Monthly Archives:: March 2013

Mar 31

Sundays in Bed With… Fragments

In Bed With... 7

PhotobucketSunday’s in Bed is hosted by Kate at Midnight Book Girl to share with everyone what you’re reading in bed Sunday morning before getting to the days activities.

 

Happy Easter everyone!

 

Today I’m reading…

Dan Wells Fragments

This wasn’t really high on my to-read list but Midnight Book Girl read it and said it was awesome so I decided to just pick it up and read it. Fragments is gigantic and is probably the biggest book I’ve read so far this year. I’m only about 50 pages in so I don’t have many opinions yet, but it’s looking good so far.

 

Also, to the person in the Ukraine who tried to log on to my Facebook account: not cool yo!

 

What are you reading today?

 

Kimberly


Mar 29

FF: Emotional Scenes

Feature and Follow, Meme 19

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow
Feature and Follow is hosted by Rachel from Parajunkee’s View and Alison from Alison Can Read. Learn all about it here.
Q: Tell us about the most emotional scene you’ve ever read in a book – and how did you react?
Sometimes I cry at the most ridiculous things, but here are a few books that made me cry that were NOT ridiculous.
Before I Fall
There was a lot of crying in this one. There were some tears throughout the book, but the ending made me bawl like a baby.
The Fault in Our StarsIf you’ve read it, then you know. It’s impossible to get through this one without a box of Kleenex!

There are going to be spoilers for the next two books! Reader beware!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)Obviously Harry Potter is a given. I cried lots in books 5, 6 and 7, but the death that really did me in was Fred’s. I was SO UPSET over Fred’s death. I loved the Weasley twins so much and to kill one of them off hurt, and then she had to go and kill the one with two normal ears!
Odd Thomas (Odd Thomas, #1)
I was just reading, minding my own business and then BAM! At the end of the book Koontz kills off Odd’s girlfriend Stormy and that really pissed me off. I actually threw my book I was so upset. This led to lots and lots of crying because I liked her and she was good for Odd and now she’s gone.

Kimberly


Mar 28

Review * Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler

Reviews 5 ★★★

Review * Who I Kissed by Janet GurtlerWho I Kissed by Janet Gurtler
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on October 12, 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
three-stars
She Never Thought A Kiss Could Kill. . .

Samantha is new at school and just recently joined the swim team. She’s been flirting with one of her teammates, Zee, who invites her to a party and just as quickly dumps her for another girl. Hurt, but pretending not to care, she turns to his best friend, Alex, and gives him a kiss. And he dies—right in her arms. Alex was allergic to peanuts, and Samantha had eaten a peanut butter sandwich right before the party. She didn’t know. Overnight, Samantha turns into the school pariah and a media sensation explodes. Consumed with guilt, abandoned by her friends, and in jeopardy of losing her swimming scholarship, she will have to find the inner-strength to forgive herself for the tragedy.

What I Thought…

Contemporary is my genre of choice, I prefer light and fun contemporary over serious contemporary, but I did enjoy it. There were a few tears and a lot of feelings. Who I Kissed is very character driven. It’s all about how Samantha deals with what happens, how she changes and how others change around her.

 

I found it really hard to like Samantha. I didn’t dislike her, but it was really hard to be inside her head. Obviously the fact that she is responsible for Alex’s death changes her. Samantha completely withdraws into herself. She quits swimming, barely wants to go to school and doesn’t want to talk to her friends. I totally understand her having these feelings (to be honest if she didn’t have those feelings I would be concerned) but it’s hard being in someone’s head with these unhappy thoughts. Most of the time I felt sorry for her, but by the very end of the book I could say I liked her, at least a little. Eventually Samantha goes back to school and starts to reclaim parts of her life back, though she still won’t swim.

 

The only friend who truly abandons her is Zee, her crush from the swim team. As Alex’s friend he was taking the situation pretty hard and doesn’t want anything to do with Samantha at all. This was especially frustrating at first but there are some other things that were involved in the situation that have affected Zee’s feelings.

 

Who I Kissed has parents! Ok, one parent, Samantha’s dad and Aunt Allie, but it’s close enough to count for me. I liked them both in different ways. Samantha’s dad just wanted his littler girl back, but didn’t know how to go about doing it. He’s a bit overly cautious with her and he pressures her a lot to join the swim team again. Aunt Allie is a bit out there, but she pretty much rocked. She stood up to Samantha’s dad when necessary and was the rock that Samantha needed.

 

I had a bit of problem with the concept (Samantha ate the peanut butter, kissed Alex later, Alex dies) but the ending made it all make sense for me. I think if the what happened at the end hadn’t happened this would only be a 3 star book for me.

Notable Quotes

“What she doesn’t know is that I don’t want to feel better. I don’t want to go on with my life as if nothing happened. Something did happen. Something big.”

 

“I lie in my bed and think about poking something sharp into my skin. To see if it will hurt, to see if I’ll bleed, to test whether I’m still alive. I don’t though. For one, because moving means effort. Two, because I’m afraid if I start bleeding that I won’t stop myself from draining all life from my body. Or worse, that I will.”

Kimberly


Mar 26

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Recommend the Most

Top Ten Tuesday 32

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the awesome people at The Broke and Bookish, who love lists as much as I do!

Top Ten Books I Recommend the Most

Obviously I recommend a lot of books. Because books are awesome! It was surprisingly hard to make this list though because I recommend different books to different people.

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1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

This is my number one recommended book right now. I’m pretty much telling everyone and anyone that they need to read it because seriously this book is AMAZING!!!

2. Size 12 is Not Fat by Meg Cabot

I love this series so very much that I can’t help but want people to read it.

3. Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

Anytime that someone is looking for a cute and fun book I recommend one of Jennifer Crusie’s. Bet Me is my favorite.

4. Harry Potter by JK Rowling

I know this seems silly, but not everyone has read Harry Potter. Whenever I find out someone hasn’t read Harry Potter I will do whatever I can to get them to read it. In fact my whole book club ganged up on another book club member to read them, and she loves them! Katie’s currently reading the last book and I couldn’t be more excited!

5. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

This book blew me away! I just reread it for book club and it was even better the second time around. Seriously guys this book is so good I even recommended it to my brother!

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6. Things I Can’t Forget by Miranda Kenneally

All of Kenneally’s books are amazing but this one goes beyond amazing.

7. Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella

Another cute and fun read that I recommend a lot.

8. Divergent by Veronica Roth

I recommend this one all the to a lot of people. I most recently recommended this to my mom, but then I had to tell her not to read it because she recently freaked out on me about having to wait a year for the next book in a series. I’ve learned my lesson.

9. Alive by Piers Paul Read

I read this way back in high school and it’s never left me. It’s one of the few non fiction books I’ve ever loved and it’s a fabulous survivor story.

10. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I don’t have to tell you why this book is awesome, right?

Kimberly


Mar 24

Sundays in Bed with… The Trouble With Flirting

In Bed With... 9

PhotobucketSunday’s in Bed is hosted by Kate at Midnight Book Girl to share with everyone what you’re reading in bed Sunday morning before getting to the days activities.

Claire LeZebnik The Trouble With FlirtingToday I’m reading The Trouble with Flirting by Claire LaZebnik. So far I’m really enjoying it and it’s super cute and I’m totally in the mood for something super cute.

 

 

 

Last night was book club and we discussed Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Someone heard that Cline hid an Easter Egg in Ready Player One so we spent some time finding it (and it’s totally there folks!) and discussing the general awesomeness of Ready Player One. If you want to find the Easter Egg I’ll give you a hint: It’s the divots in the letters. If you want another hint you can email me.

Courtney from Abducted by Books, Kate from Midnight Book Girl and Steph from The Fake Steph Dot Com stayed at my house last night after book club and we had an amazing bookish time.

I also decided to set aside Requiem for now. I’m not really feeling it right now so it’s time to move on.

What book are you reading today?

Kimberly


Mar 21

Review * Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer

Reviews 10 ★★★★

Review * Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah StrohmeyerSmart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer
Published by Balzer + Bray on 6/26/12
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 348
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
Gigi, Bea, and Neerja are best friends and total overachievers. Even if they aren't the most popular girls in school, they aren't too worried. They know their real lives will begin once they get to their Ivy League colleges. There will be ivy, and there will be cute guys in the libraries (hopefully with English accents)! But when an unexpected event shows them they're missing out on the full high school experience, it's time to come out of the honors lounge and into the spotlight. They make a pact: They will each take on their greatest challenge--and they will totally rock it.

Gigi decides to run for student rep, but she'll have to get over her fear of public speaking--and go head-to-head with gorgeous California Will. Bea used to be one of the best skiers around, until she was derailed. It could be time for her to take the plunge again. And Neerja loves the drama club but has always stayed behind the scenes--until now.

These friends are determined to show the world that smart girls really can get what they want--but that could mean getting way more attention than they ever bargained for. . .

What I Thought…

  • First of all, I love this title. It’s catchy and cute and the sole purpose to why I wanted to read it.
  • Gigi and her friends, Bea and Neerja, are total nerds. And I love books that involve nerds. However Gigi and her friends decide that there is more to life than studying and school and they need to get out and do things. Only things don’t go as planned.
  • One of my favorite things about Smart Girls is that Gigi, Bea and Neerja have an awesome friendship. They aren’t catty with each other, or privately plotting to stab one another in the back. They are there for each other and encourage one another to do things that they weren’t sure they could do, and are there when things don’t go right.
  • Gigi was a lot of fun. I loved watching her and her friends find themselves (mostly through trial and error). I could totally tell that Gigi was crushin on the wrong guy, but it was so much fun watching her figure that out for herself. Gigi decides to run for student rep to the school board after she’s accused of doing something she didn’t do, despite the fact that she’s not that big on public speaking. I liked how she went from being the girl nobody knew to someone everyone knew, without becoming a mean girl in the process.
  • There are potential love interests in the book, but it’s not a love triangle. I think it was pretty clear who Gigi was going to pick (the right one, of course!). Will is the cute transfer student who immediately takes to Gigi. Mike is the semi smart jock who makes Gigi’s life just a little bit miserable.
  • Smart Girls had quite a few funny moments, my favorite being Gigi’s first ski trip, but the Indian story is a close second.
  • I really liked both Bea and Neerja, and I’d kind of like to see them get their own book. They were so likeable and I’d really like to see more of them.

Notable Quotes

“In fiction, I searched for my favorite authors, women I have trusted to reassure me than not all teenage guys are total ditwads, that the archetype of the noble cute hero who devotes himself to the girl he loves has not gone the way of the rotary phone. That all I had to do was be myself (smart, hardworking, funny) and be patient and kind and he and I would find each other.

As Bea would say, this why they call it fiction.”

Kimberly


Mar 20

Happily Ever After? I don’t think so.

Random Thoughts on Books and Blogging 15

PhotobucketRandom Thoughts on Books is going to be my new feature. It sounds exactly like what you think it is – my random thoughts on anything book related. :)

Jennifer Banash White LinesRecently I finished White Lines by Jennifer Banash and the book was dark and gritty and then the ending was… all wrapped up in a shiny bow. It just did not work for me. The main character in White Lines and so many issues and things going on and then everything was just all better, it didn’t seem to fit the book.

There are other books out there like it too. A Midsummers Nightmare by Kody Keplinger has the same thing going on. Too many issues all wrapped up in a bow at the end! And in both these cases it was done in a matter of pages.

Endings need to fit the book. And it’s ok to not have a happy ending. Unhappy endings can lead to more feelings. I read a book last year that I loved so much even though it had an unhappy ending. In fact I was so mad that I actually threw my book across the room. It was so unfair! But I appreciate that the author did something that other authors shy away from because they know that people won’t like it.

Lauren Oliver Before I FallBefore I Fall by Lauren Oliver is good example of the perfect ending for the book. It may not have been what I wanted to happen, but it was right for the book. Did it make people angry. Yes. Should it make people angry? Yes.

 

 

 

 

So what do you think? Happily Ever After or Not?

Kimberly


Mar 18

Book Blogger Confessions: Blog Design

Book Blogger Confessions 28

Book Blogger Confessions is hosted by For What It’s Worth and Midnyte Reader. On the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month they will pose a question for book bloggers to answer and discuss.

March 18th – What is important in design for the blogs you follow? What features/elements do you appreciate? What are big turn offs?

In terms of blog design the most important thing for me is readability. If I can’t read your blog, then I probably won’t be back. I’m not a huge fan of dark back grounds, but if you are going to use one the font needs to be a bright color. Dark fonts on dark backgrounds don’t work. No fancy fonts in the post! I love fancy fonts in your header/title post/side bar/etc but not in your post. Your post should be one of the standard fonts like Arial or Times New Roman. It should also be of normal reading size (size 10-14), anything smaller and I can’t read it, anything bigger and it drives me nuts. I also have a thing against massive headers. Your header should not take up the entire screen. I also dislike falling snow and the moving twitter bird. They are very distracting when I’m trying to read. And of course I hate CAPTCHA.

I know that seems like a lot of stuff I don’t like, but I don’t come across that stuff very often!

There are lots of things I like too! I’m attracted to pretty blog designs, but I have nothing against blogger templates. I like when people have a search bar. I like being able to see the personality of the blogger through their blog (not just design, but also through their posts). Honestly regardless of what your design looks like if I can read it and I like your content I will read your blog.

Kimberly


Mar 17

Sundays in Bed with… Nightmares

In Bed With... 10

PhotobucketSunday’s in Bed is hosted by Kate at Midnight Book Girl to share with everyone what you’re reading in bed Sunday morning before getting to the days activities.

I am exhausted. Why am I exhausted? Because I didn’t sleep at all last night. Why didn’t I sleep?

First a little story…

Back when I first saw The Ring I was still living at home, and I had a TV across from my bed. If you’ve ever seen The Ring you know that that is not awesome for scaredy cats like me. I didn’t sleep good for several days because all I could picture was the girl coming out of the TV. I liked the movie, but it scared the crap out of me! I moved into my first apartment a few months later and got a free HBO trial and they were playing The Ring. I’m a glutton for punishment so I watched it (more than once) and didn’t sleep well for weeks. Seriously, that girl FREAKS ME OUT!

So what happened last night?

I was minding my own business, watching some Big Bang Theory, when a commercial for the movie Evil Dead came on. There is this little girl looking through a vent or something and she has that same coloring as the girl from The Ring but she is seriously scarier. Her voice. Her face. It’s all terrifying. I can’t even remember what she said but just picturing her in my head is FREAKING ME OUT!!!! Honestly, I’m not sure I’ll ever sleep again.

In other news…

I’m super excited today because Courtney from Abducted by Books is coming to Virginia!!!!

I hope everyone is having a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day!

If I get any spare time today (which is doubtful) I will be reading Requiem by Lauren Oliver. I just have to know what all the fuss is about, even if it breaks my heart.

Kimberly


Mar 14

Review * White Lines by Jennifer Banash

Reviews 14 ★★★

Review * White Lines by Jennifer BanashWhite Lines by Jennifer Banash
Published by Putnam Juvenile on April 4, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Source: Around the World Arc Tours
Add to: Goodreads
three-stars
A gritty, atmospheric coming of age tale set in 1980s New York City.

Seventeen-year-old Cat is living every teenager’s dream: she has her own apartment on the Lower East Side and at night she’s club kid royalty, guarding the velvet rope at some of the hottest clubs in the city. The night with its crazy, frenetic, high-inducing energy—the pulsing beat of the music, the radiant, joyful people and those seductive white lines that can ease all pain—is when Cat truly lives. But her daytime, when real life occurs, is more nightmare than dream. Having spent years suffering her mother’s emotional and physical abuse, and abandoned by her father, Cat is terrified and alone—unable to connect to anyone or anything. But when someone comes along who makes her want to truly live, she’ll need to summon the courage to confront her demons and take control of a life already spinning dangerously out of control.

 

Both poignant and raw, White Lines is a gripping tale and the reader won’t want to look away.

What I Thought…

Once I decide I want to read a book I don’t generally revisit the synopsis before reading it, the less I know, the better. Well I kind of forgot that the book takes place in the 80’s. There were several things that I kept thinking were kind of weird throughout the book, but it wasn’t until Cat pulled out her Walkman that the light bulb finally went on that this was actually happening in the 80’s.

There is a lot of drug use in White Lines so it’s not the easiest of reads. Cat is also incredibly self destructive, but with her parents that is no surprise. Her dad all but abandoned her, but makes sure that she is taken care of in her own apartment (because that’s what all fathers should do for the 17 year old daughter). Her mother is emotionally and physically abusive. This was where I found Cat most annoying. She was living on her own and hasn’t spoken to her mother in several months and one phone call later and she decides that she has to meet her mother because she is her mother. Um no. No you don’t.

I was pretty indifferent in regards to Cat. I didn’t dislike her, but I didn’t like her either. I did love the secondary characters though. Cat’s best friend Samantha is one of the best BFF’s ever. Samantha did what all best friends should do and that’s tell it like it is… even if it hurts. I also liked Giovanni, even though he had some serious issues. He was part enabler, part savior but I just really liked him.

Julian was such a sweetheart! He went through some bad stuff himself but was much more stable than Cat and didn’t want a part of Cat’s club life. My only complaint about Julian was that he wasn’t in the book enough!

The ending was a bit rushed for me and also a bit too neat. It wasn’t a perfect happily ever after, but it was close. This is one of those times where I think a non happy ending would have suited the book better, but that could just be me.

* I received this book for Around the World ARC Tours in exchange for my honest review.

 

Kimberly