October 31, 2012

Haunted Week: Beware of Movie Review

{This Girl Reads}
To finish off a week of spook-tastic fun, review a scary story of your choice! Well, in my case, it'll be a movie! :D

My Thoughts/Review:

So, first I'd like to say how freaking awesome Haunted Week has been--I've met several new and awesome bloggers, I've had a lot of fun commenting on other bloggers's posts, and overall, it's just been a wicked awesome week. Now, today we're supposed to review a horror book, but I got permission from Chey to review a movie--Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. It seems appropriate, doesn't it? ;)

Now, since this is my first movie review (and maybe my only), I may add a ton of un-needed stuff. Feel free to skip over bits!

First of all, I thought that Benjamin Walker was perfect as Abe! He was just common enough to pass, and he looked like a pretty tall guy. It may have just been the camera angles, but to me, he looked like one big boy. A beanpole, but tall. Now--in the movie, when he got older, I really don't think that the beard suited him. Because with the make-up they put on him to make him look old, it just...looked funny.

The guy that played Henry Sturgis was perfect for his part too--he definitely made me think debonair. Very sophisticated gentleman. Mary Todd--seemed to be perfect for the part, but I never really thought about her when I was reading the book, so I really couldn't tell you.

It definitely deviated from the original book's plot though. Abe and Mary only have one son instead of two, Abe's vampire hunting career isn't as capitalized upon--his kill numbers definitely went down, but the only other thing that really bothered me about this movie was the over-kill action scenes. Don't get me wrong, there was definitely some seriously epic stuff going on, but--I could do with out the overly animated scenes. The horses in the horse scene didn't look real (I can't even remember if that happened in the book or not...).

The train scene was a bit much too, but the vampires were PERFECT. They were gruesome, all the nerves in their skin stood out--their jaws totally did unhinge, and all the fluids in their faces all...drip. Drip. It was totally gross, but I think the animators need some extreme applause for some of that. It definitely made it cooler when they got beheaded...LOL.

All in all, I enjoyed Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, but I was kind of sad that the action scenes looked overkill, and I wasn't happy with the ending. The narration in the beginning was pretty good though. You can see a spoiler if you highlight in between the brackets! {Abraham Lincoln doesn't become a vampire!!!}


October 30, 2012

This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

This is Not a Test

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

My Thoughts/Review:

This book was INSANE. So insane that I'm not even sure that I can explain it to you, but I'll try. I'll try my absolute best to explain to you how this book made me feel.

First off, I'll have to say that Courtney Summers does a smack-dang-good job of writing a zombie novel that could scare the pants off of any normal person. Good thing I'm not normal. ;)

Sloane was...interesting. I'm not sure of the best way to describe her, but that seems appropriate. She was interesting. But she was also very depressed, extremely...well. She was mentally bothered--that seems the best term. She made me think of all of Courtney Summers's other characters. How they all seem to share the same mindset, and the same voice, yet all of their stories are completely unique, so it never gets old.

Sloane struggles with being left--she was left one too many times. And you can see that in her character, by the way she handles things, and in the way that she is. I thought that all the character relationships were perfect--you have to rely on each other in the zombie apocalypse! I am curious as to how the zombie flu was released, but I suppose I won't ever know...unless there's a second book.

As well done as the character development was, I wish that there was a bit more backstory on all of them. Sloane's problems with her father, why Harrison cries so much, why Cary is completely unafraid to sacrifice others to get ahead. I just wish I could've known more about them.

All in all, This is Not a Test was a suspenseful, intense read, that's a bit too perfect for words.

Favorite Quote:
I am so sad it makes me heavier than the sum of my parts. I shift, restless, but it doesn't help. It's like--time. All this time in here is on me, has its hooks in me.

Haunted Week: Written in the Tombstone

{This Girl Reads}

The epitaph is the inscription on a tombstone—you could say it's a person's last words. Today, quote the last line of five books. (No spoilers, please!)

RANDOM CLARIFICATION: Lol. It looks like I'm yelling at you. Now, my random clarification is that the books I thought would have epic end quotes didn't, and the ones that I didn't even think to look at first did! It's because epic end quotes in epic books aren't one-liners. So, another clarification: These are books that are on my shelf! I maybe would've chosen different ones, if I had different books. ;F

Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone

"And that the only thing left, heavy and sweet in the violet twilight, is the scent of wild roses."

My Life Next Door

"We lie back, hand in hand, look out over the ocean, and watch the sun rise over the roof of the world."

Take Me There

"And then
                      I will
                                          be free."

Fall from Grace

""All the time," Sawyer said, looking deep into the eyes on the screen, his vision blurring from the light."

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)

"But they would be looking for a ghost."

So, do you think any of these quotes are as epic as I think they are? Do you know what any of them are about? Have you read any of these? Let me know! :D

October 29, 2012

Haunted Week: Tricked or Treated

{This Girl Reads}

Some books aren't at all what you expected—which can be good or bad. Today feature five books you read that were either a pleasant or nasty surprise.

1. Girl v. Boy by Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout: You don't even want to know. Remember the 'love square'? Here is subject A! So, that was definitely a TRICKED.

2. Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield: Ooh, this book was so freaking good! I can't even explain it's beauty! Read it! Soon! TREATED, my pals. TREATED.

3. You, Maybe by Rachel Vail: Can you say TRICKED? Man, I'd like to...you don't need to hear this, but just know that it involves destruction of said book. Yes. Bad. Very bad.

4. The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda: I loved this one! It was all weird (and believe me, some people were scared off about it), but I loved it! TREATED! :D

5. Dreamless by Josephine Angelini: Ooh, come on. It was so better than Starcrossed! I liked Starcrossed, but Dreamless? Tres magnifique. TREATED!

So, are any of these tricks or treats for you? Let me know in the comments! ;D

October 28, 2012

Skater Boy by Mari Mancusi

Skater Boy

Do you...

Allow your parents to micromanage your life so you'll get into the "right" college (aka Dad's alma mater)?

Sign up for a gazillion after-school activities to be more "well-rounded" (though at this point, you're so round, you may roll away!)

Hang out with fashion-obsessed Populars--who don't accept anyone who doesn't embrace the color pink?

Date rich, obnoxious jocks like Brent Baker III--who are so cheesy you can't stomach them without crackers?

Do you...

Meet new cool people -- like the headmaster's punk-rock daughter Starr?

Pierce random parts of your body parts (ok, just your belly button--but still!) and hope your parents don't notice?

Date an uber-hot sk8er boy from the wrong side of town--though your parents say "No way!"?

Fall in love with the sk8er -- in a tragic Romeo and Juliet (with text messaging) kind of way?

My Thoughts/Review:

Cheeesy. I can't even tell you about this book without it sounding cheesy--because it was. This book was one of the cheesiest books I've ever read! I can't--I'm not in a good place about this book. I thought that the writing was totally meh, and that the characters were extremely cliched. One day love was in play, and I don't think I've ever hated it more. It was cute in The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, but that's the only book that it works in.

In this book, it just makes it all seem rushed, with no real relationship development, or any real character development. Not only were the characters cliche, but they were bland too. I've already forgot the main character's name, and the only reason that I remember Sean and Starr is that they had more development. Still on the low spectrum, though.

Aha! Dawn is her name! Now, Dawn--as she's known--thinks that she's a good girl. She does everything that her parents tell her to do, until one day when she just decides that she's not gonna be good anymore (cliche!!), and that she's gonna be as bad as she can. She's going to hang out with Starr--a social outcast--and make out with a skater boy, who she later claims to have fallen in love with! (And he says he loves her too...all within a day or two. Suspicious.)

She's called Barbie by Starr--for a day--then Starr decides that she's not a Barbie (I disagree...), and starts to call her Dawn. By the end of the book, Dawn herself is calling girls 'Barbie', even though she thought that it was hurtful! {She goes on a date with some guy that her parents want her to date, then he tries to rape her, so she texts Sean, who calls her parents, who come and rescue her...nothing bad ever happens to this girl!} On another note--Dawn talked like she was trying to be young. Like the author was trying to be a hip teen--which I didn't like. At one point in the book, Dawn and Sean exchanges letters (hand-written), that are written in text speak. I could have killed them.

All in all, I'm not very proud of this book. The characters fell flat, and the storyline was boring. :(


Haunted Week: It Came From the Web

{This Girl Reads}

You never know what's going to creep onto the web. Sometimes, however, you get a pleasant surprise. Today feature and link to five amazing book blogs you've found recently.

In no particular order! :D

1. YA Between the Lines

So, are any of these sites your favorite? Do you have any favorites who aren't on this list?

October 27, 2012

Haunted Week: Back From the Grave

{This Girl Reads}

Get ready to dig up your past and bring some of your old friends back to life: Today feature five books you read and loved as a kid.

Ooh, where can I start? I've always been a big reader, so when I started this blog it was like a dream come true! So, get ready to see some of the books that I read and loved as a kid! (Do series count? Let's pretend they do.)

 1.  The Nancy Drew Series by Carolyn Keene: Well, for this post, there will not be pictures. Sorry, guys, but I don't think that all of Carolyn Keene's work would fit on one page. So, here we are. I always loved Nancy Drew when I was younger, and I totally wanted to be like her. (A girl detective. Is that not the coolest thing ever?) But then, when I got older, I realized that even though I loved the books, they were all the same, and I could predict what would happen. So I stopped reading them. (Not that it mattered, I'd read them all by then.)

2.  The Magic Treehouse series by Mary Pope Osborne: Yes, I loved these kids and their magical adventures. I wanted to be able to go with them, on all of their adventures. (Camelot, anyone?) My favorite thing about these books was the facts. When you read a book about pirates, you want to know about the famous ones, correct? Well, in the middle of these books, there was the coolest ever fact pages, and I just loved them!

3. The Secrets of Droon series by Tony Abbott: I so, so wanted to meet those little purple pillow guys! And to walk down the staircase, into the fantasy world of Droon....just...promise me you'll make your kids read these? The most perfect fantasy EVER.

4. The Inkheart series by Cornelia Funke: I wasn't that young when I read these, but I think Farrid was probably my first book crush....*blushes* But it's okay, cause my best friend, the one that got me to read them, totally had it bad for him too. Everytime I watch the movie though....just....GRRR. Dustfinger, Meg, Farrid...they're all wrong! I didn't picture Brendan Fraser as Mo either, because every time I think of him, what comes to mind? Dudley Do Right. Yep. Slapstick comedy at it's best, y'all.

5. The Babysitters Club series by Ann M. Martin: Show me a girl that didn't love these books, and I'll show you a girl that never read them. Seriously. I think the reason I liked these books was because when I read them, they made me feel grown up. *as she snickers at her own immaturity*

So, did you love any of these books? Are you the *famed* hater of The Babysitter's Club? Well what did you read then? Drop me a comment! :D

In my Mailbox #24

In my Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kirsti, over at the Story Siren.
In the mail:
Who I KissedDust (Of Dust and Darkness, #1)Prophecy (The Dragon King Chronicles, #1)Thou Shalt Not Dump the Skater & other commandments I have brokenI Am (Not) the Walrus

Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler (Blog Tour)
Dust by Devon Ashley (Payment for hosting ARC Tour)
Prophecy by Ellen Oh (Won)
Thou Shalt Not Dump the Skater Dude by Rosemary Graham (Swapped for)
I am (Not) the Walrus by Ed Briant ( ARCycling)

So, ARC tour Sign-ups for DUST are still open!
ARC Tour Sign Ups: Dust by Devon Ashley

October 26, 2012

Haunted Week: Skeletons on my Bookshelf

{This Girl Reads}
Supposedly, everyone has a few skeletons in their closet—I think everyone has a few on their bookshelves, too. Today feature five books you've owned for a long time but never read.

1. Jabin and the Space Pirates by Bev Allen: This one's been on my shelf for a long time, and it's mostly because I keep procrastinating. I just, ya know, haven't gotten around to it yet. :)

Jabin and the Space Pirates

2. Darwin's Children by Natasha Larry: I don't want to say anything mean, but I'm just not into it. I'll probably eventually get around to it, but I'm not so sure I'll like it. Who knows, though. I might be pleasantly surprised.

Darwin's Children (Darwin's Children, #1)

3. Unnatural Law by Natasha Larry: Ditto.

Unnatural Law (Darwin's Children, #2)

4.  Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry: Yeah, I thought I was really going to be into this, but I'm just way too freaking scared to start it, even though I know I'll probably love it.

Rot & Ruin (Benny Imura, #1)

5. Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith: This one has a really stupid reason, because, guess what? *cue carnival music* *wait, cue scary music* I bought this book first. I didn't know there was a first book, so I haven't gotten around to it yet, because I just read the first book this month.

Eternal (Tantalize, #2)

So, are any of these books your favorite? Should I stop procrastinating? Are any of these books setting un-read on your shelf?

October 25, 2012

Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler + Author Guest Post: Coming Up for Air

Who I Kissed
She never thought a kiss could kill...

Samantha didn’t mean to hurt anyone. She was just trying to fit in...and she wanted to make Zee a little jealous after he completely ditched her for a prettier girl. So she kissed Alex. And then he died—right in her arms.

Was she really the only person in the entire school who didn’t know about his peanut allergy? Or that eating a peanut butter sandwich and then kissing him would be deadly? Overnight Sam turns into the school pariah and a media sensation explodes. Consumed with guilt, abandoned by her friends, and in jeopardy of losing her swimming scholarship, she’ll have to find a way to forgive herself before anyone else will.

My Thoughts/Review:

Who I Kissed was a book that had a very interesting premise (hello, girl kisses boy, boy dies of peanut allergy), but I thought that it could've been better. I struggled with rating this book, because I really liked it, but there were a few distracting grammatical errors. (Yes, I know. I'm not one to talk.) They were just...distracting.

Other than the grammatical errors, this book definitely followed through with it's rockin' awesome premise! We do need more awareness about these kinds of issues! (I'm not a fan of the ban peanuts because of one child's allergies, but people do need to know that some children are deathly allergic.) Now, because of the unique premise (I've only ever read one other book similar to this), I wasn't exactly sure what to expect, besides an allergic death, and a heart-broken heroine.

In fact, when I began this book, I was curious about who was going to die. (I clearly didn't read the summary.) And when it happened, I was truly surprised! I thought that it was going to be someone else, so I wasn't truly prepared for it, and, well. I was sad for his family.

Now, I'm sure that you'd like to read about the characters now--Samantha was amazing. Just when you thought she was going to go all weepy on you, she pulled herself together and went on. Not to say that she wasn't depressed, it's just that the author handled it in such an authentic way that you really wanted her to feel better, not worse. I thought that she did a fine job with Samantha's character development, and that I couldn't have picked a better heroine for this story myself.

Zee--where to start? I also thought that he was surprisingly developed, considering that he wasn't exactly a main character. He was a big part of the story, but as the book was only told through Samantha's view, I was surprised at the amount of depth that all the secondary characters showed.

All in all, I'm glad that I was invited to this blog tour, because I've got no doubt that it would've taken me a while to pick this up on my own. And it really, truly delivered.

Favorite Quote:
There's blood on my hands that can never be scrubbed away. There is no forgiveness for this. None. There is nothing that can bring back a life. A real person is gone. A real person who will never speak again.

*Guest Post*
Janet Gurtler

Janet lives near the Canadian Rockies with her husband and son and a little dog named Bruce. She does not live in an Igloo or play hockey, but she does love maple syrup and says “eh” a lot. 

Janet only gives 5 stars to the books she reviews because she is an author herself and knows that no book can appeal to everyone, but like a child, it is very special to the creator.

Coming up for Air:  Gurtler explores her inspiration for the book and her character development of a girl who has to learn to forgive herself for a tragic mistake that upends so many lives.

I haven’t made a secret of the fact that this book was inspired by my son, Max, a cool dude who happens to have a severe peanut allergy.  This book takes my worst fears and puts them it into action. I used to joke with Max that before he kisses a girl, he has to ask her what she had for lunch. Or dinner.  He doesn’t find it funny anymore.

We did have a talk when I decided to write this book. I told him that though it was fiction, it was partly to raise awareness of the dangers that kids with allergies face. And I told him of course, that it was something I never ever wanted to him to deal with. So no kissing girls.  Ever. Ha ha. Not really the last part. He didn’t find that funny either.

Long before the character of Sam came to life for me, I remember hearing a story in the news, similar to the storyline in WHO I KISSED, about a child dying from a ‘peanut butter kiss’. It stuck with me as a parent of a peanut allergy kid. How horrifying it would be for everyone. Including the child who accidentally caused a death. I also remember hearing a story about a kid at a birthday party who died when the knife used to cut the cake (peanut free cake) was tainted with peanut butter.  I don’t know if that story was true, but when you have a child with allergies those types of things make an impression.

As a parent of a kid with severe food allergies, you get used to people who don’t understand the severity of the allergy. People who complain about not being able to take a peanut butter sandwich to a peanut free school when it is “all their child will eat.”  On one level, I totally get that. Confession. I LOVE peanut butter. But on the other hand, something innocent has the potential to cause my child harm, or even cause death and I don’t want to let that happen. I’ve had to shake off my loathing to make people uncomfortable. I have to speak up. I understand that most people don’t mean harm when they send a peanut butter sandwich to school or open a bag of peanuts beside me in the airport. But I have to ask them to put away peanuts or nuts when my son is around. Or to ask their kids to wash their hands after eating something with nuts before playing with my son.

My strongest argument for why other people should care is -- how would YOU feel if your child (or you) caused the death of my son. I know I would feel pretty darn awful (to put it mildly), but what would it do to your child and/or you? How could a child possibly deal with something like that? How could a parent possibly deal with their role in something like that?  And the thing is, it’s possible.

It’s about taking ownership of that possibility, but also dealing with the consequences of a very honest mistake.  WHO I KISSED looks at how an innocent girl, who unwillingly and unknowingly is involved in the death of a boy who dies. A boy who is allergic to peanuts.  It’s about thinking how that would affect you? How would you cope? What would you do?

Ultimately, like most of the books I write, I think there’s also hope in this book. And some lighter moments too. I created two characters, Aunt Allie and Fredrick to help Samantha deal and also to help the reader deal with the emotional intensity of the book.  Plus there’s hot boys. I like them too.

This post is a part of:
*This book was provided for review by Sourcebooks Fire.

Have you voted yet? ;)
Live to Read

Haunted Week: Bats in Your Book Pages

{This Girl Reads}

Today's post is Bats in Your Book Pages! (Cue evil laughter/scary music.) Now, it's all about...What drives you batty in books? What five things can you absolutely not stand in books...so. (Don't name any names, folks.) :)

1. Love Squares. Yes, love squares. You thought love triangles were bad enough, didn't you? Well, I absolutely hate love squares, with a passion. Because, normal people don't fall in love with 3/4/5 people at once, now do they? It's ten times worse that people seem to like it. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for a love triangle--as long as it adds to the story--but more than two guys is just basically...well. Let's not go there.

2. An ugly cover. I know, I know, it has nothing to do with my reading experience at all. But I'm just turned off by them, and I can't help it! I've read some good books with ugly covers, don't get me wrong, but I'm gonna give the book more of a chance to win me over if the cover is pretty. *cover whore, reporting for duty*

3. Flat characters. When characters are flat, as you've heard me go on and on about, I'm gonna be the one to rant for hours about their flatness. They have no personal interests. They were boring. I don't know, I just can't stand them.

4. Cliche characters. I hate it when a character is like so many characters before it! I mean, how many books are their about vampires who fall hopelessly in love? (You're getting my point, right?) Or how many are their about the popular guy/girl who falls for the un-popular guy/girl, they import them into their group, and the the popular character gets hopelessly ill...grrr.

5. When a book is one-kazillion pages of nothing happening. I mean, really? I'm bored, ya'll. I do not have a very long attention span, and if I'm bored, chances are that I'm not going to finish the book at all...hence our 'Ghosts of Books Half Read' feature.

So, do you have anything to add? Something that really makes you unhappy when you read about it? Do you agree with me?