Sunday, July 29, 2012

Star Wars Darth Plageuis Written By: James Luceno

The Sith! If you have not figured it out yet, I really love reading about the Sith. I just find them so much more interesting than the Jedi mostly because they remain a mystery,'s the dark cloaks and lightning. Warning, if you haven't seen Star Wars Episode One The Phantom Menace you would find yourself oh so very lost once the middle and end of this book came around. This book was not as good as the Dark Bane Trilogy, but it did reference Bane and his rule of two quite a bit. I was a little sad actually how much it evoked Bane and did not tell you exactly what had happened to him and his line earlier on, but it did show you where it ended up after a 1,000 years. Though, the book was titled Darth Plageuis so I can't be too disappointed. There were things in this books facts, I found oh so fun to learn about, and really it pulled the movie curtain back and let me glimpse just how the Sith worked behind the scenes and how well they pushed their pawns across the board they so patiently created. I did not enjoy how quickly the book assumed we knew what each alien species looked like and were known for it was tough to focus on the plot at times because I would be looking up what the Author was talking about...maybe an index with Alien races would have been a good idea since the author used so many. It was just dizzying. Then there was exposing us more to the Darth Plagueis fiend and his approach to the Darkside and how best to serve it. Plagueis is just so complex the decisions he makes the plans he orchestrates in the beginning of the book and his tales are just so cool! Learning about Plageius was something quite interesting indeed he was wise, and so calculating and then there's his grandest design one that would put the Sith to the Zenith in their rule. This brought us to a very young Palpatine and how he was nursed and trained and how he became the Darth Sidious we Star Wars fans came to fear in the Star Wars Universe. Then for those of you who favor the light we also get a glimpse of the familiar characters such as Yoda, Queen Amidala, Quo-Gon, Obi-Wan, and of course young Skywalker. A good read, but only if you again have seen the Phantom Menace.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Mokingjay Book 3: Written by Suzanne Collins

Well, folks, this is it the end of the Hunger Games series. And, though I really enjoyed the first book I felt like this series just could not finish as strongly as it began. Warning if you love a few characters maybe it's time to begin to let go, I will give Author Suzanne Collins this, she knows how to kill off characters, but this book I felt like we needed a Joss Whedon moment. What is a Joss Whedon moment? For those of you who watched the last season of Buffy well, Buffy became very known for her long speeches that were meant to pep everyone up and give us hope, in the end they had to make fun of this fact in the show. Well, with all of Katniss's internal monologues and self loathing I became very bored, I wanted this book to pick up the pace, but it was just Katniss broken, Katniss sad, Katniss kinda ok, Katniss empowered, Katniss freaking out, Katniss just all over the place. There was a lot of dialogue repeated from the first two books and certain relationships were so anti climatic I wondered if maybe this thread just wasn't meant to become big in the first place, which would be fine is the author wanted to deliver a more heart felt message, but the fact there was so much focus on this made it impossible to ignore.

  Spoiler: (Skip if you don't want a spoiler) This to me was just bad writing so Katniss needs Peeta everyone agrees without him Katniss cannot be the Mokingjay, so they send Gale in the rescue group, ok wait, wait, wait a minute! You send her other love interest, but not only that he's her bestie friend in the whole wide world who if he was killed, or worst captured and tortured...well doesn't that seem like Katniss would yet again blame herself and probably not be able to function? C'mon! It doesn't make sense at all to send Gale in...just bad.

I very much enjoyed the side characters and how they added to the plot, but it seemed like all the exciting the real meat of the book happened behind the scenes without Katniss. A whole lot of plot twists I will give the author that and it took me some time to figure them out, but were you not looking for them I would say you would definitely be shocked, I am sad how some characters turned out, but in the end it made perfect sense. Overall though, I don't know it seemed to be a lot of the same message to fight evil you must become evil, and if you become that evil well... are you better for it in the end? I think my big gripe with this book is Katniss as a person did not grow she was used, abused, and yet she did not overly grow in her convictions or as a character. So, did I enjoy this book? Honestly, I found myself falling asleep and then becoming very interested and then wanting to hit myself in the head to keep focused on the plot. So, was this along a good book? Overly no, a good ending to this series...I will give it an ok, but I still enjoyed the first book best.

Monday, July 16, 2012

You Better Not Cry Written by: Augusten Burrough

Augesten Burrough, your whit and depressing humor is so...relatable. It is July and for whatever reason America has this theme of Christmas in July, so I thought this book lent to me by my friend would be very fitting for this theme. I read Sellevision by Augusten before and so I was ready for the dark humor. I am not entirely sure how true this book is, but my gosh... if this is a semi autobiography I can completely understand Augusten's humor and how he writes. He even states there were warning signs as a child..."from the very beginning there had been warning signs...As a young child I had Santa and Jesus all mixed up. I could identify Coke or Pepsi with just one sip, but I could not tell you for sure why they strapped Santa to a cross. Had he missed a house?" This book takes us from Augusten's early childhood memories of Christmas, and I am surprised he managed to survive long enough to become a writer he almost didn't after a mishap with a wax Santa and thankfully a trip to the hospital. He clearly longs for something at an early age, but I admit I may have killed him were he my child, thankfully he did survive. This book is just so interesting and took me back a few times in inappropriate laughing and a few Oh snap moments. I got whip lash a few times with how fast we go through the timeline that is Augusten's life we catch a scene from one year and then boom we're 10 years into the future with only a taste of what occured at the end of that scene. This book is really a slap in the face as it is told, but it has a message and that message is under all those damn mind numbing songs, twinkling lights, greeting cards etc... there is something more when it comes to Christmas something what's truly important.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Three To Get Deadly Book 3 Written by: Janet Evanovich

Only in NJ, Book three in the Stephanie Plum series and I am so hooked! Janet Evanovich though, boy can this author torture a gal even one as resilient as Stephanie. Our Trenton NJ bounty hunter in training really is between a rock and a hard place her latest bond assignment is a beloved member of the community, add a whole lot of car issues, a chicken escape, orange hair, and being shot at well...Stephanie may need a little help. What is quickly becoming the usual cast of characters all make an appearance. There's logic to this madness after all "Logic dictated that if the government issued a license to own a gun then it must be okay to put it in your purse, I mean, why else would a person want a gun if not to carry it in her purse. And if it wasn't okay to carry a gun in your purse, then the law was stupid. And no one in Jersey was going to put up with a stupid law." Yup, that's the logic a bunch of people I know from NJ use... plus let's not forget Stephanie can also adapt...she states "We're like that catfish with lung. Take us out of our environment and we can grow whatever body parts we need to survive." Ha, again logical... she's very good with reasoning Miss Plum. Curiosity may just kill her though, she's just got a knack for finding trouble probably why she's so oddly good at what she does. Oh Lulu is back too who can't love this fine lady? She's got some very interesting logical points to be made too... Throw in some spicy scenes with a very sexy Morelli though,... what exactly is going on between these too? Speaking of Sexy, Ranger's here in bad ass mode. Really enjoyed this book and the little twists and gut instincts riding shotgun. I must try to force myself to not pick up the next book and find out what happens next.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sex Stalker Written by: Darren G. Burton

My, my, my, well who wouldn't want someone stalking them? Well any sane person really, but let's pretend this is a happy safe world where if you received random notes, calls, emails, and very saucy at that!!! Ryan the main character is between wives and has no romantic prospects when his regular routine is interrupted by some anonymous letters, emails, and phone calls from a very sultry sounding woman who wants, well I'll let you guess what she wants. Ok, she wants Ryan. There's not too much content in this book, and it's very short, but the author does a very good job with the build up to the finale. No complaints here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Two for the Dough Book 2 Written by: Janet Evanovich

Oh Stephanie Plum, how I find your life so amusing, and sadly I can completely understand you. Only in NJ... would a woman do the following "Any intelligent woman would have made a dignified retreat, but this was New Jersey, where dignity always runs a poor second to the pleasure of getting in someone's face." Yup, how true that is...I'm ashamed to admit this slightly, and yet somewhat proud. This book the gangs all here, or what seems to quickly becoming the game. Stephanie her trusty hamster Rex (who really needs a vacation poor guy) Ranger is here and there being the mysterious bounty hunter that he is trying to give Stephanie some sort of guidance. Then there's Morelli whose as slick as coconut oil and well...not sure where that's sexy, but he's damn sexy all the same. This book is Stephanie just starting to make some fairly smart moves as a newbie bounty hunter, but for every smart one she makes my gosh does she make a lot of bad ones. Then again look at her Grandma Mazur, apple surely did not fall far from the tree on her, that sassy crazy old lady just tickles me pink with how awesomely nuts/cool she is! Just read and see her reaction to a certain gift and trying to explain her reaction by blaming National Geographic, ha! So, what is Stephanie chasing this time what did her perp do? Well, of course they missed their court case, someone Stephanie knows and then there's a whole bunch of funeral viewings she has to go to. But then things just go from bad to worse for Stephanie and the (spoiler) body parts, ick! Things heat up a bit romantically and criminally, and even some classic Dirty Harry lines make it into this book. This was a quick and fun read I really cannot feel ashamed for feeling some pride having grown up in NJ, granted...I don't know if what Evanovich writes is something exactly to be proud of, but whatever. A fun read that even with the scary stuff I could not stop laughing.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Catching Fire Book 2: Written by: Suzanne Collins

Oh Katniss...winning the Hunger games with both you and Peeta may just not have been the best thing you ever did...then again screw the Capitol right? In Katniss' eyes wrong, she just wanted to live she knew she could never live with herself if she let Petta die and she lived. Well, compared to the Hunger games Katniss' new life is just as deadly whereas before she knew where she stood and what life held for her, now with plot twists and schemes that are too complex for our poor main character to fully understand. The Capitol wants revenge it has been embarrassed greatly by a sixteen year old girl and the "love of her life" and Katniss and Petta are expected to dance to the Capitols tune or risk losing everything, but can they really give up themselves fully to the Capitol's wishes, and even if they do everything the Capitol and President Snow wishes will it ever be enough? Boy oh boy, then throw in all of the other cast of characters and the poor real star crossed lovers, that is if Katniss can ever figure out what she feels, poor girl really is clueless when it comes to feelings. I dare not say too much about this book because those little (gigantic) shocks Collins slams us with really make up the story. I loved how the old characters came back Haymitch being one of my favorites he's really actually quite complex, and I am glad we learn more about him and his past. I like a lot of the new characters Collins introduced, and warning have tissues... I didn't cry as hard as I did in the first book, but I cried a lot more. For a young adult book this series really touches on a lot of hard concepts and really makes you wonder "What would I do?" Could we the readers think clearer than Katniss, or would we be just as lost just as hopeless? Would we choose to run, go with the flow, or rise up? So, what is going to happen to the citizens of the districts? What is going to happen to the people of the Capitol? What will happen to everything? I do not know, this book was fairly transparent if you paid attention to Collins writing in the first book, there are some good (depressing) surprises and when the book ends you may find yourself in semi shock and wishing you could find out what will happen next? I must give credit to Carolyn McCormick who read this book and the last one, she really does a great job with putting a lot of emotion into the text that she reads. I really enjoy both her male, female, and even children's voices. So I definitely will read the third and final book in this series and I really hope there can be a happy ending for Katniss, her family, and the citizens of the District, even the people belonging to the Capitol (if they can ever learn to think)  

Thursday, July 5, 2012

I Am America (And so can you!) Written By: Stephen Colbert

Well, I was trying to finish this book for America's 4th of July, because what is more patriotic than Stephen Colbert? Ha...

I am not entirely sure what I just finished reading, but...if that is how Stephen Colbert thinks on a normal day my gosh! I do not envy this man with all of these heavy thoughts. This book was just wow...I was greatly entertained by this book and really must say Stephen Colbert really is unique. Very great conservative (term used very loosely) satire. The book is broken up into several parts Introduction, ok.. a little bit nuts and then How to Read this book, right there I realized ok this is going to be some bumpy ride. You know his advice is well researched and founded by proof like this little nugget. "But the mother should never be the primary wage earner. The kids see that, lose respect for their father, and decide to become gay every time. It's known as teenage rebellion, and I've seen parades full of it." Just wow...Or this little knowledge about the Catholic Church "We'll let you back into eternal salvation, and all you have to do is say a few Hail marys, feel a little guilty, and deliver us your massive army of lockstep values voters." He also points out what's wrong with Hollywood talk about a well rounded this question he poses to us. "If someone screwed off the top of your head, scooped out your brain and filled your skull with garbage, would you fight back? You bet your screw-top head you would." This book takes tongue and cheek to a whole new level, I felt like I was falling further and further into pull madness, but in an odd way I enjoyed it. I watch Colbert's show a lot so I did have his voice in my head this entire book, now if only I could get it out of there... if you're looking for some great humor with a lot of salt this is a very interesting book.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

One for the Money a Stephanie Plum Novel Book 1 Written by: Janet Evanovich

Happy July everyone, and as it is July we are in the 90's temperature wise where I am currently, so I thought well let's see, hot...summer...excitement. Ok, I picked up the first book in a long series starring Stephanie Plum she is a 30 year old gal from Trenton NJ. I am very familiar with NJ and this particular area and think this book is a little dated. Sure there is the occasional big haired, Reebok white high tops, and biker shorts, but if you ignore some of the classic fashion trends of NJ you can move forward and just enjoy this book. Note this book was published in 1994 so it wasn't dated when published. Stephanie Plum is a product of the Blue collard Burbs with a doting mother, insanely quirky Grandmother, a father who just wants to enjoy his dinner, and of course her trusty hamster Rex. These are hard times for Stephanie as she's been laid off and has been slowly pawning off her possessions to the point she's just desperate enough to take up the career as a kick butt bounty Hunter, well a beginner bounty hunter. Ok, more like a bounty hunter with training wheels. I must admit there were times I was ready to walk into this book and smack Stephanie she's so frustrating in some, most of her decisions. Very entertaining NJ has changed quite a bit since the 90's, but some of these aspects of these book are oh so accurate of the time. This book never became boring in fact there were times I was just wondering how the hell does she keep doing this? Of course there's a few handsome hunks peppered in, but the attitude of Stephanie is just so funny and delightful she just doesn't take No for an answer classic Jersey Girl. Her first assignment is an uber tough one since she's going after an old fling whom she may or may not have accidentally hit with a car on purpose. So, I really enjoyed this book and I will continue to read this series.