Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"The Crowning of Calla Lilly Porter" reviewed.

Book: The Crowning of Calla Lilly Porter" by Rebecca Wells
Release Date: July 1st 2009

The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder is the sweet, sexy, funny journey of Calla Lily's life set in Wells's expanding fictional Louisiana landscape. In the small river town of La Luna, Calla bursts into being, a force of nature as luminous as the flower she is named for. Under the loving light of the Moon Lady, the feminine force that will guide and protect her throughout her life, Calla enjoys a blissful childhood—until it is cut short. Her mother, M'Dear, a woman of rapture and love, teaches Calla compassion, and passes on to her the art of healing through the humble womanly art of "fixing hair." At her mother's side, Calla further learns that this same touch of hands on the human body can quiet her own soul. It is also on the banks of the La Luna River that Calla encounters sweet, succulent first love, with a boy named Tuck.
But when Tuck leaves Calla with a broken heart, she transforms hurt into inspiration and heads for the wild and colorful city of New Orleans to study at L'AcadÉmie de BeautÉ de Crescent. In that extravagant big river city, she finds her destiny—and comes to understand fully the power of her "healing hands" to change lives and soothe pain, including her own. When Tuck reappears years later, he presents her with an offer that is colored by the memories of lost love. But who knows how Calla Lily, a "daughter of the Moon Lady," will respond?
A tale of family and friendship, tragedy and triumph, loss and love, The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder features the warmth, humor, soul, and wonder that have made Wells one of today's most cherished writers, and gives us an unforgettable new heroine to treasure.


What in the world happen here Rebecca? Seriously? I've waited a year and a half to read this book? I don't understand. The three YaYa books were magical. I couldn't put them down. I was so excited to find this one at the library that i snatched it up. Was i ever disappointed. I could barely finish the thing. There were no magic. No feelings of warmth. Nothing to make me care for Calla Lilly of anyone in this book. In fact it makes me wonder if Rebecca lost her edge here. I was so emotionally attached to the YaYa's that i was sad to let them go. I don't even want any of the characters here. The only part that pulled on my heartstrings was the chapters where "M'Dear" was dying. Mainly because it was like reading my Aunt Bev's death in print. Except take out breast cancer and insert colon cancer.

So so very disappointed... I hope Rebecca either returns to the YaYa's or makes characters i can care for in her next novel....

Too tired to write anymore and frankly i have nothing else more to say.

Rating: 2 bunnies.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Epic Brilliancy in new Harry Potter trailer

You can bet i'll be there in line four hours before the movie starts in costume for the midnight premiere. ^^

Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue Review

 I'm branching out more in my reviews. ^^ Now i'm adding movies, ect... oh heck. I'll review anything that i feel like should be acknowledged. ^^

New Tinkerbell movie came out! Being an unapologetic Tink fan that i am i went out and got it on the first day. ^^ Course there was no end to the looks i was getting from people. I didn't care. I'll shout it from the roof "I'm 24 and i went out and bought a little girl's movie". I even watched it last night and ordered the free (Well not technically free since it cost me $2.85 to ship) Tinkerbell charm bracelet that was offered with the movie,

I have to admit i was a bit disappointed in this one. Course a disappointing Tinkerbell movie is still better than half of the other animated movies coming from the USA right now. I think what went wrong was taking Tink out of the fairy world or Never Never land. The story of human girl meeting a fairy and becoming friends have been done to death, beaten, and kicked. The world of Neverland has barely been explored and i would have adored to seen more of it.

Lizzy, the little human girl, wasn't that bad of the character. She was just predictable. So was the story in a way. The moment her father captured the un-finished being painted butterfly you knew that he would capture one of the fairies. You knew that Tink would make Lizzy fly to save said fairy. And you knew that he would let the fairy go, they both would become BFF'S with the fairies, and live happily ever after.

There were also some 'when did that happen" parts in the movies. Such as when did Tinkerbell and Vidia become friends. In the other movies they both hated each other. Also when the fairies start camping out in the mainland/human world. I can't help but wonder if it was explained in the books or not.

There were some simply brilliant moments although. I loved every scene with the other fairies when they're on their "rescue" of Tinkerbell. I'm still cracking up at Rosetta's refusal to go through the mud and the other fairies are like "you're a garden fairy". Then she's like "About that...". ^^ Then at the end when they have the cat so high on catnip he's sitting there petting cheese the mouse. ^^

All in all i still loved the movie and glad I bought it. ^^ I am simply DYING to see the next one coming out this winter. "Tinkerbell and the Mysterious Winter Woods".

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Autumn is here/seasonal reading habits

It's autumn tomorrow. Gone are the days of summer. The change in the season's has gotten me into thinking about my seasonal reading habits.

Summer brings long days reading outside. This can include reading in the pool (it's possible, but tricky), on the beach, or on a lounge chair under the umbrella. Books i read in the summer tends to smell like sun tan lotion and sometimes chlorine. They also sometimes have specs of sand in them, wet on the edges, or have some of the cover rubbed off from the heat. I always find it harder to read indoors during the summer months.

Fall brings chiller weather. This means any reading done outdoors must be done between the hours of 12pm and 5pm. This is because its the warmest and sunniest part of the day. Fall reading brings jackets, blankets, and sore butts. This is because all of the summer furniture has been put away and only the sturdiest/or hardest of lawn chairs remain. Fall always brings reading inside. Fall books tend to smell like spices or mints. This is mostly from the tea being drunk while under the covers reading. Secretly fall also brings nice crisp fall night air which is hidden from thy father by closed blinds.

Winter brings snow. Nothing is more beautiful than snow in my opinion. Unfortunately it's too cold to read outdoors yet risky frost bite and frozen pages. Therefore winter brings indoors readings. It also brings the return of the heating blanket. Winter brings the bliss of reading under the warm covers while watching the snow fall. It also brings more bent book covers from me falling asleep with said books. Winter books tend to smell minty. This is from the tea and candy canes that tend to stain or stick to the pages.

Springs brings the return of warm weather. It also brings the return of allergies. This means proceeding with caution when reading outdoors. Like fall, when it is possible, readings can only be done between the hours of 12 and 5pm. It also means jackets, blankets, and sunny spots are a must when outdoors.  Spring brings new books (birthday and book sales) and sighing at the lack of shelving. Spring books tend to smell like chocolate, sugar, and ginger ale. This is from all of the spring celebrations. ^^

Thus there is my seasons of readings... What's everyone-else's like?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

I'm a bit on the fence on this one. Not in the way whether it's a good book or not, but how i feel about it. The one thing i can say for certain is that i liked the first book more. I literally could not put the first one down. The same could not be said about this one till Katniss got to the games again. 

The whole first half of the book was quite depressing and a bit disturbing at times. I understand that Suzanne Collins was trying to represent a tyrannical government and she succeeded. Perhaps she succeeded a bit too much. When i go to pick up a YA book i look for a good time. Not something that gives me nightmares and disturbing thoughts for days. I really wasn't prepared for it. In some ways i think it crossed a line from being a YA book to an adult book. 

That isn't to say i don't think the book was brilliantly crafted. I loved the expanded characters and the small rebellions that were going on. I loved Katniss the best when she stopped being self absorbed and was being kick ass and f-you to the Capital. I understand the girl is seventeen but there comes a time when she needs to stand on her own two feet and suck it up. She really appeared quite weak in spirit sometimes and always seemed to need to be told what to do. I hated how the other tributes had to make sure Peeta stayed alive so Katniss wouldn't fall apart. That really shouldn't have been the case. A good leader needs to face adversity and be willing stay strong in the face of loss. I really miss how she was more self-reliant in the first book. From what i heard about the next book Katniss is just going to keep on becoming a more and more pathetic heroine. 

I will say Peeta grew on me some in this book. The only thing is that i still like Gale better. Peeta really has no place in the rebellion. There is no fire to him. While Gale is burning with it. He'd be more suited to stay with "the girl on fire" than the boy who can't even make it down a beach without needing to be saved. 

I'm not sure when i will get my hands on the third book since i'm at the bottom of the pile at the library. I'm almost glad since it'll give me a reprieve to be able to digest things over a longer period of time. 

Final rating: 4 1/2 Bunnies.

Even with some disturbing elements it's better than half of the other YA books out there (cough twilight series sucks cough)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Animal Reviewers 2: Daisy reviews Mark Teague children's books

So last Wednesday my eight year old brother came with me to go the library when i was picking up a book. He was allowed to pick some books of his own so i went with him into the children's section. Now being the fact that i'm 24 i haven't been over there to look for books for about 14 years. I was surprised how many cute books there were. So it's safe to say i influenced some of Noah's decision making. So here to review the books that i thought were adorable is Daisy. The just turned one year old Beagle.

Books to be reviewed:

Daisy: I like Ike. He gets into all kinds of mischief and trouble. I don't see why people think he's being overly melodramatic all of the time. He is just telling the truth through dogs eyes.

Mrs. LarRue should have never sent him to obedience school. He was a good doggie already. Though the school he was sent to was not like any of the kind i've ever been too. Then again i got kicked out of potty training class for being a big cry puppy and disrupting the other doggies.

Daisy: I liked this book. I think a dog should run for mayor. I would make it so that it would be mandatory to feed your dog every time they want it.  Pooky's would grow on trees. I would leave the back door open all of the time so i have the option of going in or out any time i want. Also barking would be considered fine music and not a crime.

In this book i liked how Ike set out to do just that. The candidate for mayor was being unfair against dogs.  Doggies should be able to play baseball and have hot dogs anytime they want. Ike proved to be a good dog when he saved Mrs. LaRue and got made assistant mayor.

Izzy listened with her pooky when Daisy read the story.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

"The Hunger Games reviewed"

Book: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Release Date: Oct 1st, 2008

Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with every one out to make sure you don't live to see the morning? 

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. 

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Alright i'm big enough of a person to admit when i have been a bit unfair against this book. At first i was afraid to try it because it was being hyped so much and it had a bit "end of the world" theme. The last few times i jumped on the bandwagon of "OMG this book is so amazing" i found a book i'd loath for eternity and i one that i got bored with. The Hunger Games goes to show why you should always give a book a chance. It was the blog Reading Teen and Lori (the children's librarian at a local library) gushing that led me to renting this book. Now i want to buy this book. It was one of the best books i read in a long time. 

There is something about The Hunger Games that you really can't turn away from. It's like watching a car wreak. You don't know why, but you want to read more and more. This feeling was intensified since i was determined to not look ahead of the book. Katniss is such a wonderful character and role model for young girls. She's strong, smart, and resourceful. An additional plus for me is that she is considered a "normal girl". You don't know how tired I am of reading about "pretty heroines". Normal/plain girls can be just as kick ass and Katniss shows this. 

Peeta is another thing. He really reminded me of Yuki from the Fruits Basket manga. Strong in his own way, but weak as well. Not at all you're normal hero. It's something i have to give props to the author for letting the male lead sit back to the female for once. At this point though i'm not entirely sure how i feel about his character. He doesn't seem to mesh well with Katniss at the moment. 

Regarding the plot.... OMG BRILLIANT! I really didn't think i'd like the whole new North American's civilization thing, but i did. I also loved how the author gives you tab-its, but then holds them from you. The last author who seemed to do this correctly was J.K.Rowling. Yes, i just admitted that Suzanne has a similarity to one of my favorite authors of all time. Simply brilliant. I also like how Suzanne wasn't afraid to "go there" as you might say. The killing of kids can be a bit taboo. Yet Suzanne pulled it off with just the right amount of class. I almost cried when poor Rue was killed. Then the emotional break down that Katniss started to have. It was all very realistic. Something i appreciated from the normal hero/heroine who goes through a major trauma and then goes bakes cookies while whistling a cheery tune. Things aren't happy dory. The Capital is doing something utterly cruel and it's showing on every page. The fact that Katniss refused to play the game and is starting a rebellion is very pleasing. ^^ 

In the end,I literally cannot wait to read this next book. I'm debating with myself if i just want to go ahead and buy the series or wait till i read the next book (someone-else has it out at the library).... 

Rating: 5 Bunnies. Absolutely brilliant. 


Friday, September 10, 2010

"The Education of Bet" reviewed

Book: The Education of Bet by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Release Date: July 12, 2010  

Bet is sixteen, very intelligent, but only knows as much as her limited education will allow. In Victorian England, girls aren't allowed to go to school. 
Will is also 16, and though not related by blood, he and Bet act like brother and sister. In fact, they even look like brother and sister. And though they're both raised under the same roof, by the same kind uncle, Will has one big advantage over Bet: He's a boy, and being a boy means he isn't stuck in the grand house they call home. He gets to go out into the world--to school. 
But that's not what Will wishes. He wants to join the military and learn about real life, not what's written in books. 
So one night, Bet comes up with a plan. She'll go to school as Will. Will can join the military. And though it seems impossible, they actually manage to pull it off. 
But once Bet gets to the school, she begins to realize the education she's going to get isn't exactly the one she was expecting

It's a book review! Ya! I finally have a review i can post on here after seemingly so long. Anyways.... I love a good gender bender and "The Education of Bet" certainly delivers. The book is set in an undisclosed period of time in the 1800's. My guess is sometime in the very late 870-1890's. I believe this because Bet mentions Dickens whom wrote the majority in the 1850-60's before dying in 1870. Also the fact that Bet's only complaint in dress is a corset. Therefore it's obvious the book is set after the hoop skirt trend of the 1860's. Trains haven't made itself to be known yet therefore i don't place it anytime in the late 1890's. But i'm getting off of the point here.  The book centers around Bet and, as the excerpt clearly states, her adventures in an all male school parading as Will.  The book is rather short at 186 pages and thus you really don't get info into her daily life or happenings at the Betterman's academy.  The shortness of the whole thing is really my chief complaint. I really enjoyed reading the story and didn't want it to stop. It was like letting someone have a bite of chocolate cake and then whipping the rest out of their hands. I wanted to read more about Bet's adventures as Will and her attempts to keep her feelings about James secret. I also wanted to see more interaction between Bet, Mrs. Hunter, and Mrs. Smither's. The whole issue of women's rights was at the authors door step and the only she did was jump on it once, ring the door bell, and then run away.  As my endless complaining clearly states i thought the book too short (Yep we've seen that tree before in this review).

Final rating: 4 1/2 bunnies. Great writing that left me wanting more. Unfortunately, the author didn't deliver the  pizza or nummies as the buns would say.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Star Wars: Blood Ties v1 reviewed

I've decided i'm going to add comics to my list of things to review as well. ^^ Plus i can use them as fillers when i'm busy reviewing books for other sites. Today i bring you:

Comic: Star Wars: Blood Ties v1/4
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Chris Scalf
Release Date: August 25, 2010
Here begins a multigenerational tale of honor and redemption, starring two of the heaviest hitters in theStar Wars galaxy-the father-and-clone team of Jango and Boba Fett!

Shortly before the start of the Clone Wars, Count Dooku sends Jango Fett on a mission that will affect the course of Boba Fett's life some twenty years later. But for now, neither of them knows what the future holds in store, and besides, they have their schedule filled dodging monsters and fighting bad guys!
      First thing first I am a Star Wars geek. I have been since i was 13 years old. I most favor the Old Republic in the series so this new mini series is right up my alley.  One thing we never really get is Boba Fett's early life when he was still cruising around with his father/original self. In this issue we get Jango Fett teahing Boba about fear. Boba ask's why his father isn't afraid of anything. This leads Jango in teaching him why. In true Mandalorian bounty hunter fashion he does it why sending him to face the Pardlam alone, without any weapons, but a jet pack. Boba does so and brings back a tooth to show. The story then shifts into Count Dooku sending the Fetts on a assassination mission. They're target is a nameless man and all they know is that he's on the planet Atzerri. Jango and Boba of course finds him, but discovers he's a clone. This is where the comic leaves off. 

I found this issue to be a bit short. I really wished it was longer and expanded on Boba's fear training. His lack of fear is a key trait of his and was disappointed they just glanced off of that. Despite that issue i found the twist at the end to be perfect. I'm dying to know how a rouge clone got out. We have to remember that this story takes place a year or two before "Attack of the Clones" comes out. Therefore Jango Fett clones aren't exactly everywhere. In fact they're only supposed to be on Kamino.  So how one got out is a really big deal. Another thing i have to point out is that the art in the comic is BRILLIANT! It can make me understand why the issue was short. I can't imagine how long every panel must have taken to do.

Final Story rating: 4 1/2 bunnies. I want to read more, but was disappointed some parts were so short.

                                                    Final Art rating: 5 bunnies. Beyond Beautiful.