Monday, September 30, 2013

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Title: Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher (Blog)
Pages: 288
Publication Date: 2007
Publisher: Razorbill
Source: library copy
Rating: Amazing!

Thirteen Reasons Why was simply amazing. It was one of those books that catches my attention (and heart) from page one and keeps it straight through to the end. While it isn't an easy book to read, it is well worth the roller coaster of emotions the author takes you on.

Clay Jensen is one of the people who receives the box of tapes that classmate Hannah mails out. Hannah committed suicide and the tapes tell the story of why. Each person who receives them is part of the story or part of the reason.

He is unsure why he would have been on the list since he can't recall being awful to her. The stories and secrets that are shared on the tapes are awful. Why did he receive them?

The story is well told. I enjoyed Hannah's voice even if it was heart wrenching. There was a sense of foreboding throughout that kept me turning the pages as quickly as possible. I ended up reading it in one sitting because I just had to find out what happened.

The characters are well developed. The story line is tight. I think this is one of the very best books I've ever read. Thirteen Reasons Why is a young adult book that young adults need to read. Being a teenage is a confusing time. You aren't a little kid but you aren't an adult yet either. Hannah's reasons are authentic and I think that reading that you aren't alone in your thoughts would help other teenagers. 

I can't even put into words what a powerful book this is. I don't often re-read but I think that I will re-read this one again. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Colgate SlimSoft from Influenster

Oh me oh my! Look what I got in the mail.

It's the new Colgate SlimSoft toothbrush. And of course, there is a Colgate toothpaste to use it with. My old brush is gone and in its place is this fancy thing. Great size. I like the way it flexes. The bristles are a good size and are soft. 

Colgate has always been one of my favorite brands of toothpaste but this brush is really great too. Always fun to get something that you use every day in the mail to try out. Thanks Influenster and Colgate for the chance to try it out!

(I received the products above in exchange for an honest review of the products. All opinions are my own). 

Friday, September 27, 2013

ARC Envy #12 - xo Orpheus edited by Kate Bernheimer

Every week several of my favorite bloggers post vlogs or whatever of all the great book hauls they've received for the week. Since I'm a tiny little fish in the huge book blogging pond, my mailbox isn't stuffed with all the great ARCs that they get. Dana's ARC Envy is my way of highlighting an ARC that I *wish* had been sent to me too. 

Titlexo Orpheus (Fifty New Myths)
AuthorKate Bernheimer, Editor 
Publisher: Viking
Expected Publication Date: September 24, 2013

Judging a book by its cover:  The cover isn't really anything to write home about. 

Know anything about the author?  She has been the editor on some other amazing looking collections.

Why do I want it?  First saw it mentioned on Christina's haul vlog and then saw it again in one of my bookish newsletters. Intriguing, though I don't usually read many anthologies.

Summary from Goodreads:

Fifty leading writers retell myths from around the world in this dazzling follow-up to the bestselling My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me.

Icarus flies once more. Aztec jaguar gods again stalk the earth. An American soldier designs a new kind of Trojan horse—his cremains in a bullet. Here, in beguiling guise, are your favorite mythological figures alongside characters from Indian, Punjabi, Inuit, and other traditions.

Aimee Bender retells the myth of the Titans.

Madeline Miller retells the myth of Galatea.

Kevin Wilson retells the myth of Phaeton, from Ovid’sMetamorphoses.

Emma Straub and Peter Straub retell the myth of Persephone.

Heidi Julavits retells the myth of Orpheus and Euridice.

Ron Currie, Jr. retells the myth of Dedalus.

Maile Meloy retells the myth of Demeter.

Zachary Mason retells the myth of Narcissus.

Joy Williams retells the myth of Argos, Odysseus’ dog.

If "xo” signals a goodbye, then xo Orpheus is a goodbye to an old way of mythmaking. Featuring talkative goats, a cat lady, a bird woman, a beer-drinking ogre, a squid who falls in love with the sun, and a girl who gives birth to cubs, here are extravagantly imagined, bracingly contemporary stories, heralding a new beginning for one of the world’s oldest literary traditions.

What ARC are you envying this week?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What I'm Reading

After waiting for months I finally got my copy of The Cuckoo's Calling from the library. You would probably have to live under a rock not to have heard of this book. Written by J.K. Rowling under the  pseudonym of Robert Galbraith, it's one I would have wanted to read even if I didn't know it was actually written by her.

Picked it up yesterday and got quite a big chunk read. 

What are you reading?

Friday, September 20, 2013

ARC Envy #11 - All the Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry

Every week several of my favorite bloggers post vlogs or whatever of all the great book hauls they've received for the week. Since I'm a tiny little fish in the huge book blogging pond, my mailbox isn't stuffed with all the great ARCs that they get. Dana's ARC Envy is my way of highlighting an ARC that I *wish* had been sent to me too. 

TitleAll the Truth That's In Me
AuthorJulie Berry (website)(Twitter)
Publisher: Viking
Expected Publication Date: September 26, 2013

Judging a book by its cover:  Ack the cover! It's creepy and TERRIFYING! I love it.

Know anything about the author?  I think that this is her first YA and it looks amazing.

Why do I want it?  Hearing really good things about this one. Can't wait to see what all the fuss is about!

Summary from Goodreads:

Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town of Roswell Station. Two years ago, only Judith returned, permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by those who were once her friends and family. Unable to speak, Judith lives like a ghost in her own home, silently pouring out her thoughts to the boy who’s owned her heart as long as she can remember—even if he doesn’t know it—her childhood friend, Lucas. But when Roswell Station is attacked, long-buried secrets come to light, and Judith is forced to choose: continue to live in silence, or recover her voice, even if it means changing her world, and the lives around her, forever. This startlingly original novel will shock and disturb you; it will fill you with Judith’s passion and longing; and its mysteries will keep you feverishly turning the pages until the very last.

What ARC are you envying this week?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Right now

I've been so busy that I am not getting much reading done. Sad for several reasons...I miss it, I miss this blog and I miss you guys! So what's going on? Well right now...

Right now I'm reading...The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Right now I'm loving...that the weather is starting to cool off a bit.

Right now I'm listening to...a random assortment of CDs that I've been checking out of the library. When I drop off the boys at school, the music comes on. Liking that for the moment.

Right now I'm obsessed business ideas. Learning lots and making some changes!

Right now I'm excited my boys are to see me when I pick them up from school.

So what's going on right now with you?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Eating My Feelings by Mark Brennan Rosenberg {review)

Title: Eating My Feelings (Tales of Overeating, Underperforming, and Coping with My Crazy Family)
Author: Mark Brennan Rosenberg
Pages: ebook 
Publication Date: August 6, 2013
Publisher: Three Press Rivers
Source: Publisher for review
Rating: It was ok with a few funny parts

I picked this book because of the ice cream on the cover. I need to stop picking books because of the purdy covers. They tend to disappoint.

Eating My Feelings is a group of essays about the life of the author. Some were funny but most didn't do it for me. I thought it was crass when it didn't need to be. The family was so outrageously dysfunctional that it seemed like it was made up.

I spent most of the time rolling my eyes out the things that happened to him or at the things he thought, much less shared with all the reading world.

It seemed to me that he just flat out didn't like himself through most of the book. I went into it thinking that it was going to be a light hearted book and I came away glad I didn't run in his circles.

While this book wasn't for me, I'm sure lots of people will find it hilarious.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Sometimes that thing called life happens...

Sometimes that thing called life happens and that's the case right now. So much going on with us here. Both boys started school recently. We are trying to get in a routine but it's slow going this year. Have been crazy busy. So busy that I am not reading or posting or checking out blogs like I like to. Haven't been commenting either, of course, because I haven't been reading other people's posts.

Looking forward to getting it all calmed down though because I miss you guys!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Dread Locks by Neal Shusterman {Classics Retold}

Welcome to my first review for the Classics Retold challenge with Brittany from The Book Addict's Guide.

  • My Intro Post and Goals
  • Review of Dread Locks by Neal Shusterman
  • Review of Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs
  • Review of Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
  • Review of The Clash of the Titans (movie)

I've always loved the Greek myth of Medusa. I think because I have crazy, curly hair and when you think of Medusa, you think crazy snake hair! Dread Locks is a re-telling set in a present day high school. 15 year old Parker is the narrator. The story opens on his birthday when he  receives a most unusual gift - a statue of himself. This foreshadowing seemed a bit heavy handed to me. 

He's a spoiled, extremely rich boy who is so bored he almost can't function. It wasn't until a load of moving trucks appear at the mansion next door that he seems less than comatose. The next day he walks into his room after breakfast to discover the "exotic looking" Tara asleep in his bed. He's taken with the fact that she is just sleeping in his bed like she owns it. So begins the weirdness that is their story.

I had some pretty big issues with the entire book. The only thing that saved it was that it is just 164 pages long. The story didn't make sense. Parker wasn't likeable. Tara wasn't likeable. Everyone does and says things that not only don't make sense but also are highly unlikely. 

Tara's free reign throughout the school was beyond odd. Even with her "powers", it made no sense that she's waltz into school and have her way. Parker thought that the things he was doing was bad but couldn't help myself because of Tara? Unlikely. His character's weakness was annoying and made no sense.

Even though the ending was expected, one thing I did enjoy was how the author wrapped everything up. Although this wasn't a book for me, I can see how other readers would rather enjoy this basic retelling of the myth of Medusa.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Every Day by David Levithan {review}

Title: Every Day
Author: David Levithan (website)(Twitter)
Publisher: Knoft
Publication Date: August 28, 2012
Rating: Really enjoyed but had issues

Many of the book bloggers I follow have mentioned David Levithan. I read Dash and Lily's Book of Dares - his collaboration with Rachel Cohn - but wanted to try one that was just his. I happened to see Every Day while waiting for my boys at the library and decided to give it a try.

This is the story of A, who wakes up every morning in a different body. Some days as a girl. Some days as a boy. A stays in each body just for the day. It's always been this way so A doesn't interfere or try to "fix" someone or get attached to anyone or anything. 

This all changes when he wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin's girlfriend, Rhiannon. Now suddenly, A wants to have the same body so that Rhiannon can always be around.  The basic premise is really great. I enjoyed the different experiences that A had as the different people.But although I really enjoyed it I had issues with it as well.

The first is really extremely nit picky but the absolutely beautiful writing didn't fit a 16 year old. 16 year olds don't talk, let alone think, like Every Day was written. I can suspend disbelief on A waking up in different bodies every day but I can't take that he/she would speak like that. Way older, yes. 16, no.

The second problem: David Levithan has a definite viewpoint and I felt like it was very preachy and was told to the reader instead of letting the reader think for him or her self. For instance, Rhiannon has issues when A shows up in the body of a girl and A is very judgmental about that. Rhiannon is attracted to boys though so why should it be "wrong" that she is not attracted to A as a girl? 

It was a unique book with lots of interesting characters but the preachyness took away from it for me. I will give Levithan another try when I see another of his books for sure since the writing was so beautiful.