Friday, June 28, 2013

Get The Host Early

For those of you who don't know this, you can get The Host early on iTunes for $14.99 or $19.99, depending on what you want.  We watched it and I have to say, it wasn't that bad.  Kind of depressing in a way, but it ended really good!

Go and download The Host!!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Just finished reading Exalted, the last in The Stained Series by Ella James.  Awesome series!  Take a bit of time and read one of these great books!  But if you do, start from the beginning.  Here is one of my favorite passages from Exalted:

Hell was like that: uniquely personalized.  Unless you were in a group.  Then the rules got even weirder.

*quote via Ella James

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Werewolves vs. Vampires

Who would win? Vampires or werewolves?  In a one on one fight (not some weird all out clan war).  Let's examine some of their strengths.  And even though books vary as to these strengths, let's pick a few.


canines that can drain you in a second
many novels mention them having certain powers (i.e. mind control)


long living (but not necessarily immortal, just really old)
teeth built to tear you apart
has the nose of a shark (figuratively speaking)

Frankly, they seem to be pretty evenly matched, although some novels give vampires the upper hand.  The only thing is that vampires seem to be a little more resilient.  While vampires are a little on the cold side, werewolves are passionate and super possessive of their mates.  If it were a human up against one of the two, I would say they had a better chance against a werewolf though.  But it all depends on the novel.  Either way, if they were real, they would be nothing to mess with.

Who do you think would win?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Silver Moon by Rebecca A. Rogers

   It's a bad day when you find out that in a few short months you're going to "wolf out" and become some crazed feral animal that won't even realize who you are or the others around you.  To make a bad day turn into a hideous day all you need to add into the mix is how your family and the guy you're falling for's family have been mortal enemies for like forever.  Yep, that is an awful day.  And Candra Lowell just had that day.
   Candra had always been somewhat "delinquent" and after she was arrested for a little vandalism, her parents decide it was best for her to go live with her aunt and uncle in Connecticut.  She feels like they are just dumping her on someone else since they can't seem to handle her anymore.  They leave her there in a strange house with people she barely knows anything about.  Almost immediately she has strange dreams of a man trying to tell her she needs to leave and constantly sees glowing eyes watching her from the forest line outside of the house.
"I hear the words drifting around me and into my ears 'There's nothing for you here.  Go back.  Those close to you will pay the price.  You must leave."
   Then there's school.  As soon as she gets there, everything starts going wrong.
"High school.  The worst part of my life.  Some say it's the best, but I wonder what planet they're from.  If I can get through the long days without any morons making fun of the new kid, then I suppose it might be tolerable."
But Conard High School is hardly tolerable to Candra, who's a senior.  "Everyone knows when fresh meat has arrived."  Her English class rolls around on her first day of school and her teacher seats her by the very attractive Benjamin Conway. Before she can even reach her seat she trips and falls on her face right in front of him.  While everyone else laughs, he does not.  Although everyone seems to be openly talking and laughing about Candra, she ends up meeting Blake and Jana who quickly become her only friends.
   It doesn't take long for Ben's brothers, Cameron and Ethan, to pick out just who Candra Lowell is and to start making her life more of a living hell than it already is.  Thanks to Ben, things don't get too out of hand until Candra pushes Cameron out of a window in the middle of school.  He may have deserved it, but she is totally freaked out that she was able to cause such damage.  Little does she know that the changes have already started and there are many others around her who know more about her than she knows about herself.
"Oh, Candra, it's painful how little you know.  You have no idea what's about to happen to you, yet everyone around you does." - Cameron (right before he finds himself being pushed through a window)
   Candra's aunt and uncle finally have to sit down and tell her about her heritage.  She, like her parents and her aunt and uncle, is a werewolf.  Everyone has their first change when they turn 18 and they receive a special power.  No one knows what it is until then or possibly later.  And then there's the whole thing with Ben's family.  So their families hate each other.  Ben's family is power hungry and has been dabbling in some very dangerous magic.  But Ben seems so different.  He cares for Candra enough to mark her, which she doesn't really understand either.  Of course she had to go and fall in love with her mortal enemy.

   I never understood why two people have to go and fall in love with each other before they find out how much their families hate each other.  But it has happened again.  (Perhaps it's fate?) This time instead of a feud between vampires and werewolves, it's between two very old werewolf families.  In this series you don't have to be bitten to turn into one.  It's in the genes.  You don't get a choice in the matter.  It is definitely a non-traditional fantasy novel and because of that I like it.  To mix it up even more, the werewolves have magic.  It is the source of the power they receive.  But one family decides to abuse magic and it can only wreak havoc on those around the area.  (SPOILER ALERT)- While everyone seems to believe the problem is the Conway family, the actual problem stems back to the ancient one named Alaric.  He pays the town a little visit and causes more problems.  Like they don't already have enough.  Ancients are not really supposed to get involved in such disputes.
   Candra is a confused teenager who finds out her true genes.  But when she does things start making more sense to her.  Once she gets used to the idea of becoming a werewolf, it doesn't sound so bad anymore.  Keeping her safe is proving to be her family's biggest challenge.  Ben is from a family of werewolves who will do anything to take down the Lowell's.  They want all of the power and don't care how they get it.  As ruthless as his family seems, Ben is not like them.  However, he does have his dark side and his reasons for it.  Candra just has to learn to see past that.
   While the book has some repetitive themes in it (romeo and juliet), it is a great story.  The way the author slowly unfolds the story makes you want to read all three of the books in the series.  You never find out all of the information at one time.  It's a great series, but if you read the first one, you should read it to the very end to see the true depth of it all.  Things are never what they seem.  And it's true in this story as well.  The forces of evil have wound themselves right into the middle of the feuding and it stems from ages back.

"All of us are God's creatures...just some are more creature than others."-Unkown

*image via Rebecca A. Rogers
*quotes via Rebecca A. Rogers

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Movies versus Books

I have found that I am rather critical of movies that are made from popular books.  I read the book.  Then at some later point someone decides to make a movie about it.  I watch the movie.  And I am inadvertently disappointed in some degree with the movie.  For some reason when they make these movies they decide to leave out plot points or certain things about the characters.  Sometimes they leave out characters altogether.  To me, these are important to the unfolding of the plot or character development.  In a book, details are what make it good.  In a movie, it's all about time restraint and what they can fit into that small amount of time.  It may take several hours or days to read a book.  A movie is at max three hours most of the time.  And three hours is really pushing it.  I have begun to wonder if I should just stop watching these movies.  It feels like I am looking for a great movie, based on a book, in vain.  After all, my imagination is so much better anyway.  

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Check out the exciting sequel to The Devil Wears Prada!  It recently came out and I can't wait to read it!

*image via Lauren Weisberger

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

  "Bags and shoes I'd never seen on real people shouted Prada! Armani! Versace! from every surface.  I had heard from a friend of a friend- an editorial asssistant at Chic magazine- that every now and then the accessories get to meet their makers in those very elevators, a touching reunion where Miuccia, Giorgio, or Donatella can once again admire their summer '02 stilettos or their spring couture teardrop bag in person.  I knew things were changing for me- I just wasn't sure it was for the better."

  Recently out of college, Andrea Sachs has always dreamed of writing for The New Yorker.  But you didn't just start writing for such a prestigious magazine the minute you graduated from college.  As Andy looks around for a job, she lands a position as one of two assistants to the editor-in-chief of Runway, Miranda Priestly.  
"Since I'd never seen so much as a picture of Miranda Priestly, I was shocked to see how skinny she was.  The hand she held out was small-boned, feminine, soft.  She had to turn her head upward to look me in the eye, although she did not stand to greet me.  Her expertly dyed blond hair was pulled back in a chic knot, deliberately loose enough to look casual but still supremely neat, and while she did not smile, she did not appear particularly intimidating.  She seemed rather gentle and somewhat shrunken behind her ominous black desk..."
Very normal looking Andy has no idea what she has gotten into.  She thinks that perhaps doing one full year of "servitude" to Miranda will possibly boost her to The New Yorker.  As it is, she really has no interest in fashion.  Her clothes are from the Gap and she is heavier than all of the girls working at Runway.  

    Each morning she gets up after only sleeping a few hours and arrives before anyone else at Runway.  Emily, her coworker, is now Miranda's top assistant and does the more important jobs.  Mainly, they keep Miranda happy all day by ordering clothing, making sure she gets her meals, and brings or does whatever she needs.  Andy is so busy that she rarely has time for anyone else in her life, except Miranda.  And Miranda is not exactly nice to them.  Not one thank you ever leaves her mouth and she is constantly giving orders to those around her.  Unknowingly, Andy starts to become more like the models and other employees of Runway, although she tries her hardest to passively buck the system.  Her relationship with her family, best friend, and boyfriend start deteriorating quickly.  
   Then Emily gets sick and has to miss the biggest event of the year; going to Paris with Miranda.  She gets mono and Andy is told the week before they leave that she must go to keep her job.  She flies out of the country after talking with her mother about how she had never even seen her little nephew who was a few months old now.  A pivotal moment happens when Andy's best friend Lily is in a serious car wreck and must decide exactly where her priorities are.  Was it really worth her health and the relationship of those around her for this job?  After's a job a million girls would die for...

"I'd strolled into Elias-Clark a clueless, poorly dressed little girl, and I'd staggered out a slightly weathered, poorly dressed semi-grown up (albeit one who now realizes just how poorly dressed she was).  But in the interim, I'd experienced enough to fill a hundred just-out-of-college jobs.  And even though my resume' now sported a scarlet 'F', even though my boyfriend had called it quits, even though I'd left with nothing more concrete than a suitcase(well,OK, four Louis Vuitton suitcases) full of fabulous designer clothes- maybe it had been worth it"

   Andy Sachs is what we would consider a very normal 23-year-old these days.  She is still not quite an adult.  She has never had a serious job and never felt the need to make money to pay for her own place to live and her own food.  This would be her first time out in the real world.  She has a very sweet boyfriend of three years who is always looking to do good.  And Andy is somewhat selfish and blind to what goes on around her.  Her best friend Lily is a good example of this.  Andy starts working for the worst possible boss ever to get ahead of the job market she will be in and because of her boss's crazy idea of an assistant, she chooses to put that, and her own wants, over her friend and others.  Lily had become a raging alcoholic, bringing home all types of guys to have one night stands with.  Apparently Andy just does not want to see how dangerous Lily has become to herself.  She was a mess.  Until the car wreck, Andy keeps denying it to herself saying that was just what college kids did.  Her relationship with Alex becomes almost non-existent because she spends so much time working.  But then again, perhaps it was not meant to be in the first place?  That itself is a good question that is just not answered in this book.  Andy's sister has a baby in the book but she isn't there when the baby is born and it's months later when she finally meets her nephew for the first time.  
   Runway is full of under weight, very tall, and beautiful models and employees.  Everyone wears brand name clothing and accessories.  No one eats carbs or fatty foods.  That is except for Miranda.  She is the only one besides Andy who eats things like that, but Miranda is still stick thin.  Everyone there looks at Andy like she could stand to lose weight and do something about her wardrobe.  And I suspect that Andy was already closer to the edge of being underweight for her height, if she wasn't already.  Instead of feeling healthy, Andy starts thinking about whether she should be eating what she is and ends up dropping weight anyway (part of it due to the sheer fact she had little time to eat and was exhausted constantly).  And she eventually caves in to the pressure to look and dress like everyone else.  The real clincher to the whole Runway look is when there is a letter that comes for Miranda from a young teenage girl who is not happy with her body and wants to look like these anorexic models.  
 In the end, it all comes down to how much you are willing to give up to get where you want in the career field.  Andy gave up almost a whole year of her life and although it ate away at her relationships and she ended up getting fired for telling off her boss, it did open up some job options for her.  But is a job like that really worth it?

"It had taken eleven months, forty-four weeks, and some 3,080 hours of work to figure out- once and for all- that morphing into Miranda Priestly's mirror image was probably not such a good thing."

*image via Lauren Weisberger
*quotes via Lauren Weisberger

Monday, June 10, 2013

Prince of Wolves (Grey Wolves Series Book 1) by Quinn Loftis

   Seventeen-year-old Jacque Pierce sat at her window watching the Henry's house across the street.  They
were expecting an exchange student tonight and in a town of only 700 people it was a great piece of news for her and her friends, Sally and Jen.  What was even better was that the exchange student was a guy.  She watched a limo pull up and the most beautiful guy she had ever seen stepped out.
 "When you say gorgeous" Jen started, "are we talking Brad Pitt boyish good looks, or Johnny Depp make ya want to slap somebody?"
 "No we're talking Brad and Johnny need to bow down and recognize..."
Before he stepped into the Henry's house he looked straight up to her window and it felt like he was staring straight into her eyes...
   Fane was a Romanian and the "crown prince" of the huge grey wolf pack that his father was the alpha of.  Fane was next in line to be alpha.  Because of this he was covered in markings that looked like tattoos on the back of his shoulder coming all the way around to the front of his body.  It was to show all other wolves his stature in the pack.  He never thought that coming to America would change his life so drastically.  Then he saw Jacque the night of his arrival.  Fane knew almost immediately that she was his one and only mate.  Wolves only have one mate and its for life.  Mates can speak into each others minds and they both wear matching puzzle-piece type marks, although the female's marks are usually on a more hidden area (such as the back).  The only problem is that Jacque does not even know that werewolves are real.
   Jacque, on the other hand feels like she might be losing her mind.  Fane starts to speak to her mind and it freaks her out.  Then she finds out that it is Fane speaking to her and after about a day of knowing who he is she is feeling insanely jealous of any other girl flirting with him.  It takes a very short time for Jacque to fall completely in love with Fane.  But there are so many things she does not know or understand about who he is and even who she is.  It is unknown to her for a while that she also carries grey wolf blood through her veins.  Her father was a full blooded grey wolf and left her mother before she could tell him she was pregnant.
   Not long after arriving, Fane finds out that there is a pack of grey wolves around the area Jacque lives in.  There is no record of them, which is going against the laws of the wolves.  The pack leader named Lucas says that he has already claimed Jacque as his future mate.  Fane assures him that he could prove Jacque was not Lucas's true mate.  The markings had suddenly appeared on Jacque's back soon after Fane arrived.
   Things are changing so quickly that Jacque has a hard time keeping up.  Her mom lied to her about who she really was, she was a mate to Fane who could converse with her just with their minds, she is already crazy about him and some other wolf is trying to claim her.  She was feeling very overwhelmed.
   Things got complicated when Lucas challenged Fane for bonding ceremony.  There would be a fight to the death between the two of them.  Whoever was the victor would be bonded to Jacque in a special ceremony.  Fane's parents were being flown in to assure the fairness of the fight.  In less than a week's time, everything changed for them both.

   A very classic tale of two young adults falling madly in love.  The only difference being that this was forever.  In a world where relationships are very temporary, this is somewhat unusual.  But then again, there are many animals in the wild that do mate for life.  And the two of them do have animal blood running through their veins.  Their relationship develops overnight and it leaves Jacque reeling.  She was lied to by her mother for her whole  life because her mother had hoped she would live a normal life.  I would have been pretty stressed out and confused too had I been in the situation.  It's crazy to most of us that we would meet someone and instantly be in love with them and want to be with them forever.  But so is the world of the grey wolves.  This is their way.  To add to the stress on Jacque's life, she will have to move to Romania with Fane because he will be taking over the pack someday.  Then there's the whole bonding ceremony.  Saying some vows and such is not so bad.  But then again they also have to bite each other too.  Wow.  Now that is not really what you call traditional.  But it's the final way for Fane to mark her so no other can claim her as their own.  And  it will ease his aggressiveness.  The unmated males are very aggressive.  It's the female that balances them out.  But once it is performed, if one of them dies, so does the other.
   One of my favorite parts of the book:
"When a wolf lives so many years without his mate he can become volatile and aggressive.  The reason the female Canis Lupus are so precious is because they balance out the male's violent nature.  They bring peace to the battle that is constantly raging inside the wolf, especially the dominant ones..."


*quotes via Quinn Loftis
*images via Quinn Loftis

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments Book One) by Cassandra Clare

   Soon to be 16-year-old Clarissa Fray is a teenager who doesn't always follow the rules, likes to go to a club called Pandemonium where kids dress in strange goth like outfits and spike their rainbow colored hair, and routinely goes against her mothers wishes.  Normal teenager right?  Clary was a normal teenager until she starts seeing things that others, including her best friend Simon, cannot.  While at Pandemonium one night she witnesses two guys and a girl murder another guy.  The problem is that normal people don't bleed black blood and just disappear when they die.  But this guy did.  Turns out he was not just a guy, he was a demon.  Alec, Isabelle and Jace are all teenage shadowhunters.  They hunt demons.  They also occasionally take care of vampires, werewolves or other things like that when they get out of hand.  They all live under the law of a secret organization called The Clave.  In their world The Clave is in no way a secret, but no one knows about it who is a regular old human; what they call a mundane.
The night Clary went to Pandemonium with Simon was the night when everything changed.  She learned of a world she never thought existed, thanks to her mother's insistence that none of it was real.  Then Clary's mother is taken.  When Clary returns to her and her mother's apartment, she is attacked by a demon.  "Silence answered her. No, not silence-a noise sounded through the apartment, raising the short hairs along the nape of her neck.  Like something being knocked over- a heavy object striking the floor with a dull thud.  The thud was followed by a dragging, slithering noise- and it was coming toward the bedroom.  Stomach contracting in terror, Clary scrambled to her feet and turned around slowly..."  Somehow using the sensor she had taken from Jace, Clary kills the demon.  Jace is convinced Clary is no mundane and he is proven right when he is forced to mark her with a rune to keep her hidden.  She must have shadowhunter blood.  Otherwise she probably would have went insane.  Because of the wound Clary received from the demon, Jace is forced to take her to the Institute where he and the others live.  There she is healed by Hodge who tutors the young shadowhunters and helps take care of them.  While at the Institute, Clary heals and learns more about shadowhunters.  She is determined to find her mother if she is still alive.  In order to do that they think they will need what's called the Immortal Cup.  It was where the first shadowhunters came from.  Clary is the only one who can find it.  Her mother hid it well in a surprise location so very close to home.  But as they find the cup, they also find another demon.  One that is far worse than the last and Alec almost dies.  As if things cannot get any worse, Clary's long lost, maniacal father, Valentine (who later you find out in the book is also someone else's father as well), shows up and takes the cup.  Clary never knew her father was still alive. Her mother had kept the shadowhunter world a complete secret from her.  Her mother had been a shadowhunter and her friend Luke, who comes around quite a bit, was a shadowhunter until turned into a werewolf.  Things get  very complicated for young Clary and she needs to find her very dangerous father to find her mother.

  " There were some memories, though, that never faded.  Images burst like flashbulbs behind his lids when he closed his eyes.  Blood and bodies, trampled earth, a white podium stained with red.  The cries of the dying."  (Hodge's memories)

   Clary Fray may be a very courageous character in this story but she is also a young and very reckless one.  I cannot decide whether she is very lucky or very unlucky.  She falls in love with Jace, the best shadowhunter his age.  And puts their lives, as well as those of Alec and Isabelle in danger because she doesn't always think things through.  Because she has so little knowledge of this new world she has no idea what type of consequences will come of her actions.  Jace is so enamored and in love with her that everyone else but Clary notices.  He will do anything for Clary.  Once he was so close to Alec, and now it is Clary.  Alec is secretly in love with Jace and Jace has no clue.  But Clary starts to see that soon enough.  Alec acts like he hates her and that he has something to prove.  "...where Isabelle was all arrogance, Alec slumped down in the chair as if he hoped nobody would notice him."  Perhaps he has something to prove more to himself than anyone else.  Isabelle is just Isabelle.  Flamboyant.  Beautiful.  Guys fall all over her.  Clary wishes she was more like her.  And Jace likes her the way she is.  His thoughts are "she doesn't know she is beautiful".  Simon is Clary's best friend who, of course, is also in love with her.  He has been forever.  But he also likes Isabelle and she likes him too.  It is one tangled mess of love triangles and a very unexpected possible love interest for Alec.  Teenagers that, although they act like they are so sure of themselves, are just trying to figure out what life is all about like all others their age.  They just have to deal with things no one else does.  Death is a part of the shadowhunter life.  They are not expected to have a long life span.  A hazard of the job.
   My favorite part of the book is definitely the garden scene.  Jace takes Clary up to the greenhouse to wish her a secret happy birthday.  It was her 16th birthday and there had been nothing special for her.  In a rare moment you finally get to see that as hard Jace seems to be, he also has a sweet side too.  Clary seems to bring out a better side to Jace.  It is a little romantic and for a second Clary forgets all of her problems.  For just a second in time she is happy.

                                                          The descent beckons 
                                                        as the ascent beckoned.
                                             -William Carlos Williams, The Descent

                   Look for Mortal Instruments: City of Bones in theaters August 23rd, 2013!

*images via Cassandra Clare
*quotes via Cassandra Clare
Well guess what all of my avid readers out there???  Erica Stevens decided to release Salvation early!!  It is now available as of today!!!  Happy reading!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

How about some great ideas for little nooks to read a great book for kids and adults alike?

How about  a little tent for the girls?

I personally like this under the stairs little nook with what looks like a tiny shelf, pillows, and even an overhead light.  Cozy.

If you have stairs, why not just add in a little bench to sit quietly and read?

This may be a cottage idea for bedrooms, but what better place to get away and read a book than the tiny little nook up the ladder?

Another one for your little ones.  This one could be for boys or girls if done right and it can be done very cheaply as well.

A nice colorful and sunny window to sit in.  This is a pretty simple idea for a little reading nook.  It may be a little more pricey than some of the others since you would need shelving sturdy enough to hold a person or two.  But definitely a great idea!
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