Monday, July 30, 2012

The Artist

My Thoughts:

-    I LOVE THAT DOG!!!  Oh my!  That is one smart dog, and it's trainer should be applauded!  I loved the dog, and the relationship between him and his owner.  

-    It was very funny, sad, intense, dramatic, and everything else.  I loved it!  I laughed, I cried, it was awesome!

-   The movie was very cleverly done.  It was a silent film, but the lack of sound didn't detract from the story at all!  It was really well done.  

-    The camera work and some of the scenes were so well done!  It was so beautiful.  I was so impressed with some of the camera work.

-    This whole movie was a big risk.  Who likes silent films?  I do now!  The risk paid off, and this is a must see movie!!  

-    I was riveted from scene one.  I really was.  Time flew by for me, and the movie seemed to go by so fast.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Fire Study

Fire Study (Study, #3)From Goodreads:    The apprenticeship is over—now the real test has begun.

When word that Yelena is a Soulfinder—able to capture and release souls—spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy. Already Yelena's unusual abilities and past have set her apart. As the Council debates Yelena's fate, she receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising against her homeland, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before....

Honor sets Yelena on a path that will test the limits of her skills, and the hope of reuniting with her beloved spurs her onward. Her journey is fraught with allies, enemies, lovers and would-be assassins, each of questionable loyalty. Yelena will have but one chance to prove herself—and save the land she holds dear.

My Thoughts:

-    This is the last book in the trilogy!!  I'm sad and happy at the same time.  I want to read about Yelena and her companions forever, but I'm happy that I finally get some closure.  

-    The story starts a month after Magic Study ends.  I like when books begin really soon after the one before it.

-    Yelena needs a kick in the butt, and I'm SO glad she got one.  Why was she pushing everyone away?  Her reasoning was bull.  Especially with Valek, like he needs protection!  

-    I liked Fisk a lot.  I love that he turned one act of kindness into a thriving business.  I would love Snyder to write a series about him!  

-    I love Valek, I do, but I got a little tired of him and Yelena jumping each other's bones every time they saw each other.  Good grief!  

-    I love that we got to find out more about the commander!  He is one awesome character!  

-    I happy that Lief and Yelena get along now, and that Lief has become part of the gang.  He is a great asset, I like his character a lot, and it was nice to see the siblings come together.

-    I thought it was really great ending the series.  It tied up the loose ends.  When Yelena figured out what her powers were for and how to use it properly, a lot of things made sense, and it all really came together.  

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Magic Study

Magic Study (Study, #2)Goodreads Bit:    You know your life is bad when you miss your days as a poison taster...

With her greatest enemy dead, and on her way to be reunited with the family she'd been stolen from long ago, Yelena should be pleased. But though she has gained her freedom, she can't help feeling isolated in Sitia. Her Ixian background has changed her in many ways—and her newfound friends and relatives don't think it's for the better...

Despite the turmoil, she's eager to start her magic training—especially as she's been given one year to harness her power or be put to death. But her plans take a radical turn when she becomes involved with a plot to reclaim Ixia's throne for a lost prince—and gets entangled in powerful rivalries with her fellow magicians.

If that wasn't bad enough, it appears her brother would love to see her dead. Luckily, Yelena has some old friends to help her with all her new enemies...

My Thoughts:

-    I really enjoyed how the author reunited Yelena with her family.  I thought it was pretty realistic.  It would be hard and awkward.  I think a lot of siblings would react like Leif, but I know others wouldn't.  I think I would be very awkward about seeing a sibling after many years.    I hope I would try to make friends, but it is one of those things that you just don't know how you'll react until your in the situation.

-    I hate Cahil!!!  What a wannabe!!!  He is such a dork!  How dare he move in on Valek's woman!!  He is like a little boy.  He has some serious growing up to do.  

-    The romance was a little more mushy in this one.  Obviously Yelena misses Valek, and obviously, it would be hard to be apart.  I can't say I don't like it cause I would probably be the same way, but it wasn't as sigh worthy as the relationship in Poison Study.

-    The whole commander thing makes a lot more sense in this one.  We get to find out a little more, and it was like a light bulb went off in my head.

-    Sitia is a very different place than Ixia, and Yelena is more dedicated and gutsy than I am.  I would turn tale an run straight back to Ixia at the first chance I had.  I like the contrast in the two countries though, and I think Sitia is a great country for "magical people".  

-    I wish I could talk to horses.  I wonder what my name would be.

-    I love the banter between Ari and Janco.  I just can't get enough of them!!  They make me laugh.

-    This one was very thrilling.  There was a lot going on, and Yelena was tested at every turn.  I'm glad Valek, Ari, and Janco made appearances.  I liked Poison Study a teeny bit better, but this was still great!  Never a dull moment in Yelena's life!  

I'm Back!

Dear Friends,

I have internet finally!  The move was good.  Me and little gnome are having trouble adjusting, but we are doing alright.  I've been without internet since Saturday.  It was sad, but I'm back now!!  I have a lot of blogs to catch up on, sorry if I just read (more likely skim) and don't comment.  I should be back to posting!  I did read a couple books and watch a couple movies, so I'll have posts coming.  I also have book club tomorrow night, so I'll have a post on that.

I hope I still have readers!  Thanks for your patience in my absence!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Farewell To Charms

A Farewell to Charms (Princess for Hire, #3)From Goodreads:    Desi Bascomb is a princess substitute prodigy--she's the fastest employee ever to advance to level three in the Facade Agency, and the youngest to ever be a full-time sub. But now with all eyes on Desi, the only thing she wants is a moment alone to talk to Reed, who's a Facade legacy and secretly a sub for princes As Desi trains for her new role, she spies more than a few cracks in Facade's perfect appearance. But uncovering the agency's dark past might require more than a princess sub can handle by herself. Desi is no damsel in distress, but sometimes a girl needs a knight in shining armor.

My Thoughts:

-    I don't really like how young Desi is.  I wish she was just a little bit older, like 16-17 instead of 13.  I think the story would be more suited for an older teen.  She has a lot of responsibility, and a girl's relationship at 13 doesn't last.  I'd like to think that Reed and Desi have a long lasting relationship.

-    I liked this one better than the second book, but not as much as the first.  It was still funny and charming, but I'm not huge into the Jr. High drama stuff. 

-    I liked how everything was resolved.  Desi and Meredith got really lucky, and I'm glad Genevieve wasn't a total snob like Lilith.  I like how Reed played a larger role, and we got to know more about him.  Everything about Kylee is awesome!!

-    I really love the characters in this series.  The story is good, but what really captivates me is the characters and their friendship.  I especially love Desi.  She is an amazing young woman.  I would like to be her friend. 

-    Overall, this was a really nice ending to fun trilogy.  I wish there was more.  I'd like to see how everyone settles into things.  

I got to meet Lindsey Leavitt at the Provo Library last night.  Sadly, I forgot my camera! 

My Thoughts on the Event: 

-    Lindsey is a really funny person.  She has a wonderful sense of humor.

-    I LOVE that these books were inspired by Roman Holiday!!  I love that movie!!

-    I got 4 books signed!!!  HOORAY!!

-    It is hilarious that Lindsey's only request for the cover of her first book was that it can't be pink.  I completely agree.  I usually am turned off by pink covered books, but luckily the synopsis got me to pick it up.

-    I love that she laminated her rejection letters.  

-    Lindsey brought a few of her "first published works" from when she was in grade school, and they were hilarious!  I loved the one she read to us about the monsters at the window.  

-    It was a really fun event, and my daughter loved the little grab bag I brought home for her. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Dear Readers

I'm probably going to go MIA for a little bit.  We are moving this week, and the time I usually spend reading has been turned into time I spend packing.  Also, my books are in boxes.  I might post a couple blogs, but not a lot.

See you later!

p.s.  Anyone else feel like books have to be packed first before anything else?  For some reason, my books always get priority when it comes to getting packed.  "Books are always first you know!"  Koodos for anyone who knows what that is from.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Muppets

My Thoughts:

-    Mickey Rooney cameo was awesome!! I also enjoyed that Jack Black parts.  That was funny!  There were a lot of cameos in this movie.  It was cool.  

-    The songs were only good when the Muppets sang.  I really didn't enjoy the humans singing.  The rap song was especially LAME!  I liked that they did Rainbow Connection though, and I laughed at the Ma Na Ma Na song!  

-    I enjoyed the references to old Muppet shows and movies.  It was fun to see.

-    What the heck was the giant blue thing?  Same with the 2 large purple things?  I have never seen them before.

-    I laughed a lot!  I loved the part where Walter ran out of Kermit's office yelling.  It was hilarious!  There were a lot of laugh out loud moments.

-    This was a better Muppet movie than the last few I've seen.  I think the last really good Muppet movie has been Muppet Treasure Island.  I'm glad they went back to old school stuff.  

-    It was classic Muppet gang stuff, getting together and putting on a show!

-    Overall, it was good.  The humans bugged me, but the Muppets were awesome!  

Tyson's Thought:

-    I liked Mary's dresses, and I will never forget Hobo Joe.

Hubby had no thought.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Shadows on the Moon

Shadows on the MoonGoodreads Synopsis:    A powerful tale of magic, love, and revenge set in fairy-tale Japan.

Trained in the magical art of shadow-weaving, sixteen-year-old Suzume is able to re-create herself in any form - a fabulous gift for a girl desperate to escape her past. But who is she really? Is she a girl of noble birth living under the tyranny of her mother's new husband, Lord Terayama? Or a lowly drudge scraping a living in the ashes of Terayama's kitchens? Or is she Yue, the most beautiful courtesan in the Moonlit Lands? Whatever her true identity, Suzume is destined to use her skills to steal the heart of a prince in a revenge plot to destroy Terayama. And nothing will stop her, not even the one true aspect of her life- her love for a fellow shadow-weaver.

My Thoughts:  

-    This is the one of the most amazing and wonderful books ever!!!  I LOVED LOVED LOVED it!!!

-    The margins on the pages are pretty big.  They couldn't fill the page with more text?

-    There is a lot of Japanese culture in this story, and I loved it!  It was like reading an anime!

-    With any great Japanese story comes symbolism, and this book was fabulous with them.  I especially loved the use of names and how each time our heroine changed her name, she changed her identity.  

-    The cover is beautiful!

-    Everything I love in a good story was in this book:  great characters that grow and develop, characters I can get emotionally attached too, wonderful plot, twists and surprises, romance I can cheer for, great supporting characters along the journey, a villain that you love to hate, things that make you wonder and think, and much more!  

-    I loved the emotions in this book.  A lot of it is sad, but it is so beautiful that I just had to keep reading.  The joy I felt at the end negated any sadness I felt.  The journey and growth that Suzume takes is emotionally exhausting, but beautiful.

-    This made me think of what drives people to action.  Why do we do what we do?  I have to admit that I do a lot things I do out of love.  If I was driven by another emotion, what would I do?  What sacrifices would I make?  What would I dare to do while trying to accomplish my goals?  It is a lot to think about.

-    I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I will be contemplating it for a long time.  I kind of want to just re-read right now!  I'm sure that is a lot more to learn and notice from this story.  

Friday, July 13, 2012

Singin' in the Rain

My Thoughts:

-    Seeing this on the big screen was AWESOME!!!  I can now say that I've seen Gene Kelly in theaters!!

-    My favorite thing about it was being part of a great audience.  I loved the people that clapped after each dance number.  It was just so fun.  Everyone was laughing and just having a ball!

-    I loved the intro stuff before the movie.  They had an interview with Debbie Reynolds, and showed clips of interviews with other members of the cast.  It was great!  

-    This is one of the greatest musicals of all time!  It is so fun, funny, and happy!  It has great characters, fun story, hilarious moments, dance numbers, and music.  You just can't go wrong here.  

-    The dance numbers are wonderful.  It makes me want to get up and dance.  I can't believe Debbie Reynolds didn't know how to dance before this movie.  She has major talent and is a quick learner.  Gene Kelly and Donald O'Conner are wonderful together!!  I wish they had done more shows together.

-    Cosmo's character was hilarious!  His Make 'em Laugh number is one of the funniest routines I've seen.

-    I also love the "no no no," "yes yes yes," part!  Cracks me up every time!!  Same goes for the "I can't stan 'em" bits.

-    Gene Kelly is so charming.  He has a nice smile.  I used to have a crush on him when I was little.

-    I just can't say enough about this movie.  If I wrote down everything I thought about this movie, we'd be here all day.  If you haven't seen it, YOU ARE MISSING OUT!!  Get a copy of this and watch it!!!!

-    I want to see it again!  I wish this was in the theaters longer than just this one day.

p.s.  They were showing trivia questions about musicals before the show, and I ALL of them correct!! Oh ya!  

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Charlotte's Web

I didn't even know I shared a birthday with E.B. White until yesterday.  I watched this the other day and wrote a review before I knew!  How about that!  It was fate.  I think I might do an E.B. White giveaway or something.

My Thoughts:

-    I LOVE the old animated Charlotte's Web.  I used to watch it all the time.  This one wasn't as awesome.

-    Sometimes the CG was ok, and other times it was terrible!

-    Watching Charlotte build her web was cool, especially with the awesome music!

-    The music was the best part of the movie.  Danny Elfman is amazing.

-    I hated the crows!!  So dumb!

-    The narrator thing reminded me of Matilda.  

-    I LOVE the characters from the animated one, and I didn't really get attached to these characters.  Templeton, Charlotte, Wilbur, the Goose, etc:  they just weren't as good as the old ones.  

-    How did the people not see Templeton!?!?!?!  He was out in the open A LOT!  How did they not see him in the cotton candy machine!?!?!?!?  EWWW!!

-    Homer's alarm clock was creepy.

-    What a cast line up!!  I know where they spent all the money.

-    This one seemed rushed, and not as heartfelt.  I think I'm just biased cause I loved the animated one so much.  I didn't feel all the warm fuzzy emotions. 

-    How come Fern's love interest (Henry) only had 2 words in the whole movie?  Why was he there?  There really wasn't a point to his character in this.  

-    I wanted to like this, I did, but compared to one of my favorite childhood movies, it wasn't as good.  If you want to watch this story, go watch the animated version.  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!!

I am a whole quarter old today!  Woohoo!

My hubby bought me:

It is one of my favorite movies, and I'm way excited to have my own copy!  My family keeps asking me why I don't own it, and they think it is crazy that I didn't, but now I HAVE ONE!!  Whoopie!!

Hubby is also taking me to Carrabas tonight for yummy dinner and creme brulee!!  Yummmmmm!!

And tomorrow, we going to watch Singing in the Rain on the big screen!!!  

Let the celebrations begin!!

Just for fun,  I share a birthday with John Quincy Adams (our 6th president) and E.B. White!!  It is way cool to share a birthday with such a beloved author!  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Princess Academy

Princess Academy (Princess Academy, #1)Goodreads Description:    Miri lives on a mountain where, for generations, her ancestors have quarried stone and lived a simple life. Then word comes that the king's priests have divined her small village the home of the future princess. In a year's time, the prince himself will come and choose his bride from among the girls of the village. The king's ministers set up an academy on the mountain, and every teenage girl must attend and learn how to become a princess.

Miri soon finds herself confronted with a harsh academy mistress, bitter competition among the girls, and her own conflicting desires to be chosen and win the heart of her childhood best friend. But when bandits seek out the academy to kidnap the future princess, Miri must rally the girls together and use a power unique to the mountain dwellers to save herself and her classmates.

My Thoughts:

-    Miri is a good person.  I loved her character.  She was wise, spunky, studied hard, stood up for herself, etc.  I want to be her friend! 

-    This book had a lot of the same elements as the Bayern books.  The feel was the same, and it had a "speech" in it.  It could almost be part of the same series.

-    I loved the ending!  From the bandits til the end is so great!!  The beginning is a tad slow, but the ending is awesome!!

-    I loved that Miri wanted to share her love for reading with everyone!  She wanted to teach the whole village to read!  I admire that.

-    I think any girl can relate to this book.  There is something in here for everyone.

-    It was a really fun read.  It was a typical Shannon Hale book, so you know it will be good, and it will make you feel happy.  

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Help

My Thoughts:

-    Those white ladies are snobs!!  It makes me sad that there are real people like that.

-    They wore wigs in the 50s?

-    Minny cracks me up!  She is hilarious!!  I feel bad for her though.  A crappy job and an abusive husband would be horrible!  I'm glad she got to work for Celia. 

-    Celia was funny.  She was so dumb, but at least she was nice.  She probably worked harder than any of the other ladies! 

-    I really liked Skeeter.  She was a great character, and Emma Stone did a wonderful job.

-    I am never going to eat chocolate pie again.  EW!

-    I can't imagine letting someone else raise my child.  It would take all the joy out of family life.  Why have kids if you are only going to pick them up once a day, if that?!?!?  I felt bad for the kids in the movie.

-    I really enjoyed the movie, it was well done, and it was really heart felt.  I liked the messages of the story as well, especially that doing the right thing takes courage sometimes.  I loved that.

-    I couldn't understand some of the dialogue.  They either mumbled or I had to have my hubby interpret for me.  I have a hard time understanding Southern accents sometimes. 

-    I laughed, I cried, it was a great movie!  I'm excited to read the book!

Tyson's Thought:

-    I learned a lot about Crisco, loved the surprise pie, and I'm hungry for fried chicken.

Hubby's Thought:

-    It was very good, and also made me want to eat fried chicken.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Killing Lincoln

Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America ForeverGoodreads Synopsis:    A riveting historical narrative of the heart-stopping events surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and the first work of history from mega-bestselling author Bill O'Reilly
The anchor of The O'Reilly Factor recounts one of the most dramatic stories in American history—how one gunshot changed the country forever. In the spring of 1865, the bloody saga of America's Civil War finally comes to an end after a series of increasingly harrowing battles. President Abraham Lincoln's generous terms for Robert E. Lee's surrender are devised to fulfill Lincoln's dream of healing a divided nation, with the former Confederates allowed to reintegrate into American society. But one man and his band of murderous accomplices, perhaps reaching into the highest ranks of the U.S. government, are not appeased.
In the midst of the patriotic celebrations in Washington D.C., John Wilkes Booth—charismatic ladies' man and impenitent racist—murders Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre. A furious manhunt ensues and Booth immediately becomes the country's most wanted fugitive. Lafayette C. Baker, a smart but shifty New York detective and former Union spy, unravels the string of clues leading to Booth, while federal forces track his accomplices. The thrilling chase ends in a fiery shootout and a series of court-ordered executions—including that of the first woman ever executed by the U.S. government, Mary Surratt. Featuring some of history's most remarkable figures, vivid detail, and page-turning action,Killing Lincoln is history that reads like a thriller.

My Thoughts:

-    This is not your typical history book.  It is very captivating.  I was hooked from the beginning, and it is a great time of year to read something like this!  

-    All history books should be written like this.  I think it would be more effective, and it is definitely more interesting and entertaining.

-    You need to be familiar with certain things in history to understand some stuff.  It throws a lot of names, events, and places around without a lot of explanation.  I didn't have too much trouble following what was happening though.

-    I love how descriptive the whole day of April 14 was.  It was so gripping and interesting to know what happened in such detail on that day.  I really enjoyed reading what Boothe did that day.  

-    Wives rule!!  I laughed so hard when the book described how Lincoln and Grant had so much power and prestige.  They could command armies, but when it came to their wives, they were helpless.  Hilarious!

-    The book happens over a short period of time.  It starts 14 days before Lincoln's Assassination, but it is packed full of so much stuff.  It was so awesome to read about all the details I didn't know about the whole event.

-    Boothe's ego is HUGE!!  I can't believe he thought he was going to be a hero for killing Lincoln, and I can't believe he wanted to be so theatrical about it!  

-    I didn't know Boothe had so many people working with him.  There was a lot that went into his plan.  I can't believe his conspiracy was funded!

-    I really enjoyed the pictures and maps that were provided.  It was really cool to put faces to names, and see a diagram of things.  

-    I loved the whole the book.  Everything was so well done.  I am more aware of what happened on one of the most memorable days in history!  Anyone can read this and understand it.  It is so gripping, and I loved reading about our history this way.  

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

I love that we get the opportunity to celebrate the day of our Independence!!  It is a great time of year!  I love our country, and I love what our Forefathers did for us!  They were truly inspired.  

Happy Independence Day!!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Royal Treatment

The Royal Treatment (Princess for Hire, #2)

From Goodreads:    Desi Bascomb's job as a princess substitute has gotten a whole lot more glamorous now that she's advanced to Level 2 within the Facade Agency. Life should be perfect, but Desi can't seem to shake the feeling that there is more going on with the agency's magic than she's been told.

My Thoughts:

-    I cracked up during the very first scene!!  Hot Cross Buns is one of the first songs I learned too!  I love that Kylee is a fellow clarinet player! 

-    This one wasn't as fun as the 1st book.  I laughed, but not as much.  There was a lot more drama, like HS girl drama, and I wasn't into that.  I wanted to read about Desi subbing, and less about her actual life, even though her job is part of her life.

-    The ending was exciting!!!  I hope it means what I think it means!!

-    I LOVE the old movie references,  especially the Audrey Hepburn ones!  Hepburn is the greatest!!

-    I really like the relationship between Desi and Kylee.  Every girl needs a friend they can talk to.

-    I really want to Celeste to go suck an elf!  (koodos to whoever knows what that is from!)

-    Even though I didn't enjoy this one as much as the 1st book, I still really want to finish the series.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

June Book Club

For June, we read



The snackage I provided was Butterfly's Dust and Criollo
(aka Pina Colada and Cakebites).  Convincing huh?
I thought it was clever :)

We had a grand ol' time, and covered many topics of conversation, including:  Hugh Grant, Les Miserables, Chick Flicks, Child Birth, Circumcisions, Strippers, Miscarriages, Brave, food, and much more.  Yes, we did talk about the book too.

Things we discussed from the Poison Study:

The whole commander is a female and a male was a bit confusing.  We decided that he was born a woman, but was a man trapped in a woman's body, and some magic was involved in changing him.

Erin and Emma thought Yelena was going to end up with Ari cause they had some banter and closeness between them.  Later they could accept Valek as the love interest.  The rest of us are swooning over Valek.

Rand's character was questionable.  We talked about how we didn't trust him or want to like him, but he did some likeable things.  Everyone knew there was something off about him from the get go.  He had some weird mood swings.

We felt like some of the sexual abuse wasn't really needed.  We could understand that Yelena was raped and she killed Reyad, but some of the other stuff was cringe worthy (like the naked gymnastics).

Everyone didn't really want to prolong the next 2 books cause we all just want to DEVOUR them, so we decided to read Magic Study and Fire Study for next month.