Sunday, June 30, 2013

Books of Amber's Debut-a-thon update post


Sunday: Continuing to read The Ruining. Will not make my goal of reading 4 books over the time period but I've still finished more than I normally would. Going to dinner with my BFF and that's way more important that reading a book any day. 

Saturday: Finished OCD, the Dude and Me. Started The Ruining.


Friday:

Challenge - Laura at Music Plus Books challenged us to pair our current read with the song it reminds us of. 

I am reading Uses for Boys and it reminds me of I'll Make Love to You by Boys 2 Men. Good grief. Plus I've aged myself once again with that song choice. *shrugs* I.am.old.



Thursday:

Challenge - Unscramble Titles (highlight below to see my answers)


Titles:
1. IIDFEOFYUNM (4 words)
2. TAREDEL (1 word)
3. TPNPOOITIV (2 words)
4. HCITAGRL (1 word)
5. NPOSIO (1 word)
6. TSIPDENLER (1 word)
7. ITSEHTELE (2 words)

1. If You Find Me
2.  Altered
3. Pivot Point
4. Arclight
5. Poison
6. Splintered
7. The Elites

I read 136 of 227 pages of Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt.


Introduction Post:
The ever amazing Amber from Books of Amber is hosting a Debut-a-Thon this weekend. Thursday, June 27th to Sunday, June 30th.  

Get complete details and sign up here. My goal is to read one book a day. I am hoping to have all of these to choose from:













Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Clear Winter Nights by Trevin Wax


Title: Clear Winter Nights
Author: Trevin Wax
Genre: Christian, Theology, Fiction
Pages: 147
Publisher: Multomah Books
Expected Publication Date: September 17, 2013
Rating: Just OK

Chris Walker is fresh out of a college. He has a pretty finance and is on track to be a part of a new church plant. All seems to be going well when he receives news about a loved one at his grandmother's funeral. This news shakes his faith to the point that he doesn't think he even believes anymore. He offers to help take care of his ailing grandfather for a weekend and in spending time with his (former) preacher grandfather, he's hoping to have some of his questions answered.

For such a short book, this one took me quite a while to read. It wasn't a terrible book but at only 147 pages, it still seemed to drag. I'm honestly not sure I would have finished it had it not been a review book. The writing was quite simple and I prefer pretty complex sentences. The dialogue seemed both stilted and unbelievable. Chris was overly respectful to his grandfather and then equally too open. I found that both odd and annoying. 

I enjoyed how being in his grandfather's house helped him deal with some of his doubting. He remembered why he had chosen the Christian life style to begin with to a certain extent. I have no problem with his doubting - that was refreshing. The problem I had was the way the ending was summed up so quickly. 

It seemed that the important part of the story was told over and over and then it just ended. What was told as a 147 page book was basically just a one off conversation....Granddad why do you believe? What do I do if I'm doubting?

I think that someone who enjoys strict theology and theological debate with enjoy this one immensely and I loved the point of the story. I just didn't quite enjoy how the story was told. The family dynamics between Chris and his grandfather was heart warming but it wasn't quite enough to make me really enjoy the story as a whole.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Worth the Read 1st book chosen

Introducing Worth the Read, a new feature here at Little Lovely Books. 

I sometimes have trouble deciding what to read next. I tend to read the same types of books without trying anything new. Worth the Read, is my way of asking my blog readers to suggest their favorite titles for me to read and review. 

I am open to most types of books but do reserve the right not to read a suggested book if it contains a topic or is a genre that I hate. I also need to be able to get a copy through my library unless I already wanted to purchase a copy.

If you have a book that you think is Worth the Read, please suggest it in the form below. I will randomly choose the first book to read and will post each time I read another suggestion. This might be weekly or less often, depending on number of titles suggested. 

UPDATED: I've finally gotten my hands on the first book suggested. Thanks to Krista for the suggestion!

I'll be reading...



Huge thanks to Renae at Respiring Thoughts and Christina at A Reader of Fictions for allowing me to borrow the idea. 



Monday, June 24, 2013

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo



Title: Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2)
Author: Leigh Bardugo (website)(Twitter)
Genre: YA, fantasy, action/adventure
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Rating: I really liked it

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) - my review

***This is the second in the series and as such might contain spoilers for the first. If you haven't read Shadow and Bone you might want to skip this one***

Ya'll know I fangirled all over Shadow and Bone. I was so excited to read Siege and Storm but was a bit worried too. Afraid that the second one wouldn't be as good as the first one. I need not worry since Siege and Storm  was every bit as good.

This one picks up where the first left off. Mal and Alina have escaped from the Darkling (hence forth referred to as my second husband - kidding...sort of). But like the tag line says, Darkness Never Dies. He finds them and has a cool extremely terrifying new trick. 

After their capture, they are held aboard a ship. Here we are introduced to Sturmhond. Oh, Leigh, why did you introduce such a character to make me think of swaying from the Darkling? WHY?! Sturmhond is a wonderful addition to the characters. He's funny, mysterious, sarcastic and hot. He knows just the right thing to say to make you laugh so I was tickled that he was a central character. 

There were twists and turns and tons of action. I love reading a book that makes me feel as if I am right there and this does. The characters are so well developed that you think you really know them. The fight scenes are so intense that you felt like you fought them. I won't spoil the plot by adding anything else.

So why the "I really enjoyed it" instead of the "It was amazing!"? In a word...Alina. I found her to be highly annoying this go round. She was being worshiped as the Sun Summoner, she had men fighting over her and she could make a real difference in Ravka but she just whined about how hard her life was. Oh great day. Sometimes it seemed like she had a split personality.

That being said, I can't wait for the final book in the trilogy. Will be interesting to see how everything is wrapped up.

If you've read this who were you rooting for?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Books of Amber Debut-a-Thon




The ever amazing Amber from Books of Amber is hosting a Debut-a-Thon this weekend. Thursday, June 27th to Sunday, June 30th.  

Get complete details and sign up here. My goal is to read one book a day. I am hoping to have all of these to choose from:













Saturday, June 22, 2013

Stickability by Greg S. Reid



Title: Think and Grow Rich: Stickability 
Author: Greg S. Reid (website)(Twitter)
Pages: 190 ARC
Expected Publication Date: October 10, 2013
Publisher: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin 
Source: Publisher for Review
Rating: I really liked it

Stickability is a short book that is crammed full of information. While reading this, I found myself wishing that I had the ability to write in a book. I just can't make myself deface one but if I could, this would be full of highlighting and underlining. I marked at least 15 pages to refer to later. That's huge for me since I rarely take the time to make notes while reading.

I ended up reading this in one day because the stories told throughout and the tips contained were so interesting. As the book went along, I was less interested in the later stories because the "big names" were up front but overall I really enjoyed it.

In Stickability, author Reid takes the principles of Napoleon Hill's classic Think and Grow Rich and makes them stickable. Some of my favorite "tips" are to surround yourself with an outstanding team, to focus on the outcome instead of the struggle, to make a decision and stick with it and to leave negativity (both people and things) behind. Those are just a few of the gems contained though.

It's one that can be read again and you'll get something new each time. It's well written with a great progression. My only complaint is as mentioned before...the stories towards the end just were not as interesting to me. One told the story of a man and woman who weren't allowed to marry so they married at the top of Mount Everest because both of their religions believed it to be God. But when the story is fully told I wondered why they went to all that trouble. This is a small complaint in the grand scheme of things. I really did enjoy this book and I love that there was such actionable ideas.

Overall I think that this is a well written, highly motivating book. I'd recommend it to any Napoleon Hill and success lovers. Interesting and a fast read.



Friday, June 21, 2013

ARC Envy (3)


Every week several of my favorite bloggers post vlogs or posts of all the great book hauls they've received for the week. Since I'm a tiny little fish in the huge book blogging pond, my mailbox isn't stuffed with all the great ARCs that they get. Dana's ARC Envy is my way of highlighting an ARC that I *wish* had been sent to me too. 





Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell (website)(Twitter)
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Expected Publication Date: September 10, 2013

Judging a book by its cover:  I'm not a huge fan of cartoony looking covers but this cover is pretty cute.

Know anything about the author?  She is also the author of Eleanor and Park

Why do I want it? It wasn't until I became a book blogger that I heard the term "fangirl". Since then I have used the term "fangirl" to describe myself quite a few times. It seems like a fun concept for a book. It also sounds like a coming of age story and I generally enjoy those.


Summary from Goodreads:

Cath is a Simon Snow fan. 
Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . . 
But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving. 
Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere. 
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to. 
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone. 
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? 
Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories? 
And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

What ARC are you envying this week?










Thursday, June 20, 2013

Aberrant by Ruth Silver

TitleAberrant 
Author: Ruth Silver
Publication date: April 28th 2013 (paperback)
Genre: YA Dystopian

Synopsis from Goodreads:
In the future Dystopian society of Cabal, the government instills equality for all and offers its citizens the perfect system. There is food, shelter and jobs for everyone. The one requirement is to follow the rules without question, including the government's match in marriage and "The Day of the Chosen", a lottery that randomly selects families to conceive children as natural means hasn't existed in generations. Following her eighteenth birthday, Olivia Parker accepts her requirement to marry her childhood best friend, Joshua Warren, and is eager to start her work assignment and new life when it all comes abruptly to an end as she's arrested and thrown in prison. The only crime committed, her existence. Olivia is unlike the rest of the world born not from "The Day of the Chosen." The truth haunts the government and puts her life in grave danger as one simple fact would destroy the perfect system.
With Joshua's help, Olivia breaks free of prison and is forced on the run. Together they set out to find the promised rebel town in search of a new home and new life together. Their situation seems less than promising as they reach the town of Haven. New rules and customs must be adhered to in order to stay. Leaving would mean most certain death in the large expanse of the Gravelands. Time is running out as the government mounts an attack to destroy Olivia and bury her secret with her. Thrown into a world unlike their own, they must quickly adapt to survive.

One of my favorite genres is dystopian so I was thrilled when Ruth sent me a copy of Aberrant to read and review. Aberrant is the first in a trilogy. 

The government matches up couples in the graduating class. Olivia is thrilled to be matched with her friend Joshua. She is looking forward to her new life when she is arrested. She is arrested because she was born the old fashioned way instead of in a lab. Joshua helps her escape jail. 

Cabal is a pretty scary place. I cannot imagine being required to marry a person that the government chooses for me and having to follow a bunch of rules. Of course, if you follow the rules, life is ok. But if you don't, the punishment is fast.

Without giving away anymore of the plot, I thought that Aberrant was a well developed novel but not terribly original. The pacing was good and there was quite a bit of action. A few twists that weren't expected.

Olivia was a bit annoying at points but generally was well developed, as was Joshua. I'm looking forward to reading more about them in book #2. 

3/5 solid book with lots of potential in upcoming books

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Interview + Giveaway - Aberrant by Ruth Silver




Aberrant by Ruth Silver
Publication date: April 28th 2013 (paperback)
Genre: YA Dystopian

Synopsis:
In the future Dystopian society of Cabal, the government instills equality for all and offers its citizens the perfect system. There is food, shelter and jobs for everyone. The one requirement is to follow the rules without question, including the government's match in marriage and "The Day of the Chosen", a lottery that randomly selects families to conceive children as natural means hasn't existed in generations. Following her eighteenth birthday, Olivia Parker accepts her requirement to marry her childhood best friend, Joshua Warren, and is eager to start her work assignment and new life when it all comes abruptly to an end as she's arrested and thrown in prison. The only crime committed, her existence. Olivia is unlike the rest of the world born not from "The Day of the Chosen." The truth haunts the government and puts her life in grave danger as one simple fact would destroy the perfect system.

With Joshua's help, Olivia breaks free of prison and is forced on the run. Together they set out to find the promised rebel town in search of a new home and new life together. Their situation seems less than promising as they reach the town of Haven. New rules and customs must be adhered to in order to stay. Leaving would mean most certain death in the large expanse of the Gravelands. Time is running out as the government mounts an attack to destroy Olivia and bury her secret with her. Thrown into a world unlike their own, they must quickly adapt to survive.

AUTHOR BIO
Ruth Silver is the best-selling author of Aberrant. The Young Adult/New Adult Romantic Dystopian Adventure, Aberrant is the first in a trilogy,  released April 17th, 2013. Silver first began writing poetry as a teenager and reading heaps of fan fiction in her free time. She attended Northern Illinois University in 2001 and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Communication. While in college she spent much of her free time writing with friends she met online and penning her first novel, Deuces are Wild, which she self-published in 2004. Her favorite class was Creative Writing senior year where she often handed in assignments longer than the professor required because she loved to write and always wanted to finish her stories. Her love of writing, led her on an adventure in 2007 to Melbourne, Australia. Silver enjoys reading YA/NA  novels and sharing her favorite books with other readers. She also enjoys photography, traveling and of most of all writing.

LINKS:

What was the hardest part of writing Aberrant?

The hardest part was writing the characters suffering. I know that they will get through the pain - physical or emotional - and it will make them stronger, but it's still hard to torture your favorite character.

Who was your favorite character to write in Aberrant?

I had the most fun with writing Olivia. She's full of so many mixed emotions and traits that we're always learning something about who she is. She's not complacent. She has a mind of her own and likes to explore the world around her. She's curious by nature and it has the tendency to get her into trouble. She's complex, which makes her three-dimensional, but also incredibly caring and supportive of those she loves.  

Why did you decide on making Aberrant into a series?

I felt like I had a huge story to tell. Something that would span across hundreds of thousands of words. That may not seem like a lot but when sending your novel to agents and publishers, there's a certain word count they're looking for in new authors and in young adult/new adult titles. The only way to properly tell the story, was to turn it into a trilogy. 

Do you have the second and third book planned already?

Without getting into any specifics, yes! The next book, Moirai, will be available sometime in 2014. The first draft was finished last December but with the edits and some significant changes in Aberrant, I need to make the story flow a little smoother.

Can you tell us about one of these changes in Aberrant? What was added to the story?

Down to the final edits, I was adding details and shaping each character just a little bit more. I wanted the world that they're in and the cities to feel real. I wanted you to experience it, just as Olivia has for the first time. The very end of the Aberrant, I added a glimpse at what we can expect in the second novel. That was one of the final edits that was added, among many others.

Great giveaway...enter below! And check back tomorrow for my review of Aberrant.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Adding to the Stacks #1 - weekly book haul vlog

Welcome to my very first vlog. I apologize in advance for the poor quality video. Making do with what I have right now. If you don't want to hear me ramble, you can just scroll down to see the books I mention. Clicking on the title will take you to the book's Goodreads page.

Adding to the Stacks #1 from Dana on Vimeo.

LIBRARY:

City of Bohane by Kevin Barry
Towering by Alex Finn
Orleans by Sherri L. Smith
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

AUTHOR/PUBLISHER/BLOG TOURS:

The Rockin' Chair by Steven Manchester (thanks to the author)
Solstice High by Ardash Vartparonian (blog tour...thanks Premier Virtual Author Blog Tours)

BOUGHT:

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

 
 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Slim for Life by Jillian Michaels



Title: Slim for Life (My Insider Secrets to Simple, Fast, and Lasting Weight Loss)
Author: Jillian Michaels (website)(Twitter)
Pages: 265
Genre: Self Help, weight loss, lifestyle
Publisher: Harmony Books
Publication Date: February 12, 2013
Source: Library

It will seem odd that as big of a fan as I am of Jillian Michaels, I have never really watched The Biggest Loser. I need to change that. 

Michaels said she'd never write another dieting book but changed her mind because there are such conflicting views on what to do and what not to do. She's taken all her best tips and put them in one place. A fun thing she did in Slim for Life is assigning a point value to each of the tips. Items with a 3 are going to make faster, longer results. Items with a 1 are good but are more optional.

I was confused during the exercise chapter because I have no idea what all the exercises are. I wanted to just chunk the book and go to eat the buffet at Stevi B's pizza. Glad I didn't though because the second half of the book was awesome. So many simple tips than done over the long haul will make big changes.

My favorite part is her explanation of coming up with your "why". I've heard this concept in other self help type books but she explained it and gave such good examples that it really clicked for me. Knowing why you want to lose weight and be healthier - in the most specific terms you can make - will help on those days you want the pan of brownies or want to skip your workout.

The chapters are short and the tips are broken down in bullet points for even easier reading. She has a way of writing that makes it seem as if she's sitting in your living room chatting. I love that. And sprinkled throughout are "dieting myths" where she tells what's real and what isn't.

I was already a fan but now I'm even more in awe of her. If applied, this book can literally be a life changer. I'd recommend it to anyone who needs to lose weight but isn't quite sure where to start or what to do. 

4/5 since the second half was so awesome.

Friday, June 14, 2013

ARC Envy (2)


Every week several of my favorite bloggers post vlogs or posts of all the great book hauls they've received for the week. Since I'm a tiny little fish in the huge book blogging pond, my mailbox isn't stuffed with all the great ARCs that they get. Dana's ARC Envy is my way of highlighting an ARC that I *wish* had been sent to me too. 




TitleInsomnia (The Night Walkers #1)
Author: J.R. Johansson (website)(Twitter)
Publisher: Flux (website)(Twitter)
Expected Publication Date: June 8, 2013

Judging a book by its cover: This cover is seriously frightening and I LOVE IT! 

Know anything about the author?  Nope but she looks too sweet to make people scared.

Why do I want it? The cover would make me pick it up without even knowing a synopsis but the storyline sounds mega interesting. He goes into the dreams of the last person he made eye contact with? Awesome concept.


Summary from Goodreads:

It’s been four years since I slept, and I suspect it is killing me.

Instead of sleeping, Parker Chipp enters the dream of the last person he’s had eye contact with. He spends his nights crushed by other people’s fear and pain, by their disturbing secrets—and Parker can never have dreams of his own. The severe exhaustion is crippling him. If nothing changes, Parker could soon be facing psychosis and even death.

Then he meets Mia. Her dreams, calm and beautifully uncomplicated, allow him blissful rest that is utterly addictive. Parker starts going to bizarre lengths to catch Mia’s eye every day. Everyone at school thinks he’s gone over the edge, even his best friend. And when Mia is threatened by a true stalker, everyone thinks it’s Parker.

Suffering blackouts, Parker begins to wonder if he is turning into someone dangerous. What if the monster stalking Mia is him after all?

What ARC are you envying this week?








Thursday, June 13, 2013

Nearing Home by Rev. Billy Graham


Title: Nearing Home
Author: Rev. Billy Graham
Pages: 182
Source: Publisher via Booksneeze for review

When I saw this title on the Booksneeze website, I didn't even read the synopsis, I requested it for review. Rev. Graham is one of the most popular and well known preachers in the Christian faith. At the original time of publication (2011), he was nearing his 93rd birthday and had lost his beloved wife, Ruth, some 4 years before. I can't look at the cover without tearing up a bit. I mean nearing home and him in his 90s? Ack. It's sad. But he knows where he is going and looks forward to being united with his wife in Heaven.

As much as it pains me to look at the cover and despite the fact that I was insanely excited to get it, I couldn't get into at first. He spends a lot of time talking about old age and it seems rambly. I kept picturing myself sitting in my grandfather's house, listening to one of his endless stories, while mentally making the hand gesture to hurry it up already. I say that not to be disrespectful but to illustrate how much I wanted it to have a point. Where was the point? There were gems in there but it all seemed disconnected and all over the place

It's a super short read at only 182 pages but it took me days to read because I couldn't read "old" another time. I'm super glad that I stuck with it though because the last 50 to 75 pages made the rest of it worth it. This was the meat and the best part of the book for me. It didn't seem as disconnected but more like essays that moved from chapter to chapter.

It might have taken a more winding path than I had the patience for and there might have been parts that didn't apply to me quite yet but in the end I enjoyed it. I wanted to hug this book because it closes with such emotion and such heart. But most of all it closes with such hope for the future. And that I loved. Rev Graham might be nearing home but he's certainly doing it with grace, a steadfast assurance in his faith and a never ending desire to share his Savior with anyone who will hear him.

4/5 for finishing strong

{Audio Review} 14 by Peter Clines



Title: 14
Author: Peter Clines
Genre: horror, sci fi, mystery
Audio Length: 12 h 34m
Narrator: Ray Porter
Publisher: Audible Frontiers / Permuted Press
Published: 2012
Source: my purchase

First heard about this one from Kat of The Aussie Zombie. I really loved the cover and since it sounded like a spooky read I ordered a copy from Audible. It took me so long to listen to, not because it wasn't holding my interest, but because as soon as I put in headphones my boys immediately want to start talking to me. 

In 14, Nate moves into an apartment with great rent and a wonderful view. He notices several strange things about his new apartment building. There are cockroaches that are green and have an extra leg, a weird light fixture and a padlocked apartment door. He ignores them though because, hello, cheap rent/great view in LA. Things that seem too good to be true usually are though...

As he becomes friends with his fellow tenants he starts to notice that every apartment is a bit...odd. The group goes looking for answers and end up finding way more than they ever thought possible. Not sure I'd have gone looking for clues because come on people...look at that cover. Would you want to see what was behind that padlocked door? Me neither.

I so enjoyed the cast of characters. Veek, Tim, Xela and Roger were all well developed. Aside from all the oddities of the building and the sense of foreboding, I found myself wishing that I could live in their building and hang out with all the neighbors. My favorite character had to be Tim and narrator Ray Porter did an amazing job on his voice. They were so varied and true to life that I wanted to spend more time with them.

There are believable romances within the group but it isn't a main part of the plot. Just a nice little sideline that I personally was rooting for. One spelled out sex scene did have me shaking my head because, umm, pregnancy? STDs? How about some protection people. But the group dynamics were wholly believable and that not everyone got along with everyone else made it like real life.

The creepiness factor was a bit of a slow burn. Lots of setting things up for the last chapters before a dramatic conclusion. There wasn't a bunch of action in the middle but I was eagerly listening throughout. It never dropped my attention. I enjoyed the references to classic horror and the interweaving of a historical story within the main story. My one gripe is with the Christian like character. He was presented as the only unlikeable person in the building and I found that highly annoying. Not because Christians can't be holier than thou but because it seemed that it would have been just as easy to make him a hated lawyer or car salesman or whatever than a Christian. *shrugs* I won't spoil the plot by saying any more than.

Narration:

Wow and wow. Porter did an excellent job with each of the voices. They were distinct and I immediately knew who was speaking even without being told "and X said". I find some audio books hard to listen to because there is not much different between the voices but this was definitely not the case here. When we meet the "monster" towards the end, the combination of the unexpected timing along with the creepy voice caused me to literally have chill bumps. I look forward to finding more audios narrated by him.

I think fans of mystery and horror with other worldly sci fi will really enjoy 14. Its solid character development and creepy storyline was highly enjoyable.

5 of 5 to the narration. I don't see how it could have gotten better.
4 of 5 for the story.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Book Loves


Everyone has a list of subjects or title keywords that make them immediately pick up a book. My list has changed as my reading tastes have changed. Some have been around for a while and others have been recent additions.

Things that make my skirt fly up:

zombies, dystopian, apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic, fairy tales and retellings, fantasy, gothic, science fiction, entrepreneurship, Christian living, Paris, London, Russia, Australia, Netherlands, Sweden, The Great Depression, boarding school, swoon worthy males, sarcasm, banter, snark, revenge, time travel, parallel lives, historical, revisionist history, myths and mythical retellings, magical realism, road trips, nerd.

I add to my list as I think of new stuff. I wish I had made a similar list a few years ago. It would be interesting to see the differences now.

Monday, June 10, 2013

{Thoughts On} Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn



Title: Ella Minnow Pea
Author: Mark Dunn
Pages: 208
Publisher: Anchor Books, a division of Random House
Published: 2001

I've had this one on my shelves for years after having gotten it at the request of my bookish BFF Tamara. She loved it and thought I would too. I've picked it up and put it back down several times because the language takes a bit of getting used to. It's fancy and sounds old fashioned somehow. And it's told in letters. Not my favorite way of story telling, I must admit.


Ella Minnow Pea lives on the fictional island of Nollop, off the coast of North Carolina. This island is name after Nevin Nollop, the inventor of the pangram sentence The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

On the Island Nollop they refer to themselves as Nollopians. So yeah, I kept picturing these:



I digress. 

The pangram sentence is glued in large tiles in the town center. When one of the tiles fall, the High Island Council says that this is a sign from the late Mr. Nollop that the islanders should no longer use that letter. Punishment is doled out if residents say or write with the forbidden letters. As each of the titles fall, they have to get by with fewer and fewer letters.

I found the book easier to read the more letters were forbidden. What started out as flowerly, lyrically speech, turned into something much different. The story is mostly told through letters back and forth between Ella and her cousin Tassie.

The punishments, including banishment from the island, get the attention of the newspapers in the States and a journalist comes to stay with Tassie and her mom. They begin a movement to prove that the tiles are falling off because the glue is 100 years old and not because Nollop is speaking from beyond his grave. The Council finally agrees that if someone can come up with another pangram sentence they will remove all the restrictions.

It was an interesting concept and considering that it had to be written with fewer and fewer letters as it progressed, I am most impressed. The characters were easy to like and felt believable. The story's outlandishness just made it all the more fun. The fictional island was a wonderful setting that really became a character of the story too.

I'd recommend it to word lovers. It's amazing how many words would be unusable if certain letters were no longer available for use.

4 stars out of 5 for holding my interest throughout and for making me think.


Saturday, June 8, 2013

ARC Envy


Every week several of my favorite bloggers post vlogs or posts of all the great book hauls they've received for the week. Since I'm a tiny little fish in the huge book blogging pond, my mailbox isn't stuffed with all the great ARCs that they get. Dana's ARC Envy is my way of highlighting an ARC that I *wish* had been sent to me too. 



Title: Undercurrent
Author: Paul Blackwell
Publisher: HarperTeen
Expected Publication Date: July 2013

Judging a book by its cover: love this cover. Super creepy. Can't help but tilt my head to the side to see it. You can't do it either, right?

Know anything about the author?  Nothing except that he's super cool on Twitter. This is his first novel.

Why do I want it? Looks different. Creepy. Suspenseful.


Summary from Goodreads:

In this suspenseful teen thriller with a touch of the otherworldly, perfect for fans of Neal Shusterman, a boy goes over a waterfall and wakes up to find himself in a twisted version of the life he knew.

A shadowy figure. An intense roar. The sensation of falling—fast.

That’s all Callum Harris remembers from his tumble over the waterfall. But when he wakes up in a hospital bed and finds his best friend trying to kill him, Callum knows something is seriously wrong. Unfortunately for him, the mysteries are just getting started.

Why are his parents acting like he’s some big sports star all of a sudden? And why are all the buildings in town more run-down than Callum remembers? Worst of all...what happened to Callum’s brother? Either Callum has gone seriously crazy or something happened when he went over the falls. Something impossible. Callum needs answers, and now. Because in this twisted new version of the life Callum knew, his former best friend isn’t the only one who wants to see him dead.

Filled with mind-bending suspense and unsettling thrills, Undercurrent is a grippingly paced teen debut that will pull you under and never let go.



What ARC are you envying this week?









Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...