Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Review: "Between"

Between by Jessica Warman
3 out of 5 stars

I'm not sure where I heard about this book (I should start documenting that), but I didn't know much about it other than the Goodreads blurb: Elizabeth Valchar-pretty, popular, and perfect-wakes up the morning after her eighteenth birthday party on her family's yacht, where she'd been celebrating with her six closest friends. A persistent thumping noise has roused her. When she goes to investigate, what she finds will change everything she thought she knew about her life, her friends, and everything in between.

A lot of the reviews on there tell you the main hook/mystery right off the bat, so I'm really glad I didn't get spoiled beforehand and I am not going to spoil it for those of you who have not read it yet either. :) I checked this out from the library, but I think I would consider buying it. It was a fairly long book, close to 500 pages, but it moved smoothly and quickly for the most part. I would have gobbled this book up as a teenager.

So there's obviously some kind of mystery going on here (actually two, I forgot about the 2nd twist lol). Liz is the main character, and honestly, very hard to like or feel sorry for. She's conceited, spoiled, self-centered etc...she's the "IT" girl at school and she knows it. Her only redeeming quality is probably her love for her father and stepsister Josie. That's not quite enough though unfortunately. I enjoyed her story and all, obviously, but I never ended up liking her or felt like she redeemed herself enough.

An example of her spoiled-ness that really shocked me: when she is little, she talks her dad into getting her a kitten. When the kitten grows out of it's cute stage, he takes it to the shelter and gets her a new young and fluffy kitten. This happens 3-4 times. OMG! Who does that??

This book reminded me a LOT of Christopher Pike's series Remember Me. Does anyone remember (hah!) those? Since I didn't know anything about Between before starting it, I was completely shocked when I found out she was dead. I think I actually gasped out loud and said "What??!" Lol...but the whole "dying and not knowing what happened" and then "omg the killer is your evil half-sister/BFF" thing was totally late 80s/early 90s Scream King Christopher Pike. 

I'm going to digress a bit here so just bear with me. :) I loved Christopher Pike as a young teen. Those books were like crack to me. Some of them were about crack. They were about love and murder and mayhem all twisted together into a horrifying story. These books scared the living hell out of me. Plus they had these amazing, 80s-tastic covers with neon lettering and 3D effects! I have most of my copies still and do plan on rereading them sometime soon (you know, after I get through the 25+ already on my to-be-read shelf eek)...I'm thinking they'll still scare me just as much as when I was 12 or 13.  Remember Me was probably my favorite series, but I also loved Die Softly (pervy kid trying to get pics of naked cheerleaders witnesses a murder, hello awesome!) and Road to Nowhere (for years and years I wanted to name my future children Freedom Jack and Poppy Corn. Luckily I grew out of that.) I also loved The Last Vampire series (and was talking about them on Twitter this morning!) but I think I got rid of them at some point which makes me sad. I may have to buy the new sets.

Okay, I'm done digressing...back to Between! It was pretty obvious to me from early on that it was probably the sister that had hurt Liz and that they had something to do with Alex's death. Did y'all watch Castle this week? The fairytale one? The twist about the car crash reminded me of this also. For a book that is like a lot of other things, it's actually pretty good still lol.

The dude blackmailing Liz for dirty pictures freaked me out BAD. He gave me asco (Spanish word for total disgust). And I feel like maybe her dad should have known something serious was going on when she stopped eating and exercised constantly since, you know, her mom died from ANOREXIA complications. That was just stupid. I liked Liz's boyfriend, Richie, all right but he wasn't a "leading boyfriend" type...he had his own problems with drugs and negligent parents (I wonder if the BSCers could help him? Hah!) He claimed to love Liz but slept with her sister so yeah, that shows true love. And as for Josie, the sister and killer? She was messed up. I'm sorry. She was just as spoiled, conceited, and mean as Liz but she didn't learn her lesson in the end. She just didn't want to get caught and mess up her life. WELL THEN YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE PUSHED YOUR SISTER OVER THE EDGE OF THE BOAT YOU DUMBHEAD! Whew...thanks for letting me get that off my chest. 

And that brings me to my last point in this ridiculously long review...what was with the cowboy boots? (They were cowboy boots right? I can't remember now.) Why couldn't she take them off? I was expecting that to be super important to her death since the author mentioned it every other page or so, but no. It was just a stupid metaphor for finally being free or something. Blegh.

*Note: I apologize for the weird spacing in this post...I have no idea why it does that sometimes and I've tried everything to fix it and it's driving me INSANE!*

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books I'd Give a Theme Song To

It's so funny this is the topic on Broke & Bookish for this week, because I was just finishing Scott Westerfield's The Last Days, which is very music-centric, and I was compiling a list of songs that I kept thinking of while I was reading it. Hopefully I can do this list pretty easily lol...okay no, this was way harder than I thought! Eep! Also, I picked all songs that were actually on my iPod, just so you know. :)

Top 10 Books I'd Give a Theme Song To:

1. If I Stay by Gayle Forman--Last Kiss by Pearl Jam
I know the lyrics don't quite match the story, but I can see Adam listening to this in the hospital waiting.

2. Where She Went by Gayle Forman--You & I by Lady Gaga

3. Between by Jessica Warman--Death by Diamonds and Pearls by Band of Skulls
Gives the feel of the book well...not going to say more since I'm going to review it soon. :)

4. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick--Harder to Breathe by Maroon 5
I didn't enjoy this book at all, but this song seems to go with it, very stalkerish.

5. Gone by Michael Grant--Livin' on the Edge by Aerosmith
This song could really go for any of these dystopian, end of the world books lol...

6. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins--We're Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister
Whoa, this video is kind of scary lol...but it gets the feel of the uprising well I think.

7. Lola & The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins--You're Still the One by Shania Twain

Monday, February 27, 2012

Review: "Claudia & The Sad Goodbye: The Baby-Sitters Club #26"

Claudia & The Sad Goodbye: The Baby-Sitters Club #26 by Ann M Martin
3 out of 5 stars

Ugh, I've been dreading this book since I started this whole reread project! It's so freaking sad, I can hardly stand it. The last several books have been hinting that Mimi, Claudia's grandmother, has been getting sicker and sicker. So it really didn't come as a surprise to anyone but Claudia when she ended up in the hospital again and eventually died.

This book feels very disjointed, which I guess kind of goes with the story-line, but it's hard to follow at times. Claudia jumps around a lot and has really vague memories of a lot of things. She doesn't know how to handle her grief after Mimi dies, especially because she feels mad and guilty at her. It's actually a really well written story for younger kids dealing with death.

Claudia talks to Mimi the night she dies, right before bed, and Mimi ends the call with "Good-bye, my Claudia." I think that was the first time I teared up. After that it was just one big sob-fest. (I'm at the library writing this review and trying not to cry again...people already look at me weird for reading a BSC book hah!) Okay...I'm going to have to do my What Claudia is Wearing now so I can get happy again.

At the moment I'm wearing lavender plaid cuffed pants with suspenders [I think she might actually be repeating clothes, because I used the same overalls before] over a green shirt with buttons down the front, a matching lavender beret (and not just because I'm at my easel), and fleece-lined, high-top sneakers which I must admit are uncomfortably hot, but they look great. Also, I've got on earrings shaped like Christmas tree lights that actually blink on and off. [Oops...I forgot the earrings, but I think you can picture their hideousness on your own.] I think there is a way better way to wear plaid pants if that's what she's going for than the awfulness she I decided to show it. :)

The B-side story in this one is all about Claud and Mary Anne starting an art class on Saturdays for the neighborhood kids, including a new girl named Corrie. I'm not sure if Corrie and family move away soon after this or just decide to get more mature baby-sitters, but I don't remember her at all. (I'll have to keep an eye out for her in future books.) She's one of the typical "neglected children" of BSCLand that the BSCers end up helping. Funny, her brother is neglected too but they don't really care about him. Anyway, Claud is teaching the kids to make paper mache puppets and Corrie turns out to be pretty darn talented (maybe more than Claud?!?) and makes a Nancy Drew puppet.

Side story to end with: Every time Claud mentions the Nancy Drew books it kind of makes me want to start rereading those too. Would that be totally crazy? I don't even know how many there are and I don't have any of them anymore. I used to have a whole bunch, like a trunk full, but we got rid of them. (I also collected old Reader's Digests for some reason, I was kind of nerd lol.) What do you think? Totally crazy or totally cool?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Review: "Anna & The French Kiss"

Anna & The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
5 out of 5 stars (formally 4)

This is the last book (non-series) that I'm going to review from 2011. I read it at the end of November (on the Overdrive app on my phone) and I just fell in love with it. Seriously, I haven't felt this way about a new book in a long, long, long time. I mean, there are definitely books that I have liked a lot and really enjoyed and that I would call a favorite. But nothing has grabbed me or enchanted me the way this one did. Well, then why didn't I rate it 5 stars, you ask? Honestly, I don't know lol...maybe I didn't want to seem too needy. :) That's it, I'm changing it to 5 stars!

I'm kind of mad I read this on the app now though, because I want to go buy it and reread it over and over and hug it and squeeze it til it's eyes pop out. O.O But that's okay, I will get it eventually and I got her newest book, Lola & The Boy Next Door, last weekend. I started it last night and I was hooked by page 28. Like, I stopped to tweet that I was in love with this book already lol. I'm so excited to find a new author!! I hope she continues writing for a long time.

"Is it possible for home to be a person and not a place?"

Okay, I'll stop gushing and tell you about the dang book now. :) Anna is all set for her senior year in Atlanta, GA until her dad drops a bomb and ships her off to a boarding school in Paris. And not Paris, Tx lol...we're talking croissants, menus and movies all in French, the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame, French bookstores (omg I so wish!!), berets (okay not really). Anna is a bit peeved to say the least, but she quickly finds a new group of friends including a swoon-worthy young English American French (yep all 3) boy named Etienne St. Clair. He's got floppy hair, speaks French with a British accent, and shows Anna how to live and survive in Paris. There's just one catch: he already has a girlfriend. *le sigh*

You would think this is going to be a typical YA, romancey, pink book but it's not somehow. I mean yes, there's the teen angst and drama along with some hand-holding and longing looks. But Anna is also a smart, sarcastic girl who loves movies and plans to become a director or producer or something. And yet, she doesn't know France is like the movie capital of the world? That was the only thing I found hard to believe. St. Clair (as he likes to be called) is a witty, short guy afraid of heights and with some family problems.

I've probably made this book sound totally cheesy now and you're sitting there thinking, "geez Jenn, why would I try that when you've hyped it up so much? It's probably going to totally suck." And maybe it will for you. But what if it doesn't suck and it's totally awesome and you fall in love with it and Perkins just as much as I did? :)

And my (2nd) favorite quote from the book...I so wish this was true. I try to hold my sister's hand (at home) sometimes but she won't let me.

“I wish friends held hands more often, like the children I see on the streets sometimes. I'm not sure why we have to grow up and get embarrassed about it.”

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Book Haul!

Okay, so I didn't get good pictures of my books last night, but I do have one cell pic from Saturday so I'm going to go ahead and do a haul. Because I want to. :)

Saturday afternoon, I talked my mom into stopping by Half Price because I wanted to look for the last Vampire Academy book (which I did not find there) and I had a coupon. Plus I knew I could talk her into buying me some extras because she had bought my sis a bunch of Avon stuff earlier this month lol...I love my mom! :D (And yes, I am in my 30s and talking my mom into buying me stuff!)

The first one I got was The Handmaid's Tale which I had added to my list after seeing it on a good friend's favorites list. I thought it looked interesting and different, so I decided to give it a shot.

Zombie Blondes was a total impulse buy that my sister picked up off an endcap and handed to me lol. I'm glad I didn't check out the reviews ahead of time, because I never would have picked it up. It's good sometimes to go against all the reviews and stars and such.

The Last Days is the sequel to Peeps, which I just finished yesterday and was truly disgusting and good. I didn't even know there was a sequel, so that was a pleasant surprise. I'm about to start it at work in a few minutes! I'm not crazy about the cover of mine though, it's too "vampire chicklit". I wish it had been more edgy or something like the first.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children has been on my to-buy list forever-ever, I'm so glad I finally got it!

The Book of Tomorrow was another one suggested by my sis, she saw it on one of her beauty guru channels I think lol...I love the cover and style of the book, it's so "fairytale". My mom liked it a lot too.

Then on Sunday, we went to a movie and I conned my sis into going to Barnes & Noble so I could spend my gc from Xmas. I don't know why, it's not like I needed books to read lol, but I just felt like I *needed* to. Do you ever do that? I'm going thru a major "must buy all the books" phase right now. Oh well, I'll be good with books til at least June or July lol...

How did I con my sister into going, you ask? Well, I bought her the giant, expensive doodle coloring book she's been wanting for a long time. :) (My Wonderful World of Fashion if you're interested.) I also bought Maleficent over there...she was an impulse buy at the checkout because I've been wanting her and the Disney store has been sold out. Plus they were cheaper! So if you happen to be looking for some of the older FunkoPop! guys (or Lalaloopsy or Monster High I've heard), check out your local B&N! :)

Oh yeah, I bought some books too lol...Vampire Academy 6 finally plus House of Night 9 and Uglies 4. And the last book was one I am very excited about: Lola & The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. I'm going to review her first book, Anna & The French Kiss, next week probably and I *loved* it so I've been wanting her 2nd ever since then.

So that's my haul. I hope you enjoyed it. I want to eventually start doing video hauls because I think that would be fun, but we have to get a better camera first. I may or may not have dropped ours in the sand in Galveston last May. O_o

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

And the winner is...

NATC (gfc follower: Natiiii)

Congrats!! :)

Please email me with your address information at

Thank you to everyone who entered and has started following my blog...I really appreciate it and I hope you have found something you will like here. I will be doing more giveaways in the future, both BSC and regular, so I hope y'all stick around! 

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books I Would Save From Aliens

I was going to do a book haul post today because I got a ton of awesome books over the weekend (from my mom because she's awesomesauce and I also finally spent my B&N GC from XMas!) but I went to take pictures last night and every.single.RECHARGEABLE battery for our camera was dead. Seriously, I don't know how that happened. I was so annoyed I just gave up and didn't even bother charging them lol. (note to self: charge batteries tonight)

So instead of a haul, I thought I'd do this Top Ten meme (where did the word 'meme' come from? just wondering lol) that I came across (indirectly) from The Broke & The Bookish. I've been looking for some fun memes/lists/quizzes to do so that was cool! This week is what 10 books would you save from an alien attack or other disaster. I would think my alien attack would look like the alien scene from Spice World haha!! (Hoo boy, am I dating myself there or what? Whatev...I'm proud to say that my sis, BFF & I saw that in the theaters at least 12 times! :) And we own the DVD now!) Okay, on to my list:

1. The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling...pretty obvious don't ya think? I don't care, this is a series I could (and will) read over and over again, no matter how old I get.

2. The Hunky-Dory Dairy by Anne go-to book when I'm feeling down or sick and just need a pick-me-up.

3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak...I would call this my "intellectual read".

4. Talk Nerdy to Me by Vicki Lewis Thompson...because it's about aliens and hovercrafts and that might help me it's quite naughty ;)

5. The Baby-Sitters Club series by Ann M could I not? I've got my entire collection from when I was a kid, so they really mean a lot to me.

6. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice absolute favorite children's book. And I think it might help soothe the aliens!

7. The Sandman graphic novel series by Neil Gaiman...because I haven't read them in forever, but they are my favorite graphic novel ever!

8. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen...for magic.

9. Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins...because it's light and fluffy that makes me happy.

10.Strangers in Paradise graphic novel series by Terry show the aliens how to love. :)

This was actually harder than I thought to do! What would be on your list?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Review: "Waiting for Godot" Classic a Month #2

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
3 out of 5 stars

So. I had a really hard time rating this play. I barely understood it, didn't really, so how am I supposed to tell if I liked it or not? I actually just rated it up a star while I was writing this review. Also, I haven't read a play since college, possibly high school and let's just say that's been a while. ;) It took some getting used to, but I think I'd like to mix in some more plays in my future "classic a month" picks. (Comment below if you have a suggestion!)

I'm assuming I was supposed to get some great meaning out of it, but really, it's just a play about nothing. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it though. It definitely had it's moments and strongly reminded me of the art movement, dadaism, which is essentially "art without meaning". I wonder if Beckett was influenced by that at all. Am I getting to be a "grown-up" in the sense that I want to research stuff just for the fun of it and not because I have to write a paper about it? Hmm...

Okay, these two men, Estragon (Gogo) and Vladimir (Didi) are waiting by a tree for a person named Godot. I gave you their nicknames because when they first used them, I thought it was a new character lol. We don't know how or why they came to be waiting for Godot, we don't get much history on the men other than that they seem to be best friends/companions, and we don't really get an ending. It's just...there you go, that's all you get.

Do you like my new Caution Owl? I thought he was better than Wheezy lol...

If you'll recall, the reason I picked this play was because there was a Sesame Street parody of it. Awesome right? I think I understood/enjoyed this more than the actual play hah!

I did not enjoy the bits with Pozza at all. He kind of creeped me out and it took me a loooong time to realize that Lucky was a human! Actually, I don't even know if Pozzo and Lucky were really there or just a figment of their imagination. This is all so confusing!

The bit where Vladimir and Estragon are trading hats was incredibly funny though, especially if pictured on the stage. "...but how do I look in it? He turns his head coquettishly to and fro, minces like a mannequin. Hideous. Yes, but not more so than usual?" They seem to truly care for each other, even trying to figure out how to hang themselves so that both die without leaving the other behind.

Let's go.
We can't.
Why not?
We're waiting for Godot.


Friday, February 17, 2012

My First Giveaway! The Baby-Sitters Club Free Stuffs!!

It's finally time for my first giveaway! I'm excited. Are you? I hope so, because it will really suck if no one enters it really, please someone enter my giveaway. I want to give you free stuff! Okay, enough begging, I have my dignity. (Not really, please please enter!!) *Ahem* so what do you get if you enter this awesome giveaway, you ask? Well, let me tell you! :) This is a Baby-Sitters Club centric giveaway, I will be doing a more general one later on this year (or maybe more than one!), so here's what you'll get:

1 copy of The Baby-Sitters Club (my choosing)
1 copy of The Baby-Sitters Club Super Special (my choosing)
1 "I heart Reading" pin by Momiji (these are from my own collection of the Book Club dolls)
2 Owly-fun bookmarks (one for you and one for a friend)
1 handwritten note by me lol...

And of course, we have to have some rules here...this isn't a dystopian fantasy world you know. ;) How to enter and rules:

1. Must be 18 years or older OR have your parents' permission, since you know, I'll need your address.
2. This is open to USA AND INTERNATIONAL readers woot!
3. You must be following my blog to enter...because that's kind of the point of giveaways right?
4. Comment on this post to officially enter...tell me your favorite BSC character or book or memory or whatever. Heck, tell me what you like about my blog lol...
5. One comment/entry per person please.
6. Contest will run from Noon CST Friday, February 17, 2012 thru Noon CST Tuesday, February 21, 2012. Plenty of time to enter, plus I'm off on Monday and not likely to get on the computer. ;)
7. My sister will randomly pick a number to coordinate with the amount of entries and winner will be announced on Tuesday around 3:00 pm.
8. I will ship the winner's package out on Wednesday (provided I have the address) and provide a tracking number (if within the US) or copy of the receipt (outside US). Once package is shipped, I am not responsible for replacing lost or stolen packages.
9. If I do not receive the winner's address within 2 days, I will pick another winner and so on.
10. When the winner receives their books, they must read them thoroughly and enjoy the nostalgia. :)

Please feel free to email me at or Twitter message me @seejennread if you have any questions!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

TILT: Valentine's Edition

Continuing the week of loooove (okay, just kidding, that was icky lol). How about some gifts for your book nerd? You know, the one you forgot about on Tuesday? Hehe...

Valentine Book Heart Photo by Greenpix --done with the Complete Works of William romantical ;)

Heart & Brain Scale Art Print by BlackBaroque --the heart always weighs heavier than the true.

Heart Shaped Hollow Book by PommesFrites --If I were Claudia Kishi, I would hide my gummi bears in here lol.

The Heart Thief Art Print by CollageOrama --he's riding a bicycle. While carrying heart balloons. On a page from a dictionary. What's not to love?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Special: Baby-Sitters Club All Grown Up! Claudia!

Woot woot! It's time for another edition of the Baby-Sitters Club All Grown Up!! And who's up next? Miz VP Claudia Lynn Kishi, that's who. :) I had a lot of fun making her Polyvore, in fact I had to reign myself in a little because it would have been hugemongous lol...(did you know they set a 50 item limit on each set? Yeah, I know now!)

Okay, so Claud has finally learned the difference between "uniquely quirky" and "colorblind lunatic" with her style choices. She has toned down the fruit-basket earrings, vegetable t-shirts and clock tights in favor of coordinating outfits and bright accessories and shoes. She is a major high-heel fanatic and the only time she wears flats is when she is painting or sculpting. Then, she wears a pair of pink Cons she stole from Kristy way back in high school, paired with a loose pair of jeans from some former boyfriend, a form-fitting tee or tank top under a button down denim shirt (also from a former BF) and if it's cold, the knit sweater Mary Anne made for her one Christmas out of Mimi's old stash of yarn.

Claudia still loves pairing odd colors together, like teal with purple or coral, but in a way that doesn't make you need sunglasses to look at her. And in her line of business, the unorthodox is good and expected. She is the owner of "KeeShee Ceramics and Art Studio" on a busy corner of New York City, which teaches young, talented students the arts and gives her a chance to sell her wares and keep her in a fabulous loft efficiency apartment. Only Claud's former BSCers know that the name "KeeShee Ceramics" came about one night when Claudia was on such a sugar bender that she forgot how to even spell her own name. Luckily, the art world chalked it up to her whimsical attitude and went with it.

Speaking of sugar benders, all those years of hiding junk food and binging finally caught up to Claudia her junior year in high school. She finally lost her "perfect complexion" and gained a good 20-30 pounds. She didn't seem to mind though, saying there was more of her to love, until her doctor told her she was on the verge of becoming borderline diabetic. Having been there first hand throughout Stacey's ordeals, that was the wake-up call she needed. Claudia is now a *shocker* vegetarian...I know, right!? After she decided to go veggie, she got a tattoo saying "omnomnom" going up her left wrist to remind her of her sugar daze. :) Also, she claims going off all the junk food has helped her spelling, but Stacey thinks that's just the auto-correct working overtime on her iPhone.

Claudia is single at the moment, but she has had her share of boyfriends (especially when she goes on vacation) and a handful of girlfriends, including one long semester with former art mentor, Ashley Wyeth. (linked to a lovely piece of FanFic :)) Although Claudia does live in the same city and within a few blocks of her former BFF, Stacey, they only get together once a month or so for a Sunday brunch and surface chitchat. Stacey has continued to choose "bros over hos" ever since she split from the BSC in the 8th grade and Claudia isn't cool with that. Claudia and Dawn have gotten closer though after bonding over veggie recipes (Claud finally realized a few pretzel sticks or some Saltines was not a suitable substitute for Doritos and M&M's) and Skype a few times a week.

Claudia spends her free time scouring the vintage shops for cool dresses or heels, working on new pieces for her upcoming art show titled "Jackie: When Puberty Hits", coming up with lesson plans that include trash off the streets, and helping super-genius sister Janine write and illustrate a children's book about Mimi.

I hope you enjoyed this 2nd installment of BSC All Grown Up (I always think of "Rugrats All Grown Up" whenever I write that lol...). I will have details of my first giveaway up on Friday, so be sure to check back soon! :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

You are all my Valentines this year okay? :) xoxoxo....

click here for larger and more details

Monday, February 13, 2012

Review: "Baby-Sitters' Summer Vacation: The Baby-Sitters Club Super Special #2"

Baby-Sitters' Summer Vacation: The Baby-Sitters Club Super Special #2 by Ann M Martin
3 out of 5 stars

Dude, I could win a visit from the author!! Oh.Em.Gee. Except, apparently 9 year old me thought the same thing, because the page is already torn out of the back. Darn. I guess I didn't win lol.

These are some hideous camp outfits...and why are Claudia's shorts so long?? Does she have thigh issues? Maybe she should lay off the Cheese Doodles then. Also, what's with Jessi's hair? Okay, anyway....I enjoyed this one quite a bit. Super Specials are always pretty good, maybe because everyone narrates so we don't get stuck with whiny Mary Anne or bossy Kristy or judgmental Dawn or diabetic Stacey the whole time. ;)

So Dawn tapes "The Parent Trap" off of TV (my all-time favorite movie btw and no I am not talking about that Lindsay Lohan monstrosity (okay it's not really that bad lol)) and makes the BSCers watch it every time they come over to her house. After the 5 millionth time, they decide "hey, wouldn't it be cool if we got to go to camp?" And *tada*....the BSCers are going to Camp Mohawk along with nearly every kid in Stoneybrook. I can only imagine the hijinks the adults got up to for those 2 weeks hah!

The BSCers are too young to be camp counselors and too old to be regular campers, so they end up being CITs (Counselors in Training). Except Jessi & Mallory, they weasel their way into becoming Junior CITs, which basically means they act all privileged and make their fellow cabin-mates hate them. Seriously, I would have made fun of them too. I mean, not the racist calling them Oreos crap, but Mallory makes them matching armbands. Yeah I would have snickered at that.

I feel like I'm kind of all over the place with this review already, sorry about that! I'm just gonna go with it though okay? Okay! So Stacey gets dragged to camp too from the wonderful, fabulous, too posh for words New York City and she decides to make a journal of her 2 weeks there and forces all her friends to write for it too, including Logan. Poor Logan. He's never going to get initiated into that street gang if he has to deal with crap like writing in a diary and getting mushy love letters from his girlfriend across Lake DemiDonkey. (Not the real name, but my favorite mispronunciation)

Stacey actually ends up loving camp even though she spends half her time in the infirmary. Don't worry, her diabetes is totally manageable and under control! (I know you were worried right?) But she's stupid enough to sit in a pile of poison ivy so she has a huge itchy rash all over her body. On top of that she's got mosquito bites, pinkeye, a scaly patch of impetigo around her mouth and a cold. Yeah. Way to take care of yourself Stace, that's really going to encourage your parents to let you go anywhere alone. Luckily, she does not have the plague, Lyme disease, dyspepsia, chicken pox or allergies. Woo.

More fun bits: 
Mary Anne almost gets her ears pierced to prove she's as cool as her fellow CITs but doesn't thank goodness, because her dad would have probably sent her to a convent after that. She also tries to sneak over to the boys' side of camp to see Logan and gets caught. That convent is looking nicer and nicer huh Richard? 

Dawn gets lost in the woods on a camp-out. She gets lost a lot, have you ever noticed that? I'm going to have to start keeping track of that. 

Kristy loses all her Kristy Power and Confidence and lets her fellow CITers (named Tansy and Izzy) turn her into a babe for the dance. I'm not sure why she was suddenly so insecure, but it's kind of annoying. 

Claudia falls in LUV with a Japanese dude, so her parents will totally approve. I didn't think her parents were the type to be all "you have to marry a Japanese dude or we will disown you". Hmm...she also writes badly misspelled postcards home, including this one to Mimi. I would think it's not a good idea to start it "Who are you" when the poor old lady is totally confused half the time anyway lol. (Also, I think I have an idea of what the next book is and I am NOT looking forward to it!!)

And Mallory & Jessi help the younger kids perform a play about "twin" white & black sisters who overcome racism through dance and jokes. This atrocity shows their cabin-mates that they were being total bigots and they apologize. But not for the armbands because that was deserved. 

And that's the end...I have to go order my 1990 Baby-Sitters Club Calendar now, so bye! :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Review: "Percy Jackson & The Olympians" Series Books 1-5

Percy Jackson & The Olympians Series by Rick Riordan
3.4 out of 5 stars averaged

I read all 5 of these on the OverDrive app on my iPhone. I love that app, especially when I finally run out of books in my to-read pile and don't have any money for new ones lol (probably around August this year) can check out books from your library and read them on your phone. My library has quite a good selection, so I was pretty happy with it. Okay, I'm done advertising. :) (Oh and I was not paid or given this app for free or anything!)

I wasn't sure if I would even finish this whole series, especially after the second book. I'm really glad I did though and I might even go buy them eventually so I can have them. The first book, The Lightning Thief, starts out with a pretty good premise. Percy Jackson is a 6th grader with dyslexia and ADHD about to get kicked out of another school for mysterious fights and trouble that no one can explain. Until he is taken to Camp Half-Blood, where he finds out he is really a demigod: half-human, half-immortal.

That's when things start to get really crazy. His dad is Poseidon, Greek God of the sea. There's a prophecy about Percy that may result in the end of the world. And he has to go on a quest with a satyr (half goat boy) and a daughter of Athena (Goddess of wisdom) to the Underworld to help prevent a war between the Gods. And that's just book 1.

I know a lot of people have compared this series to Harry Potter and while I agree that it "feels" the same in some cases, it is definitely a different story. This would be a great series for younger kids and especially ones who love adventure. I think it would be a great way to get them interested in Greek mythology for sure. Although, I think a companion guide to Greek mythology would have been useful...I had a hard time keeping them all straight and I (used to) know a lot about the Gods and Goddesses.

Consider yourself spoiled for anything past this point if you haven't read these books and still want to! :)

The second book, The Sea of Monsters, just wasn't as great to me and almost turned me off the rest of the series. It didn't seem to have as much story and adventure like the first one. I did love Tyson though, Percy's cyclops half-brother.

The Titan's Curse starts to get a little better and there are some more new characters, including Nico (son of Hades) and Rachel Elizabeth Dare (a human who can see through the "Mist" and later has a much bigger part).

One of the things I really liked about this series is that it, like Harry Potter, grew with its readers. I can see an 8-9 year old kid (especially a boy) reading the first book with his parents and then progressing with each as he gets older. Riordan did a good job of keeping it age appropriate and the humor and relationships grow with the series.

The Battle of the Labyrinth starts off with some vampire cheerleaders, so you know it's going to be good. :) The quest this time takes them into Daedalus' Labyrinth where they run into lots of crazy/fun characters, including the Sphinx, God of the wild Pan and a giant Hellhound named Mrs. O'Leary. There is plenty of action in this one and one of my favorites, which leads us to the last one...

The Last Olympian takes place in New York City and brings the prophecy told way back in book 1 to its end, but maybe not in a way you expect. I really love the cover of this one (that's one problem with reading eBooks, you don't get to enjoy the covers). Mount Olympus is at the top of the Empire State Building and Kronos (the bad guy throughout the series) is advancing to take it over. He's also set up a little side project for the Gods in the name of Typhon, a scary dude rumbling across the United States (causing earthquakes, tornadoes and all kinds of destruction). With Mount Olympus unguarded, it's up to the Camp Half-Blood kids to take over and protect it. Lots and lots of action plus a little romance even in the last book.

And in the end, you get a setup for Riordan's next Camp Half-Blood series, Heroes of Olympus. I'm actually pretty excited to continue reading these! :)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Review: "English as a Second Language"

English as a Second Language by Megan Crane
3 out of 5 stars

This book was kind of meh, but I enjoyed it still. That's a great way to start a review, huh? Lol...okay, it was actually on my to-buy list for a long time, I think maybe from a Goodreads rec? Anyway, I finally saw it one day at HPB so I picked it up. If you're a chicklit/pink book fan, you might want to try it. If you can find it cheap. Yep, I highly, kinda recommend this one.

Alex(andra) lives in New York (I have a mini rant/tangent here: why do all pink books take place in either New York or England?? This one does both...what's wrong with other cities, like Dallas for instance? Annoyingpants.) and is sick of her job, her boyfriend and her life. When said (ex)boyfriend laughs at her sort-of plans to go to graduate school at Oxford, she decides to prove him wrong. Well, sort of. She ends up at some small town college in a jail cell dorm room wondering what the heck she's gotten herself into.

Alex spends most of her days getting drunk and smoking lots of cigarettes with her housemates Cristina & Melanie and fellow students Jason & Toby. She does some readin'&writin' but not much for an English major. Actually she does more drooling & stalking over her professor, Sean, than any learnin'. Oh, and did I mention a lot of drinking? Yeah, a whole lot. There's also a crazy chick, Suzanne, who thinks she's competing with Alex for everything from grades to boys.

So that's basically the whole story. Good right? It actually kind of is lol...especially for a lazing around the house weekend when you really just want to stay curled up in your bed with the covers and your snuggly kitty (or puppy or piglet or whatever) and not do anything except indulge the frivolous fluffy part of your brain. :)

PS: I took this book picture with my cellphone because I forgot to use the camera, is it really horrible? I think it turned out okay.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Review: "Mary Anne & The Search for Tigger: The Baby-Sitters Club #25"

Mary Anne & The Search for Tigger: The Baby-Sitters Club #25 by Ann M Martin
2 out of 5 stars

OMG...when are these going to start getting good again?? I've had some real duds the last few books! Arg....hopefully, the Super Special and after will be better. I try not to look too far ahead at what books I'm reading next, so I can be a little surprised lol.

All right, let's get this out of the way so we can get to the fun stuff, shall we? Mary Anne is stupid enough to leave her kitten, Tigger (whom I always call Tiger in my head), outside on his own when she goes to a BSC meeting. Then, she is totally shocked and dismayed when she comes home and he is missing. What did she think was going to happen? That he was going to be sitting next to the door waiting to go in? Seriously.

Anyway, MA freaks when she can't find him that night and tells Kristy, who gathers the troops and starts making plans for Operation Find Tigger. They pool their money for a reward (I think it's like $17? But they somehow make it into $30) and make up a poster (they don't let Claudia anywhere near the wording). Okay, 2 things: 1. They make Kristy's mom run off copies of the poster at her work, which they make her do ALL the time. I would think she would eventually get in trouble for that? and 2. They looked for Tigger all over, but never even went to any of the neighbors or anything to see if anyone had seen, say, a little girl from Kentucky sneaking Tigger home under her shirt. Annoying.

In between all this, Logan is being a total jerkwad. He doesn't comfort MA, he's totally annoyed that he has to sit outside on the porch at her house (but Claudia's parents are totally cool with him coming in her room lol), and he tells her to stop being such a girl. Like that's a bad thing?? Girls rock. :) It turns out he might get kicked off the baseball team because he sucks and won't take steroids or something and it's totally stressing him out. Don't worry though, MA forgives him in the end.

So that's all the boring stuff, now how about a What Claudia is Wearing? Yay!  It's her clothes that amaze me, though. (I think they amaze everyone.) [Yeah, that they let her out of the house in some of these getups.] Claud mixes and matches the weirdest stuff and comes up with the coolest outfits. Like a loose blouse with a fake coat of arms on it worn over a very short black skirt. Around her waist, a scarf. On her feet, short black boots. Dangling from her ears, dinosaurs. And her hair might be piled on top of her head and held in place with hairpins that look like seahorses. She combines all this stuff - and she looks fantastic. [I don't know about that.]

I took some liberties with her outfit, because the coat of arms made me think of Hogwarts and Harry Potter and I think Claudia would totally dig Harry Potter and make it like her uniform for the release week of the last book or something. So I made 2 outfits here...the one on the left is her going-to-school outfit and the one on the right is what she would wear if her parents made her go out to dinner with "important people". Still "Claudia", but toned down. You like?

Oh, "what happened to Tigger?" you say? Well, turns out Logan's little sister, Kerry, "finds him" and takes him home to live in her closet. Even though her little brother, Hunter, is like the Bubble Boy and deathly allergic to everything and it's dusty cousin. Poor kid. MA finds him, rescues him, blames Logan, forgives Logan, Kerry has to wash cars and gets rewarded with a hairless pet. Okay. I would have been grounded for the summer to my front yard and had my bike taken away and then thrown away....oh wait, that did happen to me lol.

Friday, February 3, 2012

First Month of Resolutions Done!

We are already into the second month of 2012, how the heck did that happen?? It definitely doesn't feel like February around here...we've had incredibly warm weather even for us in the 60-70s for weeks now. A big change from Snowmageddon 2011 lol...anyway, I thought it'd be nice to do a quick update on how I'm doing on my resolutions. And I want to hear about yours too! Are you still going strong? Did you fail already? Did you have to adjust some?

All right, here's mine:

1. Use libraries more (check! Going tomorrow :))
2. Read one "Classic" book per month (any suggestions?)
3. Do not buy books unless they're going to be read (hmm...I don't know about this one lol)
4. Buy books without looking up the reviews first (great reason to browse in the bookstore!)
5. Reread books (well, I think I already have that covered but I'm going to continue it)
6. Keep a reading journal (see above re: bloggy-blogg!)
7. Read less, enjoy more (great idea! Savor them!)

And my progress:

1. Absolutely working! We go almost every weekend unless we have plans already.
2. Check! Finished and review Pride & Prejudice! Also joined the Half Price Books blog Reading Challenge to read 4 classics by March 1st! (Sadly closed now, but they do challenges all the time.) My next classic? A play, Waiting for Godot, chosen solely because of this description A play so gleefully absurd, even Sesame Street had to pay homage. Protagonists Vladimir and Estragon spend an entire play waiting for Godot. And it is amazing. (I haven't watched the video yet, because I don't want to spoil myself lol, but I will after!)
3. Well, I'm going to read them eventually...does that count? :)
4. I did pick up a couple of "impulse" buys on my last trip to HPB.
5. Si.
6. I think I'm doing well with that. I'm blogging more than I was for sure. And I'm even writing this one to post ahead of time! (oooh....I'm talking to the future lol....)
7. Um...yes and no. I'm starting to wonder if the Goodreads Reading Challenge is a good thing or not. I'm technically 2 books behind my goal right now and that's kind of getting to me already. :p I know it doesn't really matter, the important thing is that I'm reading, but little chart thingy says I'm behind!! 

Okay, so overall, I am pleased with my progress. And...hey, guess what? I'm going to start reading the second Baby-Sitters Club Super Special this weekend!! And in case you haven't heard (because you haven't read any of my blog entries in the last month lol...) I am going to do a giveaway when I finish reading it! It's going to be a BSC-centric giveaway; I plan on doing a more universal one later on. Obviously, I am doing this to get more followers on my blog, but also to share and spread the magic and friendship that is the Baby-Sitters Club. And now I'm being sappy. :) 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

TILT: Think Pink!

This TILT is for my sister, DashOfDazzle, who loooooves pink. :) If you love makeup, nail polish, and/or all things pretty and glittery, you should go check out her blog or follow her on Twitter!

Marie Antoinette Photo Print by LaPhoto4 --ooh la la!

Pink Hand-Painted Lace Necklace by WhiteBearAccessories --so delicate!

Neon Pink Leather Satchel by LeatherSatchel --okay, I really just love this for myself. I don't know why, I am NOT a pink girl like her, but there's something about it!

Pink Paris Chandelier Photo by LafayettePlace --such elegance!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Review: "Pride & Prejudice" Classic a Month #1!!

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
3 out of 5 stars

Okay, this was my first read for my "Classic a Month" resolution. I picked it up at the library and I chose it because, well, I don't know really lol...probably because it's the one I've heard the most about. And I think I should have technically reviewed this BEFORE January ended, but alas, I forgot. :) At least it's only February 1st though! *hangs head* I'll try harder next time.

All right, on to the review...I knew very little about this book before I started. I think I may have tried it before, but didn't get very far, and I've never seen any of the movies. (I'm assuming there's more than one?)  Just one minor thing I wanted to note before I get started: I've seen/heard a ton of people saying this is their "Favorite Book Ever" (not on Goodreads necessarily) and I have to wonder if they've even read it or maybe it's a case like on Facebook when non-reading people list the Bible under books they like. :P (I'm not saying there is something wrong with liking the Bible btw, I'm just using it as an example.)

Okay, I did something different and started updating my status on Goodreads as I read it, so we're going to go with that as jumping off points:

Page 65: "Holy crap, this is some tiny writing and margins! I'm never going to finish this!"--Yeah, I thought this was going to be a short, quick read until I actually opened the book up! I was seriously doubting if I would finish it by the end of the month. And I'm going to be totally honest and say I was not enjoying it at first. At all. I think I've been reading too many YA/Vampire/BSC books or something lately, because it took me a long time to adjust to the language and writing style. It is a very fast-paced book, the dialogue seems almost too witty for me sometimes's kind of like watching Gilmore Girls (I don't know how I reference them so much in my reviews o.O but it just happens!) set in the 1800s.

I have faults enough, but they are not, I hope, of understanding. My temper I dare not vouch for. It is, I believe, too little yielding— certainly too little for the convenience of the world. I cannot forget the follies and vices of other so soon as I ought, nor their offenses against myself. My feelings are not puffed about with every attempt to move them. My temper would perhaps be called resentful. My good opinion once lost, is lost forever.

Page 127: "I'm enjoying it more's become easier to read and follow lol. But where's the Great Romance?"--Self-explanatory :) I was starting to enjoy the characters themselves, especially Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy. Oh, and Elizabeth's dad! He's so sarcastic and snarky sometimes, I love it! But it really did seem like there was never going to be a romance and that was kind of odd. Unless you count the one between Mr. Collins and himself. ;)

I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! -- When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.

Before I get to the really good stuff, I just want to say if you haven't read this, give it a shot. It's well worth it! And if you have read it, what did you think? Did you go in thinking one thing and left feeling another, like me? Is it in your top favorite classics? If not, what is? What should I read next?

Page 165: "Now it's getting good..."--I think this is when Mr. Darcy finally proclaims he loves Elizabeth, so I thought I'd better put the spoiler penguin in. I have to say, I was pretty shocked by this turn of events. I really expected it to be Elizabeth who falls for this stubborn, opinionated, proud man. And I love that Jane Austen knows that and turns it around to completely grab your heart.

Page 221: "Oh, I'm enjoying this ever so much more now."--After Elizabeth realizes that Mr. Darcy loves her and she shoots him down (hard!) is when I really started getting into it and was finding it hard to put down. She is so sure of herself and her feelings for him, positive that he is a despicable man who has done despicable things, that nothing can change that. And then he writes her this...scathing love letter basically. He tells her all the ways that she was stupid and wrong, insults her family (justifiably), and yet does it in a loving manner. Her thinking is completely turned upside down and she has to re-evaluate everything that has happened since she met him.

Page 299: "Arg...stupid work, making me not finish this today!"--The ending seemed a little rushed to me, but it was satisfying. When Elizabeth realizes that she loves Darcy too, (I'm sorry, I have trouble calling him "Fitzwilliam" lol) that maybe she has loved him for a long time or at least been thinking about him for a long time, everything changes. Le sigh.

“You have bewitched me body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you. And wish from this day forth never to be parted from you.”