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

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.

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 :_(

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):


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!

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:

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

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)!

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.

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.



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

Movies Music and Mondays: The Perks of Being A Wallflower

Most likely, you've heard of this negotiable classic, "epistolary" novel, from which the seed of teendom allegedly sprung. I've yet to read it, but I thought that a great idea for this week's Movies Music and Mondays would be to give a playlist of songs in the book, movies in the book, and books in the book. All of these are from a lovely Wikipedia article.

In the novel Charlie's teacher, Bill, assigns him various books to read. Charlie describes them all as his favorites.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
The Stranger by Albert Camus
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
The book also references a book of poems by e. e. cummings, The Mayor of Castro Street by Randy Shilts, and it contains a poem by Osoanon Nimuss entitled "Absolutely Nothing".

The novel references these films and television shows:
Rocky Horror Picture Show
The Graduate
Harold and Maude
My Life as a Dog
Dead Poets Society
The Unbelievable Truth
A Perfect Paradise
It's a Wonderful Life
The Producers
Hannah and Her Sisters
Saturday Night Live

The novel references these songs:
"Asleep" by The Smiths
"Vapour Trail" by Ride
"Scarborough Fair", a traditional folk song popularized by Simon and Garfunkel
"A Whiter Shade of Pale" by Procol Harum
"Time of No Reply" by Nick Drake
"Dear Prudence" by The Beatles
"Gypsy" by Suzanne Vega
"Nights in White Satin" by The Moody Blues
"Daydream" by The Smashing Pumpkins
"Dusk" by Genesis
"MLK" by U2
"Blackbird" by The Beatles
"Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac
"Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana
"Another Brick in the Wall Pt. II" by Pink Floyd
"Something" by The Beatles
"School's Out" by Alice Cooper
"Broken Wings" by Mr. Mister

Wow, maybe I should read this after all! The Fountainhead, the Beatles, the Smiths, Nirvana, The Graduate! It's challenged anyways, so I'll read it for Donna's challenge (oh, I should go post that!)

Movies, Music and Mondays Poll!

Hey everyone! Just a side post on MM&Ms (I'll be doing a post on The Perks of Being A Wallflower in a moment). You'll notice the poll on the sidebar- asking if you want me to keep Movies Music and Mondays, or do away with it on this blog. Also another in a moment asking what you would like to see more of on Serendipity Reviews. Make sure to put your opinion in please! I'm trying to make sure I'm doing what you guys want to see.

P.S. I'm working on an official-type button for MMM. I'm thinking something involving one of the old film rolls...

In My Mailbox, September 13

Hey everyone! Really awesome book week, best one in my history of, er, bookdom:) Here's what I got:

Recieved for Review:

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (Signed! With a little note :D)

Liar by Justine Larbalestier (I didn't know I was going to get this, which made it even better)


From the Library:

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (Political nut she may be, but no one writes a 40 page monologue like her!)

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway (I love the last line- the reading of which before I start reading is a weird quirk of mine. Anyone else do that?- Jake and Lady Brett Ashley are in a taxi, and Lady Brett has just ended her latest romance. Lady Brett, who Jake is madly in love with but who she is only sort of in love with, says "Oh Jake, we could have had such a wonderful time together!" And Jake says, "Yes, isn't it pretty to think so?" I just love that.)

How to Take the Ex Out of Ex-Boyfriend by Janette Rallison

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (I really want to read Big Brother by George Orwell- this is like a modern companion novel it)

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi

How They Met, and Other Stories by David Levithan

Tempo Change by Barbara Hall

The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart

Life As We Knew It by Lisa Pfeffer
Shine, Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger

Jerk, California by Jonathan Friesen

Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You by Peter Cameron

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

And the bought:

The Blonde of the Joke by Bennett Madison


I'm very proud of myself for only buying one book this week! But that may be canceled out by my massive library fines, growing by the minute for my not returning The Hunger Games yet (I haven't even started though!) , as well as the impossible amount checked out from my 2 libraries. Also the library books I got on my mom's card after I ran out of room. Why does there have to be so many wonderful books?! And I'm soo excited about my two ARC's- Before I Fall is amazing so far, as for Liar... but I don't know if Liar is a book I could trust. I don't know how to read it- does that make any sense? Anyways, now you know what I got... what about you?

Serendipity Reviews 9/11 Giveaway: The Usual Rules

Heylo everyone! So, you (if you live in the US and haven't lived under a rock post-2001) probably know what tomorrow is- 9/11, the day when the Twin Towers fell.

Rearranging my TBR pile- something I do a LOT, being my anal retentive self- I found a book called "The Usual Rules". I actually finished it a while ago- I never got around to posting a review (I'll do that now, though). It's, in short, this gorgeously written novel about a girl named Wendy whose mother goes to work one day, a day like any other- September 11, 2001- and never comes back.

And then, when I was looking at it, I was thinking about what tomorrow (I usually forget), I thought that it's a perfect oppurtunity for someone else to enjoy this book- so I'm giving it away to one of you :)

Here's how to enter- leave your name, country and email, and you'll be entered!

1 entry- Become/be a follower (recommended, because that way you'll see the winner post)
2 entries- Post a link to this contest (sidebar is fine, or you could do a blog post)
3 entries- Put a joke in your post! (Plus one more if it makes me laugh!)

Some random tidbits and tiny morsels of knowledge about the giveaway:

1)It's international- whether you're in the US of A or waaaay over in Bangladesh, you can enter!
2) The final day you can be entered is October 1st- 20 days.

The lines are open!

CONTEST UPDATE: I'd really appreciate it if you enter with 1 comment! I love all the comments- but it affects my Randomizer program I'll use when I pick a winner. But if you forget something it's fine :)

Waiting On Wednesday: Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
Release date: April 10, 2010
Description: One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.
Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful, John Green and David Levithan’s collaborative novel is brimming with a double helping of the heart and humor that have won both them legions of faithful fans.

I can't say anything besides OMGOMGOMGYAYAYAYAY! right now... Is it even possible that such an awesome combination of authors could be brought together and, when their work is done, people's eyes NOT explode form the, er, AWESOMENESS (I told you, I'm at a loss for words)?????

I saw this post on Em's Bookshelf, and she just got a copy. Which, may I say, my eyes are green with jealousy. Desperately hoping I can afford it!

Also, guess what? As if we aren't spoiled enough with the fantabulous author combo and book itself, it's a paperback!!!! So it's affordable *I hope! My parent may forbid me getting more books :(*!

Theme Thursday: Cute Enough to Eat

Theme Thursday is a weekly meme created by Serendipity Reviews (this blog!), which groups books together based on something they have in common: usually themes of the book (things like coffee or candy- can you tell I just drank a "cravelatte" instead of lunch?- or with issues dealt with in the book- eating disorders, for example), as well as similar covers, similar titles, etc.
This weeks theme is "Cute Enough to Eat", being covers with adorable candy and food pictures
that are so cute and sweet they kinda make me hungry :)
Books Featured On Todays Post:
Artichoke's Heart, by Suzanne Suplee (Loved it!)
Girl Meets Cake, by Susie Day (I loved her other book... this hasn't been released yet in the US but I've been anticipating it since before I started this review site!)

The Cupcake Queen, by Heather Hepler (I love the 3 books she cowrote with Brad Barkley, and can't wait to see how she does on her own!)
LA Candy, by Lauren Conrad (Anyone read this? It's on my TBR pile, and I've read the first 50 pages or so... I'm sorry, but UGH. I can't think of how to describe it, but it's the kind where it's just boring drivel of nothingness... but hey, you gotta love the gorgey cover!)
Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies, by Erin Dionne (I'm dying to read this! Is it out yet? I can't find it anywhere, has anyone bought it? Anyways, I had to include this because of the Oreos, my weakness)

P.S. We now have a new participant in Theme Thursday- Allison from Read Into This! Thanks to her for adding some amendments to what TT entails- adding books with similar covers, books with similar titles, etc. Definitely makes it easier to make a Theme! Head over to her site to see what she's doing this week. (Too lazy too hyperlink...

Teaser Tuesday

Um, NO, people, of COURSE I didn't forget it was Tuesday... *nervous laugh*

Here's the rules for Teaser Tuesday, in case this is your first encounter with it (unlikely, with as many blogs that do it)...

1) Grab your current read.
2) Flip to a random page.
3) Share a few sentences that you think are interesting/might make the readers of your meme want to read the book (so make sure it's good!)
4) NO SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today's Teaser is from page 194 of Tempo Change, by Barbara Hall (I went on a library run today- and almost got Candyland by Candy Spelling instead. Yes, REALLY!):

We only got to do one song for sound check so after that we went to get something to eat. I looked compulsively at my watch- I still had another hour before I was supposed to meet him. And I still hadn't told anyoen what was happening. I didn't knomw what I was going to do in the moment, if I was going to introduce him to people or keep him a secret. The whole thing was unimaginable. In fact, I was starting to believe I dreamed the whole scheme.

I'm not sure if this is a book I'll like or not... It sounds good, but something about it didn't click with me :P But it's worth a try! And I LOVE the cover.

Mmkay, off to schedule tommorrow's WoW (I always forget to do it on the actual day... er, I mean OF COURSE I DON'T!... *cough*)!

DBR B-Day Challenge Review: Carbon Diaries 2015, by Saci Lloyd Review

Title: Carbon Diaries 2015
Author: Saci Lloyd
Publisher: Holiday House
MSRP (Hardback): $17.95
Pages (numbered): 330
Rating: * * */5 stars
Summary: The enviro's gone completely mad. After the Great Storm hit London, everyone was like, "It's 2015 already. Stop global warming now." So the gov volunteered Britain to be the stupid guinea pig freak and ration carbon while the rest of Europe flew to Ibiza on holiday.
At first it was weird- blackouts, looting, food shortages. But I still hads my lifeline- my band. the Dirty Angels. And the hope that Ravi would notice me. Eventually.
But then everything got bare twisted. All winter the country was a frozen tundra. Then after months of no rain, Europe literally caught fire, and the mayor had riot police shoot protesters with live bullets! I'll give him a carbon footprint- right up the arse.
Now, as I write this, the highest-category storm in history is headed straight for us. People have died all around me this year, and I'm dead scared. I just wish things would go back to normal, but I don't know what that means anymore.
PLOT: The plot kind of skipped around, and I kept getting lost! I'd pick up where I'd left off and have no idea what the significance of what was happening was, or what had happened prior. BUT, when I knew what the heck was going on, it was exciting and a good theory on what will happen if we don't work to control global warming.
START/ENDING: Start (and most of the middle) I really didn't enjoy. Like I said, it was confusing and I kept getting lost. BUT (in most of these there will be a but) it had a fantastic ending and around page 200 I started really liking this book. However, 200 pages is too long to wait to like a book, in my opinion.
CHARACTERS: I didn't much like the characters. It's written in diary form, so it's not like there was much of an oppurtunity to get to know them, but what I did I didn't enjoy much. They were supposed to come off as quirky, original and real, as I guess was the intent, BUT (see?) they were just plain annoying, if you ask me. There was some good times though, where they were hilarious!
SETTING: The author did an excellent job with the setting of this book- it was thoroughly detailed, and wonderfully imagined, and totally true to the situation. More believable than most sci-fi books acheive.
WRITING: I wasn't much a fan of the writing- kind of blah, and she (Laura Brown, the main character writing the diary) used a lot of slang that I didn't know and even when I did got on my nerves majorly.
OVERALL/ ANYTHING ELSE?: Overall, I think it's something I'd recommend. Definitely not a favorite, but something that really makes you think. ANYTHING ELSE PART- I totally thought of the perfect theme song for this book!
Do The Panic, by Phantom Planet
I always want to do a little feature on my reviews with a theme song for each book, but few times can I get it right enough to do it. This one, though, I think I NAILED it *smug grin* :)
Ok, 3 books down, 5 to go...

Movies, Music and Mondays: The PHAAAANTOM OF THE OPERA IS HEEeeeEeRE...

Heylo people! I am SO totally excited right now, wanna guess why? *sigh* so many reasons...

I just found this really awesome photography technique called "bokeh" (Japanese for fuzzy) and I went on Flickr and found awesome pics using it, look for the collage soon

I just watched Degrassi Goes Hollywood (erm, plz to be not mocking mmkay? My guilty pleasure, like CocoPerez is too! Oh NO, I'm such a typical teenager, what hope is there for me?! ;) Just kidding, all) and was vaguely dissapointed in Ellie but not enough to keep me from watching more Degrassi

AND... most importantly,


*ahem* Oops, sorry, caps got stuck there. *pats down hair*

But anyways, have you SEEN/READ this fantabulous thing? Readthebookwatchthemovie(s)seetheplayNOW! Drama, romance, mystery, an extremely brooding and therefore hot
"phantom"... and, y'know, some extremely campy singing in between.

AND I'm going to a town in St. L, whose name I forget, where I shall...

Go to bookstores
Go on a hunt for the perfect cupcake/coffee combo
And, most importantly...
go to a vinyl record store and buy the place out!!!! Thank you to Googel for all the wonderful maps.
(Note that all of these will involve obscene amounts of allowance spending!)
As seen in my Paper Towns review, I have recently acquired a penchant for the 80's (well, I always had it, but now it's more than just the movies, but also the music! Esp. the vinyls), sans the fashion choices *insert shudder here*, and I can't wait to start a record collection. Ooh, and they have CD's too. AND, I just discovered, movies. Note that this little extra tidbit just doubled the obscene allowance spending.

Ok, happy Monday (my history teacher always says that... and I always want to yell at her "WHAT'S SO GREAT ABOUT IT?" or some other, er, "WITTY" comeback of mine (:P)... but that would break the perfect and utter silence I have during the school day. Also, I get funny stares if I yell ;D), and may your movies, music, and all other Monday-related things be great.

Assigned Reading...

So really soon, in my English class (I have the same teacher as last year... *sob*), we are getting an assigned novel for assignment. ANOTHER thing to hate about that class. Last year, our two assigned reads were "The Great Gilly Hopkins", and "M.C. Higgins the Great", both of which were nothing but torture! I can only wonder what it is this year. I think Holes. I hope not! I'll just have to off my education if I will be forced through THAT torture!

Don't get me wrong, I love classics and all- but I resent the fact that just because it's a reeeeallly old book it's called a "classic" and thusly forced upon us until we claim to lovelovelove it. In truth, I think we should be able to read more contemporary teen fiction- something teens in these classes can relate to. A really great benifit of that is the fact that, by reading something we can relate to (let's be honest- Jane Austen is a lovely author, but can we really relate to the various social -isms and rules of conduct of the 1700's? Not me!)- say, maybe something by Sarah Dessen?- it might give students of today a love of reading, and maybe they won't resent it so much when they're older, having bad memories of The Bell Jar or Jane Eyre being forced upon them.

Do you have anything assigned to you to read? Do you like it so far? What would you rather have as an assignment, and how do you feel about required reading?

P.S. World, I think I just found my essay topic.

Movie Review: (500) Days of Summer

I just got back from the movies, after watching (500) Days of Summer. And I'm absolutely floored! I didn't think they make movies as good as this now (actually, at least 2 besides this one comes to mind- Whip-it! and Paper Heart- ah, 'tis a geek luvluvluv story I plan to see and lurve!), but obviously I was wrong.
As soon as it was five minutes in and they had their little Sid and Nancy breakup conversation at the diner, I knew this was a movie I would love. And I was right.
I kind of didn't want to see it at first, because I thought it would be yet another one of those sappy, oh-so-predictable love stories. And it wasn't- it was unexpected, utterly original, and just a story of... well, love that goes to deep to even do anything about it, so complicated and messy that you just have to move on.
At first, once it was over, I was a little angry. It seemed a bit anticlimactic. But now that I've thought about it it fits better with the story.
So overall, it's definitely something you should go see before it's out of theaters!
P.S. Another thing I love about this movie? Their love of The Smiths.

In My Mailbox: September 6

Thanks to The Story Siren for this cool little meme!



Along for the Ride, by Sarah Dessen. YAY!!!! I FINALLY GOT IT! I was about to buy it, I was so desperate. But then the library called, and I squealed a little. I'm not a person who usually squeals with joy :)

Animal Farm, by George Orwell. I've been wanting to read this for a while, and for the first time ever I checked something out from the school library- this. And ma I say that they actually have a decent selection of books? It's truly amazing, for being just another middle school in Kentucky.

Sleeping Freshman Never Lie, by David Lubar. Also from the school library. I don't know if I'll finish it, I read the first few pages and wasn't exactly enthralled... but maybe it'll pick up?


Cathy's Book (I don't see the author's name on it!) I read about this trilogy on a blog somewhere... don't remember which one. I bought it on a random whim and have no idea what it's about- can anyone tell me?

How to Steal A Car, by Pete Hautman. Yay! It was between this, and "The Blonde of the Joke", and also "Imaginary Enemy" was a contender. I can't wait to read it, it sounds really cool and I love the cover, a gorgeous blue with a squad of police cars chasing a red car. Better than it sounds :P

Overall, it was a pretty good week (bookwise, at least!). So what'd everyone else get?

Waiting on Wednesday

Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver, to be published by Harper Collins in March 2010

"What if you only had one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?Samantha Kingston has it all: the world’s most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.Instead, it turns out to be her last. Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing."

I DESPERATELY WANT THIS BOOK!!!! Every time I see books coming out soon, I get all sad- I know I won't have the money for them. As is the case with this one.

Bookalicious just ran a review for it (omgomgomg how did she get this book!?!?!), go check it out for her thoughts :)

P.S. A cool book just released today, that I was going to feature (too late now!) is An Off Year, by Claire Zulkey. Go look at it! :)

Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott review

Title: Something, Maybe

Author: Elizabeth Scott

Publisher/Date: Simon Pulse, March 2009

MSRP (Hardback Edition): $17.99

Pages (numbered): 224

Rating: * * * */5

Plot: While it's definitely been done before, it wasn't boring, as others along these lines tend to be-- Ms. Scott did a lot with it ot make it good, and it still had great twists and turns that kept me laughing and flipping pages throughout the book.

Characters: Awesome characters! They all had great personalities, were enormously flawed (in the way you want to see, in a real sense) like us, and Hannah could have been a friend from school, telling me her story, for how much like me she was. And Finn... sigh... Finn was definitely the best male lead in a book I've read in a while!

Start/ending: Not a remarkable start, but it was *mostly* uphill from there. Mostly, meaning there was some corny conversations in between. But it had a good, final ending.

Writing: It doesn't blow you away or anything, but it was really funny and interesting- like my best friend wrote it :)

Overall/anything else?: While not my favorite Elizabeth Scott book, and not something truly remarkable, it was still an enjoyable, funny, romantic read that I would recommend.

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