Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

I hope you all have a wonderful Halloween!
This will be the first year we'll be taking our little gnome trick or treating!

For your viewing pleasure! 
A fun zombie music video!
See if you can spot some of our friends from the Provo Library!
The singer is Gene's son!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Violet Eyes

Violet Eyes: A Retelling of the "Princess and the Pea" (Once Upon a Time)From Goodreads:    "ONCE UPON A TIME" IS TIMELESS

When a storm brings the dashing Prince Richard to her family's farm, Violet falls in love at first sight. Richard also gives Violet his heart, but he knows his marriage is destined to be an affair of state, not of passion. For the king and queen have devised a contest to determine who will win their son's hand in marriage.

To be reunited with her prince, Violet must compete against princesses from across the land. It will take all of her wits - and a little help from an unexpected source - if Violet is to demonstrate the depth of her character and become Richard's bride.

My Thoughts:

-    This is probably my favorite in the Once Upon a Time series!  The story is well thought out, and it doesn't feel rushed.  

-    I loved the characters!  Violet is a wonderful female lead.  I admired many of her qualities, and I loved seeing her make friends with the other princesses.  I admired each of Violets friends for different reasons.  They were all very kind and valuable.  Richard is a swoon worthy prince!

-    I like that Violet and Richard formed their relationship on a nurse/patient bases.  It was nice to see that develop instead of love at first sight.

-    I loved every moment of the competition!  Each test was more bizarre and ridiculous than the first.  

-    This was a fun read!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Fairy Tale Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the mini challenge!

The answers are:
1.Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow2.Beastly (Kendra Chronicles #1)  3.Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)
4.Violet Eyes: A Retelling of the "Princess and the Pea" (Once Upon a Time)  5.Princess of the Midnight Ball (Princess #1)  6.The Wide-Awake Princess (Wide-Awake Princess, #1)

1.    East of the Sun, West of the Moon
2.    Beauty and the Beast
3.    Cinderella
4.    Princess and the Pea
5.    Twelve Dancing Princesses
6.    Sleeping Beauty

How did you do?
1 and 5 stumped a few of you!

Now for the winner of my giveaway!

Congrats to

I'll be emailing you, and you have 48 hours to respond before I pick another winner!!

Thanks again to everyone who participated in the mini challenge and giveaway!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012


My Thoughts:

-    This is supposed to be one of the greatest movies ever, and I've never seen it.  Well, I fixed that.

-    I was a bit confused for a while, and I'll have to watch it again to catch more.  I didn't understand the whole refugee thing, and what military controlled what.

-    It was the best I've seen of Humphrey Bogart.  He still looked old, but his acting was better.

-    Was Else in love with both men?  She seemed pretty smitten with Rick, but she was still attached to the other guy too.  

-    Every time I heard a famous line, I got excited.  Bogart said "Here's lookin' at you kid" like 4 times. 

-    I liked Sam. 

-    Is there any way for them to restore this to color?

-    Overall, I enjoyed the movie.  I didn't think it was amazing, but I liked it.

Tyson's Thought:

-    My spicy chicken sandwich and the slinky I was playing with was the best part of the movie.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Crimson Thread

The Crimson Thread: A Retelling of "Rumpelstiltskin"Goodreads Synopsis:    Once upon a Time" Is Timeless

The year is 1880, and Bertie, having just arrived in New York with her family, is grateful to be given work as a seamstress in the home of textile tycoon J.P. Wellington. When the Wellington family fortune is threatened, Bertie's father boasts that Bertie will save the business, that she is so skillful she can "practically spin straw into gold."

Amazingly, in the course of one night, Bertie creates exquisite evening gowns—with the help of Ray Stalls, a man from her tenement who uses an old spinning wheel to create dresses that are woven with crimson thread and look as though they are spun with real gold. Indebted to Ray, Bertie asks how she can repay him. When Ray asks for her firstborn child, Bertie agrees, never dreaming that he is serious…

My Thoughts:

-    This was a really good re-telling of Rumplestiltskin.  I love how the name gets thrown in at the end too.  It was really clever.

-    I really liked that this took place in the late 1800s.  It was a nice change from typical Fairy Tale Re-Tellings.  

-    I also liked that the story was about an immigrant family from Ireland.  I'm sure a lot of families have similar stories to Bertie's.

-    Bertie was SO blind!!  There were several clues to tell her that James was rat!!!

-    This is another Fairy Tale that doesn't get redone a lot.  I wish it did!

-    I really enjoyed Bertie's journey.  Her life had vast changes in the up and down.  I was so happy with her ending though!  I'm glad we found out what happened to the rest of her family as well.

-    I loved the descriptions of the dresses!  It was so easy and clear for me to picture.

-    This is one of the better Once Upon Time books.  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Wide-Awake Princess

The Wide-Awake Princess (Wide-Awake Princess, #1)Goodreads Bit:    In this new fairy tale, Princess Annie is the younger sister to Gwen, the princess destined to be Sleeping Beauty. When Gwennie pricks her finger and the whole castle falls asleep, only Annie is awake, and only Annie—blessed (or cursed?) with being impervious to magic—can venture out beyond the rose-covered hedge for help. She must find Gwen's true love to kiss her awake.

But who is her true love? The irritating Digby? The happy-go-lucky Prince Andreas, who is holding a contest to find his bride? The conniving Clarence, whose sinister motives couldn't possibly spell true love? Joined by one of her father's guards, Liam, who happened to be out of the castle when the sleeping spell struck, Annie travels through a fairy tale land populated with characters both familiar and new as she tries to fix her sister and her family . . . and perhaps even find a true love of her own.

My Thoughts:

-    This is probably my favorite Sleeping Beauty re-telling that I've read.  It was really charming and a lot of fun to read.

-    I love that the story incorporated a bunch of of other Fairy Tales.  There was Hansel and Gretel, Snow White and Red Rose, Rapunzel, Princess and the Pea, and a few others.  I loved when each one appeared! 

-    The characters were wonderful!!  Annie is such a strong female lead.  I loved her character and who whole role in the story.  Liam was a very chivalrous and charming lad!  

-    The sub characters were just as fun.  I loved some and hated some, and it was great!  Each one was kind of a special treat!

-    Some of the dialogue was witty and fun.  The author has a good sense of humor.

-    I also enjoyed all the family dynamics.  It made me really relate to the characters. 

-    I enjoyed the whole story from beginning to end!  It was a delightful read!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Halloween Concert

I have a concert on
 Friday, October 26 @ 7:30 PM @ 
American Fork Junior High!

It should be a fun evening!

Here is a little view of some things we'll be playing:

We'll be playing a few more things, but I thought I'd give you some hints to the concert line up!

I hope some of you can attend!
I will love you forever if you do!

Students:    $3
Adults:    $5
Families:    $15
Kids K-12 in the Alpine District are FREE!
Small kids are usually free too, but I'm not sure.  They've changed the pricing this year, but I would assume small kids are still free.

I'm so excited!!

p.s.  I'll be sitting in the clarinet case you were wondering.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fairy Tale Read-a-Thon Recap


I didn't get to read as much as I planned on, but I still read a good amount of books.  
Here are the books I finished:

Sun and Moon, Ice and SnowMidnight Pearls: A Retelling of "The Little Mermaid"  (Once Upon a Time)Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep
The World Above: A Retelling of "Jack and the Beanstalk" (Once Upon A Time)The Wide-Awake Princess (Wide-Awake Princess, #1)The Crimson Thread: A Retelling of "Rumpelstiltskin"
Violet Eyes: A Retelling of the "Princess and the Pea" (Once Upon a Time)

Total Books Read:    7
Total Pages Read:    1,467

Not too shabby!

Thanks to Debz Bookshelf for hosting this fun fun event!!

All giveaways for this event will end on the 27th, so you still have time to enter!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

The World Above

The World Above: A Retelling of "Jack and the Beanstalk" (Once Upon A Time)From Goodreads:    Gen and her twin brother, Jack, were raised with their mother's tales of life in the World Above. Gen is skeptical, but adventurous Jack believes the stories--and trades the family cow for magical beans. Their mother rejoices, knowing they can finally return to their royal home.When Jack plants the beans and climbs the enchanted stalk, he is captured by the tyrant who now rules the land. Gen sets off to rescue her brother, but danger awaits her in the World Above. For finding Jack may mean losing her heart....

My Thoughts:

-    I love that the story combined Jack and the Beanstalk with Robin Hood.  It was really clever how the author mixed the two stories.

-    The story goes by quickly.  You start reading, and before you know it, the story is ending, and the ending is good!

-    I really liked the characters in this book.  Gen is the type of girl that I wish I could be, sensible, practical, and witty.  Robin has to be my 2nd favorite character.  Who doesn't love a good Robin Hood character?

-    Jack and Gen's relationship was really well done.  They are loving siblings that are very different.  I wish there had been more of Jack in the story, but there is enough of him to know and like his character.

-    This is one of the better Once Upon a Time series.  It is thought through, doesn't leave loose ends, and the reader gets enough info.  

-    This is the only re-telling of Jack and the Beanstalk I've seen.  There should be more!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep

Princess Sonora and the Long SleepGoodreads Bit:    In this hilarious retelling of "Sleeping Beauty, " Princess Sonora, who is ten times smarter than anyone else, vows to choose for herself the best time to be pricked by the spindle. Full color.

My Thoughts:

-    This was a short and silly re-telling of Sleeping Beauty.

-    I love the book under the dust jacket!  It is purple and looks like an old fashioned book.

-    Hooray for books with maps!  Although this one really didn't need a map.

-    Sonora would be an annoying person to be around.  One of the fairies should have blessed her to not be annoying.  

-    There are some cute illustrations throughout the book, nothing fancy, but they were fun to see.  

-    I think a younger audience, probably girls, would appreciate this book more than I did.  

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Midnight Pearls

Midnight Pearls: A Retelling of "The Little Mermaid"  (Once Upon a Time)Goodreads Synopsis:    "ONCE UPON A TIME"

In a quiet fishing village seventeen years ago, one lone fisherman rescued a child from the sea. He and his wife raised the girl, Pearl, as their own daughter, never allowing themselves to wonder long about where she came from -- or notice her silver hair, usually pale skin, and wide, dark blue eyes.
Pearl grows from a mysterious child into an unusual young woman, not always welcomed in the village. As all the other girls her age find husbands, she has only one friend to ease her loneliness. One very special, secret companion: Prince James.
But their friendship is shaken when trouble erupts in the kingdom -- a conspiracy against the royal family combines with an evil enchantment from beneath the sea. Now, just when Pearl and James need each other most, bewitching magic and hints about Pearl's past threaten to tear them apart...forever.
My Thoughts:
-    There a few things that were under developed.  This book had a lot of potential, and I think if it had been longer and had more content, it would have been really great.
-    I enjoyed most of the characters.  Pearl lived a simple life, and I think a lot of girls could relate to her.  I feel like James's character could have been better.  He was kinda fickle and I couldn't figure him out.
-    I really liked that it was the classic Little Mermaid story, but with a few twists in it.  It also has a happy ending.  No one ends up as seas foam!
-    I wish there had been more about Pearl's past, and more of a foundation for her relationship with Kale.
-    Overall, this was a cute and fun read, but I just wanted more info.  

Friday, October 19, 2012

Past Fairy Tale Reviews


For some reading ideas, and just for fun, here are some Fairy Tale books I've already reviewed.  Click on the picture to see my thoughts on these.

The Wild Orchid: A Retelling of "The Ballad of Mulan"
Beastly (Kendra Chronicles, #1)Tiger Lily
Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)Shadows on the Moon

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow

Sun and Moon, Ice and SnowFrom Goodreads:    Blessed—or cursed—with an ability to understand animals, the Lass (as she’s known to her family) has always been an oddball. And when anisbjorn (polar bear) seeks her out, and promises that her family will become rich if only the Lass will accompany him to his castle, she doesn’t hesitate. But the bear is not what he seems, nor is his castle, which is made of ice and inhabited by a silent staff of servents. Only a grueling journey on the backs of the four winds will reveal the truth: the bear is really a prince who’s been enchanted by a troll queen, and the Lass must come up with a way to free him before he’s forced to marry a troll princess.

My Thoughts:

-    I've always loved this old Folk Story.  I want my own snow bear!  I also loved The Storyteller's adaption of Hans the Hedgehog.  

-    I love the characters in this book.  The Pika is such a believable young girl.  I admire her strengths, and I can relate to her weaknesses.  Hans Peter was one of my favorite characters.  I think every girl needs a big brother!

-    The mom is a piece of work!  How could she call her children a waste!?!?  How could she be so disappointed in an infant to not give her a name?  So sad!  As a mom, I think that lady is crazy!

-    I love that the Lass received strength, courage, and comfort when she was reminded of her true name.  I think names are so important, and there is meanings to them!  

-    This is probably my favorite Jessica Day George book!    I think this one is more dear to her heart than the others.  I think it is her best work!

-    The whole journey from beginning to end was a complete delight!

Fairy Tale Read-a-Thon Updates

Here is where I'll be logging my progress throughout the Read-a-Thon!
Check back for updates each day!


Day 1

Books Read:   .5
Pages Read:    202
Total Books Read:   0
Total Pages Read:   0
My Thoughts:    I had a pretty busy day, so I didn't get to read as much as I wanted to.  Hopefully I'll be able to plow through more Fairy Tale goodness for the rest of the time.

Day 2

Books Read:   3
Pages Read:   422
Total Books Read:   3
Total Pages Read:   624
My Thoughts:    That's more like it!!  I had a great reading day!  I could have squeezed more in, but I had to go to rehearsal.  I hope tomorrow is as productive...or lazy...depending on how you look at it.

Day 3

Books Read:   1.5
Pages Read:   347
Total Books Read:   4.5
Total Pages Read:   971
My Thoughts:    I had a decent reading day.  I got a little burnt out and played a video game for a bit today, but I still think I read a fair amount.

Day 4

Books Read:   0.5
Pages Read:   94
Total Books Read:   5
Total Pages Read:   1,065
My Thoughts:    Just because I'm participating in a read-a-thon doesn't mean life gets put on hold so I can read as much as I want...even though I wish it would.  I was SO busy today.  I had Teen Book Fest, my sister's rugby game, and my parents came over.  It left me little time for reading.  I had to read while waiting in lines and in between time outs.  It was crazy.  I'm really sad I didn't get to read too much today.

Day 5

Books Read:   0
Pages Read:   79
Total Books Read:   5
Total Pages Read:   1,144
My Thoughts:    No comment.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mini Challenge and Giveaway


I am hosting a mini-challenge and giveaway in honor of the Fairy Tale Read-a-Thon!
Re-tellings are some of my favorites!  I was way excited to participate in this!

Here is how you play:
I'll show you a book cover, and you'll have to tell me what
Fairy Tale is being retold in that book.
Pretty Easy!
1.Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow2.Beastly (Kendra Chronicles #1)  3.Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)
4.Violet Eyes: A Retelling of the "Princess and the Pea" (Once Upon a Time)  5.Princess of the Midnight Ball (Princess #1)  6.The Wide-Awake Princess (Wide-Awake Princess, #1)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fairy Tale Read-a-Thon


The Fairy Tale Read-a-Thon starts tomorrow!  It is being hosted by Debz Bookshelf, and it goes from October 17-22.  This is my first time participating in a read-a-thon, so wish me luck!

The books I have lined up are:

Sun and Moon, Ice and SnowPrincess of the Midnight Ball (Princess #1)Princess of Glass (Princess #2)
The Wide-Awake Princess (Wide-Awake Princess, #1)Belle: A Retelling of "Beauty and the Beast" (Once Upon a Time)The World Above: A Retelling of "Jack and the Beanstalk" (Once Upon A Time)
Violet Eyes: A Retelling of the "Princess and the Pea" (Once Upon a Time)Midnight Pearls: A Retelling of "The Little Mermaid"  (Once Upon a Time)Snow: A Retelling of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (Once Upon a Time)
Ella EnchantedPrincess Sonora and the Long Sleep

I've read all but 1 of these before, but I figure this is a great opportunity to re-read some fun books and get a review written for them.  I might deviate from these books or add to them.  It just depends on what I feel like.  

Let the reading BEGIN....tomorrow!!!!