Monthly Archives:: June 2012

Jun 30

June in Review

Month in Review 9

June has been such an up and down month for me.  It started off great (BEA & NYC) and I was feeling sooo good when I came home that I was a lean mean working machine.  There was almost no procrastination!  However this last week sucked something fierce.  Hopefully July will not continue the downward trend.

Here’s what went down in July

I did something new… and I kind of like it.

I’m pretty OCD, especially about my books.  Last month my bookshelf reached it’s limit (the way it was organized) and I had to do something about it.  So I cleared of a bookcase of stuff to put my TBR books on, but that wasn’t enough.  Since there was no power this morning I decided to tackle the shelves and I’m pleased with the results.

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I had an old picture but I can’t find it.  I used to have all mass market paperbacks on the top 2 shelves, trade papers backs on the shelf below, hard cover on the next 2 and TBR books on the bottom. 

Now it’s YA on the top 2, adult on the next 2, and mass market paperbacks on the bottom 2.  Still alphabetical of course.  Some things won’t ever change.

I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.  Enough so that I don’t think I’ll be changing it.

Personally, I don’t even think it should have the same title.

ALVHA couple people and I went to see Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter the other day.  Three of us had read the book, the other had not.  You know it’s a really bad sign when you’re watching a movie made from a book and you have to keep asking yourself “Where was this in the book?” or “Did I miss that part?”  Throughout the entire second half of the movie I kept wondering if I’d read the same book as the screenwriter did.  Then I learned that Grahame-Smith wrote the screenplay and I am completely dumbfounded by this.

I thought the vampires were scary and there were many parts that I couldn’t watch (I know I am a wimp!) because they were so creepy and scary looking.  Definitely not your True Blood or Twilight vampires.  It was also very cheesy.  Like we should have brought some wine to the theatre there was so much cheese.

Hey!  Who turned out the lights?

We had a crazy wicked storm Friday night.  I knew it was supposed to rain but this was ridiculous!  There were up to 80 mph winds well before it even started to rain.  My power got knocked out before I went to bed so it was hard to sleep because A: I kept hearing all the branches hit my roof and the howling wind and B: It’s hot outside! 

My power came back on around noon but I know there are a lot of other people who weren’t so lucky and it is seriously HOT!!  My yard looks almost as bad as it did after the hurricane last year (Apology to all my neighbors:  I know my yard looks real bad right now, but it’s too hot to clean it up.  Sorry!)

Sales tax.  What you need to know.

This comes up repeatedly at work and it drives me nuts!  Taxes are set by the government (federal, state or local).  Businesses do not have control over how much they charge you in taxes.  I’m sorry that you think that tax amount is too high, but I can’t do anything about it. 

  • I cannot just forgive you “this one time”.
  • I cannot let you pay a lower tax because you know that on the other side of the river tax is less.
  • I’m not “ripping you off” by charging you so much tax.
  • I’m not “being greedy” by charging you so much tax.
  • Despite what you think, we do not keep the tax money that is collected.  We have to give that money to the government, because it’s not really our money.  We are just a “collector” or “facilitator”.

I don’t understand when people do this. Let’s say the total is $10 and tax is 11% so their total is $11.11.  Then the get all upset about the tax, because they know it’s only 9% across the river so they decide to leave and go to a location across the river to save money.  Do they realize that they just spent the difference and more in gas just to get there?  Plus their time?

I feel the same way when people leave Target to buy something at Wal-Mart that is $1 or $2 cheaper.  I’m sorry but it’s not worth my time and effort just to save $2. 

Plans for July

I have a lot of series books that I haven’t read so I’m planning on tackling those this month.  Be prepared for a lot of sequels!

Kimberly


Jun 29

Blog Hop: Keeper Shelf, FF: Birthday Wish & TGIF: Best Read

Blog Hop, Feature and Follow, Meme, TGIF 32

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jen at Crazy-For-Books.

Do you have a keeper shelf for books you loved? What books are on that shelf and why?

I do not have a keeper shelf… at this time.  I will have a keeper shelf in September.  At this point other than my HP books and my signed books I don’t know what else will be on it.  I don’t even know how many books will fit, or how much of the space in the cabinet I will use.  I haven’t thought that far ahead yet.  (Note: I am FULLY COMMITED to doing this, but it may require some follow up in September, as I am very OCD about my books and the fact that they will not all be together will probably bother me. A lot)


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. 
 
Birthday Wishes: Blow out the candles and imagine what character could pop out of your cake, who is it and what book are they from.

I’m going to have to go with Kaleb from Timepiece by Myra McEntire.  I liked him in Hourglass, but I loved him in Timepiece.  I like his bad boy nature, how much he cares, and all the crazy thoughts he has in his head!
 

TGIFTGIF is a weekly meme to re-cap the week’s posts & to propose a question for our followers. It is run by Ginger at GReads.

Best I’ve Read So Far: We’re half way through the year (crazy how time flies!), which top 3 books are the best you’ve read so far this year?

Only 3?  Seriously?  I can’t just pick 3!!!  I’ve read some really great books this year. 

Here are my favorite three:
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Timepiece by Myra McEntire
 
But I also could have picked:
Ten by Gretchen McNeil
Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

Kimberly


Jun 28

Review * Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Reviews 11 ★★★★★

Review * Beauty Queens by Libba BrayBeauty Queens by Libba Bray
Published by Scholastic Press on May 24, 2011
Genres: Humor, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
five-stars
Survival. Of the fittest.

The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream Pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea, crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner.

What's a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program - or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan - or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up?

Welcome to the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Your tour guide? None other than Libba Bray, the hilarious, sensational, Printz Award-winning author of A Great and Terrible Beauty and Going Bovine. The result is a novel that will make you laugh, make you think, and make you never see beauty the same way again.

What I Thought…

  • Beauty Queens is a mix of so many things.  Libba Bray tossed together a bit of:
    • Miss America Pageant – obviously, but some of the contestants are a bit more serious than others.
    • Lost – this is no regular island.
    • The Truman Show – product placement is always key.
    • Survivor – making your own huts and questionable food choices.
    • Anchorman – (or anything similar) over the top characters

to make an absolutely fun and hilarious book!

  • Beauty Queens is one wild ride.  It all starts with a plane crash but there is so much more going on.  There are pirates, secret compounds, pretty dresses, bugs, and a whole lot of other surprises!
  • While there are other characters besides the Teen Dreamers I don’t want to divulge who they are so I won’t say anything about them, but I absolutely loved the Teen Dreamers.  They were so much fun and they all had their little secrets.  They were dealing with a lot of personal reasons and they all had very different reasons for entering the Miss Teen Dream pageant.  You get to know them one by one, complete with their own Miss Teen Dream Fun Facts page.
  • Adina was probably my favorite, though I really liked Taylor too.  Adina is very strait forward tell-it-like-it-is, even when the other Teen Dreamers think she’s crazy.  She was a little snarky and I liked that too.  Taylor was “the voice of reason” and kept the Teen Dreamers prepared.
  • I really enjoyed the way the book was written.  It’s written reality TV show style, which was a lot of fun.  There a couple of commercial breaks and product placements.  And there were footnotes!  (Note: I wouldn’t buy the ebook for this reason, footnotes + ebooks = a pain.)  While I was reading I really felt like I was really watching these girls on the island.
  • Libba Bray does a fabulous job describing the island, and all of its specialness.  I could clearly picture everything in my head from the beach to the cave to the jungle.  I would mind actually being on the beach, but I’ll pass on the cave and the jungle.
  • Despite all it’s hilarity and craziness there are things to be learned in Beauty Queens.  Libba Bray tackles quite a few issues (feminism, sexuality, finding yourself and more), in a short and funny manner, which means that even though you can get quite a lot out of Beauty Queens the book is NOT at all preachy.
  • I know I’ve mentioned this already, but it must be said again.  Beauty Queens is ridiculously funny.

Beauty Queens was one of a few choices that I trying to decide between at Barnes & Noble.  I read the first few sentences and I was completely hooked.  Here are the first seven sentences for you:

A WORD FROM YOUR SPONSOR

This book begins with a plane crash.  We do not want you to worry about this.  According to the U.S. Department of Unnecessary Statistics, your chances of dying in a plane crash are one in half a million.  Whereas your chances of losing your bathing suit bottoms to a strong tide are two to one.  So, all in all, it’s safer to fly than to go to the beach.  As we said, this book begins with a plane crash.  But there are survivors.  You see?  Already it’s a happy tale. (p 1)

See… I know you want to read this!

Kimberly


Jun 25

Review * My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Reviews 14 ★★★★

Review * My Life Next Door by Huntley FitzpatrickMy Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
on June 14, 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 394
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
A gorgeous debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.

One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A dreamy summer read, full of characters who stay with you long after the story is over.

What I Thought…

  • I loved My Life Next Door.  It was a pretty fast read, and Huntley Fitzpatrick is a beautiful writer.  It’s another one of those books for me where I felt like I was there.
  • Despite the fact that they aren’t perfect, the Garretts are my kind of family. They are fun, they care about each other, they argue, they laugh and they aren’t all about money, power or looks.  And the younger kids are so cute!  George (age 4) was my favorite, he had a knack for saying the cutest things.
    • “His bed’s really comfortable.  And he never pees in it.”  (to Samantha about Jase, p 36)
  • I really liked Jase.  He was just one of those likeable guys with an easy laid back attitude.  He also put family first which isn’t something you see in a whole lot of 17 year olds.  He was almost too perfect.  I can’t think of anything about him that I didn’t like.
  • I liked Samantha, but not as much as Jase, I just didn’t connect with her as well.  Everyone seems to think that her life is perfect, her mom is a senator and her and her sister have a nice house and are fairly well off.  But as we all know, just because it appears perfect doesn’t make it so.  Samantha struggles with a few things but her biggest struggle was at the end of the book and it was so well written.  I can’t imagine being in her position and having to make those decisions.
  • Samantha’s mom may have made sure her daughters had a house, food and attended a nice school, but her actual parenting was really crappy.  It was all about her and her campaign and doing the “right” things.  In the very beginning she makes a comment about the Garretts being “one of those people” and that sets the tone throughout the book.  If it’s not about her or her campaign, it’s not important.  She also jumps into the deep end a couple times with no warning.  She’s not your ideal mother.
  • Clay (Grace’s campaign manager) was a pompous douchbag.
  • I really liked Samantha’s friend Tim, his twin Nan, not so much.  Tim had his own discover and finding himself going on and I would totally read a spin off book about him, he was that good.
  • There were several instances of foreshadowing that I picked up on, but since the book is more about feeling than anything else it didn’t detract from the book at all.
  • There is just one thing that bothered me about My Life Next Door. I apologize if this is a little vague but I don’t want to spoil it.  There is an incident towards the end of the book that changes things for Samantha and Jase and as the incident is resolved I felt like it was a little too fast and easy.  It went a little too smooth (for the main characters anyway).  Everything else throughout is so very real.  There are no realistic but far fetched occurrences so this one thing felt a little out of place.  I kind of expected there to be some processing time, but there wasn’t.

Overall My Life Next Door is a wonderful summer book and I highly recommend it!

Kimberly


Jun 24

Sundays in Bed with… Queen of the Dead

In Bed With... 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.

Yesterday I had an unexpected change in plans that resulted in a completely free day.  And since over the last few weeks I haven’t done that much reading (month of June book total prior to yesterday was a paltry 3) I decided to have my own little read and review-a-thon.  I did some grocery shopping and picked up a few snacks and then I settled in.

Stacey Kade Queen of the DeadI finished Fifty Shades Freed (ok) and The Selection (loved) and I read Ten (amazing!) and Rescue Me (a disappointing ok).

This morning I am curling up with Queen of the Dead by Stacey Kade.  I really enjoyed The Ghost and the Goth but just haven’t gotten to the sequels yet.  I’m thinking that maybe I am going to make July a sequel reading month as I have so many sequels that I haven’t read yet.

 

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**Work story of the week**
So this woman calls and has a question, I am trying to answer her question but she wasn’t really getting it and she started to get really upset and then she said (in the snidest tone ever) “What are you?  A secretary or something?  I want to talk to someone that can actually help me.”

Excuse me?  I’m not a really a secretary, but whether I am or not isn’t the point.  Who are you to talk to me like that?  Just because I don’t have some impressive, “important” job, or own my own business doesn’t mean I’m less worthy of politeness or respect.

I hope everyone has a great week!

Kimberly


Jun 22

Blog Hop: Writing Reviews & FF: Unread a Book

Blog Hop, Feature and Follow, Meme 27

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jen at Crazy-For-Books.  I met Jen at BEA and she’s seriously awesome!

Blogging Question: Do you immediately write a review upon finishing a book or do you wait and write multiple reviews at once?

I try to write them within a day or two of finish the book, a week at the most.  I try to take notes but if I’m really into a book I tend to forget to take a minute to note stuff down so if I don’t write the review write away I will forget things.  If I know I don’t have a lot of time I will at least start a post and just write little short phrases to help me remember stuff when I do have time to write the review. 


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. 
 
Q: If you could “unread” a book, which one would it be? Is it because you want to start over and experience it again for the first time? Or because it was THAT bad?

Today’s features: Head Stuck in a Book and Books and Blossoms.

imageSeveral months ago I read Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later.  I LOVED Sweet Valley High growing up.  I read all the books and I imagined that when I started high school it would be just like Sweet Valley High (note: this turned out to not be true).  I was pretty excited when I saw this book was coming out because it gave me a chance to relive a childhood favorite and catch up with the gang. 

 
Sweet Valley Confidential was flat out awful!  I wished I never had read it because it ruined a childhood favorite.  And just so that y’all don’t think I’m crazy it has a Goodreads rating of 2.28.   


This Week on the BlogReviews
The Chaperone by Laura Moriarity

Other Posts
Sundays in Bed with… Beauty Queens
Top Ten Tuesday: Summer TBR List
I’m Just Another Lemming – Thoughts on Fifty Shades

I hope everyone has a great weekend.  Happy Friday!

Kimberly


Jun 21

I’m just another Lemming – Observations on Fifty Shades

Misc 19

File:Lemming (1).jpgI just learned something new!  I just went to search for an image of the Lemmings game only to discover that a Lemming is an actual animal!  It’s a small rodent in case you were wondering.  The reason why I read Fifty Shades of Grey is because, well, everyone else was doing it!  (If you don’t know what a lemming is – one lemming will follow another lemming, which will lead to a big group of lemmings, and they will do whatever lemming #1 does even if lemming #1 jumps off a cliff.  It was a very popular video game in the 90’s.  Don’t Judge.) 

I was never planning on reading it, but since everyone else was talking about it I was starting to feel a little left out, so I caved.

This is not a review, it’s more like some random observations.  There really isn’t anything inappropriate that I will be discussing, but I feel obligated to say that if you are under 18 you should stop reading right now.

  • My very first thought after finishing the first book was: There has got to be better written erotica than this!
  • My second thought: Hmm.  Only 4 hours?  400 pages?  Wow.  I know that I am a fast reader, but that’s ridiculous!
  • If I wouldn’t have already known it was fan fiction I’m not sure I would have made the connection.  I’m a little slow like that.
  • There were several times where I wanted to slap one (or more) of the characters for the way the behaved.
  • A movie?  Really?
  • People were buying these books for mother’s day?  Really?  Cause I don’t know about y’all, but my brother and I were found in a berry bush. 
  • I was not one of those people who felt comfortable buying this book at Target, Barnes & Noble, Borders or wherever.  It both amazed me and shocked me that people were doing so.  It’s just not a book I would buy in person (hello ebooks!) but at the same time it’s good that people (other people of course, not me) could buy this type of book in public and not be embarrassed.
  • We read this for our June book selection and I have to say that it was probably one of the best book discussions we’ve ever had (we tend to stray a lot).  There is just so much you can discuss.
    • The obvious things like the writing, plot, characters etc
    • Christian’s control issues
    • Ana’s lack of backbone
    • How the lifestyle is portrayed
    • And lots of other stuff that I can’t seem to remember right now.
  • Some people in book club hated it, some liked it.  It was a good mix and made for some very interesting discussions.  I know this is going to sound a little strange but it’s a book I would actually recommend for a book club because of what topics it brings forward to discuss.

Well there you have it, some random observations about the Fifty Shades Trilogy.

Have you read it?  What did you think?

Kimberly


Jun 19

Top Ten Tuesday: Summer TBR List

Meme, Top Ten Tuesday 30

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

Top Ten Books on my Summer TBR List

Well, I didn’t complete my Spring TBR List.  But I can’t really fret about it since lately I haven’t read any books that weren’t awesome.  Hopefully I’ll be able to complete my Summer TBR List.
 
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1. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
2. The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer
3. Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobvan Vivian
4. Ten by Gretchen McNeil
5. Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
 
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6. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson
7. Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
8. Tokyo Heist by Diana Renn
9. Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
10. The Diviners by Libba Bray
 
 
What’s on your Summer TBR List?
 

Kimberly


Jun 18

Review * The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

Reviews 10 ★★★★

Review * The Chaperone by Laura MoriartyThe Chaperone by Laura Moriarty
Published by Riverhead on June 5, 2012
Genres: Adult, Historical
Pages: 371
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
The New York Times bestseller and the USA Today #1 Hot Fiction Pick for the summer, The Chaperone is a captivating novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in 1922 and the summer that would change them both.

Only a few years before becoming a famous silent-film star and an icon of her generation, a fifteen-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita, Kansas, to study with the prestigious Denishawn School of Dancing in New York. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by a thirty-six-year-old chaperone, who is neither mother nor friend. Cora Carlisle, a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip, has no idea what she’s in for. Young Louise, already stunningly beautiful and sporting her famous black bob with blunt bangs, is known for her arrogance and her lack of respect for convention. Ultimately, the five weeks they spend together will transform their lives forever.

For Cora, the city holds the promise of discovery that might answer the question at the core of her being, and even as she does her best to watch over Louise in this strange and bustling place she embarks on a mission of her own. And while what she finds isn’t what she anticipated, she is liberated in a way she could not have imagined. Over the course of Cora’s relationship with Louise, her eyes are opened to the promise of the twentieth century and a new understanding of the possibilities for being fully alive.

Drawing on the rich history of the 1920s,’30s, and beyond—from the orphan trains to Prohibition, flappers,  and the onset of the Great Depression to the burgeoning movement for equal rights and new opportunities for women—Laura Moriarty’s The Chaperone illustrates how rapidly everything, from fashion and hemlines to values and attitudes, was changing at this time and what a vast difference it all made for Louise Brooks, Cora Carlisle, and others like them.

What I Thought…

  • I’m fairly picky when it comes to historical fiction.  I have to really be in the mood to read it and then I will carefully select my book.  Kate at Midnight Book Girl read it and loved it so even though I wasn’t craving a historical fiction I gave it a try.  I am so glad I did.
  • Laura Moriarty writes beautifully.  Even if I hadn’t enjoyed the story (which I did) I could have read the book because everything just sounds so good.
  • I love the 1920’s.  For me, it’s the most fascinating decade that I didn’t live in.  I love learning about the 20’s and of course looking at all those pretty clothes!
  • Louise’s mother was… not really a mother.  It was really hard to read how her mother felt in the book.  I did some fact checking on Louise and that was how her mother really felt which makes me sad.  Her dad wasn’t really into children either so it really shouldn’t be a surprise that Louise has “behavioral” issues.
  • As much as enjoyed Louise I enjoyed Cora so much more (and really, the book is about Cora anyway).  Her story was fascinating and there were so many things I didn’t expect.  She went to New York as Louise’s chaperone for her own reasons and it changed not only her life but others lives as well.
  • There were quite a few twists in The Chaperone, none of which I was expecting.  It made for a very interesting read, especially considering the time period.
  • I always enjoy reading books that have happened someplace I’ve been.  And since I just came back from New York this book was appropriate.  It was interesting to see that while many things have changed since the 1920’s, some things are the same.

Kimberly


Jun 17

Sundays in Bed with… Beauty Queens

In Bed With... 21

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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.

Libba Bray Beauty QueensSo I was at Barnes & Noble exchanging a book and I was trying to decide what to get so I picked out 4 different books and decided to read the first couple pages of each to see which one appealed to me the most.  All it took was the first 6 sentences of Beauty Queens by Libba Bray  to suck me in.  I didn’t even bother to look at the other three books.

I’m about 100 pages in and absolutely loving it.  It’s funny and ridiculous.  I should finish this one today and then I’ll be moving on to Ten by Gretchen McNeil.

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* I am so glad to be finally caught up and back on track.  I hate feeling behind on anything.
* Last night we had our book club meeting where we discussed Fifty Shades of Grey.  Yes, you read that right.  It was an interesting discussion…

I hope everyone has a great week!

Kimberly