Thursday, November 29, 2012

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson Review

Back in the Fall of 2011, while I was taking first Early Child Development Class we were given an assignment...pick a movie from a list and discuss it.  Among that list was Speak.
I'm going to be honest here...I had honestly never heard of the book before, let alone a movie!  But when I saw it featured Kristen Stewart (the star of one of my favorite book movie adaptations) I knew it was the movie I wanted to see.
And dang, let me just say how GLAD I am that I did!

It was almost a year later, when in July I was talking to Kody Keplinger (the author of The DUFF) when she mentioned she LOVED this book called Speak.  At the time, I honestly hadn't been thinking about the movie, but after the video chat I went on Goodreads and looked it up and that was when I found out!

As soon as I knew Speak (the movie) was based on a book, I KNEW I had to read that book!

A few weeks ago I found Speak (the book) sitting on one of my friend's bookshelves, and pretty much hijacked it!

Goodreads Description:
Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won't talk to her, and people she doesn't even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that's not safe. Because there's something she's trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country.

My thoughts:

An utterly beautiful novel, that Laurie Halse Anderson made a character in Melinda that was so realistic, you felt every single moment of her depression, pain, and dealing with what happened!  
It's a bit difficult to explain, but Laurie did it in a way where the novel was still able to stay light in a way, with Melinda's sarcastic witty humor; especially with quotes like this, "We need more holidays to keep the social studies teachers on track." (pg. 7, of paperback edition).  
Along the way, she also adds some things that I personally have thought for years, and shared the same feelings as Melinda! Such as "How else could they sleep with the football team on Saturday night and be reincarnated as virginal goddesses on Monday?" (pg. 29, Melinda's description on the religious cheerleaders at her school).  I mean, I am not saying all cheerleaders are like that, I personally girls in general can be like that!  And it has bothered me for years!

Another quote I absolutely loved was "All that crap you hear on TV about communication and expressing feelings is a lie.  Nobody really wants to hear what you have to say." (pg. 9)  Why?: Well, who hasn't felt like that?  I know I have...plenty of times!  I mean, I have always been EXTREMELY lucky in that I have my mom to talk to, but sometimes everyone has their moments!  

I felt Melinda was very relate able to, in how she thought.  She was a true teenager, the only difference between her and I is that she went through something utterly traumatic that most people can't get past.  

Now I like to read reviews on Goodreads, and while I run across people who don't always like the same books I like, I completely respect their opinions!  However, today I read one that absolutely disturbed me!  I swear,  I would never rant on someone else's review of a book, because I respect opinions, 100%.  However, I ran across a 1-star review that caused me to scoff with disgust!  First off this person described this novel as "Possibly the worst piece of literature that has ever disgraced the human race with it's presence." (which was not backed up with why this person thought so! Something I never take serious, to be honest, when reading a review), but then she goes on to say,  (and this is the part that absolutely disgusted me) "She is also completly self-absorbed and complains about everything but does nothing to either A: get over the entire event by sucking it up, or B: fix it by doing what she knows needs to be done to resolve the situation."  
On top of that disgraceful comment, this person even called Melinda a BIMBO!
First off, I want to discuss this "Bimbo" comment.  According to Google, the definition of Bimbo is:
"An attractive but empty-headed young woman, esp. one perceived as a willing sex object."

Melinda was NOT "willing" to get raped!  That is disgusting!
Second, now to the "get over" it comment!  Wow, I don't even know where to begin on I'll just leave it at this...if you had been in Melinda's situation would you have been able to get over the fact you were RAPED??
That is pretty much fighting against everything us women have been fighting for generations for! Completely unbelievable!

I am so sorry to be ranting about someone else's review, I PROMISE I don't normally do I said I normally completely and 100% respect everyone's opinions, but sometimes there are those that just absolutely get to me! 

I promise!! No disrespect intended!!

Overall Rating of Speak:

 This book is incredible and I recommend it to everyone and anyone! Especially teenage girls! Great book to read as you grow up!

Thanks everyone!
The Romance Bookie :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Gilded Angels: The Angel Chronicles Book 2 Guest Post from Amy Lignor

Today I would like welcome Amy Lignor, the author of the Angel Chronicles! The second book in the series just came out early this month, it's called Gilded Wings! I'm so looking forward to reading it, especially since I enjoyed book 1 (Until Next Time) so much! (Review here!)

Anyway so today please help me welcome Amy Lignor with her guest post! :)

                                 Technology is Not the Only Form of Inspiration

Ever since Mark Zuckerberg appeared and turned the world upside down with Facebook, the younger generation was seen by some as only the age of Youtube, Facebook, cell phones, iPods and video games. But what people don’t seem to understand is that in the last decade+, they have become the largest group of readers in the world.

The young adult genre became huge. It literally exploded with the world of J.K. Rowling and continued with another author who brought kids (and adults) on board with the vampire and werewolf community. Not only that, but young adults have become the biggest bloggers and reviewers, therefore they have the ability to ‘talk’ to their friends and create a huge ’buzz’ about a specific title. They are the ‘Social Media Masters,’ if you will.

There are a great many things in this life to be thankful for; there are blessings, good people, faith and hope that still exist in this day and age. Unfortunately, there’s a darker side that’s also come on strong. From unemployment to poverty to politics to war to bullying - you name it, it’s in the headlines. So a restoration of hope is a truly wonderful thing, and it’s being led by some amazing fiction.

Lately, the ‘fanged ones’ have gotten a great deal of competition from the ‘winged ones.’  There are a majority of angels that are of the ‘fallen’ variety who are trying their absolute best to redeem themselves. There are also love stories being heralded as “Romeo and Juliet,” and more of these characters are showing up on the big and small screen every month.

The idea for my book really stemmed from wanting to do a YA series based on ‘new’ angels; a fresh team that had yet to come down the pike. Matthew and Emily are a partnership - an angel/warrior team that still believes in all the good that their teachers have taught them, but have also gotten mixed-up in the human world where they’ve experienced every emotion possible.  

I originally wondered whether or not a ‘fresh’ team that’s been surrounded by ‘good’ could even make it ‘down here’ among the seriously dark and sometimes dangerous world where humans dwell. Worse, I wondered if they’d even want to? Told from a different perspective, I tried to bring back inspiration with this duo. They certainly still have the adventure, suspense, heartache, etc. that others have experienced, but their biggest challenge is trying to keep their faith in each other.

This time around, in Gilded Wings, they face a completely new set of problems that offer tragedy and, most of all, a twist to a beloved character because of the greed, pride, prejudice, and wealth that made up the Gilded Age. From Houdini to Carnegie - Rockefeller to walking down Fifth Avenue while just a few small blocks away was a world of poverty - Emily and Matthew see it all, live it all, and find themselves needing each other more than ever before.

I love the fact that books are a source of inspiration for young adults - and I hope that no matter what Apple or Microsoft come up with in the next few years the written word stays strong!

Until Next Time, Everybody.

Wow I loved reading that!  YA has DEFINITELY been a HUGE inspiration for me! Especially authors like JK Rowling, and that certain Vampire/Werewolf author ;), and authors like Meg Cabot and Kody Keplinger (who is MY age, 21, and already published THREE books successfully!)

Here's a Giveaway! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Here are the link to places where you get your copy of either Until Next Time or Gilded Wings or even both! :)

Until Next Time: (Book 1 in the series!)

Barnes and Noble

Gilded Wings: (Book 2)

Barnes and Noble
and Smashwords!

I hope you all check them out! :)

The Romance Bookie :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Music Tuesday #47/48

Hey Everyone!
So I completely forgot about last week's Music Tuesday, so this week there will two songs featured! One for last week and for this week!! :)

These two songs are ones I'm really liking right now! :)

WARNING: This first song, has a bit of language in it! And I haven't seen the music video, so I have no idea what that has, but P!nk is a pretty awesome singer!

And second I've got Rihanna's new song "Like Diamonds in the Sky"!

Love her voice in that one!

Happy Tuesday!
The Romance Bookie :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

My NEW Rating System!!!! :)

Happy Sunday!
I've got something SUPER exciting to share with you'll!!! :)

Eileen over at Singing and Reading in the Rain!!, who made my ABSOLUTE GORGEOUS Header and Blog Button (which btw, you should totally share ;) haha), has now made me a Rating System!!!

Isn't it gorgeous??!!! :)

Now here are the details (I will also be making a tab at the top of The Romance Bookie):

This system is called The Bookie System!

It's very similar to anyone else's Star rating system, it's from 1-5 Bookies! :)

= I ABSOLUTELY 100% loved EVERY SINGLE thing about this book!!! Would recommend this one EVERYONE!

= This was a GREAT book! Truly enjoyed it! And would recommend it to others!

= This book was good, there were bits and pieces that weren't really my thing, but overall an enjoyable read.  Wouldn't reread it though, most likely. 

=There were quite a few things I didn't like about this one.  Would never reread it, and probably wouldn't recommend it to anyone, unless it sounded like something to there liking (because after all, something I may have not liked, someone else may love!)

= I hate to say it, but if I give a book a ONE Bookie rating, I absolutely could not stand this book! I would never recommend it to anyone! Whether it be that I absolutely disliked the main character, the writing, the story, or EVERYTHING, sometimes it just takes that one thing to make an awful book for me!  But I promise I RARELY give one Bookie/Star ratings.  I have currently a total of 3 1-Star books on Goodreads, out of the 406 I have read!

So that's the Bookie system! :)

I will be adding a rating to all of my future AND past ratings, so I'll be adding that in the next couple of weeks! :)

Thanks Everyone! :)

The Romance Bookie :)

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han (Review)

Hey Everyone!
Man, it feels like it's been forever!  Okay, so it's been a week since my last review, however, since for the past three to four weeks I've been rereading The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer, for the release of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (which, btw, I've seen twice now! :)), it's also sort of nice to be back to reading NEW stuff!

The book I read this time around, is one I've wanted to read for quite a while now.  I would actually say probably since its release in 2009, which was around the time I saw it for the first time at Borders (RIP ;( Borders!).

Well, I finally got the opportunity a few weeks ago, when Amazon had it on sale for I believe $3.99!  So I grabbed at the chance, and finally read it over Thanksgiving Day! :)

BTW, I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving, and had the opportunity to think about everything they are grateful for in their life!  I know I sure have a heft list, and let me just say it did not include a sale item on Black Friday! ;)

Anyway, so now to my review on Jenny Han's The Summer I Turned Pretty!

Description from Goodreads:

The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1)

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.

Let me add a few things to that description:

Belly is about to turn sixteen, has grown quite a bit to Jeremiah and Conrad's astonishment, and is about to experience her first summer as a "grown up"!

My thoughts:

I heard before reading this book that Jenny Han's writing style for this series, reminds a lot of people of Sarah Dessen's style.  I agree somewhat with that.  I will say that I believe Dessen's style feels almost more realistic, just because of all the issues the main charaters and major characters face in her books, however, Han does a great job too, with a bit of light contemporary young adult cuteness in between...which is something that a lot of Sarah Dessen's books don't have, I feel like (not complaining about it though! I love Sarah Dessen's books!).

I love that this book takes place in the summer! I feel like a lot of great Young Adult books take place during the summer vacation near an ocean or body of water!  Examples: Hailey Abbot is a perfect example with her novel Boy Crazy and her Summer Boys Series, Sarah Dessen's Along for the Ride is another, and then there is also Tricia Mills Heartbreak River! All great books!

I just love that feeling of the sand, water, and sun beating down on these characters because it makes me feel like I'm enjoying it right along with them!  I also LOVE beach houses! They always sound so adorable, and even though (okay, I know most of you will think I'm totally crazy for admitting this) but I'm actually not a huge fan of the ocean!  I live about fifteen minutes away from the Pacific Ocean (which btw, is ALWAYS FREEZING!!), and even though I love the feeling of the sand and sunsets look absolutely gorgeous on the beach, I've never been a huge fan of salt water!  Now lakes and rivers are a different story, I LOVE those!  But none the less, I just love the idea of having a perfect beach day, especially when you're not the one having to have sand down your swim suit bottoms haha.  You get to live precariously through some of these awesome characters! :)

Anyway, I thought Jenny Han's character were really likeable!  Belly is very relate able.  She deals with what practically every almost 16 year old teenager deals with.  Boys, summer, first kisses, the difference between friendship and more, and just growing up!  Conrad and Jeremiah seem really great!  Conrad, with his brooding attitude and sometimes a bit selfishness, you still can't help but love with Belly.  And Jeremiah with his sweet, sensitive caring manner, and Belly's best friend had me wishing I was the one he was confiding in!  

I would recommend this book to be read over the summer.  It's a perfect read for the beach!  Or if you're in Australia (or that part of the Earth) where its summer weather right now, read it then! :)  It's a great book on dealing with teenage issues like first love, first kisses, so definitely relate able, like I said above, and I would recommend it for girls (or boys, if you're into these types of light YA novels) between the ages of 14 to 17 or 18.  

Overall rating:

I am definitely looking forward to reading books 2 and 3 in the trilogy to find out how Belly, Conrad, and Jeremiah's story continues! (I heard some shocking events take place! So it's definitely got me intrigued to find out what happens next!)

Hope everyone enjoys their weekend! :)

The Romance Bookie :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Interview with Mary Parker, author of "The Awakening of Leeowyn Blake"

Hey Everyone!
Today I've got an interview with Mary Parker, the author of The Awakening of Leeowyn Blake!

The Romance Bookie: Describe The Awakening of Leeowyn Blake: The Kahl'Nar Saga #1 in 2-3 sentences.

Mary Parker: A girl caught in a destiny bigger than she can imagine, and finding out if she's got what it takes to literally save the world. Horror, fantasy, romance and a bit of comedy all play a role in making this a unique story.
TRB:  How did you come up with the concept?  Any inspirations?

MP: The character of Leeowyn has been with me since I was a kid, but the story itself was partly from a dream I had, and partly just me sitting in front of the computer and seeing what happened. I really didn’t have a set story in mind when I sat down to write it.
TRB: What does "Kahl'Nar" mean?

MP: That hasn’t been revealed yet. You'll find out! ;)

TRB: What is your favorite book/author of all time?

MP:  I don't know that I could pick one favorite. I just love great storytellers. To name a few: Ray Bradbury, George R R Martin, and J K Rowling.
TRB:   How long have you been writing?

MP: Since I could put a pencil to paper. 
TRB:  What do you prefer:  Hard copies or ebooks?  Why? :)

MP:  Hard copies. I love the feeling of holding a book, the smell of the pages, and just the sense I get when flipping through a good book. 
TRB: Any advice for aspiring writers?

MP: Never stop writing or reading. Keep a notebook near you and write down any idea you have for a story. You never know, you may sit down to write a story about a girl living on the beach and four months later have a novel on your hands.

You can get your copy of The Awakening of Leeowyn Blake on Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble! :)

Thanks everyone!
And I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! :)

The Romance Bookie :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 Premiere (LAST ONE EVER!!)

Hey Everyone!
So I've extended Twilight Week to today, the 18th, instead of the 17th, because I watched the Premiere of Breaking Dawn Part 2 on Monday!

I wanted to share with you guys some pics from it, and if you missed it, you can watch it right HERE on The Romance Bookie!!
I'll be honest, I wish so much that I could have been there, it looks like so much fun, the whole Tent City thing and everything, but also a bit crazy, especially at the premiere, when everyone is pushing to get their autographs and pictures.  I am bummed, especially since I don't live that far away from LA, but at the same time I am extremely happy that Yahoo! Movies offered this awesome opportunity to allow fans the opportunity to see everything live! It was super awesome! I was able to see Rob and Kristen come out of their limos LIVE, that would not have been possible if I would have been standing with the tent city fans in the freezing cold. It was a ton of fun, with some moments where I got tears in my eyes (especially at Stephenie Meyer's speech), just because I'm extremely bummed the series is officially over.  But luckily the world of Twilight will live on in the books and the movies, which fans can have the opportunity to watch every day!

So here are some screenshot I took with my laptop as I watched the premiere: (btw, sorry for the disorganized setting of the pictures, it's really complicated to get them positioned in the right spot!)

Screenshot before the LIVE Premiere started
Mike (Michael Welch) speaking to the Yahoo! Peeps
Reneesmee (Mackenzie Foy) She's 12!

Demetri (Charlie Bewley) He's cute!

Esme (Elizabeth Reaser) LOVED her dress!
Vladimir from the Romanian Clan (Noel Fisher)

To be honest I have no idea who this is! I just thought his costume was random on the Black Carpet haha

Jasper (Jackson Rathbone)

Charlie (Billy Burke)
I THINK this is the little baby from the Denali Sister's mom's story, that Carlisle and Edward told.  This is the Immortal Child she created I think?

Felix from the Volturi (Daniel Cudmore) Can I just say he would be super cute, without that mustache?!

Alice (Ashley Greene) Ashley's dress was SOOOO gorgeous!

Director Bill Condon

Emmett (Kellan Lutz)

Jane (Dakota Fanning) I'm not a huge fan of her new dark hair honestly, but she plays an AWESOME Jane!

Jacob (Taylor Lautner) (not that his name needs to be said lol)

Robert Pattinson!!!

Taylor Signing Autographs for fans

Aro (Michael Sheen)
Stephenie Meyer (if you didn't already: author of "Twilight") :)

Can I just say that Stephenie has GORGEOUS Hair?!!

Rob and Kristen arriving!

Rob and Kristen arriving (shot 2)

First pics together at the premiere

Kristen looked really happy at this premiere, I felt like.  Way more relaxed than before.  And she was really  eager to get to the fans when taking press shots.

Isn't he just SOOOO adorable??!! LOVED his Green Suit (which btw he designed himself with Gucci!)

Kristen showing her happy side!

Double Screenshot of Rob and Kristen

what was awesome about watching the premiere, was how many different angles they got!

Kristen taking Press shots

Kristen signing autographs for fans

Can you find Rob? :)

Nikki Read (Rosalie) with the Yahoo! ladies

Some Extra shots of Rob and Kristen together from premiere (not taken by me):

And now to the many faces of Rob! :)

He has such a cute smile!


He makes this facial expression quite often!

So those are some of the shots! :)
I took WAY more! But if I were to post them all this post would be like a mile long! 

And now here is a HILARIOUS moment from the premiere!!

So now here's some highlights from the premiere (unfortunately, I believe Yahoo! doesn't offer the whole thing anymore).

The Romance Bookie :)