Monday, March 2, 2015

Bad Hair Day

18527499Goodreads Synopsis:    After a tough day at school, I am NOT in a good mood. The perfect pick-me-up? A trip through our magic mirror! When my brother and I -- plus our new dog -- end up in the story of Rapunzel, we can't resist climbing her hair. Oh no! Her smooth locks suddenly look like they've been attacked by a cheese grater. Maybe a trim will help...Snip, snip. SNIP. Oops. Now Rapunzel's hair is too short and we're trapped!

So we have to:
-Find the tower's secret door
-Avoid getting swallowed by a giant spider
-Locate Pickles (aka the prince)
-Reunite Rapunzel with her parents

If we don't untangle this knotty tale soon, we could be stuck in this mess for good!

My Thoughts:

-    I thought it was funny that Abbey kept messing things up. Usually Jonah is the trouble maker, and he did a couple dumb things, but Abbey is the one who really screws up in this one.

-    Abbey is a little bossy for a 10 year old. It bugs me sometimes, but on the flip side, she gets things done.

-    Maryrose intrigues me. I wonder what she has in store for Abbey and Jonah.

-    I like the twist on Rapunzel for this one, especially since Abbey and Jonah ruin Rapunzel's hair. I thought that was hilarious. I also think Rapunzel and Pickles' happy ending is awesome.

-    I still think these are cute, but I'm getting a little burnt out on them. I think i need to take a break from the fluff reads.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Ransom Riggs

On Wednesday, Jenni, Suey, Toto, and I saw/met Ransom Riggs!
It was a very short event, but it was still fun.

Mr. Riggs was on a tight schedule, so he did some signings before and after his presentation. I think they should always do this. It was awesome to be able to leave right away and skip the craziness afterwards.
Here is Suey and Toto smiling and meeting the author.

 Signing the book

Here is Jenni meeting Mr. Riggs.

His presentation was short and sweet, and so were his answers to a lot of the questions.
He was very funny and charming that way.
He talked about how he found old pictures interesting and started collecting them.
He approached his peeps and said it would be could to write a book about some of these old pictures.
Ransom Riggs is his real name.
He couldn't say much about the movie, but he hopes it is good.
After his stop in Utah, he was going to watch some of the movie being filmed.
He talked about how book people are much happier and nicer than movie people.
He is a very good friend of John Green.
Any deep meanings or symbols in his books were unintentional, but he thinks it's cool.
His next book is coming out this fall. It is the third and last in the Peculiar Children series.
The movie is coming out next spring.

I think that covers the bulk of what he talked about. 
It was so cool to meet this author. I love his books, and I'm SO stoked that Tim Burton is making the movie!

Friday, February 27, 2015

For Darkness Shows the Stars

16248043Goodreads Says:    In the dystopian future of For Darkness Shows the Stars, a genetic experiment has devastated humanity. In the aftermath, a new class system placed anti-technology Luddites in absolute power over vast estates—and any survivors living there.

Elliot North is a dutiful Luddite and a dutiful daughter who runs her father’s estate. When the boy she loved, Kai, a servant, asked her to run away with him four years ago, she refused, although it broke her heart.

Now Kai is back. And while Elliot longs for a second chance with her first love, she knows it could mean betraying everything she’s been raised to believe is right.

For Darkness Shows the Stars is a breathtaking YA romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.
 

My Thoughts:

-    I really enjoyed this book! I though it was a very clever twist on Persuasion.

-    It reminds a little bit of The Winner's Curse.

-    I loved all the tech stuff.

-    Kai was really cruel. Since he represents Captain Wentworth, I didn't like how mean he was to Elliot. It would have been better if Kai just ignored Elliot or was very formal with her.

-    I liked the letters between Kai and Elliot. It gives the reader glimpses of what kind of relationship they had before, and it helped me realize what Elliot had lost. It also helped me know that Kai wasn't always a jerk.

-    The ending wasn't as satisfying as I wanted. I loved the ending of Persuasion, and this one just didn't live up to that. Kai's letter wasn't as good Captain Wentworth's.

-    I'm excited to read the next book! It is supposed to be a twist on The Scarlet Pimpernel. I've had a horrible experience with The Scarlet Pimpernel movie, and I've never read the book because of it. I think I might put old grievances aside and try to read the original story before I read Across a Star-Swept Sea.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Getting to Know You: Games



This latest feature is hosted by Jenni! Each week she'll prompt us to list stuff we love. 
This week's prompt is:

My Favorite Games

I wish this was split between video games and board games. I have a lot of favorites!
I'm going to split them anyway.

Video Games:


I love all the Kirby Games! From the original on the NES to the latest one with yarn!


Pikmin 2 is an AMAZING game! It will always be one of my most favorite games to play.
I also enjoyed Pikmin 3. I hope they make more.


Dynasty Warriors 4 on the Xbox was awesome! I put WAY too many hours into this game.
I loved leveling up my characters and weapons.


There will never be a game that compares to Gears of War 2. 
This game gave me such a rush!
It is the reason we bought a 360.


I love the Mario franchise. I buy and play all the Mario Karts, Smash Brothers, Mario Parties, etc. I always play as Luigi.


The Batman Arkham games are AWESOME!! The gameplay is phenomenal, but what I really geek out about is the voice acting! Kevin Conroy!!! Mark Hamill!!!


I love the Ultimate Alliance games! It is another game I put WAY too many hours into.
I've replayed both of them several times.


I like the Lego games a lot. I loved Lego Indiana Jones and Lego Batman. I also enjoyed Lego Star Wars a lot. I prefer these on the Xbox 360. I think the controls and gameplay are better. Plus you get achievements. I haven't played any of the newer Lego games because I haven't made peace with the Legos talking yet.

I could go on, but lets get to the board games!

Board/Card Games:


Settlers of Catan: Cities and Knights
My hubby and I play this every weekend with our best friends.


Ticket to Ride
This is also played every weekend with the same friends.


Phase 10
Love getting each phase done!


Disney Triva Pursuit
I wish people liked to play this with me. Sometimes my family will, but people usually don't like to play this with me cause I win. I love Disney trivia of any kind.


Star Wars Trivial Pursuit DVD
I love to test my geekines against others!


Taboo is really fun.
This game occasionally makes an appearance on the weekend with our friends.


We don't own this, and I don't know someone who does, but I love playing this! I should buy it so I can play more often.

Sorry this post was so long, but I love gaming it up!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sisters

18225810Goodreads Says:    Three weeks. Two sisters. One car. A True Story

Raina can't wait to be a big sister. But once Amara is born, things aren't quite how she expected them to be. Amara is cute, but she's also a cranky, grouchy baby, and mostly prefers to play by herself. Their relationship doesn't improve much over the years. But when a baby brother enters the picture, and later, when something doesn't seem right between their parents, they realize they must figure out how to get along. They are sisters, after all.







My Thoughts:

-    I love the cute and colorful illustrations, especially the facial expressions. They crack me up!

-    Raina begging for a little sister is my daughter right now. I feel for those parents.

-    I liked all the flashbacks, and I liked how the pages were a little yellowed so it had this older feeling.

-    Raina and Amara's relationship reminds me a lot of me and my little sister. I can relate to a lot in this book.

-    I love the walkman! I used to listen to my CD player all the time to pass time and drown out other noise as well.

-    I love how realistic yet hilarious this story is. I think a lot of sisters will enjoy this graphic novel.

Previous Smile Book:
(cover is linked)

6764756

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Giver



My Thoughts:

-    I finally watched this and I was very disappointed.

-    I liked how color was introduced. That was cool.

-    Jeff Bridges gave a great performance as the giver. I was a little skeptical about him in the role, but he did good. 

-    Some of those memory frame rates were pretty crappy.

-    I hate how Jonas was able to give memories to Gabe! It bugged me SO bad! Once you give those memories away, you don't have them anymore! Idiot!

-    I like how they called an elephant a hippo. That made me laugh.

-    The jump off the edge was SO dumb! The whole ending just dragged, and it was WAY too long. I felt like it would never end. It was dumb!

-    They strayed so far from the book. The subtly that made the book wondrous and beautiful was taken away. Instead the movie was intensified and more dramatic. I hated that!

-    The characters were good, but they strayed from the feeling and essence of the book/story. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Persuasion

468274Goodreads Synopsis:    In her final novel, as in her earlier ones, Jane Austen uses a love story to explore and gently satirize social pretensions and emotional confusion.Persuasion follows the romance of Anne Elliot and naval officer Frederick Wentworth. They were happily engaged until Anne’s friend, Lady Russell, persuaded her that Frederick was “unworthy.” Now, eight years later, Frederick returns, a wealthy captain in the navy, while Anne’s family teeters on the edge of bankruptcy. They still love each other, but their past mistakes threaten to keep them apart. Austen may seem to paint on a small canvas, but her characters contain the full range of human passion and moral complexity, and the author’s generous spirit renders them all with understanding, compassion, and humor.


My Thoughts:

-    It took about 50 pages for the story to get good, but after that I was hooked.

-    There were a lot of characters, and it was hard to keep track of who was who. There were so many in-laws and in-laws of in-laws. Watching the movie helped a lot with figuring out the characters.

-    I love Anne! She is so plain and kind. I loved seeing a meek female protagonist. I could relate to her shyness.

-    I LOVED the letter in the end. Letters are so personal and intimate, and I just love that is how Captain Wentworth chose to express himself. 

-    I wish there was a prequel. I want to know exactly what happened in past. How did Anne and Wentworth meet? How exactly did Lady Russel break them up? It is so intriguing.

-    I love the idea of these two people rediscovering their love for one another. We need more second chance love stories.

-    I want to know what happens to Mr. Elliot and Kellynch. I also want to know what happens to Anne's father and Elizabeth. 

-    Great story! Why did it take me so long to read this!?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Persuasion


This was the best trailer I could find. The movie looks and sounds a lot better.

My Thoughts:

-    I liked this! It was a great story with lots of tension!

-    Captain Wentworth isn't as handsome as Richard Armitage, but he did a good job portraying the character.

-    Mary is SO melodramatic!

-    Mrs. Croft is Mrs. Dursley!! It was so weird to see her smile and play a kind character.

-    I felt sad for poor Anne. Everyone took her for granted and didn't appreciate her. I really liked Anne's character. I liked that she was shy and quiet. There is nothing wrong with a meek, humble, and sweet female protagonist. 

-    I loved all the longing looks between Anne and Captain Wentworth. 

-    I love that Anne travels with the captain on his ship! Such a happy life for both of them!

-    I had unanswered questions after the movie. What happens to Mr. Elliot and Kellynch? Does Elizabeth ever get married? Are Louisa and Captain Benwick happy?

-    The circus parade at the end is weird!!

-    Wonderful movie! I wouldn't mind watching this a few more times.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Getting to Know You: Candy



This latest feature is hosted by Jenni! Each week she'll prompt us to list stuff we love. 
This week's prompt is:

My Favorite Candy

I'm more of a salty eater than sweet eater, but I do enjoy a few candies.

Almond Joy
I love every variety of this, especially the pieces.


Utah Truffles
I love the dark chocolate and mint.


Chewy Spree
Purple and red are my favorite!


Trolli Sour Bite Crawlers
I only like Trolli brand, and the blue and red are my favorite.


Andes Mints


Sour Punch Straws


Peanut Butter M&M's
These are a bit nostalgic for me. In Jr. High, my friends and I would eat these every day. We'd cut out the M&M characters and tape them in my friend's locker.
I also love the coconut M&M's, but I can't find them anymore :(


See's Candies
I don't indulge too often, and it depends on which chocolates. I have a very specific few I get when I go in.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Pikmin 3



My Overall Thoughts:
                
-    I was really excited for another Pikmin game because we haven’t had one forever! This was really fun, but I still love Pikmin 2 the best.  

-    I admit I got a little addicted. I just couldn’t stop thinking about it or playing it. I stayed up WAY too late some nights trying to accomplish new tasks. 

-    I wish the game were longer. There needs to be more fruit to collect. 66 aren’t enough! I was sad when it ended so quickly. 

-    On the plus side, I will probably replay it a few times.

My Thoughts on Game play:
                
-    I loved the storyline! Our main characters are searching the planet for fruit because their home planet is almost out of food. While searching the planet, they find different types of Pikmin who help them with their tasks. Pikmin function like a little army of workers. It was fun finding and collecting the food. Adding a third character was interesting and enjoyable. It created a new dynamic in getting to different areas and fruit. Of course the crew run into a few problems, and they need to find a mysterious Captain Olimar. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that this ties into the Pikmin 2 storyline! I was so excited to see the old characters!
                
-    I loved the map on the gamepad! It was so helpful in finding Pikmin and fruit! It is one of the best features for sure!
                
-    The yellow, red, and blue Pikmin function the same. There are some fun added uses for them. There are two new Pikmin introduced in this game. The rock Pikmin were super useful in breaking things down, and they were great for killing small bugs in one shot. The flying Pikmin could fly over water, lift gates, and pick certain plants. They were also very useful in killing flying bugs. I thought the new Pikmin were cool, but I also missed the purple and white Pikmin, mostly the purple.  I am happy to say that the purple and white Pikmin make an appearance in mission mode!
                
-    Mission Mode consists of several different challenge stages. One set of challenges is collecting as much fruit as possible in a given time. Another set is killing as many bugs/foes as possible in a given time. The last mode is fighting the bosses from the game. All missions may be played as co-op where you and your friend work together.
                
-    There is also Bingo Mode. This is a competitive game where Alph and Olimar go head-to-head to collect fruit and bugs.  You are given a bingo card with pictures of all the things you can collect. Whoever gets 4 in a row first wins. It can be highly competitive and very fun. There are 12 stages to choose from and there is a random option that will generate a random stage.
                
-    Pikmin 3 has a lot of replay value, and I love that about Nintendo games. You just want to play them over and over again.

My Thoughts on Control:

-    You can play with different controllers, but I recommend sticking with the Wii U Gamepad. The map on the gamepad is essential! I love the added “go here” move. It was very helpful to multitask.
                
-    The controls were my biggest complaint about the game. In Pikmin 2 you could use the C Stick to move your army of Pikmin around. I didn’t have that control power in Pikmin 3, and it was frustrating. A lot of Pikmin died because I wasn’t able to move them out of harm’s way as easily. Instead, the game lets you lock onto targets and charge your Pikmin. That was useful for a lot of things, but I still wish I could have just moved my army into things at will. Throwing individual Pikmin got old fast! The game also lets you unlock a dodging move where you and all your Pikmin tuck and roll to the side. Again, it was useful but not as good as the old C Stick control.
                
-    The targeting system was frustrating at times. I wish it had been more like Pikmin 2. I struggled to target things sometimes.
                
-    Camera control and everything else was fine.    

My Thoughts on Graphics:

-    Nintendo has upgraded to HD, and everything looks awesome! The environments were amazing! I loved how unique and colorful everything was. I enjoyed all the unique fruits and bugs. I love the Pikmin! They are so cute! It is a very visually fun game.

My Thoughts on Sound:
                
-    The language the characters use sounds an awful lot like Japanese. I got a kick out of listening to Alph and Brittany talk. I especially loved it when Alph would say Brittany’s name.
                
-    The music was good. I didn’t notice it too much, but I liked how soothing it was.
                
-    The Pikmin used to sing while you marched places, and they didn’t do that in this one. I was sad about that. They sing a little, but nothing like Pikmin 2.