Monday, October 31, 2011
This year, the pumpkins were darker and as a result, most of our pictures came out poorly.
Here's a few good ones:
The North Pole - where they had fake snow falling and a awesome Santa pumpkin
(that didn't come out right in our photos)
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Mel's mentor from culinary school turns out to be one of the judges. She's happy to see him again, but she can't help be disappointed in his recent life choices.
When he turns up dead - in a freezer, Mel's immediately suspicious of his death. It turns out he was murdered. Mel tries to piece together his last moments, worry about the other judges, and try to win the contest.
My Thoughts: I LOVED the baking contest - I enjoyed reading about various recipes, ingredients, and trails and errors of the team. I loved the relationships between Mel and the judges. I love the new intern - Oz. he has some very interesting ideas for the bakery. I love the banter between Mel, Angie, and Tate. All in all, a tasty and thoroughly entertaining read.
Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: my Library
Friday, October 28, 2011
Some of our staff dressed up, my self included
Here I am: In all Katniss's glory
Here I am posing under a picture of Katniss herself from the Hunger Games movie:
Nastasya has lived forever or her century long life seems like forever. Lately, she’s been living like a spoilt celebrity with wild parties, crazy friends, and no consequences for her actions. Then one night, one act of cruelty combines with magic changes her life.
Freaked out, she runs from her world and goes into hiding. She remembers one woman’s offer for help years ago and seeks her out. Nastasya winds up at River’s Edge – a place for immortals to regain their humanity, to learn about the world, and to choose goodness.
At first Nastasya hates it. She hates the daily chores. She hates the schooling. She hates the positive outlook from the other immortals living there. Nastasya must stay until she comes to terms with her past. What turned her heart cold?
Soon, Nastasya realizes that not everyone has a positive outlook. Someone at River’s Edge really doesn’t like her and isn’t afraid to use dark magic on her.
Can Nastasya figure out her past and try to move forward with her life or will stay her spoilt charming self?
My Thoughts: It took me a little bit to get into the book, but soon I was hooked. I wanted to know about Nastasya’s past. I loved unraveling bits and pieces with her. I loved the forbidden romance. I loved the danger. I loved her sarcastic witty remarks. I loved how she tried to help others. So looking forward to reading Darkness Falls (out in early January)
Cover Thoughts: I love the circle - but the rest of the cover doesn't capture my interest.
Source: Read for TeensReadToo
Thursday, October 27, 2011
It’s a hot July day and the crowd is starting to gather around the Cage. The court is on West 4th Street and everybody knows about it. The biggest and best basketball players in the city are here – playing their hearts out for a chance for fame. The spectators come to watch an amazing day of basketball.
My Thoughts: I love how the stories are so different yet blend perfectly together. I love the descriptions of basketball. Nine authors write short stories (sometimes in verse) where the world revolves around basketball. I love the different perspectives - some from the crowd and some from the players. I can visualize the entire day. My heart pounds in rhythm of the basketball dribbling.Cover Thoughts: I really like it!
Source: Read for TeensReadToo
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
If You Like… is a feature highlighting blogger recommendations for books, authors, TV shows, movies, and music based on the things you already know and love. This week’s post includes recommendations for books with a male point of view. If you think it’s hard to find books from a male perspective, you’re basically not looking very hard, but (thankfully) this week the IYL contributors have done the work for you.
If you like stories told by male narrators, you might like…Check out ALL the posts here
Lily just learned the truth about her magical powers. She’s still having some trouble understanding them, not to mention controlling them. Still, evil doesn’t stop for a training period.
One night, on patrol, Lily, her BFF Scout, and others stumble upon a monster resembling a vampire. These monsters leave a massive slime trail. It’s not hard to discover the link from the monsters to the Reapers. The bigger question is why. Why are they creating monsters? What will they use them for?
While they begin to unravel the mystery, Lily gets help from an unexpected source – Sebastian. He helps her control her powers. He gives her clues to help their search and questions that she should be asking. Their relationship’s starting to heat up – despite the fact that Lily and Jason are becoming an item.
My Thoughts: I really like this series. I love the relationship between Lily and Scout. I love how Lily’s never satisfied with an answer and how she’s curious about everything. I love the magic, the danger, and the action.
Cover Thoughts: I love it! I love the color of magic lighting up the whole book
Source: Read for TeensReadToo
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
When Luke goes missing, Kady and Seth can't believe he'd just disappear. Then they realize that thousands of children disappear each year. At first the police think they could be involved.
So they get involved. They realize that Luke said the magic words - right before he disappeared. They the track down a comic. They read a section of Luke as he heads into an old creepy house. He doesn't come out.
Kady and Seth try to unravel the mystery. Before they get too far, Kady gets an email in the middle of the night. She tries to call Seth, but he doesn't answer. The email said that he was going in to uncover the secrets of the world.
Will Kady fight to get her best friend back?
My Thoughts: It wasn't until I read the big plot twist that hooked me into this book. However, it was fascinating, spooky, and entertaining. It was a fast read. I loved how the comics made the world of Malice come alive. I loved the craziness of the world -the danger, the monsters, and those trying to break the world.
Cover Thoughts: Amazing - LOVE the 3D look and feel
Source: My Library - for our Middle School Book Club
Monday, October 24, 2011
My Thoughts: There were poems, essays, and stories throughout the book written by favorite authors. Some of them used writing to escape their emotions. Some of them used their bullies as characters in their novels. Some of them turned to humor. Some of them ran. Some of them fought back. Some of them did nothing and endured the torment.
I can't say that I LIKED this book, because it's so emotional, so heart-wrenching, and so hard to read at times. I will say that I read it in two sittings. It was hard to put down. And that it's a book that EVERY teen should read.
Cover Thoughts: I like it
Source: My library
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Suzanne can't believe that someone would murder Tim. He was so nice and helpful. Emily asks Suzanne to find out what happened to Tim. She doesn't hesitate is looking in his death with the help of her boyfriend, Grace, and George.
Someone wants her to back off and steals Suzanne's recipe book. It has ALL her donut recipes in it. While she can make some of her regular donuts from memory all her special donuts, trial and error donuts, and donut ideas could be lost forever. It almost makes her want to give up her store but not searching for the murderer.
My Thoughts: I crave donuts each time I read a book from this fantastic series. I love the small town life. The love the relationships between Grace and Suzanne, Suzanne and her mother, Jake and Suzanne, Suzanne and George, and Suzanne's mother and the police chief. With each charming book, Suzanne takes a delicious bite out of crime.
Cover Thoughts: I adore these covers. They've so cute and enticing.
Friday, October 21, 2011
Her beautiful sister Juliana has no problem. In fact, by lunch on the first day, she's managed to snag Chase's attention. Chase is adorable and sweet. Unfortunately for Elise, he's also the best friend of Derek Edwards.
Derek is the son of Hollywood royalty. He hates talking about his family or their connections. He also doesn't seem to like Elise.
Elise doesn't understand Derek. One minute they're having a great time at a party and the next he's throwing out a boy who starts talking to her. Elise connects with Webster. She can't figure out why Derek loathes him.
Will Elise choose the wrong boy?
My Thoughts: I'm SUCH a sucker for Jane Austen re-telling, especially teen one. I loved how similar it is to Pride and Prejudice. The parents were strict - the mother the school Principle and therefore embarrassing. I loved how Derek was the son of very famous actors.Using Hollywood for the setting was awesome. There were the crazy celebrity stalker girls (Layla - the Lydia character) included. I loved that Chelsea (the Caroline character) had a best friend who was more along the lines of a frenemy. I adored the relationship between Elise and Juliana. I found Layla both annoying and amusing. All in all, a great re-telling that I read in one afternoon because I didn't want to put it down.
Cover Thoughts: It's cute, but doesn't seem to jive with the story
Source: My Library
Similar Read: Prom and Prejudice
Thursday, October 20, 2011
When she arrives in the small town, she realizes that she has no idea where to start. She stops in a local cafe and the boy at the counter suggests she try the library after using the phone book proves no help. Mary Jo heads for the library where she meets Grace.
As soon as she spills her story, Grace knows what happened. She takes over, offering up the apartment in her barn for Mary Jo to stay the night. Mary Jo falls in the love with the town and it's people. She only hopes that she can stop her three brothers from making a mess out of her life because they seem to think they know what's best for her.
My Thoughts: I ADORE Christmas books. This one set in one of my favorite series. Most of the book takes place in one day. It was sweet, charming, and full of hope.
Cover Thoughts: Perfect
Source: my library
Challenge: a personal goal to read 10 Christmas Books this year
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
As she goes through the motions of life, she finds Caspian acting strange. There are times when he can't pick anything up. There are times when he falls asleep and she can't wake him up.
Could something or someone be trying to stop their happily forever after???
My Thoughts: This wasn't the ending I expected for the series, but after reading and digesting it, I think it's the ONLY one that works. There's a part that I really wanted to happen, but didn't, and that makes me sad. That being said, I adored this trilogy. It's chilling, engrossing, and full of emotion. I loved trying to figure out all the mysteries surrounding Abbey and Caspian. I loved their romance. I loved how they waited for November 1st and what it meant to them. I can't wait to see what Jessica Verday comes up with next!
Cover Thoughts: Perfect and so meaningful.
Source: my Library
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
He rents a creepy Victorian house for the summer, hoping that it will inspire him to finally finish his book.
He doesn't count of 11 year old Simon or Olive - the ghost of a aspiring author.
I.B. Grumply can't write with all the noise. He's constantly writing letters to Simon asking him to stop making so much noise.
It's not Simon making the noise. I.B. Grumply refuses to believe in ghosts, which makes Olive mischievous. Can the three of them make peace long enough for I.B. Grumply to finish his book?
My Thoughts: I read this for our 4th and 5th grade book club. It's adorable! It's written as an epistolary novel. It's full of humor, pictures, and mostly friendly pranks. A great read for October. So looking forward to the next chapter...
Cover Thoughts: Great
Source: my Library.
Monday, October 17, 2011
There's one bright spot in all of her troubles - her sister Tamra finally manifested. She's a shader. She can erase memories and she uses that power to help Jacinda escape the hunters after she showed her true self.
With her secret out, Jacinda's brought back to the pride in shame. Her sister's finally celebrated and accepted. Jacinda is happy for her sister, but struggles to find her place in a world where she was once revered. She is nothing now.
Jacinda attempts to put Will out of her mind for good, but it's no use. She doesn't want to let him go. She doesn't want to give in to the pride and become their puppet. How will she survive?
My Thoughts: I loved the second book!!! I loved how Tamra becomes a larger part of the story and how the sisters bond again. I love how they fly together. The love triangle becomes a more significant part of the story with Cassian taking a larger role. Jacinda has a hard time choosing between what's best for her and what might save her life. She makes mistakes and tries to live with them. She's suffering under the pride rule, but she has inner strength. I can't wait to read more of this sizzling, engrossing, fantastic read.
Cover Thoughts: Love it - I love how Tamra is on the cover.
Source: My Library
Sunday, October 16, 2011
I couldn't read the book which opens with the best friend and the fiance waking after after their night together. It's a personal feeling - but I don't find cheating entertaining.
That said, I was curious about the story because I'd heard great things about it. The movie was just...ok.
Things I liked:
He made the movie and I love Gennifer Goodwin
LOVED the author Cameo - but didn't realize until I saw this picture that she's reading the next book!
Things I didn't like:
This guy - I found him to be a young Tom Cruise - cocky and arrogant and smug
The fact that Kate Hudson played a VERY similar character in Bride Wars - the snotty best friend. I used to love her - but I wish a different role would come along for her.
I did like the ending and I'm curious to see where the story goes from here. Now that I'm passed the awkward part, I can start reading the books.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
The first day there, the town librarian comes to see her and have her fortune told. Sunny sees danger in her future and warns the librarian. An hour later, she calls the police to give them a head's up.
She's too late.
The librarian is dead.
Detective Mitch Stone doesn't believe in psychic powers. He also doesn't have means or a motive to arrest Sunny. The handsome detective is forced to question her and let her go.
However, things change when the police chief assigns the two of them to work together - both protest the match. In order to clear her name, Sunny agrees to work with the Detective. If only she hadn't read his tea leaves, things wouldn't be so awkward between them.... Can they catch a killer in a small town?
My Thoughts: The first in a charming new series. I love the small town of Divinity. I adore Sunny and her easy manner. I adore her fortune telling business, her interesting cat Morty, and her crazy parents. I adore the sparks between her and the detective. I can't wait to read more of their story!
Cover Thoughts: Cute - but it takes place in winter.
Friday, October 14, 2011
I miss watching my boys
I miss the excitement, the nervousness, and the fun of watching basketball
This was THE year
Rondo was going to eat Rose's lunch
Green is the new black
I won't know what to do with all my free time
I miss the steals, the dunks, and the crazy Rondo moves
I miss arguing about players - with my husband, my friends, people online
I miss Garnet's intensity - plus he NEEDS an outlet for all that emotion
I miss Mike and Tommy
I miss Pierce
I miss the sweet shot of Ray Allen - just when you need it the most.
Basketball is hope, entertainment, and pure awesomesauce.
End the lockout and bring it back.
The fans NEED it!
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Things start to become rocky in paradise when the Bell twins move back to the neighborhood. Two years ago Cricket Bell broke her heart. She fell for him hard. Now he's back.
Lola can't fathom a relationship with him, but at the same time, he's popping up everywhere. She can't tell Max the truth about him, about her past.
Lola and Cricket's friendship begins again - only Cricket admits he's changed and that he wants more than friendship. Once he knows about Max, Cricket backs off.
Lola's torn - she doesn't want Cricket to back off any more than she wants to lose Max...
My Thoughts: It's hard not to talk about this book without gushing. So I'm just going to say that it's PERFECTION. I love the quirkiness of Lola - her outfits, her flair, her inner thoughts. I love her two Dads. I love her relationship with Cricket - and how slowly it builds. I adored this book. I couldn't put it down, yet I never wanted it to end.
Cover Thoughts: Perfect
Source: my Library
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Artemis the Loyal: The Goddess Girls have been excluded from the annual Olympic Games and they're not pleased. I Love this tween series - it's adorable. GoodReads
Winging It: Zoe's dragon shifting world collides with her human life.I really enjoyed Flying Blind. GoodReads
A King's Ransom: Amy, Dan, and the other Cahills must find an ancient map to ensure the lives of their loved ones. No one has seen the map in 500 years. I LOVE this series - I love seeing the cast of characters two years later and how their world has changed. GoodReads
Blood Sun: Max Gordon will uncover the secret surrounding the death of his mother...or die trying. I loved the two previous books in this series. Lots of action and lots of survival - both to the extreme. GoodReads
Catching Jordan - Jordan's the QB and captain of the football team. She's one of the guys. Then a new guy comes to town and threatens her starting position as well as her heart. This looks really good. GoodReads
Kiss Crush Collide: Leah can't stopping thinking about a boy - a boy who is NOT her boyfriend. This looks fun - I love the forbidden romance aspect. GoodReads
Why We Broke Up: Min gives her now ex-boyfriend a box of items that used to be significant. Sounds awesome - plus I'm curious to see Daniel Handler write for YA (I have a copy of this, but I haven't read it yet) GoodReads
Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers:Lucy's boyfriend breaks up with her at school the first day of the new year. She could get revenge on guys - if she hooks a guy and breaks his heart all within seven days. I couldn't put Wherever Nina Lies down! GoodReads
Every Other Day: Kali hunts demons - except that her powers work every other day, leaving her completely vulnerable at times. I ADORE this author. Her books are always hard to put down and I recommend to teens all the time. I'm super excited to read this one. GoodReads
Shattered Dreams: Trinity has visions - but when she dreams about her enemy and steps forward with her knowledge, people suspect her involvement in the plot. Sounds very good - great cover. GoodReads
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Chase and his friends Nicole and Rashawn have reached shelter from the hurricane. But they aren't safe yet.
They're stuck in a barn - with an elephant about to give birth. The lights are powered by a generator which is nearly out of juice. There is no extra gas in the barn.
Chase and Nicole believe they can make it to the truck where Chase's Dad keeps his supplies. They set off in hopes of returning soon.
A leopard is on the loose. They soon discover the lions have escaped their cages. Treading carefully to avoid the animals and mother nature, they make their way towards the supplies.
Will they be able to gather the gas and return safely to the barn?
My Thoughts: Just like the first book in this trilogy - this book is addictive, fast-paced action and danger kept me turning the pages. A wonderful book about battling Mother Nature, quick thinking, and working together against all odds. The short chapters and the changing of perspectives make this impossible to put down!
Cover Thoughts: Captures the danger and intensity of the book. It's perfect,
Source: My Library
Storm Runners: The Explosion is due out in March
Monday, October 10, 2011
My Thoughts: I'm a HUGE Castle fan, so I was ecstatic when I heard about this book. I've always wanted to know more about Derrick Storm and now I'm hooked! The story was fun, exciting, and very entertaining. It read like a Castle episode - I couldn't put it down. The art was phenomenal. Here's hoping this only the beginning for Derrick Storm!
Cover Thoughts: Awesome!
Source: My Library - I begged the person in charge of this area to purchase this book!
Sunday, October 9, 2011
I had a bunch of teens show up - and one girl made arrangements to meet a boy there. They were in middle school and it was a "date".
The boys sat at the back of the room and the girls sat in the front. They were chatty and playful.
The movie was fun, we had a good time.
My husband convinced me to watch the previous movies (except for number 3) so we could watch this one together. I liked the action of the movies.
Things I liked:
The action sequences:
The big three:
The last little bit in the credits makes me curious and excited for the next movie!
Things I didn't Like:
How things just didn't add up (I know it's not really supposed to add up, but it was worse than usual)
This one didn't have many car races. In fact they skipped one big race.
Final Verdict: FUN
It tried to be a cross between the other Fast and the Furious movies and Ocean's 11