June 29, 2009

Book Gossip (#11)

13 Little Blue EnvelopesBook Gossip #11

It's official, Maureen Johnson announced via Twitter that there will be a sequel for her book 13 Little Blue Envelopes (published in 2005). She said she's working on it and there is no official release date as of yet.

AnimeGirl

June 27, 2009

Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brande

EvolutionMena Reece did the right thing, and now everyone she once knew hates her for it: her former friends, practically everyone from her church, her pastor and even her parents don't seem too wild about her.

Even though Mena had always thought high school would be great, her first day -with her ex-best friend Teresa and the other church kids whispering about her - isn't great at all; except for third period when she gets Ms. Shepherd for Biology and Casey Connor for lab partner.

At first Ms Shepherd seems a little weird but one thing is sure: she's passionate about science and about sharing that love for it with everyone in her class. Casey is pretty passionate about science as well, but that first day all Mena can think of is of being glad someone is talking to her (since Casey doesn't belong to the same church Mena did, he's doesn't know about the Mena Scandal).

Just when Mena begins to think she's finally learning to handle the fall out with her former friends, Ms. Shepherd starts the unit on evolution, and lets just say Mena's former pastor and ex-friends have plenty to say about it. Soon Mena finds herself swept by the controversy revolving around religion, science and freedom.

Mena is a devout Christian, but, after what her 'friends' did to a kid back in middle school, she started to see that maybe following Pastor Wells blindly wasn't a good, Christian thing to do; and now, as she learns more about evolution and finally begins to mix with people who don't share her believes 100% - like Ms Shepherd and the Connors (Casey, his sister Kayla and their Mom) - Mena begins to question some of the things she has been told.

I found this book amazing.

Mena is a likable character, she doesn't think of herself as the bravest person on earth, she just wants to be good and kind to others and you do get to feel her inner conflict about facing the consequences of doing what was right over what was easy, especially since it affected everyone in her former peer group and her parents' business - I'll let you find out what Mena did yourself. I also liked the fact that her faith didn't shake, it wasn't God she questioned but people, and that I believe is absolutely valid. Can't say I ended up liking Mena's parents but I could see where they were coming from, which I respect.

The Connors were lovable characters, from charge-ahead, aggressive Kayla, to her boyfriend Josh, Mrs. Connor and Casey. I really loved Casey... and there is a litter of black lab puppies you can't help but adore.

Grade:
starstarstarstarstarPersonal Favorite
AnimeGirl

June 26, 2009

True Love and Other Disasters by Rachel Gibson

True Love And Other Disasters
At 30, Faith Duffy is both a widower and the owner of the Seattle Chinooks, her late husband's beloved hockey team; and she's not exactly sure what to do about either of those things. For the past five years she molded herself into being the perfect wife for her much older husband - whom she loved dearly as a friend, as he was the first man to offer her security - and without him she doesn't know who to be, she can't be a trophy wife anymore but she also can't and won't go back to being what she was before.

Faith has had it rough in her life, the daughter of a stripper she became one herself at the age of 18, to later become a playboy playmate and finally to marry a rich old guy; she knows most people think she's a gold digger but then those people didn't have her life and she doesn't regret what she has done survive.

Once Faith becomes more involved with the team she meets the Chinooks captain, Ty Savage. Ty is everything Faith's husband was not: young, vital and sexy; and at first Faith isn't sure she likes him though she does find him attractive as hell. And Ty, a driven man who has one goal in mind: to win the Stanley Cup. Well, he isn't indifferent to Faith either, much as he would like to be.

True Love and Other disasters is my least favorite out of Rachel Gibson's hockey books (Simply Irresistible and See Jane Score being the other two), but is by no means a bad book. I loved Faith right from the start, she doesn't have a deep, secret regret about her past life, she did what she had to do to survive and she cuts the crap pretty early on when she says:
Women who claimed they’d rather starve than strip had probably never had to make that choice
Faith, more than a former playmate or stripper, is just a woman trying to find herself and her own way and do the best she can and I really liked that about her.

Ty is a nice enough hero, but for me he lacked a little... I don't know, if page time or charm or what but he didn't quite measured up to John Kowalsky or Luc Martineu from Simply Irresistible and See Jane Score respectively.

Grade:
starstarstar3/4
AnimeGirl

June 23, 2009

Story of My LIfe # 1 - On Princesses and Sisters

New Section!!!

Okay, so I totally tend to be one of those people who compare her life to the books she reads, and sometimes it's not even that much of a comparison but there has been some sparks between me and books I've read... and I decided to talk a little bit about them.

And I've also managed to convince my friend Kylie@The List Maker's Book Reviews, to come along and do it as well - we are still working out frequency and stuff, btw - and we hope to talk about the way books have influenced, helped or simply resonated with both of us in every which way.


STORY OF MY LIFE #1 - On Princesses and Sisters

Princesses are common in books, you can pretty much always count on one or two princesses being in need of rescue at any given time, but there are also other type of princesses: the ones who do the rescuing.

Now, other than being my dad’s little princess (with my sister being the big princess, since she’s a full year older than me), I’ve never thought I had much in common with the princesses of the book realm; but that all changed when I read The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine a few years ago.Two Princesses of Bamarre

The Two Princesses of Bamarre
tells the story of two sisters who love each other greatly but are opposite as two people can be. Meryl, the oldest, is a bundle of energy, always brave and always the protector of her little sister Addie. When the tables turn and is Meryl who needs rescuing, Addie must find the courage that was there all along and put aside her fears.

Having a sister myself, I know it’s the oddest of bonds; there is no one I love more than my sister and also no one who can piss me off as much or as fast. I might bitch about her but I bristle at the first sign of danger around her. It has always been this way, and I have also always been the cowardly sister, the one who doesn’t like to go out of her comfort zone and afraid of things that ‘might happen’, while my sister Boo has always been the one with the huge personality and bossy attitude.

We are as different from each other as Meryl and Addie are, but I also think we are just as close. There are things I don’t understand about her, things I only forgive because she is my sister and there had been times when I have loved her more than what I have liked her, but I would kill, maim and deliver the apocalypse for her, because that’s what sisters do.

There are many things I liked about Addie and Meryl but the one I always remember is the way Addie describes the difference between she and Meryl toward the end, after she had found her own courage:

“I finally saw the real difference between Meryl and me, truer than the difference between cowardly and brave. She wanted to battle monsters for the adventure of it. I wanted to defeat them for the peace that would follow.”
When I read that it was like a little light bulb went on, on top of my head in true cartoon style. Even will all the differences – like the fact I have never battled a dragon and my sister knows squat about sword fighting – I could see Boo and me in that little phrase and it was oddly liberating and it made all the difference between my sister and me, even if she doesn’t know.

AnimeGirl

June 22, 2009

Ultra Maniac by Wataru Yoshizumi

ultramaniac vol1ultramaniac vol2ultramaniac vol3

Ultra Maniac by Wataru Yoshizumi - famous for her manga Marmalade Boy - tells the story of Ayu Tateshi and Nina Sakura two seventh graders. Ayu is a girl who doesn't really believe in magic and fantasy (one of her first lines is that she won't even read Harry Potter) until her life becomes entangled with Nina's, who happens to be a bumbling witch.

See, Nina was doing so bad at the Magic Kingdom school, that she decided to study aboard, in modern day Japan. Soon after Nina arrives at Ayu's school, she loses something very important: her magical mini computer, which Ayu finds by chance and returns it. Because of Ayu's kindness, Nina decides to tell her about being a witch, and from then on decides to use her magic to help Ayu - which usually lands them in trouble, especially in front of Kaji and Hiroki, two of the boys in their grade. Ayu is in love with Kaji but is too shy to tell him, so she acts all cool and composed around him - and attitude that has made her one of the most popular girls of her grade. As for Hiroki, now he does love fantasy... and he might even fall for Nina as well.

There is lots of fun and in this story - with a few dramatic moments too - which is filled with magic, friendship and romance. One note-worthy thing about the story is that Ms Yoshizumi does make both girls the protagonists of the story in equal measure, is their friendship what holds the story together and they both share the spotlight.

Also, no one draws cuter outfits!

Ultra Maniac is one of my favorite mangas ever - anime too, even though is a different storyline, the essence of the characters remains true, so that's worth watching too - and I love it for the ode to friendship that it is.

Grade
starstarb13.gif picture by CrazyClavie

ultramaniac vol4ultramaniac vol 5

Ultra Manic is told in 5 Volumes, btw.

AnimeGirl

June 21, 2009

Bloggiesta- Final Score

Pedro(<---)Sadly, it's time to wave Pedro goodbye , which is quite sad, he was a good companion. This was the first time I participated in a challenge and it was seriously awesome. Thanks everyone, for the challenges, the tutorials, and the advice. You all rock! Here is the final score, after 48 hrs of craziness, fun and a bit of drama. To Do List Unveil New Sections:
  • Story of My Life -Talk to Kylie and see if she wants to do this together. Which will be posted in a couple of days
  • About a Book - General BookTalk
  • ListManiac - in response to the On Lists and Opinions Challenge (to be posted soon)

Reviews:
  • Secrets of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita
  • True Love and Other Disasters by Rachel Gibson
  • Vision in White by Nora Robets
  • UltraManiac by Wataru Yoshirumi (a.k.a first ever manga review) (To be posted soon)
  • The Mediator and 1-800-Where-R-U by Meg Cabot
  • Update with some Book Gossip

Add:
  • Favicon - Thanks for the tip about Trish tutorial @ Hey Lady!
  • Add Mr Linky - Signed up for it, anyway.
  • Cleans sidebars
  • Maybe Change Layout (Didn't found one I liked better)
  • Badge from Book Blogs ning

Bloggiesta Challenges:

Other:
  • Brush up Profile
  • Back up
  • Check Tags

--
Changes and (I hope) improvements after Bloggiesta:

Grading System
  • Visually so it doesn't take so much of the sidebar
  • Grading itself: About 1 Star Rating a.k.a Don't Bother. I do have books that I have liked that little -and sometimes even less - but I don't believe in book bashing - which is why you'll never see me writing about Twilight (the book), Two Way Street or Judith McNaught) - so I decided to eliminate that category. If it rated that low with me, if I couldn't bring myself to finish a book, well, that's my opinion and I'm not going to bother to write a review about it.
It gave time to think about new sections and stuff I would like to add to my blog, I don't know if I'll end up unveiling all the sections I listed above, but it has given me something to think about.

Change in size and amount of images, as well as the number of posts per page, to help the page load faster.

Favicon Fear Conquered! - I had tried to add one a number of times but it just never worked and I grew frustrated, but the challenge - and my mostly hidden competitive nature (which is usually hidden by a thick layer of laziness) - made me keep trying until it worked. (That's my favicon, btw, 'cause it shows so small I wanted to show it on a bigger size --->)

Lots of Luv



PS - I'll try to finish my pending reviews within the next week.

PSS - I made an aproximation of how many hours I spent doing this and it came up to: 21 1/2 hrs... which just goes to show me I got no life.

Friday - 9 1/2 hrs (from eight till nine-thirty and then from about four in the afternoon until midnight)

Saturday - 12 hrs (continuing from midnight until 4 am, break for sleep, break for house chores, continuing from noon until ten pm)

(s6t9edby8c )

June 20, 2009

Secrets of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita

Secrets
Kaitlin Burke has fame and fortune as one of Hollywood's rising starlets, she has been in the business since she snagged the role of Sam in the prime time soap Family Affairs at the age of four. And, sure, being TVs favorite Teen has it's perks like living in a mammoth of a McMansion, having tons of designer clothes and being fabulous; but the truth is that she's has an insane work schedule, no personal life and she has never gotten along with her on-screen fraternal twin Sky (who might be starting rumors about Kaitlin in the tabloids), and she's tired.

In an effort to gain some sanity, Kaitlin hatches a quite insane plan: to go to Clark Hall (the high school her best friend Liz attends) in disguise and under the assumed name of Rachel and experience what it's like to be a Normal Teen. No one in Kaitlin's entourage - which includes her Mom, Dad and little brother Matt; her personal assistant Nadine, her driver Rodney and her publicist Laney - understands Kaitlin's fascination with normal people but in the end Kaitlin prevails and is allowed to enroll at school with mixed results.

As Kaitlin learns that there are mean girls everywhere, that school work is harder than she thought it would be and that friends and cute guys can be found even if you're not a TV super star; she also comes to realize how much she really does like acting, and that at times she took for granted the perks of being famous.

As usual I'm trying to restrain with the spoilers, but I can say that I was surprised at this book, Kaitlin is genuinely likable, and you truly get the feeling that she's grateful for everything she has even if she's tired and wants a break. I also loved the fact that she was a big Star Wars fan - which I am too - and that she did act like a teen.

Also, I think the book was actually quite tasteful when it came to Hollywood dealings, it told the story without being judgmental and it didn't go to any extreme, it didn't say everything in Hollywood is fabulous and perfect; and it also didn't say Hollywood is evil (EVIL I TELL YOU!) and that was a nice and welcome surprise.

Grade:
starstarstarstar

AnimeGirl

Bloggiesta- Day One Score

PedroDay One

Here is my List after One day (I've been working on this most of the afternoon, I just stopped to make cookies - chocochip)

To Do List

Unveil New Sections:
  • Story of My Life -Talk to Kylie and see if she wants to do this together.
  • About a Book - General BookTalk
  • It's not all about Books - which will be a bit random.

Reviews:
  • Secrets of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita
  • True Love and Other Disasters by Rachel Gibson
  • Vision in White by Nora Robets
  • UltraManiac by Wataru Yoshirumi (a.k.a first ever manga review)
  • The Mediator and 1-800-Where-R-U by Meg Cabot
  • Update with some Book Gossip

Add:
  • Favicon - Thanks for the tip about Trish tutorial @ Hey Lady!
  • Add Mr Linky - Signed up for it, anyway.
  • Cleans sidebars - partially done.
  • Maybe Change Layout
  • Badge from Book Blogs ning

Bloggiesta Challenges:

Other:
  • Brush up Profile
  • Back up
  • Check Tags
Okay, some stuff I found useful:

To add the Favicon, I tried tons of ways but the only one that worked for me was this one @ Tips for new Bloggers.

And, as for adding meta tags, I used SEO Meta Tag Builder to get the code, I tried other sites but blogger rejected the codes.

I'm excited about tomorrow.

AnimeGirl

June 19, 2009

Let's start the Fiesta! The Bloggiesta!

PedroHello everyone!
Say hi to Pedro

Here is my Starter To-Do List for the first ever Bloggiesta (It might not have much right now -at 10 AM - because I'm in a rush, but I got a long bus ride in front of me, so I'll think of more stuff, I'm sure).

**Ok, here is my edited list once I thought more stuff - added at around 4:44 PM**

Unveil New Sections:
  • Story of My Life - Talk to Kylie and see if she wants to do this together.
  • About a Book - General BookTalk
  • It's not all about Books - which will be a bit random.

Reviews:
  • Secrets of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita
  • True Love and Other Disasters by Rachel Gibson
  • Vision in White by Nora Robets
  • UltraManiac by Wataru Yoshirumi (a.k.a first ever manga review)
  • The Mediator and 1-800-Where-R-U by Meg Cabot
  • Update with some Book Gossip

Add:
  • Favicon - Thanks for the tip about Trish tutorial @ Hey Lady!
  • Add Mr Linky
  • Cleans sidebars
  • Maybe Change Layout
  • Badge from Book Blogs ning

Bloggiesta Challenges:

Other:
  • Brush up Profile
  • Back up
  • Check Tags

More when I return --- List Updated

AnimeGirl

Bloggiesta. It's like a Fiesta... in your blog.

Okay, so I've been totally dead to the blog world for about two weeks now, mostly because I finally got my degree (YAY ME! I'm officially a biologist! Though I don't feel any different) and there is a lot of paperwork involved.

Pedro

But, Natasha at Maw Books Blog is hosting a Bloggiesta (check her site for more info) and I've decided to join. What can I say? My friend Vi (a.k.a. the bird of Evil) says I work better under pressure.

Besides, I'm Mexican, I can't pass on the word FIESTA! it's genetic.

In a nutshell, Bloggiesta is a blog improvement challenge, so you can finally do all those things you mean do to your blog but never get around to do, from cleaning sidebars and adding widgets to just plain writing reviews or whatever.

Bloggiesta will run from June 19-21.

What else, what else... oh, well, I'm going to post my official TO DO LIST tomorrow morning (in about seven hours). It will be looooong *insert hysterical giggle here*

Anyway, come join us and lets have a fiesta...in our blogs!



(PS- Isn't my siggy Cute?)

June 1, 2009

Just One of the Guys by Kristan Higgins

One of the Guys
Just a little shy of six feet, Chastity O'Neill is the youngest and only girl of the O'Neill siblings and, growing up with four brothers and the rest of the local firefighters as an extended family, has always made her one of the boys, she's tall and strong and likes to do physically demanding sports, which is great and she loves it but it doesn't do much for her love life.

As the story starts, Chas is not having the best of nights, mostly because her somewhat boyfriend - whom she didn't like all that much - dumped her and she, while looking for some comfort, decides to stick at the restaurant she was at, since it's familiar territory anyway, and have a drink or two while watching a Yankees' game but, to top her night, Trevor Meade ends up sitting next to her and babysitting her as she gets just a little drunk.

Trevor Meade is the honorary sixth O'Neill brother, best friend of two of Chas' brothers and her mother and father's favorite son, biology be dammed. He's a firefighter, a friend and possibly the only man Chas has ever truly loved; but things went sour between them more than a decade ago and Chas has never really truly recovered, even though they are still close friends.

At the same time, Chas' newly divorced mother decides it's time to date again and she sort of drags Chas along, and no long after that a work assignment -she writes for a local newspaper - leads Chas to meet Dr. Ryan Darling, a handsome and successful man who might or might not be The One.

Just One of the Guys is the first book by Kristan Higgins I have read but it's a good start, the book is sweet and charming and the characters incredibly endearing. I did have a couple of pet peeves with it but they are a bit revealing of the plot so I'll keep quiet.

Grade:
starstarstarstar
AnimeGirl

PS - Yes, there is a dog in the story! And it's a pretty funny dog.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...