Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Reading Rut

It happens to the best of us. There you are, steaming along in a world of literary bliss, and suddenly it's like you drop off a cliff. It happens for many different reasons, but I truly believe that it happens to all avid readers. Sometimes we just fall into a reading rut, and the longer we stay there the harder it is to get out.

I will say however that I feel I have an excellent excuse for my absence from this blog, as well as reading.....

My husband and I will be welcoming our first child into the world, with luck and prayer, in late February or early March!! We are more than thrilled about our little addition, who happens to be a bouncing baby boy!

Just a few days after I found out that I am pregnant I had to start taking  hormone supplements, and those suckers made me feel absolutely terrible for the entire first trimester and well into the second when I could finally stop taking them. So pretty much everything except eating, breathing, and struggling through work fell by the wayside. I'm just now starting to get back to myself, which is ironic since I'm coming up on my third trimester which will be undoubtedly the most uncomfortable and miserable. But, I am also realizing that I have very limited time left where some precious someone isn't going to be needing me every second, so I am hurriedly cramming in all the reading I can, starting now!

I've just started reading The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. I will admit that this might be a bit of a daring foray back into reading, but I'm also planning on reading The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh to help when I get bored or distracted, which is likely inevitable with myself and book as long as Pillars.

It's nice to be back. :)

Happy Reading!

Here's a bump pic! I'll have to take a more recent one, I told you, I'm being lazy! And yes, that is my very adorable Halloween costume, complete with bow tie ;)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Hello, old friend...

Classic Summer 2013- Kicking off the Harry Potter series 

Recently I have been contemplating getting my first(and if I'm being truthful, probably only) tattoo. I have sort of been wanting one for a while but I couldn't think of what I wanted to get, and I really do not believe in getting ink just for the sake of saying you have it! So I began to think, what is important to me? I'm definitely not going to make the mistake of tattooing my husband's name anywhere on my body, that's some bad juju right there. And as you might have guessed, my biggest passion in life is literature. And some of the most influential books that I have ever read, personally, are J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. Knock it if you want, but these books have more depth than most "adult" fiction. I read an amazing blurb detailing exactly that recently, you can find that here. Some of it is a little far fetched, but most of it is spot on. And that is only one way to look at them.

But for me, there is one word that epitomizes the entire series...
ooff. Right in the feels.

Just like these books, it's not didactic. It has several meanings, different applications for different characters and situations. My plans are to tattoo 'Always' in some lovely script just behind my ear, where it is easily hidden.

Whilst pondering whether or not to get this tattoo, I realized something. Something that is rather embarrassing to me. I have never read the entire series all the way through without having long gaps in between. With other series, that might be okay, but not this one. There is so much specificity and detail, it is far too easy to forget things. So I have decided that this summer I will add Harry to my Classic Summer reading. I will read the series from start to finish, reading a few others in between so that I don't become too bogged down(because that can happen with even the best of books) and I'll be rewatching the movies of course! And after all that, I will make my decision. To ink, or not to ink!

So for now, all I can say is..

Hello, old friend..

Ink disclaimer: To any family or friends who would try to deter me from getting above mentioned tattoo, I ask that you respect my wishes. I know your comments would come from love and concern, but it would probably only add to my determination. :)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Where'd You Go, Bernadette

I seriously love this book! For some reason, I had decided that I was not going to read this one. But it was chosen as a monthly read for a bookclub that I am a part of on Goodreads, and then I realized that my library had a copy, and I was like, okay universe, I get it! I can take a hint!

From Goodreads:
Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle—and people in general—has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence—creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.

Caution, Spoilers Ahead!

It's hard to know where to begin with this one, so I'll start with Bernadette. I felt really protective of her the entire time I was reading. I just couldn't believe all of the things that had happened to her and the hands of other adults, and she felt that it was all her fault. I'm not saying that she is blameless, but how is it her fault that her Twenty Mile House was literally destroyed? I feel like there was solo much more to that but anyway..
That brings me to Elgin. Where in the hell was he during all of this? Oh yeah, playing with robots. I tried really hard not to hate him, and I think I feel mostly at peace now, but the way that he was willing to take everything that everyone said about Bernadette at face value and have her shipped off was disgusting. And he was so disconnected from his wife that he didn't even realize that the people he was getting said info from were women who shunned Bernadette and Bee on a regular basis. 
Which brings me to Soo-Lin. I have not one ounce of pity for that gnat. I really feel like she projected a version of Eglin that she created in her head onto the broken, pathetic one, and took advantage of a person who's life was falling apart, and she realizes most of that, but doesn't seem that sorry about it. It's still all about her and her baby, which I also feel like was part of her coup.

Okay, I have to have something positive in here, so I give you Bee. Balakrishna. What an amazing name. I loved her interjections in the story, which is later realized to be her book. She just loves her mom so much. All of the Galer Street gnats pity her, but the truth is that she more well-adjusted than any of the other kids. I loved her view of the world.

As many negative things that I have to say about certain characters you would think that I didn't enjoy this book, but it's quite the opposite. I absolutely loved it. It has the perfect amount of quirkiness and snark, which are things that I love to find in a book.
This is the first book that I have given five stars to in many months, and it will go on my 2013 'Best' list! I would recommend this as a perfect summer read!

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay

A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay

From Goodreads:
It all began with a simple seaside vacation, a brother and sister recapturing their childhood.  Antoine Rey thought he had the perfect surprise for his sister Mélanie’s birthday: a weekend by the sea at Noirmoutier Island, where the pair spent many happy childhood summers playing on the beach.  It had been too long, Antoine thought, since they’d returned to the island—over thirty years, since their mother died and the family holidays ceased.  But the island’s haunting beauty triggers more than happy memories; it reminds Mélanie of something unexpected and deeply disturbing about their last island summer.  When, on the drive home to Paris, she finally summons the courage to reveal what she knows to Antoine, her emotions overcome her and she loses control of the car.

Recovering from the accident in a nearby hospital, Mélanie tries to recall what caused her to crash.  Antoine encounters an unexpected ally: sexy, streetwise Angèle, a mortician who will teach him new meanings for the words life, love and death.  Suddenly, however, the past comes swinging back at both siblings, burdened with a dark truth about their mother, Clarisse.  

Trapped in the wake of a shocking family secret shrouded by taboo, Antoine must confront his past and also his troubled relationships with his own children.  How well does he really know his mother, his children, even himself?  Suddenly fragile on all fronts as a son, a husband, a brother and a father, Antoine Rey will learn the truth about his family and himself the hard way. By turns thrilling, seductive and destructive, with a lingering effect that is bittersweet and redeeming, A Secret Kept 
is the story of a modern family, the invisible ties that hold it together, and the impact it has throughout life.

Isn't that cover beautiful?
Something that I love is when an author who has several books has the covers done in some way that they either match or are very similar. It's very pleasing to the eye to see them all sitting on your bookshelf. :)
Here are the covers of her other two novels. I'll be reading The House I Loved very soon.

I read Sarah's Key by de Rosnay a while back and was absolutely enthralled, especially since it was her debut novel. So when I picked up A Secret Kept, I admit that I expected another shocking read, and on that front I was a bit let down. In retrospect, I can admire Rosnay's difference in writing between these two novels. I think that it shows a certain depth to her writing style. A Secret Kept does not have the twists and turns leading to gut wrenching revelations the way Sarah's Key does, but it does have an unmatched realistic quality that you do not find very often. I found that the thoughts of Antoine were the thoughts of a real person; truthful, if not a bit odd at times, but that it how people really are(or I think so, anyhow).

I gave this book three stars. I enjoyed it but also found it easy to put down. And that's okay. Not all books are meant to be devoured at once. Sometimes I have to remind myself to savor a book or else I might forget to enjoy it.

Happy Reading,

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

From Goodreads:
The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She's training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And - most importantly of all - she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine's Circle, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second bloody war. Clary's best friend, Simon, can't help her. His mother just found out that he's a vampire and now he's homeless. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side - along with the power of the curse that's wrecking his life. And they're willing to do anything to get what they want. At the same time he's dating two beautiful, dangerous girls - neither of whom knows about the other one.

When Jace begins to pull away from Clary without explaining why, she is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: She herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. The stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels

I posted on the first book in this series a while back, but I have been super lazy about blogging recently, so here we are at book four.

I have always felt that in most series there is a book that is mostly a means to an end, setting up the final books in the series. The plot went almost no where in this one, except at the end, resulting in a huge cliffhanger. I almost feel a bit sadistic for wanting to read these, because I know that Clary and Jace will not be able to be together and be happy until the final book, which hasn't been released yet. But I enjoy both of these characters so much, as well as all the others, so I keep reading.

I did have another issue with this book, and that is continuity. It was little things, like a character holding a necklace in their hand, but suddenly it is being described around their neck. There were several instances like this and because there were so many it was really annoying to read. I really hope that the last two are edited more closely. The writing process is tricky and its easy to become jumbled and that's what makes editing so important. Okay enough about that...

I am getting pretty excited about The Mortal Instruments; City of Bones movie coming out! I'm really curious to see how they do it. But what I am really, really curious about is how the general population will take Jace and Clary's relationship. I really do like these books, and it's going to be really obnoxious if they get crucified the way Twilight did. There will be a TON of non-readers going to see this movie, and like always, the just won't get it. Ugh, now I'm frustrated about something that hasn't happened yet! :P I'll leave you with this...


Happy Reading!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Chocolat by Joanne Harris

I really liked this one. I watched the movie ages ago(love me some Johnny Depp!) and really liked it, but I was surprised by this book. They drastically changed the plot for the movie, of course. Even so, I enjoyed the book, and plan on rewatching the movie, which I'm sure I will also enjoy.

It took a few pages for me to get a hold on the writing style. Something about it made me need to reread sentences because I had often missed things. This was not a book that I could have rushed through. I would recommend this to someone who likes descriptive writing with plenty of adjectives to chew on. I normally do not enjoy overly detailed description, although I feel like there was a fair balance with plot here. I probably minded the description even less because of the passages detailing the chocolate. Holy Mother of Truffles. This book gave me chocolate cravings worse than any period I've ever had, and that's saying something let me tell you. Yeah, I was seriously jonesing for chocolate, any chocolate. Somehow I made it through without sending myself into a diabetic coma(if anyone is reading this who has already read this book, there are so many unintentional puns in this post...forgive me). But if I had my way, I would have looked like this...
Yeah, that's not me. The things you can pull up on Google....

Anyhow, I thought this book was lovely. I'll be searching for Harris' other books. Three stars.

Happy Reading!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Allegiant by Veronica Roth- cover revealed!

*drumbelly roll please*


I've got to say, I'm just happy that the waiting is over! And I really like the way the cover looks. I think a lot of people were confused by the lack of faction reference, but I think that the wave is symbolic. Now we just have to wait until October 22 to find out what it means.... ugh!

I'll just be over here...waiting...

Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen by Trisha Yearwood

My grandmother and I picked up a few cookbooks yesterday, and I have begun to make my way through them. Th first that I've read is Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen; Recipes From my Family to Yours by Trisha Yearwood. I have watched her new cooking show on Food Network several times, and her recipes seemed like something I would enjoy, being a Georgia girl myself!

This book is a compilation of basic staples that you might find in any Southern kitchen. While I already have my own go to recipes for most of these items, the variations in the book sounded just as scrumptious, and there are so many that I am very excited to try!

What I loved most about this book is the way that Trisha details her feelings on cooking, because they are so close to my own. She says that she loves to cook because she's cooking for people that she loves, and that is something I can relate to. Cooking is a huge passion of mine, handed down to me from a long line of talented cooks, and I think the reason I enjoy it so much is the look on the face of a loved one when I have made them something delicious!

If you're interested in trying your hand at Southern cuisine, this is a wonderful starting point!

Happy Reading,

Friday, April 26, 2013

Divergent #3 finally has a title.....

*drum roll please*

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Naturally we are still waiting for the cover.
Here's what's on Goodreads

and here's what seems to be a fan made one, and a nice one too

I'm stoked about this book but the release date has been pushed back AGAIN. I'll have to reread the other two(something I normally don't do) just so I can remember what the heck is going on!
I digress...

I can't wait for this book to come out!

Happy Reading!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

So, there's this thing I do. It's mostly unintentional. I am ALWAYS behind on the book hype. I only got to enjoy the agony of waiting for the last two or three Harry Potter books because by the time I started reading them, the others had already been published( not my fault though, I had a hesitant mother). Same thing with Twilight. It actually took me watching the movie and thinking, okay, not a terrible movie, I bet the book is better! I either know nothing about the book, or all of the hype and fangirling scares me away. Since I've had my Goodreads account, this has begun to change, but I am still playing catchup with some great books!
Enter Cassandra Clare and her Mortal Instruments series. I actually found out about these because I fell in love with her Infernal Devices series, which is essentially about the same "set" of people, just set in a different time period. Okay, let's be outright honest here. These two series are set in different time periods and they have different main characters, but they are very, very similar. Beautiful young girl meets sexy shadowhunter boy through some dangerous occurrence. She is sucked into the shadowhunter world, and learns amazing things about who she is. Throw in a love triangle and some cool plot twists and there you have it! Now, I'm not saying this to deter you. I am telling you this because while they are wildly similar(and most would knock Clare's inability to be original here. While they have a point, I like the stories, so I'm not going to) there are things about each that are different. I also began reading City of Bones with the knowledge that it was going to be similar to the Infernal Devices series, so I was able to enjoy it instead of being held back by that.
Okay, onto the goods.

Clarissa Fray's life is pretty normal. She has a beautiful, artistic mother and a great best friend, Simon, who she has known most of her life. When she hits a New York night club with Simon, all she wants to do is enjoy the night. But when she notices figures in black pursuing a boy, she has the inexplicable feeling that something is very wrong. When she witnesses a murder, she is horrified by these young people who seem so relaxed, even elated, about just having killed a young boy. Or was that what he really was? But without a body, Clary is forced to act as though she has seen nothing. She hopes that she can forget what she saw, but she quickly realizes that not only is there more to what she has seen, but these brutal people are the only ones who can help her when her mother goes missing and Clary is attacked herself.

What can I say about this book? I love the world of the Shadowhunters and Downworlders. I wish that I had read this series first because it does a better job of explaining all of the little things that are a part of their realm. 
Clary. I actually liked Clary. I know a lot of people don't. I really felt for her because she was put in a lot of tough spots that weren't her fault and I can't blame her for reacting the way she did.
Jace. Ohh I fall for this character every time. I can't help but look past his flaws and see the wounded side. 
As for Simon, it's not that I dislike him, I just like Jace more.

I don't have a lot to say about the plot except the twist at the end. Now, I beg of you...

Clary and Jace are brother and sister..... WHAT!!!???

My brain rejects this. And from what I have accidentally read online, I am pretty sure that Clary and Jace end up together, which means that Clary is right, Valentine is a big, fat liar. Because when it comes down to it,  Valentine's story is full of holes.

Right now I have several other books that I have to read before the end of February for some book club challenges, but as soon as those are out of the way I will be pouncing on City of Ashes. It is currently sitting on my shelf, taunting me.

Until next time!

Happy Reading!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

PS, I Love You by Cecilia Ahern

PS, I Love You is Cecelia Ahern's debut novel, first published in 2003. It is a beautiful story about loss, letting go, and finding ourselves, even in impossible situations. Many of you have probably seen the movie starring the extremely handsome Gerard Butler

I unknowingly broke my own sacred rule and watched the movie first! Somehow the fact that this book existed completely escaped me. I only got around to watching the movie last year, so when I saw Cecelia Ahern's name in the credits I smacked myself on the head. OF COURSE that plot came from it book, it's so wonderful. It took me forever to find a copy and even longer to get around to reading it, but now that I have, I am mostly pleased. 

This is actually the third book by Ahern that I have read, and I really do enjoy her writing. The magical elements in her stories are captivating, and while there is a touch of that here, you can really see how this book was a launching pad for her compared to her other books.

Daft as I am, when I started reading, I didn't know that it was her first novel, but it didn't take me long to come to that conclusion. The writing is good, but having read her other things first, there is a remarkable maturation that she has achieved in her writing since this book. So if this is the only Ahern you've read and you're thinking' eh, that was alright but the writing was a bit spotty', take my word for it, it only gets better!


Gerry and Holly Kennedy have a beautiful relationship. They love each other wholeheartedly, imperfections and all. They are not only husband and wife, but best friends. When Gerry is diagnosed with a brain tumor after having severe headaches, they draw even closer to each other, cherishing every last moment together.
We are left with a deeply grieving Holly, who is struggling to get out of bed each morning as she tries to make sense of the life that she finds herself in. Her mother has been calling her repeatedly, reminding her about a mysterious package that has been left with her for Holly.
When Holly finally gets around to opening it, she is shocked and elated to find messages from her Gerry, an envelope per month through the end of the year. Through these messages, Holly feels that Gerry is with her again, and with each letter, Holly is sent on another adventure on her road to self-healing.

There were moments when I had tears in my eyes, and just as many moments when I was rolling around on my couch, laughing like a maniac(my husband is pretty sure that I am, har har) 
I gave the book three stars because of some editing and continuity issues that I couldn't get past, but I loved the story and I can't wait to read more Ahern in the future.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Torment by Lauren Kate

After reading Lauren Kate's series title Fallen last year, I was somewhat looking forward to reading Torment. But the longer I waited to read it the more my interest waned. I had been eyeing it sitting on my shelf for a few days, and finally gave in because I left my other current read in my car and it was cold, rainy, and dark.

Luce has barely had time to process what took place in the Sword & Cross cemetery. It has left her with many questions, but before she can begin to even form them in her mind, she is carried off by Daniel, her eternal love and protector, to Shoreline on the California coast, where he hopes that she will remain safe. But Luce can't shake the feeling that she is missing something huge. As she unravels her past, will she unknowingly unravel her future?

I feel like I need to make a spoiler button so I can stop typing it every time...

My biggest complaint about the book is the truce. Not the fact that there is one, but rather that I explicitly knew about it the entire time. It made me feel so frustrated with Luce because of how idiotic and irresponsible she acted because she had no idea what was going on but I did. And it also seemed like maybe Lauren Kate thought her readers 'wouldn't like' or 'couldn't handle'(purely my speculation) not knowing exactly what was happening every moment.
All of that brings me to Luce. Oh, Lucinda. What I like about her is that she isn't afraid to be angry with Daniel and tell him off. But she is so reckless and naive, most of the time I was frustrated with her.
Which brings us to Daniel. Overprotective is the tip of the iceberg, until you realize that he is kind of right. Now, is he moody and a tad self-centered? Yes, but then so is Luce.  A LOT of people have hated on Daniel for being a prick, but I felt that Luce was right up there with him. But I still found a way to somewhat like them. What annoyed me endlessly was how neither of them could manage to say what was really on their minds and it always lead them to some ridiculous fight.
When I realized that there was going to be a love triangle, I literally rolled my eyes. I thought that we had already dogged that bullet with Cam, but as likable as Miles is, I hold more value in Luce and Daniel's love. In this aspect, this is Twilight with angels and demons. We all know who she ends up with, why even go there? But, it looks like Miles will be here to stay, for a while anyway.
There are so many things left unanswered at the end of this book. Another reader said that this book was more about setting up the last two, and I would definitely agree with that. Going off what we are left with, I don't think that Luce is human. The way Daniel acted when she was prepared to take a starshot for him confirmed that. The last part of the book was such a jumble it was hard to tell where anyone stood, but there is something(s) major that Daniel has yet to explain to Luce, and I doubt that it will all come to light until the last book. 

This book was just okay for me. I gave it two stars, which is a very low rating for me. I don't like going under three. But I have read so many other sensational YA novels that it doesn't seem right to rank this one with them. I have a tiny hope for the last two, but since there are two and not just one left, I have a feeling that it will get worse before it gets better. I won't be running out tomorrow to get the next one, but it will be on my list for the next trip to the used bookstore. 

Happy Reading!

Monday, February 4, 2013

I Can't Wait-2013

Hello Everyone!

I've been wasting time perusing Goodreads for the past half hour and getting really excited about some books that are coming out this year! So, I wanted to share my 'I Can't Wait' list for 2013. Here it goes!

#1- Awaken by Meg Cabot

"Death has her in his clutches"

This is the third and final book in her Abandon  trilogy, and I simply love them! There has been roughly a year wait between each book and it is killing me! There is just something about her writing that I love. Okay, I'll stop fangirling now! I am a long-time fan of Cabot's and I am thrilled to see how she will end this series. And what a gorgeous cover!!! I was so pleased with it!  According to Meg Cabot's website, the book can be expected to be released in July of this year. Let my agonizing wait continue!
More on Awaken here.

#2- Divergent #3- Untitled by Veronica Roth
Okay, so this one is currently lacking a cover and title, but don't leave yet. This is the third book in the Divergent series
This is an excellent series, and I am stoked for the third. There has been quite a buzz online concerning the cover and title, which is why I think it has yet to be released. You KNOW they know what both are. They are taunting us! o_0  This book is expected to be released October 2013.
More on Divergent #3 here.

#3-Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon
I don't have a cover for this one either, but I really love this series. It is the 8th installment in Gabaldon's Outlander series

This is a great historical romance series, but there is so much more to them as well. This book is expected to be published in Fall 2013.
More on Written in My Own Heart's Blood here.

#4- Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

First of all, how beautiful is this cover!? This is the third and final book in Clare's Infernal Devices series and is highly anticipated. I know that I am waiting impatiently for it! There are so many questions that have to be answered.  It is expected to be published on March 19, 2013, making it a PERFECT birthday present...to myself. My birthday is a few days after that, but I won't be waiting until then! :D
More on Clockwork Princess here.

Well, that is all I have for now. I am bubbling over with anticipation for these books! I hope you check them out!

Happy Reading!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Host by Stephanie Meyer

I finished The Host last night, and I really liked it! Before you ask, yes I am a fan of Stephanie Meyer's work. I really love the Twilight series, and The Host did not disappoint.
I always seem to be behind about reading all the "good" stuff. This book came out in 2008, and I remember passing it in the stores, picking it up to read the cover more than once, and it never peaked my interest enough for me to pick it up and take it home(also, I was a broke college kid then). But a book club I'm a part of on Goodreads read it last month and for whatever reason, this time I was ready to read it.


First of all, let me just say, this story is not Twilight made over. People will argue the aspect of the love triangle. But that is in most Dystopian YA fiction out there, so, next argument please! And besides, it's more of a... love.. square? Yeah, anyway.

"Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away"- Her body has been taken captive by a soul, Wanderer. Wanderer has lived many lives, and has heard stories about how difficult life can be with a human host. But she is certain that she will be able to adjust to her new body, with it's fragile existence as well as the violent, gripping memories that it comes with.  But Melanie has other plans. Melanie begins to show Wanderer snippets of her old life, a life filled with such raw emotion that Wanderer cannot help but yearn for it. Melanie shows Wanderer Jared, the man Melanie loves, desperately hoping that Wanderer will find some way to help her get back to him. What Melanie doesn't count on is the way that Wanderer is consumed with love for Jared herself.
Trapped inside the same physical body, these two enemies form an unwilling bond in order to save the man that they both love, but have no way of knowing just what lies ahead of them.

What moved me the most about this story is the way it depicts humanity. The souls have come to Earth because of how violent humans are, and they believe that they can run the world better. That humans do not deserve this beautiful planet. But what the souls fail to understand, and what Wanderer comes to realize, is that Earth isn't Earth without humans. Humans are vastly imperfect, but it's their imperfections that give them potential for better things.

“Perhaps there could be no joy on this planet without an equal weight of pain to balance it out on some unknown scale.” 

What is light without the darkness? 

Another thing is the way humans have the ability to love, even if convention tells them that they are wrong. Ian's love for Wanda was something that I had to work to get my head around. I really wanted to believe in it wholeheartedly, but it took me a while to really accept it. Especially considering how Ian started out.

In the end, I knew what had to happen with Melanie and Jared, but the uncertainty for Wanderer had tears rolling down my face. I just couldn't bear it. Although I won't spell it out here, needless to say that I was pleased.

“I held you in my hands, Wanderer, and you were beautiful.” 

And as luck would have it, the movie version of The Host comes out one day after my birthday! I know what I'll be doing! :D

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My Downton Abbey Obsession

My husband and I discovered this gem of a show while he was laid up after shoulder surgery and we weren't leaving the house much. What we were doing is scouring Netflix for anything and everything worth watching. Enter Downton Abbey. Before I delve into my point for this post, allow me to entertain you with some of my Downton favorites from the internets :)

I do not own or claim any rights to the above images.

You may have noticed that Lady Grantham is by far my favorite character...

Season 3 is now in full swing, and I have just viewed the most recent episode, #4 which aired 1/27/13. From this point on, THERE WILL BE... 

There's only one thing I want to vent about and that would be the death of Lady Sybil. She died shortly after giving birth to a baby girl of preeclampsia  I have been holding my breath all season because it was rumored that there would be a death in the House, and every episode up until this one I have been praying it wasn't true.
Alas, it has come to pass. Anytime you kill off a major character, I would imagine that there is much deliberation involved. And I've got to tell you, I never expected it to be Lady Sybil. 
And my, oh my, the whirlwind of emotions that came with this episode.
First of all, I loath that pompous doctor. LOATH.
I feel so bad for Lord Grantham. He clearly feels responsible, but I really feel that it was the doctor's fault. He had too much pride and it cost Sybil her life.
I cried for pretty much the last half of the episode( 30 minutes is a really long time to cry! My throat hurts now and everything...), but when Lady Violet had to stop and gather herself after talking to Carson, my heart shattered.
And poor Branson. That last shot of him holding his daughter was devastating.
It all changed so quickly...

My heart hurts.

It's hard to tell where the Crawleys will go from here, but it is certain that their family will never be the same.
This could take a while...

I'll leave you all with this

A tribute to Lady Sybil...


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Baby Proof by Emily Giffin

This is my fifth Emily Giffin book, the only one I haven't read is her newest Where We Belong. I'm sure it's only a matter of time on that one.

Claudia and Ben are soul mates, and they have a wonderful marriage. When it comes to the important things in life, they agree on it all. Or do they? They have both agreed that they will not have children. They like their unattached lifestyles, and besides, they have all they need in each other. But what happens when one of them has second thoughts?

Possible SPOILERS from this point on. You have been warned.

We've all heard it. She wants kids, he doesn't. But what about the one we haven't heard; he does, she doesn't? When Ben decides that maybe he wants to be a father after all, Claudia's world is completely rocked. It's something neither of them could have expected, and once it is realized that they cannot reach an agreement, they make the(rash,IMHO) decision to separate and divorce. This is the point in Giffin's novels where I want to smack all of the characters. Maybe twice. And yet, without all the struggle we wouldn't have the novel.
Babies are the last thing that Claudia wants to hear about, but they are popping up everywhere. With her family, her friends. So it doesn't take her long to figure out what she has given up. And it might not be what you think. Is it too late?

I had a problem identifying with Claudia because I do want to be a mother, very much. And signs are leaning toward me empathizing more with her sister Daphne. So I really had to step out of my boundaries on this one to understand where she is coming from, however Giffin does a remarkable job describing it.
Overall I enjoyed the novel, as I always do with Giffins work. I gave it 4 stars and I look forward to reading her next book.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

I spent this afternoon at my Nanny's listening to the Atlanta Falcons play the San Francisco 49ers(sad loss for me) while I read If I Stay by Gayle Forman.( I realized that I can concentrate very will while listening to football. Even though the TV is on, it's the one thing that won't distract me!)
I read about 60 pages last night before forcing myself to sleep, and I knew then that I needed to bring two books with me today because I would finish this one quickly. So, I was laying there with half time and two more quarters to go wanting to move on to The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, and I couldn't seem to pick it up until I put my thoughts down, so here they are.

Mia has it all. She's got a loving family who support and understand her, a great best friend, a loving boyfriend, and an outstanding talent with the cello. But her life unravels quickly after a tragic accident, and she is faced with a decision she never thought she would have the choice to make.

I really liked Mia's voice. She had so much, and unlike most teenage heroines, she seems to actually realize what she has, and appreciates it. It was refreshing.
I didn't quite have the reaction to this book that I thought I would. I was surprisingly calm throughout reading it, while the general consensus is that it is a tear jerker. I can definitely see why. However, I felt like I was more in tune with Mia's point of view than with the story as whole, and throughout it she is serene, trying her best to focus on the decision she is facing.

One thing I will say about this book is that it has so many beautiful examples of love in it, which is a huge reason that I liked it so much.

I'm giving this book 3.5 stars. I enjoyed this book a lot and as for the ending....well. Let's just say that I'll be getting my hands on the second book, Where She Went, as soon as I can( I had to stop myself from reading the snippet in the back of my book! I always regret doing that).

Well, onto some Amy Tan!
Until next time!