Monday, April 30, 2012

Blue is for Nightmares by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Blue is for Nightmares - #1 in the Blue is for Nightmare series by Laurie Faria Stolarz. 

Stacey has just started her junior year at her boarding school. She's having a tough time right off the bat, though. At night, Stacey has nightmares. Nightmares about her best friend and roommate, Drea.

In the nightmares, someone is trying to kill Drea. For any normal person, this would be just a nightmare.

But not for Stacey. She had these nightmares 3 years ago, with a little girl that she babysat. Stacey didn't think anything of it, didn't tell anyone, and the little girl was murdered, just the way Stacey saw in her nightmares.

Now that it's happening again, Stacey is not going to make the same mistake twice. She's protecting Drea with her magic. Stacey is a witch and she does spells to understand what she is supposed to do.

What really makes Stacey believe this is real is Drea has a "secret admirer" (or stalker) who calls her room and talks to Drea. Drea doesn't know his name, but keeps the conversation going night after night, making her caller keep calling back for more.

On top of all of this nightmares and murderer events, Stacey has a normal girl problem. Chad. She's had a crush on him for years. Unfortunately, Chad is Drea's ex, who they usually have a relationship with an on and off switch.

As much as Stacey likes Chad, she won't ruin her friendship with Drea. But as the nightmares get worse and the stalker gets angry, Stacey is not sure who the mystery man is... It might even be Chad, so Stacey is on high alert, watching out for mysterious men on campus, keeping an eye on Drea, and trying to juggle school.

Will Stacey find out who the killer is in time? Or will she lose another friend because she couldn't figure out her nightmares in time?

My Thoughts/Reflections
I've been wanting to read this book for awhile now! This is the first book in a 5 book series, all of which I will be reviewing back to back (or day to day on the blog) so we'll have the whole story to Laurie Faria Stolarz's tale.

I really liked Stacey. I'm not sure how she ever stayed friends with Drea - she was a bit too drama queen for me to handle, but Stacey was able to stand her somehow.

Stacey really had a handle on the magic that she got throughout her family. She had a book, she knew certain spells, and she kept her cool during her nightmares, and when her nightmare became a reality. I would certainly want her on my side of anything ever happened to me!

Stolarz kept the reader guessing throughout the book who the stalker/killer was. I had my guesses just to keep it entertaining, and I was not disappointed by the ending and the revelation of who the stalker/killer was.

I would definitely recommend this book to others! Even guys might enjoy this book as it's about a mystery and Stacey trying to figure out who it is before they get to Drea.

As you can see from the labels I've included at the bottom of this post, there are a lot of topics covered in this book - something for everyone!

And, since the series is complete, there will be no wait to dive into the next book!

BED4 Day #30: Last Day in April!

BEDA has come to an end! I can't believe it's May tomorrow... Where has the time gone?

I very much enjoyed writing about random topics that came to my head. I find it funny how I first started my BEDA posts as an addition to the YA book that I read for that day, but then I started to stray away from that... Oh well, it worked out well :)

I am interested to see if I do this next year, and if I do it every day like I did this month. I had nothing important going on since I'm applying for jobs, so I'm curious to see if I can do it every day when I have a full time job.

I'll also decide if I want to create a new blog for random/everyday posts or keep it here on my YA blog. I think that will be the big decision when April 2013 comes around.

Thank you for letting me be a part of the BEDA experience! I'm very glad to have "met" new people through the blogging world and reading your posts all month!

Until next year!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

BED4 Day #29: Blog Stats

For some reason, I always go to my blog stats to see what everyone has looked at on my blog. I think I just get excited whenever I get an audience and I want to see what they are interested in.

Ironically, the top 3 most viewed blog posts are TV shows, even though I review more YA books than TV shows.

So, which ones are the winners?

  1. Wildfire - TV Series (with 215 views)
  2. True Blood vs. Vampire Diaries (with 141 views)
  3. Friday Night Lights (TV Show) (with 89 views)

The fourth highest viewed post is a book with 82 views, but Friday Night Lights has only been up for a month - maybe it will get higher after another month. 

Now I wonder if I should review more TV shows, but I made this blog for YA books... I just did the TV show posts because I was behind on reading/blogging and was more focused on watching said TV shows. 

Or I was too obsessed about the TV shows and had to write about it since my sister got tired of listening to me talk about it!

Does anyone else look at their blog stats? Just curious to see if I'm the only one. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

BED4 Day #28: Prom

My sister is going to the high school prom tonight with her boyfriend, so she's getting all dolled up and beautifying herself.

As I watch this (and how much money she's spending for one night) it makes me happy that I only went to my senior prom - and only because I was forced by my high school friends. That was the only high school dance I went to as well.

It just seems so much work, just to be sweated off when dancing at the dance (if you dance that is, which I didn't).

But I guess it's a high school tradition.

Ironically, this blog post title also reminds me of the movie Prom that came out last year. For some odd reason, I've always wanted to see it but didn't want to spend the money to go in theaters.

(I think I'm sensing a trend here: I don't like to spend money, haha)

Anyway, that's pretty much the only excitement going on at my house so I thought I would talk about it here.

Friday, April 27, 2012

BED4 Day #27: Summer Movies

There are a ton of movies coming out this summer that I'm really interested to see if they are any good or not. I'm not one who goes to the theaters (except religiously when a new Harry Potter came out) so we'll see if I'm tempted to see any of these in theaters this summer:

  • May 4: The Avengers - I've seen most of the individual movies and the trailer makes this movie look great!
  • May 11: Dark Shadows - Good old Johnny Depp. This looks hilarious, even if it's not Pirates
  • May 18: Battleship - Taylor Kitsch? Alexander Skargard? Yes, and yes!
  • June 1Snow White and the Huntsman - Love Chris Hemsworth. On the rocks about Kristen Stewart... Maybe she'll make up for her lack of performance from Twilight in this movie. 
  • June 8: Safety Not Guaranteed - This looks funny and something new/unique. It may be worth a rental fee after it's out in theaters. 
  • June 22: Brave - A girl who breaks a family tradition and goes off on her own. Loved Despicable Me so I'm sure I'll love this one as well!
  • July 6: Savages - This might just be because Taylor Kitsch is in it... I'm not sure yet. 
  • July 27: Step Up Revolution - I loved the first 2 movies in this series (didn't enjoy the 3rd though). This one looks really good and something original from the Step Up movies. 
There are others that seem interesting, but none that I think would tempt me to go to the movie theaters for. I doubt I'll go to 1, much less any in theaters, but, who knows? I might get bored and become adventurous ;-)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Calling by Kelley Armstrong

The Calling - #2 in the Darkness Rising series by Kelley Armstrong. 
Click here: The Gathering for my review of the first book in the series. 

Maya, and her friend Rafe, Daniel, Corey, Nicole, Haley and Sam, were all rescued from the forest fire that ended the first novel. All 7 of them are in a helicopter, heading for the mainland to reach their families and safety.

Only Maya, with her keen sense of direction, realized that they were going in the wrong direction. When she confronted the pilot about it, he made some excuses, but Maya wasn't buying it.

After figuring out that the pilot was part of the St. Cloud corporation, all 7 of them find out a way away from the helicopter - sure, it was by crashing the aircraft into the ocean, but they weren't going to get caught by the St. Cloud  corporation again.

Following that, the teenagers were on the run away from two different groups: St. Cloud and another group where the leader claims to be Maya's biological father.

Because Maya is a shape-shifter, who changes into a cougar, she is very familiar and comfortable in the forest. She leads the group to their hometown, hoping that their families will be there and that things will get resolved once they arrive.

Along their trip, they lose one person after another. First Rafe falls from the helicopter before it crashes, obviously pronounced dead as no one could survive from that horrible fall.

Then, Nicole gets captured right after the helicopter crashes on the beach. After 3 days in the woods, Haley was captured.

Only none of them were killed... They were shot with tranquilizer darts, so obviously St. Cloud wants them alive...

In the end, it's Maya, Daniel and Corey. Their plans changed throughout their adventure, but they find some interesting news of other "supernatural" people from a different project. Now their mission is to find these 6 teenagers to stay away from St. Cloud.

My Thoughts/Reflections
Kelley Armstrong did it again! I didn't think this story could get much better than the first novel. True, the first one was a little more romantic with Maya and Rafe, but since Rafe was missing throughout this novel, it was a little bland in that category.

However, the reader learned more about each character and their abilities. And some even used their abilities. Maya got to shape-shift!

Also, while this novel was a lot of them on the run, it was a very fast paced novel and you wanted to run right along with them to stay away from St. Cloud.

I love Maya's character. She was very mature in the first novel and she just grew even more mature in this second one. She also became even more of a leader when she had to take them into the forest. It's her domain, her primary place to be, so she was a natural born leader to stay away from the people chasing them.

Since I've also read the Darkest Powers series by Kelley Armstrong (reviews are here for #1, #2, and #3) I was able to see the connection between these two books. It wasn't a connection that is very dominate, so if you haven't read her first YA series, it won't be a big deal.

I'm hoping that they will be connected in the last, and final, book in this series, though, because I loved the Darkest Powers series and I absolutely adore this series.

For anyone who's interested in supernatural, shape-shifting, running from the government, survival... This novel is definitely something you should look into. Make sure, though, that you read the first novel in the series before picking this up so you understand all of the events fully!

BED4 Day #26: TILT

Things I Love Thursday Week #3:

  • Twitter. Even though I don't tweet, I have an account and I follow friends, authors, TV stars to keep me updated on the latest scoop. Like the new cover of a book yesterday!
  • New Girl. Yes, I know I said this two weeks ago, but this show is amazing and never fails to make me laugh loudly and hysterically. It's slowly becoming my favorite show. 
  • Social Media sites. I'm able to keep in touch with my friends that I know I would not talk to if I didn't have all of my social media accounts. 
  • Thursdays. Two of my favorite shows are on tonight, so I definitely love the day Thursday. 
  • Township Library. Now that I worked at my small library, the librarian is nicer! She's not completely mean, she just has an odd attitude. But since she likes me now, she's been saving me books that I want to read and is even thinking about buying a series, where she will let me read first :) It's nice being on the good side of a librarian. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Lost Prince - Cover Reveal

I've been a devoted fan of the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa. In fact, I own all of the novels and novellas in the whole series.

So I was especially excited to hear that little brother Ethan is going to have his own story! He's not a little boy anymore, though. Just look at this newly released cover!

And it seems that this will be a new series as a spinoff of the Iron Fey series! A trilogy, according to Goodreads. It also says this book will be coming out October 2012, so just a few more months of waiting!

BED4 Day #25: CD's

I've gone through my CD collection a couple of times because I don't use them as much as I did in high school. I got rid of my portable CD player and my CD/Radio/Cassette player is in my storage unit, so I don't have a way to listen to them that easily.

However, I can't seem to get rid of some! I have the oldies (oldies for my generation of high school that is): N*Sync, Brittney Spears, Evanescence, Linkin Park, etc.

I have a CD player in my truck, which I will use rarely if the radio is not playing songs that I enjoy. But for the most part the radio keeps me content.

For some reason, though, I want to get new CD's to own... Adele 21, Florence and the Machine. I'm not sure why this sudden urge to buy new CD's came from, as I haven't touched my old CD's in years.

Maybe if I download iTunes and then transfer my CD's on there I might listen to them more often. But probably not. I would do that, though, if I had an iPod. But I don't... So indecisive and very odd!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

BED4 Day #24: IMDb

Everyone has their own way of roaming the internet. They have their own sites they have to look at daily. For me, it's the Internet Movie Database.

There are some days when I'm really bored that I will start clicking on random actors/actresses or new trailers, and 30 minutes later I am at a random movie page that I've never heard of before and I wonder how I got there.

Then, there are other times when a person's name is highlighted, telling me that I've seen their page before. Except that I can't remember why I looked there so, of course, I have to look again, starting the process all over again.

I do learn things from that site, though. They have the "news" section about celebrities, movies, and TV shows. Sometimes I'll be talking and then bring up a random fact to my sister.

She looks at me as if I've lost my mind, but I'm still able to tell her the new gossip about an actor we love, or a TV show, etc.

It's my "celebrity news" as my friend from undergrad, Lisa, and I used to call it. We did it through magazines back then, but now I've upgraded my format for my material :-)

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Clone Codes by The McKissacks

The year is 2170. Leanna is in a virtual school, where she can relive historical events, like Harriet Truman rescuing slaves.

When Leanna is not in a virtual world, she lives in a world with clones and cyborgs. Cyborgs are people who are not 100% human. They have bionic parts to them if they've been in an accident. Clones and cyborgs are not treated at humans and are not part of the 13th Amendment, but are not solely slaves either.

Most clones are programmed without thoughts, feelings, or any creative idea for themselves. They do what they are told and they are only known as a number, not a name.

Leanna doesn't have a clone in her household. Her mother doesn't approve of clones.

What Leanna didn't realize was that her mother was part of a society who is trying to grant clones and cyborgs their freedom - so they won't have to answer to humans anymore.

And one other thing that Leanna didn't know? She's a second generation clone! Only she thinks and acts like a human, living longer than normal clones do. Her mother created her but treated her like her own daughter.

Leanna is proof that clones can be treated like a human, but will society see it that way? Or will they only see her as a clone who has no rights and force her into clone codes?

My Thoughts/Reflections
This was a fun read! A dystopian world with clones and cyborgs - not something that I'm  used to reading but very fast paced and packed with information.

I really liked Leanna. I was absolutely shocked when I found out she was only 13 years old - I definitely would have pegged her for a 16 or 17 year old, that's how mature she is.

This was a short and easy book to read, and it's the first of a trilogy. I just happened to pick it up at a used bookstore because the backcover sounded interesting. While the ending was a little vague, I'm happy with the ending result and I won't be reading the rest of the series.

I would recommend this book to any teen - girl or guy. I think with the dystopian world it can interested teen guys even though the main character and narrator is a girl.

BED4 Day #23: "Happy Dance"

You know when people who work 5-6 days a week want a week off and be lazy? Or the ones who don't have a job and are dying to work just one day to get rid of their boredom? The same way one feels about homework? (Well, maybe, I'm not missing it yet.)

Well I'm the latter. I got to work today! I know, all of you who have a busy week ahead of you are shaking your heads and wondering what in the world is wrong with me.

It's not that I'm working again, though. I got to work in a LIBRARY today! It's been years, years, since UD and Augustana days. And boy have I missed it!

I also liked today because I was able to work in a public library - something that I haven't done yet. I hope I get more days to work there to really experience a public library vs. an academic library.

Basically, I'm the person the library director calls if she or her assistant can't come in, mainly early afternoon. So while I don't get to work that much, I'm still a happy camper :-)

I didn't do too much today, considering it's a small library. I checked out books and checked books in from the weekend returns.

I did have a lot of overdue books that I had to make fine slips for... Giving the newbie some trouble, haha.

Other than that, I discarded 10 books that the director left for me and I faxed a document for a patron. The faxing was a little weird so hopefully I did it right.

Overall, I was very excited to work again and the first day went very well :-) Hopefully I get to work more in the near future to keep me from dying of boredom!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

BED4 Day #22: A Slight Addiction

I have an account on Sidereel, where you can follow TV shows and it will give you a calender of the week with all of the shows that you watch, what time, day and station they are on.

Well, Sidereel also lets you see old TV shows, some that were cancelled or concluded. For all of the shows available on Sidereel, links are available for old episodes. Some I'm able to watch, some I'm not depending on what I decide to download (which isn't a lot).

So, with that in mind, I've gotten a new addiction: TV shows. It started off small... Shows that I used to watch in high school but stopped watching in college. I wanted to find out the ending so I watched all of the seasons.

No biggie.

Except I can't seem to stop watching shows. I mean, I watched all of One Tree Hill, which was 9 seasons long! And Supernatural, I caught up to for their 7th season.

(The reason I'm posting about this is because I've started a new show... Smallville... Which ended up being 10 seasons long... I'll be busy on my laptop for awhile getting through these episodes!)

Now while my main addiction is books, this is coming to a close second. I've started to record all of the TV shows I've started/finished online through Sidereel on a board I created using Pinterest. Here's the board if you're curious to see what I've watched all together: TV Show Obsessions.

It's like the Pringles saying: "Once you pop, you just can't stop". Only, for me, it's "Once you click, you just can't quit!"

I guess I could have worse addictions than reading books and watching finished TV shows!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

BED4 Day #21: Volunteering

Since I haven't heard from any jobs yet, I thought that I would try to volunteer at a public library. I don't have any experience with public libraries and it would be nice to actually be in a library again after over a year of not working in one.

Did you know, though, that most libraries don't take volunteers anymore??

I mean, it's basically free labor! And I've had experience shelving, weeding, shifting - all of the grunt work! I was very shocked when I called most of the libraries around my town and they said they don't take volunteers!

There is a "Friends of the Library" program where one can volunteer. I think they work with the bookstore and they work with the donated books that come in to 1) maybe add to the library's collection or 2) save for the annual book sale.

But still!! No volunteering... I'm still amazingly shocked at this news. Maybe it's just me though. It could be old news and I just never heard about it.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Bleed by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Nicole: Pinning for a boy is one thing. Pinning for her best friend's boyfriend? Bad idea. But even worse: acting out those feelings and betraying a friendship... What has Nicole done?

Maria: Maria's not sure who her true friends are. So to figure out who's really a true friend to Maria, she tests them. Only her true friends would pass... Right?

Kelly: Kelly has a secret admirer via letters. He's been in prison, but Kelly knows he is innocent of his crime. After 5 years of writing letters, Kelly meets him. But will her fantasy live up to her expectations?

Derik: Derik can get any girl he wants, except the girl he can't seem to talk to. Will he find the courage to finally meet the girl of his infatuation?

Sadie: Home is rough for Sadie. Her mom keeps saying she's overweight, whereas her sisters are perfectly shape. Because of this, Sadie is not allowed to eat snacks and has to weigh herself every week. Will Sadie give in to temptation when left alone in the house?

Robbie: Robbie just got out of prison for murdering his last girlfriend. He's been anxiously waiting to meet Kelly, but things don't go the way he foresaw. All he wants is true love, and will do anything to get it...

Mearl: After moving around to various town, Mearl was told to come to Salem because that is where her biological family used to live. Only, she doesn't know the family name. Will she ever figure out who she really is?

Ginger: Even though Ginger is skinny, a ballet dancer, and has friends, she's still picked on by the older girls in school. In order to get even, Ginger digs up dirt about the most popular girl to ruin her reputation. But will Ginger go too far?

Joy: Joy hates boys. She's always being picked on or used, so now she's going to get revenge. But when her plans falls through, Joy will be shocked at the outcome of saying something through anger.

Sean: Confused about his feelings between two girls, Sean struggles to figure out who is the right one for him. The longer he hangs out with one, the more right it feels. Will Sean pick the right girl?

10 people whose lives are about to change. All in one summer day.

My Thoughts/Reflections
This was an interesting book. It wasn't what I thought it was at first, so it definitely surprised me. There are 10 main characters, not all of them relating to each other, who all have some major event happening during one day.

The reader goes from one character to another, reading each of their stories, which miraculously intertwine with the other characters.

There wasn't a main plot that had to be fixed during this novel. It was just one day that changed the rest of their lives, finding new love, losing a fantasy, making new friends, destroying other friendships.

I'm not sure if I would recommend this book to everyone. I would say older teens could read this, with the content.

It's an easy read, great writing, and a good overall moral to the story. Readers will have their favorite character that they follow and will be wanting more by the end of the book.

BED4 Day #20: Goodreads vs. LibraryThing

Are you a fan of Goodreads? Or how about LibraryThing? I have both accounts, although many people that I know only have one or the other. I use both of them daily, both for storing the books that I read and for finding new books that might interest me.

For Goodreads, I catalog my Young Adult novels. I'm not sure how I came to do that, really. However, because I have strictly limited it to YA, all of my recommendations are YA, giving me more novels to view and possibly order through the library.

The recommendation section is really great. I find a lot of novels that I'm dying to read because of what I've been recommended through Goodreads. I also like the section where others are asking for recommendations. I've given a few only when I've read the novels they are looking for similar works, so it's a very helpful process.

I also like Goodreads because each book has a summary. It is very well organized and the creators of Goodreads has done a fantastic job keeping up with novels that are part of a series.

Goodreads is free to use and relatively easy to find friends or follow authors that you love.

On the other hand, I really enjoy LibraryThing. This online cataloging site, for me, is used for ALL of my books. I've made 12 different categories/shelves where I keep a very detailed recording of the books that I've read.

I have the books that I own, along with the subject of the book (for example, it will be in "Your Library" and "Young Adult") and I also have a section of the books that I've read, but do not own, along with the subject (for example, "Read But Unowned" and "Read (Romance)").

This keeps is very organized for me, and if I want to get a series that I absolutely loved, I can see which ones I've just read and buy them.

One downside to LibraryThing is after uploading/adding 200 novels, the site requires you to pay a certain amount of money to add more. I have over 1,300 books on it now, but with only $20 you can be a lifetime member and never have to pay again.

I have two different uses for these two similar book cataloging sites. I think Goodreads has more publicity and is very good about being updated with new books, but LibraryThing is the "Master" site for all of my books to keep me organized and to remember what books I've read as a whole.

If I had to pick only one to use, I would probably pick Goodreads because I can always add more shelves to include the rest of my books. But I'm glad I don't have to choose :-)

Do you have either account? Both accounts? Which one do you enjoy having and do you use them regularly or just when you happen to remember that it exists?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Forget You by Jennifer Echols

Things in Zoey's life were going pretty good. She was the captain of the swim team, she was known at school, and she had a great chance to get a scholarship for college next year.

But then her father got his 24 year old mistress pregnant (only 7 years older than Zoey), causing her parents to divorce and her mother to start taking sleeping pills. 3 months after the shocking news, Zoey's mother tries to commit suicide.

Zoey found her in time, but she was sent to an institute and Zoey was forced to live with her father.

But that's not the only thing that was wrong. Zoey starting dating Brandon, the player of the school. They've been friends for years, Zoey heard all of his "conquest" stories and gave Brandon tips and helpful advice about the girls he slept with.

After a car accident, Zoey is woken up stuck in her crashed car not by her boyfriend Brandon, but by Doug, a guy who has hated her since 9th grade. Only, he doesn't act like he hates her. In fact, he acts like they are a couple now.

Zoey can't remember anything that happened from the football game til the car crash when she wakes up. What happened? Why wasn't Brandon, her boyfriend, with her? Why does Doug not hate her anymore, but actually acts as though he likes her? Read Forget You by Jennifer Echols to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
This book captivated me! I read it in one sitting so it was an easy read and an addictive story. I really liked Zoey. She tried to be so perfect at the beginning of the story, making sure everything was perfect at home with her mom, keeping the house clean, being the perfect daughter.

When she was with her dad, I got so angry at him because he was so mean to Zoey, when all she wanted was to make him happy. Then with her mother trying to commit suicide, I just wanted to be there for Zoey as a friend she could lean on.

The tension between Zoey and Doug is off the charts. At first Zoey thinks that Doug hates her. He went to juvie in 8th grade and when he came back, he had a distinct icy, nasty look every time Zoey was in the same room with him. But as the story goes on, the tension turns from hatred to maybe them liking each other?

There is a lot of subject matter that is covered in this book, but Jennifer Echols did a wonderful job with each topic.

I would definitely recommend this novel to any teen girl who's been confused by a boy. And also any teen girl who has to keep secrets from their friends. I really enjoyed this book and I think other readers will like it as well!

BED4 Day #19: TILT

Things I Love Thursday Week #3:
  • Bridesmaid: I was asked Monday to be in one of my high school friend's wedding! So excited for her!
  • 1/4 Job Position: While I'm waiting to get a full time job, I was offered a "job when needed" at my small township library in my town. I'm basically going to manage the desk until one of the librarians can come in, but it's 1) public library experience 2) something to put on my resume and 3) a way to not waste so much time haha.
  • Vampire Diaries!: It's back! Tonight! I'm so excited, if you can't tell by my exclamations :)
  • FYE: "For Your Entertainment" - I got the Ocean's movies for under $10 at the electronic store. I've been wanting to own/see them for awhile now. 
  • eBooks: I know, I know, these have been here for years now. I have not gotten an eReader, though. I just found out that I can download a free Kindle app on my computer, and I found free eBooks on Amazon... I'm a very happy owner of free books on my computer. Things are right in the world.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart

The whole title of this book is:

The Boyfriend List: 15 Guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs and Me, Ruby Oliver

Which should give you a little more detail about what this book consists of in it's entirety. See, Ruby is a 15 year old sophomore at Tate High School. She's not popular, but she's not a leper - or she wasn't at the beginning of the novel. 

Ruby is a girl who wears retro clothes, fishnets, bright colored clothes, and has glasses. She likes who she is. She's even had a boyfriend for 6 months, but that is later in the story. 

This novel is where she records all of her boyfriends she's had. Granted, some of the guys don't know they were boyfriend/girlfriend, and many were not an "official" boyfriend. 

But Ruby's shrink wanted her to write down any boy that she had a crush on, had "relationship" thoughts or moments with, anything to do with guys. 

Ruby ends up with 15 "boyfriends" and how each story from each boy may have been the reason her relationship with Jackson ended the way they did. 

So, what, may you ask, happened with Jackson? Does Ruby become the dreaded "leper" that she avoids at school? Read The Boyfriend List to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
This was a cute, dramatic, head-spinning story. Who knew that at age 15 one could have 15 "boyfriends"? Well Ruby pulled it off and had some pretty entertaining stories to tell for each boy. 

Many high school, young adult novels written today make the teenagers seem so grown-up. They are dealing with supernatural problems, death-related issues, or more mature topics that make the reader almost forget their in high school until one chapter they are sitting in class listening to their teacher. 

This is not like that. This screams "HIGH SCHOOL"! On one hand, it was annoying to go back to the drama every minute experience. On the other hand, it was refreshing to get a different, but normal, YA story about a typical dramatic life of a teenage girl. 

I would recommend this novel to any teenage girl. Definitely not a boy, I don't think. It's all about relationships from a girl's perspective and how things can spiral out of control within one week. But for a teenage girl? I think she can relate to Ruby's horrible week very easily - especially if they date. 

BED4 Day #18: Cancelled TV Shows

So I'm not going to link my BEDA post to my Book Review today - I'm not sure what I would talk about relating to The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart.

Instead, I'm going to talk about cancelled TV Shows. One of the reasons I don't like watching new TV shows (even though I do start new series) is that sometimes they don't come back for another season. Here are some examples of shows that have cancelled on me (TV show pages are linked in the title):

These are also shows that ended before the story was concluded in the time frame of their cancelled season. Some other shows were able to wrap the storyline up, but the ones above were not able to, making me upset because I couldn't find out the ending. 

The one that I was most upset about cancelling was Terra Nova. I think the storyline was great and they had a great show idea, but there weren't that many viewers so they got rid of it. 

Are there any TV shows that you liked the way it was going before they cancelled it abruptly? 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

BED4 Day #17: Shopping and Crashing

Today I went shopping with my younger sister. We got everything from books to movies, clothes to shoes, you name it. The problem with shopping is that I become very exhausted, so now that I've put everything away, I bet I'm going to take a quick nap before my FOX TV shows come on at 7 p.m. I promise I will blog about something more entertaining tomorrow! (Or I hope it will be entertaining!)

Monday, April 16, 2012

BED4 Day #16: Which One Is Better?

To go along with my music post yesterday, I found this Article  about a now, very hip, very popular song that is being played in tons of TV shows in the last few weeks.

Have you heard of "Somebody I Used to Know" by Gotye? No? Well if you haven't, there are a few versions below.

If you have, did you realize that 4 TV shows (American Idol, SNL, The Voice, and Glee) have done variations of this song? From April 3rd to April 15th? That's a lot of publicity for this song!

Below I've put the links or videos for you to enjoy. And maybe you have a favorite one out of the bunch? I certainly do!

Gotye and special guest Kimbra sang his original song, "Somebody I Used to Know" on Saturday Night Live during the April 15th episode. Here's the link (I couldn't get the video to upload in here):

Pentatonix, winner of The Sing Off during Season 3 and won on Nov. 28, 2011, sang a version of Gotye's song in Nov. 2011 (This was not currently, but I absolutely love this version!):

Glee star Darren Criss with guest start Matt Bomer on April 10th:

American Idol contestants Elise Testone and Phillip Phillips on April 11th:

The Voice contestant Lindsey Pavao during the April 3rd show:

Which one do you like the most? Are you now tired of this song, haha?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

BED4 Day #15: Pandora

I have reunited with Pandora!

And, boy, has it changed! I used it when I was in undergrad, about 3-4 years ago. I like it a lot better now with the new layout/design/etc.

I'm assuming everyone knows what Pandora is? If not, it's an online, free radio station. You look up genres, songs, or artists and the good people behind Pandora's box (haha) will find other songs/artists similar to what you want and play 'em.

Here's the link: Pandora if you don't have one and want to try it out.

The only problem I'm coming across (and I just got the account yesterday, so I'll more than likely find more) is that I'm not a music guru and don't know what I like or don't like. So I guess it's a personal problem :-)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

BED4 Day #14: Dog Sitting

I definitely look this stylish while
dog sitting... ;)

One of my friends/old middle school teacher/almost cross country coach is out of town this weekend with her family, so I'm dog sitting her dog.

Which is why I'm currently up at this very early hour (well early for me, as 10 a.m. is my wake up call).

Her dog, Shadow, is about 14 years old, a black lab, and has some hip problems so she doesn't move around too much. Most of the time when I go see her she barks up a storm, but I try not to play with her too much so she won't hurt herself.

I'm thinking about taking Miss Brandee (my dog from Day #1 post) to visit Shadow this afternoon. We'll see how that pans out.

Now I'm going to go read/watch a TV show or movie/maybe apply for jobs? This early in the morning thing gives me so many options to choose from! ;-) Have a good weekend!

Friday, April 13, 2012

BED4 Day #13: Friday the 13th

Do you think Friday the 13th is a good luck day, or a bad luck day? Or do you not care either way?

I absolutely think it's a GOOD luck day. But that might be because I was born on a Friday the 13th, so I may be biased on this subject. 

I remember when I was younger (and okay, even now when I'm in my 20's...) that I always waited for my birthday to land on a Friday again. And if one year was on a Thursday and the next year was leap year? Definitely  made me upset!

Actually, if I remember correctly, my birthday did land on a Friday last year.... Yep, that's right, it did. This year is leap year and now my birthday is on Mother's Day. So I was a happy camper last year :)

I just stumbled upon this article when looking for a photo to put in this blog (link included in the title) Friday the 13th: a history of superstition. I found it quite entertaining, especially the part about babies born on Friday the 13th!

Anywho, speaking of Friday the 13th... Even though I love the day, I think it's absolutely good luck, and I'm quite obsessed with it actually... I have never seen the movies titled Friday the 13th

Is that weird? It might be. But on the other hand, those movies are all about bad luck happening to the characters, so my self-conscious might have told me those movies are not about my special, good luck day haha. 

I hope you have a wonderful (or dreary, like it is where I live) Friday the 13th, and the start of your weekend!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

BED4 Day #12: TILT

Things I Love Thursday, Week #2:
  • Milan Medical Center - the nurse that I've had there the last two visits in under a week was really helpful and genuinely wanted to figure out what my rash/allergic reaction was, which I appreciated since I am not enjoying this time. 
  • Books - since I didn't want to risk making my rash worse, I haven't been exercising anymore. My "To Be Read Pile" is now starting to go down because I'm basically stuck in the house. 
  • Bad Movies - I went through my DVD collection and tried to watch some movies I haven't seen with my sister. Let's just say, we went through 3 movies in under 30 minutes, but had a great time while watching 'em!
  • Smash and New Girl - I absolutely love these TV shows! Enough said.
  • Goodwill - I found a cardigan, button-up blouse, and gaucho pants for under $10! I've always wanted a pair of gaucho pants so I was pretty excited. (Plus my sister got 3 pairs of shorts, which almost never happens for her!)
  • Reborn - I finally got my paperback copy of Reborn by a friend from college, Jonathan Miller II. Here's a link to the book's Goodreads page: I'm especially excited because I edited the book, so it's really nice to see it officially in print! :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Hazel Grace was diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer when she was 12 years old. At the age of 16, she is known as a medicine miracle. She is still fighting the cancer - and is reminded of the harder times since she is attached to an oxygen tank everyday.

After her parents insisting, Hazel goes to a Support Group meeting for cancer patients once a week. This is to get her out of the house and meet other people, as her mother thinks she becoming depressed.

Nothing spectacular happens at this group at first. However, after a few weeks, a new teen comes to the meeting: Augustus Waters. Hazel is stunned by his good looks and uncanny interest he has of her when he sees Hazel.

So, of course, after that first meeting, Hazel and Augustus find many reasons to get together and hangout. Augustus is in remission, giving him and Hazel a topic to discuss, but that isn't their main "go-to-topic".

In fact, Hazel and Augustus have such an odd view of life that they talk about everything and nothing, and still find each other fascinating.

One key thing that the two discuss quite frequently (besides Augustus's gorgeous looks) is a novel that Hazel loves An Imperial Affliction. She has Augustus read it and it was all they talked and thought about.

The novel leaves the reader wanting more - in every concept. Because Augustus was a new reader, he wanted the answers and contacts the author. After much debate, Augustus and Hazel were able to go to Amsterdam, where the author lives, to ask their questions.

Throughout their adventure, Hazel and Augustus go through many stages within their relationship and they also experience events they never thought they would.

My Thoughts/Reflections
I feel as if my review has not captured the essence and the overall story of this novel. It was an emotional roller-coaster.

I laughed out loud through many parts. I cried through others. I smiled during the childish, but grown-up, events. I yelled through the hard, painful experiences.

John Green is a great author. All of his novels are amazing, and I'm ashamed to say that while I've read all of his novels, I have yet to review one on this blog (an action that will be fixed, soon, I assure you). He does not disappoint in his latest novel telling Hazel and Augustus's story.

Having never been a patient of cancer, nor having a family member who was diagnosed with cancer, I have no idea what Hazel or Augustus went through.

I do know that both characters are very strong for fighting everyday to stay with their family and friends. They are more grown-up than a lot of people I know, including myself.

While this is a tough subject matter, I think all readers could benefit from reading this novel. I would recommend this to anyone, teenager to adult. It would capture both audiences and portray it's overall message to any reader, no matter age or gender.

BED4 Day #11: Ultimate Wish

If you could pick one place in the whole world, no matter expenses, where would you go? (Yes, I know expenses are always part of the deal, but just go with it, kay?)

I've always wanted to go to New Zealand. I'm not sure why. I did a "future self" paper for a class at my undergrad and had to pick a place to live. After doing extensive research (which wasn't necessary for this paper, mind you) I choose New Zealand.

It might have been the pictures that sold me...

Otherwise, if I didn't pick New Zealand, I would go with my old favorite, Egypt, to visit. I've always been fascinated and after the movie, The Mummy, it was a given that I'd want to go :-)

Do you have a place that you would like to visit, no expenses?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Nobody's Prize by Esther Friesner

After her first adventure in Nobody's Princess (click here to see my review), Helen has decided to go off on another adventure at the beginning of this sequel novel. Helen's brothers went off to search for the Golden Fleece, so naturally Helen wanted to be a part of the search and see heroes capture their prize.

In order to travel with them without being recognized, Helen once again dressed like a boy and was a weapons servant with her friend, Milo.

What Helen didn't expect before her journey was that

  1. she would develop a crush on another weapons servant, Hylas 
  2. the great Herkules would fall in love with her boy self on the trip
  3. she would meet a jealous, crazy princess who would stop at nothing to get what she wanted - including Helen's death
  4. she would attract the attention of a power-hungry prince who would kidnap her and prepare wedding vows without Helen's parents permission
  5. her monthly cycle would start in the middle of the adventure, ruining her image as a boy

Things are never easy when it comes to adventure for Helen.

However, with everything that came toward Helen, she took it in stride and somehow found a way out of every situation in order to get back to her destination: Sparta

My Thoughts/Reflections
I really enjoyed Helen's adventures in the first novel, but I found this book to be lacking...

Don't get me wrong, I love the stories that were told and the situations that Helen got into that she had to get herself out of again. It just wasn't as good as the first novel.

I honestly think that Esther Friesner could have ended Helen's story after Nobody's Princess and it would have been a great ending to a perfect adventure.

However, in this novel we were able to see Helen as a woman. She got her first crush, she got her time of the month, and she got more creative in her stories to get out of trouble.

Whereas the first book went through 4-5 years of Helen's life, this was just a few months from start to finish. It let the reader see how mature and grown up Helen became in just a matter of short time, which I was happy to see.

I would recommend this book to teen girls. There was a lot more about becoming a woman in here so teen guys probably wouldn't want to read it. However, if anyone reads the first novel and likes where it ended, I don't think you'll be missing too much if you decide to skip this novel.

BED4 Day #10: Mythology

When I was younger, I was obsessed about Mythology stories. It didn't help that I read book series revolved around Mythology (Daughters of the Moon by Lynn Ewing and T*Witches by H.B. Gilmour and Randi Reisfeld).

I'm not quite sure which story was my favorite. There are so many, ranging from: Medusa; Hercules; Zeus and Hera; Aphrodite; Apollo and Artemis; Hades and Persephone; Cupid; etc.

Today there are a lot of young adult novels being published that are a rewrite of Mythology stories. I've done one review of Hades and Persephone in the novel, Radiant Darkness.

I would have to say that the most well known Mythology story that I know is Hercules, because of the movie. But my favorite story is Apollo and Artemis.

Do you have a favorite Mythology story? Or am I the only nerd here? haha

Monday, April 9, 2012

Nobody's Princess by Esther Friesner

Growing up as a princess with three other siblings in Sparta can be intimidating. For Helen, the 3rd child of 4, it meant that she would someday rule Sparta as their queen. Instead of her older brothers ruling, it will be her as the Queen of Sparta rules with her husband by her side.

When Helen found out that she was to be Queen, she at first didn't want to. It was too much responsibility and she had no idea how to rule a kingdom.

However, at the age of 10, she decided to take her own fate in her hands and become a leader. Women were supposed to learn how to weave and spin gold into gowns.

Instead, Helen confronted the weapons teacher who taught her older brothers, Glaucus, that she wanted to learn to fight. Helen started training, running barefoot into the woods to get faster, hunting meat with her mother for dinner, and learning how to handle a sword and spear.

Helen did this in secret, since it was not allowed for women to do these events. When her twin sister, Clytemnestra, traveled for her wedding ceremony at age 14, Helen went with to comfort her.

Little did Helen know, though, that she would be on an adventure of a lifetime, hunting boars, visiting holy cities, and running around town dressed as a servant boy to follow her brothers on yet another adventure.

Life is definitely not boring for Helen of Sparta.

My Thoughts/Reflections
I love mythology stories! This one is about Helen of Troy before she could add the "Troy" to her name. This is when she was a little girl who was just trying to found out who she really was. Everyone always called her the "pretty" sister, which Helen was not flattered by.

Instead, she wanted to take care of herself. The thought of having to have a husband for that purpose did not settle too well with Helen.

Helen was a great character, I thought. She was tough. Even when she was sweating, panting, and had rubber arms, she did not give anyone the satisfaction of seeing her quit. She pushed through everything her trainer gave her and finished what she started.

I was a little shocked at how young she was at the beginning of the story - around 9 or 10 years old. However, as the story continued the reader was able to see how mature Helen became and just how responsible she was - which is why she became such a great ruler when she got older.

This is the first book of a two book series. We are left with Helen on another adventure to catch up to her brothers - Helen doesn't like to be left behind when there is more to see and experience. I'm excited to see what will happen in the second, and final, book of Esther Friesner's books.

I would definitely recommend this to any young girl who wants to read about a girl who takes chances, doesn't take no for an answer, and is willing to learn. It's a great adventure and I think any teen girl will enjoy it.

BED4 Day #9: Top 5

After reading Nobody's Princess by Esther Friesner, I was very easily reminded of the Disney movie Mulan. A girl dressing up as a boy to go to war, go on an adventure, etc.

So that got me thinking about my top 5 favorite Disney (or Animated as one of my "Disney" movies isn't from Disney) are (and not in any particular order as I can't figure out which is my top favorite):

  • Anastasia 
  • Mulan
  • Beauty and the Beast (a girl who reads books - definitely!)
  • Tangled (long hair? check! frying pan fights? check!)
  • Hercules

Of course, I have other favorites, but I think these would qualify as my top 5 favorite.

I have 3 out of the 5 on DVD as of right now and I'm hoping to get Beauty and the Beast since it's currently at the stores before it goes back into the vault.

What are your favorite Disney movies?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

BED4 Day #8: Happy Easter!

I hope everyone is having a great Easter today! We don't have any young kids on either side of my family, so today is a low key day where we occasionally eat candy. If you are with extended family, I hope you have a wonderful time visiting and celebrating Easter!

I enjoy the Easter Monday one the most :)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

BED4 Day #7: BEDA feels like Homework

But it's not the homework that I dread. It's when you get back from summer break and you feel the "ambitious and ready to learn" feeling.

Today I felt the need to get this blog post finished so it will be done and I won't be racking my brain for an idea to write about at 11:50 p.m. - like procrastinating on homework.

That being said, I don't have anything to write about - topicwise.

I think I've been away from school/homework too long, but at the same time, I'm very, very happy to not be a student anymore.

It's a very complicated world... Oh well, off to other things! Have a great day!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Upgrades on the blog

I've done a few upgrades on my blog! Actually, there's only 2 new things, but I think it will be helpful for everyone to find posts that I've wrote in the past. Here are the two things:

  1. Search box! I've been practicing with it and I believe it works. You can now search for a title or author that you've heard of and want to see if I've done a review of it yet or not. 
  2. Labels! I went through all of my posts (which took some time, I tell ya) and labeled all of my blog posts with the author, genre, and main theme. So if you're looking for "Contemporary", you can click on that link and all of the blogs I've listed as Contemporary will come up. That way if you don't like Supernatural stories, you don't have to go through them, and etc. 
I hope these help you to find what you are searching for, and please let me know if something doesn't work so I can try to use my non-technology brain to fix it :)

BED4 Day #6: Upgrades

Hey BEDA participants! I was just wondering if I could get some feedback, either good or bad, about the two upgrades I've done to my blog.

I don't have many friends who look at this or use it so I was just curious what you thought of it. Do you think I should change anything or add another feature? Should I make the labels by frequency or alphabetical like it is now?

I'd appreciate any feedback, and thank you in advance! :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

BED4 Day #5: TILT

So I didn't read a book for a book review last night/today. I watched the series finale of "One Tree Hill" last night and then today I woke up with a rash on my face and legs so I went to the doctor.

I decided since I became a slacker, I'd do "Things I Love Thursday" (a.k.a. TILT). Here it goes:

  • My sister. Even though she didn't have to, Chelsey went to the doctor's with me :) 
  • Ice cream. The little ice cream shoppe in my hometown opened recently and I've been going there frequently. Not good for me, but it makes me feel better with this allergic reaction. 
  • The Book Rack. It's a little used bookstore in town and I pay 1/4 of the original book price. Let's me save money while still getting books!
  • Great weather. With great weather comes days where I actually exercise and go for a run. I've been successful all this week. 
  • Movies. I saw "Hunger Games" at the theatre. I enjoyed it, though not as much as the book (that's usually the way it goes, though).
This isn't a long list, but it is the things I could think of right now. Hopefully I'll be able to say "Started volunteering" or something next week!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale

Huntington's Disease (HD) is an awful disease to live through, even if the person living it is not experiencing the symptoms. Just ask Rosie. Her mother, Trudie, was diagnosed with HD and became her mothers caretaker toward the last few months of her life.

When Rosie's mother passed away from HD, Rosie decided that she was going to take the test to determine if she has HD as well - seeing as the disease is hereditary and she had a 50% chance of having HD too.

Before she got to the test, though, a friend of the family, Sarah, who was also Rosie's mothers midwife when Rosie was born, told her some startling news: Trudie was not Rosie's biological mother.

When Trudie went into labor, she had already been through numerous miscarriages, hoping to have a son or daughter in her arms. Trudie didn't know she had HD at the time, so she wasn't worried about giving her child the disease.

On the night of her daughter's birth, though, Trudie's husband died in a car crash, leaving Trudie in a vulnerable state. Sarah, desperate to make things better, heard that a 17 year old in the hospital abandoned her baby girl for adoption.

Sarah swapped the baby girls, so that Trudie will have the healthier, abandoned baby instead of the little girl she just delivered, who was on air support and was premature.

When Rosie heard that Trudie was not her true mother, she decided that she wanted to find out who she really was. After finding out that she was a movie star in America, Rosie left with her ex-boyfriend Andy from England to meet her real mother.

After a horrible reunion, though, Rosie feels lost and alone, not knowing where to go or where she belongs. With the help of Andy, Rosie was able to find her biological father.

But what she finds there will make her rethink her whole life and question everything that she was every told.

My Thoughts/Reflections
Wow. The book descriptions last words are true:

"Readers will be gripped by this trilling emotional roller-coaster ride as a web of family secrets is ripped apart, profoundly affecting lives on both sides of the Atlantic."

Rosie has had a horrible time in the last 18 months as her mother is diagnosed with Huntington's Disease and she had to see her mother become a lesser part of herself - against her will.

Then the realization that Trudie wasn't even her real mother sent her off the edge and left Rosie asking more questions than knowing the answers.

Being haunted by the fact that she could have the same disease that killed her mother was a pit in Rosie's stomache, but then finding out that she wasn't at risk at all because they had different DNA didn't make Rosie feel better - it made her feel worse.

This was an amazing, heartbreaking, suspenseful, and complicated book. I loved every minute of it.

The author, Katie Dale, did an amazing job talking about Huntington's Disease and how if affects not only the one who's diagnosed, but everyone whose life connects with the patient. I didn't know much about it, but I was able to understand after reading this novel.

I would definitely recommend this book to others. It's a tough subject, HD, especially if the reader has had a friend or family member diagnosed with it. The author doesn't say awful things about it, though. Rather, she goes through the steps of how to handle it, during and after the disease.

Reading Rosie's story was, as the author said, "a roller-coaster, [emotions] ripped apart". This is not a light, fun hearted story. This can very well be happening to people around you and it will make you think about things on a different level.

BED4 Day #4: Someone Else's Life

The novel, Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale was very powerful to me. It got me thinking about a lot of real life questions and a lot of hard-decision moments. I have not had to make hard-decision moments - not like Rosie did in this novel.

There were numerous subjects I could have chose from this book, but the question I keep asking myself is:

"If I found out I had a 50% chance of having Huntington's Disease, would I take the test to see if I'm positive or negative?"

Some might answer this quickly, with either a yes or a no. But many debate with others and with theirselves if they want to really know they will show signs of Huntington's Disease.

It will also change future decisions if the patient does take the test and found out that they do have HD. They might not have children, so they won't make their child go through this later in their lives. They might not marry, so they won't make their husbands take care of them when the symptoms start.

But it could be a relief to the patient if they take the test and found out they do not have HD.

I've been thinking about this question toward myself throughout this whole novel.

For me, personally, I think I would take it to find out if I did or didn't have it. Some say, "things are left to be unknown", which is very true. But I would always ask and think about whether I did or didn't have it.

If I found out, I could plan ahead. I would be prepared for all things possible. Sure, that might make some people wonder and ask themselves questions, but for me, I would know once and for all what was going to happen.

**Also, I want to state that if anyone reading this does have a friend or family member with HD, I'm sorry for the sensitive subject. All of the content in this blog is just my thoughts and reflections of what I would decide, not what everyone should do in this situation.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Fortunes of Indigo Skye by Deb Caletti

Indigo is a busy-body. She loves working at Carrera's, the little diner in her town. She even took all of her harder classes during her last year of high school early so now she can work during 1st and 2nd hour at the diner and then go to school during 3rd hour.

After high school, Indigo plans to work as a waitress full time and not go to college because she doesn't want to be anything but a waitress. She loves to feed people and get to know their habits - what else gets better than that?

Indigo also has a problem with smoking. It kills people and she's very adamant about her smoking thoughts.

So when a new customer comes in during the same time a few days a week and Indigo sees he has cigarettes in his coat - she tells him exactly what she thinks about that nasty habit.

Who knew that by speaking her mind and worry about a random person that she would get a 2.5 million dollar tip!

At first, Indigo thought it was a joke, but when she realized who her customer was, Richard Howards, a multi-million dollar CEO, it was no joke. She tried to give it back, but he was not going to let that happen.

Now Indigo a millionaire. She has no idea what to do with the money. However, everyone around her has an idea of what THEY could use the money for - which was a bit frustrating for Indigo.

The one thing Richard Howards asked of her was to let the money make her bigger, not smaller. But with 2.5 million dollars, it's a little hard to look at the big picture when there are items out in the world that are easy to grab in an instant.

Will Indigo be able to see the big picture, or will she become a rich, snobbish person and let the money control? Read The Fortunes of Indigo Skye by Deb Caletti to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
Okay, I've worked as a waitress before - a few times actually. Once was even in a supper club so rich people came. I never once, not once, got that much money for a tip!

Now I've found my new goal in life :)

Anyway, I really liked this novel! Indigo had things all figured out for her life. She would finish school and work at Carrera's full time - making money, doing what she loves, and seeing all of her usual customers since they are basically friends now.

But when you throw money in the loop, things get a little crazy.

Indigo was very grown-up and knew the life she lived in, so I really liked her. I also liked her boss, Jane, and all of the customers in the diner.

I did have trouble with the writing at times, though. It seemed there were times that it kept rambling, and I found myself skipping a paragraph of things that didn't necessarily need to be there.

However, I would definitely recommend this to teens! And adults as there is a life-altering lesson deep in this story that I think anyone could learn from. It's also a stand alone novel so we don't need to wait for a sequel, and I really loved the ending so I think everyone should read it! :)

BED4 Day #3: Indigo Skye

In this novel (which is actually titled The Fortunes of Indigo Skye but I was just too lazy to put that in the title), Indigo gets a waitress's ultimate wish - an amazing 2.5 million dollar tip which means she can retire for a little while.

So, of course, I'm going to talk about what I would do if I were in Indigo's shoes and how I could spend 2.5 million dollars. (No, not to the cent, but things I've always wanted/wanted to do/need to do/etc.)

  • Pay off my student loans.
  • Upgrade my vehicle for a newer one.
  • Help my parents with loans/bills that I haven't been able to do since I was poor.
  • Get a new floor in my parents kitchen.
  • Build a garage for my parents' cars. 

And if I had a job and lived on my own when this happened:
  • Get a house instead of an apartment that I know I'd be living in. 
  • Purchase any appliances or electronics that I would need.
  • Pay ahead on bills just because I could.

That probably would cover a small portion of the 2.5 million dollars, but they are all essentials. After that, I would look into programs and organizations that give books to locations in need. I love reading and want to help others that aren't able to access books to have that opportunity as well. 

There are probably more things I could spend the money on, but my brain isn't working very well right now so I'll leave it at this. 

What would you spend 2.5 million dollars on?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Gwen's life is pretty normal - for the most part. She lives in London, goes to school, has a best friend, Lesley, and lives with her extended family, including her aunt, great aunt, and her cousin, Charlotte, who is a day older than her.

Normal, right?

Not exactly. See, the women in her family carries a gene - a time traveling gene. Not every female gets this gene; in fact, it skips certain generations and the fate is in the stars as to who is supposed to carry the next gene.

Charlotte has known her entire life that she was going to start time traveling around the age of 16 or 17, so she has been preparing for that fateful day. Instead of hanging out with friends and watch bad tv shows like Gwen, Charlotte has been learning how to fence, ball-room dance, speak in numerous languages, and basically never having any teenage fun.

So it was a bit of a surprise when Gwen time-travels into the past!

Apparently, Gwen's mother decided to fib about the day that Gwen was born. Her and Charlotte were born on the same day. Instead of telling anyone that, Gwen's mom (Grace) hoped that Charlotte would have the gene to time-travel and pretended that Gwen was normal.

Not the brightest idea since Gwen traveled back into time and didn't know where she was, what time she was in, or anyone around. She was basically a new-born in the past and, thankfully, left just as quickly before she got into too much trouble.

After finding this news out, the "Order" who handles the two families that can time travel rushed to get things ready for Gwen when she time-travels with her companion, Gideon.

Gideon is part of the family where MALES time-travel throughout generations. He has been practicing and has actually time-traveled for 2 whole years now, since he's 19, so he's a natural, but he wasn't excited to get paired up with Gwen since he's been working with Charlotte all of these years.

Also, Gwen doesn't take orders as well as Charlotte, so that might be another reason he's a little upset about the switch in time-traveling companions.

Now Gwen and Gideon are on a mission to collect their ancestor's blood to complete the circle of 12 - all of the family members who had the ability to travel through time. Gwen is the 12th, and last, time traveler, but they need a drop of blood from all 12 to complete the circle.

However, things are not as simple as that seeing as how the other 2 time-travelers before Gwen and Gideon (Lucy and Paul) are trying to STOP the completion of the circle.

Will Gwen and Gideon succeed in their mission or will Paul and Lucy outsmart them? Read Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I saw this novel at the public library and was instantly attracted to the storyline of this novel. So of course, I checked it out without seeing if it was part of a series.

It is.

So now I have to wait for the other two novels in the series (Sapphire Blue and Emerald Green) to come out in the U.S. These books are international best sellers so they, unfortunately, did not come out first in the U.S. making me wait awhile :/

However, I completely fell in love with this story and with the concept of time-traveling. It's been awhile since I read a book about time-travel so it was all new and exciting for me!

I admire Gwen. She knew she was not normal because of her family history (and because she has the ability to see ghosts at random times) but she also knew she was not special Charlotte. And Gwen was okay with that.

But when Gwen found out that she was the one that was the time-traveler? She took it in stride and she quickly tried to learn what was happening and what she was supposed to do. Not that it was easy, seeing how the "Order" was trying to keep things from her but still expecting her to understand every little detail.

Gwen was a survivor, though, and even tolerated Gideon and his smart-alack remarks toward her naiveness about time-travel.

When Gwen meets Lucy and Paul during one of their "blast to the past" moments, everything starts to change and Gwen wants to find out why Lucy and Paul are trying to destroy years of hard work.

Kerstin Gier leaves us in a pivotal moment between Gwen and Gideon in the last scene of book one, but she also leaves a lot of questions that are dying to be answered, so I'm really anxiously waiting for the other two books to come out in the U.S.

I would definitely recommend this book to teens. Maybe to teen girls as the narrator is female and it revolves around her more than Gideon, but there is a lot of mystery and suspense in here that will keep the reader wanting more (just like myself).

So if you're looking for a mystery with some time-travel mixed together, go pick up this book today!

BED4 Day #2: Ruby Red

After Gwen discovers she can time-travel and meets with a member of the "Order", they play a game of sorts where they can ask one another questions. One of the questions Mr. George asks Gwen was:

"If you could choose a time, when would you most like to travel back to?" (pg. 136)

Here would be my response and reasoning:

Since I can't travel back during my lifetime and when Gwen did travel back, it was from the exact spot she was standing during present time, I'm going to change the rules a bit and pick a different location.

Also, I would say back to the dinosaur age, but I've seen Jurassic Park and I'm not sure if I would be as smart as Dr. Alan Grant, so I'll have to pick somewhere else.

But honestly, I can't say that I would travel back to a different time. I like wearing jeans rather than corsets and dresses. I like working rather than puttering around all day waiting for the men to get off of work. I hate dancing, which is a requirement in the old London days.

Maybe I would go back to when Native Americans were the main race in the U.S. - before the War that is. I'm part Native American so that would be interesting to see how they lived. And I would go South since that was where the Cherokee's lived - that's my "tribe" that I'm part of.

I wouldn't know what they were saying and would probably be in trouble because I'm pale, but that might be a good time to time travel and get to know my ancestry.

Otherwise, I'm not quite sure where I would go or if I would want to be stuck in a time where I was unfamiliar with the events and, possibly, the language.

Where would you time travel to?