Friday, June 28, 2013

Book Review: Before I Go To Sleep by S.J Watson

Title: Before I Go To Sleep
Author: S.J Watson
Pages: 358
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.
Year Published: 2011

"Memories define us. 
So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep?
Welcome to Christine's life."
"Christine wakes up every morning in an unfamiliar bed with an unfamiliar man. She looks in the mirror and sees an unfamiliar middle-aged face. And every morning, the man she has woken up with must explain that he is Ben, her husband, she is forty-seven years old, and a terrible accident two decades earlier decimated her ability to form new memories.
But it's a phone call from a Dr. Nash, a neurologist who claims to be working with Christine without her husband's knowledge, that directs her to her journal, hidden in the back of her closet. For the past few weeks, Christine has been recording her daily activities-tearful mornings with Ben, sessions with Dr. Nash, flashes of scenes from her former life- and rereading past entries, relearning the facts of her life as retold by the husband she is completely dependent upon. As the entries build up, Christine asks many questions. What was life like before the accident? Why did she and Ben never have a child? What has happened to Christine's best friend? And what exactly was the horrifying accident that caused such a profound loss of memory?
Every day, Christine begins again the reconstruction of her past. And the closer she gets to the truth, the more unbelievable it seems."

My Rating: 5/5

I'd like to start this book review off with a simple fact about this book. This book is an adult book and so it does contain mature content including sex, cursing, alcohol, etc. I think that should play a factor in who reads this books so I thought I'd mention that first.
This is a fantastic book that definitely grabs the readers attention even by the description, it makes the a possible reader want to read more. This book is unique and although when I first bought it I was worried it might turn into a book exactly like the move, 50 First Dates, it turned out to be completely different. This is an action packed book, filled with suspense. I suppose the main reason for that is that we are finding out about the character as she is finding out about herself. I loved that aspect in this book and it has the perfect amount of suspense. A fantastic first novel for S.J Watson.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny xoxo

Spoiler: Before I Go To Sleep by S.J Watson

This is one of the most fantastic adult books I have read. I say that with a huge amount of confidence. This book grabs the reader and throws them into a what if scenario about life. It really makes you wonder about who you can trust and who you can't as well as making you see the world around you in a different way. I loved this book more than I thought I would and even though it was a crazy busy week I had trouble putting it down. This doesn't happen as much as it used to anymore so when it does I pay attention. I also enjoyed how much suspense the author uses. I believe that there is a line between not enough suspense and too much. You want to be surprised but you also want to know what the heck is going on. Too much suspense equals confusion on a regular basis. I think that S.J Watson used the perfect amount I was surprised but never totally baffled.

Christine: Can you imagine waking up everyday and missing 20 odd years of your life. They say life goes by to fast but for her it must both drag out and go by to fast. I think that I was most shocked to find who her attacker. After we read her journal, I feel closer to this character like I understand alot more of what she's going through than at the beginning during part 1. I was happy to find out that she wasn't going to continue seeing Mike while she was still married to Ben, but I guess she was to late.

Mike: I can't believe someone would be this nuts. But I guess in his own screwed up way he though he was doing the right thing. I'm  happy he died (that's wrong of me, but at least I'm honest). He needed to be committed to a mental hospital. He just wasn't right in the head. If you think about it he stalked Christine before he even asked her out the first time. That should have tipped her off.

Claire: I was glad to hear that she didn't just desert Christine per say. And that she help Christine find the truth.

Dr. Nash: I thought for the longest time that maybe he was her son and that was the only way that Ben/Mike would let him near Christine but it's good that he wasn't. That would have made things to confusing. He is the main reason that Christine didn't just die with the man she though was her husband and so I like him.

Ben: The real Ben was the one I originally though that attacked Christine. I can understand someone going crazy when they find out that they're wife is having an affair and I'm happy he ended up coming back to Christine it makes me feel like in at least one way she gets a happy ending.

Adam: Thank god, he's alive! Yay, yay, yay!

Moment to Remember:
♥Pg. 204
"I feel like I am going mad. Everything is fluid, everything shifts. I think one thing, and then, a moment later, the opposite. I believe everything my husband says, and then I believe nothing. I trust him, and then I don't. Nothing feels real, everything invented. Even myself."

Thanks for reading,
Sidny xoxo

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Book Review: Stella Stands Alone by A. LaFaye

Title: Stella Stands Alone
Author: A. LaFaye
Pages: 245
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Year Published: 2008

"Stella Reid is fighting to save the home she loves.
 After her father is killed and her mother succumbs to yellow fever, it's up to Stella to run Oak Grove, her family's plantation. Unlike most Southerners, Stella sees herself as equal to the African Americans she works with side by side in the cotton fields. The white Southerners reject her, and the freed men can't trust her after generations of enduring the horrors of slavery. So Stella stands alone as she fights for her father's dream of leaving Oak Grove to her and the slaves- and finds herself confronted with the possibility of losing the only home she's ever known.
From A. LaFaye, winner of the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction, this inspiring novel recounts a young woman's struggles to save her family's land brings to light the harsh realities of the post- Civil War South."

My Rating: 5/5

I really love historical novels, even if they aren't all true or based on real people somehow the chance to live in the past to me is more exciting than reading a book about the future. Maybe that's because you know that some of the stuff you read in a historical novel, even if it's fiction, really happened. In this case there really was slavery and hate crimes based on race. It's not a happy thing by any stretch but I think that it helps me at least be more greatful for the times that we live in. Where everyone is an equal. It shouldn't matter what your gender is, what race you are, how old you are or where you come from. We all deserve to be ourselves.
Now onto reviewing the actual book. I loved this book. It had strong characters and although I wouldn't say it had suspense, it carried along in a timely matter without rushing or dragging out. I loved this book and would honestly suggest it to anyone.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny ♥♪♫

Spoiler: Stella Stands Alone by A. LaFaye

This has got to be one of my favorite historical novels. Even though it's fiction and the people might not have existed, A. LaFaye does a fantastic job of making them come to life in the imagination of the reader. I especially like that she didn't try and hide how racism really was in the south during 1866. I think that's something that all historical authors need to do more of. You can't just water down what happened. If I want to read about the past I'm going to read about all the past not just what people think is appropriate about it. Racism was and still is a big issue in the world today, not just the Southern States. I'm happy someone wrote a book about this that shows what happened and what we have to be grateful about.

Stella: An amazingly strong girl character. I think she seems that much stronger because of the times that she lives. I don't think I could have been a woman in the 1800s. She has to be strong enough to make people realize that just because she's young and a woman/girl doesn't mean she doesn't know what she's talking about. Hell she manages to take care of a whole plantation on her own. I also loved that the way she was raised makes her such a different person. The way she treats Hattie makes me smile.

Hattie: Definitely Stella's best friend although she is just as lady like as any lady, she isn't worried about being seen with the wild child, Stella. I think that she is the reason that Stella gets along with so many people so well because Hattie does the talking for her. Really they just understand each other completely, like sisters really more than best friends.

Stella's Daddy: Although he died before the book takes place, I think it's fair to mention him. He's the reason that all those families' on the Oak Grove Plantation. It's impressive that he thought of the workers as his equals, never mind that he works beside them. A true hero of his times.

Mr. Dooley: I thought he was a coward for sure at first but in the end he really just had his own way of thinking and after he saw how well it was working Stella's Daddy's way why change it? I'm happy he ended up staying as I think Stella needed an adult figure in her life. Someone to help her do some school work (not too much I hope, just enough) and take care of her.

Miss Rosie: I felt so horrible that she had lost those 3 boys and Earl, her first husband. They had no right to just take her away from her family like that. It made me so mad just to see that.

Mr. Vinson: One of my favorite characters, simply because he really does stand by Stella as much as possible.

Moments to Remember:
Pg. 43
"...I could almost see Daddy walking out to lean on the casing and have a look-see at the moon. I'd have walking up to him, leaned on his hip, so he could put his arm more than a big old rock caught in the pull of the earth.
 'Kind of like this!' he'd say, grabbing my arms and swinging me around as he spun a tight circle in the dirt. Faster and faster we'd go until he let my hands free and I went flying, landing in the hay in the yard.
 'My heavens, the moond done got away,' he'd say and we'd laugh."

Pg. 92
"'And if folks would listen to me, they'd send you away like they should've done long ago.'
 She meant one of them hospital sort of places where they locked folks away for not having what they called a 'right' mind. What I wanted to know is why they didn't have places for folks who weren't right in the heart."

Pg. 104
"Okra tasted like spit in a squeaky green jacket to me, but Mama did know how to cook just about anything. Even got me to eat spinach once. But just once."

Pg. 151
"Didn't know how to work with him. Seemed like I'd have to act like all them other girls in dresses and turned-down eyes, all 'yes, sir'-'no, sire' proper. That'd kill me as sure as a shovel to the head."

Thanks for reading,
Sidny xoxo

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Book Review: Running The Bases (definitely not a book about baseball) by Paul Kropp

Title: Running the bases (definitely not a book about baseball)
Author: Paul Kropp
Pages: 148
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Year Published: 2005

“Alan Macklin is your average 17-year-old guy with a simple goal. He wants to get a girl. But trial and error has made one thing perfectly clear: When it comes to the opposite sex Alan keeps on striking out. Repeatedly. And painfully. He know he needs help. His friend Jeremy proves useless, so he turns to someone who might actually have some good advice.
Maggie McPherson has lots of goals for herself, including a career in law or psychology, but she needs some cash to reach them. Alan becomes the perfect client for her new consulting business. A desperate guy with a simple objective and deep pockets. For a fee, she takes on the Alan project and coaches him from girl to girl, base to base. With Maggie’s guidance, Alan builds his dating experience until he’s convinced he can get along without her coaching. But soon he’s washed up on the romantic shores, dumped by the woman of his dreams. Once again, there’s only one person who can give Alan the advice he need… but  he has to be willing to listen.”

My Rating: 3/5

This book was just ok. It wasn’t great, it wasn’t awful, just so-so. I think this book does do a lot to try to interpret the male teenage mind. And if this book is to be believed, all guys really think about is sex. And your thinking, hey Sidny any high schooler with a decent brain could tell you that, and I’d say yes you’re right. Big surprise there. Hormones are in the air. I think this is a book for guys to help them realize that maybe there should be something more important to them than getting in someone’s pants. I don’t really know though. I don’t know if there really was a point to this book at all. All in all, I think that this book was decent and included pretty interesting characters.

Thanks for reading,

Sidny xoxo

Spoiler: Running The Bases (definitely not a book about baseball) by Paul Kropp

As I mentioned in the book review above I didn’t really have an opinion of this book, it was just kinda so-so. I can’t say that I’d jump to reread it. But I was able to finish it. Maybe because I found it so decent because it interesting to read what guys really think about sex. True that this does not define all boys but rather fills the stereotype. I don’t know if this is true, but I guess we’ll live and learn.

Alan- The stereotypical geeky high school student whose never gotten any. Kinda funny around people he’s comfortable with but clueless around women. Surprise! But all the same I think that he at least wasn’t a complete jerk an wanted or seems to want more than sex.
Maggie- I did not see her going out with Alan. I thought she wanted more than that. Especially when he told her directly he wants to get laid. So hopefully she doesn’t get dreaming about forever and always. I also didn’t really think that she was dating Braden, but was giving him advice as well as Alan. Whoops!
Jeremy- What a loser?!? I could tell from the beginning he’d never been with a girl in anyway. Ass!
Rochelle- Nothing like a cheater compared to a liar. Although Alan lied, she wins the jerk award for cheating with someone else. Someone I might add, who was obviously taken!

Moments to Remember:
♥Pg. 96
“‘And you know there are a lot of diseases you can get from, well, doing it with people you don’t know…’
 ‘I’ve seen pictures,’ I told him, which was true. We had a video in our biology class that was so graphic it would make any sensible person give up sex forever. Of course, teenagers  aren’t all that sensible.”

Thanks for reading,

Sidny xoxo

Friday, June 7, 2013

Book Review: Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman

Title: Son of the Mob
Author: Gordon Korman
Pages: 262
Publisher: Scholastic Canada Ltd.
Year Published: 2002

“Vince Luca is just like any other high-school guy… with one exception. His father happens to be the  head of a powerful crime organization.
While Vince’s family connections can be handy- like when teachers are afraid to give him a bad grade- they put a serious crimp on his dating life. How is he supposed to explain to a girl what his father does for a living? And when Vince finally meets one who seems to be worth the trouble, her family turns out to be the biggest problem of all. Because her father is an FBI agent- one that wants to put Vince’s father away for good.”

My Rating: 4/5

I haven’t read a book in a while that takes me out of my situation and plants me in a different one and I think it was time to read one again. I’m sure glad that I did. I love the way Gordon Korman manages to make an unimaginable scenario realistic. I think that living in someone else’s situation helps people put their life in perspective. This book does this but with humor. II love that this book lets you live in another world not so far from your own but one you don’t know about AKA the underground crime scene thing. I also like that Vince is in high school like a normal kid but just isn’t the norm. The only part that I didn’t like was the predictability of it all, but I still liked the whole mobster theme.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny xoxo

Spoiler: Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman

As I mentioned above, it’s been a while since a read a book that doesn’t directly relate to me so it was about time. I think this book is hilarious in it’s own, somewhat confusing way. I like that Gordon Korman updates the look of a mob boss, but doesn’t take away the total image, just builds off of it. I also liked that the characters were interesting, at least the names. The worst part for me would have to be the predictability that a) Alex was making the posters b) Ray was the inside man and told Kendra’s father and lastly c) that Vince and Kendra would get back together again.

Vince: I like that he’s not involved in his father’s business but you’d think he’d be less na├»ve than he was. I mean he’d find a way to figure out who put up the posters, to tell all about what rats Ed and Jimmy were but he just likes to see the good in everybody. That’s kind of sweet I guess. I think the best part is that he just stays out and doesn’t really do what everyone expects of him. That takes the most courage to not do what’s expected.

Alex: I find this kid extremely annoying. No it’s not your love life just cause you’re best friend got a girlfriend that’s a load of it. And to do the poster thing because you’re jealous? Horrible friend move.

Kendra: She has a right to be mad at Vince for not being straight with what was happening with Jimmy and Ed, but really what did she expect? HIS DAD’S A MOB BOSS!

Vince’s Dad: I think he wouldn’t do this job if it wasn’t too late. I mean he’s pretty deep in it and if he just gave himself up, I’m sure that he would be in jail for the rest of Vince’s life without a doubt.

Jimmy and Ed: Slime balls. I think that they don’t even close to understand that what they did with Vince’s Dad was not only illegal but high dangerous. I’m surprised they didn’t just end up dead.

Vince’s Mom: Who would have thought she ordered that hit? What an incredibly secretive woman!

Tommy: What jerk? To use your brothers school project for The Business is way to low for me.

Moments to Remember:
♥Pg. 62
“Your brother-sometimes I wonder whether he’s got brains or coleslaw in there. But his heart- that’s pure gold.”

♥Pg. 99
“‘She says she has a boyfriend in Canada,’ he moans. ‘What a crock. Whenever chicks make up a boyfriend, he’s always Canadian. Nobody put the fake boyfriend in Uzbekistan.’”

♥Pg. 262
“‘What did Romeo and Juliet do?’
 ‘They died,’ I remind her gently. ‘Some mix-up with poison—‘
She cuts me off. ‘But if they’d lived?’
I think it over. ‘Same as us, I guess. Stay cool, and never bring the folks together for a meet-and-greet.’”

Thanks for reading,
Sidny xoxo

Monday, June 3, 2013

Book Review: The Breakup Bible by Melissa Kantor

Title: The Breakup Bible
Author: Melissa Kantor
Pages: 265
Publisher: Hyperion
Year Published: 2007

"Jen Lewis is having a great juniour year. She is the features editor of the school paper, and she's dating Max Brown, the paper's editor-in-chief.
Everything is perfect- that is until Max says, 'Maybe it would be better if we were jsut friends.' In shock and total denial, Jen wonders how she is going to deal with the pain of seeing Max in school every day. Her misery only intesifies when her grandmother gives her a book that she heard about on the radio. Dr. Emerson's The Breakup Bible claims that 'there's no reason a woman can't get over a breakup very quickly if she'll just folow a few basic commandments.' Jen is doubtful. What does Dr. Emerson know about her and Max?"

My Rating: 5/5

I didn't set out reading this book because I was going through a break-up, but I read it because I had heard that it was a really good book. After I finished reading this book, I was thankful that I wasn't gonna go through that again, unfortunately the day after my boyfriend and I broke up. I ended up spending my weekend rereading this book and crying my eyes out. I think that this book is something that all teens going through a heartbreak need to read. Breakups are never easy and I'm not asking for sympathy, I'm just saying that this book is great with dealing with what teens are going through. I think everyone will one day sooner or later suffer a heartbreak and although this isn't the first time that it's happened to me, I think every heartbreak hurts the same or possibly more. But everyone needs to realize that while it will always hurt a bit, it will get better and just cause it didn't work out with one person doesn't mean that you're doomed or going to be forever alone. I think that although it hurts this book gives the dumpee hope. 

Thanks for reading,
Sidny xoxo

Spoiler: The Breakup Bible by Melissa Kantor

As I mentioned in the book review above, I didn't set out reading this book because I was heartbroken, but I ended it that way. I spent my weekend rereading this book because it was gonna help me get through. Although whoever takes out this after me might have a tear-stained version, I guarantee its good. If you've ever gone through a breakup or are currently going through a break up I suggest this book. I'm not claiming it will heal all wounds, but it's always nice to know that someone is in the same boat as you and is feeling the same way. It's always good to know you're not alone. 

Jen: I think that the main character couldn't be better in my opinion. She's young and has dreams of true love, and finding the one. I was a little bit surprised at how attached she was with someone for five months, but I'm sure that's how most relationships work. It's easy to get attached and used to having someone in your life. But I'm impressed that she was strong enough to keep going. Which is good because these things happen to everyone, almost. It's the norm and something you just have to deal with. 

Max: I couldn't believe that he turned out to be such an egotistical jerk, but I guess when you love someone you turn a blind eye and focus on all the things you like about them. I figured that he was messing around on Jen, but really for Anya? That's just dumb. He didn't deserve to be the head of the paper or be valedictorian with the attitude that he has, but that's just the way that life works. 

Clara: I think that Clara had the right to get together with Todd but they both had horrible timing. 

Martha: I think everyone needs friends with Clara and Martha. They are willing to put up with you when your face is leaking multiple fluids. 

Eugene: I think that maybe he'll be the right one for Jen, but who knows what the future might hold. At least they have something in common. 

Moments to Remember:
~Pg. 58
"'How was your weekend?' he asked.
 I didn't need Dr. Emerson to tell me that I spent it trying not to commit suicide was the wrong answer."

~Pg. 70
"Okay, can I just ask why it is hat my brother, whose every friend is white who has absolutely no black acquaintances even, why is it that this same brother of mine talks like he's recently signed a contract with Roc-A-Fella Records?"

~Pg. 211
"Did I risk being  struck by lightning for my blasphemous act?"

Thanks for reading,
Sidny xoxo