Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay

In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...
A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands.   -Summary taken from Goodreads

I'm a little late to this party as everyone else is currently reading the sequel as I'm just getting around to reading the first one. But, as they say, better late than never. I'm so glad I finally got around to picking this up. The concept is heart-breaking but fantastic. I couldn't imagine being forced to make the decision that Mia has to make. At first glance, one would think the decision is an easy one but as the story unfolds, you see that it's anything but easy.

I loved all the characters. Each one had a well defined personality and they were all so fun and vibrant. Through the flashbacks that Mia recalls, I could see why she was one of the few teenagers who actually enjoyed hanging out with their family. I wanted to hang out with Mia's family as well. Of course, this only makes the book that much more emotionally difficult to read.

I felt the book was fantastic and had to run out and buy the sequel because I'm just an incredibly impatient person. I'm looking forward to the rest of the story.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Mean Girls

Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish which allows us to make fun bookish lists and share them with the world.

This week's list is: 
Top Ten Mean Girls

The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel (P.S.) 10. Rachel Price from The Poisonwood Bible
Rachel isn't so much a mean girl as a snotty, whiny brat. She's materialistic and full of herself from the beginning of the book all the way to the end. For a book that spans around 40 years, it's pretty sad when someone experiences practically zero personal growth.

Image via Wikipedia

9. Mrs. Reed in Jane Eyre

Jane's aunt is mean, spiteful and just plain cruel. What's worse is that she is all these things to a child. Seriously, it's quite sad when your poor niece has better manners and more class than you and your family all put together.

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8. Lola Quincey from Atonement
I know this one is a bit of a stretch and I feel a bit like a mean girl myself for including a victim of sexual assault on this list. However, I'm a little on the fence about how much of a victim she was. She was too young to actually consent but I feel like she was possibly a willing participant and went along with Briony's claim that the Robbie was a rapist, probably afraid of her parents finding out or to save her reputation. I could go on but that's another discussion. Lola is on my list because ruining a mans life to save your skin is despicable.

7.  Rosalie Hale from Twilight
This is an easy one. She's conceited and snotty and isn't afraid to point out your flaws to your face. She's like an immortal Regina George. 'Nuff said.

6.  Hilly Holbrook from The Help
I think this is a no-brainer for anyone who has read the book. Hilly is a complete and total bitch. She's racist, full of herself, bossy, snooty and just plain evil.Seriously, just watch the trailer.

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 5.  Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada 
She's the complete boss from hell. She's tough as nails and takes no prisoners. I think I'd rather be homeless than work under this woman. Seriously, you don't get the title 'Dragonlady' without being a mean girl.

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4. Hatsumomo from Memoirs of a Geisha
Hatsumomo is sch a complete cow to Sayuri through the entire book for what appears to be no apparent reason. In reality she's just insanely jealous of Sayuri and her beauty but then again, isn't jealously the driving force behind many mean girls?  

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3. Delores Umbridge from Harry Potter
Ohhh, never have I hated a fictional character more than Delores Umbridge. From her very first 'hem, hem' to the end of the series, I actively despised this woman. If she was real I don't know that I could stop myself from hunting her down for a good old fashioned bitchslap!

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2. Caroline Bingley from Pride & Prejudice
She's just a super snotty beyotch that feels the need to belittle others to make herself look better. Of course, we all know that tactic almost always backfires.

Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games)1. President Coin from Mockingjay
Ugh, this woman just ends up being the epitome of everything she's fighting against. Electing her was like trading one brand of poison for another. Except she's trying to dress it up as a betterment for the county. Whatever, she's a cow.

Ok, which ladies are you all ready to bitchslap?

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Review: Ada, Legend of a Healer by R.A. McDonald

Ada Legend of a Healer
If you had the power to heal, what would you do?

For fifteen-year-old Ada discovering that she can heal feels more like a curse than a gift. When she learns of the mystery surrounding her mother's disappearance, and sees the indifference of so-called friends, she sets out for Paris to find her.

The power to heal protects her, but also has her hunted by a man who sees her as nothing more than his fountain of youth. Ada realizes her true power is her will to survive, and that her only chance at freedom is to become the best at escaping.-
Summary taken from Goodreads

Ada is a very troubled young girl with a gift even she doesn't realize she has until her mother's friend fills her in. Ada has always been able to see other people's illnesses and maladies but didn't know that her touch could heal them. I'm not sure how you could make it 15 years before realizing that your touch heals people, but as I got the impression that none of her homes are particularly loving I suppose that she wasn't touching many people.

I felt that McDonald got into the mind of a teenage girl fairly well. Especially a troubled teen. When Ada learns she can heal, her 'aunt' insists that they have an obligation to help people. In what I feel is fairly typical teenage behavior, Ada rebels against this idea. She's not about to do anything she doesn't want to do, be it out of obligation or force. It doesn't make her a bad person, in fact, most of the time she's willing to help out those around her without being asked but, being a teenager she just wants to feels as though she had a choice in the matter. 

When Ada gets to Paris in an effort to find her long lost mother, she takes a small detour in her search to delve into the world of parkour after seeing a group of teenagers practicing this in an alley. At first I found it strange that after coming all this way and being so intent on finding her mother she would throw that aside to run around on building with a cute guy. The Ada I'd come to know up to that point wasn't the type to lose her focus over a guy so I found it strange. That is until she expressed a desire to learn so that she could always get away from the people who are hunting her in an effort to use her power for personal gain. Then it made a bit more sense.  

All in all, despite not being my usual type of book, I found it to be an enjoyable YA story, accentuated by the artwork that is inserted randomly through the book. (It's been a minute since I read a book with pictures that wasn't geared towards my children.)  In fact, as I read I kept thinking it was a book that my 13 year old niece and many other teens would likely enjoy. 

*Disclaimer- I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair review

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Friday Blog Hop: Author Stalking

Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy-For-Books and is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read!

This week's question is:
"If you find a book you love, do you hunt down other books by the same author?"

Unless it's a series, I don't really specifically hunt them down after one book but I am way more likely to pick up other titles of theirs when I'm at the bookstore. If it gets to the point where I've read and enjoyed quite a few titles from the same author, then I may begin hunting down additional titles. 

Thanks for hopping by this weekend and Happy Easter for those of you who celebrate it!  

Theme Thursday- Weather

Theme Thursdays

Theme Thursdays is a fun weekly event hosted by Reading Between the Pages. Anyone can participate in it. The rules are simple:
  • A theme will be posted each week (on Thursday’s)
  • Select a conversation/snippet/sentence from the current book you are reading
  • Mention the author and the title of the book along with your post
  • It is important that the theme is conveyed in the sentence (you don’t necessarily need to have the word)

And this week’s theme is ……..


If I Stay

 My theme this week comes from If I Stay by Gayle Forman. It was pretty easy this week. My snippet is the very first line. 

 "Everyone thinks it was because of the snow. And in a way, I suppose that's true." 

Happy Thursday everyone and I hope at least some of you have a bit of warmer weather in their snippets! 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday Rewind: Top Ten Book Quotes

Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is having a rewind week in which we are given the opportunity to go back and revisit a previous top ten list that we may not have had a chance to do. Since I am fairly new to this meme, I had a lot to choose from. In the end I decided to go with

Oh, the Places You'll Go!Top Ten Book Quotes 

1. "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..." -Dr. Seuss (Oh The Places You'll Go)
The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel (P.S.)

2. "Every life is different because you passed this way and 
 touched history..." -Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)

Jane Eyre (Movie Tie-in Edition) 
3. "I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will." -Charlotte Bronte (Jane Eyre)

The Complete Calvin and Hobbes (Calvin & Hobbes) (v. 1, 2, 3) 
4. "Reality continues to ruin my life." -Bill Watterson (The Complete Calvin and Hobbes)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2) 
5. "It is our choices, Harry, that show us who we truly are, far more than our abilities." -J.K Rowling (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets)

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass 
6. "I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then." -Lewis Carroll (Alice's adventures in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass)

The Count of Monte Cristo - Latest Edition 2011
7. "There is neither happiness nor unhappiness in this world; there is only the comparison of one state with another. Only a man who has felt ultimate despair is capable of feeling ultimate bliss. It is necessary to have wished for death in order to know how good it is to live.....the sum of all human wisdom will be contained in these two words: Wait and Hope." -Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo)
All's Well that Ends Well (Oxford World's Classics)
8. "Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none." -William Shakespeare (All's Well That Ends Well)

Corelli's Mandolin: A Novel 
9. "Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides.  And when it subsides, you have to make a decision.  You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part.  Because this is what love is.  Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body.  No, don't blush, I am telling you some truths.  That is just being "in love", which any fool can do.  Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident." -Louis de Bernieres (Corelli's Mandolin)

Peter Pan (100th Anniversary Edition) 
10. "To love would be an awfully big adventure." -J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)

Happy Tuesday everyone. Hope you all had as much fun with this rewind as I did!

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