Thursday, May 31, 2012

May TBR Challenge: Mayday Disasters

And by Mayday Disasters, I'm talking about book cover disasters.

Christa from Hooked on Books challenged us to find some horrible book covers and post them. Talk about what we don't like and what we would change.

I'm a shameless cover judger, so this challenge comes easily to me. When I see a book, I want the cover to give me a little hint at what the book is about or the overall tone of the book. Like if a I see a fierce looking chick holding a bow, I want to hear about a fierce chick who is skilled in archery.

So here it goes...

 The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
I'm not a big fan of the empty space on this book - I get that the dude is a wallflower, but how about instead of putting the picture in the just made that fit the whole cover and not have that ugly puke green color be the main attraction.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower

In the Arms of Stone Angels by Jordan Dane
I really don't like the contrast of pink with grey on this cover - it seems juvenile. Plus the wings just look a little lame. Overall, it just looks like the person who made the cover did this in 5 minutes flat.
In the Arms of Stone Angels

Delirium by Lauren Oliver -and- The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe
I absolutely despise solid color with the picture in block letters. I don't really know why. I just DON'T like it. It drives me bonkers. I have an alternate cover on my copy of Delirium and it is much better. The alternate cover of The Way We Fall is better too.
 Delirium (Delirium, #1)The Way We Fall (Fallen World, #1)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Still Alice [Review]

234 pages [Kindle]
Published 7 July 2007

Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty years old, she's a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she becomes increasingly disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life - and her relationship with her family and world - forever.

My Thoughts:
Overall, I think this is a must-read. It's a very heartbreaking story and it's told from the viewpoint of the person suffering from Alzheimer's. You really get a grip on how it affects the person suffering from the disease, instead of just a loved one or friend seeing it from the outside.

My opinions on the characters:

Alice: I had a bit of trouble connecting with her as a mom at first. She is very against Lydia's acting career, whereas John is very for it. She seems very consumed with her career. When she thinks about her daughter, Anna, having kids, she thinks of how it will screw up her career. Later she talks about how her colleagues are like a family to her. It seems like a combination of lack of family and passion for her work that leads her to this way of thinking.

John: He really annoyed me for most of the book. Genova wrote a lot about him messing with his wedding band. I honestly was surprised he stuck around - I thought for sure he would duck out. He was in denial and I think that is a normal response, but the lack of support was frustrating. Like Alice said, "I have Alzheimer's Disease. What's your fucking excuse?"

Anna: I was frustrated with her at first too. She seems very childish and self-absorbed until she becomes a mom herself. When her mother first reveals she has Alzheimer's and she had a 50% chance of also getting it, she immediately thought of herself. But once the twins came, she did a lot of taking care of her mom and seemed like a really solid backbone, unlike her father.

Lydia: She was the first to notice the signs, maybe even before Alice did herself. Once the Alzheimer's really started to deteriorate what made Alice "Alice" - Lydia really stepped up. She helped her mom remember, she engaged her mom in conversations and complimented her skills that Alice didn't even know she had, Lydia really was the strongest source of support for Alice and helped her to cope with the disease.

As for the story:

I was really irritated with John. He seemed to want to learn how to fix Alice and not accept that there was no solution. He didn't go to support groups. He didn't give her moral support. He was very selfish. He led on that he knew about "Butterfly" towards the end and I think he knew what she was doing in her room that day. I wonder if he stopped it and why he would do that, if he was so against doing anything that would benefit her. Other people were so much more supportive, like Dan for example. When she went to his commencement, he gave her this huge meaningful thank you and then gave her an envelope with it written down so she could read it whenever she wanted to.

Previous Review:
Delirium by Lauren Oliver {here}

Clamhouse Book Club Pick for May 

[Counts toward my TBR Pile challenge: here]

Linked up at...

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Delirium [Review]

470 pages [Paperback]
First published 1 Feb 2011 by HarperCollins
ISBN: 0061726834

THEY SAY that the cure for Love
will make me happy and safe
And I've always believe them.
Until now.

Now everything has changed.
Now, I'd rather be infected
with love for the tiniest
sliver of a second than
live a hundred years
smothered by a lie.

My Thoughts:
Delirium ranks really high on my books read this year, right up there with Divergent and Insurgent. Oliver is a brilliant author. Her writing style is beautiful and flows so smoothly!

In Delirium, we are taken to a futuristic United States, specifically Portland, Maine. Love has been identified as a disease and scientists have developed a cure, a cure that all people must get at 18. The administering of the cure is done by removing part of the brain. You take an evaluation, are rated, and then your life is planned out for you - what your career will be, who you will marry, how many kids you will have, etc.

The main character, Lena Haloway, is counting down the days until she can be cured. She is terrified of the disease, as many are. Her mother committed suicide when she was 6 because of her disease. Lena lives with her aunt Carol, uncle William, and cousins, Penny and Grace. Her evaluation day comes and she has rehearsed her answers, but when she is in the evaluation room, she chokes. Lucky for Lena, the Invalids of the Wilds (people who are not cured and live outside the fenced city) release a stampede of cows in the building. One of the Invalids is on the observation deck and winks at Lena. And so starts the cautionary tale...

Oliver spared no details when it came to the new cured US society. She includes excerpts from the Book of Shhh (The Safety, Health, and Happiness Handbook) and various other books, mandates, laws, even outlawed quotes, verses, etc. She weaved a very intricate storyline and it was easy for me to get sucked in.

Most of the time, I find myself hating the whiny, weak female protagonists. However, Lena only seems mildly whiny and weak on the outside. Really, she is brave. It's very understandable in the society she was born in to, that she would fear amor deliria nervosa (love) and want to do what society has told her she needs to do.

I feel like Lena's relationship with her best friend, Hana, is very realistic and I really love Hana. I know there is a short story about her that I want to get my hands on. Alex is such an interesting male lead. I'm definitely ready to see where Pandemonium goes with him! I also cannot wait for more on Grace, who is mute for much of her life and is "resisting" in her own way.

Previous Review:
City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare {here}

[Counts toward my TBR Pile challenge: here]

Linked up at...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

City of Lost Souls [Review]

534 pages [Kindle]
Published 8 May 2012 by Margaret K. McElderry
ASIN: B005O315ZW

The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace has been freed from her captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive to rescue him, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing–but so is the boy she hates, Sebastian, the son of her father Valentine: a son determined to succeed where their father failed, and bring the Shadowhunters to their knees.

No magic the Clave can summon can locate either boy, but Jace cannot stay away—not from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror Lilith’s dying magic has wrought—Jace is no longer the boy she loved. He and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become what he most feared: a true servant of Valentine’s evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. Will the Shadowhunters hesitate to kill one of their own?

Only a small band of Clary and Jace’s friends and family believe that Jace can still be saved — and that the fate of the Shadowhunters’ future may hinge on that salvation. They must defy the Clave and strike out on their own. Alec, Magnus, Simon and Isabelle must work together to save Jace: bargaining with the sinister Faerie Queen, contemplating deals with demons, and turning at last to the Iron Sisters, the reclusive and merciless weapons makers for the Shadowhunters, who tell them that no weapon on this earth can sever the bond between Sebastian and Jace. Their only chance of cutting Jace free is to challenge Heaven and Hell — a risk that could claim any, or all, of their lives.

And they must do it without Clary. For Clary has gone into the heart of darkness, to play a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing the game is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she even still trust him? Or is he truly lost? What price is too high to pay, even for love?

Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.

My Thoughts:
Let me just start out by saying...City of Fallen Angels wasn't too bad, but reading this made me solidly decide to not pick up any more Clare books.

The action doesn't really start until over halfway through the book. Once the action happened, it was quickly over and completely anti-climatic. Clare brought back some lovely incest moments that made me squirm.

After noticing a few annoying habits, I couldn't really focus on much else or fully enjoy the "story" (the main characters being in relationships happenings).

1) Talking about people tasting blood. In 3 chapters, it was mentioned over 8 times.
2) Anything mildly sexual included someone's fingers slipping in someone else's waistband.
3) Lots of heart pounding
4) Lots of rock hard, smooth stomachs

It hurt my brain to read the same stuff over and over again.

It also hurt my brain to read words I didn't know. Luckily, my Kindle has a dictionary built in and defines words so I could see that they didn't even make sense in the context of the sentence they were used in.

I went into these books with high hopes, thinking I would adore them. But after reading the 5th, I can just say that they annoyed me and I feel like I wasted my time. :(

Previous Review:
City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare {here}

Linked up at...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday #8


Today's theme is Top Ten Blogs/Sites You Visit that Aren't Book-Related
As you all probably know, I'm a food blogger {see here}. So I have an abundancy of favorite food blogs, so I'll share my most, most favorites:

I also love to laugh, so these funny sites I am always visiting!
My other favorite sites:
Cafemom - more specifically The Clamhouse
Pinterest {find me here!}
Twitter {you can follow the derp}