Are You a Rereader?

Monday, August 31, 2009 | | 6 comments ♥
Lately my mom and I have been discussing whether or not to reread books. Personally, I love to reread. I must've read each of the Harry Potter books more than a half a dozen times, and I reread the Books of Bayern by Shannon Hale on a yearly basis. Same goes for Sarah Dessen books.

However, my mom doesn't believe in rereading. At all. I've always looked at her like she was crazy, just because of the fact that I love being able to escape into some of my favorite worlds again and again. But, my mom has always said that she doesn't need to reread most books to get a sense of whether or not she liked it. In a way, I understand. There are so many new books out there, it almost seems like a waste to go back and reread a story again.

So, how about you? To reread or not to reread...(sorry, couldn't help myself)

<3 Cate

An Update

Saturday, August 29, 2009 | | 6 comments ♥
Hi everyone! I apologize for not posting much this week- not only did school start, but I found out that I would begin taking the driving portion of Driver's Ed! That's right, I've officially been behind the wheel! Unfortunately, I'm also behind on the blog. But that's all about to change; next week I'm free and clear to post during the week, and hopefully my teachers will ease up on the homework a bit.

Currently I'm reading The Prophecy of the Sisters, which has not seemed to really pick up for me yet. I'm counting on a good ending, though. ;)

What are you reading, and are you enjoying it?


Teaser Tuesday (3)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 | | 4 comments ♥

Open to a random page in your current read, and post several sentences that would be considered a book teaser. :)

Current Read: Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink

She walks around me so that her voice comes from behind. It is a ploy, a way to unnerve me. I reamin facing forward, willing myself not to whirl and face her.

-Page 230

I'm about 90 pages into this book, and I'm not sure what to think of it. Although the plot is interesting, the writing doesn't really catch my attention. We'll see if my opinion changes as the week goes on.

Alice in Wonderland Challenge

Sunday, August 23, 2009 | | 1 comments ♥

I'm VERY excited about this challenge! It's being hosted by Jenny over at Take Me Away. I thought it was very good timing, since I'm already in the middle of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and finally dragged out the Disney version of the movie. This means that reviews will be a little light this week, because the challenge starts on the first. *sigh* But, no worries- I have a few other things in mind!


*Starts September 1, 2009 and goes through August 31, 2010
*You can join any time during that time frame.
*This challenge has two parts; you can decide at any time until the end if you would like to complete only the first part or both. However, prizes will only be awarded to those who complete both parts.

*If you have already completed one of the tasks in the past 6 months you may count ONE towards this challenge.
*Books may overlap with any other challenges.
*Books may be read prior to publish date if you are able to obtain a copy. (Don't worry about the advantage someone has because everyone should have the same opportunity to complete the challenge at the same time).
*When you've made the decision to play, post about the challenge and please link your icon to this post. It doesn't necessarily have to be the link on your sidebar if you put it there and are linking to your post, but at least on the picture when you post about this challenge.

Tasks (Part I):

*Read and review Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
*Read and review Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
*Read and review Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin (publish date December 2009)

*Read and review one other book from the list of "retellings and sequels" or "literature with allusions and influences" from the list here . If you know of a book that will work that is not on the list, you may use it, but please have it approved as part of the challenge first.

Tasks (Part II)

*Watch and review Disney's animated version of Alice in Wonderland
*Watch and review one live action (already released) movie version of Alice in Wonderland.
*Watch and review Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (due for release in 2010)
*Watch and review one other movie listed under "Film" here

There are also prizes, which you can learn more about if you follow the link above! Doesn't this sound like fun?

My Life According to My Books...

Thursday, August 20, 2009 | | 5 comments ♥
I saw this over at Sharon Loves Books and Cats- doesn't it look like fun?

Using only books you have read this year (2009), cleverly answer these questions. Try not to repeat a book title. It's a lot harder than you think!

Describe Yourself: The Goose Girl

How do you feel: Dream Girl

Describe where you currently live: East

If you could go anywhere, where would you go: Ferris Beach

Your favorite form of transportation: Along for the Ride

Your best friend is: The Actor and the Housewife

You and your friends are: Three Willows: The Sisterhood Grows

What's the weather like: (Sorry, guys, I had nothing!)

Favorite time of day: A Time for Dancing

What is life to you: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Your fear: The Truth About Forever

What is the best advice you have to give: Speak

Thought for the Day: The Tao of Pooh

How I would like to die: The Hunger Games

My soul's present condition: Lock and Key (a bit of a stretch?)

Hooked on Twitter

Wednesday, August 19, 2009 | | 0 comments ♥
Okay, so maybe I'm not hooked yet, but I finally decided to hop on the wagon. :)

My Twitter account is officially set up, so please follow if you'd like! I can't promise that I'll be as witty or funny as other bloggers with more tweeting experience, but I'll do my best. Heh heh. Just thinking about the words 'tweeting' and 'experience' being used in the same sentence makes me chuckle.

You can find my page here!

Also, please don't forget to check out my posts from the last few days- I just posted up a review of Les Miserables- the movie- and I had a post about a connection between music and blogging here.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!

Les Miserables: The Movie Review

Jean Valjean, a Frenchman imprisoned for stealing bread, must flee a police officer named Javert. The pursuit consumes both men's lives, and soon Valjean finds himself in the midst of the student revolutions in France. -IMDB

Have you ever watched a movie and felt completely in awe of it, hours later? Days later? This was my reacation to Les Miserables.

I have never read the book, or heard the story- but I knew it was good stuff. In my dance studio, we had posters hanging up from Broadway, Les Miserables included. So, when it came in the mail, I was interested in seeing what all the fuss was about. Apparently I have good decision-making skills. (come on, you know you want to laugh)

I thought all of the actors were perfect for their roles...Liam Neeson was AMAZING. But this is to be expected. It's Liam Neeson. I was also very impressed with Geoffrey Rush (Javert). He reminded me of Alan Rickman as Snape, which I don't think is necessarily a bad thing. He definitely had the evil-creepy vibe. Claire Danes was wonderful, as usual.

The story was heartbreaking, in the best way possible. The last ten minutes I was holding my breath, nervously awaiting the outcome. It's suspenseful.

I don't really have much else to say except that you need to rent it. It's probably not at the top of your list, with the action movies and romantic comedies, but you won't be sorry that you watched it. I promise. Borrowing the book wouldn't be a bad idea either.

Rating: 10/10

Dream Girl by Lauren Mechling Review

Monday, August 17, 2009 | | 1 comments ♥

Claire Voyante has been having strange visions ever since she can remember. But the similarity between her name and her talents is purely coincidental. The name is French, and unlike the psychics on TV, she can't solve crimes or talk to the dead. Whenever Claire follows her hunches, she comes up empty - or ends up in pretty awkward situations. But that all changes on Claire's 15th birthday, when her grandmother, Kiki-former socialite, fashion icon, and permanent fixture at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel - gives her something a little more extraordinary than one of her old cocktail dresses: a strange black-and-white onyx cameo on a gold chain. It's not long before Claire's world becomes a whole lot clearer. And a whole lot more dangerous. -Author's Website

I found Claire Voyante to be a modern day Nancy Drew- with a few quirks. I instantly liked her; she was very relatable (although not in a mystery-solver way, but as a high school student). We follow her journey through high school, France, and her professor-filled apartment complex. And what a light, fun journey it was!

There were only a few points that seemed a little unrealistic, like her school asking to keep braces, retainers, etc. to a minimum because of the metal detectors. Sure, it wasn't exactly true-to-life, but if anything was exaggerated, it was for humorous purposes. Which, to be honest, is one of the main reasons that I enjoyed Lauren Mechling's writing- she was just downright funny.

If you're looking for a bit of light summer reading (you'd better hurry!), then I'd put Dream Girl at the top of the list. Also, look for Lauren's sequel, Dream Life, in 2010!

Rating: 9/10

A Question for YOU

Friday, August 14, 2009 | | 0 comments ♥
This post was inspired by Amber and Cheryl's post yesterday at Just Your Typical Book Blog.

After reading their post on books about music, I began pondering the connection between the two. Not in the way of subject matter, but in how we listen to it while we read. Usually I have my iPod plugged in while I'm reading, just for some background noise. And, sometimes, when I reread a particular book, I'm reminded of the soundtrack that I was listening to when I first read it. So, naturally, I play it again the second time around. It's a circle.

{Here's where my question comes in}

Has this happened to you? If so, what books and what music? Here are a few examples of mine....

The Cure for the Pain- John Foreman (just that one song) and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

What a Heart is Beating for- Chris Rice and The Pendragon Series by D.J. MacHale

Girls and Boys- Ingrid Michaelson and The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

What do you think?

Update and Contests in the Blogosphere

Thursday, August 13, 2009 | | 2 comments ♥
Hello, everyone! I hope you're all enjoying your last few weeks of summer! School seems to be right around the corner for me- I start on the 25th. Which, in turn, means that I'll probably be posting a little less, but I will keep reviews and such up as often as possible! No worries. :)

Also, there are many contests going around in the blogging community. Usually, I refrain from posting about them directly in my entries, but there ARE some good ones that I would suggest taking a look at! The first is hosted by the positively lovely Melanie from Melanie's Musings.

A massive contest is being held by Cindy at Princess Bookie. I think I stared in awe at the book list for five minutes. Okay, maybe not five. Six.

Have a wonderful reading day, everyone! It's raining here...maybe I should put some water on for tea...

If I Stay, by Gayle Forman Review

Wednesday, August 12, 2009 | | 2 comments ♥

For Mia, a seventeen-year-old cellist with Julliard in sight, life is changing. She anxiously awaits her college acceptance letters, holding tight to both her home and her dreams. She knows what she has to lose and to gain by leaving home, and knows that important decisions need to be made soon.

All too soon. A truck, going sixty miles an hour, hits Mia and her family's car while on a winter drive. Found in a state somewhere between life and death, Mia has to make the greatest and most important decision of her life: does she stay?

I was very interested in reading If I Stay, and rapidly finished my last book in order to pick this one up. It was even more emotionally wrenching than I expected, in a good way. Mia's back-and-forth was heartbreaking for me to read, and heart-healing for me to begin to understand. This was an overwhelmingly sorrowful story, but without a doubt memorable.

There was only one aspect of this read that made me twinge, and that was the grieving process. Although it was plain that Mia's family and friends were very sad, only one person broke down and began to cry. Even her grandparents, who lost so much, were not seen crying. Perhaps that says something of their strength, or that they were in shock, but if I were in a similar situation, I would be bawling. Then again, grief is different for everyone.

Rating: 9/10


Tuesday, August 11, 2009 | | 3 comments ♥

Ten of world's best beloved authors each contribute a chapter in the life of the mysterious George "Gee" Keane, photographer, soldier, adventurer and enigma. Under different pens, a startling portrait emerges of a man, his family, and his gloriously complicated tangle of a life. -Goodreads

The ten authors: David Almond, Eoin Colfer, Roddy Doyle, Deborah Ellis, Nick Hornby, Margo Lanagan, Gregory McGuire, Ruth Ozeki, Linda Sue Park, and Tom Wynne Jones.

Click started out well; I grew attached to the characters, and even while they were changed in each chapter, I found that I wasn't disappointed. Each chapter (and new author) was a fun surprise, and as the whole story began to fit together, each piece finding its' place, everything came to a (rather irritating) halt.

I believe it was Chapters 9 and 10 (the final two chapters) that ruined the book for me. Without warning we were fast forwarded through time (I would not consider this a spoiler), ending the story very abruptly. I found that one particular character, who I had originally come to love, had become much colder and formal. And even though the last pages were heartwarming, I couldn't help feeling slightly disappointed.

I suppose this could be expected, considering that the book had TEN different authors, each with their own style and interpretation of the story. I think this is the first book I will truly not recommend. I felt like I was somehow gipped at the end. Has anyone else read this, and if so, do you feel the same way?

Rating: 6/10

Library Load

Monday, August 10, 2009 | | 5 comments ♥
To be honest, I usually have a difficult time in the YA section of my local library. We don't get new books in very often unless they're exceptionally popular, which means that you may have to hunt around for a good read. Sometimes I only come home with a book or two, but today was different. Today I seemed to be interested in nearly every book that caught my eye. Which turned out to be many more than two...

Circle the Soul Softly by Davida Wills Hurwin- I figured I'd giver her another try. See my review of A Time for Dancing here. and Light Years by Tammar Stein. Never heard of her before, but I was up for finding new and unordinary things to read today.

The Lace Dowry by Andrea Cheng and The Truth About Sparrows by Marian Hale. Haven't heard of either of these two yet; and, yes, isn't it odd that these sparrows keep popping up all over the place? Also, Upstream by Melissa Lion. It's a quick read, which I'll be needing all the more of once school starts!

By the River by Steven Herrick and Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. Someone said that the second book was similar to Harry Potter. Apparently in more than just subject matter- it's a thick as a Potter as well!

Well, these should keep me busy for a while, don't you think? Hopefully in one of these I can find another favorite book to add to my Favorite's Shelfari (did you happen to notice it on the sidebar? Pretty...)

Blogger Award and Quick Update

I have recently received my first Blogger Award- The Kreativ Blogger Award from the lovely Rhiannon- thank you!

The rules state that once you receive this award you must list seven of your favorite things and then nominate seven other blogs.

My seven favorite things:

1. Laughing until my stomach aches
2. Baking
3. Rainy days spent by the window with a mug of tea and a book
4. Nature Photography (seeing and taking)
5. Mashed potatoes...the greatest comfort food there ever was
6. Receiving packages or letters in the mail
7. Watching old Disney movies

And the nominees (in no particular order):

1. Briana at From Briana's Point of View
2. Enna Isilee at Squeaky Books
3. Sara at Dragonfly Book Reviews
4. Rocs at A Beginning, Middle and End
5. Nicole at Word for Teens
6. Jessica at Eat Sleep Dance Read
7. Melanie at Melanie's Musings

I'll be posting up a review for Click soon, and am now in the middle of reading If I Stay. Happy Reading!


Julie and Julia: The Movie Review

Sunday, August 9, 2009 | | 6 comments ♥

When I woke up today, I was expecting a very uneventful Sunday. Oh, how wrong I was. After church, we made our way to a nearby movie theater, where we saw Julie and Julia. I was very much looking forward to the movie, especially since it was based on two books- and the superb casting!

In short, Julie and Julia was hilarious. Large bursts of laughter were all but required while watching Meryl Streep's determination in her journey through cooking school. Amy Adams was adorable (I think that will always be the first word that comes to mind when I describe her, after seeing Enchanted) as Julie, although I seemed to get the feeling that Julie Powell was not as sweet in real life.

We left the theater feeling satisfied and inspired; upon returning home we cracked open our old copy of Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, just for fun. After coming accross a recipe that was showcased in the movie, my parents and I somehow convinced ourselves to make it! We made a quick trip to the grocery store, and began cooking the Boeuf Bourguignon, or Beef Stew in Red Wine, with Bacon, Onions, and Mushrooms. (This was the dish Julie Powell overcooked in the movie). It took about three hours total to make, but it was sooooo worth it. We're talking melt-in-your-mouth meat and a sauce you want to drink with a straw. That good. Here's a picture of our efforts:

And although we won't be cooking through Julia Child's entire cookbook, we have made a plan to use it more often. I'm also hoping to read Julie Powell's book, Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously. Hopefully it will be a delicious read (It's hard for me to resist a corny joke once it's in my head)

Rating: 10/10 (I seem to be giving out more of these lately...I can only wonder if I'm becoming a softie)

In My Mailbox (1)

Friday, August 7, 2009 | | 3 comments ♥
This is my first In My Mailbox! This informative meme was created by The Story Siren! :)


Song of the Sparrow, by Lisa Ann Sandell. After first seeing this title, I really just couldn't help myself. Come on, sparrows!

The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. This is one of my favorite books, and I'm very glad to finally have my own copy. Now, if only Markus Zusak would come into town!

Enna Burning, by Shannon Hale. I lost my other copy of Enna, and I just needed to replace it before Forest Born came out.

From the Library:

If I Stay, by Gayle Forman and Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow, by Jessica Day George. Can't wait to read another version of East of the Sun, West of the Moon. If I Stay looks terrific too!

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen Review

Wednesday, August 5, 2009 | | 4 comments ♥

When it comes to relationships, Remy doesn't mess around. After all, she's learned all there is to know from her mother, who's currently working on husband number five. But there's
something about Dexter that seems to defy all of Remy's rules. He certainly doesn't seem like Mr. Right. For some reason, however, Remy just can't seem to shake him. Could it be that Remy's starting to understand what those love songs are all about? -Goodreads

I was, as usual, impressed by another Dessen book. I've actually read This Lullaby before, but it had been so long that I'd completely forgotten the storyline. I'm trying to complete the Sarah Dessen challenge by the end of this year, and now I'm finally making some progress! I'm glad that I did...

Can we start with the not-so-good first? This way I can end on a high note...I found it difficult at times to connect with Remy, mostly because I make a point not to put myself in the same situations she does or make the decisions she makes. Also, has anyone else noticed the trend found in several of Sarah's novels- that there is minimal parental supervision? This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but in some situations I just kind of do an 'uhh...wouldn't my parents be wondering where I was if I didn't come home at night?' In that respect, I didn't find some aspects very realistic, not to say that some parents do let their kids have a lot of freedom. That's just me.

On the other hand (and this hand definitely bests the other), I can't help becoming immersed in Sarah's writing. Like I've said before, she has a knack for dialouge. And the conversations in this book were funny. The kind of funny that you find yourself reliving at the dinner table and accidently snort your drink through your nose. Hate Spinnerbait!

Have I ever mentioned that I adore Sarah Dessen's secondary characters? I believe that they truly make the books. I can remember them as clearly as the lead characters. Not to mention they can be hysterical. :)

If you haven't read Sarah's books, you're missing out. Big time. (By the way, Dexter= Sa-wooon)

Rating: 8.5/10

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson Review

Tuesday, August 4, 2009 | | 4 comments ♥
Who is Jenna Fox?
Seventeen-year-old Jenna has been told that is her name. She has just awoken from a year-long coma, and she's still recovering from the terrible accident that caused it. Her parents show her home movies of her life, her memories, but she has no recollection. Is she really the same girl she sees on the screen?

Little by little, Jenna begins to remember. Along with the memories come questions- questions no on wants to answer for her. What really happened after the accident?

As I was reading the first 100 pages, I became very puzzled. The storyline was good, but I couldn't latch on to the character at all. The only way I could describe Jenna was like slick marble- nothing to hold on to, no matter how you tried. And the puzzling part was that I knew the author wanted it that way. The only other book I've read that was similar to this was Anthem, by Ayn Rand. And that's a classic. And everyone knows that, as a student, you don't argue with the classics. But that's another post.

{A small spoiler in the first sentence of the next paragraph}

And suddenly, click! Jenna starts to feel human, just as you learn that she may not be. From there, the book took a huge turn upward for me. I actually found myself enjoying Pearson's sparse writing style (I'm usually more of a detail girl myself). All the pieces started fitting together, and by the end I was extremely happy with it. I plan on reading more of Mary E. Pearson's books just to see what I've been missing.

Rating: 9/10

Charleston and Other Tidbits

Monday, August 3, 2009 | | 2 comments ♥
I'm back! Charleston was beautiful and HUMID, and I'm very glad to be back home in North Carolina, even though I had a wonderful time. The group I was put in scraped and painted a small house, which was actually more fun than I had anticipated. Last Friday we had a free day and visited a waterpark and downtown Charleston. The Battery was gorgeous, and the view was amazing. We had fun browsing the shops and moseying down the streets. Now that I'm home I have to really get started on some summer schoolwork, which (of course) I've left to the last minute. No worries, though.

Right now I'm reading The Adoration of Jenna Fox, and I should have a review up within a day or two. In other news, Julie and Julia comes out this weekend I believe, and I'm hoping my local library puts a rush on the book. I really wanted to read it before I see the film, but it seems like that may not be happening. It may be a blessing in disguise, though. Sometimes it's good to just enjoy the movie rather than having to compare to the book the first time around.

Also, it should be noted that there is a relatively new blogger in town! Reggie from The Undercover Book Lover. She's created a really cool site- go check it out!

That's all for today- keep a lookout for some Charleston pictures that I hope to post later in the week!
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