Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Host

So I just finished a book last night called "The Host" by Stephanie Meyers - it is her more adult Sci Fi book and I loved it.  I highly recommend it - she really develops great characters.  As with Twilight the ending to this book was a bit too perfect but that must just be her style.  Overall a good read though.  It certainly raises interesting points/questions about humanity...

(PS - For those non-Sci Fi readers out there the story line may seem a bit out there but it actually isn't too bad - it really ends up being about the characters so don't let it scare you away...)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Dark Hunter Series

For all of you fantasy romance novel readers out there check out the Dark Hunter Series...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

In review: Twilight

By Stephenie Meyer

The first in the vampire Stephenie Meyer series, Twilight knocked my socks off. I. literally. couldn't. put. it. down. Had. to. have. more.

Stephenie introduces her main characters quite well, at least for Bella she does. In the opening pages you get an inside look at how Bella behaves before she meets her vampire, Edward. She's self-conscious and she doesn't fit in with her peers. Hmm, how often does that happen in a book?! It's even to overlook this unimaginative character development, because the plot that Meyers writes is so loving and so unequivocally romantic, I felt like I was reading all the best romance novels written in one book—Jane Erye, Pride & Prejudice, and more modern romance novels from Judith McNaught, like Whitney My Love with Edward filling the role of Clayton (they do both have storied histories). What I loved about Edward though is that he's a 90-year-old vampire—a vampire thirsty for Bella's potent blood. He's been raised to respect and not necessarily care for humans, but just to be indifferent to them—especially if, like Edward, you can hear the prattle inside everyone's heads. The only exception to this is that Edward can't hear Bella's thoughts. I did have to wonder if this was part of the magnetism...if, for once, he was able to use his imagination and intelligence to figure out what's running through a human's head. As the story progresses, though, you can see he becomes more than merely curious about Bella thoughts. He falls in love with her flaws and assets: clumsy and selfless.

Meyer's paints a beautiful picture of discovery on both sides, but it's written from Bella's point of view. Midnight Sun, however, retells Twilight word-for-event in Edward's perspective, which the draft can be read on Meyer's website. The draft made me love Edward even more and want to know more of the thoughts that ran through his head at pivotal moments, but because some stupid assholes leaked the draft, Meyer's says the story is on hold indefinitely; she posted what was leaked on her website. The draft didn't even get to the meadow scene, which is the best scene in the entire book because it's where Edward makes the resolute decision that he's not going to let the monster get the best of him and kill Bella.

There's a lot of sexual tension in this book, which grows with each book within the series, but Meyer's works out a nice balance to keep it PG enough for the series' intended young-adult audience while still remaining true to the very hormones and feelings teenagers at that age are going through.

Rating: A. I would give it an A+, but I did feel that Meyer defies logic a bit by having a blood-thirsty vampire fall easily in love with Bella, and vice versa on Bella's part as well. Although Edward is hot, as a reader, we're never given much for the reason why Bella falls in love with him besides the fact that he is beautiful and he's a novelty. Everything is about a smoldering look, a soft touch, a gentle caress, a breathtaking kiss that you have to wonder if Bella is a little shallow. But it's a book that delivers entertainment, especially the new dimension that Meyer's adds to the vampire race. Even Underworld vampires paled in comparison.

More reviews on the remaining books in the series to come!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Book Updates

I finished reading Twilight and I am about half way through the second book...

It is actually a really fun series. It is an easy read as I think it was aimed at a slightly younger audience but if you like romance / fantasy books it is definately worth picking up. So far I enjoyed the first book more than the second one but I think the second one is starting to get better. The best part of the story is the character development...very well done.

As far as the Art of Keeping Secrets goes I am a couple chapters in. So far it is just okay for me, I am not in love with the author's writing style. Also the story involves so much suspicion it isn't really what I would call uplifting or fun. We'll see if it gets any better soon...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Twilight Series

So I found another series that I am interested in...

I was at the book store today and I think I am going to start reading the Twilight series.  I guess it is a love story about a woman and vampire.  I love that kind of stuff.   I will let you guys know how it is and if it is worth reading.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Book Selection

Since we are unable to make a book choice as a group I just went ahead and picked one!

Feel free to read or not based on interest.

Book: The Art of Keeping Secrets
Author: Patti Callahan Henry

Also I was thinking for our next book - is there any interest in "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood"?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Jessaca's Recommendation

Oh, I did go to the bookstore on Friday like I said I would, but I remembered why I can never pick out books: too overwhelmed. One book caught my eye: The Knitting Circle .

I'm not much in a classic novel mood right now with it being summer. I might vote for Farewell to Arms later. I've never read Sophie's Choice. I'd be up for that one.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Book Selections

Okay ladies we need to pick our next book!

I just finished reading Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons so I am on the search for my next read.  Two books did come to mind while I was reading Angry Housewives...

1.  Sophie's Choice - Because I've always heard it was good - but my did say it was a bit slow and depressing...
2.  A Farewell to Arms - I read this in high school and one of my favorite book passages of all time is in this book but I can't seem to remember how good the book was overall...
3.  Into Thin Air - Because I also heard this was good...

Any other suggestions?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons

Chance happened to lend me the book "Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons"...

First of all I LOVE LOVE LOVE the title it is perfect for the book. I am about half way through the book and I am really enjoying it. There are some great characters and you can really relate to them. These types of books always make me jealous that I have never had a large close knit group of girl friends. I have always had similar feelings while watching Sex and the City. Boris and I have a TON of friends but not friends that are friends with eachother...therefore no large group of close girlfriends...such a bummer...

Anyways, now that we are all done with Barefoot we need to pick another book. Since Chance and I picked last time I think someone else should pick this time. Any ideas?!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The End

I finally finished reading Barefoot last night...

I cried a second time when Vicki makes her list of all of the things that she wants Brenda to do for her kids.  It was so sad!  Overall I was disappointed with the ending, although I would say that Vicki's character had the most closure.

The things about the ending that irritated me:
- I can't believe Melanie went back to Peter - what is wrong with her?!
- The Brenda / Walsh thing was too Cinderella-ish and quite frankly I don't think Brenda deserved a super hot sensitive smart amazing man
- Josh totally got screwed and everyone forgot about him in a way
- The thing with Didi was so random and quite frankly kind of unnecessary to the story

I think the book would have been a lot better if the author had focused more on Vicki's story (or I guess Josh's story).  The entire book could have been about Vicki and Ted, their relationship, the kids, Vicki's illness, etc and Melanie and Brenda could have been side characters rather then main ones.  The problem with focusing on all three women was that I didn't feel like I connected with any of the characters because we never learned enough about any of them to really care.

Overall I would give this book a C+...

Friday, July 4, 2008

My First Tears

I am still reading the book so I won't weigh in on favorite characters yet but I cried my first tears while reading the book last night.  I think it was pages 214 - 215 where Vicki goes for a walk and Ted follows her out and she breaks down about being sick and they have a conversation and then afterwards Vicki admits that she is too weak to walk home.  Then Ted says he knows, and that's why he came, and he carries her home and Vicki thinks about how it is the most intimate moment they have had in months.  I was totally teary eyed.

So far the book is really interesting because honestly I don't really like any of the characters but the book itself is fairly enjoyable.  All of the characters have some serious flaws - and not really flaws that make me relate to them...more flaws that irritate me.  Of course except for Josh - he is adorable.

Peter's character is just gross.  Unfortunately I  think there are a lot of men like that who have terrible affairs and then expect their wives to forgive them when they are done and are ready to get back together.  What kind of wife would just sit around and wait for her husband to finish up an affair and then go back to him?!?!

I still have a bit of the book left and from some of the other posts I am guessing I am going to be disappointed with the ending but we'll see...

Chance's View of the Characters In The End

I liked Josh and Vicki the most.  Josh was young and refreshing...his life wasn't complicated with an unfaithful marriage or a sickness.  I also appreciated that he didn't let his mom's suicide damper his view of the world.  I was glad when he stood up to Didi and stayed strong in cutting her out of his life.  I also loved his father like qualities and his sincere love for the boys.  I think he was a good person.  

Vicki was a good mom and a real person.  I was proud of her when she skipped one treatment and ached for her when she was so sick from her chemo.  I loved her list she mentally passed on to Brenda about taking care of her kids.  I loved her motherliness and her weaknesses.  I think she was the most "real" character. 

I never liked Melanie.  She was weak in my mind.  Anyone who stays with such a manipulative man has serious self-concept issues.  I didn't see her as pure and sweet...I saw her as naive and powerless.  People like her annoy me.    

I think Brenda was a selfish, conceited person.  I think her fall from grace took her down a few notches.  I get some sort of sick satisfaction when people like her have a nice little reality check.  She had it coming.  Unfortunately, I think she was still pretty selfish in the end.  I felt like she glorified her role as her sister's care giver, and I didn't think she was that great of a sister.  

Thursday, July 3, 2008

All done

I got through the rest of the book laying on the couch in my malaise, how very fitting. What revelations were made by the end. For Vicki, she can't have enough faith to know she's okay. And who can blame her? I surprised she even went back to the support group, but I'm glad she did. She literally came full circle. Although it was a hard road, and probably one she wished she didn't have to have taken, it's amazing how much experience—the bad more than the good—teaches us. Even in her sickness, she recognized she was taking those moments with her children for granted. I love how great her husband was, and how much he needed her. I was very sure he was going to be some rich a-hole, and even Vicki didn't expect the pure devastation from him when she was sick.

As for Melanie, I don't think this character really grew much. Sure, she learned she could be in control for once, but honestly, Peter needed a reason to come back and be her husband—not just the fact that he took a vow to be her husband. Such a prick. And poor Josh. Melanie inadvertently used him, and she knew that she would most likely go back to her husband if the opportunity was there. But that's the reason Josh falls "in love" with her. That very sweetness that he falls for is ultimately the demise of the relationship. It was a good experience for Josh though. It cut him loose from psychotic Didi.

I'm still not sure what to think of Brenda. I feel like we get the most of her background or fall from grace, but then not much a resolution. But maybe that's the point, that life doesn't always work itself out neatly. We know her screen play isn't sold yet, but her life hasn't come to an end. I love that Walsh shows up and shows us what there really is to love about him instead of just the sex and the Australian accent—even if it is a little too perfect.

Girls, who was your favorite of the women characters and why?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Kansas is just like sand in your toes

I love that Brenda brings back sand to put in Vicki's shoes. For some reason, it made me think of Mom's attachment to Kansas. I wonder if I had ever brought back a little Kansas dirt for Mom's shoes if that would have helped.

As for things I fear:

1. That something will happen to Jonathan. He travels a lot, and a lot of his work happens on bridges. I always fear someone will hit him. He wears bright orange T-shirts for a reason. I don't know what I would do without him. We've been together going on 10 years. We've shaped each other in the best way possible.

2. That something would happen to any one of my brothers and sisters. I've lived through it once, but I don't know if I could do it again, especially considering that all of them have kids.

3. Losing my hearing. One of my greatest joys is talking to people, listening to music, and hearing rain. Before my last ear surgery, I was scared to death that I wouldn't come out hearing. I was already one ear down.

4. Being in a bad accident. I didn't drive until college because I was so afraid to drive.

5. That a spider will bite me. Laugh all you want. I HATE spiders.

I can't no point of view of parenting. Give me a couple years and then ask me.

A few thoughts

Although I understand the Things that Wouldn't Matter Anymore if you got some disease, I have a hard time understanding the push for Vicki to give up her lists. This is who she is, what makes her the mother that cooks meals from scratch and takes her kids to the park. When you're terminally sick, you want to cling to those things that make you who you are. Not give them up. Although MS is no way cancer, I know the first thing I wanted to do when first diagnosed was control the things I could control. I think Vicki giving up this part of her makes the disease win a little and takes more of her than it should. Yeah, have a pity party and recognize that life is beautiful and can suck, but also do what you do that helps you get through your life and love it.

The other thing I'm loving about this book is the role as a caregiver. It's something I wrote about in college, and something I think more places should (and are starting to) examine. The caregiver role can be really draining because you still have to go on with your life. We see this when Brenda is thinking about her screenplay, but oh, wait, Vicki has cancer. Although it gives her a measuring stick for how important things are in life, she still has to keep doing the things that make her who she is and she has to keep thinking about her future. And how does she feel about this cancer? This cancer that could take away the sister that defines who Brenda is. We know Brenda defines herself based on Vicki-measuring-stick. I know I define my life and who I am by the people who influence it.

Final thought: Peter is a dill weed. Leave him Melanie!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Chance's Baby Momma Fears

  • I can totally relate to the fear of sharing your love with another child.  I feel that I love AJ with my entire heart and do you love another one the same way?  And then I fear his reaction to another child.  It would break my heart to think he ever felt left out or loved any less. 
  • I fear losing him...looking away for a second and looking back and he is gone.  I think I tend to be over protective by nature, but would rather be safe than sorry.  
  • I fear SIDS...I finally at the age of nearly two let him sleep with Douglas and a blanket...but still check to make sure he is breathing every night...and move the cover under his shoulders.  
  • I fear our first trip to the ER.  Luckily we have made it nearly two years and yet see much blood or had to speed off to the hospital.  
  • I fear big dogs, parking lots, large bodies of water around AJ.
  • I fear a resentful teenager and fighting over who he hangs out do you keep them sweet and innocent? 
  • I fear anyone ever touching him in an unpure way.  I watch too many Law & Orders.  My children will NEVER go into a public restroom alone. 
I could go over forever...children are priceless.  I pray everyday that he is always happy, healthy, and safe.  

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Fears All Moms Have

In this book one of the characters "loses" her son for awhile, which is probably one of every mother's fear.  So I got to thinking about what sorts of thing I fear about parenting.  So ladies - what out there scares you (I stuck to parenting fears but feel free to expand on the topic)?

1.  My current biggest parenting fear is that when we have another child I won't love them as much as I love Chase.  I can't possibly imagine that I could love this much twice over but every mom I know says that it always works out.  Granted I hate to say it but I never really did comprehend how it would feel to be a mom until I was one so maybe I just can't comprehend how it would feel to be the mother of two yet.  I think feelings that strong are just hard to explain...

2.  I hate to say it because it is not very politically correct but I am terrified of having a chronically ill or special needs child.  I guess having a kid seems challenging enough without added difficulties.  I'm sure when you are faced with something like that you step up to the plate but the idea is scary.

3.  Twins...I'm sure that is all I need to say...

4.  Oddly the idea of being a single mother or raising a kid alone is also terrifying to me.  I rely on my husband, friends, and family to help out with my kiddo so much that I don't know if I could handle trying to do it all alone.

I guess this isn't the cheeriest of topics (neither was the other topic) but maybe it just isn't the cheeriest of books...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

page 27...Peter is an ASS!

...not willing to end his "involvement"...really?!  I hate that man!  Who does he think he is?  He is not worthy of Melanie!  

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Jessaca's Things that Wouldn't Matter

Chapter in book: Haven't even bought it yet; I've been that busy!

1. Job status (no way in hell I'd work this hard!)
2. Where I lived (don't need a house, just the people you love around you when you're sick)
3. Forget clothes; I'd wear my fuzzy and my favorite white T-shirt all the time
4. Spending time blogging (just spending time with the ones here and now)

I think that's it; I'd definitely bring more chocolate into my diet and splurge on a trip to Europe with Jonathan.

Chance's Things That Wouldn't Matter...

1.  If my house was clean or seems to be already slipping off my list...
2.  What people think of me
3.  My physical appearance...definitely wouldn't shave anymore
4.  Working or doing anything aside from hanging out with my family and only closest friends

Things That Don't Matter

Blog Entry Made by: Kate

Book Name: Barefoot
Author: Elin Hilderbrand
Chapter: Not quite sure but a very early one!

So I finally started reading our first "virtual book club" book and the first thing that jumped out at me was that in the book one of the characters is diagnosed with cancer. Since the diagnosis was made she has started a mental list of "Things that don't matter anymore". So I started thinking, if something terrible happened to me what would end up on my "Things that don't matter anymore" list. So maybe everyone else can add what would be on their lists!

My initial list of things that I currently care about that wouldn't matter anymore would be:
- Climbing the Career Ladder
- My Weight
- Acquaintances (and being nice to people that I don't like)
Hmmm that is a short list but it is all I can think of right now - I'll continue to add more as I think of them.