Monday, November 30, 2009

It's Monday! What are you reading?

First, off this is hosted by J. Kaye’s Book Blog.  If you want to participate, head over and join in the fun!

Sorry for the lack of posts this past week.  I tried to get a review posted, but vacation got in the way :)   The family and I were in Chicago for Thanksgiving week.  Now, it's back to the grind.   I have some serious catching up to do! 

Read Last Week:

  • 600 Hours of Edward by Craig Lancaster

Currently Reading:

  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

To Read This Week:

  • Specials by Scott Westerfeld

  • Son of a Witch by Gregory McGuire


Saturday, November 21, 2009

New Moon Movie Review

View Image

     I had high hopes for New Moon.  I liked Twilight, but there was so many things that I felt could have been better or different.   The scenes, clips, and trailers I've seen for New Moon looked fantastic.  So, I kept my fingers crossed.  I was not disappointed!
     Everything about New Moon was taken to the next level.  The makeup was so much more believable this time around (no shocking white faces)!  The contacts were more what I pictured.   I felt the acting was better (Kristen Stewart did not annoy me as much).  The werewolves were fantastic!!  I was nervous how they would make bear size wolves believable, but they did it.
     I think that I was most surprised by was Michael Sheen.  I had liked what I had seen concerning the Volturi, but nothing prepared me for it.  I thought the whole scene in Volterra was awesome.  Michael Sheen was perfect as Aro.  He was positively creepy!!
     I will probably see it again sometime soon.  And, I can not wait to see what they do with Eclipse!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Silent Gift by Michael Landon Jr & Cindy Kelley

The Silent Gift

Title: The Silent Gift
Author: Michael Landon Jr and Cindy Kelley
Published: October 2009 by Bethany House
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9780764203633

Description: The 1930s were a decade of enormous uncertainty--for the world, for America, and in particular for one lonely, struggling mother and her disabled son. Their story is one of love and enormous sacrifices in the face of circumstances horrendous beyond belief. When her husband leaves her for someone whose time isn't wrapped up in a silent, handicapped kid, Mary and little Luke are out on their own in a world that has no room for the poor and disabled. Especially not at a time when most Americans are simply trying to survive their economic woes and job losses. But then arrives The Gift...where has it come from, and why? How can a young boy who can neither hear nor speak provide comfort, direction, and sometimes challenges to seekers who learn of the special ability? Whatever the source, its presence brings a single shaft of light and hope to Mary and her beloved Luke. Will it be enough?

I Give This Book 4.5 Stars!

I have to say what first drew me to this book was the author.  But, the description sounded interesting as well.  The first chapter draws you in quickly.  I was a little nervous about the religious connections in this book at first, but the story never came across as preachy.  In fact, I ended up really enjoying that aspect of it.  The story is set in the 30's, but it felt very modern most of the time.  I think what I ended up identifying most with was Mary and her actions.  She sacrificed everything for her son.  The book was a refreshing change from the normal books I read.  I couldn't put it down!

* A special thanks to Elliott Wallach from Edify Media for the opportunity to review this book.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Oliver Twist (Signet Classics)

Title: Oliver Twist
Author: Charles Dickens
Published: First Published in 1837
Pages: 512
ISBN: 9780451529718

Description: One of Dickens’s most popular novels, Oliver Twist is the story of a young orphan who dares to say, "Please, sir, I want some more." After escaping from the dark and dismal workhouse where he was born, Oliver finds himself on the mean streets of Victorian-era London and is unwittingly recruited into a scabrous gang of scheming urchins. In this band of petty thieves Oliver encounters the extraordinary and vibrant characters who have captured readers’ imaginations for more than 150 years: the loathsome Fagin, the beautiful and tragic Nancy, the crafty Artful Dodger, and perhaps one of the greatest villains of all time—the terrifying Bill Sikes.
Rife with Dickens’s disturbing descriptions of street life, the novel is buoyed by the purity of the orphan Oliver. Though he is treated with cruelty and surrounded by coarseness for most of his life, his pious innocence leads him at last to salvation—and the shocking discovery of his true identity.

I Give This Book 3 Stars!

I struggled a little with this book.  I had a hard time with some of the characters, namely that bad ones.  Now, I like a good villain story as much as anyone.  But, every time something good happened to Oliver, I wanted to cheer!  But, then something horrible would happen, and I wanted to throw the book out the window.  The ending was gruesome, and I just wasn't expecting it.  I was happy for Oliver when everything finally fell into place, but the story that took place for him to get there was just a strange twist of events.  I'm glad that I read it, but I think I might refrain from Dickens for a while...

Monday, November 16, 2009

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

First, off this is hosted by J. Kaye’s Book Blog.  If you want to participate, head over and join in the fun!

Read Last Week:

  • Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

  • The Silent Gift by Michael Landon Jr. and Cindy Kelley

  • The Awakening by L.J. Smith

  • The Struggle by L.J. Smith

I think my favorite of last week was The Silent Gift.  It surprised me!

Currently Reading:

  • Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith

To Read:

  • Masquerade by Melissa De La Cruz

In case you didn't know, I'm a huge Twilight fan (yes I'm one of those people lol!).  So, I plan to reread the series this week before New Moon comes out.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

In My Mailbox!

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi and she was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie!


Ruined: A Ghost Story

  • Ruined by Paula Morris

From Paperbackswap

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao    The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette: A Novel    The Reluctant Queen (Queens of England, #8)


  • The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

  • The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette by Carolly Erickson

  • The Reluctant Queen (Queen's of England #8) by Jean Plaidy aka Victoria Holt

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Blog Award: Honest Scrap


J. Kaye's Book Blog was awesome to pass this award to me!  My first blog award!!

The rules of this one is to list ten honest things about me and then pass the award on to ten other book bloggers. First for the easy part, to list ten things:

  1. I live in the middle of nowhere in the big state of Idaho.  And for anyone who is curious, that's the state in the west (I've had people think I mean Iowa and Ohio).

  2. We live on a farm/ranch.  I love that my girls get to grow up surrounded by horses, sheep, dogs, cows and of course the great outdoors!

  3. My husband is from Chicago and his family still lives there.  So my girls get a taste of the big city and all it has to offer!

  4. I have 2 girls ages 4 and almost 2.  I've been asked how I find the time to do this.

  5. I really would love to have a boy, but have to come to terms with the possibility of having 3 girls first lol!

  6. I've been to England (twice), New Zealand, Israel, Jamaica, and Canada.

  7. I can't wait to travel more when my girls are older!!

  8. I am a very shy person.  I don't like new situations, new people, or crowds.  Maybe that's why I like the internet so much!

  9. I started this blog as a way to connect with our people who like to read as much as I do.

  10. Shhhh... Don't tell any of my University of Idaho friends (where I graduated from), but I really do like Boise State Football!!

And now to pass the award on too:

Polish Outlander
Debbie's World of Books
One Person's Journey Through A World of Books
Mindful Musings
Well-Read Reviews
Bri Meets Books
The Eclectic Reader
Bookworming in the 21st Century
Book Fan
Books and Such



Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fire Study (Study, #3) by Maria V Snyder


Fire Study (Study, #3)

Title: Fire Study
Author: Maria V Snyder
Publication: March 2008 by Mira
Pages: 448
ISBN: 9780778325354

Description:  The apprenticeship is over— now the real test has begun. When word that Yelena is a Soulfinder—able to capture and release souls—spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy. Already Yelena's unusual abilities and past have set her apart. As the Council debates Yelena's fate, she receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising against her homeland, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before.…
Honor sets Yelena on a path that will test the limits of her skills, and the hope of reuniting with her beloved spurs her onward. Her journey is fraught with allies, enemies, lovers and would-be assassins, each of questionable loyalty. Yelena will have but one chance to prove herself—and save the land she holds dear.

I Give This Book 4 Stars

While this was a wonderful wrap up to the Study series, I found myself not as engaged as I was with the first two books.  Perhaps the book is not entirely at fault since I was reading it during a hectic time.   But, I found myself skimming sections, realizing I missed something important, and then having to go back and reread.    There seemed to be lots of traveling around in this book, which seemed to distract from the actual story.  Now, there is still some very exciting parts throughout the story.  I still loved the characters.   I enjoyed discovering what an actual Soulfinder is.  I wasn't extremely surprised by the villain, although the extent of the devastation caused was horrible.  I still would recommend this series to anyone.  I will definitely be reading the Glass series by Maria Snyder.  It's set in the same world with one of the characters brough to light in Magic Study (although she's in this one too).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday Veteran's Day

I thought this was an appropriate picture for today.  I was going to post it a few weeks back, but glad I didn't.

Members of the Kimberly High School band practice folding a 120-by-60-foot American flag on the field at Papermaker Stadium in Kimberly, Wis., on Oct. 15. The U.S. flag, one of the largest ever flown,was displayed the following night at a football game against Appleton East High School.

Thank you to those men and women who have served this country (past, present, & future)!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, #2) by Philip Pullman

The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, #2)

Title: The Subtle Knife
Author: Philip Pullman
Published: September 2002 (first published in 1997) by Alfred Knopf
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780375823466

Description: In this stunning sequel to The Golden Compass, the intrepid Lyra finds herself in a shimmering, haunted otherworld --- CittĂ gazze, where soul-eating Specters stalk the streets and wingbeats of distant angels sound against the sky. But she is not without allies: twelve-year-old Will Parry, fleeing for his life after taking another's, has also stumbled into this strange new realm.
On a perilous journey from world to world, Lyra and Will uncover a deadly secret: an object of extraordinary and devastating power. And with every step, they move closer to an even greater threat --- and the shattering truth of their own destiny.

I Give This Book 3.5 Stars!

I liked this book for the most part.  It's extremely imaginative.   Not only did the author create worlds separate from our own, but he makes them seem entirely believable.  My issue is the confusion.  This story is so complex at times, I have no idea what is going on.  I reread passages, and hope for the best.  If I have a hard time understanding (and I consider myself an educated adult), what in the world does the targets audience think?  Do they just skim over the passages that are trying to explain dust, or angels, or spectors (for example).  I applaud Philip Pullman for what he is trying to accomplish with this story, but it just feels like to much.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

In My Mailbox!!

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi and she was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie!

Well the family and I enjoyed a brief vacation in Sun Valley, Idaho this weekend.  Lots of fun for all of us!!  Now, it's back to the grind for 2 more weeks before our big vaction to Chicago to visit family for Thanksgiving!

For Review:

The Silent Gift          600 Hours of Edward


  • The Silent Gift by Michael Landon Jr. and Cindy Kelley

  • 600 Hours of Edward by Craig Lancaster

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Title: The Forest of Hands and Teeth
Author: Carrie Ryan
Published: March 2009 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780385736817

Description: In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?

I Give This Book 3.5 Stars!

I have mixed feelings about this book.  I liked it enough to keep reading, and managed to finish the book in 4 hours.  When I think back, I think it was more because the story wasn't very complex.  I liked the story surrounding the zombies, but I felt like I never got enough information.  You get brief glimpses of how the Unconsecrated may have come about, but I wanted more.  I never fully understood what was being referred to when they kept talking about The Return.  And, I felt like I should fear The Sisterhood, but never understood why.  Mary in the end kind of annoyed me, and struck me as very selfish.  I think it was the zombies in the background that drove this story forward.  I wanted to know if they made it or became part of the Unconsecrated.  I will probably read the next one just to see if it gives more information

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Magic Study (Study #2) by Maria V Snyder

Magic Study (Study, #2)

Title: Magic Study
Author: Maria V Snyder
Published: October 2006 by Luna
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9780373802494

Description: Yelena is a survivor. Kidnapped as a child, held prisoner as a teen, then released to act as a poison taster, she is now a student of magic. But these magic skills place her in imminent danger, and with an execution order on her head, she has no choice but to escape to Sitia, the land of her birth.
But nothing in Sitia is familiar. As she struggles to understand where she belongs and how to control her powers, a rogue magician emerges and Yelena catches his eye. Suddenly she is embroiled in a situation not of her making. And once again her magical abilities will either save her life or be her downfall.
With her greatest enemy dead, and on her way to be reunited with the family she'd been stolen from long ago, Yelena should be pleased. But though she has gained her freedom, she can't help feeling isolated in Sitia. Her Ixian background has changed her in many ways and her new-found friends and relatives don't think it's for the better.
Despite the turmoil, she's eager to start her magic training especially as she's been given one year to harness her power or be put to death. But her plans take a radical turn when she becomes involved with a plot to reclaim Ixia's throne for a lost prince and gets entangled in powerful rivalries with her fellow magicians.
If that wasn't bad enough, it appears her brother would love to see her dead. Luckily, Yelena has some old friends to help her with all her new enemies.

I Give This Book 4 Stars!

I am happy to say I loved this book almost as much as the first.  Now, I want you to note that it's only a half star not much.  I loved reading about Yelena's home land, and her struggle to find her place in it.  All my favorite characters from book one make an appearance in this book, and some new ones added.  I didn't like Leif at first, but he grew on me.  He's got some heavy baggage to bear and it's very evident in his dealing with Yelena.  I particularly loved The Moon Man.  I don't know if the author intended for him to be so humorous, or if it was just the way I read it.  I also really enjoyed Yelena's new found connection with the horses (probably because I have a special fondness for them as well).  The book was fast paced and I loved every minute of it.  So why did I like it slightly less than the first?  Honestly, I don't think I could put my finger on it.  Poison Study just had something extra. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Vampire Kisses (Vampire Kisses #1) by Ellen Schreiber

Vampire Kisses (Vampire Kisses, Book 1)

Title: Vampire Kisses
Author: Ellen Schreiber
Published: August 2005 by Harper Teen
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9780060093365

Description: The mansion on top of Benson Hill has been empty and boarded up for years. But a new family has moved in. A family that never ventures out during the day. Who are these creepy people; especially the handsome, dark, and elusive Alexander Sterling? Or rather, what are they? Could the town gossip actually be true? Are they vampires? Raven, who secretly covets a vampire kiss, both at the risk of her own mortality and Alexander's loving trust, is dying to uncover the truth.

I Give This Book 3 Stars!

I don't think this young adult book transfers over to the adult population well.  It was completely average to me.  I didn't really identify with Raven.  It was odd how often she would get into trouble and nothing ever seemed to be done about it.  I found it unbelievable that an entire town would really think the new family were truly vampires based on rumors.  And the relationship between Raven and Alexander wasn't as captivating as other fictional romances.  It was still a fun and fast read though. 

Monday, November 2, 2009

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

First, off this is hosted by J. Kaye’s Book Blog.  If you want to participate, head over and join in the fun!

I had a fantastic week last week.  I can't believe I got in 5 books.  I'm only going for 3 this week.  Mostly because we will be out-of-town this weekend and also because I have  a feeling Oliver Twist will take me a little longer than normal.  But, I need to finish it for my classics challenge!

Read Last Week:

  • Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs

  • The Lightning Thief  by Rick Riordan

  • Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber

  • Magic Study by Maria V Snyder

  • The Forrest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Reading Now:

  • The Subtle Knife by Phillip Pullman

Up This Week:

  • Fire Study by Maria V Snyder

  • Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Win 4 Books!!

Ramblings Of A Teenage Bookworm is having an awesome giveaway!  One winner will receive 4 books for a huge list of choices!  If you interested visit  and enter soon!  Contest ends November 15.


In My Mailbox!

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi and she was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie!

I traded with Debbie from Debbie's World of Books and got the following:

Another Faust     The Dark Divine

  • Another Faust by Daniel Nayeri and Dani Nayeri

  • The Dark Divine by Bree Despain


Stray (Shifters, #1)     The Red Necklace 

  • Stray (Shifters #1) by Rachel Vincent

  • The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner


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