Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Book 56

Day 57

Well, so I'm a little behind. I'm okay with not being super far ahead as long as I just keep up with things. According to my goodreads page it says I'm on track though. I had an eventful day Sunday where I went out to dinner, to the movies and furniture shopping with my dad. I have been reading this book that I finally finished today for a few days now and finally finished it. The trip to Florida should help me catch back up!

Book 56: The Boy Who was Raised as a Dog: And other stories from a child psychiatrist's notebook

Author: Dr. Bruce D. Perry and Maia Szalavitz
Genre: Non Fiction, Psychology
Pages: 288
Series: No
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library
Date Read: February 27, 2013

4 stars
What happens when a young brain is traumatized and how does it recover? This is the question that Dr. Perry tries to answer throughout his career as a child psychiatrist. This book tells the story of children that are genocide survivors, murder witnesses, kidnapped teenagers, neglect, and physical and sexual abuse. Dr. Perry and his team help them with some seemingly unconventional methods in order to allow the children to improve physically, emotionally, and of course mentally through proper brain development.

As I would like to be a child psychologist, I thought the topic of childhood trauma was very interesting. Children are thought to be very resilient and that they can easily get through challenging times such as these but that simply is not the case if proper attachment bonds and brain growth is not developed. That is why many of these children had problems and their cases were brought up to Dr. Perry. I wish he had had a bit more about the children themselves in each chapter, I felt a lot of it was told merely to relate back to the science, which was described in a way that felt slightly condescending. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the success stories of many the children and applauded the inclusion of cases of trauma where the child was not helped. Rarely do authors show cases where things don't work, and it is important to note that even with the best intentions, some things can be very difficult to overcome. One thing that did really bother me was the last chapter. The last chapter felt like it was merely a place for the author to rant about the injustices of the world and that pretty much everything needed to be changed and it was kind of annoying. Other than that, it was interesting material with some useful ideas for my future work.

Now off to sleep, and more reading tomorrow for sure because I just started a really interesting book!


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Book 55

Day 54

So obviously my lead is almost gone at this point. Being sick did not help AT ALL. I finally went to the doctors yesterday after I just wasn't getting better and they told me that I had the wonderful combination of an upper respiratory infection, a sinus infection, a bacterial infection, and pink eye, super exciting! I've been resting for a while now just because I was still continuously sick and now that I'm finally beginning to feel better, in large part due to the antibiotics I am sure, I am finally starting to feel a bit better. This next week I need to knock out a bunch of books because I'll be heading to Disney World and to see my family in Florida on the 8th and I can't wait. I'm sure that the long drive there and back will help as well. Now I'm finally ready to write the review for the book that I read two days ago, sickness has a good way of sucking everything out of you so that even little things become a huge chore.

Book 55: Dirty

Author: Megan Hart
Genre: Romance, Adult Fiction
Pages: 425
Series: Yes, book 1 of 1.5. There is a short 33 page ebook.
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library
Date Read: February 21, 2013

3.5 stars
Elle and Dan meet in an adult candy store. They bump into each other a few times and begin hanging out, although Elle refuses to call it dating as she does not date. But as she slowly becomes more attached to Dan she begins to let him as well as others in. He learns more about her family life and her past relationships that have shaped who she is today and why she avoids committing to someone.

Okay, so first off this book was totally misleading. From the title, the cover, and the beginning of the novel, you think that this is going to be very romantic and sexual, but that is not necessarily the case. In the beginning, the way Elle is described is basically as a cold and unfeeling slut. Dan begins to slowly crack open this facade and the reasoning behind Elle's action and so the book becomes much more than it seems. I think I would have liked this more if I knew what I was getting into. I was looking for a light and fluffy romance, but the content got heavy and hit a little too close to home for comfort. In fact about halfway through where I could see where things were going regarding Elle's past, I wanted to stop but it felt like watching a train wreck. You know you should stop looking at it but you just can't tear your eyes away. At that point I was already so far in that I really just had to finish the book and so I did.

I'm part of the way through another book that I started yesterday but I think I'm just going to try and get a good night's rest because I'm finally feeling a bit better and I have a daddy-daughter date planned for tomorrow that I'm looking forward to.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Book 53 review and Book 54

Day 53

Still sick, still miserable. All I have been doing the last few days is watching the Walking Dead, resting, and reading a little bit while coughing a lottt. I hate it and really just want to be better but medicine doesn't seem to be doing all that much.

Book 53: Prodigy

Author: Marie Lu
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Series: Yes, book 2 of 3. Book 3 is not yet released
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library
Date Read: February 19, 2013

3 stars
The world is changed. After the floods, the people of the Eastern U.S. swarmed the West looking for shelter and the country divided into the West becoming the Republic and the East becoming the Colonies constantly fighting for land. Day and June are from the Republic, Day its most wanted criminal and June a young but brilliant military officer, but this all changes when they meet in the first book, titled Legend. In this novel, Day and June are on the run from the Republic and join the Patriots, a rebel organization that wants them to sacrifice and assassinate the new Elector, the head of the government. June is sent in to act as a decoy by earning his trust while Day's popularity is used to the Patriots' advantage, but some things just don't seem to add up and it their job to figure things out before it is too late.

Okay, so I mostly liked the characters in this book, but the entrance of two other possible romantic interests, making it a four square relationship problem just annoyed me. I also docked a bunch from my rating for the ending alone. It was one of the worst endings I've ever read, it was just bad. I'm curious as to where it will go from here there, so we shall see with the final book in the trilogy.

Book 54: Crash

Author: Lisa McMann
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 256
Series: Yes, book 1 of 2. Book 2 comes out October 8th.
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library (good thing too because it is so little for a hardback!)
Date Read: February 20, 2013

3.5 stars
Jules lives with her family over the pizza restaurant. Her life is filled with a vision of a crash that has yet to occur, where she sees nine body bags. In one of the bags she sees the face of Sawyer, the boy she loves but is forbidden to see because he is the son of their rival pizzeria and their families hate each other. But Jules can't let the boy she loves die and tries to figure out what she can do to save him.

So this book was a VERY fast read, like an hourish for me. I sped through it. I mean, it is kind of hard to make things about a vision very interesting because most of the plot is building up for something that everyone knows is going to happen. The family rivalry was kind of a weird and seemingly unrealistic side plot until you get more into the story. But the ending was definitely interesting and I'm curious to see where the author will take Jules and Sawyer next time. One thing that did bother me about the author's writing was Jules' lists, where she would list top 5 things. They just seemed kind of unnecessary for the writing.

Now, really time for more sleep and recovery I hope.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Book 53

Is Prodigy..review to come tomorrow. I'm still sick and need some rest, also my computer isn't working because something is wrong with my power cord :/


Monday, February 18, 2013

Book 52

Day 49

I'm back! After a lovely weekend in Salisbury with my boyfriend I have returned home and begun to read again. The book that I'm writing about today I actually finished on Friday but didn't have time to post about it before I drove down. I'm about three quarters of the way through another book but I'm getting sick (again, my immune system must be shitty) and am going to rest instead so I can power through a few books tomorrow.

Book 52: Every Day

Author: David Levithan
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy
Pages: 324
Series: No
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library
Date Read: February 15, 2013

2 stars
Every day A wakes up in a different body with no warning of who or where he is. This has been happening as long as he remembers. The only qualifications are that the body be the same age as him, gender is irrelevant. A tries to not get attached, avoid notice and to not interfere with anyone's lives. That is until A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets his girlfriend Rhiannon. He begins to fall for her, and does not abide by his rules because he finally has found someone who he wants to be with. A struggles to find a way to be with her, to separate her from her relationship with Justin, and determine if he can stay with her. A subplot deals with Nathan, a host that remembers that A has possessed him and begins spreading the news that he was possessed by the devil. Each chapter also deals to some extent with each of A's hosts and their problems.

I thought the premise of this book was really interesting, but it did not live up to my expectations for it. It was definitely hard to sympathize with A considering that once he meets and falls for Rhiannon he cares little for his hosts and their own lives, routinely screwing things up for them. A is supposed to be genderless, but to me the character always read as a he. He expected that Rhiannon should care for him and act the same in any of his bodies, including continuing their romantic relationship when A was in the body of a female host. It really bothered me that the character didn't seem understanding of that hang up, or that he thought that they could continue to be together while he continued to possess others' bodies even though it was evident that Rhiannon was beginning to realize that they could never have a real relationship. There were just several qualities about A that really bothered me and made it difficult for me to really like this book.

Time for more rest, and then the rest of the week I need to start banging out books :)


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Books 50 and 51

Day 44

Still trying to recover from being sick. Yesterday I made my first venture outside the house in a few days to do some errands as I had finally begun to feel better, only to become completely exhausted. So it was back to resting for me. The past few weeks I've been reading a bit slower than I would normally like, even though I'm still ahead of the game but I feel the need to pick up the pace a little.

Book 50: Lolita

Author: Vladimir Nabokov
Genre: Classics
Pages: 309
Series: No
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library
Date Read: February 13, 2013

2 stars
Lolita is the story of Humbert Humbert's obsessive passion for the 12-year-old nymphet Dolores Haze, who he calls Lolita. Nymphets are young girls between the ages of 9 and 14 that possess certain qualities such a small firm body, high cheekbones and a childish smile. Humbert's childhood love died when they were 13 and since then he has been drawn to the nymphets. After a failed first marriage, Humbert arrives at the Haze residence where he is to stay as a lodger. It is there where he meets his Lolita and falls in love with. After also learning of her mother's love for him, he decides to marry her in an effort to stay close to her, now effectively becoming Lolita's father figure. He becomes possessive and controlling of Lolita determined to keep her for his own.

So, this book was weird. There's no other real way to describe it. The author tries to get the reader to see Humbert in a more positive light, but his character is an unreliable narrator and it became difficult for me to see him as anything more than a pervert and a rapist. The book was told in two parts, and I enjoyed the first part but the second part for me just seemed to drag on and not really be closely related to the plot at hand that was presented in the beginning. I also felt like the prose itself was particularly wordy, with run-on sentence and superfluous word usage which made getting through the book very slow going. The wording felt distracting to me. I suppose it is challenging to make a story of an old man's obsession for a child appealing, but I could not handle it.

Book 51: The False Prince

Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 342
Series: Yes, Book 1 of 3. Book 2 will be released on March 1st (yay!)
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library
Date Read: February 13, 2013

5 stars
To unify the kingdom of Carthya a nobleman named Connor divises a plan to install an impersonator of the king's long-lost son Jaron on the throne. Jaron went missing after being attacked at sea by pirates and presumed dead. Four orphans collected from orphanages for their resemblances to Prince Jaron are forced to compete for the role, or die because they know too much of Connor's plan. Sage is defiant but clever, characteristics that were prized in Jaron. He must hope that those qualities will help him to win the role of prince, but as Sage and the others move into the palace layers of lies begin to unfold until a shocking truth is revealed that will change everything. 

Trying to hold back my gushing..but I feel it will be hard. I LOVED this book! It was wonderful. It has been a little bit since I have stayed up this late truly because I could not put the book down and not to just try and finish it. The author did a splendid job with her writing and I can honestly say that I really enjoyed the ending. I can't wait to read book 2, I would definitely recommend this!

Now, since it is actually 5am, good grief, I need to sleep as my Dad will be waking up in like 10 minutes haha :)


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Books 48 and 49

Day 42:

So I got a little lazy yesterday and was too tired and sick to write about my book when it was done, so I'll write about it now, as well as the one I finished today. I began another book and am currently in the middle of it, but it's 3am and I probably won't finish it until tomorrow. I'm finally feeling a bit better which helps a lot. It's really hard to make yourself read when really all you want to do is sleep and rest. I know that I need to read during the week though because I don't usually have time on the weekends, the exact opposite of most other people in the world I'm sure.

Book 48: Janie Face to Face

Author: Caroline B. Cooney
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery
Pages: 352
Series: Yes, 5 of 5
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library
Date Read: February 10, 2013

3 stars
This is the conclusion to the Janie series, about a girl who realizes that she was kidnapped after seeing her own face on a missing child ad on a milk carton. Her real name was Jennie and she was abducted from a mall by a woman named Hannah who then decided to pass her off as her own child and dump her on her parents. The girl now known as Janie was raised unsuspectingly by the Johnsons, and now in this novel the little girl has grown up and is now 20 years old. She has had a difficult time trying to incorporate both of her families and become herself away from the kidnapping. This becomes even more challenge as they find out that a famous author is making a true crime story about her kidnapping. But then comes happy news, Janie is getting married to the boy next door, but hidden in the background still is Hannah, who is ready to spoil it and take back everything she believes is hers.

So, it has been a longgg time since I started reading the books in this series. Sometimes it is nice to come back to old characters that you've enjoyed, while other times you realize it has just been too long. In this novel's case, it was kind of nice, but it felt a little under done. I think that I wouldn't have noticed the writing nearly as much when I was younger than I do now. It was a nice conclusion to the series, but it just felt like it took too long for the author to make this choice, and then once she did, it wasn't great.

Book 49: The Madman's Daughter

Author: Megan Shepherd
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Horror (this book falls under a lot of genres and makes it difficult to categorize)
Pages: 432
Series: Yes, book 1 of 3 (books 2 and 3 aren't yet released, and this book is a new release)
Date Read: February 11, 2013

4 stars
Juliet Moreau is a 16 year old girl who is having a tough life in London after the disgrace and departure of her father six years earlier, an acclaimed surgeon who was accused of conducting gruesome experiments. She suspects him dead, but then finds his assistant Montgomery alive in London and that he has been continuing his experiments on a remote tropical island and is determined to go back with him. She travels with Montgomery and a castaway named Edward, both of whom she feels drawn to, only to arrive to see the true depths her father has gone to in the name of science. He has experimented on animals so that they now resemble, speak, and behave like humans, but now one of them has gone rogue and has begun killing the others. Juliet knows she needs to end the experiments and escape, but who will she trust and how will she make it out of this madness?

This book, based on the novel, The Island of Dr. Moreau (which I just added to my to read list) was a fascinating departure of historical fiction as well as the lack of boundaries regarding scientific ethics. It seemed such a fascinating concept to me, and so different from other things that I have read. I find it difficult to describe, but I really liked this book. After reading, it seemed to me that this novel would be a stand alone title, only do I come to find that it will be a trilogy. The next book will be based on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which will be interesting though because I read it for this challenge already.

Now back to book 50 for a little bit before I go to bed :)


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Book 47

Day 40:

I had a great time in College Park, but ended up coming back a little earlier in the weekend so I had some time to read tonight. I am unfortunately still sick and my cough makes me sound like a seal. I finished one book tonight, started a second one only to decide that it wasn't worth continuing. I found the book at B&N and it seemed kind of interesting so I thought I would try it, but it wasn't my thing. You never know unless you try, and sometimes I find some amazing reads.

Book 47: The Catcher in the Rye

Author: J.D. Salinger
Genre: Classics
Pages: 214
Series: No
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library
Date Read: February 9, 2013

3 stars

This book is about Holden Caulfield, a 16-year-old who gets kicked out of his third school because he has failed nearly everything. He leaves the school and is too afraid of his parents' reactions to his flunking out to return home early, so he wanders around New York City trying to pass the time until he is expected home a few days later. The story basically progresses in this manner talking of his experiences in the city.

The reviews of this book seemed to be all over the place. Some people loved it, while others hated it. To me it was just mediocre. I think it might have been because there was something about Holden that fundamentally bothered me, especially with the way he talked. The book was written in what felt like a stream of consciousness style where every single thought he had, no matter how relevant was recorded even though Holden was telling the story from a future point in time. Most of the thoughts were really not relevant to the  plot and so it felt like he was going around in a giant tangent. However, you can also see that the narrator is becoming very aimless and depressed and is not sure what to do about it. The writing though was clear and it was a pretty fast read for a classic.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Book 46

Day 38

Here I am at the end of another week, and I am still sick. My throat is sore that I have been pretty miserable and much more concerned with getting some rest and getting better than reading late into the night. So last night I decided to go to bed instead of finishing my book and I'm choosing to do the same tonight even though I'm about halfway through my second book. I just don't think I can make it and I have a big weekend ahead of me celebrating my Little's birthday. I'm hoping I can power through the sickness that seems to be getting everyone down this time of year.

Book 46: Ender's Game

Author: Orson Scott Card
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 324
Series: Yes, 1 of 4 as well as a companion series
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library
Date Read: February 7, 2013

4 stars
Ender Wiggin is six-years-old when he is taken from his family to attend Battle School, an elite training academy for children in the efforts against the aliens in the next Bugger War. Ender is an exceptionally bright child and a brilliant strategist and commander. He moves quickly up the ranks and is promoted earlier than any child before him, but yet he retains his humanity even as they leave him isolated from others. The ending was just downright shocking.

I first heard of this book many moons ago when I read an excerpt in the seventh grade. Back then, I did not like it but I heard that there was a movie coming out and I wanted to give the whole book a shot. I was pleasantly surprised. I found that I really enjoyed the book. You could truly experience the heavy weight that they were putting on Ender's shoulders to command their troops when he was such a young boy. I'm not big on surprises as a general rule, mainly because I am usually too impatient to handle them, but the ending to this book was a definite surprise. I think this was primarily because I didn't think that that was how the author would handle things, but it definitely made them more interesting. I am kind of intrigued to see where the other books in this series will take him.

Now time for more rest.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Books 44 and 45

Day 36

Unfortunately it is now that time of year when everyone is getting sick. It caught me today, I've been sick to my stomach, sneezing, and have a sore throat and a nasty cough. Most of the day was therefore spent resting, and a little time in the evening was spent reading. I've been trying to buckle down to get some of these books turned back into the library. The books I read today are both very different but I was feeling a little genre separation today.

Book 44: Boundless

Author: Cynthia Hand
Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 448
Series: Yes, book 3 of 3
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library
Date Read: February 5, 2013

3 stars
I'm not even sure how to describe this book properly but Clara Gardner is a Triplare, a rare being born from an the angel Michael who is her father and a half-angel mother. She experiences visions, many of which involve her fellow Triplare friend Christian who believes that they are destined to be together. She has pushed away Tucker, the human boy she loves in the effort to give him a normal life. Clara, Christian, and their angel-blood friend Angela move to California to attend Stanford University and begin seeing visions where they are put in grave danger.

I enjoyed the previous two books, but something really bothered me about this trilogy as a whole. The books did not seem to have a cohesive plot, considering that it was a three part series and they didn't seem to connect very well across book lines. I also really did not like Tucker with Clara and so it was hard for me to deal with that when it was so obvious to me that Christian was the right one for her. And in the end, the other comes up with a convenient way to change Clara's reasoning that just annoyed me. It's hard to love a book when you really don't like one of the characters.

Book 45: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

Author: Stephen R. Covey
Genre: Non Fiction, Self Help
Pages: 319
Series: No
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library (but if you really want to work on the lessons this book teaches then I would recommend buying a copy)
Date Read: February 5, 2013

3.5 stars
This book aimed to explain and teach exactly what the title says, 7 habits of personal change towards interdependency. The seven habits are in two areas, private and public victories. The habits towards private victories are being proactive, beginning with the end in mind, and putting first things first. The habits for public victories are thinking win/win, seeking first to understand and then to be understood, and to synergize. The seventh habit is sharpening the saw, by preserving the four dimensions of your nature which are physical, spiritual, mental and social/emotional.

This book was a little slow to begin with, and it took me a while to get into. I actually read through the introduction and the first two habits before taking a break from the book. But after that I went into it with a new mindset, and was able to gain some interesting understanding from this book. I really liked the lessons that I teaches, but I was a little put off by the author's writing style. I liked that he used examples from his own life, but the way the writing was styled did not seem like the best way of organization. I think that he could have reworked things to make it easier to read. I was also a bit put off by large passages of quotations from others. Although these can be used to support one's own ideas, they should generally not be placed directly into a book and should be paraphrased instead. However, I hope implement some of the lessons I learned in this book towards my own personal change.

Now it's time to work on recovering from this illness.


Monday, February 4, 2013

Book 43

Day 35

Today I got back from an amazing long weekend at Salisbury where I had a great time and very little time for reading. Once I got back though I knew I needed to get started again because I have a bunch of books due back to the library shortly so I decided to go with a quick read.

Though it was made a little more challenging by this..where Winnie decided to lay on top of the book as I was trying to read.

Book 43: Through the Ever Night

Author: Veronica Rossi
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 341
Series: Yes, Book 2 of 3. Book 3 has yet to be released.
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library
Date Read: February 4, 2013

3.5 stars
This is the second book in this trilogy, followed by Under the Never Sky. The book takes turns telling the story from both Perry and Aria's perspectives. Perry is an Outsider, a young Blood Lord that lives on the land and tries to protect his people from the Aether storms in the sky that are now becoming a continual uncontrollable danger. Aria was raised a Dweller, people that stayed in pods and avoided everything about the outside world. She is actually half-Outsider as well as she possesses an extra sensory gift (she is an Aud) like others in the outside world. Together they fight to find a way to protect each other and the people they are responsible for to get them to a place called the Still Blue, where there are no storms, as well as the ability to blend their differing backgrounds so that they can truly be together.

So this was a relaxing read, but it took me a little bit to get into the story because I didn't remember much about the first book. I did enjoy it but it has been a while since I read it, and I hate when that happens and the author doesn't find a concrete way to tie the new book to the others in the series. That and the slightly odd premise of the Aether, which is not explained all that well, are my reasons for only a medium rating. Otherwise it was an easy and enjoyable read. 


Friday, February 1, 2013

Book 42

Day 32:

Well, I was in College Park for most of the day and then was busy this evening prepping for Super Bowl food and preparing for my trip to Salisbury this weekend. So again, I will not be able to read this weekend, or next weekend, as I will be celebrating my Little in the sorority, Emily's birthday in College Park. But I did find a little time today to work on the book I began yesterday.

Book 42: 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology

Authors: Scott O. Lilienfeld, Steven Jay Lynn, John Ruscio, and Barry L. Beyerstein
Genre: Psychology, Nonfiction
Pages: 258
Series: No
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library through Marina
Date Read: February 2, 2013

4 stars
This book's purpose was in the name, to debunk popular psychology myths, such as opposites attract and that some people are left-brained while others are right-brained. Unfortunately many people believe these myths as they spread through word of mouth and inaccurate media portrayals. This book thoroughly explains each myth, how it is often portrayed and why people might choose to believe it. Then they take the flip side and describe and cite the scientific research that has disproved these commonly held beliefs. I did know a lot of them, which is apparently a good indication for my Psychology degree as the book states that many people in the field even believe these to some extent. The book was informative and described the psychology jargon in a way that was easy to read for someone who is not in the psychology field, but it did read a bit dry.

Now, it's time for some rest because I have a three hour drive ahead of me in the morning. And as it is now after 2am,
Happy 21st Birthday Little!! :)