Thursday, June 27, 2013

TILT: Book Posters: Get Radical with Reading!

With all the politically-ness this week, I thought I'd use that as a jumping off point for my first "Things I Love Thursday" in 3 months! (Can't believe it's been that long!) The theme made sense in my head, but I'm not sure how well it transferred to this post. Oh well, still some fun things!

(as always, if you do not want your work linked, please contact me!)

Real Men Read by Edward Gorey --I would personally love this as a poster print or even note cards. I think it is so important for a parent to show their child that reading can be enjoyable. And I think that's almost more important for men to show their doesn't make you less "masculine" to read, even if you're reading romance books with bright pink covers. You can get some good tips for "wooing" in there. ;)

Cost of Libraries quoted by Walter Cronkite --seriously. No more budget cuts for libraries! They should have amnesty or whatever. And a raise. And cupcakes. Yeah.

Librarians are Generals found on ForgottenBookmarks (if you know the original source, let me know!) --this would make a great t-shirt for casual day at the library. :) Going with the previous quote though, librarians are awesome. Use them!

Twilight or War & Peace quoted by Rae Carson --honestly, I don't care what you're reading as long as you are. I may judge you a little bit for picking up 50 Shades, but if that gets you to read when previously you weren't? Good for you! Who am I to critique your reading choices? I read everything from classics to comics!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Review: "Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist"

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
3 out of 5 stars

I finally got this at HPB recently because I loved the movie so much and wanted to see how the book stands up. And I've decided that I am a person who needs to read the book before seeing the movie because it was too hard to separate the two in my head. What about you? Book or movie first or doesn't matter?

So, if you've never seen or read it, here's the basic story: nice boy gets heart stomped on by bad girl, semi-nice girl gets ditto by bad boy, nice boy & semi-nice girl meet under strange circumstances, have first date spanning one night in New York, maybe fall in love, possibly learn things about themselves in the process, definitely have a wild adventure. There is also: music of the indie-rock persuasion, lots of sex, drugs, and rock & roll, plenty of cursing, girls chasing boys, boys chasing girls, boys chasing boys, and more. If you are of a nature that takes offense to any of those things, this is not the book for you and I'd just stop reading this review right now. Might I suggest Bad News Ballet or Anne of Green Gables? :)

Norah comes across as a total bad-ass, rocker chick who takes no flack from anyone. But under the flannel and leather is a sensitive girl who wants people to like her for her not for who her dad is. And she doesn't find that often. Nick is the insecure, wanna-be rocker who shows her not all people suck and maybe she can find love after all, if she just lets the bad stuff go.

“Fuck this. Fuck this wondering. Fuck this trying and trying. Fuck this belief that two people can become one ideal. Fuck this helplessness. Fuck this waiting for something to happen that probably won't ever happen.” 

As you can see, I didn't have a problem with the language. That's how teens talk. To make yourself sound cooler and more grown-up than you actually are. I also didn't have a problem with their adventure thru the city, like I've seen in a lot of reviews. New York is kind of like another world (like Texas lol) and I think it's completely realistic for these teens to have the run of the city, experiencing life and music like that. And that's about all I have to say about the book itself, but I created my own version of Nick & Norah's playlist. It's part songs that reminded me of the book and their story and part songs that I think N&N would like themselves...I hope you enjoy it! :)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: My 10 Best Reads So Far In 2013

So much for getting back to blogging regularly, huh? I suck. That's all I can say. But I'm going to try again. And again and again if needed. I was inspired by The Broke & The Bookish's TTT this week though, so I decided to give it a shot. I've read 77 books so far this year, which is amazing for me...I'm already at 59% to my yearly goal, according to Goodreads and that's what I'm basing my Top 10 Best Books so far on. :) And I realized that I have read a LOT of really good books!
(John Green, you're so awesome!)

1. Light (Gone #6) by Michael Grant --this was the perfect ending to an amazing series. If you are a fan of dystopian young adult and you haven't read this series, you are seriously depriving yourself! Set in California, it tells the story of a group of kids trying to survive after they are cut off from the rest of the world, including all adults over the age of 15.

2. Anne of the Island (Green Gables #3) by LM Montgomery --I've read 4 of these total now and this one is definitely my #2 fave so far. Telling all about Anne's college days and her many, many proposals, it has the freshness of the first.

3. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver --I was so pleasantly surprised by this book, especially after the disappointing ending of Delirium. I devoured this one in about 2 1/2 days because I just couldn't stand not knowing what was going to happen. There is a strong Mean Girls streak in this book, but don't let that turn you away! It's got a lot of heart too and will bring you to tears many times.

4. Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto --just go read my review, you'll see why this was one of my favorites. :)

5. Lover Reborn (Black Dagger Brotherhood #10) by JR Ward --fans of "grownup" paranormal/vampire series can rejoice! This was one of the best in the series IMHO!

6. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern --this book was so magical (pun intended), I just want to sink into the world and experience it all myself. I'm still working on my craft inspired by it too, I should really get back into that.

7. Locke & Key #1: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill --the first volume in a new graphic novel series for me. I read it on my Kindle & decided I didn't like the format (having to zoom in so much), so I bought the first 4 volumes in paperback and they are on their way to me right now! :) I really enjoyed the first so I'm looking forward to it. It's set in a spooky New England mansion that has more secrets than its inhabitants and that's saying a lot! Joe Hill is the son of Stephen King, so the gruesome and horrific scenes are to be expected, but it's not overwhelming.

8. Better to Wish by Ann M Martin --this is the first in Ann's newest series and one I got at the Library Convention and will be giving away soon. :) It's a very serious book for the most part, set in the 1930s amid a war-stricken USA and deals with some heavy subject matter for a middle grade book. I'll be doing a real review of it soon hopefully.

9. Divergent by Veronica Roth --I finally read this one! My 13 year old sister told me I HAD to read it lol, so I borrowed her copy and enjoyed it immensely. Of course, she's being super slow now reading the 2nd and I'm 3rd in line to borrow it, so I may have to head to the library!

10.Hidden (House of Night #10) by PC & Kristen Cast --if you've read any of these books, I'm sure you're probably wondering how the heck this got on my list. Well, read my review and find out! :)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Review: "Mary Anne vs. Logan: The Baby-Sitters Club #41"

Mary Anne vs. Logan: The Baby-Sitters Club #41 by Ann M Martin
3 out of 5 stars

This is the one where Mary Anne finally dumps Logan's butt and gets some more of her backbone back. You go, girl. Although, looking at the cover, you'd think they were just on their way to their Valentine's date. Trust me, there is no smiling and soul-searching gazes in this book. Okay, so the book starts out with Mary Anne getting ready for a baby-sitting job at the Prezzioso's. She dresses up a little because Mrs P is still a snooty so-and-so, even while 9 months preggers. And then she goes into the big "who, what, when, where" spiel. But she does mention that her and Logan have been having issues lately, referencing the ship-wrecked incident and the time Logan's sister stole her precious Tigger. And he tries to talk her into going to a movie instead of baby-sitting, which is like "whoa." Kristy could have him strung up for that offense. Luckily, Mary Anne has sense to refuse and heads on over to baby-sit Miss Priss.

The main baby-sitting job in this one is about Jenny and Mrs P having the new baby, in case you couldn't tell already. The grown-ups are trying to get Jenny ready to be a big sister and she's having none of it. I don't blame her. She's 4 years old, the same age I was when my sis came around. I don't remember much obviously, but I do know I wanted to name her Football hah! Anyway, the P's keep giving Jenny "big girl" gifts like a watch, lace-up sneakers, and stick-on earrings. She knows exactly what they're doing though, pretty smart for a 4 yr old. While MA is sitting for Jenny, Logan calls 3 times...obsessive much? Mary Anne is annoyed and upset, so she breaks another Kristy rule and calls Claudia to vent a bit. And now is a good time for a What Claudia is Wearing, which was kind of dull, so I steampunked it up a bit. :)

She was looking especially acute that day. (*Acute* means *cool*. My friends and I make up words all the time, and only we know what they mean. *Distant* and *dibble* also mean *cool*.) [So basically, they come up with 50 different ways to say *cool*?] Claud was wearing an over-sized raspberry-colored shirt, a short black skirt, and black leggings (the layered look). On her feet were black cowboy boots, and dangling from an earcuff was a huge collection of beads and stones. (Claud does have pierced ears, but the holes were empty.)

We also had a bonus Mary Anne outfit, which I didn't bother illustrating, because as she herself states: she "looked like a complete nerd, even though I was wearing one of my better outfits: blue print pants that were wide on top but narrowed to cuffs at the ankles, and a short-cropped T-shirt with the sleeves rolled up and this acute picture of a cactus wearing a cowboy boot." Okay, A. In what universe is Mr Spier going to let his daughter out of her bedroom in a cropped T-shirt? and B. What's with the cowboy boot theme? Also, she mentions that Stacey is a "brittle diabetic" and has been getting thinner and tired lately. Stacey's emergency soon?? And Mr Prezzioso calls at the meeting and asks for 3 sitters because he's throwing a baby shower for his wife. Weird.

The next Saturday, Mary Anne is at home and has no plans for the afternoon, so she decides to sit by the fire and read Wuthering Heights. Ugh, this book again?? But Logan shows up unexpectedly and asks her to go ice-skating with him. She doesn't really want to, but can't say no to him (wonder how far that goes? heh) and so they go to the park. Logan talks the whole time and has planned a "romantic" afternoon, basically freezing their butts off. Mary Anne is kind of quiet, but starts to enjoy herself...until her toes start to go numb. Pretty soon she's totally numb, her teeth are chattering, and she finally gets the courage to ask Logan to go home. He's kind of annoyed, but agrees. Jeez Logan, can't you tell when your girlfriend is turning blue??

Oh, I forgot there were was another baby-sitting conundrum in this one...poor Karen Brewer "feels as sad as a rain cloud" because she was going to get married to Ricky Torres but they got in a fight and aren't talking now. Lol...but Kristy kind of blows her off and doesn't take her feelings seriously, which is odd to me. And we don't even find out if Karen and Ricky make up in this one. Maybe it's in one of the Little Sister books? Probably. (ETA: looked it up & yep, I was right! Linked it :))

Okay, back to the Mary Anne/Logan drama...this crap drags on for the whole book, so I'm just going to speed thru it a little, k? Logan orders MA's food for her (just like that creeper Travis for Dawn), Logan wants to go see the scary movie while MA wants to see a musical, date ends early, MA's dad notices how much time they are spending together & tells her she needs to chill a little & she agrees. Dawn and Mary Anne talk about it, MA says "I feel like he's taking over my life. I feel like I'm not Mary Anne anymore. I'm not whole. Logan took part of me." (Don't worry, he didn't take that part!) This book is serious, man. Mary Anne decides to cool things down for a while and actually calls Logan right then and tells him. He's not happy, to say the least.

The next day at school, he completely ignores her, ouch, and doesn't sit with them at lunch, which prompts this lovely little gem from Kristy: "Where's Logan, Mary Anne? Shouldn't he be in your lap?" Heh. I think it's odd that she didn't tell Kristy, I mean she is her 1st BFF and all. But she ends up telling everyone at the next BSC meeting and they start talking about their "love lives". There is a glaring typo too, which is odd for the series: Mary Anne reminded herself of something. Then Claud starts talking about all the guys she's fallen "in LUV" with on vacations and "how come we always fall in love when we're out of town and the relationship can't last?" Exactly, Claudia, this is what I have been saying. And then Logan calls and says he needs a sitter for his brother & sister on Valentine's Day, because he has plans & they've requested Mary Anne. MA immediately starts jumping to conclusions and inventing this uber-girlfriend named Olivia who is "tall, blonde, not shy, and very self-assured, but she was extremely smart, and was getting started in a promising singing career." Seriously? Over-dramatic much?

Meanwhile, back over at the Prezzioso's, Jenny has decided she wants to be the baby and trashes the nursery and is generally annoying, until Mary Anne does some reverse psychology and convinces her to be a big girl. Then they have the baby shower, where Jenny decides she hates the baby. Eh, who doesn't? A few days later, Jessi gets an emergency call when Mrs P goes into labor and she gets stuck sitting for Jenny. The baby finally arrives that afternoon, a girl (I know you were wondering) and Jenny is just like, "I wanted a brother." But that all changes when they bring Andrea home and Jenny gets to hold her for the first time. Aawww....

What about Logan and that skank, Olivia, you ask? Well, Valentine's Day rolls around and Mary Anne goes to his house to baby-sit. But the kids are gone and there's only Logan, in a tux with a corsage. Turns out he set up a big fancy dinner for Mary Anne and wants to make up with her. He gives her a rose, a huge gaudy heart-shaped box of chocolate, and a bracelet with gold heart links. She's a little over-whelmed and kind of upset that he, again, made the decision for her, to get back together. A few days later, she does some soul-searching and finally decides she doesn't want to be "anyone's girl" or owned. So, she puts on her big-girl pants and does the unthinkable...breaks up with Logan for good. (Or is it? Oooh...) Good for her. I was getting sick of that accent. Wonder if they'll cut him out of the opening credits now? ;)