easter weekend.

Monday, April 25, 2011

I hope you all had a great Easter Sunday, and even if you don't celebrate Easter, I hope you had an awesome weekend nonetheless. We mainly stayed home. Mom cooked spaghetti and meatballs for lunch/dinner, then we went to church at night. My sister and I planned to go shopping after but we forgot it was closed everywhere. Bummer! So... we basically stayed home and were lazy, in our pajamas for the rest of the day. It was nice, to be honest. I did get a lot of reading time yesterday, mostly at night before bed. I finished Chocolat by Joann Harris - which I might do an inspiration post on instead of a regular review, actually.

Anyway, I took some pretty random, pointless photos yesterday and I thought I might as well share them. Haha. Oh and thank you for your "fairy tale re-telling" recommendations. I am going to the library tomorrow to borrow most of the titles you recommended, so I'm excited. Anyway, I hope you all had a great, peaceful, and safe weekend. Let me know what you did! Happy week ahead, everybody!

(my new favorite mug!)

Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

Friday, April 22, 2011

Genre: Young Adult - historical fiction/era
Rating: hard to rate! more than 2.5 stars, but less than 3.

What I Loved: As a friend of mine would say, "How darling!" This book definitely deserves that description. It offered such an engaging take on an era that have always interested me. In my opinion, Bright Young Things' biggest strength was the author's ability to create such a beautiful and tasteful ambiance. Her descriptions of 1920s New York, as well as the characters - especially the women - were spot on, rich, and inviting. I kept reading this book mainly for those reasons. I was in love with it!

What I Didn't Like: Unfortunately, the plot and character development was lacking. I felt like nothing was happening to contribute to the plot, and in the end, it seemed like the ending was simply rushed. The characters were also a bit of a miss for me. While they could be likable for another reader, for me, I didn't find myself rooting for them that much.

Overall: Anna Godbersen truly has a way with her words - her descriptions, details are lush and effortless. However, as a whole, I didn't end up loving the story itself. I would recommend the author's other series, The Luxe. Still, even though I didn't like this as much, I do believe it was an entertaining read and somebody else could love this.

fairy tale re-tellings.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I need your recommendations yet again. The last time I asked, I wanted some General Fiction and Mystery/Thriller novels. I got a lot of awesome recommendations, read most of them, and loved almost all of them. I do feel though that it is time to change it up yet again and discover (or re-discover) fairy tales through books that are inspired by them. I feel like this is the sub-genre that I am not too familiar with, so that's why I'm asking you. Do you know any books that are centered around re-telling or 'modernizing' fairy tales, myths, legends, or just about any old, familiar tale. I have read East by Edith Pattou, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, and of course Shannon Hale's, The Goose Girl and Princess Academy and completely fell in love with all of them. Do you have any in particular that you have read that you enjoyed? Please do let me know. I will be raiding the library by the end of this week so I would like to compile a list of titles I'd like to borrow. Thanks in advance, and as always, happy reading!

Clarity by Kim Harrington

Monday, April 18, 2011

Genre: Young Adult - Paranormal/Mystery
Rating: 4.5 stars

Review: So happy I read this book! I really enjoyed it. It had everything I expected from all the synopsis and reviews I've been seeing. It was mysterious, entertaining, engaging, and exciting to read; I literally could not put this book down as it was so fast-paced and I just wanted to find out what was going to happen next. I also liked the fact that the mystery part was unpredictable enough that it kept me trying to guess the entire time. I mean, if I'm going to read a book that has some mysterious aspects about it, it's a given that it has to be unpredictable or else it would ruin the entire plot. It sort of reminded me of the old show, Veronica Mars. And I enjoyed that show, so being reminded of it was a good thing.

I also have to praise the fact that the author was able to create a balance between Paranormal stuff and reality. I feel like I have been seeing too many Paranormal YAs that are a bit forced or melodramatic. Clarity was believable and likable, and it didn't seem like it was just trying to fit in on a trend, if that makes sense.

As for the characters, I really enjoyed them all. I liked the different twists and turns their characters had to go through, as well as their different personalities. Again, I liked that their relationships with each other didn't seem contrived or anything, and I liked how the author developed them throughout.

So overall, I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend this to anybody who likes a YA paranormal/mystery novel. I can't say it's a favorite of mine, but it's one of the few lately that I was truly into and was excited about while I was reading it. 4.5 stars!

Everlasting by Angie Frazier

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: First of all, it has a GORGEOUS cover. I added this to my TBR list mainly because of how beautiful it looks. I am happy that I stuck to it and actually read it. Everlasting was a good read, to put it simply. It had everything I was craving from a book - an interesting plot line, "root-able" characters, and some good writing. The writing kind of made this book sound to me like an old-fashioned story, and it gave off almost like a fairy tale-ish vibe, which I loved.

Although yes, I did feel like in the end it was a bit rushed. I had a few more questions that were left unanswered, and the way it was concluded felt like it was a bit contrived. However, I think that if you just try to read this with an open-mind, you will be entertained. I myself was, and like I mentioned, I simply loved the fact that it gave off an old-fashioned, fairy tale inspired adventure/romance/historical fiction story. It was an engaging read from start to finish, and while there were a few cons here and there, overall, I thought it was a good book. I highly recommend this to anybody who likes a classy YA love story.

i'm still here + Disneyland

I am sorry I've been M.I.A. these past few weeks, but I am back now for good! Anyway, I decided to write this because I just wanted to share with you guys what I did this past weekend. I hope you guys don't mind the personal post! It was just so memorable and fun-filled to me that I felt like I had to share with you guys!

My friends and I drove down to L.A. from San Francisco (about 6 hours) and went to Disneyland. The previous times I've been there, I was 10 and 15. It's really crazy how different the experience was depending on my age, but one thing that never changed is how awesome this park is to me. It brings back so many memories and definitely makes new unforgettable ones. If you haven't been, go! And if you have been, whether it's in California, Florida, Paris, Tokyo, what is your favorite ride/attraction? Mine would be Indiana Jones, Tower of Terror, Space Mountain, and World of Color, among many others. Anywho, thought I'd share some photos and a video that I made. I hope you guys don't mind the personal post! :D And yes, I will be back for regular blogging. Happy weekend everybody!

Stork by Wendy Delsol

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Genre: Young Adult - Paranormal
Rating: 3 stars

What I Liked: This plot is truly different and unique - when have I ever read about a human Stork? Never. So it was a fresh take and brought something original for the Paranormal YA genre. I also enjoyed the main characters, Katla and Jack, and their relationship with each other. I thought it was believable, and didn't seem like it was the usual "love at first sight" kind of deal that I've been seeing a lot lately. I could actually see the basis of their friendship and their romance, which is key for me to root for them. I also really liked the overall plot and character development, and all the twists and turns weren't forced in any way whatsoever.

What I Was Indifferent About: The whole Stork premise was great like I said, and definitely original and unique, but something was missing. I just wanted more - more back story, maybe; just something more than what was there.

Overall: The execution lacked for me a bit, but I did enjoy this book. I was thoroughly entertained. I read this in two days, so it is fast-paced, which is a huge plus. The writing was conversational, casual, and readable as well and the characters were great. I will read its sequel when it comes out - and though I might not be super excited about it - I know I'll still be looking forward to find out what happens next.