Monday, July 9, 2012

Recommend A...

"Recommend A..." is a weekly meme, posted every Monday, hosted over on Chick Loves Lit. It's a quick, fun and unique way to recommend a book that you love!

Recommend A...Book Published in 2010!!

My Choice this week is Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

“R is a zombie. He has no name, no memories, and no pulse, but he has dreams. He is a little different from his fellow dead.” There will be no blood sucking vampires or mysterious werewolves, instead there is a main character who eats brains! Brains, because, you know, HE IS A ZOMBIE! As you get further into the story you find that R is a different kind of zombie (are you a good witch, or a bad witch?) and he becomes one of the most lovable characters I have ever met. Isaac Marion is a brilliant author and he is pretty hilarious, you can find him on Twitter, or on his blog, Burning Building.

You're nice to croodle wi': Outlander Week Four

Outlander Read-a-long
Week Four: Chapters 16-28

Not sure what this is all about? Here’s the deal…

The read-a-long is going to go from June 11th to July 23rd on Mondays and more information can be found here.

Whewww these chapters were LONG this week and I feel like SO much happened! Not that I am complaining, I enjoyed most of them and they certainly gave me a lot to think about! I love the introductions of the new characters and I fell in love with Ian Murray, Jenny and Grannie MacNab almost instantly.

1. How do you feel about Claire disobeying Jamie and the resulting punishment he brings forth on her for this? Do you feel that Jamie's punishment was justified by the fact that everyone was put in danger by Claire's actions? Finally, did Jamie's vow with Claire's dagger do anything to sway your thoughts or change your mind on how you initially feel/felt about his punishment? 

I read ahead last week and my first thought upon reading the part where he "punishes" her was conflicted. Part of me was like "THAT'S RIGHT WOMAN, MAYBE NOW YOU'LL STOP BEING SO DAMN STUPID!!" Upon further thought (and re-reading) I have to say that overall I don't agree with the beating as punishment. I actually think that it might have worked to a point with Claire but the fact that Jamie "lost his temper" and beat her A LOT is not okay. That being said I do have to mention that I can count on one hand how many times I was beaten with my dad's belt, I can also tell you exactly what I did and that I never, ever pulled any of those stunts again. So again, you can see, I am conflicted with my answer. For the sake of the story, I agree with what happened and I can see that it is fitting to the times, however, it is not something I can condone. 

Jamie's vow at the end of this section proved to me that he knew that he did wrong and being that he doesn't ever go back on a vow means he won't do it again. I believe I can forgive him but as I stated before it is a little unsettling that he lost his temper in such a way.

2. Just for fun, what was your reaction to the suspicious black spot Claire spotted on the floor near the area where Jamie was sleeping? Did you have any theories to what it might have been before it was revealed to be a _____? 

Honestly, I just kept thinking "Can you kill the damn bug, Claire?!"

3. With regard to the 'changeling' baby Claire and Geilie spotted in the wild - if it were you back then and you happened upon a changeling baby in the wild in a circumstance such as this, do you think you'd have reacted most like Claire or Geilie? Explain.

Okay, I read A LOT. My favorite author is Juliet Marillier and celtic lore is one of my favorite things. Therefore, as soon as Claire was all "Geilie, there's a baby!" I was thinking, "Don't do it!" and of course, SHE DID. I am a compassionate human and of course there would be a part of me that would wonder about this poor baby being left alone. However, the other parts of me would be taking in the whole picture here, including the time in which I am currently living. Therefore, I think I would have walked the other way as soon as I saw what was going down. I can tell you that I am ONE HUNDRED PERCENT positive that once Geilie explained the situation to me I would not have argued and gone BACK! This is the kind of stuff that makes me utterly loathe Claire. She is written as this strong and intelligent character and she is utterly ignorant and juvenile. I really barely even felt bad for her when she was being tried as a witch because she is so STUPID! I wouldn't trust Laoghaire further than I could throw her AND Jamie told her to stay AWAY from Geilie. She deserved the whole thing.

4. Share your thoughts on Geilie Duncan. Is there anything that surprised you about her story or were you suspicious of her from the beginning?

I was a tiny bit suspicious of her from the beginning, she had this side to her that seemed not so nice and at dinner when Claire asked if his stomach was better and she was all casual about it I was like "Yeah, she's definitely poisoning him." I do have to say that I was extremely surprised by the mark on her from the smallpox vaccine. I actually can't really stop thinking about who she is and where she came from which is pretty marvelous because really this book has yet to blow me away. I was also pretty surprised at the whole twist with Dougal, THAT I did not see coming!

5. Your thoughts on Jamie's LAST REASON for wanting to marry Claire - the one he had been so secretive about. GO!

Jamie is nearly the only redeeming quality for me at this point and I love, love, LOVED this moment between Claire and Jamie. I loved that she was surprised by his affections and I love that he managed to tell her how much he loves her while still being a little bit of a jackass. I have a soft spot for this sort of affection as my boyfriend told me he fell in love with me the moment we met. Funny, all I remember is asking him why the f he kept staring at me like he'd never seen a woman before :D

But I digress, this scene was entirely endearing and as mentioned, Jenny is one of my favorite characters. I fell in love with her at this moment:

Returning to pick up her embroidery basket, Jenny sailed in at this point and stood eyeing her brother with some amusement. "And what are you up to, young Jamie me lad? she inquired, one eyebrow up.
"I'm makin' love to my wife," he panted, breathless between giggling and fighting.
"Well, ye could find a more suitable place for it," she said, raising the other eyebrow. "That floor'll give ye splinters in your arse."

This whole scene kind of redeemed Claire for me and made me see that both Jamie and Claire have flaws (one maybe more than the other) but they compliment one another and that there really is love between them.

Monday, July 2, 2012

"Dangerous thing, infatuation." Outlander: Week Three

Outlander Read-a-long
Week Three: Chapters 15-21

Not sure what this is all about? Here’s the deal…

The read-a-long is going to go from June 11th to July 23rd on Mondays and more information can be found here.

I am still really enjoying this book though I don't think it will be one of my favorites I can still appreciate it as a romantic distraction. I was beginning to like Claire a bit more and after this chapter when she saves herself (you go girl!) I had convinced myself she was high on my kick ass female character list. HOWEVER, as the chapters went on I started to seriously dislike her AGAIN and I really don't know if there is any going back. The part in which the men teach her to fight was one of my favorite parts of the story thus far and as always Jamie still makes me swoon all over the place.

1) We FINALLY get to the scene we've all been waiting for. You know what I'm talking about--yay sexytimes! What were your impressions? Was it what you were expecting? Or did you want more? 

Ohh this chapter was all that I had wanted and more! I just LOVE how sweet Jamie is and when he tells Claire, "I said I was a virgin, not a monk, if I find I need guidance, I'll ask." I just about died. I think it was just the right amount of descriptions and so forth. I read a lot of adult books that go into DETAIL and even though sometimes I appreciate it, it's nice to have a bit of  a balance.

2) I know that some readers thus far have been bothered by the fact of Claire being married to Frank but still being involved with Jamie, despite the different time periods. Does their time as newlyweds change anyone's opinion of that? If not, now what are you thinking of the situation?  

Frank is totally out of my head at this point. I absolutely adore the way this romance is blossoming between the two and it seems very realistic to me. Claire and Jamie didn't fall head over heels at once and decide to get married. They got married out of necessity and Claire talks in length about infatuation and this was one of my favorite parts from the chapters this week. I can appreciate their romance and really enjoy that they are growing to trust one another and I have no doubt that this infatuation will inevitably turn into love.

3) What did you think about the "waterhorse" that Claire saw? Why do you think Peter was so spooked? And what do you think this means for Claire? 

I LOVED the story of the waterhorse but when Claire was going up to the water I kind of saw it coming and rolled my eyes a bit. I think that being that it is a legend even in this time Peter probably thought Claire was  somehow connected to the waterhorse or perhaps the lovely wife. Regardless, he seems afraid of her which I believe shows that in his mind she has some connection with either the legendary beast or some form of witchcraft. Methinks I see some foreshadowing happening...

4) If you were Claire and you were knowingly in the vicinity of the stones, would you have done the same thing she did?  

I really don't think that I would. First of all, I think she is happier here than she ever was with Frank so why even try to leave? Second, the woman CONTINUOUSLY comes this close to being raped because she is a woman (weak in their eyes) and can't control herself. Okay so you have a dirk that you now know how to use, can you use that against an army? I don't think so, Claire. Finally, I have no doubt that Jamie would take her to this place, she doesn't even need to explain the situation just ask to go there and I bet he would bring her because it is clear that he just wants to make her happy! He is in this for the long haul and he is honorable and therefore will live up to his vows. This part of the story really made me dislike Claire right after I was starting to like her again! I am a very outspoken woman as well but seriously, learn from your mistakes.

5) What do you think about Captain Randall? How do you think the family resemblance between him and Frank affects Claire and particularly her relationship with Jamie? 

I HATE CAPTAIN RANDALL!! I like Claire's bravery at first but then it just seemed rather foolish to me considering how much power he holds over her. I believe I would be unnerved if this man, who could be my husband's twin, was acting the way Randall did but I like to think I'd keep my head in the game and just handle the situation as it presented itself. I don't really see how Randall's likeness to Frank affects Claire and Jamie's relationship and besides a few thoughts it seems Claire knows that Randall and Frank are two separate people. This whole episode annoyed me in a few ways, you were in the room by yourself so explain why you took the time to ruin the Captain's things instead of, oh I don't know, GETTING THE DIRK OUT OF YOUR SKIRT?! It's really juvenile how she acts here and THANK GOD Jamie rode in at the right moment to save the day! I totally see this ending in a showdown where Jamie kills Randall and therefore, Frank in the future. YAH!

It’s not too late to sign up for the Outlander read-along! Check out my post to find out what its all about and to learn more about the upcoming schedule!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Recommend A...

"Recommend A..." is a weekly meme, posted every Monday, hosted over on Chick Loves Lit. It's a quick, fun and unique way to recommend a book that you love!
Recommend A...Book You Thought Was Funny!!

My choice for this week is A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

I was going to go with Chelsea Handler’s My Horizontal Life, but that is not really appropriate for a blog that focuses mainly on young adult literature (adult readers: go read this, its HILARIOUS) so instead I went with one of my favorites. I loved this book. The narration style was hilarious with some aside statements made to both parents and children as well as to the characters in the story. Gidwitz is writing a companion novel, set to debut this fall and I am so excited!!

Swoons Galore! Outlander: Week Two

Outlander Read-a-long
Week one: Chapters 8-14

Not sure what this is all about? Here’s the deal…

The read-a-long is going to go from June 11th to July 23rd on Mondays and more information can be found here.

Last week I mentioned that I was thrilled that Outlander was living up to my expectations and that I was happy at how engaged I was while reading the story. After this week’s reading I have to say that I am LOVING this book and I want to hug those lovely bloggers who started this read along. I actually had to stop myself from reading ahead this week (I might have cheated a little) and I cannot wait to see what happens next. The characters being introduced are becoming fleshed out and interesting and I actually felt real rage upon Claire and Randall’s second meeting. I LOVE WHEN BOOKS MAKE ME FEEL FEELINGS!!
1.  Claire has been given the task of healer at the castle. She must adapt her nursing skills for the time and learn what herbs and etc will cure each particular ailment that is presented to her. Do you have any home remedies that were passed down to you (cure for a cold, bee sting or what have you)?
My family comes from Germany, I am nearly 100% German – except for that little blip on my family tree I talked about last week- so we have some very interesting cures for ailments. I’m not going to get into details but my gram used herbs for hot flashes, and beer, liquor, garlic and honey to cure everything else. There have been some stories about urine being healthy for you, I have heard both on wounds and also by ingesting it. My gram is a tad facetious at times so I take this one with a grain of salt! (see what I did there? :P)
2. What do you think would be the biggest challenge of living in the past? (Clothing, hygiene, food, etiquette or etc.)
Most DEFINITELY hygiene. They say that Henry VIII only bathed when he was born and when his attendants got him ready for his funeral. Uhhh WHAT?! Knowing his “escapades” throughout his life I am appalled that the guy didn’t bathe obsessively. How did he gain so many wives/mistresses? I get that he’s the king but c’mon ladies, have some standards! But I digress…back to the main point, I would need to bathe. My hair would need to be washed on AT LEAST a weekly basis over here and I would have to be smelling nice. I think I would love the clothing, the food wouldn’t bother me and I like to think I am a quick learner so with the exception of being the “lesser sex” I could adapt to the etiquette as well.
3. Do you have a favorite character, scene or quote so far? If so, share it with us.
I am liking Claire significantly more and more as each chapter progresses. I was appalled at the second meeting between Claire and Randall and when she was all "your wig is crooked." I about died but I also wanted to reach through the book and slap him around a bit! RAGE! I also really like Dougal, but let’s be serious, Jamie is obviously my favorite character. One of the parts that had me melted into a puddle is when they are actually getting married and both Claire and Jamie are acting as a sort of support for the other. "Bear up, lass, It's not long now. Say the words after me." I was all "awwwww" and such. I loved the whole wedding scene, DG definitely painted a nice picture of Jamie all dolled up and when he gave Claire the pearls that belonged to his mother I swooned a little. I also have some favorite lines from chapter 15 (Don’t you judge me for reading ahead!) but I won’t post them here because that is for next week!
4. What did you think about the addition of the blood bond in the wedding ceremony? Is this something you would do with the one you love?
I liked it in relation to the story and I think that it will definitely heighten their “bond” throughout the series but it is not something I would enjoy doing. I can’t help but think of the germs but maybe I’m just not romantic enough!
5. Are you reading along closely with the scheduled chapters or are you ahead or behind?
I am being such a good little reader and staying close to our schedule! I do have to admit though, I saw some read along friends who were all talking about “kilt dangling” in chapter 15 and I immediately picked up my book and read chapters 8-15 and OH. EM. GEE. I am so glad that I did. The good stuff? IT’S ALL THERE! We will talk about that next week so I won’t get into it here but it was totally everything I had hoped it would be.

It’s not too late to sign up for the Outlander read-along! Check out my post to find out what its all about and to learn more about the upcoming schedule!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 

Adam Gidwitz
September 2012

More Grimm tales await in the harrowing, hilarious companion to a beloved new classic

Take caution ahead—
Oversize plant life, eerie amphibious royalty, and fear-inducing creatures abound.

Lest you enter with dread.
Follow Jack and Jill as they enter startling new landscapes that may (or may not) be scary, bloody, terrifying, and altogether true.

Step lively, dear reader . . .
Happily ever after isn’t cutting it anymore.

In this companion novel to Adam Gidwitz’s widely acclaimed, award-winning debut, A Tale Dark & Grimm, Jack and Jill explore a new set of tales from the Brothers Grimm and others, including Jack and the Beanstalk and The Frog Prince.

Words can't express how excited I am for this one!! Before BEA I didn't even know that Adam Gidwitz was writing a sequel to one of my favorite books, A Tale Dark and Grimm, but he did and I can't wait to get my hands on it!!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Books On My Summer TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish which I adore and therefore chose to adopt into my weekly blog posts!

Waking Storms – Sarah Porter: "Can Luce fulfill her rightful role as queen of the mermaids without sacrificing her forbidden romance with Dorian?"

Throne of Glass – Sarah Maas: "After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin."

Girl of Nightmares – Kendare Blake: "Cas doesn’t know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn’t deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it’s time for him to return the favor."

Dark Companion – Marta Acosta: "Jane discovers one secret about Birch Grove, which only leads to more mysteries. What is she willing to sacrifice in order to stay at this school...and be bound to Birch Grove forever?"

House of Shadows – Rachel Neumeier: "Orphaned, two sisters are left to find their own fortunes."

Something Strange and Deadly – Susan Dennard: "The year is 1876, and there’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…"

The Treachery of Beautiful Things – Ruth Frances Long: "Jenny struggles to navigate a faerie world where stunning beauty masks some of the most treacherous evils, and she's faced with a choice between salvation or sacrifice--and not just her own."

Splendors and Glooms – Laura Amy Schlitz: "Newbery Medal winner Laura Amy Schlitz’s Victorian gothic is a rich banquet of dark comedy, scorching magic, and the brilliant and bewitching storytelling that is her trademark."

Defiance – C.J. Redwine: "While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword."

The Ghost of Graylock – Dan Poblocki: "What dark secrets haunt this abandoned asylum?"

What's on your Top Ten Tuesday this week?