Monthly Archives:: March 2012

Mar 31

Harry Potter Books 1-3 Review

Mini Reviews 10

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s stoneHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
JK Rowling
Synopsis by Goodreads

HP and the Sorcerer's StoneHP and the Chamber of SecretsHP and the Prisoner of Azkaban

What I thought…

  1. This is my first time listening to the series on audiobooks.  And they are fantastic!  Jim Dale is an amazing narrator.  The British accent, the character voices, his speed of reading, it’s all good.
  2. Listening is like a trip down memory lane.  I loved these characters like they were my own family and JK Rowling makes me feel like I’m really there with them.
  3. It’s been awhile since I’ve read the earlier books and I forgot how awesome the secondary characters are.  Like Neville.  He was one of my favorite characters and his role in the movies was so small (till the last one) it was disappointing.
  4. This is the first time I’ve gone back to the beginning since reading book seven and it’s so fascinating to pick up on all the little clues that come to play in later books.
  5. The Weasley twins are so much fun!  I wish they had gone to my school.  It never would have been boring!
  6. I am really looking forward to listening to books 4 and 5 as they are my favorite in the series.

Overall the books are utterly fantastic and the audio books are too!


Mar 30

Bloggiesta Mini Challenges Post

Bloggiesta 19

Rather than doing separate posts for any challenges I complete I will do them here on this post as well as post updates on the progress of my to-do list.

Challenge #1 HTML Basics

  1. Made the header
  2. Email me
  3. Made this list

Challenge #2  Back up your blog
 I did it, and it was really easy.  I even took the time to back it up to Word Press too.

Challenge #3 What’s a Rafflecopter?
 This was really easy to set up and it looks easier to keep track of too.

Challenge #4 MisterLinky
Even though I haven’t had a need for it yet it was nice to do the tutorial so that I know what to do if I do need it.  It’s installed below so go ahead and leave me a link to your bloggiesta post (or any other post you’d like me to check out).

Challenge #5 Make some pages!
Well this certainly took up a good portion of my afternoon/evening.  And unfortunately I’m still not quite finished.  I decided to follow the trend and create some drop down menus which turned out pretty good however right now most of the links go to blank pages that I still have to fill.  Sigh.  I’m marking this as complete because I did the pages and I will be filling them in when I move up to the sidebar challenge. 

Challenge #6 What is Windows Live Writer?
I started using WLW a couple weeks ago.  I had a few problems with it but overall it was way better than blogger.  But now it’s even better because the lovely Jacinda had solved my biggest peeve about WLW (Why does Microsoft feel that everyone wants a space between paragraphs?) and helped me to discover that my other problem isn’t really a problem. 

Challenge #7 Sidebar Help… What do you really need?This was a lot of work, but I’m pretty happy with my results.  I might do a little more adjusting but for the most part I’m finished.  I tried switching to just one sidebar, but I didn’t really like the look of it but I did get rid of at least half the things on my side bar AND I finished updating all the pages so that they actually have information on them.

Challenge #8 Write some extra review posts

Ok I really only did 2 but I don’t have any other books fresh in my mind.  Hopefully I will be able to get ahead of the game after the April Readathon.

Challenge #9 Update my challenge progress

Note to self – don’t procrastinate again!

Challenge #9 How to build reads for your blog through commenting

20 comments posted on other blogs – done


And I’m out!  I have book club tonight and work tomorrow so my time with bloggiesta has come to an end.   I’ve had a fabulous time participating in bloggiesta!  As a new blogger I am learning stuff all the time and all these mini challenges were extremely helpful.  A huge thanks goes to all those who shared their knowledge.  I have a few more challenges bookmarked that I will be coming back to when I have time. 

¡Bloggiesta Olé!


Mar 30

It’s Bloggiesta Time!

Bloggiesta 13

Bloggiesta is being hosted by Suey at It’s All About Books
This Years Mini Challenge List.
Last Years Mini Challenge List.

I’m pretty excited!  When I made my first to-do list I didn’t fully realize all the possibilities out there so I’ve revised my goals.  I hope to accomplish quite a few things but we’ll see how time goes.

The stuff I really really want (need) to do:
Complete! * What is Windows Live Writer?  Figure out why Windows Live Writer just isn’t working right for me.  I started using it a couple weeks ago and it’s working far better than blogger, yet I still have trouble with the formatting looking right.  I am determined to conquer this!
Complete! * Make some pages! and Sidebar Help… What do you really need?  These two go hand in hand and it’s something I’ve been meaning to do for awhile but just haven’t taken the time.
Complete! * Prepare some extra review posts.  I tend to read and write so if I don’t have a lot of time to read or I pick up a big book I fall short in my review goals.
Complete! * How to build reads for your blog through commenting.  I think I do a good job not leaving generic comments (and if I am, please tell me!) but I know I don’t comment nearly enough.  I use a reader on my iphone and it’s hard to comment so even if I have something to say I forget by the time I get home.  I need to work out some kind of plan to comment more.
* Improve/fix my labels.
Complete! * Update my challenge progress 

Other stuff that isn’t critical, but I want to do it anyway.
Complete! * MisterLinky I haven’t really had a need for this yet… but I want to learn anyway because I’m sure it’s something I’ll need in the future.
Complete! * What’s a Rafflecopter? I’ve heard this is the easiest way to do a giveaway so I’m gonna check it out.
* Get noticed by search engines.  Honestly SEO is something that completely mystifies me.
Complete! * HTML Basics.  I’m not sure I’ll ever remember the * Policies I didn’t spend a lot of time writing mine so they aren’t very clear.  
Complete! * Back up your blog. Wow that was super easy!   I can’t believe I hadn’t done that before.

Now that I’ve wrote this down I think I have more work than I have time.  But we’ll see how things go!  I also plan on checking out some of the other challenges (current and past) too.


Mar 28

Review * Somebody to Love Review by Kristan Higgins

Reviews 6 ★★★★★

Review * Somebody to Love Review by Kristan HigginsSomebody to Love by Kristan Higgins
Published by HQN on April 24, 2012
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 425
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
Add to: Goodreads
After her father loses the family fortune in an insider-trading scheme, single mom Parker Welles is faced with some hard decisions. First order of business: go to Gideon's Cove, Maine, to sell the only thing she now owns—a decrepit house in need of some serious flipping. When her father's wingman, James Cahill, asks to go with her, she's not thrilled…even if he is fairly gorgeous and knows his way around a toolbox.Having to fend for herself financially for the first time in her life, Parker signs on as a florist's assistant and starts to find out who she really is. Maybe James isn't the glib lawyer she always thought he was. And maybe the house isn't the only thing that needs a little TLC.


What I thought…

  • One of my favorite things is when a favorite author comes out with a new book and it turns out to be their best yet.  I seriously fell in love with this book!
  • While her books are always funny the focus is always on the more serious parts of the story.  The first half of Somebody to Love is a lot more funny than serious.  I almost felt like I was reading a completely different author (in a good way) but then about halfway through the book the tone changed to more serious with a little funny thrown in.
  • One of the best things about Kristan Higgins’ books is that even though I am nothing like the main characters I can still connect with them.  Parker is no exception.   My only complaint about her is that she took the fact that her father lost everything pretty well.  There was no anger, freaking out, yelling, screaming and the like.  I love Parker’s humor, especially in relation to the Holy Rollers.
  • James is sweet, but not sickeningly so.  His back story is heartbreaking as well as seeing him struggle.  He makes me want to be Parker, falling in love with him bit by bit.
  • Nicky is a cute kid that does typical cute kid kinds of things (as well as some not so cute things).
  • You get to revisit some of the character’s from her previous novel which is nice, but you certainly don’t have to read the other books to enjoy this one.
  • Best epilogue ever.

Overall I really, really enjoyed this book.  It was exactly what I wanted!

*I recieved this e-arc from Harlequin via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review..  All opinions and comments are my own.


Mar 27

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Play Hooky With

Meme, Top Ten Tuesday 5

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and Bookish

Spring Fever: Top Ten Books I’d Play Hooky With.
Insurgent1. Insurgent by Veronica Roth – I am already planning on rearranging my schedule a bit so I can read this book as soon as I get home from work.

2. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver – I know, shameful!  I think if I would have bought the ebook I would have read it already because I have had more opportunities at work than at home.

3. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – I devoured Lola and the Boy Next Door and I can easily seeing myself devouring this one.

4. JK Rowling’s new book – I don’t even know what it’s about yet and I know I will read it immediately upon it’s release.  How could I not, it’s JK Rowling!

Pandemonium5. Sequel to The Host if Stephanie Meyer ever writes one – I loved The Host more than Twilight and I really really want a sequel.

6. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson – I have put this book off for too long.

7. The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson – I am currently reading this, but I having a hard time finding the time (another one I wish was an ebook) so playing hooky would be a good opportunity to read it. 

8. The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin – I cannot wait for this book!

The Name of the Star9. Absolutely anything Sophie Kinsella writes – I could easily miss work for her.

10. Harry Potter books by JK Rowling Probably the only reread I would miss work over.

What books would you play hooky with?


Mar 26

The Hunger Games Movie Review

Movie Review 6

The Hunger Games
Suzanne Collins (written by)
2008 (book) 2012 (movie)
Synopsis by IMDB

In a not-too-distant future, North America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcast throughout Panem. The 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss’ young sister, Prim, is selected as the mining district’s female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, will be pitted against bigger, stronger representatives who have trained for this their whole lives.

The Hunger Games movie was completely awesome!  They stayed pretty true to the book, only changing some minor things, that to me aren’t that big of a deal.

Note, I’m assuming that you’ve read the book, so this will probably be spoilerish if you haven’t read the book.

1.  I read the book right before the movie and I was really pleased that I didn’t keep thinking “It didn’t happen like that!” throughout the film.  That happened with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and I didn’t enjoy that movie as much.

2.  The movie was not a gruesome as the book, which was good because I didn’t really want to see some of those killings.

3.  I pictured Haymitch very differently from Woody Harelson in the book.  I picture him much older, but now that I’ve seen him played by Harelson it makes more sense.

4.  In the book I teared up when Primrose’s name is selected, I maybe had a tear or two role down my face as that scene played out.  In the movie I cried.  Thumbs up to the actors/actresses in that scene because I had more than a few tears rolling down my face in the movie.  I also had some tears for Rue, especially the district 11 scene.

5.  The Capitol people were very similar to what I expected in their outrageousness.  I loved Caesar, played by Stanley Tucci, he was the perfect choice!

6.  The fire neither disappointed me, nor wowed me.  When I read the book I didn’t really have a clear picture of it formed in my head (how does one picture that?) so I wasn’t really sure what to expect.

7.  I wish that they would have showed all of the tributes a little more during the parade.  They had some interesting looking costumes but they went by so fast you couldn’t really get a good look.

8.  From a movie making standpoint it was awesome.  Those 2 hours flew by!

9.  I loved that they showed the Gamemakers side of things.  Obviously that side of things is not in the book but I found it fascinating and a good way to explain to those who had not read the book.

The next two items could potentially be considered spoilers by some, so read at your own risk!

10.  I loved that they brought in a little bit of Catching Fire at the end to deal with Seneca Crane.  And I LOVED the way they did it.

11.  I really liked Effie’s character, but I do have one complaint.  And this, for me, was the one thing that bugged me about the movie.  Her line “May the odds be ever in your favor!” was not at all pronounced they way I thought it should.  Ever is italicized so it should be stressed in the sentence and every time it was said, except once, it was just said normal.

That’s about it from me.  Let me know what you thought about the movie!

Ashley from Ashley Loves Books has some really funny Hunger Games humor that you should check out too! –> Hunger Games Humor

Movie Rating:



Mar 25

Sunday’s In Bed With…

In Bed With... 5

My friend Kate at Midnight Book Girl has started a new feature on Sunday mornings to share with everyone what you’re reading in bed Sunday morning before getting to the days activities.

Somebody to Love

This morning I spent a little time with Somebody to Love by Kristan Higgins.  I received this book from Netgalley and was super excited to read it because I LOVE her books.  I’m not quite halfway through, but I think this one is one of her funniest.

HP and the Prisoner of AzkabanI’m currently listening to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban while I work.  So far listening to Harry Potter books while I’m working is working out very well for me and I am much more productive.  I have a hard time with audiobooks giving me a headache so I’m not yet sure what I will do when I am done with the Harry Potter books.  It’s a good thing books 4-7 are really really long.

What are you spending Sunday’s in bed with?


Mar 24

Review * The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight Review by Jennifer E Smith

Reviews 6 ★★★★

Review * The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight Review by Jennifer E SmithThe Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E S
Published by Poppy on January 2, 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 236
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?
Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A. 

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it


What I thought…

  • I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before but I love books with time limits.  1 year, 6 months, 1 day whatever I just love the feeling of knowing that X has to happen by a certain time.  Even though TSPOLAFS doesn’t have a time limit in the traditional sense there is still a time crunch.
  • This is going to sound strange, but the prologue was my favorite chapter in the book.  I loved the way it was written, setting the book up with all the little minute things that went wrong to lead to the 4 minute difference between making her flight and missing it.  I was completely sold on this book by page 3.
  • TSPOLAFS was less about romance and more about Hadley and what she learns about herself and her relationship with her parents.  She struggles with both her mom and her dad for very different reasons.  The scenes (good and bad) with her dad were heartbreaking.
  • Hadley and Oliver’s romance was really sweet, filled with “almost” and “maybe” moments.  I liked that it was not insta-love between the two of them.  They liked each other and they connected but it wasn’t over the top.
  • I liked both Hadley and Oliver.  Oliver was nerdy, funny and British.  Hadley was real.  Not over the top teenage angst like and not all perfect, but real.  Hadley’s not happy with a lot of these (her parents divorce, the second wedding) and Oliver helps her work through some of that, but not in an obvious way.
  • I enjoyed Hadley’s flashbacks and the insight they gave you.   They weren’t in any kind of chronological order, but they fit with what she was feeling, in the present.  It was much better than “this is what happened in the past, so now here’s the present.”

Overall I enjoyed the book, but not as much as Lola and the Boy Next Door.


Mar 23

Feature and Follow: Longest Book

Feature and Follow 6

Gain New Blog Followers

Feature & Follow is hosted by Parajunkee’s View and Alison Can Read. Every week they feature a new blogger and ask a question.  Learn more about Feature & Follow. 
Today’s featured blogs: Short and Sweet and Sarah’s Books & Life.
Q: What is the longest book you’ve read?  What are your favorite 600+ page reads?

Harry Potter and the Goblet of FireThe longest book I’ve read is Under the Dome by Stephen King at 1072 pages.  My favorite 600+ page read is Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire at 734 pages.  Of course the other Harry Potter books (5-7) make my list as well.  I know there are others but I went to The Hunger Games movie last night (omg!  It was sooooo good!!!!) and I only got 4 hours of sleep so my brain is just not functioning right.


Mar 22

Giveaway Winner!

Giveaways 3

And the winner is…  clip_image001[6]

Congratulations!  Shelby won a $20 Amazon gift certificate!

And, by overwhelming majority, the next book I’m going to read is…

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

I’m looking forward to reading it and you can expect the review sometime next week. 

Partials (Partials, #1)

I’ll be reading Shelby’s choice after TSPOLAFS, Partials by Dan Wells.

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway.  :)