Sunday, August 31, 2014

Notable Quotable: Khaled Hosseini (#43)

"One time, when I was very little, I climbed a tree and ate these green, sour apples. My stomach swelled and became hard like a drum, it hurt a lot. Mother said that if I’d just waited for the apples to ripen, I wouldn’t have become sick. So now, whenever I really want something, I try to remember what she said about the apples."
     --The Kite Runner

Friday, August 29, 2014

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

by Jesse Andrews
published: Amulet Books, 2012
pages: 295

Greg Gaines is a man of little talent but his most impressive one is his ability to slide through life unnoticed and carefree.  Except that he does care quite a bit about what everyone thinks, which is why he has his life down to a science until his mom throws a wrench into it.  After finding out Rachel is diagnosed with Leukemia, he feels obligated to rekindle a friendship with her.  Along with Earl, Greg's only real friend, he makes it his mission to cheer her up but this requires him to break his previously anonymous high school lifestyle.

The cover of this book is a major reason I picked up the book; it's so colorful and the puppet strings are a really cool feature.  It's not exactly the cover you'd expect from a book about cancer, which I think is why it's so enticing.

The book we read is one that is written by Greg and we are reminded several times that he is not a writer, he is a retired film maker which is why the book sucks.  There are sections that read like a script which I like quite a bit because it reveals bits of Greg that we can't see elsewhere.

My biggest issue with this book is that I didn't really care for Greg.  I thought him annoying and much too obnoxious.  With his desire to schmooze everybody and his confessions about how he feels toward Rachel and Earl.  I wanted to like this book more than I did but I just don't.  This book became a victim of the perils of the hype.

More than anything I enjoyed this book because it made me laugh.  It had me giggling next to strangers on an airplane.  The humor is quirky and despite itself insightful.  It's the kind of humor that I would not expect in a book that deals with such a heavy topic.  That's why it comes off so well, the humor combined with Greg and Earl.

Jesse Andrews definitely has a thing going with this book.  It might not be my cup of tea but I would definitely give any of his future books a chance.

Stars: 3/5


"Compulsively readable, inevitably bawdy, and very funny."
     --Ron Koertge, author of Stoner & Spaz

"Believable and sympathetic... [Begging] comparisons to John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, it stands on its own in inventiveness, humor and heart."
     --Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"This is one funny book... What's crazy is how moving it becomes in spite of itself."
     --Booklist, starred review

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (#6)

Harry Potter Moment of the Week hosted by Uncorked Thoughts.

Scariest Place in the Books:

Graveyards creep me out to begin with so one of the scariest places in the series is the graveyard where Voldemort's father is buried.  That grave is home to one of the most terrifying moments in the series - when Voldemort comes back in physical form.  Reading about this moment in the books makes my skin crawl every time.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Really Want To Read But Don't Own Yet

hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

1. Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphey - I found out about this book at the end of last year and ever since then it's been on my list.  I pretty sure I want to own this book for various reasons, but I still haven't had the opportunity to read it.

2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte - This is one of those classics that I really want to read but I keep forgetting I don't own it.  Every time I go to pick it up off my shelf, I realize that it's not there. I just need to go ahead and buy it already!

3. What It Is by Lynda Barry - This graphic novel is beautiful!  I've been meaning to read this book for a very long time, but more importantly I want to own it. 

4. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins - I realize this book just came out but I still don't own it and I still haven't read it.  And it's driving me crazy.

5. Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan - This book just sounds so interesting, plus the cover is gorgeous!

6. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell - I have my eye on all of her books, but this is the first one I want to read and I just haven't found the perfect moment to pick it up. 

7. Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones - Ever since I saw this movie, I've wanted to read the book behind the movie.  I've been told it's very different but that hasn't stopped me from looking for it everywhere I go.

8. To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han - I've heard quite a bit about this book this year and it's steadily making it's way to the top of my TBR.

9. Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo - I just found out that she wrote this book and you know how much I love Kate DiCamillo!  It's also won the Newbery Medal this year. 

10. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman - I've had my eye on this book since it was released and I still haven't found the time to read it, but I find myself wandering back to it every chance I get.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books people tell me I must read

hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Hey look some of these overlap with the books that I'm not sure I want to read... Surprise surprise!

1. Me, Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews - Every Booktuber ever has read and loved this book and that's essentially the same as throwing it in my face and telling me to sit and read now.

2. The Maze Runner by James Dashner - My brother and my little sister have both read all or part of this series and they've warned me that I must read this series before the movie comes out!  So that's probably going to happen.

3. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott - My Aunt and the literature student in me have decided that I will love this book.  Partially because it's a classic but mostly because it was adapted as a musical and I really want to see the musical...


4. Watership Down by Richard Adams - My 7th grade English teacher gave me her copy of this book and said read it, one day you will thank me.  I guess I better do that so I can thank her.

5. A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray - I was watching a book haul video recently and this book showed up on it.  The Booktuber basically said if it doesn't sound interesting to you then there is something wrong.  And yes it was interesting and yes I took that as a person invitation to read this book.

6. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin - One of my brother's friends told me as an aspiring author I should read this series because, if for no other reason, Martin knows how to kill off characters and do it well.

7. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier - I have a friend who likes to recommend books to me but occasionally she'll gush and tell me that I absolutely have to read whichever book she's talking about or I'll have lived an unfulfilled life.  This is one of those books.

8. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes - This again was recommended by my zealous friend. (I love her!) She told me that this book will make me cry a thousand tears, which I'm not sure if it's from joy or sorrow so I'll have to find out.

9. The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss - I have a whole stack of books recommended to me buy the lovely people at DAW books from when I interned there, but this was the first series that they told me to read.  I read The Name of the Wind when they first gave it to me and it's about time I continue.

10. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell - My little sister is all over me to read this one.  She's told me it's a must!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Notable Quotable: J.D. Salinger (#42)

"Don't ever tell anybody anything.  If you do, you start missing everybody."
     --The Catcher in the Rye

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: I'm Not Sure I Want to Read

hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

1. Game of Throne by George R.R. Martin - These books are just so long.  I'm not sure I'm prepared to read them, or really if I want to read them.

2. & 3. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey and A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess - Since these are classics,  I feel like I should read them but I've been told by a couple people that I should definitely NOT read them.  So I'm torn.

4. Hollow City by Ransom Riggs - I liked this first book but I'm not sure I want to continue the story of these children. 

5. Four a Divergent collection by Veronica Roth -  I was kind of apathetic about Allegiant and Four's voice wasn't strong enough for me.  I'm concerned that this book will also have that problem.

6. Linger & Forever by Maggie Stiefvater - I listened to Shiver and it was decent but it seemed to end in a pretty good place.  I'm not sure I can make it through the rest of the trilogy.  It feels a little to close to Twilight for comfort...(Not the writing, just the type of book.)

7. Inheritance by Christopher Paolini - This one may never get read by me.  I feel like I should finish the series but I had to struggle through the rest of the series.  So if I do read it, it won't be for a long time.

8. A Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling) - I want to read this but I'm not sure I will like it. And if I start I'm going to be compelled to finish the series and it's going to be a long series.  I don't know if I can commit to such a long series.

9. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson - I've heard this trilogy is very good, but I'm hesitant to read trilogies at the moment.  I've read a couple not so good endings recently and I'm a little tired of them. 

10. City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare - The last book in the series seemed to wrap up nicely that it's tempting not to continue on.  I haven't made up my mind yet.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Notable Quoatable: Markus Zusak (#41.5)

"I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I've made them right"
     --The Book Thief

Friday, August 8, 2014

August TBR: On My Shelf

I own all of these books but have yet to read.  Some of them have been on my shelf for a very long time and some have more recently found homes there.  It's about time that I give them some attention.  

Currently Reading:
  • The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

Possible Candidates:
  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
  • Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
  • Me, Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
  • Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • 4.50 From Paddington by Agatha Christie

August Releases:
  • Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins (Aug 15)

Book to Movie in September:

  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner (Sept 19)
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Oct 3)

The Addition of the TBR

I've decided that it was time to share with you which books I will be choosing for each month.  I love to make lists and I look at TBRs (to be read) as one of the most fun lists to make.  However, I'm not very good at keeping to my list, so most of the time I stray.

Here I will post my TBR every month and they will be themed! (for the foreseeable future.) The books on my list will all fall within the theme with the exception of any books being turned into movies or new releases for that month.  Those will be their own special category.  These TBRs are going to be large and I know I won't get to all of them but I'm hoping by selecting more books it'll help me stay focused on my list.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (#5)

Harry Potter Moment of the Week hosted by Uncorked Thoughts.

Favorite Romantic Moment:

Young Ginny Weasley's attempts at being cool while so obviously being in love with Harry Potter are among my favorite romantic moments in this series.  While they are necessarily romantic, they are adorable which is why I've decided they belong in this topic.

"His eyes are as green as a fresh pickled toad,
His hair is as dark as a blackboard.
I wish he was mine, he's really divine,
The hero who conquered the Dark Lord."

Ginny sends Harry this singing valentine and it's beautiful and absolutely mortifying for him.  But let's give 11-year-old Ginny a round of applause because that takes some seriously guts proclaiming her love for Harry.  I mean wow.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Gathering Blue

by Lois Lowry
published: Ember, 2006
pages: 240

Kira should have been taken to the fields and left to die when she was born, but her mother refused to let their village do that.  Now, Kira is left to fend for herself in a society that still believes that she doesn't belong. An almost magical talent with weaving keeps her alive as she struggles with responsibilities and truth.  She discovers things that will change her life forever.

There are some very interesting things about the society that Kira lives in and one of them is how they are named.  Each person starts off with a one syllable name and as they get older a syllable is added on to it.  It's a way that the society represents age and wisdom, which I find fascinating.  There is mention that not many people live to four syllable names so it makes me wonder when exactly syllables are added.

The characters are very interesting and distinct.  I became particularly attached the the young Matt who viewed Kira as an older sister and wanted her affection.  He is sly and cunning, deceiving to get his way when necessary.  He is a product of his circumstances but also has a pure heart, which is made obvious by what he does for Kira.

This book is seemingly unrelated to The Giver, which is the first in this series.  But there are small vague references that connect the two together.  It's fun looking for them and seeing familiar characters and places referenced.  I wondered how everything connected and at the end of this book I'm still left wondering.  At this point it feels more like a companion book rather that a sequel.

Lois Lowry's got something good in the works.  The themes of this book are very similar to those of The Giver.  She is distinctly trying to make readers aware of a very plausible future as a warning.  This world is both good and evil and Lowry's writing makes me want to continue to see which one wins out, if one does in the end.

Stars 3/5 stars


"Lowry returns to the metaphorical future world of her Newbery-winning The Giver... Plenty of material for thought and discussion here, plus a touch of magic and a tantalizing hint about the previous book's famously ambiguous ending."
     --Kirkus Review

"Lowry is a master at creating worlds, both real and imagined, and this incarnation of our civilization some time in the future is one of her strongest creations."
     --Booklist, starred review

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I'd give to readers who have never read children's books

hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

1. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
2. A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling* 
4. Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary D. Schmidt
5. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
6. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
7. Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan 
8. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
9. Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
10. The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

*Some may argue that this series isn't strictly a children's series and I agree.  The later books are incredibly dark and handle intense topics.  However, I do think Sorcerer's Stone falls under the category of children's books because Harry is eleven and that's where his adventure begins.