Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Twilight of the Future: What's Next for the Cast?

This is a departure from my normal book related discussion posts. As you all know, I'm a huge Twilight fan. I love the books as well as the movies, despite recognizing the faults in both.

I was trying to come up with a discussion topic for today and I kept thinking about Breaking Dawn 2 and what the major actors are going to do next. Whether their careers will last beyond the final Twilight. So I thought it would be fun to discuss each of the actors in turn. I'm going to guess about their future success or lack thereof in Hollywood plus a few (somewhat cutting) comments about my personal opinions of them.

Oldie but goodie photo
Edward and Bella: Rob and Kristen

I'm tacking them together, because my assessment is basically the same and they always seem to be a pair anyway. I think they stand the greatest chance of having long, successful careers. A lot of people criticize their acting, but I think they play the roles they're given quite well. Neither of them are particularly emotive and both are rather awkward. Luckily, there are quite a few roles where the characters' personalities are awkward and non-demonstrative. Kristen especially is different than most of the young actresses who are either bubbly gum cheery or tearing off their clothes sexy. She fits a niche that Hollywood appears to be looking for right now.

They both seem to be making the right moves to position themselves in the Business. By aligning themselves with couture designers (Balenciaga for Kristen and Dior for Rob), they give off an aura of refinement that is different from many of their peers who fall over themselves to front a cheap (quality and/or cost) line of clothing or perfume. As for the whole couple thing, I don't know whether that helps or hurts them. Part of me thinks its all staged for publicity. It looks quite suspicious. On the other hand, they sure went out of their way to hide it for a long time. Plus, the gossip columnist I consider most reliable (Lainey Gossip) says that all her sources indicate that it's real.

Jacob: Taylor

What a sweet kid. Unlike many viewers, I do not swoon over Taylor. He's good-looking, definitely, but the ten year age difference makes me look at him with an "Aww, how cute...pat on the head" mindset. He seems like such a nice boy. Unfortunately, I think the piece of lint I just flicked off my sleeve acts as well as he does. And judging by the abysmal reviews his action movie Abduction received, Hollywood agrees. I hope he's able to take some good acting lessons, make a turn around, and find success. He has the looks and fitness of an action star. A kid as good as him deserves to do well...but only if he figures out how to act.

Alice: Ashley

Ashley tries. Tries what you might ask? Whatever it takes, I'm guessing. She has had more non-Twilight roles than most of the other supporting actors. But I don't know if she'll be able to parlay that into a successful career. I think her problem is that she's the opposite of Kristen - she's just like every other young Hollywood actress. She's very pretty, she's sweet yet sultry, etc. Her acting is just fine, but I haven't seen anything that makes her stand out. Not that it matters, but I can't decide whether I like her as a person. She's hard to read. I picture her as (a) the super nice girl next door who'd be your best friend or (b) the snobby mean girl who turns her nose up at you if you don't meet her impossible standards of perfection.

Jasper: Jackson

I would love to see Jackson do well. He is such a cool guy. Funny, handsome, talented, really charismatic. I don't know if he has much lined up outside of Twilight anymore. I hope he finds more roles. He seems like a good actor - or at least as good as the other young actors. And he has that nameless "something" that makes you want to watch him more. He left his band 100 Monkeys last year. I wonder what was behind that. I'm thinking that getting his girlfriend pregnant put a major kink into his plans. I sure hope he's able to move beyond it and find success.

Rosalie: Nikki

Nikki intrigues me. She's been typecast as the edgy bad girl for almost her entire career. She has the attitude to play such roles well. But she also seems like a smart, cool, fun girl. Not saccharine sweet in the way that Ashley comes off. I'm surprised that she hasn't gotten more significant roles. I see her as a character actor, not a leading lady, but I still figured she'd be out there more. I do think that she was foolish to get married so young (not that I can talk much, since Nikki married at 23 and I got married at 25. It just feels a lot younger). I wonder if that will negatively affect her career. Or positively affect it. I don't know.

Emmett: Kellan

Personality wise, I lump Kellan in with Ashley. Both come off like sweet, fun loving people, but not distinctive. Hot, uber built, testosterone driven, action star wannabes are a dime a dozen in Hollywood. What sets Kellan apart from the crowd? Nothing, as far as I can tell. Like Taylor, Kellan seems like a nice guy. And because of that, I hope he'll do well. But other than a remake of Tarzan and a few tiny things, I don't really see anything leading in that direction.

Carlisle and Esme: Peter and Liz

Just like Edward and Bella, the "parents" are similar to me. Peter and Liz were relatively established character actors when they started filming Twilight. Their roles in Twilight were basically supporting character roles. They're roles outside of Twilight have been character roles. I see them continuing to have moderately successful careers mainly outside of the spotlight. Liz never seems to like the attention from Twilight which I presume is why she was hardly ever interviewed. I don't know much about her, but she seems decent. Peter clearly loved the attention and interaction with fans. He's always struck me as a really cool, outgoing, fun guy. I sure think it's sad that he and his wife split up. Unfortunately, it's unusual to see Hollywood couples last as long as they did and they still came to the same end as most.

What do you think about the actors' futures?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
Release Date:
April 3, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Source: Library

Summary

What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad?

Jasper "Jazz" Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.

But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could—from the criminal's point of view.

And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret—could he be more like his father than anyone knows?(courtesy of Goodreads)

Review

I Hunt Killers is a perfect Halloween read. There are no ghosts or zombies or vampires. Rather, it features gritty murders, a possibly unreliable narrator, and more details than I ever thought I’d know about how to kill a person. Holly Black said after reading this book: “I no longer want to be left alone with Barry Lyga.” That was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but I see what she’s saying.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Manga Mondays #126: Skip Beat vol. 27 by Yoshiki Nakamura

Manga Mondays Meme!

I've been doing Manga Mondays every week since I started my blog 2 years ago. It's always been a personal feature, but now I'm going to try turning it into a meme. There are quite a few people who do Manga Mondays. I don't claim by any means that I owned or created the idea of Manga Mondays - it's an obvious choice given the alliteration. I think a meme would be a good way for everyone to publicize their own Manga Mondays and get a little more publicity.

The linky will be below my review.

Skip Beat! vol. 27 by Yoshiki Nakamura


Summary

Kyoko Mogami followed her true love Sho to Tokyo to support him while he made it big as an idol. But he's casting her out now that he's famous! Kyoko won't suffer in silence--she's going to get her sweet revenge by beating Sho in show biz!

Kyoko’s having trouble getting into the role of Cain’s sister. But is it because she can’t relate to a spoiled punk princess, or because she can’t let go of the fact that Ren is playing Cain? And Ren faces his own challenge with the situation. Can he stand to have the woman he loves treat him like a brother?(courtesy of the back cover and Goodreads)

Review

*Warning: Potential spoilers. My manga reviews tend to be more of a summary than a review. I find it hard to review manga in the same way I do regular books.

Ren and Kyoko are busy becoming Cain and Setsu (on an unrelated note, I wonder if "Setsu" is pronounced Set-soo or Sets, since the "u" is often silent in anglicized Japanese words). Kyoko gets hit on by a bunch of scruffy looking hoodlooms who want to take her home and have a good time. Kyoko as Setsu says she doesn't have a problem with that, but they'd have to get past her big brother first.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Feature and Follow Friday #120

Welcome to the Feature & Follow


Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!

How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!

What sets this Hop apart from others, is our Feature. Each week we will showcase a Featured Blogger, from all different genres and areas. Who is our Feature today? Find out below. Just remember it is required, if you participate, to follow our Features and you must follow the hosts (Parajunkee & Alison Can Read) as a courtesy. How do you follow someone? Well, if you have a preference, state it in your #FF post. A lot of blogs are transitioning to Wordpress in which they do not have the luxury of GFC, so an RSS subscription is appreciated or if you choose an email subscription. If you don't have GFC please state in your post how you would like to be followed.

A Farewell to Charms by Lindsey Leavitt

A Farewell to Charms (Princess for Hire #3) by Lindsey Leavitt
Release Date:
June 26th 2012
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: Review copy from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Summary

Desi Bascomb is a princess substitute prodigy--she's the fastest employee ever to advance to level three in the Facade Agency, and the youngest to ever be a full-time sub. But now with all eyes on Desi, the only thing she wants is a moment alone to talk to Reed, who's a Facade legacy and secretly a sub for princes As Desi trains for her new role, she spies more than a few cracks in Facade's perfect appearance. But uncovering the agency's dark past might require more than a princess sub can handle by herself. Desi is no damsel in distress, but sometimes a girl needs a knight in shining armor.(courtesy of Goodreads)

Review

Reading A Farewell to Charms was bittersweet. I adore the Princess for Hire series and am sad to see it come to an end. But I'm excited to read more from Lindsey.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

UPDATED! Final Contest for Top Reason I'm Addicted to Books! Finally!

*I updated this post so the link to the form actually works! Sorry everybody!

Remember back in July when I announced a contest for the Top Reason I'm Addicted to Books? Remember in August when I released a preliminary list of finalists and asked you to choose your favorite five? Remember when I said I'd have another post in a week or to? Yeah, well, it's been more than a week.

Why? In my defense, I moved halfway across the country and took a long trip during that time. But mostly, it's because I made a mistake in the Finalist Forms. The results I got from all your choices looked like this:


Essentially, each person's five choices appeared as one long sentence in the spreadsheet. I had to separate all the sentences and then count all the top choices. This, as you might imagine, was tedious and time consuming.

But finally it's done! I have the Top Ten Reasons I'm Addicted to Books chosen by you!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Kingmakers by Clay and Susan Griffiths

The Kingmakers by Clay and Susan Griffiths
Release Date:
September 4, 2012
Publisher: Pyr
Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review

The Kingmakers is in the middle of a blog tour! I'm not participating in this tour, but I think you should check out every stop on this tour! There are some great prizes.


Summary

A war to the death.

Empress Adele has launched a grand crusade against the vampire clans of the north. Prince Gareth, the vampire lord of Scotland, serves the Equatorian cause, fighting in the bloody trenches of France in his guise as the dashing Greyfriar. But the human armies are pinned down, battered by harsh weather and merciless attacks from vampire packs.

To even the odds, Adele unleashes the power of her geomancy, a fear- some weapon capable of slaughtering vampires in vast numbers. However, the power she expends threatens her own life even as she questions the morality of such a weapon.

As the war turns ever bloodier and Adele is threatened by betrayal, Gareth faces a terrible choice. Their only hope is a desperate strike against the lord of the vampire clans—Gareth's brother, Cesare. It is a gamble that could win the war or signal the final days of the Greyfriar.

The Vampire Empire trilogy rushes to a heart-wrenching conclusion of honor and love, hatred and vengeance, sacrifice and loss.(courtesy of Amazon)

Review

Horror of horrors! The Vampire Empire series is over! At least it ends with a bang. The Kingmakers is a fabulous conclusion to one of my favorite series.

Monday, October 22, 2012

More Harry Potter Questions to Ponder

I finished with my fifth annual Harry Potter re-read very late Friday night (stayed up until 4 AM!), but Hogwarts, Harry, Hallows, and Horcruxes are still at the top of my mind.

On a side note, I am listening to The Casual Vacancy currently. It actually took me a few minutes to remember that Harry Potter and The Casual Vacancy were written by the same person. Not because they're so different (although they are extremely, extremely different), but because I'd forgotten that anyone wrote Harry Potter. It feels so real when I'm reading it that I forget that it's just words on paper.

Here are a few more questions to ponder for this week:

*These questions are much more in depth than last week. Also, they contain a lot of spoilers for the series, but I'm assuming everyone who is reading this has read the whole series.

If you missed last week's post, check out the first set of Harry Potter Questions to Ponder!

1. Dumbledore did, in a way, raise Harry up like a pig for slaughter. But in the end, how much do you think Dumbledore cared about Harry?

Manga Mondays #125: Skip Beat vol. 26 - Yoshiki Nakamura

Manga Mondays Meme!

I've been doing Manga Mondays every week since I started my blog 2 years ago. It's always been a personal feature, but now I'm going to try turning it into a meme. There are quite a few people who do Manga Mondays. I don't claim by any means that I owned or created the idea of Manga Mondays - it's an obvious choice given the alliteration. I think a meme would be a good way for everyone to publicize their own Manga Mondays and get a little more publicity.

The linky will be below my review.

Skip Beat! vol. 26 by Yoshiki Nakamura


Summary

Kyoko Mogami followed her true love Sho to Tokyo to support him while he made it big as an idol. But he's casting her out now that he's famous! Kyoko won't suffer in silence--she's going to get her sweet revenge by beating Sho in show biz!

Kyoko thinks she's survived Valentine's Day, but that's just the kind of attitude that gets her in trouble with the president of LME. Lory is very disappointed in the girls of the Love Me Section and sets up special new assignments to teach them the power of love. But will the president's strange methods have any affect on the troubled souls of Chiori, Moko and Kyoko?(courtesy of the back cover and Goodreads)

Review

*Warning: Potential spoilers. My manga reviews tend to be more of a summary than a review. I find it hard to review manga in the same way I do regular books.

Love Me has returned. We haven't seen much of Kyoko in her Love Me section role lately because she's been so busy acting. She gets a "dangerous" assignment from the President: she has to pick up a thug from the train station. Who is this yakuza (mafia) like figure who dresses in black, has long hair, and muscles that can attack virtually on their own? It is Cain Heel...who is really Ren Tsuruga! We were introduced to the idea that Ren would be playing sexy, evil villain a few volumes ago and now he appears.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Bookish Recap

I'm joining Tynga's Reviews' meme Stacking the Shelves and The Story Siren's In My Mailbox meme today. Thanks for hosting Tynga and Kristi!

My first Bookish Recap in 2 months! Excited to get back into it.


On the Blog This Week


Manga Mondays:


Reviews:


Wordpress Switch-over


Harry Potter 


Books I Read This Week


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Feature and Follow Friday #119

Welcome to the Feature & Follow


Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!

How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!

What sets this Hop apart from others, is our Feature. Each week we will showcase a Featured Blogger, from all different genres and areas. Who is our Feature today? Find out below. Just remember it is required, if you participate, to follow our Features and you must follow the hosts (Parajunkee & Alison Can Read) as a courtesy. How do you follow someone? Well, if you have a preference, state it in your #FF post. A lot of blogs are transitioning to Wordpress in which they do not have the luxury of GFC, so an RSS subscription is appreciated or if you choose an email subscription. If you don't have GFC please state in your post how you would like to be followed.

Tokyo Heist by Diana Renn

Tokyo Heist by Diana Renn
Release Date:
June 14, 2012
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Source: Library

Summary

When sixteen-year-old Violet agrees to spend the summer with her father, an up-and-coming artist in Seattle, she has no idea what she's walking into. Her father's newest clients, the Yamada family, are the victims of a high-profile art robbery: van Gogh sketches have been stolen from their home, and, until they can produce the corresponding painting, everyone's lives are in danger--including Violet's and her father's.

Violet's search for the missing van Gogh takes her from the Seattle Art Museum, to the yakuza-infested streets of Tokyo, to a secluded inn in Kyoto. As the mystery thickens, Violet's not sure whom she can trust. But she knows one thing: she has to solve the mystery--before it's too late.(courtesy of Goodreads)

Review

If you love manga and enjoy fun, twisting mysteries, Tokyo Heist is the book for you. If you prefer realistic plots with complex, believable characters, Tokyo Heist is probably not the book for you. Tokyo Heist is a flawed novel, but has enough going for it that I enjoyed flipping through it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Part Two: To Wordpress or Not to Wordpress

More and more bloggers are abandoning the Google ship in favor of the foreign waters of Wordpress. I'm considering taking the plunge. In fact, I'm pretty sure I'm going to do it.

Switching to Wordpress is a big step for any blogger to take. There's a risk that your content will get lost in the shuffle and most importantly, that your readers might get lost. But there are so many potential benefits - better SEO, more plug-ins, etc. I've been weighing the risks versus benefits for a long time. Danny of Bewitched Bookworms is the main person who swayed my opinion. When I visited her in August, we spent several hours staring at her Wordpress account as she showed me all the cool things she could do with it and how much it had helped her blog (although I think Danny, Pushy, and Heather's hard work helped more than anything).

I'm guessing I'm not alone in thinking about a Wordpress switch. Lots of blogs have fabulous posts about the pro's and con's of Wordpress and great technical information about switching. I wanted to collate the opinions of numerous bloggers who've already made the switch, so you can read multiple opinions in one post.

Thank you to all the bloggers who took the time to answer my Wordpress switch-over questions! There were so many of you that I am splitting this post into two.  Last week I featured the experiences of Rebecca of Kindle Fever, Mariya of Mystifying Paranormal Reviews, and Anna of Anna Reads.

This week, we'll be hearing from Danny of Bewitched Bookworms, Jenn of The Bawdy Book Blog, and Missie of The Unread Reader. Pay attention to Missie's responses. She is the only person I've spoken with who's had a bad experience with Wordpress. I'm going to bold her responses. I think it's important to consider the negative.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Release Date:
February 6, 2012
Publisher: Egmont Press
Source: Library

Summary

I have two weeks. You’ll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.

That’s what you do to enemy agents. It’s what we do to enemy agents. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and cooperation is the easy way out. Possibly the only way out for a girl caught red-handed doing dirty work like mine — and I will do anything, anything, to avoid SS-Hauptsturmf├╝hrer von Linden interrogating me again.

He has said that I can have as much paper as I need. All I have to do is cough up everything I can remember about the British War Effort. And I’m going to. But the story of how I came to be here starts with my friend Maddie. She is the pilot who flew me into France — an Allied Invasion of Two.

We are a sensational team.(courtesy of Goodreads)

Review

Code Name Verity is a deceptive book. It presents itself as just another World War II story at the beginning, but it slowly transforms into a heart-wrenching punch to the stomach that you'll never forget. It's the kind of book you'll want to re-read to catch all the details, but you also won't need to because the story will be permanently etched in your mind.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Harry Potter Questions to Ponder

Good news! I picked up my computer from our fix-it guy in Salt Lake this weekend. He upgraded me to a 500 GB hard drive (only 150 before) and a faster CPU for only $114!!! I'm so happy to have my computer back. I kissed it the moment it leapt into my arms. *Now that I have my computer back, I'll work on commenting back to all of you who've left comments in the past week or so.*

It's October and that means it is time for my fifth annual Harry Potter re-read. I'm currently reading the fifth book. I think I will finish the entire series in my fastest time yet - only two weeks! Which is good because I have tons of other things to read.

As always when I read the Harry Potter series, the rest of the world disappears and all I can think about is Hogwarts, hippogriffs, and horcruxes.

I know most of you are also huge Harry Potter fans, so I thought I'd put up a few questions about reading the series:

1. When did you first read Harry Potter?

Manga Mondays #124: Skip Beat vol. 25 by Yoshiki Nakamura

Manga Mondays Meme!

I've been doing Manga Mondays every week since I started my blog 2 years ago. It's always been a personal feature, but now I'm going to try turning it into a meme. There are quite a few people who do Manga Mondays. I don't claim by any means that I owned or created the idea of Manga Mondays - it's an obvious choice given the alliteration. I think a meme would be a good way for everyone to publicize their own Manga Mondays and get a little more publicity.

The linky will be below my review.

Skip Beat! vol. 25 by Yoshiki Nakamura


Summary

Kyoko Mogami followed her true love Sho to Tokyo to support him while he made it big as an idol. But he's casting her out now that he's famous! Kyoko won't suffer in silence--she's going to get her sweet revenge by beating Sho in show biz!

Kyoko's Valentine's battle with Reino has finally gained her Sho's attention-- but now it's the last thing she wants! Sho is determined to make her obsessed with him, and shows up on set with an over-the-top gift to taunt her. But when Kyoko explains her true relationship with Reino, Sho makes an inexcusable move. Has he undone her years of healing in one fell swoop?!(courtesy of the back cover and Goodreads)

Review

*Warning: Potential spoilers. My manga reviews tend to be more of a summary than a review. I find it hard to review manga in the same way I do regular books.
It's funny how you can intellectually know that a story is silly, but get sucked into the moment and worry with all your heart, mind, and soul about the plight of these characters in their outrageous escapades. Skip Beat is ridiculous in most ways, but the strong human emotion does me in every time.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Feature and Follow Friday #118

Welcome to the Feature & Follow


Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!

How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!

What sets this Hop apart from others, is our Feature. Each week we will showcase a Featured Blogger, from all different genres and areas. Who is our Feature today? Find out below. Just remember it is required, if you participate, to follow our Features and you must follow the hosts (Parajunkee & Alison Can Read) as a courtesy. How do you follow someone? Well, if you have a preference, state it in your #FF post. A lot of blogs are transitioning to Wordpress in which they do not have the luxury of GFC, so an RSS subscription is appreciated or if you choose an email subscription. If you don't have GFC please state in your post how you would like to be followed.

Destined by Aprilynne Pike

Destined (Wings #4) by Aprilynne Pike
Release Date:
May 1, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Library

Summary

Tamani looked at her gravely, and reached up to tuck her hair behind her ear.

He hesitated for an instant, then his hands found the sides of her face, pulling her to him. He didn't kiss her, just held her face close to his, their foreheads resting together, their noses almost touching.

She hated how much it felt like good-bye.

Laurel now knows the truth: Yuki is a rare Winter faerie, the most powerful--and deadly--of all, and Klea plans to use her to help conquer and destroy Avalon. But Klea's reach extends far beyond one wild Winter faerie. With Tamani, David, and Chelsea by her side, Laurel prepares to face what may be Avalon's final days, in the stunning conclusion to the Wings series.(courtesy of Goodreads)

Review

I am computer-less for the next week. My hard drive decided to take an undeserved vacation, so it is on its way to Salt Lake City where it will get a brand new hard drive. I'll pick it up when I fly to Utah this weekend (going to the Libba Bray event!!!!). I'll still be able to update the blog through my husband's computer at night but my comments will probably be limited. Boo. :-(

Wings - the first book in the series - was one of the best fairy books I've read. It drew from traditional fairy lore but with a unique botanical twist. Add to that compelling characters and sweet romance and you have a great book. The subsequent books in the series have failed to achieve quite the level of magic I discovered in Wings, but have still been good in their own right. I particularly love the rich world building that pervades the books.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

To Wordpress or Not To Wordpress: Bloggers Speak!

More and more bloggers are abandoning the Google ship in favor of the foreign waters of Wordpress. I'm considering taking the plunge. In fact, I'm pretty sure I'm going to do it.

Switching to Wordpress is a big step for any blogger to take. There's a risk that your content will get lost in the shuffle and most importantly, that your readers might get lost. But there are so many potential benefits - better SEO, more plug-ins, etc. I've been weighing the risks versus benefits for a long time. Danny of Bewitched Bookworms is the main person who swayed my opinion. When I visited her in August, we spent several hours staring at her Wordpress account as she showed me all the cool things she could do with it and how much it had helped her blog (although I think Danny, Pushy, and Heather's hard work helped more than anything).

I'm guessing I'm not alone in thinking about a Wordpress switch. Lots of blogs have fabulous posts about the pro's and con's of Wordpress and great technical information about switching. I wanted to collate the opinions of numerous bloggers who've already made the switch, so you can read multiple opinions in one post.

Thank you to all the bloggers who took the time to answer my Wordpress switch-over questions! There were so many of you that I am splitting this post into two. Today, I'm featuring the experiences of Rebecca of Kindle Fever, Mariya of Mystifying Paranormal Reviews, and Anna of Anna Reads. Stay tuned for the next installment!

*And also thanks to my husband for letting me spend an hour on his computer setting this post up when I should have been making dinner. Sorry we won't be eating until after 9 pm!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Release Date:
February 1, 1999
Publisher: MTV Books and Pocket Books
Source: Library

Summary

Standing on the fringes of life... offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

This is the story of what it's like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.

Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.(courtesy of Goodreads)

Review

I am computer-less for the next week. My hard drive decided to take an undeserved vacation, so it is on its way to Salt Lake City where it will get a brand new hard drive. I'll pick it up when I fly to Utah this weekend (going to the Libba Bray event!!!!). I'll still be able to update the blog through my husband's computer at night but my comments will probably be limited. Boo. :-(

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a classic coming of age literary young adult novel. Too often these kinds of novels try too hard. As though the authors unconsciously push the plot and characters into the background and place themselves in the foreground: "Hey, my writing is incredible! I'm really smart! Look at me!" But The Perks of Being a Wallflower is not like that. It is the perfect balance of character, plot, and skillful writing.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Manga Mondays #123 - Skip Beat! vol. 24 by Yoshiki Nakamura

Manga Mondays Meme!

I've been doing Manga Mondays every week since I started my blog 2 years ago. It's always been a personal feature, but now I'm going to try turning it into a meme. There are quite a few people who do Manga Mondays. I don't claim by any means that I owned or created the idea of Manga Mondays - it's an obvious choice given the alliteration. I think a meme would be a good way for everyone to publicize their own Manga Mondays and get a little more publicity.

The linky will be below my review.

Skip Beat! vol. 24 by Yoshiki Nakamura


Summary

Kyoko Mogami followed her true love Sho to Tokyo to support him while he made it big as an idol. But he's casting her out now that he's famous! Kyoko won't suffer in silence--she's going to get her sweet revenge by beating Sho in show biz!

Valentine’s Day is on its way, but Kyoko won’t be able to celebrate love and friendship the normal way. She’s getting blackmailed into giving chocolate to guys she hates, she has her ongoing revenge to oblige, and to top it all off, it’s Ren’s birthday! How can Kyoko give him a meaningful present when she’s slinging meaningless chocolate left and right?(courtesy of the back cover and Goodreads)

Review

*Warning: Potential spoilers. My manga reviews tend to be more of a summary than a review. I find it hard to review manga in the same way I do regular books.

I am computer-less for the next week. My hard drive decided to take an undeserved vacation, so it is on its way to Salt Lake City where it will get a brand new hard drive. I'll pick it up when I fly to Utah this weekend (going to the Libba Bray event!!!!). I'll still be able to update the blog through my husband's computer at night but my comments will probably be limited. Boo. :-(

Valentine's Day is such a different holiday in Japan. The girls are supposed to give guys in their life (boyfriends, friends, work colleagues) chocolates. The guys don't reciprocate until March - White Day - when it's their turn to give the girls treats.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Follow and Feature Friday #117

Welcome to the Feature & Follow


Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!

How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!

What sets this Hop apart from others, is our Feature. Each week we will showcase a Featured Blogger, from all different genres and areas. Who is our Feature today? Find out below. Just remember it is required, if you participate, to follow our Features and you must follow the hosts (Parajunkee & Alison Can Read) as a courtesy. How do you follow someone? Well, if you have a preference, state it in your #FF post. A lot of blogs are transitioning to Wordpress in which they do not have the luxury of GFC, so an RSS subscription is appreciated or if you choose an email subscription. If you don't have GFC please state in your post how you would like to be followed.

Until I Die by Amy Plum

Until I Die (Revenants #2) by Amy Plum
Release Date:
May 8th 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Source: Library

Summary

Kate and Vincent have overcome the odds and at last they are together in Paris, the city of lights and love.

As their romance deepens there’s one question they can’t ignore: How are they supposed to be together if Vincent can’t resist sacrificing himself to save others? Although Vincent promises that he’ll do whatever it takes to lead a normal life with Kate, will that mean letting innocent people die? When a new and surprising enemy reveals itself, Kate realizes that even more may be at stake—and that Vincent’s immortality is in jeopardy.

In Die for Me, Amy Plum created a captivating paranormal mythology with immortal revenants and a lush Paris setting. Until I Die is poised to thrill readers with more heart-pounding suspense, spellbinding romance, and a cliff-hanger ending that will leave them desperate for the third and final novel in the series.(courtesy of Goodreads)

Review

Amy Plum stole my heart away with Die For Me. A unique paranormal creature, fabulous romance, adorable side characters, and a Parisian setting. What could better? I was thrilled to pick up the second edition in the Revenant series, Until I Die. Like many second books, most of Until I Die is the eye of the storm, a brief lull between gale force winds.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Blog Tour Playlist: Ashen Winter by Mike Mullins



Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin
Release Date:
October 16, 2012
Publisher: Tanglewood Press

Summary

It’s been over six months since the eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano. Alex and Darla have been staying with Alex’s relatives, trying to cope with the new reality of the primitive world so vividly portrayed in Ashfall, the first book in this series. It’s also been six months of waiting for Alex’s parents to return from Iowa. Alex and Darla decide they can wait no longer and must retrace their journey into Iowa to find and bring back Alex’s parents to the tenuous safety of Illinois. But the landscape they cross is even more perilous than before, with life-and-death battles for food and power between the remaining communities. When the unthinkable happens, Alex must find new reserves of strength and determination to survive.(courtesy of Goodreads)

*First off, I apologize to Mike and Savvy for the tardiness of my tour post. It should have been up on Saturday, but it completely slipped my mind. I'm very sorry for the delay.

I have the honor to present a playlist for Alex, the protagonist of the Ashfall series.

Alex starts out the series as typical teenage boy. He spends a lot of time playing video and computer games. His life has been pretty comfortable. All that changes when the volcano hits. He becomes a font of determination - a survivor. I chose some heavier rock music for Alex's playlist. Partly because they're groups that many teenage boys like, reflecting Alex's previous normal life. But also because I find that tough, even a little angry songs are perfect for times that I need to focus my mind on a difficult path. Alex's new life is scary and dangerous. These songs reflect that difficulty, but also give him energy to go on:

Burn It Down by Linkin Park

Animal I Have Become by Three Days Grace

End of Me by Apocalyptica

Bangarang by Skrillex

Tongue Tied by Grouplove


Any other ideas for songs Alex might like?

Banned Books Change Lives!

In honor of banned books week, I am re-posting a guest post that I wrote 2 years ago on Steph Su Reads' blog about the effect a banned book had on me as a child.

Any discussion about banned books always brings a particular book to my mind. I fell in love with Judy Blume's Fudge series in fourth grade. Naturally, when I finished those, I moved on to her other books. In fourth and fifth grade, I read Forever; Tiger Eyes; Just As Long As We're Together; Blubber; Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret; and Deenie. Most of these books faded from my mind quickly after I read them (even the salacious Forever), but Deenie stayed with me.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Release Date:
February 1, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Library

Summary

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.(courtesy of Goodreads)

Review

Lauren Oliver is one of the best young adult authors of our age. She has a way with expressing emotion in prose that makes her stories heartbreaking and beautiful. So it was with great anticipation that I picked up Delirium, because if anyone can make me like dystopias, Lauren can. But, alas...

Monday, October 1, 2012

Manga Mondays #122: Skip Beat! vol. 23 by Yoshiki Nakamura

Manga Mondays Meme!

I've been doing Manga Mondays every week since I started my blog 2 years ago. It's always been a personal feature, but now I'm going to try turning it into a meme. There are quite a few people who do Manga Mondays. I don't claim by any means that I owned or created the idea of Manga Mondays - it's an obvious choice given the alliteration. I think a meme would be a good way for everyone to publicize their own Manga Mondays and get a little more publicity.

The linky will be below my review.

Skip Beat! vol. 23 by Yoshiki Nakamura


Summary

Kyoko Mogami followed her true love Sho to Tokyo to support him while he made it big as an idol. But he's casting her out now that he's famous! Kyoko won't suffer in silence--she's going to get her sweet revenge by beating Sho in show biz!

Chiori's rage threatens the whole production when she lashes out and hurts Kyoko. Kyoko is used to overcoming obstacles, and she uses her injury as an excuse to push Chiori into exploring her acting. But Chiori has a traumatic past. Will focusing on the dark side of her character bring it all rushing back?(courtesy of the back cover and Goodreads)

Review

*Warning: Potential spoilers. My manga reviews tend to be more of a summary than a review. I find it hard to review manga in the same way I do regular books.

At the end of the last volume, Chiori pushed Kyoko down a flight of stairs in a jealous rage. When Kyoko lands, Chiori panics. Her primary concern was not whether Kyoko was hurt but whether Kyoko would tell the director. Gotta love Chiori's selfishness. Such a good example of the poor side of human nature.

 
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