Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Finds from the Web (07/31/09)

This week I didn't go to the store, so I have no books to share. BUT, I did find some cool websites thanks to a goodreads buddy, Misty.

Check out Misty's blog: Book Rat

And then check out this awesome book site that she recommended to me...

Better World Books delivers for free in the U.S. and for $3.97 world wide...Make sure to check out the site.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Review: A Company of Swans

Title: A Company of Swans
Author: Eva Ibbotson
Age Group: Young Adult
My Rating: 4/5

Nineteen-year-old Harriet Morton is a beautiful, smart young lady and loves school. But she has a father that believes young women should not be educated and an aunt that is tight on money and has no care or sense of fashion. So she no longer goes to school, but they do allow her to take ballet lessons.

One day in ballet class a Russian ballet master comes and watches to look for a girl to join his company for a tour of The Amazon. Of course, he wants Harriet to join, but she instantly knows her family will not allow her to run off to the jungle.

She runs away from England after hearing her father's refusal to let her go. In the Amazon she learns to dance ballet and also finds an Englishman that she falls in love with. But unknowingly, her father sent a man (a guy he wants to call his son-in-law) to search and bring her back to England.

Can Harriet stay with the man of her dreams or does her dreadful family pull her back and put her in her place?

Now, I'll be honest I chose this book because Stephenie Meyer (one of my fave contemporary authors) likes this book. At first, I was a little disappointed because the beginning was so slow and boring. Then after the scene in the maze with the little boy, I knew it would get better. I was just waiting for the "prince in shining armor" to come....basically I wanted the cute romantic stuff to happen.

And it did...I loved the Amazon chapters with Rom and Harriet. Even though Rom is way older (my opinion) he was perfect for young Harriet. She was so naive and he is so not, but he cared for her and truly wanted to keep her innocent.

The ending was cute and it was a book that made me smile. I can't wait to continue reading more Ibbotson books..she does a good job taking romance books back to the pretty, old school days of "man comes and rescues helpless girl."

So, if you're in the mood for an "awww, that's so cute. I love it when the guy comes to the rescue" type book...grab this one!!!

Quotes I enjoyed...

"'I must say that I find that a perfectly detestable nightdress,' said Rom cheerfully. 'Your aunt Louisa can certainly pick them!'" Rom, page 357

"Poor Harriet, I'm always abducting you in unsuitable clothes." Rom, page 359

Monday, July 27, 2009

Review: Inkspell

Title: Inkspell
Author: Cornelia Funke
Age Group: 8-12
My Rating: 3/5

Inkspell is the second book in the Inkheart trilogy. This story continues a year after book one ends. Meggie lives with both her parents in Elinor's home. Not a day goes by that she does not think about the book that changed her life.

This story is based more around Dustfinger and who his character really is and why he longs for his own world. And naturally he does get to go back to his life, but he leaves behind his student, Farid. But Farid finds a way to go into Dustfinger's world and asks Meggie for help. She helps him only because she wants to live in the fantasy world and sadly chooses this over her parents.

And similar to Inkheart, this story is the adventure of the characters trying to find their family members. Farid and Dustfinger, Dustfinger and his wife, Mo and Meggie. Will they find each other in a story that is being changed everyday by different magical authors?

Okay, I know I was not excited to continue this story. But I had to for a challenge. And to be wasn't that bad. Probably because the second time around I had ZERO expectations for this book.

I liked that this story wasn't so much about Meggie and the evil Capricorn and his men. I loved that it evolved more around the mysterious Dustfinger and Farid. Even though Dustfinger wasn't the main main character in the first novel, I enjoyed him the most. And I learned that he was yearning and hurting for his own family.

This book was definitely better than the first, but not a big wower. So, give this book to a kid if you're an adult and just wait for the movie version to come out because the book was okay, but not worth my time to recommend to others.

Some quotes I enjoyed...

"Children, they're the same everywhere. Greedy little creatures but the best listeners in the world---any world. The very best of all." Fenoglio, page 134

"You know, I think that a book always keeps something of its owners between the pages." Taddeo, page 550

Sunday, July 26, 2009

a little about golf

Dear Slow Golfers,

If you are slow and new to the game or just plain suck, please...PLEASE be considerate enough to allow the people (my mom and me) to go ahead of you. When me, a girl is driving the ball 215 yards and you are standing 20 yards in front of where my ball lands (and you're ONLY on your 4th shot) have the consideration to pick up or step aside. Golf is already a slow sport...don't slow it up for the quick players!!!

and p.s. Don't take 10 minutes to set up a putt that your caddy already set up and then miss it by a long shot.


(and sorry to all those that are reading this...I def. needed to vent about my golf day...good news I still did awesome out there)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday Finds From the Bookstore (07/24/09)

The books pictured above were the books I bought on Sunday (July 19th)

From the back cover of Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson:

"High school senior Tyler Miller used to be the kind of guy who faded into the background---average student, average looks, average dysfunctional family. But since he got busted for doing graffiti on the school, and spent the summer working outdoors to pay for it, he stands out like you wouldn't believe. His new physique attracts the attention of queen bee Bethany Milbury, who just so happens to be his father's boss's daughter, the sister of his biggest enemy---and Tyler's secret crush. Soon his life is a roller coaster, with fantastic highs, devastating lows, and no seat belt to protect him. He has no choice. He'll have to ride it out..."

From the back cover of Things Not Seen, by Andrew Clements

"My heart is jumping around in my chest, and I'm tensed, ready to cut and run. Alicia smiles at the man and says, 'This guy here next to me, can you tell me if he's taller than I am? We've been having an argument because I think I'm taller than he is. What do you think?' Her hand tightens around mine.

The man is torn. He doesn't see a thing. I can tell this guy is worried that he's going to hurt this blind girl's feelings. But he clears his throat, and he says, 'The guy there next to you? Miss...actually, there's no one there.'

She shakes my hand like a puppy shaking a rag. "He's right here---I'm holding his hand! Who's taller, can't you tell?' Her voice is shrill, almost frantic.

The guy doesn't like being called a liar. 'Miss, whoever you thought was there next to you, he's not there now.'

And now there's a new look on her face. New for Alicia. But I've seen it before. On Mom's and Dad's faces that first morning. It's the look of someone who's trying to process impossible information.

Because when something impossible happens, everything else comes unglued. She's having trouble breathing. Then the first words. ''re, you're really---'
'Yeah,' I say, 'Invisible.'

I bought these books on Tuesday.

From the back cover of Postcards From No Man's Land by Aidan Chambers

"'I'd really like to know about your grandfather,' Hillie said. 'We've always wondered who he was, what he was like, this man whose grave we laid flowers on. But the years my mother did it, and I did it, no one came up and said it was their relative's grave. So we could never ask. until today. What about a coffee? We could go to a cafe and talk.'

Jacob would have liked nothing better. Everything about this girl appealed to him. Her looks. The things she said. The funny, slightly aggressive way she said them sometimes. As always when someone specially attracted him, he wanted to touch her.

He pushed the thought from his mind lest he give himself away, and to allow himself time to answer, he looked for Tessel, who was lagging behind somewhere with Wifred.

'I'd like to,' he said. 'But I'm with Mrs. Van Riet, with Tessel, and---'
'I don't mind,' Hillie said in her matter-of-fact style, 'she seems very nice, but it wouldn't be the same, would it?'

He glanced at her, and she smiled the same complicit smile she had given him when they all shook hands.

'No,' he said, 'it wouldn't.'"

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Sister's Keeper...the movie

Okay, so I finally saw My Sister's Keeper on opening day (in the Philippines...totally bummed that I missed it by a few day when I was in California). But anyway, I think it was for the best that I saw it yesterday because I was able to watch it AFTER I read the book.

Now, most movies that are based on books are just okay. Yet this movie was amazing.

I loved the fact that I was able to witness Kate's story. The book didn't really tell her side of what was going on. And after watching the movie I felt like I knew gave a totally different perspective of the character and even another view for the book.

On the acting side of the was also great!!! I have to say this was probably my favorite Cameron Diaz movie. She really got into the role and did an awesome job playing the mom of a dying girl and the fight a mom has to put up for her family...Abigail Breslin, once again awesome young actress...And great job to the rest of the cast...I thought the casting department did an awesome job finding actors with great chemistry and finding people who can actually take characters from a book, that are loved, and portray them on the screen in such a wonderful fashion.

Although the ending was different from the book, I understand that it was probably done this way for the movie audience. However, I prefer the book's ending. If you wanna ask why go ahead, but I don't wanna give it away on here.

So go to the movies and watch it if you haven't...but bring some tissues as well...because there are going to be very few dry eyes in the theater.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Review: My Sister's Keeper

Title: My Sister's Keeper
Author: Jodi Picoult
Age Group: Adult
My Rating: 5/5

Anna Fitzgerald is a teenager trying to figure out who she is in this world. This is a situation that most typical teenagers go through, but Anna is NOT your typical thirteen year old girl.

She is the youngest of three children and was a well planned baby. Her parents picked all the right genes for her. But these genes weren't meant to make her a beautiful, designer baby. No. She was brought into this world for one main keep her sister, Kate alive.

This story is a journey of Anna's young life and her family's medical situation. Not only do we read about Anna's side, but we get some insight from her parents, siblings, and other wonderful characters that enter Anna Fitzgerald's life.

This was a book that I always came across at the bookstore. Did I buy it the first time? The second time, even the third time? No, I didn't...and I wish I bought it the first time. This book quickly became a new favorite.

In the beginning of my reading, I thought this would be purely from Anna's point of view...and I was wrong. I enjoyed that I was able to read through Sara (the mom) and Brian's (the dad) point of view. And to be quite honest...I think I enjoyed Brian's chapters the best. It was nice to read through a father's perspective of a family life, even through a tragic storyline (like this book).

The only thing that caught me by surprise was the ending. But after reading it over and over again, I am now settled with the conclusion. (If you do read it...and I highly recommend that you do...let me know what you think of the ending).

I really, really, really love this book and I recommend it to everyone. But you are warned...keep a box of tissues near by. Now, grab your cup of tea (or coffee) and dive into this book and get to know the Fitzgerald family.

Some quotes I loved...
"I have only known her for two years. But if you took every memory, every moment, if you stretched them end to end---they'd reach forever." Sara, page 34

"The human capacity for burden is like bamboo---far more flexible than you'd ever believe at first glance." Brian, page 196

"You don't love someone because they're perfect. You Love them in spite of the fact that they're not." Julia, page 384

***I don't wanna give anything too big away, but I love the paragraphs on page 421***

Monday, July 20, 2009

Review: Inkheart

Title: Inkheart
Author: Cornelia Funke
Age Group: Children (8-12 years old)
My Rating: 2/5

Meggie Folchart is a girl who loves, loves, loves books. She gets it from her book-binding father, Mo. He is always telling her stories and plays games involving Meggie's favorite book characters, but he does not read from the books.

One night, a strange man named Dustfinger appears at their house. Meggie is not sure why Dustfinger seems familiar. However Dustfinger happens to be one of the reasons why Mo no longer reads aloud. This is the night that changes Meggie's life. She embarks on an adventure to save her dad, but she also discovers where her mom is and a special talent that she inherited from Mo.

When I began this book, I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the quotes in the beginning of the chapters from other stories. The character's were very likable. The father/daughter relationship was heart-warming and their love of books was totally relatable.
Then about 100 pages into the book...I got bored. It kind of became a chore to read. In the end, I was disappointed by this book and I was not looking forward to the rest of the trilogy.

Here are a few of the quotes in Inkheart that I enjoyed.
"It's a good idea to have your own books with you in a strange place." Mo Folchart
"If you take a book with you on a journey, an odd thing happens: The book begins collecting your memories. And forever after you have only to open that book to be back where you first read it. It will all come into your mind with the very first words: the sights you saw in that place, what if smelled like, the ice cream you ate while you ere reading it...yes, books are like flypaper---memories cling to the printed page better than anything else." Mo Folchart
"You're the one who says books have to be heavy because the whole world's inside them." Meggie Folchart

Friday, July 17, 2009

News about Twilight

So I'm a huge...huge....HUGE fan of the whole Twilight series. I was looking at Stephenie Meyer's official website and there is an announcement that Twilight is being made into a graphic novel. I personally have never read one, but my niece has been trying to get me to read one. So as soon as this one comes out I know for sure I'll be reading my first graphic novel!!!
(click on the picture to go to the article on EW).

Friday Finds from the Bookstore (07/17/09)

These are the majority of the books I bought on my trip to California. I couldn't resist walking into Borders or Barnes and Noble and even this bookstore at North County Fair...There were tons of sales!!!

From the back cover of Shrimp by Rachel Cohn
"If Cyd Charisse knows one thing, it's that Shrimp is her true love.
Shrimp, the hottest pint-size surfer-artist in San Francisco. That boy (as her mother called him), who was the primary cause of Cyd's being grounded to Alcatraz, formerly known as her room. The boy who dumped Cyd before she left home to spend the summer in New York City.
Now it's the start of senior year. Cyd has changed, but maybe Shrimp has changed too---and maybe Cyd and Shrimp will need to get to know each other all over again to figure out if it's for real. Can Cyd get back together with Shrimp and keep the peace with her mom? And can she get a life out
side of her all-encompassing boy radar?"

From the back cover of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
If you start to read this book, you will go on a journey with a nine-ear-old boy named Bruno. (Though this isn't a book for nine-year-olds.) And sooner or later you will arrive with Bruno at a fence.
Fences like this exist all over the world. We hope you never have to encounter one."

From the back cover of Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
"Sookie Stackhouse is a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. She's quiet, keeps to herself, and doesn't get out much. Not because she's not pretty. She is. It's just that, well, Sookie has this sort of 'disability.' She can read minds. And that doesn't make her too dateable. And then along comes Bill. He's tall, dark, handsome---and Sookie can't hear a word he's thinking. He's exactly the type of guy she's been waiting for all her life...
But Bill has a disability of his own: He's a vampire with a bad reputation. He hangs with a seriously creepy crowd, all suspected of---big surprise---murder. And when one of Sookie's coworkers is killed, she fears she's next..."

Monday, July 13, 2009

Some Thoughts

So I started my first ever blog yesterday. It's going be booked based...mostly young adult because this is my favorite genre. I'll be posting throughout the week...I'm still working on ideas, but if you have any let me know...HAPPY Readings!!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Review: Laguna Cove

Title: Laguna Cove
Alyson Noel
ISBN/Publisher: 0-312-34869-X/St. Martin's Griffin
Age Group: Young Adults

Anne's a 17 year-old from the East Coast and moves to the West Coast to live with her movie business dad after her parents divorce. Then, there's beautiful blonde Ellie who grew up in Laguna Cove and is a competitive surfer and amazing student. These girls each seem way different, but like most girls they have their own family issues.

From the moment the two girls meet, they don't get along. Anne instantly finds cute boy Chris attractive and Ellie has had a crush on him FOREVER. Not only are they both trying to win his attention, but they are both going to compete in the local surf competition.

Do the girls play nice and become friends or do they let their petty differences keep them apart?

Okay, I only found this book because I needed to find one for a book challenge (the challenge was to find a book from an area that I lived in or wanted to live). And to be honest, it was the cover that caught my attention. I'm a Southern Californian and surfing is a part of the culture down of course I would grab this book.

I found myself relating because the character's are very similar to the group of kids I went to high school with, but I also related to Ellie's character in a way. We both had to deal with a parent's death and the story takes place around the time of the anniversary of her mom's death. So I totally related to that.

In general, it was an easy read meant for the young adults. I like it, but not enough to tell my friends to read it.

My Rating

***Now go and grab your fave cup of tea (or whatever beverage you prefer) and HAPPY readings***