Saturday, February 5, 2011

"You're okay for a bloodsucker..."

Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris

Cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse is on a streak of bad luck. First, her coworker is murdered and no one seems to care. Then, she’s face- to- face with a beastly creature that gives her a painful and poisonous lashing.  Enter the vampires, who graciously such the poison from her veins (like they didn’t enjoy it).
Point is, they saved her life. So when one of the blood-suckers asks for a favor, she complies. And soon, Sookie’s in Dallas using her telepathic skills to search for a missing vampire. She’s supposed to interview certain humans involved. There’s just one condition: The vampires must promise to behave- and let the humans go unharmed. Easier said than done. All it takes is one delicious blonde and one small mistake for things to turn deadly...
I am really enjoying this series. I like that Sookie Stackhouse isn’t portrayed as a normal main character that I read about. Basically, I like that she isn’t extremely skinny. She is voluptuous and pretty, and I found out in this book a size 8. As much as I enjoy books that include the stereotypical main female character that is a size 2 and gorgeous, I really really like when authors bring in average females into the mix.
Other than Sookie’s supposed looks, I like how she thinks. While I read this book, I was trying to decide if I would have made the same decisions as Sookie made. I like how Charlaine Harris makes you think. I like that in this book, there were 2 mysteries. Who killed Lafayette and who had taken Farrell. You get so involved with what happened to the missing vampire in the middle of the book, that you seem to forget about who killed the cook (sounds like clue doesn’t it?) Charlaine Harris makes you think a little. As much as I enjoy easy reads (which are great when I am actually teaching and my brain hurts to think so much), these are the books that I enjoy when my brain doesn’t hurt. These are the books that won’t turn my brain to mush when I read too many of them because they keep me thinking. 
So in my rating, I said the cover was a 10 out of 10. I think I should explain this. At first glance the cover is confusing. Sookie is on a coffin flying above a city. I didn’t understand until I read the book, and then I thought it was a genius idea. 
Cover: 10/10 Beginning: 5/5
Ending:          5/5         Plot: 10/10
Characters: 10/10 Satisfaction: 10/10
                                     Grade: 50/50 = A+

"Welcome to Hollywood"

LA Candy by Lauren Conrad

Los Angeles is all about the sweet life:
hot clubs, cute guys, designer...everything. Nineteen year old Jane Roberts can’t wait to start living it up. She may be in LA for an internship, but Jane plans to play as hard as she works, and has enlisted her BFF Scarlett to join the fun. 
When Jane and Scarlett are approached by a producer who wants them to be on his new series, a “reality version of Sex and the City,” they can hardly believe their luck. Their own show? Yes, please!
Soon Jane is TV’s hottest star. Fame brings more than she ever imagined possible for a girl from Santa Barbara- free designer clothes, the choicest tables at the most exclusive clubs, invites to Hollywood premieres- and she’s lapping up the VIP treatment with her eclectic entourage of new pals. But those same friends who are always up for a wild night are also out for a piece of Jane’s spotlight.
In a city filled with people chasing after their dreams, it’s not long before Jane wakes up to the reality that everyone wants something from her, and nothing is what it seems to be. 
I had been wanting to check out this book since I first heard about it, what seems like forever ago. I loved watching Lauren Conrad on Laguna Beach and the Hills (which totally went downhill when she left.) I think she did a pretty good job writing this book. It completely comes from experience which I am sure made it easier, but I think she has a knack for writing. I loved the beginning, I thought it was creative, and it gave us a sense of what the main characters were like before the cameras. I liked how the chapters went back and forth between Jane and Scarlett with a few other random characters thrown in once in awhile. 
While reading this, I found myself wondering if Jane and Scarlett’s friendship was like Lauren’s and Heidi’s friendship, and if the girls would last as friends throughout the series. I also found myself wondering if MTV helped Lauren get her apartment, like in the book. I guess I couldn’t help wondering if the fiction was truly fiction, or if everything happened to Lauren the same way. Maybe this is why I enjoyed the book so much, I thought I was getting an inside look at the Hills. However, I will be checking out the next book, and I hope it will be as enjoyable as this one was. 
I think this book would be good for anyone who wants an easy, beach type read. It didn’t include much mystery, so it didn’t involve as much thinking as say a Dan Brown book might. 
Cover: 10/10 Beginning: 5/5
Ending:           5/5         Plot: 9/10
Characters: 10/10 Satisfaction: 9/10
                                    Grade: 48/50 = A

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"Nothing says love like a cookie"

Fat Cat by Robin Brande

And that’s when I realized: I wanted to be her.
Not her in the sense that I wish I had to fight saber-toothed hyenas just to get a decent meal, but her in looks. I want- and I know this sounds incredibly shallow, but science requires the truth- I wouldn’t mind for once in my life seeing what it’s like to actually look...good. Or at least better than I do right now. Maybe even pretty, if that’s possible. When I wake up in the morning, it’s like I’m wearing this giant fat suit, and if only I could find the zipper, I could step out of it and finally go start living my real life.
I had heard about this book through other blogs. I saw a couple reviews, and when I saw it at the library on the New Books shelf, I figured “why not?” Well I am glad I picked it up. I’m so  insanely happy that I picked it up. This book was absolutely the best book that I have read in awhile. I loved everything about it, the characters, the plot, the descriptions of how Cat felt with Greg. I cannot express how much I loved it just by writing (I guess I need to work on that?)
At first when I started reading it, I just thought it was about a girl who wanted to be skinny and got the chance to achieve that goal in a very weird way. But as I read more, I learned a lot, about Cat, about life, about friends, and about myself. That is what makes this book so great. I feel like any girl, no matter how old, can learn something from reading this. They might not relate to the main character as much as I do, or as much as others, but I think the book has something to give to everyone. I really think Robin Brande did a great job writing this book. She did a great job explaining the characters, she did a wonderful job expressing Cat’s feelings for things. And I really like how we didn’t find out what exactly happened between Cat and Matt until almost the very end. So even though my review might not be that great (but hey I’m still learning) I think that this book would be a great read for anyone at any age. I mean, it must be good if I want to start reading it again as soon as possible right?
Cover: 10/10
Beginning: 5/5
Ending: 5/5
Plot: 10/10
Characters: 10/10
Satisfaction: 10/10
Grade: 50/50 = A+

This is where I am going to put up some awesome, funny, possibly creepy things that has happened to me in the past 24 hours (at least today). So here it goes:
  • On Monday I received my Clarisonic Mia and I finally got to use it last night. I am amazed. My acne has not started to clear up yet (but I mean after 1 night c'mon.) but my skin is so much smoother. My make up went on so nicely this morning, I was actually happy with it when I left for work. 
  • Today we had a delayed opening because of all the ice. So many teachers called out, everyone had to cover extra classes (not just the 4 subs that were there either, teachers were covering for teachers) it was a madhouse. 
  • At 2 pm, while I was subbing for honors language arts (7th grade) we watched the clock go from the 12 to the 3 in about 30 seconds. Is that creepy or what?
  • And lastly, I got some caramel hot chocolate from Dunkin Donuts this afternoon on my way home from work. I think I am in love. 
I hope everyone has a great night. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Top Ten Favorite Debuts

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme by the Broke and the Bookish. This week is the Top Ten Bookish Resolutions which means anything book related, reading related, writing related, or book related.
This week is my favorite Debut books. And like usual, they aren't really in order, just when I think of them. 
  1. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer- It took me awhile to read this, my roommate at college read it because all of her students were reading it, then she made me watch the movie which made me really want to read it. Usually I do the movie/book thing the other way around, but this way it worked. Go figure
  2. Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison- No matter how old I am, I will always love this book and how much it makes me laugh. 
  3. Decked by Carol Higgins Clark- Great series in all, this book came out when I was about 4, but even 20 years later its great.
  4. Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard- Another great series, this one got me hooked. Sara Shepard is a great author.
  5. Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye by Victoria Laurie- Who knew psychics were so interesting. Picking this book up by accident has been one great adventure. Best suspense books I have read in awhile.
  6. One Child by Torey Hayden- Amazing book about a teacher and a little girl with behavior issues.
  7. Night Swimming by Robin Schwarz- I honestly think Last Holiday starring Queen Latifah was based off of this book. The story lines are very similar. At least at the beginning. I read this book a long time ago, but I remember how great I thought it was.
  8. Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner- I love the stories Jennifer Weiner comes up with. I think all of them are great, but this was her first and I think it’s good enough for my list. If you haven’t read it, or any of her books, and you like chick lit, you should definitely pick it up.
  9. A Little Help From Above by Saralee Rosenberg- This wasn’t her first book exactly, but it was her first fiction book, so I am counting it. My sister bought this book for me and I loved it. 
  10. Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella- This was her first book under her real name, so I am counting this one also. I love the whole series, I relate to Rebecca in the sense that I am a shopaholic (which is bad when you don’t have a real job.) I just think this book is really cute and fun.
What are your Top Ten Debut Books, I would love to hear them.