Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Review: What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

What Happened to Goodbye @ Goodreads
What Happened to Goodbye
By: Sarah Dessen
Published:May 10th, 2011
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Recieved/Won: Jenny from New Books for New Bloggers

"In the past two years, Mclean Sweet has moved four times. At each stop, she assumes a new persona, but it never quite works. Whether she's an effervescent cheerleader or an intense drama queen, nothing can permanently dispel the turmoil and rage at her mother since her parents' divorce. Sarah Dessen's novel about a teenager and her restaurant manager father captures the vulnerability that young people often experience after the dissolution of their family. A compelling story; strong characterization; and with a touch of romance." Synopsis by Goodreads

Lets Cover Talk 
As always my curious mind looked for other covers but sadly I only found two. Well it's not really sad just makes our cover talk kind of short, but I'm sure well manage. Now I personally love the cover of the book I received from Jenny from New Books for New Bloggers but I must confess to one thing. Originally when I saw the cover before, on the internet, I believed the girl was at the beach. How I came to this conclusion I'm not entirely sure. The cover for me is like the story, or I guess you could say like Mclean. The only way I can explain this is by saying Mclean isn't what she first appears to be you really have to take a good look at her to even begin to understand her. The book cover was the same for me I didn't really look at it and so I mistook the room for a beach. I think that's life though if you go about at a fast pace some times you miss things that you wouldn't have otherwise some times you really have to stop and as they say "smell the roses".

The other cover is actually very interesting it's the same in the fact that if you just take a quick look at it it looks simple, just a suitcase full of junk, but if you really examine it closely you realize it's much more than that. The things inside are Mclean's baggage literally its all the stuff that has meaning to her. Part of her yet apart at the same time like one person inside of two. I guess the only thing I didn't like so much about the second book cover is the whiteness of it.  It feels unfinished but then again that's kind of like Mclean, she likes to have a blank canvas every time they have to move. Both covers seem connected to the story and I love that. It's not that it takes away from the story if it isn't, but if you get a sense of what the book is about even before you open it up then I think that's amazing.

My Opinion Ooer!

In What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen the story starts with Mclean she has just moved to yet another place with her dad. Like all their other moves Mclean is already starting to plan what she will do, who she will be. The thing is since her parent's nasty divorce she doesn't want to be Mclean the girl whose family is torn apart so she changes herself. The first time she does it she becomes Eliza, cheerleader popular girl, the second time she decides to be more of a drama queen and calls herself Lizbeth  and the last being Beth over achiever. She feels like its a way to not get attached to people after all she knows they could be there for a few weeks to maybe close to a half a year but in the end they always move.  Its what I mean when I said she liked the blank canvas she could make herself over be some one how had a different life who was perfect in her own way but at the end of the day it wasn't her. She feels like it's a way to spare herself pain but in reality the only thing this does is make her forget who Mclean is.

"A hand gripping mine, knowing if I fell, at least I wouldn't do it alone"~page 238

In this new move she decides she will call herself Liz Sweet but things her plans are changed when she meets Dave. Here is where I say the genius Sarah Dessen is by once again creating a character worth loving, imperfect but perfect with his imperfections. Dave boy genius has always walked the straight and narrow path until he realizes he's never once done some thing "normal" teenagers do. So he breaks a rule and gets busted with a beer. When he realizes Mclean is about to get busted herself he helps her and so they meet. It's at this meeting that should have never happened that Mclean becomes the person she was running away from the most, herself. 

The whole book is about looking at the whole picture not just one sector. About family how its not just one place, one set of people but anywhere any time any place. I really loved What Happened to  Goodbye I connected to the story in so many ways,  as well as to many of the characters. The characters are all so different from each other but they mesh so well.I loved Dave (only second to Dexter from This Lullaby another book from Sarah Dessen) Deb was a surprise I loved finding and of course I loved finding the different parts to Mclean I think I connected to her the most. 

I think the ending was perfect I've always loved how Sarah Dessens endings are not complete they leave room for a future because as much as I love a "The End" in life there's no real end there only new beginnings or at least that what I chose to belive lol. If you haven't already done so check out What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen it wont dissapoint.

My overall rating: 5/5 aka a Truly Swoon Worthy book
Truly Swoon Worthy

Have you read What Happened to Goodbye yet? if you have and even if you haven't leave a comment below with your thoughs one it. Hope every one has a fun day.

                         as always , Carol

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

 Yay! another giveaway a huge thanks to I am A Reader, Not a Writer and Page Turners Blog 
for hosting it. You have over 250 choices of blog to enter! 

I am giving away (to U.S only sorry international readers the next one will be international.)
My fave (so far lol) summer read
Endless Summer Jennifer Echols @Goodreads
It's actually 2 stories in one the first The Boys Next Door the other one being Endless Summer its sequel I think you'll all love it anyways just fill out the form and hop on over to the next blog

as always , Carol

Also as much as I love comments they wont count towards entry sorry =p

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen Winner!

I think for my first ever giveaway things when pretty well no? lol well I think I could of fixed some things but overall I'm pretty happy. next week the Splash into Summer giveaway will start and I'm not sure yet but there could be a grand prize (book and swag) or there could be two winners well see. So now on to the winner of 
  This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen and the person who won is....

you have until Friday night to send me your address I've already sent you the email and thanks to every one the participated! happy reading

                          as always , Carol

Sunday, May 15, 2011

In My Mailbox # 4

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren inspired by Alea over at  Pop Culture Junkie . For those of you who are not familiar with In My Mailbox, it's a showcase of the books you have received for review, have purchased, or have picked up at the library during the week.

Hey every one welcome to my IMM #4 this week I have a few books but some I've been waiting for eagerly I hope you'll visit the blogs of the people who hosted giveaways since they will most likely have other giveaways who knows you could be the next winner =].


~ Affair With Out End by Candace Camp last of the prize pack thanks Tynga @ Tynga's Reviews 
~ Jersey Tomatoes are the Best by Maria Padian thanks  to Liz over @ Cleverly Inked
~ Clarity by Kim Harrington thanks to Emily @ Emily's Reading Room
 and of course to the ladies at Book Soulmates for hosting the awesome Monthly  R.A.K event

I can't thank these lovely ladies enough for giving me the chance to read these book! I've finished reading Affair With Out End and Clarity and I've started on Jersey Tomatoes are the Best can't wait to show you all the reviews =]


~ Eona by Alison Goodman because I've been waiting for ever for this one.
~ This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen because it's for my Sarah Dessen giveaway
that ends May 16th (yes I extended it one day)
~ Mystery book for Splash into Summer Giveaway and swag bag

No Library books this week since I had some from the previous week but next week I'm pretty sure I will have some lol.  So What's in your Mailbox?

              as always , Carol

ps. I'll try to visit all blogs that have visited me and leave a comment today but if I don't get to every one it will have to be until Wednesday since I work mon-tues-wed sorry.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Quick update #4 and April R.A.K summary

I am so behind aren't I? lol I'm truly sorry hings have been hectic at home I had to work a few more day and I've been recovering from some back pain but all is well now the good thing about trying to recover  is that I had the chance to read a few more books! The reviews for those will be up soon. and I'm really excited for the other things happening in the blog in the days coming.

I wanted to remind every one about my Sarah Dessen giveaway that is still running. I may even extend the ending date of the 15th one or two days because of blogger being down but I'm not sure yet. 
Also remind you all about the Splash into Summer giveaway that starts May 25 and clarify that I was so wrong I'm not number 180 as I had previously believed I'm actually # 247 lol but the good thing is there are many blogs you can enter and the possibility of winning is high! I also already have the book I'll be giving away and maybe I'll have another prize (something like swag) so there could be two winners =]

Ok now that that's out of the way I have thanks to give. First of all to the girls at Book Soulmates for making such a fun even like the  R.A.K or Random Act of Kindness. I'm sad to say I wont be participating this month but next month I will. For the month of April I actually got a R.A.K from Emily at Emily's Reading Room  I can't thank her enough for giving me the chance to read one of the books from my ever growing wishlist.

I received Clarity from Emily I loved this book!
Of course I had to give some one a book to show my R.A.K  but I just couldn't decide who to choose I felt like it would be bad for me to just pick some one so I used Random. org and ended picking Amanda from Novel Addiction I contacted her and after a lot of crazy mishap I've finally sent her book!
Amanda from Novel Addiction will be receiving this book.
So thats basically the April R.A.K summary sorry it took so long lol anyways happy reading every one

                                as always , Carol

Monday, May 9, 2011

Sarah Dessen Week Giveaway

I've loved reading Sarah Dessens books for a long time now so when I heard that there would be a Sarah Dessen week hosted by The Reading Housewives of Indiana and YA Bibliophile I had to sign up for it. I knew I couldn't choose a better event to join and make as my first ever giveaway. I decided that for this week I will make at least one review on a Sarah Dessen book and Giveaway one of her books.  So here's the fun part

Up for grabs (to US only sorry guys its the first and I'm not sure how to send International yet)

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen 
Since I loved This Lullaby so much I decided it would be the perfect book to give away ~check out my review here~

Just fill out the form and Ta-Da be entered for the chance to win it.
Winner will be announced either May 16th or 17th

~ as much as I comments they wont count towards entries but if you have anything to say leave a comment I promise to answer~

Friday, May 6, 2011

Review- Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

Water for Elephants @ Goodreads
 Water for Elephants 
By: Sara Gruen 
     Published: March 1st, 2011(First published April 9th, 2006)
Publisher: Algonquin Books

"Though he may not speak of them, the memories still dwell inside Jacob Jankowski's ninety-something-year-old mind. Memories of himself as a young man, tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Memories of a world filled with freaks and clowns, with wonder and pain and anger and passion; a world with its own narrow, irrational rules, its own way of life, and its own way of death. The world of the circus: to Jacob it was both salvation and a living hell.

Jacob was there because his luck had run out - orphaned and penniless, he had no direction until he landed on this locomotive 'ship of fools'. It was the early part of the Great Depression, and everyone in this third-rate circus was lucky to have any job at all. Marlena, the star of the equestrian act, was there because she fell in love with the wrong man, a handsome circus boss with a wide mean streak. And Rosie the elephant was there because she was the great gray hope, the new act that was going to be the salvation of the circus; the only problem was, Rosie didn't have an act - in fact, she couldn't even follow instructions. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and ultimately, it was their only hope for survival.
" Synopsis from Goodreads

Lets cover talk!
Water for Elephants has been published in many countries and like most books that have been re-published it's had many covers. I, being the curious person that I am, looked for the other covers to see which one looks more appealing to me. I found many but four of them really stood out and so I think they should be mentioned.  One of them is of course the original book cover, I love that it shows the circus tarp, and that it doesn't show the mans face and so we have the liberty to imagine how he looks. At the same time I wish Rosie was visible since she is important maybe an elephant trunk and some sequins showing as the man enters the tent? Then again maybe not. I know some people don't care what cover is being used and part of me feels like that after all what I care for the most is the story but, at the same time if a cover doesn't catch my attention it could take forever for me to pick it up, if I even do. 
The next cover isn't my favorite it looks a little bit like a political poster not really like a book cover. The middle cover seems sort of creepy to me not sure if it's the girl or if it's the color and the last cover looks nice but it doesn't exactly look like it has to do with the circus I got more of a flapper era feel from it. The book cover I'm really loving though is the one I bought which is the one for the movie. No, not because of Robert Pattinson even if I do like him. It has to do more with what the cover has, for example it shows a very pretty lady ( Reese Witherspoon) in an amorous position with a man, an Elephant that looks very circus themed (not over the top costume but a nice one nonetheless), railroad train where a lot of the story happens, and angry looking man.  For me this cover win hands down on the perfect book cover edition competition (if such a competition existed lol)

My Opinion Ooer!
I first heard about Water for Elephants after I saw the movie preview when I heard it was based on the book written by Sara Gruen. I knew there would be some sort of romance in it and that the story was set in a circus but apart form that I wasn't sure what to expect. I was surprised by the beginning of the story and doubtful if I would like it because of it but as I continued reading I found myself enjoying every page.

Water for Elephants cast Hal Holbrook (old Jacob), Rob Pat(young Jacob), Reese W(Marlena) and Sara Gruen
I loved how the story is told from the point of view of 9o (or 93) year old Jacob Jankowski it was quite refreshing in many ways. His thoughts were a mixture of wistfulness, knowledge, and grumpy old man.  The story it self is set in the late 1920's and early 30's at least the story of Jacob at a young age about 70 years have passed since then. 23 year old Jacob has just lost his parents in a tragic accident and with them all he had. In a desperate move to get away he jumps into a moving train and so begins the story. 

The Main Characters in Water for Elephants were of course Jacob (older and younger versions), Marlena, and Rosie. Out of all of them I really liked that older Jacob I thought he was funny and accepting in ways that I'm not sure I could possibly be. He was also very old and grumpy at times and I hated to see him in pain I wished the people around him had understood him more. It was in a way like looking through a glass mirror and finding how possible a future like his could be. He had gotten hurt and his family decide that it's better if hes put in a nursing home. I think the reason I really enjoyed reading this book is because of him. At the end he was the character stuck in my head, sure I liked the others but it wasn't the same he was just brilliant and funny. 
A poster announcing the circus like in the old days lol

I liked the story of Jacob and the circus but I felt some what dissatisfied with how much the other characters are explored.  Marlena seemed a nice enough lady who had spontaneous moments at times but I was confused by her at times. I wish we could have learned more about her but, since the story is told from Jacobs point of view I could understand why her thoughts weren't really put out there. Although the story centers around those three characters I felt the time they actually spend together isn't really that big. In fact I feel like Rosie, the elephant, spent more time with August, Marlena's husband, that with Jacob not always just a lot of time. A bond does develop between Jacob, Marlena, and Rosie but it's not as explored as I wish it had been.

The story itself was really enjoyable the ending even more so. If there were a few things that I wish had been changed or better explained it didn't deter my liking it. Over all I think this book is definitely worth reading the ending is, I think, one of the best. It's been on my mind all week I can't give it a perfect mark because of those few things that were left unanswered for me simple things really but unanswered nonetheless. Even if the story doesn't need the information its some thing I feel should have been talked about a little bit near the end  but it's not. I felt like a sequel is needed after that amazing ending but at the same time I love where it ends and. At the end of the day I feel Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen deserves a 5 out of 5 but know a 4 out of 5 aka a Major Crush Alert!! rating is still pretty awesome. 

Check out Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and then stop by again tell me your thoughts on it maybe I missed some thing you didn't or if you've already read it tell me your thoughts. Of curse if you've seen the movie tell me your thoughts on that as well I hope to see it soon and maybe I'll talk about it in another blog post but for now this is it. Hope you  all have a nice day

                       as always , Carol

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Review Happy Hour of the Damned by Mark Henry

@ Goodreads
Happy hour of the Damned (Amanda Feral #1)
By: Mark Henry
Publisher: Kensington
Published: March 1st, 2008

"Before she became a zombie, Amanda Feral had everything under control. This sassy Seattle advertising exec and full-time party diva knew how to cope with club leeches and overbearing clients, but fending off the undead is clearly something else. As Amanda gradually adjusts to her new, exceedingly weird identity, she learns important lessons about shapeshifters, reapers, bloodsuckers, dressing to truly kill. And the minute one of Amanda's undead friends disappears after texting the word, "help" (the undead-so dramatic!) she knows the afterlife is about to get really ugly. A hysterical paranormal debut romp." Synopsis from Goodreads and back of the book.

Lets cover talk: 
The cover for Happy Hour of the Damned is simple in a way but I like it. Amanda looks very dead with her deathly skin tone but also very fabulous the only thing I wasn't so happy about is her shoulders look kinda of weird. That and her nails aren't painted I don't now it seems like she would have them a fab color but then again she could just think its too much of a hassle lol. I love that the moon is incorporated into the cover not only because they do spend a lot of their time hanging out at night but also because I love the moon. Ditto for the Cemetery ...except I'm not a fan of them kind of creepy especially at night. There are no other covers as far as I know so no other pics this time.
One of my favorite footnotes Amanda thinks lol what do you think does my pic look weird?

My Opinion ooer!:
The book is told with little footnotes (like the quote on pic) at first this was kind of weird but I really enjoyed it as the story progressed they certainly got many chuckles out of me. I loved so much of this book, like the first time Wendy and Amanda meet, or many of the other first meetings since they are all so different and funny in an almost sick twisted way. Like in many other stories I kept trying to guess who the villain was but I must confess I was way off. The ending was especially crazy but incredibly enjoyable a complete surprise all on it's on.  This book isn't a Paranormal Romance story although there is some romance mixed in with all the other crazyness its just mostly a paranormal story. This book is an adventure it's full of crazy happenings, weird encounters and surprise endings that any one can enjoy
The Story is told from Amanda's narcissistic point of view she is the main character in Happy Hour of the Damned. Most of the time one of her friends Wendy, Gil and Liesl are with her but not always. Amanda and Wendy are Zombies made not mistakes, Gil is a vampire, and Liesl is a succubus. Their kind of like the fantastic four except they don't help humanity unless it's in their benefit and even then it's almost reluctant. Their all pretty similar, all of them dibble in the sarcastic  languages,  witty/catty remarks,  and all around food enjoyment of the human kind. I really liked them because their not your goody-goody characters they really don't care what happens to humans Amanda is even outraged when a Zombie tries to go on a cow diet instead of human.  Amanda is full of diva-tude she completely changed my opinion on zombies in ways I thought impossible you can read my opinion on zombies in my blog post ""Where I talk zombies into vegetarianism or at least try to".  I learned many things while read Happy Hour of the Damned for example that if you're a homeless person or & live in Seattle you should watch your back other wise a zombie could attack lol. Amanda isn't your knight in shinning armor she will throw you in front of a bus if it saves her and eat you with no remorse afterward. She cares for only her friends which is why when one of them disappears she enlist many in the search of her lost friend. 

There are many other characters like Ricardo the hottie but very dead zombie, Shane King 28 year old looking but probably closer to 100 vampire, Elizabeth Karkaroff rumored Devil, Cameron Hansen celebrity, Reapers little girls with big mouths and so many others this book is full of amazing paranormal action. At times the book was slightly too gory but in a way that made me say eww but keep reading. This book is definitely more of an adult read or at least 16 and older since it contains some graphic scenes ( one or two minor sex scenes but mostly just bloody) but nothing major in my opinion.  Over all I really liked this book it made me laugh, say eww a lot and simply learn the dark side can be fun if you have the right company.

Over all I have to give Happy Hour of the Damned a five out of five rating aka Truly Swoon Worthy rating because it was full of twisted humor that you can't help but enjoy. It's one of the books where I enjoyed the snarky character I usually don't but that's because they pretend to be all nice and then turn out to be horrible, not Amanda shes queen-of-the-snark and owns it.

I hope you will check out  Happy hour of the Damned at goodreads  and maybe add it to your TBR it's worth it. Have a nice day every one

as always , Carol