Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Delirium - Lauren Oliver

Goodreads 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

Why I Read This Book: This was another popular one around the blog-block, so I had it on my TBR list. I almost picked it up at the bookstore, but then I got something cheaper (I'm cheap, haha). However, in one of those rare moments when BF was actually paying attention to me, he managed to remember the cover, and it was under the Christmas tree for me :)

Review: I really enjoyed this book, but it was a bit slow to get into. Most dystopian novels have the same problem, because the world is now so different, there is a lot of background information you need to catch up on before the story can actually get started. But, once it did, boy was it a good one! I enjoyed reading about Portland, and the rules, and Hana and Lena's friendship reminded me of the way I felt after high school when we all went our separate ways to university, but the piece de resistance - the love story! It was described very, very well. Oliver nailed the descriptions of what it feels like physically to fall in love to a tee. Most authors can write about the thoughts and feelings in your mind, but I was really into the way she approached it. I would recommend this book to not only dystopian and YA readers, but it is a good love story as well.


Friday, 27 January 2012

Bossypants - Tina Fey

Goodreads Summary: Tina Fey’s new book Bossypants is short, messy, and impossibly funny (an apt description of the comedian herself). From her humble roots growing up in Pennsylvania to her days doing amateur improv in Chicago to her early sketches on Saturday Night Live, Fey gives us a fascinating glimpse behind the curtain of modern comedy with equal doses of wit, candor, and self-deprecation. Some of the funniest chapters feature the differences between male and female comedy writers ("men urinate in cups"), her cruise ship honeymoon ("it’s very Poseidon Adventure"), and advice about breastfeeding ("I had an obligation to my child to pretend to try"). But the chaos of Fey’s life is best detailed when she’s dividing her efforts equally between rehearsing her Sarah Palin impression, trying to get Oprah to appear on 30 Rock, and planning her daughter’s Peter Pan-themed birthday. Bossypants gets to the heart of why Tina Fey remains universally adored: she embodies the hectic, too-many-things-to-juggle lifestyle we all have, but instead of complaining about it, she can just laugh it off.

Why I Read This Book: I read this book because I love funny people, and I love when they write books, and Tina Fey is adorable in her dry, witty comedy. Plus, there was pictures!

Review: I liked this book, however not as much as I was expecting to. It was funny, it was really funny in a lot of places. I kept BF up at night while I giggled in bed over Don Fey, the cruise, and other stories. What kept me from loving this book was that it had the underlying assumption that I love 30 Rock and SNL, which although I would say I watched a lot of SNL in high school, my sleeping schedule sort of keeps me from seeing it very often these days. As for 30 Rock, as much as I bet I would love it, I spend way more time reading than watching TV, so there were parts of the book (big chunks) that I found kind of boring to get through. But it's worth the read anyway, I was just expecting to pee myself, that's all.


Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Best Giveaway EVER

I try not to do this very often, because it seems counter productive to alert you to a giveaway that I am dying to win!!! But, 25 entries are 25 entries, so go check out this contest and have a look at all the prizes I'm going to win!!!


Sunday, 22 January 2012

The Glass Castle - Jeannette Walls

Goodreads Summary: Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an "excitement addict." Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.
Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town -- and the family -- Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents' betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.
Why I Read This Book: I decided to pick this one up because a friend had told me she thought it was good, and I read the book at the book store one day, and said "why not?"

Review: I really enjoyed this book, with its short scene descriptions of a trio (I don't really count Maureen as she is much younger) of children growing up with a set of parents who have no clue what it means to care for them. The book was shocking, and I enjoyed that you could see the progress of Jeannette's ability to "get it" and make the right choices she needed to with what she had available to her. In the book you can see that she never really stops loving her parents, just accepts that what she wants from her life is different than what they do. My only complaint with this book, and why it got 4 stars is that there is no emotional reaction about what happens, just the facts of the story. That was a little disengaging at times, but I also understand that she wanted to get the story out there without being too revealing/forcing people to pity her.


Monday, 9 January 2012

Life Updates

Hello All -
How is 2012 going so far? For me very good. I crossed my fourth book off my 2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge list (although I had jumped the gun on 2 of them in December 2011) so that is coming along nicely. I challenged myself to read 50 books this year with my Goodreads challenge as well. I don't think that is overly ambitious, but I didn't want to have to revise down if life got too busy.

School started last week, but today was my first official day of classes. It's going to be hard work to do 3 courses, and work a full-time and part-time job as well, but I'm up for the challenge. The only unfortunate part is in times of papers and assignments due, I will most likely fall behind on my reading and TV shows. I'm currently about 6 weeks behind in all my normal TV shows, because I started watching the Vampire Diaries (holy different from the books!!!) and it's addicting.

I only have one outstanding review, and that is funny enough the secind Vampire Diaries book: The Struggle. I was given volumes 2 and four as well as the first two in The Return for christmas, so they will get picked up soon as well. Currently I am reading Delirium, which I also got for Christmas, and have been looking forward to for some time now.

Anyway, just wanted to let you know where I was these days! Happy 2012 to you all!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief

Goodreads Summary: It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

Why I Read This Book: I picked this one up on impulse at Winners because I noticed it had been laid down on the shelf next to the checkout. It was on my TBR list, so I picked it up. I had read some good reviews for it.

Review: I really liked this book. It is essentially the story of a girl growing up in Nazi Germany, who steals a few books (its hardly the main theme of the book however). Its eye opening in the way that you don't often hear the about Nazi Germany from the perspective of a German with the innocence of a child. The book definitely assume that you already know a bit of the history of the story, which was fine by me, as I do, but could deter someone who does not. The book also doesn't really take sides on "right" or "wrong" the way you would expect it to. Since the book is told from Death's perspective, it has more of a "this is what happens, and this is what people did" more than a "this is what they think and this is how they feel". I found this nice, because I as the reader felt what I needed to in places, instead of being told that the character does. I enjoyed the book, it wasn't a fast paced, can't put it down book, but it did tell a good story, which I enjoyed.