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The Love of my Life <3

The Love of my Life <3

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Take A Chance Challenge #3

Last year, I signed up for the Take A Chance Challenge among other challenges that I thought I'd complete. I was so excited with the thought of competiting with my fellow book bloggers while reading many books. It was a win win in my book. But life, who does not care for my wishes, decided to make it busy; new baby, school, moving, etc. So, I have decided that this will be MY ONLY competition this year. I have always wanted to play and it looks so fun!

If you too would like to enter, this is the place to see! Jenners is an amazing person and her blog is a wonderful place to lose track of time! (So being the extreme lazy person that I am, I am coping her rules and pasting them here.) I highly recommend you join! It's a perfect challenge for the New Year!

Several of you asked if I’d be hosting the Take A Chance Challenge again. At first, I wasn’t sure, but once I started thinking about it, I got all excited. So here are the details for the 2011 version of the challenge.

Basic Information
  • The concept of the challenge is to take chances with your reading by finding books to read in unusual or random ways. I’ve listed 10 different ways to find books below. Feel free to complete at many as you want. However, anyone completing all 10 challenges by December 31, 2011 will be entered in a prize drawing to win a book of their choice from Amazon.
  • The challenge will run from January 1, 2011 until December 31, 2011.
  • Crossover books from other challenges is fine. You can read books in any format.
  • On January 1, 2011, I will post pages for each of the 10 challenges so you can link up your completed posts.

The 2011 Challenges

1: Staff Member’s Choice: Go to a bookstore or library that has a “Staff Picks” section. Read one of the picks from that section.

2: Loved One’s Choice: Ask a loved one to pick a book for you to read. (If you can convince them to buy it for you, that is even better!)

3: Blogger’s Choice: Find a “Best Books Read” post from a favorite blogger. Read a book from their list.

4: Critic’s Choice: Find a “Best of the Year” list from a magazine, newspaper or professional critic. Read a book from their Top 10 list.

5: Blurb Book: Find a book that has a blurb on it from another author. Read a book by the author that wrote the blurb.

6: Book Seer Pick: Go to The Book Seer and follow the instructions there. Read a book from the list it generates for you.

7: What Should I Read Next Pick : Go to What Should I Read Next and follow the instructions there. Read a book from the list it generates for you.

8: Which Book Pick: Go to Which Book and use the software to generate a list of books. Read a book from that list.

9: LibraryThing Pick: Go to LibraryThing’s Zeitgeist page. Look at the lists for 25 Most Reviewed Books or Top Books and pick a book you’ve never read. Read the book. (Yes … you can click on MORE if you have to.)

10: Pick A Method: Pick a method for finding a book from the choices listed below (used in previous versions of the challenge).

  • Random Book Selection. Go to the library. Position yourself in a section such as Fiction, Non-Fiction, Mystery, Children (whatever section you want). Then write down random directions for yourself (for example, third row, second shelf, fifth book from right). Follow your directions and see what book you find. Check that book out of the library, read it and then write about it. (If you prefer, you can do the same at a bookstore and buy the book!)
  • Public Spying. Find someone who is reading a book in public. Find out what book they are reading and then read the same book. Write about it.
  • Random Bestseller. Go to and, using the True Random Number Generator, enter the number 1950 for the min. and 2010 for the max. and then hit generate. Then go to this site and find the year that generated for you and click on it. Then find the bestseller list for the week that would contain your birthday for that year. Choose one of the bestsellers from the list that comes up, read it and write about it.

Good Luck!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Time Traveler's Wife

Imagine that you could go back in time. See events replay themselves out, and you could get different viewing perspectives each time you went back. The catch is - you cannot chose when and where you go back, and you cannot stop it.

Henry DeTamble has that problem. He is a time traveler. Although his past and future are intertwined, crossed, and tangled it is not always clear where he is going, and where he has been.

He meets his future wife, Clare Abishire, when she is six in 1977. When they first meet, he is 36, and has already known Clare in the future - is already married to her. The friendship they forge will last years and Henry weaves in and out of it.

Clare though, must struggle to live a life where Henry pops in and out of it. She has to deal with peer pressure in high school - the controversy that surrounds her - is she gay? Straight? Where are her boyfriends, or girlfriends?

These two must endure both the test of time and love. Is their love strong enough to withstand those tests?

This book is amazing! We often wish we could be time travelers, but we never stop and think of the consequences. We never stop and think how horrific it could be! Henry must relive some horrible events in his past, and he cannot escape them! Imagine reliving an embarrassing moment, that you can never let fade away in the past. I enjoyed being a part of their love story! It made me think of my own relationship to my husband, and how much I cherish every second with him - how I hate when he's away and cannot wait to see him again. It is hard for me to imagine my husband popping in and out of my past and future, never knowing when he will be gone, and for how long.

I have one small issue with the book. When Ms. Niffenegger would have two dates, like November 23 1988, and July 12, 2000 she would not separate them. Hm. I'm trying to think of a better example because obviously when Henry time travels backwards the music and cloths would change. There were some dates that would run together and I wouldn't necessarily be able to tell present from past.

The Time Travelers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. New York: A Harvest Book (c) 2003.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Never Slow Dance with A Zombie

Last year, October 2009, E. Van Lowe and Ms. Princess of A Park-Avenue Princess were holding a Twitter competition to see who could coin a nice catch phrase with the title of Mr. Lowe's book. Mr. Lowe's name has been hyperlinked to the page on his blog where he mentions the first winner, ME! :)

I was so happy when I won! I now can say, I'm happy I got a chance to read his book! IT WAS FANTASTIC!

Margot Jean Johnson made a pledge that she would change her life. She would become popular and have a hot, popular boyfriend. Her best friend Sybil is going to help Margot attain that goal.

Friends though, don't always see eye to eye. On the night of the big carnival Margot and Sybil get into a big fight. They don't go to the carnival, instead assume the other is having fun at said carnival.

When the girls arrive the next day something seems strange. The students have a green tinge to their skin, and the most popular girl at school - well she looks like she has seen better days. All the students have turned into flesh eating zombies! Trying not to become among the living dead, they head over to the principal's office (since he clearly is among the living). The principal asks for a huge favor. Could they possibly NOT tell anyone about the student zombie population, and act as if nothing has happened. Class would continue like normal.

At first the girls enjoy their new status: popular AND alive! Soon though they begin to tire, and think about trying to help the student body. Will they give up their newfound popularity though?

I absolutely LOVED this book! I was laughing all the time, and I think I got strange stares from my fellow peers as I rode the campus connector to my classes. I enjoyed the descriptions of the type of zombie you could become (according to which clique you were in when you were alive.) At one point Margot thinks "Uh-uh! No way! I do not want to become a Goth-although black is slimming." (Lowe 63)

This story was peppered with snarky remarks like that all through out the story. It did have a serious side. Margot has the tough question (we all face) Is it really worth it - to be Queen Bee of high school?

If you want a funny, sweet, mysterious coming-of-age book then I suggest this one!!

Never Slow Dance with A Zombie by E. Van Lowe. New York: A Tom Doherty Associates Book, 2009.

Red Ted and the Lost Things

I first saw this book on the Graphic Classroom's site. I knew instantly that I would have to get my hands on this book.

It was such a cute little story, with beautifully done pictures!

One day Ted (the little bear) has been left behind by his owner. A police man puts Ted away with all the other lost items. Ted asks Mr. Crocodile where he is, and is told that is in the place for Lost Things. Ted though, is determined to find his owner agin and devises a plan. Of course Mr. Crocodile does not want to be left behind, so he joins Ted. On their journey, they befriend a cat who helps them located Ted's home.

I hope everyone gets a chance to read this to their young ones! It is such a cute story, and I wish I had a crocodile toy that looked exactly like the one in the story.

My son, who is almost 6 months would look at this book and listen as I read it to him. From what I gather he enjoyed it very much! Of course this book is for older children, the Graphic Classroom says between the ages of

"Rating: Emergent reader and older
Publisher’s Rating: Preschool and older" (Chris Wilson)

Red Ted and the Lost Things by Michael Rosen. Illustrated by Joel Stewart. Candlewick Press, 2009.

The Strangers Outside

Thank you so much to Vanessa Morgan for allowing me to read her short story The Strangers Outside!!

Can I just say that it was a wonderful thriller? Late last night when I was reading it, I totally began to get scared that I had to finish it this morning - and even in the bright hours of the day I was still scared.

It begins with two sisters, Jennifer and Louise, who are on their way to the beach resort. The resort is comprised of "independent structures connected to a large

parking lot by meandering pathways that shone white in the waning darkness. ‘Military

bunkers’ their grandmother used to call these brown houses with low flat ceilings. Even the

long, narrow gardens looked exactly alike." (Morgan p.9)

The girls begin to dance in excitement when suddenly Louise stops. There are strange men looking their way. Fear begins to make itself known, and Louise and Jennifer quickly go into the cottage. The strange men do not leave, and it is starting to get dark. When Jennifer goes to wash her face, a small problem arises - there is not any water! Louise quickly dashes out to the shed to turn on the water and has the prickly feeling of fear again. When she looks out into the falling darkness again she sees those strangers.

She runs back inside and tells Jennifer to hurry up. The strangers are getting closer to the house and Louise has no idea why. Suddenly they are knocking on her front door and peering in through the back sliding glass door. Louise has to decided then and there what to do. Does she fight or let herself be taken by these strangers from outside.

Even now, after reading the story, I cannot get the chill out of my spine!! When Ms. Morgan described their faces as being "lagers than they should be"(Morgan p.11) I could not help but picture these huge eyeless, noseless, mouthless blobs for faces. When they were at Louise's back door and the eyes started popping up I could not help but imagine them as RED CREEPY eyes! I'm glad it's still the day time!

I thoroughly enjoyed how she made the details vague enough to let your own imagination take over! I was slightly disappointed at the end. I got so caught up in the drama and suspense of the strangers and why there were there that the ending seemed to come too rapidly. It is probably my own taste. The story was wonderfully suspenseful and totally chilling!

The Strangers Outside by Vanessa Morgan. (c) 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Demon Possessed


Ok. I absolutely HATE when I read a book out of series - the very first book I read and it's the WRONG NUMBER! UGH!

With that being said, I wasn't overly confused about the plot - which is either good or bad.

So, for those of you having read the books in order I'm sure the plot will make more sense to you than it did to me.

Megan Chase is a psychiatrist and is currently not happy with the meeting she's in. She is meeting with an FBI agent named Elizabeth Reid. Elizabeth is trying to get Megan to acknowledge, that Megan's boyfriend Greyson Dante (who also happens to be a head honcho in the Demon world) will be participating in a local meeting of all Demon Leaders (think The God Father). Megan pretends like she knows nothing.

Later that week Megan and her hot (he's a fire Demon) boyfriend Dante arrive at the hotel and buckle in for the extremely long week. It's all politics and schmoozing as each leader of the Demon branch try to vie for power. Everything seems to be going well until Agent Reid shows up and someone attacks Megan. Oh and she learns some bad news pertaining to her boyfriend. Can Megan cope with it all while saving herself and Agent Reid?

Hmm. As far as books go this one wasn't that interesting. I was so irritated by the constant use of similes that I wanted to burn the book, or throw it out the window! The ratio of similes to dialogue was 23094:2! It went something like this: Megan "I like cookies." Text "Megan liked cookies like a fat person loves cake. That is to say she loved them so much as if she couldn't live without them like a flower can't live without the sun. " (Gag!)

Irritating there right? Now IMAGINE 3/4 OF THE BOOK LIKE THAT! On top of that, I found Megan to be so whinny and WEAK! And I later found out she was like 5'9" and 104 lbs. Not that's to say there is a connection. BUT COME ON! I cannot stand weak women characters that are protagonist! I hate being type casted as a woman that can't do work because I have two X chromosomes and I need a big burly man to stack wood, or open the door for me. Thank you for the help but I can also do it. But Megan but all the hard work of feminist back like 499 years! (Ok, not that bad.)

She couldn't get over the fact that Greyson lied to her about some b.s. relating to demon politics. SO WHAT. Talk about it like two grown adults and then either repair the relationship or move on! She reminded me of Bella Swan in Twilight which irritated me more because I found Bella to be vexing too.

I finished this book a week ago, and apparently I'm still upset by it. I'm actually glad I didn't read the other two books because I doubt I'd get that far in the series. The book finally got good in the last 50 pages which is sad because the book is 321 pages and which isn't saying much.

I'm curious to hear what others think of this book. Did you like it? If so what aspects? What did you think of the simile problem? Did it bother you? Did you notice?

Books in this series:

1) Personal Demons
2) Demon Inside
3) Demon Possessed

Demon Possessed by Stacia Kane. Pocket Books: New York (2010).

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Dead Until Dark

FINALLY!!! I have been reading numerous books for school (Roman poets, Greek poets, books on WWI, WWII, Russian books, books on the Haitian Revolution - can you tell I'm going to major in history?) Well I finally got to read a book that wasn't mandatory! And I'm pretty proud of myself. I read the book in about 3 days! So without further ado here is the report!

Sookie Stackhouse lives in Bon Temps, La. She works as a waitress at the local bar. Everyone knows that she has a 'disability' and for the most part they treat her well. Obviously they think she's crazy. Vampires have just now become more main stream, and people are beginning to believe that the reason vampires are the way they are is because of a virus.

One night, while Sookie is working a man catches her attention. Pale with dark hair and eyes she is drawn to him like a moth to a flame. Soon they found out that the new stranger in town is Bill Compton a vampire returning to his old family estate. The town is enthralled to have a vampire amongst them. However, Bills arrival also marks the arrival of strange happenings.

Soon the town of Bon Temps has other worries on their minds. At least two of the women have been killed. They were known 'fang bangers' so Bill might have done a way with them. But they also were known 'associates' of Sookie's brother Jason. By 'associates' I mean 'bed associates'. What's worse is that Sookie might be next. Her grandmother was killed, along with her cat Tina. The police are looking real hard into Jason's files, but he couldn't of killed his grandmother? Sookie has to solve the mystery fast before her time is up and her number is picked.

This is probably a bad thing, but when I first read Sookie, I instantly thought of SNookie from Jersey Shore. I know, I know Jersey Shore is a corrosive show - but also a very funny one. Watching egotistical people act as if they weren't!

I really enjoyed the characters in the book. It's always fun (for me) to read about vampires when their description is the same but different. Like Bill, he was described as pale (duh) but there were no mentions of his powers (like descriptions of Jean-Paul in one of Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake novels.) Furthermore Sookie wasn't a skinny little twig. She had some meat on her bones which was nice.

In closing - I didn't know that the True Blood series was based off this book series. I don't watch the show (I don't have a TV in my house). Although I'm not all together surprised seeing how now-a-days more and more TV shows and movies are based off of books. I'm not too happy with that.

Books in this series:

1. Dead Until Dark
2. Living Dead in Dallas
3. Club Dead
4. Dead to the World
5. Dead As a Doornail
6. Definitely Dead
7. Altogether Dead
8. From Dead to Worse
9. Dead And Gone
10. Dead In The Family

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris. Ace Books NY (c) 2001

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Napoleon: A life

I tried to find a photo of the book were it didn't have this irritating "look inside" but alas I could not.

I had to read this book for my class on the "history of Modern War and Society". Right away I loved the book. One of my favorite lines in the book is "more books and been written about Napoleon than anyone else - except for Christ". What is it that fascinates us about this little guy?

I enjoyed the books smooth transitions and wonderful information. I didn't feel like I had to labour to read it (as I did while reading Cheese and Worms)

Napoleon a Life by Paul Johnson

The Cheese and the Worms

This will be a quick post about the book (I have to go read the Iliad - which I should've finished Monday -oops).

The Cheese and the worms is written about a 15th Century miller in Italy during the time of the Inquisition. His name was Menocchio (well, nickname rather) and he was known for his radical thoughts and ideas. His fellow peers didn't hate him, but they also didn't agree with his brash outspoken ideas. When Menocchio is called to trial the inquisitors can't help but marvel at this man and his crazy ideas! The Virgin Mary isn't a virgin because she had a child? Say What???

The point of the book was to see how popular peasant thought intermixed with the religious beliefs and teachings of that time.

I would have to say the only negative thing about this book was his writing style. I hated it. It was too confusing for me - at one point it was in Menocchio's POV and then suddenly it was the inquisitors or suddenly Ginzburg was trying to relay information. I didn't like the flow at all.

Poor Menocchio, to be born at the wrong time with such radical ideas.

The Cheese and the Worms by Carlo Ginzburg

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Hi guys!! My posts (for awhile) will be a bit sporadic. I recently had a little boy so sleep has been on the back burner, even reading too. I'll slowly be reading - although I'm trying to quickly read Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side before it's due on Monday - we shall see. I hope everyone is enjoying their summer.

This is my son :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

Jessica is on her way to school one day when she sees a strange person, in dark clothes. This person doesn't belong and is starting to give her the creeps. As she gets on the bus she swears he is calling out to her "Antanasia". How could he know that name? No one knows that name . . .well no one in America. Jessica is adopted, and Antanasia is her old name that only her parents knew back in Romania.

As her first day ends, her mother picks her up from school and she mentions the fact that a strange man has been following her. On their way home - she sees the strange man and points it out to her mother. Her mother gets out of the car and Jessica is nervous. What is her mother doing - this guy could kill her! But instead her mother talks to this strange man and even shakes his hand. When she gets back in the car she says this strange man will be coming over for dinner later.

During dinner that night Jessica learns that this strange man is two things: 1) a vampier and 2) her future husband. Before her parents died they promised her to him. Great, now she has to deal with her senior year of high school and somehow telling him that she does NOT want to marry him!

I really enjoyed reading this book. Jessica the main character was an actually REAL girl who was NOT a size 2! I was actually shocked to read that she was a size 10. Lucias (her betrothed) kept telling her through out the book that being a size 10 was beautiful and that being skinny was not. Wonderful!! I'm tired of constantly seeing super skinny people and being told that's what beauty is. It took me years to appreciate my body - even though I'm not a size 2 (I'm quite bigger and that's ok :). I also enjoyed Lucias who was a clever, funny young man who wasn't emo. What is it in teen books with the heartthrob being emo? I don't care for it.

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey (c) 2009

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Twenties Girl

Lara Lington's great aunt-Sadie has just passed away at the young age of 105 years. However, no one seems to care. In fact the only people that show up to great aunt-Sadie's funeral are Lara, her mother and father and sister Tonya and her father's brother Bill, his wife, and spoiled daughter. What's even more pitiful is the room. There are no flowers, not pictures of Sadie, and horrible muzak is being pipped throughout the speakers.

Lara feels even more guilty when the vicar comes and asks for some information on Said so that she can put it in her speech - and not one family member can give any information. No one knew her or went to see her. As the vicar begins her speech, a shrill voice cries out asking where her necklace is. Lara looks around - where is this voice coming from? Again she hears it and suddenly she sees the person belonging to the voice. A young lady in a flapper dress. The young lady notices Lara looking at her and demands to know where her necklace is. Lara replies she doesn't know - and suddenly her family looks at her startled. Who is she talking to? Suddenly it dawns on Lara - she can only see this person. Is she going mad? The ghost, who now makes it known that she is Sadie Lancaster (Lara's dead great-aunt) demands that the necklace be found and the funeral stopped. She won't stop bugging Lara until she gets her wish. Lara stops the funeral by saying she believes great-aunt Sadie was murdered. Suddenly Lara finds herself agreeing to help her great-aunt's ghost hunt down a missing necklace. Is she on a wild goose chase?

I must admit that when I read the inside flap of the book I thought the story would turn about differently. Like she'd find the necklace and be transported back into the 1920's and that sort of thing. I'm glad I was wrong. The 1920's has always been on of my favorite eras (the clothes alone!) and I was glad that I was able to read a book that blended the culture of the '20s with that of the '09s (as in 2009). Sadie is such a spunky woman, and you have no problem imagining her in the '20s in a smoke filled club dancing the Charleston. At time Lara seemed a bit dim witted (especially when it came her to her ex-boyfriend) and I was glad Sadie was there to tell it to her like it was. It was such a cute book to read. I was greatly pleased by it - the little twist and turns in the plot kept me wondering (and it wasn't an agonizing wait for the answers either).

After reading this book I want to go out to a cute vintage clothes shop and purchase some flapper dresses of my own (I've always loved vintage clothing '40s in particular). And why not? Although I don't think I'll be cutting my hair into a short bob or marceling it any time soon.

Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella. New York (c) 2009

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Nightlight: A Parody

When I first came across this book I was excited, I was also in Barnes and Noble which might've added to my excitement. I quickly picked up this book and read the back and knew instantly I wanted to read this book. I was about to purchase it when I looked at the price: $13.95 for a 154 page book. Uh, no thanks. So I sadly put it back on the shelf and decided to put it on hold at my library.

Finally it arrived and with in the first sentence I was laughing hysterically: "The hot Phoenix sun glared down on the car windowsill where my bare, pallid arm dangled shamelessly" (page 3).

It opens very similar to the Twilight book, which this book obviously parodies. Since it obviously parodies Twilight there isn't a reason for me to state what happens in the book except that towards the end there is a twist that was not in Twilight. The two main character are Belle Goose and Edwart Mullen. In this book however, Edwart isn't a cool and dangerous as he is in Twilight. In fact Edwart Mullen is more of a wet blanket. Belle Goose is still a ditz and well oblivious to everything around her, much like she is in Twilight.

I'm going to share with you ONE of my favorite passages (there were too many to re-write and well let's face it - I'd probably retype the whole book).

"I felt overwhelmed and confused by the results: "Nosferatu", "The Buffy Summers Workout", "Kristen Sterart's Onset Romance", "Midnight Sun Leaked", "Robert Pattinson Excellent Blues Singer".
Weird. What did any of this have to do with vampires?"
(page 44)

Such a fun quick read to pass the time between books! For those of you who love Twilight you might not like it quite so much. I loved it - since I'm not a huge fan of Twilight anyway.

Nightlight: A Parody by The Harvard Lampoon. New York (c) 2009

Catching Fire

The time following the previous Hunger Games has kept both Katniss and Peeta very busy. Finally after months of 'preforming' Katniss sneaks down to her old home and slips into the woods where she meets up with Gale. They hunt in the woods but there is now an odd tension in the air that surrounds them. When Katniss finally got a chance to be alone with Gale he kissed her, and she doesn't know how to interpret her feelings.

The Capitol, and everyone else for that matter, thinks that Gale is her cousin - so how can she possibly have a romantic future with him? This year also marks the 75th anniversary of the Hunger Games - which is marked by the Quarter Quell. Each quell has a certain theme (shall we say) to it. For example, one year had twice as many tributes. Before the announcement of the Quarter Quell theme President Snow goes and visits Katniss and the message he delivers to her does not bode well. Districts have started to uprise and it's her fault, now to save all those she loves she must impress upon people her undying and true love to Peeta - failure of this would mean the deaths of many. When the theme for the Quarter Quell is announced people are shocked: the victors from the previous games are to be picked - which means that Katniss is going in for sure, but who will go with her - Haymitch or Peeta?

I love this series and am so glad I came across it! Poor Katniss. There are moments in the story where I hate her, and then there are moments when I feel so sad for her. Her life is not easy. She lost her father, had to take care of her mother and protect her sister, has to sneak to get food for her family - and now be more of a puppet for the Capitol. Yet, she can be so narrow minded of other people's thoughts and feelings - like Peeta. She'll have a feeling about him and then instantly switch it to the complete opposite because she thinks he's 'faking'. Why doesn't she just go and ask him? Or for once try and figure out her feelings??

I used to see the Team Katniss or Team Peeta buttons and think - how can they choose? After finishing reading the first book I still didn't know how they could choose. But now I know my decision. I'm for Team Peeta. He never waivers. I like many of you, am eagerly awaiting the third book, Mocking Jay.

Books in this series:

2) Catching Fire
3) Mocking Jay (8.24.10)

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. New York 2009

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Magician's Nephew

I had first read this book way back when, but never finished it. I only got to about the second chapter and didn't think it was that interesting. How wrong I was! This is the first book (as I'm sure many of you know) in C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia.

There once was a young boy named Digory who lived with his crazy uncle Andrew, his Aunt Letty, and his sick mother. Next door to Digory lived a young girl named Polly. One day these two happen to meet, and became fast friends. They both loved adventure and decided to explore the attics - for Polly had discovered a secret door. One day they decided to walk the length of all the homes via the attic walk-way. Unfortunately for them, but fortunately for Uncle Andrew, they miscalculated the distance and instead of ending up in the abandon house they end up in Uncle Andrew's room.

Upon seeing the children in his room he quickly locks them in and tells them about his magical rings. He tells Polly to put one on (which she does) and Polly instantly disappears. Digory demands that Uncle Andrew bring her back, but alas he can't. For she only has a yellow ring and needs a green ring to return to this world. Digory seeing what Uncle Andrew had planned all along agrees to save Polly, but tells his uncle how much of a coward he is. When Digory slips on the ring he is transported to a world that is very quiet and filled with many ponds. There he comes across a girl. She looks like him, and he vaguely remembers knowing someone who looked like her. After a while they regain their memory of who they are and Digory gives her the green ring. First though, they want to do some exploring. After marking the pond that takes them home, they decide to jump into a pond that takes them to another world. What they find there isn't very comforting.

After watching the movie The Lion the Witch, and the Wardrobe I knew of Narnia, plus my mother who used to read it constantly when she was younger had often mentioned it to me - so I was familiar with the plot: a lion named Aslan who represents God, and an evil witch that represents well evil and the battle it out for the land called Narnia and somehow 3 kids are mixed in to the plot. Well I didn't know how it started (the forming of Narnia) or how it all tied together (the wardrobe) and now I do! Towards the end of the book the lightbulb went on and I had that "OH! NOW I GET IT" moment. What a delightful book.

Books in this series:

1. The Magician's Nephew
2. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
3. The Horse and His Boy
4. Prince Caspian
5. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
6. The Silver Chair
7. The Last Battle

The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis. (c) 1983 by C.S. Lewis (Pte) Limited

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I heard about this graphic novel when the movie was just about to come out. I refuse to see any movie unless I have read the book, and even then I am very reluctant to see a movie based upon a book.

With that being said, now that I've read the novel I want to see the movie (which I heard followed the novel very closely).

This graphic novel is set in the 1980's during the cold war. Talk about another World War is one of the frequent topics as well as the deaths of some forgotten masked avengers.

The story opens with a death of a man. The two cops assigned to this case are trying to figure out the obvious: who did it, and why? After they've left a figure moves into the space. His name is Rorscharch and he knew the victim. The victim's name was the Comedian, and he was once part of a group of crime fighters, outlawed with the passing of the Keene Law in 1977. Who would want to kill the Comedian? Is his killing related to the book that Hollis Mason wrote? As the story continues we meet of fellow 'super heros' that have retired like: Nite Owl, Veidt, Jon (who's like superman but not exactly human) and Laurie. Rorscharch believes that someone is trying to wipe out the old super heros - but who and why?

This is my first adult graphic novel (Babymouse and Lunch Lady aside). I found the story line very intriguing and also very slow to get through. I don't know why it took me so long to read this book. I didn't enjoy having to read another comic inside this comic. I read about the first section of it (it dealt with a man stranded on an island back in the 1800's) and I tried to find a connection to the main story but couldn't - so I stopped reading it whenever it appeared. The characters were very interesting and it was enjoyable getting to know them. Often you would read their backstory once you got to know them. I felt sorry for Rorscharach, and Jon (the superman-like one) just annoyed me with his aloofness, although he can't help that. I wonder how the movie will pan out? Who did they get to play those characters?

Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. New York (c) 1987

Monday, June 7, 2010

Lunch Lady and the Author Visit Vendetta

Another day and another crime to solve!

Everyone is excited at Thompson Brook School because the author of the Flippy Bunny Books is going to make an appearance. When he arrives he is led to the gym where he'll be doing his presentations. After his presentation he signs a few books, but refuses to sign Hector's because it's ripped. After school Terrence is led by the rest of the Breakfast Club to the soccer tryouts the only problem is the coach hasn't shown up.

The following morning the gang is speaking about the mysterious disappearance of coach - for he never showed up to soccer tryouts. The Lunch Lady grabs Betty and they go into their secret boiler room to find out what's happened to the coach. After their research the Lunch Lady notices that the author forgot his lucky pen and decides to go and return it. When she arrives at his mansion she hands the pen to the butler and returns back to the boiler room where Betty is fast at work doing more research on the author. What they find out is that every time the author makes a guest appearance at a school the gym teacher goes missing. Is it a coincidence or is the author behind the missing coaches?

I still like the last book were the Lunch Lady had to battle the league of evil librarians. In this book the Lunch Lady and Betty take more of a back seat as the breakfast club does more of the crime fighting. I did laugh when the author refused to signed ripped books and then told the lunch ladies he only eats gourmet food.

Graphic Novels in this series:

3. Lunch Lady and the Author Visit Vendetta
4. Lunch Lady and the Summer Camp Shakedown (Recently Out: May 11, 2010)
5. Lunch Lady and the Bake Sale Bandit (Spring 2011)
6. Lunch Lady and the Field Trip Frenzy (Spring 2011)

Lunch Lady and the Author Visit Vendetta by Jarrett J. Krosoczka. New York (c) 2009

Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians

Our crime fighting Lunch Lady is back and this time she going to battle evil librarians!

The day begins as days normally do, but this time there is excitement in the air. The annual Book Fair is about to begin!! All the kids and teachers cannot wait for it to begin! The librarian though is less that excited and snaps at the Breakfast Bunch and the Lunch Lady and her friend Betty to leave immediately because the library is closed.

On the way home, Hector notices he dropped his keys in the library so they all head back to retrieve them. The following day the book fair begins and everyone is happy to look around. After school the Breakfast Bunch decide to do a bit of spying on their own and what they see is something most librarians don't want you to see . . . THEIR EVIL PLANNING SESSION!!!!

Mrs. Page with the help of Edna Bibliosa (her assistant), Vivian Bookwormer, and Jane Shelver begin to formulate a plan that will destroy the new video game system and end with world domination. When the kids go to the lunch ladies the following day to tell them about what they saw the lunch ladies dismiss their silly antics. After all, how can librarians possibly be evil!? The breakfast brunch decide to take matters into their own hands . . . can they stop those librarians in time?

I loved it!! I know some fellow librarians and have a hard time viewing them as evil schemers which made it even more fun to read. I kept picturing them as the evil librarians in the book. One of my favorite parts was when the high school librarian preferred to be called a "media specialist" (about page 22). I also enjoyed how well (or rather not-so-well) the Lunch Lady went undercover. I also enjoyed the evil librarians evil weapons - characters from books that attacked - like the 3 little pigs.

Graphic Novels in this series:

2. Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians
3. Lunch Lady and the Author Visit Vendetta
4. Lunch Lady and the Summer Camp Shakedown (Recently Out: May 11, 2010)
5. Lunch Lady and the Bake Sale Bandit (Spring 2011)
6. Lunch Lady and the Field Trip Frenzy (Spring 2011)

Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians by Jarrett J. Krosoczka. New York (c) 2009


This is the third book in the Luxe series (reviews for both one and two).

In my previous reviewed posts I had mentioned that I was going to write what was on the inside flap and just give you my thoughts - well I felt like that was cheating and I am no longer going to do that.

When we last left our little group of blue bloods, Penelope and Lina - now called Carolina - were starting to get what they wanted. Their means may have been devious and cruel but at least they were getting results. Meanwhile our two favorite heroines were not fairing so well. Elizabeth was now, once again back in New York and Diana so hopelessly in love.

Elizabeth - She is now forced to resume her old role in society, even though she no longer cares for the life. She is the shell of her former self. While on a trip down to Florida with her sister, Penelope, Henry, Teddy, and Carolina she can't help but feel a little happy. One night on the dance floor Teddy once again proposes to her. Can she accept his proposal of love when she herself feels dead to the world?

Diana - Hopelessly in love with Henry (who may or may not still have feelings for her) and trying her best to push him out of her mind. After Penelope married Henry Diana realizes her chances with him are no longer. With her sister not feeling well she must put herself out there to represent the Holland family name. It's a hard thing to do when she keeps running into Henry. Does he still have feelings for her though?

Penelope - Spoiled, rotten, little thing she is. Now that she has successful married the wealthiest bachelor in all of New York what more can she do? Oh, that is except still try to ruin both Elizabeth and Diana Holland's lives. Penelope wants it all and to be the center of attention at all times, and she's finding it hard to do when society is still in love with perfect little Diana. Even her own husband can't keep his eyes off of Diana. Well, our Penelope won't take that, so now she must find a way to ruin her former "best" friend and her sister. But how to do it?

Carolina - Once again she finds herself in a world she had thought not possible. Dresses are made just for her, not those ugly off the rack dresses. She has found an old buck to support her lifestyle and she has a new crush a certain Leland. Yes, things could not be going better for the former lady's maid - and she is even going on an outing! She's going to Florida with Penelope, the Holland girls, Henry, Teddy Cutting, and even her crush! She's finally made it. Or has she? When telegram arrives to her in Florida that her friend Mr. Longhorn dies suddenly Carolina is at a loss of what to do. Who will now pay for her life? How will she be able to keep up her charade of being a wealthy girl from out West?

I feel a little betrayed by this third book. The ending was such in the second book, that I felt the third book would go a different way. Perhaps the fourth book will draw it all together in a nice, neat little package? Compared to the drama of the first two books, this one was on the quieter side - more back room dealings then public attempts.

I really do wish someone would stick it to Penelope! She's so spoiled - even her brother who is older than her - follows her commands like a trained dog. Just once I wish that the story would have her exposed. Would I feel sorry for her? Probably.

I did enjoy reading the book and imagining the fashion back then! I would have loved to dressed like that back in the day (forgoing the stupid corset). What life must've been like back then - if you were of the blue blood standing. It's always fun (for me) to read books set in a different time. I love getting glimpses of what it was once like or maybe.

Books in this series:

3. Envy
4. Splendor

Envy by Anna Godbersen. New York (c) 2008

Friday, June 4, 2010

Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute

I first saw this book series advertised on a poster inside a school cafeteria (I was subbing at the time) and instantly I knew I had to read them! Finally, I have.

From the inside flap (I DID NOT WRITE THIS!):

"Hector, Terrence, and Dee have always wondered about their school lunch lady.
What does she do when she isn't dishing out the daily special? Where does she live? Does she have a lot of cats at home?
Little do they know, Lunch Lady doesn't only serve sloppy joes - she serves justice! And she has her eye on a very suspicious substitute teacher who just doesn't seem right . . .
Whatever danger lies ahead, it's no match for LUNCH LADY! Or for the kids who are on to her!"

My thoughts:

What a delightful quick read! You begin the Lunch Lady story with her capturing two bad guys before beginning her day at work. Before lunch is to be served, she and her partner in crime solving head down to the Lunch Lady Bat Cave where her friend shows her a new gadget. This made me think of James Bond whenever he'd go see his friend and get new tech gadgets. However, Lunch Lady's friend looks more like Penny from James Bond.
I love how all of her gadgets are food related - "spatu-copter", "cannoli-oculars", she even has fish stick nunchuks! How cool would it be to have a lunch lady that fought crime and worked at your school?

Graphic Novels in this series:

1. Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute
2. Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians
3. Lunch Lady and the Author Visit Vendetta
4. Lunch Lady and the Summer Camp Shakedown (Recently Out: May 11, 2010)
5. Lunch Lady and the Bake Sale Bandit (Spring 2011)
6. Lunch Lady and the Field Trip Frenzy (Spring 2011)

Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute by Jarrett J. Krosoczka. New York (c) 2009

Queen of Babble Gets Hitched

I'm going to be doing my reviews a bit differently from here on out. Instead of trying to summarize what I've just read, I'm going to copy the inside flap and then give you my thoughts on the book. I've always felt that the inside flap does a wonderful job of summarizing the book for us, plus it's the part we all read to see if we want the book. Since I do not know who writes the inside flap bio, and therefore cannot give them just credit, I will just quote the author - even though they probably did not write it.

From the inside flap (AGAIN I DID NOT WRITE THIS!!):
"Big mouth. Big heart. Big wedding. Big problem.

It's the wedding of the century! Things are looking up at last for Lizzie Nichols. She has a career she loves in the field of her choice (wedding gown restoration), and the love of her life, Jean-Luc, has finally proposed. Life's become a dizzying whirl of wedding gown fittings - not necessarily her own - as Lizzie prepares for her dream wedding at her fiancé's chateau in the south of France.
But the dream soon becomes a nightmare as the best man - whom Lizzie might once have accidentally slept with . . . no, really, just slept - announces his total lack of support for the couple, a sentiment the maid of honor happens to second; Lizzie's Midwestern family can't understand why she doesn't want to have her wedding in the family backyard; her future, oh-so-proper French in-laws seem to be slowly trying to lure the groom away from medical school and back into investment banking; and Lizzie finder herself wondering if her Prince Charming really is as charming as she once believed.
Is Lizzie really ready to embrace her new role as wife and mistress of Chateau Mirac? Or is she destined to fall into another man's arms . . . and into the trap of becoming a Bad Girl instead?"

My thoughts:

I have read the first two books so I was eager to read the third and final book. The inside flap (which you have just read above) re-kindled my curiosity about the story. Would Lizzie end up with Luke? Would she finally start her own business? What of Chaz and Sheri? However after reading the book I feel mildly pleased. The inside flap hints about Luke's family trying to lure him away, but it didn't really feel like that. I thought there was going to be some major fighting between Lizzie and Luke's family however they weren't really mentioned (except for his uncle).

Granted - this book is supposed to be a light summer read - but I was hoping for a bit more. There were times when I wanted to slap Lizzie. I felt like her self realization moments were the same thing. Like she kept saying "and my hair was brown, not blonde, which I had always wanted" over and over and over again - and each time she is shocked at her conclusion - when she had just reached the very same conclusion not 5 pages ago. I wish Meg Cabot would've done a fourth Queen of Babble book - like her ever after, children or no children, how she deals with being a wife and running a business or not. Perhaps I could email her and suggest it? (Silly me, to think a famous writer would read an email from moi!)

All in all this book was a nice light read, perfect for the beach or as an "in-between" book (as in-between heavy reading [for school, work, whatever]) so I'd give it a B for whatever it's worth.

Books in this series :

3) Queen of Babble: Gets Hitched

Queen of Babble Hitched by Meg Cabot (c) 2008 Meg Cabot LLC

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry is now entering his sixth year at Hogwarts. He received a letter from Dumbledore telling Harry that he himself would arrive to pick up Harry from the Dursley's house. Dumbledore arrives at the house to the shock of the Dursleys. Before Dumbledore takes Harry to the Burrow he first takes Harry to visit an old friend. When they arrive at the house it looks as though the Death Eaters have already been through. Chairs have been upturned, pillows slashed, and what appears to be blood on the walls.

Dumbledore isn't fooled though - and quickly picks out his old friend Horace Slughorn. He finally, with the help of Harry, convinces Horace to come back to Hogwarts and teach. Security has been increased around Harry every since the ministry acknowledges the return of Voldemort. While at the Burrow, Harry runs into an old friend Fluer who, he finds out, is engaged to Bill - much to Mrs. Weasley's displeasure.

When everyone arrives back to Hogwarts, things appear to be the same. During their first night back though, they learn that Snape has finally gotten his dream job - teaching the Defense Against Dark Arts post while Professor Slughorn will be the new potions teacher. Harry, who thought he wouldn't be able to take potions borrows an old potions book that was once owned by a person going by the name of Half-Blood Prince. The book owned by the Half-Blood Prince has markings that help Harry with potions and soon Professor Slughorn believes that Harry is a pro at potions.

Harry though begins to suspect that Draco is a new Death Eater, and that Professor Snape is helping him. No one will listen to his crazy ideas, especially since Dumbledore believes Snape to be on the side of the Order of the Phoenix. Dumbledore has also started to teach Harry on his own about Voldemort's past. But Harry can't let the feeling go that Draco and Snape are not up to any good. Will Harry be able to change Dumbledore's mind?

I think I liked this book even less than the previous five. For one thing, I didn't like how Harry (SPOILER) became quickly infatuated with Ginny - it was literally over night. His every thought was of her or Draco. It got a bit irritating to read "and the monster reared it's head in the delightful news and began to purr with happiness" or whatever feeling it was experiencing. It was like a splash of cold water on the face - abrupt and unpleasant.

Furthermore, what is it with her and (spoiler) killing off the characters? Dumbledore - Really? I'm trying to think about it from her point of view, as a writer trying to make the plot more interesting. It still would have been interesting but oh well. I vaguely remember the 7th book and the part I do remember I did not like. Harry still irritated me a bit in this book, although not as much as the previous book.

Books in this series:

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (c) 2005

Friday, May 28, 2010


“Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive”
- Sir Walter Scott

Our favorite cast from New York circa 1899 is back - and this time the tangled web of lies has grown. As you may recall from the first book (SPOILER IF YOU HAVE NOT READ LUXE) Elizabeth Holland faked her own death and went out west to be with Will, her true love.

Diana has now been placed in the social spotlight and is her family's only hope to stay afloat in the dog eat dog world of high society. However, Diana was never as polished as her sister Elizabeth was, and so finds the role she now must play rather irritating. Her role becomes harder when Henry Schoonmaker, Elizabeth's former fiance, can't take his eyes off her and declares his true feelings for her and she him. However, society won't accept them as a match because of the situation relating to Elizabeth.

Penelope Hayes, never one to be out-shined, is glad that her 'friend' Elizabeth has left the social scene. With Elizabeth gone, Penelope can now focus of Henry and make sure that he notices her - and that society will notice how they make a wonderful pair. Also, the disappearance of Elizabeth, allows Penelope to become the Queen of Society - a title that was once Elizabeth's. However, when her attempts to catch Henry's eyes goes unnoticed she begins to get agitated. Nothing will stand in her way - well except for Diana Holland who seems to have Henry's undivided attention.

Lina the Holland's former maid has made quite the splash in society. After selling some juicy gossip about the Holland's to Penelope for a price of $500 Lina can now afford to live in some style. She checks herself into the Netherland hotel and begins to formulate a plan that will allow her to be seen as belonging to the rank of the social elite women. Her luck quickly runs out though when the money she was using to buy her way into the society is stolen. She has no hope now of becoming polished and chasing after William. Her luck turns though, when she befriends Tristen - a con artist like herself. When Lina learns of more juicy gossip she decide to go to Penelope again. This time Lina is out for blood, she's quickly learning the rules of the social charades.

Hmm, I'm trying to gather my thoughts on this book. The ending is still with me and I can't give it away and I fear that if I write about my feelings on the subject I will have given the ending away. Can I just say that if FRUSTRATED ME! Does that give it away? I don't think so. I can see how it leads to the third book, but WHY? WHY? WHY? Ok. That's off my chest.

This book is still set in 1899, and I assume the third will be set in 1900 since the second book concludes in the last hours of 1899. I would have loved to have lived back then - but only as the wealthy. The clothes they all wore! To think today if we were to dress like that it would only be to go out somewhere nice - a ball, an opera, the Grammies. They however, dressed like that all the time. I might've liked being in those dresses at first but then I would've missed being in shorts or pants.

I loved the character development. Elizabeth was the focus in the first book, but in the second you see more of Lina and Diana. Oh Lina, Lina, Lina. Tisk tisk. It was fun getting to know them more. Penelope is still the trickster amongst them all - I hate her so.

I early am awaiting the 3rd book.

Books in this series:

2. Rumors
3. Envy
4. Splendor

Rumors by Anna Godbersen. New York (c) 2008