Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Abducted by Sweet Valley

I need a little assistance and I am turning to the wonderful members of my book blogging community for help.

Sweet Valley Confidential came out today!

I really want to read this book because I do remember watching the tv show that was based off the books. And I thought I remembered reading the books too, but as I investigated further into it I realized that the only books I actually read were part of the "Super Snooper Editions". In fact the only one I have a vivid memory of reading was The Case of the Haunted Camp.

So I don't think I read any of the normal "life in high school" books. But, I really want to before reading Sweet Valley Confidential. Believe me, I have no hesitation when it comes toward taking a trip down nostalgia lane.

In fact just looking into the Sweet Valley twins makes me wonder what those Boxcar Children are up to!

But that is where I need help. From what I gathered on Wikipedia there were over 152 books published in the Sweet Valley collection, including spin-offs.

So, where does a girl start?

Granted, since I am currently not allowed to buy books, the ones I end up reading will be dependent upon which ones are offered at my local library. But still, I would love any and all suggestions.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Teaser Tuesday 3.29.11

It is time for another Teaser Tuesday!!!

I love Teaser Tuesday! I just think it is a really fun opportunity to showcase books you are excited about before you have a chance to read them. Even when we are excited about books it still may take some time before we get around to reading them so it is nice to share them first.

I am currently reading Scarlet Feather by Maeve Binchy for my book club selection. But I figured I have shared a lot about Maeve Binchy recently so I would give a teaser of another book this time. As soon as I finish Scarlet Feather I am going to start a book called Beatle Meets Destiny.

Here is a brief description of the book...

Imagine your name is John Lennon, but everyone calls you Beatle.

And then you meet your dream girl, and her name is Destiny McCartney.

But you meet her on Friday the 13th-and you're very superstitious. Not to mention that you're already dating the perfect girl, who happens to be your twin sister's best friend...

Beatle can't imagine ever leaving his girlfriend, Cilla, who supported him after the stroke that changed his life and left him with a limp. Still, he knows that the only thing worse than staying with the wrong person is missing the chance to be with the right one.

Beatle Meets Destiny is a novel about love, change, chance, and everybody doing the wrong thing.

So, this is the teaser from page 177...

"Saturday night was not-so-good. There was something wrong. Something making him feel all tense and irritable. A trapped feeling. A suffocating in his throat feeling. A this-girl-isn't-Destiny feeling."

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Abducted by Anna and the French Kiss

I'm going to start by saying... I hated this book!

Yep that is right! I said it! I am so mad at this book it is ridiculous!!!

Three reasons...

1. This book was just so freaking adorable it makes you sick!!!

2. I will never be able to write something as freaking adorable as this book!!!

3. Because this book is so freaking adorable I can't say anything about it!!! How infuriating is that!?!

With so many other people out there raving about how freaking adorable this book is, we run the risk of turning people off. It will be like when people tell you "Oh, this one is so funny!" "Oh, this one is so scary!" "Oh, this one will make you bawl your eyes out!" and then you finally read what they are talking about and you are like "That's it?"


Because so many people are raving about this book other readers will read it and purposefully try to find fault with it so they can feel like the superior book lover because they didn't surrender to all of this books freaking adorableness.


Here is how I plan on rectifying this problem. I'm only going to blog about all the lame things about this book. People may disagree with my approach but I have to do what I think is best.

So here we go...

1. Our main character has a hobby of reviewing movies. She has her own blog where she writes about the movies she sees and through out the novel she mentions her some of her favorites. And I would say that at times her quick references to her favorite movies might come across as pretentious.

2. I'm a little odd about nicknames. Personally, I'm not a fan. It has taken me many years to get to a point where I can be tolerable of people calling me "Court" instead of "Courtney" and yet, even though I do my best to not react on the outside, inside I'm cringing. What is weird though is I love when people use their last name as a nickname. Odd right? I know.

So, when they call Etienne, St. Clair, I actually really liked that one. But all of the "Banana" stuff was a little annoying. But what was really irksome was that she called her little brother "Seany" all the time. Ugh! I hated that! I get when you have a little brother who is like 5, you call him Seany when you are playing with him or whatever. BUT when you are on another continent and just talking to your friends and you are going off about "Seany this..." or "Seany that..." Seriously?

3. Our main character suffers from the all to common flaw of not being able to see the obvious right in front of her. By this I am referring to her relationship with her friend Bridgette and how Anna does the same thing to a friend in Paris that she get's mad at her friend Bridgette for doing.

Which again, is what we as humans do sometimes, so I guess in a way it was a little touch of reality. But, still, for some reason when characters do this in books it get's a bit annoying.

***NOW, for those of you who have not read this book yet and fear you may be the type of reader that may get your hopes too high OR that you may sub-consciously, look for reasons to hate this book, when so many others choose to surrender to its charms, PLEASE QUIT READING***

I loved loved LOVED this book! I love that St. Clair was afraid of heights all the time, it was adorable. Like Ron Weasley and his fear of spiders. I love the chapter when they were on winter break and all the emails were going back and forth! I smiled so much my teeth hurt! I LOVED the ending where they actually talked about things instead of glossing over it all.

I know that above I listed all those flaws in the book but I swear that they didn't really bother me that much, I was just making a point. This book could not have been cuter or more perfect! I really loved it!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Abducted by Blog Hop March 25th

It is time for the friday blog hop!!! Hosted by Crazy for books!

"If you could physically put yourself into a book or series...which one would it be and why?"

For me, my first, gut instinct answer, would be Harry Potter of course! I would have loved to go to boarding school, add some magical powers on to that and who could resist!?!

Other then that, I'm not really sure there is another series I would want to stay in. Like there are parts of the Narnia series that I would love to expierence but I don't know if I would want to live in Narnia. I mean it just seems to me that there are tons of creatures and animals walking around but in the books, you don't hear about a lot of humans. I'm sure they are there but, as far as humans go it just seems that it would be kind of lonely.

And, I'm a creature of comfort and habit, so I'm not looking to be taken away from my technology unless you are going to give me a wand to make up for it.

Or, Whitethorn Woods by Maeve Binchy because it is set in this amazing little Irish Village! I plan on growing old in some little cabin in an Irish village near a wood, so Whitethorn Woods would be amazing!

Don't forget to sign up for my giveaway of a $15 gift card for Amazon! Just click below!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Abducted by The Return Journey

Well, we made it! Today is my last day in my week long marathon of posting!!!

Completing this challenge has really helped me complete another challenge I set out for myself back in October.
I published a post on October 5th titled ABDUCTED BY MY OWN DISAPPOINTING ABDUCTIONS. Basically I wrote about how disappointed in myself I was because at the time I had my own book blog for 6 months and yet, had only published SIX posts total and only ONE of them had been an actual review of a book. So I issued myself a challenge, the goal was that by the time I reached my one year anniversary I would have published 50 distinct posts and that out of those 25 of them would be real reviews for books. And during this week long marathon of posting I have officially past the 50 posts mark (WHOO HOO!!!) and as far as my reviews go, after today I will have published 22 posts featuring reviews (GO ME!!!)

My one year anniversary takes place on April 13th so that gives me a little less then a month to publish 3 more reviews after today! I could never have accomplished that original challenge if I hadn't completed my week long marathon of posting, so thank you all for sticking with me and actually reading all I had to say. It is out of my appreciation for my followers that I am hosting my giveaway of a $15 gift certificate to Amazon, so please be sure to enter by clicking on the abduction below...

Now on to my review for today:

The Return Journey by Maeve Binchy

I am really excited to finish this book today because not only is it a Maeve Binchy book (and you guys know how much I love my Binchy!) but also because it was one of the books I checked out from the library!

I went to the public library for the first time in at least 6 years about three weeks ago. I got The Duff and The Return Journey, I finished The Duff a while ago so I just need to finish this one. And now that I am done, I can return it (ON TIME!!! they are due tomorrow) and see what new books the library has to offer me.

I love Maeve Binchy's collections of short stories! I posted on her collection of holiday themed stories when I was ABDUCTED BY THIS YEAR WILL BE DIFFERENT. I enjoyed the stories in The Return Journey more because there weren't nearly as many stories about infidelity. I don't know if that is a European thing or an Irish thing, but it seems to be a common theme in Binchy's writing.

Some of the stories I liked in The Return Journey included one titled "The Wrong Suitcase". It involves a man who is on a business trip where he is planning a take over of a small business, and a woman who is going to a hotel to meet her lover, who happens to be married. When at the airport they accidentally switch bags. In an effort to recover their own belongings they search through each others bags looking for phone numbers or addresses. In doing so they discover each others secrets. Then when they meet they feel a connection or an attraction, but can't look past what they learned about the other person.

Another story that I thought was really well written was "The Home Sitter". Basically this mellow, go with the flow, kind of hippie woman enters the lives of this family, and she charms everybody but the wife. The wife is in constant fear of her husband cheating on her with this new woman and can't relax until she is gone. I can't really explain it, I mean the story is only 16 pages long and it would probably take me half that length to explain what is really going on. So just trust me, this little short story was very unsettling and thought provoking.

"The Package Tour" was a really simple storyline of these two people who meet and decide to vacation together. I mean that is literally all that the plot is about. And yet the way that Binchy reveals the information about the two characters, they way she switches talking about each one, it is captivating. It was one of my favorite stories even though it doesn't have a "happy" ending because it was just so enjoyable to read.

What can I say, I am a Maeve Binchy addict! I love the way she tells a story, I love the way she opens up her characters to the readers, and I love how her stories are about nothing more then simply observing one brief moment in her characters' lives. This month, it was my turn to pick a book for my book club, and I chose an older one by Binchy called Scarlet Feather. I'm really nervous that the girls wont finish it because it is kind of long, but all of her shorter novels I had already read and I wanted to branch out. Plus, because I love her so much I really want the other girls to love her too. But I have to be open to the possibility that may not happen, and to not take it personally. But I mean come on? How can anyone not like Maeve Binchy?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Abducted by It's Kind Of A Funny Story

It is time for my #6 post in my week long marathon of posting! I am so excited that this week is coming to a close! Mainly just because I am proud of myself for actually completing it! I mean for going so long without any real posts and to then do a real post every day for a week! I can't believe I made it! YAY!!!

It was exactly the kind of kick in the butt that I needed to get back on track. I'm looking forward to taking a break from writing so much everyday but I promise to keep up with my blog more.

Today I'm going to post on a book I read called It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini.

Ned Vizzini started writing articles for the New York Press at the age of 15 and not long after began writing essays that were published in The New York Times Magazine. Some of these letters were combined to make his first book, Teen Angst? Naah... that was published when he was 19! Then 4 years later his first fictional novel was published; Be More Chill. It was around this same time that Vizzini suffered a minor bout of depression and checked himself into a mental hospital for 4 days. Just 6 days later he began writing It's Kind of a Funny Story, and he finished it in less then a month!

I really loved this story and it was written with such humor.

One of the quotes from Teen Vogue on the back of the cover says "A book about depression that's not the least bit depressing."

Okay, well that is just not true. I mean, maybe if you have never experienced a day of depression in your life then you might be able to gloss over certain parts that hit a little too close to home for the rest of us. But it is quiet funny. Vizzini has a great ability to include sarcasm and absurd humor in very dark scenes without taking away from the emotion of the moment.

There were a lot of lines in this book that I could easily relate to, but one in particular was when the main boy in the story says "It's when they compliment you that you're in trouble. That means they expect you to keep it up."

All my life I've never been able to take a compliment and it always shakes my confidence as soon as someone does compliment me. Seems weird right? But to me, a compliment always registered in my mind as a standard. A standard I would never be able to live up to or top again.

A movie was made based off this novel just last year, and it was when I saw the trailer for the movie that I knew I really wanted to read this book. The book was really good but the movie version turned out to be only okay. They didn't make too many changes from the main storyline and the changes they did make were all justifiable. It had a great cast, my only wish is that Lauren Graham had been in it more. She played the main boy's mom and in the book the mom has quiet a few scenes but I guess there wasn't time for all of them in the movie version.

Okay I guess that is all for today. I'll see you all tomorrow with my last post in my week long marathon of posting!

Don't forget to sign up for a chance to win a $15 gift certificate for Amazon! Just click on the abduction below!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Abducted By The Horse and His Boy

Now it is time for my #5 post in my week long marathon of posting!!!

But first, don't forget to sign up for my giveaway of a $15 gift certificate for Amazon. To enter just click on the abduction below...

Today's post will be on the abduction of The Horse and His Boy the 3 book in the Chronicles of Narnia, as part of our read along blog posts hosted by SHE IS TOO FOND OF BOOKS.

The first time I read the complete series of the Chronicles of Narnia I really didn't care for this book. I barely remember reading it and I think at the time I was just trying to get through it so I could move on to the rest of the books.

And yet, with each reading I come to love this story more and more.

This book has a very Arabian tone to it that is different from the other Narnia books. I love that for the first time we get to really experience the other cultures that belong in that world.

I also really love the relationship between Shasta and Aravis. Many of the Narnia books have two main children characters that bicker; Polly and Digory, Lucy and Edmund, and even Jill and Eustace. But all of those relationships start off in some form of a friendship. But for Aravis and Shasta they don't like each other at all when they first meet. She sees him as annoying and simple and he sees her as a snob. But overtime they come to care about each other as two members of a team and then of course that friendship becomes something more.

Personally I was always on Shasta's side and thought that Aravis was a little stuck up. Plus I felt bad for Shasta because it wasn't his fault he had never been educated in other cultures and what not.

One line that always strikes me as odd is when Shasta has been mistaken for Prince Corin and he was over hearing Edmund and Susan make plans to escape. Edmund says;

"My guess is that the Tisroc has very small fear of Narnia. We are a little land. And little lands on the borders of a great empire were always hateful to the lords of the great empire."

Okay wait...hold up...LITTLE LAND??? Narnia is considered a LITTLE LAND!?! Just how big is this world supposed to be anyway if Narnia is the little land?

My favorite side character is Prince Corin. I just think that scene when he finally returns back to the castle and Shasta asks him where he had been and he tells the story of some kid in the street making a joke about Susan, so he "knocked him down" then that kid's brother came out so he "knocked him down." Then Corin was followed until they ran into the watch so he "knocked" the watch down. I can just picture this little boy trying to tell this big story about how tough he is. It's so cute! I loved it!

Anyway, it is about eleven o'clock here so I guess for my week long marathon of posting, I'm getting this one in just under the wire!

I hope you had a great weekend and I will see you all tomorrow!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Abducted by The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe

It is time for my #4 post for my week long marathon of posting!

But before I forget I want to remind every one to sign up for my 1 year anniversary giveaway. You can win a $15 gift certificate to Amazon!!! All you have to do is be a follower of either my blog, my friend KATE'S blog, or both. It is that simple! To enter just click on the abduction below and it will take you to the form to submit. The giveaway started yesterday and runs through April 12th. Then I'll announce the winner in my 1 year anniversary post on April 13th!

Now today I am going to do my long over due post on The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe By C.S. Lewis!

This post was supposed to be a part of the Chronicles of Narnia read-a-long that SHE IS TOO FOND OF BOOKS is hosting. But I failed epically to post when it was due so I'm posting it now, two weeks late, and then I do my post for The Horse and His Boy tomorrow!

I loved this book! I read it for the first time years ago, long before the movie version came out. But I will say that this was one instance where the movie was a perfect adaptation from the book. There were some differences but they were small and personally I felt that they helped the story. Obviously the movie showed more of the battle then what was given in the book, but that was awesome because you got to see all these crazy creatures running around.

And because I love the movie so much it is hard for me to read the book now and not be picturing the film in my mind. Especially when it comes to Lucy and Mr. Tumnus. Who wasn't picturing James McAvoy? I mean COME ON! He was perfect! And when you read the book you are reminded just how small a roll Mr. Tumnus really was. I mean, not in quality of course (Mr. Tumnus is crucial to the plot) but in terms of how often he is actually seen in the story. Lucy comes to Narnia that first time and we meet him. She comes a second time followed by Edmund, but we as the audience stay with Edmund and only hear later that Lucy went to Mr. Tumnus's house. By the time all the children come to Narnia, Mr. Tumnus has already be taken captive and we don't see him again until the end. But with the movie, James McAvoy is so endearing and charming as Mr. Tumnus that you instantly feel as bonded to him as Lucy does.

One part of this book that I have always hated is the scene when Edmund first goes to the White Witch's castle and he draws the fake mustache on the lion statue. Don't get me wrong, I completely and totally understand where Edmund was coming from and why he did it. He was a little boy, in a strange land, he was scared, and he needed to do something to comfort himself and establish some form of power or control over the situation, even if it was only in his head. BUT, as the reader, knowing that was a real creature, taken captive, turned to stone, taken away from it's family and friends and life. I mean that was a real lion!!! It was an animal with a heart and soul and everything! And for all we know it could have been dead! And there is Edmund drawing faces on it! I mean maybe I am over re-acting but even when I was a kid I remember thinking there was something so cruel about that moment!

One thing that struck me as odd having just finished The Magician's Nephew, was the Professor's reaction to the children going to Narnia. I mean I always thought it was so fantastic that he just accepts that the kids are being truthful. That whole scene when Peter and Susan go to him about Lucy and he defends her, has always been one of my favorites. But, since I had JUST finished the other book it got me to thinking. Why wasn't Professor Kirke more cautious with them? Why didn't he warn them about the dangers of going to Narnia? I mean just think about it...

Professor Kirke went to another world as a little boy, he almost died, he almost lost his best friend Polly, he woke up an evil witch and then managed to bring her with him back to London, where she attacked his Aunt and if she had come upon his mother would have for sure given her such a fright she would have died instantly! Then she terrorized the city for a day, got in trouble with the cops for stealing and being a menace, broke a lamppost, and she hit a cop! Then he finally got her back to the other world only to have her be set loose in Narnia. So Professor Kirke knew that she was in Narnia and knew she was evil. He also knew of the troubles one can find themselves in if they mess around with magic. So why didn't warn them?

Well, that is simple...i guess. He didn't warn them because at the time Lewis wrote The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe he had yet to write the Magician's Nephew so maybe Lewis didn't even know how bad an experience Professor Kirke had with his adventure.

He didn't warn them because he trusted the magic was calling to them for a reason?

And I guess, the most obvious answer would be that he didn't warn them because he knew that in the end all the good of Narnia would out weigh the bad.

But I mean, still, come on! I'm just saying a little warning would have been nice!

That is all I have for now!

Have a great rest of the day and I will see you all tomorrow!
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