Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday #1


 
Every Tuesday, The Broke and the Bookish hosts a meme called 'Top Ten Tuesday'
 
This weeks 'Top Ten' is
 
BOOKS TO READ WHEN YOU NEED SOMETHING LIGHT & FUN

(UPDATE: I've realized after seeing others 'Top Ten Tuesdays' that I accidentally did next weeks 'Top Ten' this week. It's a little late to go back and re-do it and schedule this for next week so I will stick with my mistake and maybe go back and do this weeks next week if I have no reviews to post instead. I apologize!)
 
 
This will be my first time participating on this blog.
 
Right now when I think of 'light & fun', I think of children's books, so please don't hate me if the majority of these are books you may have read in grade school. I'm not quite sure if I'm interpretting 'light' the right way, either. I see it two ways: light as in a short quick read OR light as in bright and positive. I'll try to fit a little bit of both into this list.
 
Stuart Little by E.B. White
I remember this book being extremely fun and full of adventure.
 
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Perhaps this isn't the 'lightest' sort of read, but it is tons of fun. Whether you are re-reading it or reading it for the first time, exploring Harry's wizarding world is sure to be entertaining.
 
Big Fish by Daniel Wallace
This was adapted into a pretty awesome movie, by the way.
I thought this book was very fun. Though it has some not so light undertones, it was full of fun tales.

Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen
This is one of my favorite love stories. It's not the erotic or explicit type of romance that plagues the shelves these days. Instead it is the story of two young people and how they build up to loving each other.

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
Another one of my favorites, this is a quick entertaining read about a girl who is 'kidnapped' by the Tucks who just happen to be 'immortal' (all without the supernatural elements that also plague the shelves these days.)

Aquamarine by Alice Hoffman
This one is a fun middle grade story about a mermaid that gets trapped in a pool after a big storm and the two girls who rescue her and become her best friends.

Stardust by Neil Gaiman
This one isn't necessary a light or quick read but it is full of adventure and is one of my favorites by Neil Gaiman.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
I really love both the book and the movie adaptation for this book. Who wouldn't want a secret garden?

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
This book is always just so fun to read. James' adventures with the 'bugs' and his travels in the peach are definitely a light and fun read.

School Is Hell by Matt Groening
I read this when I was probably too young to be reading about highschool, but the illustrations are really fun.


I probably should have thought about these longer but I browsed my shelves and this is what I came up with. I'll try to be more prepared for next weeks 'Top Ten Tuesday'. :)
 
 
 
 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Book Review: Changeling by Delia Sherman



Changeling by Delia Sherman
Genre:
YA Fantasy
Published:
2006
My Rating:
☆☆☆
SYNOPSIS:
A determined heroine, a quest? adventure galore! Neef is a changeling, a human baby stolen by fairies and replaced with one of their own. She lives in ?New York Between,? a Manhattan that exists side by side with our own, home to various creatures of folklore. Neef has always been protected by her fairy godmother?until she breaks a Fairy Law. Now, unless she can meet the challenge of the Green Lady of Central Park, she?ll be sacrificed! Neef is determined to beat the rap?but time is running out . . .
MY THOUGHTS:

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” — Neil Gaiman
(This is probably the best quote from a completely different author that I could put with this book. One, because 'Changeling' is a story about a girl raised by fairies. Two, because there is also a dragon in this story.)

Neef is a changeling. She was taken as a young child and a fairy that looked exactly like her was put in her place. She was then taken to Central Park and raised by a beautiful white rat named Astris. Neef might live with the fairies but she is just a mortal child with mortal curiousity and whims which gets her in trouble with the "Green Lady" and sends her on an adventure which may or may not put her life back to rights.

I've read a few 'Fey' or 'Fairy' books before but this one is so full of mythical creatures that I think it is probably one the best reads for those in love with fairy stories. There are so many fairy realm creatures in this book that I couldn't begin to name them all. This book is also full of adventure and is a really good quick read for young-adults. I recommend to anyone looking for something mystical and fun.

[Read from April 25th to April 28th]



Sunday, April 28, 2013

Double Review Day: Mouse Guard by David Petersen

Mouse Guard (Graphic Novel Series)
by David Petersen

Genre:
YA Graphic Novels
Awards:
Eisner Award for Best Publications for Kids (2008)
_________________________________
 

Mouse Guard: Fall 1152

Published:
        May 30th 2007 by Archaia Entertainment

My Rating:
 ☆☆☆☆☆

SYNOPSIS:
In the world of Mouse Guard, mice struggle to live safely and prosper amongst harsh conditions and a host of predators. Thus the Mouse Guard was formed: more than just soldiers that fight off intruders, they are guides for common mice looking to journey without confrontation from one hidden village to another. The Guard patrol borders, find safeways and paths through dangerous territories and treacherous terrain, watch weather patterns, and keep the mouse territories free of predatory infestation. They do so with fearless dedication so that they might not just exist, but truly live. Saxon, Kenzie and Lieam, three such Guardsmice, are dispatched to find a missing merchant mouse that never arrived at his destination. Their search for the missing mouse reveals much more than they expect, as they stumble across a traitor in the Guard's own ranks.

___________________________________



Mouse Guard: Winter 1152

Published:
August 3rd 2009 by Archaia Studios Press

MyRating:
  ☆☆☆☆☆

SYNOPSIS:
In the Winter of 1152, the Guard face a food and supply shortage threatening the lives of many through a cold and icy season. Saxon, Kenzie, Lieam, and Sadie, led by Celanawe, traverse the snow-blanketed territories acting as diplomats to improve relations between the mouse cities and the Guard. This is a winter not every Guard may survive. Collects the second Eisner-Award winning Mouse Guard series with an all-new epilogue and bonus content.

______________________________________________________________________

MY THOUGHTS

As an artist and a reader, I tend to like graphic novels more than comics or manga. (Let's not judge or argue about it, please. I just do.) When I saw 'Mouse Guard: Winter 1152' at my library I automatically fell in love with the cover art and checked it out. At home, I realized (via Goodreads) that it was the second book in the series so I put the first one on hold and waited impatiently for it to come through so I could pick it up. It's cover is just as gorgeous. But it's not just the covers that I loved since David Petersen both wrote the story and created the artwork. The insides of these books are absolutely amazing. Every single frame tells a little bit more of the story while enchanting the eyes with it's bold splashes of color. They are a beautifully realized world of their own and I am glad that the author took ten years to get this story down on paper and illustrate it. 

These are for the younger persuasion and can be found in the juvenile or young-adult graphic novel section of any library, but I believe that readers of all ages can enjoy these books as long as they love fantasy adventures and art. They greatly remind me of 'The Secrets of Nimh', the 'Redwall' series by Brian Jacques, and an old book I read as a kid called 'Battle For the Castle' which also had mice in it. If I had kids, these would be a must on their shelves.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Book Jar

 
 
I spend a few hours several times a week watching book related videos/vlogs on youtube. This morning, I watched a video by 'mothereffingbooks' about 'Book Jars' and thought it was a REALLY good idea.
 
The point is to take a jar and fill it with slips of paper with titles of books that you have on your shelf, on your to-read list, Mount TBR, or books that are part of some reading challenge you might have partaken in recently. Whatever your need, this is a great way to get you reading the books you should be reading instead of starting 20 books and not finishing them.
 
 

I often struggle with choosing a book from my shelves when I'm not reading library books. (I tend to force myself to read every single library book I check out and they tend to take up a lot of time.) Sometimes it's because I'm in a reading slump and sometimes it's because I simply have too many good books in my immediate 'to-read' pile and have a hard time choosing which one I want to read. I tend to read a few pages of each and go with whichever one interests me enough to keep reading. But sometimes it is a little more difficult than that. Recently, I read the first chapter of 7 different books and still couldn't choose which one to read and ended up making a special trip to the library just to get some random books that I would force myself to read. The problem with that is that I am not reading the books on my MUST READ list and end up reading lots of not so great YA ficiton instead of the classics and '1001 Books To Read Before I Die' books that I should be reading. I also own too many books to count and I'd estimate that at least 80% of those are unread so it's important for me to find a way to get myself reading those books.

So this 'book jar' idea is a great way to remedy those problems. Of course, I could just continue the bad habit of reading a few pages and then choosing another book to better fit my mood, but at least this will possibly help me stay on track and be held more accountable for the books I read. I'll be angry at myself if I gave myself this 'rule' and then proceeded to break it.
 
I used a pickle jar but feel free to use whatever you please if you want to make your own.
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Book Review: Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce



Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
Genre:
Young-Adult Paranormal, Fairy Tale Retelling
My Rating:
☆☆☆
SYNOPSIS:
Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris--the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.
Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls' bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett's only friend--but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they've worked for?


MY THOUGHTS:
This is the story of two sisters whom are thrust into the harsh Fenris infested world. Their grandmother is eaten and the older sister, Scarlett, loses an eye fighting for her life and that of her sisters at the very young age of 11 or 12. Left to their own devices, they spend their teen years 'hunting' wolves.
I did enjoy the first half of this book. I liked that the female characters were so 'bad ass'. Scarlett just screams 'bad ass' with all her scars, weapons, and hunter demeanor. But it soon became very redundant and it seemed like every chapter was a hunting scene. I think that was my biggest problem with this book - the repetitive scenes. The romance was sweet but also seemed very rushed.
Another thing that makes it a little difficult for me to enjoy about this book is that it is considered a 'Fairy Tale Retelling'. It's kind of obvious which fairy tale this is supposed to shadow - 'Little Red Riding Hood' - but besides that it has wolves (werewolves instead of just real wolves), a grandmother that is killed by a wolf, and a male character that has family that are 'woodsmen', it doesn't seem like much of a retelling at all. I haven't read many retellings (besides 'Beastly' by Alex Flinn) but I just don't this one did a good job. I can see how it is considered a retelling but I just don't get the 'Little Red Riding Hood' vibe from this novel.
I wanted to continue on with 'Sweetly' but I just can't seem to find it anywhere. It's the companion novel to 'Sisters Red' but is a retelling of Hansel and Gretal. The synopsis sounds pretty interesting as well but I don't think I will go out of my way to read it. I was really hoping to like Jackson Pearce's novel because I love watching her youtube videos but I guess it just isn't for me. I won't give up on her but for now I think I will move on to other things.
Fairytale Retellings
#1 Sisters Red
(Little Red Riding Hood)
#2 Sweetly
(Hansel and Gretal)
#3 Fathomless
(The Little Mermaid)
#4 Cold Spell
(The Snow Queen)
[I'm actually hoping to find 'Cold Spell' someday because I'm a big fan of The Snow Queen.]


[Read from April 20th to April 24th]




Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Book Reviews Master List

(You can see my 'Children's Picture Book Reviews' HERE)



















U - 



X - 

Y - 

Z - 


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Book Review: Monster by Walter Dean Myers



MONSTER by WALTER DEAN MYERS
Genre:
 Young Adult Contemporary Fiction
Awards:
 Printz Award (2000), National Book Award Nominee, Coretta Scott King Award for Author Honor (2000), ALA's Top Ten Best Books For Young Adults (2000), Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee (2005)
My Rating:
☆☆☆
(2.5ish)
SYNOPSIS:

FADE IN: INTERIOR: Early morning in CELL BLOCK D, MANHATTAN DETENTION CENTER.
Steve (Voice-Over)Sometimes I feel like I have walked into the middle of a movie. Maybe I can make my own movie. The film will be the story of my life. No, not my life, but of this experience. I'll call it what the lady prosecutor called me ... Monster.
MY THOUGHTS:
Steve Harmon, a young African-American living in Queens, NY is on trial for his life.
After reading 'Jellicoe Road' by Melina Marchetta, I wanted to read more Printz Award winning books so I found a Listopia list on Goodreads and saw that this one was in the top ten or so. I had seen it on my library's YA shelf multiple times and passed it up so I figured it was about time to give it a chance.


'Monster' is written in a unfamilar format similar to theatrical play scripts because the main character sees the ordeal he goes through in this book as an oppurtunity to build onto his filmmaking experiences. There are also bits of 'diary format' to give you the personal thoughts of the character.


To be honest, I was very bored with this book. I cannot relate to the character or the setting at all but having that new perspective was a small eye-opener. (Not really.) There really wasn't much to this book at all and therefore I don't have much to say about it. I do agree that it is a good book for troubled youth to read and maybe get an idea of how the court system works.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Book Review: The New Hunger by Isaac Marion


The New Hunger (Warm Bodies #0.5) by Isaac Marion

Prequel to 'Warm Bodies'
Genre:
Post-Apocalyptic/Zombie
My Rating:
☆☆☆☆
(3.8ish, in my opinion)
SYNOPSIS:
New York is a bayou. New Orleans is a reef. The entire country has been devastated by natural disasters and governmental collapse, and on top of everything else there is the annoying problem of zombies trying to devour you at every turn. But sixteen-year-old Nora and her younger brother Addis are about to discover the most frightening thing yet: being abandoned in this horrific world by their own parents.
Left with only a bag of clothes and a first-aid kit, Nora and Addis begin a harrowing journey to connect with anyone who isn't looking to rob them or eat them. A wounded man wrecks a meal of green beans and French fries at the top of the Space Needle in Seattle. An attempt to get a good night’s sleep in a fortified motel is ruined by an undead face staring at them through the window. And they just can’t seem to shake someone – something – that’s been following them everywhere they go….
Meanwhile, a girl named Julie is traveling toward the city in an SUV with her parents. She is only twelve, but has already seen friends die and her school burn. She has watched her father become nearly as cold and remorseless as the Dead. All she wants is someplace to call home, even if it never really will be.
And somewhere nearby, a tall man awakens in the woods, unsure of exactly where he is, or even who he is. As he struggles to remember details of his life, a single consonant comes to him: R. He is…a name that begins with R….
Isaac Marion once again demonstrates his remarkable gifts as a storyteller as he brings the world of WARM BODIES back to life. Grounding his characters in real emotion, Marion makes you root for them to save the world even as they simply try to stay alive.
MY THOUGHTS:
It's been a few months since I read 'Warm Bodies' so I don't feel as if I could do a 'Double Review Day' so I will just stick to this shorter prequel for the most part. What I remember of 'Warm Bodies' is that I enjoyed the fresh new perspective of the story being told from the point of view of a zombie who just happens to be the main character. It was enjoyable and rather funny. I think the ending kind of went downhill but only because the beginning seemed to be the best part. Even though I did enjoy it, I only gave it 3 stars while everyone in my Goodreads 'friends' list gave it 5. Every single one of them. They probably think I'm horrible. I don't remember why I gave it 3 stars. Perhaps it was because I thought the beginning was the best part.
As for 'The New Hunger', I enjoyed it, too. It had a bit more length than the previous 'prequels', 'sequels', and other short stories that seem to plague popular fiction these days, but still told it's own little story and added to the main story. I enjoyed learning more about Nora and Julie but thought the 'birth of Zombie R' was a bit strange. Okay, sorry, I didn't mean literal birth. Reincarnation? Whatever. Changing the subject: I love the cover. It's like a mouth full of jagged teeth about to eat Nora and Addis.



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Book Review: Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children



Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children
by
  Ransom Riggs
Genre:
Young Adult Fiction
Literary Awards:
ALA Teens' Top Ten Nominee (2012)
&
The Kitschies Nominee for Golden Tentacle (Debut) (2011)
My Rating:
 ☆☆☆☆☆
SYNOPSIS:
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience.

As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children who once lived here - one of whom was his own grandfather - were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason.

And somehow - impossible though it seems - they may still be alive.
MY THOUGHTS:
This was one of the most interesting and entertaining books I have read so far this year. (I'd list it right up there with The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, which I also loved very much.)
Young Adult fiction tends to blend together quite a bit these days, in my opinion, and finding something that really stands out from everything else was very much anticipated. I think I knew from the moment I saw/read the title of this book that it would surpass most fiction and end up on my favorites list. I personally tend to LOVE anything peculiar, dark, and/or macabre so maybe I'm a bit biased but I truly did love this book. I avoided any reviews  so I didn't know what to expect and was pleasantly surprised by it.
I really loved that the photographs used in this book were real. I don't know if the author based the story and characters around the photographs or if they were found after the story was written but they bring so much more to it all. Usually we are left to our own imaginations but having a little something visual to go by gave it a special touch.
I also love that there is a possibility that this story may continue. I was perfectly okay with it being a stand alone novel but I'm also quite alright with imagining how the 'peculiar children's lives will continue on after the end of this story. I would love to see what other 'peculiars' the author can come up with, though, so I'm looking forward to a sequel. (I am not positive that there will be a sequel, I just know that Ransom Riggs is writing another book.)
[Read from April 13th to April 16th]



Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Book Review: Jellicoe Road



Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Genre: 
Young Adult Contemporary
My Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Synopsis:
At age eleven, Taylor Markham was abandoned by her mother. At fourteen, she ran away from boarding school, only to be tracked down and brought back by a mysterious stranger. Now seventeen, Taylor’s the reluctant leader of her school’s underground community, whose annual territory war with the Townies and visiting Cadets has just begun. This year, though, the Cadets are led by Jonah Griggs, and Taylor can’t avoid his intense gaze for long. To make matters worse, Hannah, the one adult Taylor trusts, has disappeared. But if Taylor can piece together the clues Hannah left behind, the truth she uncovers might not just settle her past, but also change her future.
My Thoughts:
Taylor Markham’s mother dropped her off at a 7-11 on Jellicoe Road when she was eleven years old and left her there. Taylor’s life is a series of vague tragedies and horrors so it’s no wonder that she won’t let anyone get close to her. Not even Hannah, who found her when she was 11 and gave her a place to live as well as the story of 5 kids that sticks with her and has so much resonance with her own life.

I’m really glad I stuck with this. The first 100+/- pages were a bit confusing since the author just throws you into the middle of a story but once you get more clues this book becomes so intensely amazing. I’m not even entirely sure what it is about this book that I love so much other than that this is a story about someone with a REALLY messed up life. I don’t really read much contemporary fiction anymore. The ‘Territory Wars’ have some interesting importance in this plot but there is just so much more to this story that the ‘Territory Wars’ eventually become a vague memory and the ‘story’ of the 5 kids and Taylor’s search -for her mother and for herself- become the main focus. There is so much emotional trauma involved and the author does a brilliant job of bringing that out on paper. I found myself to be really wrapped up in these characters. Also, after all the hype over paranormal, supernatural, and dystopian fiction in the past half decade, Jellicoe Road was surprisingly refreshing.
[Read from April 11th - April 13th]



Monday, April 15, 2013

The 26 Book Alphabet Challenge

I can't remember now who introduced me to this book challenge but I did a little search to find the rules and came upon a group on Shelfari called 'Read the Alphabet'. The point is to read at least 26 books, one for each letter of the alphabet. For example, 'Alice In Wonderland' would work for 'A', 'Black Beauty' for 'B', and 'Call of the Wild' for 'C'. There are little additional rules such as 'The' cannot count for 'T','A Christmas Carol' should not be used for the letter 'A', and 'I Capture the Castle' shouldn't be used for the letter 'I'. The same goes with 'An', 'As', 'At', etc.
 
Anyway, here is my Alphabet Challenge so far. I'm not reading books solely for this challenge, though, so I've read more than one for some letters. I'm also not including short stories or graphic novels into this challenge.


A

B
  Burnout by Adrienne Maria Vrettos

Changeling by Delia Sherman
City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

D
  Divergent by Veronica Roth
     Delirium by Lauren Oliver

E

 Fated by Benedict Jacka
   The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

G

  How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
   The Host by Stephanie Meyer
    Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

 Invisible Monsters Remix by Chuck Palahniuk
      Insurgent by Veronica Roth

 James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
   Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

K

L
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
     Lark's Quest: The Search (The Deeds of the Ariane Novellas #1) by Barbara Cool Lee

 Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Monster by Walter Dean Myers

 The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The New Hunger (Warm Bodies 0.5) by Isaac Marion

O

  Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
The People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau (currently reading)

Q

R
Requiem by Lauren Oliver

 Slow Boat To Purgatory by Vernon Baker
   Song Of The Mountain by Michelle Isenhoff

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce 

T

U

V

W
Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
World War Z by Max Brooks


Y

Z
 
 
 
This can also be done with author names and is a good way to keep the challenge going once you've read a book for each letter.
 

About Me

WELCOME TO LAZY DAY LITERATURE
ABOUT ME AND MY BLOG


My name is StacyRenee, I'm an American in my late 20's, and I read too much. I occasionally also do a lot of arts and crafts but reading is the one thing that I do with few breaks in between.

My goal for this blog is to create a place where I can post my reviews but also where book lovers can come together to talk about books and trade recommendations. I love getting to know fellow book lovers, so please don't feel shy about contacting me or commenting.

Publishers, authors, and other bloggers are welcome to contact me with any questions, suggestions, or book recommendations. You can contact me at stacyreneereads(at)gmail(dot)com.

I am happy to review or promote your book! If you are interested, then please read my Review Policy. I look forward to working with you!


Disclosure:

The books I read come to me through the library, books I buy, contests, authors, and publishers. I do not receive any compensation for the reviews I write. All books I receive are in exchange for only a fair and honest review. You can find my reviews on my blog, Amazon, Goodreads, Bookstr, and BooksAmino.


OTHER PLACES YOU CAN FIND ME:
Facebook
BookLikes
The Reading Room (now Bookstr)

Books Amino as StacyReneeReads

You can email me at stacyreneereads(AT)gmail(DOT)com







----------------
 My first bookblog on Blogger was Brainwashed By Books but I didn't use it very often and there are very few reviews on it. I stopped using it and started this one because I've used 'LazyDayLiterature' as my book-related alias for about two years and it helps to avoid confusion. I want to leave this link here though so I can access the reviews on the old blog any time I need to.