Thursday, January 31, 2013

TILT: Book Posters: Cat Edition

Today's Things I Love Thursday combines two of my favorite things: books and cats. Wait, three things: book posters! :) My cat loves to sit in my lap right when I start reading. If it's a big book, he wants to lay ON the book. And always wants to smell it and rub on it. Le sigh. Good thing he's so cute. Evidence of cuteness and annoyingness:

So I dedicate today's TILT to my kitty cat, Binky. :)

Cat Lovers Home by PrintsbyChristine --this is absolutely true.

The Literary Cat by VintageArtPrint --always love me a good dictionary print. I wonder if eventually people will run out of dictionaries and start using something else..the phone book maybe? Nobody uses those anyway.

Book Kit Watercolor by Bebkit --I think he's saying "feed me, then you can have your books back".

Black Cat Lucky 13 by Strawberryluna --I love this little mod kitty. If he was in teal, I would snap him up right now. Actually, I might anyway. :)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Review: "A Little Princess" Classic a Month #1.2013

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
4 out of 5 stars

This is my first classic for 2013...well, okay not technically. Full disclosure: I picked Wuthering Heights as my first classic and I'm still only halfway thru it. :( It will probably be February's though. (Hopefully!!) So I decided I should start something else midway thru the month, just in case I couldn't finish that. And a good thing too! I've never read this book before (or Secret Garden, I don't think, although I've seen the movie) so I wasn't really sure what to expect. But I really enjoyed it. There are so many different covers for this book, that I decided to show a couple throughout my review. The first is, unfortunately, the cover of my copy. It's so ugly. And um, she has red hair. Whaaa?? I'd like to maybe pick up one of the nicer versions sometime.

Sara Crewe is a young girl (maybe 7 or 8) who has moved from India to England because her father wants her to go to a finishing school. She adores her father, the Captain, and does anything he asks of her, so though she misses him terribly, she agrees to try her best at the school. Sara has an incredibly vivid imagination and this helps her immensely in the years to come. “I pretend I am a princess,so that I can try and behave like one.” I liked her from the beginning, she really is a perfect little child. Almost too perfect. I mean really, who wouldn't go flying off the handle at Miss Minchin after all the horrible things she does to Sara? She reminds me of Miss Trunchbull from Matilda. (Ignore the music in that vid!) And I've now gotten horribly off topic and out of order. Ah well, embrace it! :)

This book was originally published in 1888 but it's funny how much the themes and mood of the story work still today. Staying positive, being humble no matter how rich or poor you are, giving to those less fortunate than you, always believing in yourself,'s really inspiring. Of course, being so old, it has its downsides too. I don't know if kids today would understand the "scullery maid" thing and all her duties, or get the full impact of being that poor. I wonder if I can get my 11 year old sister to read this and tell me what she thinks. Hmm...

When Sara's father dies and leaves her penniless, I felt so bad for her. This poor child has done nothing but love and be loved and now she is left with nothing. Her relationship with Becky, the scullery maid, was honestly a thing of beauty. Starting with one rich girl and one poor girl (and ending the same way), their friendship was still as strong and sincere as any I've ever seen in a book. If anyone were ever to complain about "rich people's attitude" or "snobby little princesses", this is the book I would point them to. Yes, Sara believes herself to be a princess, but as she puts it: “I am a princess. All girls are. Even if they live in tiny old attics. Even if they dress in rags, even if they aren’t pretty, or smart, or young. They’re still princesses.” Love it. I want to find a good movie version of this to watch soon. I've seen several people say the Wonderworks version is THE version to watch, but it seems Netflix doesn't have it available right now. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Review: "Just One Day"

Just One Day by Gayle Forman
4 out of 5 stars

I was going to wait a while to get this book, but I just couldn't. I wanted to be part of the popular crowd and get it right away lol. I really enjoyed this book, but it didn't have the emotional punch of If I Stay for me. Also, I hate to say this, but the amount of typos was ridiculous. Get a new proof-reader, Gayle, stat! I was tempted to go thru with my red pen. :P Anyway, that's not important really. The story is and the story was good. I wouldn't really call this a "romance", although there is romance in it, but more of a coming-of-age story. I hate that phrase though, so how about a "growing up, finding out who you are" story? (If you're looking for a great romance, try Anna & The French Kiss. <3)

Allyson is growing up and she's not sure what that means. Nor do her parents, especially her mom. This book explores her journey as she tries to figure out who she is. Is she the neat, color-coded schedule making, straight A student, responsible child destined to be a doctor, always complacent and compliant 18 year old her parents think she is? Is she the smart but cute and fun college girl her best friend, Melanie, wants her to be? Or, and here's the big one, is she reinventing herself as Lulu, the adventurous, emotional, loving girl that a young Dutch boy sees? I think we've all had that moment in our lives (or two or sixteen or a hundred moments) where we just wanted to be someone else. Anyone but ourselves. So I don't blame Allyson for feeling a kind of relief when she meets Willem on her travels around Europe the summer after senior year and he gives her an opportunity/excuse to be someone else for awhile.

I may have pretended to be someone named Lulu, but I had never been more honest in my life. Maybe that's the thing with liberation. It comes at a price.

This may put me in the minority, but I didn't really care for Willem. At least not in this book, maybe I will in the sequel. Sure, I saw the appeal of a young, hot, foreign guy who is interested in the quiet, shy girl. Who doesn't? ;) But I didn't feel the connection or chemistry between Willem and Allyson. That said, I can't wait for Just One Year (due out in October supposedly, so not too long of a wait). And now I'm going to put up the spoiler owl to talk about specifics, because I really feel you should give this book a chance (as if you weren't already!) all on its own merits and make your own opinions. Then come back and see mine. :)

I was kind of surprised when I ended up liking the second half of the novel much more than the first. Allyson felt very stiff at first, which I suppose was intentional, but that resulted in me feeling very uncomfortable with her. I loved the Shakespeare references (so much, that I downloaded Twelfth Night onto my Kindle after finishing this). The bits where they spoke in a different language got on my nerves a bit, only because I didn't know what they were saying lol. (I never could figure out the Chinese one) I liked the travelling ideals: "you can be in Paris by lunchtime", "time is fluid", getting lost on purpose, etc.

Love as a "stain" intrigued me. How many times, as a teen, did you fall in and out of love? (Or as a finicky adult for that matter.) How many times were you in love? Do I think Willem and Lulu were in love? Not really. I think Lulu fell in love with Willem. I can't really say the same for Willem. Yet. I guess we'll see in the sequel. I wonder what the story is with his parents. And all the girls. I hope it's not as skeezy as it seemed.

The thing I loved so much about the second half was that, even though Allyson did collapse and flounder for a while, she pulled herself back up. All on her own. He showed me how to get lost, and then I showed myself how to get found. She didn't have a prince swoop in and save her. She learned her lessons the hard way. How to deal with her incredibly overbearing mother and passive father. How to take control of her life and school. How to make new friends while letting go of some old ones. I loved Dee. I think he was adorable and needs his own story. :)

And then...Allyson learns how to get closure. She decides to go back to Paris and find out what really happened. Even when that means telling her parents the truth and earning her own money to get there. When she got the job at the cafe, I was as proud as if she was my sister (same name even). And when she gets semi-fluent in French, I was impressed. Languages are hard, man. And when she battled the airplane and train station and stood up to Celine all on her own, I cheered. I think it would be fun to travel sometime all by myself. Getting to do exactly what YOU want to do and no one else making decisions for you. I don't know if I would do a foreign country, but maybe Rhode Island hah! (Confession: ever since I did a report on the state in the 5th grade, I've had a weird obsession with visiting RI. I know, my family doesn't get it either.)

So, let's make some predictions for Willem's story, 'k? Obviously, he went to get them breakfast and ran into those thugs from the park, who beat him senseless. He ended up at the hospital, dazed & confused for a few hours, suddenly remembers Lulu, and runs off to see if she's still there. She's not, duh, and he searches all the places they went the day before. Nothing. Dejected, he returns home, where he may or may not have had a falling out with his parents before his 2 year sojourn. Something big happened, that's for sure. And all those girls? Just friends, friends of friends, friends that wanted more. Which is what Lulu started as, but the more time and distance between that one day, the more Willem can't stop thinking about her. Is he stained? Maybe, but I think they have rough times ahead still.

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Most Frustrating Characters & Authors Ever

Wow, I haven't done a Top Ten Tuesday since the middle of December? That's crazy. Okay, I changed up this week's topic a little from The Broke & The Bookish, since I couldn't think of 10 characters. I decided to do 5 characters and 5 authors that frustrate me. :)

5 Characters:
1. Draco Malfoy & Severus Snape in Harry Potter. (I probably could have done a Top10 just on Harry Potter characters actually.) Malfoy because he had the ability and the opportunity to be good and decent, but because of his upbringing, he wasn't. Or couldn't. And Snape because he never got to be happy. :(

2. Bella Swan in Twilight. I don't really have to explain this one, do I? ;) Whiny, weak, clinging. Ugh.

3. Zoey in House of Night. Her hypocritical attitude towards Aphrodite when she has approximately 5 boyfriends (so far) is just annoying. And her "bull-poopy" and other language "quirks". Although maybe this one should go under frustrating authors lol.

4. Anne of Green Gables. Just forgive Gilbert already!! :) Okay, I know she did eventually, but too much time was wasted. Bah.

5. Rose in Vampire Academy. The thing about Rose is she had the potential to be this strong, hardworking, female positive character. In the beginning. Then she just turned into another Bella almost (not nearly as bad though).

5 Authors:
1. Haruki Murakami ...okay, granted I've only read 1Q84 so far but why are you so confusing Haruki?? And I still need answers!!

2. John Steinbeck can you do amazing, wonderful, fabulous books like Cannery Row & Of Mice & Men, and then give me The Pearl & The Red Pony?? I want allllll his books to be like the first two. God, I'm so selfish. ;)

3. JK Rowling, this is easy: MOAR HARRY POTTER PLEEZ!!1!!!1 Or pre-HP. Or post-HP. I don't care, more wizarding universe!

4. Ann Brashares for the final Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants book.

5. Ann M Martin for Baby-Sitters Club...why can't these girls age any?? Why can't Kristy just be with Shannon already? Why did Mimi have to die? Why is Jackie Rodowsky such a klutz? Is it an inner-ear thing? Why are all the dads in Stoneybrook lawyers? When does the BSC meet and how was it started? Hah, just kidding, I totally know. :)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Special Throw-Back Sunday Poem: "Childhood"

This poem was written in 10th grade and yes I really wanted to name my little sister "Football". In my defense, I was 4 years old. And I liked football. :)


Childhood is sitting on apartment steps
blowing bubbles
with my best friend.
Childhood is hiding
mom's car keys
for two weeks.
Childhood is wanting to
name my new baby sister
Childhood is green peas.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

(e)Book Haul!

It's January 26th and I have purchased/gotten 13 books this month already. O_O Whoa. I blame this on my shiny new Kindle though, because 10 of those are eBooks and I got 6 of those free. Do other Kindle/eReader users have this problem? I'm not the only one, right? (I'm guessing not.) So I decided to do a quick (not quick at all, my bad) haul post of what I've gotten this month. (Full reviews of the read books will be coming soon, hopefully.) Let's start with a mosaic of all the pretties and then get into the physical books and then the eBooks.

First up is one that my sister "forced" me to buy at HPB one day (we were there looking for gift books), The Adventures of Tom Sawyer & the Undead by Don Borchert. She's always fascinated with the horror remakes, even though she never reads them (or the originals), and is constantly trying to get me to buy them. Well, she saw this one on two different trips and insisted I get it. So I did. :)

Next are two that I bought new last weekend: Just One Day by Gayle Forman (duh, like you haven't already heard of it) and The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight (longest title ever). I finished Just One Day last night and loved it, but am super mad at Forman for making us wait so long for the second one lol. (Not that long, I just want it now!!)

And now into the eBooks, the first 4 of which I've already read. :) Also, the first 3 are the ones that I paid for, the rest were free and found either just browsing on Amazon or on their Free Kindle Books & Tips app. Sophomore Switch was one that I had started reading at B&N several months ago and it was cheap, so I picked it up. The Son of Neptune is the 2nd Heroes of Olympus book and I loved it and can't wait to get #3. I'll probably get it after I get my (massive) to-read shelf down some again. Going Too Far is a Jennifer Echols contemporary romance that seemed pretty popular, so I got it. I liked it, but didn't love it. And then there's Troll or Derby by Tash Red...this was...interesting. I'm not sure what else to say about it right now lol, so I'll wait for the full review.

I also picked up several classics, for my monthly challenge. I'm currently in the middle of Wuthering Heights and this may get me severely flogged (do people flog anymore?) but I'm not seeing the huge deal with it yet. :/ I like it, but it's not like "OMG this is my favorite classic ever, I've read it 23 times" like Lennie in The Sky is Everywhere, which is why I decided to read it in the first place. And I got Little Women because it was one of the first books I found lol and Twelfth Night because of Just One Day and She's the Man (which has become my late-night movie that plays over and over on the weekend).

And finally, a few randoms: The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher, recommended to me by my favorite aunt-who-isn't-related-to-me. :) I think I paid for this one too. The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back and The Secret of the Missing Locket, both I just got today and free on that Kindle app thru tomorrow I think.

So, to summarize this extra long haul post:

13 books
3 physical books
10 ebooks
5 bought ebooks
5 free ebooks
5 1/2 books read
5 1/2 books unread

Thursday, January 24, 2013

TILT: Book Fan Art

I had issues coming up with a name for today's Things I Love Thursday, but I think "Fan Art" works. :) I love seeing others take on a book theme or illustration and make it their own. Do you have a favorite fan artist or site? I'd love to see it!

Anne of Green Gables by ClaireOnACloud --I love this illustration so much! I'd love to have it hanging on my wall.

Severus Snape & The Mirror of Erised found on Facebook (not sure if that is the original artist, so if you know, please contact me!) --this is just heartbreaking. Oh Snape, why did you have to be so mean to Lily?

Alice in Prrintland by PRRINT --love the colors in this one! And bonus points for being a dictionary print.

Jane Austen's Heroines & Leading Men by Mashalaurence --I love that you get both the ladies & gentlemen in this. :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Review: "House of Night" Series Books 9-10

So I've had the 9th book in the House of Night series for I don't know how long and in an effort to clean up some of my to-read shelf, I decided back in November to read it. Only problem? I had no idea what was going on in the series because it had been over a year since I read the last one. :P And my mini-reviews of the first 8 weren't going to help me much lol. So I decided to reread them. Yep, all 8. Then I moved on to 9 and picked up 10, which is the latest, so I'm all caught up again! It took me right at 2 months to read all 10 at work, so that wasn't too bad. And no, I do not plan on rereading them again for the next releases. These are not the most well-written books: the grammar mistakes, stupid slang, and made-up words really start getting on your nerves even more the second time around. Just for fun, here's my notes I added in for the rereads: (Consider anything below here spoilers up to book 8 if you haven't read them yet!)

Book 2: I'd forgotten how annoying the word usage was of the following: brown pop, hag, skank, ho, poop, and twin. :P
Book 3: Zoey is such a skank lol (to use her words). Also, what self-respecting author in this day and age still uses "retarded" as an insult?? That is so infuriating.  
Book 5: still an average book after the reread. Still sick of the gay jokes, the non-swearing, the Twins, and Zoey's 5 boyfriends. Yes, she's really up to 5 boyfriends now. And how is she still calling Aphrodite a slut???
Book 7: I'll give them one thing...the covers & inside books on the hardbound are gorgeous. Love the embossing.

3 out of 5 stars

I'm not really sure why all the reviews I've read were so down on Heath. I mean, yes, I agree it was a stupid plot device to bring him back. But I didn't *hate* him the way some of the people did. I thought he was a good guy in love with a stupid girl. Not his fault, happens all the time. Anyway, from the last book, we know that Nyx has granted Heath a chance to be with Zoey again...only problem is, he's coming back as Neferet's play toy, Aurox. (Which is a stupid name btw.) Aurox was granted to Neferet by the white bull, which is Evil/Darkness, after she kills Zoey's mom. Let's talk about Zoey's family a minute, okay? Zoey had a brother and sister before she was Marked. She never mentions them again after the first book. Was she seriously not that close to them?? When Zoey's mom leaves the stupid jerk finally and gets killed, Zoey doesn't contact her siblings. Neither does her Grandma. WTH?? That just annoyed the crap out of me. (Among all the other things about these books lol.)

Okay, back to Neferet and her naaaasty relationship with the White Bull. Ew. That's all I'm going to say. She is still technically the High Priestess at HON but more and more people are seeing her for what she really is: totally evil and severely unhinged. Neferet uses Aurox and the bad red fledglings to cause some chaos at school and also decides to hire some humans to work around the grounds, which annoys Lenobia (the horse lady) especially. Spoiler: It's not really mentioned, but how does Neferet manage to find Lenobia's former love? She knew about him and Lenobia's past, but how?? /end spoiler Some of the bad red fledglings might not be all bad, but some are very, very bad. Neferet pushes the very bad ones even more and they start trying to infiltrate Zoey's group, causing trouble and hassling Rephaim, the bird-boy love of Stevie Rae's life. 

I really enjoyed Rephaim's story more than some of the others (ahem, Zoey). He wants to be good for Stevie Rae, but he also doesn't want to turn his back on his father, Kalona. When Kalona reaches out to Rephaim though, to spy for him, Rephaim turns him down. He comes clean about everything immediately to Zoey and the group, but they are still unhappy about his involvement with Kalona. Except for one of the Twins. (I have no idea which one, because I could never keep them straight, so let's call them Twin 1 & Twin 2.) Twin 1 apparently has major daddy-abandonment issues, so she kind of feels for Rephaim and tries to help him, even talking to Kalona about his son. (I'm sensing a romance possibility there too?!) Twin 2 thinks Twin 1 is being totally stupid and they have a fight and break up the Twinness. Twin 2 turns out to be a real B-----. And she just gets worse as the book goes on. Anyway, all that to say I really felt for Rephaim and (almost) Kalona!

I also enjoyed the new girl that gets Marked as a Red Fledgling immediately, because she is blind or "broken" according to Neferet.  She has a very interesting story and gift, so I won't spoil it here. She seems to have an "interesting" relationship with Erik, King Jerk, so I look forward to seeing where that goes. This book actually had some really good parts in it, so I'd probably mark it up to a 3.5 if it weren't for Zoey and her boy troubles again. :P

Hidden: House of Night Series Book 10
4 out of 5 stars

I know what you're thinking...4 stars?? Really? Well, compared to the last few, yeah, this book was pretty dang awesome lol. Maybe because it has so many different points of view now, so we're not stuck with Zoey all the time. (Bonus points: when we aren't in Zoey's head, we don't have to hear about her sudden onslaught of IBS. O.o Seriously?? Never been mentioned before and soooo not necessary!!) I honestly think this could have been a last book though, because of the ending. Big, huge spoilers for those who just don't care anymore, but still kind of want to know lol: Zoey & Nerd Herd plus significant others plus Aurox & Kalona & Thanatos manage to sort of destroy Neferet in the end. She turns into a big batch of spiders, which was seriously gross, and kind of disintegrates into the sewers. Couldn't they have just had Stark strike a magic arrow in her immortal heart and be done with it? /end spoiler 

Beyond that, the redemption of Rephaim, Kalona, & Aurox/Heath was really nice to read about. Kalona just wants to be back with his Goddess again, so he's trying to be a good guy. Rephaim really is a good guy now and totally devoted to Stevie Rae. And Aurox/Heath...well he feels deep down that he might be something better than Neferet's Vessel. And thanks to Grandma Redbird, he pushes himself in the right direction, towards Nyx. Zoey is convinced that there is more to Aurox than meets the eye, thanks to her magical seer stone, but she has a hard time convincing everyone else. Especially Stark. Who is kind of a jerk in this one. 

You know, I've gone on long enough about a lackluster series and I have to review the spinoff novella, Dragon's Oath too, so I'm going to stop here. :)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

TILT: Bicycles & Umbrellas

I thought it'd be nice to do a Things I Love Thursday on non-book related things every now & then, so today is going to be about 2 of my other loves: bicycles & umbrellas. Yes, I know they don't really go together and it's kind of an odd thing to love, but hey, I'm kind of odd. :) I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to them too, if you're interested!

Raindrops on Railways Umbrella at Modcloth --unavailable at the moment, but they have lots of other cute umbrellas!

Lady on a Bike by JCardinalli --I love the mod feel of this print. It'd be super cute on our dining room with all the seventies decor! :)

Betty Bicycle on Beg Bicycles --I'd like to eventually get a bike (I know, I don't even own one!!) and it'd definitely have to be vintagey and pretty colors, like this one.

Rainy Day Paris Print by MichaelMullan --Paris! Umbrellas! Wiener Dogs! Love!

And a bonus, because this awesome print has both a bicycle AND an umbrella in it!! I so want this print one day. Penny Farthing by KathyHare

Monday, January 14, 2013

Review: "Poor Mallory! The Baby-Sitters Club #39"

Poor Mallory! The Baby-Sitters Club #39 by Ann M Martin
3 out of 5 stars

This is the one where Mallory gets pissed that she has to share a bathroom with 7 other kids and goes on a rampage thru Kristy's rich neighborhood, right? No? Well, it should have been. Okay, what really happens is that Mallory's dad loses his job and gets a new one by the end of the book. That's the short story. This was a decent book though: someone is getting a new baby, we get some of Mallory's "poor little me" routine that comes up again later on, and there are some great bits with Claire the silly-billy-goo-goo. :)

Okay, so we start off with Mal and Jessi walking home from school, singing some gross song the triplets came up with. Mal informs us that Jessi is black, but she's totally okay with it. She gets home where she finds Claire fending for herself in the, the living room...because their mom is lying down. She had talked to Mr Pike earlier and he's afraid he's getting laid off from his job. He's a lawyer in Stamford, because that's what all the dad's in Stoneybrook do. Suit up! Mallory is kind of freaked but doesn't think it will happen and goes off to the BSC meeting in a good mood. Then we get the usual reminiscing about all her dibble friends. "Dibble is short for incredible. Another word meaning dibble is distant. The opposite of dibble and distant are stale!" Gag me with a spoon. And a What Claudia is Wearing woo!

Claudia is also outgoing, but she doesn't have a big mouth, and she is so dibbly sophisticated and chic. She wears wild clothes like big hats; flowered vests over long shirts that belong to her father and which she leaves untucked; short black pants; and then, something just a little offbeat like penny loafers from the 1950s with white bobby socks. And her jewelry. It's the height of dibble-dom. She makes most of it herself-ceramic bead necklaces and big dangly earrings, but in shapes you wouldn't expect. Claudia might wear a monkey in one ear and a banana in the other. [I updated this look quite a bit, since it wasn't really a full outfit and I wanted to. :)]
(click here for links)

Also, Stacey gets to wear sparkly nail polish and *still* isn't feeling well. God, when is she going to get sick already?? And we find out that Jenny Prezzioso is going to be a big sister. That should go over well...the world's most selfish 4 yr old having to share Mommy & Daddy with a cute new baby. Can't wait. Oh and the Delaney's (you remember them? The super brats with the $400 cat who think Stacey is mentally deranged? I can't for the life of me find which book that was in. Arg.) need a regular sitter for a full month. Though I'm not sure why they wouldn't just hire a nanny. Mrs D is taking a real estate course that *only* meets on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 3:30-5:00 pm. How convenient. Do none of these families ever need a sitter during BSC meeting times?? That's always bugged me. Anyway, Kristy takes the job, for now, and meeting is over.

Mal runs home, dad got the pink slip, and doesn' The kids are all worried they aren't going to be able to eat, Claire wants to know what "dessatoot" (destitute) means, Mom is going to do temp work typing, the kids don't get their allowance anymore, Mal calls the first meeting of the Pike Club. They discuss ways they can help save money, by turning off the TV when they're not watching it and using washable towels instead of paper.

At the next BSC meeting, Kristy (being surprisingly generous & kindhearted) offers the Delaney job to Mal and has even set up transportation for her. The rest of the members agree that Mal should take as many jobs as she can, for extra money. And then they start gossipping about school...Dori Wallingford farted in lunch lol. And Mal & Jessi tell the others about this cow (whom I've never heard of) named Nan White that made fun of Mallory because her dad lost his job. I'm not sure how she heard about it, unless the whole BSC was spreading it around? And Kristy says she'd like to teach that Nan a lesson. Probably scare her in a cemetery or something.

Okay, so it's time for Mallory's first sitting job for Amanda and Max McMoneypants. She's awed by the fountain in the foyer, the space station kitchen, and the two tennis courts. (Why 2?) Then Mrs Delaney tells her that they have a new pool and the kids can use it, as long as one of the adult neighbors is home. And they can have friends over, but only as long as they are good swimmers. Which is all well and good, but:

A. What if Mallory can't swim? (Not to mention the fact that she doesn't have a swimsuit.) She's going to run over to the neighbor's if one of the kids is drowning?
B. Mallory now has to watch 5 kids, 3 for free. How is that fair? Mrs Delaney better pay really well.

But whatev. The kids come home, talk Mal into Oreos & Coke for a snack (Mal goes along, because hey, Oreos & Coke) and boast about their cat, home, pool, and father. (Also a lawyer) Then they go swimming in their fabulous pool with their "friends" and Mallory pouts on the side, thinking about poor Claire who just wants a new Skipper doll. Moving things along, Mal's dad keeps looking for a job, Mal's mom does some temp work, Mal's dad gets discouraged and starts vegging on the couch, poor Claire tells her dolls that they're bad and they can't have a new Skipper. Claire is really the star of this book, in my opinion. Things get worse when Dad decides not to get out of his pajamas and just watch soaps all day, letting Mrs Perkins pick up Claire from school. Mrs Pike blows up at him, telling him he should be cleaning and stuff because she's bringing home the bacon now. Mal calls another Pike Club meeting and the kids talk about how they're being teased at school and what they can do to make more money for the family, so they can pay the mortgage. Claire the awesome says "I'm sorry. I don't know what a mortgage is, either. I can't help it." Me neither, Claire, and I used to work for a mortgage company.

Meanwhile, back at the Delaney's, the kids are starting to realize that having a pool isn't always that great. Their so-called friends really only want to hang out for the pool usage (one girl is practicing her diving for a meet) and don't really want to play with them outside the pool. Max & Amanda are pretty upset and Mallory takes the time to think about how her sitting job parallels her own life. Ugh. Mal suggests that Amanda tell the kids she can't have them over in the pool with a sitter anymore and see who still wants to come over. Then, Mal decides that she wants to confront Nan & the other girls at school. The next day, at lunch, she gets her chance. Stupid Nan & her stupid friends are talking about Mallory's dad again and she's had enough. Jessi is scared she's going to fight them, but Mal just goes over and tells them off. She calls them prejudiced (I don't think that word means what you think it means) and says they aren't her friends, blah blah blah. The girls are stunned and Mal is satisfied. At her next sitting job, she finds out her plan for Amanda worked too.

So, we finally get to the end, Mal's dad gets a new job and isn't all mopey anymore, they find out that Vanessa was doing hair on the playground to earn money (side ponytails ftw), and Claire can finally get her new Skipper. The BSC have a sleepover at Mallory's house (she's finally in the big time!) and they decide to prank call Nan & her friend Janet. Ah, the days when you could do prank calls and not worry about *69 or caller ID. And all is happy again in the Pike household.

Up next is another Super Special woo! And then a BSC All Grown Up and maaaaybee....another giveaway? :) Thoughts? Comments? Requests?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Book vs Movie: "Anne of Green Gables"

I'm sure this has been done before, I know I'm not that inventive.  But I've wanted to do this special for a while now and hadn't come up with the perfect book/movie yet. Until now. :) Obviously I could have done Harry Potter first, but I know it's been done lots. Well, I just watched the Anne of Green Gables movie and decided this would be the perfect opportunity for my first "Book vs Movie". For these, I'm going to assume you've either read the book or seen the movie, so spoilers abound!

(click here for links)

If you'll recall, I immediately fell in love with Anne and all her misadventures in the first book. I kind of feel like Mark reading Harry Potter for the first time. I have no idea what's going to happen and didn't even know there was a movie (or more than one) til someone mentioned it to me! As soon as I finish up the 2 books I have going right now, I'm going to pick up the 2nd Anne-girl book. :) I do have a question though, for those in the know: do the movies go right along with the books or do they combine one or two? I would like to watch the 2nd movie after the 2nd book and so on, but wasn't sure if that was right. Please let me know (without spoiling!) if that is feasible.

Okay, on to the movie. I watched the 1985 version with Megan Follows (per friend's recommendation). Compared to the book, I'd give it a 4/5 probably. I really, really enjoyed it, even though it was 3 hours!! Yikes. My sister was a little apprehensive about it at first, but she really liked it too and totally cried at the end. In her words though, "I liked Secret Garden, why wouldn't I like this?" Whatever. I felt they did a decent job of staying true to the book, there were some minor discrepancies (that I'll get to in a minute), but overall it was very faithful. To make it easy, how about a list of the things I loved and not-so-much-liked. (Not hate, because I didn't *hate* any of it!)

-Gilbert was ever so handsome in the movies...when he winks at Anne, I swooned a little. (That clip is mesmerizing btw, go watch it.)
-Anne/Megan was great, her hysterics and theatrics were perfect, her disdain for Gilbert beautiful.
-The scene where Gilbert saves her on the boat is great.
-Marilla was perfect.
-I grew to love movie Matthew and was just as sad at the end when he died.
-Seeing Anne's (mis)adventures on the screen.
-Seeing Anne and Gilbert's relationship growing. (And did I mention the winking?)
-The beginning scenes showing Anne at the mean lady's (I can't remember her name) house with all the kids...ugh, that was awful, but I liked the extra scene. My sis was like "Why is she so mean???" And then later with Marilla: "Aw, is she going to be mean too??"

-The ages were off, too much at first. Book Anne was 11, but Movie Anne was 13. That felt like too big a jump for me, but I got used to it. And Diana seemed to be a good 2 years older than Anne?
-I pictured Matthew completely differently. Taller and thinner and maybe bald? And I wanted them to show more how he was afraid of girls. But I loved Movie Matthew still too.
-They dragged out Anne's "trial" far too long in the movie, Marilla decided basically the next day that Anne was staying in the book.
-At the end of the movie, when Diana and Anne are talking about Gilbert...I don't remember Book Diana ever saying she might like Gilbert?? I know I mentioned in my book review that they never fought, so maybe they were setting that up a little more clearly for conflict in the next movie? :(
-The fluffy sideburns/mutton chops on some of the guys. Ew-yuck.
-Also ew, Mr Philips, the teacher. Although he did play the part perfectly. Creepers gotta creep. (Side note: when my sis and I see some creeper guy, we sign the letters for C-G-C lol. We're so weird.)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

TILT: Awesome Libraries!

I have had a monster cold all week and am just now getting over it, so today's Things I Love Thursday is going to be short and sweet! I am very sad that I didn't get to post yesterday, due to stupid cold, and broke my streak already, but I will get back to it.

Do you have an awesome library in your area? Mine is nice and big and smells like old books, but it's definitely not as cool as these! I wonder if my sis would agree to a library-visiting road trip? hmm....

El Pendulo in Mexico City

Museum of Picture Books in Japan

Duluth, MN Public Library

Szabo Ervin Library in Budapest

And a bonus, that I must visit because it's in my state: The McAllen TX library that was converted from an old Walmart! :) So bright and cheery and big!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Review: "The Sky is Everywhere"

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
5 out of 5 stars

This book. Wow. It was my last read for 2012 and I am so so glad. I'm just mad it took me so long to read it! I really didn't know anything about it, except that it was on everyone's Top 10 lists and there was lots of raving about it. I'm such a follower lol...but that's okay, because this book totally lived up to the hype! If you haven't read it yet, stop reading this review right now and go get it. Then, come back when you finish it. Go on, I'll be here waiting.

Okay, so there's this girl, Lennie, who is in high school and lives with her sister and grandmother and uncle. The girls' mother left them a long time ago but Gram says it's just because of her "wandering spirit". Gram is an old hippie herself, loves flowers and plants. Uncle Big is a pot-smoking, tree-hugging (literally) giant, romantic softie. Lennie is 17 years old, plays the clarinet, and feels like the companion pony to vivacious, popular, wonderful, big sister Bailey. Until Bailey dies suddenly and everything is flipped upside down. There are also these boys: Toby, Bailey's boyfriend, who seems to be the only one who knows and understands Lennie's grief. And Joe Fontaine. Joe with the mega-watt smile, the lovely eyelashes, the vivacity for life.

The heartache that pours out of these pages takes your breath away sometimes. Nelson's writing is magical. "Grief is forever. It doesn't go away; it becomes a part of you, step for step, breath for breath. I will never stop grieving Bailey because I will never stop loving her. That's just how it is. Grief and love are conjoined, you don't get one without the other. All I can do is love her, and love the world, emulate her by living with daring and spirit and joy." Yes, this is a book about loss and death and despair. And Nelson does that honestly and beautifully. But, for me, it was also a story about hope and love and creating.

I don't know if this was an odd reaction to this book or not, but it made me want to create things. Anything...crafts, words, music, passion. I wrote my 2013 Resolutions right after finishing this and I think it shows. Joe's passion for music, Gram's love for her flowers, Lennie's little notes all around town, it all adds up to something big. I want to be that passionate about things, people, feelings.

"Or maybe she thinks other forms of nourishment are more important."

This isn't even a real review, is it? I hope it's gotten you interested anyway. <3

Monday, January 7, 2013

About Me...

I have been blogging for 2 years  almost 6 years! now and have never done an official "about me" post. How sad is that? Obviously, you've picked up bits and pieces about me thru my reviews and other posts, but here's your chance to learn all the things you never wanted to know about me. ;) First of all....I am a nerd. A book nerd. A toy nerd. A Harry Potter nerd. And proud of it. Someone calls me 'weirdo' or 'dork', I say 'What's your point?" It's not a bad thing to me.

eta: 4/4/14 My banner was made by me, using found objects around my craft area. I have become obsessed with owls since starting this blog :)
6/29/16 New name, new banner! SeeJennRead is my username everywhere and I feel like it makes sense to have it here as well. I hope you like it and if you don't, lie to me! Lol...

I'm pretty sure it doesn't need to be said, but I like to read. A lot. And just about anything. I've been big on revisiting books from my childhood and teenage years: Baby-Sitters Club obviously, but also Sweet Valley High, some more Christopher Pike, Betsy-Tacey, Betty Ren-Wright, Indian in the Cupboard, and lots of others. Maybe I'll dedicate a month to childhood classics. Or the summer. Or a month for each author/series? Hmm...Why did I start a reading blog? Well, I started blogging with my mom and sis on a crafty blog that we created in 2009, but it only lasted a couple of months. Turns out I was really the only one interested in blogging lol. I've been logging my books on Goodreads since 2008 and figured reviewing/blogging was the next step. And the hardest part of blogging? Coming up with a name. :P I went thru I don't know how many before I settled on this one (Give a Hoot, Read a Book), which is a Simpsons reference, in case you didn't know. I <3 the Simpsons.

I live with my sister and Mr Binkers, the kitty. We had 2 other kitties, Kuku and Fuzzy, but they passed away. I miss them terribly. My sister and I are 4 years apart but people constantly ask us if we are twins. I think this is more the fact that we act just alike than that we look so similar. Sometimes we forget that we aren't actually twins though. We make up words and insults all the time..."you're a tree", "you wear socks", "pineapplehead", etc...and we like to name things around the house. Stevie the TV, Jonie & Tony the iPhonies...yeah, we're pretty weird lol.
(I'm the shorter one on the left)

My musical taste pretty much runs the full spectrum...everything from rock to rap to country to classical to oldies. (Seriously, I just bought 2 albums on iTunes this weekend: Hot French Chicks in the Garage & Ke$ha's newest. Yeah.) I love getting and making mixtapes. I like to think I'm pretty good at making a perfect mix CD. We always have a huge stack of burned CD's in the car and whenever I see my uncle or brother or cousins, they ask for new music and I hand them a stack. CD's should always be named too and it doesn't necessarily have to go with the theme of the music. We've had such classics as "Caution: Melted Glue is Hot", "Words on My Butt", "Lips Like Sugar", and "Slow and Low". I also like to write my mixes in a special notebook because I'm a big old dork.

(evidence of dorkiness)

I love to watch movies and TV (usually while reading). I love kid's movies/cartoons. My favorites are Toy Story, Meet the Robinsons, Up, Harry Potter (obviously), Despicable Me. I have a Disney/Pixar board on my Pinterest. My favorite movie of 2012 was absolutely, positively Pitch Perfect. I looooved it. I love Buffy, Big Bang Theory, Gossip Girl (we're 2 seasons behind though, so no spoilers!! Lol.), The New Girl, The Mindy Project, Gilmore Girls, Roseanne (pre-lottery winning), Castle (my sis is ob-sessed), Amazing Race and lots of others. I watch too much TV.

I have a strange addiction to avocados and guacamole. I've only been eating it for about a year, I refused before that, saying it was the grossest thing ever. Same for broccoli, sour cream, bacon, black beans. (Although not addicted) I'm kind of a picky eater lol. I still hate fried chicken, sushi, fish, mustard (unless mixed with ketchup). I do love mac&cheese, peppermint ice cream, Dr Pepper (instead of coffee in the morning), big salads, Mexican food.

What else? I like to think of myself as crafty. More so in the past than now, which is why my word for 2013 is "Create". My sister and I have an Etsy shop, but it just has some vintage toys on there right now. (Feel free to buy them!!) I don't really want to get back into selling stuff, but it'd be nice to make things for myself again and maybe some swaps. I like crafting, I've always liked it, it's a part of me as much as reading is. Maybe I'll start showing it more on here too. :)

My day job is "customer service rep" for a magazine. I'm a born and raised Texan and don't plan on leaving anytime soon. I am currently eating Tropical LifeSavers and drinking water. The last 3 songs on my iPhone played were: "Home" by Phillip Phillips, "Bad Girls" by M.I.A., and "That's Not My Name" by The Ting Tings. I am currently wearing teal pajama pants with with gifts on them, a grey long-sleeved t-shirt and navy blue short-sleeved t-shirt over it, blue fuzzy socks, pink slippers, hair in a ponytail. And this is my desk right now...this is me. :)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Special Throw-Back Sunday Poem: "Fear"

This is one I wrote for my 9th grade English class, I believe. It's actually kind of good, if I do say so myself. :)


Some fears are locked tightly
like a window in your body.
Others are lit up brightly
like a streetlamp inside the
dark cave of your mind.
Some fears allow your friends
to see straight through you
like a mirror into time.
Others are doors, opening up to
show the real you.
Some fears are like mist,
scary but not really there.
Others are so frightening, you
run from the mere thought of them.
Some fears are like moonlight,
mysterious but needed.
Others are a family picture,
framed and always a part of you.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

2012 End of Year Book Survey

Thanks to The Perpetual Page-Turner for this thought-provoking survey! :) (Since many of these books are mentioned more than once, I'll only link to my review or Goodreads the first time!) And I just realized that I probably should have done my 2012 end of year *before* my 2013 resolutions, but eh, that's not how I roll!

1. Best book you read in 2012?
The Sky is Everywhere; Cannery Row; Anne of Green Gables

2. Book you were excited about & thought you were going to love more, but didn't?
Cinder...I *liked* it, but didn't *LUV* it. The Great Gatsby

3. Most surprising (in a good way) book of 2012?
Most of the John Steinbeck; Anne of Green Gables

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?
Time-Traveling Fashionista; Anne of Green Gables

5. Best series you discovered in 2012?
Soul Screamers; Gone (started at the end of 2011)

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?
Rachel Vincent; John Green; Jennifer Echols

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre to you?
Anne of Green Gables; Waiting for Godot

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?
Echo (thrilling); The Sky is Everywhere & The Summer I Turned Pretty (unputdownable)

9. Book you read in 2012 that you are most likely to reread in 2013?
The Sky is Everywhere

10.Favorite cover in 2012?
Time-Traveling Fashionista books were both super pretty. Bitterblue is gorgeous. Sweet Thursday was a great *vintage* book.

11.Most memorable character in 2012?
Anne of Green Gables...I simply adored this mischievous, red-haired, freckled, lovable child.

12.Most beautifully written book read in 2012?
The Sky is Everywhere

13.Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012?
The Sky is Everywhere; Thirteen Reasons Why

14.Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read?
The Summer I Turned Pretty

15.Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2012?
"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." -Pride & Prejudice

"I'm a coward when it comes to matters of the heart. That is my fatal flaw." -1Q84

"But you can't get away from yourself. You can't decide not to see yourself anymore. You can't decide to turn off the noise in your head." -Thirteen Reasons Why

"It's been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will." -Anne of Green Gables

 -The Fault in Our Stars

16.Shortest & longest book you read in 2012?
A Christmas Carol (104 pages); Master of Murder (198); some graphic novels
1Q84 (945 pages-actually 3 books, but read as 1); Last Sacrifice: Vampire Academy #6 (594 pages)

17.Book that had a scene in it that had you reeling & dying to talk to somebody about it?
The Winter of Our Discontent; Bitterblue; The Help; The Fault in Our Stars

18.Favorite relationship?
Hazel & Augustus in TFIOS; Anne & Gilbert Blythe in Green Gables; Adrian & Rose in Vampire Academy; Lennie & Joe in The Sky is Everywhere

19.Favorite book you read in 2012 from an author you read previously?
Lola & The Boy Next Door; Bitterblue; Thirteen Reasons Why

20.Best book you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from someone else?
The Sky is Everywhere; The Fault in Our Stars


1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2012?
Lots! A Bookworm Belle, Perpetual Page-Turner :), Makeshift Bookmark, Cardigans, Coffee & Bookmarks, and lots of others!

2. Favorite review/post that you wrote in 2012?
Cannery Row; To Kill a Mockingbird; BSC Super Special #4; Original Play by me: The Bubble Barrier

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?
Well, I don't get a whole lot of comments, but I always enjoy the ones on the Top Ten Tuesday :)

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else's blog?
I have no idea lol...

5. Most popular post this year on your blog?
My TILT: Jewelry for Bibliophiles was linked a bunch on Pinterest. The Top Ten Tuesdays always get lots of comments obviously.  Surprisingly, my review of Edgar Allan Poe got quite a few views.

6. Post you wish got a little more love?
Master of Murder; Baby-Sitters Club All Grown Up, Any of the ones listed above lol...

7. Best bookish discovery?
My Kindle Fire!!

8. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals?
Yep, see Resolutions! Made Goodreads goal of 130 books, read 143. :)

Looking Ahead

1. One book you didn't get to in 2012 but will be your number 1 priority in 2013?
Perks of Being a Wallflower; Fear: Gone #5

2. Book you are most anticipating for 2013?
Isla & The Happily Ever After; Just One Day; Light: Gone #6

3. One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging in 2013?
See Resolutions...

Friday, January 4, 2013

Resolutions for 2013!

I am pretty proud of myself for succeeding with my blog goals in 2012...I read a classic each month (and loved it), blogged more, read more, enjoyed more. I went *over* my Goodreads goal of 130 books by 13 which is the most I've read since I started keeping track 5 (?!) years ago. So, where do I go for 2013? To infinity and beyond! :)
("Create" image courtesy of MCromer)

My word for 2013 is going to be CREATE. Personal and reading, I want to create new things, new worlds, new opportunities, new adventures. I just finished reading The Sky is Everywhere and, while I don't want to get into it too much yet since I'm going to review it next week, this book has really inspired me. Personally, I'd like to start crafting again/more...maybe try some of those book DIY crafts I post on my TILTs?? Also, I am going to try to take a picture a day and post on our Flickr. It may just be a crappy cell phone pic, but that's okay with me. I miss playing with my toys and enjoying their beauty (it's okay if you don't understand this!) and want to share it and be passionate about it again.

As for my blog/reading goals, they are similar to last year's but different also:

1. Enjoy my reading--always. Be okay with giving up on a book if I'm not into it. Devour it in one night if I want.

2. Continue my Classic a Month--I have a few picked out already, but am always open to suggestions!

3. Goodreads Goal of 130 books--this is the same as last year and I did exceed it, but I still think that's a good number to aim for.

4. Read my Shelf!--this is basically to keep me from buying more books lol, but I have a good 45 books on my to-read shelf so, yeah.

5. Baby-Sitters Club--I haven't been very consistent with these lately and I really enjoy doing them, so I need to get better. I've also got some different ideas/projects I've been thinking about and might implement one or two of those this year.

6. Expand my Genres--I want to read some more plays (for Classics or not), some poetry, more bios, history, anything non-novel really. Any suggestions for where to start? I'm not setting a number for this, just want to keep it open.

7. Blog More--I did so well (for me) in 2012, that I want to keep that up and push it even further in 2013. I think I've started off pretty well this week, don't you? I got a shiny new planner at Target the other day and it's helping already. :) Plus, I have a list of "extra" posts that I think will be fun.

8. Blog Redesign--maybe? I like it fine right now, it's just very generic. I'd like it to be more *me*. I'm going to start with an "About Me" post next week, which may help me narrow that down. (I'm not really sure why I haven't done one before now.)

So...that's me. Do you make resolutions/goals/themes? Please feel free to share or link to them!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

TILT: Book Posters #6!

The first Things I Love Thursday of 2013 should be in one of my most popular posters, don't you think? Me too! :)

Books May Cause Unseemly Outbursts found on Quintessence of Dust (but seems to be from Novel Crossing) --I've definitely had a few outbursts while reading ;)

All You Need is Love Books found on Barbie Librarian (not sure of original source) --maybe love AND books?

Book Tree by Leen --this person has some really awesome artwork, I encourage you to check it out!

The Way to a Woman's Heart is Through the Bookstore found on FanGirlAmy --absolutely true for me!! Give me a book and I will love you!

And a special bonus...Hey Girl. <3

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Review: "The Lost Hero: Heroes of Olympus #1"

The Lost Hero: Heroes of Olympus #1 by Rick Riordan
3 out of 5 stars

Camp Half-Blood is back with a new class, but it's infinitely better than the Saved by the Bell new class lol. I wouldn't say you must read the Percy Jackson books first before this series, but it would definitely help. Plus, they're good books. :) The Lost Hero starts off a new series, but luckily, we get some of our favorite characters back. Jason, Piper, and Leo are the new kids and they've each had their own troubles that have led them to Camp Half-Blood. Jason's are by far the worst, since he can't remember anything about himself or his life, but knows he's involved in something big and bad. The "Lost Hero" of the title refers to both Jason and Mister Percy Jackson, who has gone missing.

The action moves quickly in this book, especially once they reach camp. Hera, the Queen of Gods, has somehow been imprisoned and it's linked to the three new kids. They are given a prophecy and set out on a quest to save the Goddess, along with Piper's dad and Jason's memory and maybe Percy Jackson? There's lots of adventures along the way and a metal dragon. The dragon is so cool, as cool as Mrs O'Leary, the Hell Hound. We also get mean Cyclops, ice Gods, satyrs, long-dead and forgotten Gods & Goddesses like Medea and King Midas, and more.

It's interesting to read about the Greek Gods and myths again, but it does get a little overwhelming at times, especially when they start throwing in the Roman names too. I said this before, but I could definitely use a Greek mythology handbook (besides the glossary in the back) to read along with these series lol. The "Big Bad" at the end felt a little forced to me, but overall I really enjoyed this beginning and am looking forward to reading the next. Especially with the big cliff-hanger at the end. Lucky for me, I just downloaded the 2nd book onto my shiny new Kindle. :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Christmas/Book Haul

Happy New Year, my friends! I hope you had a wonderful holiday, not too many family arguments, and got lots of fun goodies. :) I had a great Christmas, I was off work the whole week (actually have to go back tomorrow boo), it snowed on Christmas day (never, ever happens in Texas), and got wonderful presents. The only dark spot was Thursday, when my sis and I had decided to go to the new Perot Science Museum. It was still icy on our sidewalks when we left that morning and I fell and bruised my knees :( (sis fell the day before too!), and then we got all the way to the museum and it was so busy they were selling tickets for five hours later. So we left and went shopping instead lol. But it turned out okay, neither of us got hurt too bad, and we bought some fun, cute things instead!

Ready to see what I got for Christmas? First up is dad & stepmom got me the full collection of Anne of Green Gables!! I am soooo excited to start reading the next one! They also got me two of the lovely Barnes & Noble classics: Jane Austen and Lewis Carroll. Aren't they beautimous?

They also got me a Half Price gc, which I spent (along with cash from my mom!) on Thursday for these goodies. I finally got Perks of Being a Wallflower (actually, this one came from Target because it's impossible to find at HPB), found a House of Night novella that I didn't know existed, A Vintage Affair is one that my sis had pointed out at the library one day several months ago and looked promising. I found Prep when I was reading Commencement, The Sky is Everywhere has been on every blog I've read this year and I finally found it! (And started reading it over the weekend) And I was lucky enough to find the latest Pretty Little Liars & Morganville Vampires books! :)

And sister got me a Kindle Fire!! Woo!! I only have one book on there so far lol, but I have an Amazon gc to spend, so give me some suggestions. Especially for free books. ;) I got the cute typewriter cover from dad & stepmom. I'm pretty excited to use it at work.

And in non-book gifts, I got the awesome zombie Harry Potter print on Etsy that I've been wanting forever, She's the Man on DVD (Hellloooo young Channing Tatum!), and lots of owl pretties and fun toys. Baby Chewbacca is my new favorite, he makes noises when you bounce him. Oh and unicorn farts lipgloss from my mom! smells like spearmint and maybe chocolate and marshmallows? It's pretty yummy for farts.

So those are my fabulous about you? Did you get something you've been wanting forever? Something you didn't even know you wanted but are super excited about? Got pictures? Let me see them!