Friday, March 30, 2012

The Embittered Ruby by Nicole O'Dell

Release Date: April 1st 2012
Carmen Castillo has just moved to Hackensack, New Jersey where danger lurks everywhere - on the streets and in her school. But the school will be soon taken care of Diego a gangbanger who's killed. He offers her his services to protect her from Marco another gangbanger who "wants' her"

She has a boyfriend back from New York. A wealthy boyfriend like she used to be but then her dad divorced her mom and is dating a 20 something cheerleader while she now lives in a tiny apartment with her mother and her three sisters. And now she has to even share a room with a bunk bed! with her bratty little sister.

So what does she do? She gets pregnant on purpose and doesn't tell her boyfriend. His mother isn't too keen on her son throwing her life away for a Mexican... I hated that. What make you think Hispanics are beneath you? Many work harder than you and are smarter than you so *hair flip* get over yourself.

So this a series of the Diamond Estates which is a place to reform girls through God. Religion didn't really come up in the beginning and was waiting for it. It felt like a soap opera in the beginning which I didn't mind. So you know at the end she gets sent there. So I felt this book and how the protagonist was seemed kind of unbelievable. The church thing? And her thoughts? I mean it was too much. I don't see me ever thinking in that way. Just it didn't seem like a teenager was thinking it. Hmm... I just thought the way she said it was unbelievable. And things happened a little too fast. I know weird to say because this book is around 350 pages but the way she just transformed was again unbelievable. It didn't feel right to me. You can't just one day say you're against being Christian and the next I'm Christian! It was weird.

So those were the negative parts now the positive part is that I really liked this book. It wasn't the greatest book ever but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I mean I did finish in like three days so yeah.... Carmen just was killing me. I mean she didn't really care about the baby. She didn't even grieve for it. She's selfish throughout so you know when you read it you are going to be wanting to have a fight or yelling at the main character. I had to stop for a second because she was trying to ruin a relationship and I couldn't believe my eyes. She was exasperating but not overly. I did towards the end feel a little bit good inside my heart with a few things were saying. At the beginning it was way too attack with you with religion for me. Well how the Diamond Estates owners acted and it was nice to have Carmen there to go through that because it was a little too much but then the feeling came and I was happy. I need to read more religious/spiritual books so this was good for me. The Wishing Pearl is the first book and t seems like everyone likes it so I'll have to check it out.

One last thing... I happened to click on someone else's review and went to their blog. And found a song that I loved and wanted to share as well: click play on the song Light The Way. I can't believe he's only 18!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

There's A Boy in the Girl's Bathroom by Louis Sachar

Ah. Nostalgia. I always thought I read this book in 5th grade but according to me (writing in the book) it was 4th grade. In that case Ms.Drummond (or was it Mrs? I know she changed it later)  did a bang up job giving this book and Tales of A Fourth Grade Nothing for the class to read. Now I'm kind of biased on this book so I rated it higher then I'm sure everyone else would. But I loved this book so yeah...

Bradley Chalkers is a bully. He hates everyone and everyone hates him. It's as simple as that. He had to take 4th grade twice. His friends consist of  some animal (figurines?). The red rabbit being his favorite. He NEVER does his homework and NEVER gets any gold stars. He's pretty sure that his teacher hates him too. Everyone doesn't want him around because with Bradley comes trouble. Then two new people show up to his school. A boy named Jeff who he threatens to spit on but then later on in the day basically buys him off to become friends. He's his BEST FRIEND and he went into the Girl's Bathroom by mistake but he doesn't know that. Then there is his counselor. A new young counselor who believes everything he has to say even though they are obviously lies. And then Bradley starts changing. But then will it really last?

I know when I read it, it was obviously a little bit more of a children's book then I expected... He was really childish but it was still a really great book. Again I'm biased but I think even if I read it later I'd still recommend it as a good book for elementary aged kids. It was sweet with the counselor. I would so like to be as calm as her. I guess you learn what to say when a kid starts lying to you or yelling at you. It worries me. So it was a good book. I'll have to read Holes by him soon.

Gym Candy by Carl Deuker

This is NOT A GIRLY BOOK. Just wanted to put that out there because the title can sound misleading to others. I mean Gym Candy? Very misleading...

Mick Johnson was made for football. His father was once a football star even going all the way to the NFL but he didn't last... His father even set him back a grade so he would be a year older than everyone else. He has an advantage with his age and his who his father is because since he was small he was taught the game and he never gave him an inch. His mother doesn't really understand how much football means to him but that's alright. As long as he has football he'll be okay. And then he's starting as a freshman Running Back with his friend Drew by his side as Quarterback. They've known each other for a long time and their friendship will be rocked by how Mick starts to act. Standoffish, too busy, and unnecessarily angry. The problem is that Mick isn't good enough. If he was only stronger he could have won a game. And then later on he is threatened by another Running Back. He goes to steroids and from then on out we will discover how strong he really is.

Ah-Mah-Zing! There aren't that many YA Sport books out there so this one was a treat and then it was about steroids so it made it even more fascinating. I felt for Mick but I couldn't see why he was doing it only at the end. I guess since his father never went to his games unless he was starting... there was pressure from him. And with the new guy coming in but I really didn't see so much pressure in the beginning. One little mishap and then you go for steroids and then the side effects? Ew. Nevertheless this book was crazy good. I loved every minute of it. I think it was so close to being a 5 star book but then the pressure thing I didn't get. I didn't see it there.

Nice twist Deuker. You had me thrown off there for a second. It made you wonder at the end which I love when author's do that. I was even more impressed with this book because I read Runner by the same author and I didn't like it that much so when I read this one I was happy and relieved. Deuker redeemed himself in my eyes. So check it out if you like Sports books.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Rules of Inheritance by Claire Bidwell Smith

Released: February 2nd 2012

I take out my camera and set it up to capture the profundity of the moment. In the grainy black-and-white, I am leaning back against the wall, one knee pulled to my chest, a cigarette between my fingers. My head is turned to one side and my hair is short around my ears and my tattoo showing. I'll come across this photo for years to come and it will never cease to give me pause, instantly transporting me to the first time I realized that no one was ever going to save me.

Words like gripping, heartbreaking, and any other emotional terms can only begin to describe this memoir. Words that mean this book is going to make you feel, care, and cry your eyes out. I knew I put myself in it when I wanted to get this book so many months ago. This is the book I've been eyeing on NetGalley. When I first discovered NetGalley I saw this book and wanted it bad. When I finally got a NetGalley account months later I was worried that since the book was already released that I wouldn't be able to receive it for review. I just went for it one day and there it was. My e-mail telling me I received the book that had made me want to get a NetGalley account in the first place. It was a happy day.

I've never read a memoir before but after this I'll have to read more. I've got a list already. What made me want this book was of course the plot. I really don't know what's wrong with me but I think about death a lot... like an abnormal amount. Claire loses her mother at 18 and I realized this towards the end actually that she was my same age now when she lost her mother and she took ten years to grieve. Since I have a business class I know that you are given two weeks after someone in your family dies from your job which I've always thought was ridiculous. I'd be a wreck if my mother suddenly dies. I couldn't face the world after only two weeks so that also drew me to the story. How she actually took so long to heal. 
I realized that when I was eighteen, it wasn't just my mother who died but a part of me as well. Something happened inside me. Something failed to continue. Some part of me just stopped. Stopped growing. Stopped imagining. Stopped becoming. 
It was like, without my mother, I couldn't possibly go on. I couldn't grow up, become a woman, do things that she would never know about, go places she'd never been, think things I couldn't tell her.
The book goes at different ages of her life. At eighteen this girl is the complete opposite of me. She's had sex and drinks so much. I hear about people who do that and I don't understand. Why would you want that life? Right now it's kind of hard for me to continue because I feel bad. Reviewing this book is like reviewing Claire's life and that isn't my business but I'll try to write freely about what I thought about the book and the different subjects. Anyways as you could tell from me stating that this book is about her healing from her mother's death you know you are in it for the long haul. You need to make sure you are able to handle this book before reading it because I know that some wouldn't be able to. This is someone's life not fiction. This book cannot be read in one sitting and I don't recommend doing that either. It's too much at one time. 

Colin. This is the essence of a bad relationship. She hung on to him because he knew her pain and loneliness but also she was afraid of him and I wanted to just grab her and go. And then towards the end she says she feels damaged and I was like sweetheart no you're not. I wanted to hug her then. She talks so freely about what she experienced. Everything is in this book. All the pain she had bottled up. I wonder what her friends and family thought when they read this? Probably proud of what she's become but I'll get to that later. She even writes about an abortion she had and I thought I was going to have to stop. I'm glad that it was only one.... that sounds so bad. I really believe that no one should have an abortion unless you will either die if it's born or you are raped. People who do that I've always felt were selfish. See why I feel bad writing this review? I didn't have to put that in there but it stuck with me. 
I'm alone now. All alone. No more men, no more alcohol, no more self-destructing, no more hiding.
I am so glad that she realized the joy of motherhood and now she is happy with her husband and daughter. You'll be rooting for her all the way because in the end after her parents and her friend's lives fading she continued on and she did it. She was able to finally let go. She became a grief counselor which I love since I am thinking of going into counseling. I like to find books either fiction or nonfiction where there is a counselor in it. Though I could never do grief. I think children are more in my path in whatever I decide to do. The way she let everything out in the open, the way she jumped from one life (age) to the next, and just the way she wrote the book was astonishing. It was captivating. I absolutely loved it. Thank you for being my first memoir and thank you for being so strong Claire. You deserve everything in the end.

I can't really say anymore just that this book was indeed fantastic and is one of those books that'll always stick with me no matter what. I know I didn't do the book justice in this review but know that you will not regret it when you turn that last page. I can't really explain anymore how much this book moved me. There are no more words.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Are You Alone on Purpose? by Nancy Werlin

This was on one of my Library Saturday's list. It has a different cover. I grew to like the library cover. The other one doesn't have Harry who is also a main character. So this one suits it better even if it isn't the greatest cover ever.

Harry and Alison are NOT friends. Harry is consistently bullying Alison because she is such an easy target. She's a nerd who has only one friend and all she does is read books. She also has an autistic twin brother named Adam. Harry likes to play sports and has had to repeat the eighth grade book over again. He's the son of a Rabbi who doesn't know what to say to him. That's alright with him. His father isn't the person he wants to talk to anyway. His mother died years before and since then they have been on edge with each other. It's mostly Harry because well his father frankly doesn't have the guts to say anything to him.

One day a letter arrives and her mother drags her with her to see the Rabbi (Harry's dad) because he won't admit him to Hebrew school because they don't have anyone equipped with being able to handle him. Her mother goes off in a tyrant and says something about Harry. Something that made me wince because I knew he was going to become just that...crippled. She didn't say crippled exactly I don't think but she said something along the lines of I hope your kid becomes more disabled than my son because he is a nasty mean little boy and like father like son. Something like that. And the same day...

So Harry's father decided to tutor Adam one on one because he thinks God was punishing Harry for his dad not allowing Adam in Hebrew School. He is actually mesmerized with him.  He does this but he still is tense with his boy and Alison sees that. Not only does she feel bad because she wanted ill will on Harry but also because he is in a way like her. Invisible. Alone.

Really loved this book. I love how they became friends in the end. I didn't expect Harry to start up with curse words. I don't really care I just wasn't expecting it. It's nice to see the bully conform but it is kind of disturbing to see t go down this way. The book could have added a little more. More in general and more about Adam. Harry was a little too harsh in this and I thought t was a bit excessive but other than that I loved this story.

The letters at the end... I wish it was that easy. Well that's it. Happy Reading!

Ivy + Bean by Annie Barrows Illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Bean is the type of girl who can never sit in one place for too long which means she is bored easily. When her mom suggests she talks to the new kid that just moved in their neighborhood. She seems like such a nice girl. Bean knows that's code name for Boring! All she does is sit on her porch and reads. She's always alone and doesn't seem to mind while Bean on the other hand is friends with everyone... Big kids, little kids, whoever...

Then one day she wants to scare her sister into submission. She wants her to stop being bossy. She's helping her really. But then it doesn't go quite as planned and incredibly Ivy helps her out. Ivy actually turns out to be just the person she needs.

This was a sweet friend book. It was better than I expected. Ivy ended up being pretty cool. I liked her anyway even is she only liked books... well you know why but she actually was even more interesting than that. Sophie Blackall who did the illustrations did a good job. I've liked her other illustrations before and am glad I finally read one of her books even though she didn't write it. So it was a good children's chapter book that I'm sure girl's will appreciate.

Ivy + Bean

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes Illustrated by Louis Slobodkin

Being a children's classic this book has been loved by generations for more than sixty years. I never really had much interest to read it but I said I would for a challenge on Goodreads. Completely not what I expected. I thought it would have been more of a fantasy genre or like a Dr.Seuss book. I don't know why. I was just going by the cover.

The illustration is famous on its own. I've always seen it and it's like a symbol for children's classics or children's books themselves.

Now Eleanor Estes I have known for awhile. I have read and loved Ginger Pye (Pinky Pye wasn't as great). I know she has written more on The Moffats. Basically she's a classic storyteller and she also created this actual classic. Before you read the book her daughter writes a not about why her mother wrote this story. It was actually a true story. I don't know how much is fiction but it was based on a true story. There was this girl in her class who day in and day out wore a faded blue dress and she claimed one day that she had a hundred dresses in her closet lined up. Everyone teased her about that and her polish last name. Then one day she moved away and Eleanor always felt bad for not sticking up for her. She wrote this book as sort of an apology letter.

In the story Peggy is the leader in making fun of this girl, Wanda Petronski, was the girl who was being picked on. She was obviously poor and I can't believe people would make fun of her like that. She has a hard time as it is. Peggy's best friend Maddie is the one who has always felt bad of her being made fun of. This story takes a twist at the end when Wanda has moved and we discover the hundred dresses... She really showed them up. This story is primarily a lesson. Maddie is the one who learns it and I'm glad to see someone feel bad for what she did or in this case what she didn't do. But I wonder if I were in the same instance at that age if I would do anything? And I'm sure I know and it's sad that I probably wouldn't do anything. I would like to think at this age well I actually do believe myself when I know that I would do something now. Children act so childish because that is their nature. The ones who stop are the ones who will make a real difference in the world and in the lives of others. Sadly some people don't grow up.

Finally Watching The Hunger Games Movie

I don't know how long the anticipation has been there for this movie. Months of waiting. First it was just for the people to be cast then it was just the actual movie to hurry up and come out! Al the interviews, sneak previews were torture. But finally, FINALLY! I watched it. I didn't see it at the midnight premiere like I wanted but no matter. She here's what I thought:

I know that I was over analyzing the movie. It was just happening to fast for me which I still think it's true when looking back. There wasn't enough time to actually get to know the characters or I mean just... it was just everything was fast motion. I also actually never see the characters I read as real people. They're like drawings of the characters not real people so it was really weird to just have them there. By the end though and when my dad was asking questions I knew I had seen a fantastic movie no matter if it was weird for me. It wasn't as great as the book but it was like a separate entity. It was great seeing the book come to life and actually visually experience it.

Things were added to the movie and some things weren't put in and other things were changed which is to be expected. I loved that it wasn't just Katniss's point of view. It was also Seneca Crane's well the Capitol's and what was happening in the background. It was a great idea to add that. We don't really know much of Seneca Crane just that he died so it was cool that they added that.

Best Beard Ever!

I noticed that Katniss was much nicer. I always thought she was playing Peeta and she could be a real pain but she was perfect in the movie. She much more cared about Peeta and the others then her own survival. I don't know she just seemed nicer like at the end with Cato. I didn't mind it.

The Careers were unexpectedly awesome. I loved Alexander Ludwig as Cato and
really wish he could do more movies in the future.

Just one last thing...Peeta at the last interview with Katniss looked amazing! He was pretty cute then. This was GREAT movie I'm so glad I wasn't disappointed. I was so worried that I would be but I wasn't so I'm happy.

When he looks at the crowd is when he looks his best *gush*

I wonder if they're going to make four movies instead of three...?

*With the librarian the other day I got over it. I'll just never try to ask her a question again sheesh! Another thing is hat I reached my limit in the number of books I can take out which is fifty. At least I know now. It shouldn't be too hard to read three short books by Monday to get the three books I left. I actually might have to read four because one is being shipped to me. It's kind of bothersome to have to read a certain amount to get new books but whatever. I'll have to deal with it.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Librarians Can Be A Piece of Work

My day started off getting up at six to go volunteer selling some things with a club I have in school which will go back to the school because we are awesome. Then I go to the library. I'll try not to curse so here it goes.... I ask this lady if they had Tom Sawyer. I checked but they may have it somewhere else. So she proceeds to take like five minutes to find the book and she comes empty handed. It's supposed to be there but it isn't. That's fine. She continues to look dumb founded at the computer. And proceeds to waste my time. She has done this before trying to help me but by the look on my face then and now I don't really want to talk anymore/ it's fine I'll check back later. I don't say anything because I'm just like that.

Then since I left my ID I can't check out my book which I'm disappointed but I can do the self check out. But the WA she says it pisses me off. I'm trying to ask her if she can look for a book for me that I had on hold. She's there arguing me with that FACE of hers... While I'm trying to ask her a question but she not explaining it right so I'm getting pissed off. If she said it in a nice way and let me FINISH MY SENTENCE I would be fine. But no.... Then she finally explained that she couldn't look it up because I didn't have my ID. (I didn't have my card. I had the number written down because I still can't find the card after three weeks. Each time I had to bring my ID but I left it this time.) I checked out most of my books but my dad got some so I couldn't check out the last three because the limit on the machine I guess is ten. I put back the books on the hold shelf and found the other book there. It was small but I missed it. A simple mistake but they could have found in a second if she want looking for it. And then I get red. I HATE when people make me feel like shit. Then I rant at my dad while he tries to explain that's ow some people are. They always heard the word no. Now I'm going to have to come back there later and you bet I'm not going to go with her. May I Help You? No! you know what (expletive).... I seriously would have been fine if she didn't have that scrunched up face I am a you know what face. I would have been disappointed about not checking out ten books and would have asked the nice guy.

The ONLY person I like to check my books out with because he isn't slow, he talks to you, and he's nice. My school library teacher always has a big smile on his face. If you don't like the job then GET OUT! All you had to do is let me talk, listen, explain in a nice way and me and you wouldn't have had a problem. Now I will ALWAYS dislike you. I can be stubborn so I doubt I'll forgive you. Just shut up, listen, and don't look like you are enjoying my pain! My dad I thinks she wasn't being a you know what. And maybe I'm overreacting. I am pretty sensitive. I got mad at a girl because she laughed at one of my book titles names. I got embarrassed and got kind of mad. But I stopped because it was really ridiculous to get mad at her. She didn't mean and the next time I saw her she wasn't all gloomy or a Why-am-I-here face. She was pleasant. And I've seen her later on and she was pleasant as well so I don't mind having here check me out. I really hate this woman's guts now. So I plan to go later with my ID and then watch The Hunger Games which my friend has already seen twice and says is amazing. So it should be good... Just in a really crappy mood right now so it's like whatever so I'll be happy to leave with my three books and then go off to the movies. My parents are coming so it'll be interesting. I know they are going to ask questions and the love triangle... so it's weird. But it's Hunger Games so... yay!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Every Man for Himself: Ten Short Stories About Being A Guy

I know you may be wondering why I would be reading a book about guys. A book with urinals in the front cover. Well one day I left all my books at home on a school day and I knew last block would be torture without one so I sent my friend's off on a quest to find me a short book to read and after a few attempts this one was a winner. I really have no problem reading about guys even fictional so I was like what the hey! I'll go for it. And I was pleasantly surprised with how great these short stories were. They are written by ten male authors that you may or might know. I happen to know about Walter Dean Myers (I have never read a book by him myself. I attempted but failed.) Mo Willems who wrote the Knuffle Bunny and the Pigeon Series (Also haven't read but they are also pretty famous), and Terry Truman who wrote Stuck in Neutral (Again...etc.).

I really liked I think all of the stories. Some more than others and this was actually good because i found some new authors and made new discoveries. I'll tell you about two stories so you get the idea of the book. The first story was by Walter Dean Myers called The Prom Prize where this high school basketball player joked to his loudmouthed friend that maybe he'll have a lottery to see who he goes with to the dance because he really didn't care. So of course his friend thinks it's serious and sets the whole thing up so he's put in this tough spot and then later he gets into another tough spot when a white girl is chosen as his date. He doesn't care but everyone else has an opinion on it which causes nothing but trouble for him.

The second story (the first two stories happen to be my favorite ones) is by Rene Saldana Jr. called Jump Away where the main character and some other boys need to prove that the "are tough" or I don't really know or they'll bet beat on by this group of bullies. The leader is taunting all of them but the main character isn't fazed. He's not scared but he wonders why is here? Why should he follow what they say and not what he wants?

This book was pretty awesome and well worth the read. Girls who don't mind "boy" books should pick it up as well as boys.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Jump by Elisa Carbone

P.K. isn't doing so well at school and her parents have had enough so there shipping her off to boarding school miles and miles away. But P.K. is going to have the last word. Before they send her off she's going to run away. Not for long. Just long enough for her parents to change their minds. They just don't get her like her friends parents. I mean she showed them a book of teenage rebellion and she was allowed to study for classes at home. Not P.K.'s parents. So she wants to go on an adventure but no one wants to go with her until this boy walks in and he volunteers rights away. She doesn't know anything about him and that's fine by her... for now.

That boy I was talking about? Well his name is Critter and he's just got out of a psych ward. He has these really weird ideas about life. He sees the light of people so he can tell what their moods are.  He has different philosophies about life and his parents just think he is insane. He had to get out of there. His parents never gave him a chance. So he's hitchhiking with P.K. this incredible cute girl that no one wants to go with. Life's a hundred percent adventure. There is no past or future only now. And now he's not going to worry about the cops or being locked up again. But what happens when he starts to really fall for the girl? Will he be able to let her get hurt because of his problems?

LOVED THIS BOOK! So beautiful.... I want more books like this. I love nature books/sport books like this. And I kind of like books about crazy people. But Critter isn't crazy... well it depends on your point of view but he's just weird to me. I really cared for Critter and that... that AUTHOR! RUINED MY LIFE FOR A SECOND! That was messed up... you know what you did. But then there is P.K. and she was like sort of the stable one. She's like you when you're reading about Critter. Lack of a better word she's the sane one. I understand some of what Critter was saying but some of the things just went over my head honestly. Basically live your life to the fullest.

Her parents were killing me! Both of their parents in fact. P.K.'s parents and Critter's needed to listen to their children. Everything could be solved if you just listened. Critter's parents at the end... I realized they didn't really care. There are a couple of loose ends at the end but that's too be expected. In the end this book left me wanting more... more books like this and more stories that are deep in its way like this. It was so rewarding.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Well now I've watched the movie and read the book. I do like the movie better. It's not a big difference in the greatness of it like Stardust was. Wybie wasn't there and there was just more.... but I also thought that Gaiman is a genius for coming up with Coraline and basically everything he had in the book came out in the movie so I won't say that the book wasn't great which it was.

So the story goes like this... Coraline just moved into a new home. Her parents are always busy never having time for her. She explores a lot. In both the book and the movie she meets a black cat that becomes sort of like her sidekick but don't let it catch you saying that. Let's say he's more like her guide. He helps her out a couple of times throughout the book and has the sterotypical I'm better than you cat persona. But it's just right when coming through the cat.

In the movie she meets Wybie this awkward cute kid that warns her about the house. She receives a doll in the movie too which doesn't happen in the book. The doll looks like her but with button eyes. It steals the key to a little door that she enters before where she meets her other mother and father who have time for her and cook her normal delicious food. They buy her what she wants and it's all good. Problem is they want her to sew button eyes on her eyes like they have. They want her to never leave. She refuses but then her parents are stolen. So now she must find her parents and save the souls of three dead children that the other mother said she "loved".

Going to the Other World
Meeting Wybie

Now I never thought about this but with the illustrations in the book I thought about the other mother and her button eyes on a real human. You know how creeped out I got!? *shudders* Also a warning: do not under any circumstance read this book or watch the movie at night. I know it's just a kids book but then it's also a really messed up kids book so... I warned you...

Now imagine your mom with button eyes. Yeah. I told you it was creepy.

I loved the stop motion animation because Coraline looks absolutely amazing in the movie because of it. It must take a lot of patience though. Fantastic Mr. Fox did it too and I won't be surprised if I see others doing it as well. So I loved the movie and really liked the book. If you haven't seen the movie you really need to go out and get it like now. There is this doll I found and now I have a really bad want for it. I don't really care if it's the tiny one or larger one I just want it.

Stop Motion in Coraline
You know you want one.
"...The world will be built new for you every morning. If you stay here, you can have whatever you want."

Coraline sighed. "You really don't understand, do you?" she said. "I don't want whatever I want. Nobody does. Not really. What kind of fun would it be if I just got everything I ever wanted? Just like that, and it didn't mean anything. What then?" 
"I think I once mentioned," said the cat,"that I don't like rats at the best of times. It looked like you needed this one, however. I hope you don't mind my getting involved."

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Traveling Restaurant: Jasper's Voyage in Three Parts by Barbara Else

Released: March 1st 2012 
Jasper is just an ordinary boy who lives in a place where the monarch is oh so adorable! Or that's what everyone says in fear so they don't get taken away. He doesn't understand how people do that. He also doesn't understand why his mother keeps on telling everyone that he is ten instead of twelve. And then he sees Lady Gall put something in his little sister's mouth and everything goes haywire after that. He's left alone and ends up going on a ship with a restaurant that has an odd set of people that he soon finds out are not only odd but important. They're against Lady Gall taking the crown but I don't even they would have expected this much trouble from an ordinary boy like Jasper. Stealing orphans, bribing pirates, and you the reader discovering that this isn't just an ordinary boy after all.

Well this one took me awhile so you know it wasn't as captivating as it could be BUT that doesn't mean it was bad. It actually was pretty good. Another "I didn't expect" type of book. I would just say it is for a certain type of reader. It's a journey but I thought there would be more action less talking. Jasper is very likable and I felt sorry for him because everyone kept calling him plain and he was anything but. He loved his sister very much and his sister was a toddler so that's love! I know I shouldn't say this but it was too long. The average middle schooler is not going to keep there attention on this book for that long. Again it's a certain type of reader. An actual READER. Someone who likes to read a lot. So other than that this book was a unique one. The plot was a great one with an evil monarch wanted to take over who was kind of reminiscent to the one in The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. I'm happy that I finally got to finish it and it ended nicely.

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

First of all this is a Horror book so you might want to be wary of it. It is not spooky it's Horror. I had to stop midway through because stupid me started it as soon as I woke up. It can kick you down in the middle of the morning. I needed to get out of my head for a little while because it's not bad it's just something you shouldn't immediately wake up to. After coming back to it I was fine. The rest of the book I was fine too. It just got into my head a little bit too much. So with that rambling portion done let's get on to the book shall we?

So this town is crazy because I would have moved out way before I had a kid. Because they steal your kid. And replace it with one of their sick... creatures. And Mackie is one of those creatures. His family knows it but it's something they don't talk about. His "sister" is pretty devoted to him even though there is that underlying problem where he isn't really her brother. It's actually kind of odd to me how much they care and how he got friends because he was really sick in the beginning and everything was going wrong with him. I'm surprised. He wasn't a barrel of laughs if you know what I mean.

He stays in the background because everyone knows what he is but they deny it. But whenever something bad happens like oh say a girl in your class's sister dies he needs to keep his head down before he's bludgeoned to death. It wasn't even her sister Tate says. She's desperate to talk to him because he's the obvious choice. It's not like anyone else would know. So he avoids her. But with a person like Tate that isn't going to last very long.
This is where everything goes awry with Mackie's seemingly good life but truth is he's dying and there is only one place he could get help so of course there is a catch. Now Mackie has to make a choice. The life he's always known or the life he should have had.

Again so creepy but so good in the same sense. I know I keep on saying it and I know I'll probably say it the rest of my life concerning books but I didn't expect this book to be this way. I know what it was about actually in this case which I usually don't or don't remember before I start reading it.... But the characters were so different then what I expected. I didn't expect Mackie to be so... gloomy. And such a background type of guy. He was scary just because of how he acted and then he was not really human so that added to his odd vibe. I seriously could not have kept him if I were his mom. That's just depressing but whatever. Mackie was still quite interesting in his own way and I sort of warmed up to him. I know I must sound weird but this book was really good. If you've read it or if you are going to read it then you'll understand why I can't really describe that it was really good... it was just odd too so that's why I keep tripping over my words. So if you like Horror books I recommend this one and if you know of any others please tell me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

American Born Chinese chronicles the fictional lives of a Chinese-American boy who always feels misunderstood, a Monkey King who wants to prove the "Higher ups" that he is more than just a monkey, and a teenage jock that just wants his overly stereotypical cousin to just leave him alone! Their lives intertwine and eventually meet showing the boy, monkey, and teenager as well as the reader that you should never deny your true self.

I've seen this book around for while but I never gave it much thought. I want to scold my past self because of that. This gives you (well it gave me) a huh feeling when you finished because it came out so well in the end. It is one of those lessony books but those are pretty fundamental if you think about it and it's not overly laid out to you so it's like you are discovering it as the characters are.

The Monkey King is all hot headed well... proud. I would be angry too if I were him because everyone made fun of him even though he was amazing! He learned a bunch of Kung-fu so yeah you know he is. The three stories were about the same thing really. Being yourself. Like so what if everyone made fun of you? You can kick their ass any day of the week. You're a monkey. That's who you are. That's sounds so cheesy...

Jin Wang is the Chinese-American boy who always feels misunderstood. He has moved from an area that was predominately Chinese so he never felt out of place. But then his parents go out and say that he's moving and there is only one other person who's Asian in the beginning but they avoid each other so they don't get picked on even more. I've never gotten that. It's probably because I live in Miami that I don't. My school consists mostly of Hispanics and Blacks. But no one really has a problem with one another. Well... there are a couple of guys that aren't the greatest people in the world all the time but that's expected. There's a place for everyone really so it's weird to me. Who cares!? I would so want to be his friend and eventually he does make a friend by the way. He likes transformers and at that age that's pretty awesome. He also falls for this all American girl which is a problem...

And finally the teenage jock who is always embarrassed when his stereotypical cousin comes for a week. So embarrassed that he transfers schools. I would transfer too if this guy was my cousin. When you see who it is you know that the cousin is meant for something. He's supposed to mean something and in Yang's weird way he accomplishes his goal in showing you and the character what it's all about. I didn't get it at first until it was revealed so I was dying for Danny. I hide in embarrassment whenever anyone even a stranger is humiliating themselves so I was ducking down enough for the both of us.

This book is geared toward more to boys. You can tell this by the boys literally drooling over the girls. But it's not anything really bad so just roll your eyes and move on ladies because this graphic novel is worth the read.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Before I get on with the review I would like to say a couple of things. This is my first book club read that takes place at my house but it's not formed by me which I really don't understand why because I read more books than anyone in my family but there that is. I don't know if it's going to last long even though it has been going great but family is fickle like that. I didn't read one time... and everyone is going crazy. It was really stupid. But really it's not a big deal. I finished it that day like twenty minutes late. So whatever. I'm surprised my mom agreed to this because I only sometimes get to buy books so I'm pretty happy. But no one likes my books though so yeah...

This was some creepy book. I still don't know what the problem with the two clowns is. What in the hell is that!? And last thing before I go into my review... I'm glad this was the first read. It was a really good book.

Jacob was told stories when he was little by his grandfather but they weren't meant to be stories. They are what really happened according to his grandfather. To get away from the war he was sent to a home but it wasn't just any home. Every child there was peculiar. They had powers. Like the girl who you needed to keep tied down or she would float away or the boy who was invisible and liked to walk around naked and follow you around. You wouldn't be able to tell at all. There was a point in Jacob's life that he stopped believing like his father. He was delusional but when he finds his grandfather sliced up and looks up to see a... thing with tentacles coming out of his mouth just for a brief second he goes absolutely crazy with disbelief and grief. After awhile he decides to go to the island where the home was to get some closure... well kind of because there is a small part of him that believes that maybe his grandfather wasn't telling stories after all.

As I said before this was a good book to open with the book club. It actually was kind of scary but more than scary it was the wondering that kept you guessing. What was going to happen after that!? It's crazy to find out about the home and the kids and how they have lived for all these years. It's kind of depressing if you think about it. There was this one kid who would take out hearts of mice and put them in clay soldiers. It was beyond creepy. That's the type of kid that you would see on the playground by themselves setting fire to ants with a microscope and you knew then they had issues. You then proceeded to back away slowly because who knows what he could do or become? Very long description I know.

I'm glad Jacob was 15 so I could relate to him more. If he was an adult which I was expecting I don't think I would have been as taken with this as I was. It would also be especially creepy because of Emma.... *shudders* you'll find out why when you read it. The parents are just sad. The father can't do anything right and probably feels that way because the mother is super rich but that's no excuse. The mother shouldn't even be talking because that is inheritance money. She didn't make that money so stop being a little... pain especially to you son who saw his own grandfather die! So anyways it was well worth the read. If you are scared easily I don't recommend reading it at night but then again it's not really scary but spooky... if that makes any sense. There's a difference.... I loved that Jacob was from Florida and so is "Ransom Riggs" like I believe that's his real name. I'm kind of surprised that there is going to be another one... but we'll see. This reminds me of The Woman in Black which I really need to see. Well see ya!

The Clock Keeper

I also recently watched Hugo based on the book: The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. I did end up reading the book so I'll talk about them both. First of all the book... I had no idea what the book was about. Like absolutely none but I knew I wanted it because of the title. I originally thought it was about traveling by balloon around the world or something like that based upon the cover. Now you know I never looked very close to what the cover looked like.

I found out it was about a boy named Hugo Cabret he was alone and wanted so badly to fix this machine, the automaton, his father was working on. The reason is pretty heartfelt so I won't ruin it. He lives inside the walls of a train station taking care of the clocks like his uncle told him to. Problem is he hasn't seen his Uncle for months. I think he keeps doing it because he doesn't know what else to do. He steals parts of mechanical toys from a Toy store run by an old man. He is caught one day and this leads him to a world of discovery. With the help of Isabelle, the toy shop's goddaughter, Hugo will finally get some closure and something else he wasn't looking for but really needed.

I really liked the first half of this book and I absolutely loved the illustrations! There is one is particular:

I SO want to draw this. It's like it's tugging at my heart to do so. *sigh* Anyways there was a point where it got predictable and kind of boring because the subject didn't interest me that much. BUT, the movie portrayed it really well. I think for me the movie made more sense than it was a book. The book was still good but the movie was better. Considering the subject matter it does make more sense to have it visual. It also added more with the station inspector. I just felt more towards it which I kind of thought I would when watching the trailer a couple of months after I read it.

Now with the characters of the movie... Hugo was played by Asa Butterfield who I could have sworn was the kid who played Let Me In because they looked so much alike but it's not. I loved this kid's eyes. They were piercing into my soul and made me feel so bad for him and his situation. You know he was Bruno in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas? And I now found out there was going to be an Ender's Game movie when I looked him up which he'll be in. I've never wanted to read that book but my brother would be quite interested so there's that.

Isabelle is played by the girl from Let Me In and also funnily enough Kick-Ass. She's going places you can tell. Her name is Chloe Grace Moretz in case you are wondering. Oh yeah I almost forgot there was a big difference in what happened in the movie and the book with the old man from the toy shop which I thought was odd. The book had it right well... it depends on how you see it. Both make sense I guess. eh.... I don't know what I think about that right now. So in conclusion I'd watch the movie if I was you. It was really well done.

Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

Last time Nora Grey met Patch, a fallen angel, and she fell for him (cheesy I know) and even after discovering that he wanted to kill her so he can turn human (I don't understand that) she forgave him and now they've been with each other for two months. The greatest two months she has ever had. But Patch is being secretive and of course, you knew it was going to happen, broke up. What they broke up over I can't really wrap my head around. It's supposed to be because of her archenemy Marcie but I really just hated the way she acted. She was so whiny and accusing for no reason. Later on she should have not felt anything or done anything. Yeah he was with Marcie. What's it to you? You broke up with him!!! So there is my rant. I won't go into it anymore because it seriously ruined most of the book.

 I kept reading because I had to know what happened. The end got interesting and made the book worth reading. She's had images of her father's death and she finds out who killed her father. There also comes in a new boy in her life which is to be expected in YA already. His name is Scott and he is quite annoying. He's also a tiny bit psycho but really Nora was acting more psycho in this book then he was most of the time. He used to make her eat bugs when they were little... and he has anger issues. You know he's no good so have fun reading it. And getting very angry with Nora. I'll continue the series because despite this little snag in the books I think it'll get better. Hopefully...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Speaking for the Trees

So the other day I went to the movies with my mom to watch The Lorax. I know aren't I a bit too old for a Dr.Seuss movie? Well I beg to differ first of all I will always act like a kid and second of all this movie was an amazing watch that speaks a universal truth. We need to save the trees because we can't live without them. Literally. I haven't read the book myself but now I plan on it so this is all about the movie. Dr. Seuss would be proud of this movie. I know he would be.

So it all starts with ted well kind of.. but whatever. I'll get to that later. Ted  likes Audrey and Audrey likes trees. There are no trees in Sneedville because everything is plastic and they like it like that. There is the evil businessmen that sells air because the regular air is polluted and there are no Truffula trees. They're replaced by plastic trees. There are two musical (what did you expect?) scenes that makes fun of this. So Ted wants to get her a tree so with the help of his grandmother he is guided towards the Once-ler who knows where to find the trees. But first he tells him his story and that's the guy cutting down trees. In the end you get a great tale that everyone needs to see!

The Young Once-ler causing some trouble
For some unknown reason all the animals are either birds or fish or bears. Cute bears but still.
Why is it that everyone who is evil is short?

It kind of made me feels bad because I read books... that require paper but honestly I'll keep reading books. But it really made me want to recycle. I discovered a couple of things: 

This video is quite interesting. I went to the website and found that there are a bunch of hiking areas and parks near me. Now that's big because I want to be an outdoorsy type of person. And I've wanted to hike since forever so that was pretty fantastic. The images are Lorax parties which I think are adorable. It was pretty hilarious that Danny DeVito plays a character on a children's movie. You would know why if you have ever seen It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia which I don't recommend to everyone. It's really dark humor and just... not for everyone. Well It's almost time for my brother's 23rd birthday party so I'll be off. Have a great day!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Evie has lived all of her life lost. Half of it spent in the foster system after being found wondering around naked as a toddler. The other half as a sort of secret weapon for the IPCA (International Paranormal Containment Agency). Her best friend is a mermaid who whenever curses is translated into Bleep! A sort of adopted mother by her named Raquel who is a workaholic and expert sigher. And finally the biggest problem of all: a former ex named Reth who wants to steal her soul. She is one of a kind. She is the reason the paranormal agency went international. She can see through glamours. She can see the corpse underneath Vampires, the yellow eyes of werewolves, and then there is Lend who know no really knows what he is just that he can shape into anyone he wants and his true form is like water. When he comes around she starts wonder if the bagging and tagging of paranormals is right. And if the IPCA is her home or a prison.

WOW. THIS BOOK IS UNBELIEVABLY AMAZING! First two pages and then I was hooked. I already knew this was a five star book. I even gave it to a friend to borrow to share the love. The next line is what made me instantly conclude that this book was five stars. Don't judge me now.

"Tasers are one-size-fits-all paranormal butt-kicking option. Mine's pink with rhinestones. Tasey and I have had a lot of good times together"

It's hilarious. Trust me. She's not what I expected at all (seems to be a recurring theme in the books I read...) because the cover and her don't match. She looks all serious but she's just a teenage girl who just wants to be normal and you saw the tasey line. She's spunky. I have another quote but as I am an awesome friend the quote is stuck in the book. So I'll have to post that later and it'll be posted at the end of this review. It's an awesome quote.

*swoon* Lend. He. Is. Perfect. Everything you could wish for in a guy. Evie and him together are almost perfect... (Him and me would be PERFECT together) *coughs* Um... yeah. Well he can change into anyone and the one he usually picks? That hot guy with olive skin? He has an amazing power... But I wouldn't mind him being himself. He sort of spoke in riddles for me in the beginning and really intrigued me. I would be creeped out like Evie if he turned into me. I'd be so self-conscious.

Raquel. Why couldn't you just LISTEN! I hate when adults are just naive. She warned you! Reth is no good. He really creeped me out even with the first description. He's really narrow? What the..? And the things revealed from there just kept me so engaged... well more like obsessed. This book will grab you and hurt you because then you have to wait to get the other one like me (17 people ahead of me in the library!) and then there is another one. But mainly is how much you fall in love with Evie. She's so kick-ass. I loved her. Her personality. Her story. BEYOND AWESOME! YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK!

There might be a movie!

Update! The quote I was talking about:
"Tell you what," he said, noticing my stare. "I know you can't get a license, but I might be able to do something better."
He smiled. "How would you like to come to school with me tomorrow and see a  real, live locker?" 
I'm pretty sure I squealed. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally) by Lisa Yee Illustrated by Dan Santat

Bobby Ellis-Chan doesn't know what happened. His almost best friend Holly isn't speaking to him anymore. She just glares at him behind Jillian Zarr's cold stare. Jillian hates boys. Bobby used to think Holly was like him with her wild hair, her love of all things muddy, froggy, and well... boy. After not seeing each other for around a month she has changed. Her once nest style hair is now sleek and shiny and she's even wearing a dress! Then they stopped talking after a few... mishaps. With an election coming they are pitted against each other. Will they ever be able to put what happened behind them and become true friends?

Of course I was right to read a book illustrated by Santat. Loved his illustrations. Bobby and Holly's relationship isn't one I understood at first. Why didn't they hang out with each other in school? I don't remember elementary being like that for me. But I do remember if you did hang out with a guy a lot everyone would say that you liked them which consequently could make you lose a relationship... But that was what they had to deal with. Bobby didn't really know how to react and I was laughing at him because he would just say the wrong things. Mean things without even realizing it. I couldn't really blame him. He's a boy. But I did feel bad for him. Living in the shadow of his father which I thought should have been played on a little more. And his speech! Poor guy. All in all I really liked it. It was a great light read for kids.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Library Saturday #6

Okay so I guess I went a little alien crazy or sci-fi whatever. I've never read a book about aliens so it's kind of weird for me to get two. Everybody loves Across the Universe so you know what I am conceding. I'll read it already! Stuck on Earth is by the author of You Don't Know Me (I need to read it again....) which is one of my favorite books. Vampire Academy I've been waiting forever for. I was kind of hesitant of it but I conceded again. All those people can't be wrong right? I just got The Sky Inside for it's cover I think. I think I read a sentence of the cover and was like want it and then ordered it right away. Bobby vs. Girls is by Santat who I've always loved his illustrations so I decided I should read a book of his already.

On a side note.... a got my graduation dress!!!! It's perfect. I found another one that was fantastic. It wasn't what I wanted but it was still beautiful. It's this white crochety thing with pretty not ruffles but .... I don't know it was pretty and short. Not too short. I don't want to look like a hoochie mama at my graduation. lol. Well then my mom found the PERFECT DRESS! She said it would go great with cowboy boots which I have always wanted. I want to go to Texas.. yeah. Well it has that flap thing dresses have, it's simple it's pink, it's all crotchety, and it's better than what I wanted! It's perfect and I am so happy. I was so happy I felt like I was glowing. Yeah I'm weird. And then it was cheap so my mom got both of them. DO YOU KNOW HOW RARE THAT IS!? I never get clothes like that. Or clothes at all... I was jealous of what other girls have worn before and wanted to look as amazing as they did for once and I am so happy about it. I know it's petty but I don't care. It also has the back bottom part longer than the front. It has a tiny belt!!!! It's fantastic. Okay. I'll stop rambling now. So.. the end.