out of the role of housewife and into their own; for example, my own mother, who started college when I was six and became a teacher, teaching second grade, when I was 11. I was so proud of her and emotionally I could feel how much happier she was having a purpose that felt right to her. I knew she loved being my mom and we had great fun together, but I also knew that she felt stifled in just being home. Kids sense stuff like that and I knew it was better for all of us when my mother found herself in teaching.

I knew I also felt stifled around the house and needed to be with people and to earn a living, even if married. So when I became a teacher, a school psychologist and finally a psychologist in private practice, I knew I was on the right track for me. But how could I really help other women and girls find their stride? What could I say? What could I teach? Much of it I formalized in my first book, The Enchanted Self, A Positive Therapy. There I teach how to turn the therapy room into a marvelous positive environment that helps everyone find their lost potential, regain hope, and learn various paths to happiness. But how could I teach this outside of the therapy room? The answers include doing a lot of teaching, workshops, media work, websites, other books, including Recipes for Enchantment, The Secret Ingredient is YOU!, DELIGHT, and now the latest answer I discovered is writing fiction!

And so The Truth (I'm a girl, I'm smart and I know everything) came to be. The book puts into fiction what I need to transmit to girls, tweens, teens, moms and women of all ages. You see, we seem to forget what the ten- or eleven-year-old girl inside of us once knew with such certainty. Even by our teen years, with all the pressures we face from society and the emotional pressures we experience within ourselves, as we grow into womanhood, we forget how strong we are. We forget how astute we are at sizing up the world. We forget our capacity to recover from hurts and build successful new relationships.

We forget so much of our childhood wisdom. We forget the excitement and enthusiasm that comes from letting our passionate natures come out to play. And we forget how to laugh, laugh from our bellies. We forget how to intensely react to daily life. So often we forget how to have fun. Many of us don't allow the playful part of ourselves to come out. We don't know how to let out, safely, the imp inside of us. And we forget how proud we can feel about ourselves. For many women as we grow older, the cost is enormous. Some of us walk around discouraged, like we're a balloon that has pins pricked into it. Some of us don't achieve our birth right of living out our potential. Like sleeping beauty, we await a prince to awaken us, rather than awaking ourselves to our own riches: our capacities for joy and fun, to create, study, invent, innovate, lead, recover, re-invent, feel, love, discover, share, etc.

However, the girl in The Truth (I'm a girl, I'm smart and I know everything) knows exactly how to hold on to her truth. Her life adventures and upsets are similar to ones we have all had. She cries and yearns over a first crush. She is angry at her mom for ignoring her questions about growing up. She is upset over moving to a new town and leaving friends behind. But she has a spark to her that is captivating and draws you in. You are drawn in to her as a character, but even more so, you are drawn back into the best of yourself. She may speak a truth that may not be exactly your truth, but the girl has the power to stimulate you, reminding you of your talents, dreams, wisdom and resilience. So, when you finish the book you may miss the girl, but you have come home to yourself.

And as a positive psychologist I would say that is a win-win for everyone!

The Truth (I'm a girl, I'm smart and I know everything) is available on and on all other book sites and bookstores. You can find me, Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, at, and


Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Okay, so, you ALMOST didn't get the winners until at least Friday because one of our foster dogs, Missy, at through the cord that connects me with the internet, and we wouldn't of been able to get a new one until friday, but we made it! So yay! The winners!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered! I had about 165 entries total! What a huge success!

Okay, how I'm going to do this is that there will be four (4) winners total, I was going to have six (6) winners, but shipping costs are pretty expensive now, so I'm sorry!

One (1) person will win a personalized signed copy of Sleepless by Terri Clark from Mrs. Clark herself.

One (1) person will win a personalized signed book of choice by John Marco from Mr. Marco himself.

One (1) person will win a boxed collection set of the Blue is for Nightmares series by Laurie Faria Stolarz from me.

One (1) person will win a collection of books: A signed copy of Wake by Lisa McMann, I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder, and Switch by Carol Snow from me.

Is that okay?

So this is my handy dandy Valentine's Be Mine M&M mug, that beheld the contestants:

And this is the mug full of the many, many possible winners:
And these are the winners:

Carol M. you have won a personalized signed copy of Sleepless by Terri Clark!

you have won a personalized signed copy book of your choice of book by John Marco!

Rylie you have won a boxed collection set of the Blue is for Nightmares series by Laurie Faria Stolarz!

AND. . .

Amee you have won a collection of books: A signed copy of Wake by Lisa McMann, I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder, and Switch by Carol Snow!


I will email you shortly and I will need your addresses by Friday at midnight or else I'll be force to pick a new winner!

Sorry to everyone else! I hope to have another contest soon!

Monday, November 17, 2008

It's My Birthday!

.....And that means it your last chance to enter my contest, Halloween/Birthday Contest here.

Also, check out the survey to get them in last minute and follow my blog for another!

AND, THANK YOU EVERYBODY FOR THE FABULOUS BIRTHDAY WISHES! You don't know how much they mean to me!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

New Layout Design!

Tell me what you think!

I've been getting survey answers telling me it's to cluttered and busy, so I decided to make it a little modern and more simpler.

i was going to do it after the contest was over, but I didn't feel like it, so now it's here. This one is 100% done by me. So please, please comment and tell me what you think.

UPDATE: So, I wasn't sure about the yellow, so I changed it to aqua. Any better?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sisters of Misery by Megan Kelley Hall

Title: Sisters of Misery
Megan Kelley Hall
Reading Level:
Young Adult
Publication Date:
August 2008

Plot - 18/20
Characters - 15/20
Writing - 13/20
Originality - 19/20
Entertainment - 8/10
Recommendation - 9/10
Total: 82/100


There are some girls who have everything.

She has the right clothes, the right friends, and the right last name, but fifteen-year-old Maddie Crane sometimes feels like an outsider in her clique in the wealthy, seaside town of Hawthorne, Massachusetts. And when her gorgeous, eccentric cousin Cordelia LeClaire moves to town, Maddie is drawn toward her ethereal, magical spirit and teeters even more toward the edge of her friends' tightly-knit circle...

Then there are the jealous ones.

Kate Endicott and the Sisters of Misery-a secret clique of the most popular, powerful girls in school-are less than thrilled by Cordelia's arrival. When Kate's on-again, off-again boyfriend Trevor takes an interest in Cordelia, the Sisters of Misery become determined to make her pay.

Now Maddie must choose between the allure and power of the Sisters of Misery and her loyalty to her beloved cousin. But she'll have to give up on ever fitting in and accept the disturbing truth about the town, her friends, her mysterious cousin, and even herself as she faces the terrifying wrath of the Sisters of Misery.

I've heard a ton of great things from this book. I agree it was fantastic. The plot was exciting, suspenseful and thrilling. It was very unpredictable and I was very curious. The plot was original, it was genuinely a neat and unique plot, exceptionally drawn out and written thoroughly. But I think that was the best part about the novel.

I had some problems with this novel.

First: I thought the characters were unreal. I didn't think they were completed well and written efficiently. I thought they could've been better, which brings me to problem two.

Second: I thought that writing the book in limited omniscient point of view was a terrible idea. I think Maddie would've been a more likable and relate able character if the story was written in first person through Maddie.

Thirdly: In some scenes of the book I felt that they were too staged. I feel like Hall could've done so much better in some scenes and make it more natural.

That said: This book was still extremely good. I really loved it. The ending was rather fantastic, exciting and thrilling . . . and. like I said above, though, a little staged. But, those things don't necessarily measure up to how high the plot and originality ranked. Those beat them and this book is really recommend, it's just some things were annoying and I was a tiny bit let down, but still, it's a great book and I CANNOT wait until the next book comes out so I can see what happens from the cliff-hanger ending! The Lost Sister by Megan Kelley Hall comes out August 2009.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

ARC-The Blonde of The Joke by Bennett Madison

Title: The Blonde of The Joke
Author: Bennett Madison
Publisher: Harperteen
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: Fall 2009
Pages: Unverified---ARC is only available.
Rating: 4/5

Val used to have friends- really. But first one and the another moved, and soon she felt herself begin to fade away. That's when Francie Knight happened. Francie is that kind of girl. It's always the blonde, isn't it? The minute Francie calls Val's name at the mall-zing- Val has a near-life experience. She knows nothing will ever be the same.

Francie says that at the mall, you don't steal because you want it. You steal because it's yours already. When Francie happened was the moment Val had been afraid of. The moment she stopped being good- and started taking what she deserves.

Okay, before I start I want to let everyone know something. This book was given from First Look Teen in June, I think it was. (Not that I got it from them.) This book was supposed to be released early September of this year, but it got delayed until Fall 2009 so they can redo the cover above, which I may say, is a gorgeous cover, I have no idea why they would want to redo it. I don't know why, but it's true. Mr Madison himself told me. Okay, so now that that is clarified, on to the review.

I liked it. It was a very original story full of meaning and lessons. The atmosphere of the novel was interesting and dimensional. The thought behind the story was big and meaningful. Madison's writing style was unique and encouraging and very provoking and taunting to not stop reading. It was exquisite and I just absolutely loved Madison's style, it was very neat and exceptional and distinctive, I loved it.

Now, the only thing that I didn't like about this novel, really, was the characters, they were three-dimensional in the lightest sense and I just hated the way they acted to each other and to themselves. Val pitied herself throughout most of the book and when she changed it was so fast and quick it's like you didn't even see it happen, but it was there and then you saw it and it was big and . . . not her. Francie kind of seemed . . . unreal, and her character seemed like a joke, pun not intended. Her act was silly and she just didn't seemed like she was a real person--until she cracked.

This read is deep, strong, and original. Madison put strong thoughts and feelings in his writing, and we gotta give him extra credit for writing from a girl's P.O.V. so amazingly. This is an deeply memorizing read, and I recommend it when it comes out in a year.

I'm a Contributor

Okay, this is really un-book-related but I felt the need to post about it.

My family signed up about 2-3 weeks ago to start fostering dogs. My family loves dogs, we've always had them, I just never remember growing up without a dog, and even a cat, in my life, so this is really exciting.

Anyways, my mom started this blog, It's A Dogs World. It's a blog that she started to just blog about fostering dogs. We have two dogs right now, they aren't up for adoption yet, but one dog has until tomorrow, and the other has until Saturday, I think. So if nobody claims them, we'll keep them for the long run, well at least one of them.

My family owns 3 dogs, Maggie-Tucker-Dusty, and two cats Dasher-Tupelo (Don't Ask).

So, anyway, I'm a contributor to this blog with my mom. So, what I'm really saying, is just: Check it out, here.

Also, expect a review of The Blonde of The Joke sometime today or tomorrow. It's really late becasue I finished it on Monday but schools been hectic since we only had a three day week and there was deer hunting and a bunch of people were gone, so yeah. But, now, I have four full days left. And remember, the Halloween/Birthday Contest ends this Monday, on midnight, on my birthday, SO get the word out for last minute entries!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

When I'm Gone

So, Steph of Reviewer X tagged me for this awesome play list meme. So here goes nothing. This play list has a little of every type of music I like: Country, Rock, Pop, Jazz, etc.


1. Put Your iTunes, Windows Media Player, Winamp, etc on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
4. Put the artist after a dash following the song name.
5. Put any comments in brackets.
6. Tag some lucky people to spread the disease.

How would you describe yourself?
Love Remains The Same-Gavin Rossdale

How do you feel today?
First Time-Lifehouse

What is your life’s purpose?
This Kiss-Faith Hill

What is your motto?
Serendipity-John Mayer

What do you think about very often?
Only Fooling Myself-Kate Voegele

What is your life story?
Black Balloon-The Goo Goo Dolls

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Shake It-Metro Station

What will you dance to at your wedding?
Feelings Show-Colbie Caillat

What will they play at your funeral?
Dani California-Red Hot Chili Peppers (Ha! That'll get a laugh.)

What is your hobby/interest?
Gunnin'-Hedley (Yeah, uh hmm, sure.)

If you could do anything right now, what would it be?

What do you want most of all?
Beer Run-Garth Brooks (Haha, riiiiggghhhhtttt......)

What is your greatest fear?
Walk A Little Straighter-Billy Currington

What is your darkest secret?
Addicted-Saving Abel (Addicted to what?!?!)

What is your favorite thing in the world?

If you could have one wish, what would you wish for?
The More Boys I Meet-Carrie Underwood

What is your theme song?
Old School-Hedley

The next time you hear this song (aside from now, that is), you must dance.

What will you post this as?
When I'm Gone-3 Doors Down

Okay, so I tag.....Allie (Just Listen Book Reviews), Liv (Liv's Book Reviews), and Carol (Book-Luver Carol's Reviews).

USA Today's Best Seller Meme

I found this around the blogging world a few times and decided to give it a shot, it was surprising, interesting, and sometimes unbelievable, but fun. Enjoy.

How it works: bold what you've read, italicize what you own, or do both, and *star* books on your TBR list!

1 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPre

2 Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution - Robert C. Atkins
3 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown*
4 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPre
5 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPre
6 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPre
7 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPre
8 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPre
9 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPre
10 Who Moved My Cheese? - Spencer Johnson
11 The South Beach Diet - Arthur Agatston
12 Tuesdays With Morrie - Mitch Albom
13 Angels & Demons - Dan Brown
14 What to Expect When You're Expecting - Heidi Murkoff, Arlene Eisenberg, Sandee Hathaway
15 The Purpose-Driven Life - Rick Warren
16 The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom*
17 The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen R. Covey
18 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
19 Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus - John Gray
20 The Secret - Rhonda Byrne
21 Rich Dad, Poor Dad - Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter
22 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee*
23 Don't Sweat the Small Stuff ... And It's All Small Stuff - Richard Carlson
24 The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd*
25 Eat, Pray, Love - Elizabeth Gilbert
26 Twilight - Stephenie Meyer
27 The Notebook - Nicholas Sparks
28 The Memory Keeper's Daughter - Kim Edwards
29 The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
30 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
31 A New Earth - Eckhart Tolle
32 Oh, the Places You'll Go! - Dr. Seuss
33 The Four Agreements - Don Miguel Ruiz
34 Angela's Ashes - Frank McCourt
35 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
36 Body-for-Life - Bill Phillips, Michael D’Orso
37 New Moon - Stephenie Meyer
38 Night - Elie Wiesel, translations by Marion Wiesel and Stella Rodway
39 Chicken Soup for the Soul - Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen
40 The Greatest Generation - Tom Brokaw
41 Breaking Dawn - Stephenie Meyer
42 The Celestine Prophecy - James Redfield
43 Wicked - Gregory Maguire
44 Good to Great - Jim Collins
45 Eclipse - Stephenie Meyer
46 Eragon - Christopher Paolini
47 Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood - Rebecca Wells
48 Your Best Life Now - Joel Osteen
49 In the Kitchen With Rosie - Rosie Daley
50 Simple Abundance - Sarah Ban Breathnach
51 A Child Called It - Dave Pelzer*
52 A Million Little Pieces - James Frey
53 The Testament - John Grisham
54 Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul - Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Kimberly Kirberger
55 Deception Point - Dan Brown
56 The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
57 Marley & Me - John Grogan*
58 Dr. Atkins' New Carbohydrate Gram Counter - Robert C. Atkins
59 Life of Pi - Yann Martel*
60 The Brethren - John Grisham
61 The South Beach Diet Good Fats Good Carbs Guide - Arthur Agatston
62 The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town - John Grisham
63 For One More Day - Mitch Albom*
64 The Polar Express - Chris Van Allsburg
65 The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald*
66 The Last Lecture - Randy Pausch, Jeffrey Zaslow
67 What to Expect the First Year - Arlene Eisenberg, Heidi Murkoff, Sandee Hathaway
68 Love You Forever - Robert Munsch, art by Sheila McGraw
69 Green Eggs and Ham - Dr. Seuss
70 A Painted House - John Grisham
71 The Rainmaker - John Grisham
72 Skipping Christmas - John Grisham
73 Cold Mountain - Charles Frazier*
74 The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-Time - Mark Haddon
75 Life Strategies - Phillip C. McGraw
76 Seabiscuit: An American Legend - Laura Hillenbrand*
77 The Summons - John Grisham
78 Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - John Berendt
79 The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
80 The Runaway Jury - John Grisham
81 Goodnight Moon Board Book - Margaret Wise Brown, art by Clement Hurd
82 The Perfect Storm - Sebastian Junger
83 Snow Falling on Cedars - David Guterson
84 The Giver - Lois Lowry*
85 Embraced by the Light - Betty J. Eadie
86 The Chamber - John Grisham
87 You: On A Diet - Michael F. Roizen, Mehmet C. Oz
88 The Prayer of Jabez - Bruce Wilkinson
89 Holes - Louis Sachar
90 Digital Fortress - Dan Brown
91 The Shack - William P. Young
92 The Devil Wears Prada - Lauren Weisberger
93 Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen*
94 A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini
95 The Seat of the Soul - Gary Zukav
96 Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul - Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Jennifer Read Hawthorne, Marci Shimoff
97 The Partner - John Grisham
98 Lord of the Flies - William Golding*
99 Eldest: Inheritance, Book II - Christopher Paolini
100 The Broker - John Grisham
101 The Street Lawyer - John Grisham
102 A Series of Unfortunate Events No. 1: The Bad Beginning - Lemony Snicket
103 The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver
104 Into the Wild - Jon Krakauer*
105 The King of Torts - John Grisham
106 The Tipping Point - Malcolm Gladwell
107 The Horse Whisperer - Nicholas Evans
108 Hannibal - Thomas Harris
109 The Audacity of Hope - Barack Obama
110 Running With Scissors - Augusten Burroughs*
111 The Glass Castle: A Memoir - Jeannette Walls*
112 My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult
113 The Last Juror - John Grisham
114 The Devil in the White City - Erik Larson
115 Left Behind - Tim LaHaye, Jerry B. Jenkins
116 America (The Book) - Jon Stewart and The Writers of The Daily Show
117 The Red Tent - Anita Diamant
118 John Adams - David McCullough
119 The Christmas Box - Richard Paul Evans
120 The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants - Ann Brashares
121 Sugar Busters! - H. Leighton Steward, Sam S. Andrews, Morrison C. Bethea, Luis A. Balart
122 Blink - Malcolm Gladwell
123 The Power of Now - Eckhart Tolle
124 90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death and Life - Don Piper, Cecil Murphey
125 The Fellowship of the Ring - J.R.R. Tolkien
126 1776 - David McCullough
127 The Bridges of Madison County - Robert James Waller
128 Where the Heart Is - Billie Letts
129 The Ultimate Weight Solution - Phillip C. McGraw
130 Protein Power - Michael R. Eades, Mary Dan Eades
131 Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul - Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Jennifer Read Hawthorne, Marci Shimoff
132 Into Thin Air - Jon Krakauer
133 Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
134 Three Cups of Tea - Greg Mortenson, David Oliver Relin
135 You: The Owner's Manual - Michael F. Roizen, Mehmet C. Oz
136 1,000 Places to See Before You Die: A Traveler’s Life List - Patricia Schultz
137 Self Matters - Phillip C. McGraw
138 She's Come Undone - Wally Lamb
139 1984 - George Orwell*
140 The Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis
141 The Millionaire Next Door - Thomas J. Stanley, William D. Danko
142 The Other Boleyn Girl - Philippa Gregory
143 The Zone - Barry Sears, Bill Lawren
144 The Pilot's Wife - Anita Shreve
145 The Lost World Michael Crichton
146 Atonement - Ian McEwan*
147 He's Just Not That Into You - Greg Behrendt, Liz Tuccillo
148 Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury*
149 The World Is Flat - Thomas L. Friedman
150 Cross - James Patterson

Total Books Read: 23.

Total Books on TBR List: 19

Total Books Owned: 19

Well . . . It could've been way worse, like never having read, owned or wanting to read any.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson

Title: The Bermudez Triangle
Author: Maureen Johnson
Publisher: Penguin/Razorbill
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: October 10, 2004
Pages: 370

Rating: 3/5

The Bermudez Triangle is...

Nina Bermudez...
who TiVos every episode of Trading Spaces and What Not to Wear because watching people rip down bad decorations, cast aside bad clothes—these things soothe her.

Avery Dekker
... who worships Jack Black but has learned to play Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” by heart just so that she can hate it in detail.

Melanie Forrest... (a.k.a. Mel), who inspires guys to develop instantaneous, epic crushes—the kind that cause them to want to iron their clothes and listen to the lyrics of slow songs.

Since coming together at the age of eleven, the Triangle has never been apart. The summer before senior year, however, Nina goes away to a summer program in California. When she returns, she expects to be welcomed back into her friends’ arms with great excitement. Instead, something has changed in the Triangle—Mel and Avery are acting strangely. There are in-jokes Nina doesn’t get, pauses in the conversations that seem to be full of some meaning that she just can’t grasp. She’s suddenly an outsider, and she has no idea why.

Until she wanders into a dressing room and finds Mel and Avery kissing. What exactly do you do when your
two best friends in the entire world start dating?

Oh, Maureen Johnson. I have had mixed feelings about her books always. I first read The Key to the Golden Firebird and really liked it. Then I got 13 Little Blue Envelopes, and I never caught on to it so it left to the library unfinished, then Girl At Sea, which I absolutely loved, as you can see here. I then got Devilish, and like with 13 Little Blue Envelopes, it never caught on and went back to the library unread. So, I really didn't know about this book, but, as you can already tell, I finished it, so that's got to say something, right?

The Bermudez Triangle, started off kind of slow, then it sort of sped up, but not really. Then it slowed down again and never picked up. Generally, this book was not exciting at all. It was slow, very slow, and boring in a few parts. But, but . . . it was interesting enough to keep reading and to know that it was a pretty good read.

The characters were very well-rounded and fit distinquished individuals. The book and the format of the novel were put together well and it was easy to follow through the story and it was fairly enjoyable.

Johnson's writing was flawed, but it was readable (Jeez, I hate that word! Why do I use it?). I didn't much enjoy the point of view, I wouldn've most rather it have been from first person through alternating chapters.

Okay, in all, this novel was good, not great, and it could've definitely been much better. I liked it, and it was enjoyable enough and I would recommend it if you want a long and quiet and sloooow read. So that's that.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Extra Entry in Current Contest?

Do you want a quick and easy extra entry into the Halloween/Birthday Contest I'm running? All you have to do is follow this blog, everybody who is already following will get 2 extra entries.

For more information on this contest click here, and for another way to get extra entries, click here.

Thank YOU!

P.S.-Are you watching the election? What do you think?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Paper Towns by John Green

Title: Paper Towns (Hardcover)
Author: John Green
Publisher: Penguin Group
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: October 2008
Pages: 352

Rating: 5/5

Summary (From B&N):
When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night-dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge-he follows her. Margo's always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she's always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q . . . until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they're for Q.

Yes, I know this review is late, I would've posted it on Saturday, but I didn't because I was too lazy to start writing it. But it's here now, and it's probably going to be a long one.

I'll admit it, the summary for this book made no entire sense to me until I finished the book, so I really wasn't sure what to make of the book to come when I first opened up the book and started reading. So, what happened in the book surprised me, big time. I wasn't expecting much, obviously like I said above, but what happened was entirely unsuspected.

Now, if you read this blog from the beginning you might've come by a review for Looking For Alaska, which I will not link out of shame (The review was like one of my first reviews and I think any of my review before March, and maybe even March itself, are really terrible, so I suggest not going back there and looking, you just might hurt yourself from the horrifying reviews. You have been warned.), and if you remember right, I was not a huge fan of the book. But, I feel that if I read the book again, I will understand more about it, and look at how well the writing is or how the characters were developed. But anyways, Looking For Alaska was a good back looking back, the writing was excellent and the characters were amazingly developed. Jeez, now I forgot my point, this paragraph is making no sense whatsoever, right?

Okay, Paper Towns, right. Paper Towns caught me in with the witty and the random humor and dark edge to the writing. Margo kept me in for the first part by a landslide (Not like I wouldn't have kept reading anyways) and Q kept me at the edge of my seat along with him. The emotions and the humor from Q, Ben, and Radar was spectacularly done and so hilarious. The first part of the novel was the best. I loved the dialogue between Q and Margo, and Q was one of the most real characters I know. This novel had me laughing my guts out and making my eyes tear up. Green is truly one of the most brilliant YA writers out there today.

Okay, i feel like I'm writing gibberish so I will get to the point: This novel is amazing. It is one of the best YA novels out this year. READ IT NOW!