Friday, May 30, 2014

Weekly Rewind 5.31.14

Friday, May 30, 2014 11:49 PM with 15 comments





Weekly Rewind
The new books on my shelves, the links I loved, and my week in a nutshell.





Since I started this blog I've participated in Stacking the Shelves, which is a weekly feature hosted by Tyngas Reviews, and I'm going to continue linking to that meme. Throughout my student teaching semester I was using my weekend post as a way to let people know what's going on in my life, so I've decided to rename my weekend post because this feature is more personal than just what books I've received. The Weekly Rewind will be about what's going on with me and my blog, as well as about the books I've added to my shelves, and the links I've enjoyed over the past week from other blogs and the interwebs in general.  


My Life and Blog

Life: Once again I am throwing this post together at the last minute, so I'm not going to blather on for too long today. I've continued to apply for jobs, but at this point, the posting seem to be drying up. There are a handful of schools I still plan on applying for--one that I am especially excited for (plus there are a few jobs I've already applied for that I'm super excited about)--that require for me to mail in my application that I am going to work on tomorrow. So now it is just to sit and wait. La, la, la, la, la. Positive thoughts, crossed fingers, all those good things.

Blog: This was a pretty light week still, but since the job search is slowing down, my attention to the blog should increase over the next couple of weeks or so. We'll see. I'm not putting pressure on myself as far as the blog is concerned. As I'm assuming most of you know, job searching is one of the most stressful things in the world, so there is just no way I'm putting extra pressure on myself. Thanks to all of you that have continued to stop by and say nice things to me. <3

My slump seems to be dissapating. Yay! I read two books this week: The Truth About Alice and This is Where I Leave You. I really enjoyed both, and have been reading pretty steadily the past couple of days, so there will definitely be at least one book review up this week. 
New Books: As always, I have some new reads that I'm excited to share with you. I hope that you are all having fabulous weekends. For those who went to BEA, I hope it was amazing, and I can't wait to see your posts. 

Review Books


18599667 13597755 21524042 
18404289 18651952

Don't You Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn
I've been so excited to read this retelling of the Pied Piper. That cover is gorgeous, and it just looks so original. I can't NOT sing that cover, though. I'm sure I'm not the only one with that problem. 
Hexed by Michelle Krys
So I'm about 25% of the way through this, and I have to admit that I'm not loving it. I've actually set it aside for now, and I hope to get through it before it comes out, but I don't know. It isn't horrible, it just isn't grabbing me, and with my recent slump I'm really only interested in books that are able to hold my attention.
My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal
A girl is stuck until she can figure out who killed her. Sounds interesting. 
Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican
I'm so excited for this book about 3 freshmen who band together to survive life at a rough Catholic school. 
Wicked Games by Sean Olin
This soap-y book about a girl who enacts revenge on the girl who her boyfriend cheated on her with (instead of her bf) sounded cheesy but fun, but early reviews have not been favorable. We'll see.

What I snagged from the library

18602289 10594356

Free to Fall  by Lauren Miller
So I was 99% sure that I downloaded this, but found out that I didn't (apparently) when I went to read it. Regardless, my library system is awesome, so I got it pretty quickly. I'm excited to read this. I really enjoyed Parallel.
Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt
I've been meaning to read this for forever. That cover is so adorable.

Link Love 
  • The Notebook Sisters celebrated Wonderland with a week full of awesome posts. Go check it out if you haven't already.
  • Mands @The Bookish Manicurist posted a review for The Haunting of Lily Frost that includes one of the coolest manicures I've ever seen. Plus, she talks about evening bush walks...
  • Christina @Confessions of a Book Addict gives us her picks for 2014 summer reading. 
Upcoming Reviews

 The Truth About Alice 

Well that's it for me this week. Feel free to leave a link to whatever weekend post you do (Stacking the Shelves, In My Mailbox, etc). I love to see what books people have recently snagged and especially enjoy hearing about my fellow bloggers' weeks. I hope you are all having a fabulous weekend!


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. Click the link to see the original post plus a whole slew of links to other blogs. After you read this one, of course.



20578610 The Unhappening of Genesis Lee

Author: Shallee McArthur
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Release Date: November 4, 2014

Link to Goodreads:


Seventeen-year-old Genesis Lee has never forgotten anything. As one of the Mementi—a small group of genetically-enhanced humans—Gena remembers everything with the help of her Link bracelets, which preserve memories perfectly. But Links can be stolen, and six people have already lost their lives to a memory thief, including Gena’s best friend.

Anyone could be next. Which is why Gena is less than pleased to meet a strange but charming boy named Kalan who claims that they’ve not only met, but that Gena knows who the thief is.

The problem is, Gena doesn’t remember Kalan, she doesn’t remember seeing the thief, and she doesn’t know why she’s forgetting things— or how much else she might forget. As growing tensions between Mementi and ordinary humans drive the city of Havendale into chaos, Gena and Kalan team up to search for the thief. And as Gena loses more memories, they realize they have to solve the mystery fast.

Because Gena’s life is unhappening around her.

   
Why I'm Excited:

It sounds pretty intriguing and I'm loving the idea that memories are confined to bracelets. Plus, I'm always down for a good mystery. The only thing that concerns me is the dude who "knows" her when she doesn't know him. Such a cliché...but I'm definitely planning on giving this one a try.

What are you waiting for on this Wednesday? Link me up! 

Hey lovely GFC and new followers, please follow me by Bloglovin as we all know Google Reader has gone/is going by the wayside. (I like to follow back, so please let me know if you're a new follower--and leave a link!) Thank you!!!


Sunday, May 25, 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past (Movie Review)

Sunday, May 25, 2014 8:55 PM with 13 comments

http://jovenatheart.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/x-men-days-of-future-past-movie-poster.jpg

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Director: Bryan Singer
Writer: Simon Kinberg
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawerence, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan, James McAvoy,  and Michael Fassbender (to name just a few)

Rated: PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi violence and action, some suggestive material, nudity and language.

Storyline from IMDb:

The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-Men: Days of Future Past. The characters from the original X-Men film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from X-Men: First Class in an epic battle that must change the past - to save our future.


************************************************************************
MY THOUGHTS:

I couldn't have asked for a better Friday afternoon. As my readers and blogger buddies know, I have been incredibly stressed out about trying to find a job, and have just been basically a bundle of nerves on the edge of a break-down for the past couple of weeks. On Friday, my husband and I decided to just say screw it all, and went to lunch at Burgatory (which was delicious), and then to a matinee of the new X-Men movie. Like any nerd worth her salt, I've always been a huge fan of the X-Men franchise. I've seen the first X-Men movie probably a dozen times, and have been salivating over this combination of "old" and "new" cast for months. I'm happy to say that this movie didn't disappoint. I was enthralled by the plot throughout (although I imagine that for the casual viewer who hasn't seen all of these movies it might be pretty confusing at times. If this is you, I would definitely brush up before seeing this one--including Wolverine's stand-alones), loved seeing all of my favorite characters in both their younger and older versions, and was impressed by the wonderful CGI work. 

The plot of Days of Future Past is simple enough: In the future, huge, mechanical beings called sentinels are hunting not only mutants, but the humans who have helped them, AND the humans that will someday bore mutant children or grandchildren. The film opening up to a bleak, dystopian futuristic landscape in which a group of mutants are being hunted by these awful creatures. Old characters like Bobby (Rogue's boyfriend in the first couple of movies who can spew ice), and his new girlfriend Kitty--Ellen Page--who, though I don't remember this--can apparently send people back to the past, although only in small increments like a day, are among the small group. The sentinels--much like the "machines" in the last Matrix film, find the group and begin to destroy them. These baddies are no joke. Made of a polymer, not metal, they have the ability to adapt to any mutation thrown their way. The opening scene is pretty graphic, with the mutants not faring well, and the sentinels are sufficiently scary and wonderfully done. 

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/10/29/article-0-190EE25900000578-782_634x278.jpg

The audience soon finds out (seriously--early in the film) that the reason these beings are able to adapt so easily is because their maker, the movie's bad guy, Dr. Trask (played by the incomparable Peter Dinklage from Game of Thrones), has developed them using Raven/Mystique's DNA. Before long we see all of our old favorites from the the first 3 films: Professor X, Magneto, Wolverine, and Storm who find Kitty and Bobby and come up with a plan to stop Mystique from going after Dr. Trask which is how he gets her DNA. An event that happened back in the 70s. It is quickly decided that only Wolverine could withstand the brain-ripping that will occur from taking a mind-trip that long, and so back to the 70s he goes. 

The film really is more of a showcase for the "new"cast of X-Men, with all of the old characters' roles being really more just cameos--with the exception of Hugh Jackman. I really like James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, but nobody can compare with Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan. Like First Class, though, it is so interesting to see their relationship when they are younger and really still forming into the people they will become. James McAvoy, as the Professor, is especially interesting in this film as he is struggling with his powers. When Wolverine first finds him, he doesn't even have his powers, and is hiding out in the building that will eventually become the school. Instead, he is addicted to a serum that, while giving him the use of his legs, also suppresses his telepathy. It is also fantastic that Jennifer Lawerence plays such an important role in this film. She's just awesome. Period. 


My minor complaints are that I would have liked to see Peter Dinklage a bit more in this film and wish it would have delved a bit more into WHY he was pushing the government to approve this sentinel program so hard. Also, while so cool to see all the old favorites, the film does suffer a bit from the bloated cast--although not too badly. Finally, I was thinking about the very first film after (and while) watching this one, and it really doesn't make any sense that the Professor doesn't show any real emotion toward Mystique when she means SO much to him in this film and in First Class. There are other minor discrepancies that can't be helped now. They obviously had no idea that over a decade later this franchise would still be so huge. I'm just being nit-picky.

Finally, again, I was so impressed with the CGI in this film. My favorite scene revolved around Quicksilver (Evan Peters from American Horror Story), as he runs through a kitchen that is being flooded by a sprinkler system. The slow motion scene, set to an easy-listening 70s tune, showcases the amazing camera work and direction from Bryan Singer with easy perfection. The CGI, the humor of the scene, everything about it was perfect. 

Overall, if you are a fan of these movies, this is a great addition to the franchise. If you are a nominal fan that hasn't seen all of these films, my suggestion would be to watch them before seeing this one. You will probably be able to follow the basic story without doing so, but to fully enjoy and understand what is going on, you should be familiar with the movies that come before it. 

I rarely go to the theater anymore, but I was so happy that we took a much needed break and went to go see this one. It was the perfect way to start off a long holiday weekend.

Definitely recommend. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Weekly Rewind (5.23.14)

Friday, May 23, 2014 11:16 PM with 14 comments





Weekly Rewind
The new books on my shelves, the links I loved, and my week in a nutshell.




Since I started this blog I've participated in Stacking the Shelves, which is a weekly feature hosted by Tyngas Reviews, and I'm going to continue linking to that meme. Throughout my student teaching semester I was using my weekend post as a way to let people know what's going on in my life, so I've decided to rename my weekend post because this feature is more personal than just what books I've received. The Weekly Rewind will be about what's going on with me and my blog, as well as about the books I've added to my shelves, and the links I've enjoyed over the past week from other blogs and the interwebs in general.  


My Life and Blog

Life:  Every spare minute I've had this week has been spent in front of the computer looking for a teaching job. I've applied for a few jobs that I would be absolutely thrilled to land, so I'm keeping my hopes up. Please continue to keep your fingers crossed for me that one of these positions will pan out. The office has continued to be pretty crazy and they are still looking for my replacement (which is good for me as I would love to hold on to the job through the summer). So, yeah, second verse same as the first. I can't wait to tell you all some good news.

I'm excited for this long weekend. Most of it will definitely be spent on the never-ending job search and doing some cleaning around the house, but I'm hoping to get out of the house at least a little bit. I'm writing this on Friday night after a fabulous day. My husband and I said screw it, let's go to lunch and a matinee and had a great afternoon. We saw the new X-Men film. I liked it, but I've always been a fan of those movies. I'll try to get a review up for it in the next couple of days.

Blog: As job searching has become my number one priority, my blog posting and blog hopping was a bit sparse this week. I'm still book slumping which I think is at least a little bit due to the stress and uncertainty that looking for employment brings. This week's post will again be without Link Love or Anticipated Reviews. I hope you all continue to bear with me as I concentrate more on my life than on this blog. I do have a couple of movie reviews I'd like to post soon, as well as some discussion posts in mind, so hopefully I'll have some new material up this week. 
  • Wednesday: I cannot wait--like fangirling times 100--for V.E Schwab's newest book that doesn't come out until next February: A Darker Shade of Magic.
I hope all of those going to BEA this year have a fabulous time. I'm excited to hear about your experiences and to drool over all the pretty books you bring back.

New Books: Once again, I have some titles I'm excited to share with you this week. So without further adieu, I hope that you all have a safe and fabulous holiday weekend!!

For Review


18651963 16068341 16635620 
18594344 18630531

Vivine Divine is Dead by Lauren Sabel 
A famous teen actress receives a death threat after her famous actress mother was murdered. Terrified, she flees to Mexico. 
The Truth About Alice  by Jennifer Mathieu
I'm curious about this novel that examines the roles girls play and the labels they are given.
A homeless runaway helps try to find a missing girl.
My Best Friend, Maybe by Caela Carter
A girl is perplexed when her ex-best friend invites her on a family vacation to Greece.
My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff
This memoir follows a girl in her early 20s in the 90s who spent a year answering J.D. Salinger's fan mail...as the author, himself. 

What I Bought

6224935  

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
I quite like Jonathan Tropper, and read this when it first came out a few years ago. I found it for $2 and am excited that it is getting made into a film with Tina Fey and Jason Bateman. The movie comes out in September, I believe.

What I snagged from the library

13514612 11325353

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
I read probably fifty percent of this last year before putting it aside for some unknown reason (I get in weird moods--I can't even explain it as I was actually enjoying this one). I'm looking forward to finishing it. 
Awkward by Marni Bates
I'm not quite sure how a YouTube video makes a girl famous enough to hang out with rock stars, but this looks pretty fun...if unbelievable. 

Well that's it for me this week. Feel free to leave a link to whatever weekend post you do (Stacking the Shelves, In My Mailbox, etc). I love to see what books people have recently snagged and especially enjoy hearing about my fellow bloggers' weeks. I hope you are all having a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. Click the link to see the original post plus a whole slew of links to other blogs. After you read this one, of course.



20764555 A Darker Shade of Magic 

Author: V.E. Schwab
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: February 24, 2015

Link to Goodreads:

From V.E. Schwab, the critically acclaimed author of Vicious, comes a new universe of daring adventure, thrilling power, and parallel Londons, beginning with A Darker Shade of Magic.

Kell is one of the last Travelers—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes—as such, he can choose where he lands.

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, ruled by a mad King George. Then there’s Red London, where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne—a place where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London...but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see—a dangerous hobby, and one that has set him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations, who first robs him, then saves him from a dangerous enemy, and then forces him to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—and that is proving trickier than they hoped.

   
Why I'm Excited:

OMG!!! FEBRUARY! GAH! WANT! CAN'T FORM SENTENCE! WANT!!!!
This sounds so freaking amazing. I just. OMG. Seriously...

homer simpson animated GIF

(Um, totally read Vicious if you haven't already. It is amazing. Believe me, you'll feel the same way.)

EDIT: Ok, so after reading my first few comments I can see how the above statement was completely misleading. This isn't a sequel to Vicious--which is a stand-alone. It's just an awesome book that everybody should read. This book is actually the first book in a series. I just meant that based on Vicious, Victoria Schwab writing as V.E. is, um, awesome...I seriously need to find a new adjective. That is all.

What are you waiting for on this Wednesday? Link me up! 

Hey lovely GFC and new followers, please follow me by Bloglovin as we all know Google Reader has gone/is going by the wayside. (I like to follow back, so please let me know if you're a new follower--and leave a link!) Thank you!!!


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Weekly Rewind 5.17.14

Saturday, May 17, 2014 12:02 AM with 14 comments





Weekly Rewind
The new books on my shelves, the links I loved, and my week in a nutshell.




Since I started this blog I've participated in Stacking the Shelves, which is a weekly feature hosted by Tyngas Reviews, and I'm going to continue linking to that meme. Throughout my student teaching semester I was using my weekend post as a way to let people know what's going on in my life, so I've decided to rename my weekend post because this feature is more personal than just what books I've received. The Weekly Rewind will be about what's going on with me and my blog, as well as about the books I've added to my shelves, and the links I've enjoyed over the past week from other blogs and the interwebs in general.  

My Life and Blog

Life: This week was pretty busy. I worked a couple of days as a sub, and things were pretty crazy at the office. The sub job was insane. My position was a science/art teacher (charter school) and so saw a variety of grades and the kids were out-of-control monsters. You could just see the resignation on every teacher's face and the administration was so lax that there was just no consequences for bad behavior. I just wanted to cry by the end of the second day. I cannot wait until I have my own classroom. Substitute teaching is for the birds. It's not teaching, it's baby-sitting. Most days aren't nearly as bad as this week, but I still cannot wait to have my own classroom, and actual connect and teach students. I applied for a couple more jobs on Thursday, and I plan on applying for one more this week. I also applied for a few jobs out of state. I'm not sure how that would work with my husband's business, but I just don't know if I have a full year of subbing in me, but I obviously want to be in the school environment...Please continue to keep me in your thoughts and send good vibes my way. Sorry to sound like a broken record. I appreciate all of the support you all are sending my way!! 

The library I work for is celebrating its 100 birthday this weekend, so I was there tonight (Friday) and will be there all day tomorrow. The library is in this gorgeous old Victorian house full of history. I'm so lucky to work there.

I usually throw this post together at work on Thursdays, but I didn't have time this week, so this will be an abbreviated post (relatively speaking) without Link Love or Anticipated Reviews. I haven't finished anything since Sunday night, so I'm not sure what reviews will go up this week. Honestly, I'm not sure I'm going to have time to read this weekend between the library celebration and my never-ending job search. Also, due to my busy week, my blog hopping was pretty light. If you left a comment this week, I will respond and pay you a visit. Hopefully this weekend, but if not, definitely soon. Please know that I love you all!

Blog: 
  • Monday: An early review for The Secrets of Lily Graves. I enjoyed this mystery quite a bit. I wasn't expecting it to be as dark as it was considering the author's last book which was beyond super fluffy.
  • Wednesday: Have you heard of Disney-Hyperion's latest reveal Death Date? It look ah-maz-ing!
  • Thursday: A movie review for the cute and funny Our Idiot Brother which can be found on Netflix streaming. 

New books: Not too many this week--which is awesome because I'm behind and slumping which is the worst combination. Regardless, I'm excited to add these to my shelves, so without further adieu. I hope you are all having fantastic weekends!

For Review


13576132 18404448 18528430 18525657

The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings 
Being compared to the movies La Femme Nikita and Hanna. I'm not exactly sure what this is about, but there seems to be a lot of hype surrounding it, and I liked both those so I'm hoping to enjoy it. 
Oblivion by Sasha Dawn
This mystery about a girl found scrawling I KILLED HIM over and over looks intriguing, but the size is a bit daunting, and I've heard that it really is too long. We'll see.
The Lost by Sarah Beth Durst
A woman finds herself trapped in a mystical town called Lost. Looks interesting. 
After her summer plans change due to getting dumped, a girl has to spend the summer in the Hamptons with her father and face people she wronged years before. I love that cover. Especially the font treatment.

What I bought

http://photos-a.ak.instagram.com/hphotos-ak-ash/10311039_604898249605368_2101983338_n.jpg 

Half Price Book trip. I've read all three of these. I rarely buy books I haven't already read.
Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner
A woman and her two daughters try to recover from her husband's, a senator, affair.
What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
A girl tries a new persona every time her and her father move. I greatly prefer the HB's cover, but I prefer trade PBs. It's a dilemma. Why do you have to change good covers, publishers? GRR.
The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
I love this book about a couple of teens who magically get Facebook in 1996 and get to see their futures through FB updates. So cute and such a great idea.

What I snagged from the library

18189606 13132403 Ask the Passengers

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
I've been SO excited for this one...and I still am, but I started it and the first chapter was 30 pages. Then I looked and the second chapter is over 60 pages. Super long chapters are one of my biggest book pet peeves. I read at least 2 or 3 books at a time usually, so long chapters throws off how I read. I know it's silly, but we all have our tics. 
17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma
A girl starts having visions about missing girls. I've heard great things about this one. 
Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
A girl with nobody to talk to "talks" to the passengers in the airplanes that travel above her town. I'm beyond excited for the book the author has coming out later this year, but haven't read anything by her yet. My buddy Mands from the Bookish Manicurist raved about it (here), so I decided to give this one a try.

Well that's it for me this week. Feel free to leave a link to whatever weekend post you do (Stacking the Shelves, In My Mailbox, etc). I love to see what books people have recently snagged and especially enjoy hearing about my fellow bloggers' weeks. I hope you are all having a fabulous weekend!









Thursday, May 15, 2014

Our Idiot Brother (Movie Review)

Thursday, May 15, 2014 2:49 AM with 9 comments
Our Idiot Brother

Director: Jesse Peretz
Writers: Jesse Peretz and Evegenia Peretz     
Starring: Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, and Emily Mortimer

Synopsis from IMDb:

Ned lived a happy life growing organic vegetables on a farm with his hippie girlfriend and his dog named Willie Nelson, but an unadvised incident with marijuana at a farmer's market lands him in jail. When he gets out of jail, he is off to live with his sisters. While Ned is still happy, his sisters are much less so after he manages to screw up one marriage, one job opportunity, one budding relationship and one domestic partnership. He sees those problems as breakdowns in communication, but his sisters see him as an idiot.




**********************************************************************
MY THOUGHTS:
I've loved Paul Rudd since he was the adorable love interest in Clueless. His bright, friendly eyes and affable smile--really just everything about him screams: I'M A NICE GUY! In Our Idiot Brother, Rudd plays the epitome of the nice guy. His character, Ned, is so trusting, and wants to believe in the best of everyone he meets, that you aren't surprised when he actually sells pot to a fully uniformed police officer. You are also not surprised when he gets arrested for being such a bone-head. The scene, which opens the movie, sounds unbelievable until you see it. Even though it was such a stupid thing to do, I could see why Ned fell into the jerk-head cop's trap.

After getting released from jail, Ned finds out that his long-time girlfriend, Janet (played by the wonderful Katherine Hahn), has started dating somebody new at the organic hippie farm they used to work on together. Not only is Ned losing his girlfriend, he is also out a job, and Janet is refusing to let him take his dog, Willie Nelson. Distraught, Ned begins to couch hop at his three sister's houses until he can figure out his next step--and to figure out how to get his dog back. 
His three sisters are all going through their own difficulties, and allowing Ned into their homes creates upheaval for all of them. Emily Mortimer's character, Liz, has the "perfect" family life. She has a nice house, a successful documentary-making husband, and two children. When Ned moves in, though, his innocent actions shine a light on the fact that her so-called perfect husband may be sleeping with the dancer he is filming for his latest documentary. With the cracks in her marriage showing, Liz blames Ned for everything and kicks him out. Next up is Zooey Deschanel, Natalie, a girl who cannot seem to commit to her awesome girlfriend, Cindy (Rashida Jones). Again, Ned creates complete upheaval when he accidentally spills a secret to Cindy that Natalie was trying to keep hidden. So, again, he gets the boot. Finally, Elizabeth Banks, Miranda, is a single workaholic who is trying to land the biggest interview of her career. She is close friends with her neighbor downstairs, Jeremy (Adam Scott), and is afraid to admit to even herself that maybe there is more there. Ned unknowingly wrecks havoc in her life through a series of events, as well. So, again, he gets the boot.

Our Idiot Brother is a simple comedy that is elevated by its spectacular cast. Seriously: Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Adam Scott! I love each and every person in this cast, and they are all perfect in their roles. I understood why the girls wanted to shake some sense into Ned, but I also just loved how sweet and simple he is. There are so few people in this world who are just happy and who want everyone around them to be happy, too. The film was impossible for me to dislike, even though it is uneven at times, because Ned is so darn likable. While he doesn't always make the best decisions, he isn't the "idiot" his sisters all believe him to be.
 
Overall, Our Idiot Brother is a fun and funny look at sibling relationships. The movie won't change your life, but if you are looking for a simple comedy to pass the time, I would definitely recommend giving this one a try.

happy animated GIF
Now on Netflix streaming.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (52) Death Date

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 12:10 AM with 12 comments
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. Click the link to see the original post plus a whole slew of links to other blogs. After you read this one, of course.



20338342 Death Date

Author: Victoria Laurie
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: January 13, 2015

Link to

Pretty Little Liars meets Medium in this fast-paced thriller and fantastic YA debut from a New York Times bestselling author

Maddie Fynn is a shy high school junior, cursed with an eerie intuitive ability: she sees a series of unique digits hovering above the foreheads of each person she encounters. Her earliest memories are marked by these numbers, but it takes her father's premature death for Maddie and her family to realize that these mysterious digits are actually death dates, and just like birthdays, everyone has one.

Forced by her alcoholic mother to use her ability to make extra money, Maddie identifies the quickly approaching death date of one client's young son, but because her ability only allows her to see the when and not the how, she's unable to offer any more insight. When the boy goes missing on that exact date, law enforcement turns to Maddie.

Soon, Maddie is entangled in a homicide investigation, and more young people disappear and are later found murdered. A suspect for the investigation, a target for the murderer, and attracting the attentions of a mysterious young admirer who maybe connected to it all, Maddie's whole existence is about to be turned upside down. Can she right things before it's too late?

   
Why I'm Excited:

This sounds AMAZING! Seriously everything about this just sounds awesome. From her ability to the murder mystery. Gah! Want. Now.

What are you waiting for on this Wednesday? Link me up! 

Hey lovely GFC and new followers, please follow me by Bloglovin as we all know Google Reader has gone/is going by the wayside. (I like to follow back, so please let me know if you're a new follower--and leave a link!) Thank you!!!


Monday, May 12, 2014


18635076

The Secrets of Lily Graves

Author: Sarah Strohmeyer
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Number of Pages: 304
Release Date: May 13, 2014

Synopsis from Goodreads:

With the intrigue of Pretty Little Liars and plenty of romance, bestselling author Sarah Strohmeyer weaves a story of secrets and lies—set in a funeral parlor.

Growing up in a house of female morticians, Lily Graves knows all about buried secrets. She knows that perfect senior-class president Erin Donohue isn’t what she seems. She knows why Erin’s ex-boyfriend, hot football player Matt Houser, broke up with her. And she also knows that, even though she says she and Matt are just friends, there is something brewing between them—something Erin definitely did not like.

But secrets, even ones that are long buried, have a way of returning to haunt their keeper.

So when Erin is found dead the day after attacking Lily in a jealous rage, Lily's and Matt’s safe little lives, and the lives of everyone in their town of Potsdam, begin to unravel. And their relationship—which grew from innocent after-school tutoring sessions to late-night clandestine rendezvous—makes them both suspects.

As her world crumbles around her, Lily must figure out the difference between truth and deception, genuine love and a web of lies. And she must do it quickly, before the killer claims another victim.


*******************************************************************

MY THOUGHTS:

Sarah Strohmeyer is a fairly prolific writer. She has written a dozen books for adults including some chick-lit books, like Secret Lives of Fortunate Wives, as well a popular mystery series featuring a hairdresser named Bubbles. Lately, she has been turning out YA novels including Smart Girls Get What They Want, which I haven't read, and How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True, which I have. I was excited to get my hands on an early copy of Lily Graves as I adore the YA mystery genre, but didn't set my expectations too high after not loving the too saccharine How Zoe from last summer. While not the perfect novel, I ended up enjoying this mystery quite a bit, and was happy to discover that the writing is much darker in this than any of the other books I've read by this author, adult and YA alike.

The Secrets of Lily Graves follows, um, Lily Graves, a high school teen that has a penchant for wearing all black and who lives in the funeral parlor run by her mother and aunt. The novel opens up with Lily being attacked in the ceremony by the so-called "perfect" girl, Erin, who is convinced that the reason her boyfriend, Matt, broke up with her is because of Lily. Erin might not be wrong, either. What started as a friendship between tutor and student (Lily has been tutoring Matt all summer in US history) has been slowly evolving into something more. Lily definitely has feelings for Matt--and she is hoping he feels the same. Lily receives brutal scratches on her arm from Erin, but manages to escape the attack. Only hours later Erin is discovered dead in her bathtub by what is obviously murder meant to look like a suicide, with Lily and Matt quickly labeled as the prime suspects.

I really liked certain aspects of this book. It might be a cliche to have the daughter of a mortician to be a goth girl (if that is even a thing anymore--or if wearing all black puts someone in that category), but it wasn't one that bothered me. She calls the popular clique the "Tragically Normals" which made me chuckle and wears a preppy outfit as her costume for Halloween which is also mildly funny. I liked Lily and the fact that she was who she was. She wasn't trying to be popular--even if she was interested in a popular boy. She was perfectly happy to hang out with her best friend. I also loved some of the little details, like the mention of the shows on ID (Wives With Knives, Nightmare Next Door, etc). ID is my go-to channel when there is nothing on TV. I know it is weird, but I just love seeing how crimes are solved and the motives behind them--so I loved this. 

The setting of the book is also very interesting. I loved that Lily and her family lived in the funeral parlor, and was intrigued by some of the details about embalming and the like. Again, this book was much darker than the other books I've read by the author, and she does give us some pretty gruesome details about both Erin's death and how bodies are prepared before they are buried. If you are super squeamish, this might not be the one for you (and I do mean super squeamish it's really not that bad).

I also really liked Lily. She wants to clear her name--and Matt's--of course, but I think she really wants to know what happened to Erin. The novel relies a little bit too much on the whole "cops are idiots" cliche with the cops not being able to solve a crime (they are small town cops, what do you expect? *eye roll*), but it's what you have to expect in YA mysteries. The cops can't solve crimes, but teenaged girls can. Whatever. It is what it is.

Finally, I'm not going to say I was completely surprised by the baddie. I had figured out the who--although not TOO early, but I was surprised by the why. I tend to figure out mysteries fairly early on, so whenever a book can surprise me, I have to give it props.

Overall, I was surprised by Lily Graves. This book isn't going to change any lives, and it certainly isn't perfect--again, it is littered with cliches, but none of them really bothered me. If you are looking for a quick mystery, I would definitely recommend. If you are picking this up because you loved the extra-fluffy book How Zoe from last summer, though, I would still recommend, but know this is completely different.

*I received an advanced reader's copy of this novel from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange of an honest review.*

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Weekly Rewind 5.10.14

Saturday, May 10, 2014 12:03 AM with 12 comments




Weekly Rewind

The new books on my shelves, the links I loved, and my week in a nutshell.




Since I started this blog I've participated in Stacking the Shelves, which is a weekly feature hosted by Tyngas Reviews, and I'm going to continue linking to that meme. Throughout my student teaching semester I was using my weekend post as a way to let people know what's going on in my life, so I've decided to rename my weekend post because this feature is more personal than just what books I've received. The Weekly Rewind will be about what's going on with me and my blog, as well as about the books I've added to my shelves, and the links I've enjoyed over the past week from other blogs and the interwebs in general.  



My Life and Blog

Life: On the job front my life is just in such limbo. I need to work over the summer, obviously, but don't know how long my office is going to employ me. They are looking for my replacement now, so it could be at any time--although they will keep me for about a month to train. I spent a good portion of this week going to different restaurants in the city to apply for serving jobs. It's been over a decade since I've had to work as a waitress, but it's definitely better than nothing and I'm sure I could make some great money at some of the restaurants I applied for. I've applied for 3 English teacher jobs that were advertised for the fall, so please continue to send good thoughts my way. It would be so amazing if I could just find a full-time teaching position. 

My Blog: For now, I'm just going to be comfortable posting 3-4 posts a week. I'm still working through a bit of a way reading slump which sucks, but what do you do? I'm hoping to get back into a reading groove soon, but I'm not stressing about it. 

  • Monday: I posted a review for the much buzzed about book We Were Liars. This one seems to be hit or miss for most people. I personally really enjoyed it, but e. lockhart is one of my all-time favorite authors. I did figure out the what of what was happening, but the how of it all was still intriguing. 
  • Wednesday: I'm waiting for yet another Cinderella retellings Damsel Distressed. This one is from the perspective of the not-so-evil stepsister and looks really interesting. 
  • Thursday: I was bummed to miss this week's TTT, so I decided to take a look at what themes really draw me in a book cover in my discussion post: My All-Time Favorite Covers.
New Books: Once again, I have some amazing books to share with you this week. I hope you are all having fabulous weekends full of happiness and reading.


For Review

16068910 18453183 16140838 18505794 
18350328 18600716 18453202 18478946 

The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes
A girl turns to the classic strategy book, The Art of War, for advice after a break-up.
V is for Villain by Peter Moore
I'm a sucker for super-heroes. This one follows a boy genius who is always compared to his super-hero older brother.
Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols
I'll be honest, I always want to like Jennifer Echol's books more than I actually like them, but that cover is adorable so...
The Heiresses by Sara Shepard
I stopped at 6 or 7 on the Pretty Little Liars series, and I really wish SHE would have stopped at four, but this sounds pretty interesting. This Review on GR may be my favorite review ever. 
Now & Forever by Suzanne Colasanti
I've talked before about how I'm not crazy about how all of this author's character sound like the same space cadet, but I think a book about a girl whose boyfriend becomes an over-night sensation sounds interesting.
Infinite Sky by CJ Flood
A caravan of illegal travelers decide to set up camp in a family's front yard. Said to be a tear-jerker, so I'll definitely be saving it for a melancholy mood. 
This MG novel about a girl who wants to be a director who is having friend issues looks so adorable.
Dangerous Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
So, I never got into the Castor Chronicles. I, for real, tried to read Beautiful Creatures 3 times before giving up, but I'm hoping to get into this. If not, *shrugs*.

What I snagged from the library

 13360957 17838475

Pointe by Brandy Colbert
I've been excited for this one since I heard about it. I love books about ballerinas. Love them.
The Taking by Kimberly Derting
I was excited to get an e-arc of this book, but when I went to read it, the document wouldn't open. Oh, well. I'm still excited to read it.

Link Love

  • The girls over at Books of Amber wrote a wonderful review for one of my favorite novels: Vicious.
  • Amanda from On a Book Bender wrote a thoughtful post about how bloggers need to: Stop Putting Yourself Down.
Anticipated Reviews
*Shrugs*
I'm sure I'll be posting something next week, but I haven't finished any books this week, so...
I'm planning on reading this on over the weekend: 
18667801
Well that's it for me this week. Feel free to leave a link to whatever weekend post you do (Stacking the Shelves, In My Mailbox, etc). I love to see what books people have recently snagged and especially enjoy hearing about my fellow bloggers' weeks. I hope you are all having a fabulous weekend!