Thursday, July 31, 2014

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (#4)

Harry Potter Moment of the Week hosted by Uncorked Thoughts.

Most Inspiration Moment/Passage:

There are quite a few that come to mind but one of the things that Sirius Black says to Harry struck a chord with me.

"If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals."

The idea of this was very clear in my mind, but it wasn't until I read The Goblet of Fire that it was so clearly laid out for me.

Another moment that sticks out in my mind is when we discover that Hermione has erased her existence from her parents' memory.

"I've also modified my parents' memories so that they're convinced that they're really called Wendell and Monica Wilkins, and that their life's ambition is to move to Australia, which they have now done."
This moment is where we discover just what Hermione is willing to do to keep her loved-ones safe.  It must have been incredibly difficult for her to do that, knowing that if things didn't work out as planned they would go on not remembering her.  It's quite heartbreaking really, but it's one of those small moments that speaks wonders about her character.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Thirteen Reasons Why

by Jay Asher
published: Razorbill, 2007
pages: 304

Trigger warning: suicide

Hannah Baker could have been anyone and she was that; she was just a person trying to survive high school with her life and reputation in tact.  Unfortunately, that was stripped from her in a series of seemingly unrelated and inconsequential events.  Now the thirteen people who helped her make her decision will hear her entire story and understand that their actions or inactions affect those around them.

This book is important.

This book was told in a way that is unlike anything I've read before.  Hannah speaks openly through a tape recorder to the people who have helped her unravel.  It gives the readers an insight and explains that every action has a reaction whether or not we see it.  There are consequences.

The message is powerful, moving, but it doesn't come off  preachy.   It makes people acutely aware of situations that they've experienced.  When I was reading this, I found myself thinking back to high school, wondering if I had blown off someone who just needed to talk, needed a friend.  I'm sure there was an instance, it happens to everyone right?

We meet Clay who very suddenly receives an unknown package which reveals to be a box of tapes, Hannah's tapes.  Reading this book, I felt like I was witnessing two people slowly coming undone, but in very different ways.  It is heartbreaking; I felt completely helpless reading this book as I imagine the receiptents of the tapes would feel the same.   Hannah might be unloading her story, and intentionally (in most cases) guilting the people who receive her tapes, but she is also giving them a chance to make it right.  Maybe not for her, but for other people who may feel the same way she did.  I think that's where the importance of this story lies, not with Hannah, but with Clay and the others and how they chooses to respond to the tapes.

Stars: 4/5


"A brilliant and mesmerizing debut from a talented new author."
     --Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"A stealthy hit with staying power...thrillerlike pacing."
     --The New York Times

"Thirteen Reasons Why is a mystery, eulogy, and ceremony.  Twenty or thirty times, I snapped the book shut when a sentence, an image, or line of dialogue was too beautiful and painful.  But I, afraid and curious, would always return to this amazing book.  I know, in the years to come, I will often return to this book.
     --Sherman Alexie, author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I Own the Most Books

hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

I had to do this from memory since I literally just packed all my books away.

J.K. Rowling (14 books) - Aside from The Silkworm (which may or may not count in this case) I own at least one copy of every one of her books. (In the case of Order of the Phoenix - I own three copies.)

Lemony Snicket/Daniel Handler (14 books) - I own the entire Series of Unfortunate Events and Why We Broke Up. They look beautiful together on my shelf!

C.S. Lewis (8 books) - I own the Chronicles of Narnia series and an extra copy of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Meg Cabot (6 books) - I own three Princess Diaries books, How To Be Popular, All American Girl (my favorite book during middle school), and Abandon 

John Green (5 books) - Except for the books with his short stories, I own all of John Green's books.

J.R.R. Tolkien (5 Books) I own the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit (my favorite of his books.), and The Silmarillion which I've never read.

Laura Ingalls Wilder (5 books) - I own the first five Little House on the Prairie books and I've actually read none of these books.  Maybe I'll give them a chance soon.

Laurie Halse Anderson (5 books) - I own Catalyst, Chains, Fever 1793 and multiple copies of Speak.  I love Anderson and think that she speaks about very important topics in her books.

Jane Austen (4 books) - I own two copies of Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, and Sense and Sensibility.  I need to get her other books, asap.

Jennifer Allison (3 Books) - I have three of the Gilda Joyce mystery series, but none of them are
the first one so I haven't been able to read them yet.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Notable Quotable: Jerry Spinelli (#40)

"Vowels were something else. He didn't like them and they didn't like him. There were only five of them, but they seemed to be everywhere. Why, you could go through twenty words without bumping into some of the shyer consonants, but it seemed as if you couldn't tiptoe past a syllable without waking up a vowel. Consonants, you know pretty much where you stood, but you could never trust a vowel."
     --Maniac Magee

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (#3)

Harry Potter Moment of the Week hosted by Uncorked Thoughts.

Best Ron Moment:

There are so many great Ron moments and there are awful Ron moments as well - it's almost impossible to choose.  However, I'm making myself choose.

'At least no one on the Gryffindor team had to buy their way in,' said Hermione sharply.  'They got in on pure talent.'
The smug look on Malfoy's face flickered.
'No one asked your opinion, you filthy little Mudblood,' he spat.
Harry knew at once that Malfoy had said something really bad because there was an instant uproar at his words.  Flint had to dive in front of Malfoy to stop Fred and George jumping on him, Alicia shrieked, 'How dare you!'; and Ron plunged his hand into his robes, pulled out his wand, yelling, 'You'll pay for that one, Malfoy!' and pointed it furiously under Flint's arm at Malfoy's face.
A loud bang echoed around the stadium and a jet of green light shot out of the wrong end of Ron's wand, hitting him in the stomach and sending him reeling backward onto the grass.
'Ron! Ron! Are you all right?' squealed Hermione.
Ron opened his mouth to speak, but no words came out. Instead, he gave an almighty belch and several slugs dribbled out of his mouth onto his lap.

This moment is one of my favorite moments because it shows just how loyal he is to his friends.  This one of those ordinary moments in which we see Ron defend his friends and even though it didn't turn out as planned his intentions counted one hundred percent.  Yes, Malfoy said a disgusting thing and all the Gryffindors around him were appalled, but something strikes me about how Ron reacted.  It makes me proud to think that a 12-year-old has enough tenacity to fight for his friends in a way that would definitely get him in trouble if a professor caught them regardless of what Malfoy had said.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters on a Deserted Island

hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

I'm going to resist the desire to name all Harry Potter characters.  Instead, only a few of these will be from Hogwarts.

1. Leo Valdez is my number one pick, partially because he has already survived a deserted island but mostly because he's hilarious and he's handy.  He can make something out of nothing and with his magical tool belt anything could happen.  Who knows, maybe could get us all off the island before too long. (Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan)

2. Luna Lovegood would make any experience interesting to say the least.  She can find the bright side in every situation and I personally would love to hang out with her.  Plus her wizarding skill would come in handy. (Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling)

3. Puck Connolly is fierce and stubborn and determined.  Having her on the island with me would be amazing because if anyone can find a way to make it home, she would. (The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater)

4. Reepicheep is one of the bravest and kindest characters I know.  I would be honored to have him on my island. (The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis)

5.  Katniss Everdeen would be an excellent addition to my island.  I mean she knows how to live off the land, she's survived the Hunger Games twice and yeah, she might be a little resistant and out of sorts but given the chance I think she'd get her head back into the game. (The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins)

6. Ron Weasley needs to be on this island.  I'm not going to lie, it's partially because he's a red head and man I love gingers.  Also, he and Leo will bring the much need humor to the group. (Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling)

7. Iko may be a robot but she is a spark of energy and entertainment.  She would be an excellent addition to the island.  (Cinder by Marissa Meyer)

8. Leslie Burke's imagination would be exactly what we need to distract us from boredom that can come with being on a deserted island.  She'd create a whole world of adventure for us.  (Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson)

9. Magnus Bane would bring the much needed glitter to the island.  (The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare)

10. Fred and George Weasley would be an excellent addition to the island.  I'm not going to deny that I think all of the Weasley's should be on this island but these two would be the most fun to hang out with.  I'd enjoy their pranks and their sincerity (in the rare moments that it shows.)  (Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Notable Quotable: Jane Austen (#39)

"A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment."
     --Pride and Prejudice

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (#2)

Harry Potter Moment of the Week hosted by Uncorked Thoughts.

Bravest Character Moment:

There are so many brave character moments in these books, it's hard to pick just one.

'What are you doing?' said a voice from the corner of the room.  Neville appeared from behind an armchair, clutching Trevor the toad, who looked as though he'd been making another bid for freedom.
'Nothing, Neville, nothing,' said Harry, hurriedly putting the Cloak behind his back.
Neville stared at their guilty faces.
'You're going out again,' he said.
'No, no, no,' said Hermione 'No, we're not.  Why don't you go to bed, Neville?'
'You can't go out,' said Neville, 'you'll be caught again.Gryffindor will be in even more trouble.'
'You don't understand,' said Harry, 'this is important.'
But Neville was clearly steeling himself to do something desperate.
'I won't let you do it,' he said, hurrying to stand in front of the portrait hole. 'I'll - I'll fight you!'
'Neville,' Ron exploded, 'get away from that hole and don't be an idiot --'
'Don't call me an idiot!' said Neville.  'I don't think you should be breaking any more rules! And you were the one who told me to stand up to  people!'
'yes, but not to us,' said Ron in exasperation. 'Neville, you don't know what you're doing.'
he took a step forward and Neville dropped Trevor the toad, who leapt out of sight.
'Go on then, try and hit me!' said Neville, raising his fists. 'I'm ready!'
'Neville,' [Hermione] said.  'I'm really, really sorry about this.'
She raised her want. 'Petrificus Totalus!' she cried, pointing it at Neville.

I still say Neville standing up to Harry, Ron and Hermione in The Sorcerer's Stone is one of my favorite moments.  Think about it:  he was at a new school trying to make friends, which he sort of accomplished. They were quite possibly the only people he called his friends.  He was friendly with other people, but he probably thought that people viewed him more as a convenient or sympathy friend.  He most definitely had some insecurities about being liked.  He was 11, by the way.  AND he still told them that they shouldn't be leaving the common room at night.  I mean that's practically social suicide, he seemed prepared to loose the friends he had made because he knew what they were doing was against the rules.  When I was 11, I was most concerned about what people thought of me.  I probably would have never stood up to them given the chance, afraid they would hate me afterward.  All I'm saying is that it takes a lot of guts and Neville, as he proves again and again, has all of the guts.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

6 Reasons Why I Love Percy Jackson and the Olympians

1. The mythology in these books are incredibly weaves into the current world. I absolutely love that locations in the mythology are found in different parts of the country.

2.  These books have the good old fashion epic adventure feel that greek mythology has only it's set in modern day and the hero is a sarcastic teenage boy.  There's nothing like a good quest with commentary by a hero who is also trying navigate teenagedom.

3. Among all of the characters, which there are quite a few, there is no one I like more than Tyson.  I love his enthusiasm and his energy and dedication to family and friends. He may have started out somewhat hopeless but he grew into himself. Plus I love how much he loves Percy. 

4. Not only do we meet a crew of incredible Demi-gods but we also get to meet gods in their natural habitats.  How they've adapted to life in America is quite hysterical at times, but always incredibly clever. 

5. The villains are worthy opponents. Sometimes in books it's clear that the main characters will overcome because the antagonist is weak but the ones in these books are worthy of a good fight. 

6. Annabeth and Pery were a long time coming, but I loved that they weren't pushed together. They got to develop as characters individually and together as friends. Later, we got to see Percy agonize over his feelings for her and his confusion of the female gender together.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: TV Shows/Movies

hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

I wanted to do both lists so you get two top tens this week!  Neither of these lists are in any particular order.  Also, I added a couple extra to my TV shows list because I can!

TV Shows:

1. Buffy
2. Doctor Who
3. Sherlock (BBC)
4. Supernatural
5. Boy Meets World
6. Firefly
7. Psych
8. Dollhouse
9. Ghost Whisperer
10. NCIS
11. Castle
12. Veronica Mars


1. The Princess Bride
2. The Sound of Music
3. The Lord of the Rings
4. Indiana Jones (not Temple of Doom or The Crystal Skull... that one doesn't even exist.)
5. Star Wars Trilogy (Original Trilogy)
6. Beauty and the Beast
7. Les Miserables
8. Newsies
9. Treasure Planet
10. Funny Girl

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Notable Quotable: Lois Lowry (#38)

"But it made her smile, to see it, to see how the pen formed the shapes and the shapes told a story of a name."
     --Gathering Blue

Friday, July 11, 2014

Never Let Me Go

by Kazuo Ishiguro
published: Vintage Books, 2005
pages: 288

Kathy, Ruth and Tommy grew up together in a prestigious boarding school called Hailsham where their guardians constantly reminded them that they were special.  It never occurred to them to question the rules or the mysterious behavior that some of the guardians showed.  Now Kathy looks back on their days together and begins to unravel the mystery of Ruth, Tommy and her special childhood and how that knowledge will shape the rest of their lives together.

This story stuck with me for days after I finished reading this book.  I find I still think about now, (it hasn't been all that long.)  I keep thinking about the characters, their lives and their whould'ves, could'ves, should'ves, knowing there really was no other way their story could go.  This is a story that will sit with you long after you've closed the book.  It'll make you wonder about the potential of humanity and the desperation of others.

The storytelling is hauntingly reminiscent and beautifully thought-provoking.  When Kathy speaks, it's as if we are having a conversation in which she is divulging her deepest secrets.  I may be a donor and she might be my carer.  There is a sadness in her storytelling that is evident while reading this book.  It's almost as if she's smiling through her sadness, like she's discussing her life unsentimentally.

Kazuo Ishirguro has been awarded for his writing in past books and I can see why.  He has a unique take on storytelling and the voices he shares with us.  I will most definitely be reading more of his work in the future.

4.5/5 Stars


"A Gothic tour de force.... A tight, deftly controlled story.... Just as accomplished [as The Remains of the Day] and, in a very different way, just as melancholy and alarming."
     --The New York Times

"Elegiac, deceptively lovely....As always, Ishiguro pulls you under."

"Superbly unsettling, impeccably controlled...The Book's irresistible power come from Ishiguro's matchless ability to expose its dark heart in careful increments."
     --Entertainment Weekly

This is an Eclectic Reader 2014 Challenge Book!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (#1)

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is hosted by Uncorked Thoughts.  The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/ films/ J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related!

Scariest Magical Creature:

I would say the Boggart is probably the scariest creature.  I mean, they transform themselves into what you fear most.  I know it's relatively easy to defeat them if you can focus enough, but if I had my worst nightmare starring me in the face, I probably would have trouble concentrating enough to cast any spell let alone one that will make it ridiculous. (or should I say reddikulus.)  

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Blogging Confessions

hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. 

1. I am a bad library patron.  I check out way too many books too finish in one check out period.  I am perpetually renewing books, which I'm sure makes other people irritated.  I know when a book that I want is check out I get annoyed.  I am also horrible at getting books back on time.  I can't think of a time when I don't have a fine waiting for me to pay.

2. I own more books than I will ever be able to read, but I want to read them!  There are just too many other books out there.

3. When people give me books for any reason, I have a hard time telling them if I already own it, so I end up with multiple copies of books.

4. I like bookmarks but I think they are mostly a waste of money.  Why buy a $4 or $5 piece of pretty cardstock when I can use paper.  The only bookmarks I own are ones that I have received as gifts.

5.  I am a self-professed slow reader, but when I was in elementary school I had to go to a speed reading class once a week because I couldn't read fast enough or out loud.  I used to be embarrassed by how slow I read, but now I love it because I know I'll remember everything about the book.

6. I'm always a little leery of the series that have exploded onto the scene.  I'm nervous that all the hype will make my expectation too high which in turn will ruin the book.   It usually takes a personal recommendation for me to pick up the really popular books.

7. I don't organize my bookshelf in any logical fashion, but books by the same author usually end up next to each other.

8. I don't spend enough time perusing through other book blogs, mostly because I'm always busy.  I'd like to spend more time doing that because I love learning about new books and events happening in the community.

9. I like to show my book pride through stuff - jewelry, stuffed animals, posters, action figures, cups, anything.

10.  I always carry a book with me, no matter where I go.  It doesn't matter that there is no chance that I'll have time to read, I like to be prepared.  It's the main reason I started carrying big purses.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Notable Quotable: Lois Lowry (#37)

"The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It's the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared."
     --The Giver

Friday, July 4, 2014


by Holly Lauren
published: Libertine Press, 2013
pages: 362

Chapel is a normal high school cheerleader, with normal high school friends.  Only no one knows that she used to get hallucinations and now that they're back she has to try even harder to keep them a secret.  When a mysterious boy, Zay, takes an interest in her, Chapel has to decide whether or not she enjoys his company and the adventure that comes with him.

The thing about this book is that it is quite mysterious.  It seems like it's just another teen romance, but then unexplained conversations and curious people start popping up and make me wonder.  It is very compelling.  It has the right combination of mystery and action.

Chapel is a captivating character.  In a genre where the female lead tends toward self-pity and wallowing, I love the fact that Chapel doesn't do either one.  She acknowledges the problems, especially her hallucinations, but she doesn't ever spend an exorbitant amount of time feeling sorry for herself.  She goes looking for answers, which is partly what makes Chapel a strong character.

Holly Lauren has crafted a story that has enchanted me thoroughly. I enjoyed reading this book and I think it would definitely fall into the fun summer read category.  I hope we get a sequel to this book because would love to read more about Chapel and her world.

Edit: I literally just found out that this has a sequel coming out in a couple months, so now I'm really excited to continue reading Chapel's story!

Stars: 4/5


"I don't think I've ever read a book with such great, BELIEVABLE dialogue! ...I really did love Tempus, and I'm sure I'll wear out my tablet reading [it] over and over"
     --Echo Reed, InkBerry Book

"Tempus was an interesting, unique, unpredictable book.  The mix of paranormal and mystery, friendship and romance, and complex, likable characters gave Tempus the elements I most enjoy in a young adult book."
     --Kimberly Faye, Kimberly Faye Reads

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Classics

hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This is a two part: the first five are my top five favorite classics.  The second five are the top five I want to read.

Read and Loved:

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - This is my all-time favorite classic.  (And who can blame me?) I've read it many a time and I never get bored.  I have yet to meet another classic that I love as much as this one.

2. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee - I read this for the first time in my 9th grade English class, but I had seen the movie already.  I can't get over the importance of this book and message that it sends.  I absolutely love the characters.

3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - Three words: The Green Light.  Three more words: Dr. TJ Eckleburg's Eyes.

4. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien - This book (quite possibly, aside from Harry Potter) is the reason I love fantasy and adventure.  In 5th grade, a mom came in on fridays to read us books.  This was one of those books. (Harry Potter also happened to be one of those books but who's taking about Harry Potter...)

5. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis - I read this in 6th grade for a book report and I loved it.  It took me a couple of years to finish the rest of this series, but this book had me looking in every cupboard, closet, and wardrobe I could find.

Want and Need to Read:
Most of these books were recommended to me by my good friend Leigh.  I'm ashamed to say that I haven't gotten to them yet, but some of them I plan on reading this summer!

1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte - I've had this book for years and now this summer I will be reading it, as it has perpetually been on my TBR pile since I acquired it.  

2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte - I want to read this and I will!  This is probably the one on the list I most want to read.

3. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott - I picked this one up at the end of the year last year, but I wasn't in the mood.  I put it on my summer list this year so hopefully I'm in the mood for this time.

4. Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier - Leigh's asked me about this one quite a bit, which make me think that I need to make this a higher priority. (BUT so many books.)

5. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde - My late friend (not Leigh) suggested that this is the best piece of literature to ever grace the planet.