Friday, January 21, 2011

Review: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.

Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.

Hardcover, 496 pages
Published October 13th 2010 by Bloomsbury 
personal library

I love quotes, I keep saying that I should write down lines that make me go wow, and for this book I have. The talent of authors that come up with sentences that make me wish I come up with them are amazing.
"I'm thinking about that girl, Alexandrine. And it feels like the pages are calling to me. It's not a good sound. It's like footsteps behind you in the dark or a door slowly opening in the house when you thought you were alone. I should leave it where it is; I know that. But I almost never do what I should."
"I'm greasy and smelly. But I've learned that stink soon reaches critical mass. You reach a certain degree of smelly, then level off."

I have to say I was a little nervous about starting this book. All the reviews were positive, glowing in fact. How it's the best book out there. It makes me nervous because I get my hopes up, just like when someone tells you that's the best movie they've even seen and you watch it and think 'it was ok'. The expectation level is so great.

This book did not disappoint, in fact right now it is my favorite book. I loved it! I was hooked right have the beginning, I fell in love with the characters. Andi's grief was real and you couldn't help feel for her. Alex was the same. I could visualize so much from this book, New York, Paris, G's apartment (I would love the spend some time there), the catacombs, even Vijay's bedroom and his mother yelling at him.

This is the first I have heard of Jennifer Donnelly and I am glad, I will definitely be on the lookout for more of her works.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Gentle Ben by Walt Morey

This book is part of my Off The Shelf Challenge. I think it has been on my shelf since my kids were little (wonder if they even read it?). I am kicking myself if they didn't, what a wonderful book. I so enjoyed it. Throughout the book I was trying to figure out how it would end and I loved the ending.

As someone who has encountered a bear in the great outdoors (I survived, thankfully), I can't imagine having a bear for a pet, but I can understand the attachment to an animal.

The classic story of a boy and his beloved pet (which happened to be a brownie).

"Told with a simplicity and dignity which befits its characters, human and animal, Gentle Ben is a memorable reading experience" Library Journal.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

GIVEAWAY - Dreaming of Books WINNER!!

I have a winner from the weekend Giveaway Hop


Hopefully I will hear back in
48 hours and get this book off to you.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Dogsled Dreams by Terry Lynn Johnson

Twelve-year-old Rebecca dreams of becoming a famous sled dog racer. She's an inventive but self-doubting musher who tackles blinding blizzards, wild animal attacks, puppy training, and flying poo missiles. All of her challenges though, seem easier than living up to the dogs' trust in her abilities.

Rebecca runs her huskies along the crisp trails near Thunder Bay, Ontario, where northern lights flare and dangerous beavers lurk. Through the bond she shares with the dogs, Rebecca learns that hard work, dedication and living in the moment bring their own rewards.

Another book that is part of the 2011 YA Debut Authors Challenge, I am really glad that I joined this challenge. I just love debut authors (maybe because I wish it was my debut).

I was drawn to this book because it takes place in Northern Ontario and that is hard to find. I so loved this book. It was a great coming of age story, the hopes and dreams of 12 year old Rebecca. I had a hard time putting this book down, it was funny, emotional (yes I almost shed a tear or two) and it was exciting. It was hard to believe that this was a debut novel, the author wrote a story that progressed smoothly right to the end. Highly recommend.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop

My first giveaway, I am excited, are you? Kathy over at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer along with the help of Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf have put together this giveaway hop. The list of other blog participating should be at the end of this posting. If it isn't just click on this link here Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop.

Love You Hate You Miss You by Elizabeth Scott is part of the Off The Shelf Challenge. Little did I know that it was on my shelf already until I went and purchased another one. My mistake is your gain. Here the paperback addition, brand new (I read the other copy).

Is it proper to say that I enjoyed this book so much? It was an emotional book, which took me about 2 days to read.

HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS | April 19, 2010 | Trade Paperback

It's been seventy-five days, and Amy still doesn't know how she can possibly exist without her best friend, Julia especially since it's her fault that Julia's dead. When her shrink tells her it would be a good idea to start a diary, Amy starts writing letters to Julia instead. But as she writes letter after letter, she begins to realize that the past wasn't as perfect as she thought it was and the present deserves a chance, too.

To enter is very easy, just leave a comment. If you want an extra entry become a new follower, just let me know in your comment. If you already a follower (through GFG) let me know and you will get that extra entry also.

So in a nutshell
1 entry just to comment and not become a follower (don't worry I won't take it personally)
2 entries if you are/become a follower (GFG) - just make sure you let me know.

Your email needs to be somewhere also, gotta be able to let you know that you've won.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Whispers Stories In My Ear Challenge

So I have joined yet another challenge, how could I pass this one up?? I have my new favorite gadget, an iPod Shuffle, I love it. I am hoping for 24 books (2 a month), but time will tell. Click on the icon below to be directed to Bewitched Booksworms for all the info. Click on my icon to the left and it will show my progress.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Where are you reading challenge 2011

Sheila over at Book Journey has started this wonderful challenge. I think it looks like alot of fun, check it out (just click on the icon there and it will take you right to her site and all the info is there).

If you click on my icon there on the left it will take you to my map and where I have been so far this year.

Monday, January 10, 2011

You Got Trouble...this kind of trouble is lots of fun!!

I am lucky in the fact that I live near The Book Depot, also known as A couple times a year they have the box sale, stuff a huge book for just $29.95, some of the books are damaged, have remainder marks but are still in need of love. After Christmas this year everything was 50% off, a great deal when the hardcovers are no more than $10 and the softcovers (not mass paperback) are less. Add to that a trip to the US, before leaving a scouted out the bargain books, placed an order and had that delivered to Barnes & Noble for pickup. Then a trip to a couple other stores and stumbled across more deals.

So here is 2 weeks worth of damage. I have a tbr pile, actually more than one pile, so I really didn't need any more books. But really wants a reader to do??

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Art of Racing in the Rain

Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver.

Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn''t simply about going fast. Using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life''s ordeals.

On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through:

A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, "The Art of Racing in the Rain" is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life . . . as only a dog could tell it.

I absolutely loved this book. It was funny in places (every time I see a stuffed zebra I will think of Enzo). It was heart wrenching, it was moving and it had some great life lessons. The narration was perfect, I felt like Enzo was sitting telling me his story. I am so glad that I had this on audio, the book has been on my shelf since it was released and I am kicking myself for not reading it sooner (thank goodness for the off the shelf challenge).

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Choker by Elizabeth Woods

I was doing the happy dance out of Coles Book Store last week when I found this book. Today is the release date, it was my first pick for the 2011 YA Debut Author Challenge. I was good though and waited until Jan 1st to begin reading it and I promptly finished on Jan 2nd.

I did not read the inside cover, so I had no clue what this book was about, other than what I read

What if the only friend you could trust turned out to be dangerous?

That's it, all I had to go on for this book. I loved the cover too.

I so enjoyed this book, I was trying to figure out what was happening and I do admit that one of my thoughts was correct (no worries, no spoilers here), but the author kept me guessing right till the end. The character of Cara developed nicely, I felt for her, she was believable as were the other characters. The writing flowed nicely, grabbed me and I just had to finish it.

To me a sign of a good book is grabbing my attention early on, keeping it and being forced to forget to do things (like make the bed, start dinner on time), generally have a hard time putting the book down.

Being a debut book I do see room for improvement. Cara's parents could have been developed more, some of the other teens also (but then again not too much to keep that mystery there).

I will be on the lookout for future books by Elizabeth Woods.