Posts Tagged ‘Series’

I know, I know, I missed it again! This school year is already kicking my butt (literally, I fell down the stairs at school today like a ding-dong!) so I just didn’t have the strength Tuesday or Wednesday when I got home to update and do my TTT post even though I already had it rough drafted out on notebook paper. So, here it is, two days late, my TTT for the week of 814/12:

Romances that I believe would survive this crazy real world we live in:

10. Alice and Charlie from American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld.

image from socionix.com

I was a big fan of the former first lady at one time. She reminded me a lot of myself. I guess I still am a fan, somewhat. I don’t care at all for her husband. I did care a great deal for this book though. It’s a fictionalized account of the relationship that blossomed between Laura and George, including all the gory details of a car crash caused by Mrs. Bush herself as a teenager. Having loved Sittenfeld’s first novel, Prep, I bought this one with the same expectations. However, this is a very different breed of book than Prep, though I did end up enjoying both. I do think that Charlie (George) and Alice (Laura) would have made it it reality, because..well… they did!

9. Jacob Black and Bella Swan from the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer

image from fanpop.com

I choose Jacob over Edward because I am a huge member of Team Jacob (I’m wearing my Quileute Tribe shirt right now) but also because I believe that they would have ended up together in reality. After Edward hit the road, Jack in New Moon and Bella and Jacob became closer, I really believe that they would have stayed together in reality. Being abandoned and dumped the way Bella was, I just can’t believe she’d go back to him. Oh, well, at least Jake got a happy ending, too.

8. Marlena and Jacob from Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

image from wwhan12.wordpress.com

If you fall in love over any animal, especially an elephant, it’s just gonna last forevs.

7. Elinor and Edward from Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen


Maaaaannnnn, I wanted these two together the whole darn book. One was so shy and proper and the other was so bent on honoring his promises that they were willing to be apart if needed. Thank goodness it wasn’t needed and they got to be together in the end!

6. Gilbert and Anne from Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maude Montgomery

image from fanpop.com

This movie was on television the other night and I got caught up in it again. It was the early one, where Anne moves to Green Gables and not the later one where she and Gilbert end up happily ever after, but it did get me in the frame of mind of how these two were so meant for each other and that’s why I just had to include them on this list, because honestly they would so have made it in reality!

5. Allie and Noah from The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

image from romanceeternal.org

Sweetest couple ever. And he wrote their story down. And then he read it to her. And then they died together. And then I cried.

4. Jamie and Claire from The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon

image from outlandishobservations.blogspot.com

Even though this whole series is so totally unbelievable with the whole time travel thing and all, I still deeply believe that the love between Claire and Jamie would have lasted and would have survived whether in ye olden Scotland or in new modern England (or America, or Canada, or wherever in the world they find themselves).

3. Hermione and Ron from The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling

image from fanpop.com

Upon my first reading of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone I knew that these two were meant fror each other.

2. Josephine March and Professor Friedrich Baher from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

image from tumblr.com

OF COURSE I would have one of the couples from Little Women on here and OF COURSE it would be my most favoritest gal Jo and her hunka hunka burnin’ love Prof. Baher! When I made my rough draft the other night, I originally had Laurie down as the other half of Jo’s forever heart, but then I started thinking about childhood friends and how they really rarely ever work out romantically in the end. Jo had to grow up and go out in the world and get a job and write her books and learn some more and THEN she could settle down and who better to do it with than Friedrich! This man could help her open her school and publish her books! I truly believe that they would have made it in the real world based on their relationship of mutual honesty and respect.

That’s right, there are only 9 couples on the list because as hard as I racked my noggin, I just couldn’t think of another couple to add on and I didn’t want to get sloppy by just picking some random couple (like Rhett and Scarlett. I honestly do not think that those two would have made it in the real world. Tomorrow may be another day, doll, but I think he’s gonna tell you to shove it again.) so I’m leaving it at 9. Who do you think I left off the list? Who do you think should have been left off the list?

‘Til Next Time!


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It’s a lot like life and that’s what’s appealing, if you despise that throwaway feeling –Depeche Mode

“I am going to have coffee with Christian Grey. And I hate coffee.” -EL James

I HAD to read Fifty Shades of Grey. I had to. I mean, everyone else in America was swept up in the craze. I started off getting my copy by going to my local public library’s catalog. Surprise, surprise, even people in rural North Carolina just had to read this book. The waiting list for the two print copies was over 14 people long. Okay, plan B, get the e-reader version from Overdrive on my nook. NOT! Over 20 people on that waiting list. Okay, onto plan C now, buy the darn book. The nook version was almost the same price as the print version and when given a choice I will ALWAYS choose the print version. Cut to a Saturday shopping day at Target where there is a HUGE Fifty Shades display. I grab a copy, I thumb through it, and Oh. My. Gah. I sneak it into the bottom of my shopping basket. I will admit that when I first picked up my copy, I honestly did not know what the book was about. I knew that it was considered “erotica” but I had no idea about the storyline or characters or any of that.

Fifty Shades of Grey tells the story of Anastasia (love that name) Steele who is coming up on her graduation from a college in Washington State. Anastasia is very sheltered, smart and reserved, you know, and all around goody two shoes. Anastasia’s (or ‘Ana’ as she prefers) roommate, Katherine (Kate) Kavanaugh is the editor for the university’s newspaper. While fighting off the flu she sends Ana to interview the rich and powerful Christian Grey (CEO of Grey Enterprises Holdings) who is the commencement speaker at their graduation in a few weeks. While interviewing Mr. Grey, Ms. Steele makes a connection and viola a relationship blossoms between the two. However, this is not your typical romantic romance, oh no, Mr. Grey has a few surprises (red room of pain, anyone?) in store for the young and impressionable Ms. Steele.

What I liked:
-I found myself actually caring about the characters in this book. It took me a long time to finish it (almost 4 weeks, but I’m very busy with work right now), and I kept wishing I was finished with it so I could move on to something else. I finished it night before last and all day yesterday, I kept wondering to myself what would happen to Ana and Christian? The book ended on a cliffhanger so now of course I HAVE to read the next two books as well.

What I didn’t like:
-So with all of the hype surrounding this book, I’ve read in many places that the book originally started off as Twilight fan fiction. Ok, I can definitely see Edward in Christian (he’s rich, he’s elusive, he’s withholding, he lives in Washington) and I can definitely see Bella in Ana (shortened nick name, brunette, lives in Washington State, mom lives in the sunny south, close to a protective and loving dad, sheltered, shy, virginal, bookish, etc. etc.) As much as I loved Twilight, and I did, and I’m not ashamed of it, I didn’t like that this was a rip-off of that work. I read an interview with Jodi Picoult where she talked about how it seemed unfair that this new author just swooped in and didn’t have to work to build a fan base, she already had millions that she took from Meyer.
-It was not written well. It just wasn’t. It seemed like the author constantly threw in big words just to cover up the fact that it was smutty and to try to fool the reader into thinking it was actually some great work of literature.
-Ana kept referring to her “inner goddess.” Constantly. It was fluffy overkill and I consequently hate her inner goddess.
-The subject matter. Several times Ana spoke about how she did not like being “beaten” by Christian. She was constantly at a loss over what to do about his lifestyle. She obviously didn’t like the lifestyle. On two occasions she openly wept after being “beaten” by Christian. She loved him, but she didn’t love his lifestyle, and you can’t have one without the other. I feel like Christian should have compromised a teensy bit more. I’m hoping that there will be more compromise in the next two books.

Overall I gave it 3 stars (it was okay) on GoodReads. I don’t think that I would recommend it, but I will read the next two in the series.

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Why you waiting so long? After every single word is said I’m feeling dead and gone-The Black Keys
It’s been almost two months since I’ve posted. I am sad to say that I got lost in one of those “moods”. You might know the kind. The ones where nothing you read is appealing to you. The ones where you want to read something, but nothing is grabbing your attention and holding it. Since late-October I have picked up at least 7 books, started them, had full intentions of finishing them, and then sat them back down again. Finally two weeks ago, I decided I needed some “fluff” reading so I picked up book #9 in the Southern Vampires Mysteries Series by Charlaine Harris called Dead & Gone. If any of you out there are familiar with the very popular HBO TV show True Blood, these are the books that the show is based on. The books are great. I started reading them in Grad School one day after falling in love with the TV show. I searched all over Greensboro for a copy of the first book Dead Until Dark which follows the first season of the TV show. I finally found one last copy at the Borders(RIP) all the way across town, but it was so worth it!

There was a guy that I had been crushing over since freshman year of college. While at work one night he came up to the reference desk to talk to me and he casually mentioned that he too was currently reading Dead Until Dark. Since I was also currently in the midst of this book, I knew we were meant to be together. But, much like Sookie and Vampire Bill, it just didn’t work out. However, soon these books were everywhere! People were falling in love with the show and then they had to read the books. This is what I love about a movie or a TV show or a popular play even that is based on a book or on a book series. I love how people start reading again. Sure, they’re watching the movie or the TV show (or the play, or whatever),  but they’re also reviving the book (or series) and giving it new life. I just opened up my copy of Dead Until Dark and found that it was first published in 2001. Eleven years ago! It wasn’t until 2008 when True Blood first aired that this book even hit a best-sellers list.

They always say that the book is better than the movie, and I agree with that. People will watch a movie or a TV show (play, etc) and then read the book and they fall even more in love with the book that they did with the movie (or show) (or play, jeez!) and then they’ll want to read more. Where do they go to read more? Hopefully the library, but most likely to Barnes and Noble. But whatever, if people are reading, they’re READING even if it is “fluff” and that’s why I’m not so worried about my light reading this month. I finished off Dead and Gone and I’m on to another of Ms. Harris’s books- Three Bedrooms, One Corpse. This is part of the Aurora Teagarden Mysteries Series and is just as charming and delightful as the Southern Vampires series. Harris also has several other series out there such as the Shakespeare Series and the Grave Series. I’ve read the first two books in both of these sets and I just didn’t enjoy them as much as Sookie and Aurora. However, if you enjoy mystery and quirky characters and settings, definitely give all of Harris’s books a try!

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“I really can’t think about kissing when I’ve got a rebellion to incite. ” -Katniss Everdeen from Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

“We can fight our desires, but when we start making fires
We get ever so hot whether we like it or not” -La Roux

In the spring of 2009 I arrived early to a class on The History of the Book. I always arrive early. To class. To work. To anything, really. I got there to pull out my Harry Potter that I was currently reading and found that for the first time in a long time there was someone who had arrived before me to class. She was a girl that I had had a few classes with and I knew her well enough to strike up a conversation. The Library Science program is small enough at UNCG that everyone knows everyone else and what they are doing at any given time. So, I asked her what she was obviously so engrossed in reading. This girl worked at the on campus Teaching and Resource Center that provided materials to those who may be seeking a degree in K-12 education. They got in tons of YA and children’s books and those that worked there got to read them before anyone else did (jealous).

The book that she was so into, she told me, was called The Hunger Games. She proceeded to give me the gist of what was going on in the plot up to where she was reading. It sounded just plain awesome. Cut to Fall 2010 when I am working in my first real, full-time, library job. I get some cash to order some books for the library and one of the books I pick is The Hunger Games. I will admit that one of the main reasons that I purchased this specific book was because I had been wanting to read it for so long. So, when the order arrived in November I took the book home with me for the weekend where I proceeded to do nothing but lay on my parents couch and read the whole book. It was just that good!

What I adored about this YA novel was how strong the main character was. Katniss Everdeen lives in a futuristic world in which the districts are ruled by an evil Capitol who forces two children “tributes” to play in an annual Hunger Games. During the games the children (one boy, one girl) are thrust into a thematic environment and forced to kill each other off until only one survives. When Katniss’s younger sister, Prim, is called forth to be District 12’s tribute Katniss immediately jumps to take her place. Katniss is a powerful female protagonist which I think that YA literature has been missing lately. The first comparison that comes to mind is Isabella (Bella) Swan in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series. Now, I want to say that I adore Twilight, like it or not, I do. I am in line at midnight for the opening of each movie and I’ve devoured the books and I loved them before they became pop culture phenoms. However, my one major complaint with that series was how weak and Edward-obsessed Bella was. As soon as she met the vamp, she lost all ability to think for herself and to consider her own dreams for the future. Everything became about a man (undead, but still) and she was willing to die for him. Katniss Everdeen is the anti-Bella Swan and that is exactly why I love her. Like in the quote I chose, she does NOT have time for kissing, this girls got more important things to think of, like leading rebellions, fighting wars, surviving, providing for her family, and taking care of everyone around her.

I know, I know I know. You can’t really have a YA novel without a little romance now can you? Enter Gale and Peeta- the two young lads who are vying for Miss Everdeens affections. Gale is the friend that Katniss has hunted with since Katniss’s father died in a mining accident. Gale is that first love, childhood friend character that the reader just roots for to win. Peeta is the artistic and articulate son of a local D12 baker. Peeta is the male tribute opposite Katniss. You see where that leads, right? Katniss must either kill Peeta or be killed by him. I won’t ruin the books for those of you who may have never read them, but Peeta AND Katniss are both in all three books. As is Gale. Triangle much?!

The love story is not the  main theme of the book though. It’s not just juvenile sappy romance. It’s about survival in the most chaotic, frightening, and evil of times. Children are killing children in gruesome ways here. The death scenes are amazing and creative. Katniss is a hunter, as I mentioned earlier. She has an acute ability to hit any target be it moving or still, human or not. The fact that this young teen girl has to provide for her poor mother and sister and does so without hesitation is what young girls should be reading about. They should be reading how a girl can beat the boys in something as fierce as a hunger game (spoiler: not once, but TWICE!). They need to be reading that boys are not the be all and end all of life. They need to know that they can all be a kind of Katniss and beat the boys and be in control of their own lives and survival. Are you reading this, Bella and Stephenie? I sure hope so!

My one complaint was completely about the last book. It didn’t read like the first two did. And perhaps this is because this is the only book in the trilogy that does not have a Hunger Games in it. This book felt rushed somehow to me, as if Collins was under an intense deadline to get this book written. It didn’t have the same feeling as the first two. I wasn’t as compelled to read this one. This one was more somber in tone. This one was about nothing but straight up war and revenge. There is an epilogue at the end of this novel that I could have so done without. We find out which suitor Katniss ends up with and what becomes of them. I don’t want to spoil anything, again for those of you who may not have read it all yet, but the future that Katniss has is not one that I envisioned for her. Reading the epilogue and how Katniss talks about her future, I also get the feeling that this is not a future that she envisioned for herself. I wanted Katniss to be out of the games and out of the control of the district and happy. I didn’t get the feeling that she was very happy. I would have rather had the book end open-ended so that readers could envision their own futures of happiness and hunting for Katniss.

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“What she had realised was that love was that moment when your heart was about to burst”

(Spoiler alert: Whenever I will write a review of any book on this blog, I am writing it as if you, the reader, have already read the book. I will be giving away crucial plot lines and endings. If you do not want to know the ending of a book or have any part of it told to you, stop reading this immediately! You’ve been warned…)

This is undoubtedly my favorite quote from the lengthy The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. Not only is it dead-on when it describes what love is like, but it is also a break in the character of Lisbeth Salander. The entire book up until this point the girl is so cut off and seemingly devoid of any emotion save for a longing for revenge. Don’t get me wrong, I adore Lisbeth and respect her ability to truly stand up for herself. However, it was a nice break to see her start to feel some raw, real human emotion (aside from anger and revenge) for Mikael. At the same time I was also glad when she chucked the idea into the garbage along with the metal sculpture of Elvis.

The first chapter of this book was so hard to get into. This book is hugely popular. Hugely. It seems that everyone and their mother is reading this book. I see it for sale everywhere. It is #1 on the trade paperback bestsellers list from the NYT. I knew I had to read it. A few years ago I worked at a university library in the reference department and I remember one question that I got one night around December of 2008. The caller asked if there was anyway that he could have a book  put on a rush. What this means is that when a new book is ordered for a library, it is listed in the libraries catalog as having been acquired but not yet cataloged and processed. When someone orders a rush they are asking us to add it to the very tip-top of the pile of books to be processed and put on the shelves. The book that this caller rushed was one I had never heard of, after-all it had only been published for two months. It was The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. From that night on it seemed like that was the only book on everyone’s list. But anyway, I digress. This book was so hard to get into. My boyfriends mother had just finished reading it and she gave it a really high rating. She then quickly moved on to The Girl Who Played With Fire which she also highly recommended. So, on new years eve 2010 I picked up her copy that was lying on their kitchen table and started reading. She asked me if I would like to borrow it and I said yes since it was on my to-read-list and had been since 2008. Getting through that first chapter with all the financial lingo was rough going. However, I had been warned that the first several pages were awful, but I had also been advised by these same readers to stick with it because it would be worth it. It really was!

After reading this book, I felt like I had just read about 10 different books. There were so many storylines going on:

-Lisbeth raped then getting revenge on her protector/guardian guy

-Mikael going to jail for libel

-Mikael being asked to solve a mystery

-The Harriet mystery

-Lisbeth working on Mikael then working with him

-The Vanger family history

-The Berger/Mikael dysfunctional relationship

-Mikael getting his revenge on Wennerstrom

See what I mean?! So much going on in one book!

I was so engrossed in that Harriet mystery. How did one girl seem to just disappear into thin air? Did someone cause that crash on the bridge? If she was murdered, where the heck is the body? If she wasn’t murdered, where the heck did she go. I really loved the true story of what really happened to Harriet Vanger. I was so happy to see her doing well and to have a happy ending. And honestly, I had suspicions about that Martin the entire book. He seemed to relaxed.

I am very excited for the theatrical version of this film to be released in 2011 (not the one that is already out). I think that this movie could be really well done on the big screen. I also think that it could be butchered. However, after looking at the cast list on IMDB, I think that this film adaptation has very high potential. We can only hope. We’ll just have to wait until December to find out though…

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