Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Compound

Author: S.A. Bodeen
Genre: Young Adult - Fiction/Suspense
Publication Date: April 29, 2008
Age RangeYoung-Adult
Pages:  256
Date Scoot Read: September 2010
Source: Audiobook

Scoot's Rating
9-  Great read! Couldn’t put it down.

Synopsis (via Goodreads)
Eli and his family have lived in the Compound for six years. The world they knew is gone. Eli's father built the Compound to keep them safe. Now, they can't get out. HE WONT LET THEM!!

Scoot’s Review:
This book has a tiny synopsis for good reason, you can't really say too much about any of the plot without spoiling the story.  The story starts out strong and I was hooked from the first line onward.  The story follows a boy named Eli and his dysfunctional family as they tragically leave behind loved ones, including Eli's identical twin Eddy, and lock themselves into an elaborate underground bomb shelter keeping them safe from a nuclear attack.  The Compound doors won't open for 15 years, but what happens when the food supply starts to dwindle?  Through a series of flashbacks and current events you get to know Eli and his family, and learn exactly what is going on in the Compound.  Suspenseful, fast-paced, and haunting - you never know exactly what to expect around the each corner.  I enjoyed the writing style and was very happy with the story's conclusion.  I highly recommend it! I am looking forward to reading more by this author.

Mini Challenge 2: Date A Celebrity!

Princess Bookie is at it again with another Mini-Challenge for her Contest Craze!
This Mini Challenge Consists Of: Date A Celebrity!


If you could do Dinner And A Movie with any Celebrity/Singer/Sports Star who would you choose? Why?
Since I already have my dream date for the rest of my life -aka my wonderful husband - I would choose to go on a double-date with Shia LaBeouf and his current squeeze Carey Mulligan. 

Shia has reminded me (a lot!!) of my little brother since his days on Even Stevens and I have been watching his career grow ever since.  I think Shia is a great actor and I recently enjoyed seeing he and Carey together in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.  More than likely my husband and I would drag the couple to dinner at our favorite local German restaurant and then head over to North Park for a movie. Not sure what movie we would see... something either totally cheesy that we could make fun of the entire time, or something that looks great and we all want to watch.  Our dinner conversation over bratwurst and sauerkraut would more than likely be dominated by 'Wall Street' talk as my finance minded husband hashed out current events with Shia, and 'Costume Design' talk as I beg Carey to tell me all about the dresses she got to wear while filming Pride & Prejudice.  I think it would be a fun and relaxing night with a pretty down to earth couple, as far as Hollywood types go.

What Celebrity/Singer/Sports Star would you want to have a date with?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Crescendo Giveaway: Hosted by Bitten By Books

Bitten By Books is having a Crescendo Giveaway!  I really enjoyed Hush, Hush and can't wait to read Crescendo! Check out the contest details below...

Book Trailer:

Contest: One grand prize winner will receive: A handmade gold angel wing and labradorite lariat and a copy of Crescendo!

Four additional winners will receive:
A copy of

The contest ends Friday 10/1/2010 at 11:59 pm CDT.  Open to US and Canadian entrants.
Go here to enter!

To read Scoot's review of Hush, Hush go here:
Hush, Hush: Hush, Hush 1

Book-to-Movie Ramble

I just watched the new Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows trailer and after having a random *superexcitedsqueelingfangirl* moment I started thinking about books.  Specifically books that were adapted into movies.  Did you know that "Each year an average of thirty novels are made into movies for the big screen? (source) "  I knew it was a lot, but seriously I think books provide most of our movie watching now.  Not too many original movie ideas out there anymore.  Most of the time I get super excited when a book I love is being made into a movie.  However, the movies are often a disappointment.  Straying from the plot, cheap special effects, and bad acting often kill a good book adaption. Below are some movies that, while not always sticking straight to the plot, I feel still hit the mark. As well as a few movies that totally missed the mark!

Movies that hit the mark:

Harry Potter
 They don't always keep in line with the books, usually leaving things out rather than adding new things in. But I still love them. Luckily Warner Bros. has a HUGE budget and can make the effects great.  Needless to say, I get super hyped about the next Harry Potter movie coming out and will be sad when they end. *wishingonastarforjkrowlingtowritemoreHPbooks*

The Blind Side
I loved this movie. I am going to be honest and say that I have not actually read the book yet. But who cares if they followed the book on this one; it was just great! A well deserved best actress oscar win for Sandra Bullock. A must see and now a must read.

Pride & Prejudice
So many different versions of this movie exist, but I personally love the recent one starring Kiera Knightley.  I know it is choppy and fast, but I love the cinemetography and the emotions.  Jane Austen makes me smile.

A Walk to Remember/The Notebook/Basically any Nicholas Sparks movie
In the world of chick-flick movies I think Nicholas Sparks can basically do no wrong.  His modern-day-Greek-tragedy stories often make for an easy transition into film.  His stories already have all of the romance and angst built-in. Sparks also seems to have managed to get his films picked up by studios who do a good job filming and for the most part stick straight to the book!

Movies that missed the mark by a mile:

The Da Vinci Code
 Snore fest.  I really enjoyed the book The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, but could not seem to make it through the movie. I rarely fall asleep during a movie and yet I found myself snoring halfway through this film each time I attempted to watch it.  Way to make a fast paced/thriller-ish book into a bore-fest. I eventually gave up and honestly have never finished it.  Sad but true.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lighting Thief
I really loved the book series and was sad the movie was such a bust. They changed way too much of the plot. I am not even sure how they would continue the movies without totally straying from the original storyline. 
Bad acting and bad special effects! Boo. Luckily the effects and acting get a little better as each movie comes out ... so perhaps it was not bad acting in the first place, just bad directing? I blame it on the low budget.

The Time Travelers Wife
Such an amazing book, but this movie was like reading really bad cliff notes.  It was choppy and they made Clare out to be an angry, bitter wife. Not sure where that came from? They didn't stray too far from the plot, but it was still a big disappointment. 

 Why??!! What did they do to the plot? Ruined it.  I was so excited about this movie because I really loved the books. Boo on them for screwing it up. 

What upcoming book-to-movie are you looking forward to??

The Ghost and the Goth

Author: Stacey Kade
Genre: Young-Adult - Fantasy/Paranormal
Publication Date: June 29, 2010
Age Range: Young-Adult
Pages: 281
Date Scoot Read: September 2010
Source: Hardback Library Book

Scoot's Rating: 4- Mixed Feelings

Synopsis (via Goodreads): After a close encounter with the front end of a school bus, Alona Dare goes from Homecoming Queen to Queen of the Dead. Now she’s stuck here in spirit form with no sign of the big, bright light coming to take her away. To make matters worse, the only person who might be able to help her is Will Killian, a total loser/outcast type who hates the social elite. He alone can see and hear her, but he wants nothing to do with the former mean girl of Groundsboro High.
Can they get over their mutual distrust—and this weird attraction between them—to work together before Alona vanishes for good and Will is locked up for seeing things that don’t exist?

Scoot's Review:
I have mixed feelings on this book. The story follows Alona Dare & Will Killiam, as Alona struggles to deal with her death – and why exactly she ‘didn’t see the light’– and Will’s daily resistance of his ‘curse’. I enjoyed the alternating points of view as the chapters switched back and forth between Alona and Will. I liked the concept of a boy who interacts with ghosts and I really liked Will’s character. However, I think most of the other characters were over the top, and shallow. To me, Will was pretty much the only redeeming character in the book. I enjoyed the dialogue between Alona and Will and their slowly budding relationship, but found myself annoyed on other plot points. I found myself wishing the author had left out entire sections of the plot and had gone in a totally different direction. Not a good sign when you are re-writing the book in your head. Overall, an OK story with a lot of potential, but it failed to meet expectations.

YA content warnings/sexual content: underage drinking, drug references (implied past usage), homosexuality and references to sex.

Waiting On Wednesday (9)

Time for the"Waiting On Wednesday" weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Waiting on Wednesday spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating!
This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

by Cynthia Hand
To be Published: January 4, 2011

Description (via Goodreads): Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what it is, though, isn't easy.
Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place--and out of place, at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make--between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?
I won't have to wait too long to read this one because I am participating in an International ARC Tour and should be receiving it in a couple of weeks! I am excited.  I am on a big angel kick right now and look forward to reading another author's twist on the subject.  Watch for my review soon...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mini Challenge: Top 5 Books of 2011

Princess Bookie is currently hosting Contest Craze and she challenged us to:

Name Your Top 5 Books of 2011
Most of the books I am looking forward to in 2011 are continuations in a series.  I am always anxiously waiting for the next in a line from my favorite authors! There are soooo many books I am looking forward to in 2011 that it was very tough to choose my top five.  Today these are my top five (in no particular order) ... ask me tomorrow and you might get a different answer.

Across the Universe by Beth Rivas
Published January 11, 2011

"A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder."

This debut novel from Beth Rivas sounds very intriguing.  Spaceships, danger, and romance; what more could you ask for? I can't wait to get the chance to read it!

Where She Went By Gayle Forman
Published April 19, 2011

"It’s been three years since Adam’s love saved Mia after the accident that annihilated life as she knew it . . . and three years since Mia walked out of Adam’s life forever."

I loved If I Stay and I cannot wait for the sequel to come out.  I was surprised to hear some of what has happened in the years following the accident (via teasers) and it makes me really curious to find out why/what is going on with one of my favorite fictional couples. 

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
Published April 5, 2011

"City of Fallen Angels is the fourth book in the bestselling series The Mortal Instruments. It follows the adventures of Jace, Clary, Simon and their friends after the events of City of Glass."
Who Isn't waiting for this one? The TMI trilogy was great, and I can't wait to find out what happens next in this unexpected fourth addition! I am also looking forward to reading more about Simon since he is one of my favorite characters.

 Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

"His lips tasted cool and sharp, peppermint, winter, but his hands, soft on the back of my neck, promised long days and summer and forever." (Shiver)

I loved shiver and linger and I can't wait to read the trilogy conclusion, forever.  After linger and I am a little worried about our protagonists and hope that everything turns out ok... but with Maggie you never know what you are going to get.  Definitely a must read.

Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews
Published March 2011

"It's a reflex. Hear a bell, get food. See an undead, throw a knife. Same thing, really."  (Magic Bites)

Magic Slays in the 5th book in the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews (the picture I posted is the first in the series, Magic Bites, because they have yet to post a cover for Magic Slays).  This book series is great; filled with paranormal action and a strong female lead. I really enjoy them and I can't wait for the next one!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Shimmy on over to the Book Blogger Hop!

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly event hosted by Crazy For Books!

Book Blogger Hop
"This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books!"

This week's question is:

When you write reviews, do you write them as you are reading or wait until you have read the entire book?

When I write reviews I wait until I have read the entire book before reviewing it.  I don't think you can get an accurate review without reading the entire novel. Unless of course it is a book that I just can't finish for some reason or another, but that is pretty rare for me. Occasionally I will jot a note down while reading if something really stands out so I won't forget it come review time.  But more often than not I just plow right through the book and then sit back to reflect on it.  Sometimes I will write a review immediately after reading a book and other times I will read it and then wait a week or so to think about it before reviewing. It all depends on my mood and how much free time I have for writing.
What about you?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Take Me There

Author: Carolee Dean
Genre: Young Adult - Fiction
Publication Date: July 20, 2010
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 320
Date Scoot Read: September 2010
Source: Paperback

Scoot's Rating: 8 - Really Good!

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Sometimes sexy, sometimes sad, and always intense, Take Me There is a dark and surprising novel about a boy on the run who's headed nowhere fast.

Dylan has a bad-boy past and a criminal record. He knows that rich, beautiful Jess is way too good for him—but she has always been the one person who sees through his tough exterior and straight to his heart, and he has been hopelessly in love with her from the first time they met. He would change his life for a chance with her.

But trouble follows Dylan wherever he goes, and a deadly mistake soon forces him to hit the road and leave his dreams behind. He’s on the run and in search of answers—answers to questions he wishes he’d never asked. 

Scoot's Review:
I enjoyed this book a lot, but I will warn you that it is not all fluff and happily-ever-afters.  This story follows Dylan, a troubled teen, as he struggles to come to terms with his family history and his own past mistakes.  A lot of his mistakes are being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but he still has to live with the consequences.   The book has the feel of a ‘race against time’ that you quickly get swept right into, until the gut-wrenching climax.  It is easy to feel a connection to Dylan and you hate to watch him constantly struggle as one thing after another brings him down.  The romance element of the book was well written, but often took the back burner to the main plot line.  Dylan’s poetry included in the novel was touching and a great supportive element before each chapter. Reading this story made me want to stand up, do some research, and start a literacy movement... or at least SOME kind of movement.  I found the story touching and heartbreaking.  I would recommend this book for only older teens or adults since there are scenes of underage drinking, drug references (implied past usage), and references to sex.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Eighth Grade Bites: The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod 1

Author: Heather Brewer
Genre: Young Adult - Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
Publication Date August 16th 2007
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 182
Date Scoot Read: September 2010
Source: Paperback
Scoot's Rating: 7 - Enjoyed most of it.

Synopsis (via Goodreads)
Junior high really sucks for thirteen-year-old Vladimir Tod. Bullies harass him, the principal is dogging him, and the girl he likes prefers his best friend. Oh, and Vlad has a secret: his mother was human, but his father was a vampire. With no idea of the extent of his powers, Vlad struggles daily with his blood cravings and his enlarged fangs. When a substitute teacher begins to question him a little too closely, Vlad worries that his cover is about to be blown. But then he faces a much bigger problem: he's being hunted by a vampire killer.

Scoot's Review: 
This book was a fun twist on vampirism.  Vlad is a half-vampire/half-human going through some of the most awkward stages of life – aka – adolescence.  He has a cool best friend and guardian who know his secret, but Vlad has to keep his true self hidden from most of the world.  The story follow Vlad as he learns more of the truth about who he is, battles for his life, and attempts to survive Junior High. Starting off with a bite, this book is a good mix of adventure, sentiment, danger with just a hint of romance.   It is a quick read and pretty enjoyable.  I liked Vlad and his loyalty to friends and family, as well as his choice to be a good vampire -  even if that means he is stuck slurping on snack packs for the rest of his un-life.   A safe read I recommend this book for all ages.

Waiting On Wednesday (8)

Time for the"Waiting On Wednesday" weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Waiting on Wednesday spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating!

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

by Scott Westerfeld
To be Published: October 5, 2010

Description (via Goodreads): The behemoth is the fiercest creature in the British navy. It can swallow enemy battleships with one bite. The Darwinists will need it, now that they are at war with the Clanker powers.Deryn is a girl posing as a boy in the British Air Service, and Alek is the heir to an empire posing as a commoner. Finally together aboard the airship Leviathan, they hope to bring the war to a halt. But when disaster strikes the Leviathan's peacekeeping mission, they find themselves alone and hunted in enemy territory.
Alek and Deryn will need great skill, new allies, and brave hearts to face what's ahead.

I have been waiting a year for this book and it is almost time for it to be released. Wahoo! 
If you have not read Leviathan yet, I highly recommend it! I *heart* steampunk.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Contest Craze: Hosted by Princess Bookie

Princess Bookie will be hosting a Contest Craze! The Contest Craze starts September 27th and will last for two weeks ending on October 9th. Each day there will be a special contest or a little mini challenge to participate and win!! Go check it out if you are interested! 

In My Mailbox (8)

Time for the weekly 'IMM' meme hosted by The Story Siren.

This week In My Mailbox I have more library books (of course; that is where the majority of my books come from), one book purchase and some swag!  I didn't get a single bit of reading done this weekend with a football game, birthday parties and school work. Hopefully I will find time this week to get some of this tempting reading done! 

Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel
Source: Public Library

The Boy Who Could Fly by James Norcliffe
Source: Public Library

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Source: Public Library

Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer
Source: Purchased

I also won Take Me There swag recently and it just arrived! Wahoo!

What's in your mailbox?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Bust a move! Its time for the Book Blogger Hop!

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly event hosted by Crazy For Books!

Book Blogger Hop
"This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books!"

This week's question is:

Tell who your favorite book bloggers are and why.

This is a tough one... there are so many great bloggers out there! I have blogged about a few of the bloggers I enjoy following already this week, so below are a few I have not had the chance to highlight yet. 

Id So Rather Be Reading

The Nerd's Wife


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