Saturday, August 31, 2013

Giveaway Winner!


Thanks to everyone who participated in my giveaway and Utah Book Month!
Today is the last day of August, and I'm sad that all the Utah fun will end!
I'm exited for September though! I've some fun things going on!

The winner of a $10 Amazon gift card is

Marissa from Rae Gun Ramblings

Congrats!

I'll be sending you an email today, please respond by Monday, or I'll pick a new winner (which I'm sure all you other participants are secretly hoping will happen ;)


P.S. Head on over to It's All About Books today to see my awesome interview with Suey! It is a great way to end the month! ha ha!

P.P.S. If you are here because of Suey's post, WELCOME! I hope we will become friends!


Friday, August 30, 2013

The Lost Saint

7831742From Goodreads:    A family destroyed. A love threatened. An enemy returns.

Grace Divine made the ultimate sacrifice to cure Daniel Kalbi. She was infected with the werewolf curse while trying to save him, and lost her beloved brother in the process.

Desperate to find Jude, Grace befriends Talbot, a newcomer to town. But as the two grow closer, Grace's relationship with Daniel is put in danger - in more ways than one.

Unaware of the dark path she is walking, Grace begins to give into the wolf inside of her - not realizing that an enemy has returned and a deadly trap is about to be sprung.

Bree Despain delivers sizzling romance and thrilling action in the heart-pounding sequel to the The Dark Divine.


My Thoughts:

-    I don't know why I can't stop reading these! This is usually not my cup of tea!

-    I thought the beginning was a little slow, but it picked up and I couldn't stop reading. This book never left my side, and I read every chance I got. 

-    April is so dumb but fun. I find her really annoying, but she is a good friend, and I think Grace really needed her. April reminded me A LOT of Tomoya from Cardcaptor Sakura. Kudos to Brodi Ashton for her input on a bling bling stake! ha ha!

-    I don't know what to think about Daniel and Grace's relationship in this one. I hated it, but I understood it. Every relationship has bumps, and I'm glad they reconciled and became closer because of their struggles, but I hated the lying and poor choices. 

-    How old are Grace and Daniel? Aren't they too young to know what true love is? I can't really complain though, I started dating my hubby when I was 18, but I was out of High School and in College. I don't really know how I feel about this. 

-    I really like the Christian messages in these books. I think religion gives guidance and comfort to people, and this story really shows that. I really liked the theme of helping others and being good Samaritans. I wish my school/seminary had a service project like the one in this book.

-    There was a lot more action and violence in this book, and I LOVED IT!! The epic demon killing was fun! I also liked the battle at the end.

-    This book was very Buffy the Vampire Slayerish. I liked it! It was also Twilightish, which I hated. 

-    I liked the new characters, and I liked that I didn't know who to trust or not. Little warning signs went off in my head about a couple of them. I liked the added suspense of not knowing who the enemy really was. 

-    Grace made a lot of poor choices. I get that most of it was the wolf inside, but I'm glad she got a little kick in the butt at the end. Her pride was getting the way, so I'm glad she was humbled and realized what was going on. 

-    I figured a love triangle would appear, but I REALLY didn't want it to. Oy! Why? Why do books have to do this!? We've already established that Daniel and Grace have "true love" for each other, so lets just leave them alone! 

-    The ending was a bit of a cliffhanger, so I think I'll go devour the 3rd book now!

Previous Book in Trilogy
(Click on cover to see my thoughts)

6380822

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Dark Divine

6380822Goodreads Synopsis:    Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared--the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in his own blood--but she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night held.

The memories her family has tried to bury resurface when Daniel returns, three years later, and enrolls in Grace and Jude's high school. Despite promising Jude she'll stay away, Grace cannot deny her attraction to Daniel's shocking artistic abilities, his way of getting her to look at the world from new angles, and the strange, hungry glint in his eyes.

The closer Grace gets to Daniel, the more she jeopardizes her life, as her actions stir resentment in Jude and drive him to embrace the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind the boy's dark secret...and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it--her soul.

My Thoughts:

-    I've put this book off for a long time. After the fiasco that is Twilight, I actually didn't want to read this book at all, but I was really surprised at how intoxicating this book was! I couldn't put it down! I'm slowly coming around to liking paranormal books. 

-    Yes, the book has Twilight elements, and I hated that, but this book had better writing, characters, and story!

-    I really loved that this was very mysterious and dark. I wanted to know everything about Daniel. I was dying to know what happened between him and Jude. 

-    I loved Grace's character! She was so compassionate and genuinely wanted to help people. She was willing to sacrifice things and go the extra mile! 

-    I really liked the Divine family. Their family was a very typical Christian family, and I liked how the their bond was strong yet weak. 

-    The part about forgiveness really hit home for me. I've been hurt very deeply by someone close to me, and it is hard to get over the pride and hurt feelings to forgive them. I really appreciated the pastor and his bit about the Prodigal Son.

-    I didn't really like Pete. I thought he could have been left out of the book. I didn't like that Grace had any sort of relationship with him. I felt like it wasn't needed, and he was a jerk. 

-    My heart bleeds for Don! That poor poor man!

-    I feel really sad that I let one book ruin a whole genre for me. I shouldn't have done that cause I've been missing out! I've learned my lesson. Never say never!

-    I think this book could have stood by itself. I'm really curious to find out where the story goes from here, because I liked how this one wrapped up. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Book of a Thousand Days

Book of a Thousand DaysGoodreads Description:    When Dashti, a maid, and Lady Saren, her mistress, are shut in a tower for seven years for Saren's refusal to marry a man she despises, the two prepare for a very long and dark imprisonment.
As food runs low and the days go from boiling hot to freezing cold, it is all Dashti can do to keep them fed and comfortable. 

But the arrival outside the tower of Saren's two suitors—one welcome, and the other decidedly less so—brings both hope and great danger, and Dashti must make the desperate choices of a girl whose life is worth more than she knows.

With Shannon Hale's lyrical language, this forgotten but classic fairy tale from the Brothers Grimm is reimagined and reset on the central Asian steppes; it is a completely unique retelling filled with adventure and romance, drama and disguise.


My Thoughts:

-    This was good, but it wasn't my favorite of Shannon's. I found it a little dry.

-    I wanted to be more emotionally involved in the story. The book was a journal of Dashti and her experiences, and I felt like I was just being told a story. I like stories where I feel like I'm right there with the character.

-    I loved Dashti's sketches in the book. They were fun.

-    I liked Dashti from day 1. She was so kind and had a good heart, but I wasn't really attached to her. I didn't feel for her as much as I wanted to. I didn't feel for any of the characters really. 

-    Dashti put up with A LOT! I would not have been so kind to Saren for that long.

-    I enjoyed the war with Khaser. It added intensity to the book.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lego Indiana Jones



My Overall Thoughts:

-    Buy it! Love it! Conquer it!

-    When we first got this game, I wasn’t really into it. I thought it was frustrating. I picked it up again, and it became my new crack! I was so addicted. I couldn’t stop playing!

My Thoughts on Game Play:

-    This game is awesome for Indiana Jones fans and Lego fans. If you are both, it is doubly awesome! The game goes through the classic and memorable Indiana Jones movies: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Temple of Doom, and The Last Crusade. Classic scenes from the movies are redone as cut scenes, but since Lego men don’t talk, a lot of hilarious sounds and gestures are used to portray the story. It was really fun to play through these movies as Lego men. Indiana Jones was my favorite, but I wish he had a gun. It was awesome to wreck things and break down/build up Lego creations.

-    Each movie is split into six different stages. You may play each stage in two different modes, Story and Free Play. Story mode goes through the movie with the cut scenes and specific characters. Free Play allows you go through the stage with several different characters. You will need each character to find treasures and mail boxes. Different characters have different abilities and tools. One guy carries a shovel, another guy has a wrench, some guys are small and fit through smaller doors, the girls can jump higher, some guys have bombs, etc.
 
-    Treasures and Mail Boxes are hidden throughout each stage. There are ten treasures and one box that need to be mailed. Treasures build artifacts that allow you to unlock bonus stages, and mail boxes unlock extra abilities and other benefits.
 
-    After finishing each stage, you are allowed to go back to Barnett College. It is kind of like the home base for the game. You can go around the college and check out things you’ve collected and do other extra stuff. When you beat 100% of the game, it rains hearts and money in the college! It is fantastic!

-    There were a few glitchy things in the game, and it was frustrating. I got stuck floating in the air once, and there were a few jumping parts that sucked! I feel like this game wasn’t tested as well as it should have been. The AI was retarded, and hindered more than helped most of the time.
 
My Thoughts on Control:

-    The controls are easy to learn, and I didn’t have any complaints, except the glitches. It was easy to jump around and do stuff and switch between characters.

My Thoughts on Graphics:

-    I love that everything was made from Legos! It was fun to see scenes and props from the movies made out of Legos. Like I said before, the Lego men were hilarious!

My Thoughts on Sound:

-    The music for the game is taken from the soundtrack of each movie! AWESOME! John Williams is so much fun, and it really helps get you in the mood to play some Indiana Jones!

-    Sound effects are fabulous, and the Lego men noises are funny!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Cinder and Ella

Cinder and EllaFrom the Dust Jacket:    When her father mysteriously disappears, Cinder and Ella struggle to care for their two spoiled sisters and a mother who barely knows them, as Cinder submits to the abuse, Ella vows not to give in or give up on her beloved father. The quest to find her father will demand everything - her strength, her tenacity, and even her heart. Now it's up to Ella to save herself, her family, and the entire kingdom.

A beloved fairy tale comes to life in this spellbinding story of danger, intrigue, and romance. With a super natural twist and a plot that keeps you guessing, this is one Cinderella story you'll want to read again and again. 






My Thoughts:

-    This was a very fun and unique retelling of a fairy tale that has been retold countless times! I get tired of some of the Cinderella retellings, but this one was very different and interesting. 

-    The whole thing about the trees was really cool. There is a legend that everyone has a tree that is tied to their health and life. If you are healthy, the tree is healthy, and if the tree is healthy, you are healthy. It was a really cool concept, and I enjoyed that part of the story a lot. 

-    I didn't really understand the Prince's magic. I didn't get how he got it or how it works. 

-    Why didn't the king come down and stop the Prince sooner? I know it kind of explains it at the end, but I didn't buy it. The king should have protected his people from the prince!

-    I loved Tanner! He was a fantastic character! His sense of duty and they way he wanted to follow his code of honor as a knight was very admirable! He was very charming!

-    I liked the dynamic of Cinder and Ella and their different roles to play. I also liked/hated how their family life was. I liked the sisterly bond that helped Cinder and Ella through the story. Girls need other girls, and I'm glad they had each other through hard times. 

-    So, I was loving the book until the end came. The ending is good and everything is peachy, but there is a bit of dialogue between the king and the prince that is VERY similar to a conversation that appears in the temple video between God and Satan. It is quite obvious that the author is LDS. There were other things in the end that coincides with our religion, and for me, it was kind of awkward. This book wasn't meant to be religious, so it was weird for me to see that kind of stuff at the end. 


Friday, August 23, 2013

Giveaway Time!


I hope everyone has been having fun with Utah Book Month! I have! I haven't read as many books as I wanted. I got caught up in some Lego games, and my reading is suffering because of it. Oh well, I'm having fun!

To win a $10 gift card to Amazon, please fill out the Rafflecopter thingy below!
Good luck everyone!

Oh, you might need these links!


Thursday, August 22, 2013

I Hate Nightmares


On Saturday night I had a horrible nightmare!

My husband had died, and I planned his funeral. I had to conduct the funeral, and I couldn't make it through. I had to take care of all sorts of affairs including writing a blog post about how I was taking a break from blogging. I couldn't eat or sleep. I just mostly cried. The worst part was it seemed so real! The pain of losing my husband hurt! I literally felt pain in my stomach. It was awful.

I woke up, clung onto my hubby and cried! When I have nightmares, the feelings from them linger for a while. It is awful. My stomach ached and felt tight, I was panicky and shaking, I couldn't stop crying from sadness, and I felt exhausted! My hubby was very sweet and held me until I got over it. I had to take a little nap even though I had just woken up from the night. Like I said, I felt exhausted from my dream. I slept for a few hours and felt a lot better afterwards.

People tell me I have a really strong imagination, and that is why my dreams always feel real, and the feelings from them linger when I wake up. My brother says it is from reading too much. I guess you really can have too much of a good thing! I'm not going to stop reading though! 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The African Queen

The African QueenGoodreads Synopsis:    A classic story of adventure and romance - the novel that inspired the legendary movie starring Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart

A fast-moving tale and a very good yarn...Mr Forester again and again proves himself a master of suspense - New York Times Book Review

As World War I reaches the heart of the African jungle, Charlie Allnutt and Rose Sayer, a dishevelled trader and an English spinster missionary, find themselves thrown together by circumstance. Fighting time, heat, malaria, and bullets, they make their escape on the rickety steamboatThe African Queen...and hatch their own outrageous military plan. Originally published in 1935, The African Queen is a tale replete with vintage Forester drama - unrelenting suspense, reckless heroism, impromptu military manoeuvres, near-death experiences - and a good old-fashioned love story to boot.

My Thoughts:

-    This was an enthralling and adventurous story! I loved the story about two people and their journey down the Ulanga river!

-    There were some thrilling moments and calm moments. I liked the part where they navigated the rapids. It was exciting, and the thrill from adrenaline that Rose and Charlie had after the rapids made me excited.

-    I liked that Rose and Charlie found joy in working and working together. They worked well together, and it was nice to see that in a man and woman.

-    The romance was an epic one! Their companionship from working together was wonderful, but their joy from being in each other's presence was very tender and heart warming. They had common goals and created a close friendship and bond. Their relationship is how all marriages should be. They helped each other and complimented each other in every way. I love the way they admired each other for their strengths and weaknesses! They put their whole heart, soul, and body into what they were doing together!

-    I watched the movie last month, and that is what inspired me to read the book. The movie was amazing, and the book was amazing! I feel like because I watched the movie, it made the book more exciting, but I also feel that the book makes the movie more exciting in return. It is a weird phenomenon that has never happened to me before. The book and movie compliment each other and make each other better!

-    Rose's plan was a daring one, and the anticipation about if her plan would work or not really carried the book along. Especially towards the end, the anticipation and tension was killer! I loved every minute of it!

-    I liked the ending in the movie better than the ending in the book! The book ending was really anti climactic and horrible! I still enjoyed the book a lot, but I wish it ended better! 

-    I wish there were more Charlie and Rose books. Their chemistry was so great, and I would love to read about more adventures they had together!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday


Top Ten Things That Make Your Life As a Reader/Book Blogger Easier

Oooooo! Interesting topic! It might be hard to list 10. Here we go!


Blogging friends:    Blogging would be a lonely thing if it wasn't for my blogging friends and the great community we have! Friends help me find new things to blog about!

Blogger:    I do not have the skills or money to create my own website, so I'm glad there are blogging websites like Blogger.

Goodreads:    I LOVE Goodreads! It is so helpful to organize all the books I've read, want to read, etc. in once place. I love how user friendly Goodreads is, and I like connecting with people. 

Public Libraries:    I love being able to go to a place that lets you check out as many books as you want! It is so convenient and better for my checking account! I don't like buying books I haven't read, so libraries are a must for readers/bloggers!

Events:    I love blogging events like Utah Book Month, Bloggiesta, Read-a-thons, etc. They give me something to look forward to, and something fun to a part of. 

Twitter:    Twitter helps me stay connected to what is going on in the blogosphere! I like keeping up with blogging friends, and it helps promote me and my blog. 

Bloglovin:    Now that Reader is gone, I've had to switch to Bloglovin. I like it, it is convenient, and I like how easy it is to navigate to blogs I follow. 

Blogger Help Websites:    I love all the blog posts and websites that help with all the technical stuff about blogging. I am not a code person, so it helps a lot when other people have figured out a code, and I can just copy and paste.

Internet/Laptop:    This one might be cliche or whatever, but I'm grateful that we are able to have computers to blog on, and I'm grateful for a good internet connection. Our previous internet was crappy, so having a better internet provider definitely makes a difference! I'm grateful for a laptop that works!

Smart Phone:    This one might be cliche as well, but I am grateful for my phone. It makes twitter easy to access. I love Instragram! I like getting emails, texts, etc. It is nice to be up to date on everything the moment it happens!

I liked this topic. It is good to remember the little things that make life easier!

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Book Thief Read Along



Bust out your copy, borrow it from a friend, check it out of the library, download it on your Kindle/Nook, or whatever! You're gonna need one of these:

 
 

Beautiful covers to go along with a beautiful book! Get ready people! The Book Thief is being released on the big screen in November! If you haven't read it yet, NOW IS THE TIME!!

I am proud to announce:

The Book Thief Read Along

Hosted by:

Kathy from Read This Instead
and yours truly!


We'll be having discussion posts, twitter chats, and whatever else we feel like!
You can follow the happenings on twitter with #bookthief

I'm SO excited! This is one of my all time favorite books with some of my all time favorite characters! You can view my thoughts about this amazing tale here! I think it is one of my best posts!

We are starting our funtastic read along on SEPT 1!!
If you are interested in joining us, please sign up with the linky below! Tell your friends, and have them sign up too!!

Oh! We'd also like to invite everyone to see the movie with us in November! I'm really looking forward to this!



Friday, August 16, 2013

Utah Awesomeness


Since we are celebrating Utah books, bloggers, and authors this month, I wanted to share other things I love about our Beehive State!

I love seeing all the LDS temples in our state! There are 14 temples in Utah plus 3 under construction! These buildings are so beautiful, and we are so blessed to have temples all around us.

I couldn't live anywhere that didn't have mountains! I love being surrounded by these beauties! They make me feel safe.

Going along with the mountains, Utah has awesome hikes! This is me and my fam hiking to Stewart Falls. We hike this every year! It is my favorite!

We have a lot of beautiful buildings in Utah, but one of my favorites is the Provo Library! I love this building (interior and exterior). I have made a lot of fun memories in this building.

I have no idea why this hasn't caught on all over our country! Fry sauce people!! It is awesome!!

Since Utah is a high elevated desert in the Rockies, we get awesome seasons! I love having seasons, and I'm excited that fall and everything pumpkin is just around the corner!

Utah is home to FIVE national parks!! My fam and I finally went to Arches this year! I am going to visit all 5 some day. Bryce Canyon is next on my list. Our state is so pretty! 

Last but definitely not least, I love the book community here in Utah! I love all my blogger buddies and all our awesome authors that call Utah home! We rock!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Monsters University



My Thoughts:

-    Monsters Inc. is one of my favorite Pixar films, so I was really excited when Monsters University was announced. It didn't disappoint!

-    Overall, this movie was funny, charming, and super cute! Throughout the movie I laughed, smiled, and went awwwww!

-    Little Mike was hilarious and so cute!! I want one!

-    I think Billy Crystal and John Goodman should do more movies together. Their chemistry is so great! 

-    I liked seeing the rivalry of college, especially the rivalry of Mike and Sully. It is weird to think that they weren't always the best of friends. It was fun to see their friendship grow. In some ways it was a chick flick, but for friendship and not love.

-    Mike has a lot of courage, ambition, and guts! I love his character! 

-    The new monsters were fun and added a lot of humor, but it was also fun to see cameos of some of the old monsters!

-    This is such a great "prequel" to Monsters Inc. At the end, it shows how Mike and Sully climb their way to the top. 

-    The movie was very clean! I really liked that there weren't innuendos, college drinking, or anything like that. It was good wholesome entertainment! I took my 3 year old, and she loved it!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

If I Forget, You Remember

Goodreads Description:    Twelve-year-old Elyse's plan to write an award-winning novel during the summer is interrupted when her grandmother, who has Alzheimer's disease, moves in with the family.














My Thoughts:

-    This story wasn't as inspiring and emotional as other books by this author, so I was a little disappointed.

-    It would be hard to have someone in your family have Alzheimer's. I don't know how I would react or treat that person. To be honest, I would probably keep my distance because I was afraid or felt awkward.

-    I loved that this took place in Orem!! I live in Orem, so it was fun when the book mentioned places in my town. The Orem Library and it's beautiful windows made an appearance in the story.

-    Elyse was a fun character, but she was a little snot at times. She was only 12, and she definitely acted like it, so I guess I'm happy about that. I don't like books where the kid seems way older than they are.

-    The relationship between Elyse and her grandmother was a touching one. I never really had grandparents, so I really appreciated what Elyse had and was losing. 

-    I wish there had been more emotion. I love books that make me feel, and this didn't make me feel much. 

-    Besides a 12 year old girl dealing with a grandmother with AD, there wasn't a lot that went on. Elyse helped some friends with a neighborhood newspaper, and there was a couple bullies, but not a whole lot happened in the book. There wasn't much of a plot. It was just life!


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Meet Stephanie

Blogger Spotlight

Stephanie and I have not have the pleasure of meeting face to face, but from what I gather from our brief emails and her blog she is a lovely and ambitious person! We are both gamers and love animals! I thought that was pretty cool! I'm excited to share my interview with her and introduce you to her blog!

Without further delay, I'd like to introduce you to Stephanie from:

Chronicles of a Novice Writer


What Utah author would you choose to write your biography and why?

Jessica Day George. I like her writing style. She's one of the few authors in the world who've managed to land on my "buy without question" list. Meaning, for me it doesn't matter what she writes (within reason), I'll be buying it. I think she could make even my boring life history funny with her humor and witty style.

What do you love about blogging?

I love that blogging made me several good friends over the years. Friends who've become a listening ear when I need to vent or when I'm ready to throw in the towel on writing. Even friends who've become listeners for the non-writing part of my life.

What do you hate about blogging?

The pressure to reinvent myself with each blog post yet stay the same so I maintain an audience. After four years of blogging that pressure has grown exponentially.

What book would you love to have turned into a video game?

I would love to see Tamora Pierce's books turned into video games. Either her Song of the Lioness series or her Immortals series. Especially if Lego got involved and made it into one of their awesome games. If they did that, I'd be scrimping and saving to buy whatever console they released it on in addition to the game.

Who is your literature crush?

My literature crush is probably a tie between Belgarath (I know he's wicked old but he's hilarious and totally awesome so my crush is absolutely platonic. I just adore him.), Silk (also from David Eddings' series of the Belgariad and the Mallorean), and George Cooper, from Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness series.

For you, what does the perfect story have in it?

The perfect story has characters I want to root for and action beyond "get character A and character B to kiss and be a couple." Sorry, romance writers, but I need more than just will-they-won't-they action.

What is your favorite thing about Utah?

My favorite thing about Utah is that I always know which direction I'm going and how to get to most places in the valley. I studied abroad one term in college and lived in Colorado for just over a year. Both times I was completely disoriented every time I had to go somewhere. I never knew which direction was which. Also, I adore the grid system.

What is the book and/or series that made you love reading?

For this one, I probably have to go with either Nancy Drew or the Saddle Club series. I loved both as a kid and had dozens of the latter. I was notorious for staying up until 2 in the morning in elementary school to finish another book.

Did your parents read to you as a kid? If so, then what was your favorite bedtime story?

My parents did read to me. The first books I ever remember reading on my own were ones my dad helped me learn to read with. And those books still hold a dear place in my heart. If I'm ever asked for my favorite books of all time they're top on that list. I also distinctly remember a phase where I made my mom read "Horton Hears a Who" every night before bed. It's a long Dr. Seuss book so it was probably a delaying tactic when I didn't want to go to bed. But never deny books to someone.

What is your favorite fairy tale and why?

My favorite fairy tale is probably "Spindle, Shuttle, and Needle" collected by the Brothers Grimm. I like the message it sends a lot. Sure she ends up with the prince, but only after she's already made a modest success of her life and she is active in getting the prince. And the prince is awesome because he's looking for a girl who's happy with the barest of basics, not some spoiled rich girl/princess.

Thank you so much Stephanie for this fun interview! I'm glad I got to spotlight you!

To get in contact with Stephanie you can find her here:

http://www.stephanie-mcgee.com/
stephanie@stephanie-mcgee.com
@StephanieLMcgee

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Katamari Damacy



My Overall Thoughts:

-    This was a really addictive and fun game, but it was too short! It only took me an hour or two to beat. I wanted more! Since I became addicted for a couple days, I replayed some levels over again, but it wasn’t the same as more content.

My Thoughts on Gameplay:

-    To be honest, I’m not sure what the storyline was. I skipped the cut scenes with the weird square legoish people. From what I gather, the King (who is kinda creepy and has a bulge), is making his son, the prince, roll up a big Katamari ball so he can make a star out of it. He also makes constellations and the moon out of big Katamaris.

-    A Katamari is a little sticky ball that you roll around and pick up stuff with. You start out picking up small things like thumb tacks, and the Katamari slowly gains mass and gets bigger. When it gets bigger, you can pick up larger objects. It is really fun to see your Katamari grow, and it is fun to start picking up larger and larger things. Like I said, it is addictive.

-    Making the little stars was sometimes frustrating because of the time limit. I just wanted to play until I hit the goal target. I hated that stupid time limit, and I hated the stupid siren that went off during the last minute!

-    Making the constellations was fun because you had to pick up the sign for each constellation. For instance, for Tauras, you had to pick up oxen or cows. One of them you picked up ladies, one of them was twins, one was crabs, etc.

-    The moon was the most fun to make. The Katamari started out really small, but by the end, you’re picking up land masses, clouds, tornados, and other giant things. It is awesome!

My Thoughts on Control:

-    There is a long intro and control guide at the beginning of the game.  Not gonna lie, there is a big learning curve to the controls! It took me a while to finally figure out how to move the Katamari ball where I wanted it. The larger the Katamari, the more difficult it was to move. I still don’t fully understand the turbo roll thingy. The Katamari also got stuck a lot, and that was frustrating.

-    My biggest complaint was that I had no control over the camera, and the camera was awful!

My Thoughts on Graphics:

-    Everything is blocky and looks like toys, but I think they did that on purpose. The color was really dull on everything. I thought some things were funny, but overall, I think they could have done better!

My Thoughts on Sound:

-    The music was the best part of the game! I loved all the Japanese influenced songs! The whole game is very Japanese, but I loved the music the best!  Gnome loved dancing and singing the songs! It was funny.
                
-    I also loved it when the people screamed when you picked them up or when you picked up a building. I got a lot of pleasure out of scaring the crap out of people.

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Secret of Shadow Ranch

The Secret of Shadow Ranch (Nancy Drew, #5)Goodreads Synopsis:    Nancy Drew arrives in Phoenix, Arizona, eagerly looking forward to a fun-filled vacation at Shadow Ranch, but abruptly finds herself involved in a baffling mystery. The ranch is being haunted by a phantom horse and maliciously damaged by an unknown enemy. Local people believe that the ghostly animal is carrying out the curse of Dirk Valentine, the romantic outlaw who was killed many years ago at Shadow Ranch, where he had gone to fulfill a promise to his sweetheart.Suspecting that a treasure hidden by Valentine may be at the root of the Shadow Ranch mystery, Nancy undertakes a challenging search, aided by her friends Bess Marvin and George Fayne. The first vital clue is found in an antique watch and sparks a series of clever deductions and dangerous developments. While seeking further clues, the girls' investigation in a ghost town ends in near disaster when Nancy is trapped inside a building that is toppled by a rockslide -- a rockslide which is deliberately caused. But the pretty titian-haired detective remains undaunted in her determination to solve the mystery.

For those who enjoy a suspenseful thriller, Nancy Drew's first Western adventure makes a great listen.

My Thoughts:

-    Another fun and satisfying Nancy Drew mystery!

-    I like that Nancy Drew went all western in this story. It was a western treasure hunt! Great stuff! I love that each Nancy Drew is so different and unique. The hunt for an outlaw's treasure was cool, and I wish there had been more back story on Valentine. 

-    A girl named George?

-    Nancy knows a lot of people! She has friends everywhere! I guess it is no surprise. She is very polite and kind, and I would like to be her friend.

-    I feel like a character is more heroic and macho when they are on a horse. It might be just me, but I liked that Nancy was an experienced rider.

-    The phantom horse was a fun element to the mystery, and I liked how Nancy and Chief figured out how the phantom horse thing was pulled off. 

-    Nancy is so clever and lucky! She can put clues together, and determine what others will do, and I also think she is incredibly lucky!

-    When reading these books, you can't let your eyes glaze over or zone out. Things happen fast, and I sometimes had to go back and read a couple paragraphs. Some important event will occur, and it takes place in one or two paragraphs. The story moves fast! I like that there is no fluff.

Previous Nancy Drew Book
(Click on cover to see my thoughts)