Saturday, January 30, 2016

Ally Carter

On Monday, I went to The King's English with Suey, Tori, and Jenni to see Ally Carter. She was promoting her newest Embassy Row book.


I haven't read the Embassy Row or Heist Society books, but I've read all of the Gallagher Girl books, and I enjoyed them.

Here is me and the gang!

Here is Ally giving her spiel. It was short and sweet, and she answered questions for most of the time. It was cool. She talks fast, but you can understand everything she is saying. She was really hilarious and highly entertaining. She had everyone laughing and smiling the whole time. She also had a fun Oklahoma accent that just made her more endearing. It was a fun event!

Here are some things she talked about:

 -    When she got the idea for her first Embassy Row book, she brainstormed the plot out with Holly Black.

-    She has always wanted to write a story about teens that live on Embassy Row. She was intrigued by kids having to grow up on a street with different languages, different culture, where everyone has diplomatic immunity, etc.

-    When asked who her favorite couple from her books was, she replied with Mr. Solomon and her. She would really like that. Ha!

-    The 10 year anniversary of the Gallagher Girl books is coming up, and they are getting new covers! Ally is in the middle of writing epilogues to add to each book. They will be from a different perspective than Cammie's. 

-    The hardest book she has had to write is Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy. She still had her day job at that point, and she had to write late into the night and into the morning. She talked about how hard it is to write a sequel. She wrote 3 completely different plots for that book. She kept saying how that book almost killed her.

-    Ally's advice for aspiring writers is to write! Don't be afraid of bad words. She related writing to an old hose. You have to let the water run to get the dirty water out.

-    She doesn't do a lot of research for her books. She makes up most of the gadgets and names them herself.

-    Ally loves to read historical romances. She thinks they aren't that different from what she writes.

Here is Ally signing books! She was so kind and talked to everyone in line.

Group photo with the author!

It was such a fun event! Thanks King's English!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Westmark Trilogy

Westmark (Westmark #1) 26571 116435

My Thoughts:

-    These are awesome! They are written by the legendary Lloyd Alexander! Nuff said!

-    Go read them!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Esio Trot

6251971Goodreads Synopsis:    An ancient spell, 140 tortoises, and a little bit of magic… 

Mr. Hoppy is in love with his neighbor, Mrs. Silver; but she is in love with someone else—Alfie, her pet tortoise. With all her attention focused on Alfie, Mrs. Silver doesn’t even know Mr. Hoppy is alive. And Mr. Hoppy is too shy to even ask Mrs. Silver over for tea. Then one day Mr. Hoppy comes up with a brilliant idea to get Mrs. Silver's attention. If Mr. Hoppy's plan works, Mrs. Silver will certainly fall in love with him. After all, everyone knows the way to a woman’s heart is through her tortoise.

My Thoughts:

-    Fun read! There is no message or lesson to learn here. This book is just for pure entertainment.

-    Gnome and I enjoyed this book so much. We finished it in two sittings. It is really short and has lots of pictures, so it wasn't too hard to get through.

-    Quentin Blake's illustrations are SO much fun! I love how much they add to the story. Roald Dahl's books wouldn't be the same without them. Blake's style matches Dahl's stories perfectly!

-    I finally get the title of this book!! It is Tortoise backwards! HA!

-    A very whimsical, clever, and fun book! I loved reading this to my daughter.

Gnome's Thoughts: (spoilers)

-    I liked how he switched the tortoises.

-    I liked how the tortoise was too big to go in the house.

-    It was funny.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


MatildaFrom Goodreads:    Matilda Wormwood is an extraordinay child with thoroughly ordinary and rather unpleasant parents, who are contemptuous of their daughter's prodigious talents. But underestimating Matilda proves to be a huge mistake, as they, along with her vile headmistress Miss Trunchbull, are soon to discover.

My Thoughts:

-    This is a childhood favorite of mine! I love Matilda!

-    Matilda is such a lovable character. Her family doesn't understand her, and they don't realize how brilliant she is. She finds solace in books, and who doesn't love that!?

-    Matilda's parents and Miss Trunchbull are horrible monstrous people, and you just love to hate them. They are such iconic antagonists.

-    I love Miss Honey and her situation. She and Matilda have so much to connect over. Every reader just can't help but root for them!

-    Of course, Dahl adds a bit of whimsy in this book, and it creates a charming and amazing tale!

-    Quentin Blake's illustrations are always a pleasure to see. They add so much to the books, and my daughter loves seeing his pictures.

-    I was so excited to share this with my 5 year old daughter. We watched the movie together, and she was excited to read the book, but while we were reading, she wasn't too interested. She liked it, but not as much as The BFG.

Gnome's Thoughts: (spoilers)

-    I liked where they poured water on the Trunchbull's face.

-    I liked the newt part.

-    I liked that Matilda got to stay with Miss Honey.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Freebie Week

Freebie Week!

I usually skip these freebie weeks cause I can't think of anything to list, but this week I thought it would be fun to focus on some of my favorite pictures books. Gnome and I enjoy a lot of fun books, so here are our top ten!

Mo Willems Books

Gnome and I adore anything by Mo Willems. We especially love the Pigeon and the Elephant and Piggie books.

68788 7786251
12875557 14440152
767680 10429854

Any Berenstain Bear book

Monday, January 25, 2016

In the Shadows

18527495Goodreads Synopsis:    From the remarkable imagination of acclaimed artist Jim Di Bartolo and the exquisite pen of bestselling author Kiersten White comes a spellbinding story of love, mystery, and dark conspiracy, told in an alternating narrative of words and pictures. 

Cora and Minnie are sisters living in a small, stifling town where strange and mysterious things occur. Their mother runs the local boarding house. Their father is gone. The woman up the hill may or may not be a witch. 

Thomas and Charles are brothers who’ve been exiled to the boarding house so Thomas can tame his ways and Charles can fight an illness that is killing him with increasing speed. Their family history is one of sorrow and guilt. They think they can escape from it . . . but they can’t.

My Thoughts:

-    I bought this on a whim, and I'm glad I did. I was at a Kiersten White event for a different book, but when I flipped through this and saw the pictures, I knew I had to buy it!

-    The illustrations are stunningly beautiful but also very eerie. It is awesome but disturbing at times.

-    The pictures and the text work together so well to create a very atmospheric and haunting tale.

-    I really enjoyed the story that the illustrations told, and I kept trying to figure out how it tied in with the written story. All things were revealed at the end, and I felt like I had to go back and read this again. I didn't, but I definitely want to reread this again.

-    The written story was intriguing and mysterious. I liked the characters, but I think there were too many of them. It didn't bug me, but I just thought they all weren't needed.

-    This whole book is an amazing and unique work of art! I wish there were more books out there like this! 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Fan Art Friday: Psych

Today I'm showcasing:
I LOVE this show! I'm sad it ended, but I love the ending, and I think they stopped at a good place. This show has hilarious characters, great quotes, and a lot of re-watch value!

I thought I would find more fan art than I did, but I found a fair amount. I hope you enjoy!

I wish I had found some art that depicted some scenes from the show, but I enjoyed these illustrations of the characters. My favorite is the last one. I love the collage of characters and the pineapple wallpaper. It really sums up the show in a great way!

Which is your favorite?

Love a certain picture and want to see more from that artist? Great! The pictures are all linked to the source where I found them! Go check it out!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Vampire Knight: Volumes 16 - 19

Vampire Knight, Vol. 16 (Vampire Knight, #16)From Goodreads:    The Night Class is back in session, but Yuki finds herself quickly becoming second fiddle to Sara Shirabuki. With Kaname gone, Yuki is now desperate for blood, so Zero offers her his own. Will she break her promise to Kaname and drink from Zero?

My Thoughts:

-    Yuki and Zero are slowly beginning to work together again! Hooray! Zero says he will kill Yuki, but I suspect he still has feelings for her.

-    Sara is evil! She needs to go down!

-    What is going on with Kaname? I don't understand, not even a little bit.

16146049Goodreads Says:    The #1 hit series from Shojo Beat—a tale of vampire romance. Cross Academy is attended by two groups of students: the Day Class and the Night Class. At twilight, when the students of the Day Class return to their dorm, they cross paths with the Night Class on their way to school. Yuki Cross and Zero Kiryu are the Guardians of the school, protecting the Day Class from the Academy's dark secret: the Night Class is full of vampires!

My Thoughts:

-    This is the most confusing manga I've ever read!

-    Kaname is crazy! Everyone is crazy!

-    The grumpy baker story is SO random.

18143822Goodreads Synopsis:    Cross Academy is attended by two groups of students: the Day Class and the Night Class. At twilight, when the students of the Day Class return to their dorm, they cross paths with the Night Class on their way to school. Yuki Cross and Zero Kiryu are the Guardians of the school, protecting the Day Class from the Academy’s dark secret: the Night Class is full of vampires!

Yukio and Zero team up to go after Kaname. Yuki and Kaname fight each other in the headquarters of the Hunter Society while Sara tries to control Zero through her blood. The female progenitor’s origin metal intervenes, and Yuki realizes there is only one way to stop Kaname…

My Thoughts:

-    Things are going from bad to worse!

-    I still have no idea what is going on.

21411991From Goodreads:    Cross Academy is attended by two groups of students: the Day Class and the Night Class. At twilight, when the students of the Day Class return to their dorm, they cross paths with the Night Class on their way to school. Yuki Cross and Zero Kiryu are the Guardians of the school, protecting the Day Class from the Academy's dark secret: the Night Class is full of vampires!

Kaname vows to sacrifice himself. Yuki vows to sacrifice herself to stop him.

Zero takes a weapon in hand to protect what is dear to him.

Whether parted for eternity or close enough to touch, they each will always desire their beloved…

My Thoughts:

-    WTF!?!?!?

-    You make me go through all this craziness and expect it to all be okay now? NO! I don't think this puts a band aid on everything Kaname has done! This is stupid!

-    Kaname and Yuki. . .EW!

-    What just happened!? This is really how the series is ending? LAME!

-    I am not okay with how this ended. I love how the series started out, but I don't like where it went. During the second half, I was confused and I the characters really digressed. Ugh!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Vampire Knight: Volumes 11 - 15

6494601From Goodreads:    The Night Class at Cross Academy has been abolished. Zero still attends the Day Class while carrying out his duties as a vampire hunter. Yuki now lives hidden away at the Kuran residence with Kaname, but can she embrace the life of a pureblood vampire?

My Thoughts:

-    Some time has lapsed since the last volume. Things have changed.

-    It seems like Yuki is really struggling with her new vampire life.

-    Why does Zero hate Yuki so much? It isn't like Yuki had any control over what she is or what happened to her, just like him! He is such a hypocrite! 

8679704Goodreads Synopsis:    It's been one year since Yuki left Cross Academy with Kaname, and tonight is her first vampire soirĂ©e as a pureblood. Her best friend Sayori has snuck into the party to see her, but will Yuki and Zero be able to protect a human girl amid a bevy of vampires?

My Thoughts:

-    I HATE that Kaname is such a control freak! What the heck!?

-    I'm really losing interest in the story and characters. I miss the mysterious Kaname and brooding Zero. The tension and dynamic isn't the same between Zero, Kaname, and Yuki.

7706970Goodreads Says:    Yuki is attacked by another pureblood outside a graveyard for meddling in the ways of the vampire society. Injured, she returns home to Kaname, who shares with her his past memories and the truth behind the Kuran family.

My Thoughts:

-    I love Kaname's wolfy!! He is so cute!

-    I'm so confused! Who is Kaname? 

-    I liked learning how vampire hunters and their weapons were created. It was nice information.

11707621Goodreads Synopsis:    The Vampire Hunter Society has imprisoned Aido in order to interrogate him about Kaname’s connection to Sara Shirabuki. Meanwhile, Yuki wants a fresh start with Kaname, but circumstances arise that may force them apart.

My Thoughts:

-    Kaname and Yuki have a really weird relationship. I don't like it.

-    I don't understand what is going on. I'm so confused.

-    I don't like Kaname anymore. I don't like any of the characters really. 

-    Why do so many mangas start out amazing but end terribly? It seems to be a pattern for most of them.

13077588From Goodreads:    With Kaname missing, Yuki must now step in as acting head of her clan to maintain the fragile peace between the human and vampire societies. Will she be able to regain the trust of the vampire aristocrats, much less Aido?

My Thoughts:

-    I don't understand what reinstating the night class is going to do. What is the point of all this?

-    Yuki should stop playing around and go find and reprimand Kaname!

-    I'm glad Yuki is finally taking some action, but to what end?

-    I'm bored and confused, and I wish the series had ended with volume 10! 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Recently Added To My TBR

Top Ten Books I've Recently Added To My TBR

This is easy! I've just added the last ten books on my Goodreads To-Read list.

Oddly Normal Vol. 1 25689074
17608898 23212980
27853424 24751478
25885733 Uprooted
25051 28153562