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Monday, December 14, 2009

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson reivew



Title: Speak
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Edition: Paperback, 10th Anniversary Edition, 2009
Publisher: Speak
MSRP (Paperback): $11.99
Rating: * * * * */5


I have no words for "Speak". It was unlike anything I've ever read before, and I only wish I could read more like it.

The brilliance of "Speak" is how absolutely NOTHING happens until the end- but it manages to be so fascinating. Melinda has a voice unlike any other- so strong, so real, so startlingly familiar, like your own, a voice every one, of any gender, race- anyone will understand. It's a voice that sticks with you, a voice you'll always be haunted by- a voice you need to listen to in the book, and soon.

No words describe emotions I felt from this book- which, despite its shortness, is why I'm ending this review here!

(That and I'm so tired sheep are counting me.)

Liar by Justine Laralestier review


Title: Liar
Author: Justine Larbalestier
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA, September 29, 2009
MSRP (Hardback only): $16.99
Pages: 384
Rating: * * * */ 5

I was so excited when I found Liar in my mailbox 2 months ago- I had been waiting for it forever, and didn't even know I would recieve an ARC! But then I realized something, like many others may have- I don't know how to read Liar. I mean, I get the words being put into coherent (most of the time) sentences part down, obviously- but I was scared that I would get to the end of the novel, having been totally wrapped up in a story, only to have it all ripped away- Micah just saying, "Oops, it was all a lie! You people buy everything, don't you?" Could I trust this book at all? Even for fiction that was trying. But, because I had a job to do, I read it (it took a while, as you who check up regularly might know!).

I can't say much, but yes, to a certain extent, my expectations were met. Lies were sometimes admitted, another world was spun together as Micah went from "compulsive to pathological", in such detail- then taken away sharply. Even these "tiny white lies" of hers, these things she said were for fun or to protect people were taken away. But was I disappointed by it? Definitely NOT!

"Liar" was, above all, an unbeatable character study. Micah was so real- yet everything about her was not. Even though it was what I feared most, it was so exciting to go looking for clues that might prove she's lying- didn't she go somewhere else before? I thought she didn't know him or her? Liar is a book that will have you reading constantly and nervously.

But that's not to say it didn't have it's definite faults. There was a point in the book where some people might just give up, put down the book and sigh, "Really? You expect me to believe this?Please!". And Micah- as interesting a character to read about as she was- was an awful person sometimes. Frankly, she got on my nerves a little more than a few times.

If you're up to a challenge, give this new book a try. I definitely don't regret it!

Many thanks to the publishers at Bloomsbury USA for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

In My Maikbox

Hey all! I haven't posted anything of substance in MONTHS, I know, and I'm afraid no reviews til tommorrow (BUT I have 7 to review as make up... *goes green in face*). I could shovel out some excuses- All-district and festival in band, algebra, my recent audiophileness (right word for person obsessed with music??? I truly am- I've spent hundreds of dollars on iTunes and CD's the past few months, and about as many hours eduating myself on the movements, decades, history, discographies... yup I'm making myself stop sorry!), vacation, sickness... but I shan't. (Word??? Oh well). So here is all the books aquired since my last post (no pics, too difficult)!

RECIEVED FOR REVIEW:

Split by Stefan Petrucha
In A Heartbeat by loretta ellsworth

BOUGHT:

Yeah, about that... I'm proud and shocked, but I bought nothing- no books at least. I spent it all on vinyl and a record player xD

Well, with my own money. My parents got me Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger, as well as I Don't Want to Be Crazy by Samantha Schultz.

LIBRARY:

The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler
Burn by Suzanne Phillips
An Off Year by Clair Zulkey
Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr
September Sisters by JIllian Cantor
Anna Karenina- Leo Tolstoy
Up All Night: An collection of short stories
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
(Some others I already returned and don't remember :P)

K, so good few weeks! I got some good classics and other great books. What'd everyone else get? I'm off to see... I have a smothering amount of new posts in my dashboard!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Vacation, Back Soon

Hi, just wanted to say I'm on vacation be back soon!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

As You Wish



Title: As You Wish
Author: Jackson Pearce
Publisher: Harper Teen, September 2009
MSRP (Hardback only): $16.99
Pages: 304 pages
Rating: * * * * */5 (Yes, another fiver :P Wait, isn't it a good thing?)

The first thing I thought when I saw this book was, "Will it be like all these other sub-par fantasies on the shelves?" But I bought it anyways- because, finally! Something interesting I can read, and that's original. Something not about zombies, vampires, ghosts, faeries, fairies... all the other things populating the YA shelves today.

My first thought when I read the book was, "OMG I LUUURVE THIS BOOK!" Well, maybe a bit less peppy. But you get the point.

As You Wish was a gorgeous mix of most everthing good in YA- funny, believable dialogue, honest to life characters, an original plot, a sprinkling of magic, an amazing male lead who you can't help but fall in love with, fast paced writing, and romance that makes you swoon involuntarily.

I loved how the chapters alternated between Jinn and Viola's point of view- showing what they each thought of the events. I think it made both of them more developed and loveable than had only one of them been the narrator. And the writing was great- funny, quick moving, and the way I only wish I could write!

As You Wish is a fun, original, and wholesomely sweet creation that'll leave you wishing for more- pick up a copy as soon as possible!

Hey all, sorry I haven't writen a review in forever- all-district band has kept me so busy! I just got back from auditions- I failed epically but I still got in, though my 2 friends didn't *sniffle*

Reviews to expect soon:

Liar
A Match Made In High School
THe Sweet Life Of Stella Madison (NOT. Good folks.)
I Am A Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President
Going Bovine
An Abundance of Katherines
As You Wish

All of these I have about 20 pages each left to go. I took them to school with me and I stopped reading them so I wouldn't finish them at school, I HATE doing that... but yup. And As You Wish I'm on my way to do.

Thanks for clicking this post but it was more for my benifit than anything! :P

Sunday, November 1, 2009

In My Mailbox

Heylo loyal readers ;) I'm currently a) typing this up b) looking over my bookshelf to see what books I got since I forgot, c) eating cookies, all while managing to d) read Catching Fire- I can't stay away long :P Also drinking milk, and making my ears bleed in the most amazing way- this crazy Japanese band called Melt-Banana during the commercials on Annie Hall. Yes I am magical :P
Recieved for review:


A Match Made In High School by Kristin Walker (February 2010)




I Am A Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President (October 2009)



Bought (I'm back to doing pictures for all books):

As You Wish by Jackson Pearson










Imaginary Enemy by Julie Gonzalez

(This cover angers me! I think it's the yellow :P)








Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur










The Espressologist by Kristina Springer




Library:

Hate List by Jennifer Brown










Going Bovine by Libba Bray










How to Buy A Love of Reading by Tanya Egan Gibson










I Love You, Beth Cooper by Larry Doyle






So, that's my haul for this week! I'm proud since I only bought one book- the others were a gift from my mom. I just discovered that there's this magical thing called borrowing where you can get your library to order certain books *awe* That's how I FINALLY got to read HtBaLoR and Hate List. Getting Going Bovine was just the universe being nice to me for once :) And my two ARC's are great so far. Oh yeah, what'd everyone else get?





















Tuesday, October 27, 2009

They're BAAA-ACCCCK... *sob*

Remember this lovely little number pulled by publishers on Wuthering Heights?

Oh yes. The Bella and Edward's favorite book- according to the sticker.

BEHOLD. Here is where I would make more snarky comments. But frankly I'm too bitter at the present moment in time. Feel free to do my job for me in the comments. Don't be shy.



*sigh* But that's not even the worst.


Notice the caption, "The original forbidden love..."
And, of course, I can't leave without another version of the Wuthering Heights.

How much do you want to be some 10 year old picked this up thinking it was Twilight and threw it away upon discovering it wasn't?



{Insert further snarky commentary}

Teaser Tuesday

Hi! I'm finally regularly doing the teaser now :P This week's teaser is from an ARC I just got in the mail a few hours ago, I Am A Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President by Josh Lieb. Which, for the record, is weird, crazy. insane and hilarious. Just so you know :)

Mmkay, TT rules:

1) Go to a random page of your current read.
2) Choose 2 teaser sentences from it (yes, I break this rule a lot *cough*)
3) Post it here so people can sample the awesomeness of it! Or as the case may be, lameness.
4) NO spoilers. EVER.

This is taken from page 91 of I Am A Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President by Josh Lieb:

"What is evil?" You ask.
To which I reply, "Who are you? Friedrich Nietzsche?"
To which you respond, "Duh... wha? Me no understand."
Then I put you back in your cage.

I freely admit I am evil. At least, I freely admit it when I'm alone and no one can hear me. That doesn't mean I torture kittens or plot the genocide of entire continents of people; that's insanity, not evil. And insanity is just what we call stupidit when it doesn't make sense.

___________________

Strange. But I like the book so far.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher review








Title: 13 Reasons Why


Author: Jay Asher


Publisher: Razorbill (ctober 17, 2009)


MSRP (Hardback, USA): $16.99


Pages: 320

Summary: You can't stop the future. You can't rewind the past. The only way to learn the secret... is to press play.


Clay Jensen doesn't want anything to do with the tapes Hannah Baker made. Hannah is dead. Her secrets should be buried with her.


The Hannah's voice tells Clay that his name is on her tapes- and that he is, in some way, responsible for her death.


All through the night, Clay keeps listening. He follows Hannah's recorded words throughout his small town...


...and what he discovers will change his life forever.



********************************************


I was originally going to do this review as a list of 13 reasons why I loved Th1rteen R3easons Why... but once I tried I saw I loved too much about it to list.

Mainly what I loved so much was the writing- Hannah's voice, regularly flowing throughout the novel, was so sad and earnest. You could tell she had tried so hard- well, thought she had tried- to get help, and was giving up, defeated and beaten down. But even then, she was still sweet, funny and totally likeable. When I first started reading the book, that was something new to me, and basically up until the end my eyes were wet. Another thing about the writing I loved was how Hannah's recordings were constantly sprinkled throughout the story- for the record, the one in the italics. The most of a break you got was 2, and most of the time it was just a sentence or two from Clay. At first, that frustrated me- I'd get so into Hannah's story, wondering and waiting and listening along, that I'd entirely forget about what Clay was doing. Someone would speak to him, Hannah would continue a bit, Clay would respond to said person, I'd have no clue what he was talking about. But it's something I got used to fairly easily.

It was such a good idea on Asher's part to use cassette tapes, in my opinion- it seemed more mysterious and personal than had it been something like CD's.

Speaking of it's mystery, the book really wasn't predictable. I was wondering what every single person had done, what had driven Hannah to her breaking point. And I definitely didn't know what to expect from Clay.

Finally, the characters- even though very few characters made an appearance in the novel, you get to know all the people- Hannah ans her 12 other "reasons"- so much better just by seeing what effect they had on Hannah and what she thought of them, including Clay.

A true page turner- I got so mad whenever I had to be torn away from it. I accidentally missed my bus stop on my way home because I was reading it- it's something worthy of you TBR pile.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday: Dirty Little Secrets



Dirty Little Secrets by CJ Omololu (it's like banana... spelling this authors name made me feel speshul ed :P)

Product Description/Summary (thanks to Amazon): Everyone has a secret. But Lucy’s is bigger and dirtier than most. It’s one she’s been hiding for years—that her mom’s out-of-control hoarding has turned their lives into a world of garbage and shame. She’s managed to keep her home life hidden from her best friend and her crush, knowing they’d be disgusted by the truth. So, when her mom dies suddenly in their home, Lucy hesitates to call 911 because revealing their way of life would make her future unbearable—and she begins her two-day plan to set her life right.
With details that are as fascinating as they are disturbing, C. J. Omololu weaves an hour-by-hour account of Lucy’s desperate attempt at normalcy. Her fear and isolation are palpable as readers are pulled down a path from which there is no return, and the impact of hoarding on one teen’s life will have readers completely hooked.

Why I Want to Read This SO Much: Um, did you read the summary? It sounds amazing if written in the right way which I'm sure it will be.

I'm off to hunt for change to make sure I actually have money for it when February comes around :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Teaser Tuesday: An Abundance of Katherines

(Wow, when's the last time I did this!?)

This week my teaser is from An Abundance of Katherines by John Green- which I LOVE. John Green is amazing! Yet another 5 star review coming soon- sorry it's a bit long. It has foot notes in the book explaining the French, but you're in your own using Google Translate- which is worth doing, this is the most hilarious part.

"Okay, they're coming," Said Hassan. "What's your name?"
"Pierre."
Okay, I'm Salinger, pronounced SalinZHAY."
"Y'all are here for the tour, are ya," Lindsey's boyfriend said.
"Yes. I am Salinzhay," Hassan said, his accent passable if not magnificient. "This is my cousin Pierre. We visit your country for first time, and we wish to see Archduke, who started our- how you say- first Earth war." Colin glanced at Lindsey Lee Wells, who surpressed a smile as she smacked her orange gum.
"I'm Colin," the boyfriend said, his hand extended. Hassan leaned over and Pierre/Colin and whispered, "His name is Other Colin." Hassan then said, "My cousin, he speak very little English. I am his man of translate." The Other Colin laughed, as did the other two boys, who introduced themselves ("We will call Chase, Jeans Are Too Tight, and Fulton shall be Short One Chewing Tobacco," Hassan whispered to Colin.
"Je m'appelle Pierre," Colin blurted out. "Quand je vais das le metro, je fais aussi de la musique de prouts."
"We get a lot of foreign tourists out here," said the only girl besides Lindsey [...]
"Amour aime aimer amour!" Colin announced quite loudly.
"Pierre," said Hassan. "He has the disease with the talking. The, uh, with the bad words. In France, we say it Toorettes. I do now know how you say in English."
"He has Tourette's?" Asked the girl, Katrina.
"MERDE!" shouted Colin.
"Yes, same word both language, like hemorrhoid. The one we learned yesterday because Pierre had the fire in his bottom. He has the Toorettes. And the hemmorhoid. But, is good boy."
"Ne dis pas que j'ai des hemorroides! Je n'ai pas d'hemorroide," Colin shouted, trying to continue the game and get Hassan on another topic.
Hassan looked at Colin, nodded knowingly,and then told Katrina, "He just said that your face, it is beatutiful like the hemorroid."

******************

:D

Hunger Games Paraphenalia For the Masses!






I lovelovelove the Hunger Games, and I was surfing around the internet looking at blog when I found one called Galleysmith. And on it, Hunger Games buttons! She even made a Team Gale button, just out of kindness to that minority :) I'm Team Peeta myself. But if you want Katniss to just be friends with both of them there's a button for that!





Here they are, for you to proudly display on your sidebars/ print and cut out and glue to your forehead!






Sunday, October 18, 2009

Review Policy Change and Change of Email Address!

Hey all! I was thinking about things I could do to make SBR better today, and I started thinking about how publishers are- unfortunately, since I hardly got to enjoy its prime- starting to cut back on ARC's. One of my favorite parts of reviewing is review copies, it's so exciting! So I'm changing my review policy. Previously, I only accepted physical copies. Now, seeing as I have a laptop that is extremely portable, I'm accepting e-books. If any publishers or authors would like me to review their book- which I'd be more than happy to do!- but are unable to give me a physical copy, I will most likely accept an e-book.
BUT I still STRONGLY prefer physical copies.

Also, up until now my email has been meggymegmeg96@yahoo.com . I'm all paranoid that publishers see my email title and don't take it seriously, thinking it's just from an individual reader who was misinformed. So I'm changing it to serendipityreviews@yahoo.com. I don't have it up and running yet- my dad has to make it, he doesn't give me the password. He always has to log in for me [INSERT ANGRY RANT AT DAD]- so tomorrow. Also it might be google mail instead.

Mmkay, that's all, bye!

In My Mailbox

Hey everyone! I had a fantastic book week, thanks to my library (-ies...). Both of them have gotten such good books in the teen section all of a sudden- esp. the one I can't get to as much and have a lot of overdue fines at. Obviously I'm the one supporting them majorly :P Anyways, my haul:







Mail:







Oh! I actually got one this week!







Six Steps to a Girl by Sophie McKenzie











I won this a little while ago from Sara at DBR- I forgot I had even won it until my dad gave it to me. I love getting books in the mail, and this was even better since it was won! The first thing I ever won :) And it's the UK version- with the different cover and different currency thing and all :) It's apparently the first book in the All About Eve trilogy- I just hope it stand alone well because I have no way of getting them :P



(I'm kind of running out of time right now, so no pictures sorry!)

Bought:

Blue Plate Special by Michelle Kwasney

Bad Kitty by Michelle Jaffe


Library:

Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher

Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas

Skinny by Ibi Kaslik

Gorgeous by Rachel Vail

Looking for Alaska by John Green

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Crowned by Julie Linker

The Sweet Life of Stella Madison by Laura M. Zeises

Fever by Laurie Halse Anderson

The Long Wait for Tomorrow by Joaquin Dorfman

*****************

As you can see, extremely great book week! Oh yeah, what'd everyone else get?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones review





Title: What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know

Author: Sonya Sones

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing (June 5, 2007)

Pages (Hardcover edition): 304

MSRP (Hardback): $16.99

My Rating: * * * * */5



(Can I give 6 of five stars? I want to...)



I loved What My Mother Doesn't Know when I read it last week, and I just had to get this sequel as soon as possible- which I did around an hour ago.

This book was so absolutely amazing! I think I loved it even better than the first, if not as much. Robin is definitely my favorite character I've read about in a long while, male or female. His character, along with Sophie's, were both perfectly crafted- their dialogue was believable and cute, and you could tell they really loved each other. I only wish I could write like Sonya Sones.

Upon getting these 2 books at the library, I figured it would just be your average typical love story in poem form. It really wasn't. Yes, it was a love story, but it was more than that- it was about him breaking out of the stereotype worthless nerd people had formed him into, when he really wasn't- he was smart, funny (despite his love of puns :P), and completely loveable.

Another thing I love is how creative Sones is with her writing. It's not like most- it's clever, subtle, and totally true to life.

In short, readitreaditreadit, nownownow! And if you can buy it. I wish I had, because it's a book I'd love to be able to loan to my friends (or random strangers on the street. Hoboes need edjamacation too).

P.S. Though this is a sequel, it stands on its own just as well and strong as if it was a totally seperate thing. However, it helped me get more out of the book having read What My Mother Doesn't Know- it isn't totally nessecary to read it first, but it helps majorly :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

In My Mailbox

Hi! I was busy yesterday (my 2 great aunts and my cousin Steven- who is the only other person I know who loves every band I love, and knows who bands like The Jam or Melt Banana even are- came. We went to every antique store known in a 3 hour radius... I got 4 books and records, the books are included on here.), so for once I'm excused.

Mail: None.

Library:

What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones (I loved the novel before it. This is the sequel from Robin- a.k.a. Murphy-'s point of view, starting in the final scene of WMMDK. I love this one even more... Murphy is my all time favorite guy character in a WHILE.)

Marcelo In the Real World by Francisco X. Stork (I love it's cover, and the storyline sounds interesting.)

Looking for Alaska by John Green (I finally got it! You know how much I loved Paper Towns. I hope this one lives up to it.)

Are U 4 Real? by Sara Kadefors (I almost bought it the day before I saw it on the shelves!)

Bought:

Cake Wrecks by Jen Yates (I love this blog! Check it out.)

Blue Plate Special by Michelle Kwasney (I lovelovelove this book so far!)

Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies by Erin Dionne (I had to venture into the children's section for it *gasp*. But it was WORTH IT!)

Then, these are bought from the Pedigo's antique store- the place we went to with the records and books:

I Couldn't Help Laughing by Ogden Nash (I love his poetry. It's an anthology of prose and poems, and my copy is this lovely Tiffany blue color and was printed in 1957 (I checked the front. I always do that, for whatever reason, where all the copyrights are!) The best part? It's signed by P.G. Wodehouse!)

Lucile by ??? (I couldn't find who it was by. Or what it's about for that matter :P It's kind of a playbook. That rhymes. Like a poetry novel but... not. *cough*)

The Many Worlds of Science Fiction (I usually don't like SF... but this has been great!)

So, that all! What'd you guys get?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

My Favorite Couples and Guys in Literature: Part I

I was looking around my favorite blogs a while ago, and on Kira's blog I found a list of her favorite couples in books she's read. Then Jessica rom Shut Up I'm Reading made a list of her favorite guys in literature, so I'm doing it too! (Long list... xD)



Couples (In no particcular order)

___________



1) Katsa and Po from Graceling (I haven't finished it yet... but I LOVE them as a couple)



2) Katniss and Peeta from The Hunger Games (I'm not sure if I can include them in this or not. For anyone who has read the Hunger Games, you know what I mean, right?)



3) Finn and Kate from Something. Maybe (I loved Finn, and the dialogue and events between them were adorable)



4) Kevin and Ginny from 13 Little Blue Envelopes (They traveled around the world together- what's not to love about that?)



5) Sophie and Katie in What My Mother Doesn't Know and its sequel, What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones (My favorite, hands down!)

And guys:

Brendon from Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson (He's tall, slightly geeky, and hilarious. What more can you ask for? Not much, beyond askign for him to be real :) Also, his life is so awesome- he's destined to be an actore, and he lives in a hotel.)

Murphy from What My Mother Doesn't Know and its sequel, What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones (Like he and Sophie were my favorite couple, he's my favorite guy. If I went to school, I would go to him immediately, not caring if he WAS considered a loser. He loves music and knows EVERYthing about it, he's an artist, he's hilarious, and adorkable. Sones created the perfect imperfect boy.)

*************

Not much, I know. That's why this is only part one- I'll be back next week with another installment after looking over books I've read!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Theme Thursday: Fairy Tales Retold

Heylo! I know it's technically Wednesday still, but it's minutes to midnight (that's a song/band, right? *sigh* that's gonna bug me, my Google never wants to cooperate so I can find out...) (also, when this is published it might be past. Oh well, no need to be so technical!)so CLOSE ENOUGH.

Theme Thursday is a weekly showcase of books that all share similar somethings- themes and issues, covers, titles, characters, basically any kind of tie-in, created in August by Serendipity Reviews (this blog).

This week's theme is...
Fairy Tales Retold!
BOOKS FEATURED ON TODAY'S POST:


Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen by Serena Valentino (A retelling of Snow White)
The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy (I can't WAIT for this to come out... I should go do my WoW post on it :P)

Ash by Malinda Lo (This have a marvelous cover that makes me want to cry a bit. According to the author it's a retelling of Cinderalla too, but beyond that I have no clue what it's about.)
Beastly by Alex Flinn (A retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I adore this cover as well!)
Geek Charming by Robin Palmer (The snooty, chick-lit version of Snow White that I bought forever ago and can't bring myself to read)

Cindy Ella by Robin Palmer (From the title you can tell it's a retelling of Cinderella!)
A Curse Dark As Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce (A retelling of... what's that one about the girl who spins gold and this freaky gnome thing helps her? That one. It'll come to me :P I've been wanting to read this forever, since early last year :P)







There was a myriad of other Cinderella remakes... one I've read, Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix. I'm not at all impressed with her books.





















Showcase time!











That's all for this week, bye!











Tuesday, October 6, 2009

IMPORTANT: All book reviewers read this!

Donna from Lit Bites has just (well, I just got the email, it's from about 5 days ago most likely!) informed me that the FTC, starting December 1st, is passing a law making bloggers disclose that their review copies were for free. I don't really understand this so much, so I'm going to post the MSNBC article with all the facts and information:

"
By Deborah Yao and Emily Fredrix
updated 5:02 p.m. CT, Mon., Oct . 5, 2009
function UpdateTimeStamp(pdt) {
var n = document.getElementById("udtD");
if(pdt != '' && n && window.DateTime) {
var dt = new DateTime();
pdt = dt.T2D(pdt);
if(dt.GetTZ(pdt)) {n.innerHTML = dt.D2S(pdt,((''.toLowerCase()=='false')?false:true));}
}
}
UpdateTimeStamp('633903769717070000');

PHILADELPHIA - The Federal Trade Commission on Monday took steps to make product information and online reviews more accurate for consumers, regulating blogging for the first time and mandating that testimonials reflect typical results.
The FTC will require that writers on the Web clearly disclose any freebies or payments they get from companies for reviewing their products. The commission also said advertisers featuring testimonials that claim dramatic results cannot hide behind disclaimers that the results aren't typical.
The FTC said its commissioners voted 4-0 to approve the final guidelines, which had been expected. The guides are not binding law, but rather interpretations of law that hope to help advertisers comply with regulations. Violating the rules, which take effect Dec. 1, could result in various sanctions including a lawsuit."

END OF ARTICLE

*sigh* No comment. I'm too tired. Check out Lit Bites for more information!

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins review

I finally have my computer back! *sigh* She didn't even use it :P


Title: The Hunger Games

Author: Suzanne Collins

Publisher: Scholastic Press, September 2008

MSRP (Hardback; US): $17.99

Pages: 384

Rating: * * * * */5

Extremely short review because I have NO critisicm for this book- only for myself for stalling on reading it! I always saw it on the shelf, picked it up, and then at the last minute put it back. I thought it would be gory and violent, which is something I'm not a fan of in books- but it wasn't!

I could go on and on about how much I loved it, but that would only delay you reading this amazing novel, and keep me from reading Catching Fire, the second book (they had it in!)!


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bidding Adieu for Now

Like, a week! My mom's taking my netbook with her to Texas :P So I'll be devoid of all my accounts- blogger and email. But rest assured that when she's back, there'll be Hunger Games, Liar, and others all reviewed and ready to go.

What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones review

(Sorry about the "click to look inside" bit!)

Title: What My Mother Doesn't Know
Author: Sonya Sones
Publisher/Year: Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing (2003)
Pages (Paperback reprint): 259
MSRP (Paperback reprint): $7.99
Rating: * * * * */5

I've always had a soft spot for novels in verse like these, which is good for me because there's been a lot published lately- but Sones was one of the first, and is still today one of the best! I absolutely loved Stop Pretending, her authobiographical debut (also in verse, as all her novels are). This one is just as wonderful and touching, if not nearly as sad.

Firstly, it was written beautifully. If it hadn't been written in this form, it wouldn't have had the brilliant effect it has when you finish it, in my opinion. Every time I read Ms. Sone's work, I'm amazed by how perfectly you can grasp the character's personality and emotions, their sorrow and guilt and happiness- better than many authors capture it.

As for the characters, they held up just as well. Sophie, the main character, was completely realistic and likeable. And Robin? Possibly the best male lead in a book ever. Even before the plot happened (I don't want to say what happened!) I liked him!

Speaking of plot, I loved this one's. Unlike more chick-litty novels, this one was unpredictable and original, but with all the charm of chick lit. Another must read!

P.S. Is it true that "What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know" is from the point of view of Murphy/Robin? If so I've got to go to the library NOW.

Waiting On Wednesday: Vintage Veronica

Hey everyone! I finally remembered WoW!


Vintage Veronica by Erica S. Perl will be published in March 2010 by Knopf Books for Young Readers.
Summary: Veronica Walsh is 15, fashion-minded, fat, and friendless. Her summer job in the Consignment Corner section (Employees Only!) of a vintage clothing store is a dream come true. There Veronica can spend her days separating the one-of-a-kind gem garments from the Dollar-a-Pound duds, without having to deal with people. But when two outrageous yet charismatic salesgirls befriend her and urge her to spy on and follow the mysterious and awkward stock boy Veronica has nicknamed the Nail, Veronica’s summer takes a turn for the weird. Suddenly, what began as a prank turns into something else entirely. Which means Veronica may have to come out of hiding and follow something even riskier for the first time: her heart.
***************
I am in complete and utter love with this cover- *sigh* the pretty pretty polka dots...
Hardcover edition. WHY are all the best books so expensive!? I desperately hope I can afford it :P

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Film Club by David Gilmour



Title: The Film Club: A Memoir
Author: David Gilmour
Publisher: Twelve, 2008
MSRP (Hardback): $21.99 (Also available in paperback reprint)
Pages: 256
Rating: * * */5

Don't get me wrong, The Film Club has many good things about it, including an interesting enough, original plot, and it talked about some of my favorite movies- from Roman Holiday to Volcano with interesting trivia on them.

The main thing I had trouble with was the writing. I felt like it skipped around too much- things weren't delivered at the right time, chronologically or otherwise. Another thing that bugged me so much was he'd be writing about one thing, for example, in the middle of a conversation with his son Jesse, and all of a sudden, he'd start in on his second wife, Tina- how gorgeous she is, how he met her, all that. And I'd be sitting there, wherever I happen to be reading, confused and annoyed. He doesn't write like the veteran writer he is, but more like an amateur. At the very least someone without an editor!

Besides the writing quality, the topic of the writing was just as bad. It had this completely annoying sexist attitude about it, I don't know what it was! I also felt like I didn't really get to know Jesse, or really anyone besides David- it was wholly self-centered.

Overall, this isn't something I'd recommend, unless you can get past a multitude of text inadequacies.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Movies, Music and Mondays: Mockumentaries and More

Hey everyone! I'm sick with something or other floating around out there, which made me, quite frankly, too lazy to come up with a plausible movie-books tie-in for MMM. So I'm doing this week's post on possibly the BEST genre ever made- mockumentaries/ actual documentaries! *woo...!*:
Some of the best- and, ok, worst, but in the sickly funny way- movies I've ever seen belong in this genre.
Movies featured today (thanks to Netflix people for additional entries!)
Drop Dead Gorgeous (Loved it- weird, but I liked it anyways!)
This Is Spinal Tap (Haven't seen it yet- I don't watch R rated movies- but it SOUNDS really great :P)
Super Size Me (I've always had issues with Mickey D's, for whatever reason- only proving further how right my scorn of it is!)
Sicko (It's a classic documentary- plus it's Michael Moore, so you know it must be good! I really wanted to see his latest movie coming out soon, but see note on Spinal Tap :P)
Chalk (Never seen this mockumentary, but I want to now)

To Kill A Mockumentary (Netflix'd... this one I can't really get the concept of!)
Superguy (Another found via Netflix)



And now for the gallery shot:







That's all for this week!

New look, again!

Hey everyone! Excuse the mess coming soon- SBR is remodeling! I'm redoing it. The current layout I got because it looks exactly like the album cover to The Shin's debut album (I'm also changing the soundtrack, so be sure to look out for pretty much every song by them EVER scattered throughout), that and it's wintery and, er, pretty... :)

So, if you visit and everything on the siderbars is wiped out, it'll all be back soon. That's the unfortunate side effect of changing templates :_(

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Destroy All Cars review



Title: Destroy All Cars
Author: Blake Nelson
Publisher: Scholastic Press, 2009
Pages (numbered): 218
Rating: * */5

I tried hard to like this book. Really, I did.

Characters: I really disliked the characters. When the character, James, isn't whining about "the general lameness of all other people besides him"/being a hypocrite/being antisocial, he's obsessing over his ex-girlfriend, Sadie- who I wasn't particularly fond of, either. They all seemed flat, limited, and completely unreal- along with annoying the heck out of me.

Writing: The writing was pretty repetitive and kind of dull- it didn't hold my interest at all. What I did like, however, was how it included essays by James- which I'll admit were really funny at times.

Plot: A typical love story, repetitive, and didn't have much of an impact- nothing significant happened.

Start/ending: Right from the start, it annoyed me, with said whining. The ending wasn't very... I don't know how to describe it- it wasn't really enough. It felt like Nelson got tired of writing, or was too close to his deadline and wasn't finished or whatever. It wasn't really satisfying.

Overall: Not very remarkable or memorable, it is not a book I'd recommend.

(Sorry to start back with a bad review!)

In My Mailbox

Hey everyone! Kind of a slow book week, I didn't buy anything (one book, I just remembered!). BUT I had an awesome library week, so at least that!

Recieved for review (a.k.a. the only things IN my mailbox):

None.

From the library:

Wings by Aprilyne Pike

Anthem by Ayn Rand

Catcher in the Rye (Surprisingly ok... I have to read it for required reading soon, and I figured why not now? Also got it for Banned Books Week) by J.D. Salinger

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne (I can't believe they had it! FINALLY. I even braved a journey into the kid's section)

Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (More required reading- I'm going ahead and reading books that'll be forced upon me soon enough, for some reason- and also for Banned Books Week, which starts tomorrow!)

The Bought:

Cycler by Lauren Mclaughlin (I might not read it, though)

We Are Quiet, We Are Loud: The Best Young Writers in America, edited by David Levithan (I just remembered I got this one in St. Louis! I love it, and I have such a soft spot for anthologies like this anyways.)

*****

That's all the books for this week. BUT, though not related to books, records I got while in St. Louis (Euclid Records= heaven on earth):

Parallel Lines LP by Blondie

The Bitterest Pill LP by The Jam
Chutes Too Narrow LP by The Shins
Oh, Inverted World by The Shins

I would have bought more if I hadn't ran out of money! They had musical soundtracks, a huge rock section (though, ah, they put Barbara Streisand in the rock section. A little comfuzzled, are we?), and I didn't even get to check out the tiny records with a song on each side who's name escapes me... *deep breath* That was long.

Now that I'm back and school is getting easier, I'll be back to posting regular reviews, by the way. When's the last time I even posted one, a month?! I finished several that I'd rather not review- "classics" that I can't even pretend I understood!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Book Bloggers for Book Smarts Challenge!

(Ack! I forgot! It's Banned Books Weeks until October 6th... guess I started Catcher in the Rye just in time, huh?)

Donna from Lit Bites is hosting a fantastic challenge celebrating Banned Books Month! Book reviewers or basically anyone with a blog can join- just get some knowledge about Banned and challenged books (wikipedia has great articles, and I think there's a website I'll post soon...), read some and post reviews.

Banned and challenged books are issues that've always interested me- have you ever looked at some official lists for challenged books? Here's some of my favorite examples that show exactly how ridiculous censorship is:

The Anastasia series by Lois Lowry, 8 year old me's favorite books EVER!, was challenged greatly in the 90's. Reason? Your guess is as good as mine. They were hilarious books! I don't remember a single thing wrong with them.

Several of Shel Silverstein's children's poetry books have been challenged. A Light in the Attic, for example. Why? Because on one page it showed a child smashing a plate. Remember the poem about the girl who wouldn't do her chores? That single illustration and poem is the solitary reason. As if Silverstein's books are going to spark a revolution among five year olds. (I can see them now: "Quick, Bobby! Get the diapers- we're gonna tear this place DOWN.")

And something really- in a twisted, sadistic kind of way- hilarious? Farenheit 451, which I'm reading now, is perennially challenged. This book is about censorship and those who ban books for fear of creating too much individualism and independent thought. It's required reading in many, many schools because it teaches about censorship, and the wrongness of it. I'll let the irony speak for itself.

Another one I just found, Alice On Her Way by Phyliss Reynolds Naylor, was challenged by parents because of "two cuss words". Um...

To Kill A Mocking Bird, by Harper Lee, a fantastic classic, is challenged frequently as well. In one town, a resident want the book banned from all schools and libraries because they "thought it would upset little black children". Once again, um...

Finally, in Wisconsin in early February, groups were trying to ban and PUBLICLY BURN a Weetzie Bat book! The third in Francesca Lia BLock's series, Baby Be-Bop.

Here's a bit from an article discussing the issue:
"At a June 3 public hearing, the library board received two petitions (700 signatures supporting the restriction, 1,000 opposed) on the issue and listened to dozens of statements.... Then it voted unanimously to leave the books where they are."
But a new group called the Christian Civil Liberties Union is still gunning for the book -- they actually want it burned in a public ceremony, not just removed from the shelves.

0_o is the expression on my face right now, because I just read about that.

******
I'll be posting reviews of books, particualarly modern classics, so look out for those! Also, I'd love it if ou head over to Lit Bites and check it out (read the comments too... there was a little skirmish, if you will, in them over the issue. I find it worthy of reading.)!

For more information, try these sites:

http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/
http://www.banned-books.com/

What do you think about censorship? Time for your side!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Theme Thursday: Artificial Weatherdomes










... also known as snowglobes. Yeah, because snowglobes as a title wasn't interesting :)








Anyways, for those of you who don't know, Theme Thursday is a weekly bookish feature created by Serendipity Reviews- this blog!- in which books with similarities are showcased- similar covers, titles, plots, themes and elements, basically anything you can make work with books (usually 4 or5 total books).








Books featured on today's post:








Are We There Yet by David Levithan








The Other Side of the Island by Allegra Goodman








Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin








Heaven Looks A Lot Like the Mall by Wendy Mass








I don't know what it is about covers like these, but whenever I see them they're the ones I'm most drawn to. All of these are fantastic books (I haven't read Are We There Yet- I didn't know it existed until today, I saw it on my school library shelf and went to get it, then a girl from my class starting yelling about how she LOVED that movie, the one with Ice Cube or whomever, and said she didn't know it was a book. Because I love David Levithan's books I died a little inside xD- but it's obviously got to be good!)
'Til next time (next week I'll actually DO the Jane Austen remakes theme, as promised last week)!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday: Cashing In



There are some problems even winning the lottery can’t fix.

With as many hours as Reggie Shaw puts in at the Cashmart, it’s no wonder that her grades and her friendships are slipping. Worst of all, Reggie’s mother’s inability to keep a job means that Reggie is pulling the weight of two people. Then, Reggie’s mom wins big in the lottery. Suddenly the money—and the popularity—comes pouring in. But when Reggie finds out that her mother has been borrowing more money than she actually won, she must face up to the fact that happiness can’t be bought—it only comes with hard work.


(I can't wait until this comes out, Dutton always has the best books!)

Cashing In, by Susan Colebank, will be released by Dutton on November 12 2009.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

On Vacation

Hey everyone! Sorry I haven't posted any reviews/anything of substance in forever! I'm currently in St. Louis, just got back from Euclid Records and book stores. WHY can't I live here!? My dad had to practically drag me out of Euclid Records by force, and they right by it is several great little indie bookshops, as well as really nice lofts over the Kirkwood Public Library, which is huge. *sigh*

Anyways, I am ravenously reading The Hunger Games now- can't believe I almost took it back!!- and when I get home andhave more computer time expect many reviews.

Ciao,

Meggin

Friday, September 18, 2009

Theme... Friday?: Cinemagic and Celebutantes

Hey everyone, it's Theme, er, Friday (go along with it!) :D This week is themed to the tune of the silver screen- wannabe actors/actresses in film or on stage, or just about movie lovers.
Theme Thursday is a weekly book feature, created by me, which showcases books with similar traits- titles, covers, themes, etc.
Featured on this week's post (and my thoughts in parentheses, also in no particular order, just as they come to me):
Secrets of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita (I read this a while ago... not that big a fan of the series, I never finished the second one. But it so obviously deserved to be in this lineup!)
Exclusively Chloe by J.A. Yang ( Currerently on top of my TBR pile, paperback section- yes, it's big enough that I had to divide it into sections throughout my room! It looks great, but no comment as to whether it actually IS yet.)
The Fillm Club by David Gilmore (A memoir in movies? What's not to love?)
Geek Magnet by Keiran Scott
Airhead by Meg Cabot
Celebutantes (Never read it, or so much as heard of it until today.)

A Hollywood Ending ( I like the cover, and it takes place in Hollywood and all that... never heard of this author up until now.)
The Comeback by Marlene Perez ( I half-read it, and gave it away in my first giveaway last month... even though not strictly celebrities, I thought it should be involved in this lineup.)

L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad (Yes, this book again. I have no like for this book, well at least very little, but it obviously belongs here!)




















Next week's theme: Pride, Prejudice and Books: Variants on the Classics We All Love

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