Off to Charleston!

Saturday, July 25, 2009 | | 2 comments ♥
This week I'll be off on a mission trip to Charleston, South Carolina! Unfortunately, there's no computer access there, but I'll update as soon as I get back (next weekend). Have a great week, everyone! :D

The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale Review

Friday, July 24, 2009 | | 2 comments ♥

The Actor and the Housewife is essentially the story of a very famous British actor (Felix Callahan) becoming friends with an average American housewife (Becky Jack). It chronicles their trials and their smooth-going days, their hysterical banter and their tears.

I have been excited about this book for months. And months. Quite simply, I love Shannon's writing, and I couldn't wait for more of it. I was worried that my expectations were too high; that I would be disappointed after reading. Thankfully, this was not the case. I may as well warn you, this isn't a normal review. I had a very difficult time writing, just because of the fact that I loved it so much.

The back-and-forth between Becky and Felix had me chuckling through the first hundred pages. It was very Gilmore-Girls-esque, which, in other words, means I loved it. I wasn't bored for a second while I was reading; I think Shannon nailed the pacing. The ending was perfect and unexpected and incredibly satisfying. I have my fingers and toes crossed that there will be a sequel. I'll wrap up the gushing now. :)

What I've been dying to tell you is: Go out and get it! Today. I mean it.

Rating: 10/10

Interview You

Wednesday, July 22, 2009 | | 2 comments ♥
I think this is a wonderful way to get to know the blogging community; These hilarious questions were provided by Nicole. :D

1)You're stuck on a deserted island. Minimum water, minimum food. There is a good chance that you will not survive the week. You try to build a shelter, and fail. Suddenly, a magic genie appears and grants you one... theme song for this whole escapade. What song would you pick?

I couldn't think of a song off the top of my head, so I flipped through my music on iTunes. I happened across a song by The Fray called 'Where the Story Ends.' How appropriate. After listening to the lyrics, most everything fit. Although I started out looking for a more hopeful tune, this one just sort of stuck.

2)A rabid hippopotamus is chasing you through a library and the only way to stop it is to read the most horrible, disgusting book you can think of. What book do you pick? (Or do you choose not to pick and get rammed into the wall? Oh, Cate guts everywhere...)

After I managed to get my laughter mellowed down to a chuckle (gotta love that rabid hippo!) I had a horrible time coming up with a book that really disgusted me. I mean, I really don't want have my guts spilled all over the library floor, because that would be gross and unsightly, but what do I choose? I've never really read a book that I've really and truly hated before. It then dawns on me that a few years ago while browsing the nonfiction section I came across a book on leeches. I believe that the cover was so nauseating that I actually gagged. Yeah, I would look at those little blood-sucking worms for an hour rather than face that menacing hippo.

3)You have a chance to travel anywhere in the world using whatever methods you may choose. Do you take a spaceship to Australia? A boat to Ireland? Grow wings and go to London? Where and what would you pick?

I always have loved the idea of traveling on a magic carpet. It's like flying, except there's a bit more sitting involved. Although there are manymanymany places I would like to visit, Italy would be my top choice. I don't think anything would top real Italian food. :D

4)You have to create a movie based on your life. What would it be called, and who would you cast?

I would have to call it Chasing Risk, because I feel like that is what I do everyday. There are some people who live on the edge, and some that don't. I would definitely be the latter, and sometimes I'm not always sure that's the best way to spend life. So, I'm chasing risk, not necessarily living it.

It took me a while to come up with an actress, but I finally settled on Alexis Bledel. Not because we look anything alike (because, I assure you, we don't). I think she could match my disposition pretty well. Not to mention she played Rory from Gilmore Girls. And, if anyone knows me, they know that Gilmore is my favorite show of all time and take pride in having seen every episode. :)

5)Would you rather go down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland, be bit by a vampire from Twilight, or watch the escapades of one of the teenagers in one of Ellen Hopkin's books? Why?

The rabbit hole is my pick. Despite all the crazy things that happen to Alice, I always found the story kind of fascinating. Plus, I don't think that I'd make the same moronic decisions she did (just because a bottle says 'drink me' doesn't mean you should...)

Follow these instructions:
1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.” Please include your email address.
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.


Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get The Actor and the Housewife from the library until last night, by which time I didn't feel like turning on the computer. No more excuses, though- here's a snippet (not the general two sentences, because I believe this book deserves more than two):

"I think this calls for a pinky pledge." She hooked her pinky around his. "I, Becky Jack, agree to be Felix Callahan's pal, even though he's way overrated as an actor and screen hunk and can be such a brat."

Felix cleared his throat. "I, world-famous and fabulously wealthy Felix Paul Callahan, agree to be mates with Becky, even though she wears grandmother shoes and insists on popping out children with reckless abandon and shows no remorse for her vicious right hook."

"That was very nice. I almost shed a tear."

~ page 57

Shannon Hale is brilliant. Enough said.

<3 Cate

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: The Movie Review

Saturday, July 18, 2009 | | 5 comments ♥
I saw Potter. *dramatic pause*

And I want to see it again- for more than one reason. First, because I thought it was good. Very good, as a matter of fact. I don't think it was my favorite of all the Potter movies, but I would (and probably will) pay another $7.50 to see it again. To begin with, the special effects, as usual, were incredible. I loved all the liberties that were taken- the burning bit of newspaper, the hourglass, etc. I think all of those touches really made the difference in creating the wizarding world.

And I loved that we finally got to see Harry caring for Hermione as a friend. I think that in the other movies (and perhaps the books,) Harry was there to support Ron more often than Hermione. It was wonderful to see those little moments.

On the downside, I disliked the scene that was added in at the Weasley's house. It didn't really seem to add a lot to the movie, besides the fact that the Burrow has now been burned down. I guess no wedding for Fleur and Bill...although that bit seems to have been cut anyway. Speaking of cutting, there were some scenes that I really wish had made it's way into the film- Dumbledore's funeral, for instance. I understand that the books and the movies are two different things, but I would have loved to see how they would have interpreted that final chapter.

My last 'thumbs-down' would have to be the casting for Professor Slughorn. Jim Broadbent just didn't seem to fit the part. I always pictured Slughorn as an enormous jolly man with equally as large flaws. This would be the second reason I want to watch the movie again. I think that I'll grow to like Broadbent a little more as time goes on.

All in all, I enjoyed it, but was the teensiest tonsiest bit disappointed. That's a first for the Harry Potter movies. Had I never read the books I think my views would be nothing but positive. I think it's hard to have an idea in your mind of what something should be, and have such high expectations for it, that it's hard to accept something different.

Rating: 8.5/10 stars
<3 Cate

A Little Before and After

Thursday, July 16, 2009 | | 3 comments ♥

Can you believe they were so small?

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling Review

Wednesday, July 15, 2009 | | 1 comments ♥

In the sixth installment of the Harry Potter series, a new year at Hogwarts begins, along with a new teacher, old pals, and (relatively) new love interests. Harry learns more of Voldemort's past, and the key to his defeat.

Before I start blabbering endlessly, I'll get this out: J.K. Rowling has such a talent for storytelling. She nails it nine times out of ten, and has created a perfect balance between fantasy and reality that (I'm sure) many writers would kill for. In the Half-Blood Prince, I also felt a different sense of balance. Although there was tension and sadness, there was also laughter (There were several moments I had to set the book down because I was cracking up)and sheer excitement. The story didn't falter, and I enjoyed every chapter of it.

J.K. can also write one good, long sentence. That's the best kind, in my opinion.

The only thing I wish of the Harry Potter books is that I could read them again for the first time. There's something about trying to fit all the pieces together, laughing aloud, and mourning the loss of characters you love that can't be experienced quite the same way again. I feel like I've grown up with these books, and there are so many good memories attached to them. Despite the series being finished, I will always be glad to reread a Potter book. And watch the movies too. :)

Rating: 10/10 (that's right!)

This Week

Monday, July 13, 2009 | | 1 comments ♥

Well, I may as well go ahead and deem this "I-have-seen-so-many-Potter-themed-posts-my-brain-may-just-explode week," because, for the next few days, Sparrow Review will be dedicated to (you guessed it!) Harry Potter. My book AND movie review for the Half-Blood Prince will be coming later this week. Hope you're prepared! =)

Gotta Have It! ~The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

Friday, July 10, 2009 | | 0 comments ♥

A 'Gotta Have It' is a book I've seen, heard of, or read about that I'm interested in. It's a bit like Waiting on Wednesday except that the books are already released. Do you have a 'Gotta Have It' book?

In the not-too-distant future, when biotechnological advances have made synthetic bodies and brains possible but illegal, a seventeen-year-old girl, recovering from a serious accident and suffering from memory lapses, learns a startling secret about her existence. (from Goodreads)

Now, usually, I'm not too keen on science fiction. Or anything that's both futuristic and creepy. But, The Adoration of Jenna Fox caught my eye; the butterfly on the cover is so striking. But, as I have learned, beautiful covers definitely don't say anything about the reading content. I've read some reviews that've been circulating, and most have concluded it's a great read. The plot does intrigue me, and I'd like to see how all the pieces fit together in the end. Most definitely on the to-read list!

Teaser Tuesday

Tuesday, July 7, 2009 | | 3 comments ♥

This is my first Teaser Tuesday! I've seen these everywhere, and each says that it began at a different source, so I'm not really sure who to credit the idea to. But thank you, whoever you are, all the same. Here are the rules:

*Grab your current read
*Open to a random page
*Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
*Be Careful not to include spoilers! (try not to give too much away)
*Share the title & author

At the moment I'm rereading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince , by J.K. Rowling in preparation for the movie. Here's the teaser:

"You'd think people had better things to gossip about," said Ginny, as she sat on the common room floor, leaning against Harry's legs and reading the Daily Prophet. "Three dementor attacks in a week, and all Romilda Vane does is ask me if it's true you've got a hippogriff tattooed across your chest."

~Page 535

Have a terrific Tuesday, everyone! <3 Cate

East by Edith Pattou Review

Thursday, July 2, 2009 | | 6 comments ♥

"I go with her. Forever."
"Who? Who do you go with?"
He shook his head, hopelessness flooding his whole body.
"Can't you tell me?"
"It does not matter. I know her only as Queen, and her land is far."
"Where is it?" I asked, willing him to tell me.
He laughed suddenly, and I could hear the full-throated, grating sound of the white bear's laughter in it.
"East of the sun and west of the moon," he said.

If you spot East in a bookstore, your first thought may not be to take it home with you. It certainly wasn't mine. Polar bears and Norwegian fairy tales are not the typical flashy and sparkly YA book. And those 500 pages can be a little daunting. In the end though, the fairy tale lover in me wouldn't put the book down, and without knowing it I bought a favorite book of mine that fateful day.

The writing in East is rich and gorgeous and...soothing. I say that because reading this book feels uncannily like I'm being told a favorite bedtime story. An engrossing one at that. With every page turned, every chapter read, it becomes clear that Pattou has woven a beautiful tale. There are so many layers and overlapping details that result in giving you the warm fuzzies. Yes, that lovely feeling.

Although I wouldn't recommend East for light summer reading, if you have a chunk of time on your hands and an interest in the warm fuzzies, this book will not leave you disappointed. Read up!

{East is a retelling of the fairy tale East of the Sun, West of the Moon, if anyone's wondering}

Rating: 9.5/10

New Layout

Wednesday, July 1, 2009 | | 2 comments ♥
I would just like to thank the positively lovely Korianne from Korianne Speaks for this gorgeous new layout. I LOVE it and hope everyone else enjoys looking at it as much as I do! Thank you, Korianne!

I should have a review of East by Edith Pattou up pretty soon; it's taking me a bit longer than expected to read (mainly because I'm in vacation mode.) Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is next on the rereading list- I'm trying to refresh my memory for the movie. I'm a huge fan of J.K. Rowling, and am beyond excited for the 15th!

Thanks for reading- sorry I don't have a bit more news up!
Newer Posts Older Posts Home