Sunday, February 28, 2010

Jane Bites Back by Michael Thomas Ford

Genre: austen-inspired, romance, vampire
FTC Disclosure: bought from Walmart
Published: 2009
Pages: 299
Content: PG for adult vampire themes


One Line Summary: Bad form with Charlotte Bronte, grrrr!

Another book in the austen-inspired fiction world I absolutely wanted to love...but didn't. Don't get me wrong it was on the witty side, but I hated the way the author portrayed Austen. Yes, she's a vampire and has been for a couple hundred years, but in all that time she's done nothing with herself except pine away after Lord Byron and open a book shop and has learned nothing about herself or the world so she has to rely on Byron to teach her and thus abuse her and manipulate her and so on. She's much too timid and not the way I would ever imagine Jane Austen. But the thing that really clenched it for me was the author throwing in Charlotte Bronte into the mix! She's also a vampire and now is a crazy lunatic that hates Austen and wants to destroy her! I love my Charlotte as well as I love my Austen so to make them both to unlike what they really were is just abhorrent to me.

Rating: 2.5/5

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

Genre: mystery
FTC Disclosure: bought from Walmart
Published: 2009
Pages: 509
Content: PG-13 for adult themes, language, and violence


It didn't take me too long to finish this one since all I've been able to do is sit in bed all day reading and napping now that I've come down with a bout of walking pneumonia and with my son having ear infections as well my hubby has been home taking care of our son while I'm taking care of me....so I've been reading instead of blogging...

One Line Summary: A murky version of the same kind of thing as The Da Vinci Code.

This is typical Dan Brown...some mind-boggling, world-changing secret needs to be solved by the world's expert...some really insane evil guy wants this secret for himself/herself and has kidnapped etc people close to world expert and needs help from kidnapped person's family etc, namely a brilliant female costar.

It was still an interesting story for the most part. I enjoyed learning a bit more about the Masons and some historical aspects of America's Capital. But overall, it was a disappointment. It was cliche, the story didn't grip me. I pretty much knew what was going to happen before it happened and I never really felt for any of the characters. And the big mystery at the end wasn't that big of a mystery or eureka type moment. I was thinking...that's it? Plus, it was way too long. It could have been at least a hundred pages shorter and the climax wasn't that climatic and the ending kept going and going and going....

I was hoping for more after a fun ride with The Da Vinci Code, but all I got was a boring version of the same thing.

Rating: 2.5/5

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday Movie Meme


Feature Presentation...
MONDAY MOVIE MEME

 hosted by Molly and Andy of the Bumbles Blog.

This week's movie topic is all about Popular Movies You Hated...
Ever had that movie everyone gushed about and you were like, WTF?

1. Titanic (1997): Just thought it was overly sappy and just drivel.


2. Citizen Kane (1941): Since it was AMI's number one pick thought I'd give it a glance...not sure what all the hub-bub was.


3. The Graduate (1967): Hated this movie. The ending made me hate it more...icky.


4. American Graffiti (1973): Boring and pointless.


5. Sabrina (1954): Don't like the Bogart for one thing and I thought this movie was overly sexist. Couldn't get past the culinary school...


6. Casablanca (1942): Another Bogart movie and I just thought it was utterly pointless.


The Dark Divine Winner Is..........................................

Another thanks to everyone who participated! This is the most entries I've ever had for one of my giveaways! I put all the names into a hat and my son picked out......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Sarah from Sarah's Book Reviews. Congratulations and don't forget to email me with your info so I can get the book out to you fast!

Thanks again everyone!

The Dark Divine Giveaway Is Closed

Thank you to all who have participated! Sorry I didn't make it clear that my giveaway was for sure international. So thanks to those who participated without knowing! I will pick the winner in the morning and announce it then.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Game Change by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin

Genre: non-fiction, politics
FTC Disclosure: bought from Costco
Published: 2009
Pages: 436
Content: R for language/excessive use of the f-word
Reading Challenges: A to Z Challenge (Author H)


One Line Summary: The ins and outs, ups and downs of the historic 2008 presidential election.

I loved this book! It was so insightful and it's one of those non-fiction books that reads like a novel. It was so intriguing to find out the inner workings of the McCainworld, Hillarlyland, and the Obamans. It made me very glad that I've never had any desire for public office. Politics is a brutal world and you have to have pretty thick skin to go anywhere within it.

McCain was an interesting person to learn more about...I learned he has quite the mouth on him (maybe due to his military time), and some anger issues...but that could be a result of being tortured and held hostage for a bit...I also came to feel a bit of sympathy for Sarah Palin. The choice to have her as McCain's running mate was a rash decision that really destroyed Palin. His campaign people pretty much left her out to dry once they found out more about her and the press attacked her relentlessly.

I also became really glad that John Edwards didn't make too much of a splash this time around. Not the most upstanding guy in politics or Rudy Guiliani, for that matter....

It was great to see how Obama's campaign people pulled it all together to get the win. There were a lot of bumps and bruises on the way, especially with Hillary and Bill Clinton. It was all out war between him and them. I was glad to see some of the reparation that happened after Obama became president and she accepted her post as Secretary of State.

This was a fast-paced, informative book and I loved every minute of it. It's amazing to get insight into this historic presidential race. Pick it up and give it a read, you won't be sorry!

Rating: 4.5/5

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Things i LOVE Friday a Day Late!!!!!

 

Not being sick anymore

Being able to celebrate Valentine's Day with no baby!!!

Still losing a bit of weight

Seeing Avatar in 3-D IMAX!

The Cheesecake Factory!

Pirate Island

Today is sunny!!!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

TV Thursday- Shows That Don't Make Sense

Well, I have been hearing so much about Lost over the last few years I thought I'd start catching up since it's in its final season. Hulu.com has all five seasons available and the ones that have aired in season six. I've made it up to episode 10...I think I can see where the hype comes from...it's like a way better produced soap opera. They don't really tell you anything and just keep adding on mysteries so you're always hoping there's an answer right around the next episode and nothing.

So what is it? Are they aliens? Government conspiracy? Scientific experiment with time travel gone cock-eye? The Fates?

And I love how even though these people are surviving for their lives the women still look like their hair is somewhat done and no one ever looks sunburned and too skinny. Even the women have make up on all the time!

So for me this show just doesn't make sense. Do you have a show that just never made sense to you? I'd love to hear about it!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain and Giveaway!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Giveaway Now Closed

Genre: young adult, paranormal, romance
FTC Disclosure: bought from Dragons and Fairy Tales
Published: 2009
Pages: 372
Content: PG thematic elements
Reading Challenges: A to Z Challenge (Author D), 2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge

One Line Summary: Girl loves boy and becomes what boy is.

I picked this one up for the cover alone! I thought it was fantastic! Does it live up to its cover?....

We join Grace Divine. She's the perfect daughter to her preacher father, goody-goody brother Jude. Their family took in Daniel a few years ago her brother's best friend and the boy she's always had a crush on. Until one night Jude comes back covered in blood and Daniel has disappeared. But nobody talks about that night. We jump ahead three years when Grace happens to run into Daniel at school and everything changes.

I really enjoyed the interesting plot line. The ending definitely had a twist, which really made the rest of the book, at least for me, a lot better. I'm really looking forward to the next in the series due out later this year.

Grace was a bit too good for me; I like my heroes a bit more on the human and edgy side. But Daniel was a bad boy without being too bad like stalking and abusing his supposed love. But overall the characters were interesting.

The author also brings a lot of Christian themes into the novel with forgiveness and redemption and the worth of souls.

Overall, I enjoyed it for a fun and fast read, but it wasn't the greatest novel ever.

Rating: 3.5/5

And now onto my giveaway!!!!!!!!! The author Bree Despain is a local of mine and she was signing books on Friday and so I decided to pick up an extra signed copy to give away! She's really friendly and had some good goodies to give away. I got some book cover stickers and bookmarks and even some nail polish in the book cover's violet! I love meeting authors! It's so exciting.

To enter:

Leave your name and email address and what have been/are your favorite book covers. Also tell me if they lived up to the hype/book cover and why or why not.

Extra entries:

+1 if you become or are a follower
+1 if you either post about it or put it in your sidebar with a link
+1 for a Tweet with a link

This giveaway ends at midnight Sunday the 21st of February MST. I will then randomly draw all entries from my son's hat! Please make sure to include your email address or no entry.

Giveaway Closed.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

Genre: young adult, historical fiction, slavery, Revolutionary War
FTC Disclosure: bought from Dragons and Fairy Tales
Published: 2008
Pages: 300
Content: PG for violence and war
Reading Challenges: Women Unbound, A to Z Challenge (Title C), 2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge, Black History Month mini reading challenge

One Line Summary: Which side to join? The patriots or loyalists when one is a slave.

I liked this book. It was a little slow to start with but picked up towards the middle. We follow slave Isabel and her little sister Ruth from the death of mother and her mistress to being illegally sold to a Loyalist family in New York.

Isabel reaches New York just a couple of months before independence is declared in July of 1776. Her goal is to survive long enough to escape with her sister back to her home of Rhode Island. But now she's caught between to wars and oppressors vieing for her loyalty. Her only friend is fellow slave Curzon whose master is a Patriot. She agrees to spy on her master in order to gain her freedom.

This was a great introduction for early teens/preteens to get into historical fiction and slavery. Things move along at a pretty fast rate and lots of information is thrown in too. But as an adult I found it a bit too simplified and not enough character development. I wanted to know more about Isabel, but Anderson just didn't share enough. I wanted more details, etc. But like I said it's a great intro for kids into this material. And it opens up plenty of discussion about the Revolutionary War and slavery so that's always a good thing.

I picked this one up for my book club; it was my turn to pick a book and thought this would be a great one for Black History month and since the main character is a woman I also felt it would go right along with my Women Unbound Challenge as well.

Rating: 3.5/5

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday Movie Meme & 5 Word Weekly Movie Wrap-up


Feature Presentation...
MONDAY MOVIE MEME

hosted by Molly and Andy @The Bumbles Blog

This week's topic is all about winter...what are your favorite winter movies?

1. Groundhog Day (1993): Classic Bill Murray as an arrogant jerk who must live Groundhog Day over and over again til he can figure out how to be not such a jerk! It's sweet, funny, romantic with an awesome moral!


2. Miracle (2004): The story of how the U.S. hockey team beats the Russians in the 1980 Winter Olympics, when we were actually the underdogs and still in the Cold War. We should fight all wars on the field.


3. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005): Narnia has the longest winter in history!


5 Word Weekly Movie Wrap-up

1. Avatar (2009): visually stunning, awkward storyline, unobtainium?


2. Leap Year (2010): cute but all too predictable.


3. Eureka Season One (2006): Surprisingly quirky and funny show!


Saturday, February 13, 2010

MIA

It's been a really long and sick-filled two weeks. First my son got sick with the flu and puking and such and then me...so I've been just trying to find the energy to do the basics each day. I'm hoping to be back to my regularly scheduled funness by Monday and will hopefully be catching up on everyone else's wonderful posts too!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Monday Movie Meme & 5 Word Movie Weekly Wrap-up


Feature Presentation...
MONDAY MOVIE MEME

hosted by Molly and Andy @The Bumbles Blog.

This week's movie topic is all about Bugs...

What are your picks for movies with the creepy bugs???

1. Arachnophobia (1990): Great movie with John Goodman and Jeff Daniels on mutating deadly spiders killing a small town. It definitely creeped me out and gave me the heebie jeebies!


2. A Bug's Life (1998): Cute computer animated story on how the little bugs can beat the big ones!


3. The Wasp Woman (1959): This one is in our collection of Horror Classics that we watch every Halloween. A woman uses an experimental cosmetic made from wasp eggs or something like that and turns into....you guessed it a giant wasp lady that kills all of her coworkers! Great and cheesy fun!


4. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002): The really big ginormous spiders in this movie were really icky. I can see why Won-Won has nightmares about them...!


5 Word Movie Weekly Wrap-up

The Mask of Zorro (1998): Banderas is my foxy zorro!

While You Were Sleeping (1995): classic one-liners, romantic and funny!


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Desolate Angel by Chaz McGee

Genre: crime fiction, mystery
FTC Disclosure: library as part of the Reader's Choice nominees
Published: 2009
Pages: 298
Content: PG-13 for some language and violence

One Line Summary: A dead detective helps his replacement solve crimes.

Detective Fahey wakes up to find himself dead one day and walking among the living as a ghost. He was an alcoholic in life and therefore was a bad detective, father, and husband. But when the ghost of one of his "solved" cases comes to him for help he knows he must find the real killer to make amends and sets out to help his new replacement Maggie.

This was a really fun read. I always enjoy a good crime fiction/mystery and this one didn't disappoint. It was different since the detective was already dead and he had a limited way to interact with the physical world. Chaz McGee uses this to his advantage and lets his character Fahey delve into thoughts on life and the great beyond quite poignantly. Though, it did get a bit tedious at times, more like he was preaching rather than forwarding the story.

But we start to care about Maggie and Fahey's ex-partner because Fahey does. I don't know how much the dead detective really helped! But it was fun seeing him try.

It's not my favorite crime series ever, but I wouldn't mind reading a few more in the series when they're written.

Rating: 3.5/5

Friday, February 5, 2010

Things i LOVE Friday


the existence of antibiotics

blackberries and GOlean blueberry waffles with peanut butter

tortilla chips and salsa

basketball

Fridays!

my son's smile

reading The Shadow of the Wind

sunny, warmer days in the winter

losing five pounds!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Genre: historical, Spain Civil War, mystery
FTC Disclosure: bought from Borders
Published: 2001
Pages: 487
Content: R for violence, sex (a few fairly explicit scenes), and language (f-bombs quite a few times)
Reading Challenge: A to Z Challenge (title S)

One Line Summary: Boy learns to change his life by finding someone else's.

Daniel is ten when his father takes him to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, where someone once, a long time ago, started piling thousands of forgotten books in a crypt. He is to tell no one about it and he can take one book with him to keep safe forever. Daniel takes The Shadow of the Wind by Julián Carax. He loves it so much that he wants to find all the books written by this man...but he soon learns that someone has been systematically buying and then destroying all of this man's books, a mysterious man who is burned beyond recognition and calls himself the devil.

We follow Daniel and his cohorts over the years as he tries to find out the mystery of Carax and his books.

I really enjoyed this novel. It takes place right after Spain's Civil War in about 1945 in Barcelona. It was a treat to follow Daniel in his journey of life; how his life in many ways compared with Carax's and how he was able to learn from his mistakes in order to make his life a better one. Zafón draws us in with his descriptions of Barcelona and Spain's Civil War. I loved how he drew us into all of the characters and made us care about them. No one was perfect. They mystery was also very intriguing. I had guessed a few things and was right about some and not others.

Quote: "Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The soul of the person who read it and lived it and dreamed with it." I think that's true. Which is one of the reasons I have a hard time giving up my books even if I didn't like them that much. After I've read one it becomes a part of me somehow for good or for bad.

This book also reminded me of when I first read Jane Eyre and the impact that had on me. It was the first time I had ever actually loved a book.

These are just a few of the many gems in this book!

Rating: 4/5

Monday, February 1, 2010

Monday Movie Meme & 5 Word Weekly Movie Wrap-up


Feature Presentation...
MONDAY MOVIE MEME
hosted by Molly and Andy @The Bumbles Blog
This week is all about the Highs and the Lows of our favorite actors and actresses.

Tom Hanks....one of my most favoritest of actors, most of his stuff is exceptional, but there were a couple of klunkers...
The Good: Philadelphia, Forrest Gump, That Thing You Do, Sleepless in Seattle, The 'Burbs, Joe Vs. the Volcano, You've Got Mail....

The Bad: The Man With One Red Shoe (way too cheesy for me and no one could really act).

The Ugly: The Road to Perdition (not that he didn't act well, it was just a really lame movie).

5 Word Weekly Movie Wrap-up

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003): Viggo can be my king!

The Constant Gardner (2005): Man uncovers pharmaceutical conspiracy, murder.


The X-Files Season Three (1995-1996): Mulder likes Bambi, Scully doesn't.


Groundhog Day (1993): Sweet, cute, funny, laughed hard!


The Man Who Knew Too Little (1997): Hilarious. Bill unwittingly saves world! 

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