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GreatImaginationsLyn

Heartless Lyn @ Great Imaginations

"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost"

March in Review

Summary

 

Spring is alive and kicking at the end of March.  My allergies have declared war on my nose, and the battle continues, even to this day.

 

The weather is slowly growing warmer.  I’m okay with the temperatures staying in the 70s, but I am already dreading anything in the 80s and above. Tornado season is on our doorstep, and a possible outbreak is already in the forecast.

 

I have nothing new and exciting to report at the moment.  The job search continues.  I’ve already suffered a long week of panic attacks due to the lack of support and care at my workplace, and I’ve started to hit the resumes and the cover letters hard. 

 

I’ve become addicted to Reddit.  I had an account for a year now, but I never seemed to be able to fit in with the website.  I finally found some great subreddits, and now I use it as much as I use Booklikes and Facebook. 

 

Reading

 

I read 5 books this month which brings my total to 17 for 2014. 

I DNF 0 books in February.

Average rating for February: 3.31

Average rating for 2014: 3.5

Favorite Book in February: White Crow by Marcus Sedgwick

Pages Read in February: 1,987

Pages read in 2014: 5,952

 

Television and Movies

 

Theatre Releases: None

Rentals:  None

Rewatched:  Dragonball Z – Ocean Dub

I bought:  The Hunger Games: Catching Fire 

 

Music

 

This month, here are the top songs on my playlist:

 

I am currently going through a 90s flashback period at the moment.

 

Then You Looked at Me by Celine Dion  

 

Can’t Let Go – Mariah Carey 

 

Hey Jealousy – Gin Blossoms 

 

And a Classical Stage as well:

 

Fanfare for the Common Man – Aaron Copeland 

 

New World Symphony – Dvorak 

 

Someone who loves me bought me the DBZ Ocean dubbed collection, so Dragonball music is on my mind at the moment:

 

Chala Head Chala -  Hironobu Kageyama 

 

The Braveheart Challenges the Strong 

 

A Message From the Future – KUKO 

SPOILER ALERT!

Forgotten Fridays: White Crow by Marcus Sedgwick

White Crow - Marcus Sedgwick
Bekka:  Marcus Sedgwick is one of my top favorite authors and so I’m REALLY excited to share this book with you guys.  It was my first of his that I read, over a year ago, and it still leaves an impression.


Kara: Oh dear. Well...there were parts I liked and parts I didn’t. There is NO DOUBT that I love the way he writes. But I didn’t connect to the characters and I found myself zoning out at times. That said, I loved the inventiveness of the story, for sure.


Bekka:  I did love the modern story, but it was the historical parallel that got me.  That freakish doctor?  A real guy.  I did a ton of research after reading.


Lyn: For me, I was blown away by this book.  I loved the story and the symbolism in the book.  Bekka, was Dr. Barrow a real man?


Bekka:  I can’t remember right now if that was his real name, but there was definitely a real man who was beheading people and trying to talk to their severed heads, yes.


Kara: Okay, see, that part of the story I really liked. I liked the flashback POVs. I liked the scary parts about the doctor. What I didn’t care for was the slow start with the girls and I didn’t understand why it took so long to get going for such a short book.


Bekka:  I’m not typically a fan of slower-paced books, but this one had a strange dreamlike quality that really hooked me.  It’s all in the writing.  Plus, it’s always easier to get invested in characters who have your name. :P


Kara: Good point! I think if it had started differently for me I would have liked it more. Unfortunately, I have a stupid short attention span and once I start to zone out, there is very little that can be done to get me back into a book. That said, I really want to read his newest AND Midwinterblood, which I have here. I think I might like them more because I really did love his writing. I swear. I am big on atmosphere. :D


Lyn: I like how it built up to the climax. To me, it felt like a storm happening.  The build up was like a hurricane, and the flashbacks supported the suspense of the novel. Also, he threw in a small sprinkling of Norse. Brownie points right there.


Bekka:  I totally agree, Lyn.  The entire book, to me, felt like those crescendoing violins in a horror movie.  It’s unsettling and you know something bad is coming the whole time and it sets you on edge.  Another thing I loved about this book was the setting.


Kara: well, yeah. I freaking loved the setting. I loved the way he described it, and the atmosphere he built with his word choices. I don’t usually like books that flip back and forth between then and now, but the past scenes were pretty creepy and a quite a bit unsettling. I am so glad you guys loved it, though. I consider it a success when 2 out of 3 of us want to marry a book. :D


Lyn: I don’t know how he does it, but Sedgwick says so much with just a handful of words. I was shocked to see that this one was so short, but the amount of tension and the friction between most of the characters was like an uncomfortable feeling the entire time. He is a master of showing, not telling.


Bekka:  And how about that ending!  I’ve read four books by him now and the ending is always a surprise.


Kara: Okay, yeah. That shocked the hell out of me. I have never seen a book end that way.


Lyn: The endings are always worth reading the book! I had to read it three times, because I was just shocked.  But I’ll make a note here.  I was shocked how rushed the ending seemed. We had this beautiful build-up, and then, BOOM resolution, surprise ending, and conclusion. I felt that it was really, really rushed.


Bekka:  I’ll agree with you there.  After how sort of slow and drawn out the rest of it was, the ending did come quickly and in very few pages.


Lyn: That was the only reason I gave the book 4 stars. I wanted the ending to mean more. It was such a beautiful and creeping ending. It was so throttled and choppy.


Kara: So I have a question then. What Sedgwick book is your favorite? Both of you.


Bekka:  This one, definitely.  After that, Midwinterblood.


Lyn: I have only read two of his books. Midwinterblood is, so far, my favorite.


Side note: WHITE CROWS EXIST!!


Kara: That is so freaky and cool! And...I can’t wait to read his latest, She is Not Invisible.


Bekka:  She Is Not Invisible is VERY different from the other books of his I’ve read.  While Revolver was historical, and White Crow and Midwinterblood had historical storylines, SINI is set entirely in modern day with a very modern protagonist.  Very different, but still amazing.


Kara: I can’t wait to try it. I told Lyn I would send my ARC to her after I am done. :)


Lyn: I am really excited to read it.


Bekka:  So what are our ratings for White Crow?  For me, it’s 5 stars.

Lyn: I am giving it 4.5 The ending was truncated, and it made me sad.


Kara: For me, it’s a 3. Wah wahhhh.

Source: http://www.great-imaginations.com/2014/03/forgotten-fridays-white-crow-by-marcus.html
SPOILER ALERT!

Forgotten Fridays: The Aviary by Kathleen O'Dell

The Aviary - Kathleen O'Dell
Kara: Okay, ladies. I woke up from my nap just for this. You’d better be entertaining. I am pretty incoherent so I apologize if I seem drunk or rambling in my conversation here. Now let’s get started. I thought The Aviary was just decent, to be honest. I thought, at first, it was just me and my age being too old for this, but then I thought back to all the other middle grade novels that I have loved, and it’s just not the case. Something was off about this book for me. What did you guys think?

 

Bekka:  Well, I DNF’d it. I’ve liked middle grade in the past, so I honestly think it was this book in particular, not the age difference, that mattered.

 

Lyn: I didn’t think it was bad. In fact, I loved the ending, and Frances was a character I ended up loving, but I was just too weighed down with the overall sad tone, and the detached writing. I never knew what the main character was really feeling. And there was a LOT of emotions in this book. Like, Emotion Titanic levels.

 

Kara: Oddly enough, that was one of my main issues. I didn’t FEEL anything for the characters. I liked the birds but I did not feel particularly attached to them. And I think that was my main issue. I felt the writing style was telling me way too much and not showing me nearly enough. If you tell me how I should feel, it’s just never going to work. Also, I felt a lack of tension in the writing. I feel this with some other middle grade books too, so I feel like it’s a writing style I can’t get used to, and that’s probably one of those, “It’s not you, it’s me” type of things. I do think if I had read this as an actual middle grader that I probably would have liked it A LOT more.

 

Lyn: I still can’t get past the sad birds. I know the birds were special but I picked up on the absolute misery of the animals. I did a paper on middle school about birds going insane and such, and the parallel issues caused me a lot of distress.

 

Bekka:  I found the situation the birds were in to be sad. Mike’s family has a few pet birds and they’re so well taken care of. But then I think about these tropical birds in The Aviary living outside in one cage together and it makes me sad.

 

Lyn: Right??! No one really cares for them until their secret is discovered! So, if they were just ordinary birds, doing BIRD things, then they deserve to sit, neglected and disliked, in the elements, because they are doing what birds do?! It was incredibly insensitive and horrible! I’m going to start crying again because I thought the treatment of the birds was very despicable.

 

Kara: As a former bird owner who loved and took care of two parrots (my mom made me give them away), what would have made you feel okay with their treatment, Lyn? Is it just the fact that they were in cages, or was it that they were unsheltered from the elements that bothered you? I never actually thought much about the treatment, but I did feel bad for them, spending all that time in a cage and never being let out.

 

Lyn: Birds require a lot of interaction. They are highly intelligent, and (sad stuff coming) birds will go insane with a proper diet of attention due to their intelligence. Hell, one bird was pulling out her feathers, and no one cared? No one though this was an issue? Oh, yeah, they were just horrible scary birds. I’m really steamed over the treatment of the animals.

 

Kara: Yeah, I had forgotten about the plucking until now. Good point. You’ve made me see it differently. I just figured that since they had each other, it wasn’t too bad. I mean, it was a really sad situation either way and I wanted them to be free, but I didn’t actually consider it abuse until I heard your viewpoint. So sad.

 

Bekka:  I feel like we are always getting caught up in the way the animals are treated in these books.  We need to start picking books with animal protagonists or something, to balance the bad stuff.

 

Lyn: Good point.

 

Kara: Yeah, I feel like I should apologize for this one after the way I reacted to the last one. It’s almost like it’s karma or something.

 

Lyn: I don’t want to end this on a depressing note. Kara, the ending was actually really touching, and I was very shocked about the resolve of the mystery. It did warm my heart to see a very bittersweet ending.

 

Bekka:  I obviously didn’t make it that far.  I think mainly because I didn’t like the historical setting.  When reading a historical book I like to have something that identifies what time period we’re in and not just random placings of “Thee” and “Dear.”

 

Kara: Good point, Bekka. There wasn’t a whole lot of imagery or sense of place, was there?

 

Lyn: In my animal righteous mode, I totally missed that.

 

Kara: Yeah, it makes sense. I am just trying to think of all the reasons why the book didn’t work for me. I mean, I liked it, but something wasn’t right and I also think that was one of the reasons. I loved the ending too though. It was a nice way to wrap it up, and even though I could see it coming, I thought it was peaceful and touching, and I love happy endings and standalone novels. It’s a rare thing these days.

 

Lyn: I gave it three stars, because I did like the ending.

 

Kara: That’s what I ended up giving it too. I really wish I could have given it more, but I cannot justify it.

 

Lyn: Can I mention how excited I am over the next pick?

 

Kara: Me too. I bought it already, and I read the first page and I am pretty sure I am going to love it. You both have read it, right?

 

Lyn: I read only one book by the author, and it is seriously one of my top five favorite books, ever.

 

Kara: Oh, so you read Midwinterblood, but not White Crow? And for Bekka this is a reread? SHould be interesting! I am excited!

 

Bekka:  Yes! I love Marcus Sedgwick so I can’t wait for you guys to join in on the fun!

 

Lyn: Right, just Midwinterblood. EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!

 

Kara: I hope I connect with the writing style. I think I will. I am SO EXCITED.
Source: http://www.great-imaginations.com/2014/03/forgotten-fridays-aviary-by-kathleen.html

The Golem and the Jinni by Helen Wecker

The Golem and the Jinni - Helene Wecker

Review: Ever since I spied this book in the bookstore, I was instantly drawn to a book that delved into both Jewish and Arab mythology and culture. It was a strange yet appealing combination. Sadly, I did not buy the book as soon as I bought it, but thanks to the yearly book gifting giveaway at Reddit, I was able to finally own this one on my Kindle.
This book was well worth the huge commitment. According to Amazon, the Kindle book came in at a whopping 809 pages.  It was intimidating, but I couldn't stay away from this book for long.
The cultural and historical themes of the book makes this tome well worth reading. Overall, I was pleased with the novel, as a whole.

What Worked


I have to give Wecker some major credit from the start.  Her two main and title characters, the jinni and the golem,  each had a distinct voice.  I have become so use to characters sharing the same voice that I just tend to overlook it. When I do see characters written as completely different individuals, not as a matching set, I have to stop and marvel at the skill and care of the author. 

The rich cultural immersion.  If you are unfamiliar with golems in Jewish mythology, or the true origin of the Arab genie (jinni), then this is a wonderful introduction to the lore from each culture.  I was more familiar with the Jewish history and somewhat acquainted with the Arab tales.  The book touches on the background of the mythical creatures.

 photo GENIE-CRICK-GIF_zps2f8e6db9.gif

 

This doesn't count.


The authentic research of the history surrounding the immigration period of New York.  Written at the turn of the 20th century, the Wecker dedicates portions of her author website to the background of the locations in the book.  It is not only entertaining, but also provides a slice of American history.  I enjoyed the genuine glimpse into the cultural salad of the area as well as the story line.

The two characters, the Jinni and the Golem, stand on two sides of human nature.  The female golem is a representation of order, control and responsibility, while the jinni tends to stand for impulse and larger-than-life living.

The range of secondary characters.  I enjoyed a large majority of the background characters as well. 

The ending to the book.  I'm not going to spoil anything, but I was touched with the sentiment of the conclusion.

Expect a huge range of emotions in this one - no feeling is left untouched.

What Didn't Work


The first parts of the novel seemed to drag along.  At times, I felt like rushing through parts of the first few chapters.

One of the characters I ended up loving, Michael, was continually robbed in the entire book, for convenience. I was sore after witnessing Michael's treatment.  He seemed to constantly get the short end of the stick just for simply existing.

In certain parts, the novel almost grew stagnant and seemed to come to a standstill.

Overall:

 photo tumblr_lpb9mpoQ5y1qgviu6o1_500_zps5056b370.gif

 

This was very enjoyable, and anyone looking for realistic fantasy should invest in this one.  The author reaches out to her audience with characters who could relate to a wide range of personality types. This novel is ideal for history buffs and readers looking for something new in the paranormal department.
Source: http://www.great-imaginations.com/2014/03/the-golem-and-jinni-by-helen-wecker.html

Mini Book Review: The Lottery Rose by Irene Hunt

The Lottery Rose - Irene Hunt
Review: Older middle grade books usually age quite quickly.  While The Lottery Rose made some very excellent points, the story was straight-to-the-point and tended to overly generalize the "big mean world" of adults. Perhaps I was not the target audience for such a story. Hunt's writing reflects sharing the emotional upheaval of ostracized and severely abused pre-teen boys. That last line might have stood out as a little harsh and unfeeling, but boiling down a major issue in our schools and in our homes to just plain meanness doesn't educate the reader, but merely covers the facts with black-and-white coping mechanisms. 
 
As I have found with older books, expect some pain and heartbreak when you read this story. It is not for the faint of heart.  The era of the story also reflects a strong pro-Christian stance, so be prepared to guzzle down some of the God-juice.
 
I do appreciate that the main character, a boy named Georgie, interested in an atypical interest, gardening and flowers. Kudos for venturing off the gender-beatened path.
 
Overall, it was an interesting way to approach the subject of teacher-student bullying and child abuse, but the story could have attempted to dig deeper.  
Source: http://www.great-imaginations.com/2014/03/mini-book-reviews-inside-out-and-back.html

Mini Book Review: Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai

Inside Out and Back Again - Thanhha Lai
 
 
Review: I stayed away from free verse poetry for a majority of my life. Now, in my wizened old age, I have built a healthy relationship and have a new-found respect for the format.  My love for Thuy Trang spurred my interest in Vietnam. I've taken a great interest in the Vietnam War due to this pop culture fascination. Many of the customs and the culture ideals were familiar to me due to my past research into the Vietnam world. However, newcomers to the Vietnam culture will still be able to understand most of the events and the holidays in the book.  
 
Ha is the narrator of the story. Since this is free verse, the storytelling is told from her point of view. It is a very painful story of a young refugee from Vietnam. Uprooted from her home and sanctioned in not-too-friendly Southern USA. I was very touched by the realism and honest emotion of the story. I was disappointed by some of the missed opportunities by the novel, since the story does focus on bullying and racism.  However, the author wrote about her own experiences, weaving her own tale into the novel, so the novel takes a more realistic approach, instead of an all-around moral-of-the-story novel. 
It is easy to see why this was a Newbery honor book. This is a forthright novel discussing racism and war sanctions. 
 
 

 

 

 

Source: http://www.great-imaginations.com/2014/03/mini-book-reviews-inside-out-and-back.html

Book Review of Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz

Teeth - Hannah Moskowitz
Review: This book. Well. 
 
 photo shocked-cat-o_zps31bd65a4.gif
 
Teeth was a hard book to tackle. I heard such awesome things about the story, such as the the level of creep factor and the controversial vibe of the book. It was an irresistible book, and I finally was brave enough to pick it up. In the end, I had a lot of personal thoughts to tackle, and some disturbing insight before I could bring myself to review this one.
 
This review is going to be like pulling.....teeth.
 
 photo 3888_zpsc3f4b49f.gif
Seriously, you're going to need some humor somewhere, because this book was dark.
 
Here goes nothing.
 
What Was Great:
 
The risks that the author took on this story. I really cannot compare this one to anything else I have read because it stands alone. Kudos to a writer who steps outside of the norm.
 
The vague paranormal feel. I love my paranormal (especially since it has veered away from the emo-bleeding-organs phase). However, I need paranormal that feels a tad real at times. 
 
The controversy over the definition of life.  The case regarding human life versus animal life is repeatedly brought up in the story. This isn't going to harass the reader, or beat one over the head. Instead, it simply asks a simple question to allow the reader to build a deeper connection.
 
What Didn't Work
 
Here's the tough part. I was majorly overwhelmed by the lack of concern for one of the reoccurring events in the book. No spoilers, but those who read it know about it, and for the people out there who have not read it, it is a seriously horrible thing that happens again and again. I'm not even sure if I can excuse it due to character style or writing choice or story development. It is simply disturbing and very dismissive of a very big and heinous crime. Inside, it seemed almost that the evil was diminished due to the lack of real attention on the problem. And I do mean PROBLEM. It just didn't sit well with me. Maybe I'm just too compassionate, or a tad bit on the overdrive on justice-patrol, but it wasn't right and it was fair.
 
Overall:
 
 photo facial-expressions_zps3d1f3ba2.gif
 
The book is a must read. The topics brought up are not nice, sweet, humorous topics, but very dark and troubling issues. More importantly, the book will make you think. A dose of tough love and discussion points are interjected in Teeth. It is refreshing to read something that can cause you to look inside from time to time, instead of knowing what side you should stand on from the start.

 

Source: http://www.great-imaginations.com/2014/03/book-review-of-teeth-by-hannah-moskowitz.html

Graphic Novel Review: The Cute Girl Network by Greg Means, MK Reed, Joe Flood

The Cute Girl Network - M.K. Reed, Greg Means, Joe Flood
Review: Kara was kind enough to send me this one when I read her review. After reading the description, I was highly interested in reading this graphic novel.  
 
I won't say that it was bad, because there are some awesome scenes with Jane and how she handles the constant sexual harassment and sexism she faces each day.  The art is cute, and the Twilight parody included in the novel is worth picking up this read. 
 
I won't say it was outstanding, either.  Most of the people in the novel are downright unlikeable. The Cute Girl Network does everything in their power to shut out guys they deem unworthy. That is an awfully huge responsibility to take on.  Harriet, Jane's main contact, downright bullies her and becomes very extreme to keep Jane from dating Jack, the male "cute" boy of the story. I really do not understand how Jane kept from lashing out at her. The bottom line is: you cannot force someone to do something. You give them what they need to know and let them make their own decision. Harriet's goal for CGN is to reign supreme over everyone's love life and transform into the know-it-all love guru. She's so full of herself, and it is a huge hit against the mission of the Cute Girl Network. Personally, I took that the network was set up to educate girls and keep them safe, not to bully and harass those who go against their wishes. What about the other side of the story, as well? This is slighting touched upon when Jane talks to Jake, but it seems that it is very one sided. Girls are not perfect. Girls make mistakes as well. The novel tries to place the blame of bad relationships solely on the boys, when it is 50/50. 
 
With that out of the way, the males in the novel are not model material in any way. Jack's roommate is a sexist ass who, if true to life, will eventually go to prison on sexual assault charges. The men treat Jane like a set of tits with no brain. And Jack.....oh, Jack. While I defended him in the sentence above, there is nothing redeeming about his character.  When he does get to tell Jane about his side of the story with some of the rumors out of the CGN, it does nothing to help clear his name. There are socially awkward people, and there are people who are too self involved to give a damn about others. I never would have dated Jack, and he gained no points with me when he responded to the accusations of the other girls in the network. For crying out loud, who seriously blathers about their sex life to someone's mother?! I want to keep this as spoiler free as possible, but how he treated the other girls he dated really made him appear to be a scumbag. He can't hold down a job and he's lazy and a slob. While he seems charming, these qualities bleed over into his love life as well.  Not long-term boyfriend material right there. 
 
Jane seems to be the only character I liked in the novel.  She stands up to her harassers with style and flare. As a girl in a male-dominated hobby, she faces the constant onslaught of sexist views. Time and time again, she has to defend herself from others who see her as a "poser" or a fake. She's unapologetic and she has a good head on her shoulders.  The strongest parts of the story was when the novel focused solely on Jane and her daily ordeals with the male mentality towards skater girls.  
 
The art is cute and there are some shining moments in the novel.  If you're looking for some pro-girl fiction, I would recommend this one. It does have its charms, and it raises some questions about modern dating habits and how social media (in this case, text messages) has changed the field.
Source: http://www.great-imaginations.com/2014/03/graphic-novel-review-cute-girl-network.html
SPOILER ALERT!

Forgotten Fridays: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Lyn: I feel that this is going to go down the same way the last discussion went down. I get the notion that this one was a bomb for us.


Kara: Well...yeah. I DNFed it. I loved the writing, and I certainly think the author excels at that. But there was just way too much graphic violence in this book for me. I guess that’s probably the reason I never chose this one on my own, but I tried to be as open-minded as I could going into it. I was just not able to get past the animal violence. It REALLY left me nauseated and unsettled.


Bekka:  I DNFed it, too. But for different reasons.  The violence didn’t really bother me that much, I just thought the book as a whole was pretty boring. Especially Sean.


Lyn: I loved Sean. However, I usually like the silent boy types. Kara, I rubbed off a few stars due to the violence. It didn’t have to be so graphic. It was very disturbing. I also thought this one would have had a lot of action due to the word “Races” in the title. The writing was lovely, and I did end up liking the character-driven pieces. I think I liked this one the most out of all of us.


Bekka:  The violence was disturbing, because it was so in-your-face.  A lot of the animal deaths were done by Sean, and since it was first person, it was hard to escape.  But I do agree about the writing. Maggie Stiefvater’s writing is beautiful, in all of her books that I’ve read so far.


Kara: I should note that I DNFed this one at 25%, which is before any of you did, so I didn’t get as far as you guys and I probably will have a lot less to say here. I did like Sean’s character, but I DNFed the book during one of his chapters, when one of the horses he is training dies underwater due to one of the water horses. I just could not go on after that. I think maybe I will like The Raven Boys better?


Lyn: I think what made me stick with the book was the romance. I wasn’t even sure if the romance was going to happen, and I LOVED that part of the story. I am so tired of knowing the possible boyfriend when reading the description. I like the sense of tension. It really allows me to enjoy the story when I am wondering about the chemistry of the characters. That is what made the book stand out in my mind. The strong yet natural budding romance of the story.


However, there was just so many unlikeable people in the novel. That was a very big issue to me.


Bekka:  I wish I had gotten to the romance, or that it started earlier, because that probably would have kept me reading.  But at 40%, where I DNFed, hardly anything had happened yet.  And YES to the horrible people.  Basically everyone who lived on that island was horrible with few exceptions, like Finn or Brian.


Kara: Are you guys surprised or not surprised that this was a Printz honor book?


Lyn: Yes and no. The awards usually go for dark, often controversial issues and novels.  
However, I think it was just so dark and depressing. On the other hand, it was a strong voice for women’s suffrage, and I think a young girl could relate to the subject after reading this novel. How women are treated as secondary citizens all for the sake of “tradition”.


I am very sad that this book had some great qualities, but there were so many unlikeable things. It is me, or does that combination usually spell out award?


Bekka:  I’m not surprised it’s an award winner.  The writing is absolute quality. And like you said, Lyn, the more controversial, the more likely a book is to win that award.  And also? I don’t typically LIKE award winning books as a rule.  I’m always the black sheep.


Kara: This is off-topic, but I actually really loved two books that were nominated for awards this year. Sex & Violence and Navigating Early. I would love to get your opinions on those. Ha. But as for this one, yeah it was incredibly depressing and I think that was also another issue I had with it. Books that bring me down...I just have to be in the right frame of mind to read those. I don’t rarely go there.


Lyn: Keeping with the off-topic, one of my favorite books ever, Midwinterblood, won the Printz this year. It is so good, yet it leaves you hurting. I find myself steering away from award books because I know they’re going to be painful to read.


Bekka:  I don’t seek out books because I know they’re award winners.  If a book interests me, and it happens to be an award winner, that’s great.  But my tastes are so weird, that the Printz sticker doesn’t really do anything for me.


Lyn: Yes, the Printz winners are often very tough to swallow, Bekka. I felt like the black sheep with Please Ignore Vera Dietz, a nominated novel.


Kara: I don’t know if I’ve actually READ a Printz book. Hahaha.


Lyn: They’re usually in the “Make You So Damned Depressed” section. I am, to this day, still shocked that The Knife of Never Letting Go didn’t make the cut.


Kara: And I still haven’t read that either. Or Unwind by Schusterman. LOL.


Lyn: I FREAKING LOVE UNWIND.


Bekka:  Okay, back to The Scorpio Races lol!  


Kara: Do we have to?? Dead horses, man-eating horses, horrible people, zzzzzzzzz. There.


Bekka:  Lyn, since you were the only one that finished, what did you think of the ending? Do you think the snoozeville start is worth pushing through?

Lyn: Surprisingly, the ending was anti-climatic. I was a bit shocked that the ending was almost mild in comparison to the rest of the book.


Bekka:  That’s a surprise.  For a book with such a violent start, you’d think the ending would be nearly unbearable.


Lyn: If I was honest, I wanted a bittersweet tragic ending. In a way, it is but not in the way I thought it would end. I hope that makes sense.


Kara: It does, sort of. You know, even though I didn’t like this book, I’m still not sad I gave it a shot. That’s the thing about this feature. I am reading books I would never pick on my own otherwise. It’s not a complete suckfest. :D


Bekka:  Same here.  I’ve had this book on my TBR for-freaking-ever, so I’m glad I finally got to it, even if I didn’t like it.


Lyn: I was happy for something very dark. It was a nice change. However, I’m still a frilly girly book lover in my heart and I do have a line I do not like crossed. Three stars for me.


Kara: I’m not rating because I DNFed but I think it would have ended up a two star book for me if I had finished.


Bekka:  Something drastic would have had to happen for me to rate it higher than two stars, too.  But as it stands, no rating, since I DNFed.


Lyn: Kara is going to beat me out. I think I am going to owe her a book at the end of the year.


Kara: LOL is that what the bet is? I didn’t know we had to get books. Hahaha.


Lyn: I think I mentioned it in passing as a joke. I am going to L-O-S-E this bet.


Kara: *coughs* You are so far behind right now there is NO catching up. :D:D


Lyn: I invite you to place your lips upon my buttocks, lady.


Kara: SMOOOOOCH.


Lyn: When the unladylike behavior comes out, we have usually reached the conclusion.


Kara: PFFFFFFTTTTTT. *sticks tongue out* We are reading The Aviary next and since it is my pick, I expect 5 stars from all of you since I am so brilliant and awesome.


Lyn: I rate The Aviary as one star. Next.


Bekka:  DNF.


Kara: Hahahahaha. Okay, FINE.


Lyn: Fine. Rated, done. We’re out. :(

 

Kara: Until next time...DUN DUN DUNNN.
Source: http://www.great-imaginations.com/2014/02/forgotten-fridays-scorpio-races-by.html

DNF

All the Truth That's in Me - Julie Berry

I like how the "chapters" set the book into small sections, but I just can't seem to want to continue to read this book. The voice of the MC bothers me, and I always feel lost or frustrated. 

February in Review

Summary

 

January and February are two months that always seems to cause some issues. I tend to get a horrible bout of depression after Christmas. I actually love winter, and the temperatures outside are very reasonable and nice. We even had a bit of snow here in Texas during the first of the month (February 6th, 7th, and 8th). Valentine's Day was nice. I gained some yummy treats from some of the families I work with, and a new Diamond Candle from the family (YAH!). Cinnamon Roll candle - it smells great!

 

I've started to hit the job search harder this month. Everything at work is not okay. I tried to grit my teeth and bare with the hard times, but when the company starts to deny you pay and the only way you find out about it is through other employees, you know that it is time to move on.

 

Reading

 

I read 7 books this month (WOW), which brings my total to 12 for 2014. 

I DNF 3 books in February.

Average rating for February: 3.35

Average rating For 2014: 3.66

Favorite Book in February: Not a Drop to Drink

Pages Read in February: 2,267

Pages read in 2014: 3,965

 

Television and Movies

 

Theatre Releases: The Lego Movie - Loved it!

Rentals:  The Getaway with Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez. Watching Selena Gomez cuss out someone was cute, but the movie was dull and flat.

Rewatched:  Pirates of the Carribean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. I still love that movie.

I bought:  Thor: The Dark World and Teen Titans Go! Season One on DVD. 

 

Music

 

This month, here are the top songs on my playlist:

 

Bells of Notre Dame - Soundtrack to The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Shameful confession: I love the soundtrack more than the movie. It needs more Paul Kandle.

 

Misere Mani by Era - Grr! This is a hard CD to buy in America. Era is a new singer in my library, and so far, I LOVE everything I have heard from her!

 

Now We Are Free - Gladiator Soundtrack - Beautiful.

 

Let it Go - Africanized Tribal Cover - !!!!! on that same line... Let it Go/Vivaldi's Winter by The Piano Guys

 

Onto March!

 

 

Another DNF

Gilded - Christina L. Farley

DNF at 35%.

 

This hurts me, because I love the author so much. I just never really got into it. The story felt flat and some things bothered me about the relationship between the MC and her friends. 

I really wanted to like it. Ouch.

But Wait...

 

But what if the books caused the stress? Does it cancel out stress it relieves? Also, I've read some books that have placed me in a TERRIBLE mood.

 

Just sayin'.

good times- Reblogged from Derrolyn Anderson

Reblogged from Derrolyn Anderson

DNF

The Stockholm Octavo the Stockholm Octavo - Karen Engelmann

DNF at 40%. My noble attempt to push through this mess could not make it past rape and underage murder. It was more pro-French and did not dabble too much into Swedish culture. On top of it all, I was rooting for the main character to fail. Because he is a failure.

 

Boo. I wanted to love this book.

The One With All of the Tears

I might regret writing this tomorrow, but I want to come out and be honest.

 

It is 2 months into the new year, and I am already worn down by the author backlash of 2014. It is worse than last year. I'm so tired of signing on to the Internet and reading that another author decided to come out swinging over a mild review. Already, I have seen two authors lose their shit over a three star review. There have been some apologies, and the latest author gives a very honest (IMO) apology and decides to leave the post up instead of ripping it down and slinking off like some villain. I was ready to add said author's book to my NO list, but then I started crying and decided to just leave it alone. Because I'm tired of it. I'm tired of seeing people who do this as a hobby become a target of ridicule and hate over their opinion. 

 

I'll stand with reviewers until the very end. I believe that everyone has the right to their opinion. Yes, authors are people and they mess up.  

 

I'm tired. I'm worn down by the constant bitterness.  I'm fed up with the nasty Tweets and the hasty apologies.

 

Take it offline before you say anything online. Talk through it before you make a decision. Because it is getting really old. We shouldn't have to fight the same fucking battle every day.

 

I'm sick and tired of adding names to that forsaken shelf. Stop it.