Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas Giveaway!

Time for another giveaway woot woot! Okay, no more wooting, sorry. :) There is going to be 1 winner for 2 sweet books, both Christmas/wintery related plus whatever Christmas goodies I can find around the house lol. These are 2 of my favorite books and I hope you will like them too and maybe check them out, even if you don't win! This is open to eeeeeveryone this time, US and International, so be sure to enter! And what exactly are you winning here?

First, is a cute little middle grade book called Confessions of a Bitter Secret Santa. Yes, I know it looks kind of cheesy, but I promise it's a cute story! Noel is a young girl who loves Christmas usually, but this year is kind of the pits. Her mom is preggers again, they aren't doing any of their usual traditions, her crush doesn't know she exists, and she gets a bad partner in her English class' Secret Santa project. And to top it all off, her Secret Santa is not living up to her expectations...can she make Christmas merry and bright again?

And second, The Thing About Jane Spring, which is one of my favorite books. My sister, the nonreader, adores it too. Jane is a tough, no-nonsense lawyer who is happy with her life...except for one part. She can't get a man and she has no idea why. In the middle of an old movie marathon during a snowstorm, she gets the answer: Doris Day always got the guy. So, being an "all or nothing" kind of gal, she decides to do a complete lifestyle change. We're talking makeover, her voice, her attitude, her home, everything. Will Jane get her man? Was he already there and she didn't even know it? What will her military father and brothers think?

And here's 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 everyone!
3. You must be following my blog and/or my twitter (@SeeJennRead) to enter
4. Comment on this post (tell me your favorite Christmas/Holiday book!) 
OR RT my Twitter message for this contest to officially enter. (I will check to see that you are following me.)
5. One comment/Twitter entry per person please. (I will count the blog & Twitter entries in order by the time stamp.)
6. Contest will run from Noon CST Friday, November 30, 2012 thru Noon CST Tuesday, December 4, 2012. I like short and sweet giveaways. :)
7. I'll use Random.Org to pick a number to coordinate with the amount of entries and winner will be announced on Wednesday around 3:00 pm. 
8. I will ship the winner's package out on Thursday (provided I have the address) and provide a tracking number if needed. Package will go out priority shipping if within the US. Once package is shipped, I am not responsible for replacing lost or stolen.
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 holiday fun. :)

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

Thursday, November 29, 2012

TILT: Book Lover Gifts!

It's a few days less than a month away from Christmas...are you prepared? Yeah, me neither. But don't worry! I've got lots of fun gift ideas for the book lovers in your life for the next few Things I Love Thursday. Or, buy them for yourself from your husband/wife/kids/boss/BFF. And don't forget to thank them! ;) What's your favorite non-book gift to get for a reader?

Persuasion Book Scarf by Storiarts --this is so neat, my sis actually found it on Pinterest! Be sure to get it fast though, because it looks like they sell out very quickly! (They may be taking custom orders again sometime next year too, so bookmark the site!)

Book Lover eReader Cover on Amazon --if I ever got an eReader, I would definitely get one of these! So  sneaky lol.

Books Candle on Assouline smell. :)

Love Books Tote by AijoEcoTotes --I love that the books are saying "love" and the cute fabric!

(found on wordpainting; not sure of original source...
if you know, please contact me & I'll fix!)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Review: "Dawn & The Older Boy: The Baby-Sitters Club #37"

Dawn & The Older Boy: The Baby-Sitters Club #37 by Ann M Martin
2 out of 5 stars

Ugh. This book should have really been called "Dawn & The Pedophile". Seriously, this guy looks about 35 on the cover. He's supposed to be 16. O.o And the inconsistencies on the cover are really bad this time. The scene this is showing from the book: there was no mention of random kids wandering around, Dawn did not have his jacket on, they both ate grilled cheese sandwiches, and oh yeah, he didn't look like her dad!! Lol...

Okay, so the BSCers are at Kristy's McMansion, having a sleepover and trying out new hair and makeup styles. Stacey is fixing Mary Anne's hair and I don't know if I've said this before, but Stacey can be a real b-----. Mary Anne isn't crazy about it and Dawn says it looks nice, but she doesn't have to wear it that way every day. "She should. It's a big improvement," Stacey said flatly. Whoa. What's with that? I think her diabetes is (are?) making her cranky. The girls finally go to sleep, Kristy under her "fluffy pink quilt" (um consistency checkers? Kristy wouldn't be caught dead with anything fluffy or pink in her room!). The next morning, Mary Anne wakes everyone up at 11 because Kristy's parents are cooking breakfast for like 16 people and it would be rude to keep them waiting. Whatever Mary Anne. They don't bother getting cleaned up, because it's just Kristy's brothers and sisters. Um, wouldn't Stacey at least have made herself presentable since she had such a huge crush on Sam? 

So of course, there's this hot new guy sitting at the table and Dawn falls in LUV with him immediately. He's hot, eating granola, and from sunny California!! They are total soulmates. The girls quickly back out of the kitchen, making some lame excuse about leaving the curlers on upstairs lol. They take about an hour to make themselves presentable, but luckily the guys are still there and Dawn has a conversation with Travis, the hot old(er) guy. He tells her that she should wear blue all the time because it brings out her eyes. Um, red flag #1. Oh and at the very beginning, we have a What Claudia is Wearing! Ready? 

Claudia's one of those people who can wear anything and get away with it. Today, for example, she had stuck to two colors: black and white. Black cotton bib overalls over a white turtleneck with a shiny black patent leather belt looped around her waist. Black suede ankle boots and white cotton socks. Long black hair swept off her face with giant white plastic barrettes. Anyone else would look like a penguin in that get-up, but Claudia looked great. "What do you think?" she asked, holding up a white hoop earring next to her face. "Too much?" "Maybe just a little." The earring was the size of a doorknob. 
(click here for details & links)

So Dawn is totally obsessed with Travis now and tries to bring him up in every conversation possible, much to Kristy's annoyance. Because she has no use for boys lol. Then, the next weekend, Travis shows up at Dawn's house (red flag #2), in his car, and talks to her (mostly about himself, #3) and gives her a necklace and hair combs (4). Then he tells her she should wear her hair pushed back off her face & maybe get a haircut (5-6). This guy. *Shakes head* Bad things.

The side story in this one, which just happens to coincide with Dawn's story, is about James Hobart, who is still having trouble with the local boys. He has written a play (pretty awesome for an 8 year old) and wants to rehearse it, along with his two younger brothers and the super-talented Perkins girls. Oh and Chewy, the monster-sized, lovable dog that always gets in trouble, is the star of the play. That sounds smart. So they're practicing, when James' friend, Zach, shows up. You remember Zach, right? The jerk who made fun of Susan, the autistic girl? I guess he showed up again, after all. I think they changed the spelling of his name though, lol. Zach tells James that he is never going to get friends if he doesn't stop being such a weirdo and playing with girls. And he needs to spend more time with the guys on his skateboard and stop calling his mother 'mum'. James tells him off the first time it happens, but the second time he goes along with Zach and abandons his play. Which prompts Mary Anne to write this long, stupid letter in the club notebook to Dawn comparing the two situations. Really, Mary Anne, that is not what the club notebook is for. 

Okay, back to the semi-stalker relationship. Travis picks Dawn up after school one day (what are we on, #7?) and she goes with him, without talking to her mom. They go shopping, he picks out her lunch (8), buys her some earrings and almost convinces her to pierce her ears again! (OMG #9!) When Dawn gets home, her mom & Richard are waiting for her and are not happy, to say the least. Richard thinks it's absolutely ridiculous for Dawn to be dating a 16 year old, and her mom thinks it might be okay, but doesn't like all the attention he is giving her. They agree to let her see him again, as long as they meet him first.

But that doesn't really matter because Kristy drops a bomb at the next BSC meeting that Travis is hooking up with this hot, red-headed lifeguard at school (who likes to wear trendy outfits like Claud & Stace, like a white cotton flight suit) (red flag #whatever, it's too late for this dude). Dawn is devastated and does what any self-respecting teen would do...she follows the couple one afternoon after school. She's pissed when he takes the girl to the same restaurant and store that they went to, but she's horrified when they make a detour to make-out on a park bench. He never did that with her! Dawn tells the whole story to the BSCers and they feel bad for her, but don't think it's that big of a deal, since they weren't really going out. Mary Anne tries to make her feel better by telling her about Logan's cousin, Lewis, who is going to be visiting in a few weeks (foreshadowing) and might want to meet Dawn. Dawn's like, whatev, how could I like a boy when I've been with a man hah. 

Dawn decides to confront Travis about what a giant rhymes-with-poosh he's been and how she doesn't have to change, because she's totally awesome. Of course, he doesn't think he did anything wrong, because that's how giant pooshes are lol. But Dawn feels better and starts to get a little interested in this Lewis guy, because Mary Anne wrote him all about her. (That's not invasive at all.) And the end...until we see Travis on the news for molesting some girl. :P

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books I'm Looking Forward to in 2013

This week's Top10 was actually kind of hard for me...I couldn't find a lot of new releases that I knew for sure that I was going to read. Maybe I was looking in the wrong lists lol. So, I decided to split it into the 5 new releases that I know I will read and then 5 series that I want to start in 2013 and I'm sure some of those will probably have new books too. I actually have the first books in these series too, so I need to get cracking! Lol...

1. Isla & The Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins --I've already seen this on several lists this morning and I am just as excited as they are about it!! :) I loved Anna & Lola so much and I think I'll have to a reread before Isla comes out! That will be a perfect birthday month!

2. Just One Day by Gayle Forman --also on lots of lists, I've already heard great things about this.

3. Light: Gone #6 by Michael Grant --even though I haven't read the 5th one yet (waiting for paperback), I still can't wait to hear how this amazing series ends.

4. Lords of the Underworld #10 by Gena Showalter --I love this series so much, so I'm always anticipating the next one.

5. Black Dagger Brotherhood #11 by JR Ward --I still need to pick up #10 in this one, but I am soooo looking forward to #11. :) Also, look for a review of BDB & LOTU #9 in the next week lol.

6-10 Series that I want to start. :) These are all such pretty you ever display your books? How? I feel like some of these should be shown off somehow.  Hmm...I will have to think on that.

Delirium                                 Cinder                            Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Wither                                                            Gemma Doyle 

ETA: Dang, I forgot to add my Important Announcement! Come back this Friday for news of a Christmas giveaway!! :D It will be open to everyone, everywhere so stay tuned!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Review: "Echo"

Echo by Terry Moore
4 out of 5 stars

Ah...Terry Moore. One of my favorite graphic novel authors. When my dad loaned this to me back in the summer, it took me a while to actually pick it up (mostly because the complete edition weighs about 15 pounds), but once I did, I started falling in love with Julie and Ivy and the rest. The drawing and style is very reminiscent of Strangers in Paradise, which is always a good thing to me. But it did make me want to go read those again.

This is essentially a story about three women saving the world from total destruction. There is a lot of science talk which went way over my head most of the time, and quite a bit of violence, but the relationships and back stories made up for that. Annie is a scientist working on a special project, an alloy suit that gives her all kinds of special powers, but once she gets most of the kinks worked out, her higher-ups decide that she is a liability and kill her. Or so they think. Annie's boyfriend, Dillon, also plays a big part in this story as he tries to find out what happened to her.

Julie is a young woman who is not having a good time in life right now. Her sister, Pam, is in a hospital after losing her children and her touch with reality, her husband wants a divorce because she is too damaged, and she has a mysterious box in her closet that holds some deep, dark secret which WE NEVER FIND OUT. Seriously, I marked it down half a star just for that. Julie is out in the desert taking pictures, when she is swept up in Annie's death and her life suddenly gets a lot more interesting.

Ivy works for the government in a very special capacity and is hired to bring Julie in before she messes things up even more. But as Ivy gets deeper into Julie, Annie, and Dillon's lives, she starts to realize that she may be working for the wrong side. She's also got a little girl named Lulu to worry about. Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys? It's hard to tell at first. While I enjoyed the overall story immensely, the ending was so rushed and under-explained, that it forced me to mark it down that other half a star. But even with that, this is still an excellent story and I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Review: Middle Grade Trio! "11 Birthdays" "A Corner of the Universe" "Elsewhere"

So I decided to review a few books in one here, because there's only like a month and a half left in 2012 (how??!) and I'm still reviewing books from May. :[ I'm going to try my hardest to get all caught up here by the end of the year, so let's get started shall we? These are all probably considered "middle grade" books, but I would suggest the 2nd and 3rd with a warning: they have some serious subject matter and are tear-jerkers, big time. If you have a sensitive child, you may want to read first to see if they can handle it. Before we get into that though, let's start with a happy little book. :)

11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass
4 out of 5 stars

This was such a cute, quick read. I actually read it sitting at Barnes & Noble one afternoon. I know, bad, I should go buy it. I probably will eventually, because I just realized there are 2 more books in this little series, centered around the magical town of Willow Falls. :)

Amanda and Leo were born on the same day, at the same hospital and have been best friends ever since they met again at their first birthday party. Fast forward to their 10th party, which they had together as usual, until Amanda overheard Leo saying some ugly things to a couple of guy friends about her. She is devastated and vows never to talk to Leo again. One year later, she has kept that promise...until their 11th birthday.

Amanda knows her birthday is going to be horrible this year, especially after she hears about the fabulous party Leo is going to have. And she was right: her mom has convinced her to have a costume party, she has to wear a horrible itchy Dorothy costume with shoes that give her blisters, she has a pop quiz in class, she totally humiliates herself at gymnastic tryouts, and hardly anybody shows up at her party that evening. Even worse, the few that do show up leave early to go to Leo's awesome shindig. Poor kid. I had a sleepover for my 15th or 16th (I can't even remember now lol) birthday and invited 4-5 of my best girl friends over. I planned all this fun stuff, my mom made awesome food, we laid out blankets and pillows all over our huge living room, we had dishes of candy all over the place. And only 1 of my friends showed up. The others got sick or grounded or forgot or something. I was very sad. But that 1 girl became my BFF for the rest of HS so that was good. :)

Anyway, Amanda goes to bed that night just happy that the day is finally over. Until she wakes up in the morning and finds her SpongeBob birthday balloon staring at her. Again. And she goes downstairs to birthday greetings from her parents. Again. At first, she thinks this is some stupid joke, but when she realizes that they really think it's her birthday again, she gets a little worried. And when all the same things happen that day, as the day before, she gets upset. And when the same thing happens again the next day and the next, she gets downright frantic. Is she the only one stuck in this loop? How and why did this happen? How the heck does she get out of it?

A Corner of the Universe by Ann M Martin
2 out of 5 stars

This book started out decent, but it ended not so great for me. I'm going to be pretty spoilery, so if you are interested in reading it after the first two paragraphs, stop reading there! :) It's set in 1960 (but was published in 2002) and centers around Hattie, an 11 year old girl who lives with her parents in their boarding house. She loves her small town and the odd inhabitants of her home and even refuses to go on summer vacation with her best friend so she can roam around town on her own. Hattie is enjoying her summer, when it is disrupted by the arrival of an uncle that she never knew she had, and everything changes.

Adam is 21 years old and, according to her parents and grandparents, "different". He has mental problems (it's implied that he is autistic) and has been living at a state school since Hattie was a little girl. Adam is a happy young man, except where his mother is concerned (who isn't? hah! JK!!) and becomes fast friends with Hattie. She learns how to handle his mood swings and minor behavior issues (up to a certain point) and the two have lots of fun together.

Hattie is a very shy young girl and doesn't have many close friends, so when a carnival comes to town for the first time ever, she is excited to meet a young girl named Leila there. Leila works with her family at the carnival and gives Hattie (and later Adam) the backstage pass tour. Hattie and Leila spend most days together and one evening they decide to bring Adam along (sneaking him out of his mother's home). They have a wonderful time at first but it ends badly when Adam has an "episode" on one of the rides and ends up having to go into the hospital. This is around when the book starts turning from a light, interesting read into a darker, more serious book.

Hattie is worried about Adam but she's also in huge trouble for sneaking him out and is forbidden to go back to the carnival, not even to say goodbye to Leila. She hates how everyone treats Adam like a "freak" but doesn't know what to do about it. One day, Adam shows up at her house with flowers for one of the boarders, a young woman named Angel Valentine. (That is a lovely name btw.) Adam has developed quite a crush on Angel and while she hasn't been mean or rude to him (even after catching him staring at her chest repeatedly) she also hasn't explained to him that they do not have a relationship and never will. When Adam goes up to Angel's room and opens her door without knocking, he and Hattie are shocked to find Angel on the bed with her boyfriend, who has his shirt off. (That is as explicit as it gets.)

Adam runs off, crushed, and Hattie is incredibly disappointed in Angel, whom she has always looked up to as the cool older sister. Later, the grandparents call and ask if Hattie has seen Adam because he has disappeared. Of course, she hasn't and they end up calling the police and searching all over. Finally, they get news, but it's not good. Adam hung himself in his parents' garage. Honestly, I was very shocked by this turn of events. Especially by Miss "Happy Endings Only" Martin. The suddenness made me cry and it just got sadder as Hattie had to deal with her grief and Adam's funeral and everything after that. This was a moving book for sure, but I didn't think the suicide was necessary for her to make her point.

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
3 out of 5 stars

Okay, if you got thru that book and you still feel like crying, then this is the one for you. :) This may be considered more of a YA novel, as it does have some sex talk and the whole book is about death. Liz is/was 15 years old when she was struck by a hit and run driver and killed. But her story doesn't stop there. She wakes up to find herself on a boat called the SS Nile heading to a place called "Elsewhere". At first she goes thru some serious denial (get it? deNILE? Hah!), of course, and it takes her a long time to adjust.

She is helped along, slowly, by her grandmother Betty, who greets her at the Elsewhere docks. Betty explains where she is and how things work now: everyone ages backwards now from their current age until they reach zero, when they are sent back down the river to Earth as a new baby. Liz is horrified to realize she will never reach 16, get her driver's license, fall in love, and all kinds of other things. Once she finally comes to terms with her new "life" though, she realizes that she can still be happy, get a job, and even fall in love after all.

This is a pretty heartbreaking story, obviously, but the part that got me the hardest was the dogs. The story opens with a short paragraph told from Lucy's point of view, who is Liz's dog. Lucy is so sad and all she can do is lay down in Liz's room and pretend she has gone off to college and will be back soon. :(( I don't know why that part makes me cry, but it does. Our first dog was named Lucy (my sister got to name her, after I Love Lucy), when I was a kid, maybe that's why. Lucy and Liz are reunited though, towards the end of the book, when Lucy is an old dog in Elsewhere. Also, Liz gets a job helping dogs find new families in Elsewhere and she meets Sadie, a sweet dog who decides that Liz is her new human. Sadie ages backwards, just like Liz, until she is a tiny pup and then sent back up the river. Gah, more tears!! The book does end on a more upbeat, optimistic note, so it's not all sad tears all the time. Lol...just most of the time!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books/Authors I Am Thankful For

Today's Top Ten Tuesday on The Broke & The Bookish is all about being thankful...for books and authors and maybe even people who got you reading? I know I'm definitely thankful for my parents, who both pushed me to read and lots of different books too. My sister and I were just talking about this last night, how our parents never pushed her (as the 2nd child) to read much. So I told her I was going to push her into reading Harry Potter lol. If it wasn't for my parents, I wouldn't have discovered Nora Roberts, Piers Anthony, Neil Gaiman, Linda Howard, John Grisham, VC Andrews, and more. Not to mention fantasy, romance, graphic novels. :) So here's my top 10 authors and books that I am most thankful for and what they have taught me, in no particular order.

1. Harry Potter taught me that happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light. Also, everything here...

2. Terry Moore's Strangers in Paradise taught me that it doesn't matter who you love, as long as you do it fiercely and with all your heart.

3. John Steinbeck's Cannery Row taught me that even the simplest story can move you to laughter and tears. Also, how to pronounce "cannery".

4. Anne of Green Gables has taught me, even though I've only read about 75 pages so far, that joy and pleasure can be found even in the smallest things. It's been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will. Also, why oh why did I take so long to read this magnificent book?!

5. Christopher Pike taught me how fun it is to be deliciously scared sometimes. And how awesome the 80s neon popped covers can be.

6. The Baby-Sitters Club taught me how to put together dibbly fresh outfits, what to do when a kid has a fever, how to come up with super awesome IDEAS, that combined families can be great as long as everyone has their own space, that if you think you're adopted you are probably just suffering from "2nd child syndrome", that it's totally okay for 13 year old girls to take a 4 year old on a sailboat alone as long as he keeps his windbreaker on, how to control your diabetes even when your BFF is a total junk-food fanatic, where to hide all your junk-food and Nancy Drew books, that if you are helping a child with a science project/talent show/beauty pageant/etc you should NOT take over and do everything for them and think you are the one winning the big prize. And finally...sisters before misters, ho's over bro's. ;)

7. Where the Wild Things Are and Maurice Sendak taught me that it's okay to scare a child as long as you cuddle with them afterwards. And that even if you go to your room in a major tantrum and go on an extended wild rumpus, when you get back, your dinner will be waiting there for you. And it will still be warm.

8. Anna & The French Kiss taught me that I could love YA contemporary romances again. And a new book can delight you just as much as an old.

9. The Book Thief taught me how powerful words can be. And that sometimes, you just have to write in your books.

10.Duncan's Bride by Linda Howard was the first romance book I read (forced by my mom) and taught me the joy of a happily ever after. And also the slightly dirty parts. ;)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Review: "Commencement"

Commencement by J Courtney Sullivan
3 out of 5 stars

It's hard to decide where to start with this book. It was recommended to me by my favorite aunt who's not really related to me :) and I enjoyed it...but. I think it's like reading a newsletter or blog dedicated to a person's hometown. If you aren't from there, you might find it interesting at times but you don't really get it. That's kind of how I felt with this book. I didn't go to a small college or stay in a dorm and get a close knit group of girlfriends. If that was more your life, especially if you went to one of the Seven Sisters Colleges, I think you will enjoy this book a lot more.

The book starts off four years after college graduation and four close friends: Celia, Bree, Sally, & April are getting together for Sally's wedding. The story alternates between flashbacks of how they all met and their college life together and the present stress of getting to Sally's wedding and seeing each other again after a long time apart. They are gathering at Smith College, their alma mater, and all the memories keep rushing forward. Their beginnings as first years (not freshmen) and how different they all were. No way that Georgia peach Bree would be friends with radical feminist April. And lapsed-Catholic Celia wants to mother Sally after finding out her mother died, but is that really a friendship?

I enjoyed the first half of this book immensely and if it had continued in that vein, I probably would have given it 4 stars. It read very much like a typical chicklit book and I liked hearing how these girls' relationships grew and matured. I was expecting a look at life after college for 4 BFF's and that is what I got...until it went into a kind of exposé, documentary on prostitution and abuse. The second half of the book was focused on April's work with her mentor Ronnie, an extreme feminazi almost, who is determined to get a good story no matter what the cost. And the cost is April. I felt like I was being lectured thru a lot of the second half and being told what I should believe in and fight for. Which, yes, prostitution is bad, abuse shouldn't happen, etc...but the way Sullivan told the story was just too much for me. 

So, Smithies or other similar college grads: yes, you will probably enjoy this much more than me! :) Everyone else, give it a shot if it sounds interesting! Also, a small note on the font type used in the book, which I will put in white so if you do decide to read it, it won't drive you crazy too lol: Any word with 'fi' in it, the 'i' wasn't dotted and that drove me absolutely bananas!! I'm not a font snob by any means, but that was so annoying! /end 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

TILT: Trolls!!

Continuing yesterday's trolly goodness, Things I Love Thursday is all about those wild-haired, jeweled-bellied, tattooed-butt dolls! :) Did you have trolls as a kid? They became popular when I was in junior high and my sister and I collected a ton of them. Remember when there were whole stores dedicated to trolls and all their accessories? And the kiosk in the middle of the mall where you could get your troll's butt tattooed with your name and a heart? Lol...I do still have one of my old trolls. He's a mini one with purple hair and jewel. When I got my first car (an awful 89 Camry) I glued him, along with a bunch of other toys, to my dash. Yep.

Rainbow Haired Troll Earrings on Flotisserie --I had these exact same earrings! I was tres cool.

Bride & Groom Troll Dolls on WhenRosesBloom --I love how they added "padding" to the girls' clothes lol.

Good Luck Trolls at UrbanOutfitters --these are new versions that just came out! They come in flocked, shiny vinyl, and others. They're blind-boxed so you don't know which one you'll get.

Awesome Troll Collection found on I'mRemembering --couldn't find the exact page this was one, but this whole site is one huge trip down memory lane.

And an extra bonus....a pic of my craft desk right now, featuring one of the new Good Luck Trolls! :) Plus an assortment of other toys. I have a lot of toys lol. I'm such a kid still.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Review: "Trylle" Series + An Original Poem!

I was going to do a full review of the Trylle series by Amanda Hocking, but sadly, the thing I liked the most about these books were the beautiful covers. :(  So I'm going to do something a little different today. :) But first, a quick summary of the books.

The story was alright, definitely interesting idea. The main girl, Wendy, finds out she is a troll, or Trylle. She goes barefoot a lot and has unruly hair, but that's where the similarities to the cute little dolls end (did you know trolls have been around since the 1960s? Wow!). Wendy is beautiful, smart, sarcastic, and has magical powers that she didn't know existed. It's a pretty typical story: girl is "normal" and then becomes "something special", learns all about her special history, meets her "true love", fights a lot, meets another "true love", fights with him, tries to figure out which "true love" is real, meets a third guy who may or may not be a "true love", battles an evil villain and wins using magical powers, thus saving her new-found specialness, and ends up with one of the "true loves". That typical story plus a lot of really bad (non)editing made this kind of "meh" for me. I think it's worth checking out from the library to see if you like it or maybe a cheap download.

So! How about a totally awesome, completely original poem written by me in high school? Hah! This is going to become a semi-regular thing because I have a lot of really bad poetry and I want to share its badness with you! Feel free to laugh, I know you all have a notebook hidden somewhere with emo song lyrics in it. ;) This one is obviously not emo though, so that makes it even better. And it has a drawing with it! And yes, I did rhyme belly with silly.

Ode to a Troll

They have big hair,
And a jewel in their belly,
But they don't give a scare,
cause they're so darn silly!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books I Would Want on a Deserted Island

This week's Top 10 Tuesday on Broke & The Bookish is similar to my list for When Aliens Attack, so I tried to change it up a little. First up is the 5 series that I couldn't live without.

1. Harry Potter as usual :)

2. Strangers in Paradise by Terry Moore --so much good stuff in this graphic novel series.

3. Baby-Sitters Club because there are like 200 books and I could read them all thru and then again, finding all the inconsistencies lol.

4. Gone series by Michael Grant --because there are lots of useful tips on how to survive and I really need to know if/how they get out of the bubble!! So the full series would be a must.

5. Black Dagger Brotherhood OR Lords of the Underworld series --I could go with either of these, because they're both lots of fun and lots of sexy guys! :)

And 5 single edition books...sort of.

6. Echo by Terry Moore --kind of a cheater, since this is technically a series, but I'd take the giant smooshed together edition lol. I just read this one recently, per my dad's suggestion, and really enjoyed it. I hope to review it soon, so I won't say more here!

7. Cannery Row --I couldn't go without my new favorite classic, now could I?

8. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami --I can't believe I haven't reviewed this yet...I suck. I would take this book because there are so many intricate layers woven in throughout, that I could probably read this monster-sized book 6 times and still not know all the secrets.

9. To Kill a Mockingbird --this is such a genuine, heartfelt story.

10.And finally...Pride & Prejudice --I can't believe I'm saying this, but this story is growing on me. I think with a reread or two, it would become a favorite. This is how Austen-fanatics get started isn't it? Lol...
(from EffYeahJaneAusten Tumblr)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Review: "Soul Screamers" Series Vol 1: Books 0.5-2

Soul Screamers: Vol 1 by Rachel Vincent
4 out of 5 stars

This is actually two books in one plus a novella at the beginning, but I picked it up in an omnibus, so that's what I'm going to review here. I always have a hard time listing the omnibus' on my you put them under the one omnibus (OMG, how many times can I say "omnibus" in this review??!) or do you list them separately because it really is 2 books? I listed this one separately, so I could get credit lol. That's such a dorky thing to do and admit, isn't it? Oh well. :)

I really, really enjoyed this book. It was an impulse pick-up one day at the bookstore and I am so glad I did. I can't wait to get Vol 2, it is coming out this week I think? The only reason I would say to get the omnibus over the individual books is because each one comes with an extra novella that really adds a lot to the story. Plus the omnibus is a whopping 550+ pages and still less than $10! Such a deal! ("Omnibus" has now lost all meaning to me as a word.)

All right, let's talk about the actual story now shall we? Kaylee is a typical teenager in Texas (I love hometown books :)) who lives with her aunt & uncle and her cousin Sophie. Her mom died when she was young and her father took off to Ireland for business, so she hardly knows him. In the prequel novella, Kaylee and her BFF Emma are at the mall shopping, when Kaylee has a panic attack. Only it's not a normal panic attack: Kaylee gets an overwhelming sense of doom and darkness directed at a specific person and if she doesn't get far, far away from the source of that doom she will let loose with a blood curdling scream. And this is exactly what happens at the mall. She can't stop the scream from erupting and causes a huge scene in the JCPenney's. Security is called, Emma tries to help but there is nothing she can do and soon her Aunt Val is called and Kaylee is taken away to a hospital. The prequel focuses on that hospital visit and how utterly crazy it makes Kaylee feel.

In My Soul to Take, the actual first book, we fast-forward a year to junior year for Kaylee. She hasn't had any more "attacks" and things are looking more normal. Kaylee and Emma go to a bar one night (sneaked in by Emma's older sister) and run into Nash, who is only the hottest guy in the senior class. Nash seems to actually be interested in flat-chested Kaylee instead of big-boobs Emma. And then it gets bad...Kaylee starts having another attack and is convinced a girl there is going to die. Soon. Emma tries to help Kaylee by pulling her out of the bar, but Nash follows and takes over. He manages to calm her down and Kaylee tells him what happened, even though she knows it will just make him think she's crazy. But it doesn't. He seems to know what's going on with her and wants to help.

Obviously, you can tell right away that Nash & Kaylee are going to get together. There's lots of smoldering looks and almost kisses, but it kind of works. Nash is made out to be a kind of bad boy at first, with a bit of a reputation, but you can tell he genuinely cares for Kaylee. And Emma is a great BFF...she's always looking out for Kaylee and doesn't just disappear after a while like some BFF's (Hush, Hush I'm looking at you). She's a part of the story. I'm kind of gushing, aren't I? Whatev, like ZOMG you guys you totally have to read this it's like sooooo GOOOD!! ;)

Okay, so what's the paranormal hook, you ask? Well, it's not vampires, werewolves, witches, or anything I've ever read. I'm going to put this after the spoiler owl, because it's a good 150 pages before you find out...unless you already have, being way smarter than me lol.

Kaylee is a bean sidhe, or a banshee. A Gaelic heralder of death. Plagued with premonitions of death. Nash is a male banshee, meaning he has the ability to send a soul back to its body and also help calm female banshees when they are in mega-scream mode. I loved the different twist, but the "bean sidhe" drove me crazy throughout the book. I just couldn't make myself pronounce it "banshee" in my head. Kaylee's dad (and her mom, who died when she was a baby) and uncle are all banshees, but have kept it from her, hoping to protect her.

Once Kaylee finds out the truth (or most of it), she's relieved to finally realize she's not actually crazy. But there are girls dying all around her and she wants to find out why and how. The rest of the first book is spent on her adventure, trying to find out the truth behind these girls' deaths and meeting new people from the Netherworld. Including a sarcastic, funny, hot guy named Tod. Ah Tod...right up there with Nash in the looks department, but a little more on the dead side. ;) Tod and Nash have a complicated history that causes some trouble for Kaylee and I'm sure will be a love triangle in upcoming books.

My Soul to Save, book 2, picks up about a month and a half after all the drama of the first. Kaylee & Nash are still together and at a concert with Tod when the singer suddenly collapses on stage. Kaylee isn't worried at first, because she doesn't have the urge to scream for the girl's soul. But when it becomes clear that the girl is indeed dead, Kaylee and the boys realize that something odd is going on. This book dives headlong into the Netherworld, with Demon's Breath, hellions, soul selling, and more. While the supernatural is definitely interesting, it's Kaylee & Nash that really bring the story together. There are some steamy scenes between the two that always conveniently get interrupted at an inconvenient time. I am very excited to pick up the next omnibus (count=8 lol) and see if they ever get past second base hah!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

TILT: Book Owls

OMG y'all, I just realized that I've never done a Things I Love Thursday exclusively on owls!! What was I thinking?? I've become slightly obsessed with owls since starting this blog lol. I don't want to start a huge collection of them, because let's face it, I do NOT need another collection. But there are a few special things that I've found that I would love to have.

Leo the Owl Bank at Urban Outfitters --he's so teeny and cute! And his name is Leo!!

Owl Dictionary Prints by LittleBlueBirdStudios --unfortunately, these specific ones are sold out (sad, because I really love the colors and different styles!) but they do have several other owl prints plus lots more.

Crochet Owls by ATERGcrochet --this is a pattern to make your own. Aren't they cute? I'm hoping *someone* (hint, hint mom and sister who both crochet lol) will make me some for Christmas. :)

Owl Cookie Jar at Pier1 --I love the colors on this guy! He'd look so cool in our 70s style dining room!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Review: "The New York Four & Five"

The New York Four & Five series by Brian Wood & Ryan Kelly
3.5 stars together

I'd been looking forward to the sequel of this NY-based graphic novel for a long time, so when I finally ordered it on Amazon recently, I had an afternoon of fun reading. :) This first book, The New York Four, was part of the Minx line of comics with DC. Minx was started up in 2007 and was geared towards teen/YA girls and unfortunately only lasted about a year. I was really sad to see it go away because I had enjoyed most of the books in the line and thought it was a good thing. If you are into graphic novels or know someone who is (especially a young girl), I highly encourage you to check out some of these titles! My favorites were probably The Plain Janes (and its sequel, Janes in Love) and Good as Lily.

The New York Four is basically a "coming of age" story about a young girl named Riley who is starting her freshman year at NYU. She is incredibly shy and introverted, but has convinced her parents to let her go to the city for school. She has an ulterior motive though...she wants to reconnect with her outcast sister, who was banished from their family several years before for doing something "unthinkably bad". Riley has a serious attachment to her cellphone and is constantly texting and such, to the point of ostracizing herself from her classmates. When her sister calls her out on it, after being repeatedly ignored, Riley realizes that maybe she should step back a little and learn to socialize.

She becomes friends with 3 other girls from class after running into them at a coffee shop and hearing their complaints about not having any money or a place to live off campus. Riley tells them about a program for beta-testers and all they have to do is talk to a psychiatrist a few times a month. These talks are interspersed throughout the 2 books and we get a good look at what is really going on in the girls' lives, not just what they are choosing to show. She also might have an apartment, thanks to her sister's boyfriend. The 4 girls become fast friends, even though they are all very different.

The artwork in these 2 books is really amazing, that was one of my favorite things about them. There are little info-boxes throughout the story about NYC and all the "cool, hip" places to be. Some might find this irritating, it does lean towards being "hipsterish" if you know what I mean, but I didn't think it was awful. The story was decent, but I really think it would have been better as a longer series. We just get the surface of who these girls are and I think there could have been a lot more to them. The first one ends on a huge cliffhanger, so be sure to have the second ready and waiting!

In New York Five, we pick up pretty much where the first ended. There is a new girl that infiltrates the core group in a pretty surprising way, which I am not going to spoil here! :) Things aren't going as well for the girls in this one...we've got boyfriend problems (lots of boyfriends and lots of problems), family issues, school, work, and even a little stalking.

I feel like this is a series that most girls can relate to on some level or another. Who hasn't had the feeling that things are spiraling out of control and there's no way to stop it? Or that you really want to be with this guy and think he's totally awesome and into you, despite all the signs that he so is not and all your friends know it? Or that you are never going to be a "real" grown up, despite being well into your twenties (or thirties, like me lol). I have big issues with this last one, obviously. Do grown ups read Baby-Sitters Club books or play with toys or eat mac & cheese for dinner? Because, I don't think I want to be a grown up if they don't.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Literary Figures Who Should Be President

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that there's some kind of big election going on today in the US. ;) Now, I'm not here to talk about politicians or who I'm voting for or anything like that (so please, please let's not go there in the comments!) but I did think it would be fun to pick out some literary figures that would make good presidents. And since it's a freebie day over at The Broke & The Bookish, it's the perfect time!

1. Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore -first of all, he's got enough names to make anyone happy! And yes, he did get a little drunk on power, but I think he's learned his lesson. He's fair, he believes the best in everybody and holds them to that high standard, he stands up for the little guy/elf, he knows lots of stuff, and he has a cool beard.

2. Kristy Thomas -she's already got tons of experience being the super Prez of the Baby-Sitters Club so this should be a snap for her! And with her penchant for Great Ideas, I'm sure she'll solve that pesky budget crisis in no time.

3. Prince Po of Graceling -totally cool under pressure, even with (spoiler: his eyesight gone) he knows everything that is going on around him. He isn't afraid to fight for what he believes, physically and mentally.

4. Doc from Cannery Row -Doc may seem like a simple, laid-back fellow, but underneath he has a strong backbone and a heart of gold. Doc will be there for everyone and would be willing to take chances.

5. Blair Waldorf in Gossip Girl -I'm sure her campaign trail would be riddled with scandal, but that's what would make it so entertaining!

6. Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird -this kid was raised right by her daddy and she would be a hard-working, honest politician. 

7. Elizabeth Wakefield of Sweet Valley -the honest, hard-working twin would dedicate herself to the environmental issues of course, but also helping the children and underprivileged. And as long as she doesn't let Jessica talk her into some hair-brained "White House Unicorn Club" or something, she should be fine!

8. Janine Kishi -always in the shadow of the artistic, imaginative Claudia, Janine pushes herself onward and upward after college (at age 17). She decides to go into politics and becomes the first Kishi in Washington. Her "Mathematics for Babies" program helps launch her straight into the White House at the tender age of 23. She continues to support Claudia's "art career" by placing several of her sculptures and paintings around the Oval Office. The support staff is quite confused by "Rodowsky in Motion" but keep it to themselves.

And that's all I have! :) I hope you enjoyed it and if you are in the US, go vote today!

(I love Mary Poppins lol)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Review: "Jessi's Baby-Sitter: The Baby-Sitters Club #36"

Jessi's Baby-Sitter: The Baby-Sitters Club #36 by Ann M Martin
4 out of 5 stars

Well, the covers are slowly getting better for the Jessi books. Her styling is for sure, check out that Huxtable sweater and the scrunchy double socks! That's totally fresh as Claudia would say. Fresh means cool just an FYI. ;) I enjoyed this one, even with the evil dictator, AKA Aunt Cecelia. And there are several great subplots, so let's get started!

Jessi's mom has decided to go back to work and they need somebody to watch Squirt during the day and Becca after school. So Jessi's dad's sister, Aunt Cecelia, is going to move in with them. She's apparently way older than her brother, because she is a widow(er?) with grown kids and doesn't want to live at home alone anymore. Jessi and Becca are horrified by this turn of events, but of course, they don't sit down and have a rational discussion with their parents. No, they decide to play stupid pranks on her to make her want to leave. Because pranks always work out well. Aunt Cecelia moves in with a UHaul stuffed full of all her old crap and they have to cram it in anywhere it will fit. Jessi is upset because her room doesn't say "Jessi" anymore but "Jessi and some old lady" haha!!

Aunt Cecelia is super strict and just doesn't do things the way their parents do, so Jessi & Becca are constantly at war with her. She doesn't let Jessi ride her bike over to Mallory's because she doesn't know this girl, she makes them eat healthy cookies for a snack instead of a sandwich, she won't let them walk Squirt because it's getting dark and cold and dangerous. And then she does the unthinkable...Jessi is a few minutes late home from a baby-sitting job and Aunt Dictator forbids her to go the BSC meeting that afternoon. Jessi is piiiissed.

In the meantime, Walking Disaster Jackie Rodowsky and a bunch of other kids have decided to enter the elementary school science fair. Jackie wants to build a volcano after seeing it on the Brady Bunch (who didn't want to after seeing that??!) and Jessi agrees to help him but in true BSC fashion, she ends up doing most of the work for him. Poor Jackie just wants to make a mess, as usual, and those meddling baby-sitters ruined it again.

And over at the Pike household, those adorable little red-headed rascals have decided to build a library in their bedrooms. This is totally something I would have done. They organize all their books into genres in the separate rooms and assign Vanessa as the librarian and even make library cards for each book. I miss paper library cards, don't you? Getting to see who has checked out a book ahead of you. Good times. They put a sign out in the yard saying "Pike Library" and tell all their friends about it. Those kids are too dang smart.

I will give you 3 guesses how all the issues are resolved in this book. Did you guess "actually talking things over for once"? Ding ding ding!! You are correct sir or madam! ;) Jessi & Becca talk to their parents about Aunt Dictator and confess to pulling pranks, Jessi realizes she screwed up Jackie's project by taking over, Aunt Cecelia claims that she was afraid she wouldn't be as good a baby-sitter as Jessi (yeah. right.) and gets even with the girls by pulling a few pranks of her own (real mature).  And we get a What Claudia is Wearing right at the end (which I almost missed oops!).

Claud was wearing a fake leopard-skin vest, a fairly tame blouse, and blue leggings. She had made her jewelry herself-five papier-mache bracelets that were painted in soft desert colors. 

(click here for links)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Review: "Master of Murder"

Master of Murder by Christopher Pike
4 out of 5 stars

Oh man, I forgot how much I love Pike's books! So much cheese, I could make quesadillas with it lol...I picked this one up off my shelf on a whim one night and it totally makes me want to reread all of them. Oh and this is a special Saturday review to end Halloween week, in case you couldn't tell. :) I was pretty proud of myself this week for posting nearly everything I had planned. Did you enjoy it? I hope so!

Okay, let's just talk about this cover first. This book came out in 1992 so they were all about the neon and crazy fonts, which is totally rad dude. But who's the chick on the floor? That didn't happen anywhere in the book. Maybe it's a metaphorical dead chick lol. Who wears weird high heels. Yeah, let's go with that. I remember this being one of my favorite stories and it was surprisingly good still twenty years later. (OMG I'm old.) There are going to be lots of spoilers in this here review, so if you've never read it, be warned. Or just read my awesome review because it's super long and tells everything anyway. :)

So, Marvin Summer is a high school student who also happens to be a hugely successful YA writer named Mack Slate. His identity is a secret from everyone but his 11 year old sister, Ann (an incredibly popular name in the Pike Universe, along with Mike if I recall correctly), so he gets a silent thrill when he sees the girl of his dreams, Shelly Quade, reading one of his books during English class. Marvin & Shelly went out a few times the previous year but stopped when Shelly's (other) boyfriend, Harry, killed himself. Shelly was naturally distraught after that and Marvin, being a nice guy, gave her some time to grieve. But it's been over a year now and he's determined to ask her out again. Right after he reads his frog story, which is a big hit with the students, but not so much the teacher. (The frog wants to fly like the birds, so starts sucking in lots of air and begins floating...until he sucks in so much air that he explodes, sending froggy bits everywhere lol...but the birds scoop up his bits so he really does get to fly after all.)

The thing about Christopher Pike is that he knows how to write a good YA book and even puts it right in his books: In essence the editors were saying that teenagers were not smart enough to read an intelligent plot. But it was Marvin's belief that most teen books were written down to kids, and that was why most of his friends had gone from reading young adult stuff to adult stuff. Smart right? This book is totally meta author writing under a pen name about an author writing under a pen name. Or something like that. I tried to find a flowchart or something to explain this, but only found this little comic about the ultimate Christopher Pike book. I'd read it. :)

(found on Fudge That Sugar, which has lots of hilarious comics!)

Alright, Marvin asks Shelly out and she says "...don't take so long next time." Hah. Marvin leaves school totally psyched and goes to check his fan mail at the local PO, where he runs into his precocious little sister, who skipped school to watch R-rated movies. It's all good though, cause their parents are both drunk losers, so they didn't even notice. Oh and Marvin drives a motorcycle, cause he's a total bad-ass author and that's what they do. They get home with his hundreds of letters and start sifting through them. Lots of "where do you get your ideas" and "I'm your number 1 fan" and a few "I'm totally hot and would do you" mixed in. Marvin puts those aside for later. And then he finds one postmarked from his hometown that just says "I know who you are." Oooh...spooky. He doesn't think it's a big deal, even though Ann is a little freaked. Oh and we find out that Ann doesn't like Shelly at all, but never get any real explanation for that. Weird.

Marvin & Shelly finally go on their hot date and it goes well, despite him falling asleep in the movie and making her ride on the back of his motorcycle when it's really cold outside. They end up back at Shelly's, whose parents just happen to be out of town (actually they're gone for the whole book; parents aren't a high priority in Pikeverse) and decide to have a little romp in the Jacuzzi. Marvin is (mostly) a perfect gentleman and stops when Shelly gets all depressed. Chick is seriously emo. The evening ends on a seriously low note when she tells Marvin that she doesn't think Harry committed suicide. And she wants Marvin to help her find out the truth. Uh okay. Marvin agrees because, hello, chance to see Shelly naked again.

The next day he goes to the library to do some research (combing thru actual newspapers from over a year ago, no microfiche here) and finds a few odd things. First of all, the police claimed Harry jumped off the rickety old bridge on the edge of town but wasn't found for 2 days. Second, he had oil stains all over his hands, his palms were blistered, and he had a bunch of broken capillaries on his legs. The cops don't think anything about it, but Marvin being a super genius mystery writer, starts to question it more. He visits the old guy that pulled Harry out of the water and found out that there were mysterious burns on Harry's letterman jacket, around the chest and under the arms, that the cops also didn't question. Marvin thinks it sounds like rope burns and when he next visits Harry's mom, who lets him examine the jacket, that theory is pretty much confirmed. Oh and while there, we get this amusing little line after Harry's mom mentions her dead son loved Mack Slate books, causing Marvin to gag on his cookie: "...I just get choked-up sometimes when I --choke on my food." heh.

In between all the murder investigating and such, Marvin is trying to finish his last book in a series of 6 but is getting nowhere fast thanks to some gigantic writer's block. The series is about a hot high school girl named Ann (after his sister) who dies in the first book and everyone thinks someone murdered but no one knows who, not even Marvin. The story is set in a town eerily similar to his own and even the characters seem the same. But Marvin insists they are nothing alike and he totally did not get his inspiration from Harry's death. (He totally did.) This is all revealed in an odd dream sequence (more Pikeverse) yet Marvin conveniently forgets it all when his little sis wakes him up and tells him their drunk dad is there and tearing the house up. Marvin is pissed and decides not to take any crap from him anymore (especially after dad breaks the "picture tube" that his mom lives in front of) and beats his dad up before running off.

And now things get real weird, so stay with me! Marvin ends up at Shelly's house and hears loud music so of course he decides to spy on her. He finds her in the Jacuzzi with a football blockhead from school named...wait for it...Triad. Yes, the boy's name is really Triad. Oh and Triad just happens to be Harry's former best friend. They're getting hot n' heavy and Marvin is sickened, then pissed when he hears them talking about what a loser he is. Turns out Shelly's just stringing him along for some unknown reason. Marvin ends up on the suicide bridge in the middle of the night and has a huge epiphany about Harry's death. It wasn't a suicide after all or even a murder was an accident. Harry was hanging from the bridge with the rope around his waist when he slipped and the rope went up under his arms, causing him to hang there for days and eventually slip out and die. Now, why was he hanging from a bridge you ask? Simple: revenge. Harry finds out Marvin is going out with Shelly and is pissed. He concocts a little plan (with some help from, you guessed it, Triad) to stretch a rope across the bridge and clothesline Marvin on his motorcycle as he crosses it late at night with Shelly. He obviously changes his mind, since those two are not the dead ones. But since Shelly has no idea of the revenge plan, she thinks Marvin had something to do with Harry's murder, which is why she's stringing him along.

And what does any self-respecting young teenage millionaire author do when his heart is broken? He decides to carry out Harry's plan again and make it work this time. This involves: selling Triad his motorcycle, buying himself a hot red Corvette, heading to the local Sears for murder tools, ensuring that Triad heads over the bridge that night, and laying in wait. This does not involve: going to the police, talking to Shelly about it, finding out if his dad killed his sister and mom in a drunken stupor, or stopping to think about what he was doing at all. Oh and he creeps out two girls at a bookstore by signing their books as Mack Slate lol. Creeper.

All goes according to plan, until Marvin is actually hanging off this stupid bridge and Triad is coming up the road...with Shelly behind him. Marvin freaks, drops the rope, screams "Sheeellllllly" thus giving himself away to the actual "Master of Murder", Triad. Yeah, you knew that was coming, didn't you? There's a big confrontation, with Marvin dangling on the edge of the bridge, Triad trying to kill him, Shelly still convinced Marvin is the killer, but slowly realizing it was really Triad, and Marvin finding out that it was Shelly sending him the creepy "I know who you are" letters. It all comes to a climax when Triad has a knife to Shelly's throat and Marvin...walks away. Yep, he's good at that isn't he.

For the second time in a week, Marvin just takes off, not telling anyone where he's going or why, and leaving two people in a life or death situation. This time he holes up in a small cabin and cranks out the last book in his series in a few days. All that revenging really gets the writing juices flowing. He gets to the very end, about 5 pages from finishing, and realizes he has to go back home to find out what happened in real life before he can send it to his editor. Because, in case you can't tell, he's basically writing an autobiography at this point. After waiting 3 hours for his book to print (heh...old times), he heads back home.

When he gets home, he sets up a book reading and signing at his high school, finally deciding to come out of the author closet. His sister and mom are both still alive, mom is actually sober for once, and dad went to jail for 30 days for breaking the picture tube. Mom is totally confused when she finds out her son is a famous writer with lots and lots of money (like that won't cause her to start drinking again) and Ann is excited she can finally tell her friends about her famous big brother. The two head to the school where it's completely packed with excited teens waiting for their favorite author. When Marvin is introduced, there's dead silence and his English teacher faints lol. Marvin takes questions (where do you get your ideas from? Oh, you know, just observing all of you people in everyday life.) and reads part of his book and signs everyone's copies.

It's all fun and rewarding for Marvin, but he's worried when he finds out neither Triad nor Shelly have been in school all week. What happened on the bridge after he left? After the reading, he heads to the lake that just happens to be where Harry's (and Ann in the book) body was found. Shelly shows up, with Marvin's knife that was last seen being held against her throat. They sit on an oddly soft patch of land that seems to have been disturbed recently and have a long, boring discussion that brings everything to a nice close. Just to clear it all up and also make it really confusing, here's the revenge sequence: Triad was jealous of Harry for dating Shelly and killed him, Harry was jealous of Marvin for dating Shelly and tried to kill him, Shelly was mad at Marvin for thinking he killed Harry and tried to kill him, Marvin was jealous of Triad for dating Shelly and tried to kill him, Triad was trying to tie up all the loose ends and blame it on Marvin and tried to kill him, and Shelly was really tying up the loose ends with Triad and killed him. Got it? Good, me neither.

And where is Triad? Well, Shelly isn't saying anything but...and that's that. Marvin decides that he still loves Shelly, even after she accused him of murder and set him up to be killed. Because, let's face it, she's totally hot. And the book ends with them racing off to the airport to send his manuscript to New York (wasn't FedEx around in the 90s??) and two characters in Marvin's book having hot sex in the back of the car. And thus ends the longest review ever. :)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Baby-Sitters Club: Special Halloween Edition: Dawn!

Last up for this week's special trick-or-treat edition is Dawn, who became one with nature as a forest fairy. My sis did some awesome makeup on Halloween night as a forest fairy, similar to this one! :) If she says it's okay, I'll try to post it here or on Twitter.

(click here for links)