Monday, December 31, 2012

Worst Books Read in 2012

Not all of these were published this year, but here's my least favorites that I read in 2012.

1. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
I really don't understand why this book has so much praise! This book wasn't that good.  I read like 90% of it, but I just couldn't get through it all.  I mean, I did still read the ending because why would I get that far and not find out what happens?

This is what most people who have read Fifty Shades of Grey read afterwards, and I can definitely see the similarities between Travis and Christian.  They're both controlling. Even if they try not to be and have their sweet moments, I still couldn't love them.  I'd always be afraid of their aggressive tendencies.

The thing that irked me the most: Pigeon.  Seriously, what kind of a nickname is that? I know there's kind of a cute reason for it, but I would never want anyone calling me that.  NEVER.

2. Meant to be by Lauren Morrill

This was such a disappointment!  It was compared to Anna and the French Kiss. Absolutely no way can a book ever stand a candle to Anna.  So, the plot was unrealistic, and the characters were so gosh darn annoying! Julia was so oblivious for being such a "smart" girl, and Jordan never struck me as sweet and funny, just really immature.

3. Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

This was BORING.  I got the feeling that this was supposed to be eerily beautiful, kinda creepy.  I found myself somewhat scared for literally 1 line in the entire thing.  Honestly, there was way too much focus on Ruby, and the real main character was over shadowed.  The plot was absent for most of the book.  I felt like I was reading 300 pages of how amazing Ruby is.

4. Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

This was just me personally, but the religious aspects of the book really ticked me off.  That was a giant issue I had with the book, but the rest wasn't bad.

Jeremy was too elusive for me to love, but I really did mind this in comparison to the cultish religious stuff.

5. League of Strays by L.B Schulman

Another snoozer.  When it finally got exciting, when the kids in the league were gettiung nuts and starting to attack innocent people, Charlotte hadd to do the right thing and stop them.  That makes me sound really awful, but the book needed some excitement, and Charlotte was a major wet blanket.  If this were a real life situation, I would agree with her, but this is fiction!  Live a little!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

My Favorite Books of 2012

These are some of my favorites who were published this year.

1. The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

I was super duper excited for the release of this.  I even preordered a signed copy.  When I had no power during Hurricane Sandy and my hardcover hadn't yet arrived, I was draining the battery on my phone using iBooks and reading this.  It was so good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2. A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger

I love Kody! I read this book in pretty much one sitting.  The romance in this isn't incest at all, but some people might be weirded out by step siblings dating.  They didn't know before they met each other and the male lead is a HOT nerd, so I really don't mind!  If you haven't read any Kody, you really should   She totally has a gift for characterization and development, and she's still in college!!

3.  Every day by David Levithan

I haven't read a ton of his stuff before this, but it is definitely different from his typical stuff.  It's really thought provoking, but bitter-sweet.  It really makes you question what you thought love was.  David Levithan is an amazing guy if you ever get the chance to meet him, which you probably will because he  tours non-stop and organizes all YA events.

4.  Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris

With 12/21/12, this was so a propos to read.  I was really impressed with the plot of this story and its complexity.  I've been getting tired of the whole trite "people being suppressed-let's revolt against the government because we're unhappy- dytopian," genre, and this was so refreshing!

5.  Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols

Rom dram with HOT TWINS!

Repost: Huffinton Post Movies Better Than the Book

Movies Better than the Book Full Article

For those of you too lazy to click the link, here's the list:

*1. Forest Gump
*2. Drive
*3. The Blind Side
4. The Shawshank Redemption
5. The Princess Bride
6. The Graduate
7. Jaws
8. The Godfather
*9. The Twilight Saga
*10. The Notebook
11. Psycho

*movies I've watched

I know it's a crime that I haven't seen some of these movies, but I don't tend to watch older movies.  Honestly, I can't give my opinion on this list because I've only read The Notebook.  I hated the movie ending.

Any opinions? I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't even know some of these were adapted from books.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Real life Couple: Brittany and Alex from Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Just browsing Instagram and came across this really cute picture of @sitch and @hannahsawildparty. When i saw it I just thought of them as how i pictured Brittany and Alex from Perfect Chemistry to look which i realize might just sound really creepy.

Yes, Alex is Latino, and @sitch isn't, but his hair looks like the cover model's. And @hannahsawildparty is very pretty and blonde, just like Brittany.

They obviously really care about each other, and that's what really reminded me of Brittany and Alex. They just look so cute together!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Poll: Which 2013 Literary Movie are You Most Excited For?

Take the Poll!

I'm really excited for all of the following, basically the whole list :

Carly's New (Kinda) Book Challenge

I say kinda new because this challenge's books will still contain almost all books from my book shelf that I have yet to read.  I have a book buying addiction!  And I probably won't be reading these in order, and the list is definitely subject to change.

A-Z Challenge
*These are not on my shelf, and I will be getting them from the library or elsewhere.

1. Adverbs by Daniel Handler
2. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
3. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
4. Devoted by Hilary Duff
6. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
*7. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
8. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
9. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
10. Just One Day by Gayle Forman
*11. The Key to Rebecca by Ken Follet
12. The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer
*13. Making His Mark by Jennah Scott
14. The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
15.  Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter
16. Prodigy by Marie Lu
*17. Q & A by Vikas Swarup
18. The Retribution of  Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
19. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
20. Torment by Lauren Kate
21. Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris
*22. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffery Eugenides
23. Witch and Wizard by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet
*24. X-It by Jane George
25. You Can't Get There from Here by Gale Forman
*26. Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury

2013 Books I Can't Wait For

These will all be published in 2013. Yay!

1. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
2. Prodigy by Marie Lu
3. Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan
4. Just One Day by Gale Forman
5. The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
6. Crash by Lisa McMann
7. Falling for You by Lisa Schroeder
8. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
9. Dance of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
10. Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Review: Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols

Such a RushSuch a Rush by Jennifer Echols

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary  A sexy and poignant romantic tale of a young daredevil pilot caught between two brothers. 

When I was fourteen, I made a decision. If I was doomed to live in a trailer park next to an airport, I could complain about the smell of the jet fuel like my mom, I could drink myself to death over the noise like everybody else, or I could learn to fly.
Heaven Beach, South Carolina, is anything but, if you live at the low-rent end of town. All her life, Leah Jones has been the grown-up in her family, while her mother moves from boyfriend to boyfriend, letting any available money slip out of her hands. At school, they may diss Leah as trash, but she’s the one who negotiates with the landlord when the rent’s not paid. At fourteen, she’s the one who gets a job at the nearby airstrip.
But there’s one way Leah can escape reality. Saving every penny she can, she begs quiet Mr. Hall, who runs an aerial banner-advertising business at the airstrip and also offers flight lessons, to take her up just once. Leaving the trailer park far beneath her and swooping out over the sea is a rush greater than anything she’s ever experienced, and when Mr. Hall offers to give her cut-rate flight lessons, she feels ready to touch the sky.
By the time she’s a high school senior, Leah has become a good enough pilot that Mr. Hall offers her a job flying a banner plane. It seems like a dream come true . . . but turns out to be just as fleeting as any dream. Mr. Hall dies suddenly, leaving everything he owned in the hands of his teenage sons: golden boy Alec and adrenaline junkie Grayson. And they’re determined to keep the banner planes flying.
Though Leah has crushed on Grayson for years, she’s leery of getting involved in what now seems like a doomed business—until Grayson betrays her by digging up her most damning secret. Holding it over her head, he forces her to fly for secret reasons of his own, reasons involving Alec. Now Leah finds herself drawn into a battle between brothers—and the consequences could be deadly.

Characters: Hot twins.  Enough said right there.
Alec is very sweet, the one everyone thinks of as the good boy.  He had a few funny lines here and there. Alec is the kind of boy that would make a great friend.
Grayson is the one with a temper and has trouble expressing his feelings.  He doesn't seem like he cares and kinda comes off as a bad boy, but he's very sensitive and has good intentions.
Leah is another one of those girls who has a rocky home life and expresses it through sarcasm and bitterness sometimes.  She's pretty hilarious at times, but honestly, these types of characters confuse me.  Why would I ever get involved with someone who acts like a snake?  But you can predict what happens when these boys get involved with Leah...

Plot: You know I'm a sucker for romantic dramas, or rom drams as I like to call them.  You know the formula: boy likes girl, girl likes boy, they get together with a lot of things in the way, then they break up, then they get back together because love prevails.  The things that get in the way, the secrets are interesting and unexpected.

Writing: As always, Jennifer Echols knows how to write some steamy scenes!!!  After reading this book, I felt like taking flying lesson, but that quickly passed when I realized that wouldn't be too safe.

Would I recommend it to a friend? Oui.  As I said before, hot twins.

View all my reviews

Book Trailer Reveal: Falling for You by Lisa Schroeder

Here's the book trailer for her newest title coming out January 1st.  Looking forward to devouring it.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Best Christmas Present

For all of you east coasters, you've probably gotten through the excitement of opening presents. So, share what your favorite gift was below. It doesn't have to be a book, but if you did receive some you can say which you are most excited to read next.

My turn: I got the rest of the books by Daniel Handler/ Lemony Snicket that I needed to fill up my collection of signed first editions by him. I don't actually read these collectible copies, but I am most excited to read Why We Broke Up or one of his adult fiction novels. I know that either will be hysterical.

I also got some new TOMS and Blake's book, Start Something that Matters came with it for free. I think that is going to be a very interesting and inspiring read.

Merry Christmas/Joyeux Noël/Feliz Navidad/ I wish I knew how to saythis in every other language

Merry Christmas readers!
In between the opening of all of those wonderful gifts from Santa and shoving your mouth full of cookies, remember the true spirit of Christmas!

Enjoy all your time off from school or work, and don't forget to find a little extra time to curl up with a good book.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Review: Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

Imaginary GirlsImaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Summary:Chloe's older sister, Ruby, is the girl everyone looks to and longs for, who can't be captured or caged. When a night with Ruby's friends goes horribly wrong and Chloe discovers the dead body of her classmate London Hayes left floating in the reservoir, Chloe is sent away from town and away from Ruby.
But Ruby will do anything to get her sister back, and when Chloe returns to town two years later, deadly surprises await. As Chloe flirts with the truth that Ruby has hidden deeply away, the fragile line between life and death is redrawn by the complex bonds of sisterhood.
With palpable drama and delicious craft, Nova Ren Suma bursts onto the YA scene with the story that everyone will be talking about.

Characters: Not much to say about Chloe except that she seemed really dull compared to her sister. She seems very self-conscious and shy, whereas Ruby is the life of the party, and everyone wants to be her. The girls love each other. Ruby is very protective of Chloe, but Chloe seems to let Ruby walk right over her like the rest of the people in town.

Plot: This was super boring. It seemed like the whole book was about Ruby being better than everyone else in town. She's that girl that all of the girls wish could be and all of the guys wish they could get with. Reading about this was annoying. I thought this was going to be an eerily beautiful story, but it was just disappointing. One line barely got me weirded out. I thought I was going to be somewhat scared reading this.

Would I recommend this to a friend? Not unless you want to read about how great Ruby is.

The book trailer is so deceiving!

Review: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1)Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.
Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match
I haven't really posted any negative reviews, so here I go with the first.

Characters: Most readers of this have also read Fifty Shades, so that brings up me comparing the main characters. Travis and Christian are both controlling despite their really sweet moments. I cannot love these men because I would be scared of them lashing out. Needless to say, I'm not a fan of them.

Abby's like Anastasia, the sweet good girl type of character. She seemed weak to me. Whether it was from her love of Travis or not, she was not a strong, independent woman that could take care of herself. I don't like to see these servile characters in my books. I want to see a strong female lead, a role-model for others.

Note: I hate when Travis calls Abby Pigeon! Sure there was a semi- cute reason why she's called that, but I hate it.

Plot: Oh so predictable and melodramatic at times. I'm all about the predictable love stories, but the characters really did not contribute to making me feel positively about this book

New Adult: So this is one of those new adult genre books. I'm really into the idea of it because I like a balance between the innocent YA and the explicit Adult Romance, but this was so disappointing. I'm willing to try this genre again, so I'm crossing my fingers for next time.

Would I recommend this to a friend? No. This was just plain bad.

View all my reviews

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Review: The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

The Last Little Blue Envelope (Little Blue Envelope, #2)The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary: Ginny Blackstone thought that the biggest adventure of her life was behind her. She spent last summer traveling around Europe, following the tasks her aunt Peg laid out in a series of letters before she died. When someone stole Ginny's backpack—and the last little blue envelope inside—she resigned herself to never knowing how it was supposed to end.
Months later, a mysterious boy contacts Ginny from London, saying he's found her bag. Finally, Ginny can finish what she started. But instead of ending her journey, the last letter starts a new adventure—one filled with old friends, new loves, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Ginny finds she must hold on to her wits . . . and her heart. This time, there are no instructions.

Characters: Ginny initially seemed determined to get together with Keith after their little flame was ignited in 13 Little Blue Envelopes. Except, then Oliver joins, and Keith turns into a total jealous boyfriend even though him and Ginny were never together. I'm sorry, but I hated Keith this time! He is just so immature in this book. Oliver seems very elusive up until the very end, but never malicious to Keith. If I were him, I would have snapped at Keith, which just shows his sangfroid.

Plot: They're off on another fun road trip. I'm so jealous of these characters because I love traveling! Anyway, the book's not too plot driven, but finding out the mystery of Oliver is quite intriguing.

Would I recommend this to a friend? Of course! I love Maureen. Her writing is just so fun and cute!

View all my reviews

Review: 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

13 Little Blue Envelopes (Little Blue Envelope, #1)13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Read this while touring Europe:)

Summary: When Ginny receives thirteen little blue envelopes and instructions to buy a plane ticket to London, she knows something exciting is going to happen. What Ginny doesn't know is that she will have the adventure of her life and it will change her in more ways than one. Life and love are waiting for her across the Atlantic, and the thirteen little blue envelopes are the key to finding them in this funny, romantic, heartbreaking novel.

Characters: Ginny is a really sweet girl. She starts off seeming kinda shy, but dives into the adventure headfirst, which I really admire. Keith is a cute character. He's British, funny, and quite audacious and fun.

Plot: The plot was very light and cute. Myself, I like to read books about road trips when I'm on one. However, even if you're not,I think this book will inspire you to want to explore the world and be independent.

Sequel: I read the sequel. It was also very light, but another character, Oliver, is thrown into the mix, and I didn't enjoy it as much.

Would I recommend it to a friend? Yes, it's a really nice, easy romance

View all my reviews

Update: Lisleslivres on Twitter!

The person who has absolutely no experience with social network sites created one (Yuh, that's me).  Yeah, our page looks indecent, so hopefully that will be fixed in the near future.  Follow us!


Facebook soon to come...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Repost: NYT Article on New Adult Books

Beyond Wizards and Vampires, to Sex
The New York Times
Published: December 21, 2012

Vampire and wizard fans are apparently ready for characters who shed their robes and show a little more skin.

Publishers and authors say they are seeing a spurt in sales of books that fit into the young-adult genre in their length and emotional intensity, but feature slightly older characters and significantly more sex, explicitly detailed.

They’ve labeled this category “new adult” — which some winkingly describe as Harry Potter meets “50 Shades of Grey” — and say it is aimed at 18-to-25-year-olds, the age group right above young adult.

The goal is to retain young readers who have loyally worked their way through series like Harry Potter, “The Hunger Games” and “Twilight,” all of which tread lightly, or not at all, when it comes to sexual encounters. In the “Twilight” books, for instance, readers are kept out of the bedroom when Bella and Edward, the endlessly yearning lead characters, finally consummate their relationship.

Providing more mature material, publishers reason, is a good way to maintain devotion to books among the teenagers who are scooping up young-adult fiction and making it the most popular category in literature, with a crossover readership that is also attracting millions of adults. All while creating a new source of revenue.

This week Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Publishing released, in e-book format only, an “uncut and uncensored” version of “The Vincent Boys” and “The Vincent Brothers,” books for teenagers that were on the USA Today extended best-seller list when Abbi Glines self-published them in June.

The earlier versions of the books followed young-adult conventions and went to the edge of describing sex, and no further. The new uncut versions, labeled appropriate only for ages 17 and up, are explicit about sexual activity — with exclamations of rapture and all.

Other titles that have had recent success in the genre include “Losing It,” by Cora Carmack, about a college senior who decides to shed her virginity in a one-night stand; “Slammed,” by Colleen Hoover, about a high school senior who has a summer affair with a man who turns out to be her new poetry teacher; and “Easy,” by Tammara Webber, about a college freshman negotiating new love and a stalker.

“We are seeing a transitional generation,” concludes Ms. Glines, who started by publishing young-adult fiction and has slowly been adding steamier material as she has seen it drive up sales of her books. “They want a good narrative with the emotional intensity of teenagers, but they want sex, too.”

The material that Simon & Schuster added online was initially written by Ms. Glines for her original version of the “Vincent” books but was excised when she decided to sell to the young-adult market. While most works do not come with a ready-to-go sexual insert like that, publishers said that in the future books could commonly come in two versions and be marketed to both audiences.

Of course sex and coming of age are not new to fiction. Some critics have complained that “new adult” is just another marketing label to induce readers to buy more books. Pamela Spengler-Jaffee, a HarperCollins publicist who works with William Morrow, an adult division that has been signing new-adult authors at a frenetic pace, admits, “It is a convenient label because it allows parents and bookstores and interested readers to know what is inside.”

Beyond appealing to the maturing tastes of young readers, these more sophisticated books could potentially draw in the millions of older readers who have flocked to the young-adult category, publishers said. A study released in September by Bowker, a market research firm that studies publishing trends, showed that more than half the buyers of young-adult books were 18 or older, and the vast majority said they were purchasing for themselves.

While publishers like the concept of creating a new-adult category, its hybrid nature has been problematic. The books fall into an undefined territory between adult and children’s literature, and there is no obvious place for them in bookstores. Even within publishing houses, new-adult authors are being split between children’s and adult divisions.

But while publishers hesitated, a crop of young authors began forcing the issue: they began self-publishing novels on the Internet about 19-to-25-year-olds who are leaving home for the first time for jobs or college or a first real relationship. Online readers discovered some of these books and made them best sellers by word-of-mouth.

“Beautiful Disaster,” for example, is about a good girl with a dark past who encounters a bad boy with tattoos when she goes to college. It was self-published in 2011 by Jamie McGuire and sold more than 200,000 copies. Ms. McGuire was signed to a deal with Atria, an adult division of Simon & Schuster, earlier this year.

Elizabeth Chandler, a founder of, a social networking site built around books and that has 13 million members, said she noticed new-adult fiction suddenly gaining popularity on her site in 2011. The number of readers who recommended books with a new-adult label has suddenly exploded, she said, from a negligible amount to more than 14,000 titles.

“You don’t see it in bookstores,” Ms. Chandler said, “and you don’t have an aisle for new adult, like you have for young adult. But the rise of self-published books has catered to this audience, and we definitely see it trending online.”

The books have so much potential that some popular young-adult authors are switching tracks to join up. Meg Cabot, author of the successful “Princess Diaries” series, is now writing about a young woman named Heather Wells, who is a resident assistant at a New York City college.

Ms. Cabot said that while she changed the settings and added some sex for good measure, the genre’s core was still about fantasy. “This is for a generation that is having an extended adolescence — maybe they would like to leave home but can’t, because they can’t find a job,” she said. “This is about escaping to a new life in New York — it is like going to boarding school with wizards, only aged up appropriately.”

My feelings: I like the idea of new adult, because frankly, I don't find the one climactic kiss featured in young adult books too exciting.  Yet, if you were to read an adult fiction, you get into the explicit details of "mommy porn."  I need a happy medium, but the ones I have read so far have not been so great.  Perhaps this is related to the other point mentioned in the article: New adult fiction is not found in bookstores.  These books are almost always self published books that may get picked up by a publisher and later produced in paperback to be sold in stores.  I've found typos, which I wouldn't care as much about if the story or writing was decent.  But I'll give this genre another go.

Had you heard of new adult fiction prior to this?  What are your feelings?

We Survived the Apocalypse!

What a pretty picture for a day that was supposed to bring the end of the world.
Yay!!! 12/21/12 was just another day, yet there was all of this hype brought about by, truly, ignorance.  The Mayan calendar ended then, but that doesn't mean the end of the world like the world doesn't end every year after 12/31.  No, we just flip the calendar back to January and go through the twelve months again.

I will admit to making fun of these misinformed people who believed in this, and that might have been a little mean, but at least we all made it.

These ideas of apocalypses are extremely scary to fathom, don't you think?  Once someone like NASA says that there will be an apocalypse, I'll buy my little share of a shelter in someplace like Iowa.  Until then, I'll just believe those crazy things happen in books, and I'll list 5 of my favorite apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic books.

1. Life as We Knew it by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Books in The Last Survivor Series are written as journal entries, a format which I love because you get to know the entirety of the narrator's thoughts.  All of these books were very fast-paced.  Afterwards, I wanted to grab all of the batteries and cans from the store.  *This isn't a feel-good book like i usually read, but nonetheless just as intriguing.

2.  Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris

I just did a review of this one,but if you haven't read it, well it was very good.  The main characters have to figure out what is happening before time runs out.  The chapters each have countdowns showing how much time there is before the world ends, a pretty cool feature.

3.The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I think most people have read or seen one version of this work.  It is the paragon of this new dystopian, futuristic genre.  It really is the book that got super popular and started the interest in this genre.  I love this book, and I'm proud to say that I read it three years ago when people thought it was weird that I was reading about kids killing each other while everyone else was reading about vampires.  Isn't it odd how society has become so immune to violence?

4. The Road by Cormac McCarthy

I've never read it, but I've seen a tiny part of the movie.  I'm very interested in reading it because it's highly acclaimed, a Pulitzer   It's also pretty short.  Even though it's an adult fiction book I look forward to reading this super famous post-apocalyptic.

5. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

I had to throw it in here, especially with the new movie coming out shortly.  But the zombie apocalypse is a big talk right now.  Everybody's watching The Walking Dead, which is supposed to be frightening  or at least it is to my wimpy brother, and Warm Bodies portray zombies in a beautiful way which is refreshing.

More of an opinion, but I think it's funny and agree.
P.S. How did you spend your "last" day?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Essay Help: Symbolism (Boo Radley is the Mockingbird)- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I have again gotten lazy and just provided the bodies.  

As a teenager, Arthur Radley, otherwise known as Boo Radley, and his friends get into some venial conflict with the law.  The judge decides to send the boys to the state industrial school.  However, Mr. Radley believed that the school was a prison and a humiliation to oneself.  Therefore, while the others were getting a good education Boo was being locked inside his house under the watch of Mr. Radley, never to be seen outside for quite some time.  Referring to Mr. Radley’s ill-treatment towards others, mostly Boo, Calpurnia says, “There goes the meanest man ever God blew breath into,” as his deceased body was taken away.  Contrary to most of the neighbors’ belief, once Mr. Radley passes away, Boo does not come out; however, Mr. Nathan Radley, Boo’s brother, takes over Mr. Radley’s job of keeping Boo confined in the house, and Boo remains a mockingbird that is innocent but still being hurt.
            Having never seen Boo in their life, the Finch children become curious as to who their mysterious neighbor is.  All that they know is inaccurate, absurd rumors from their neighbors in association with the image of him in their minds that they've created with their imagination.  When new friend Dill comes to stay for the summer, he too becomes fascinated with Boo Radley.  Giving a “reasonable” description of Boo, Jem states that, “Boo was about six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch, that’s why his hands were bloodstained─ if you ate an animal raw you could never wash the blood off.” Being portrayed as a monster and scoundrel, Boo Radley is, again, symbolizing a mockingbird that has done no harm; yet others continue to give him wounds.
            Once summer comes around again, Dill comes back to Maycomb and the children begin to play their games.  Among one of their first activities, the children roll each other in an old tire.  During Scout’s turn, she rolls into the steps of the Radley house.  Scout and Jem begin to panic, grabbing the tire and hurrying from the house.  Afterwards, trying to show his bravery, Jem suggests, “I know what we are going to play.  Something new, something different.”  To this, Dill asks,” What?” and Jem responds, “Boo Radley,” a game where they perform the Radley’s life with much enthusiasm.  Nevertheless, Atticus finds out about the game and tells them not to play anymore, seeing that Boo Radley was being harmed by the children, who were doing it for fun, like a mockingbird being shot for recreational purposes. 

Essay Help: Life Lessons in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Lesson 1- Do not judge someone based on rumors.
  • neighbors like Miss Stephanie Crawford tell Scout and Jem of Boo Radley’s alleged past in which he stabbed his father’s leg, then was incarcerated in the courthouse basement, until being sent home, where he still remains veiled inside
  • everyone believes that Boo is a convict and a monster
  • To Dill, Jem gives a “reasonable” description of Boo: ”Boo was about six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch, that’s why his hands were bloodstained─ if you ate an animal raw you could never wash the blood off.” 
  • through gifts as well as being saved from Mr. Ewell, kids see true kindness of Boo
Lesson 2- Keep fighting, even when the odds of winning are low
  • Atticus, is defending a black man, Tom Robinson, who was accused of raping a white woman, Mayella Ewell, in court
  • He is determined to win the case, but knows that he will most likely lose, with the whole town having prejudices towards African Americans
  •  In town, people make cruel remarks as the Finch’s walk by
  • Other members of their family criticize Atticus’ choice
  • Scout and Jem get teased at school
    • Atticus has told his children not to fight with those that insult them and their family
    • wanting his children to keep their heads up, Atticus says,” It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.” 
    • Atticus teaches Scout and Jem the real meaning of bravery

 Lesson 3-Take pride in what you believe.  
  • Mrs. Dubose was a morphine addict that was trying to break the addiction
  • Morphine had helped less her pain, but she did not want to die an addict in order to keep her pride. 
  • Jem’s chastisement helped Mrs. Dubose battle the craving, a distraction
  • Atticus says, “I wanted you to see something about her─ I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand.”  
  • Scout and Jem begin to see Mrs. Dubose as a courageous and prideful fighter

Essay Help: The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury Motif (Hope)

I figured that I'd just put up all of the body paragraphs for this essay.  Nothing's stopping you from doing a "copy and paste," but here I am warning you to be careful about plagiarism.

Thesis- Bradbury utilizes the motif of hope throughout “The Fox and the Forest,” “The Long Rain,” and “The Visitor.” 
  Living on Earth where a disastrous war has broken out, all Roger and Ann Kristen of “The Fox and the Forest” hope for is an escape.  Sanity and civilization has given way to death and destruction.  Books are burned, thoughts are censored, and the draft for soldiers is inescapable.  While Roger works at a bomb factory, Ann works with disease-cultures to provide for weapons for battle as well.  When talking with her friend, Ann is informed of Travel in Time Incorporated, a company that brings vacations to another location and time.  Hearing this, Ann sees as an opportunity to leave the place that has brought her great pain and misery by going back into time and thinks,” Here is the chance that my husband and I have talked and prayed over for so many years” (117).  Despite the fact that the police are keeping a watchful eye on Travel in Time Incorporated, for they are afraid people will run and hide in the past, Roger and Ann Kristen carry do exactly that by carrying out their plan of going back into time and changing their names to William and Susan Travis, with immense hope of never returning from their vacation.        
            Having survived their rocket crashing into Venus, a lieutenant and his three men from “The Long Rain” are now hoping to seek out a Sun Dome.  Traveling in the constant, depressing rain, the group’s sanity becomes lessened. Soon, they reach a figure in the distance only to take a closer look and find out that it is their rocket; they have been going in a circle due to an electrical storm that has struck one crewman with lightning as well as tampered with their compass.  Not giving up, the men continue on.  However, the effects of the ever-present rain shortly becomes too much for the two remaining crewmen, the last man waiting for the lieutenant to be out of sight before taking his own life.  The lieutenant, now all alone, then sees it-the next Sun Dome.   Doubtful that it will be properly functioning, the lieutenant stops running towards the Sun Dome.  Nevertheless, he starts running again and inevitably reaches the Sun Dome.  Anxiously turning the door handle, the lieutenant then “was looking at the sun.  It hung in the center of the room, large and yellow and warm” (65).  Though faced with the loss of his men, the ills of the long rain, the lieutenant continued to hold high hopes which resulted in him finding sun on Venus where it never stops raining.
            Having the incurable “blood rust,” Saul Williams has been quarantined on Mars for quite some time and is lonely with the hopes for someone that can carry on an intellectual discussion.  Knowing that he will die within a year, and growing weaker every day, Saul becomes depressed.  Wanting to put an end to his pain, Saul tries to kill himself by deliberately trying to not wake up from his sleep.  However, waking up an hour later with a mouth full of blood, Saul then sees another man in the distance.  Walking over to him, Saul complains of his loneliness only to get an inattentive response from the seriously ill man.  Disappointed to find out that the man cannot alleviate his loneliness by speaking with some intellect, Saul tells the man, “I wish to God you could at least talk.  Why is it that intellectuals never get the blood rust and come up here?” (129).  Yet, when a man named Leonard Mark appears on Mars, he is not enough to satisfactorily fulfill Saul’s hopes, only ending in more melancholy.        

Review: Lemonade Mouth by Mark Peter Hughes

Lemonade MouthLemonade Mouth by Mark Peter Hughes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Actual rating 3.75

I read this after watching the Disney channel original movie. I'll admit that I loved the movie. I love Bridgit Mendler.

Characters: Opposite from the movie, some of the characters weren't fairly attractive people. For instance, Charlie was supposed to be really chunky and mediocre looking. Charlie in the movie was very skinny and not ugly. Besides their physical portrayals, the characters weren't that different. They were all still the underdogs that you love to cheer on!

Plot: Only a few details here and there are different than the movie. For me, I got really bored reading something i had already watched when it was verbatim. I actually stopped reading it and didn't pick it back up until summer and I had checked it out at the library before Christmas.

Writing: The POVs change each chapter, and the fonts do as well which is very cool! This book comes off as a middle grade book from the way its written through the kids' perspective, very straightforward and lacking higher level vocab.

Overall: This book was a cute, light read.  Because I'm trying to stay away from middle grade stuff, I doubt I will read the newly released sequel Lemonade Mouth Puckers Up.

Would I recommend this to a friend? This was a cute story, inspiring, but I wouldn't recommend this to anyone older than middle school. Also, people who have seen the movie, I gave you my caveat.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Books I must Read During my Break:(

I was a bit of a procrastinator(If I was Hester, my scarlet letter would be a big fat P) and I have been slacking on my English homework. I have to read these and write entries on them, so no fun for me. What kind of a break is that? Serves me right for procrastinating.

1. An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Pierce
2. the Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe
3. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne( not the whole thing of course!)

Ugh! Procrastination is killer. But if you knew the load of work these teachers gave this week, you'd know it was really prioritizing. Sorry for the boring post. I needed to complain.

Monday, December 17, 2012

5 Literary Crushes/ Book Boyfriends

We've all seen these lists on Goodreads, or at least have been thinking it in our heads...
Who are those characters that you fell in love with and wish were real?

1. Étienne St. Clair
 Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

This boy is sweet and awfully funny.  However, he is not perfect.  He's shorter than Anna and his bottom teeth aren't perfectly straight.  His imperfections make him real and all the more cheeky.  Yes, he is an American with an English accent who is also fluent in French...quite an impressive combination. 

I can't find an actor who I pictured as Etienne.  He's just too perfect to compare to real world people.

2. Noah Shaw  
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

His banters between him and Mara are hysterical.  What I like about him is that he is evidently very intelligent  as seen through his witty humor.  However, he has the bad boy image, but he truly does care for Mara.  HIs love for Mara is really noticable in The Evolution of Mara Dyer, and I thought he was really whipped.  It kinda annoyed me, but him being Noah made it all better.  Oh, and he's British just like Max Irons.

Max Irons- Noah Shaw
3. Alex Fuentes

Not that all of the Fuentes boys aren't funny, charming, and know how to treat women, but Alex just appeals to me more.  The other two brothers struck me as idiots often, but Alex knew that getting involved with the gang would be trouble and only did it to protect his family.

Although the trailers are super corny, Simone did a really nice job casting the boys.  If it's ever made into a movie, I want Alexander F. Rodriguez as Alex. But a haircut would be necessary.

Alexander F. Rodriguez- Alex Fuentes
4. Adam Widle

He's a cute guy, obviously cares for Mia, but you really don't get to care about Adam until Where She Went when the POV is through his eyes.  He's sensitive, kind, and passionate.  He and Mia are very into music, so that might be of interst to you.

I saw other people choosing Kevin Zegers as Adam, and I thought why not? He's a good looking guy. He could be a rock star.

Kevin Zegers- Adam Wilde
5. Jace Wayland

I love his sarcasm.  He, too, is played off as a bad boy.  Yet, he loves Clary.  Plus, he's a ferocious Shadowhunter, strong enough both physically and mentally to defeat the enemy.

I don't like the casting of Jace for the movie.  If you check out the list of actors that auditioned for the part, you will be overwhelmed by handsomeness.  I just didn't picture Jamie Campbell Bower as Jace.  Personally, I'm in love with Alex Pettyfer, but I respect him not wanting to be in any more teen movies.  He's actually become a pretty good actor: I'll admit that Beastly was terrible, but his accent in Magic Mike was amazing!  He's definitely come a long way in the industry.

Alex Pettyfer- Jace Wayland

I challenge you to come up with your list. Who do you imagine playing these characters?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Essay: Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare Foreshadowing

thesis- The foreshadowing signals danger in the near future (i.e. their deaths being the biggie)

foreshadowing examples-

1. Benvolio says,” Take thou some new infection to thy eye, /And the rank poison of the old will die (Shakespeare I, ii, 51-52)"

Romeo ends up forgetting Rosaline as soon as he sees Juliet.

2. Juliet's reply to her mother who wants her to look at Paris because his fiancee will be just as admired as he- "I'll look to like, if looking liking move./ But no more deep will, I endart mine eye/ fan your sense give strength to make it fly" (Shakespeare I, iii, 99-101).

This foreshadows that Juliet will end up falling for someone other than Paris.

3. Before entering the Capulet masquerade, Romeo says," I fear too early, for my mind misgives/ Some consequence yet hanging in the stars/ Shall bitterly begin his fearful date/ With this night's revels, and expire the term/ Of a despised life closed in my breast/ By some vile forfeit of untimely death (Shakespeare I, iv, 113-118).

This foreshadows what happens during the rest of the play. Romeo's entrance to the masquerade triggers a series of events that leads to his death.

4. Tybalt assures himself that he will retaliate for Romeo showing up at to the Capulet party.  He threatens, "I will withdraw, but this intrusion shall / Now seeming sweet convert to bitter gall" (Shakespeare I, v, 91-92). 

gall= something bitter, like poison, which symbolizes the nature of his death

5. Juliet is concerned that a guard will see Romeo during the balcony scene. She says,” And the place death, considering who thou art, / if any of my kinsmen find thee here (Shakespeare II, ii, 69-70).”  When Romeo answers back,” My life were better ended by their hate/ Than death proroguèd, wanting of thy love (Shakespeare II, ii, 82-83),” it foreshadows Romeo getting Juliet's love, but then dying for it.

6. When Romeo tries to express his love for Juliet he said,” I am no pilot; yet, went thou as far/ As that vast shore wash’d with the farthest sea, / I would adventure for such merchandise.”  

This quote foreshadows his last words to Juliet, these words being, “Come, bitter conduct, come, unsavoury guide! /Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on/ The dashing rocks thy sea-sick weary bark! / Here’s to my love (Drinks.) O true apothecary!/ thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die (Dies.)” (V,iii,126-131).

 7. Friar Lawrence says,” Nor aught so good but, strained from that fair use, /Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse./ Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied,/ And vice sometime by action dignified (Shakespeare II, iii, 19-22),” 

he means that everything depends on how it's natural powers are used.  This foreshadows Romeo and Juliet’s love bringing them death

8.).  before marrying Romeo and Juliet- Friar Lawrence cautions, “These violent delights have violent ends/ And in their triumph die, like fire and powder, /Which, as they kiss, consume (Shakespeare II, vi, 9-11),” 
foreshadows that hasty pleasures have hasty endings like Romeo and Juliet's love lead them to death.  9.Replying to quote 8, Romeo speaks, “Do thou but close our hands with holy words, / Then love- devouring death do what he dare;/ it is enough I may but call her mine.  

In actuality, this does happen.  Romeo and Juliet die out of love for each other.  

10. as Mercutio is dying-  Mercutio shouts, ”A plague o’ both your houses (Shakespeare III, I, 111)!”  

“plague” foreshadows the outbreak of plague that keeps Friar John quarantined and unable to deliver the message from Friar Lawrence to Romeo that described the plan.

11.  Then, after Mercutio’s death, Romeo says,”This day’s black fate on more days doth depend./ This but begins the woe that others must end (Shakespeare III, I, 124-125).”  

foreshadows that Mercutio’s death was only the beginning of bad and dangerous things to come, and that others will suffer to end them

Friday, December 14, 2012

Update: English Lit. Essay Help

I've decided to add this component to the blog, having gotten ideas from other blogs when I was completely stuck on an essay before.  I know that feeling of hopelessness all too well, so why not ease the pain for the rest of you stuck doing essays on stuff I've already done?  I'm not posting my entire essay, but I will produce my main ideas.

So I have some previous essays on:
1. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
2. The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury
3. The Once and Future King by T.H. White
4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I know I have written so many more, but I can't find them at the moment.  These include:
1. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
3. Cry the Belved Country by Alan Paton

Of course, many more to be written this year...

This doesn't have to be you.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Review: Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris

Unraveling (Unraveling, #1)Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary: Two days before the start of her junior year, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit by a pickup truck and killed--as in blinding light, scenes of her life flashing before her, and then nothing. Except the next thing she knows, she's opening her eyes to find Ben Michaels, a loner from her high school whom Janelle has never talked to, leaning over her. And even though it isn't possible, she knows--with every fiber of her being--that Ben has somehow brought her back to life.
But her revival, and Ben's possible role in it, is only the first of the puzzles that Janelle must solve. While snooping in her FBI agent father's files for clues about her accident, she uncovers a clock that seems to be counting down to something--but to what? And when someone close to Janelle is killed, she can no longer deny what's right in front of her: Everything that's happened--the accident, the murder, the countdown clock, Ben's sudden appearance in her life--points to the end of life as she knows it. And as the clock ticks down, she realizes that if she wants to put a stop to the end of the world, she's going to need to uncover Ben's secrets--and keep from falling in love with him in the process.
From debut author Elizabeth Norris comes this shattering novel of one girl's fight to save herself, her world, and the boy she never saw coming.
Characters: Again, the one thing I do love about these dystopians is the strong lead females.  GIRL POWER! Janelle is intelligent and caring. Ben's quite elusive. Even after the end, I still don't know him. However, I really liked the relationship between Janelle and Ben. Their back story was super cute, and I don't know if this is a spoiler but THE PROPOSAL! That in conjunction with the line that mirrors that were by far my favorite lines from the entire book.
Plot: I was so impressed by this plot!  The details were connected and intertwined, much like my favorite show ever LOST.  The only issue I had with it was the ending.  I don't think it should have ended that way:  Janelle and her brother should have joined Ben and went back to his world if her brother was the only reason for staying behind.  I don't want to say that the ending totally set up for a sequel just to make money because I am definitely going to read it, but I guess me being one for a happy ending would have changed the depressing end.
Writing: Elizabeth Norris definitely stayed true to the dialect of teenagers, making it realistic and relatable considering that the story is not likely to actually happen.  However, perhaps that is just the way she talks; when i met her, I did not realize how old she was because of her manner in speaking.
Additional: Unraveling was bought to possibly be made into film.  Any cast ideas?

FUN FACT: Elizabeth Norris attended the same high school I am currently attending.

Would I recommend it to a friend? Yes.  I'm super excited for Unbreakable.  I even requested for an ARC.

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