Thursday, June 30, 2011

Entwined - Review

Heather Dixon

Azalea is trapped. Just when she should feel that everything is before her . . . beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing . . . it's taken away. All of it.

The Keeper understands. He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. And so he extends an invitation.Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest.

But there is a cost.
The Keeper likes to keep things.
Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.

This was such a fun read. I didn't realize this until about half-way through, and am a little ashamed to admit. But apparently this a retelling of a childhood fairytale "The 12 Dancing Princesses". I have never heard that story growing up, but I am glad to have been introduced to it now.

This is definitely an enjoyable read for nostalgic adults, but would also be great for younger girls. It contains death, loss, grief, anger, rebellion, consequences, owning up to mistakes, repairing relationships, forgiveness, love, and a happy ending. It was charming, light-hearted with a dose of dark to represent the battle between right and wrong/good and evil. It portrays the strength of sisterly bonds and rewards of overcoming obstacles.

It was a great little dose of 'happy' to throw into the mix. I'm just going to go on record and say that I would LOVE to see a movie adaptation of this book. I'd be first in line at the midnight showing. :)

I am rating, "Entwined":

'Till Next Time!

Before I Fall - Review

Before I Fall
Lauren Oliver

What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.

Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

Let me just start this review by saying, "Ohhh Emmm Gee". I reserve that statement for the most shocking, breathtaking and/or extreme situations. This book is OMG worthy.
Lauren Oliver managed to spin a hopeful/tragic, heart-warming/heart-breaking, happy/sad story in one book. This was a love/hate read for me. I started off reading this not really knowing exactly was its premise was. My initial reaction to it wasn't great. You start off submerged in the middle of a popular high-school clique. Sam's retelling of her experiences left me bored. I was never deeply involved with my own high-school experience because many of the dramatic and b*tchy attitudes didn't appeal to me. But I made my self keep reading because I don't like to give up on a book unless it's absolutely terrible. And this wasn't.

**Spoilers Beyond This Point**

As Sam relives her last day 7 times, I was shocked at how authentically I felt the emotions. The stages she goes through each day made me feel somewhat that she was working through the Stages of Grief, yet she was grieving her own death. She worked through confusion, anger, acceptance, and repentance. Her emotions bleed out of the pages threaten to drown you in them. She takes 3 steps forward and 2 steps back. Yet she continually grows. I loved how blatantly imperfect she was and how she struggled to get where she was by the end of it all.

The End...the controversial end. It left my heart broken in pieces all over the ground. Yet I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. It's a pain so good. It's the kind of pain that only genuine emotion can inflict. It's necessary. It's 'The Notebook' kind of pain. (You know what I'm talking about. You'll watch that movie over and over, knowing it will leave you in a sniffling mess. But you watch it anyway because the story and emotions are so beautiful and any other ending simply wouldn't suffice.)
This book haunted me for days after reading it. It still continues to haunt me. This is a book I will be revisiting again.

Bravo! Lauren Oliver, for daring not to take the easy way out with this one.

I am rating, "Before I Fall":

'Till Next Time!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Playing Catch-Up

Well, since I have read so many books recently, I figured I'd atleast list them all and give them star ratings. Only the ones that really made an impression on me, I will write a review for.
It looks like I left off on The Maze Runner. After that I read:

The Hunger Games (1, 2, & 3) - Suzanne Collins -- 5/5 for all
The Dark and Hollow Places - Carrie Ryan -- 4/5
I Am Number Four - Pittacus Lore -- 3/5
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen -- 3.5/5
Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver -- 5/5 **Review**
Delirium - Lauren Oliver -- 4/5
Divergent - Veronica Roth -- 4/5
City of Bones, Ashes, and Glass - Cassandra Clare -- 3/5 for all
A Certain Slant of Light - Laura Whitcomb -- 3/5
Entwined - Heather Dixon -- 5/5 **Review**
My Soul to Take - Rachel Vincent -- 3/5 **Review**
Leaving Paradise - Simone Elkeles -- 3/5
Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs -- 3.5/5 **Review**

If there's a book listed that you really want me to post my opinion on that I haven't indicated a pending review for, let me know. I'll rack my brain just for you. ;)

'Till Next Time!

W...W...W...Wednesday (6.29.11)

W...W...W...Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted be ShouldBeReading. To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

--What I Am Currently Reading

Nevermore - Kelly Creagh
Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.

--What I Recently Finished Reading

I was so excited to read this book. I mean, take a look at that cover! If that doesn't have creepy written all over it. I went into reading that expecting a spooky, suspenseful tale. I found it to be much more light-hearted and whimsical than I was anticipating. That's not to say it was bad, or I didn't enjoy reading it. It just wasn't what I expected. But a more in-depth review is to follow.

--What I Think I Will Read Next

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer - Lish McBride
Sam leads a pretty normal life. He may not have the most exciting job in the world, but he’s doing all right—until a fast food prank brings him to the attention of Douglas, a creepy guy with an intense violent streak.

Turns out Douglas is a necromancer who raises the dead for cash and sees potential in Sam. Then Sam discovers he’s a necromancer too, but with strangely latent powers. And his worst nightmare wants to join forces . . . or else.

With only a week to figure things out, Sam needs all the help he can get. Luckily he lives in Seattle, which has nearly as many paranormal types as it does coffee places. But even with newfound friends, will Sam be able to save his skin?

Sooo...What are your W...W...W...Wednesdays? Be sure to share your blog post in the comments. =)

'Till Next Time!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award

1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
2. Share seven random facts about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 15 deserving blog buddies.
4. Contact those buddies to congratulate them.
Hooray! My very first Blog award! Thanks E&K Family Book Review!
Seven random facts about me...hmmm. That might actually prove to be pretty difficult. Let's see here.

1.) I LOVE scary stuff. I'll watch just about any ghost/paranormal show ever made. In fact I just finished watching Ghost Adventures on Netflix. Those guys crack me up! =)

2.) Repetitive noises make me go crazy. Water dripping, pen clicking, DH's Xbox controller when the volume on the TV is too low. Make it stop!

3.) I LOVE thunderstorms.

4.) I love random crafts. Sewing, jewelry making, cross-stitch. However I rarely have the follow-through to actually complete them. I should probably get on that.

5.) I can change a tire all by my lonesome.

6.) The night sky fascinates me.

7.) I will be making Strawberry Shortcake sometime this week after starting at the above picture for the past 45 minutes while creating this post.

You are now enriched for reading those random facts about me. ;) Now to pass this on...
1. A Book Dork
2. A Cover Lover
3. BookBelle
4. BookHounds....FOREVER YOUNG.(adult)
5. In The Name of Books
6. Just Nook It
7. Lisa's World of Books
8. Mesmeric Revelation
9. My Overstuffed Bookshelf
10. My Shelf Confessions
11. The Bawdy Book Blog
12. Welcome To My Life

I know I was supposed to do 15, but I have a short attention span. (See random fact #4)

'Till Next Time!

Out Of The Loop

Well if there was ever an image to describe me it would be this:

I recently had to get a second job to help pay for Hubby's tuition, and seeing as the only place who called me back was a Tanning Salon, that is where I ended up. Well, several very busy months (Spring is the salons busy season) later, I finally have enough time back to start blogging again. With a nice tan I might add. ;)

Working did prevent me from blogging, but not from reading. I read plenty of books in my spare time, but I think I will only retroactively review the ones that stuck with me as awesome books.
I'll be spending some time catching up with you all and getting my reviews ready and hopefully get back into the swing of things!

My Sweet Peas died. No, I don't want to talk about it. But I will be attempting Basil next. haha. Wish me luck on that one.

P.S. For all my fellow E-Readers, I got the new Nook Simple Touch and I absolutely LOVE it. I intend to get some pics and review of it up sometime soon.
'Till Next Time!