Archive for September, 2008

h1

New E-mail

September 13, 2008

Hi friends,

I’d like you all to know that my e-mail account with Hotmail (whatvanessareads (at) hotmail.com) doesn’t like me very much and isn’t receiving e-mail messages being sent. Already two people have told me about this and I don’t want to seem like I am ignoring your e-mail. I always reply! So if you’ve sent me an e-mail and I haven’t replied within 3 days now you know why. Please, please, please if you have anything to tell me readers, fellow book reviewers, and authors don’t send your e-mails to whatvanessareads (at) hotmail.com but to my new account with gmail at:

whatvanessareads (at) gmail.com

 

Hopefully this one works good! 

By the way, lots of things are coming up… including book reviews for Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin and Sisters of Misery by Megan Kelley Hall when I’m done reading it (which is SUPER amazing and I’m only halfway). Also, some interviews are coming your way so make sure to tune in for those in the coming days. And last but not least, don’t forget the contest for a marked-up copy of I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroder is still going on until September 30th. 

Till next time!

Vanessa

h1

Booking Through Thursday (9.11.08): Villainy

September 11, 2008

 

 

 

Question:

Today is the 7th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I know that not all of you who read are in the U.S., but still, it’s vital that none of us who are decent people forget the scope of disaster that a few, evil people can cause–anywhere in the world. It’s not about religion, it’s not about politics, it’s about the acknowledgment that humans should try to work together, not tear each other apart, even when they disagree.

So, feeling my way to a question here … Terrorists aren’t just movie villains any more. Do real-world catastrophes such as 9/11 (and the bombs in Madrid, and the ones in London, and the war in Darfur, and … really, all the human-driven, mass loss-of-life events) affect what you choose to read? Personally, I used to enjoy reading Tom Clancy, but haven’t been able to stomach his fight-terrorist kinds of books since.

And, does the reality of that kind of heartless, vicious attack–which happen on smaller scales ALL the time–change the way you feel about villains in the books you read? Are they scarier? Or more two-dimensional and cookie-cutter in the face of the things you see on the news?

Answer: The answer to the first question (do terrorist and other attacks change what I read) is no. I think its actually pulled me in to read more about it, may it be fiction or nonfiction. I really like learning about what happened and why and try to grasp every detail, to put myself in their shoes, and to never ever forget. Villains in the books I read aren’t normally like terrorist or killers, the villains in the books I read are more the bitchy and mean and who always say something nasty to put a character down to make themselves feel more powerful. I don’t normally read characters that are murderers or stuff like that, although I may once in a while. But the ones I have read are scary no doubt (I’m reminded of the Heather Wells Mysteries Series) and sometimes don’t let me sleep as hurriedly as possible (makes me remember reading it in the 8th grade and not being able to fall asleep fast because I was scared Heather Wells was going to be killed). Still I think the important answer here is that due to 9/11 and other tragedies I am more pulled toward learning about the subject. 

As always, I pay my respect on this day to the victims and their families on this 11th of September. May nothing like this ever occur again. 

What are your thoughts? What were you doing on 9/11/01? Do attacks like that make you stop reading certain books because it just is of a touchy matter? Tell me in the comments. 

-Meme: Booking Through Thursday

h1

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

September 10, 2008

Title: Of Mice and Men

Author: John Steinbeck

Rating: ★★★★

Number of Pages: 107

Edition: Paperback

Extra Info: Published in 1937; made into a movie; had to read for English class.

Contains: Drama, Classic, Relationships.

 

 

Analysis of Book (1-10 on each aspect):

Characters: 10

Plot: 7

Writing: 7

Wow Factor: 8

Summary: George and Lennie are two guys who travel together. They are good friends but are very different. Lennie is forgetful, having to repeat things three times to remember them. He likes to pet things: mice, puppies, and other soft surfaces. He’s a little slow mentally but is a great worked cultivating land in ranches. Lennie is also always finding way into trouble, of course unintentionally and without meaning much harm. George is always taking care of Lennie and getting him out of trouble. Together they get to a new ranch in Soledad after finding trouble in Weed. In this new ranch they meet the workers, the boss’s son Curley, and his flirtatious wife. Ultimately what George and Lennie want is their own “promised land”, a place to call their own and to do what they want on it. This becomes a hard feat due to Lennie’s getting into trouble a lot and forgetting what George taught him.

My Review (no spoilers): Of Mice and Men is a tale which begins low-paced and a little on the boring side until things start getting into place. Lennie and George are magnificent characters, John Steinbeck depicts very well what I think of a migrant workers around the 1930s. Lennie is my favorite character due to the fact that he is always trying his best not to get into any trouble. However, he is illiterate and this is a hard thing to do. He always turns to George to help him and George is always there. The ending is a string of all the events that went throughout the book and it is a very phenomenal ending at that. This is a book I won’t forget because of the impact it has at the near-end and end. This book will cause happiness, sadness, a little laughter at Lennie’s naiveness, closure, and a feeling of all of these at the same time. Please go out to read this book… it is short, well-told, and a definite thumbs-up.

My Thoughts (contains spoilers): I can’t believe this book! It was really more than I expected to say the least. Why did Lennie have to accidently kill Curley’s wife? Why, oh, why, oh why? Why couldn’t she stop being flirtatious around him. I understand that she is lonely because Curley never pays attention to her but still. I feel very sad for Lennie, I wished he wouldn’t have killed Curley’s wife. I also wish he was just a little smarter so he could see right from wrong more clearly. I understand why George in the end killed Lennie. It’s like what Candy said, “I did bad, I let a stranger kill my dog, it’s my dog, I should’ve put him down” when he let Carlson kill his dog. George felt as though these strangers, these savages of men (Carlson and Curley for the most part) shouldn’t kill Lennie. George should just because he was closer to Lennie. If he hadn’t killed Lennie they would have stayed getting into trouble with every ranch they got to (like why they were kicked out of Weed and had to go to Soledad). I am sad about the ending although I did see the product of it would be beneficial in the future for both poor old Lennie and George who just wanted his friend to stop suffering. Like I said, admiring read.

 

Have any comments to leave for this post? I’d love to hear from you! Comment away. 🙂

h1

Wired Wednesday (9.10.08): What Vanessa Reads (First Edition)

September 10, 2008

~~

This blog was started because there are memes for every day except Wednesday, and with that being the middle of the week, we need something to get us through it. Wired Wednesday is all about getting hyped up to finish the week. 

~~

Name: Vanessa

Blog URL: What Vanessa Reads (check me out!)

Feeling: Hungry

Current Book: None at the moment.

Next Book in Line: Sisters of Misery by Megan Kelley Hall

Last Book Blog Seen: Blatant Bibliophile Blog

Link This Blog: Click here.

Are you impressed by that blog? Yes. I only came over it because it was a related blog post on my blog and I checked it out and it looks cool… I think I will stick around to it.

Any plans for today? Homework, studying, going to Barnes & Noble’s (since I didn’t yesterday) and reading. And eating. And playing with my baby brother. Normal, everyday stuff.

Til’ next week! 

Vanessa


-Cross posted at wiredwednesday.blogspot.com and whatvanessareads.wordpress.com

How are you feeling on this fine Wednesday? What book are you reading at the moment? What was the last blog you saw that impressed you? Tell me in the comments!

h1

Teen Tuesday (9.9.08): Happy Because I’m Going to Barnes & Noble’s Today! (Vanessa)

September 9, 2008

Name: Vanessa

Blog Name: What Vanessa Reads

Blog URL: whatvanessareads.wordpress.com

MySpace URL: myspace.com/whatvanessareads

Forum/Message Board: likeomgteensread.com (click here where it says “Are you looking for the message board? Click here”.

Hi! I totally forgot to post last week and then I was going to post but it was Wednesday and told myself “your punishment for not remembering is not posting”. Of course, that’s how I remembered this week (woo, go discipline). Anyway let’s get started.

First and foremost, head on over to my blog to enter a contest for a copy of I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder if you haven’t already. The contest ends September 30th.

Second, I read two books this week. Which is actually pretty good. I read a short book for English class, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, which I loved. And I also read Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin. Both great books, but I still have some things to point out.

For one, I thought I got an overwhelmingly recommended to read Elsewhere. So I did. It was good. I liked it a lot. However, I did expect a five-star book but still settled for a four-star (what I’m giving it). I really liked the plot, its something I’ve never heard of before. I also liked the characters. You’ll see more of this over at my blog in about a week (I’m starting a review schedule so my readers always get a consistent amount of material). So wait around for the post.

Next, I read Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. This book is GREAT. It was a little plotless in the beginning but it still was an amazing read. I guess you should trust the books you are made to read for English class. The story is about two guys who travel together: Lennie and George. Lennie is always getting into trouble although he never means to do any harm. George takes care of Lennie. They work at a ranch where they farm. George and Lennie’s life dream is to own their own “promised land” where they can farm and do whatever they please. However, it’s hard to come about that when Lennie is making trouble and they live in a hand-to-mouth existence. If you’re looking for a “classic” you should definitely try this book out. The southern language may be hard to get into, but the book is worth it. Wait around for this review also, which will be posted before Elsewhere.

 

Today I’m going to Barnes & Noble’s when my dad comes home from work. I’m going to TRY to keep it at a 3-book minimum (even though that’s so hard). I know one book I’m certainly getting is Like OMG Teens Read‘s September Book of the Month… Sisters of Misery by Megan Kelley Hall. I think I’m also going to get Madapple by Christina Meldrum and Amazing Grace by Megan Shull. I’m not completely sure. So that will add to my TBR pile.

Thanks for tuning in! Til next week,

Vanessa

 

-Cross posted at teentuesday.blogspot.com and whatvanessareads.wordpress.com-

What have you read this past week? Was it good? Which book did you like the best out of them all?

h1

Young Adult Book Bloggers (9.6.08): What Vanessa Reads (Third Edition)

September 6, 2008

~~


Young Adult Book Bloggers is a place for young adult book bloggers to give each other blogging tips and recommend great books to read.

~~

Name: Vanessa

Website Name: What Vanessa Reads

Website URL: whatvanessareads.wordpress.com (hope to see you there!)

MySpace URL: myspace.com/whatvanessareads (add me!)

Like OMG Teens Read Message Board URL: likeomgteensread.com (click Here where it says Looking for the Message Board? and JOIN TODAY!)

Hey there!

Here’s what’s going on with me.

Contest News: First and foremost, go join my contest for a copy of I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder! 🙂 Click here for rules and comment to enter.

Reading News: In the past week I read The Luxe. Yes, I finally finished it. I’m so proud of myself. Would you like to read the review? Click here. It was so… exceptional and just made me want to get in a car and buy Rumors ASAP. (Which I will buy… eventually.) Right now I’m reading Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin. I think for the amount of pages I’ve read… well I don’t know what to think. You’ll see when my review comes around.

Blogging News: I totally keep forgetting to post on Teen Tuesday, Teaser Tuesday, and Booking Through Thursday. I think I don’t forget YABB because I post on the weekend and when I’m bored on the weekend I remember that today’s the day. I haven’t reviewed a book in a couple of days (like a week) because of school… you already know how that is. I barely have time now, and if I do have time I think I waste it on the computer or watching TV. Maybe I need an amazing book to pick me up off my feet.

Suggested Topic: How do you write your reviews? Well, I started up a new way to write my reviews and people have commented saying they like it. It normally goes like this now: Contains (I write what it deals on… romance, relationships, drama, mystery, fantasy, etc.), Analysis of Book (on each aspect: Characters, Plot, Writing, and Wow Factor) I rate the book from 1-10. So if the characters were amazing they get a 9 or 10, but if the wow factor just wasn’t there then they get a 3 or whatever I feel they deserve. Then goes the Summary (most of the time I write them but for the past 2 reviews I’ve taken Amazon’s). Afterward goes my review which contains no spoilers. This is what you read if you’re thinking about reading the book. Then comes My Thoughts which do contains spoilers and its where I rant, be mad, or glorify a book saying specific events and actions and my thoughts with them. You should read the My Thoughts section if you’ve read the book… if not, its just a way for me to reflect on the material.

Personal News: Well, I’ve been in school since the 20th, so its kind of routine already… wake up, go to school, learn, come home, do homework, go to sleep, wake up, go to school, learn, come home………. Of course, where reading is in all of this routine, well I don’t know. I have to become more organized with my schedule and be like okay from 3pm to 3:20 you shower, from 3:20 to 5 you do homework, from 5 to 7 you read, from 7 to 8 you eat and watch TV… etc. I just don’t have that because I don’t discipline myself if I don’t follow it. I’m really going to try it now. Beginning on Monday. Wait, nevermind. There might NOT be school Monday due to Hurricane Ike. Even though the hurricane seems to want to hit Cuba instead of us, you just never know. So that’s it for me… have a good week!

Vanessa

whatvanessareads.wordpress.com

whatvanessareads@hotmail.com

-Cross posted at youngadultbookbloggers.blogspot.com and whatvanessareads.wordpress.com

h1

Booking Through Thursday (9.4.08): Peer Pressure

September 4, 2008

 

 

 

Topic: I was looking through books yesterday at the shops and saw all the Twilight books, which I know basically nothing about. What I do know is that I’m beginning to feel like I’m the *only* person who knows nothing about them.

Despite being almost broke and trying to save money, I almost bought the expensive book (Australian book prices are often completely nutty) just because I felt the need to be ‘up’ on what everyone else was reading.

Have you ever felt pressured to read something because ‘everyone else’ was reading it? Have you ever given in and read the book(s) in question or do you resist? If you are a reviewer, etc, do you feel it’s your duty to keep up on current trends?

Answer: Yes that has happened to me. When the whole Twilight craziness began I gave up and bought the book. Mind you, I am not a person who enjoys fantasy tales, I’m more of a realistic fiction person. I bought it because I though “If everyone likes it then I have to like it too”. I bought Twilight last December. I began to read it and I just didn’t connect very much with the story. The romance was too corny, the whole vampire thing is not that interesting to me. I just didn’t like it very much. As of now, it’s still on my shelf half read. I’m thinking of selling it. I felt pressured to read this book because everyone just kept talking about it saying it was the best thing ever. So that’s one book I gave in and read. I don’t think I’ve given into anything else. As a reviewer, I don’t feel as though I have to keep up with current trends in books because I have my review site #1 for me. I want people to benefit from it but I won’t read something that doesn’t call out to me. Now I know not to think about getting a book just because its popular… it just disappoints me.

Have you ever read a book just because its popular? Which? Did the hype match the book? Or was it not that good? Let me know in the comments. 🙂

h1

Teaser Tuesday (9.2.08): Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

September 2, 2008

 

 

 

Teaser Tuesdays asks you to:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!

My current read: Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

Note: From page 43.

First teaser: All the newspapers will cover it: LOCAL GIRL BACK FROM DEAD; CLAIMS DEATH IS CRUISE, NOT WHITE LIGHT, TUNNEL.

Second teaser: Liz will get a book deal (Dead Girl by Liz Hall) and a TV movie (Determined to Live: the Elizabeth M. Hall Story) and an appearance on Oprah to promote both.

h1

Like OMG Teens Read Announcement

September 1, 2008

Hi there guys. Thanks for stopping by on my blog. 

I don’t know if you know so I’m going to make sure you know… I have a message board/forum over at likeomgteensread.com (just click HERE where it says “Looking for the Message Board? Click here!” or go to it right from here by clicking on this link. On the message board you can talk anything about YA Literature… you can talk about every genre, chill in the general talk section, learn about new contests and events, post up your own stories, and do lots of other cool stuff. If you want to learn more about what we have to offer just go to the main website at likeomgteensread.com and snoop around. As of now we have over 130 members and 4,000+ posts (as I said on the YABB cross post). Join in our fun and register today!

Our August 2008 issue of our LOTR Newsletter is written by five of our members (including Brenna, Chelsie, Hope, Meaghan, and me) and has been posted. You can download it as a Word document… I’m still trying to figure out iPaper from Scribd.com. So please please please check it out and tell me what you think in the comments. The newsletter features many things having to do with YA: new releases, author of the month, author interviews, book reviews, book news, books turned into movies updates, and lots more.

 

Other than that, our September Book of the Month has been voted on by our members and it is…

Sisters of Misery by Megan Kelley Hall! Here’s a little summary:

 

Maddie Crane has always lived in Hawthorne, where a family name means everything and membership in a cruel, all-girl secret society, the Sisters of Misery, is required for social success. When Cordelia and Rebecca LeClaire, Maddie’s cousin and newly widowed aunt, move back to Hawthorne, Cordelia’s beauty, bohemian style and interest in fortune-telling draw negative attention from the preppy Sisters of Misery, especially their leader. On Halloween Night they subject Cordelia to a brutal hazing on Misery Island (from which the society gets their name)-and by the next morning she has vanished. Wracked with guilt about throwing her cousin to the Sisters, Maddie becomes obsessed with finding Cordelia. While the viciousness of the Sisters of Misery can, at points, seem extreme, the mystery of Cordelia’s disappearance is compelling. Hall maintains suspense until the very end. This story’s dark, sinister edge, coupled with the clever use of runes to frame each chapter, will satisfy those fascinated by witchcraft and premonitions. Setting up a sequel, Hall will leave readers eager to know what happens next in her standout addition to a popular YA genre. Ages 12-up. (Aug.)

 

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Sounds good right? I can’t wait to go out and buy it! I’ll be reviewing it for the September 2008 Newsletter. 

So go… comment me your thoughts! Happy Labor Day, by the way. And you still have time to enter my contest!