Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Anya, Another Girl, Summer without You, Goodbye

The first book I read was Anya's War by Andrea Alban. Anya, is a Jew living with her family in Shanghai, China on the eve of WWII. Her father refused to join the communist party and so the family left Odessa. But then Anya finds an abandoned baby on the street. Her hero, Amelia Earhart, is lost. And the Japanese ships in the harbor are a threat. She wonders if there is any place safe enough for anyone to be Jewish. She struggles with her religion and her dreams and her family. While the historical and religious context were interesting, for some reason, I wasn't particularly pleased with this novel.

Just Another Girl by Melody Carlson is the story of Aster, the middle sister, trapped between selfish Rose and dependant Lily. Her parents are divorced, her father doesn't pay child support and doesn't visit, and their mom works all the time. So Aster is stuck caring for Lily. At age 17, she wishes she could have her own life, hang out with friends, go to college...Aster struggles with how society views Lily and struggles with the family God has put her in the middle of. I am a fan of most of Carlson's books, and I liked this one. It didn't wow me, but it was a good read.

I really loved What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen. The cover is fabulous and I love the names SD came up with. For girls: Mclean, Riley, Heather, Opal, Tracey.Not so many for guys, but I liked the name Ellis, thought it was original. Mclean is the main character. For 3 years, she and her dad have been traveling from town to town working on restaurants that need help as part of EAT Inc. Every time they move, she becomes someone else, gets a different name (her middle name is Elizabeth, so they come out of that). Changing herself doesn't help Mclean deal with her parents awful divorce and doesn't help her forget, or forgive. But in Lakeview, somehow, Mclean ends up being, well, Mclean. This is a fabulous buildingsroman and a girl's search for her life identity. I loved it and definitely recommend it.

I wasn't very fond of Jenny Han's first novel, but I liked It's not Summer without You, better. Belly has to deal with her heartache over losing Conrad, and Susannah's death, and the change in the mother. I always thought Conrad was a jerk, so I was glad when Belly got to end up with Jeremiah, who I always thought was better. I liked getting to see it from Jeremiah's perspective as well as Belly's. I'm curious to see how the final book will turn out. I liked the cover too, how you can't see Belly's face.

So these are the books I've been reading. And today I'm going to start on Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta. It's time for me to get back to reading today!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Follow Hop 22July11

I got this from Bookworm 1858. Just another new thing I'm trying out! It's hosted at Crazy for Books. 

Q. "Name 3 authors who you would love to sit down and spend an hour or a meal with just talking about either their books or get advice on writing from." 

A: Okay so obviously I would pick Jane Austen. I would also pick Melina Marchetta, author of Jellicoe Road. I just love her novels, the mystery and suspense and imagery she puts into them. Hmm, for the last one I think I would have to go with Rick Riordan or Sarah Dessen. I love all the historical allusions in his novels, but I love how her novels are so real life ish. 

Q. "What’s the ONE GENRE that you wish you could get into, but just can’t?"

 A: The-genre-of-not-so-happy-endings. I hate cliffhangers. I hate it when the bad guy gets his way. I hate it when something bad happens to the good guys. Other than, I really don't like those end-of-the-world-oh-no novels. I think its called dystopian.  Hard to spell. I'm also not into zombies, vampires and werewolves, no zombies.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Teaser Tuesday--July 19, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading.

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read

Open to a random page

Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers.

I've always wanted to do one of these! But I usually am not on Blogger on Tuesday. But I am today!  My current read is Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta.
Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles #1)
My teaser: Fury rose inside him. "I curse the day I climbed that rock in Sendecane," he spat. She looked at him sadly. "That is where we differ, Finnikin. For I believe that was when it all began."

It was the best of times. The kingdom was safe, wealth was abundant, and the people were happy. At the age of nine, Finnikin sees this all torn away. The royal family is murdered. The forest people are slaughtered. Finnikin's father is thrown into jail on accounts of treason, while his beloved wife is executed. Angered by the carnage, Seranonna of the Forest People proclaims a dark curse, trapping the people of Lumatere inside. All that remains are a pair of bloody little hand prints on the kingdom's door, presumably those of Bathalzar, the lost prince.
Ten years pass...
Finnikin of the Rock and his guardian, Sir Topher, have not been home to their beloved Lumatere for ten years. Not since the dark days when the royal family was murdered and the kingdom put under a terrible curse. But then Finnikin is summoned to meet Evanjalin, a young woman with an incredible claim: the heir to the throne of Lumatere, Prince Balthazar, is alive.
Evanjalin is determined to return home and she is the only one who can lead them to the heir. As they journey together, Finnikin is affected by her arrogance...and her hope. He begins to believe he will see his childhood friend, Prince Balthazar, again. And that their cursed people will be able to enter Lumatere and be reunited with those trapped inside. He even believes he will find his imprisoned father.
But Evanjalin is not what she seems. And the truth will test not only Finnikan's faith in her... but also in himself.

Please leave a comment linking to your own Teaser Tuesday post. Have a good one!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ever, Big Sky, Sisterhood Everlasting, Tempest, Witch

These are the books I've read:

Ever        Tempest Rising (Tempest, #1)       Hattie Big Sky

Sisterhood Everlasting (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, #5)       Once a Witch (Witch, #1)

My favorite of these was Sisterhood Everlasting. I didn't like Ever very much, but all the rest were pretty good. Once a Witch was interesting... Love all the covers. They all match their stories.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Glass, Sisters, Katherine

Princess of Glass (Princess #2)Sisters Red (Fairytale Retellings, #1)An Abundance of Katherines

I read the Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George. It's the sequel to Princess of the Midnight Ball. Three years after the sisters broke the curse, royal alliances are threadbare. So the heirs are being sent to different kingdoms. Princess Poppy (of one place) and Prince Christian (of another) are both sent to Breton. Although Poppy (I love her name) is a wonderful dancer, she refuses to dance, due to the fact that she was forced to for 13 years. Ellen is a commoner and a maid, but was once the daughter of a wealthy man. So enters the Corley, claiming to be Ellen's godmother, who lives in a castle of glass, through magical portals. The Corley gives Ellen gowns and slippers--glass slippers, that turn Ellen's feet to glass. (sort of Cinderella-ish) Poppy is a strange and sarcastic character, due to her experience of being forced to dance. I found it interesting that Poppy was having nightmares about King Under the Stone and her "prince" down there, but there is no real connection, except that Poppy is still haunted by it. At the end, Poppy, Christian, and Ellen rescue themselves (and each other) from the Corley's grasp and find true love. I really liked those 3 characters, and I thought the Corley and her motives were interesting. I wonder if there will be a sequel...overall, an enchanting read. (get it, enchanting?)

Sisters Red is by Jackson Pearce and is the story of two sisters: Scarlett and Rosie March, who hunt the Fenris--werewolves who prey on young girls. It is their life, but Rosie wishes for another life, one blind to the Fenris. Enter Silas, Scarlett's hunting partner, who Rosie starts falling in love with. He encourages Rosie to engage to activities other than hunting, at a community center in Atlanta, where they are searching for the Potential--the next Fenris. As they try to find the Potential in Atlanta, they long for home and Rosie's desire to escape grows, as Scarlett's for hunting does also. But Rosie owes Scarlett her life, and they have the same heart, so they say. Thus Rosie is tied down to a life of hunting, even though Silas pushes her boundaries to an outside life. The three are searching for clues to the Potential, not realizing that he is closer than they think. And the Alpha of the Arrow pack is after them, sacrifices and blood to be paid. I didn't really like the cover on this one, the pale faces with only lips were kind of strange. I also felt there were things unexplained--such as the history of the Fenris, but I liked how it went from Rosie's perspective to Scarlett's. Although I do think it might have been better in third-person narrative, as it is at the end of the book.

My latest read was An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. It's the story of Colin, Hassan, and Lindsey Lee Wells in Gutshot, TN. Colin has dated 19 girls--and named Katherine--and has been dumped by all of them, so he thinks. With his help of his friends, Colin will be able to solve his Theorem, learn how to tell stories, fall in love, get beaten up and chased by a feral pig, eat at Hardees, and interview the old folks of the town. I don't want to spoil this read--because it was hilarious and pretty good. I loved the characters--how Hassan loves Judge Judy and learns how to work, how quirky Colin was; Lindsey Lee Wells was my favorite character, though. I love how the three of them learn how to care about the world outside of themselves and their fab-and-funny discoveries. Great Read. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Read-a-Thon (4) The End

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon

Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots
So I finally did finish The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway. And I read Dewey. After that I decided not to read Three Cups of Tea and read Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots by Abigail McDonald, which was hilarious.
I think the problem I had with this challenge was that the books I picked were heavy and it would have been better to pick lighter reads. Dewey was a good choice, but Hemingway's book was meaningless and didn't give me anything. But I did read 3 books, so I don't consider it a complete failure. Maybe not a success, but not a failure. And now I know some things for my next read-a-thon.

Mini Challenge: Recommend two books.

The first is any book of your choice. Pick any book you want and tell me and the world why it should be read and loved.

The second is what you would pick as your favorite of the read-a-thon. You can chose to answer this question now, during the third day, or I'll give you one extra day to give that book just waiting to be picked up a chance. :)

So my first book would obviously be Pride and Prejudice because it's a love story with a happy ending and it's Jane Austen. What's not to love about the adorable Bennett family, the wonderful Mr. Darcy, and the stubborn Lizzy? It's a perfect book, just perfect.

The second is obviously Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots. It was light and funny read and it made me laugh. The main character is into saving the planet and global warming, but learns in the Canadian wilderness that what she knows and real life doesn't always work together. She has some tough and funny moments with the guys and teenagers of the town. Hilarious book.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Read-a-Thon (3) Update and Mini Challenge

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon

So far I've read Dewey: the small town library cat who changed the world and I have a 100 pages left of The Sun Also Rises. I might not get to the Girl with the Dragon tattoo, but I suppose that's all right.

I wanted to do a mini challenge today, but I can't think up 3 love triangles. I know my favorite is Jacob/Edward. As for the other one, my books don't have very pretty covers. I suppose I could do the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, even though I might not get to read it. So I guess I'll try.

My Synopsis: They were Chinese, born in the year of the dragon. Marked by a tattoo of a dragon from birth, Kari Dievo and Damien Taroko are rare shape shifters and time travelers. Taken in by the Hunters, a group of their kind, they are chased by a mysterious force, through the history of China. They must find a way to hunt, if they are to survive. But history itself is against them, and only together can they, in the past, change their present and their future.

Okay, so I know it's not very funny, but don't you think it would be an okay story? And did I do a good job despite not having a very pretty cover?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Read-a-Thon (2) Mini-Challenge

Mini Challenge Question 1:
What is your favorite type of myth (Greek, Roman, Egyptian etc)?
My answer: I LOVE myths. They make for great stories, don't you think?! I love all sorts of myths, but Greek are my favorite, because I know more of them than any of the others.

Mini Challenge Question 2:
What is your favorite book with some type of mythology in it?
My answer: I love Rick Riordan books, especially the Lightening Thief series. The third book, The Titan's Curse, is my favorite.

 So far, I'm half-way through The Sun Also Rises, but it was 101 degrees were I live, so I went to the pool with my fabulous cousins for most of the day, ran, and took naps.

What are you reading?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Read-a-Thon (1) Kick-Off!

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon

Okay, so I am SUPER excited for this!!!!!! The books I'm reading are:

The Sun Also Rises

  Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a TimeDewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World

I'm going to read these books for sure and I have TONS if I finish them early.

What are you reading this week?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Beachcombers, Journey, Fly Away, Chacos, Divine

The Beachcombers by Nancy Thayer is the story of three sisters: Abbie, the oldest who has never been in love, Emma who has lost everything she worked for, and Lily, the young beauty of the family. They are staying with their father on Nantucket, their home. Emma has come home from Boston, after losing her boyfriend, investments, and job. Abbie has been staying in London taking care of a family's two boys. And Lily has been working as a journalist on the island, trying to take care of the house. They have been apart for two years, but now they are together. Working to repair their lives and falling in love and risking their hearts to their lovers, but also to themselves. Then there is Marina, the renter on the island, who is falling for their father. But Marina is forced to make a choice in a crazy turn of events that will impact their family for the rest of the year and future summers.

I also read the Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford. The animals aren't personalized until the end, which I thought was interesting. In the wild, it doesn't matter what your name it. There's the old bulldog, who isn't likely to survive, but makes it with the help of his loyal companions, the independent and tireless cat, and the young, loyal Labrador. They struggle through the Canadian wilderness, facing rivers, porcupines, separation, and hunger. But they make it home. There is the movie adaption of Homeward Bound I and II. I also recently watched The Adventures of Milo and Otis, about a cat and dog's adventures.

I just finished reading Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner. It was the story of the senator's wife, Selvie, whose husband has cheated on her, her daughters Lizzie, a recovering addict, and Diana, a nurse with a young son having an affair with an intern. I didn't feel any sympathy for Diana, but I did feel sympathy for a lot of the other characters. I think Lizzie was my favorite character, because of how she really wanted to recover, and cared for her baby, and wanted the father to have a better woman. I thought Selma, Selvie's mother, was a hilarious character, along with Milo, Diana's son. I'm glad I read this novel, even if it was a little too explicit for me, as was the Beachcombers.

Also, I volunteer at a camp for children with special needs called Camp Barnabas.They are trying to win a video contest with chacos, to win 3,000 for their scholarship fund. To vote for them, click like. Their video is the one with the cross on it.

About a month ago I read The Dark Divine and The Lost Saint. I liked them a lot, but I don't remember enough to write more on it. I must say I liked the first one better, but liked Daniel in the second one, too. It's interesting to see where the next book is going.