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I've Been Tagged!

I was tagged by The Book Vault's Dominique. Here are my 3 New Year's Resolution's in no particular order:

1. Stop rereading Harry Potter for a while. I have read them so much, I'm afraid that they will stop being magical and wonderful and filled with so many memories - so I am going to STAY AWAY even as I get "Potter Fever" every few months or so. There are plenty other, good books to read in the meantime.

2. Continue to ignore the idea that a Bibliophile can't also be a TV Addict, as the media and public as a whole seems to embrace. Either I am an exception to that rule, or there are many other hidden TV Addicts among our many book review blogs. But I refuse to hide it! My name is MrsRonWeasley and I am a TV Addict.

3. Stop wishing I hadn't watched "X-Men 3: The Last Stand" and forget the whole, tragic thing. As an isanely obsessed fan of the first two movies, I nearly fainted at the complete mess of a movie the last one was. Everyone was dif…

Counter Clockwise

Jason Cockcroft’s first novel is a mind-bender, to say the least.

One year ago, Nathan’s mother died in an accident, leaving him to be raised by his constantly worrying father, Henry. Though he loves his dad, he isn’t the most reliable. He shows up late, forgets things, and is always distracted. Neither of them has fully gotten over Nathan’s mother’s death.

But when, somehow, Henry goes back in time to try desperately to stop Nathan’s mother from ever dying, Nathan is left alone – that is, except for the gigantic beefeater (British slang for a guard of decorative purposes) named Bartleby who seems to know far more than he lets on but does tell Nathan one thing explicitly – Nathan’s father will destroy the world by doing what he’s doing – and Nathan has to stop him. Nathan has to make sure his mother is not saved.

There begins a luxuriously strange and bizarre story. I say both things in a good way, believe me. Jason Cockcroft wrote a book that makes you feel a little off-kilter, a little…

After the Train

Peter Leibig is not much different from us, despite living in post-WWII Germany, in Gloria Whelan's new historical fiction novel coming out in February.

He's bored to death in school, thinks his teacher is a bit long-winded, and is starting to take notice of a certain girl. But amongst his fun with his friends and going to movies, the tensions of the social climate can't help but show its face here and there. There is the heavily guarded wall that separates them from communist East Germany, the Jews that are slowly moving back to the area, the area they used to call home, and the people who still don't want them there.

But it's not until Peter uncovers a secret that he truly begins to take notice. A secret no one was ever supposed to find out, most especially him.

After the Train is a short book (about 160 pages) but surprisingly suspenseful for its lack of length. It's a quiet, yet tense, character study and history lesson all in one. I don't say "histor…

Detective Jermain

Jermain is a little bit Veronica Mars and a little bit Nancy Drew in this brand new Manga series by Misako Rocks!

Having grown up aggressively pursuing the role of being her father's daughter (he was a famous detective, murdered when she was young - still unsolved) - Jermain manages to find a mystery where others see nothing.

When a teacher and model student die in a car crash, Jermain believes it is somehow linked to the strange, vacant ways students and teachers are beginning to act and the shadowy chemistry teacher. But it's kind of hard to focus on solving it all when Mom is insisting on more college-oriented goals and your two best guy friends are suddenly declaring their more-than-friends feelings. But what else can she expect being a Manga heroine?

I thought it was very fun and breezy. To be honest, I was more interested in the love triangle than the actual mystery - but I thought the whole thing was definitely entertaining. It was a quick read - only took me a day to read…

Down to a Sunless Sea

Mathias B. Freese's Down to a Sunless Sea is a collection of highly acclaimed short stories ranging from a slice of life look at a young Jewish boy's upbringing to the edgier and darker glance at a suicidal, deformed man's struggle.

Every character is expertly drawn and vivid. Freese obviously knows how to write about completely and totally different characters, each one being loudly distinct and bold in their own right, though admittedly sometimes a bit too disturbing for my taste. Each story is written in such a way as to never be boring or even slightly dull.

However, am I a big fan of short stories? No. And it's nothing against this collection in particular, it is more the genre in general. I like to follow characters for as many pages as possible and really get involved deeply in their lives, and I never feel I can with short stories. I'm sure there are many, many reader's who disagree with this and are able to have strong connections with short story charac…

Update

Just wanted to let anyone reading this blog know why I haven't been posting any reviews lately.

My Mom has been having some health problems. Nothing life threatening, but lots of pain and an ER visit have made me pretty distracted and not really feeling up to posting.

But as soon as things start clearing up and getting better, I'll be posting reviews again. Though with all the working I'm doing it may be a bit more sporadic than I'd like.

To anyone kind enough to frequent this blog: thanks for your understanding.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Still reading Harry Potter (it sure is harder to whip through the series when you have to work 5 days a week, I’ll tell ya that) with absolute glee.

Another excerpt from the Weasley Files of Past Reviews -

I thought I better tell anyone that does not know, that A Series of Unfortunate Events ROCKS! I’m talking Book One to Book Thirteen.

It's hilarious in its ludicrousness. There’s a truly interesting mystery involving the letters VFD that links the books, there’s the fact that despite how crazy and insanely funny the plots are you still truly care about the Baudelaire orphans.

Wait.

Maybe I need to summarize the plot for those of you who have never heard of the books (where have you been, may I ask?) or don't know what they're about.

Three siblings: Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire, are at the beach one day when they get the horrifying news that their parents have died in a fire that has engulfed and destroyed their entire home. They get shipped off to their new guardian …

Oops

Well, I reworked another review from the Weasley Files of Past Reviews (since I am still happily reading Harry Potter) - but guess what? My computer froze and bye-bye went my review (which I stupidly had yet to save on Word). Sadly I don't have time to rewrite it so I must leave you with my apologies this week. I'll reopen the poll so y'all can do something once you so kindly visit my blog. I really don't like polls ending with tied results. Must be a Weasley family trait.

In the meantime, butterbeer is on me!

Pirates!

I’m still feeding my insatiable desire that is Harry Potter so here is yet another review from times past (past reviews from reader review programs, reworked book reports, etc., but still a new book review for you all the same!).

Written by Celia Rees, these 380 pages didn’t take long at all to devour. Imagine being sixteen years old and a female in 1722. Your life is really not much about more than fashion and finding a good husband. And what is there to do once that is settled? Well, have many children and do everything your husband desires, of course!

Nancy Kington is to be yet another victim to this boring, monotonous life. She is the only daughter of a widowed, remarried, wealthy merchant and though she is in love with her childhood friend, William, she is soon being linked to a rich Brazilian man who is not only much older than her but also very, um, unlikable and controlling. He is disgustingly interested in Nancy, which makes her father happy since he has a sudden debt in his bu…

Jericho Walls

Okay, listen, I am officially back off the wagon, relapsing violently with a maniacal reread of the entire Harry Potter series (I'm on Prisoner of Azkaban already). I figured y'all already understand my obsession with those books and might not appreciate a review of each individual novel in the series. So, I delved into some past reviews I'd written (on other sites, Amazon, B&N, etc.) and reworded them a bit for your reading enjoyment. First, sadly is a negative review - but I just can't bring myself to just post positive reviews. I love some books (ahem, I point your attention to the post directly beneath this one) and I, uh, don't like others. And it's nothing personal to the authors, it's just my opinion.

Kristi Collier's Jericho Walls is a look at life in the South during the 1957 Civil Rights Movement centers around young Jo Clawson, the daughter of a preacher. She's new and town and doesn't seem to meet up to anyone's standards. She…

The Hunger Games

Exciting. Heart-wrenching. Thrilling. Horrifying. Breathtaking. Suspenseful.

Just a few words I can use to describe the insanely addictive, page-turning first volume in a new trilogy by Suzanne Collins.

Katniss, a sixteen-year-old, tough, and already world-weary girl, lives in a futuristic version of North America - a cruel dictatorship separated into lonely, hungry districts. It's science fiction at it's absolute best. You know, where it kind of scares you? Yeah, this does.

See, the tyrant that is the Capitol has a certain way of keeping their firm grip on the people. Apparently there was a rebellion in the past - so they try to stave that off with the "Games". It's almost like a raffle, only your life is at stake.

Every child 12 to 18 is entered from each district, and two from each district are chosen (one male, one female) to compete and kill each other in order to be the last one standing in an arena of the Capitol's choosing (frozen wasteland, dangerous jun…

A Bibliophile's Confession

Hello!

I've been really busy and tired this week and I'm unable to get a new book review posted. But I should get one up next week (on the thrilling The Hunger Games). Unless I am maimed by a hippogriff or invited onto the Hogwarts Express between now and then.

I'm sorry! I hope you take the opportunity to look at some of my reviews you may not have read yet in the archives.

No worries. The therapy will continue soon enough! :)

Anatomy of a Boyfriend

Daria Snadowsky's first novel is about a goal-oriented, hopeful med-student, high school senior, Dominique. Despite her best friend being boy-crazy, she hasn't been all that tempted to enter the dating world. She has heard enough vulgar and/or idiotic things out of guys mouths to detract far too much from their attractive appearance to really ever become interested (haven't we all?). But during an eventful (and not in a good way) trip to the port-a-potty during a school event she meets Wes, a boy with the brightest blue eyes she's ever seen and a shy smile that wins her over in an instant. For the first time ever, Dominique is interested.

Daria's story is an in-depth look at a girl's first serious relationship - the ups, the downs, and the mistakes. She really shows the way we of the female persuasion can (we don't have to) lose ourselves, desperately melding into the guy's identity and maybe going too far too fast. But she never makes it glamorous or pr…

Audrey, Wait!

Robin Benway's first novel has been, so far, a critics darling. I was super excited to read it because it sounded like such an interesting premise - Audrey breaks up with her wannabe rocker boyfriend who then writes a great song about the breakup, becomes a huge superstar and ends up pulling her into the spotlight in the meantime - and it is.

But (you knew that was coming, right?) I wasn't sold. Well, not right off anyway.

Audrey's character was neither likable, nor relatable to me personally. In fact, I kind of felt that if I knew Audrey personally - we wouldn't really mesh. Not that I'd hate her, I just wouldn't be in her group. She declares early on that if you you don't like your music so loud the neighbors move out and the speakers blow that you probably won't be her friend.

See, I don't like the neighbors moving out (living in an apartment I know how stressful and horrible it can be to have a neighbor that plays their music too loud) and the spea…

I've Been Tagged!

Okay, did it take me long enough?
The Book Vault's Dominique tagged me in the comments of my review for The Shining and I'm just NOW getting to it. Oops.
Here goes:
What was I doing 10 years ago?
Getting my first-year Hogwarts supplies in Diagon Alley and taking a roam through Eelops Owl Emporium.
Okay, for real? Well, it was the end of the summer before 5th grade (if that's the grade I was in when I was 10 - I'm not willing to take out the calculator right now), so probably devouring more Babysitter's Club, Nancy Drew, and Girl Talk books in my room. What are five things on my to-do list today? Degnome the garden and visit my old celebrity crush Gilderoy Lockhart at St. Mungos.
Do you really want the honest truth? It's actually my day off today (whoo-hoo!) so nothing on my to do list today but my favorite things. Watch my recorded TV shows (yay Burn Notice! yay The Closer!), the Olympics later (which can be a chore with all those commercials, even fast-forwarding!), …

Book Vault’s Birthday Contest Riddle

What does every fellow bibliophile love? A contest of course! This is the next leg of The Book Vault’s birthday book riddle contest!

Don’t even try to tell me that you don’t want a free book!

For more information on the contest, go here: http://the-book-vault.blogspot.com/2008/08/birthday-contest.html.

Each correct answer counts as an entry into the drawing on August 29th!

Here ya go, for your therapeutic usage:

Riddle: A community of genetically blind (they chose to be that way) exists harmoniously—or so it seems. Not long after a young boy in the community turns 13, he realizes that for some miraculous reason, has regained his sight. The community is not as peaceful as it seems—there are thieves, hypocrites, and other wrong doers. Now he must decide what to do, now that he has a gift that separates himself from the rest of his community.
Which book is this?

Know the answer? Send Dominique an email at bookvault@yahoo.com with:

“BDAY CONTEST” in the subject line and:
Name:
The Riddle: A communi…

The Shining

As someone who has watched the movie adaption of this Stephen King novel, The Shining, well, I admit I wasn't gung-ho about reading the book. Why? Well, the movie always kind of freaked me out. I was kind of worried how much more the book would freak me out.

But for all of you who have watched the movie, I'm sure you'll agree with me when I say that it just didn't make any sense. At all. The end is a head scratcher that never seems to be resolved. A puzzle piece trying to be shoved into a puzzle that still has way too many pieces missing.

So - I wanted to read the book. To see if it made more sense. Maybe answer my questions. I took a deep breath and went for it.

For those of you who haven't watched the movie (you should, it's a classic), the general synopsis of the story is that Jack Torrance, a recovering alcoholic who has recently lost his job, is hired as the caretaker for a huge hotel up in the mountains of Colorado. The hotel has to be shut down every winter…

The New Girl

Meg Cabot’s second installment in her middle-grade level series Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls is just as fun, sweet, and reminiscent of my own fourth grade experience as the first one.

Not that it’s a retread, of course. Not in the slightest.

Since Allie, her parents, and her little brothers have made the BIG MOVE, that was such a huge part of the plot of the first book, Moving Day, now it’s time for her first day at her new school as (say it with me now) The New Girl.

Thankfully I never had to deal with that dilemma as a fourth grader – but even more thankfully, I didn’t have a big, scary girl in my class tell me she was going to beat me up after class like Allie does.

My childhood was mostly peaceful.

Sadly, poor Allie’s isn’t. Not to mention that things aren’t looking so peachy for getting her promised kitten.

Once again (remember how I mentioned the “satisfaction guaranteed” sticker in an earlier review?) Meg Cabot’s book whisks the reader away to pure entertainment – even if in this c…

The Space Between Us

Have you ever read a bestselling or highly acclaimed book (usually written for adults, since YAs are usually so woefully underappreciated) and just not got it? You know - it's depressing, disturbing, or just plain boring?

Well, The Space Between Us is NOT one of those!

I'll admit that I went into it thinking it was... I've been burned before by so-called "Women's Literature", but Thrity Umrigar's bold, yet gentle, foray was a force to reckoned with. I simply could not dislike it.

Taking place in modern day India, the setting is unique and intriguing but anyone who has read as many books as I have knows that beautiful or different settings do not make a book interesting in the slightest. It's like a person looking great on the exterior, but what's on the inside? The characters are the heart and soul of a book.

And The Space Between Us lavishes the reader with honest, flawed, empathetic characters that pull at your heart strings while still making you c…

Sweet and Vicious

I received this book, Claudia Gabel's third installment of the In or Out series, from an awesome contest site, teensreadtoo.com. Honestly, though, I would recommend others to start from the beginning of the series rather than to jump right into the third book like I did. Which I usually don't do. But, ya know, I wasn't gonna go buy the others JUST because I won the third.

I can't help but feel that this book (and the others in the series) have suffered from Bad Cover Syndrome. This is just a personal opinion, and nothing against the girls on the cover or the people who designed it - but it just looks marketed way too young. Even though the two main characters are 14, they seem much older - and I wouldn't classify it anywhere near a Babysitter's Club book, which is what the cover kind of made me think of.

Okay - besides the cover now.

Shy Marnie and social-climbing Nola used to be best friends, but after some wild and hurtful accusations, that is all in the past. N…

Relapse

Oops. Why no new book review?

Well, I've suffered a bibliophile relapse. I tried to fight it. I was unsuccessful.

I'm rereading.

Yep. And I'm not rereading something I can post on here as I usually would (shame on me!) - because I already have reviewed it on here.

Seriously. I just read it.

That's right. I'm rereading The Summoning. It's that good.

And I guess the release date has been moved up. Buy it now! Here's a link to the bibliophile's ultimate dealer (at least the bibliophile who really needs the extra savings, like me), directly to this frakktastic book: http://www.amazon.com/Summoning-Darkest-Powers-Book/dp/0061662690/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1214956135&sr=1-1

I promise to quickly finish it up, and return to my duties. It might be a review of Ann Brashares' adult novel The Last Summer (of You & Me). It might not.

I'm fickle that way.

Anyway, keep the faith! I WILL post again soon!

The Summoning

Wow. All I can say is: wow.

Okay, I can say more. But I was practically speechless when I finished this thrilling, exciting, out-of-my-mind suspenseful book!

This is Kelley Armstrong’s first foray into the wonderful world of young adult fiction. She is a best-selling author of an adult series (I guess some of which take place in the same world as this killer, so I think I’ll be checking them out sooner than later).

Fifteen-year-old Chloe Saunders is a relatable, sweet, sort of ordinary girl – often mistaken for much younger (I can relate). She’s not hated or loved by her peers. She’s not popular, but she’s not really unpopular either. But when an event that she has waited a long time to happen does happen at school – things start to happen. She’s never been that fond of the dark in the first place, especially after a nightmare that might be more truth than dream, but when an unfamiliar janitor starts running after her down the school halls, his face turning into a melting, waxy looking h…

The Humming of Numbers

As much as I hate to give any bad or lukewarm reviews, I started this blog with the idea in mind that I would review books as I read them (meaning whether it myself just reading something for pleasure, rereading, or even getting a book to review from a reader review program) – and honestly state my opinion of them.

Well, my honest opinion of The Humming of Numbers by Joni Sensel (who is a Washington resident, which is awesome!)… isn’t great. Actually, I didn’t even finish it.

I know! I know! I hate not finishing a book. But there is always that principle that there are SO many fantastic books (like the one I’ll be reviewing next) out there that to force yourself to keep turning the pages of a book you are finding pretty darn dull is a disservice to yourself and the industry.

Here’s the thing: Aiden is a monk in training in the 10th century. He lives a sheltered life with monks. I’ll admit the setting is rather off-putting. But the author is simply presenting the time period as it was. I …

The Princess Diaries

I firmly believe that older books are just as important to blog about as newer ones. There is always going to be someone who missed the boat the first time around. That's why, after reading Meg Cabot's first in the bestselling series for the fourth time (yes, you read that right) - I decided to put it on here.
I was one of those stuck up girls (not Lana, no worries - maybe a little Lilly) that saw the cover (at the time it was bright pink with a sparkly tiara) and scoffed. I didn't want to read a book that had "Princess" or "Diaires" in the title. Thing is, I loved the Mediator series by a certain Jenny Carroll, and when I realized Jenny Carroll and Meg Cabot were one and the same - I had to read it. And if you are one of those people that didn't read it because of the cover, title, etc. - THINK AGAIN!
Hilarious (I mean, laugh-out-loud funny) and extremely entertaining, The Princess Diaries is the type of book you devour in less than a day because it …

Prom Dates from Hell

Are you a fan of supernatural thrillers (with a dose of humor, that is) like Meg Cabot's "Mediator" series? How about "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"? If your answer is yes to either question (and really even if it isn't), you should check out Rosemary Clement-Moore's new book.

Her main character, Maggie Quinn, is one of those relatable characters that is a bit of an outcast, smart but not overwhelmingly in love with school, and has a razor sharp wit (think Veronica Mars) that we all wish we possessed. However, she also has another facet of her personality. She hates to admit it, but she senses something wrong about the fire and brimstone scent that seems to everywhere. She doesn't want to have a special "gift" - but she does. And when her classmates start to have, ahem, "accidents", she suspects more than mortal foul play is at works.

Every character (from her slightly off kilter friend Lisa to the hottie college student who is willin…

Sucks to Be Me

Kimberly Pauley's first novel manages to have an irresistible mix of hilarity and originality, throwing all the vampire cliches out the window and providing readers (like me) a fresh, energizing novel. Instead of the shadowy, rogue sort of vampires we usually get in literature (which there is nothing wrong with of course - I love me some hot vampires), Sucks to Be Me introduces an unfamiliar type: accountants. Not to mention the fact that there are rules and regulations and a Ministry of Magic sort of government for the blood drinking species.

Pauley's fun, entertaining novel doesn't try to compete with other types of vampire books - her's is on a different level. And the level is full of laughs! Mina is a teenager with a great sarcastic wit (but never mean spirited) who finds out that her parents weren't exactly supposed to have let her in on their immortal secret (she's known since forever), and she's suddenly faced with a decision: would she like to join …

Bewitching Season

Marissa Doyle's debut novel is an entertainng mixture of the social scene of the 1837 London season and Harry Potter esque magical mischief. Now, right there, you're already intrigued right? So was I.

The main character, Persephone, and her twin sister Penelope, both have a magical gift that must be kept under wraps since witches were burnt at the stake less than a century ago - but just because they can't make a huge fanfare out of it doesn't mean that they can't hone their skills for private use, right? Right. So they're longtime governess, Ally, does just that. Persephone is the more studious and shy, and is not in the least bit happy about her coming-out season. It means talking and dancing and (gulp!) boys. And when a childhood friend, whose quite the handsome gentleman now, returns to the fold, her nerves are even more frayed.

At first Persephone and Penelope's characters felt a little off for me. I didn't love Persy's awkwardness right away - b…

Airhead

Meg Cabot's new winner is just as awesome as her other books. From the beginning she sets the tone of, Em, the main character: nice, shy, tomboyish, and awkward. Loveable? Of course she is! There's her unrequited crush on her best friend Christopher, her younger sister Frieda who lives on a different planet than her personality-wise, and the fact that she is ridiculed by her classmates. Regular, relatable Emerson Watts. Then something happens.


The novel's great twist is reminscent of Meg's Mediator series (which I adore), though it's still completely different, makes the whole book turn on its head and start dancing the tango. Perfectly.


I can't give away what happens in this twist because it would be literally causing a huge chunk of the plot to not be as exciting to you and it was to me. All I can say is: Frakktastic!!!


Once again, Meg creates a likable character in an out-of-this-world experience that still manages to be fun, hilarious, and page-turningly suspe…

Bibliophile Support Group: Mission

The mission of this support group is to provide a place of healing and understanding to those of us who are so woefully misunderstood in modern life: the booklovers. It is also a place that I intend to review books, good or bad, to my fellow booklovers.

And have some fun doing it.

So, welcome to Bibliphiles Anonymous. Let's start with honesty -

My name is MrsRonWeasley (okay, not THAT honest), and I am a bibliophile. The last time I read a book was 3 hours, 23 minutes ago (or so).