Monday, April 25, 2011

Busy week!!

I read lots of books this week because some of them were short, and quite frankly I just wanted to read and not be bothered several times--since I was having a rough work day!
SO, without further delay!

Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes, by Maureen Johnson

So this book is about a 17-year old girl who goes on an adventure when she receives 13 little blue envelopes from her crazy aunt.  Each envelope contains a task she must do and a place she must visit before she can open the next envelope.
Overall, I think the concept of this novel was great-a little treasure hunt with little envelopes and visiting gorgeous and awesome places. (lots of which I would love to go myself) and at the same time, learning how to love yourself and not miss the little things in life.   However, (and the more I think about this, the more it bugs me) I had a hard time believing that the parents would allow their daughter to go out of the country by herself.  And here's the thing--according to the aunt, she could have no cell phone, laptop, or any other communication back home until after the tasks are complete...REALLY??  So you send a minor across the planet with little money and no way for her parents to know that she's safe??  That would never happen in my lifetime, and especially in times like these.  So because of this, I didn't think it was a believeable story.  It was distracting and really took away from the experience I could have had with the book.  PLUS, I almost questioned if the girl "got it" in the end because it didn't seem as though she stopped whinning or took time to smell the roses, as I'm sure her aunt wanted her too.  I saw snippets of understanding, but not enough to believe that the trip was worth it to her.  It's almost like she just went through the motions to appease her aunt.  I would have been super excited to be able to go on an amazing trip like that by myself and be able to experience life!
Alas, to me, it was a forgettable read.

Rating: 3 (and that's just because I liked the descriptions of the places I want to visit.)

A Midsummer Night's Dream, by William Shakespeare

Sigh! I LOVE Shakespeare and his poetic stories.  I loved this play when I was in school...and I was disappointed that we didn't use it as one of our productions. I remember at first being confused at who loved who but our teacher drew us a diagram and I had to follow it!  I also remember finally seeing it at TPAC here in Nashville.  I loved Puck and his speech at the end.  I will not summarize the plot on this one--but I will say I LOVED it...and that should be enough!

Rating: 5


I have loved Cinderella, the movie, as far back as I can remember. It is my ultimate favorite Disney movie, character...story...everything.  However, I had never read the Grimm story--so I did.  It was just as amazing as I was expecting with a few differences...once's a classic...I will just say I loved it and recommend it to everyone!

Raiting: 5

Wicked Appetite, by Janet Evanovich

From Goodreads:
Seven Stones of Power. No one knows when they were created or by whom, each said to represent one of the Seven Deadly Sins.

For centuries, treasure hunters have been eager to possess the stones, undeterred by their corrupting nature. The list is long -- Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, to name a few. Now the Stones have found their way to Salem, Massachusetts, and so has Gerwulf Grimoire, adding himself to this rogues' gallery of power seekers. He's an uncommonly dangerous man, with a hunger for the forbidden, and a set of abilities that are way beyond ordinary. Abilities that he feels entitle him to possess anything he might desire.

That would include Elizabeth Tucker, the woman he needs to find the Stones. She's freshly transplanted from New York City to Boston's North Shore. With a new job as pastry chef at Dazzle's bakery and an old house inherited from her Aunt Ophelia, her life is pretty much on track …until it's suddenly derailed by a guy named Diesel, a rude monkey, and a ninja cat.

Lizzy can handle the monkey and the cat. She's not sure about Diesel. He's offering up his own set of unusual talents, promising to protect her from Grimoire. The kind of protection that Lizzy suspects might involve guarding her body day and night.

The Seven Deadly Sins are pride, greed, lust, envy wrath, sloth and gluttony. That pretty much covers everything that is wicked. Diesel thinks it also pretty much covers everything that's fun. And Lizzy thinks Diesel and the Seven Deadly Sins cover everything her mother warned her about.

What did I think??  I've always been an Evanovich fan and LOVED her Stephanie Plum series, so when I saw this book at the library, I had to read it, I figured it would be cute and I was right.  This book was hilarious.  The scenes with the monkey made me laugh out loud and made my husband question my sanity (not that he doesn't do that already!).  I can definitely see several books linked to this one and I would read all of them.  I loved the chemistry between Diesel and Liz and you just want them to get it on already!  Diesel sounds like quiet a catch!  Also, Glo is a hilarious character--with her magic spells and brooms.  She reminds me of a crazy aunt that collects things and never seems to get anything right.  Sigh! I am smiling a bit!  Not a ridiculously awesome book, but cute enough and well written enough to deserve 5 stars most definitely! Great quick read!

Rating: 5

Friday, April 22, 2011

Grave Echoes

I received this book as a Goodreads First Reads giveaway--autographed by the author (Thanks, Erin!!!).
A web of mystery, twists and turns, black magic, suspicion, family values...this book has it all.
When Kate's sister, Jev dies in a horrific car accident, (after Kate envisioned the accident in a narcoleptic episode) Kate learns a lot more about her sister than she ever wanted to. Being a witch, Jev kept her secret use of spells and charms from her family. What happens next turns Kate's world upside down. Investigation of the murder, finding out deep and dark secrets about a coven, Jev's friend being hurt, the killer--coming after her...Kate has to learn who to trust in her world, and she finds it's not an easy decision.

I loved this book because it had enough twists and information to keep me interested until the very last page. I was always second guessing who I thought was Jev's murderer and it didn't take long into the book before the action started happening.

I also liked how it brought to attention how easy it is to let your emotions make your decisions for you. When something bad happens, you suspect everyone around you, which is what Kate did. It was nice to see her develop as a character and try to figure stuff out on her own, not that she had a choice. The writing was good.  It was easy to follow and didn't jump around so much that I couldn't stay interested. Overall, very easy to read and kept me wanting to read.

Rating: 5

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Name of my new favorite book

From Goodreads:
The story revolves around Kvothe, an enigmatic red-haired innkeeper who, as he shares his incredible life story with a renowned scribe, turns out to be much more than he appears. Born into a family of nomadic court performers, Kvothe's unconventional education was broadened by spending time with fellow travelers like Abenthy, an elderly arcanist whose knowledge included, among other things, knowing the name of the wind. After his parents are brutally murdered by mythical beings known as the Chandrian, Kvothe vows to learn more about the godlike group, and after suffering through years of homelessness, he finally gets his chance when he is admitted into the prestigious University. But the pursuit of arcane knowledge brings with it unforeseen dangers, as the young student quickly learns.

My thoughts:
This book was recommended by several of my friends as well as the NBC.  I have to say, I was a bit skeptical at first because it's not typically the genre I like to read, however, since it was so highly recommended by...EVERYONE, I bought it and gave it a try. 
OH-MY-GOD...about sums it up.
The writing is incredible, and fluid, and it pulls you in, and breaks you, and puts you back together, and evokes emotion...and and amazing.  Rothfuss tells a tale about a world where everything makes sense--even when it doesn't.  The reader has no choice but to believe that this story exists somewhere.  Rothfuss develops a time and a currency and a whole world--a fantasy land, and with it tells a beautiful story about a young man who endures more than any one person should ever have to.  I am left wanting to know more about what happened between the time period at the University and his beginning as an innkeeper.  I have so many questions that still haven't been answered, therefore I will definitely be reading the second book in the trilogy very soon.  The problem with that is that the third book isn't out yet and I will have to wait to get a conclusion.  I never thought that 700 pages wouldn't be enough to quelch my thirst for a story.  Well done, Mr. Rothfuss...

Rating: 6 (one more point for absolute creativity)

Monday, April 11, 2011

That Dragon Tat girl is CRAZY-Small Spoilers

Goodreads synopsis: Mikael Blomkvist, crusading publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation. On the eve of its publication, the two reporters responsible for the article are murdered, and the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to his friend, the troubled genius hacker Lisbeth Salander. Blomkvist, convinced of Salander's innocence, plunges into an investigation. Meanwhile, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous game of cat and mouse, which forces her to face her dark past.

Ok, folks, so this is part two of the Millennium series.  I have to say, I liked this one better than the first one because it really gets into what happened in Lisbeth Sander's past.  She is a very interesting, and surprising, a likeable character.  She endured more than anyone should ever have to endure.  What I loved about the book is the method of communcation she used to contact Mikael.  I also loved that she hasn't been caught from "redirecting" money from the first book--tee hee.  There are a couple of scenes of girl-on-girl action that had me shaking my head, but it just added to the brillance of character development for Lisbeth.

In any case, the writing gave a brillant picture of the setting and situation.  I noticed myself unable to put down the book until I had finished a chapter...then a couple chapters, etc.  I still think that the main character is a tramp, though...

Rating: 5

This is the final of the Millenium series and by far, my favorite.  There was SO much going on in this book I almost had a hard time keeping track.  Essentially, all lose ends of the story was tied up for Lisbeth and she BY FAR gets the last word to all the people who have wronged her in the past--which is awesome!  This is where Lisbeth truly becomes a likeable character, in my eyes.  It also solidifies the friendship between Mikael and Lisbeth, because through the series, you see that they don't have many friends.  Lisbeth is an introvert, most likely due to her horrid past.  This book really gets to the nitty gritty about exactly what happened to her when she was younger.
Also, by the end of the novel, Mikael has met his match and is now in love--and during the whole book, if I remember correctly, he only sleeps with one girl--which was a nice change of pace.
Hands down, a very good series of books.  I enjoyed it thoroughly.  I can even look past some of the boring details because as a whole, they didn't bother me because I liked the book so much. 

I've heard rumors that there was an unfinished fourth novel.  If there is, I'd be happy to read it.  Looking forward to the Americanized movie coming out this year for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

Rating: 5