Monday, December 31, 2012

Book Haul: Goodwill!

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

I have been wanting this one for a while! I'm a little disappointed that it isn't the original cover, but it was one dollar so that's okay.

The Devil in the White City
by Erik Larson

I've had this on my tbr (to be read) shelf for a while. I have no idea what it's about, but everyone is always talking about it so how bad could it be?

 Dead and Gone and Dead as a Doornail
by Charlaine Harris

I love TruBlood but the show has been disappointing me lately so I'm going back to the books. I've been grabbing them wherever I see them to get the full series. I believe these are books 5 and 9. I'm not sure but they are really fun southern vampire novels so they will be read quickly!

The Green Mile
by Stephen King

Ah my old friend! I am a sucker for a Stephen King novel! Originally, The Green Mile was published as short books in a series. If you follow me on GoodReads you will notice that I have the individual books on the series there. That is so I can reach my 50 books for 2013 goal. Judge me if you want, but it counts!

 Saving Max
by Antoinette Van Heuglen

All I know about this one is her son is a murderer. Done!

The total I spent at Goodwill was $6! if I had bought all of these books at the store I would have spent $97.38 that is a $91.38 savings!! I call that a steal!



Thursday, December 27, 2012

Book Haul: Christmas Reads


Dash and Lily's Book of Dares 
by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan.

This is the most adorable book. It is about a girl and a boy running all over New York from Christmas to New Years doing dares. The catch is they have no idea who the other is. By communicating through a red moleskin notebook, they get to know each other in a quirky, yet deep way. 

“You were in Sweden?" Boomer asked.

"No," I said. "The trip got called off at the last minute. Because of  the political unrest"

"In Sweden?" Priya seemed skeptical.

"Yeah-isn't it strange how the Times isn't covering it? Half the country's on strike because of that thing the crown prince said about Pippi Longstocking Which means no meatballs for Christmas, if you know what I mean."

"That's so sad!" Boomer said.” 

Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1)
By Colleen Houck

I heard about this book through Alli, a wonderful booktuber. I don't really know how to explain this book so I will just show you what is on the inside flap.

"Would you risk it all to change your destiny?

The last thing Kelsey Hayes thought she’d be doing this summer was trying to break a 300-year-old Indian curse. With a mysterious white tiger named Ren. Halfway around the world. But that’s exactly what happened. Face-to-face with dark forces, spellbinding magic, and mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever."

I am so excited to read this!! Ahhh yeah. And can we all take a moment to admire this cover….

Matched (Matched, #1)
By Ally Condie

I'm sure you've all heard of this one. The hype surrounding this book is ridiculous. So of course I have to see what it's all about. Plus, I'm sure a movie is on the horizon so I need to read the series first. 

"Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate... until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow."

So those are the books I got for myself as a gift :)

Tell me what books you've recently gotten! I'd love to hear!!



Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Quote of the Day

“One can never have enough socks," said Dumbledore. "Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn't get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.” - Albus Dumbledore

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you have a wonderful day with your families and friends.Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you have a wonderful day with your families and friends.xoxo,xoxo,


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Excerpt of the Day: My Sister's Keeper

When I was little, the great mystery to me wasn't how babies were made, but why. The mechanics I understood -- my older brother Jesse had filled me in -- although at the time I was sure he'd heard half of it wrong. Other kids my age were busy looking up the words penis and vagina in the classroom dictionary when the teacher had her back turned, but I paid attention to different details. Like why some mothers only had one child, while other families seemed to multiply before your eyes. Or how the new girl in school, Sedona, told anyone who'd listen that she was named for the place where her parents were vacationing when they made her ("Good thing they weren't staying in Jersey City," my father used to say). 

Now that I am thirteen, these distinctions are only more complicated: the eighth-grader who dropped out of school because she got into trouble; a neighbor who got herself pregnant in the hopes it would keep her husband from filing for divorce. I'm telling you, if aliens landed on earth today and took a good hard look at why babies get born, they'd conclude that most people have children by accident, or because they drink too much on a certain night, or because birth control isn't one hundred percent, or for a thousand other reasons that really aren't very flattering. 

On the other hand, I was born for a very specific purpose. I wasn't the result of a cheap bottle of wine or a full moon or the heat of the moment. I was born because a scientist managed to hook up my mother's eggs and my father's sperm to create a specific combination of precious genetic material. In fact, when Jesse told me how babies get made and I, the great disbeliever, decided to ask my parents the truth, I got more than I bargained for. They sat me down and told me all the usual stuff, of course -- but they also explained that they chose little embryonic me, specifically, because I could save my sister, Kate. "We loved you even more," my mother made sure to say, "because we knew what exactly we were getting." 
It made me wonder, though, what would have happened if Kate had been healthy. Chances are, I'd still be floating up in Heaven or wherever, waiting to be attached to a body to spend some time on Earth. Certainly I would not be part of this family. See, unlike the rest of the free world, I didn't get here by accident. And if your parents have you for a reason, then that reason better exist. Because once it's gone, so are you.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Spotlight on: Identical

"Identical tackles perhaps 
the most difficult subject matter 
of all. It is about identical twins whose father is sexually abusing one of them. I chose this subject matter because the issue touched the lives of three of my friends. Today, they are successful, beautiful women who you would never believe this mighthave happened to. I want readers to know it is possible to find a way beyond this terrible place, into a brighter future." -Ellen Hopkins

    Mirror, Mirror

                          When I look into a
                          it is her face I see.
                          Her right is my left, double
                          moles, dimple and all.
                          My right is her left,

                          We are exact
                          Kaeleigh and me.
                          Mirror-image identical
                          twins. One egg, one sperm,
                          one zygote, divided,
                          sharing one complete
                          set of genetic markers.

                          On the outside
                           we are the same. But not
                           inside. I think
                           she is the egg, so
                           much like our mother
                           it makes me want to scream.
                          That makes me the sperm,
                           I guess. I take completely
                           after our father.
                          All Daddy, that’s me.

                          Good, bad. Left, right.
                          Kaeleigh and Raeanne.
                          One egg, one sperm.
                          One being, split in two.

                           And how many

If you have ever read an Ellen Hopkins book then you know she writes entirely in verse (as displayed above). 
After I read the page as it was meant to be read, I always went back and read the words on one side. For instance
in the sample above, it would read "Mirror opposites, cold, controlled, codependent, cowardly, souls." Ellen loves to 
hide special meaning in her books that way. That is one reason why they are so unique and interesting. 

This was my first Ellen Hopkins book and I absolutely loved it! Her books have always been those books I see in the
bookstore, possibly flip through and then always put back on the shelf in favor of something else. I don't remember
why the day I bought this was different, but I am so thankful it was. 

There is a twist at the end of this book that will make your head spin. After I read it I literally shut the book and stared
into space for about ten minutes just blinking and processing. I usually see plot twists in books before they happen
but this one caught me completely off guard! It made me want to reread the book with this twist in mind.

Such a good book and a very unique style of writing that goes really quickly.

If you have read Identical let me know your thoughts in the comments below but NO SPOILERS.
 Be respectful of the people that haven't read the book yet.

Happy reading!!



Friday, December 21, 2012

Quote of the Day

“Why does everyone want to own me?" Pippa mumbles. She's got her head in her hands. "Why do they all want to control my life -- how I look, whom I see, what I do or don't do? Why can't they just let me alone?""Because you're beautiful," Ann answers, watching the fire lick her palm. "People always think they can own beautiful things.”                                                                    ~Libba Bray, A Great and Terrible Beauty

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Michelle Review's: Percy Jackson and the Lighting Thief

When I picked up this book, I wasn't expecting to love it. I thought it would be one of those fun reads that you can complete in a night; nothing more, nothing less. Well It was a fun, quick read, but it is also one of those books that contain characters that will live in your heart forever.

The story is about young demigods. Demigods are created when a God and a mortal have a child. The Demigod that narrates this book is of course Percy Jackson.

Percy is a 12-year old boy that is just trying to get through middle school in one piece. He lives with his mom and his awful stepdad "smelly Gabe". Percy narrates with humor and sarcasm throughout the book. When Percy finds out his true heritage he goes to Camp Half-blood where he meets Grover the satyr and Annabeth daughter of Athena. Together they go on an epic journey to find Zeus's lighting bolt. On their quest, they meet Ares, Medusa, Poisiden, Hades, The Furies, and more than enough greek monsters.

Not only is this book good for a laugh, but it is also a really fun way to learn Greek mythology. As you read, you feel as if you are personally in the presence of all of the Gods and creatures.

I cannot wait to continue the journey with Percy and his friends!

This is definitely not a book to judge by its cover. It is so much more than a children's book and certainly deserves a prime space on my book shelf.

So what did you think about The Lighting Thief? Do you want to read it now? Let me know in the comments below!



Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Excerpt of the Day: City of Bones

"Once there was a boy," said Jace.
Clary interrupted immediately. "A Shadowhunter boy?"
"Of course." For a moment a bleak amusement colored his voice. Then it was gone. "When the boy was six years old, his father gave him a falcon to train. Falcons are raptors---killing birds, his father told him, the Shadowhunters of the sky.
"The falcon didn't like the boy, and the boy didn't like it, either. Its sharp beak made him nervous, and its bright eyes always seemed to be watching him. It would slash at him with beak and talons whenever he came near: For weeks his wrists and hands were always bleeding. He didn't know it, but his father had selected a falcon that had lived in the wild for over a year, and thus nearly impossible to tame. But the boy tried, because his father had told him to make the falcon obedient, and he wanted to please his father.
"He stayed with the falcon constantly, keeping it awake by talking to it and even playing music to it, because a tired bird was meant to be easier to tame. He learned the equipment: the jesses, the hood, the brail, the leash that bound the bird to his wrist. He was meant to keep the falcon blind, but he couldn't bring himself to do it--- instead he tried to sit where the bird could see him as he touched and stroked its wings, willing it to trust him. He fed it from his hand, at first it would not eat. Later it ate so savagely that its beak cut the skin of his palm. But the boy was glad, because it was progress, and because he wanted the bird to know him, even if the bird had to consume his blood to make that happen.
"He began to see that the falcon was beautiful, that its slim light wings were built for the speed of flight, that it was strong and swift, fierce and gentle. When it dived to the ground, it moved like light. When it leanred to circle and come to his wrist, he nearly shouted with delight. Sometimes the bird would hop to his shoulder and put his beak in his hair. He knew his falcon loved him, and when he was certain it was not just tamed but perfectly tamed, he went to his father and showed him what he had done, expecting him to be proud.
"Instead his father took the bird, now tame and trusting, in his hands and broke its neck. 'I told you to make it obedient,' his father said, and dropped the falcon's lifeless body to the ground. 'Instead, you taught it to love you. Falcons are not meant to be loving pets: They are fierce and wild, savage and cruel. This bird was not tamed; it was broken.'
"Later, when his father left him, the boy cried over his pet, until eventually his father sent a servant to take the body of the bird away and bury it. The boy never cried again. and he never forgot what he'd learned: that to love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed."

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Quote of the Day

“He was gone, and I did not have time to tell him what I had just now realized: that I forgave him, and that she forgave us, and that we had to forgive to survive in the labyrinth. There were so many of us who would have to live with things done and things left undone that day. Things that did not go right, things that seemed okay at the time because we could not see the future. If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions. But we can’t know better until knowing better is useless. And as I walked back to give Takumi’s note to the Colonel, I saw that I would never know. I would never know her well enough to know her thoughts in those last minutes, would never know if she left us on purpose. But the not-knowing would not keep me from caring, and I would always love Alaska Young, my crooked neighbor, with all my crooked heart."
                                                                           ~John Green Looking for Alaska

Monday, December 17, 2012


Hello everyone!

I just wanted to keep you up to date on a few things.

First, as you can see, I have changed my theme! I like this one way more than the last theme.

Secondly, starting tomorrow, I will post one quote from a book everyday.

If any of you have a quote that you would like to see posted either leave it as a comment below, or message me on Goodreads (link on the right). I'm doing this for you so let me know what you would like to see.

Also a little heads up, I start classes again the first week of January so I will not be as active. I will still post a Quote of the Day and a Judging books by Their covers post once a month. However, since I won't get much time to read, there will be very few reviews if any. I may have some adult friends of mine Guest Review since I can just copy and paste those onto a post. I'm not sure yet.

That is all for now. I hope you all are doing well!



Judging Books by Their Covers 1

Welcome to the first of many Judging Books by Their Covers! Here I'll share some of my favorite book covers. I don't care what anyone says. People do judge books by covers. It's human nature. And with some of these beauties who can blame them?

The Twilight Saga: While I wasn't a huge fan of the books, I can't help but adore the covers. I love how red is always highlighted on each book. It's a very subtle way of acknowledging the vampire theme. Also, if you have read the series or have seen the movies you understand why the images were chosen for each. They all give a nod to a scene or element in the book. On her website, Stephanie Meyer explains each of the covers:

"The apple on the cover of Twilight represents "forbidden fruit." I used the scripture from Genesis (located just after the table of contents) because I loved the phrase "the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil." Isn't this exactly what Bella ends up with? A working knowledge of what good is, and what evil is. The nice thing about the apple is it has so many symbolic roots. You've got the apple in Snow White, one bite and you're frozen forever in a state of not-quite-death... Then you have Paris and the golden apple in Greek mythology—look how much trouble that started. Apples are quite the versatile fruit. In the end, I love the beautiful simplicity of the picture. To me it says: choice."                                   It also takes me back to the cafeteria scene where Edward sat with an uneaten apple in front of him.
New Moon

"That is a ruffled tulip. As for the meaning... If you've read the Twilight FAQ, you know that the apple cover had a lot of meaning for me, and I was an active part of the covering process. However, that experience is more the exception than the rule in the publishing world. Something to keep in mind if you intend to embark on a career as a writer: lots of things you might expect to be under your control are not. Covers, for example. Those are mostly up to the publisher and the marketing and sales departments. So I don't know what the tulip means—I didn't have anything to do with this one."

Stephanie Meyer didn't give an answer to the Eclipse cover. My theory is that it represents how Bella is split between both Edward and Jacob and more importantly choosing between her human life or a vampire life.

Breaking Dawn

"Breaking Dawn's cover is a metaphor for Bella's progression throughout the entire saga. She began as the weakest (at least physically, when compared to vampires and werewolves) player on the board: the pawn. She ended as the strongest: the queen. In the end, it's Bella that brings about the win for the Cullens." It is also a nod to Edward and Bella playing chess on their honeymoon.

So there is the first Judging Books post! You can look forward to  one of these a month. Let me know in the comments what your favorite covers are. You may see them featured on the next Judging Books post!



Sunday, December 16, 2012

Michelle Reviews: Life of Pi

I have had this book on my shelf for so many years and could never bring myself to read it. I think this is partly due to the cover (I am an art major after all), but also due to what the cover portrays. A boy on a boat with a tiger. So boring right? WRONG! Well sort of wrong. Allow me to explain. 

The style of the book is an easy-to-read first person narrative. It goes quickly (up to the last 200 pages) and while it doesn't require much attention, will stimulate a great deal of thought. The voice of the book is Piscine Patel, or simply Pi.

Piscine Patel is a boy living in India with his mother, father and brother Ravi. Their family owns a zoo. From a young age, the boys father has taught the boys to fear animals. But when the family decides to relocate to Canada this important lesson is challenged by fate itself. Yann Martel expertly intertwines religion and zoology into one intricately simply philosophy. At some points, Life of Pi is like watching Animal Planet at others it's like reading the Bible. While Pi is young he has no lack of wisdom. He is fascinated by religion and becomes a practicing Muslim, Christian and Hindu to the chagrin of his parents and three religious leaders. When the religious leaders say he must chose only one religion to practice, Piscine sensibly says "Bapu Gandhi said 'All religions are true.' I just want to love God." Throughout the text many wise and thought-provoking quotes are written. The religions Pi explores merge in his mind with the zoo and the lives of the animals. To Pi both religion and animals are ways to know God more deeply.

While the book does get boring towards the last 200 pages, it is worth your while.

Life of Pi takes what you believe and forces you to defend it, as well as introduces the reader to new concepts that you will want to further explore. I implore you to journey with Pi as he discovers himself and the many forms of God.

So that is my take! 
Leave your opinions in a comment below! 


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Book Haul!

On my most recent trip to Costco I bought the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Yes I already have them, but look at these beautiful new covers!! I found out that these covers were originally designed for eReaders and were then put on to books. Wherever their origins I LOVE them! They are minimalist covers which basically means that the most important elements of the book are highlighted. I love the elvish writing on the books. Such a nice font! These new covers are a big step up from the old movie covers with the actors fighting amongst chaos. Those were too much for me. The more elegant covers are more my style. Ever since I saw the first preview for The Hobbit movie I have been itching to revisit the series. Since I've already read The Hobbit more than a few times I decided to start with The Fellowship of the Ring. Also (Confession alert!) I have never finished The Two Towers or started The Return of the King. Shameful I know. but before all of you Ringers get upset (lord of the rings wiki's word not mine!) this faux paw will be remedied soon. Plus this way you all get to read my take on the books. Yay you! 

Okay my books await me.


Friday, December 14, 2012

The Seven Signs of Addiction

Hello everyone!

My name is Michelle and I am a book addict.

They say the seven signs of addiction are:

Questioning:"Do I have a problem?"

Defensiveness: "If people don't understand that's their problem!" "I can stop whenever I want to."

Blaming: "It's moms fault. She's the one that taught me how to read at 2 and a half."

Secrets and Lies: mom: "How many books are you reading?" me: "Just one... two?.. fine five."

Time and Effort: "Gotta get up at 7 so I can read for another hour... or two... three should be fine."

Guilt and Shame: "I just spent so much on these! I do have a problem... wait... I don't own that book. Better get it while they have it."

Isolation: Friend: "Hey wanna hang out tonight?" me:"No I think I'll stay here and read" friend: "…"

Do you recognize any of these symptoms in yourself? Yes? Then congratulations you are a bibliophile like me! Welcome to the club!

On this blog, I will review books I have finished reading. I will also have some of my friends guest post  about books that they have read. I may even do some fun things like recent book hauls and my favorite book to movie adaptions etc.

A word of caution: If you do not have the symptoms of a book addict get off this blog NOW! Once this addiction hits you there is no turning back. You can kiss your money and your social life goodbye. Don't say I didn't warn you.