Fat Cat by Robin Brande Review

Thursday, December 31, 2009 | | 4 comments ♥
Cat is smart, sassy, and funny. But thin, she is not. Until her class science project. That’s when she winds up doing an experiment—on herself. Before she knows it, Cat is living—and eating—like the hominids, our earliest human ancestors.

When I first picked this book up from the shelf at my library, I thought two things: (1)Hey, I've seen some pretty good reviews for this! and (2)This book has the potential to be...shallow. I'm not the kind of girl who really enjoys reading books that don't have some depth to them. I don't read the Gossip Girl series or books that revolve entirely around romance. Why? It's not because there's anything wrong with the books themselves. It's because when I finish a book with a message that strikes a chord in me, there's a moment where everything feels complete and whole and blissful. I love those moments. :)

Getting back on track...I was pleasantly surprised to find that Fat Cat was full of witty humor and strength. Cat was a completely lovable character; she was intelligent and sweet and a hard worker. Robin Brande wrote this in a smart way. The story itself was entertaining and fast-paced. All of the characters were believable and three-demensional. I was hooked- I stayed up late to learn the final details of her project, and her personal journey. And, when I closed the back cover in the end, I had one of those aforementioned moments. :) Don't waste time; go pick it up for yourself!

Rating: 9.5/10

Wish List Wednesday

Wednesday, December 30, 2009 | | 4 comments ♥
When a small mistake costs sixteen-year-old Eagan her life during a figure-skating competition, she leaves many things unreconciled, including her troubled relationship with her mother. From her vantage point in the afterlife, Eagan reflects back on her memories, and what she could have done differently, through her still-beating heart. When fourteen-year-old Amelia learns she will be getting a heart transplant, her fear and guilt battle with her joy at this new chance at life. And afterwards when she starts to feel different—dreaming about figure skating, craving grape candy—her need to learn about her donor leads her to discover and explore Eagan’s life, meeting her grieving loved ones and trying to bring the closure they all need to move on. Told in alternating viewpoints, In a Heartbeat tells the emotional and compelling story of two girls sharing one heart. -Goodreads

Although I had heard bits and pieces about this book from looking around the book blogosphere, the first time I read a full review for In a Heartbeat was from Sandy at Pirate Penguin's Reads. She really enjoyed it, so I think that I'll give it a try! Fingers crossed I can find it at the library!

<3 Cate

My Top Five of 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009 | | 3 comments ♥
It's the end of the year already! Here are my top picks for 2009; I enjoyed reading each and every one of these- I hope you'll do the same! I have no doubt that 2010 holds just as many thrilling, hilarious, grips-you-til-the-end reads. :)

Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale Review
and Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Ophelia by Lisa Klein Review
and Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen Review

Paper Towns by John Green Review

What were your top picks?
Also, feel free to take a survey I created to get some feedback on the blog; it would be very much appreciated! Click here to take survey.
<3 Cate

Challenge Overload

Monday, December 28, 2009 | | 7 comments ♥
Before I get into this post, I just wanted to remind you that I created a New Year's Survey, and I'd love to get your feedback! There are more details in my previous post. :) Click here to take survey

Okay, it's very possible that I may have gone a little overboard with my challenge participation this year. To be honest, I don't really even know exactly what I have to do for each and when to finish them by. So, this post serves two purposes: to help me be a little less scatterbrained and to give you the opportunity to join some challenges- I'm sure it's not too late for some of them!

First up, The Sarah Dessen Challenge, hosted at Em's Bookshelf. I'll admit, I did start this challenge way late; it began in May, but there was no final challenge date, so I decided to hop on board! I gave myself until the end of the school year (June 9th) to read and review all nine Sarah Dessen Books. So far, here's what I've got!

That Summer
Keeping the Moon
Someone Like You
This Lullaby= Finished!
The Truth About Forever= Read, but no review yet
Just Listen
Lock and Key= Read, but not review yet
Along for the Ride= Finished!

This Challenge is being hosted by Nicole over at WORD For Teens. The books for this challenge must involve water - be it about pirates, mermaids, or the coast of California, fiction or nonfiction. All need to be read (and in my case reviewed) by September 19th, 2010! Unfortunately, I'm VERY behind on this challenge! Here are my ten chosen books:

1.Bloody Jack, by L.A. Meyer.
2.Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie.
3.Piraticia by Tanith Lee
4.Mermaid Park by Beth Mayall
5.Pirates! by Celia Rees
6.Benjamin Manry and the Curse of the Blood Bones
7.The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
8.Sirena by Donna Jo Napoli
9.The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
10.The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemmingway

Ahh, the Alice Challenge. I don't believe that I have read or reviewed anything for this list whatsoever...yikes! I have until August 21st, 2010.

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

And last, but certainly not least, The 100+ Book Challenge, hosted by J. Kaye's Book Blog. Thank goodness books can cross over for all challenges on this one! I don't have a definite list; I think I'm going to just take this year as it comes! I have until the end of December, next year!

What challenges are you participating in this year?
Have a wonderful day!
<3 Cate

New Year's Survey

Thursday, December 24, 2009 | | 1 comments ♥
Hello, everyone, and Happy Holidays! This will most likely be my last post until next week, and it's a little different than usual.

I've created a survey, just to get some feedback and help me make some New Year's Resolutions for the blog. I really hope you'll take the time to fill it out- all comments and suggestions are much appreciated. Click here to take survey

Also, if you look on the sidebar, there's a pretty little button, that (with some team effort) was made just for you! Feel free to take one! And special thanks to Sandy and Melanie for helping me figure out all of the technical stuff! :)

Thanks a million, and have a Merry Christmas!
<3 Cate

Wish List Wednesday

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 | | 3 comments ♥
A Blue So Dark, by Holly Schindler

Terrified that her mother, a schizophrenic and an artist, is a mirror that reflects her own future, sixteen-year-old Aura struggles with her overwhelming desires to both chase artistic pursuits and keep madness at bay.

As her mother sinks deeper into the darkness of mental illness, the hunger for a creative outlet keeps drawing Aura toward the depths of her own imagination—the shadows of make-believe that she finds frighteningly similar to her mother’s hallucinations.

Convinced that creative equals crazy, Aura shuns her art, and her life unravels in the process.

Oooh. Pretty. The cover is so beautiful. I can't wait to read this one; the plot is so originial- I'm looking forward to May 2010!!!

<3 Cate

Call Me Sonya Grey by Sonya Grey Lloyd Review

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 | | 3 comments ♥

Call Me Sonya Grey is a personal collection of poetic verse that is at once inspiring and challenging. Beginnng with the loss of her mother at age nine, Tupone Lloyd began collecting her thoughts in 40 poems in a diary from early childhood through her twenties. In Call Me, Tupone Lloyd describes the daily battles of self-image and self-expression she experienced growing up after the passing of one parent and the estrangement of another. With the death of her mother, Tupone Lloyd lost a part of everything she had known. Two states away, she finds herself with a different family, school, friends, home and a new name. The verses written during this time are one woman s exploration of her raw, emotional responses to dramatic life changes. This is Sonya's story. Call me Sonya Grey. -Goodreads

Call Me Sonya Grey was, to say the least, heartfelt and poignant. Emotionally, the reader is put through the wringer; I might consider picking this one up on an especially gloomy day.

I'm a big fan of poetry. In this case, not all of the poems were my cup of tea (not to say that I there weren't plenty I found fascinating- which I did!) There were times that I just didn't connect with what Llloyd was trying to get across, but I think that because her situation was one that I cannot truly relate to, it was harder for me to completely link myself to the writing. However, I did enjoy reading it almost as if a diary...it chronicled her journey of growing up.

If you're a poetry fanatic, I'd suggest you pick this one up. It's an interesting view on how the author has chosen to express her life through words... and well chosen ones at that.

Rating: 7.5/10

Wish List Wednesday

Wednesday, December 16, 2009 | | 2 comments ♥

An arresting story about starting over after a friend’s suicide, from a breakthrough new voice in YA fiction.
Devastating, hopeful, hopeless, playful . . . in words and illustrations, Ingrid left behind a painful farewell in her journal for Caitlin. Now Caitlin is left alone, by loss and by choice, struggling to find renewed hope in the wake of her best friend’s suicide. With the help of family and newfound friends, Caitlin will encounter first love, broaden her horizons, and start to realize that true friendship didn’t die with Ingrid. And the journal which once seemed only to chronicle Ingrid’s descent into depression, becomes the tool by which Caitlin once again reaches out to all those who loved Ingrid— and Caitlin herself. -Goodreads

I saw Hold Still at Books-a-Million last weekend, and I was seriously thinking about taking it home and setting it at the top of the TBR pile. From what I could tell, Nina LaCour has taken a truly solemn subject and made it into something a little more bearable. I'm very interested in reading!

Dream Library

Tuesday, December 15, 2009 | | 6 comments ♥
We all have one. The library we dream about.

Um, yes, this does happen to be the library from Beauty and the Beast. It is ahhhmazing. I'm not really sure how you would get to all of the books near the top, but I have a feeling it would take me a while to get there. Plus those spiral staircases are gorgeous.

Do you have a dream library? Do tell!

<3 Cate

Dream Life by Lauren Mechling Book Trailer

Saturday, December 12, 2009 | | 2 comments ♥
You may have heard of the lovely Lauren Mechling, who has co-written the 10th Grade Social Climber series and is the author of The Dream Girl series. You can find my review of Dream Girl here. I'm excited to help spread the word that the second installment, Dream Life, is coming out on January 12th of 2010! I hope you find this little preview as interesting as I did! (Also, does anyone else like the music as much as I do?)

Dream Life by Lauren Mechling -- Trailer from Richie Williams on Vimeo.

So exciting!
<3 Cate

Wish List Wednesday

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 | | 6 comments ♥

For nineteen-year-old Harriet Morton, life in 1912 Cambridge is as dry and dull as a biscuit. Her stuffy father and her opressive aunt Louisa allow her only one outlet: ballet. When a Russian ballet master comes to class searching for dancers to fill the corps of his ballet company before their South American tour, Harriet’s world changes. Defying her father’s wishes and narrowly escaping the clutches of the man who wishes to marry her, Harriet sneaks off to join the ballet on their journey to the Amazon. There, in the wild, lush jungle, they perform Swan Lake in grand opera houses for the wealthy and culture-deprived rubber barons, and Harriet meets Rom Verney, the handsome and mysterious British exile who owns the most ornate opera house. Utterly enchanted by both the exotic surroundings and by Rom’s affections, Harriet is swept away by her new life, completely unaware that her father and would-be finacĂ© have begun to track her down. . . .

I've always been a sucker for novels revolving around dancers, you? Yet another to add to my list! The cover is also beautiful. Are you interested in reading?

<3 Cate

Paper Towns by John Green

Monday, December 7, 2009 | | 1 comments ♥

When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night—dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows her. Margo’s always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she’s always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q . . . until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they’re for Q.

My first John Green novel. Though most would choose Looking for Alaska as their first choice, I decided that I'd go for what I could get most quickly from my library. :) I'm not really regretting this decision, as of yet.

I was incredibly impressed by the sheer wit that is so apparent in Paper Towns. Each character was quirky and funny and memorable; I was reminded of Sarah Dessen's supporting characters. There were only a few moments where I thought that the crude humor had gone a little too far, but I decided to overpass those in light of the fact that this is John Green, and, according to most, he is brilliant. I agree.

The overall story was fun and interesting; I especially loved Margo's night of revenge. There were several points in their little jaunt that I found myself laughing hysterically, and others that everything felt solemn and in slow motion. One other thing that I especially loved about this book was that there was an exceptionally clear voice. Reading was like hearing Q speaking, and that aspect made Paper Towns all the more enjoyable to read.

Rating: 9/10

This post would be incomplete if I did not direct you to John and Hank Green's vlogging webpage, Vlogbrothers. You can find many hours of entertainment on the other end of that link. :D

IMM (there's actually something in it!)

Sunday, December 6, 2009 | | 2 comments ♥
Although I didn't manage to take a trip to the library this week, I have a nice box of books to share- I actually won a contest from Chelsea over at The Page Flipper! I've heard a lot of good things about the Maximum Ride series (I've heard there's even a movie in the works), and I'm glad that I'll finally be able to read them!

Here's the list!

* Maximum Ride: Max (paperback)
* Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment (paperback)
* Maximum Ride: School’s Out – Forever (paperback)
* Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports (paperback)
* Maximum Ride: The Final Warning (paperback)
* Maximum Ride: Manga (paperback)
* The Dangerous Days of Daniel X (paperback)
* Daniel X: Watch the Skies (hardcover)

It seems I have a lot of reading to catch up on! What's in your mailboxes?

<3 Cate

Wish List Wednesday and All That Jazz

Wednesday, December 2, 2009 | | 1 comments ♥

"This small book, based upon the speech given by Bono at the 2006 NPB, delivers an inspiring and powerful message. Here, in Bono's own words, is a reflection on his own faith and a challenge to people of all faiths to reach across boundaries and come together on behalf of what the Scriptures call "the least of these. -Goodreads"

The mere idea that Bono has a book out intrigues me. I'm glad to hear that behind those sunglasses is someone who cares about the world. :) What are your thoughts?

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving break! I'm still recovering from the massive amounts of stuffing and mashed potatoes. Whew! Expect a review of John Green's Paper Towns will be up soon; be looking for that later in the week! Currently I'm reading a great book of poems, Call Me Sonya Grey, by Sonya Tupone Lloyd. What are you reading?

<3 Cate
Newer Posts Older Posts Home