Friday, July 27, 2012

Freebee Friday!

On the road with my sis to Seattle, so enjoy Tap Tronics newest video while I'm away!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Break it down now!

Opening routine: Was very good, loved how it came across on the TV as black and white and all the dancing was pretty good, but for some reason, I didn't really connect with it.

Guest judge: Christina Applegate (Glad she's back)  Tiffany & George: NappyTabs – Adventures in babysitting. Tiffany hits it and brings it in this routine. George is dang impressive, too, but Tiffany stole the show for me. Is it just me, or are the routines this season longer? (What is with all of Mary's sparkles? The butterfly rings, dangling earrings, bracelet and shoulders? A little too much).
Amber & Brandon with a jazz routine by Ray Leeper: Amber did good and was hot, and I was a little disappointed with Brandon's part. I didn't feel that they really gave him much dancing to do, just running around and lifts. I wanted to see him really break out into a different dance style and shine since he's a stepper.
Janelle & Dareian and the cha-cha by Pasha: They are perfect for each other in this dance. I couldn't even tell that this wasn't their normal routine. I noticed her legs could be together a little more, but they were there for each other on all the connections. A little rough, but they were entertaining. Even he was interesting. Wow, my opinion was the exact opposite of Mary's. Well anyway, I thought it looked great.
Lindsay & Cole dancing contemporary with Mandy Moore: Relationship between love and hate. How can you be a dancer nad hate feet? And have a foot phobia? Wow, there was a sequence in there that was so powerful. I thought they did good together, and It was a nice routine, but again, I just didn't connect with them. I don't know if it's just me tonight, or what. And it seemed like there were too many times where she was just holding her legs out for him to grab.
Amelia & Will with a jazz number by Mandy Moore: Opposites attract. I'm not a fan of jazz routines very much, but Amelia was so cute. I just love her so much. In the end though, The routine was pretty good, but I think it was the dancers that I liked more than the routine. They just have such chemistry and they school every single routine they dance.
Audrey & Matthew dancing salsa by Liz Lira: Not liking the red costumes this season. Lets see how they do on the tricks since that's what they had problems on. Well, they pulled them off, but it was more of a set up, execute move, finish. Too staged, set up very structured and no flow. When they were dancing, though, they did well. Matthew forgot to smile most of the time. It was okay.
Witney & Chehon in a Stacey Tookey contemporary routine: The impossible circumstances. The power in Chehon's opening move was just amazing and Whitney was so beautiful in this number. I didn't think she could, because I always just thought of her as cheap, something about her...but this dance just changed that impression of her in my mind. Great sequence there. Standing O. I've noticed when it has to do with love, or having something you can't, the judges cry and a Standing O happens. Favorite
Eliana & Cyrus in a NapyTabs hip hop routine: Music box ballerina. I thought Cyrus was brilliant per usual. Bt Eliana did a pretty good job with the hip hop, Nigel wanted grungier, here he goes. Dub steps in everything. I really did love this routine.
Solos: Amber, Lindsay, Eliana, George, Brandon, Dareian are in the bottom. Amber, Eliana, Brandon and Dareian were all asked to dance solos. I didn't enjoy Amber's solo. I kind of felt it was all over the place. Brandon's was good, a little bit like an exercise routine in the beginning and not a lot of stepping and I think that was because of the song. Eliana's routine was so breathtaking, even without the pointe shoes. Between she and Amber, Amber's got to go. There are so many contemporary dancers on the show already, that I think they should save Brandon if it comes down to him and Dareian. I mean, Dareian's solo was good. He's a talented dancer for sure.
Guest performance: The Hunt. Very powerful and awesome. Some of the partnering was a little awkward, it seemed like it was supposed to be danced by a male and female paring, but with it being done by two males, it was a little off looking. These guys, though, were so powerful. The stamina and energy and power this routine took was epic, and they kept it all up with such intensity through the entire thing. I was so impressed.
So, who's going home? Hubby says it should be Lindsey and George. I say Amber and Dareian. The judges picked Amber & Brandon. NO! Oh, a sad, sad day.
Routines tonight weren't that great. Actually, so far this season, there weren't too many fabulous partner routines. Good group numbers but not enough good partner ones. Who's going home in three weeks? I think the bottom 3 guys and girls will be: Janelle, Audrey, & Tiffany, and Dareian, George, & Matthew. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Unique dystopian being compared to Hunger Games isn’t quite there, but still good


By Lissa Price

YA Dystopian

Content Rating: PG

Coffee Beans: 3.5/5

Spoilers: Only a little

Favorite Line: It looked like a giant dandelion breaking apart, daytime fireworks that spread and then rained. (ebook, pg 203)


Publisher's Summary:

In the future, teens rent their bodies to seniors who want to be young again. One girl discovers her renter plans to do more than party--her body will commit murder, if her mind can't stop it. Sixteen-year-old Callie lost her parents when the genocide spore wiped out everyone except those who were vaccinated first--the very young and very old. With no grandparents to claim Callie and her little brother, they go on the run, living as squatters, and fighting off unclaimed renegades who would kill for a cookie. Hope comes via Prime Destinations, run by a mysterious figure known only as The Old Man. He hires teens to rent their bodies to seniors, known as enders, who get to be young again. Callie's neurochip malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her rich renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, even dating Blake, the grandson of a senator. It's a fairy-tale new life . . . until she uncovers the Body Bank's horrible plan. . . .

My Review:

I loved the fresh idea in this dystopian world. The fact that Enders (or really old people) rent the bodies of Starters (teenagers and younger) to live life again, is fantastic and creepy. The writing was good and the plot exciting.

There were only a couple of issues I had with what I read. And I was on the fence between being annoyed and thinking that Price was pretty stinkin clever.

Some sort of malfunction/tampering causes Callie to black out out while she's being rented, going from being back in her real body to back at the Body Bank. Some plot holes/progression and relationship building were "fixed" this way. Almost as if the author didn't know how to properly build the romantic relationship between Callie and Blake, so she laid its foundation when Callie was passed out and not in control. Same with a few other key plot points. It felt a little…wrong.

The end was a little too sunshine and rainbows for my liking. In dystopian tales, I like my endings more the flavor of "poetic justice" or "good enough". The world sucks. Sunshine and rainbows shouldn't exist.

Over all, I thought this was a very interesting and unique book with a brilliant premise. The execution was good, but the writing felt a bit lower-end YA to me. Worth my time reading it and I'll for sure be picking up the next installment, Enders, when it comes out December 4, 2012.

Pick it up and check it out. It's pretty dang good.

Happy reading, my friends!

Monday, July 23, 2012

90’s nostalgia, here I come

Drain You
By M. Beth Bloom
YA Paranormal Romance (light romance)
HarperTeen, July 24th, 2012
Rating: Strong PG-13. Open door sex scenes, but no really details given
Coffee Beans: 4/5
Favorite Lines: So I loved Libby, but in a vintage way. Like a childhood blanket, or my dad's mac and cheese. A deep love, but not one you tap into on a daily basis. (Ebook, pg 25)

Okay, no big deal, I'd just call Stiles…at his underground lair, where he most likely had Libby chained to a radiator and she was loving it. Stella gave me the number, which contained not even one six, let alone the three in a row I'd expected. (Ebook, pg 76)

…I drew on so much eyeliner I looked like a sobbing drunk raccoon on a tequila bender… (Ebook pg 134)

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my unbiased review.

Publisher's Summary:
Every night I'd lie there in bed and look out at the hills behind our house, listening. I knew there'd be consequences.
Actions meant reactions. Sunrises meant sunsets. My fear was too permanent, lasting longer than eyeliner, something I wore every day and didn't wash off.
Quinlan Lacey's life is a red carpet of weird fashions, hip bands, random parties, and chilling by the pool with her on-and-off BFF Libby. There's also her boring job (minimum wage), a crushed-out coworker (way too interested), her summer plans (nada), and her parents (totally clueless). Then one night she meets gorgeous James, and Quinn's whole world turns crazy, Technicolor, 3-D, fireworks, whatever.
But with good comes bad and unfortunately, Quinn's new romance brings with it some majorly evil baggage. Now, to make things right, she has to do a lot of things wrong (breaking and entering, kidnapping, lying, you name it).
There's normal, and then there's paranormal, and neither are Quinlan's cup of Diet Coke. Staying sane, cool, in love, and alive isn't so easy breezy.

My Review:
I admit, when I read the first chapter, I wasn't that impressed. The voice was a little off and the writing didn't grab me. But I kept reading and figured out that this was pretty much awesomeness. It instantly reminded me of The Lost Boys, but now. It also reminded me of the 90's (which I loved) and made me want to move back to SoCal and remember the good times I had while growing up. 

There were multiple things that impressed me with this book:
  • The dialogue. Snappy, witty, snarky, and funny, Bloom's dialogue is just downright good. I was there, it was real, and it carried the story much more than just narrative alone
  • The MC's voice. Quinn has a dark sense of humor and is so quick with everything, and her attitude of "whatever" is the icing on the cake. There were so many funny lines that were added that perfect certain something, which made the entire reading experience that much better
  • The MC. Quinn, for me, is very real. She cares deeply about those who mean something to her. She doesn't know what she wants when it comes to boys. She's shallow and selfish at times, but she has drive. And I didn't find that off-putting at any point. Mainly because she gets called on it (several times) and she knows it's the truth. But we've all been there. Admit it.
  • The relationships. There are several different, unique relationships Quinn is a part of, and they all come to life so realistically. Her absentee parents but their very functional relationship. Her coworker and complicated relationship-er, Morgan. Her casual best friend, Libby. The snobby girl from school, Naomi. James, the hot brother Quinn never knew existed. The equally hot other brother and instant best friend when crush disappears, Whit. And the evil twins, Stiles and Sanders. They all work brilliantly.
  • The package. I'm assuming this is going to be a series. Depending on how well this one goes. I thought it was a tight, well-written story encapsulated into one book. The ending was finite but there are definitely LOTS of questions that still need answering.
There was one thing that didn't sit well with me, though.

  • Instalove. I'm not a fan of this. It's unbelievable and really jars me out of a story. Yeah, we get Quinn thinks James is hot and she's majorly crushing on him and they have to get together for the sake of plot progression. But getting as close and invested as they did—and in only a week—is a little hard for me to swallow.
  • The MC sleeps. A lot. Which isn't bad, I guess. But she's always tired and sleeping. *Shrugs shoulders* Just thought I'd mention that.
If you're a fan of the 90's (and if you aren't, you should be), if you liked The Lost Boys (and if you didn't, shame on you. Watch it again and change your mind), and if you enjoy dark humor, pick up the book. You'll probably be pretty entertained. 
Pick it up and decide for yourself. :)
And yes, this is another vampire book. I love them so much <3

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Just Read...

Ravyn's Fall
by  Julie Blackstone

Good book with an intriguing twist on the angels and demons story. Well worth the read. BR to come soon. AND and interview with the author! :) So excited.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Freebee Friday!

Pasodoble + adorable 2 yr old boy = CUTEST THING EVER!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Just Read...

by Lissa Price

Awesomely unique premise and an all around pretty good book. BR to come soon.


I have made a decision

And that decision is to move my blog to Wordpress.

It's not that I don't like Blogger, it's that I love Wordpress. While the options aren't as vast as far as standard, pre-fabbed widgets and things like that, It is very user friendly.

So, as of August 1st. I will be moving there. I'll keep you posted and promise that the move will be for the better!


Monday, July 16, 2012

Another bad book about unhealthy relationships for teenage girls, but with gods and goddesses. As if that would make it any easier to swallow

Goddess Interrupted

Aimee Carter

YA Fantasy

Cover Factor: Pretty sweet

Rating: PG-13 for closed-door sex and some violence

Coffee Beans: 1.5 (And only that high because I liked the cover)

Favorite line: Ha! None

Disclaimer: I received this book free from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for this honest review.


Publisher's Summary:

Kate Winters has won immortality. But if she wants a life with Henry in the Underworld, she'll have to fight for it.

Becoming immortal wasn't supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she's as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he's becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate's coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans.

As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future.

Henry's first wife, Persephone.


My Review:

"Oh, Kate!" Get over yourself, please.

I'm sorry to anyone who liked this book, but this review is going to be somewhat harsh, so, if you don't want to be a witness to my forthcoming opinion, my feelings won't be hurt if you mosey along.

I'll wait.

Okay. Where do I begin?

Is it the fact that Kate is the WEAKEST female character I've seen in a YA book (yeah, I've seen plenty, but she's near the top)? Is it the fact that….omg….I can't even finish that sentence, there are just so many options to choose from.

Here's my summary:

  • A heavy-handed "theme" of, "It's not your fault she got in trouble; she made her own decisions and these are the consequences" and while that is a positive theme, saying it (exactly like that, btw) five different times in the book makes me feel like you think I sit in the corner with a dunce hat on my head.
  • Kate asking EVERYONE "Does he love me? I don't think he loves me. I mean, he loves me, doesn't he?" every two seconds is soooo tiresome! If you're that insecure in your relationship, THEN MAYBE IT'S NOT THE RIGHT ONE FOR YOU. Let's not even address the fact that this is her husband from the first book in the series (I think it's called The Goddess Test?). Her insecurities voices every. Single. Moment was such a distraction from the plot. Which was trying to prevent Chronus from escaping his prison in Hades and Calliope
  • Kate's relationship with her "husband". Talk about codependent in the worst way possible. Constantly think about what she did to make him mad, what she could do to make him like her more, pay attention to her, and whatever else she needed to feel validated. (Ugh!!)
  • Oh wait, and then there's the insecurities/jealousy regarding her husband's ex-wife, Persephone, and the fact that Henry cheats on Kate with Persephone while they're married. I guess I can see here why Kate would question if Henry really did love her. I mean, he normally treats her like she's some obscure painting on the wall, but this really says, "Eh, I don't really care."
I like stories about Greek mythology and I kind of like Carter's spin on it (although, I didn't get all of it in Book 2, since most of it was set in Book 1 and I am now refusing to read it). So I guess it would be a "positive" that this book was loosely based on that. Kind of.

Anyway. That's all I'm going to say. I know this is A LOT shorter of a review than I normally post, but anything else I would have to say would just be beating a dead horse, and I love horses. Dead or alive. So I refuse that.

Usual disclaimer: pick it up and read it for yourself. You may feel differently than I do. But I doubt it.

I really, really doubt it.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Diva by Jillian Larkin Delivers (as always)

Diva (Flappers, #3)Diva by Jillian Larkin
YA Historical Fiction
Rating: PG
Coffee Beans: 4 of 5 stars
Spoilers: Nope
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free via the publisher in exchange for this honest review.

Publisher’s Summary:
Parties, bad boys, speakeasies—life in Manhattan has become a woozy blur for Clara Knowles. If Marcus Eastman truly loved her, how could he have fallen for another girl so quickly? Their romance mustn't have been as magical as Clara thought. And if she has to be unhappy, she's going to drag everyone else down to the depths of despair right along with her.

Being a Barnard girl is the stuff of Lorraine Dyer's dreams. Finding out that Marcus is marrying a gold digger who may or may not be named Anastasia? A nightmare. The old Lorraine would have sat by and let the chips fall where they may, but she's grown up a lot these past few months. She can't bear to see Marcus lose a chance for true love. But will anyone listen to her?

Now that the charges against her have been dropped, Gloria Carmody is spending the last dizzying days of summer on Long Island, yachting on the sound and palling around with socialites at Forrest Hamilton's swanky villa. Beneath her smile, though, Gloria's keeping a secret. One that could have deadly consequences . . .

My Review:
I received Vixen (book 1 in the Flapper Series) a couple of years ago and LOVED it. I requested an ARC of Ingenue, book 2 in the series, and was denied. When Diva, book 3, came out, I tried again and was rewarded.

What I liked:
Even though I hadn’t read Ingenue, I knew where Vixen left off and where Diva picked up, and with the clues that Larkin sprinkled in throughout the story, I was able to fill in the story holes and not miss a beat.

Larkin does, once again, a brilliant job of making this another character driven novel. I love how the story is told from the points of view of all the main characters. Doing that really gave me a well-rounded and personal feel for each of the girls (and occasional guy), as well as a more 3-D image of the story. We’re given a view from Gloria that we would NEVER get from Clara. And the humor Lorraine provides would never be there had we only been told the story from Jerome’s point of view. You can’t help but form strong attachments to even the smaller-role characters with the way Larkin writes.

The 20’s has always been a favorite time period for me, and to have Larkin describe everything the way she does just puts me in heaven. I’d love to see this made into a movie so I could visually lust after all the gowns and shoes.

Favorite Line: It was better to risk loving too much before it was too late and all you were left with was regret. (pg 305, ebook)

What I didn’t like:
Even though I loved all the fashion talk about clothes and dresses, and I know that that was a big component of the 20’s, the name dropping got to be bit much at times.

I was a bit confused with Larkin’s dialogue tags. There would be a quote, then another person would be performing an action tagged onto someone else’s dialogue.

There were a few really good emotional scenes that really carry the momentum of the story that were interrupted with too much narrative which pulled me out and made the scene lose the impact Larkin was trying to give it. Also, there were a few high tension scenes that were just too short lived.

Overall, this is another terrific book in the Flapper Series, seamlessly knit with the first two, and an easy read. I really enjoyed reading it and will go back and pick up the second book just so I can get more of the Gloria, Clara, and Lorraine.

Happy reading, my friends!


Freebee Friday!

Because it's so stinking adorable, I may just die.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Break it Down Now!

Judges: Mary, Nigel and Kenny
  1. The opening routine knocked my socks off
  2. Huge fan of Kerry Muzzey over here
  3. Love me some Christopher Scott choreography!
  4. I do miss hearing about the inspiration for the dance and the story behind it. It lets me connect better to the number
  5. Favorite

Whitney & Chehon with an Ansel Cha-Cha Routine: I liked it. Chehon did pretty okay with his ballet background, and of course Whitney rocked it. She was in her element so how could she go wrong? But then again, I have seen superbly better Latin dancers as well. These first rounds of dancing are pretty much confidence builders for the dancers themselves. The judges never really have anything super critical to say. They gave some pointers to Chehon about his feet and advised Whitney to pick up her first class ticket.
George & Tiffany with a Sonya Contemporary Routine: Truly seeing each other for the first time. Loved that jump move into George's arms. They partner really well together, anticipating where the other will be and completely trusting. I really enjoyed the dance and their execution of it. It was so well done. Great dance. Okay, judges, too much talking, not enough dancing.
Janaya & Brandon with a NappyTabs Hip-Hop Routine: Janaya, Alchoholic and choosing between the drink and her. Wow, she's pretty good out the gate with the hip hop and of course Brandon is rockin' it, but overall I was pretty impressed with Janaya. A little off at parts from each other but for themost part they're hitting it pretty good. I'm thinking that Nigel has a crush on Mary.
Alexa & Daniel with a Sean Cheesman Jazz Routine: There's a lot of lifts, and she's not a small girl and he's not a big guy. It seems like the routine had more tricks than real dancing. Those red suits are so awful it's not even funny. For all the red, her not having red lipstick was a bit out of place.
Amber & Nick with a Jason Gilkison Waltz Routine: I didn't realize Jason was that tough. That's awesome. I thought Amber did pretty dang good in the waltz and I think Nick got all his connections on time. Wow, there were so many phenomenal lifts and twirls. Jason looked completely surprised and amazed. Nick kind of came across as a goofy arrogant guy. Hubby and I feel weird about him.
Amelia & Will with a NappyTabs Character Pop Hip-Hop Routine: (The leopard unitard crept Hubby out, so he is not present for this number). Cute number I actually really liked it, but it seems more Jazzy than hiphop. Amelia did a REALLY good job, I 'll be honest, I was worried most about her, but Will is the one I felt could've brought a lot more to the table in this number. I really liked Amesila in this. Wow! That lift up to his shoulders was great. And cue the lame cat/purr jokes. Probably my favorite routine of the night. Favorite
Dareian and Janelle with a Sean Cheesman African Jazz Routine: Janelle's one of my favorites She's a crazy good dancer for only dancy belly dancing. And Dareian was pretty good in this number, I was impressed by both. Interesting they took out the trick where she broke herself. One thing I noticed at the end of the routine: Look how little they are!
Eliana & Cyrus with a Tyce Diorio Broadway Routine: Can I just say that I adid not recognize her at all with that wig. Hairspray! Tyce looked scared. Cyrus is just the perfect addition to to this show. His personality. I love how Tyce brought in some of Cyrus' moves to the routine. I was impressed with them. A good number. Annnnnd Tyce was happy with it. I thought that they were another great couple. Good pairing and chemistry between the two. Side note: Eliana has a really big mouth. While this wasn't one of my favorite routines, I was so very happy with Cyrus' performance!
Audrey & Matthew with a Travis Wall Routine: Titanic. I Think that there's some actual chemistry going on between the two of them. Good trust and lifts. The audience loved the routine. And I agree, it was pretty good. Standing house. Favorite
Lindsay & Cole with a Jason Gilkison Passodoble: This is my favorite Latin dance EVER! It's about Lindsay poisoning him. An interesting opening. (Me: Where's his cape? Hubby: He doesn't need one, he's a half naked samuri descended from the 47 ronin samurai.) I thought this was very well done. They both danced it so well, very powerfcul. Loved this dance. This was my other other favorite routine of the night. GREAT! And another great partnering. Wow, Mary is invested in her comments. Such compliments from the judges. Burn the Floor? A show choreographed by Jason. I must check this out. Nigel mentioned it showing Thursday night. Favorite
Two boys and two girls. I wouldn't mind seeing Nick and Daniel going home and Whitney and Janaya. I haven't connected with any of them. So, who are your favorite dancers? What routines did you like best?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Red Heart Tattoo Book Report

Red Heart Tattoo

Lurlene McDaniel

Pub Date: July 24, 2012

Rating: PG

Coffee Beans: 3.5

Spoilers: Nope

Favorite Line:
Girls clustered like a bouquet of spring flowers to admire the pearl. (pg 81, ebook)

Disclaimer: I received this ARC free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for this honest review.


Publisher's Summary:

At 7:45 a.m. on the day before Thanksgiving break, a bomb goes off at Edison High. Nine people die instantly. Fifteen are critically injured. Twenty-two suffer less severe injuries. And one is blinded. Those who survive, struggle to cope with the loss and destruction. All must find new meaning for their lives as a result of something they may never understand.

My Review:

An inspirational YA novel about the aftermath of a school bombing, Red Heart Tattoo is a story that follows the lives of a handful of high school students in the months leading up to the disaster and how they heal and cope after the catastrophe.

I didn't know when it was an inspirational novel when I started reading it. By now, you all know how I choose books: Cool cover? Check. Promising synopsis? Check. Count me in. I've been on a contemporary kick right now, so this was a good candidate. The more I got into it, the stronger my hunch became that that's exactly what this was. Not that that's a bad thing at all. Then, in the "about the author" section, it was confirmed.

Why did I think this was an inspirational novel? Let me count the ways.

  1. There was little kissing (despite the high school setting)
  2. The main couple made it plain to each other and to the reader they had ground rules that they weren't planning on doing the dirty and their rules about not spending too much alone time together
  3. The writing wasn't quite at the level of excellence I'm used to
Moving on…sort of. The writing. I liked the plot and storyline. The characters were somewhat run of the mill, though. I liked that the story was told from several points of view, giving us a deeper look into the characters that we otherwise wouldn't have gotten (although, there was a lot of head hopping in the same scene, so at times it was confusing). The writing was okay, which supports my long held suspicion that writing doesn't necessarily have to be superb to be published; it only has to be fairly decent…as long as the premise is unique and fresh. Which I felt this one. I kept thinking throughout the book, "She's so close, I can feel that this isn't quite there." It certainly didn't stand up to some of the brilliantly written books I've had the pleasure of reading lately. I got the feeling it's aimed more towards the younger age range of YA.

I thought the way she covered the tragedy at the school was good, focusing on the individuals and how they were effected emotionally as well as physically; how they survived and got through it; and how they went on with their lives. In the end, I enjoyed the book. I read it in an afternoon—only took me about 4 or so hours to read it, so it's an easy, not too deep (about 6 ft or so) book.

Give it a shot. You may enjoy it or think of someone who would really enjoy it.

Happy reading, my friends!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Lincoln’s Alternate History is Entertaining and Educational…Sort of

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Seth Grahame-Smith
Alternate Historical Paranormal
PG-13 (Gore, some of which made me cringe. Well done.)
4.5 Coffee Beans
Any man who has seen the face of death knows better than to seek him out a second time. (pg 59, ebook) I have no more fear of hell, for I have this day seen it with my own eyes. (pg 268, ebook) Let us pray now for the future dead. Though we do not yet know their names, we know that there shall be far too many of them. (pg 269, ebook)
Publisher's Summary:
Indiana, 1818. Moonlight falls through the dense woods that surround a one-room cabin, where a nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln kneels at his suffering mother's bedside. She's been stricken with something the old-timers call "Milk Sickness."

"My baby boy..." she whispers before dying.

Only later will the grieving Abe learn that his mother's fatal affliction was actually the work of a vampire.

When the truth becomes known to young Lincoln, he writes in his journal, "henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion. I shall become a master of mind and body. And this mastery shall have but one purpose..." Gifted with his legendary height, strength, and skill with an ax, Abe sets out on a path of vengeance that will lead him all the way to the White House.

While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.

Using the journal as his guide and writing in the grand biographical style of Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough, Seth has reconstructed the true life story of our greatest president for the first time-all while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War and uncovering the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation.

My Review:
I'll admit, I read this book because the movie was coming out and I was eager to start the Book Addicts first Book-2-Movie Night. So, I started reading it. Though I have a confession: Had I recognized that it was written the same author who wrote Pride, Prejudice & Zombies, I probably wouldn't have picked it up.
But this book stands apart from the other's he's written. This one, in my opinion, is so much better than the others. Abe Lincoln: Vamp Hunter is a LOOOONG book. It's a heavy 400 pages. The reason why is because it's basically a biography. Now, I haven't done any in-depth research on how ____ wrote this book, and all I know of Lincoln's history is the limited amount kids are taught in school, so I'm relying on my friend Tiff's word when she said she did research on the book and found that the biographical part of this (which is probably 85%) is all true.
Given that piece of gospel truth, I really enjoyed reading this book. Abe has always been one of my favorite presidents and I think he's one of the smartest, bravest men that ever led America. That being said, I loved every minute of this book. Learning about Lincoln's life, how he grew up, how he got started in politics and law, presidency, etc—it was all very interesting. I loved the way the author wrote parts himself and inserted already existing, historical texts to add to the believability of the novel.
As for the vampires…I thought the author did a brilliant job of subtly placing them in the plot and in Abe's life. Yes, at times it was comical, but as far as the story goes, it was all very believable. I won't say much because I don't want to spoil it for you if you're planning on reading the book (which I recommend you do), but the motives for Abe becoming president as well as fighting the Civil War were very different than what we've been taught in school.
Pick it up and read it, but don't expect to get through it quickly and without much thought.
Happy Reading, my friends!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Break it Down Now!

Due to the holiday and movie rentals done by Hubby and I, the recap for SYTYCD will be posted Friday morning. I know, my heart is broken, too. :(

But the movies were good :)

UPDATE: I completely forgot that there was no SYTYCD last night, so I'm in the clear! Until next week :)


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Just Read...

Red Heart Tattoo by Lurlene McDaniel. A good quick, easy read; but could have delved a lot deeper.

Pub Date: July 24th, BR will be posted on July 10th due to publisher's guidelines. 


Book-2-Movie Night: Abe Lincoln: Vamp Hunter

If you read my book review on Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, you'd know I enjoyed it. Thought it was a pretty good fictionalized biography of a great man. So, I was eager to see the movie adaptation.

Yes, I know movies are never fully like the books they represent, and yes, I know they had to take 400 page book about a man's entire life and condense it down to a little under two hours. But, really? This is what Tim Burton came up with?

Where do I start? Oh, yeah, with advice. Save $10 and two hours and read the book.

I thought the movie would be like the book in that it would follow Lincoln's life and put in the vampire aspect for the motivation behind certain actions and wars. Not so, my friends, not so. There were very few lines of truth that the movie followed in its adaptation.

Where it strayed from the book:

  • Nothing is mentioned of Abe's sister, his step mother or his step siblings. In fact, it's mentioned that his father dies fairly early in Abe's life
  • When Abe gets married, only one son (Will) is ever mentioned or shown
  • Abe's father comes across as a strong man, fighting for what's right, where as in the book (and in history, I believe), it's common knowledge that Abe's father did as little as possible, beyond making sure his family survived
  • In turn, Abe is portrayed as a very weak man begging for the tutelage of Henry to know more about vampires and how to kill them (this is perhaps what irked me the most about the film. Abraham Lincoln—in my opinion—was one of the strongest and bravest men in America, so to see him begging when he didn't is a little distasteful. But I get the whole concept of showing his struggle with his hate, yada-yada-yada)
  • Abe kinda really hates Henry, where as in the book, their relationship is one of mutual respect and a weird sort of admiration)
  • In the movie, Abe doesn't know that Henry is a vamp until well into their relationship
  • Henry is upset that Abe is running for political office. This point (and the one coming up about the Civil War) I think is the most crucial. In the book, the "good" band of vampires set Abe up to run for office as well as win and lose according to their grand plan of expelling the "bad" vampires. In the movie, Abe is running because he believes in what he's fighting for, and now that he's married, he wants nothing more to do with hunting vampires
  • The Civil War. The whole power source for the "bad" vampires is the slave trade in the south. This lucrative business has been providing a no-questions-asked source of food. The "good" vampires believe that if they end slavery, the "good" vampires will be forced to leave America. Thus, the Civil War must be fought. It was their plan from the beginning and Abe was the key to getting it done
  • In the book, Mary, Abe's wife, never knew that Abe used to hunt vamps. In the movie, she confesses to reading his journal and wants to help, diving in head first. Go Mary!
  • The horse fight scene. Oh. My. Lanta. That was the most comical thing I have ever been a witness to. It took whatever integrity the film still had at that point and flushed it down the toilet.
There were some good things about the film. The cinematography was great and the special effects were pretty cool, too. It had more of a comic book feel to it (think 300) which was interesting given the movie, and there definitely wasn't as much gore as I thought there would be.

At the end of the movie, I told Michelle, "We have to come up with some rules or guidelines or something for future Book-2-Movie nights. Going to every single one could prove disastrous."

What about you guys? What'd you think about the movie? How'd you think it compared to the book?