Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Teaser Tuesday!

This is my first meme thingy. I've kinda done a couple IMMs, but I called them Bookstore Scores and didn't do the linky thing on Story Siren or give credit where credit was due, so yeah, I'll call this my first meme.
Y'all know the drill:
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teasers are from Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett, a book of Disc World featuring my favorite witches, Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and Magrat Garlick.

Asking someone to repeat a phrase you'd not only heard very clearly but were also exceedingly angry about was around Defcon II in the lexicon of squabble.
Page 162.

"I've got nothing against dead people," said Granny. "Some of my best friends are dead. It just don't seem right, though, dead people walking about."
"What d'you think, Mr. Zombie?"
"It's a great life, Mrs. Ogg," said the zombie.
Page 215.
My eyes about bugged out my head when I saw the word zombie in this book! I was just saying to myself, "You know, 21," I says, "The only way this book could be improved upon was if someone were to put a zombie in it." And then I turned the page, and there it was! I was so happy!

Happy reading!
Zombie Girrrl

More Awards!

Eli from Tainted Poet, and Taschima from Bloody Bookaholic have given me the Lemonade Award! It's so cute, don't ya think? Taschima has also given me the Proximade Award, the Kreativ Blogger Award, and the Humane Award! Thanks guys! Y'all rock!

#1: The Lemonade Award
Link back to the person who gave you the award.
Nominate up to 10 bloggers who are deserving of the award.
Display the award on you blog.

#2: The Proximade Award
This blog invests and believes in the Proximity - nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this clever-written text into the body of their award.

#3: The Humane Award
About the Humane Award, which was created by Eleni.
This award is to honor certain bloggers that are kindhearted individuals. They regularly take part in my blog and always leave the sweetest comments. If it wasn't for them, my site would just be an ordinary book review blog. Their blogs are also amazing and are tastefully done on a daily basis. I thank them and look forward to our growing friendship trhough the blog world.
-Nominate 10 bloggers you feel deserve the Humane Award

#4: The Kreativ Blogger Award
This is also a meme, so here are the rules: If you accept it, you are supposed to list seven of your favorite things and nominate seven blogs that deserve this award.

7. Eating.
6. Running.
5. Colors.
4. Creating things.
3. My ipod, everything sounds better through ear buds.
2. Reading.
1. Books that leave a textured memory. Sounds crazy, but that's how I pick my top three! (World War Z, Beka Cooper: Terrier, and Hunger Games.)

This is a lot of awards, which means a lot of nominations! I'll do it this way; beside the nominies names will be a number or numbers, those will corrispond to different awards. Easy peasy! Now I just gotta pick some people!
The winners are:
1. Taschima of Bloody Bookaholic, I'm gonna try and avoid excessive repeats and give you #3 and #5. ;)
2. Eli of Tainted Poet, your blog is gorgeous! #4 and #5 for you!
3. Dahlia of Dahlia's Eclectic Mind, for being so very generous with your books I give you #2 and #3.
4. Orchid of Haunted Orchid, another generous personal librarian! #2 and #3 for you as well!
5. Jessica of Shut Up, I'm Reading!, a new book blogger! #1 for you!
6. Ayllsa of The Shady Glade, a most generous blogger, she has a wonderful thing goin' on called Contest Monday! #3 and #2 for you!
7. Pirate Penguin, nice reviewer and friendly blogger with excellent taste, I grant to thee #3 and #5.
8. Jane of Life After Jane, you've also been quoted! #3!
9. The girls of Reading Rocks, I love y'alls blog, #5!
10. Steph Bowe of Hey! Teenager of the Year, a very funny girl and friendly blogger, you get #3 and #4!

As for the ellusive #5 that I'm sure y'all have already seen by scrolling down to see if I had made a mistake while typing this up, it's an award of my own making that, yes, I have already given out before, but it's my award so I think it's fair that I can pull it out and pass it out whenever I want! And I want.
May I present to you, lucky few, The Your Blog ROCKS Award!
Rules: There aren't any! Give it to whoever you want, display it, link it, whatever! Just be sure to spread the love and ignore the link on the right hand side as I rarely even think of that blog anymore.
I apologize for the lack of postage this week, I've been swamped! I hope showering y'all with goodies will make it all better!
Hopefully I'll be able to post my thoughts on the books I've read this week sometime soon, because they are some awesome reads! I'll give y'all a hint. Demigods. More demigods. A totalitarian regime. And televised battles between children. Oh yeah, it's been a good week.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My Take On Breathers

Synopsis: Meet Andy Warner, a recently deceased everyman and newly minted zombie. Resented by his parents, abandoned by his friends, and reviled by a society that no longer considers him human, Andy is having a bit of trouble adjusting to his new existence. But all that changes when he goes to an Undead Anonymous meeting and finds kindred souls in Rita, an impossibly sexy recent suicide with a taste for the formaldehyde in cosmetic products, and Jerry, a twenty-one-year-old car crash victim with an exposed brain and a penchant for Renaissance pornography. When the group meets a rogue zombie who teaches them the joys of human flesh, things start to get messy, and Andy embarks on a journey of self-discovery that will take him from his casket, to the SPCA, to a media-driven class-action lawsuit on behalf of the rights of zombies everywhere.
Whoa. That's all I could say after finishing this book. Oh, and, "Huh, I did not see that coming." I mean, it was kinda obvious that something was gonna happen, because, like, hello! The title, Breathers: A Zombie's Lament...
: to mourn aloud : wail
1 : to express sorrow, mourning, or regret for something, often demonstratively : mourn)
... Not Breathers: A Zombie's Exultation...
1obsolete : to leap for joy
2: to be extremely joyful : rejoice
Thank you, Merriam-Websters online dictionary!)
So any-hoo, a spectacular ending to a spectacular book. By the end, all the little things that happened during the story, which I sorta brushed off as filler, came together to reveal the many facets of the subtly crafted plot!
Andy is totally realistic, even though he's a member of the undead, downs bottles of shampoo to get his daily recommended amount of formaldehyde, and is sprayed with air-freshener by his mother before being allowed out of the wine cellar where he spends his days watching lame TV and chugging bottles of red. His voice is very sincere and honest and, just real, man. I do however feel obligated to warn y'all that this is by no means a YA book. I occasionally dab my foot into the deep and murky pool of adult general fiction, and sometimes I come up with yucko stuck between my toes. Such is life. A strong PG-13 for sexual content, violence, and zombie gore. I don't really care for smut in my books, it's why I mostly stick to YA, and even then I'm very careful about what I read, but I couldn't pass this story up. The cover lured me in, the story hooked me, and Andy's unflinching narration reeled me toward the truth of what life after life might be.
This story asks a lot of questions concerning zombie rights: Are they still "people"? Does the Constitution apply to them? Should they be allowed the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Murderers get room and board with three square meals, should the undead receive the same courtesies?
The answers: In the book, it's a resounding NO. I say it's something you gotta work out on your own.

I give Breathers...
 ...four zombies.  
Necrophilia and cannibalism aside, I would recommend this book to anyone (over the age of 17) who enjoys zombies, love stories, and tragedy.
Happy reading, y'all!

Monday, June 15, 2009

My Take on An Abundance of Katherines

Synopsis: When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type is girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.
On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun — but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl.
Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself by Printz medalist John Green, acclaimed author of Looking for Alaska.
I finished this book in two days, totally couldn't put it down! It has a very infectious vibe about it that leaves me feeling the need to use footnotes1 and quote it excessively2. It was truly hilarious when Colin's best friend Hassan3 would cut him off when he went off a on a boring tangent and Colin4 would continue his thought process in a foot note5. Green filled this book to capacity with banter6 that kept the flow going through the whole story.
I give An Abundance of Katherines five zombies because I was actually tempted to read it over before I even had a chance reshelf it. Yeah. It's that good. Plus the hard back cover is so cute!
1 This book uses a lot of footnotes. I’m a big fan of footnotes.
2 “Books are the ultimate Dumpees-" was my favorite line.
3 An over-weight Arab-American who loves Judge Judy and balances out Colin’s dorkitude with his easy-going funny-pants-ness and picks up the pieces every time a Katherine breaks his best friend’s heart.
4 A washed up child prodigy with a knack for languages and an obsession with dating girls named Katherine.
5 “Among many, many others, the following things were definitely not interesting: the pupillary sphincter, mitosis, baroque architecture, jokes that have physics equations as the punch lines, the British monarchy, Russian grammar, and the significant role that salt has played in human history.” I actually think that salts role in human history is very interesting. I even have a book on it, Salt: A World History, by Mark Kurlansky. Reading it makes me hungry.
6 At one point, Colin and Hassan pretend to be French cousins on vacation to see the grave of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Hassan is Colin’s translator, and Colin is a French dude with tourettes and hemorrhoids. Hilarity ensues.

Friday, June 12, 2009

New Library, New Book Pool

Visited a new library the other day just to shake things up and because mine is totally lame (no offense librarians, I know it's not y'all's fault, it's funding) and I found a few good reads, one of which I've already finished ans can't wait to talk about!
I got An Abundance of Katherines, by John Green (more on that later).
The Sacrifice, by Diane Matcheck. I read this a million years ago and I still think about it, so when I saw it on the shelf I was like, "I know that book!" It was like running into an old friend or something, and not the awkward kind of reunion where you're tempted to cross the street but it's too late because they've already seen you and they know that you know that they've seen you too and now niether of you can just walk past eachother without stopping to exchange some lame pleasantries because it'd be rude so you have to act all happy to see them even if you weren't very close and say things like, "Oh my gosh, how are you? or, "How long has it been, what are you up to these days?" in a sing songy voice because everyone ends up sing songing when they don't really want to be there talking to you. Not like that at all.
Stones In Water, by Donna Jo Napoli. Another book that I've read before a million years ago. Sort of. It was so sad the first time (think along the lines of The Book Thief) that I skipped to the end just to see what happened and returned it promptly in an attempt to save myself from the heartache that I knew was to come. I never really forgave myself for giving up on Roberto and Samuele and for not seeing it through to the end, so I didn't really have a choice but to get this book again. This time I'm gonna finish it! No matter how sad it is, someone must have lived through this sort of thing back then, and it's down right disrespectful to not read it.
Nation, by Terry Pratchett. I've seen this book around but for some reason never got it. Probably because it wasn't based in Disc World. But just because I'm not gonna come across Granny Weatherwax doesn't mean that it's not gonna have Terry's trademark wit and wisdom, so I'm very excited to read this not-Disc World book.
A pretty good score, if I do say so myself. And I do.
In other news, I have finished reading Breathers and hope to have a post up about it by Monday at the latest. I still have to write about Tricksters Queen, too. Busy, busy, busy.
Have a nice weekend, y'all!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Good Gravy, Another Award!

I have recieved another two awards! Briana from The Book Pixie has given me The One Lovely Blog Award as I'm sure you've noticed on my side bar, and Dahlia from Dahlia's Eclectic Mind has given me The Literary Blogger Award! I'm so happy that she thinks I energize readers! I've already handed out the Lovely Award, so I'll just skip on to the Literary Award.
The Literary Blogger Award acknowledges bloggers who energize & inspire reading by going the extra mile. These amazing bloggers make reading fun & enhance the delight of reading!
The Rules:
1) Put the logo on your blog/post.
2) Nominate up to 9 blogs which make you feel comfy or warm inside.
3) Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4) Let them know that they have been nominated by commenting on their blog.
5) Remember to link to the person from whom you received your award.

I've been putting off writing this post for like a week now because I hate picking people, it's so hard! Love awards, hate choosing people. But no more procrastinating! Here goes. The winners are *drum roll*:
The Tainted Poet, because she reviews books that I envy and grey and orange is one of my fave color combos.
Reading Rocks, because that blog is just awesome looking and has a very helpful ratings system.
Look At That Book, because she appreciates a good cover as much as I do. They are art, after all.
Wondrous Reads, because she managed to snag an interview with an author whose book I really want to read.
Rebbeca's Book Blog, because she has the same taste in books as me!

Okay, folks, come and claim your just rewards! Did that sound creepy?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Bookstore Score! 2

I made it to Barnes and Noble this weekend. Hurray! *Happy dance* It wasn't my usual one, and the YA section was vastly larger than I'm used to. Total system over load. When faced with such a wide array of books, or music for that matter, my mind tends to go blank. COMPLETE MEMORY WIPE EMINENT. REBOOT. REBOOT. Everything I want to read leaves my head completely. It's a very effective means of clearing my mind, almost as good as a lobotomy. I finally remembered that I enjoy reading about zombies though, so I got Breathers by S. G. Browne. Don't know what the S.G. stands for. Maybe, Superbly Great, or Slightly Gross, or Stirring Gooeyness. The last one's a bit of a push, but I couldn't find a good synonym for romantic that started with a G. but Breathers is all those things and more! *spirit fingers*
It's highly remenescent of Fight Club. There's a support group, a down trodden guy, a kinda weird love ineterest, there's even a Tyler! Though he doesn't live in Andy's head, at least not as far as I've read. I've already read 96 pages, and I totally expect to finish it by tomorrow.
As soon I'm done, I'll give y'all the whole review, but I'm predicting... Whoo, it's late!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My Take On Speak

I was right, I inhaled this book like a bowl of mint oreo ice cream on a hot summer day. Gobble-snarf-gobble, ah, refreshing! Ratings first. This book is worthy of more, but I only have so many zombies to dispense, so I give it five.
I think every girl everybody should read this, seriously. It should be a requirement in every school. Girls and guys can learn a lot from Melinda's experiences.
I only ever disliked Melinda once, when she scraped up her arm with a paperclip. I have no patience for self destructive behavior. Call me callus, whatever, but when I hear about that kind of stuff, I just wanna shake that person till their teeth chatter and slap some sense into them. Messin' yourself up isn't gonna solve anything.
I can't even think of anything else to say about this book except that it was excellent and worthy of every minute you can devote to it. Read it. Learn from it. Love Melinda, and all the Melindas you will meet in your life, male or female,  hurt or outcast, stop judging before you know all the details, and listen to what people are saying even if they choose to comunicate without words.
This story made me incredibly sad, so I'm sorry about the lack of peppyness in this post, but the thought that there are actually people going through this kind of thing makes me angry and frustrated and... well, just sad.
Melinda is an incredible character because she doesn't feel like a character, but like a real girl whose thoughts somehow end up on paper. I love the way she thinks and all the labels she gives the people in her school, Mr. Neck, Hairwoman, Principal Principal. It was a sad story, but it was delivered in a humorous way. Not like, "Ha-ha, Melinda is so messed up!" but, "She has a great sense of humor despite it all," you know? Maybe that's not the right way to describe it, I dunno. Read the book if you haven't already and see for yourself. It's like, deep down, she's still alive and vibrant, she just needs to learn to be that person again. And she does get justice in the end when she learns to Speak. Corny ending on my part, I know, but it's totally true.
Next up for me is Trickster's Queen by Tamora Pierce.
Tootle-loo, much reading to do,

Commendation for Crackin' Spines & Takin Names

Here is a list of awards and honors that have been so graciously bestowed upon this humble blog and its author by the lovely and generous bloggers of this happy little corner of the blogosphere.
  • The One Lovely Blog Award. Presented by Maggie of Bean Bag Books on my second post, and again by Briana The Book Pixie on my fourth. These two generous bloggers made my first week a very good one!

  • The Literary Blogger Award. Presented by Dahlia of Dahlia's Eclectic Mind. The Literary Blogger Award acknowledges bloggers who energize and inspire reading by going the extra mile. These amazing bloggers make reading fun and enhance the delight of reading!
  • The Lemonade Award. Presented by Eli of Tainted Poet and Taschima of Bloody Bookaholic. This award is for blogs that you find sweet and refreshing!

  • The Proximade Award. Presented by Taschima of Bloody Bookaholic. This blog invests and believes in the Proximity - nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers!

  • The Humane Award. Presented by Taschima of Bloody Bookaholic and Steph Bowe of Hey, Teenager of the Year. About the Humane Award, which was created by Eleni. This award is to honor certain bloggers that are kindhearted individuals. They regularly take part in my blog and always leave the sweetest comments. If it wasn't for them, my site would just be an ordinary book review blog. Their blogs are also amazing and are tastefully done on a daily basis. I thank them and look forward to our growing friendship through the blog world.
 This award is also a meme and asks for seven of your favorite things. Mine are:
7. Eating.
6. Running.
5. Kayaking
4. Creating things.
3. My ipod, everything sounds better through ear buds.
2. Reading.
1. Books that leave a textured memory. Sounds crazy, but that's how I pick my top three! (World War Z, Beka Cooper: Terrier, and Hunger Games.)

  • The Your Blog Rocks Award. Another award from Taschima of Bloody Bookaholic! This award is of my own making, "skillfully" crafted with crayons and care (I even used my artists mannequin) and refined at BeFunky.com. I'm really glad I got this one. It was my secret wish when I made it that someone would give it to me. ;)

Monday, June 1, 2009

A Love Rekindled

I forgot how much I love the characters in Tricksters Choice! Aly is, for lack a better term, the coolest! Seriously, I'm officially aspiring to be more like her! Where to begin? Should I work on my hand-to-hand combat skills first, or my witty come-backs?
Aly always has a witty one liner and she's so smart. She claims to be the family lay about in charge of having fun (something I can relate to), but really she's determined, intelligent, and crafty (I'd like to think I can relate to that too) which makes for very funny and insightful reading as the book is from her pov. And Nawat, the crow turned man (no, he doesn't have feathers), is my favorite male character of Pierce's of all time! Possibly my favorite of all time PERIOD. He reminds me of Howl from Howl's Moving Castle. He looked a little crowish, don't you agree? I love Howl, maybe I'll watch it later... Or read it. Ooh, I'll read Dianna Wynne-Jones' stuff after I finish with Tamora!
Anyhoo! Nawat's so sweet and, "singularly innocent," that you can't not love him. He doesn't quite have a grasp on being human yet, (he still eats bugs and doesn't understand some human concepts such as kissing, he thought it was a form of mate feeding, and he persists in the idea that he and Aly should mate and produce a brood so they can mob their enemies), but that doesn't stop a romantic thing from developing between him and Aly. She's practically the whole reason he turned into a human. All together now, "Aww!"
Plot*: At the center of each of Tamora Pierce's books is always a strong and resourceful young woman who masters the arts of swordplay and knightly warfare in the magical medieval country of Tortall. Alianne, or Aly, daughter of the warrior Alanna the Lioness, has all these skills, but also a delicious sense of humor, which serves her well when she is chosen by the trickster god Kyprioth to serve as his secret agent and a slave for a summer in the embattled Copper Isles. There the dark-skinned natives, or raka, have been conquered and crushed by the laurin, light-skinned people from the mainland. The burning raka resentment is fueled by prophecies of a twice royal queen who will free them, aided by the "wise one, the cunning one, the strong one, the warrior, and the crows." Just how each of the colorful characters and Aly herself fit into this prophecy and Kyprioth’s tricky plan keeps readers guessing. Aly plots to show her skill at spying as she flirts with the god and is courted by Nawat, a crow transformed into a handsome young man, who is puzzled when she rejects his attempts to mate-feed her with grubs and ants.
My take: The story breaches the subject of conquest and enslavement and sheds light on the lives and mindsets of both the foriegn conquerors and the defeated natives. Add to this Tamora's entertaining and practical use of magic, an ancient prophecy that must be fulfilled, incredibly well developed characters, and vivid story telling, and you hold in your hands a well rounded, enthralling fantasy well worth devoting your entire weekend to.
I give this book four zombies for its incredible cast of characters, possibly my favorite from any of Tammy's books. A great story, a great read, a great investment because you're gonna want to read this again!
I've already started reading Speak, by Laurie Anderson, and it's better than I remember! I love the writing style, it's so real. It's like Melinda's a real girl speaking to you in her own words. I haven't read this in million years and I'm pretty sure I'll mow through in a day. After that I think I'll continue my Tortallan oddesy by reading The Tricksters Queen, the second and last book in The Daughter of the Lioness Series. When I first finished reading this series, I thought something horrible had happened to Tamora because there was no third or fourth book in the series. All her previous series had been quartets, what was I supposed to think? I really want to read more about Aly, and I hope she appears in another book. *crosses fingers*
*plot lightly modified from Amazon books because they had a few things wrong such as calling Alanna a "warrior queen" which she is not.
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