Monthly Archives: July 2013

Feature and Follow #5

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I always (or almost always) check my books out from the library. Not only does it support my profession as a librarian, but it also saves me A LOT of money! However, if there is a book that I really enjoy and that I think I will reread then I will buy it. My e-books usually just sit on their digital bookshelf until I’m ready to pick them up again. My hard copy books I try to share as much as possible. The books that I just decide are taking up room on my shelf because I will never touch them again get sold to Half-Price Books or donated to the library. I guess there are lots of options as to what we can do with our books, but for me it depends on how much I liked the book where it will ultimately end up.

This hop is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. You can check out other Feature and Follow posts for the week here.

 

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Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

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Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why Book CoverFive Stars

Clay Jensen goes home from school one day and finds a package on his door step. He wasn’t expecting a package and he is eager to find out what’s inside. He rushes in to open it, but what he finds leaves him wishing he would have left the package closed up tight. Inside are cassette tapes from Hannah Baker, his crush, schoolmate, and co-worker- or at least she was until she committed suicide two weeks ago. Clay can’t believe what is on the tapes. Hannah has recorded and left behind the thirteen reasons that led up to her fatal decision. Clay is now following the events that brought Hannah to her final moments and he can’t believe what he will discover along the way.

I loved so many things about this book! I think it is so eye opening as to what can lead up to someone’s decision to take their own life. It doesn’t take a huge soul crushing event, but sometimes it can just be the little things that snowball into something that was just too much to handle. Asher does an outstanding job at showing the delicacy of this topic and he even gives a lot of important information on the topic without sounding too informative. Hannah’s thirteen reasons will make us all stop and think about what we say about others, how we treat others, and how our decisions may greatly impact those around us. Sometimes our words and actions may seem harmless, but Thirteen Reasons Why shows us that we can never underestimate what toll our actions will have on another person’s life.

Top Ten Tuesday #6

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Top Ten Tuesday Image

Ten authors that should be MORE recognized!

This was kind of a hard post for me. I am a librarian and every author I thought of I just assumed everyone had already heard of. But then I started thinking maybe it’s all my time in the library that has introduced me to these authors and maybe others are missing them. So if these authors are as popular as I had originally assumed then this post may be boring (sorry!), but if not then maybe you will find your new favorite author on this list!

And one more thing…this post is a little more oriented toward picture book authors because I just could not think of that many young adult authors who were not already very popular. I hope you enjoy the list and maybe it will even inspire someone to pick up a picture book! 🙂

(Links will take you to Goodreads author page)

1. Huntley Fitzpatrick

A new YA author. Her first book My Life Next Door was awesome and I am anxiously awaiting her second book release!

2. Ruta Sepetys

YA historical fiction author. I am not usually into historical fiction, but her books are great! Check out my review for her newest book Out of the Easy.

3. Annabel Monaghan

I had never heard of this YA author until last year, but I loved her book A Girl Named Digit. I can’t wait for the sequel to come out in 2014!

4. Amy Krouse Rosenthal

A picture book author with just the cutest books!

5. Karen Beaumont

I LOVE her picture books! I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More is one of the best if you’re looking for a picture book to read!

6. Eric Litwin

His Pete the Cat picture books and cool tunes are fun for all ages! 🙂

7. Herve Tullet

Tullet’s interactive picture books are so much fun! Press Here is so cool!

8. Ally Carter

A YA author who writes a lot about espionage! I love her series Gallagher Girls!

9. Brian Selznick

Borderline Junior fiction/ YA fiction his illustrated chapter books are just breathtaking. He is also a recipient of the Caldecott award for his book The Invention of Hugo Cabret.

10. Laura Hillenbrand

An amazing adult non-fiction author. Unbroken is one of those books that just left me speechless. SO GOOD!!

If you would like to join Top Ten Tuesday (TTT) or if you would just like to read other TTT posts go check out the hosts of TTT at The Broke and the Bookish

Feature and Follow #4

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Feature and Follow: Photobomb a picture with your favorite book.

So…this isn’t really my favorite book, but it is my current read!  The book in the picture is Cinder by Marissa Meyer (the first book in the Lunar Chronicles) and the cute sleeping baby is my 5-month-old daughter. Stay posted for a review of Cinder, hopefully, I can get one up in the next week or so. I can’t wait to see all of your fun pictures this week! Leave me a comment and I will come by and check yours out!

 

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Top Ten Tuesday #5

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Best/Worst Book to Movie Adaptations

I was really excited when I saw this topic for Top Ten Tuesday. My husband and I are total movie buffs! We own at least 500 movies and we are continually adding to the collection, but I was really surprised at what I found making this post. What I discovered was that 1) I actually enjoy MOST book to movie adaptations and 2) there are a ton of book to movie adaptations that I have either only read the book OR only read the movie. I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do!

WORST Adaptations

There are only two movies that came to mind for BAD book to movie adaptations. There may be more that I didn’t love, but these movies were just terrible!

1. Twilight Saga (books by Stephenie Meyer)

Twilight Book Covers

I’m betting this series made a lot of people’s lists today whether it is for better or for worse. I did enjoy the books. I was in college when I read this series and I remember countless hours lying in my dorm room swooning over the love story (p.s. if I had to choose I would’ve picked Jacob), but I just never had any good feelings about the movies. The poor quality of sooo many things in this movie just made it a huge disappointment! I will at least say this for the movies though the very last movie was a little better than the others (but not much). My recommendation is read the books, but don’t waste your time on the movies. And if you watched the movies and now despise the books….don’t. They really are not terrible.

2. Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief (books by Rick Riordan)

The Lightning Thief Book Cover

I loved the Percy Jackson series, but when I finally saw The Lightning Thief I was SO disappointed! I didn’t feel that the movie followed the book very closely at all. They changed some big things for the movie and as a lover of the books I did not appreciate the changes. I know some things may have been necessary for filming, but this movie was just bad. However, despite all of my negative feelings for the movie I definitely recommend the books. And this may not be my wisest decision since I didn’t like the first movie, but I will be giving the upcoming Percy Jackson movie a chance when it comes out. I really, really hope it’s better than the first.

BEST Adaptations

I really am not too hard on book to movie adaptations so the ones I didn’t like were BAD and the ones I do like range from pretty good to amazing! I hope you find that you enjoyed (or might enjoy soon) these movies too!

3.The Chronicles of Narnia (books by C.S. Lewis)

The Chronicles of Narnia Book Covers

This is one that I thought was pretty good, but I don’t know that I would go as far as amazing. As a kid I really enjoyed the books, and I have even recently read them as an adult and they still held my attention. I felt the same about the movie. It was good, but it didn’t blow me away or anything. I do think it is something that kids would probably get more out of than most adults.

4. The Notebook (book by Nicholas Sparks)

The Notebook Book Cover

Such a sweet book, but an even better movie (because I liked the movie ending better). And Rachel McAdams was just perfect for the part of Allie!

5. The Lucky One (book by Nicholas Sparks)

The Lucky One Book Cover

This book was just not very good so I was really hesitant, but I’m actually glad I watched the movie. It was so much better than the book. The beginning was not nearly as slow as it felt in the book. I actually enjoyed the movie!

6. The Help (book by Kathryn Stockett)

The Help Book Cover

I heard so many people rave about this book so I couldn’t wait to read it. While the book was not bad it was not amazing either. But I really did like the movie. I can’t really put my finger on why I liked the movie better than the book in this case, but I definitely did.

7. The Hunger Games (books by Suzanne Collins)

Hunger Games Trilogy Book Covers

These books are amazing and I was so scared that the movie adaptation would be horrendous. However, I was pleasantly surprised. There were a few small differences, but I didn’t really mind the changes they made. Great movie!

8. Harry Potter (books by J.K. Rowling)

Harry Potter Book Covers

I’m sure this has been on many, many lists today, but it deserves to be! Each of the Harry Potter movies and books are just amazing! I think Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone started the series out well, but each book (and movie) got continually better. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (part 1 & 2 for the movies) were just like mind-blowing good. I can’t even tell you how many times I have watched these movies and I enjoy them every single time!

I wasn’t sure what other movies I thought deserved to make this list as really bad or pretty good. So I am veering a little from the original topic to books that are in the process of being adapted to film or books that I hope will someday be adapted to film. By the time I’m done with this post I’m sure I will have passed ten since I have already listed eight, but here is the list anyways.

Soon to be released

9. Ender’s Game (book by Orson Scott Card)

Ender's Game Book Cover

I read this book in high school and I did not just fall in love with it like so many people. But my husband does love this book and he is eagerly awaiting the release of the movie. I’m sure I will see it with him, but I’m wondering how I will feel about it in comparison with the book.

10. Divergent (book by Veronica Roth)

Divergent Book Cover

I loved this book. It is actually one of the best books I think I have read recently. But because I loved the book so much I’m a little nervous about the movie adaptation. Shailene Woodley is playing the main character and I don’t know if that makes me excited or really nervous…I’m looking forward to this movie, but with a little hesitation.

Movies that are in production (at least according to IMDB)

11. The Book Thief (book by Markus Zusak)

The Book Thief Book Cover

This was another book that I really enjoyed and I’m so glad I will get to see it brought to life. But I think it will take a great producer to portray death the way Zusak does in the novel. Hopefully, they have pulled it off and I guess we will find out for sure next year (in January…I think…).

12. Delirium (book by Lauren Oliver)

Delirium Book Cover

I loved the entire Delirium trilogy and I think it has a lot of potential for a movie. There was enough action and enough romance to make this movie a great date movie. I’m looking forward to it and you better believe me and my husband will be making a date night for this one! 

Movies that are pre-production (again, according to IMDB)

13. Between Shades of Gray (book by Ruta Sepetys)

Between Shades of Gray Book Cover (Eye)

Just a fabulous book! First and foremost if you have not read this book then you should. You should make it like next on your TBR list. It is seriously that good! I think it could be such a touching movie, but maybe a little tough to keep the movie authentic and keep the rating low enough that a younger audience could watch it. The reason I say that is because most of the book takes place in Russian labor camps during World War II and most books that deal with that topic tend to have higher MPAA ratings.

14. Thirteen Reasons Why (book by Jay Asher)

Thirteen Reasons Why Book Cover

I just really hope this becomes a movie because I really enjoyed the book. If each “reason” could play out it would be such a good movie and it would have so much potential. I can’t wait to see updates on this film.

15. Unbroken (book by Laura Hillenbrand)

Unbroken Book Cover

This is another book that takes place during World War II only this one is a true story. Set in a Japanese prisoner of war camp this book is just so….I don’t even know the word. This book inspired me, made me laugh, made me cry, and just made me so much for thankful for everything. I would love to see this portrayed on the big screen, but there needs to be a stellar actor to portray such a captivating man as Louis Zamperini.

I hope this post wasn’t too overwhelming with so many titles, but like I said I love movies and books so I got a little carried away with this one. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments on these movies or on any additional titles that you would love to see made into a movie.

If you would like to join Top Ten Tuesday (TTT) or if you would just like to read other TTT posts go check out the hosts of TTT at The Broke and the Bookish.

The Delirium Trilogy by Lauren Oliver

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The Delirium Trilogy by Lauren Oliver

Delirium Book Cover 4-stars

Pandemonium Book Cover Five Stars

Requiem Book Cover 4-stars

As you can tell by my star ratings Pandemonium was my favorite book in the Delirium trilogy, but I did really enjoy the entire series. I think book two was my favorite because I am a Julian fan! 🙂 I really hope I’m not biting off too much for one blog post by doing all of these books together, but I am going to give it a shot.

Delirium is a great opening to the trilogy. The relationship between Alex and Lena and really drew me into the story. I also really like Hanna’s character in the first book. I like how we could see love in their friendship and that the “delirium” was not only found in romantic love. The ending was so good and I picked up the second book immediately! I wish I could say more, but I don’t want to give too much of the ending.

Pandemonium was my favorite book of the series! I love, love, love the relationship between Lena and Julian. He seems so sincere and authentic. I also enjoyed getting to know the characters from the homestead as we go through their trials in the wilds. And like the first books the ending was amazing in this book! It was literally jaw dropping for me.

Requiem was good and it did wrap up the series, but it was not my favorite book of the trilogy. Hanna’s character had for obvious reasons changed a lot and I did not really like her character that much. And I really did not like what happened to Lena’s family after her escape into the wilds. I also struggled with the Lena-Alex-Julian drama. I personally was a Julian fan until the very end!

Well, I’m trying to keep this review short and simple without giving away too much of the book. Overall, I really enjoyed the series! Each book had really greats parts and awesome characters. I enjoyed the premise of the “delirium” and I definitely recommend this series (probably to a female audience- there’s a lot of romance)!

Picture Book Saturday

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The children’s librarian in me likes to review picture books– so Saturday is my day to do that! Usually, I do new (or at least newer) books, but this week I am doing some picture books that are a little bit older. These three picture books are three of my favorites and I hope that you enjoy them too!

Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems

Leonardo the Terrible Monster

 

This is probably one of my all-time favorite picture books. Even as an adult  I can’t hardly read this one without laughing. Leonardo is a terrible monster. He can’t scare anyone! But one day Leonardo meets a boy named Sam who is having a really, really bad day. He soon realizes that maybe there is more to life than being a monster and scaring people. So Leonardo goes on to become a very good friend instead. Mo Willem’s fun illustrations and the character’s hilarious facial expressions make this book a must-read for all ages!

Falling for Rapunzel by Leah Wilcox

Falling for Rapunzel Book Cover

 

This fractured fairy tale is just too cute! Rapunzel is trapped in her tower and right on time the prince comes riding by to save the damsel in distress. The only problem is that when the prince tells her to let down her hair he finds that she is a little hard of hearing and she throws down her underwear. The book proceeds with funny rhymes and hilarious antics. It is a picture book that is sure to keep everyone laughing. Enjoy!

Not a Box by Antoinette Portis

Not a Box Book Cover

 

Not a Box is good for younger ages, especially those with a vivid imagination. Rabbit takes a box (or not a box) and pretends it is a mountain, a car, and a variety of other things. People keep asking what else he can do with his box, but he is adamant that it is NOT a box. This book would be great to inspire your child or classroom with unique ways to use their imagination and to be creative. This book is a fun read!

Eve by Anna Carey

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Eve Book CoverEve by Anna Carey

Three Stars

 

This book had such an awesome premise that I just had to pick it up and read it. However, even though I did enjoy the book it did not quite live up to the high hopes I had. It is hard for me to give any type of review on this book without giving away some important details so…

***WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD***

Eve is an orphan just like all the other girls she lives with at school. After the virus wiped out much of the population most kids are orphans. Eve has always pushed herself to excel in school because she wants to be able to move to the City of Sand after graduation and serve the king and her city. However, the night before graduation Eve finds out that she will not be training for a new career across the lake, but rather she will be used to repopulate the world along with her fellow (and former) classmates. The horror of what Eve finds on the other side of the lake leaves her no choice, but to run and leave behind everything she has ever known and everything she thought was safe. The book then follows Eve on her adventures through the wilds, freedom, and love.

Like I said, even though the book was decent and the premise was great there were some things I took issue with. First, why were Eve and her classmates educated for years just to be impregnated and used for their fertility? I’m not sure I can buy into that idea. Second, Eve escaped so easily and found help without even trying. She describes how protective her teachers were and she talks about the guards and then she all but walks off of the school grounds. Third, Eve leaves her best friends behind to endure this horrific fate. I mean she does say she will come back for them, but what if it was too late then? For a girl with no family and no other friends or even acquaintances in the World would she really be able just to leave them behind? The book had flaws, but overall it was enjoyable if you didn’t try to analyze the world too deeply. I will eventually read the rest of the trilogy because I think the book was at least worth that.

 

 

The Selection by Kiera Cass

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The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection Book Cover

4-stars

I have had so, so many people tell me this book was a mix between The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and ABC’s television show The Bachelor (which I have to admit is my weekly guilty pleasure). I figured if this book was any kind of combination of those two things then it had to be awesome. Well, here’s the thing the book is great, but I don’t think it is anything like The Hunger Games except for the fact that she, America Singer, was randomly (or maybe not) drawn for “The Selection” and that people are sorted into castes by the government.

But like I said I did enjoy the book, however, it is much more like The Bachelor than The Hunger Games so you guys out there might want to steer clear of this title. 🙂

***WARNING: SPOILERS MAY FOLLOW***

The Selection begins with a girl who is fiercely in love with the wrong guy. When that relationship ends in disaster she heads to the castle of Prince Maxon in order to find refuge, if not love. Once America arrives at the castle it is drama on top of drama with a little romance mixed in. If you have ever watched The Bachelor you know the show is just like that too! Slowly (or not so much), the thirty-five girls are weeded down to the “The Elite” (but not with infamous rose ceremonies). The book is just as straight forward as you would imagine, but I found myself drawn in anyways. There was humor, romance, drama, and a main character with an ever changing heart. I can’t wait to read, The Elite, the second book in the Selection trilogy by Kiera Cass!