Saturday, March 31, 2012

Bloggiesta Sign Up

It's back and I am so happy that it is too! I am in desperate need of fixing my blog and this gives me a perfect excuse to sit around on the computer and fix up with blog! Many of you might be wondering what Bloggiesta is so here is an explanation:
Bloggiesta is a three day event where participants will spend as much time as they can working on fixing all those pesky blog related tasks.... all those things that you think "some day I'm going to clean that up, or change that around, or add that thing!" Everyone will post a "to do" list, or goals they want to accomplish and then all of us will work together to get our lists done. The fun thing is that we can cheer each other on, and learn from each other and have a blast doing it. It's the perfect time to figure out that something you've always wanted to do, but didn't know how... or to get caught up on reviews, or to fix your labels, or take control of your Reader... or do oh so many other things!
Date: March 30 , 31 and April 1

So what am I going to try and get accomplished during this time?
  • Make future Old is Gold posts
  • Write discussion posts
  • Write up any reviews necessary
  • Make any necessary templates 
  • Update Challenges page
  • Fix the SEO thingy 
  • Make the new blog look! *Now up! What do you think of the blue?*
After you've made you list, sign up HERE

Monday, March 26, 2012

Movie Review: The Hunger Games

**Spoilers from the book!**
I have waited for so long to watch this movie that I was practically jumping up and down in the line for pop corn and I tried to calm my nerves until the first scenes of the movie began. Guys, I loved this movie. Yes, I had some issues with it, so here are my thoughts, broken down into What I Liked and What I Didn't Like:

What I Liked
*Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss: This girl was Katniss, no doubt about it in my mind! She was able to pull of all the emotions and action scenes and in my eyes, there was no one better suited for this role!

*Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark: He's was really great in this role, even though he took some time getting used to (more on that later!) but really, Josh was Peeta! And their scenes together? Oh, heck to the yes!

*I felt that Katniss didn't have much of the affection and chemistry that Peeta did and I think that was mostly due to the fact that in my opinion (and I seem to agree with other bloggers), the producers were Team Gale. BUT in all fairness, I did re-read the book before going to see the movie and I realize that there wasn't much about chemistry and stuff in the book also SO I guess it's okay that their kiss (I wanted more!) was a little awkward...but not much!

*Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman: Can I just say that I LOVED him beyond anything. He was perfect for this role and honesty, there isn't much I can say about him. I just freaking loved him!

*There was a lot more behind the scenes about the games in the movie that wasn't in the book and I really liked that. It made it easier to understand how the Games work and it made it more entertaining.

*Amandla Stenberg as Rue (and the scene): I think you all know what scene I am referring to and yes, I did put it under things I liked BECAUSE they did it so well! I cried (and I wasn't the only one!) and it was all just how I had imagined it.

*An exciting addition was the fact that it showed the other districts rebelling and it was an awesome addition!

*Woody Harrelson as Haymitch: For the scenes he was in, he was awesome. He could play the drunk man really well but he never did say the whole "look at her! she can win the Games" about Katniss, which I would have liked!

*Elizabeth Banks as Effie: Perfection! Her make up was creepy and her clothes were awesome and the whole "And may the odds be ever in your favor" was just...I loved her!

What I Didn't Like
*Liam Hemsworth as Gale: Okay, he was hot, I'll admit it BUT his scenes with Katniss had more chemistry and while, yes, I liked it, I felt that it should have gone with Peeta instead. Acting wise, for as long as Liam was in the movie, he did a good job.

*Lenny Kravitz as Cinna: I was skeptical yes but I was willing to give him a chance...and I didn't really like him. I think there could have been more done to make the character more...Cinna, if that makes any seance!

*The pin story: I know, I know! It's a small thing! They had to change it! Madge wasn't important BUT I mean, there was significant to Madge giving her the pin. Someone she didn't expect gave her [Katniss] a gift and it showed how much people cared about Katniss. Do I understand why they did it? Of course, I get it! But it's just one of those little things that bugs you no matter what.

*The dogs with the eyes of the tributes, trying the faze the live tributes? Missing. First, the dogs looked nothing like what I had imagined them to look and further more, there was nothing in them about the eyes! No attention! Nothing! WHY?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Review: Just Your Average Princess by Kristina Springer

Title: Just Your Average Princess
Author: Kristina Springer 
Release Date: October 11, 2011
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Source: Library 
Jamie Edwards has loved everything about growing up on a pumpkin patch, but ever since her cousin Milan Woods arrived, things have really stunk. Jamie can’t imagine it was easy for Milan to leave her life back in Los Angeles and move to Average, Illinois, population one thousand. But it’s kind of hard to feel sorry for her since (a) Milan’s drop-dead gorgeous; (b) she’s the daughter of two of Hollywood’s hottest film stars; (c) she’s captured the attention of everyone in town, including Danny, Jamie’s crush since forever; and (d) she’s about to steal the title of Pumpkin Princess right out from underneath Jamie!
Review: The premise of Just Your Average Princess by Kristina Springer sounded really promising and adorable and when I saw it at my library, I decided to check it out! While it was a quick read and it was cute, as I thought it would be, this book wasn’t exactly what I has expected.

Jamie is your typical girl-next-door kinda character. She works hard at her family’s Patch and has a loving family and friends and has been crushing on that cute guy for a while now. Enter her super spoiled, Hollywood starlet cousin who turns Jamie’s life upside down. The thing with this book was the fact that the plot had a lot of potential to be different but it was really simple and predictable. I knew mostly what was going to happen throughout the book and that really took away from me loving this book.

Jamie was a good character but her rambling got on my nerves a lot of times and I also felt that she was naive too. I had to remind myself that she was a seventeen-year-old girl instead of a pre-teen because that’s what she came off as. I’m not saying that she was a horrible character or anything and she did have some redeeming qualities, I just wish she had been written better. Milan was a character I could not like at all. She drove me insane and I really wanted to just jump in and slap her hard across the face.

Overall, Just Your Average Princess was a quick, fun read but it lacked in character development, a predictable plot that wasn’t really formed. I think you should still give it a try but I wasn’t satisfied with what I read.

Overall: 3/5
Cover Comments: 5/5—It's adorable!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday {27}

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish!
This week was a freebie week so here is my topic:

Top Ten Books On My Spring To-Be-Read:
1) Insurgent by Veronia Roth: Need I explain this? And I think May is still spring, so yeah!

2) Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver: I need to read this book!

3) The Savage Grace by Bree Despain: I need this book now!

4) Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis: It looks so good! It comes out in April.

5) The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1)by Julie Kagawa : Not a fan of the cover but Julie is AWESOME and the book sounds really good.

6) Unbreak My Heart by Melissa C. Walker.: Looks uber cute and sometimes, I just need a cute contemporary!

7) Gilt by Katherine Longshore: The Tudor age!Henry VIII and all of those people! I'm very much a history nerd.

8) Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin.: While the cover is beautiful and creepy and it sounds really good, I love anything with Edgar Allan Poe so I have to read this one!

9)  Struck by Jennifer Bosworth: There is just something about that cover that makes me want to read it more and more!

10)  Bitterblue (The Seven Kingdoms #3) by Kristin Cashore: There is no way this one wasn't going to be on my list! I can't wait to see how it all ends!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Review: Ten Things We Did by Sarah Mlynowski

Title: Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have)
Author: Sarah Mlynowski 
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Library 
2 girls + 3 guys + 1 house – parents = 10 things April and her friends did that they (definitely, maybe, probably) shouldn't have.

If given the opportunity, what sixteen-year-old wouldn't jump at the chance to move in with a friend and live parent-free? Although maybe "opportunity" isn't the right word, since April had to tell her dad a tiny little untruth to make it happen (see #1: "Lied to Our Parents"). But she and her housemate Vi are totally responsible and able to take care of themselves. How they ended up "Skipping School" (#3), "Throwing a Crazy Party" (#8), "Buying a Hot Tub" (#4), and, um, "Harboring a Fugitive" (#7) at all is kind of a mystery to them.

In this hilarious and bittersweet tale, Sarah Mlynowski mines the heart and mind of a girl on her own for the first time. To get through the year, April will have to juggle a love triangle, learn to do her own laundry, and accept that her carefully constructed world just might be falling apart . . . one thing-she-shouldn't-have-done at a time.
Review: While I wasn't as impressed with Gimme a Call, my first book by Sarah Milnowski, Ten Things We Did (But Probably Shouldn't Have) blew me away. Ten Things We Did is a cute book that made me laugh and while it was really light hearted, there were deeper themes intwined between the funny dialogue.

I LOVED April and Vi and Marissa and pretty much all the characters from this book. While yes, I didn't like Noah for specific reasons, the cast of characters that Sarah mil introduces have their bright sides but they're flawed too. Their flaws mades them incredibly realistic and easy to relate to. I could imagine April and Vi to be teens at my high school and a lot of times, I could easily compare them to my friends and I.

I will admit, the plot wasn't as realistic as I would have thought. I'm not sure this would ever happen but it was fun to read about it none the less! The plot dealt with tough issue like sex, STDs, family issues and more. The writing was flawless too and it all flowed very well. I did like that Sarah Mlynowski was able to make all of her characters sound like teenagers! None of it seemed forced or stupid or weird.

Overall,Ten Things We Did was an extremely cute, funny, quick read that dealt with realistic issues in a lighthearted, not in-your-face way. Sarah Mlynowski delivers an excellent read and I can't wait to read more by her!

Overall: 4.5/5
Cover Comments: 3/5—It's cute and while it goes well with the book, I'm not the biggest fan of it. I think they could have done something more sophisticated for it.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Book Haul & Weekly Recap (58)

From the Library:
Just Your Average Princess by Kristina Springer 
A Million Suns by Beth Revis

For Review:
Boy 21 by Matthew Quick
Rock On by Denise Vega 
**Thanks Little, Brown!**

Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
The Titan’s Curese
The Battle of the Labyrinth *Hardback*
The Death Cure by James Dashner *Hardback*
Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff 
**I was able to get $60+ worth of books for only $8!**

In Darkness by Nick Lake
You Are My Only by Beth Kephart 
Frost by Wendy Delsol *ARC* 
Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey 
Forever by Maggie Stiefvater *ARC* 
Point of Origin by Amanda Harvard *ARC* 
The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima *ARC*
Everneath by Brodi Ashton *ARC**double copy*
After Obsession by Carrie Jones and Steven E. Wedel *ARC*
Battle Fatigue by Mark Kurlansky *ARC*
Infinite Imagination *Free Sampler of DAW Books*
Mistwood by Leah Cypress *Hardcover*
Michael Vey The Prisoner of Cell 2.5 by Richard Paul Evans *ARC*
The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton
The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney *double copy*
**Thanks to Sash and Em for all of these awesome books!**

Hosted by The Story Siren

1) My mailbox exploded these past two weeks! 


Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Review: Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik

Title: Epic Fail 
Author: Claire LaZebnik 
Release Date: August 22, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Library 
Will Elise's love life be an epic win or an epic fail?

At Coral Tree Prep in Los Angeles, who your parents are can make or break you. Case in point:

As the son of Hollywood royalty, Derek Edwards is pretty much prince of the school--not that he deigns to acknowledge many of his loyal subjects.

As the daughter of the new principal, Elise Benton isn't exactly on everyone's must-sit-next-to-at-lunch

When Elise's beautiful sister catches the eye of the prince's best friend, Elise gets to spend a lot of time with Derek, making her the envy of every girl on campus. Except she refuses to fall for any of his rare smiles and instead warms up to his enemy, the surprisingly charming social outcast Webster Grant. But in this hilarious tale of fitting in and flirting, not all snubs are undeserved, not all celebrity brats are bratty, and pride and prejudice can get in the way of true love for only so long.
Review: It's no secret that I love Pride and Prejudice. I consider it one of my favorite books of all time. While there will never be anything quite like it, I do enjoy reading re-tellings. Epic Fail by Claire Z. is a re-telling set in modern day California. Instead of Lizzie, we have Elise and Derek Edwards takes the place of Darcy. Epic Fail was a cute, quick read that made me smile.

The plot was along the same line as Pride and Prejudice but there wasn't a lot of depth to Epic Fail. I felt that it was loosely based off of Pride and Prejudice and in normality, I would love to see the author make the story line their own, but I just didn't feel that way about this book. Movie stars took the place of the wealthy and the characters that were supposed to be annoying were annoying (OMG, I disliked Layla a lot. It's a good thing she fit her counterpart!) There wasn't a lot of detail to the plot and things seemed to quickly. Problems were resolved rather fast and sadly, it didn't really work out for me.

I feel that characters are extremely important to the plot of a story. The more fleshed out the charter, the more the plot is relatable and the story enjoyable. If the characters don't really deliver, the story isn't as good as it could be. While I liked Elise and Juliana and Chase and even Derek, I didn't feel that these characters were developed enough and fleshed out for the story to be enjoyable. It was just a book I was reading, nothing really special and that was really sad. I liked Elise but again, there was nothing really special about her that stood out.

Overall, Epic Fail was a funny, cute and quick read that is has heart but I didn't find it to be the best book out there. It lacked in plot and character but some of the scenes did make me smile. 

Overall: 3/5
Cover Comments: 3/5—I don't like this cover at all. I don't like seeing only half of each person and not even their face is showing!

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Where I've Been

Well, hello there lovely readers! I know I've been MIA for some time now but I promise I have a good reason for it!

1)AP, Honors and classes are taking over my life! SO much work to do!
2)National Honor Society has us doing volunteer work which takes time too!
3)Senior Project during AP English...UGH
4)SATs this year!
5)Junior Year=most important year of high school
6)Because of this, I haven't done a whole lot of reading!

Life:It's boring as usual and I've decided to go to my senior prom and not my junior one!

1)I have no more scheduled posts!
2)I am in desperate need of Bloggiesta to catch up on all things blogging!
3)I have a new e-mail address: kailiasage @ gmail dot com since my old one was casuing a lot of problems!
4)I've been added to some publisher contact lists and you all have no idea how happy that made me!