Hey guys. Many thanks for sticking with me through my hiatus. My heart is far from being healed, but I believe I’m ready to get back into the swing of things. Later on, when I am ready, I will write letters to my fur babies. <3
Since October is almost upon us, I decided I’d go ahead and start this week’s recommendation with something spooky.
This week’s book recommendation is The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty. I watched the movie before I knew about the book so while I did picture the movie characters as I was reading, it was still a pretty good book. I’d definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a good book to read for Halloween, especially if you enjoyed the movie or like things involving possession. The book is dated, as it was written in the 70s, but I think it’s still enjoyable.
The terror began unobtrusively. Noises in Regan’s room, an odd smell, misplaced furniture, and icy chill. Small annoyances for which Chris MacNeil, Regan’s actress mother, easily found explanations. The changes in eleven-year-old Regan were so gradual, too, that Chris did not recognise for some time how much her daughter’s behaviour had altered.
Even when she did, the medical tests which followed shed no light on Regan’s symptoms, which grew more severe and frightening. It was almost as if a different personality had invaded the child. Desperate, Chris turned from the doctors to Father Damien Karras, a Jesuit priest who was trained as a psychiatrist and had a deep knowledge of such phenomena as satanism and possession. Was it possible that a demonic force was at large? If psychiatry could not help, might exorcism be the answer?
Hi guys. Today I lost two of my fur babies. They were so precious to me. For the time being, I am taking hiatus. Thank you for understanding. Prayers and thoughts appreciated.
Flail & Loki, I will love you forever.
This is the 46th book from my 114 in 2014 Reading Challenge.
I Love You, Beth Cooper by Larry Doyle
Published January 1st, 2007 by Harper
Denis Cooverman wanted to say something really important in his high school graduation speech. So, in front of his 512 classmates and their 3,000 relatives, he announced: “I love you Beth Cooper.” It could have been such a sweet, romantic moment. Except that Beth, the head cheerleader, has only the vaguest idea who Denis is. And Denis, the captain of the debate team, is so far out of her league he is barely even the same species. And Kevin, Beth’s remarkably large boyfriend, is in town on furlough from the United States Army. Complications Ensue.
I really wanted to like this one, I did. I’m a big fan of “underdog” type stories. However, this was just bad. I figured it would be bad once I started reading. The writing style immediately turned me off. I think the author was trying to be funny in an absurd kind of way, but all the writing did for me was give me a headache. The writing tried too hard, in other words. There were a few lines that did make me chuckle, but not enough to change my mind about the overall book.
The characters are not really likable at all. Not even Denis Cooverman, our underdog. It was hard to feel sorry for him, relate to him, even like him. This from a girl who was nowhere near popular in high school. The “gay” best friend, Rich, was somewhat better, but his movie cast trivia got annoying after the first few times. Beth Cooper isn’t likable at all. I know sometimes the worst people can be considered popular and desirable, but I couldn’t see what the big deal was. Same for her friends. And we won’t even go into the lame army-type dudes who seem to need some mental help.
The plot itself wasn’t bad, but since I was stuck with the before mentioned characters, it was not very enjoyable. The book began to drag on and I found myself only being able to read a few pages a day (sad when I typically finish a book within two to three days). There was a moment near the middle where I thought this might actually get better. But then it started getting bad for me again and that hope was squashed.
I’m not sure there is anything redemptive about this book for me. It wasn’t all that funny. I didn’t really like it at all. I only stuck through with it because I want to compare it to the movie. Hopefully the movie is at least somewhat better. Definitely not for me.
Sorry for the lack of posts this week. Had a computer malfunction. Still struggling to get everything restored so until further notice, I will only be posting Book Reviews and What I’m Working On. Thank you for your patience!
This is the 45th book from my 114 in 2014 Reading Challenge.
Panic by Lauren Oliver
Published January 1st 2014 by HarperCollins
Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.
Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.
Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn’t know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.
For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.
I really wanted to like this one. The overall concept sounded neat and I like Lauren Oliver’s writing, but I just couldn’t get into this one. It was hard to connect to the characters and to the story, even though there were times where I felt bad/could sympathize with what was going on. Some scenes, like the opening, were hard for me to picture.
This book dragged for me most of the time, though there were parts that perked my interest–mostly toward the end or any scenes with Anne and the tigers.
The overall idea was cool, but I just didn’t care enough about the characters or the plot.
This is the 44th book from my 114 in 2014 Reading Challenge.
This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
Published January 1st, 2013 by Headline
If fate sent you an email, would you answer?
When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O’Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds.
Then Graham finds out that Ellie’s Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media’s spotlight at all costs?
If you’re looking for a great summer read, check this one out.
While this book has interesting and vibrant characters, a fun plot, and a cute romance that begins on the interwebs, the setting was my favorite part. It felt real and very much like a place I would like to visit. Even though I already want to visit the state the book takes place in (Maine), I think this book has made me want to go even more.
I liked the little twists and turns with not only the relationship, but also with the characters themselves. Having experienced online-to-offline relationships myself, it was very easy to both connect to the characters and also find it realistic. Having the main character be someone famous was icing on the cake.
I’ll definitely be checking out Jennifer E. Smith’s other book.
No Book vs Movie this week, so here’s another Book Review!
This is the 43rd book from my 114 in 2014 Reading Challenge.
The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
Published January 2nd, 2014 by Viking Juvenile
For the past five years, Hayley Kincain and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.
Will being back home help Andy’s PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over? The Impossible Knife of Memory is Laurie Halse Anderson at her finest: compelling, surprising, and impossible to put down.
I was really psyched to get my hands on this one. I about broke into dance at my local library, and this is coming from someone who doesn’t like to draw attention to themselves in public.
That being said, this wasn’t my favorite Halse novel, but it was pretty darn good. Just not as good as Wintergirls or Speak in my opinion.
What I love so much about Laurie Halse Anderson stories is how different each of them are, yet how easy it always is to still feel connected to the main character and what’s going on, even if it’s something I know very little (or nothing) about. There’s always something that makes me able to connect and relate to these characters. The Impossible Knife of Memory was no different.
This book probably made a deeper connection to my past than any of the others because on one level, I could relate to what Hayley is going through. I found her situation to be relatable yet also interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a book which featured a parent who is suffering from PTSD, who served in the war, or who used to drive a big truck. Roll all of these into one and you already have a pretty interesting story.
But while the plot and story was pretty fantastic, it’s always the characters who matter to me in the end. Hayley as a character in herself made me keep reading. She’s strong at times, but also vulnerable at times. I both applauded her and wanted to hug her.
I loved the relationship between Hayley and Finn, plus just Finn himself. And it’s so very refreshing to come across a relationship that isn’t perfect yet that you still want to root for. I also enjoyed Hayley’s relationship with her friend, Grace, and with her guidance counselor. But the relationship that most interested me was the one between Hayley and her dad. It was realistic–not all good, not all bad. And I can relate because I have similar family relationships. Plus there’s the whole fear of deep water that I also share.
The only thing that seemed to hold this book back was that it didn’t feel nearly as emotional enough to me regarding the topic. It all felt kind of numb. Maybe that’s a side effect from the author’s beautiful yet haunting writing, or maybe I was supposed to feel kind of numb (like Hayley seems to feel), but it was the one thing that made me enjoy this book less than I probably would have. Because emotion is what made me love Wintergirls and Speak. I just didn’t feel it with this one.
I still really liked it, though, and would probably re-read again. Recommended.
This is the 42nd book from my 114 in 2014 Reading Challenge.
Burning Emerald by Jaime Reed (The Cambion Chronicles #2)
Published January 1st, 2012 by Dafina
Dating the most popular guy in school is every girl’s fantasy. But to Samara Marshall, he’s a dangerous force come to rekindle their tangled past. Only it’s not her past… Samara faces a challenging senior year. Controlling her inner demon is a struggle, even with help from her Cambion boyfriend, Caleb.
But her life takes a turn for the worse when the hottest jock in school begins pursuing her-especially since Malik’s anything but what he seems. They share a connection from a forgotten past-a secret that could destroy her and Caleb.
As the attraction becomes harder to resist, Samara is now at the mercy of the demon within her. To break free, Sam must fight a battle where she is the enemy and the prize…and victory will come at a deadly price.
I didn’t like this one nearly as much as the first, but I still enjoyed it. It was interesting to see how things continued for Sam and Caleb after the events of the first book. There’s a few new characters in this one, including a “bad” guy love interest. While I usually cringe at love triangles, this was one I could live with because I felt it was realistic considering.
I liked how Sam and her mother’s relationship seemed to have gotten closer. Caleb and Sam’s relationship goes through some changes that I felt were pretty realistic. I also liked the tension between Sam and Tobias, though I’m definitely a “Cake Boy” fan.
The Halloween party scene was probably my favorite. The plot did seem to get a little draggy near the end. However, the end was a nice twist that I wasn’t expecting at all. It definitely makes me wonder what will happen next. I’ll be reading that shortly.
This week’s book recommendation is Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I read this a few years ago. I didn’t expect to like it at first, but I ended up loving it. It’s a great futuristic story about censorship–ironically it is on the Banned Books List every year. A definite classic!
Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires …
The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning … along with the houses in which they were hidden.
Guy Montag enjoyed his job. He had been a fireman for ten years, and he had never questioned the pleasure of the midnight runs nor the joy of watching pages consumed by flames … never questioned anything until he met a seventeen-year-old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid.
Then he met a professor who told him of a future in which people could think … and Guy Montag suddenly realized what he had to do!