Monthly Archives:: May 2012

May 31

Review * Heist Society by Ally Carter

Reviews 7 ★★★

Review * Heist Society by Ally CarterHeist Society by Ally Carter
Series: Heist Society #1
Published by Disney Hyperion on February 9, 2010
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Young Adult
Pages: 287
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Also in this series: Uncommon Criminals
Add to: Goodreads
three-stars
When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected.

Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring Kat back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has a good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat's father isn't just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.

For Kat, there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it's a spectacularly impossible job? She's got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family's history--and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

What I Thought…

  • I love stories like this, bad guys who are really good guys.  It’s the YA version of Oceans 11 or Leverage.
  • Obviously the cons are completely outrageous but they are really fun.  They do so many cool things and what’s even better is that they don’t use a whole lot of special tools/gadgets to get it done.  I wished they would have explained the cons better after they were finished (the ins and outs of how it worked).  That’s my favorite part of Leverage.
  • I was a little bothered that Kat was only 15.  I know that the whole premise is not “real” but it seems a bit realistic that a 15 year old could get around like she does (there’s a lot of traveling to different countries).  Hale didn’t seem 16 either.  Honestly in my head I made them all in the 18-20 range because for me that made more sense.
  • There were some romantic instances between Kat and Hale but not a whole lot of romance.  They were super cute though.  This area of the book was the only one that I felt fit their age range.
  • Kat was a really good main character.  She wasn’t all “please save me” or “I can’t survive without my boyfriend.”  At times she was the exact opposite, going to far to be independent.  She maintained a good position as leader of her group of thieves.
  • I really enjoyed Kat’s friends.  They were a good group that fit well together and played off each other very well.  There was some good interaction and a couple of good one liners.  Similar to Oceans 11 and Leverage they each have their special unique talent.  Gabrielle was my favorite, she went a little above the  call of duty.
  • The bad guy, Arturo wasn’t as bad as he could have been.  He wasn’t really a major player in the story.
  • The best part was the final heist at the end.  It was set up perfectly, but then of course there are problems, some of which are funny, while others are more revealing.

Overall Heist Society was a quick, fun read.

Kimberly


May 29

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books in the Last 10 Years

Meme, Top Ten Tuesday 14

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

Top Ten Books from the last ten years that I hope they are still reading in 30 years.

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1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Oppressive government + uprising citizen = a formula people will love forever.
 
2. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
This is the new To Kill a Mockingbird.  It can’t ever replace To Kill a Mockingbird, but it’s sentiments make for a book easily readable well into the future.
 
3. The Book Thief
Beautiful and heartbreaking.  A must read for everyone, anytime.
 
4. Harry Potter 5-7 (really, all of Harry Potter but only 5-7 made the 10 year cut off) by JK Rowling.
If people do not continue to read Harry Potter I will be one very sad, unhappy girl.
 
5. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
This book was so beautiful.  I hope people never stop reading it!
 
This was a lot harder than I thought, I can only think of 5!  I know that there are so many books that I love, but I just can’t think of any more that will survive the test of time, generations and that will appeal to the masses.

 

Kimberly


May 28

Review * Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Reviews 10 ★★★★★

Review * Hourglass by Myra McEntireHourglass by Myra McEntire
Series: Hourglass #1
Published by Egmont on June 14, 2011
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 390
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Also in this series: Timepiece
Add to: Goodreads
five-stars
One hour to rewrite the past . . .

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn't there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents' death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She's tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson's willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may also change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he's around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should've happened?

What I Thought…

  • I LOVE this cover.  Someday I will own this book.  (I didn’t make the connection between the cover and the book, but it’s so pretty I don’t even care.)
  • I may have read a book that deals with time travel before but I can’t remember any and I found it fascinating.  I appreciate that Myra McEntire gave enough of an explanation so that everything made sense (mostly), but she didn’t make it all sciency and over my head.  I knew just what I needed to know to make it plausible.
  • I loved Emerson and Michael.  Emerson had to be pretty strong to go through everything that she had in her past as well as what was going on in the present.  I absolutely adored Michael.   Seriously adored him.  I loved that he hesitated, that he didn’t always share info because he knew what it could do, his insane need to protect Emerson.  They were explosive together.
  • I can’t remember where or when I saw other reviews of Hourglass but I was just reading along, enjoying Emerson and Michael and then all of a sudden Kaleb pops up and as soon as I saw his name I freaked out!  I remember a few reviews talking about how much they loved Kaleb or that they were “team Kaleb” and I was really worried because I’ve never been on the “other side”, I’ve always picked the right guy and I liked Michael so much I couldn’t imagine ever choosing Kaleb.  I like Kaleb, but not for Emerson.
  • Even though I didn’t think Kaleb was right for Emerson I really liked him.  He was such a complex character, trying to be a badass and kind and caring at the same time.  It was a good combination.
  • As far as older brothers go, Thomas was pretty cool.  He’s quite a bit older than Emerson and had to step in the parenting role after their parents died and he does a good job of straddling the sibling/parent line.  He’s fairly accepting of Emerson’s abilities, though cautious at the same time.  I really liked Thomas’ wife Dru.  She was fairly overprotective of Emerson but stood up for her (to Thomas) at the same time
  • You don’t see much of Emerson’s best friend Lily,but there is a lot to her and I can see her having a much bigger role in Timepiece.  Nate and Dune have some seriously cool abilities.
  • I can’t say who the bad guy or girl is… but s/he is the baddest of the bad.  The kind that makes you want to kick some serious ass!  I was so angry at the things that were done!
  • There are quite a few twists, most of them coming from the manipulation of time.  Remember in Back to the Future (you’ve all seen that right?) when Marty makes the mistake of saving his mom instead of waiting for his dad to save his mom and things start changing?  Hourglass is full of that.  It’s a prime example of why you don’t mess with time.

Overall Hourglass was soooooooo good!  I can’t wait to start reading Timepiece.

Kimberly


May 27

Sundays in Bed With… The Chaperone

In Bed With... 7

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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.

Laura Moriaty The ChaperoneToday I’m hoping to find a spare minute or two to read The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty.  My friend Kate received a copy for review, loved it, and has graciously loaned me her copy.  I’ll be meeting her at BEA and I would love to be able to finish the book before going but it’s pretty big and I have lots of work stuff to accomplish, but I should be able to get at least half way through.

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* BEA is only one week a way!!!!!  I am so excited, but I am in my one-week-before-vacation-freak-out mode.  There is so much to do and so little time!  Things always get crazy before vacations because I have to do the work I would have be doing during that time early.  I apologize in advance but commenting for the next two weeks will be minimal, if at all.  I promise to get out there to make up for it when I get back!

* I had to buy a new cover/case for my ereader this week and I was really disappointed that they no longer make the one that I had.  So after much contemplation I picked out a new one, and it has a stand, and I freakin love it!  I no longer have to hunch over the table when I’m trying to read while I eat breakfast.

* I made a spur of the moment decision to quit drinking soda.  (I didn’t have any in the house and I just cannot spend $1.69 on a bottle of soda, it’s a rip off!)  We’ll see if it sticks this time.

* There is something wrong with my desk chair and I don’t know how to fix it.  I’ve tried everything.  I’ll be sitting at my desk working and all of a sudden the chair will just sink down to the lowest height.  Sometimes bit by bit, sometimes all at once.  It’s really annoying and I can’t figure why it’s doing this.  I may be buying a new chair soon.

Kimberly


May 24

A Few Mini Reviews

Mini Reviews 12

Sometimes there just isn’t enough for me to write a full review for a book so here are a few mini reviews.

Stacey Kade The Ghost and the GothThe Ghost and the Goth
Stacey Kade

I messed up with this one.  I read this book in one sitting while I was getting my car fixed and I didn’t write anything down and I waited too long to write my review so now all I have is this:

I liked Alona, I loved Will.  This book is laugh out loud funny, sad, cute and touching all at the same time.  Read it.  You won’t regret it.  I promise.

onthewings4

Lauren Oliver HanaHana
Lauren Oliver

I was excited to be able to read a bit more about Hana and I was not disappointed.  I really liked Hana in Delirium and it was nice spending some time in her head, and learning a bit more about deliria nervosa.  I was a bit surprised by the ending.  I’m assuming that it’s probably going to have it’s place in Requiem.  Hana is a wonderful short story and a must read for Delirium fans.

onthewings4

 

Erin Morgenstern The Night CircusThe Night Circus
Erin Morgenstern

I listened to the audiobook, and while it was good, there is so much stuff going on that I know I would have enjoyed it better if I had read it.  It’s beautifully written, but it has a back and forth format and if I wasn’t completely paying attention and missed the change in time it was easy to get confused.  Fellow book club member Sarah listened to it and than read it and said it was so much better the second time around, so I plan on reading it soon.

onthewings3

Kimberly


May 22

Top Ten Tuesday: Non Book Sites

Meme, Top Ten Tuesday 20

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

Top Ten Blogs/Sites you visit that aren’t about books.

I’ve been looking forward to this one because it’s showing a different side of yourself!  I know about a lot of bloggers and their books but this is chance to get to know you a little more.  I took the easy way out and went to my firefox history and took my top ten sites all time.
1. Yahoo  I was going to discount this at first because it’s my homepage, but since I scroll through their top stories at least twice a day and they are my main source of news, it counts.

2. Facebook This is probably pretty common, but I find myself using it less and less.  The new news feed drives me absolutely nuts!  Why can’t they just show all my friends in chronological order like they used too!

3. QSRSoft This is the site I need for work.  It saddens me to see it so high on my list.

4. My Bank.  I’m pretty obsessed with checking my bank account.  I wish it was because I had gobs and gobs of money and I was watching it grow, but sadly, it’s more because I want to make sure I have enough money.  Someday I’ll be rich.

5. ESPN Fantasy Football  I am a huge football fan.  I was born and raised in WI so football is pretty important (it’s like a religion almost) and the older I got the “worse” it got.  Every year my family and I play fantasy football (not the kind with the draft because that’ takes too much time) and it’s pretty serious.  I won two years ago and came in second last year.  I’m still pretty upset about that.  (This surprised me that it was so high on my list because I only visit here 5 months out of the year.)

6. ESPN NFL This is where I get my news from so I know what’s up around the NFL and can make accurate picks and adjustments so that I can win.

7. Dan Shanoff My only blog on the list.  It’s a sport blog that I only follow religiously during football season.

8. Packers This is the team I worship.

9. Quickish Another Football thing.

10. 103.7 Kiss FM I have lived in VA for 5 years now and I still can’t find a radio station that I love so I still check my favorite WI radio station for new music I may like. 

So, what are your favorite sites/blogs?

Kimberly


May 21

Review * Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis

Reviews 13 ★★★★★

Review * Glimmer by Phoebe KitanidisGlimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis
Published by Balzer + Bray on April 17, 2012
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
five-stars
When Marshall King and Elyse Alton suddenly wake up tangled in each other's arms with zero memory of how they got there or even who they are, it's the start of a long journey through their separate pasts and shared future.

Terrified by their amnesia, Marshall and Elyse make a pact to work together to find the answers that could restore their missing memories. As they piece together clues about their lives, they discover that they're in the idyllic mountain resort town of Summer Falls. Everyone seems happy there, but as Marshall and Elyse quickly learn, darkness lurks beneath the town's perfect facade. Not only is the town haunted by sinister ghosts, but none of its living inhabitants retain bad memories of anything--not the death of Marshall's mom, not the hidden violence in Elyse's family, not even the day-to-day anguish of being a high schooler.

Lonely in this world of happy zombies, Marshall and Elyse fall into an intense relationship founded on their mutual quest for truth. But the secrets they're trying to uncover could be the death of this budding love affair--and of everyone, and everything, they love in Summer Falls.

 What I Thought…

  • A few weeks ago my friends Kate and Andrea put out reviews of Glimmer on the same day.  I read Kate’s review and was really interested in it, then I read Andrea’s review and the word zombies (from the synopsis) popped out at me and I was really disappointed.  I don’t do zombies.  Andrea quickly assured me that there were no zombies and Phoebe Kitanidis herself took a few seconds out of her day to tweet me and reassure me that there were no zombies so Glimmer moved up rather quickly on my TBR list.
  • Let’s talk about these “zombies.”  All the people of Summer Falls are happy, I mean really happy.  Summer Falls is perfect because you don’t have to remember anything bad… ever.
  • Glimmer is right up my alley.  I have a hard time with scary books because I’m a total scaredy cat, and I will lie in bed thinking about horrible things and not be able to sleep, but I don’t mind being creeped out a little, and Glimmer was definitely creepy.
  • Glimmer starts off right in the thick of things and I really love when authors do that.  I know that sometimes background chapters are necessary (i.e. Partials by Dan Wells) but a lot of times they aren’t, and they are there anyway.
  • The alternating view points really worked well for me.  I don’t know why I say I don’t like alternating view points anymore because I obviously do (though there are many cases where it just doesn’t work).  Elyse and Marshall’s worked well for me, especially since I was able to put together some of the puzzle pieces before them.
  • I loved this messed up little town with it’s messed up people.  It was beautifully described and I could picture a lot in my head.  I’d be a nice place to live, if it wasn’t for the issue of course!
  • I loved Marshall and Elyse’s dreams.  You learn a lot more about them through their dreams then when they are awake.  For the most part I liked both Elyse and Marshall.  There were a couple of moments where I was all “oh no s/he didn’t!” but I can’t fault them either.
  • The ghosts were pretty awesome.  They are not your friendly Casper type ghosts nor your terrifying Anna type ghosts, though they do have a sinister purpose.  But Glimmer has a lot more than ghosts.  There is also a good dose of magic and the occult.

Other Reviews

Andrea’s review of Glimmer
Kate’s review of Glimmer

Kimberly


May 20

Sunday’s in bed with… Deadlocked

In Bed With..., Meme 9

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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.

Charlaine Harris DeadlockedToday is the last day of the Bout of Books read-a-thon.  I’ve made some good progress this week finishing 3 of the 4 books I had planned on and making progress on the fourth as well as picking up a fifth. 

I’ll be reading Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris and maybe finishing Hourglass by Myra McEntire. 

Only two weeks until BEA and I couldn’t be more excited!  I just wish there wasn’t so much to do between now and then! 

Kimberly


May 18

Things that make me angrrrrry!

Misc 16

I am so glad the weekend has started!  This was just one of those weeks where a lot of things made me angry. 

This was pretty irritating…clip_image002

Sunday – I spent all good chunk of Saturday outside doing yard work.  I could feel my allergies a bit Saturday night and when I woke up Sunday morning I was so incredibly miserable.  It was awful and nothing made me feel better.  I think I may have to get a mask.

But not nearly as irritating as this…

I accidentally post dated my Glimmer review and posted it partially written so when I went in and finished it and fixed the review date it was still there.  And since there is no way to remove a post from Google reader (trust me I tried) I’ve decided to just leave it and whatever.  There is an extra bonus review for this week and I’ll just be one short for next week.  It all works out in the end.

This made me angry…

Tuesday – One of my favorite shows ever, NCIS, had it’s season finale. I DVR pretty much everything now and I typically catch up on shows on Thursday night. Tuesday I was just chillin on twitter and less than 15 minutes after the show ended someone tweeted “noooo (insert name here).” Seriously? Really? I was so pissed!

1. Spoilers are just uncool no matter when they occur.
2. It’s not like I waited weeks to watch it where you could maybe say “I didn’t know you hadn’t watch it” it was mere minutes after it ended!  And even if it was weeks later it’s still bad to put something like that on twitter.  Or Facebook. 
3. Something else for people to think about in relation to tv shows – Just because you are in EST/CST and watching it at 9/8c doesn’t mean that people in MST and PST are watching it at the same time, because they are not!  You potentially just spoiled the show for people that haven’t even had the opportunity to watch it yet!

I know that sometimes people want to write about certain events in books/movies/tv shows that are spoilers and that’s fine – if there is a warning so I can make a choice. I can’t un-see what I just saw!

But this makes me Angrrrrry…

I’m not a pet person, ok?  It’s just not me.  So you know that if I am this angrrrry than it must be real bad.

clip_image002[18]Several weeks ago the house across the street from where I work had this dog that was outside 24/7.  It’s dog house was one of those dog carrier things and it was always tied up.  I never, not once, saw anyone go up to that dog.  The dog did not look too thin so I can only assume they were actually feeding it.  I would see the teenage boys (approximate age 15-20) taunting him.  It was so awful.  Unfortunately they weren’t breaking any laws and nothing could be done.  Then the dog went away so I hoped they just decided that it was too much work and gave it up.

A couple of days ago they got a new dog.  Friday we were sitting in the office just chatting when my supervisor freaked out and we all looked out the window to see them tossing and locking the dog in the shed.  Five, maybe ten, minutes later they took the dog out and chained up back up (same as the other dog).  An hour or so later they put the dog on the leash and start dragging him to the house.  Dragging him!  They are about three feet from the door and you can see the poor dog clawing at everything and they are laughing and yanking on the leash and lifting him up by the leash to get him in the house!  It absolutely breaks my heart that they are doing this.

It’s hard to get things like this taken care of, especially since we are not the 24/7 type of neighbors.  But rest assured, this situation will be resolved! 

 

Well, I certainly feel much better getting this stuff off my chest.  Thanks for being my sounding board!

Kimberly


May 17

Review * Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Reviews 10 ★★★

Review * Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David LevithanNick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by David Levithan, Rachel Cohn
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on May 23, 2006
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 186
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
three-stars
So you're a guy; you're at a band show and your ex, the girl who dumped you, walks in with the new guy. Looking for a safe exit, you ask the girl you happen to sitting with to be your girlfriend for five minutes . You're a girl; you're at a get-together and your least favorite female strolls in. The stranger sitting next to you asks you to be his five-minute date. So what do you? You lock lips . Nick and Norah's instant connection begins a roller-coaster "first date" that takes them through Manhattan and into themselves. A novel concept that works.

 

This review is going to be short and sweet, because the book was short and sweet.

What I thought…

  1. I’ve become a fan of alternating view points.  It used to drive me crazy, but now I kind of like it, and it really works here.  In fact I know that it wouldn’t have been good only told through one perspective.
  2. I’m a sucker for these kind of books.  The ones that take place over 24 hours or have some kind of time frame involved.  Love them!
  3. I liked Norah slightly more than I liked Nick, but I liked Nick’s chapters better.  Norah was more fun, Nick spent a lot of time hung up on Tris.  Even though Norah was still dealing with Tal she didn’t come off as whiny about it.  Nick’s chapters were more funny and I really got into some of his rambling thoughts.
  4. All the other characters were great, even Tris.  They had their place in their story and they fit well with Nick and Norah.  Tony/i/e was my favorite.
  5. The stuff they do is crazy and so much fun!  I wish that I would have had a night as fun as this.
  6. Norah’s dad makes a small appearance in the book but I think that was one of my favorite scenes in the book and it’s such a fatherly thing to do.  Even though it ticks Norah off, it’s for the best.
  7. As much as I loved this story I can’t give it 4 or 5 stars.  The “F” word is seriously overused in this book and I just could not get past it.  I know that teenagers cuss (I know I cussed as a teenager) but it was overkill in this book.  I wish that I had this as an ebook so I could count how many times they used it.  Seriously, it’s everywhere!

Overall it’s a really cute story but beware of the “F’” word.

Kimberly