Friday, January 28, 2011

Abducted by Blog Hop 1.28.2011

Woo Hoo it is time for the CraZy for BooKs blog hop!

This weeks question is

"What book are you most looking forward to seeing published in 2011? Why are you anticipating that book?"

Well, to be perfectly honest I don't really know many books that are coming up this year. I don't read a whole lot of series so it isn't like there is a sequel or something that I'm looking forward to. The only book I know is getting published this year is Maeve Binchy's new novel Minding Frankie. Her novels are not necessarily action packed so it isn't like each time one comes out I'm going "OH MY GOD I HAVE TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS!!!" but her characters are like best friends that you just look forward to re-uniting with.

On other notes!

Today is, my love, Elijah Wood's birthday!


To celebrate, for the past week or so I have been listening to the audio version of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which he is the narrator of!

Now, I am a big fan of audio books. They have helped me many a times finish books before my book club meet ups:) And I have never before had a problem with being able to follow and get into a story before. I don't know if maybe I was just too distracted by Elijah Wood reading to me to pay attention to what he was actually saying or what but it was really hard for me to follow this one. Which is surprising seeing on how it is basically a children's novel! My problem was that... well you know how Huck and Jim are on this raft going down the Mississippi, they have all these adventures in all these different towns and sometimes I would find Elijah reading about some town where some guy gets shot and the daughter is distraught and the rest of the town wants to go after the guy who shot him and I'm thinking...Wait, where are we again? Who just got shot? Am I supposed to know that guy?

Also, I had never read this novel before (and even though I love Elijah Wood as much as I do, I also haven't seen the movie for Huck Finn either) so I don't know if someone who is more familiar with it can answer this next question, but was it supposed to be some big coincidence that at the end of the book Huck and Finn end up at the house of Tom Sawyer's aunt Sally? Is that where they were planning to go all along because if so I totally missed that? When aunt Sally identifies herself as Tom Sawyers aunt I was like "Oh, Come On!" I mean, seriously, what are the odds?

Now I have never read the book for Tom Sawyer (I have seen the Johnathan Taylor Thomas and Brad Renfro movie. Oh, Brad Renfro...I miss that guy) but when he made his appearance in this book I was struck by how frustrated I was by him. He reminds me so much of the title character in Anne of Green Gables. I love Anne, she is one of my all time favorite characters in literature. And they are both these incredibly bright, intelligent, kids who love books and stories and have these rich imaginations where they can take the most mundane of situations and turn them into life and death adventures. But the difference I saw in these two characters is that Anne always went out of her way to bring her friends into her imagination with her, where as Tom had a tendency to use his imagination at the expense of others. Anytime someone didn't see things the way he did he would call them a fool for not knowing about it or not being creative enough. I guess that is just a difference between boys and girls. And I'm not saying I didn't like Tom, it was just something I noticed.

I did like Huck though. He has an imagination like Tom, but more then that he is just a little boy trying to understand the difference between right and wrong and all the gray area in between. But he has a really good heart. Even though it was Elijah reading to me I was picturing Brad Renfro the whole time.

Anyway, it is Friday morning and I better get back to work!

I'm still in the middle of Odd Thomas, which is fantastic. And now that I'm done listening to Huck Finn, I am listening to Jane Eyre because I want to have that finished so I can go see the new movie coming out in March. I'm also reading a book called Nothing to Fear by Alicia Dean. She is an author based out of Kansas but her daughter just started working at the same company I work for. When I met her the other day I was telling her about how much I love to read and she mentioned her mom and loaned me her book so I'm excited to finish that one. So far it is really good.

Don't forget if you decide to follow my blog, let me know. I always love to return the favor!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Abducted by a dead brother, a fallen angel, and the Scottish!

I have challenged myself to read 111 books this year and so far I am off to a really good start! Yesterday I finished 3 books (go me!!!) which puts my total at 7 but I know I'll finish another 3 at least before January is over so I know I'll be in really good shape. As with any resolution I know that the momentum tends to taper off after a while so I'm trying to get ahead of the game before that happens.
Out of the 3 I finished yesterday, not one of them really thrilled me to where I would have a lot to say about it so I'm just going to give you a little taste of each one.

First you have The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood. I wanted to read this one after my sister forced me to watch the movie at gun point.

Okay Okay maybe there was no gun involved. But she had to have used some form of a Jedi mind trick to get me to agree to that right?

Anyway, knowing that the movie was based off a book left me with a feeling that a lot more is probably explained in the book and that is why I was kind of curious. But I was wrong. Although the book is very different in the set up and time line than the movie and a few things are explained a little bit further, in the end it was just a book. It didn't really dazzle me. Even though I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend the book to a fellow reader, if someone came to me who was already wanting to read I would say "Yeah, that book was alright."

The other book that I finished yesterday was the YA novel Hush Hush by Becca Fitzgerald. The best thing about this book is that the title kept making me think of my absolute favorite Paula Abdul song Rush Rush...


Hurry Hurry Lover Come To Me


I Wanna See You I Wanna See You Get Free With Me...

Is anyone else picturing the Rebel Without a Cause video she did with Keanu Reeves during his Bill & Ted days!?!

Anyway, back to the book, oh my God I HATED this book soooooooo much. My friends Mandy and Tracy loved it and I thought the cover was beautiful so I was really excited to read it but it was awful!!!

I should be fair. I guess it really comes down to what kind of guys you find sexy. Now, I've never been the type to fall for the bad boys. Sure, there is something intriguing about them in the beginning. The danger, the seduction, their ability to throw you up against a wall and just start.... whoa Courtney you are entering into dangerous territory, this is a family friendly blog, get a hold of yourself.

Oh. Yeah. Sorry. What was I talking about again? Oh, right, I didn't like the book.
Personally, I find that I can be lured in by a bad boy but deep down I know it is because I want to see that softer side that he doesn't show to the rest of the world. So, you might like this book if you are the type of girl who is attracted to guys that make you feel like you are in danger, rather then protected, objectified rather then adored, reckless rather then trust worthy, fearing for your life when you are with him rather then being swept off your feet. I felt that the main love interest was cocky and arrogant, I couldn't figure out what was so special about the main character, and the best friend was self-centered and disappointing. The writing itself felt amateurish and requires for the reader to suspend their beliefs before the story has even earned it.

And last but not least, I also read the graphic novel The Exile by Diana Gabaldon. I was looking forward to reading this one because I read the full novel it is based off a couple of years ago and loved it. Jamie there is love interest I can lust after!!! The original novel follows the perspective of a girl who goes back in time and falls in love with Jamie Fraser who is the nephew of the leader of a Scottish clan. The graphic novel however, follows the story from Jamie's perspective. Which is how they took an 800 page novel and condensed it into a 200 page graphic novel. The story was a little confusing because it doesn't go into all the explanation about the different Scottish clans and the hierarchy system that the novel does explain. And it has been long enough that I don't remember all that stuff either. The other thing that made the graphic novel a little confusing was that a lot of the men in the drawings looked the same and since there is very little dialog it was hard to keep track of who each person was. The pictures were beautiful however and it left me with a desire to re-read the full novel sometime in the near future.

This week I will be reading Huck Finn by Mark Twain and re-reading Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz. I also just got my first Courtney Crumrin graphic novel in the mail today so I'll be reading that this weekend as well.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Abducted by One Day

A few months ago Kate informed me that she thought it would be fun for
the two of us to do a joint blog. And so back in December we finally got
together and both read One Day by David Nicholls.

For those of you who don't know about this novel here is the plot in a
nutshell. The main characters are Dexter and Emma. They went to college
together in England but they didn't really meet and start to form a
friendship until the day of their graduation. They graduated on July
14th 1988, they go home together, they talk through the night and end up
spending the entire next day together, July 15th . Which is where the
novel picks up. From that point on each chapter is July 15th of the
following year through July 15th 2007.

Now here is what we thought:


Courtney: As I got further into the novel I was constantly amazed at how well written it was. I mean on the surface you are only seeing these characters one day out of each year so it begs the questions; how can they possibly be fully developed or how can you as the reader feel that you are really connected with them? I know that was my main hesitation and honestly I don't have any answers. I cannot dissect how David Nicholls does what he does but I promise you that One Day is smart and witty and you as the reader will come to care for these characters and their struggles and triumphs. I would also like to add that it was extremely refreshing to get to read a book that allows its characters to grow and evolve in ways that you would naturally expect people to over twenty years.

Kate: I loved the idea of revisiting Em and Dex on the same day each year. But I also felt that the title of the book was like a promise- that one day Em and Dex would get their act together, that one day the one thing the reader is really rooting for will happen. Back to the revisiting of one day out of each year, I can't help but wonder how that would look in my own life. The writing style was, to me, wonderful. The book flowed and made for a page turning read. I wanted, needed, to know what happened to Em and Dex year after year, my fingers crossed each time.

Courtney: Wow, Kate! I never picked up on the whole promise of the title thing! That is brilliant!!! I think if you checked in with me on the same day each year it would be really boring. I can guarantee it! I also wandered about that when I was reading the book and it kind of bothered me that July 15th always seemed to be such an interesting day for them. I kept waiting for either of them to make a reference to it like; “Hey, can you believe it was five years ago today that we met?” But they never did.

Kate: Yeah, mine would be pretty lame too. What, she’s eating and reading, again? Except Halloween. I almost always do something for Halloween. But if you’re not a Rocky Horror Picture Show fan, then perhaps my yearly Halloween activities would smack me right back into the lame category.


Kate: Honestly I was a bit worried that I wouldn't like either Emma or Dexter. The first chapter failed to make me like either of them overly much. It wasn't until Dex wrote that letter to Emma that he won my heart, and Emma captured it the second year as well. I was afraid that the main characters were going to be stereotypes- rich playboy, poor working girl. Thankfully they both turned out so much more complex! In the end both Dexter and Emma created a friendship so deep and lasting that I couldn't help but cry during their low points and cheer along with their triumphs.

Courtney: I feared their relationship was only one-sided. On the surface it would be really easy to say that Emma cared for Dexter more than he did for her. But once you get further in I don't think that was ever true. I think that even in the beginning Dexter always felt drawn to her and depended on her in ways that even he couldn't comprehend. Emma brought out the very best in him and he gave very little to her in return.


Courtney: I loved so many of the supporting characters. My favorite, however, was probably Dexter's father. He was just such a sweet old man with so many touching moments through out the novel. The scene when Dexter showed up at his parents house completely drunk and his dad has to drive him to the train station, oh God, I was crying. And then in the end when Dexter goes to stay with his dad and they have that moment in front of the television, ugh, killed me.

Kate: I liked Ian at first. I wanted him to be a funny, light hearted character. I felt Emma deserved a healthy relationship, but Ian let me down. Not only wasn't he funny, he was moody and whiny. And although I disliked her at first, in the end I really liked Sylvie. I also liked Dex's relationship with his mom. She always knew how much Em meant to him. Courtney: Yeah, I really liked Sylvie in the end. She was really good to Dex. But remember how CRAZY her family was!!! That whole scene was sooooo uncomfortable!

Courtney: I hated Ian though. I always felt like there was something just off about him and I couldn't see how Emma could get involved with him. I didn't like him in the beginning, at no point did he grow on me, and I think by the end of the book I was actually quite angry with him.

Kate: Ah! Sylvie’s family! What a bunch of crazypants! It was so funny, what Dex does to Sylvie though. Not that I condone violence towards women, but they were all kind of asking for it.


Courtney: My favorite line was: “She doesn't want an amusing story, she wants change, a break, not anecdotes. Her life has been stuffed with anecdotes, an endless string of the bastards, now she wants something to go right for once. She wants success, or at least the hope of it.” I'm thinking about using part of that for when we get our literary tattoos. The “she wants change...not anecdotes” part.

Kate: And here's mine. It comes towards the end of the book: "Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance."


Courtney: How do you feel about David Nicholls being the one to write the screen play for the film version? Do you think he will keep the one day a year format or drop it so the film version can flow better?

Kate: I’d be pretty pissed if they changed the whole formula of the one day premise for the movie. If they don’t use that then what’s the point of making a movie out of it? I’m a little weary that the move will get a rom com white wash to it, because for me the book is not chick lit.

Courtney: Yeah, that is my fear. I don’t want them to change for format of the book but I can see them doing it and just having it be another romantic comedy. But, since David Nicholls is doing the screen play I’m trying to have some faith! I'm really excited about Jim Sturgess playing Dex. I re-watched the movie 21 this weekend and all I can say is anyone out there who is doubting his abilities to be Dex should watch that movie. I'm not saying the movie itself it great, I'm saying HE is great in it. I got word of him playing Dexter early on so I did have him in mind while reading and I can't imagine any other actor playing that part better. However, if I was forced to select a different actor based on looks, I would have picked the guy shown HERE

Kate: I’m fine with the casting, but I wasn’t aware of who was playing whom when I read the novel. When we decided that we were going to pick our own actors for the roles, that’s exactly what I did. The actor I had in mind for Dex can be found HERE, although interestingly enough I did not pick a fair haired actor, despite the book’s description of Dexter.

Courtney: Yeah, my actor selection for Dex is literally only based on the fact that he is blond, has an accent, and is attractive but not too attractive. I'm so not a fan of Anne Hathaway. I can't explain it I just haven't seen a movie of hers that I actually liked since Ella Enchanted. So I'm not happy for her to be playing Emma. To see my selection for Emma click HERE

Kate: I am a fan of Anne Hathaway’s, but I think my pick for Emma is even better. Sometimes I really like Anne- Ella Enchanted, Rachel At The Wedding, Valentine’s Day, and other times I dislike her- Devil Wears Prada, Bride Wars and Havoc (I seriously could not hate this movie more if I tried). I do think she’s a wonderful actress, but my Em is the true Em. Unfortunately it looks like the movie is in post production so it’s unlikely that this glaring mistake can be fixed. For those of you interested in the REAL Em click HERE

Courtney: Oh, my God, I HATED Devil Wears Prada!!! I thought I was a lone on this but lately I have found a lot of other girls coming forward with there distaste for it! Yeah, the movie is in post production and have you seen some of the stills for it? I saw one that I think is supposed to be Anne Hathaway during Emma’s early years and it is scary!

*********************SPOILER ALERT***********************


Courtney: It would only be fair to inform our readers that you did warn me about the ending before I got there. Kate knows me well enough to know that when it comes to certain endings, if I'm not warned it will ruin the book for me. And you didn't tell me straight out how it ended you just prepared me for an upset. However, I was preparing myself for it to be Dexter that died so I was still shocked when it went the other way. After seeing Dexter and Emma through their trials and tribulations, it was actually really hard for me to believe that they were going to have a happy ending. Even when they got together and were planning the wedding, I was holding my breath waiting for Dexter to do something to screw it up, which he very easily could have done. So, I guess I felt like having one of them die was actually quite poignant.

Kate: As much as I loved this book, the ending ripped my heart out. I wanted Em and Dex to make a million mini-me's. I wanted them to have some time for happiness. In my opinion, Em got screwed. At least Dex had some fun during his younger years, Em had loneliness and failed relationships. Of course, it's my strongly held belief that one should only bicycle on park paths or on boardwalks at the beach, so although the ending shocked me it really shouldn't have. Nothing good comes of biking on the road, people! Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's healthier for the body and the environment. Try car pooling, and avoid tragic endings. Although the ending broke my heart, how Dexter turned out in the end helped heal it some. Seeing the day after they met helped it to end on a more positive note. I'll read David Nicholls in the future- but I'll put on my weary pants first. I hope he’s not going to be one of those authors who feels it necessary to have someone die in order to tell a moving story.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Abducted by Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

I’ve seen the movie for Nick and Norah almost like 100 times! So I was really excited to sit down and listen to the audio unabridged version of the book. I love special features on movies and this particular one does have an audio commentary track that features the director of the movie, the writer of the screenplay, but also the two authors of the book, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. Because of this I was aware in advance that there are some vast differences between the book and the movie.

Although I was prepared for certain changes, what I wasn’t prepared for is that the movie is a PG13 movie where as the book is so very much an R rated book.!!!

That would probably be my main complaint. I’m no angel, I promise you. I will drop curse words when talking to friends without even thinking. But this book has like 15 “f” words per paragraph. That is I imagined it did because again I listened to it and didn’t actually have the book in front of me. Maybe it was the fact that I was hearing it as opposed to reading it that made me more uncomfortable, but who knows. There was also one almost sex scene that was a little too graphic for my comfort zone.

However, a lot of my favorite scenes from the movie came word for word from the book. For example, when Norah has Nick’s phone and he calls it and she answers and Nick asks her to “pass on a message“. It is such a small moment but so sweet and endearing. Also, the speech that one of Nick’s friends gives about the song “I Want To Hold Your Hand” by the Beatles.

The relationship between Nick and Norah in the book was absolutely charming. And the writing does a beautiful job of expressing all the feelings of the first kiss and the vulnerabilities and insecurities and excitement that comes from meeting the perfect someone for the first time. If it wasn’t for the graphic scene and the vulgar language, I would think my friend Mandy would LOVE this book.

I was picturing Michael Cera as Nick throughout listening to the book and because I do love him as much as I do there were moments that Norah kind of bothered me. I was screaming at her (in my head) “JUST FALL FOR HIM ALL READY!!!” As charming as Nick is in the movie he has just as many heart melting scenes in the book and so it was frustrating for Norah to remain so put off and angry for as long as she does. But I do think that her hesitation was in service to the “this is too good to be true” feeling that comes with meeting a great guy.

I wasn’t so much overwhelmed by all the music references but there was one scene where I think it was David Levithan who went on and on about being in a mosh pit where I was like “Come on! Get back to the story!”

The book also does redeem the character of Tris. I liked that because I can now understand why Nick would be so drawn to her, beyond the fact that she is hot. However, I am glad that they left that out of the movie. I would say only because in the movie Tris is the character that you just love to hate so much you don’t want her to be redeemed.

All in all, I love the movie and I would say I really REALLY liked the book. I am also very excited to see what else these authors have out there. Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have also co-authored Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares, which is on my TBR list. And I have Will Grayson Will Grayson co-authored by John Green and David Levithan in my TBR pile. But I do want to find some good books that Cohn and Levithan wrote on their own.

Also, this week I finished Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. We had book club last night to talk about it. I really like the book and the movie was also a great companion to it. Tommy’s rage scene at the end made me cry. When reading the book there was a few tears but in the movie it was like an uncontrollable waterfall. Very different from the YA book I just reviewed but still a good read I would recommend to those already interested.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Abducted by stupid pet movies

About twenty minutes ago I received a text message from my mother informing me that my parents had to put our family dog to sleep this morning.

Now I should say straight off the bat that Coco was 14 years old and part rottweiler, so she lived a very good long life. I'm 28 years old now and I still remember when we went to get Coco and our other dog Chanel as puppies the summer before I entered high school. Coco was an outdoor dog and I am not an outdoor human. My sisters were always more attached to our dogs because in the summers while they were outside working on their tans I was inside reading books and watching tv. But I do have very fond memories of Coco and she was a very sweet dog.

Even though I am sad that she is gone I am more sad for my parents. Ever since my sisters and I have left home they have become even more dependent on our dogs so I know this is very hard on them. But really just find myself pissed off.

For some reason I can't helping thinking of stupid pet movies and wondering what bastard out there in Hollywood thought they were a good idea.

Like hello, All Dogs Go To Heaven? Okay, yes, there was a time (before I had dogs of my own that were getting up there in age) when I thought that was a cute movie. But NO when you really think about it that movie is stupid. What ass hole in Hollywood thought "Hey I know, let's make a movie about a dog that will go to great lengths to protect his owner and then have him die in the end to remind kids that, yes, we know you love your dogs and they love you but guess what we all have to go sometime!"

I'm sorry I know that was one hell of a run on sentence but I'm grieving so no griping!!!

And okay those freaking Homeward Bound movies!?! WHOSE F*#K%ING IDEA WAS THAT!!!???!!!
I adopted my own dog Riley about two and a half years ago and the first time I had to leave him behind when I was going out of town I was a wreck! I knew my sister would take wonderful care of him but I was so messed up in the head from watching Homeward Bound that I was convinced he would think I was leaving him behind for good.

Don't get me started on stupid movies like Marley and Me and My Dog about depressing!!!

And I wont even go near Old Yeller and I have learned recently to never watch Turner and Hootch even though I wanted to because I love old school Tom Hanks. But those are two movies that I've never seen and never will!

But what I really don't get is why if you google "sad pet movies" or whatever, the majority of the movies that will come up are DISNEY!!! WHAT THE HELL!!!!!!

When I was a kid, and we would be watching scary movies with my mom, she swore to us that there was an actual law that stated you can not kill children and dogs in movies, period. I'm not even going to tell you how long I actually believed this to be true. I mean I really believed it. But I beg the question, WHY? Why is that not a law? That should be a law! You should not be allowed to kill dogs in movies! (Oh yeah, don't kill the kids either.) Okay, yes, maybe that would be somewhat unrealistic but they should at least put a big warning on it for explicit material if they are going to go around killing dogs! - I'm not really a big cat person so they can fend for themselves.

Sorry for all the venting, but it really has helped. Since I'm at work now and I can't go into the back and fall apart it is easier to stay pissed.

If you actually read this whole post let me hear from you.

What stupid pet movies do you think totally suck ass?

I'm going to stick with Homeward Bound and All Dogs Go To Heaven.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Abducted by Blog Hop 1.14

Welcome to my second blog hop hosted by CRAZY FOR BOOKS

This weeks question is:

"Why do you read the genre's that you do? What draws you to it?"

That is really hard for me to say because I don't feel like I read one genre more then the others.
Lately I have been getting into more YA because they tend to be easier faster reads and so they can be really enjoyable. They are like dessert. Sure it is fun to read books with hearty substance but sometimes you want a book to just pick you up thrill you and then be done.
It took me like a month and a half to read Count of Monte Cristo, I think it took me like 3 months to read Lonesome Dove, and as much as I loved these books I'm really loving the fact that I can pick up a YA novel, get into the characters and there stories, and yet still be done with them by the weeks end.

Currently I am reading, NEVER LET ME GO which I have about 50 pages left, and I just started NICK AND NORA'S INFINITE PLAYLIST so I'll have some awesome reviews coming up next week!

P.S. I love all my new followers. Everyday I check my blog and see my number went up I get really excited.
Please make sure you give me the chance to return the favor. So if you decide to follow make sure you let me know!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Abducted by Looking For Alaska

This past week I finished my second John Green novel, and I LOVED it. So let me tell you about my abduction by....

Looking For Alaska by John Green.

Now as I have mentioned before I am a huge fan of the VLOGBROTHERS

So let me take this time to give a shout out to my friend TRACY for introducing me to the VLOGBROTHERS and to my friend MIDNIGHT BOOK GIRL for teaching me how to successfully link things on my blog!

Anyway, so I became a fan of the vlogbrothers and have since wanted to read the books that John Green has written (which so far there are four). I started with AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES (that link will take you to my blog for AAOK).

Now don't get me wrong, I liked AAOK, but I didn't love it. I just felt like the characters were a little underdeveloped and the plot kind of lacked a climax. But it was okay. I guess maybe I just expected more because i love John Green's vlog's so much. I consulted with my friend Tracy, who has read all of his books, as to which one was her favorite and she gave high praise to Will Grayson Will Grayson and Paper Towns. So I figured I should read Looking For Alaska first so that way if it wasn't one of Green's better novels then I could get it out of the way. But guess what?

I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I mean I really REALLY loved this book.

I felt that the characters were fully developed and the story was honest and sincere.
Miles is the main character and the book starts with him making the decision to leave his public school in Florida to attend a boarding school in Alabama.

Now, can I take a moment just to say that IF I ever have kids, I really hope that I am in a position to send them to a boarding school because I personally think it sounds awesome. I have always thought it seemed awesome. I mean hello look at Harry Potter, those kids are having a blast!!!

Once at his new school Miles meets his roommate, Chip aka "the Colonel", and a girl down the hall who is of course the most beautiful girl he has ever seen named Alaska.

The book is divided into two parts the "before" and the "after".

In the "before" section of the book each chapter is titled with a countdown like "147 days before" and then "142 days before" all the way down to "the last day". So while reading you know there is a countdown to something but you don't know what the event could be. Then the "after" shows you the after math of that event.

What I thought Green did extremely well in this book is the way that he showed how certain events can change your life. I mean growing up we all have a certain idea of what events we think are going to change us forever. For an example, take sex. As we come into our adolescence we assume that the day we have our first sexual experience, that will be the day that a boy is made a man or a girl is made a woman. But sometimes, as in Looking For Alaska, that can end up being completely shallow and meaningless. Then there are the experiences and moments in our lives that we have no way of anticipating or preparing for.

And that is also what happens in Looking For Alaska, the event the book is counting down to ends up being one of those moments in life that will pick you up off the path you are on, shake you around and then set you back down on a completely different road. After this happens to Miles and his friends, they have to figure out how they are going to let this event define them and change them.

Sometimes when these moments occur we can let them paralyze us because we are not ready to give up that imagined future we had for ourselves on the other path.

Unfortunately, to be honest, I would say that I am prone to paralyzation. There is a line in Looking For Alaska where Alaska says;

"You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present."

That is so me! I know that I'm on a certain path and I develop these elaborate imagined futures for myself and then when the path changes on me, I become paralyzed because I don't want to give up on the future I had planned.

Looking For Alaska was a wonderful book that I would recommend to anyone. And if it is one of Green's lesser novels then I really can't wait to see how good the rest will be!

Also I have decided to join another challenge. That's right I am taking the plunge and joining the challenge for...

This one is hosted by LIFE IS TO SHORT READ FAST. At first I was only trying to double how many I read last year but now I am thinking that since I'm off to a good start, why not shoot for it? I may not be complete successful but if I don't have something to shoot for I wont even try! - wish me luck!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Abducted by my first Blog Hop - Jan. 7th



My answer would be Letter's From Rifka by Karen Hesse which I read back in middle school. My friend recommended it to me and then I begged my Grandmother to get it for me and she did and I read it in like a day, which for twelve year old me was really fast!

Now, it has been about ten years (no exaggeration) since I read this book but from what I recall it was the story of a very young girl and her family as they are fleeing from Russia to come to America. They make their way to England (I think?) on a train. While traveling Rifka becomes very ill and when the family gets to England they are told that the best thing for them to do is leave Rifka behind while she is ill. Once she get's better, Rifka has to make the long journey to America on her own.

All these years later the main spirit of the book has stayed with me and now I'm thinking I really need to re-read it this year for the challenge that MIDNIGHT BOOK GIRL is hosting...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Abducted by Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror

Alright, well, we are only three days into this new year and I am already suffering from a severe case of too many books and too little time!!!

Luckily enough I've already finished one,

so now it is time to share about my abduction by...

Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror by Chris Priestley.

In this collection of short stories there is a little boy named Edgar, who goes to visit with his Uncle Montague. Uncle Montague lives in an old house filled with lots of random trinkets and gadgets. Each object that Edgar stumbles upon has a story behind it that Uncle Montague then shares with Edgar.

Out of the 10 stories only half of them really had a moral or a purpose to them and those were the ones I liked. The other half of the stories had no meaning at all and those were the ones that were hard for me to get through.

All of the stories did have a kind of twilight-zone style behind them and were meant to be more unsettling then they were frightening. I'm not really sure what demographic these stories were intended for. I mean they are written in a manner that would make you think they are intended for 8 year old boys but a lot of the stories actually involve the main characters (who were also young kids themselves) off killing their cats or their siblings or their parents. I mean actually killing them. One of the stories was about a young girl who killed her own grandmother by pushing her down the stairs and then went to go smother her younger sister.

I enjoyed Priestley's obvious love and natural talent for storytelling and I really enjoyed the graphics and artwork laced throughout the book. But I was continually thrown by the relationship between the Uncle and Edgar. Priestley gives you little snippets to show their relationship in between the individual stories. These snippets lead me to believe that Edgar adored his Uncle and visited him quite often, however the very last chapter in the book left me feeling like they really didn't have a bond at all.

If you are a fan of twilight-zone type stories then this series of books may be right up your alley but I think I'll pass on reading any of the other volumes.

Now, before I sign off I also want to mention another recent abduction of mine. One of my absolute favorite things in life is TV on DVD, I can't get enough!

And for Christmas my dog, Riley, got me the complete series of a certain show. I had actually never seen this particular show before, but I have had a lot of friends recommend it to me over the years so I was pretty sure I would like it.

So, over this past week, I have been completed abducted by Arrested Development!!!

And guess what...

I really..



LOVE this show!!!

I am completely won over! Now I can't wait for the movie!!!

And not only has it cemented my love for Michael Cera, whom I have always adored,

But it has also aided me in developing a thing for Jason Bateman.

hmm...I wonder if Silver Spoons has made it to DVD yet?
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