One Minute Book Review: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

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Summary:

There are no surprises in Gatlin County for Ethan Wate until Lena Duchannes blows into town. The niece of the town recluse, Ethan is immediately drawn to her because she is different, and soon finds out that there is more that is different to her than her sense of style. Lena is something called a Caster and on her sixteenth birthday she will find out if she is to be good or evil. In another race against time story, they’re trying to see if there is a way around what she will be, so she and Ethan can be together.

What I Liked About It:

  • Set in the south!
  • A book written by females with a lead male character that I cared about.
  • Unique take on the supernatural world (or at least one I haven’t seen).
  • I felt like this accurately described the south. I’m familiar with the area they’re talking about, and I particularly loved that they seemed to get the accent right, if that’s possible in a book

What I Didn’t Like About it:

  • It assumed too much about the reader, especially their knowledge of the south.
  • It left a very obvious cliffhanger for the next volume. It was clear they were setting up for the next book, and that there would be a next book.

The Verdict:

I loved it and would definitely recommend it! I’m kind of scared to watch the movie now, because I’m not sure it would live up to the book. It got into things quickly, it got interesting fast, and the characters and story were equally interesting.

One Minute Book Review: Impossible by Nancy Werlin

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Summary:

This book is about a girl who is the latest generation in a long line of young women who are subject to a curse cast on their family long ago. Based on the song, Scarborough fair, the book is about how this particular girl has to fight against time to complete three impossible tasks before the curse continues on to the next generation.

What I Liked About It:

  • The working in of the song Scarborough Fair, that was different.
  • The writing itself.
  • The supernatural story line.

What I Didn’t Like About It:

  • There was too much story for the book. I felt that the story itself was rushed.
  • You could have split this up into a trilogy. This goes back to too much story for the book. With there being three impossible tasks it would have made an excellent trilogy.
  • The writer kept telling us what had already happened, causing it to seem that the people in the book were frightfully understanding, when maybe they weren’t, we’d just already passed that critical moment.

The Verdict:

This is not a book for those who lack patience with writers. The premise is interesting, and if you have plenty of time, and just want something to read and aren’t easily frustrated, you’ll like it. I think you’ll also like it if you’re more mature. however, the young adult crowd will probably lose patience with this and quickly. And I’m not going to say they’re wrong. All in all, I liked it, but I’m not sure that I would recommend it.

A Word About My Book Reviews. . .

So, by now you’ve noticed that I posted a book review, and this is my plan for Fridays (I mean, I do call myself the Book Chick after all). . . If you notice though, they’re very quick book reviews, kind of what I call my One Minute Book Review. . . The reason for these is that I like short book reviews. I don’t want to read a book to find out what someone thought of a book, so I write short book reviews. I tell you what it’s about (from memory, so I’m sorry if those summaries fall short sometimes), what I liked and didn’t like, and what my final verdict is. As things progress I’ll probably attempt to link everything together (meaning my GoodReads and trying to do Youtube videos), but right now it’s just this blog, and I think that’s okay. . .

 

One Minute Book Review: Matched by Ally Condie

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Summary:

Cassia has always tried to live just by the rules of the Society, and be what she is expected to be. Until she sees another boy’s face on the screen when she’s Matched. Curious, she comes to know this boy, and starts to wonder that the Society’s choices for her aren’t the right ones. What would life be like if she could choose what she wanted to do, what she wanted to be? Who she wanted to love?

What I Liked About It:

  • It didn’t assume the reader knew things about this strange world.
  • It also didn’t explain every excruciating detail.
  • Characters were reasonably interesting.

What I Didn’t Like About It:

  • The world seemed populated by about five people.
  • The surrounding characters were more interesting than the main characters.
  • This story lingered too long on things that weren’t as interesting, while glossing through what I felt were more interesting parts.

The Verdict:

I liked it. Not so much that I would recommend it above some other books, but enough to not regret it.

I May Have Overdosed on Doctor Who. . .

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If you don’t know, this episode is happening this weekend. Saturday to be exact, at 8pm on BBC America. Yeah, that was a plug. Not because I’m getting paid or anything, but because I am SO FREAKING EXCITED for this episode to happen! I have been trying to figure out Clara’s mystery since her second incarnation in The Snowmen died. It’s led to a lot of time being wasted on blogs and forums, reading theories about who she might be. I’m not going to talk theories, because honestly I haven’t come up with one – or seen one – that sounds about right.

I’m the kind of person that loves spoilers. A lot of people feel like spoilers, well, spoil things. Not me. I’m the kind of person who would habitually read the endings of books, and then get even more excited to read the book, because I wanted to see how the author was going to get me to that ending. And of course, I’ve been looking for spoilers. But apparently there was a huge booboo. BBC America sent out the blu-rays for Series 7 part 2 (series = season in the UK) and so a lot of people got to go ahead and watch The Name of the Doctor. . . And so Steven Moffat and co. said if people could keep things quiet they would give the world a clip from the 50th anniversary. And apparently everyone is listening and being very nice. Which is nice (I like to see people doing the right thing) but it also means that my need for spoilers is simply not being indulged! I need my spoilers!

Instead, I’ve been reading even more fan theories about who Clara is. Lots of theories. And watching trailers for The Name of the Doctor is slow motion. Very slow motion. . .

I may have overdosed. . .

I’m not a person who dreams about television shows a whole lot. In fact, I never dream about television shows. I mean, most of my dreams are action packed enough, but usually it’s all plots and characters dreamed up in my own imagination. So I was surprised, last night, to actually have a dream that involved Doctor Who. And not even 9,10, or 11, which I would say are the Doctors I am most familiar with. . . But I dreamt about the third doctor. . . I’m not even that fond of the third Doctor, I find him extremely grumpy. . .

I may need to lay off the Doctor Who for a while. . .

AFTER Saturday.

The Day I Just Couldn’t Take It Anymore. . .

I’d been an avid social media user since I discovered it in 2009. Facebook was an absolute savior for me, living in a rural area, with few friends who were married, let alone had kids like me. As soon as I discovered it I was smitten.

It doesn’t take long to get heavily involved in social media, and before you know it, 10-15 minutes of time that was supposed to be spent online turns into hours of doing nothing but staring at other people’s statuses, writing your own, looking at photos of other people’s lives. For some reason I considered this a release, and while I wasn’t hardcore addicted to social media yet, I did find myself spending more time than I should on it. Particularly Facebook.

And for a long time I enjoyed it. I played all the games, watched as my life became absolutely absorbed in a world that really had little to do with the real world. A world where people said what they wanted, and didn’t care. It was all good, most of the statuses were harmless, who cared? I loved it. It was a way for me to socialize without leaving my home, and the only time I really tore myself away was to care for my – at the time – two year old, and clean up the house. And cook. Facebook couldn’t overtake cooking.

Then we moved to a smaller house and we pared down to one car. Facebook became a lifeline, the only way to remind myself that there was a world out there beyond the confines of our small house. Everyone seemed to be on all the time, there was always something to talk about, always something to talk with.

And then, last year, something changed. With some hot button political issues things got nasty. People continued saying whatever they wanted, but what they were saying was offensive, and if someone had an opinion that differed they would mercilessly tear into a person. People who had been friends for years, family members, started unfriending each other because of abstract beliefs they had always held. But for some reason, this was emotionally charged, and nasty, and incredibly hurtful. For the first time since I had first ventured onto Facebook, I became frustrated and upset, and had to take a break. For six weeks I did not get onto Facebook, and removed the app from my phone.

And six weeks later, it seemed that people had calmed down.

Except. . .

Except.

Except it seemed that now people were still saying what they wanted to say, no matter what it was about. Some people had decided it was okay if people disagreed with their opinion, and some people were still absolutely not okay with it. But the undercurrent was obvious. . . the hostility remained. A war had happened on Facebook, everyone was a casualty, and a permanent depersonalization had occurred. Somewhere along the line, people stopped believing that there was another person behind the words appearing on Facebook.

I decided to try and be mostly positive, to put up words of wisdom that I thought would be most topical, but mostly haunting George Takei and Doctor Who fan pages. And chatting with my friends, the original reason why I started with Facebook in the first place.

Things hummed along, although a current of tension ran underneath. I’ve watched people say what they want in a public forum, blatantly racist things, things that are inappropriate and should never come from an adult’s mouth. And I’ve watched it translate to happening in person.

I have been stopped in the middle of what I’ve had to say, I’ve been interrupted so people can answer a text message, I have watched people tear down others and expect them not to care.

And I can’t take it anymore.

I just can’t.

Who does this? Who as an adult cannot follow the most common manners, the most common netiquette? It used to be called “flaming”, and it used to get you kicked off message boards, and from Yahoo!Groups. . .

What does any of that have to do with this blog?

My voice may not have a lot of weight. And I’m certain I’m not as interesting as I could be. There are far more interesting bloggers out there, more shocking, funnier. . .

But there’s one thing I know I have: my own outlook.

I believe in kindness, I believe that there is a line between appropriate and inappropriate, and I believe in being compassionate and decreasing the suffering of others. I still believe in happiness, and not the malaise that everyone seems to be content with. I’ve dealt with a lot in life, more than people would expect from me, and I still remain a nice person.

Maybe, just maybe, there are others who still believe in the same things. And maybe we can express our opinions in a nice way. . . I have opinions, strong ones, but I don’t believe I have to put anyone down to argue mine. . .

And I like stuff. Stick around, we may just get along, you and I. . .