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Lucy Scarborough is a regular teenage girl.  She runs track and is looking forward to getting asked to the prom by her crush.  But Lucy’s life isn’t all that normal.  She lives in a foster home because her mother is crazy, homeless, and unfit to act as a parent.

When Lucy turns 17 she finds out she only has a short time before she goes crazy like her mother.  She’s pregnant and must try to break the family curse before her baby is born.  If she doesn’t, she will suffer the fate of her mother and all the Scarborough women before her. 

Lucy must follow the instruction in an old version of Scarborough Fair and try to complete the three impossible tasks listed.  She has the help of her family but will that be enough?  Will she have enough to time break the curse?  Or is she doomed to a life of insanity?

Review:  This book was awesome!!!!  I read it on the trip home from Florida at Thanksgiving.  I was so into it, I didn’t even realize what was happening around me.  My boyfriend would ask me something I wouldn’t even hear that he had spoken.  Awesome.

Although I really liked the storyline and the characters, I thought a lot of the dialogue seemed forced.  It was almost as if the story was supposed to take place in the 50s or something.  Somehow certain word choices didn’t seem natural and they stuck out.  It was kind of annoying.

I was able to overlook this though because everything else was so great.  I love that Werlin took a wellknown folk song and made a kind of creepy story to go along with a different version. 

Speaking of creepy, I felt spooked out a lot when reading this.  Everytime certain characters would come around I felt like someone was watching me or something.  The curse being written into a song somehow seemed spooky, too.

One character in particular kind of messed the story up (for me) even though he was such a important part of the plot.  He was clearly bad news and everyone just kind of let him hang around.  It was weird.  Even if people had bad feelings about him, they never were able to add two and two together until after certain facts were revealed.  I don’t want to say more without ruining the story, but I feel like anyone who reads this will know exactly what I mean.

This book gets a big ol’ five star rating!

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Out of the Wild is the sequel to Into the Wild.  In the first book, Julie has to save her mother from The Wild, no one knows exactly what’s happening, but when The Wild mysteriously releases Julie’s father – a prince – everyone knows something bad is going to happen.

Soon Sleeping Beauty has been kidnapped and Julie’s father begins performing heroic fairy tale events allowing The Wild to grow again.

Julie is once again forced to save the world from the dangers of The Wild.  If she fails, everyone in the world will be trapped in The Wild living out fairy tales for all eternity.

Review:  This book was also a fun, quick read.  I did not like it nearly as much as Into the Wild, though.  I thought the overall story was kind of lacking and it seemed like certain things were glossed over and the plot just didn’t seem 100% thought out…or something.

I would still recommend it to anyone who read and liked the first book.  There is action and adventure and everything moves quickly.  I just feel like it didn’t make as much sense as the first book.  Almost as if the rules created in the first book were thrown out in order for this story to take place.  But…sadly I read this over a month ago and can’t exactly put my finger on what it was that bugged me about the book. 

Still it’s  a good read and worth the time, though.

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I am contemplating getting this gelskin for my iPod touch. 

Summary (from Amazon by Elizabeth Chang from the Washington Post):

Death meets the book thief, a 9-year-old girl named Liesel Meminger, when he comes to take her little brother, and she becomes an enduring force in his life, despite his efforts to resist her. “I traveled the globe . . . handing souls to the conveyor belt of eternity,” Death writes. “I warned myself that I should keep a good distance from the burial of Liesel Meminger’s brother. I did not heed my advice.” As Death lingers at the burial, he watches the girl, who can’t yet read, steal a gravedigger’s instruction manual. Thus Liesel is touched first by Death, then by words, as if she knows she’ll need their comfort during the hardships ahead.

Review:  This is not the type of book I would typically read.  I don’t usually like books that I think are going to be too “heavy.”  I probably miss out on a lot because of this tendency.  However, I have heard such good things about this book, I had to give it a try. 

I really liked it.  The book managed to tell a great story and incorporate it into a part of history that is sad but without the history over taking the story.  True, the story and the setting are intwined and the story wouldn’t have been the same if placed in a different setting. 

I like to watch the history channel and see documentaries on World War II but for reading about it is usually too intense for me.  I have a very hard time reading about war and graphic descriptions of battles and abuse of people.  This book didn’t really go into too much of that.  There was enough that it drove home the setting and the realistic aspects of war, but it wasn’t too much.

I have to admit, I ripped through the first half of this book in a day or two.  But then I had to try to get a bunch of homework done before I was going to be on vacation so I had to set it aside.  Then I kept the book overdue from the library (a conscious decision because I couldn’t renew it) and I felt so guilty that it was now almost three weeks late that I almost couldn’t get back into the story.

Thankfully I took care of the library issue and was able to finish the book the day before I left for vacation. 

It really was worth the read and even though there were sad parts and it is hard to read about how horrible people can be, I wasn’t left with a feeling of dispair.  I also love that Death narrated the story.  I love that Zusak made Death an empathetic and kind being, too. 

I do think you have to be in a certain frame of mind to read this, though.  It’s not something I would have taken on vacation for a little beach reading.  However, it was definitely worth the time and the $3.00 late fine.

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Still Alive

It has been a while since my last post. Between school and work I’ve been pretty busy. At least the semester is almost over. I am also going to be on vacation for Thanksgiving week. I’m really excited to be in warmer weather, but sad that I will not have as much free reading time as I expected (other than in the car). I have two final papers due the first two days I am back from vacation, so they will be taking up most of my time.

I am about 50 pages from being done with The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I read the first half of it very quickly, but then it was due at the library and since I wasn’t able to renew it, I kept it. Once I knew it was overdue, I felt really guilty and found myself unable to get interested in it. I just felt the guilt of knowing it was late. Soon it was three weeks late. I finally went into the library to pick up another book the other day and the librarian was nice enough to extend the due date to today so I didn’t have to rack up any more charges. And since then I’ve been able to get interested in it again.

Even though I have to write two papers, I am taking five books on vacation with me. I will be in the car all day Saturday and most of the day Sunday so that will provide lots of reading time when I’m not on driving duty. I also will be in the car heading from central Florida to West Palm and then back to central Florida for a few hours on Tuesday so there is more reading opportunity.

I hope to read:
Into the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst
Out of the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst
Impossible by Nancy Werlin
Thanksgiving: An American Holiday by Diana Karter Appelbaum
Wine for Every Day and Every Occasion: Red, White and Bubbly to Celebrate the Joy of Living by Dorothy J. Gaiter

Review for The Book Thief when I return.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ten Minutes…

I saw this on a bunch of other blogs and thought I’d do it for fun.
So here goes:

1. Put Your iTunes, Windows Media Player, Winamp, etc on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS.
4. Put the artist after a dash following the song name.
5. Put any comments in brackets.
6. Tag some lucky people to spread the disease.

How would you describe yourself?
Bring It On Home by Led Zepplin

How do you feel today?
It’s the End of the World As We Know It by R.E.M.

What is your life’s purpose?
Wiser by The Watchmen

What is your motto?
It Must Have Been Love by Roxette Go West

What do you think about very often?
You’ve Got It Bad Girl by Stevie Wonder

What is your life story?
Poor Napolean by Elvis Costello

What do you want to be when you grow up?
El Matador by Los Fabulosos Cadillacs

What will you dance to at your wedding?
Time of the Season by Big Blue Missile

What will they play at your funeral?
Strange Loop by Liz Phair

What is your hobby/interest?
Tears on My Pillow by Anthony and the IMperials

If you could do anything right now, what would it be?
Bust a Move by Young MC [Totally right. I am going to have a dance party in my cube later.]

What do you want most of all?
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots by The Flaming Lips

What is your greatest fear?
Ladies Night by Kool & the Gang [Well, it is almost impossible to get to the up to the bar for another drink on ladies night.]

What is your darkest secret?
Saints and Sailors by Dashboard Confessional

What is your favorite thing in the world?
The Girl I Knew Somewhere by The Monkees

If you could have one wish, what would you wish for?
Again & Again by moe.

What is your theme song?
Calendars and Clocks by The Coral [Well, I am pretty punctual.]

The next time you hear this song (aside from now, that is), you must dance.
Man, It’s So Loud In Here by They Might Be Giants [Already dancing]

What will you post this as?
Ten Minutes by the Get Up Kids

VOTE!

I know this message is every where today, but if you are old enough (and registered…which everyone 18 and over should be!), make sure you go out and vote today. 

I voted this morning and the only thing I’m sorry about is that I didn’t get a sticker.  I’ll have to wait another four years for that now.