Thursday, January 23, 2014

Review: Princesses Behaving Badly - Linda Rodriguez McRobbie

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 4 stars  
Cover Rating: 4 stars (It's fitting and elegant looking, until you look closer.)
Genre: Adult
Publication Date: November 19, 2013
Publisher: Quirk Books
Page Count: 288 p.
Add it: Goodreads

Not all princesses have fairy-tale lives...or endings.

This was a very fascinating book, probably something I will add to my home collection. It was nice to be able to read about a couple of princesses, move on to something else, and then come right back to read about a few more.

I love the interesting parts of history, and these stories are fascinating. I really loved how the author presented the information. She included information that was rumor and speculation too. She stated that it might not be true before hand and I appreciate that it was included. Through the years I'm sure most history has been skewed. It's skewed depending on your global location too. I love that she presents all the information and leaves it up to the reader to form their opinions on the worthiness of the stories.

There were quite a few people that I had never even heard of, so it was nice to be introduced to these stories. I highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in history and wants something that isn't dry.

First Lines:
"'Every girl pretends she is a Princess at one point.'
Lindy, from Alex Finn's Beastly
Every little girl? Not quite."

Favorite Princesses:
Olga of Kiev

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Review: Fracture Me - Tahereh Mafi

Where I got it: ebook from library
Rating: 4 stars  
Cover Rating: 5 stars (These covers are so pretty.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: December 17, 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins
Page Count: 68 p.
Add it: Goodreads
Sequel to: Shatter Me, Unravel Me and Destroy Me

Starting near the end of Unravel Me this book is from the perspective of Adam Kent.

So the reason this book received only 4 stars is because I'm not a fan of Adam Kent. I'm sure he means well, but he just rubs me the wrong way. He's a little bit too well meaning I think. He's always holding Juliette back under the guise of protecting her. Adam just need to grow up. It was interesting seeing things from his perspective, instead of just watching him brood around. Now I'm just dying for Ignite Me even more though because I need to know what happens and who lives and who dies!!!!

First Line:
"Addie? Addie, wake up. Addie--'"

Favorite Lines:
"And those are the moments that kill me a little."

"In an instant the horizon is lit on fire, flames roaring in the distance."

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Review: The Golden Day - Ursula Dubosarky

Where I got it: Inter-Library Loan
Rating: 3 stars  
Cover Rating: 2 stars (Not really a fan of it. )
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: August 6, 2013
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Page Count: 160 p.
Add it: Goodreads

Miss Renshaw is not a very traditional teacher. She often takes the girls outside to learn. Really, it's just so she can meet with her lover Morgan. One day, Morgan and Miss Renshaw bring the girls to see an old cave with drawings inside. The girls leave the cave to wait for Miss Renshaw, but she never comes out...neither does Morgan. The girls aren't sure what to do, so they head back to school. Days past and the news is spread that Miss Renshaw is missing. The girls keep quite though because those little outings were a secret.

This story would have probably worked better as a movie. It was interesting enough, but I feel like visuals would bring it to life. I felt like a lot of the emotions that the characters went through weren't adequately felt by me because of the writing.

I did like Cubby however. I think we would have been friends. I too agree that history doesn't seem quite real because I can't imagine the world being more primitive than it currently is. It's strange thinking about a time without computers or electricity. I'm glad she was our narrator.

This story doesn't really give you any definitive answers. At the end you'll be left with Cubby wondering at what has happened and what is real. The story has a haunting feel to it and is a quick read.

First Line:
"The year began with the hanging of one man and ended with the drowning of another."

Favorite Lines:
"There were more footsteps, more voices. A door closing."

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Stuff I Got This Week

Bought/Review: thanks Penguin Press

George Duncan is an American living and working in London. At forty-eight, he owns a small print shop, is divorced, and lonelier than he realizes. All of the women with whom he has relationships eventually leave him for being too nice. But one night he is woken by an astonishing sound—a terrific keening, which is coming from somewhere in his garden. When he investigates he finds a great white crane, a bird taller than even himself. It has been shot through the wing with an arrow. Moved more than he can say, George struggles to take out the arrow from the bird's wing, saving its life before it flies away into the night sky. 

 The next morning, a shaken George tries to go about his daily life, retreating to the back of his store and making cuttings from discarded books—a harmless, personal hobby—when through the front door of the shop a woman walks in. Her name is Kumiko, and she asks George to help her with her own artwork. George is dumbstruck by her beauty and her enigmatic nature, and begins to fall desperately in love with her. She seems to hold the potential to change his entire life, if he could only get her to reveal the secret of who she is and why she has brought her artwork to him.

That's what I got this week, what did you all get? 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Review: Love in the Time of Global Warming - Francesca Lia Block

Where I got it: ARC from AmazonVine
Rating: 4 stars  
Cover Rating: 4 stars (It's very nice. I wish the house on the front was pink though.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Page Count: 240 p.
Add it: Goodreads

Pen's whole world dissolved around her and washed away with the waves of a tsunami. Now she must seek out others in order to survive and find out where her home really is.

Francesca Lia Block again crafts a beautiful tale. This is very clearly a re-telling of The Odyssey (it's stated many times). I think it worked very well with Francesca Lia Block's writing style. This was such a beautiful journey. There's a supernatural element to it that I really enjoyed.

This was a really quick read and every page was lyrical. I really enjoyed watching Pen discover new people and form her little band of riff-raff. This reminded me a lot of Francesca Lia Block's first novel Weetzie Bat.

I will always and forever love Francesca Lia Block and recommend that you at least try her once. Her writing is certainly not for everyone, but if it's for you then you'll fall in love.  I would recommend this one to start with too. I really loved this one. There were some parts that were a bit off, but as a whole it was wonderful.

First Line:
"The building has gold columns and a massive doorway, a mural depicting Giants, with small bodies sticking out of their mouths like limp cigarettes."

Favorite Line:
"The clouds in the sky look as if they are made of brick because the white paint cracked over time."

Friday, January 3, 2014

Review: The Implosion of Aggie Winchester - Lara Zielin

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 3 stars  
Cover Rating: 4 stars (I'm a fairly big fan of this cover.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: August 4, 2011
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Page Count: 278 p.
Add it: Goodreads

Aggie has a lot on her mind this year. She wants to get back together with her ex, even though he doesn't treat her well. She just found out her best friend is pregnant and her mother has cancer. Now there's this big prom scandal and another boy seems to have eyes for Aggie. She just wants to stay out of the whole mess, but unfortunately with her friend being the center of the scandal and her mom being the principal, Aggie is not only a part of it but has to choose which side she stands on.

This book was a bit meh for me. Aggie was a bit shallow for me. She is so obsessed with her ex and making sure she looks goth enough. It was just a bit boring to read about. I appreciated how opening her mouth always seemed to get her into more trouble, because sometimes things are like that. You try to fix a problem, but just keep making it worse and worse.

I thought there would be more about the pregnancy in this book, and while it was a prom queen issue it wasn't really a teen pregnancy issue. It was certainly interesting.

I liked the secondary characters a lot more than Aggie and Sylvia. Fitz was so endearing and I wished there was more of him in this novel. Fitz seemed like a really caring and understanding person and Aggie seemed shallow and oblivious.

I feel like there was too much drama in this book. I don't think Sylvia needed to be pregnant and Aggie's mom didn't need to have cancer. It would have been pretty much the same book without those two elements. Those things just add to the drama.

It was a decent read, but not something I loved. The secondary characters should have run the show.

First Line:
"I pushed open my car door and stepped straight into a puddle of ice and slush."

Favorite Line:
"I just prayed my parents would be asleep by the time I lifted my window and crawled into the darkness."

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Review: The F- it List - Julie Halpern

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 3 stars  
Cover Rating: 5 stars (Very fitting, I quite like it.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: November 12, 2013
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Page Count: 256 p.
Add it: Goodreads

Alex's father died and on the day of his funeral her best friend slept with her boyfriend. Even if she wasn't keen on her boyfriend anymore, that doesn't mean she has to forgive Becca right away. She decides to take the summer to mull it over. When she is ready to forgive Becca though, she finds out that Becca has cancer now. Becca has a request for Alex, to complete her bucket list items in case she will never be able to. Alex does it to help her friend, but she might just end up helping herself figure out who she really is.

I'm usually a huge fan of Julie Halpern, so I was a bit disappointed when this one fell a bit flat for me.
I suspect it's from how poorly Becca and Alex treat each other. They are both just cruel at times. Alex just wasn't a character for me either. There was just something about her that rubbed me the wrong way.

This was also a bit strange for me, because in high school my friend Becca got cancer. It was a strange coincidence.

The story itself was interesting though. It was nice seeing a friend with cancer not the narrator or an adult. It feels more real and raw that way.

As expected, this book is quite hilarious most of the time. I love how Julie Halpern also takes a subject that's a bit serious and makes it easily digestible with humor, while not glossing over the issue. It's the perfect blend really.

If you're looking for a cancer book that is a bit humorous and a bit raunchy, check this one else. At the very least you'll get quite a few good laughs out of it.

First Line:
"The only thing worse than having my best friend sleep with my boyfriend the night of my father's funeral would be if she had killed my dad herself."

Favorite Line:
"Well, then you're an asshole for being in love with a bitch."

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Best of 2013 Giveaway!!!!!

Now that it's a new year there's a whole new crop of books to be read. But, there are some books that you all may have missed reading last year for whatever reason. That's what this contest is all about. I will be giving two winners one book each from my Top Ten of 2013 (shown above). All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below telling me which book you wished you had read in 2013 but never got to. Feel free to leave links to your best of 2013 too so others can check them out and add more books to their TBR pile. Good Luck! This is open internationally and will end on January 31st.


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