Sunday, July 31, 2011

In My Mailbox (1)

In My Mailbox is an awesome meme hosted by Kristin at The Story Siren!

 Hey there! So, this is my first In My Mailbox! I originally was going to make it a vlog post, but my webcam is acting up. I recorded a whole post and when I went to play it back, it made everything jerky and whatnot. Not cool! So, instead, I'm posting pictures! Pictures are worth a thousand words, right? :D


Arch Enemy by Frank Beddor (New, bought at Barnes & Noble)
This is the third and final book in The Looking Glass Wars series, and I am SO excited to read it. It sounds really interesting.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (New, bought at Barnes & Noble)
I bought this because it was a summer assignment for a class of mine. I normally wouldn't buy this (and it's not YA). I've already finished this since I bought it, and it was really good. 
1001 Thing Every College Student Needs to Know by H. Harrisson Jr. (New, bought at Barnes & Noble)
A little cute book I bought just to have and read on the side. Perhaps I'll do a college book feature on here sometime. ;]

Arrived in the Mail:

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce (Signed, won in Stuff Young People Read's giveaway)
I've wanted to read this for ages! I'm loving it so far. Expect a review of it soon.;D
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter (Signed, from author for giveaway)
Aimee Carter as kindly sent me a copy (signed!) of her book to giveaway to all you lovely peeps. Watch for it and a review of it soon! ;D

What did YOU get in your mailbox?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Review: Red Riding Hood

Title: Red Riding Hood
Production Co.: Warner Bros. Pictures, Appian Way, & Random Films
Release Date:  March 11th, 2011
Stars: Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, Billy Burke, and Shiloh Fernandez
From Netflix:
In this horror-fantasy re-imagining of the classic tale, young Valerie juggles a difficult romantic decision with feelings of fear and grief as her town is terrorized by a legendary werewolf, which has killed her sister and hungers to feast again.

Red Riding Hood is one of those rare films where the book was made after the movie. I never heard of it before, but its an interesting idea. However, everything I head about it was bad. I heard the movie was alright and the book was downright horrible. Given that, and the fact that I trust many of those reviewers, I wasn't too keen on watching the movie. I only saw it because my family wanted to and.....I'm glad I watched it.

Red Riding Hood is more than a retelling, but a re-imagining. It's a fresh look on the whole  story, and I absolutely loved it. The wolf in this story is werewolf instead, that preys on the small village every full moon. Life is relatively peaceful through the years when the wolf accepts the gift of prized livestock every full moon...until the werewolf kills Valerie's younger sister.

The plot thickens there, and you slowly realize that the plot's roots are deep and widely spread throughout the story. Even the romance is tied in, which is really nice. I love to see romances that matter; not the kind that are just added as side-sillies to entertain the reader or viewer.

Through out the film, I was rooting for Peter -- the story's MEGA hottie! -- to the point where I once yelled at the screen. Not even kidding. (My family thought I was bonkers) But I believe that when I can get that involved in a two hour story, that it was pretty well crafted. 

Peter & Valerie

I loved everything about this film; from the awesome digital graphics, casting, the acting, to the romance and action sequences.
An all around awesome film, and I'd recommend it for anyone over 10 (since the violence might give the wee little ones some nightmares and the romance scenes might cause awkward moments. ;] )

Also, just a side note...Peter (played by Shiloh Fernandez) is now on The Spork Master's list of hotties. He'll soon be on yours too...only if you watch the film though. ;D

I gave it FIVE out of FIVE sporks.

Hey, costume enthusiasts! If you love accurate costumes, then you'll love this movie too. The costumes are all authentic to the time period, and they are superbly done. Costumes to watch for in the film; Peter's (it's dark, but the close ups of his legs show the amazing laces of his pants and boots, and his tunic is nicely done), Valerie's (stitching, materials and garments all match the era), and any of the armor.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Follow Friday (5)


It's Friday again, and you know what that means.... ;]

This Friday's Feature is Megan over @ The Book Addicted Girl on Parajunkee's blog, and The Little Book Blog on Alison Can Read's blog! So you should go check them out and follow 'em! Now, for the question...

Q. Let's step away from books for a second and get personal. What T-Shirt slogan best describes you?

I don't really pay attention to t-shirt slogans at all, so I had to go google some and look at some more at Cafe press. In the end, I found these; (I couldn't pick just one...)

I picked this one because you know...I like books and fantasy worlds better than reality. xD

I threaten my friends with this occasionally. And I'm always writing, so it completely works for me.

I like to be evil sometimes. In a purely fun way, of course. But I use this phrase all the time so I saw it fit to include it. :D
So, what are your picks?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"Waiting on" Wednesday: Shattered Souls


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Shattered Souls
by Mary Lindsey
Release Date: December 8th 2011

From Goodreads: 
A thrilling debut story of death, love, destiny and danger

Lenzi hears voices and has visions - gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can't help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she's a reincarnated Speaker - someone who can talk to and help lost souls - and that he has been her Protector for centuries.

Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn't make a decision soon.

I love paranormal books, romance or no, and this definitely falls into that zone. I think the cover is nice; it definitely draws you in. Can't wait to get my hands on this!

What's your "waiting on" Wednesday pick?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Review: The Maze Runner

Title:The Maze Runner (The Maze Runner Series, #1)
Author: James Dashner
Type: Hardcover (Library copy)
Imagine waking up one day in total darkness, unsure of where you are and unable to remember anything about yourself except your first name. You're in a bizarre place devoid of adults called the Glade. The Glade is an enclosed structure with a jail, a graveyard, a slaughterhouse, living quarters, and gardens. And no way out. Outside the Glade is the Maze, and every day some of the kids -- the Runners -- venture into the labyrinth, trying to map the ever-changing pattern of walls in an attempt to find an exit from this hellish place. So far, no one has figured it out. And not all of the Runners return from their daily exertions, victims of the maniacal Grievers, part animal, part mechanical killing machines.

Thomas is the newest arrival to the Glade in this Truman-meets-Lord of the Flies tale. A motley crew of half a dozen kids is all he has to guide him in this strange world. As soon as he arrives, unusual things begin to happen, and the others grow suspicious of him. Though the Maze seems somehow familiar to Thomas, he's unable to make sense of the place, despite his extraordinary abilities as a Runner. What is this place, and does Thomas hold the key to finding a way out?
I checked this book out at the library because every corner I turned around a book store, The Maze Runner was there. The description sounded interesting, and similar to a book I had just read (Incarceron by Catherine Fisher). So, I checked it out with high hopes since I loved Incarceron.

I didn't love it nearly as much as I thought I would. It was similar to Incarceron in the idea of a teenage boy losing his memory and being trapped in another world similar to a prison. The world he ends up in is full of other teenage boys and it's known as the Glade. Every month, a boy is sent to the Glade in an elevator known as the Box. Each time, the boy only remembers his name.

The Glade is the size of a small town and is surrounded by skyscraper high walls with exits on the North, South, East and West sides. Every night, the walls close and every morning, they open up. Outside of the Glade is The Maze. The Maze is a tangle of stone walls that move every night. Every boy that lives in the Glade, lives to find the escape from their world. They all know they had lives before but they don't know what.

Everything runs fine until the main character comes along (which is the start of the book). His name is Thomas and with him, comes drastic changes the boys of the Glade have ever seen. A week after his arrival, a girl comes, and announces that this is the End. So, it becomes apparent that they must find an escape or die trying.

Sounds interesting, right? Even more so when it's sprinkled with high-technology and creepy monsters that all sum up to a dystopian, futuristic setting. I loved that bit of the story.

The downside to this book? It's shallow. The writing is plain and verges on boring. I felt the whole time that I was just skimming the surface of what could have been a fantastic book.
The other thing that bothered me is that they didn't cast nearly as much focus on the girl that I would have expected.

Overall, it was just okay. Worth the three stars, but not anything more. Perhaps I shall pick up it's sequel though.

I gave it three sporks

Teaser Tuesday (3)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My Teaser:

"I take off after them in a dead sprint, but even as my heart thunders in my ears and sweat begins to trickle down my back, I know it's a lost cause. They're fast, so much faster than a human." - pg 114 of Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Review: Ice

Title: Ice
Author: Sara Beth Drast
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Type: Hardcover  
 When Cassie was a little girl, her grandmother told her a fairy tale about her mother, who made a deal with the Polar Bear King and was swept away to the ends of the earth. Now that Cassie is older, she knows the story was a nice way of saying her mother had died. Cassie lives with her father at an Arctic research station, is determined to become a scientist, and has no time for make-believe.

Then, on her eighteenth birthday, Cassie comes face-to-face with a polar bear who speaks to her. He tells her that her mother is alive, imprisoned at the ends of the earth. And he can bring her back — if Cassie will agree to be his bride.

That is the beginning of Cassie's own real-life fairy tale, one that sends her on an unbelievable journey across the brutal Arctic, through the Canadian boreal forest, and on the back of the North Wind to the land east of the sun and west of the moon. Before it is over, the world she knows will be swept away, and everything she holds dear will be taken from her — until she discovers the true meaning of love and family in the magical realm of Ice

I had this on my most-wanted list/wishlist on Goodreads for the longest time and I was actually gifted it this last Christmas from my family. I was SO happy to read this book, and I don't believe I heard anything bad about it.

It started out sounding really interesting. The prologue was the telling of the fairytale about the Polar Bear King finding a daughter for the North Wind. The North Wind promised the Polar Bear King that if he did this, his daughter would be his wife when she was old enough. We later learn this daughter is of some importance in the story and that the fairy tale is no fairy tale at all - they're factual events.

I was really excited for this story because it was so unique, which probably made my disappointment even more bitter. Cassie, the main character, agreed to wed the Polar Bear King in order to save her mother and then planned on going back to living her life normally. However, she falls in love and then becomes pregnant. And she's only 18. I found such a strong resemblance to Twilight's romance in this, that I nearly chucked the book out the window. I only finished it for a read-a-thon I was participating in.

The plot was so pointless that I was almost bored. (Sorry! It's just how it came across.) There was also no way to connect to Cassie because the book moved SO fast. A chapter into the story and she's already met the Polar Bear King. There needed to be a foundation built so the reader could connect with Cassie and actually care about what happened to her.

There were little moments in the story that I liked and thought cute, but nothing to redeem the book as a whole. I wouldn't recommend this to kids, nor to my older friends. Fantastic idea, but the execution failed.

I gave it two sporks.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Follow Friday (4)

It's Friday again, and you know what that means.... ;]

This Friday's Feature is Everyone over @ We Fancy Books! So you should go check her out and follow her! Now, for the question...

Q. Name 3 authors that you would love to sit down and spend an hour or a meal with just talking about either their books or get advice on writing from?

Hmm, let me think about this. There's two authors that immediately pop to mind, and I think I have a third. Yes, yes I do. (And these are in no particular order..)

1) J.K. Rowling

I'm sure she's on many people's lists to meet, but I really would love to spend an hour or a meal with. I'd ask her about advice on writing - actually, that's the same for all the authors here - since her books are pretty much well covered. She creates such and in depth world, that it simply amazes me. Looking at characters only, there's an enormous amount of them! (I've counted.) I know that once you create a character in a story you're immersed in that it's hard to forget them, because I have a story like that myself. Just the enormity of her whole series...details, plots, places, people, rules...everything. She's a role model to me, and I will always be a fan of hers.

2) Rachel Vincent

She's such an interesting person! I love her Soul Screamers series too. I'd ask her how she plots for such different ...plots, and how she creates such in depth personalities - like Tod. He amazes me! I've only been able to do something like that for a couple characters of mine, but not a whole book's worth of characters. I think I'd have a blast talking with her.

3) Christopher Paolini (I had to lean over to my book case to make sure I got that name right. Whew.)

The only guy on my list! Ahh! Anyhoo, this guy has been an inspiration to me in the writing aspect. Whereas J.K Rowling started me on books, practically, Christopher Paolini made my already deep love for writing even deeper. He made me want to write stories. Before, I wrote poems. I wrote essays ("essays" being an iffy term...since I was ten when I read his first book). Then, when I read Eragon, I fell in love. When I read about how he was homeschooled just like me, and that I ended homeschool when he did, and having a book published when he was really inspired me. No, I didn't have a book published when I was 15, nor does it seem to be in my immediate future, but it really sparked a fire in me. His world was probably the first I was immersed in that way; a writing way. I would love to just sit with him and talk about creating that world. What was his inspiration? How do you create a language? would make me so happy to be able to do that.

So, what three authors did you pick?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Review: Numbers

Title: Numbers
Author: Rachel Ward
Publisher: Chicken House/Scholastic
Release Date:  February 1st 2010
Where to Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Borders
 Whenever Jem meets someone new, no matter who, as soon as she looks into their eyes, a number pops into her head. That number is a date: the date they will die.

Burdened with such an awful awareness, Jem avoids relationships. Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. But while they’re waiting to ride the Eye Ferris
wheel, Jem notices that all the other tourists in line flash the same number. Today’s number. Today’s date. Terrorists are going to attack London. Jem’s world is about to explode!

Note: There are spoilers throughout this review. Proceed at your own will.

Numbers by Rachel Ward has such a compelling description that I had wanted to get it since I first saw it's spine on the shelves of Barnes and Noble. I love stories that combine things like math and numbers or futuristic things because they're such a breath of fresh air to everything else.

I'm sorry to say that I was just a little disappointed. The story is supposed to be about a girl who sees numbers when she looks into the eyes of people. Those numbers represent the day they're supposed to die. However, when I started reading the story, that became mostly like the underlying theme. It was what connected events, but it wasn't the point of the story.

Jem, the main character who sees the numbers, becomes involved with a kid named Spider. They become good friends, but all of a sudden their world is upturned when they're caught at the wrong place at the wrong time. That accident causes them to high tail it out of their home in London while the police chase them down across the country. That there was the main plot. And I disliked it. I was hoping for a story delving into the options of having this power of seeing death dates and where to take it. But no. That wasn't the case at all.

Again, as I've said in many other reviews, I dislike stories where a young teenage girl claims to fall in love and becomes pregnant. While I think Spider and Jem had a good non-cheesy relationship, I disagree wholeheartedly with the pregnancy issue. She gets pregnant at 15 for Pete's sake! I can't help but wonder what kind of message these books send out to all the teens reading them. I know there's tons of teenagers out there like that now, but that doesn't make it okay and Num8ers just falls right into line with the many books promoting teenage pregnancy.

The only thing I did like about the book without a downfall was Ward's writing style. It was so incredibly unique and new. The little jokes and such made it all even better. Sure, there were somethings I didn't quite get because it's England jargon, but it wasn't hard to figure it out.

Over all, it's an interesting read, but it fell short of it mark in my opinion.

I gave it 3 sporks

Friday, July 15, 2011

Follow Friday (3)


It's Friday again, and you know what that means.... ;]

This Friday's Feature is Angela @ Angela's Anxious Life! So you should go check her out and follow her! Now, for the question...

Q. What do I do when I are not reading?


Oh my, where to begin? I am usually a busy person (not right now, but it's not usual right now. ;D). Of course I have school most of the year to educate my brain, then club meetings. When I have my down time I (besides reading!) draw, browse the computer, clean, bake, bike the town, or just sit and have tea while watching Jeopardy!. I don't like taking naps at all no matter how busy I am so I always have to keep myself occupied on my "down" time. 

So, what do YOU do?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Harry Potter - Top Five

This Friday (or midnight tonight..) marks the end of an era. An era of Harry Potter. While the last book was

published years ago, Harry Potter fans hung on to the fact that movies would still carry the end on for just a little bit lo
nger. Now we've reached the ultimate bittersweet conclusion with the film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two.

I'm a huge Harry Potter fan and always will be, but to celebrate (though that seems too happy of a word for something so sad to us fans) the last Harry Potter movie, I've created a blog post to share my Top Five favourites of many categories. These will contain both favourites with the movies and the books...and so it begins...

Click Read More to see the list.

Once Upon a Read-a-thon (2)

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon

So, the Read-a-thon is over! This year I only read three books, but I'm still happy. I read Ice by Sarah Beth Drast, Num8ers by Rachel Ward, and re-read Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann! I don't remember how many I read last year, but I think it's pretty close to it. Hopefully I'll have smaller books and more time for next year so I can finish off some more! :D

If you participated, how many did you read?