Saturday, May 21, 2011

Shelving Saturday - #5

Welcome to Shelving Saturday

Shelving Saturday is a weekly blog event I have started here at Eastern Sunset Reads.   Each week I will post a shelving dilemma or question and you can join me in the response. Please feel free to post on your blog and link back here, please be sure to post the link to your response in the comments so I can come and check your Shelving day out!

This weeks dilemma is how do you stack your books on the shelves?  Do you line them up library style, do you stack them on their sides or do you use a combination?  Have you figured out what method holds the most books?!

I go back and forth sometimes I shelve them library style and with the smaller books I use a combination. Lately though I have been wondering that if I laid them down in stacks if I could fit more books on the shelves.  I would love to see how you display your books (or just maximize your space).

Here are two of my shelving styles:

Library style for my classics and poetry

And Combination for my Middle Reader/ Saddle club and horse books

So lets see your shelves, how do you display your books, maximize space or just cram them in there. Do you have any tips for the rest of us trying to smoosh all our books in our limited spaces.

Friday, May 20, 2011

In My Mailbox - #5 & Bedtime Story: Green Eggs & Ham

   In My Mailbox is a weekly event hosted by The Story Siren that I have decided to participate in.

How IMM works:
Make your own IMM post! You can post about books you've bought, gotten from the library, received for review... books don't have to arrive via your mailbox. 
I post every week, but you don’t have to. You can do one week out of the month or every other week it’s up to you. 
You don't have to call your post In My Mailbox... (some people don't even have mailboxes!)
I post my IMM on Sunday, but choose a day of the week that works for you.
Once you have your IMM posted, come back to The Story Siren on Sunday and add your link to the list. 
Try to post a comment on other bloggers IMM posts. I don’t expect you to post a comment on every single one, but pick a few!

All book bloggers are welcome, while I’d like to keep the theme to YA literature it’s NOT a requirement.

There is no right or wrong way to do In My Mailbox, you can vlog, you can take fun picture, you can use the books cover art, it’s up to you!

Most importantly HAVE FUN!

I got nothing in my mailbox this week, but I did download a couple of books onto my Nook to finish up the series I was working on.  I have already posted the reviews of all of them too so you can check out my other posts this week for the synopsis of each of them.


Now a little Friday night bedtime story . . .

Green Eggs & Ham by Dr. Seuss

Synopsis from Goodreads:  "Back in 1957, Theodor Geisel responded to an article in Life magazine that lamented the use of boring reading primers in schools. Using the pseudonym of "Dr. Seuss" (Seuss was Geisel's middle name) and only 223 words, Geisel created a replacement for those dull primers: The Cat in the Hat. The instant success of the book prompted Geisel and his wife to found Beginner Books, and Geisel wrote 44 books in this series. These affordable hardcover books combine large print, easy vocabulary, and large, bright illustrations in stories kids will want to read again and again. Grades 1 - Grades 2."

My Review:  Well who doesn't love Green Eggs & Ham?!  This was one that was read to me so many times I didn't really need to read it again, I could recite it from memory.  It has a fun lesson for kids to try new things (including green things) wrapped up in the rhymes of Dr. Seuss. Green Eggs and Ham isn't my favorite Dr. Seuss but its one that I can actually read out loud without getting my tongue tied in knots!

My Rating:  Me, Niko & Valerie all decided to give it Four Paws! The great classic illustrations, fun colors and unique combinations (Goat in a Boat?!) make it a great book for kids of all ages!

Goodnight, Sweet Dreams

Follow Friday #2 & Review of If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman

To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { } and any one else you want to follow on the list
  2. (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers -
  3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
  5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "HI"
  6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
  7. If you're new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

Q. It's circle time. Time for us to open up and share. Can you tell us FIVE quirky habits or things about you? We all have them...
1. I love bacon! My hubby makes fun of me that if bacon bought and cooked itself I would have married it!

2. My favorite animal, oddly enough, is an armadillo. They are soo unique and cute!

3. I grew up in a tiny town in Wyoming but now live in a city in Rhode Island, talk about change.

4. I am terrified of moose, spiders & thunder, oh and being on boats.

5. I have never met some of my best friends in person, only online, but they are some of the most amazing friends ever!


Synopsis from Goodreads: "In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...
A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands."

My Review: An amazing and emotional journey! Gayle Forman brings you a long and shoves you into Mia's memories and decision. You can't help but be drug into the mix of emotions Mia feels and she struggles with a decision to stay or to go with her family. It makes you wonder what you would do? Could you stay if you knew you had lost so much and could possibly loose more? Or would you fight for what small hope there could be?
My Rating: I definitely loved this book, everything came together, the emotions, the writing, the characters so If I Stay gets a whopping Four Paws and a Stump Wag!!  Thats as high as my ratings go!!

Now I will review the second book, some things may be given away so if you don't want to spoil your reading experience of If I Stay  I suggest you stop reading now.  I don't give any spoilers in my reviews but the synopsis does a little bit.

Synopsis from Goodreads: "It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.
Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future–and each other.

Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance."

My Review: Wow, a beautiful follow up to If I Stay! I love that it continues the story but from a different point of view. The emotions we followed Adam through are extreme, you feel his anguish, his heartbreak, hope and confussion. I can almost hear the songs he writes as I read the book. Gayle Forman presents us with realistic takes on stardom and life, we can't have some dreams without sacrificing others, we can have everything without feeling pain, its up to us what pain we feel and what we choose to achieve.

My Rating: Gayle Forman knocked another one out of the park! Again all the elements came together for me, the voice of the book is so perfect! Another rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!!  I really suggest you take a look at these two books!

Phew! Thats a lot but I wanted to get it all done instead of flooding all your inboxes and feeds!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Review: Books 2 & 3 of the Summer Series by Jenny Han

Synopsis: "Can summer be truly summer without Cousins Beach?
It used to be that Belly counted the days until summer, until she was back at Cousins Beach with Conrad and Jeremiah. But not this year. Not after Susannah got sick again and Conrad stopped caring. Everything that was right and good has fallen apart, leaving Belly wishing summer would never come.

But when Jeremiah calls saying Conrad has disappeared, Belly knows what she must do to make things right again. And it can only happen back at the beach house, the three of them together, the way things used to be. If this summer really and truly is the last summer, it should end the way it started--at Cousins Beach."

My Review: I read this one right after The Summer I Turned Pretty and I still maintain my dislike for Belly, she is so immature, but there are 16 year olds who act that way. I really enjoyed being able to get to know Jeremiah's character a little more, and even Conrad's. There was a lot of pushing and pulling between the love triangle as to be expected. Unfortunately it seems that Belly is too self centered give a sacrifice like each of the boys. This wasn't my favorite book of the Summer Series but I think it was a necessary building block. Once again though I absolutely love Jenny Han's writing style!

My Rating: I think I would give Its Not Summer Without You Two Paws and a Stump Wag.  A little middle of the road but thats how I felt. I definately would suggest people reading it if they liked the first one, it has an important role in building the relationships for the third book.


Synopsis: "It's been two years since Conrad told Belly to go with Jeremiah. She and Jeremiah have been inseparable ever since, even attending the same college-- only, their relationship hasn't exactly been the happily ever after Belly had hoped it would be. And when Jeremiah makes the worst mistake a boy can make, Belly is forced to question what she thought was true love. Does she really have a future with Jeremiah? Has she ever gotten over Conrad? It's time for Belly to decide, once and for all, who has her heart forever"

My Review: Just when everything seems so clear life comes and gets you again. I was glad I forged ahead and read this final book of the Summer series even though I dislike Belly. I have to say she did finally start to mature in this one, still has a temper and gets stubborn but it seems she has learned to keep her mouth shut (sometimes). I wouldn't have made the same decisions she does but I can see she makes them out of love. Unfortunately this book seemed a little rushed, I am not sure if it was the frantic timeline the characters themselves laid out or if it was that there was so much turmoil. I also was a little disappointed at the abrupt ending after all the build up (I am talking about the a couple years later chapter), I felt like it was a little off handed just to throw that ending in there without any emotion.

My Rating: This one was a little harder to rate, but I think I come to the conclusion of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.  It could have been four paws if the last chapter hadn't just rushed past any emotions, I feel like there should have been a fourth book instead of one brief chapter.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Review of The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Synopsis from Goodreads "Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer--they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along"

My Review: A beautifully written book in my opinion. I love how Jenny Han draws you into the story and lets you in on the characters little inside jokes and memories. I didn't exactly connect with Belly, and some readers my not but we all know someone like her! Actually I don't know if I really connected with any of the characters or if they all just got me thinking about my own memories. Honestly I think that what makes The Summer I Turned Pretty so good, is you coast through reading about Belly, Conrad, & Jeremiah, Susannah and Laurel, investing a little time in them and then wondering off into your own memories. It is great to have that something done or said trigger a little thing in the back of your mind that you haven't thought of in years.

Last night I was thinking about what I would write in review of this book and I just kept thinking how opposite I was from Belly. I wasn't a complainer or whiner like she is, and I definitely did not get my way. But the one thing we had in common was our want to be included, we just went about it in different ways, Belly tried to tag along when she was young and tattle when she didn't get her way so the boys would be forced to take her. I on the other hand set out to impress. The thing with being a girl and trying to hang with the guys is you have to be braver, tougher and faster than not only a girl but the guys too. Some how I accomplished that when I was a kid and became one of the guys. The problem with that was again opposite than Belly, Conrad and Jeremiah suddenly noticed her, along with other guys she encountered because she was seen as beautiful, and pretty. On the complete other hand was me, one of the guys, even when I did finally turn pretty I could never be viewed that way. I had worked so hard to be included one way only to be excluded in a different way down the road. Not that I would change that, I ended up meeting an amazing man when I left that tiny town behind. The Summer I Turned Pretty just made me think about all of this while reading it.  The beautiful writing style Jenny Han uses lets you have your moments to ponder.

My Rating: All in all I loved this book and have to give it Four Paws! I wasn't a fan of Belly's but I grew to like her (kind of like that annoying cousin or sibling) and the other characters. I am an absolute fan of Jenny Han's now, I really enjoyed how she didn't let the cancer take the main focus of the book, she let her characters find their own way as would be typical of a young teen girl and teen boys.

I will have reviews of both Its Not Summer Without You and We'll Always have Summer, the final two books of the trilogy in a post for you tomorrow. <3

Review: Eternal Rider & other news

Eternal Rider by Larissa Ione
Book 1 of the Lords of Deliverance
Synopsis from Goodreads: " They are here. They ride. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
His name is Ares, and the fate of mankind rests on his powerful shoulders. If he falls to the forces of evil, the world falls too. As one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, he is far stronger than any mortal, but even he cannot fight his destiny forever. Not when his own brother plots against him.
Yet there is one last hope. Gifted in a way other humans can't-or won't-understand, Cara Thornhart is the key to both this Horseman's safety and his doom. But involving Cara will prove treacherous, even beyond the maddening, dangerous desire that seizes them the moment they meet. For staving off eternal darkness could have a staggering cost: Cara's life."

      My Review:  I absolutely loved this book! I think Ione just gained another follower! Eternal Rider had great dynamics between the characters.  The siblings (Four Horsemen) had your typical family love hate relationship.  The character descriptions of the Hellhounds, horsemen and demons was very interesting, I so want to be a horseman and have a horse with me at all times like they do, so cool!  The struggle between good and evil that Ione portrayed was interesting, the good had flaws and the evil even had some redeeming factors, there was so much gray area it seemed very realistic.  Ares was a great character, I enjoyed his harsh but down to earth point of view, it was a great contrast to Cara's timid and look for the good in everything point of view.  Oddly enough the Hellhound pup, Hal added some great comic relief on occasion. What I really loved was that Larissa Ione really stuck with the main plot of the book and didn't get distracted by the physical parts (read sex scenes) as I have read in the past.  

Note: There is adult language and situations described in detail through out this book, there is also a good amount of blood and guts, just a forewarning.

My Rating:  I definitely give this book All Four Paws! I really enjoyed nearly ever aspect of Eternal Rider and can't wait for the next book in the series to come out late this year!


In other news I am back from vacation!! I read 4 almost 5 books this last week so I will try to post the reviews in between getting caught back up with work and house chores.  I have so much reading on the blogs I follow to catch up on, who knows when I will get done!  I hope you all had a great week!

Here is a silly picture from my vacation, my BFF and I went to Salem MA for a visit and decided to do one of those old fashioned photoshoots and this was one picture that made me giggle!