Monday, September 21, 2009

Review: Along for the Ride

Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite authors. Her work mainly appeals to teenage girls, but as a 28 year old, I find her work intelligent and timeless.

Along for the Ride

By Sarah Dessen

Published by Viking Juvenile

383 Pages

ISBN: 0670011940 (isbn13: 9780670011940)

Book Description: It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live.
A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.
In her signature pitch-perfect style, Sarah Dessen explores the hearts of two lonely people learning to connect.

A Quick Synopsis: Studious Auden goes to live with her father, his new wife and brand new baby sister for the summer before starting her first year of college. Breaking free from her academically demanding mother and the expectations of others, Auden learns to enjoy and live life to the fullest and learns how to be herself.

The General Review: A well written, coming of age story about a girl learning who she really is. Overcoming family, personal and social conflicts, the protagonist experiences a summer of new experiences with the most unlikely of friends. Sarah Dessen captivates her audience again with a story of self-discovery.

Likes: The author has a way with words that suck you in to the story. Her descriptions are very detailed. Sarah Dessen is an amazing story teller and has a talent for capturing teenage emotions.

Dislikes: My only dislike is that the storyline is very similar to other Sarah Dessen novels. But there is enough of a difference to keep the reader intrigued.

Judging a Book by its Cover: I’m not a big fan of the cover. I think its too cutesy to accurately portray the storyline.

The Cast: The characters are complex and believable. Even minor characters are memorable and well developed. If you’re familiar with Dessen’s other books, characters from other books usually make cameo’s. This book is no exception.

Closing Comments: Overall I enjoyed this book. I recommend Along for the Ride for anyone looking for a light, fun easy read.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Launch Party and other news

On Saturday, my niece Ali and I went to Janet Lee Carey's launch party for her newest release, Stealing Death. It was a lot of fun! There was a Marimba Band and the food was good. Met some cool people, including Janet. I heard afterwards that Deb Caletti was there. I wish I would have recognized her. She's one of my favorite authors and she lives in the Seattle area. It would have made my month to talk to her. My niece got to talk to Janet about publishing her own work and she asked a lot of good questions. Janet is super nice and if you get a chance, check out her books. I will be posting a review of Stealing Death in the near future. Here's a few pictures that I took. They're not the greatest, because they were taken with my iPhone.

The Marimba Band

Janet reading an excerpt from Stealing Death

In other news, I mentioned that I was going on vacation starting today. Plans have changed, and I'm now going on vacation next month. My vacation plans are still the same though; read books and write reviews. Ah, if only I made money reading.

Speaking of reading, if you live in the Seattle area, The Half Price Books Warehouse in Seattle is having a clearance sale this Saturday and Sunday. They are selling everything for $1 or less!!! Those of you who don't live near Seattle, if you want me to keep my eyes out for something in particular, send me an email or leave a comment and I will look for it and mail it to you.

I know that some of my faithful readers have been waiting for another word definition provided by my awesome Word of the Day desk calendar. Lately the words have been pretty ordinary. But I will share with you yesterdays word because it annoyed me.

Improvident - an adjective meaning:

  • not provident
  • not foreseeing and providing for the future

The word itself isn't what annoyed me, it was one of the definitions. What kind of definition is "not provident"? It drives me crazy when a word is defined by the word.

Finally, I want to wish my awesome niece, Ali a Happy 17th Birthday!!! You're going to love your present!! (hehehe)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Awards and Launch Parties

I won my first award!!!! YAY!! Thanks to Jessica at A Book Lovers Diary for nominating me for:

Sweet! Somebody thinks my blog is cool!! I want to thank Shellie at Layers of Thought for all her help and advice for my blog. If you're not already following her, I highly recommend you do. Her blog is awesome.

If you're in the Seattle area on Saturday, there is a launch party for Janet Lee Carey's newest book, Stealing Death. Janet is one of the founders of ReaderGirlz. I love supporting local authors, so stop by if you can. I'll be there, picking up my own copy of Stealing Death and meeting Janet. Keep an eye out for my review of Stealing Death coming very soon.

Speaking of reviews, I haven't had a chance to read and write any reviews with my brother in town and a crazy work schedule. But don't fret! I'm on vacation starting September 16th. My husband and I normally go to the Florida Keys, but both of us had to take pay cuts this year, so the vacation budget got cut. But, this means more time to read the growing pile of books. So, stay tuned.......

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Yep, I went to PAX this weekend

Those who know me are probably surprised that I would go to an event like PAX. It’s a video game convention and I don’t even own a video game console (Please don’t hold that against me!!). But those who know me well are not surprised by my attendance to PAX. I love doing things that seem “out of character” for me and I like to experience new things. That, and my brother travels to Seattle every year to attend the 3 day event. For the last 3 years, he has invited me to go with him. PAX is always Labor Day weekend, and the Dave Matthews Band always plays at the Gorge Labor Day weekend as well. However, this year I could not afford the yearly pilgrimage to the DMB Mecca to see my favorite band perform, so I thought I would spend some time with my brother in his element. I had a lot of fun. I watched my brother play a bunch of games and I saw some interesting things:

dragon age Dragon Age Booth Guy


Yes, it appears that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have a short bus…

Bull Ride

I can’t remember which game this was for, but I thought it was pretty cool to watch some dude ride an evil looking horse.


This is about the only thing I recognized :)


Where else can you go dressed like this and not be considered strange?

(Pics courtesy of my rockin’ brother, Cliff)


In other news this weekend, I read Catching Fire, book 2 in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Here’s my official review:


If you’ve read The Hunger Games, Catching Fire is as good if not better. It definitely lives up to all the hype. I HIGHLY recommend reading both books. You will not be disappointed. I’m not going to post a review on my blog, because it seems like everyone else is reviewing it and I don’t have anything else to add that hasn’t already been covered.

Also, today I received my first email from an author who wants me to review his book!!! Yay!!! I’m very excited and can’t wait to get it in the mail.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Review: Love You Hate You Miss You by Elizabeth Scott

love you hate you miss you

Love You Hate You Miss You

By Elizabeth Scott

Published by Harperteen

ISBN: 0061122831

288 pages

A Quick Synopsis: Love You Hate You Miss You is a story about Amy and how she deals with her friend, Julia’s tragic and untimely death by writing letters to her as a form of therapy.

The General Review: Love You Hate You Miss You is a very real view of a sardonic teenager dealing with the confusing feelings of a best friend dying and feeling like you had a hand in the death. Raw emotions are captured and communicated to the reader thru simple yet profound statements and conversations. The revealing of the storyline is varied between the present and recalling events from the past, up to and including the accident that killed Julia.

Likes: This book is very raw and honest. The author holds nothing back. I think the reactions and conversations are realistic. Also, all of Amy’s problems weren’t resolved by the end of the book.

I also like how most chapters begin with Amy writing a letter to Julia. Although the book is written from Amy’s perspective, I like it when an author mixes it up and changes the flow of the storyline.

Dislikes: There isn’t a whole lot I didn’t like about this book. Although I thought Amy’s parent were realistic, they kinda got on my nerves.

Judging a Book by its Cover: I had this book sitting on my desk at work and my co-worker made this comment:

She looks really sad, like someone died our something and she doesn’t know how to deal with it”-M.A.

Hmmm… good interpretation, M, and I hadn’t even told her about the book yet!

Closing Comments: It didn’t take me very long to read this book, but it’s not an easy read emotionally (although it’s not as disturbing as Living Dead Girl, also by Elizabeth Scott). I recommend this book for anyone who has ever lost someone tragically or who is a fan of Young Adult Fiction in general.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Random thoughts for today

My niece tells me I'm the queen of random. Whatever that means. But I do find I stumble upon really weird, random things quite often. The ones I find amusing I will share here on my blog.

For example:

I just walked out of my department at work into the foyer, where I saw a guy from the landscaping crew watering the plants. You may think this is not strange, and I agree; plants need to be watered. But the weird thing was he was watering the plants with a gas can!!! Yes, a gas can. I must of had a shocked look on my face as I walked by because he said "There's water in there, I swear!!" I quickly rearranged the look on my face and said, "Hey, you would know better than me what a plant needs to grow", and continued on my way.

I think this is the same guy who, last fall, was using a leaf blower to clean up the leaves in the parking lot. This also is not an unusual task in itself, but he was actually standing below a tree aiming the leaf blower so that it blew the leafs off of the branches. Appartantly he was in a race with Mother Nature and really wanted to win. My co-workers and I were taking bets to see if he was going to climb the tree and start plucking the leafs off.

And while I'm on the topic of random things, I am a huge fan of word definitions, especially obsolete or "out of style" words. I have a Word Of The Day desk calendar on my desk at work and every once in a while an interesting word presents itself.

For example:

September 1, 2009 - nomenclator - a noun meaning;

  1. a book containing collections or lists of words

  2. one who gives names to or invents names for things

I found this word fascinating for a few reasons. One, I have a book obsession, so anything book related is of interest to me. Secondly, the same niece who dubed me the queen of random also accuses me of making up words and inventing names for things. I wonder if I can use nomenclator on a resume? Hmmmm......