Saturday, October 23, 2010

In My Mailbox (33)

In My Mailbox is a meme created by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie! It is a list of the books that I've received over the previous week, either in the mail, from the bookstore, or from trades.

Here's what I got this week:

For Review:

Drowned Sorrow by Vanessa Morgan

Megan Blackwood has just lost her son in a terrible accident. Now she has come to Moonlight Creek with her teenage daughter Jenna, hoping a change of scenery might help to put her life back together.

But something odd is going on in Moonlight Creek.

When rain falls over the village, its inhabitants commit grisly murders, leaving the place deserted with the first rays of sunshine.

Beneath the lake's surface, an eerie presence watches... and waits... Waits to reveal a tragic past drowned in mystery and fear. One that doesn't bode well for visitors.

By the time Megan realizes that her daughter's life is in danger, it may be too late to escape.

Best Foot Forward by Joan Bauer


Contest Craze at Princess Bookie

Breathless by Jessica Warman

Yikes! I need to urgently go on a shopping spree. But, actually I'm just saving up to buy some new releases. Luckily, I'm still not done with all the books I own, so I still have many to read. This week's books look intriguing. I knew I couldn't pass up the chance to read Drowned Sorrow it looks so spooky, perfect to read now that it's almost Halloween. And, the others look exciting as well.

^^^ Now I want to see what you got .... ^^^

Monday, October 18, 2010

1 Year Blogoversary Contest !!

It's been a year, Wow almost 350 followers. Never thought I could go this far. THANK YOU! Now, to show my love to you, I'm hosting a contest with 2 winners. It's too difficult for me to pick a single book to give away, so this is the only thing that works for me.

Prize Pack #1

Where the Truth Lies by Jessica Warman (ARC)
Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

Prize Pack #2

Burned by P.C. Cast + Kristin Cast (HC)
Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey (PB)

All 2010 Releases !!!!

There are (2) prize packs each with (2) books. There will be 1 winner for each. You decide, which you want in the fill out form. If you already have the books, please give someone else the chance win these awesome books. I may add a new prize pack for a new winner before contest ends if I reach 400 followers. This may look like a small contest, but that still gives you a higher chance to win something, so give this one a chance!
  • Fill out form
  • Open to US residents only
  • Must be 13 years or older
  • Ends Dec. 16
  • Best of Luck!
Enter AWAY!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

In My Mailbox (32)

In My Mailbox is a meme created by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie! It is a list of the books that I've received over the previous week, either in the mail, from the bookstore, or from trades.

Here's what I got this week:


The Hunger Games

Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with every one out to make sure you don't live to see the morning?

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
Yet, another small IMM, but I'm in for a treat with this one. I'm hopeful it won't disappoint and my heart to be raising to know what will happen (that's what some people said about it). Anyways, I'm getting some more books tomorrow, I just couldn't go today, I may add them later, or else wait for next week. I'm just loving finishing most of my TBR for now.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Title: The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Pages: 180, paperback
Publisher: Scribner
Age Group: Classic
Pub. Date: 1925

Overall Rating:

The mysterious Jay Gatsby embodies the American notion that it is possible to redefine oneself and persuade the world to accept that definition. Gatsby's youthful neighbor, Nick Carraway, fascinated with the display of enormous wealth in which Gatsby revels, finds himself swept up in the lavish lifestyle of Long Island society during the Jazz Age. Considered Fitzgerald's best work, The Great Gatsby is a mystical, timeless story of integrity and cruelty, vision and despair.

- Synopsis from Barnes & Noble

The Great Gatsby - Above perfect average writing intricately deep with every line, The Great Gatsby doesn't disappoint. In fact, you learn alot about yourself that you didn't know before reading it. If it wasn't because I had to read this for school, I would have never in my wildest dreams given this book a chance. I came to discover, why it's a classic and why it's still a popular book today. It's the complex, fascinating writing about chasing a single dream to reach the America Dream and love, that still keeps people picking up the book today.

Nick, a simple guy who reserves himself from judgment, tells the story about Jay Gatsby. Gatsby is a penniless soldier who falls in love with Daisy a rich chick with class and money. Gatsby falls madly in love for Daisy and her class, so he pursues her, her love, and the American Dream. She's too glorious for Gatsby to resist. In the effort to attain her love, Gatsby builds his life with money, fame, recognition, fortune, and luxury to win her heart.

This love story is unlike any other, Gatsby would do anything in his power to get Daisy to love him. As readers, we learn how far is too far? Can loving too much be dangerous? Can money buy love? What happens when you live for so long with a single dream? Plus, the most melancholic beautiful thing - the aftermath and consequence to living with a single dream for so long like Gatsby.

From the beginning the book holds strong depth that takes you to other dimensions to discover the emptiness in people soul's even though they're surrounded by luxury. There's a fast-moving, thought-provoking beautiful flow of symbolism, metaphors, similes, you name it. It's packed with so much truth- like how in the end dreams are like roses and the sun. Roses have thorns and fade away eventually, while the sun burns you (symbolism used in the book).

To sum up, it's an important timeless classic that is brilliantly woven. That will teach you about love, dreams, lies, justice, social differences, hate, money and what it can (and cannot) buy..., while enjoying the twists and turns and surprising ending (too bad I was spoiled). Give this one a chance!

Content Rating:

Rated PG - General Audience

Content Comments:

This book is appropriate for a general audience. The Great Gatsby has minimal to no references to sex, drugs, profanity, cussing, etc.

Plot: (9/10)
Characters: (9/10)
Ending: (8/10)
Enjoyment: (9/10)
Cover: (5/10) *Not Counting*
Overall: 45/50 = 90% = A-

Illustrates main themes in the book that are very important, you just have to know what they are to appreciate the cover.

For More
Info or to Buy The Great Gatsby:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Classic Books!

Classic Books - Books which have stood the test of time, or just books that English teachers think are important for our learning. So on, I'm involuntarily having to read some classics for school, and I see loads of classic books I'll involuntarily have to read in the future as I'm a junior. Since I started reading some classics, I'm learning how classic books give me intellectual mental skills. They make me look beyond this 3-dimensional world, so I'll be posting reviews on classic books as I read them.

A vast majority of my readers are still in highschool, who more than likely will have to read the classics I'm reading, at least eventually. I'd like to somehow encourage teens to read classics (maybe even if they don't have to), because classics aren't just old books, they're wise books that teach us significant things about life. They arm us with knowledge against the battles of life.

Bottom Line: I feel they're important to literature, but are sometimes neglected as years go by. In the effort to encourage that they're great reads, I'll post reviews on the classics I'm reading to give you insight about what classics are about for whenever (and if) you have to read them. Also, so you can potentially think about checking some of them. =)

Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard

Title: Pretty Little Liars
Author: Sara Shepard

Pages: 286, paperback
Publisher: Harper Teen
Age Group: Young Adult
Pub. Date: October 2006
Overall Rating: .5

Everyone has something to hide—especially high school juniors Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hanna. Spencer covets her sister's boyfriend. Aria's fantasizing about her English teacher. Emily's crushing on the new girl at school. Hanna uses some ugly tricks to stay beautiful. But they've all kept an even bigger secret since their friend Alison vanished. How do I know? Because I know everything about the bad girls they were, the naughty girls they are, and all the dirty secrets they've kept. And guess what? I'm telling.

Pretty Little Liars is a mystifying, page-turner and relaxing read that will get your mind hesitant to find out who -A is. It's crafted intelligently to create unpredictable twists in the events, secrets, lies and happenings to make the reader be unable to solve the mystery. Let me tell you not knowing will torment you that you'll be incredibly anxious to solve the puzzling story, while still enjoying the wild trip.

Centered around the lives of Aria, Hanna, Spencer, and Emily, 4 highschool girls, who each have dark, mischievous secrets, Pretty Little Liars explores the disappearance of their best friend Allison who unexpectedly disappeared. Two and a half years later, the girl's begin receiving inexplicable, provocative messages containing info only Alison knew, signed -A. But, Alison is now claimed dead. Who is -A? Is it Alison? Alison knew their darkest, deepest secrets, is she coming back to tell?From the beginning it starts strong and never weakens throughout, still strong until the end. It carried its own unique charm, mystery, humor, drama, and not to mention the suspense it holds to keep the reader satisfied. It was like the cherry on top for the stressful day I read it on.

In so many ways, Shepard portrays how the prettiest people do the ugliest things to get there way. Even how the richest people are poor in heart. How lying comes back to stab you in the back. How more than 2 people can't keep a secret. How humans hide their problems under a mask to make themselves look perfect. Relateable, huh? There's minimal depth to the story as it's a light read, but it does have substance. The feelings hidden behind these "pretty" girls are intense there's self-hate, compulsion, greed, and so much longing, and it's so easy to connect to them deeply. Reading this is reading with a purpose. Not just to be entertained, but to be exposed to how some people appear to be absolutely perfect with outer appearances, while on the inside they're hurting simply trying to find themselves and a solution.

On the down side, the beginning had a snail-pace as it's the exposition, the problem is it took far too long, mid-way through the book and it still was introducing new info. The up side is you stormed through pages. This is the first time that I felt that the writing was so easy to read that it only took a few seconds to turn the pages. Easy writing like this is so damn hard to write. Props to Shepard for her extraordinary skills.

It's safe to say, I'm a fan of the series as it holds a strong hook-ability effect on the reader. Unlike other books, this one requires you to read the whole series (8 books) to get the complete dirt behind the mystery, so this one's a cliff-hanger. Next installment, Please!

Content Rating:

Rated PG-13 Young Adult

Content Comments:

This book is appropriate for an older audience. Pretty Little Liars has a significant amount of tolerable references to sex, profanity, drugs and alcohol, and crude comments etc. '
Plot: (9/10)
Characters: (9/10)
Ending: (9/10)
Enjoyment: (10/10)
Cover: (9/10)
Overall: 46/50 = 92% = A-

Perfect illustration to how the characters hide their imperfections inside themselves, while on the outside you'd think their perfect. You get that impression from the dolls. The dolls work fantastically to portray this.

For More
Info or to Buy Pretty Little Liars:

Saturday, October 9, 2010

In My Mailbox (31)

Still gone? No, officially coming back. I miss blogging, it's making me sick not to be part of the book blogging community here on Blogger. I'm just dying to come back. Yes, I've still been reading, so this means I can make a great comeback with reviews.

In My Mailbox is a meme created by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie! It is a list of the books that I've received over the previous week, either in the mail, from the bookstore, or from trades.

Here's what I got this week:

For Review:

Contagion by Joanne Dahme

Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard

Small IMM, but grateful to be offered a book for review while I was on hiatus. Since, I left I've been slow on the shopping. I've been more focused on finishing the books I have, but I'm getting close to raiding the bookstores this month.

^^^ Now I want to see what you got in your mailbox.... ^^^