Thursday, December 30, 2010

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Speak: 10th Anniversary EditionTitle: Speak

Author: Laurie Halse Anderson

Where I got it: A lovely girl that was apart of a secret Santa with me bought it and sent it to me!!

Why I read it: Because it's one of my all time favorite books ever!

Rating: A+++++++++

Good reads description:

Since the beginning of the school year, high school freshman Melinda has found that it's been getting harder and harder for her to speak out loud: "My throat is always sore, my lips raw.... Every time I try to talk to my parents or a teacher, I sputter or freeze.... It's like I have some kind of spastic laryngitis." What could have caused Melinda to suddenly fall mute? Could it be due to the fact that no one at school is speaking to her because she called the cops and got everyone busted at the seniors' big end-of-summer party? Or maybe it's because her parents' only form of communication is Post-It notes written on their way out the door to their nine-to-whenever jobs. While Melinda is bothered by these things, deep down she knows the real reason why she's been struck mute...

Laurie Halse Anderson's first novel is a stunning and sympathetic tribute to the teenage outcast. The triumphant ending, in which Melinda finds her voice, is cause for cheering (while many readers might also shed a tear or two). After reading Speak
, it will be hard for any teen to look at the class scapegoat again without a measure of compassion and understanding for that person--who may be screaming beneath the silence.

First let me start off by saying this is my SECOND time reading this book!! And of COURSE it was just as good as the first time. Actually, it may have been even BETTER than the first time through!!! Even though I knew what happened to Melinda to make her stop speaking, it was still a great book. And I didn't remember some of the events in between the beginning and the ending, so it made the book that much more interesting to reread! 

If you've never read this book, then you need to.. NOW! You need to go out of your house as soon as you're done reading this post, and buy it. Then, you need to go buy all of the other books she's written and read them!! That's how good this book is!! 

I think my favorite thing from the book is how it's written. Laurie wrote it in the voice/eyes of the main character, Melinda. She didn't write it as if someone else was telling the story, it was Melinda telling the story. She starts off from when she was at the party, up until the very last day of school for the year. She is the one speaking the entire time, or rather, telling the story. It never gets chopping, or confusing, which makes the book amazing. Not many authors are able to do that. 

The book makes you kind of sad, and makes you feel sorry for Melinda, makes you want to jump into the pages and be her friend and knock out those who are immature and won't speak to her. It also makes you laugh a few times from the quirky-ness of Melinda and her family. 

All in all, it's an AMAZING book, written amazingly, the story is told amazingly, and you MUST read it! Read it once, then read it again!! I promise, you won't be unsatisfied! 

Here are a few interesting facts that you may not be aware of, and if you've read the book, you may still not be aware of this..

But this book was on the Banned Books list!! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!? I was FURIOUS when I found this out!! Some people asked schools and educators to take it off the shelves because it gave teenagers and young adults the wrong idea!! WHAT!? Definitely not true at all! So, if you've heard this, and you're the type of person who believes that a banned book isn't a book to read, IGNORE IT! This book, as all books, does not deserve to be on ANY banned books list! It's NOT poorly written, it has no graphic, or questionable material in it. So, please read!

And for those of you who have read it, or will read it.. Did you know that Laurie has been thinking about writing a SEQUEL to the Speak!?! I didn't know this until I read this 10th anniversary edition!! She said she's thought about it, but she said that she won't start writing it until Melinda speaks to her. Until it randomly comes to her like it did with Speak it's self. So, lets all keep hoping, wishing and praying that it comes to her and a sequel is written SOON! 

PLEASE, if you've read this book already, or when you do.. LEAVE feedback! I want to know what you liked, or dislike about the book. Would you give it to  friend, or recommend they go buy it themselves? Let me know!

My Rating:

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books of 2010!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish, which is the other blog that I participate in! Each week a topic is chosen for one of the bloggers to post a top ten list about. This weeks topic is, Top Ten Books Of 2010!!! So, head on over to The Broke and the Bookish to fill out the linky, read Jen's top ten and every one elses as well!! 


These books are NOT in the order that I liked them the most, they're just in the order that I thought of them!!! Also, you can click on the title of each book to read my review!! 

1.) Recovering Charles by Jason F. Wright -- An absolutely amazing book! It's a tear jerker and will leave you feeling connected to the characters for days after finishing it!

2.) Take Four by Karen Kingsbury -- I think this is probably by far my favorite book shes ever written. It's apart of a series, the Above the Line series, and it's FANTASTIC!! If you've read the Baxter family series, but have not yet read this series, you must!

3.) The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf -- This book is kind of a different version of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, however, I didn't make this comparison until just now! Basically, if you've read Speak, and you loved it, I think you'll like this book too! The events are a little bit different, but basically, something happens that causes a girl to stop speaking. 

4.) The Hunger Games Series by Susanne Collins -- So, I tried to avoid putting series down. I really did. But I just couldn't pick ONE of the three!!! While this wasn't THE best series I've ever read, it definitely makes the cut for Top Ten Books of 2010! 

5.) The Secret by Rhonda Byrne -- I wasn't going to put this on here. But you know why I did? Because this book literally changed my life. At the beginning of 2010, I was THE most negative person you could ever meet. Every thought, comment, idea that came out of my mouth was negative. My old 8th grade English teacher suggested that I read this book, and when I did, I decided to give it a try -- the secret to life. And it WORKED! My entire life CHANGED! I highly suggest this book to ANYONE! 

6.) The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright -- There is no way I could make this list without putting this one on here. I've had so many books make me cry, but not as hard as this one did. Not only  did a finish this in a matter of hours, but I bawled through out the entire book.. in a good, and bad way! All I have to say is, I hope I find this kind of love some day! 

7.) Night Road by Kristin Hannah -- First, I want to add that I read this as an ARC book, and it isn't released until March 2011! But, this book was AMAZING! Kristin took an event that can actually happen in the real world, and made this book feel so real, that you wonder if it really happened to hear, or someone she knows. You know how some books have events in them that you're like, "Really? This is so unlikely to happen!" but not her book! It's a must read! 

8.) House Rules by Jodi Picoult -- Jodi is one of my all time favorite authors. And while this book was VERY, VERY, VERY good, and I'd recommend it as a must read, this wasn't one of my favorites by her. But it definitely deserves to be on this list! 

9.) IraqiGurl by Hadiya-- This book gives you the insight, or the "other side" look of what is/was/has been going on in Iraq during the war. It's a real blog put into a book explaining what has been seen by her eyes. In the book, it also lists her REAL blog address, so you can follow it!

10.) Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks -- Nicholas is also another favorite author of mine. And I'm sure most of you have read him. This book is way different than most of his other books have been. It's still a love story type book, but it's still different! I think this is my favorite book by him thus far! 

So, that is my Top Ten Books of 2010! What are yours? Did you have any of my books on your list? Or have you at least read any of these books? I would love your feedback! Also, don't forget that you can click on the titles of each book to read my review!!! 

SIDE NOTE: The ones without links are books that I read before making this blog! 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Night Road by Kristin Hannah

Night RoadTitle: Night Road

Author: Kristin Hannah

Where I got it: I won it in a contest on Good Reads.

Why I read it: Because I am beginning to like Kristin Hannah

Rating: A


Description from Goodreads: Jude Farraday is a happily married, stay-at-home mom who puts everyone’s needs above her own. Her twins, Mia and Zach, are bright and happy teenagers. When Lexi Baill enters their lives, no one is more supportive than Jude. A former foster child with a dark past, Lexi quickly becomes Mia’s best friend. Then Zach falls in love with Lexi and the three become inseparable. But senior year of high school brings unexpected dangers and one night, Jude’s worst fears are confirmed: there is an accident. In an instant, her idyllic life is shattered and her close-knit community is torn apart. People— and Jude —demand justice, and when the finger of blame is pointed, it lands solely on eighteen-year-old Lexi Baill. In a heartbeat, their love for each other will be shattered, the family broken. Lexi gives up everything that matters to her to —the boy she loves, her place in the family, the best friend she ever had— while Jude loses even more. When Lexi returns, older and wiser, she demands a reckoning. Long buried feelings will rise again, and Jude will finally have to face the woman she has become. She must decide whether to remain broken or try to forgive both Lexi …and herself. Night Road is a vivid, emotionally complex novel that raises profound questions about motherhood, loss, identity, and forgiveness. It is an exquisite, heartbreaking novel that speaks to women everywhere about the things that matter most.

This book is absolutely amazing!! The story line is so intense, and so apart of what can happen in real life, that you find yourself questioning whether or not you've done the right things through out your own life. I absolutely loved every single character in the book, even though at times I found myself disgusted by the way they were acting, or by the choices they were making. Kristin Hannah brought out the characters in a way that I don't think another author could. They had enough background, detail, and time in the story line, that you felt like you knew them in real life. I felt like I was apart of the Farraday family. 

The only complaint I have about the book is that in the very beginning, up until about the middle-ish part of the book, it's kind of jumpy. You'll be reading one part, then it'll have a place where you can stop (which I love that in books), and then you'll read onto the next part and it's something completely different. Which, don't get me wrong, this happens in almost all books. But this jumps to a whole different event, occurance, etc. and the book never goes back to the other stuff that was said. However, that doesn't make the book bad, and it doesn't make it hard to follow. I just wish it wouldn't have been so jumpy, or choppy in the beginning. As I kept reading, that was happening less and less and it was becoming very hard to put the book down. 

I think what I enjoyed most about the book is that it was about younger teenagers, who turned into young adults, and how the story line showed that life can change in a split second. It's scary how that can happen, but it's so true. And this story line was not far fetched, and it didn't make you wonder "Yeah right. This would never happen." I felt like Kristin Hannah was bringing the book to life, as if something like this happened to her. Which, I don't think it did. 

You'll find yourself getting so engrossed into the book that you won't know how much times has gone by, you'll read 100 pages in an hour, and you'll be routing for every single character. You'll feel like you're one of the characters, or one of their friends. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll get excited, and you'll yell at the characters.

It was probably the best book I've read from Kristin Hannah thus far. I highly suggest you go out on March 29, 2011 and get this book!! 

My Rating:

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Before I Die by Jenny Downham

Before I DieTitle: Before I Die

Author: Jenny Downham

Where I got it: Library

Why I read it: I read another bloggers review on it, and added it to my TBR List!

Rating: B/C

This book is about a 16 year old girl named Tessa who only has a few months to live. She has made a list of the things she wants to do before she dies, and she's determined to get them all done, no matter what it takes. She wants to have sex, do drugs, fall in love, and experience things only those who live long lives, get to experience.

Tessa falls in love with her neighbor, Adam, and they're both scared to love each other, because they know that she has very limited time. Adam sticks by her side the entire time, not leaving, never wavering, and shows exactly what true love is.

This was an okay book. I felt bad for giving it just a C, because I do want people to read it. But I don't think it deserves a solid B. So, I went with B/C! =-D

What I liked most about it was the actual story line. It was raw, intense, uplifting, yet depressing and sad all at the same time. You found yourself feeling for Tessa, and wondering what it would be like to know you're dying. I personally don't think I'd want to know. It'd be the scariest thing in the world. I wouldn't want to know how much time I had left. I'd rather just live my life not knowing!

It was kind of hard for me to read this book as it got closer to the end. The way that it was being written, and the things that were happening was awful for me. My Grandfather died with all of us surrounding his bed, and it just brought back all of those memories and how awful that was.

What I didn't like about the book was that it was very jumpy, leaving out much needed details. For example, it doesn't really go into great detail on HOW or WHY Tessa fell in love with Adam, or HOW or WHY they're relationship was so special, etc. You would finish one Chapter, start the next, and it would have nothing to do with how the last Chapter ended. I found myself getting confused every time a new Chapter started, and I'd have to go back and see what happened at the end of the previous one. But they never matched up.

Towards the very end of the book, it was like the author got bored of writing, and wanted to end it as quickly as possible. It didn't make sense most of the time, and you wondered what the characters were talking about.

However, it is a decent book. I found myself turning the pages quickly, not wanting to put it down, and wanting to know what happened at the end. I would recommend this book as a book to read if you just want something simple and easy real quick. I wouldn't recommend buying it, but definitely rent it out of your library!

My rating:

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Recovering Charles by Jason F. Wright

Author: Jason F. Wright

Where I got it: Library

Why I read it: I read a review on someone elses blog about The Wednesday Letters that he also wrote, and I fell in love with him as an author, so I decided to read all of his other books as well.

Rating: A

First let me say that Jason F. Wright is an AMAZING author! He is a new found favorite of mine, and as with all of my new found favorite authors, I will read all of the books hes written. 

Jason F. Wright is the author of the book, The Wednesday Letters, which was the first book I read by him, and I did a review, which you can read HERE.

This book is about a "normal" family, with a "normal", "happy" life in the beginning, but as it sometimes happens in everyone’s life/families, things change quickly. Luke, the son to Charles, has to deal with his mother going into a deep, dark depression after her mother passes away, and the story unfolds into the childhood that Luke endured. As the story progresses, it changes to when Luke is older, and when Charles (Luke's Dad) becomes an alcoholic, and they lose their tight knit friendship quickly. Luke becomes a very successful photographer living in New York where he is surrounded by the love of close friends. One day he gets a phone call from a stranger, which basically changes his life. The stranger asks Luke to come find his estranged father in post-Katrina New Orleans. When Luke receives this phone call, it's a testament to finding out what kind of man he truly is; and who the man is that his father has become.

This story/book/novel is about finding forgiveness not only with yourself, but with others who have hurt you, or you've lost touch with, etc. It's about finding true love, and one's true self. This book should be read by every single person and/or family who has had rough times, for those of us who have regretted things never said, or things that were said, and for those who need to know their has a second verse. (Some of the words used here were taken from the inside flap of the book. I tried to put it in my own words as much as I could.)
As it was it, this book takes place in post-Katrina New Orleans. I didn’t personally experience this terribly tragedy, and Praise God that none of my family members or friends didn’t either. But by reading this book, it makes your heart break hearing some of the things that happened. I’m not entirely sure if Jason F. Wright actually experienced any of this himself, If he was a relief worker, or if he had family/friends down there, but the things that he explains in such great detail is astounding, yet scary and heart breaking. You find yourself crying for these people, and wishing you could do something for them, even though you’re reading just a story, and this event happened some time ago.

You will also find yourself routing for Luke. He has some issues of his own, about needing to forgive his father for the things that happened, needing to find him, alive or dead, and he is stuck trying to find true love. Luke is such a loveable character, even with his flaws, that you find yourself rooting for him from the very beginning.
Something that I absolutely loved about this book, it wasn’t predicting at all. Jason kept you guessing, changing your mind, and would throw in the littlest detail to make you say, “Or maybe not!” when you think you’ve figured out how the book was going to end. I won’t say what happens in the, end obviously, but I will say that it’s not predictable in the least. Another thing that I absolutely loved about this book was that it continuously talked about the love of music. Luke’s father was a huge music lover, and a saxophone player. The story frequently reminds us of the healing power that a good song can give us.

This may be considered a spoiler so please READ WITH CAUTION!!!!!! Charles wrote his own music in this story, and at the end of the book, there is a song that was written. It's got the lyrics, and the actual page of notes, if anyone knows how to play an instrument, and would like to follow and play. Also, you can go to and hear the song being played. It's absolutely amazing, and beautiful.
This is probably one of the best books I've read this year. It was the book to get me out of my reading slump (finally) and one I would recommend to anyone. I enjoyed this book so immensely, that I want to go out and buy a copy to pass on to someone else, then when they return it, pass it on to yet another person, and/or, the first person I pass it on to, pass it on, etc.

It made me laugh, it made me cry, and it made me want to call up all of my family and friends just to tell them that I love them. We never know how long we've got left in this world, and this book teaches us just that, and that we should NEVER EVER go to bed angry. Resolve all issues/problems/concerns when they arise.
Please, go out and read this book ASAP. I promise, you will not be disappointed.

My Rating:

Friday, December 3, 2010

Wish I'd Read That Challenge 2011!

Misha, over at My Love Affair with Books is hosting a 2011 Challenge called, "Wish I'd Read That Challenge 2011!" It's a challenge where you can take your to be read list and knock out some books for 2011! I think this is a GREAT idea!!! There are 4 different levels that you can participate in:

-Curious – Read 3 books.

-Fascinated – Read 6 books.

-Addicted – Read 12 books.

-Obsessed – Read 20 books.

I'm going to choose between Addicted and Obsessed because I've got quite a bit of books on my list!!! Plus. I'm sure I'll be adding more and more as the year goes on! 

There is also a giveaway in this challenge!! 2 people will randomly be chosen to win a $10 amazon gift card! HOW EXCITING!!! So, head on over to Misha's blog by CLICKING HERE and read the rest of the rules/guidelines and participate in this awesome 2011 Challenge!!!

New Blog

Hello followers! First, let me say sorry yet again that I have not been very active on my blog site. The reason for that is because I have...