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Monday, October 1, 2012

Happy Happy Birthday!

Today is a very wonderful day. Some one very important to me has a birthday. She's an amazing mommy and the best friend I could ever ask for. She's always there if I need cheering up. I love that she's willing to listen to all my stressful concerns and all of my ridiculous moments. She encourages me to do better everyday and is a true inspiration. She's taught me so much in the three years I've known her. I'm so grateful to have a friend like her. So, Happy 30th Birthday Emmy! I love love love you.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Oh the beautiful life

This started out as a project to find the perfect tattoo. Weird place to start I know. For those of you who don't know, I really love tattoos and I love fairy tales. My favorite is the 12 Dancing Princesses. I was on the hunt for the perfect idea to base my next tattoo off of. I wanted it to be representative of that tale and wasn't quite sure what I wanted it to be. Twelve pairs of dancing slippers felt like the most logical tattoo to get, but just to make sure I went searching on Google to see if there was anything else I could find and I came across one of Su Blackwell's creations. Now I have seen Su Blackwell's work in the past, however I had no name to associate it with. I'm willing to bet you've seen her work as well. I started to look for more of her works and decided we all need some pretties to look at, and what better then book sculptures? Here are my personal favorites and the one I'm nearly positive I will drag to the tattoo shop to see what they think of my selection. Unfortunately I only know the names of some of the pieces. I will include them if I know them or if I can look them up successfully. Enjoy!
This would be the 12 Dancing Princesses sculpture I was talking about. I'm nearly positive this is what I want it's absolutely stunning.

"Out of Narnia"

"Alice, A Mad Tea Party"

"The Girl in the Wood"

"Through the Looking Glass"

"Peter Pan, The Pirate Ship"

"The Secret Garden"

"The Extasie"

"The Merry-go-round" It actually spins!

"Hazel Tree"

"Jorinde and Jorindel"

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

Book: The Goose Girl (The Books of Bayern) by Shannon Hale

Acquired: Border's Books before it closed

Retail Price: $8.99

Sale Price: N/A

Number of Pages: 383

Synopsis: Some people are born with the first word of a language resting on their tongue, though it may take some time before they can taste it.

Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, was born with her eyes closed and a word on her tongue. She spent the early years of her life listening to her aunt's stories and learning the language of the swans. then, a colt was born with a word on his tongue-his name, Falada-and when Ani spoke it, she found the key to his language, too. But as Ani's gift grew, so did other's mistrust of it, and soon her mother felt she had no choice but to send her away to be queen of a foreign land...

Stars: ★★★★★

Review: This was one of those books that make you care about the characters and what is happening to them. I loved this book so much and can't wait to tell you why.

The Goose Girl is based off of a Brother Grimm fairy tale. In the fairy tale a young princess is sent to be married to a prince far off. Her mother sends her with a talking horse, a handkerchief with three drops of blood her blood on it, a dowry fit for a queen, and lastly a chambermaid to assist the princess in the long journey. Essentially the chambermaid takes advantage of the princesses good heart and threatens her life. The chambermaid and the princess arrive to the far off home of the prince and everyone believes that the chambermaid is the true princess.

Now the book stays very true to the old fairy tale, which always doubles my happiness. The book very much embellishes the story a bit. Firstly, Ani is the first born to a modest king. She loves her aunt and her aunt's stories dearly. As a child she tells her that there are three kinds of people. People who are gifted with "people-speaking", which is the power to say things and have people believe what is said. People-speaking can be used for good and bad and is just as rare as any talent. People who are gifted with "animal-speaking" which clearly can speak to animals. You do learn that each animal does have it's own language, just because you can speak to one animal does not mean you can speak to all. Falada and Ani speak to each other mentally. Lastly are the people who are gifted with "nature-speaking". Nature-speaking is very rare and is believed to no longer exist. People that were gifted with this could speak to the elements like fire and wind.

Secondly Ani's Aunt teaches her to speak to the swans. Everyday they would go to the pond when no one was around and practiced speaking to the swans. Her aunt in forms us that two very important people have people-speaking: her mother and the key-mistress' daughter, Selia.

Ani is supposed to become queen one day, but when her father dies, her mother informs her that against her and her father's knowledge betrothed her to a far away kingdom's prince. A large kingdom with many resources.

Alright so from her Selia heads a band of soldiers on the long travel against Ani. I wont go further other then to say I really love prince Geric. I think he is a sweetheart who needs to follow his heart and is allowed that with Ani in the end. I love how the king and Geric find out that Ani is the true princess. Shannon Hale does take a lot of creative license with the story, but it is wonderfully done. I think every thing fits together and Ani is a true heroine. She does not fall apart when everything is stripped from her. She never sulks when she is given a job well below her status. She loses everything and tries to find happiness in life. She is strong and a wonderful role model for young girls and that for me, is a wonderful change to books these days.

Now this is a series. There are three other books: Enna Burning, River Secrets, and Forest Born. They are not all about Ani, although they do have her in them. The two of the books are based off of characters that Ani befriended while she was known as Isi the goose girl. I have not read them as of yet, but I have wanted to. I'm a little disappointed I haven't read them. This was a book a read quite some time ago and I thought I did a review, however looking everything over on the site I realized there was nothing for a review. I was appalled with myself, but better late then never. :) I hope you love the book as much as I did.

I'm so sorry!

I know I have been MIA, but there has been quite a bit happening at home. Sean started a new job, so it's just me and the boys most of the time. However, I will be back up tomorrow with a new post, possibly even tonight if everything goes smoothly. Thanks so much for sticking in. Here is a hysterical little video it is subtitles so you'll have to read it, but it's so funny. Happy reading!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha

Book: The Book of Awesome by Nail Pasricha

Acquired: Border's Books before it closed

Retail Price: $15.00

Sale Price: $12.00

Number of Pages: 390

Synopsis: Sometimes it's easy to forget the things that make us smile. Sometimes it's tempting to feel that the world is falling apart. But awesome things are all around us:
Popping Bubble wrap
The smell of rain on hot sidewalk
Hitting a bunch of green lights in a row
Waking up and realizing it's Saturday
Fixing electronics by smacking it
Picking the perfect nacho off someone else's plate

The Book of Awesome reminds us that the best things in life are free. Based on the award-winning blog, it's a high five for humanity and a big celebration of life's little moments. With wise, witty observations, The Book of Awesome is filed with smile-inducing musings that make you feel like a kid looking at the world for the first time.

Stars: ★★★★★

Review: I think that this is one of the most charming books I have read in a really long time. I love that you can pick it up whenever you want, you can open the book to any page and read something short and sweet that makes you smile. Now there isn't a whole lot I can tell you beyond the book besides it's a must read. It's something that I found sitting with a bunch of friends and randomly opening the book, everyone taking turns to read a page is now one of the best past times that I can think of now. That memories that people begin to share reading the book. It's not a book you squander. It's something you share with as many people as you know and watch their reaction.

My personal favorite is Neighbors with pools. Who doesn't love people that live close to you with pools. The best part everyone has a different reason as to why they love a neighbor with a pool. Me, it's because we used to go yard hoping as kids and who doesn't hoping into a yard with a big section of blue to jump into. :)

So my challenge to you? Go to a book store, pick up the book, and open it to a random page. Who knows what you'll get, and even more who knows what memories that will be triggered. If you enjoy it, buy it, bring it home, share it with friends and family. Share those memories with as many people as you can. It's fun to hear about other people's experiences and this book is a great way to get everyone talking. It's a treasure and I have enjoyed it so much.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Matched by Ally Condie

Book: Matched by Ally Condie

Acquired: Border's Books before it closed

Retail Price: $17.99

Sale Price: $14.50

Number of Pages: 366

Synopsis: In the society officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die. Cassia has always trusted their choices. It's hardly  any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one...until she see another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path no one else has ever dared follow-between perfection and passion.
Matched is a story for right now and storytelling with the resonance of a classic.

Stars: ★★★★

Review: During the year some turns seventeen they are called to be matched to their mate. Seems odd considering today you can marry pretty much anybody, you just need to be in love. In the world of Matched, it's a futuristic version of Earth, or so it seems. Everything is regulated in a person's life. School, eating, exercising. They match you with a person based on genetics and statistics. Esentially someone you can get along with and still have the ideal children that could be practically engineered.

Cassia, our main character, is introduced on the night of her Matching Banquet. She's excited and nervous just like the rest of the kids. Her best friend, Xander, and she are on the air train talking about the night to come. From the beginning you are given an example as to how different life is. You find that beloved items heir loomed through families are very rare and are referred to as artifacts. Only one is allowed per person. You find that the lavish banquet is a big deal and extremely rare for everyone to be able to enjoy. The description of the banquet is wonderful. You find that Cassia is a very caring and loving individual. She want's to bring food home for her brother and is upset he couldn't go since he was to young. You find Xander is a very strong minded friend. He cares deeply about Cassia. There are limitations to their contact since they never know who they will be matched with as they get older. As the matching process proceeds it is the strangest feeling you get. It's like you get nervous with each individual. When it's Cassia's turn to go and Xander pops onto the screen there is the big moment of wonderment. It's rare for people from the same borough to be matched since they compare individuals across all cities. It's truly a magical scene.

The writing in the book is truly  amazing. It gets your feelings very much involved. As you can see the banquet scene is one that has stuck with me. It uses all the sense in this one spot. Smells, tastes, vision, touch, sounds. Everything is tied into this one big moment for the character and you can feel how big it is for her. It's almost as if it's starting at a different moment on the plot line; rather then starting at the beginning of the story it starts some where on the upward tensity, building to the climax.

Cassia, Xander and Ky are all such strong characters. You can see them and feel for them. They each have such different personalities and relationships and that is a big part of what make the book special. Xander is that friend, who has always loved Cassia, he's humble and would just about anything for her, even break the rules. Ky is an outsider in disguise. He's complex and a devoted worker. He loves Cassia  because she dares to dream and she is different because it's natural for her to question authority even if she doesn't act on it all the time. Cassia is the loyal daughter and friend. She's keeps peoples secrets on top of her own, however that's what becomes so problematic for her. Everyone is telling her their secrets, hoping that she wont divulge the information that could ruin life as they know it, but when it comes to her secrets she can't bare to burden anyone else.

I really enjoyed this book. I can't wait to continue to read the series and find what else is in store for
Cassia and if she will find Ky. It truly depicts what people would put on the line for the ones they love. It's magical and different. I think it's a must read for everyone!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Tempest Unleashed by Tracy Deebs

Book: Tempest Unleashed by Tracy Deebs

Acquired: Books-A-Million

Retail Price: $16.99

Sale Price: $14.50

Number of Pages: 388

Synopsis:  To embrace passion and power, she relinquished her home. To save her people, she buried her feelings and her past. Torn between two loves, her heart is no longer her own. As war beneath the ocean brews, a tempest will be unleashed.

In the depths of the ocean...
Eight months have passed since Tempest Maguire embraced her mermaid heritage and her mother's clan. As the future merQueen, Tempest holds dominion over the entire ocean and has access to more magic than she had ever dreamed possible. More important, she has Kona, the selkie prince whose passion and power kindle her own.

On land...
But when Tempest receives word that her brother has been gravely injured, she rushes to his side-once again facing a choice. Her father and brothers have barely survived her absence, and the intense connection she once felt for her old flame, Mark, has only strengthened with time.

Caught between two worlds...
But Tempest's life is not the only one at stake. The sea witch Tiamat still desires to control all who live among the ocean depths-and Tempest alone has enough power to face her. As a deadly battle looms beneath the waves, Tempest once again finds herself caught-between Kona and Mark, sea and land- and this time she may not survive her choice.

Stars: ★★★

Review: I like the first book better. Far better. Tempest's character does a 180. She becomes really wishy-washy with her decision that she made. Firstly the books starts our with her swimming home to see Mark. And thus we set the tone for the book! She's already unhappy and claims to not see Kona frequently because she is training to fight Tiamat. Now the synopsis is a little misleading because it claims that Tempest is training to be merQueen. I think this is a little questionable. She is training to be the champion of the merpeople, but not really to be queen.

One thing you find really quick is that people are not as they seem in this book. the initial impression you get from the merQueen, Hailana, is that she is an old and feeble woman, who needs assistance to rule her kingdom. She's just as crazy as Tiamat is though. Sabyn was a character I did like in this book. He always gave you conflicting emotions. I liked him or didn't, or didn't like him and wanted to. He was always going back and forth as to who he was in the book and it gave the book a different dimension.

I still dislike Mark, with an undying passion. the love triangle is much like Twilight for those of you who haven't read this book. Now I am not a Twilight fan by any means like I have said in the past, however it is the only book with a similar triangle with a wishy-washy girl who can't make up her mind as to who she apparently loves. To me, if you have to question who you are in love with, then you most definitely have not  and are not in love with anyone. Love is something you would never question if you felt it and there is no mistaking it for something else, like they attempt to justify in the book.

With that said its a YA book, so I understand most people reading the book wouldn't have a clue yet, so it's easily brushed under the rug. My biggest problem is children and YA books are meant to have a bigger picture or a morale that can be learned from the characters. You follow the characters journey to becoming some thing special and love them as you journey with them. For me, it was backwards. I loved the character in the first book and I see her back tracking in her learning experience, making me dislike her as she went.

Just so we are clear, I didn't absolutely hate the book. There is redeeming aspects. I like the battle scenes although they are a little difficult to follow. I truly love Kona's character he's loyal and loving. He's a true character I can visualize and I have to prevent myself from thinking he is similar to people around me. the ocean scenes are always wonderful. The descriptions of the plants and life around her is beautiful and cohesive.

I have yet to find out what the next book name will be, but I will let you know as soon as I learn it. Happy Reading everyone!

The Good, Bad, and Ridiculous

So, I was searching through Amazon for new books and I kept coming across the most ridiculous books. What some authors write, and what some people read, is beyond me. So in honor of these outrageous books, I have searched the web for some silly titles and covers that probably never should have been published. Happy reading!

I thought that would be obvious.

Their a big deal here is the U.S. Haha

The fact that this is an actual book weirds me out.

Nothing better then a self help book assisting in worthlessness.

Two words "Nunga Nungas"? Bahahahaha

Nuff said.

A love nun. There must be a Casanova in this. 

....I think it's self explanatory.

A book about chickens?

And let us no forget it's highly anticipated sequel...

Wo! That's a lot of entertainment in one day.

Does this even work?

OOO!! Best coloring book ever!


Oh my god.
There is a pattern here.

It's the picture that gets me every time.

I didn't know this was possible.

They knew what they were getting themselves into.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Very Special Day

Today there are two very special birthdays. The first one is a very wonderful friend. We met 3 years ago now. It's weird because I feel like it's been longer, but yet I still think that day he started at the restaurant was yesterday. It's crazy how time flies. He's my best friend and he's like a big brother to me. I love him very much. So Happy Brother Day, Keith. Haha :D I love you so much and I'm glad I'm here to help make it a great 31st birthday.

Next we have someone that you will hear me refer to as Mother Goose for this post. She is an amazing mother. She was the one to encourage Aaron and I to continue reading each and everyday. She read us Narnia, Boxcar Children and Nancy Drew growing  up. If it wasn't for her teaching us everyday how important book are we would not have the appreciation for reading as we do now. She is the real life Marmee from Little Women, which explains to people why I call her this. I love her very much and can not explain how much she means to me. So Happy Birthday Mother Goose, from the ones who love you most. Have a beautiful day!