Wednesday, December 28, 2011

RTW Top 5 books of 2011

                Every Wednesday YA Highway ask a question Road Trip Wednesday.  This weeks question is:

What were your top five favorite books of 2011?

I’ve already written reviews for these books so I’m not going to rewrite them but simply supply the links. 

Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead 

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

The Death Cure by James Dashner

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl (okay so the 3rd book Beautiful Chaos came out this year but I didn’t want to have to wait when I read so just started)

Also adding in a 6th
The Dark and Hallow Places by Carrie Ryan which I read before I started my blog and haven’t gotten around to writing reviews for all the other books on my shelf I’ve already read.  So quick note on this book it’s the 3rd book in the series about a world filled with undead.  I have liked all the books in the series but I have to admit this one was my favorite of them. 

I love the darkness in Annah, her world is so dim but yet she keeps on hoping for light.  The undead are everywhere and even the safe zones aren’t really that safe when you think about it.  Those who have the power to keep you safe can do you harm, maybe even more harm than the creatures who want to eat you.  Then there is Catcher who is just as messed up as she is in his own way and they find a connection.  That and he holds the answers she’s spent so long both trying to forget and wanting to remember.  I very much enjoyed it and hope she continues the story, there is so much more that could happen next.

I have read so many books this year and it was so hard to pick just five.  I would recommend so many more.  Looking forward to another year of wonderful books.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Beautiful Creatures Review

                The book Beautiful Creatures, is the first book in a supernatural trilogy written by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl.  It’s the story of a small southern town who is so stuck in their ways and convinced anyone unlike them doesn’t deserve to be there.  In the small town of Gatlin, the town shut in who lives in the haunted mansion has a new visitor, a niece Lena Duchannes staying with Uncle.  She is different from everyone else and with her living in the haunted mansion of course she is shunned.  Not by all though, Ethan Wate is a guy who fits in but he always questions why he does and he wishes for something different whom he can be himself with, his real self.  The two are thrown together in a mystery of a shared dream, more like a nightmare and Ethan learns the small town of Gatlin has a deeper history no one in the local Historical Society knows about.  One of magic.

                Yes magic is a big part of the series.  I found this book hard to put down because it was so relatable.  No I don’t have magical powers despite my deep inner wishes.  Come on tell me having magic wouldn’t make life more interesting, it always does in books.  The small town feel, the way everyone knows everything about you even if you don’t really know a person.  Nothing is really yours.  Judgment about you as a whole if you don’t fit into what they consider the norm to be, especially in the South where even if you’ve been somewhere for 15 years you still are not from there and hence still an outsider.  It’s crazy, I understand and that made it relatable for me.  Then add in the mess with not fitting in and having no friends in school or being judges by your family.  Yeah things everyone can relate too I think.

                Then there is the romance.  It’s beautiful and innocent.  It was refreshing, stammering and uncertainty.  To be honest that’s why I adore reading YA books.  Everything is so intense for the characters you can’t help but feel that intensely about it and it’s amazing.  Mix that with the mystical powers and the mystery of the town he thought he knew and it makes for one hell of a story.

                I loved this book and I can’t wait to start the next in the series, Beautiful Darkness which I already have but need to do a few things before I lose myself to another book. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Every Wednesday YA Highway ask a question Road Trip Wednesday they post a question and everyone answers.  So here is this weeks question:

Where do you buy most of your books? No one is judging!

                Okay so this seems like an easy question right?  Not so much.  I don’t have any place I must buy a book.  I did get a Kindle so I do buy books on there through of course but I still buy books in print.  Mostly when I’ve already gotten some in a series and want to have them all in the same format.

                So when I buy books in print if it’s a new release I admit I first check Walmart or Sam’s Club as they usually have a good price.  Then I check online, I’m economical.  I also can check Books A Million which I have nearby, well by nearby I mean as close as nearby is where I live.  Barnes & Noble is a bit further away but I use their website a lot, especially when they have a sale.  However for older books there are a few discount stores a little ways away that have books for under $10.  Some even for $1.  Yep if it’s been out for a while checking there is a good idea. 

                That’s about it.  Don’t have a specific place to buy books.  Anywhere that has a good sale I’m likely to get a couple books.  What about you?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Movie Marathon Reviews...

                I know I’ve been sporadic the for the last few weeks and I apologize for that but not much time spent at the movies or even reading sadly.  I guess that has to do with both writing and getting ready for the holidays.  Alas, my good movie day buddy and I did one of our days and now I have four new movies to review for you.

                First we saw Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, which we were both excited about.  This movie we also had another friend who unfortunately couldn’t stay for the day, holiday shopping and all.  I should start this review by saying that I have never read any of the books or short stories so I had no expectation other than based on what I saw in the first movie.  My friend however did read the books and has her own opinions on some things which I’m sure she’ll share in the comments.

                Holmes was my favorite movie of the night.  It had the level of intrigue, mystery, suspense, action, and comedy you expect.  I have to say I adore the way Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr. play off each other with their banter so well written but the acting in those moments you can’t help but laugh.  Everyone in my opinion did a fabulous job in this movie with their parts, playing them perfectly.

                The story was good, for me what I expected from the previews; a game between two great masterminds.  Holmes is a genius but he’s also a bit crazy too which is what makes him so much fun.  He has an unusual way of looking at things and sometimes you’re not sure if he really knows what he’s doing but then he pulls it all together and you see his ‘crazy’ was part of an intricate plan.  Overall I found Sherlock Holmes 2, to be a fun movie and I can’t wait to get it on DVD. 

Rating: 5 Stars 

                Next we have Tower Heist.  This movie was hilarious.  It’s also relatable in a Robin Hood sorta way.  Bad man takes your money to live the high life and you’re still supposed to treat him and cater to his every whim.  Ben Stiller’s character leads a band of ordinary people on a heist.  It’s so funny because they are normal people and not criminal masterminds so they are pretty much just guessing and making a bunch of mistakes.  You root for the ‘thieves’ because well let’s face it the guy is a complete ass but also because they are doing it for a good reason, to help others.  I don’t have much to say about this movie, it was cute and funny and I recommend seeing it.  It is very predictable but it’s a good time.

Rating:  4 Stars

                Now onto Immortals.  I like mythology so it was a given that I would see this at some point no matter what just to see it.  It is in the same style as 300, lots of blood and gore so if that is offensive to you then you shouldn’t go into this movie.  There is also a cast of yummy eye candy for the ladies, which is always nice.

                This is the tale of a normal guy (Theseus) who just wants to protect those he loves.  King Hyperion is leading his legion of killers on a quest to find the Epirus Bow said to have been lost in the war between Gods and Titans.  He kills without mercy in his quest.  He is played by Mickey Rourke, who plays the role of pure evil sociopath with conviction.  The Bow is the only weapon that can set the Titans free for those who still believe in the myths.

                See the Gods are having their own issues up in the sky.  No God can help the mortals or they go against the will of Zeus.  They can only get involved should the humans set the Titans free.  So Theseus is on a mission of revenge which he comes to learn things about himself along the way.  Along on the journey is the oracle Phaedra who has visions of what is to come.

                It was pretty good.  Better than I expected.  It would be something I’d watch again but not in any hurry.  If you want a gorey action movie have fun.  Also memorable mention before I forget, Joseph Morgan (from Vampire Diaries), and Kellan Lutz (Twilight) and Luke Evans (Three Musketeers (2011)) were in the movie which was something of a treat.

Rating:  3.5 Stars

                The last movie on our marathon yesterday was New Year’s Eve, which is ensemble movie.  It is slam packed with stars.  The movie centers around New Year’s Eve, I bet you didn’t guess that from the title, in New York City.  There are a bunch of different little stories that shift easily into one another.  Each is different in it’s own little way and fun.  If you like the movie Valentine’s Day then you’ll like this, it’s cute.  Not much to say about it other than that.

Rating: 4 Stars

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Before I Fall By: Lauren Oliver

               I just finished reading this book Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver.  I overall enjoyed the book and it kept me intrigued and I’m giving it 4 stars but I warn you ahead of time that this review is sorta hard to write without spoilers but I will try my utmost best.  Mostly it’s just hard to explain my feelings on the ending and how I just feel…caught.

                Okay so basically you have Sam who is part of the popular crowd at school with her three best friends.  She’s dating a super cute guy who she’s always had a crush on and life is perfect for a high school senior.  The typical high school stuff occurs, popularity contests, hating on people who are less than perfect even though they really are good people and all once you get past the ‘not cool enough’ label.  Anyways it’s Cupid Day, which is the day before Valentine’s Day when the students get roses delivered to them throughout the day from friends, admirers, and so on.  A visual popularity contest, who gets the most.

                Well this day is special in that it ends horribly.  Then she wakes up and it’s Cupid Day all over.  Yep Sam is caught reliving the same day over and over.  It’s pretty interesting.   Each day Sam tries different things, both trying to break the repeat cycle and also just do the most outlandish things possible with complete confidence you get another do-over.  Honestly the thought is rather invigorating.  What would you do one day if you knew you could do whatever you wanted and as soon as you went to sleep it’d start all over clean slate?

                So the story delves deeper and throughout you get to see how friendships were formed.  How they weren’t always popular.  Different aspects of what was supposed to be a so called perfect life.  I won’t lie and say I didn’t see it all coming but still it was good.

                Now as for the ending.  Part of me understands it completely and sees really it’s the only way the book could have ended.  The other part of me isn’t content.  I feel cheated.  I’m sure once it’s settled in my mind and isn’t fresh I’ll move more to the understanding side but I just can’t help feel that the ending left open so much and could have caused so many ripples that it could lend itself to another story.  So I guess I say read it, enjoy it, and if you feel at the end like me then just imagine your own little added part to tack on.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Every Wednesday YA Highway ask a question Road Trip Wednesday which I was turned onto by reading a fellow writers blog Unavoidable Awkwardness by Laurie Dennison.    

This week’s prompt was: How far would you go to get published?

                I want to say that I’d do whatever I have to in order to get published and to an extent that is true.  I’ll re-read, re-write, revise and as many times as needed to make it that much better but as much as I would love to be published there is one thing I won’t do. 
                I won’t jeopardize my characters.  I know who my characters are.  I am willing to make minor adjustments to make them more but their overall self I won’t…can’t change them to fit the publishers needs or desires.  That may sound silly but to me that’d be like changing who I am.  All of my characters are real to me, they have pasts, feels, needs, dreams, fears, everything and I know it all. 
                That was very short and to the point but I’m working on my book and the characters I love so they need my attention back.  They are rather demanding.  Let me know what you think.