Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Tricks, treats, ghosts, goblins, candy, candy,'s some spooktacular links for you...stay safe and Happy Halloween everyone!

-An amazing conglomeration of classic Disney movies and my favorite Halloween song, The Monster Mash

-Marilyn Manson does "Nightmare Before Christmas", turning it truly terrifying in This Is Halloween

-Christopher Pike vs RL Stine...who would win? You decide

-A child is raised in a graveyard by ghosts...intrigued? Check out Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book

-In my humble opinion, the best Halloween movie :) Watch it all here: Hocus Pocus

-Even your toys can get decked out for Halloween with these candy corn capris and socks for Blythe and other similar sized dolls at Daffodil Lane

Friday, October 28, 2011

Review: "Claudia and the Bad Joke: The Baby-Sitters Club #19"

Claudia and the Bad Joke: The Baby-Sitters Club #19 by Ann M Martin
3 out of 5 stars

I broke my ankle in 2nd grade. We were sitting on the floor doing math problems (why, I have no idea) and my teacher told us to hurry up and get to our seats. In my haste, I jumped over a chair and tripped over someone's math book and bam broken ankle. I don't remember a whole lot after that, except rolling out to my mom's car on an office chair and then having to twist my ankle all around for the x-rays (why must they be so cruel?!). I had to hobble around on crutches for what felt like forever but was probably only about 6-8 weeks? After I got the cast off, I remember how weak and ucky my leg looked lol. And we had a family trip to DisneyWorld planned for almost exactly a month after I got my cast off, so I had to go out and walk around the neighborhood every night with my mom to get my strength up. The first day we were at Disney, my then 4 year old sister and I both had to be carried out lol.

All that to say that this BSC book really hits close to home for me! :) That Betsy Sobak is a little snot and she should have all her joke stuff taken away from her! I mean, come on. Yeah, she's cute and all...the door was opened by a friendly looking girl with brown hair, which had been pulled into two ponytails and tied with big blue ribbons. She was wearing a very snazzy pair of red pants that were held up by red suspenders. Under the suspenders was a blue-and-white-striped T-shirt. The legs of her pants ended in cuffs, and on her feet were running shoes tied with purple laces.
But she's a menace to society with those joy buzzers and shaving cream sundaes. I don't blame Claudia one bit for wanting to quit baby-sitting after this either; I never wanted to do math again after that hah! The BSC'ers really acted their age in this one, which was refreshing to see but also super frustrating. They're supposed to be Super Sitters; why would they stoop to the kid's level and play all these pranks on her? And Kristy letting her get "lost" at the movie theater? No. They should have gone to the parents, first thing. For shame Kristin Amanda Thomas, for shame.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

TILT: Halloween!

Halloween is right around the corner! Do you dress up or go anywhere special? My sis *loves* to make costumes, so she talked me into being a space cadet girl (purple wig and all) and she is going as a 50s chick. We have no specific plans yet, so we may end up at Walmart wandering around in our costumes lol. Here's some special Halloween treats for you to enjoy and I have more for Monday! :)

Old Witch of the Wind Weather Vane by StainlessSteve --very spooky, very well done!

Halloween Bat Stacker Ring by Bewittched --I love this! I would wear it everyday. :)

Elvira Halloween Special Skeleton Cameo & Earrings by CinsationalBaubles --simply lovely

Trick or Treat Greeting Card by ThePaintedPeepShow --I wish I could draw! Look at the floating ghosty! So adorbs!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Review: "Graceling"

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
4 out of 5 stars

My stepmom loaned me this book, saying I would really enjoy it. And I did! This is actually the first in 3 "Seven Kingdom" books, but I don't know that I will read the other 2 anytime soon since they are not actual sequels, but 3 different stories set in the same time period and place. That's kind of disappointing because I would love to read more about Katsa and Po.

I know a lot of people didn't like this book at all, because of Katsa's anti-marriage and children attitude, but it didn't bother me as much. Yes, it bothered me a little, particularly her "all men are bad, evil creatures" mantra, but I took it as part of who she was and how she was brought up. Also, her name bothered me as I kept wanting to call her Katniss lol.

A monster that refused, sometimes, to behave like a monster. When a monster stopped behaving like a monster, did it stop being a monster? Did it become something else?

Katsa is "Graced" with a skill from birth, giving her one green eye and one blue, that leads to her becoming the King's "hired thug" so to speak. She hates it and him. But she's learned to use her Grace to become strong, determined and not the type of girl to fall down in the forest sobbing when her man leaves her. *ahem*Bella*ahem*. Even when she meets Prince Po, who is seemingly perfect. And gorgeous. And hiding a secret of his own. I love Prince Po. He's so cool.

This book is full of adventure and mischief, a little bit of romance, a generous helping of sarcasm and wit, some comedic moments, some heart-breaking really has it all. And in writing this review, I've changed my mind about reading the other 2 in the series lol. So I'm going to try to pick them up this weekend at the library! :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Update of Sorts...

Hi all! I know, I know...It's been nearly 2 weeks without a post. :( I was on vacation last week and had the best intentions to get lots of blogs written...but, yeah, that didn't happen. I did do lots of fun things though! :) My sis and I went to the State Fair and ate some super yummy foods, including fried pineapple upside down cake. Seriously. Omnomnom. It was a beautiful day for it, a little bit chilly, but way better than being hot! 

And we did some shopping, mostly clothes and books! Half Price Books was having a super sale in their warehouse this past weekend, everything under $3, so you know I had to go! We went on Saturday and I got 8 books plus 6 movies for $17. Woo! I texted my dad to let him know about it and when they went on Sunday, they found out they were having an even BIGGER sale, so I ended up dragging my sister back over there! We got to fill up one of the Half Price reusable bags for $10. I was in heaven lol. I ended up getting 51 books total for $15 over the 2 days! :D Some of these are actually going to be used for giveaways on here, so now you can be excited too lol. I hope they make this sale a regular event, it was really awesome.

I did some reading too this week (too much according to my sister but whatev). I finished up my annual summer reread of Harry Potter *sad face* and read a few other books and started a few more. I'm hoping to have a review of Graceling up tomorrow, and then a BSC book that hits a little too close to home for me. And I have a super spooky TILT coming up! :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Review: "Stacey's Mistake: The Baby-Sitters Club #18"

Stacey's Mistake: The Baby-Sitters Club #18 by Ann M Martin
2 out of 5 stars

This is the first "Stacey in New York" book...and hopefully the last, according to my younger self, since I was already counting down to when she came back to Stoneybrook (10 more books). Stacey turns into a mega-snob when she's in New York; even more than normal. And when the other BSC members come visit her (minus Mallory & Jessi, cause they're not important) she turns into this uber-snob-o-maniac. Yeah.

The whole reason the girls are coming to visit is because there's a schizophrenic homeless lady named Judy living outside Stacey's building and her parents and all the other rich parents want to do something about this little problem. No really. That's the reason. After the first few pages, Judy's story kind of disappears (probably ranting on some other street corner now) and the partying and baby-sitting kick in. Stacey was asked to baby-sit 10 kids for an afternoon so the parents can discuss "the problem", and since she's not a super-sitter like Kristy with her 50bajillion brothers and sisters, she asks the BSC-ers to come stay the weekend and help her out. This would all be hunky dory dairy (one of my favorite books btw!) if the other BSC-ers weren't such embarrassing small town hicks.

Mary Anne is a walking guidebook...I'd love to see Central Park. It's eight hundred and forty-three acres of fun. Or maybe we could go to South Street Seaport, located in the Wall Street area of lower Manhattan and featuring nineteenth-century buildings, three piers, and a maritime museum. She looked quite proud of herself. She shouldn't be.

Kristy is almost as bad with her big mouth and the "fill-it mig-nun" incident at the Hard Rock. I've been to the Hard Rock Hotel in Vegas. It's super awesome. :)

Then there's Dawn...Miss Super Cool, Laid Back, Nothing Bothers Me Because I'm Probably Smoking Pot...who turns into a scared, freaked out mess in New York. She's scared of rats. (who isn't? But just trap them under a bucket with the laundry soap on top til your dad gets home and you're good to go. Not that I would know.) She's scared of the homeless lady digging the burger out of the trash and the cockroaches and possibly getting mugged and...oh, I don't even know what else.

Claudia brings a huge trunk of clothes with her, of course, which makes Stacey go "Oh Em Gee Claudia! How embarrassing!" And she gets in a little tiff with Laine, Stacey's tres cool NY BFF. Laine was beyond chic. She had chosen a short black dress, black stockings, and simple black flats. On one wrist was a single silver bangle bracelet. On her dress was one of those silver squiggle pins. Her fluffy brown hair was newly permed and perfectly cut. She looked wonderful-at least nineteen. All the better to pick up creep-o older guys at the bar.

In the end, the BSC-ers are still BFF-ers, Stacey gets over her prejudices against hicks and "the problem" is "taken care of". Whatever that means. Laine learns to tolerate the goody-goodies and they in turn worship her, mostly because she takes them to a play in a limo (that's short for limousine you know).

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Review: "Sweet Valley Confidential"

Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later by Francine Pascal
3 out of 5 stars

Oh the drama in these books! How I've missed you! The twins are back with their "long, golden hair, blue-green eyes, a tan, and a dimple in their left cheek." Only they're 10 years older and not the BFF's we remember. 

As a teenager of the 90s, I of course devoured these books. I mostly stuck with SVH and the specials, my sister loved the SVKids and Twins. I don't know that I read them all or even in order like the BSC books, but it didn't seem to matter. They were such wonderfully trashy books lol. I do still have a handful of the books, mainly the Margo "evil-twin" arc (books 95-100 I think), the family history books and the secret diaries. 

Reading this so makes me want to go back and reread them all but I think I'll wait a while it is super hard to find these at Half Price! I got nearly all of my BSC books I was missing from them, but I've only ever seen a handful of the Sweet Valley ones. It's weird, are people just keeping them more or is someone snatching them up right away? Hmm....there's a closeted SVH fan out there in the DFW area hoarding books!! Hah!

Okay, on to the review. :) As much as I love the drama-rama, the book was not very well written. I know she had ghost writers for the majority of the series and maybe that had something to do with it. Although I don't think the series' were very well written either lol. There were some pretty big inconsistencies though, which was annoying. (As was Jessica's Valley Girl accent she apparently grew in 10 years.) Overall though, if you were a fan of the original, you'll love this one!

The twins are 26 years old now and still as beautiful as ever (jerks) but living completely different lives. Elizabeth is in New York trying to become a writer, but barely making it as a reviewer for off Broadway plays. She's alone and miserable and says it's all Jessica's fault. Jessica is still in Sweet Valley, working for a cosmetics company called MyFaceIsGreen, and is hugely successful for once. But baby did a bad, bad thing.(probably NSFW lol)

Jessica slept with Todd Wilkins. More than once. They fell in love and broke Elizabeth's heart. And Liz will never forgive her. Or so she says. From what I remember of the books, I don't think Todd deserved either girl, but that's just my opinion. I was more of a Bruce Patman and Winston Egbert fan myself. Speaking of, they've both changed a LOT. Bruce for the better: he's redeemed himself from the egotistical rich guy and is now best friends with Liz!! And also, secretly in love with her. I really enjoyed their story and where it went in the end. Winston not so much. I don't care how much money he got, I don't think he would have changed that much.

Steven turning out to be gay was an interesting turn. Kind of shocking, but I didn't hate it. When Liz finally figures out that Jess & Todd are together (after way too long), she runs off to New York and won't speak to either of them. For like 8 months, until their grandmother's birthday and she is guilt-tripped into coming back. She decides to get some revenge on the two and brings along this hot actor she met in NY to seduce Jess. It almost works, but surprisingly Jessica resists. 

Of course, there's an epiphany at the end, with both girls realizing they did awful things and judged each other, etc...and they finally hug and make-up in the end. I don't know if I would have been as forgiving as Liz, even if she didn't love Todd anymore. I mean come on.