Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Currently Reading

   I'm currently reading True Beliver by Nicholas Sparks. Just picked up a couple more books from the local Wally world. Hopefully I will be able to hit an actual bookstore during Spring Break. I need my TBR pile to grow :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks


   I'm am on reading fire! LOL! I looked back at the previous 10 days and realized that I have read a ridiculous amount of books. Maybe it's because it's getting close to summer and I will have more time to devote to reading. Or, it could also be because I've been away from it too a dieter avoiding sweets, then inhaling an entire bag of cookies when she finally breaks down and tries to eats just one. No matter the reason, I'm glad I've had this time to read. Reading always help me relax.
  What can I say about The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks? Like all of his previous works, this one is set in a small southern town. The two main characters Denise and Taylor, are far from perfect. Each one has made mistakes that have impacted where they are in their lives at the current time. However, Denise is all about working to learn from and recognizing her mistakes. Taylor, on the other hand, had yet to deal with some of his darker demons. As Denise and Taylor grow closer, Taylor's secrets come back to haunt him.
   Nicholas Sparks once again proves that some of the best love stories are the ones that aren't flawless. His books fill one with all kinds of emotions...happiness, sadness, regret, and relief. Make sure to read the Author's Note at the end of this novel....oh, and make sure you have a few tissues for that.

Kimmie :-)

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

   Pandemonium is the second book in the Delirium trilogy, and it lived up the first one in many ways. Sometimes, a sequel will not be as engaging or well written as the first, but that was not a problem in this case. I won't go into too much detail for those of you who haven't yet read Delirium, except to say that we continue to follow Lena, our protagonist, as she adjusts to her new life.
   The Lena in this book has grown since we last saw her in the final pages of Delirium. Pandemonium doesn't pick up where it's predecessor left off, but does flashback to fill in the gaps. That is actually one of the features that I loved about this book. The books chapters rotate between "Now" and "Then"as Lena's story unfolds. As Lena remembers her past, and deals with the present, more danger presents itself. Along with the dangers however, a few surprises cause Lena to once again question everything she has been lead to believe.
    The final chapters of this novel flew by, and I really felt for Lena and the position she found herself in at the end of the book. The only bad thing I can say about this book is that I'll have to wait until 2013 to read the final installation of the trilogy.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

  So after I had voraciously read the entire Hunger Games trilogy in such a ridiculous amount of time, I ran to the store to pick up some more books. Yes, it's a sickness. My mom once bought me a canvas bag that had the following quote on the side: "When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes" - Erasmus. My entire family thought this was a hilarious gift because it was spot on accurate. Anyway, I digress. So after perusing the very limited book selection at the local Wal-Mart (oh how I'd love a great bookstore in town) I finally decided on Delirium. I'd seen the book mentioned on several blogs and the reviews were pretty decent. The premise looked interesting enough, but the fact that it was yet another dystopian novel gave me pause. I mean, I had loved The Hunger Games and didn't want to be disappointed. I'm happy to say that I wasn't disappointed. In fact, I read this book in two days (and that is while working a full time job). 
     First of all, I'd like to say that the only similarities between this and The Hunger Games is that they are dystopian in nature and geared toward young adults. That is where the similarities end. The premise of the story is that love has been identified as a disease and you are cured of said disease on your 18th birthday. Our protagonist, Lena, is counting down the days to the procedure. She doesn't want to get infected with the disease that robbed her of her mother while she was just a young child. She follows the rules, reads the approved books, listens to the approved music, and prepares for her evaluation. This evaluation will rate her, determine if she goes to college or not, and give her a short list of prospective husbands. Lena's best friend Hana, isn't as eager to have the procedure done. She questions, she listens to things she shouldn't, and she breaks curfew. A chance encounter with a young man named Alex and an attempt to save Hana from being caught during one of her rebellious nights, uproot Lena's life and all that she has come to believe.Are the Invalids (people who have chosen not to have the cure) evil? Are the Wilds as barren as she has been lead to believe?  Delusion is the first book in a trilogy,  so it does end on a bit of a cliffhanger. The good news is the second book is already out. I'm a little more than halfway through Pandemonium, and hope to review it before this weekend is complete.

The Lucky One

   I've been a fan of Nicholas Sparks, but I have taken a break from him the last few years. Yes, I'm admitting it. I gave myself a Spaks-Intervention. Why? It's simple really, as good as his books are, you almost always cry at the end and ask yourself why you would willingly put yourself through the wringer. Can I just say The Notebook, Message In A BottleA Walk To Remember, and Nights in Rodanthe? At the same time though, I like how realistic he is with his writing. More often than not the boy doesn't get the girl, they don't live happily ever after, and everything doesn't come up roses. So, with book in hand, I picked up a box of tissues and prepared to be slayed. While this book didn't require the tissue count of A Walk to Remember or Message in a Bottle, it still was well-written and extremely enjoyable. I won't give too much away, but I loved the character of Thibault - the strong, silent type who walked across the country to meet the young woman whose picture he had carried with him, and considered a good luck charm, during his time in the military overseas. If you have enjoyed any of Spark's previous works, you will enjoy this book.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Hunger Games

     I'm so late to The Hunger Games party that it is kind of embarrassing. I just read the trilogy last weekend. Yes, last weekend. What makes it worse is that I have had the first book in the trilogy for almost an entire year. So, what made me FINALLY pick these up.  Well, first of all my cousin read them earlier this month, and  was raving about how good they were. Secondly, the movie is coming out TOMORROW - or midnight if you're lucky and don't have to work. I have always been one to read the book before the movie (unless the book is adapted from the movie-those don't count) so that I know the entire story. 
     It was a Saturday (last Saturday actually) and I was extremely bored at only 9pm. I glanced over and saw the glossy black cover and gold Mockingjay pen begging for me to pick it up. I caved. I figured, "I'll read for a couple of hours, then call it an early night." That was my exact thought. However, The Hunger Games had other plans. I read and read. I kept telling myself that after this chapter I'll stop. I was lying to myself. There was NO WAY I could put that book down. Every time I tried, my mind would immediately go to Katniss and Peeta and I would have to pick the book back up. Finally, at 4am, I was able to put it down. I had read the entire book in one sitting. I don't even remember if I got up for anything. As I finally put my head down on the pillow, I closed my eyes and immediately asked myself, "Where can I get Catching Fire?"
    To make a long story, a little shorter, I was just as enthralled with the second book. I read it in only 5 or 6 hours and then immediately finished up the trilogy with Mockingjay. Overall, I guess you can already tell I love this trilogy. I do. I do think, however, that The Hunger Games was the best of the books and that Mockingjay -while I enjoyed it and read if just as voraciously as the previous two books- was just a bit lacking. I can't quite put my finger on it, and I don't want to give away too much and ruin it for the one other person out there who is dragging their feet about reading these books. I think that the fact these books are geared towards young adults might be why I was a little less than satisfied at the end of Mockingjay
     If you were like me and avoided the books because of all they hype - I STILL have yet to make it through Twilight. I mean I've tried numerous times, but just can't do it. Pick up The Hunger Games. Buy them, borrow them, them. This is one of the few times the hype is worth it.


Why a book blog?

I am a reader. For as long as I can remember I have loved to read. One of my earliest school memories is of my kindergarten self getting very irate that someone else had gotten the new Clifford The Big Red Dog book before me. I was heartbroken, but the school librarian managed to make it better with another book recommendation and a promise to hold the Clifford book for me when it came back to the library.

My love of reading has followed me throughout my life. I've shared that love with my younger cousins, and hopefully my students as well. I can't remember a time where I have put off reading. I've never gone more than a month without picking up something to read. Reading is like breathing to me, if I don't do it I feel like I'm not being true to myself.

What do I read? Well, I am a firm believer in read whatever you enjoy. I read from all types of genres: Historical, Biography, Young Adult, Elementary/Middle Grades (I teach), New York Times Bestsellers, and those Fluff books that are everyone's guilty pleasure. I don't constrict my reading choices. I leave myself open to all kinds of reading experiences. As you will soon see from the books that I list on my blog. I don't know if this blog will have a single follower, but if not that is okay. It will be an awesome way to track my own reading.