Saturday, August 9, 2014

Review: Lovely, Dark and Deep

Lovely, Dark and Deep sounds cliche simply because of it's title, and I will admit, it sort of is. (However, I would like to note that I have heard many opinions different from my own about this particular novel).
Wren Wells is trying to outrun the accident that killed her boyfriend and wrecked her plans to live a normal life. Instead of going to college, she retreats to her father's isolated art studio. There, in the remote northern woods of Maine, she meets Cal Owens, a boy who wears his own hurt like a badge. But when their connection threatens Wren's hard-won isolation, she has to choose: open up her broken heart or join the ghosts who haunt. 

Alright, I'm not even going to grace this book with my own summary of it, because I know it'll end in a rant about my deep hatred for Wren Wells, the the spoiled, narcissistic bitch (excuse my French) who turns away everyone that loves her simply because she "can't handle it". All right, I'm ranting, I'll stop now. 
Pros: Amy McNamara truly is an excellent author. Her writing style is smooth and elegant and many of the characters are astonishingly creative and interesting. Everyone -- besides she who shall not be named -- is so loving, and it sort of projects the goodness in the world. Cal Owens, the love interest, is honestly one of the greatest guys in the world, and you can actually feel that through his actions as well as his words. 

Cons: Wren is THE most annoying person I have ever read about. All everyone does for her is give, give, give, and yet she still pushes them all away, as if her problems are the only one's that exist in the world. I never thought that I could hate a fictional character this much, but I do. So basically, the main character is the biggest flaw in the book. 

Rate: I want to formally apologize to the author, Amy McNamara, for all the belittling I have down, she's a great novelist, she has amazing attention to detail and emotions, but I just can't give this book a good rating when all I want to do is burn Wren Wells at the stake. 1.5 out of 5 books (because books are better than stars.)  

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Review: The Green Teen Cook Book and Sticky Fingers

I absolutely adored both these books. I used the cook book to (easily) make some yummy salmon and I used the DIY duck tape book to create a cute little wallet for myself and it only took about twenty minutes to do. These are definitely things you want if you like cooking or making crafts. I loved the detailed pictures in the DIY book and the instructions in the cook book made cooking unbelievably easy to do. Not to mention the cook book had a lot of healthy meals inside it.
The colors of the pages are vibrant and inviting. I actually want to make the crafts and food items because the books are so pretty:) Go and get copies now. Like, now. Even if you don't cook or make crafts, they'll sit pretty on your shelf.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Review: The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone

Two-time National Book Award finalist Adele Griffin offers an ingenious fictional take on the "oral history" celebrity bio that defined a bestselling genre: Edie, American Girl by Jean Stein and George Plimpton. In presenting herself as interviewer and curator of memories, Adele paints the portrait of a tragic young celebrity who allegedly committed suicide—presented in a series of brief first-person recollections—that ultimately results in the solving of a murder. 

Adele's words: "From the moment she burst into the downtown art scene, seventeen-year-old Addison Stone was someone to watch. Her trademark subversive street art and her violent drowning left her fans and critics craving to know more about this brilliant wild-child who shone so bright and was gone too soon. By means of more than one hundred interviews with those who knew her best—including close friends, family, teachers, mentors, art dealers, boyfriends, and critics—I have retraced the tumultuous path of Addison's life, with research that sheds new evidence on what really happened the night of July 28, 2013. With photo inserts and previously unpublished supplemental material."

This book was definitely a new kind of read for me as I have never read a fictional biography before. I loved how Adele Griffin wrote using interviews and pictures. It made the story seem more real, I actually thought it was a real biography. Griffin creates a character with substance and the reader gets to truly know who Addison Stone was. I could literally feel emotion coming off the pages from all the different characters telling stories about Stone's life and death.

I've never read an Adele Griffin book, but this novel has made me want to buy every single book she's ever written. It was that good and the pictures inside definitely helped the novel to be even more interesting. 5 Stars!

Received at ALA 2014 in exchange for honest review

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Danna's Readathon!

Hey guys! So I'm going to be starting work this Sunday so I decided to hold a two day readathon in which I read as many books as I possibly can. Here's the lineup for my readathon of July 2014:
  • Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
  • Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken
  • Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
  • Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally
  • Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes
  • A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
I know this seems like a lot, but I honestly don't have anything to do other than read all day (which is why I got a job). Anyway, wish me luck! Thanks for visiting:)

Review: O, Africa!

In the summer of 1928, twin brothers Micah and Izzy Grand are at the pinnacle of their movie-making careers. From their roots as sons of Brooklyn immigrants, they have risen to become kings of silent comedy – with the brash, bloviating Micah directing and calling the shots, while his retreating brother skillfully works behind the lens. But when Micah’s penchant for gambling, and his interracial affair with Rose, a sharp-witted, light-skinned black woman from Harlem, combine to threaten his livelihood and his life, he finds himself in need of a quick escape.

As the ascent of the talkies looms on the horizon, the brothers’ producer offers them an opportunity that couldn’t be better timed: travel to Africa to compile stock footage of the exotic locales, as well as filming a new comedy in the jungle. Together with an unlikely crew of producers, stars and hangers-on, the Grands set out for Malwiki, where among the tribesmen they each discover unforeseen truths about themselves, their lovers, and the meaning of the movies.

Moving from the piers of Coney Island to Africa’s veld, and further to the glitter of early Hollywood, O, Africa! is an epic tale of self-discovery, the constraints of history and prejudice, and the stubborn resolve of family and friendship in the face of tragedy.

I honestly couldn't get into this book. I read about fifty pages and then quit because it was kinda boring. I went into it with high hopes which was probably a mistake because it made me not like it so much. The writing was really good, but the story line and characters were...meh. I would recommend this book to avid adult book readers and those who like slow beginnings in books.I didn't finish it though.
1.0 Stars

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Weekly Wrap Up (1)

 Hey guys, it's Danna here with a weekly recap! I've never done one of these before so don't judge please;)

Reviews Posted This Week:
Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan

Books Purchased:
Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

Books Read:
Salt and Storm by Kendall Kulper
Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant
The Jewel by Amy Ewing
Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang

Friday, July 11, 2014

Review: Love and Other Foreign Words

Love and Other Foreign Words, I'll admit, had me at it's title, because I just thought "yes" love is indeed a foreign word. This book was something that I, and I'm sure thousands of others, can relate to on many different levels. I could not put it down; within the first chapter, I was completely hooked.
Can anyone be truly herself--or truly in love--in a language that's not her own?Sixteen-year-old Josie lives her life in translation. She speaks High School, College, Friends, Boyfriends, Break-ups, and even the language of Beautiful Girls. But none of these is her native tongue--the only people who speak that are her best friend Stu and her sister Kate. So when Kate gets engaged to an epically insufferable guy, how can Josie see it as anything but the mistake of a lifetime? Kate is determined to bend Josie to her will for the wedding; Josie is determined to break Kate and her fiancé up. As battles are waged over secrets and semantics, Josie is forced to examine her feelings for the boyfriend who says he loves her, the sister she loves but doesn't always like, and the best friend who hasn't said a word--at least not in a language Josie understands.

Summary: Josie is, in all reality, a genius. Her IQ is off the charts, and she understands the incomparable; equations made for super computers, the study on foreign languages, but the one thing she can't seem to understand is people. She knows the languages that people speak, but it's so different from the language that Josie knows. She thinks so differently from other people. This book is about Josie trying to find someone who speaks her language. She tries to give love advice -- which is harsh advice, but said with good intentions -- but she gets constantly reminded that she has never been in love herself. She wants to fall in love because that's the only way to convince her sister that her fiance is insufferable and tearing them apart. 

PROS: This book is honestly one of the most interesting novels that I have had the pleasure of reading. If you like John Green and/or Rainbow Rowell -- which I do, because, I mean, who doesn't? -- you will thoroughly enjoy this. Josie is such and interesting person, the way she thinks is so intriguing and I just wanted to jump in the book and become her best friend. All of he characters are extremely well thought out, they all have history and backgrounds, something that you don't find in many books. I could go on forever about all the things that I loved about this book.

CONS: There was only one con and that was, since Josie is such a genius, she has a very large vocabulary, I actually had to take out a dictionary to figure out what the hell she was saying. But even with that, came a positive, I love learning new words!

Rate: This book was kinda like my book soul-mate. 5 out of 5 books (because books are better than stars)