Flashback Friday

Friday, October 30, 2009 | | 3 comments ♥
The Wayside School was supposed to be one story high, with 30 classrooms side by side; instead, it was built sideways, with 30 one-classroom stories. As befits such a strange school, these tales are a bit strange too. In one, Jason is stuck to his seat by a large wad of chewing gum. His teacher tries throwing ice water on him (to chill the gum to brittleness) and turning him upside down. She even contemplates cutting his pants off. Finally, though, he falls from his upside-down position when kissed (ugh!) by one of the girls in the class. Other tales include a bit of a moral, such as the story of Kathy, whose assumption that no one will ever like her is proved right, or the story of Bebe, who draws quickly but without artistic merit. The quirky humor in this book is appealing to children. -Goodreads

One of my favorite elementary school teachers used to read Sideways Stories from Wayside School outloud to us every day after lunch. They were a favorite among the class, mostly because of each anecdote's ridulous hilarity. I didn't find out until much later the Louis Sachar (author of Holes) also wrote this book, which came as a complete surprise. I really enjoy reading an author's work when they dabble in humor, and this read seems like a perfect example.

Feel Free to do your own Flashback Friday post- I'm looking forward to seeing what books you liked as a child!

<3 Cate

The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Review

Saturday, October 24, 2009 | | 3 comments ♥
Born into a family of slaves, Frederick Douglass educated himself through sheer determination. His unconquered will to triumph over his circumstances makes his one of America's best and most unlikely success stories. Douglass' own account of his journey from slave to one of America's great statesmen, writers, and orators is as fascinating as it is inspiring. -Goodreads

This was the first book of the year that my English teacher assigned us to read, and I was interested in what Frederick Douglass had to offer. It's a very quick read- only eleven chapters; and I wondered what message he would try to express.

The best way I can describe this narrative is with a vocabulary word I learned this past week: Pithy. It sounds like something negative, but I found that it's definition suited this work beautifully: it means powerful and concise. (You can understand why I love my English class...I feel much more intelligent after leaving!) Truly, though, this is one of the most meaningful and significant books that I have ever read.

Please take a few hours out of your usual reading and pick up The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. It's a decision you won't regret.

Rating: 10/10

In My Mailbox (3)

Sunday, October 18, 2009 | | 10 comments ♥
I have an IMM post for you this week! Special thanks to Kristi over at The Story Siren for creating this fun meme.


I am participating in a blogger event in November, and have chosen to read Syren, by Angie Sage. I actually have not read the other four books in the series- does anyone know if I need to read the previous installments to understand this book? More information to come later!

From the Library:

I actually decided to take up Sandy (from Pirate Penguin's Reads) on her recommendation of The Song Reader by Lisa Tucker. Thanks, Sandy! It truly does look interesting; has anyone else read this before?

Have a relaxing rest of your weekend!

<3 Cate

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting Review

Saturday, October 17, 2009 | | 4 comments ♥
The Body Finder is essentially the story of Violet, a junior in high school, who has a gift. The gift of finding the dead. When a serial killer is on the loose in her small town, she takes on the responsibility of finding him before he hurts anyone else.

Okay, so normally I'm not a fan of books with a paranormal premise. I'm a fairy tale kind of girl. However, I was intrigued by the whole idea of Violet's ability, and her interest in using it for good. And, after I picked it up, I found it nearly impossible to set down. Seriously. Ms. Derting keeps you on the edge of your seat, and throws in some some huge twists (one nearly killed me, I could've sworn...)

Also, I just have to mention Jay. I have decided that he is second only to Wes, of Sarah Dessen's The Truth About Forever. Sa-woooon. You know what I mean. :)

Definitely pick this up- a quick and enthralling read!

Rating: 9/10

<3 Cate

Books and Music

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 | | 6 comments ♥
This is actually a post from a little over a month ago, but I decided to run it again because I didn't get any responses. (Must have been a bad day for comments) Anyway, I really would like to hear what you think about the link between books and music. Here's the previous post:

After reading a 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 Award

Sunday, October 11, 2009 | | 0 comments ♥

Hi Everyone; I hope you're having a lovely October! At the moment I'm going through sort of a book rut. The good kind. I have about three or four books that I'm trying to get through at the same time, some for school, some for fun. I'm only a few chapters into all of them, which doesn't make for timely reviews. Nonetheless, I'm making my way through them slowly but surely! Anyone else have this issue?

Also, I'd like to thank Sarah over at Book Duck for giving me the Great Look Award! Here's the description:

This award is meant to pat on the back the ones paying particular attention to their blog presentation, and god knows some of them looks awesome! Of course none of them are pretty empty shells, so there's no shame to mention how nice their blogs are!

Have a great weekend!

<3 Cate

Flashback Friday (4)

Friday, October 9, 2009 | | 7 comments ♥

Flashback Friday is a weekly (although recently I've been letting it slide...my bad) post that highlights a book that I liked when I was younger. You're welcome to join in- I'd love to read about your childhood favorites, or even books that you didn't enjoy so much.

This week I'm showcasing a book that I remember reading in late elementary school, and I absolutely hated it. Some may scowl at the fact that I really disliked this classic (which I'm sure is beloved by some), but I'm being honest. Anne of Green Gables was just not my cup of tea; one reason being (from what I remember) was that Anne talked SO MUCH. A very long-winded young lady. For some reason the way the book was written plucked my last nerve.

It was the only reading test that I ever failed. :(

Have any of you read Anne of Green gables? If so, what did you think?

I Can't Keep My Own Secrets Review

Monday, October 5, 2009 | | 3 comments ♥

I Can't Keep My Own Secrets is a collection of over 600 6-word memoirs written by teens.

This book was wonderful. Amazing. Touching. Heartfelt. And FUNNY. It's a quick read- you could probably get through it in less than an hour if you really wanted to. I absolutely loved it though, because everything written was raw and honest. I truly don't have anything else to say but this: GO OUT AND GET IT.

Rating: 10/10

P.S. All-time favorite was "I never got my Hogwarts letter." (Don't we all feel that way?)

HMS Challenge

Sunday, October 4, 2009 | | 2 comments ♥

This Challenge is being hosted by Nicole over at WORD For Teens, and it didn't really sound like any challenge I had heard before. Go sign Mr. Linky at the link above if you're interested! Here's the fabuloso description:

Way back when, the ocean had yet to be explored. We knew nothing about it. Then, the HMS Challenger was sent out - its challenge? To scope the ocean and learn it's secrets.

With that in mind, readers, I challenge you to read (or reread) ten books between now and September 19th of 2010. But not just any ten books. These books must involve water - be it about pirates, mermaids, or the coast of California, fiction or nonfiction.

The question is - can you handle it?

My ten books are as follows:

1. Bloody Jack, by L.A. Meyer. {Firstly because I've heard many wonderful things and secondly because I just checked it out from the library}
2.Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie. {Mermaids AND Pirates! AND Never-Never Land! Beat that!}
3.Piraticia by Tanith Lee {Nicole recommended this on her post. I trust her judgement. :)}
4.Mermaid Park by Beth Mayall {oooh. Title is intriguing, don't you think?}
5.Pirates! by Celia Rees {Title is self-explanatory}
6.Benjamin Manry and the Curse of the Blood Bones {I believe I won this book on a contest over at WORD For Teens...one less to search for!}
7.The Life of Pi {Supposed to be amazing- and it has a shipwreck!}
8. Sirena by Donna Jo Napoli {I've heard wonderful things about this author! Can't wait to dive in! Excuse the pun.}
9. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain {Oooh.}
10. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemmingway {Probably the hardest of the challenge. Because, well, it's Hemingway. But it's fairly short and supposed to be very good.}

So very excited!

<3 Cate

Forest Born by Shannon Hale Review

Friday, October 2, 2009 | | 4 comments ♥

The fourth installment in the Books of Bayern, Forest Born, follows Rin (Razo's sister!) on the final journey of the series.

I thought that Shannon Hale took a little bit of a twist with this book; it was quite different from the rest of the Bayern series. Rin was a much more emotionally wearing character than Isi, Enna, or Razo. And although the books are usually written in close third person, I sometimes almost felt like I was reading in first person, just because of the focus on Rin's struggles. Rin isn't my favorite lead character, but she certainly was interesting to read about.

Forest Born has one major twist in it, one that I didn't expect AT ALL. After reading one line at the end of a chapter, I do believe my jaw dropped open (no exaggeration.) Major surprise element!

Overall, it was a very enjoyable read. Not my favorite Hale book, but maybe after I've read it a second time I'll have a different opinion; I generally do. If you do decide to take on the Bayern Books, I would recommend starting with the Goose Girl, and not skipping books. It is possible to follow the series out of order, but that surprise element I was talking about earlier- will have a much greater effect if you read the previous books. :)

Rating: 8.5/10
Newer Posts Older Posts Home