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The Love of my Life <3

The Love of my Life <3

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