Thursday, September 29, 2011

Easier to Love & Big Round Things

Back When You were Easier to Love by Emily Wing Smith is the story of Joy who is spending her last two years of high school in Haven, Utah. She longs to be back in Claremont, California where she had lived her whole life. Although she has made new friends, she misses her old ones. She also misses Zan, her boyfriend who left early for college without a word. Joy and Noah, Zan's previous best friend go on a road trip to the college seeking closure. Why did Zan leave without saying goodbye? And why doesn't he want to be found?

As they drive together, Joy looks back on her life adding in both "then" and "now" to her story. Honestly, I really liked this book, especially the cover. Names were great: Joy, Mattia, Charlotte, Noah,  Gretel, ect. The COVER is awesome too, as well as the title. I , so her mourning was slightly annoying to me. As Emily Wing Smith says, "You never forget your first love,really liked it; the only problem was at the beginning when she talked about Zan. I don't know what it's like to be heartbroken but sometimes you should." And that's what this novel is about. First love and loving again without even knowing it and about friendships and broken hearts and healing hearts. What people say about this book is what I'm saying. We are all saying the same thing. This book was a great read.

Back When You Were Easier to Love

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler is about Ginny Shreve who is slightly overweight and comes from a "perfect" family. Her sister has joined the Peace Corps and lives in Africa. Her brother is a student at Columbia. Her best friend, Shannon, has moved to Walla Walla, home of the onion, and the place for lovers. Froggy Welsh the Fourth has taken an interest in her, but she's too worried that he might notice her weight. She is the odd one out in her family. Until a phone call changes everything. Until a phone call makes Ginny decide to be brave and not worry about her family's expectations. A phone call that means no one is perfect. A phone call that takes her to see Shannon, get her eyebrow pierced, and begin kickboxing, and start writing, and gets her a friend back home. That's all it takes to change things. In Ginny's mind and attitude as well as in her life. An encouraging novel for young women. I really liked it. Ginny is a relate-able character who learns the world isn't perfect and how to deal with an imperfect world.

Entwined & Exposed


Entwined by Heather Dixon (I like the name Heather) is a twist to the Twelve Dancing Princesses. The COVER is so PRETTY! The main character is Azalea, the oldest princess, who has to look after her younger sisters after the death of their mother. They have to survive a year of mourning, but they must dance. When they stumble upon the Keeper's realm, he allows them to enter every night to dance. But Azalea is entwined with him, and will soon be entrapped if she doesn't get out.

There were some things I liked and some things I didn't. For instance, I like how it was about family and finding love for the princesses so that they could marry for love rather than arranged marriages. I liked their names and the connections to dreams. I never quiet understood all the references to magic or the Keeper's relationship with Azalea. What does he want with her, her sisters, and her parents? I liked the names, which you will find if you read it. I think that for a novel this long, I expected a little more and was disappointed. Here's a quote: (the Keeper) "Excellent dance, my lady. You are the best I have ever danced with. You should take pride in that." To sum up, it's about magic and princesses and evil men and good men and family and royalty and duty and love and sisterhood. I can't recommend it, but it's up to you to decide what you think about it.

Exposed by Kimberly Marcus is the story of Liz, PhotoGirl, in verse. When her best friend, Kate, accuses her brother, Mike, of rape, Liz no longer knows what she sees. The lens of her life has become blurred and she doesn't know how to make it clearer. She pretends it didn't happen, acts like it's normal, but she still can't see, can't focus on the image of herself. Her friendship with Kate is shattered, when Kate decides to press charges and testify against Mike. 

Liz and Kate both learn how to take risks and how to step forward when life throws you backwards, how to keep moving, how to shoot life when it's moving and going forward. To keep going with it. Liz must reconcile her feelings toward her family and Kate and learn how to focus on her future.

 A quick, raw, and beautifully compelling novel, it made me want to cry. I'm a photographer myself so I know what that is like. To not know what you're looking at. To find the image you need to capture. Life isn't black and white, nor is it a single snapshot. Instead, it is many. Together. Connecting us to others and the world around us.

Everyone has a point of view.
Some people call it style,
but what we're really talking about
is the guts of photography.
When you trust your point of view,
that's when you start taking pictures.
--Ann Leibovixtz (Exposed)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Follow Friday--September 16, 2011

Follow Friday happens at Alison Can Read. Click the picture above to enter the blog hop. It will take you to where you can add you link and read the rules. The purpose of this blog hop is to get followers, so if you are looking for them this a good way to go. I would like to thank all the new people following me so far through this blog hop. 

Q. It's that pesky magic book fairy again! She has another wish: What imaginary book world would you like to make a reality?

A: Narnia! I would love to go there and wander with Aslan and the wonderful natural world. I also think I'd like to go through a closet or a picture to get there. I'd love to travel with Lucy and Edmond; I just think it would be quite an adventure. Other than Narnia, I loved Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta. I think that would be an adventure as well. I would love to meet Evanjalin and travel to the shrines and hills. Definitely recommended reads. 

Posts you links in the comments and I'll try to get back to yall. I got my wisdom teeth pulled yesterday so I am sleeping a lot and hanging with my cat and reading some. Whoever invented the word "and"? Anybody know? 

Have a good Friday yall!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Teaser Tuesday--September 13, 2011

Miz B over at Should Be Reading hosts this weekly meme, where us book lovers get a chance to spotlight our currently-reading and a little teasing. : ) The rules are simple:

  • 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 & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their to-reads if they like your teaser.
The book I am currently reading is Sophomore Switch by Abigail McDonald. Sophomore Switch

My Teaser:
"Sorry," I say, deflating a little. "But I get it: wanting to be the one in charge of the scene."
He shrugs. "But it doesn't work that way, right? You can't write everyone's part for them." (from Emily's perspective)

Summary from GoodReads:
Reeling from the aftershocks of "The Hot-Tub Incident," American party girl Tasha jumps at the chance to spend a semester at tweedy Oxford University - banking on the fact that the tabloid stories about her won't have made their way across the Pond. But Tasha starts to question her judgment when she finds herself Uggs-deep into feminist theory and unpopular with the university's intellectual student body.
Meanwhile, studious control freak Emily, reeling from a romantic incident of her own, decides she'd like a change, too. Disappointing her snooty British family, who would rather see her at Harvard than UC Santa Barbara, Emily throws herself into film classes - not to mention bikinis and beer pong. Her English accent gets her plenty of attention, but not all of it is welcome - especially the frustrating confrontations with a male classmate.
Thrust into lives as opposite from their own as possible, Tasha and Emily's only hope may lie in each other. Will their combined intelligence be enough to get them through their sophomore year switch?
My Review:
I liked it. Both girls reminded me of me a little. Tasha gets to change and become who she wants to be and figure out relationships in Oxford. She gets to transform from the slut Tasha to the feminist Natasha. It's great to see how she changes and grows up. And Emily who has planned what she wants, gets her plans shaken up. In a sunny place away from her parent's expectations, Emily is free to relax and do and think about what she wants for her future. I guess I just like it because it's about girls who are unsure about their futures, just like me. I don't know who I would chose if I had to chose between the girls. I really like the Natasha in Oxford, though.I guess I just really liked how the girls changed. And the ending was perfect too. I would recommend this book for girls in college. I plan on doing a sophomore switch when I get there!

You may post your own Teaser Tuesday links below.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Follow Friday--September 9, 2011

I feel like I haven't blogged in a while, but I'm guessing that's just me, not actually reality. It's Friday, so that means it's Follow Friday. I'm on twitter, so it always cracks me up (if that makes any sense).

Q. Have you ever wanted a villain to win at the end of a story? If so, which one?

A: Not really. But I am currently reading Frankenstein and I almost like the monster better than I like Victor Frankenstein. For those of you who don't know Frankenstein is the man who made the monster. I usually want what's best for the main character. Most of the novels that I read don't have a lot of villains, because they are more realistic. I don't read a lot of fantasy, not that I don't like it, I just don't read a lot of it.

To join the Follow Friday click on the picture or type the links into the search bar. Have a good friday yall!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Follow Friday--September 2, 2011

I'm doing a blog hop this weekend! To see the rules you can click the picture above.
Some cool blogs that I'm following:
It's been a really cool weekend! Have a good one!

Q. If you could change the ending of any book (or series), which book would you choose? Why and to what?
Breaking Dawn  (Twilight, #4)
A: I am very accepting of how books end, even if I am not fully satisfied with the ending. The first thing that pops into my mind is Breaking Dawn. Compared to the other novels, it's ugly and morbid. I mean, Bella's having a vampire baby? Jacob's running away and living with them? Jacob falls in love with Bella's daughter? It's just too weird for me. If I had it my way, I would have had Bella marry Jacob and go to college. Jacob was so much better for Bella. He didn't ask for her soul like Edward did. I always thought Bella was an idiot to give up her soul and her flesh. Idiot. I wouldn't have minded if the characters died even, but gosh I really hated the ending of that book. I also thought it was confusing that the Volturi and all those other vampires showed up. A whole bunch of stuff in that book didn't make sense, didn't seem right. I think there could have been a better ending, and why couldn't Bella have ended up with Jacob? He really loved her, even if she didn't deserve him, and she could have kept her life, her children, love. No sacrifice with Jacob. Edward was more dangerous. I will never get why she chose him.

Thanks to everyone who is following my blog!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Forget You & Across the Universe

Forget You
Forget you by Jennifer Echols is about Zoey who has a troubled, bipolar mom, an egotist dad, and his twenty four year old girlfriend. Oh, and she has friends, especially Brandon who she has always liked. But when a car accident happens, Zoey can't remember what happened that night. Doug, the fisherman's son who she has a past with, is suddenly acting as though something happened between them. As she grows closer to Doug, all she wants is the truth. But everyone seems to be avoiding it. As she slowly puts the pieces together--with some help from Doug--she starts find the truth and remember who she is in her family. I found this read to be quick and funny, never knowing where the author was going. I plan on reading Going too far by Echols next.

Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)
Across the Universe by Beth Revis was a haunting and breathtaking novel. I can't wait to read the sequel. Amy leaves her whole life behind on earth to travel to Centauri-Earth to help begin a new planet with her parents. But years before they land, Amy is unplugged and must learn how to figure life out on a spaceship she knows nothing about. She doesn't recognize herself. Then there's Elder, the future leader of the ship, who questions Eldest's rule and morals. Together they try to unlock the secrets of Godspeed (the ship) and Elder tries to prove that he is ready to become a leader. Mesmerizing novel. I have more questions though, because not everything was explained clearly. Questions about the Plague. I liked how we got to see both Amy and Elders perspective and the personal challenges each went through. How they did what was right and tried to right the wrongs of Godspeed taking personal costs. The sequel is called A Million Suns.

A Reluctant Queen & Along for the Ride

A Reluctant Queen: The Love Story of Esther
A Reluctant Queen: The Love Story of Esther by Joan Wolf is a retelling of Esther's tale. The novel is told from the perspective of Esther who lives in Susa and has no worries as a young Jewish woman. But when her uncle Mordecai asks her to enter the harem and petition to be the king's next wife, she agrees. Esther does not believe it when the king choses her, but he does. And even more so, is that she cannot believe that she has fallen in love with him. It's not just a tale of courage; it's a love story (hence the title). Esther struggles between being Jewish or Persian in a Persian world and how to follow God when she is alone. She doubts her fate and tries to give up her faith, but then realizes that what she wants doesn't matter, that she must save her race and keep her faith, that all she needs is God. She becomes quite a queen. It's a great love story that Wolf has put together here! I think that Esther must have been in love with her husband in the Bible. I'm really glad I read this book. I plan on reading more Biblical fiction about women.

Along for the Ride
Last month I read What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen. This month I read Along for the Ride by her. Auden is spending the summer living with her dad and his new wife, Heidi, and their daughter Thisbe Caroline West (or Isby as Auden calls her). I really liked it. Auden is an academic girl, with a mom who teaches graduates and a dad who is an author. She never been very social, never went to prom. She didn't know what to do with her summer, so she ends up in Colby, NC. She works at Heidi's store and makes some friends. And Eli. The insomniac wanderer and biker. There's something about Auden. There's something about Eli. Auden learns a lot in the summer. So do a lot of the other character. Auden gets to learn how to ride a bike, even buying one at the end of the summer, and getting to finally go to prom. She goes along for the ride with life's wild ride (if that makes any sense at all). I think I liked this novel better than the last SD one I read, but both were good. I think I am a lot like Auden. I also really liked some of the names in this books: Auden, Leah, Esther, Maggie, Morgan, Isabel, Eli, Hollis, Lauren or Laura, Tara. SD comes up with such good names for her characters. Auden is certainly an original. I have never learned to ride a bike, and it's something I would like to do before I go to college.

That's all I have for today. Love, Rachel