Howl's Moving Castle
The Cat in the Hat
Green Eggs and Ham
The Magician's Nephew
The Lord of the Rings
The Importance of Being Earnest
The Complete Little House Nine-Book Set
The Once and Future King
Flame Of Recca, Volume 1 (Flame of Recca
The Return of the King
The Two Towers
Signet Classics The Inferno
Picture of Dorian Gray
The Book Thief
The Other Boleyn Girl
The Hangman's Daughter
Alice I Have Been

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Book #27: Style by Lauren Conrad

Confession time: I love Lauren Conrad and The Hills. I have watched them all (again) on Netflix recently, and I always love Lauren's look. Imagine my surprise when I was walking through Target and stumbled upon this book -- awesome! I'm a sucker for style/decorating books anyway, but this one was a bonus since it was also written by someone whose style I like and admire.

The book has sections for collecting basics, t-shirts and jeans, shoes, accessories, putting it all together, and hair and makeup. There are a couple of things I missed, but these are the ones I enjoyed the most. She gives a lot of tips on washing and caring for clothes throughout the book, such as "if you don't have the time or energy to take care of 'dry clean only' or 'hand wash only' clothes, don't buy them."

I thought this book was written in a very down-to-earth way for someone who has money coming out her ears. She could have spent the book encouraging you to buy designer, but she really just tells you to look for things you like of a quality that will last but that you can afford. She also tells you when it's worth it (or not) to lay down more money for something, like a classic basic, and when it's okay to buy something cheap, like tanks and tees to layer.

I was also a big fan of the makeup and hair sections because they taught me to do somethings with my makeup that I was always afraid to try, like fake lashes and liquid eyeliner. Liquid eyeliner may be my new best friend because it turns out I'm kind of awesome at using it! I still have yet to try the fake lashes, but I'm intrigued by the idea.

Anyway, you can tell I had a ton of fun reading this, and it was a nice break from all the fiction I've been reading lately. Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Book #26: Beastly by Alex Flinn

I was told I just "had" to read this book. So I did! I have always loved Beauty and the Beast (the Disney one, of course!). It didn't take much convincing to get me to read this once I realized it existed.

This book, uniquely narrated by the male lead, Adrian, is incredibly well written. I enjoyed seeing the beginning of the story and the transformation in more detail than you do in the Disney movie, which just brushes over it. It was also nice to get the inner thoughts of the beast as he deals with his transformation and trying to win over Linda, the book's version of Belle.

Perhaps my favorite part of it all, however, was how Flinn transformed the story into modern terms and changed the way a lot of the magical elements operated. She also changes the circumstances under which Linda/Belle is brought to and forced to stay with Adrian/Beast. That took a lot of thought and creativity, and ultimately lead to me not being able to put down this book!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Books #14-#25 The Sookie Stackhouse Series

This is actually the reason I've been slacking on posting. A couple of my friends got me into reading this series by Charlaine Harris, and now I'm hooked. They're very easy to read and quick, and I felt like it would be much simpler and more effective if I just waited to write reviews of everything until I finished reading the 12 books that are currently available (I'm counting the collection of short stories as well). So, here goes...

Normally I'm not a reader of series books (at least not as an adult) because the character development feels so shallow and the plot monotonous. I was pleasantly surprised by these books. While the plots still aren't the deepest and the characters do change slowly throughout the series, I still like them! The plot is original, there's an ever-growing amount of supernatural races, and the love stories are constantly fluctuating. It's hard not to like the main character, Sookie Stackhouse. She's funny, she's tough, and she's also very real.

One thing I feel this series has for people who hate reading series books is the definite ending at the end of each volume. You can (and if you're like me, will want to) go straight into the next book, but if you don't, you're not left with a cliffhanger. Things do get reexplained quite often from book to book, but it seems to be a little less with each book, as I suppose Harris assumes that if you're on book 11, you've probably read and know a lot of the other books.

Overall, these are light books but incredibly fun reading. If you're looking for something easy to fill your summer, these are the books for you!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Book #13 Sickened by Julie Gregory

So, I haven't posted in ages, but it's not because I haven't been reading! I read this over Spring Break a couple of weeks ago. This book is about a woman who grew up dealing with Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. If you're not familiar with what this is, here is a basic definition: "a form of child abuse in which a parent induces real or apparent symptoms of a disease in a child."

For this woman, her mother was insistent on her having a heart problem. She malnourished her daughter and caused her to have minor health issues that she blew into major health problems. Her mother also did this to Julie's brother and foster children that she managed to get into her home.

I think the thing that struck me most about Gregory's experience was that what her mother did affected her life as an adult even after she managed to escape. At one point in the memoir, Julie talks about how her mother mixed up a box of cake batter and told her to eat it with a spoon for dinner while she watched tv. Yeah. Later, when Julie is out on her own, she has no idea how to feed herself, and actually continues this strange dinner ritual because she doesn't know any better.

This was an incredibly interesting story, and I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in people who have suffered various types of child abuse, or if you just want something that seems so crazy it's hard to believe.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Book #11: Torn and Book #12 Ascend by Amanda Hocking

I'm making a double post since these are the other two books in the Trylle Trilogy by Amanda Hocking. The first was Ascend, which I reviewed as book #9 below.

I have to say, this trilogy got better and better the further I read. Wendy, the heroine, gets stronger and more independent. The obvious choice is rarely the one that writer, Amanda Hocking, makes, which is delightful in any fiction, but especially in girls' YA fiction. She doesn't spend the books mooning over the same boy, and very often pushes love out of her mind for the betterment of the Trylle kingdom.

I hesitate to give details because I don't want to ruin the wonderful surprises for future readers, but this whole trilogy was a 5 star absolute must-read!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Book #10 Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

I have to say, I've read this before, and I'm a huge fan of the movies. I actually took a class in college comparing aspects of LotR to the Bible. Interesting stuff. I have been dying to reread it, so all I needed was a little motivation (thank you to my Goodreads group, "Reading the Chunksters").

I snagged this part right out of one of my old papers, which were based on the film versions. The question I was supposed to answer was about who I believed the three main characters are in the story:

"The three main characters in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring are Frodo, Aragorn, and the ring itself. Frodo represents innocence. When he is first introduced to the ring, he knows nothing about it. He just finds it on the floor and picks it up, so it has no real power over him. Gandalf tries to maintain some of that innocence by not telling him what it is at first and simply telling him not to put it on and keep it out of sight. Then as Frodo begins to learn the powers of the ring, he becomes a bit more consumed by it. When he first puts it on and becomes invisible, he is less innocent, and becomes more possessed by the ring and its power. He begins to hold onto it more carefully and use the invisibility to his advantage. After the private council in Rivendell, he is even more aware of the power that the ring possesses. As a result near the end of the movie when Aragorn tries to come near to talk to him after Boromir has tried to take the ring, Frodo is panicky and tells him he cannot have it. The more his innocence is destroyed, the more power the ring has over him.

Aragorn represents willpower. He is an ancestor of Isildur, who when given the chance did not destroy the ring. Aragorn seems burdened by this mistake. Though men are the weakest at resisting the power of the ring, he resists with no problem it appears. Aragorn does not want to carry on the same mistake that his ancestor made. He wants to be a part of destroying the evil that follows the ring wherever it goes. At the council Boromir makes a move to take the ring, but Aragorn never moves. He seems completely unaffected by it, when really he is working hard not to give into the evil. Another example is when Frodo is running from Boromir, and Aragorn finds him alone. Frodo thinks that Aragorn is reaching to take the ring from him as he talks, but Aragorn just clenches Frodo’s had tight around the ring, as though he were telling Frodo to keep it safe. He shows enormous willpower in this way because while the ring does tempt him, he does not allow himself to give into it.

The last main character is the ring itself. The ring represents greed. The characters can feel the power that it holds, and it makes them want it for themselves. Isildur refuses to destroy it when he cuts the Dark Lord’s finger off. Smeagol is so completely consumed by it that he follows the fellowship wherever it goes to try and steal the ring back. Bilbo, even after being separated from it for some time, turns into a monster-like creature and tries to snatch it when he sees it on the chain around Frodo’s neck. Boromir is tempted by the power and tries to attack Frodo and take it away. The spirit of the Dark Lord within it makes the characters want it. Anyone who has the ring seems to feel the constant need to see it and touch it, taking comfort in the fact that they have it. The ring even tries to put itself on Frodo’s finger when he, Sam, Pippin, and Merry are hiding from the Black Rider. It has its own mind and its own story, which is what the opening of the films shows. It tells the journey of the ring and establishes it as a character, not just an important object."

I still feel like this is mostly true, although I'm not necessarily sure that the ring has quite as strong a "personality" in the book.

I also feel in reading Fellowship again that it has to end the way that it does, even though it feels abrupt. It shows that the ring bearer, Frodo, is the only one who can destroy the ring. The rest of the fellowship may help him with the fighting and give him moral support, but in the end, Frodo is the one who will have to make that choice and let go of the ring.

Again, I really love this book, though the second volume tends to be my favorite. :)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Book #9 Switched by Amanda Hocking

What can I say? I'm on a roll. I needed something a little lighter after my run of classics, so I went for a YA fantasy novel that I downloaded for Kindle for 99 cents. That was money well spent. Switched is about a girl, Wendy, whose mother tried to kill her on her sixth birthday because she believed Wendy was not really her child. Eleven years later, with her mother in a mental hospital and under the care of her older brother and aunt, Wendy finds out she was right.

Wendy is a troll. And I think her reaction to finding out is pretty priceless: "Nothing about me resembled a pink-haired doll with a crystal in its stomach or a creepy little monster that lived under a bridge. Admittedly, I was kind of short, but Finn was at least six feet tall."

That's as much as I'm giving away. It falls somewhere on the drama-o-meter beneath
The Twilight Saga, and I can't quite think of a book to go below it at the moment. It's a lot of fun, drama, and romance, and it was good enough for me to immediately buy the second book in the trilogy, Torn, immediately upon finishing it. Enjoy, fellow YA fiction lovers!

P.S. Amanda Hocking also has a blog! Check it out here.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Book #8 The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

I was in classics mode after reading Dracula and Pride and Prejudice, so I dove right into another -- The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I originally became interested in this book because of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the movie. At the time when I first saw the movie, the only characters I was familiar with were Dorian Gray and Tom Sawyer. I became fascinated by the literary connections and began searching for more of the novel referenced. Now, I am nearly done with my quest, and plan to read the last two: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and The Invisible Man at some point during this year.

As for the book at hand, this was easily the fastest read for me so far this year. The basic story was as I knew it, but I felt that the message behind it was deeper than I expected. The story is all about capturing the two sides of an individual, the good and the bad. In the case of Dr. Jekyll, he manages to harness the bad and is consumed by it.

To me, that reeked of the essence of teenage rebellion. We all do it to some degree. We look for that little bit of bad to make ourselves feel free and in control and released from our parents. And then there's some point after that in which we realize that we're out of control and trapped in a different way -- in our need to be bad. Fortunately for most of us, we are able to come back from that with a little effort, but poor Dr. Jekyll succumbs to it and is lost forever. That happens to some too. I see it all the time at school. That kid that's hiding behind the bad he or she has become -- if you really look, you can see that it's not really where they want to be.

I think this story won me over more in lesson than in actual story. Good job for making me think, Robert Louis Stevenson. I commend you.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Book #7: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I am somewhat ashamed to say that this is not only my first time reading Pride and Prejudice, but also my first time reading Jane Austen. Oh, Jane! Where have you been all my life? I adored it. My friends had all given it such good reviews that I was afraid I would be disappointed. On the contrary, I think I'll pick up more Jane Austen very soon.

I was enthralled with the characters, especially since the descriptions of them are so, well...unhelpful. That seems contradictory, but let me explain what I mean. Too often an author gives away too much in a character description. They tell us what the characters look like, how they act, and all of what they are thinking. In essence, they tell us what they think of their characters and what they intend for us to think. I spent a large portion of this book making up my mind about characters, and often I found myself making discoveries about them at the same time as Elizabeth Bennett.

I also enjoyed having my own mental images of characters rather than being told explicitly what they looked like. It made it much less disappointing to watch a movie (which I did immediately upon finishing the book) that didn't necessarily portray characters the way I had created them myself. Some books that give a lot of description, like Twilight, make the cast of a movie so darn disappointing. Sorry, Robert Pattinson, I really had a better looking Edward in my mind.

I also thoroughly enjoyed the large amount of dialogue. I got a lot more caught up in the story because I had to pay attention to what was said, sort of like watching an episode of Gilmore Girls, which I also love. The love story was breathtaking, and I can now see why so many girls want to be Elizabeth Bennett and find their own dashing Mr. Darcy. It felt real and unplanned and so wonderful. This is my second classic of the year, and I think it may be tied for my favorite classic of all time!

Monday, February 21, 2011

I promise I'm reading!

I'm working on Pride and Prejudice right now, and it's going well, but slow because life keeps getting in my way. I am about a third of the way finished, and I plan on reading a lot more tonight. I'm enjoying it (and yes this is my first Jane Austen).

For the moment, I'm at work, wishing I was on vacation, and wishing the freakish warm weather would return to me! Updates to come...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Book #6: Dracula by Bram Stoker

Now, before you say anything, I didn't read this because of all the crazy Twilight vampire hype that has a couple of my students looking suspiciously like Cullen family groupies. It's a classic, and I have decided to devote a significant portion of my book reading this year to reading classics that I have never picked up!

I make it a point not to over-research things before I read them, so I really had no idea what I was getting into with Dracula. And I think that film has actually done a bit of a disservice to this novel. I wholly expected a somewhat graphic and horrific tale of a vampire running rampant around Europe. I am so very glad that I was wrong. It wasn't cheesy or gory, and it actually surprised me in it's thoughtfulness. I loved how many characters' points of view I was able to experience through letters and diary entries, and I enjoyed the complete lack of actual interaction with Dracula himself. Once you have gotten past the initial portion of the book with Jonathan Harker, Dracula himself is just a pleasant plot-driver. I think that mysterious foreboding feeling made the book so much more appealing that that of other novels' blatant and obvious villains.

I imagine that at the time this book was originally published, people squirmed in their seats while reading because they didn't exactly know what to expect, and even with vampires being thrust into the media so heavily these days, I STILL felt that. I think that's a good sign for any novel. It makes me wonder in some ways if a few decades down the road the Twilight Saga will still pack the same punch.

Overall, I was pleased and impressed, and I am so glad I picked this up for my first classic of the year!

Monday, February 14, 2011

I'd like to thank the Academy...

I WON AN AWARD!!! This is the first for my blog, and hopefully there will be more to follow. :)

The rules of the award are:

Thank the person who gave the award to you.

I received this award from the fabulous Conscientious Reader! Thank you Stephanie for getting me into blogging and finding another way for me to outlet all my nerdiness. I also love having another common interest to share! :)

Post 7 random things about you.
  1. I could eat a cheeseburger a day for the rest of my life and be completely happy.
  2. I will never ever ever like Rhianna.
  3. I love tv shows on dvd. Lots.
  4. I learned how to use a VCR when I was a little girl by watching The Wizard of Oz over and over and over again.
  5. I'm actually a Louisiana born Southern girl, and oh, how I miss my accent!
  6. I used to "read" books to myself before I could actually read. I had my mom read them so many times that I knew all the words and when to turn the pages.
  7. I used to be really skeptical of eReaders and eBooks, but now I HEART MY KINDLE!
Give the award to 15 other blogs
Sorry, but I don't really know that many yet! Congratulations to...:
Historical Tapestry
Hyperbole and a Half
Polishing Mud Balls
Carly Robinson Crafts
Book Hounds
Smile and Wave
Notes from the North
The Black Sheep Dances
The Bookette

Contact the blogger and let them know they have won.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Why Books Really Matter To Me

I consider myself lucky to have grown up in a house where my parents encouraged reading. My mom enrolled us in tons of books clubs, so I constantly got new books in the mail. And every night, reading books was our "mommy and daughter time." We'd cozy up in my bed and she'd read a book to me. Sometimes the Bible, sometimes a Little Golden Book, sometimes the same Dr. Seuss book she'd already been forced to read three times that week.

I devoured books, and I'm not ashamed to say that my mother continued reading aloud to me at night until I was a teenager. I remember the last thing we read together was one of the books in the Left Behind series. Then, like all teenagers do, I got too cool for Mom, and we stopped.
But the thing about it is, the books stayed with me. I still read tons, and I read a lot as a teenager too. I still love being read aloud to, which I don't think reoccurred to me until my junior year of college when my boyfriend and I would read books aloud to each other while we cuddled on the couch. Even when it's artificial, like when I turn on my Kindle's text-to-speech feature, I still enjoy it.

Books get stored in my heart the way in a way that other forms of media never will be for me. I love movies, but I don't feel like they're a part of me, no matter how many lines I can quote. Music is more intense, but still doesn't matter to me as much as the things I read. My mom showed me how to make books and reading important, and that time that we spent together reading makes it even more a part of my heart. It's as though when I read, no matter where I am, she can be there reading with me.

Wow, after writing this post I'm glad I'm going to go see my mom this weekend. :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Break from Reviews: Thoughts on Monday Morning

For those of you who don't know me, I feel I should begin by saying that I am a teacher, and that I live in a state that just got a ton of snow. A TON. We missed 4 days of school last week, which means this is the first time I have had to work in a week, the first time I've had to be up at a particular time in a week, and the first time I've really had to think about something other than reading books and blogging in a week. WOW.

I had a wonderful lot of fun with all of my free time, including really getting my blog started, redesigning it, joining a bunch of book challenges, and reading book reviews on other blogs. If you haven't looked closely, I'm in 9 book challenges. Last night, in an effort to forget that I had to work today, I planned out what I'm going to read for each of them. That was an interesting endeavor, but it's something I'm glad I did. I figured out where my overlaps were, what I would need to purchase or borrow, and just what sounded interesting. I think I'll edit this post when I get home and show you my choices.

One surprising thing I enjoyed while doing this was looking up the nationalities of authors. For example, Oscar Wilde is a personal favorite of mine, and I had no idea he was Irish! I also realized that I couldn't have named an Australian author or book to save my soul. When I get it posted, check out my list and see what you think!

Book Challenge Planning to Read
Nordic: (written by a Nordic author or taking place in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and/or Sweden)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

British: Books by British authors The White Queen, The Red Queen, Northanger Abbey, Pride and Prejudice, Sherlock Holmes, Wuthering Heights

Global: (Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, South America, +1 from a "continent" of your choice) Haunting Jasmine (Asia), Like Water for Chocolate (South/Central America), Oscar and Lucinda (Australia), Snow Crash (Seventh Continent), The Yacoubian Building (Africa)

Eastern Europe
: (Croatia, Ukraine, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Hungary, Belarus, Estonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, Czech Rep., Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Romania, Moldova, and Kosovo.)
War and Peace, Three Sisters, Crime and Punishment, Dracula,
Historical Fiction: Any historical fiction The White Queen, The Red Queen, The Name of the Rose
Ireland: (written by Irish author or taking place in Ireland) The Irish Princess, Dracula

South Asian
: (written by South Asian author or taking place in South Asia [Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, and the Maldives])
Haunting Jasmine

Memorable Memoirs
: Any memoir

Thin, Sickened: The True Story of a Lost Childhood, Intern

any novel with Gothic characteristics

Wuthering Heights, Northanger Abbey, The Hound of the Baskervilles (Holmes), Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Jane Eyre, The Name of the Rose, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Book #5: The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Pötzsch

This book was really out of character for me to read. I was drawn in by the historical fiction aspect, which is all that got me past the fact that this is a mystery/thriller -- genres which I normally lack the patience to read and enjoy.

This is a translation, and I personally thought it was very well done. There was only one time in my reading that I thought, "I think that XXXX was the word they really meant to use instead of YYYY."

As for the story, it's captivating. The history of it deals with it's location in Bavaria and the duties and families of hangmen. But what makes this book fascinating is the action that the hangman, Jakob Kuisl, takes to save a supposed criminal and out the right person to save the town. He works with the young town physician, who is in love with Jakob's daughter, Magdalena. Magdalena is a strong character in her own right, but is by no means the main character.

The inward struggles of characters in this story are what give it so much life, and what made me stay up until almost 3am today to finish it. I would definitely recommend this one!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Book #4: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer

This is pretty standard Twilight fare. I liked it, don't get me wrong, but it was along the same lines as the main series. There were some interesting things about it, like getting to see how Victoria went about actually planning her revenge on Edward and Bella. And seeing things through the eyes of a non "vegetarian" vampire was cool too. I feel, however, like this was a bit of a missed opportunity.

It's a very short book as intended, but it could have easily been made longer. We start out in the middle of Bree's "short second life," and I think I would have preferred that we started out at her vampiric conception. Meyer describes in the main series how many of the characters became vampires, but I think it would have been worth it to actually feel it happening in a stream-of-conciousness style as it was happening instead of being told in retrospect. Perhaps it's just me.

Either way, it was pretty much what you expect from a book like this -- easy to read, slightly cheesy romance, and embarrassingly entertaining.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Book #3: Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin

On the same Friday night I found The Year of the Hare, I found this book. Well, actually, a friend of mine found it first, showed it to me, and I bought it first! I'm a book thief!

I got sucked into this book almost immediately. It's not what I would usually call historical fiction, but I think technically it is. I love learning about the way things happened, the history of things, and especially if it has to do with literature.

This book is about Alice Liddell, the woman who inspired Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. He's much older than her (20 years to be exact), but the two of them are clearly in love, even though at the time she was only a child. At first I was like, "Ewww, pedophile!" But then my logic kicked in, and I realized that what was happening was not a revolting thing. It's just very important to keep Victorian views in mind when you read this novel.

Alice is the middle child, the rebellious one, the messy one, the individual. She is a constant rival to her older sister, Ina, but dearly loved her little sister Edith. Her mother had no love for her, and she had to find the answer to all her troubles. She finds that in Dodgson (Carroll), and becomes his inspiration for photography and, of course, writing.

I'm having a hard time describing why I loved this book so much, but I did. It's a perfect and tragic picture of an original child star and how she grows up. I loved it. I loved it. I loved it. I plan on going back to read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland soon.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Book #2 The Year of the Hare by Arto Paasilinna

I was wandering around in Barnes and Noble with my friends one Friday night (I know, we're nerds) and stumbled over this book on the new release table. I was immediately interested by the title, even more so by the synopsis on the back, and then completely sold when a review compared it to Life of Pi by Yann Martel, which I adore. What a dirty trick!

This book was...cute? The main character, a reporter, carries this hare with him on his pseudo-escape through Finland from a life he doesn't like. I expected a lot more personal reflection from the character, but instead felt pelted by a lot of little anecdotal stories. I never felt involved in the story after the first couple of chapters, which were in my opinion the most exciting and interesting. I really wanted to love this book, but I just didn't!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Book#1 Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity

Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity by Kerry Cohen was my first book of the year. It's about a girl who grew up feeling unloved and unnoticed, so she acted out and looked for love in all the wrong places (sing the song, you know you want to!).

My heart ached while reading this. I grew up in this incredibly loving home. My parents paid more attention that any teenage would want, but looking back on it, I'm so glad they did. I hate to think how I would have felt in Kerry's position. Her mom was self-absorbed and abandoned her daughter's to follow a dream. Her father was no more mature than Kerry herself. I don't think that my reaction to such treatment would have ever been to become a promiscuous teen or woman, but probably to have become more like her older sister, Tyler. Tyler became closed off and more what today's society would define as "emo." She just had a dark outlook, but she still tried to relate to her parents as best she could instead of rebelling against them.

Overall, I would give this book a 4 out of 5, although I have a feeling that your opinion of this book will be strongly affected by how well you can relate to her situation.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Let the Games Begin!

I have tried this blogging thing before, failed at it, and stopped. I'm trying again because I actually feel like I'm doing something worth talking about this year! Although technically, after too much free time in my 4th consecutive snow day, I'm now doing 9 (edit: dang it Stephanie!) things.

1. My own personal challenge: One book per week all year long (52 books)
2. The Global Book Challenge (7 books)
3. The British Book Challenge (6 books)
4. The Eastern European Book Challenge (4 books)
5. The Nordic Book Challenge (2 books)
6. The Ireland Book Challenge (2 books)
7. Historical Fiction Challenge (5 books)
8. South Asian Challenge (1 book)
9. Memorable Memoirs Challenge (4 books)
10. Gothic Challenge (5 books)

Links for numbers 2 through 10 are on the right side of my blog!

The personal challenge is the most important to me. I spent a lot of time in the past few years feeling overwhelmed, and I stopped making time for myself. I hardly read anything that wasn't for a class or something I was supposed to be teaching. My 52 book challenge is me making that stress-free time for myself each week to do something that I have loved since I was little. So far, I'm on track! Let's hope I can keep it up and even exceed my goal!

Now, as for the other challenges, I have a good friend of mine to thank for me finding the Nordic Challenge, but the rest was all me! I'm going to be reading 52 books this year, so why not make it a more social endeavor? Plus, these constraints will make me choose books more diverse than what I might normally choose on my own.