Wednesday, April 24, 2013

TV Shows I watch Finales 2013

Sunday, May 5th
The Amazing Race Season 22 Finale (CBS) 7:00 PM

Sunday, May 12th
Survivor: Caramoan Season 26 Finale (CBS) 7:00 PM
Once Upon a Time Season 2 Finale (ABC) 8:00 PM

Tuesday, May 14th
The Mindy Project Season 1 Finale (FOX) 8:30 PM

Wednesday, May 15th
Supernatural Season 8 Finale (The CW) 8:00 PM

Thursday, May 16th
The Vampire Diaries Season 4 Finale (The CW) 7:00 PM
The Big Bang Theory Season 6 Finale (CBS) 7:00 PM

Friday, May 17th
Grimm Season 2 Finale (NBC) 8:00 PM

Monday, May 20th
Hawaii Five-0 Season 3 Finale (CBS) 9:00 PM

Wednesday, May 22nd
Modern Family Season 4 Finale (ABC) 8:00 PM

Wednesday, May 29th
Psych Season 7 Finale (USA) 9:00 PM

Monday, April 22, 2013

Book Review: The Art of Racing in the Rain - Garth Stein

The Art of Racing in the Rain
Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver.

Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn’t simply about going fast.  Using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life’s ordeals.

On the even of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through: the sacrifices Denny has made to succeed professionally; the unexpected loss of Eve, Denny’s wife; the three-year battle over their daughter, Zoe, whose maternal grandparents pull every string to gain custody.  In the end, despite what he sees as his own limitations, Enzo comes through heroically to preserve the Swift family, holding in his heart the dream that Denny will become a racing champion with Zoe at his side.  Having learned what it takes to be a compassionate and successful person, the wise canine can barely wait until his next lifetime, when he is sure he will return as a man.

A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life…as only a dog could tell it.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
I’d like to say that my dog is as much of an intellectual as Enzo is but I’m afraid he’s not.  Although after reading this book I might talk to him a little more and have more understanding when he misbehaves.  I loved Enzo from the very fist page of this book and even though I knew he would be dying at the end I still cried.  All that Enzo and Denny went through was truly life changing.  Enzo was so loyal and took great care with his owner.  He was more than a dog and greatly deserved to be re-born as a man.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Book Review: Delirium Stories: Hana, Annabel, and Raven – Lauren Oliver

Delirium Stories: Hana, Annabel, and Raven (Delirium, #0.5, #1.5, #2.5)
Originally published as digital novellas, Hana, Annabel, and Raven each center around a fascinating and complex character who adds important information to the series and gives it greater depth.

Hana is told through the perspective of Lena’s best friend, Hana Tate.  Set during the tumultuous summer before Lena and Hana are supposed to be cured, this story is poignant and revealing look at a moment when the girls’ paths diverge and their futures are altered forever.

Lena’s mother, Annabel, has always been a mystery—a ghost from Lena’s part—until now.  Her journey from teenage runaway to prisoner of the state is a taut, gripping narrative that expands the Delirium world and illuminates events—and Lena—through a new point of view.

And as the passionate, fierce leader of a rebel group in the Wilds, Raven plays and integral role in the resistance effort and comes into Lena’s life at a crucial time.  Crackling with intensity, Raven is a brilliant story told in the voice of one of the strongest and most tenacious characters in the Delirium world.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
I read this book after I finished Requiem and I don’t know if I would have felt differently about this book if I had read it before Requiem.  I had read the Hana story before but I read it again.  After events in Requiem I really like to hear about Hana and her thoughts on the cure and her friend Lena.  Lena’s mother, who we only really knew through memories Lena had was so different.  I love that we get a glimpse of her as a teenager and as a prisoner.  Raven, who we saw a lot of in Requiem shows us what it was like when she first got into the Wilds.  Although I would have loved to find out more about her.

Book Review: Lover at Last - J.R. Ward

Lover at Last - J.R. Ward
Lover At Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #11)

Qhuinn, son of no one, is used to being on his own.  Disavowed from his bloodline, shunned by the aristocracy, he has finally found an identity as one of the most brutal fighters in the war against the Lessening Society.  But his life is not complete.  Even as the prospect of having a family of his own seems to be within reach, he is empty on the inside, his heart given to another…

Blay, after years of unrequited love has moved on form his feelings for Qhuinn.  And it’s about time:  The male has found his perfect match in a Chosen female, and they are going to have a young – just as Qhuinn has always wanted for himself.  It’s hard to see the new couple together, but building your life around a pipe dream is just a heartbreak waiting to happen.  As he’s learned first hand.

Fate seems to have taken these vampire soldiers in different directions… but as the battle over the race’s throne intensifies, and new players on the scene in Caldwell create mortal danger for the Brotherhood, Qhuinn finally learns the true definition of courage, and two hearts who are meant to be together…finally become one.

3/5 stars (liked it)
This book is not just about Qhuinn and Blay’s relationship but about so many other relationships.  First is Assail, who it took me a while to remember who he was.  He is taking over the drug trade by killing off all the human dealers.  There he meets a human named Marisol.  His story does not resolve so I’m assuming things will happen with him and her in the next book.  Also Xcor and his Band of Bastards are trying to get rid of Wrath.  Not much happens but Xcor is in love with Layla since she fed him in the last book.  Also Layla and Qhuinn are having a baby although complications arise.  Beth has not had her needing but wants a child badly but Wrath does not seem to want one and I’m sure they will definitely touch on that in the next book.  Also of course the story of Quinn and Blay who are in love with eachother and have been for a long time but are too much of idiots to actually tell eachother.  This book felt a lot like a filler/set-up book for the next book.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Book Review: One Good Dog - Susan Wilson

One Good Dog - Susan Wilson
One Good Dog

One note.  Three words.  And Adam March's well-ordered life and well-laid plans are shattered.

The very definition of a hard-nosed businessman, Adam March has no room in his life for anything but the cold drive to succeed.  Not for his social-climbing wife or for his rebellious teenage daughter.  Then, in an instant, he loses everything.  Due to an untimely collision of arrogance, stress, circumstance, and a momentary loss of self-control, Adam finds himself alone, unemployed, and reduced to bussing tables in a homeless shelter, serving men he'd always gone out of his way to avoid.

One instant of opportunity.  Enough for one dog to find his freedom.

Chance was born in a inner-city cellar, a mix of pit bull and God-knows-what.  Bred to fight and damn good at it, he lived in a dank, dark, and vicious world.  Not that he wished for something better; that world was all he knew.  But when the moment presented itself, Chance made the most of it in a new life on the street, for a little while.

Two lives.  Two second chances.

Thrown together, Adam and Chance fill the holes in each other's lives.  Adam gives Chance his first real home, a haven he never could have imagined, while Chance gives Adam a new start.  And a new heart.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
If you are an animal lover, especially dog lover then you'll love this book.  The book is told from Adam's point of view and Chance's point of view.  Adam is a selfish, arrogant man and I really wanted to slap him.  His way of thinking was so backwards.  He feels tainted whenever he's near a homeless person.  But by the end of the book I ended up liking him.  Chance on the other hand I absolutely loved.  I love how the character really made me believe that this point of view was from the dog.  What rough life Chance had and the sad thing is that he doesn't know any better.  By the end of the book I was smiling and crying.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Book Review: The Curiosities:A Collection of Stories - Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, Brenna Yovanoff

The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories
From acclaimed YA authors Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff comes The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories.

-A vampire locked in a cage in the basement, for good luck.
-Bad guys, clever girls, and the various reasons why the guys have to stop breathing.
-A world where fires never go out (with references to vanilla ice cream).

These are but a few of the curiosities collected  in this volume of short stories by three acclaimed practitioners of paranormal fiction.

But The Curiosities is more than the stories.  Since 2008, Maggie, Tessa, and Brenna have posted more than 250 works of short fiction to their website  Their goal was simple: create a space for experimentation and improvisation in their writing--all in public and without a backspace key.  In that spirit, The Curiosities includes the stories and each author's comments, critiques, and kudos in the margins.  Think of it as a guided tour of the creative processes of three acclaimed authors.

So, are you curious now?

3/5 stars (liked it)
This book contains a lot of very short stories.  Some of the stories I really enjoyed and really wish that they were longer and some were not so very interesting or just plain too strange.  I have only read books from Maggie Stiefvater and not the other two authors so that is the reason I picked up this book.  I would really have liked this book a lot better if it had been fewer stories, but each story longer.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Book Review: The Truth About Delilah Blue - Tish Cohen

The Truth About Delilah Blue: A Novel
Delilah Blue Lovett has always been a bit of an outsider, ever since her father moved her from Toronto to L.A. when she was eight, claiming Delilah's mother no longer wanted to be part of their family.   Twenty now and broke, but determined to be an artist like her errant mom, Delilah attends art classes for free--by modeling nude at the front of the room, a decision that lifts the veil from her once insular world.  While she struggles to find her talent, her father, her only real companion, is beginning to exhibit telltale signs of early-onset Alzheimer's.  And her mother, who Delilah always assumed had selfishly abandoned them, is about to reappear with a young daughter in tow...and a secret that will change everything.  Delilah no longer knows which parent to trust--the only one she can really rely on is the most broken person of all: herself.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
Delilah was a likable character and I felt like the author really captured a young girl unsure of where her place is in the world.  I was a little surprised at the things she uncovered as to why her father moved her from Toronto.  Also I felt bad for her because both her parents were not ideal parents.  Her father moved her and told her that her mother did not want her, he did not encourage her to follow on her art like she wanted.  Her mother was very much a child herself and I can see why her father was worried.  I liked how the book ended too.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Book Review: Carrier of the Mark - Leigh Fallon

Carrier of the Mark - Leigh Fallon
Carrier of the Mark (Carrier Trilogy, #1)
Their love was meant to be.

When Megan Rosenberg moves to Ireland, everything in her life seems to fall into place.  After growing up in America, she's surprised to find herself feeling at home in her new school.  She connects with a group of friends, and she is instantly drawn to darkly handsome Adam DeRis.

But Megan is about to discover that her feelings for Adam are tied to a fate that was sealed long ago--and that the passion that brought them together could be their ultimate destruction.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I found the beginning of this book very similar to Twilight.  Girl moves to a new town (in this case new country), she's never had a boyfriend before, makes friends with a group of people, interested in the "strange" family and boy that everyone tells her not to waste her time on.  But those similarities ended there and the rest of the book ended up being quite different form Twilight.  I like the supernatural beings and Megan's connection the the DeRis family.  The end resolved some things but left some things open.  I will definitely read the next book in the series.  I really liked that this book took place in Ireland and not America like a lot of young adults do nowadays.  

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Book Review: Boundless - Cynthia Hand

Boundless - Cynthia Hand
Boundless (Unearthly, #3)
The past few years have held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner could ever have anticipated.  Yet from the dizzying highs of first love, to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she can no longer deny is that she was never meant to live a normal life.

Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her...even if it means breaking both their hearts.  Leaving town seems like the best option, so she's headed back to California-and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place.

As Clara makes her way in a world that is frighteningly new, she discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move.  And he's not the only one...With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfill her destiny.  But it won't come without sacrifices and betrayal.

In the riveting finale to the Unearthly series, Clara must decide her fate once and for all.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
I thought it was a great ending to the series.  This is probably the best book in the series.  Each character has their own journey and we get to see that.  Even her brother Jeffrey gets a conclusion to his journey.  Tucker however was not in the book much but when he was I loved it.  I also liked how all the part-angels and angels (like Clara's dad) use their powers.

Book Review: Blood Fury - JR Ward

Blood Fury - JR Ward A vampire aristocrat, Peyton is well aware of his duty to his bloodline: mate with an appropriate female of his cl...