Dec 29, 2010

The 2011 Stephen King Challenge!

The 2011 Stephen King Challenge
Hosted by Book Chick City

I haven't read any of Stephen King's books (I know! Unbelievable!) but I have heard many great things about them so I think it's about time I read some!

Challenge Details
  • Timeline: 01 Jan 2011 - 31 Dec 2011
  • Rules - There are two levels: Read either SIX (6) or TWELVE (12) Stephen King novels in 2011 (6 is the minimum but you can read more than 12 if you wish!)
  • You don't have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. Also if you do list them upfront you can change them, nothing is set in stone! The books you choose can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.
  • You can join anytime between now and the later part of next year.
For the rest of the details click here!

Go to the challenge page HERE

My goal is to read Six (6) Stephen King books!

Books I Have Chosen

- Full Dark, No Stars
- Misery
- Pet Sematary
- ...thinking
- ...thinking
- ...thinking

Dec 27, 2010

Blog Encounters (2)

Okay so I will have to admit that I am not a big fan of kids but of course it doesn't mean that I won't have my own some day. Whenever I do have children though I really hope to see them interested in books. Many great things can come with reading. It puts a smile on my face when I see little kids reading. It makes me believe that they are going to grow up and be really smart and go somewhere in life. I am not saying that people who don't read are dumb! but I have never met a smart person who doesn't read once in a while. JUST SAYING.

I read a post where it mentions that now a days in a book store in the kid's section you see a lot of toys, to the point where it seems like just a toy section with just a couple of books surrounding them, kids usually picking out toys instead of a book and parents not doing much about it. However, the other day when I was at the book store, I walk in to the kid's section trying to get ideas on what books would be great for a niece and I see a mother reading to her little girl. The little girl seemed so interested! That is something I want to see everyday.

The reason I am focusing on little kids when it comes to reading is because they are usually more eager to learn about new things. Trying to get a 25 year old (who has believed that books are evil his or her entire life) to read is really hard! Trust me. Maybe reading isn't for everyone, I understand, but there are so many people out there that think books are boring just because they had to forcefully read a book all through high school, I know this because that was me!

My parents never encouraged me to read. Never did I see them pick up a book. My big brother is the one that introduced me to a book and I am really glad he did.

I have decided that any kids in my family are going to start receiving books from me. I am going to try really hard to get them into reading, not force them though because it's obvious that will never work... I remember high school required reading... Eww, never worked for me either.

I just think parents should introduce their children to books. If they like it they like it and if they don't then they don't. Simple as that. Nothing bad can come from a kid enjoying to read.

Here is the post I mentioned, please check it out, it makes a lot of sense. (Swell Books: Missed Opportunities)

Dec 19, 2010

Review: The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

Title: The Notebook
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Date Published: Oct. 1st 1996
Genre: Romance
My Rating:

A man with a faded, well-worn notebook open in his lap. A woman experiencing a morning ritual she doesn't understand. Until he begins to read to her. The Notebook is an achingly tender story about the enduring power of love, a story of miracles that will stay with you forever. 

Set amid the austere beauty of coastal North Carolina in 1946, The Notebook begins with the story of Noah Calhoun, a rural Southerner returned home from World War II. Noah, thirty-one, is restoring a plantation home to its former glory, and he is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met fourteen years earlier, a girl he loved like no other. Unable to find her, yet unwilling to forget the summer they spent together, Noah is content to live with only memories...until she unexpectedly returns to his town to see him once again. 

Allie Nelson, twenty-nine, is now engaged to another man, but realizes that the original passion she felt for Noah has not dimmed with the passage of time. Still, the obstacles that once ended their previous relationship remain, and the gulf between their worlds is too vast to ignore. With her impending marriage only weeks away, Allie is forced to confront her hopes and dreams for the future, a future that only she can shape. 

Like a puzzle within a puzzle, the story of Noah and Allie is just the beginning. As it unfolds, their tale miraculously becomes something different, with much higher stakes. The result is a deeply moving portrait of love itself, the tender moments and the fundamental changes that affect us all. Shining with a beauty that is rarely found in current literature, The Notebook establishes Nicholas Sparks as a classic storyteller with a unique insight into the only emotion that really matters. 

"I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I've loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough." 

And so begins one of the most poignant and compelling love stories you will ever read...The Notebook

As unrealistic as this book might seem, with the overflow of love just like you would read of in many fictional stories, it is based on a couple's true love story. Sparks wanted to write this book to show people that unconditional love does exist. Now if you don't believe that this is a true story then it will seem like another boy meets girl or girl meets boy, parents separate them kind of story.

Even though this story was written mostly in Noah's point of view, you get both main character's points of view which is not a usual thing to see. It is nice to know what Allie is feeling along with Noah. Both characters, Allie and Noah, are dying to have each other again and it makes you anxious and in my case, annoyed, reading the repetition of how much they love each other and nothing being done about it. At times the story seemed a little to slow for me, I don't need to know many of the things they talk about. This story has a massive amount of detail. As much as I love detail, this came to be a little too much for me.

Surprisingly the chapter I really enjoyed because I know that if I hadn't watched the movie then I would have been a lot more surprised was "An Unexpected Visitor". Getting closer to the end I did get a little teary eyed just like in all of Spark's books I've read.

This brings me to mentioning the movie because I can't help but compare them. For the first time ever I have to admit that the movie was way better. The movie seemed to take me to more places than the book did. If you watched the movie and read the book you can easily distinguish the differences. "The summer" which they spend together was only a memory in the book but the movie really brought it to life, it gave us a lot more detail on that summer. Overall I feel I connected a lot more with the movie than the book.

It is a lovely story and I can't say otherwise.

Dec 15, 2010

Blog Encounters

I saw this picture at CallMeCrazy 's Daily Dose Post and fell in love with it <3

Daily Dose is hosted by Good Golly Miss Holly

Dec 9, 2010

Review: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Title: The Lovely Bones
Author: Alice Sebold
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Date Published: July 2002
Genre: Fiction, Supernatural Thriller
My Rating:

When we first meet 14-year-old Susie Salmon, she is already in heaven. This was before milk carton photos and public service announcements, she tells us; back in 1973, when Susie mysteriously disappeared, people still believed these things didn't happen. In the sweet, untroubled voice of a precocious teenage girl, Susie relates the awful events of her death and her own adjustment to the strange new place she finds herself. It looks a lot like her school playground, with the good kind of swing sets. With love, longing, and a growing understanding, Susie watches her family as they cope with their grief, her father embarks on a search for the killer, her sister undertakes a feat of amazing daring, her little brother builds a fort in her honor and begin the difficult process of healing. In the hands of a brilliant novelist, this story of seemingly unbearable tragedy is transformed into a suspenseful and touching story about family, memory, love, heaven, and living.

A 14-year-old girl, Susie Salmon is raped and murdered. You would think this book would be the mystery of how it happened or who it was, but it's not the way it's written. Susie Salmon is in "heaven" or like in throughout most of the story "In between", Earth and heaven, because she is not yet ready to go on. Susie is the narrator of the story which makes things interesting because you tag along with her while she observes her family, from above, trying to cope. Susie's father is obsessed with what happened, her mother is trying to forget about the occurrence in a total different way, Susie's sister is trying to go on with her life but she knows it's impossible, she needs to find out who the murderer is. Susie's little brother is having a hard time understanding the meaning of death.  Most of the story is about what her loved ones have to go through after she is murdered. It is a horrific story but yet it's hard to put down. You see everyone on Earth trying to figure out who the murderer is even though we, the readers, already know.

I don't want to leave out some other interesting characters...
Len Fenerman: The detective trying to solve Susie's case but ends up doing more than investigating the case.
Ray Singh: Susie's crush who is, believe it or not, also having a hard time coping.
Ruth Connors: One of my favorite characters in this story. Ruth is a girl that Susie went to school with, they were never friends but when Susie's spirit touches her while leaving Earth, Ruth becomes fascinated with Susie even though she barely knew her. Ray and Ruth become close friends having something so special in common, Susie.
I should mention Susie's best friend from Earth, Clarissa, and her best friend from heaven, Holly, but they don't make a great impact.

This book is great. I recommend it to everyone, it is indeed a must read. The story can be a bit disturbing at times but I like when authors don't hold anything back. Don't be fooled by the movie because it does not do it any justice.

Dec 5, 2010

Review: Flawless by Sara Shepard

Title: Flawless (Pretty Little Liars #2)
Author: Sara Shepard
Publisher: HarperTeen
Date Published: March 15th 2007
Genre: Young Adult
My Rating:

Spencer stole her sister's boyfriend. Aria is brokenhearted over her English teacher. Emily likes her new friend Maya . . . as much more than a friend. Hanna's obsession with looking flawless is making her sick. And their most horrible secret yet is so scandalous that the truth would ruin them forever.
And why shouldn't I tell? They deserve to lose it all. With every crumpled note, wicked IM, and vindictive text message I send, I'll be taking these pretty little liars down. Trust me, I've got enough dirt to bury them alive.

I love the way Sara Shepard makes it seem like A is talking directly at you. I love the way it ended, not exactly the end of the story but literally the end once it goes through "About the author" then there is a "What is next..." and suddenly A is there telling you it isn't over and giving you hints of what is next to come, it is creepy in a way that I can't help but wanting more of A. At certain points I felt the story wasn't getting anywhere but then I was sucked into it all over again.

Spencer: She is the all A's, everything should be perfect girl and she seems to have a bit of trouble staying away from her sister's boyfriends. I don't dislike her for it though, I don't necessarily believe it's her fault and I have to admit I really dislike her sister.

Hanna: She does some "not so pretty" things to stay fabulous or should i say flawless. I understand why she does the things she does, both her parents have trouble communicating with their daughter. She also has an issue with her father who is getting married again. Hanna finally gets to see her father again after a couple of years but is having some trouble getting his full attention.

Aria: Her family is falling apart. Aria is now into another boy. In my opinion, Aria should stay away from her friend's ex-boyfriends (yes i said it) and should go back with her English teacher, that was my favorite part of the story and now its is gone... at least for now.

Emily: Sweet, innocent Emily can't stop thinking about her friend Maya, more like girls in general. Emily is also getting involved with who is believed to be dangerous and most likely Allison's murderer. I believe Emily should follow her heart and for her new guy "friend", she should give him a chance or maybe she should even... run?

I do feel sorry for Spencer, Hanna, Aria and Emily but i can't help myself from loving the chaos they are in. They are a complete train wreck and I'M LOVIN' IT!

Review: Pretty Little Liars (#1) by Sara Shepard

Dec 4, 2010

Review: Wake (Dream Catcher #1) by Lisa McMann

Title: Wake (Dream Catcher #1)
Author: Lisa McMann
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Date Published: March 4th 2008
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
My Rating: 

For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people’s dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie’s seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.
She can’t tell anybody about what she does they’d never believe her, or worse, they’d think she’s a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn’t want and can’t control.
Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else’s twisted psyche. She is a participant…

I bought this book because the theme sounded really interesting, I mean can you imagine going into everyone else's dreams? I thought the idea of being able to do something like that would be exciting, then after reading the book I realized maybe it really isn't that great, it is bad enough having my own nightmares, no way I would want other's as well.

Okay yes I liked it BUT in a way I expected a lot more from this story. It's really hard to explain when i don't even know exactly what it is that I expected. It doesn't mean I was disappointed though! Maybe I just have to keep reading the rest of them and can make up for what I didn't mention in this really short "review".

I read this book not that long ago and the truth is that I can't remember that much about it besides the important events. I will post something else about it if anything else comes up in my head. For this I apologize!

P.S. read this book before I even started blogging, point being, I am trying to blog as I finish reading my books so I won't forget anything important that i should mention! :D